One trait that nearly all heart-centered entrepreneurs have in common is a weak Inner Skeptic.
As "givers" and spiritually-aware people, we like to believe that all people are good, that others always do the right thing and we like to think people tell the truth.
A weak Inner Skeptic can create feelings of regret and embarrassment when we hand our money over to people who make us big promises and then our results fall far short. Or worse yet, our desire to see the good in people is so strong that we end up blaming ourselves when things don't go as promised.
While you may not want to hear this, the truth is, there are people out there who take advantage of people like you and me. They deliberately use spiritual terminology that appeals to us and they very much know how to get us to open our wallets or even hand over money we don't have.
In fact, there are a few highly charismatic, marketing-savvy people raking in millions who are doing what I call "masquerading as Wisdom Guides." And it is very deliberate on their part.
The irony is that they are not actually marketing to your spiritual side; they are marketing to your ego, its fears and its desire for a magic solution.
And yet, there are many others who are legitimately using this same spiritual-based language and marketing from a foundation of truth. I can think of a dozen examples, in fact.
Having an Inner Skeptic that's too strong can also present its problems. You may be so distrustful of others, you drive away potential joint venture partners. Or, you may have a terrible time making a decision because you don't know who to believe, and consequently, you stay stuck.
The thing is, you have the innate wisdom to know the difference. All you have to do is make a point to listen within, trust your inner communication and build up your intuitive muscles day-to-day.
One of the oldest ego-appeal sales tactics in the book is the "I was where you are. Now I'm a millionaire. If you just follow these steps, you can be a millionaire, too."
Of course, we all use this approach to some degree … using our personal story is how we establish empathy with our audience. But there is a line that when crossed creates an inauthentic, manipulative sales process.
Sometimes it's subtle; implying a huge wealth promise, for instance, but not actually saying it.
Other times it's quite blatant — dangling a carrot and then telling you this can easily be yours — when the way the person acquired the carrot (like a mansion or a high lifestyle) was by selling you and others the promise you can have the carrot, too.
Sorry, that doesn't count!
This sales approach has been around for over a century and it's still in use because it's been proven to work. Just look around the internet; it's everywhere. And if you want to make quick cash, you can certainly give this method a try. But I suspect you won't be able to stomach it for long.
How can you tell if your Inner Skeptic is in hibernation?
1) You spent money on a program and it didn't work. So you buy the person's next program, thinking you just need that one additional piece of information and everything is going to be grand.
Does this make sense, when you stop and think about it? That you invest more money with someone when their first program failed you? Would you do this with your stockbroker, accountant or even with a pair of shoes that fell apart after three wearings?
2) When you are really honest with yourself, you feel taken advantage of.
3) When you look back on a regretful purchase, you realize all the signs were there; you just didn't want to acknowledge them.
When you have a healthy Inner Skeptic, you don't let yourself be pressured into buying something.
You don't buy into magic promises that seem too good to be true.
And you check in with your intuition, honoring it and trusting it. (This is an Internal Alignment skill that you can develop over time.)
It can be really tempting to employ these kinds of tactics in your business, by the way, and you may have even done so without realizing it. Most likely, if you did this, you were just following the lead of others who you knew had achieved success using this approach.
I used to do this, in fact, in my copywriting. I was emulating people who seemed successful instead of finding my own truth and trusting that. Inside, something didn't feel right, but because I didn't know what else to do, I went with it. Not surprisingly, people didn't respond the way I thought they would.
It can also be really easy to say "yes" to a joint venture with someone whose ethics don't feel right to you — because the payoff potential is so great. I made this mistake once, and it drastically affected my credibility with my email list.
Getting clear on your ethics and your truth is SO important to you creating Cash Alignment! Your marketing plan needs to feel clear, light … it needs to feel like YOU and not icky in any way. It needs to be built on a firm foundation of honesty within. It needs to put others in a place of healthy skepticism and authentic motivation to work with you, rather than marketing to their fears and their egos' desires for a quick fix.