Interview with Kundan Chhabra: How to Make it Easier to Get Business by Creating a Context of Good Will, Nurturance, Trust and Alignment

A few months ago, my Facebook friend Kundan Chhabra posted something that caught my eye. It was about creating a context of good will in your business. I messaged him asking if he would be willing to write a guest post for my blog about it. It took a few months of conversation but what you see below is the result of those back and forths.

Kundan is someone I met online with whom I’ve been consistently impressed. His ethics on business and marketing and his commitment to social justice are values I wish I saw in more entrepreneurs.

The approach Kundan outlines is true in my experience.

I hope you enjoy.


Tad: We were connecting recently about an ‘aha’ you’d had about the connection between one’s dating and romantic life and marketing. I was wondering if you’d be willing to share it.

Kundan: I’ve been thinking of my love life recently and how it’s starting to have parallels with my business as I go through the soft launch of my new site. And I’ve been pondering a new model of dating that I like to call “contextual dating” or “communal dating”.

I once asked a client: “When you go to a party or an event, do you talk to everyone or only to the women you’re attracted to?”

“Only the women,” he said.

“Talk to everyone. And be a Source of Stability for everyone in the room. And be fully your True Self.” I suggested.

This is the lifestyle I live and teach.

As a result, I’ve had some great experiences.

The number one thing I have noticed is that by the time I talk to a woman, they have already seen me, felt me, known me and become attracted to me (or not). Often, they saw me before I saw them. For example, one time I was dancing on my own during blues dancing (I often dance on my own in between dancing with partners to rejuvenate and recharge myself. Sounds strange but I am also doing energy-work on myself and the room as I dance. That’s why it actually recharges me).

Through the mirror, I could see a woman sitting by the wall and looking at me with complete admiration on her face. It just so happened that I was also attracted to her. So I eventually went up to talk to her as I sat next to her. At some point, she said, “I like the way you dance.” That, I already knew. So eventually I asked her to dance with me. And it was enjoyable.

Another time, I was dancing at another event, and I heard a voice from behind me say, “Thank you.” I turned around and saw this beautiful woman. I’ve had a wonderful intimate connection with her for 2 years since that day.

I’ve been noticing a Parallel with my business as well.

How so?

Lately, as I dive deep into the deepest depths of what I call my Heart Virtue and Super Power, and create content from that, I’ve been noticing a similar effect.

(Your “Super Power” is your most powerful strength, your greatest gift to the world and simultaneously the number one way you desire to be loved. Your “Heart Virtue” is your deepest Why, your most meaningful “virtue” you were born to embody, experience and express).

Clients and prospects reach out to me first.

By the time they are on a Discovery Call with me, they tell me, within the first 5 minutes of the call, “You don’t need to sell me anything. I already know I want to work with you.”

So, there’s no fight, no war, and no “overcoming objections”.

There’s also no “being a stand for them”.

What’s your take on what ‘being a stand for them’ is all about? Why is this taught so often?

“Being a stand for them” is a popular tactic these days that supposedly replaces NLP manipulation in the teaching lore about enrollment conversations. I think this still comes from a Warrior mindset of seeing it as a fight (Supposedly a fight between the client’s Ego defenses/fears and what they really desire which is apparently your program or offer).

It sounds compelling. Is it that it frames you as the hero and them the victim?

Yes. It does.

But it is not necessary if you set a proper context long before the enrollment conversation. In some  cases, the enrollment conversation is not even needed if there is a proper context: people sometimes go directly to the sales page and buy. In fact, for all sales below $200, I am able to completely eliminate the enrollment conversation altogether.

How do you do that? And why?

How? By having a crystal clear point of view, problem, solution, story and offer are so that they create deep empathy in the client: that it, they feel fully seen, gotten and understood. In other words: through the social context itself that we’ve been talking about.

Why do I do this? Because I’d rather not give away an hour of my time for free just to make a $200 sale (or below) when my rates are at $1000 an hour.. Plus, it’s unnecessary when it’s clear to the client that either this is all the money they want to spend or that particular session/offer is what they want. My enrollment conversations are not to convince people to buy from me. They are already convinced when they contact me. So, it’s just a question of helping them decide which offer is right for them.

“My enrollment conversations are not to convince people to buy from me.” Amen.

This is why I ask the following pre-enrollment question when they fill out the enrollment form when they schedule the enrollment call with me on Calendly: “Do you have capital or a budget to invest in your education? “Yes I do. I have: 1. $1000 to $5000 2. $5000+” Choose one. (Minimum Investment of $1000 required to work 1-1 long-term with me. Are you prepared for this?).”

If they say, “No” to this, I message them and re-direct them to an offer that’s below $200.. (Although I may raise this to $333 soon. No reason in particular for this. Just my Intuition).

I have absolutely no desire to convince a client to get a loan or credit card or some other way of ‘making it happen’ if they are already convinced that anything above $1000 is too much. I used to do the convincing in the past. Not any more. This is why I’ve created this “social context system” of getting business in the first place.

That sounds like a lot less work. How are you defining ‘context’?

I see context as the entire container for why we are having the enrollment conversation. It’s the Facebook groups we are both a part of, the Facebook Live videos they have watched before and/or other content, prior comment threads and PM messages, and the larger conversation about our deeper reasons for doing the work we do.

And I am learning that Robert Cialdini, author of “Influence”, says pretty much the same thing in his book “Pre-suasion” – that most of the ‘sale’ occurs long before the sales conversation even takes place as a result of the context you set or don’t set.

So, how do you create a social context of goodwill in your business?

You become a source of stability, nurturance and transformation for your industry.

You be fully your true self.

And, tactically, how does this show up in your business?

You share relevant content that authentically expresses your unique point of view about how your people can best address their issues. You share your own stories of transformation or those of your clients.

Do you have a different take on this than others who talk about ‘content marketing’?

I think of this as being a ‘key holder’.

Let me expand upon this. Imagine your clients have a treasure box. In this treasure box lies the solutions to their problems and the specific thing they desire in this specific area of their life that you have expertise in.

But that treasure box has a lock. Your expertise (especially your Super Power) is the key that unlocks this box for them. I can’t emphasize this enough. When it comes to business, your content actually has to be relevant to your audience. Not just relevant. It has to exactly fit what they are searching for: like a key to their lock. This is how you create the good will that specifically inspires your audience’s Deep Intuition to be activated so that they go: “Wow! This person is my Keyholder for this specific problem.”

And it’s all from the content I create which sets up the context for the enrollment conversation.

But, it can’t be just random good will. It can’t be like Santa Claus shouting “Ho Ho Ho” and spreading good cheer. It’s more like Being a Yoda to the Luke Skywalker in them or being a Morpheus to the “Neo” in them.

Frank Kern calls this creating Good Will by providing “Results in Advance”. If they want to go from A to Z, you create content that takes them from A to C. My model is more about providing a way for them to do it all themselves (for most of the stuff I teach anyways) but if they want to go deeper and be even more effective, they can hire me as their coach.

This is where prior work around Niching and Point of View Marketing is vitally important (which Tad Hargrave can help you with).

What’s your take on niching?

Your niche is the group of people for whom your Super Power is the key to unlocking their treasure, and because your Super Power is completely unique (no one else in the world has it), you magnetise a very specific audience that is specifically attuned to you: your Super Power can’t solve any other problems: only their problems. So it’s also important to know the number one problem you’re born to solve. So this is where deep Inner Self-Connection is critical: a lot of this is based on deep Self-Discovery work.

So, just to recap: it sounds like most people put most of their effort in sales towards the actual sales conversation and you’re suggesting that the focus be moved to much earlier in the process in the creating of a context of good will. Is that right?

Yes, that’s right.

What are the three biggest factors that contribute to this?

The three biggest factors that contribute to this are:

Self-Connection (whether through the meditation I recommend here or the deeper work I do regarding “Heart Virtues” and “Super Power“).

Relevant Content to your “1000 True Fans” AKA “Brand Heroes” which brings up:

Niching (Again, I have a slightly different take on this. My definition today is that your niche is the group of people for whom your Super Power is the key to solving their biggest problem. So it’s an inside-out approach rather than outside-in).
And regarding niching: if you really got your niche right, there is also less struggle and manipulation or even “taking a stand for you” conversations.

Can you give more real life examples of this that you’ve witnessed in others? I’d love to hear times you saw people destroy the social context of goodwill too and how it hurt them and others.

Yes. I was once on a Discovery Call with a woman who claimed she could help me find exactly what my niche is: she apparently had a magical power to immediately tell exactly what my niche is. I was told (by the person who recommended me who it turned out was her coach) that clients cried in their sessions with her because it was apparently so powerful and eye-opening.

That’s why I reached out.

She immediately asked me to be on a Discovery Call with her – even though I didn’t know her at all, which itself felt odd to me. So there was no prior social context of Good Will, Nurturance and Good Will at all.

During the call, she wouldn’t let me off the phone. She wanted a $1000 sale right on that phone call.

And she kept saying, “This may be uncomfortable for you. But I am putting a fire on your butt so that you take action. I am taking a stand for you.” I ended up not hiring her even when I eventually did have the money.

And it sounds like, the way you see creating this context of good will has a lot to do with you being very attuned to yourself, being stable inside, so that you’re coming from a place of generosity rather than being a vampire?


I’m also hearing that your sense of it is that when you figure out your Super Power which, by its nature, solves a very particular problem for people, and you share that with the world more freely, you’ll be coming not only from a place of strength but your ideal clients will recognize that and be drawn to it?


So, is your Super Power related to your take on things? Your point of view? Is it connected to your diagnosis of their issues or is it some other thing?

Yes. It’s part of my Point of View when it comes to helping other coaches and healers make a sale.

It’s how I create content when it comes to my own business. When I write a post or, especially, when I make a Facebook Live or Live series, I tune in to who I want to communicate to. And I do that by tuning in to who best my Super Power can serve, what Purpose I serve, and what treasure I am unlocking. And so, I am not particularly worried about Facebook algorithms or visibility.

For me, it’s not about how many people I reach but exactly whom I reach: I set the intention to reach exactly the right people for whom I am either their Keyholder, OR their audience includes people for whom I am their Keyholder.

So it’s a mixture of Inner Alchemy with outer Business Strategy. So there’s a certainly a certain level of “Co-Creation Magic” – what some people might call “manifestation” but I prefer calling it “co-creation”.

And it’s not always about attracting a client.

For example, one time I posted my poem called “A Love Letter to Anger”. Within 2 minutes of that post, someone with a large mailing list immediately messaged me and asked if she can mail it to her mailing list with complete credit and links of course. Another great example is you yourself reaching out to me to write this article for Marketing for Hippies, Tad. Right? You did that as a result of my post in Awarepreneurs.

So it may not always directly attract a client yet but it certainly increases credibility, visibility and good will with our target audience or “brand hero”, which creates a cumulative context of Good Will, Nurturance and sense of Alignment with me.

Anyways, I just wanted to offer this up an alternative path because this is a topic that has come up often in the Conscious Business community regarding manipulation in sales, marketing, sales calls and selling from the stage, etc.

To summarize: it’s about setting up a Social Context of Good Will, Nurturance and Specifically Relevant Alignment with our “Brand Hero” and sets us up as their Mentor in the Epic Story of their Lives long before they even get to the sales page or the enrollment conversation, whatever the case may be.


About Kundan: Kundan helps you simplify your business as a vehicle for creating that more beautiful free world that you had a glimpse of in your Awakening, mystical, psychedelic and flow experiences.

He does this by helping you discover your Greatest Gift (your Unique Super Power) and Deepest Why that had been created out of your Greatest Longing. Your Greatest Longing that had been born and grown out of your Greatest Struggle the way diamonds and pearls are created.

He then helps you embody your Remarkable Legacy in communion with exactly and only the people with whom you can create the optimum collaboration. Out of this service to the exact people whom you were born to serve, you experience the Deepest Spacious Fulfilling Intimacy with yourself, others and the world. You can learn more about his work at:

Note: If you sign up for his email list you’ll get the pre-enrolment and enrolment questions he refers to above.

Ambushing and Bait and Switches

Small_Biz_HR_Bait_Switch-235x300The other day, I got the following message on Facebook:

Hey Tad, just want to say how much I love you work and continue to follow your blog and content all the time.”

These kinds of messages always find a good home in my world. It’s easy to think that people like me are constantly told how much they are appreciated, but it’s not always the case. You put things out in the world and, sometimes, have no real idea how they land.

So, when someone takes the time to express their appreciation, it means a great deal even if I don’t always have time to respond personally.

Oh you.” I replied. “Thank you.”


And then the conversation took a turn for the worse. 


I’d love to tell you more about a really conscious company that offered me a great detox. It’s a 10 day transformation cleanse.
May I share a video with you?

I sighed, “Let’s slow this conversation down just a little bit.” I was already feeling exhausted for having to have this conversation with someone again. I already had a sense of where it was going. “Is this a company with which you are personally involved? Is this a MLM type company (even if it might prefer another term) and, were I to sign up for this cleanse, would you receive any financial compensation?

I wasn’t feeling upset, or at least not that feeling alone and not really towards the woman who was writing to me. It was an upset about how this culture fails us and how the sales training of MLM companies utterly fails people. I was sad that this conversation needed to happen still. Though, given where I began in sales myself and how aggressive and pushy I was, I am in no position to point fingers at anyone.

It’s a network marketing company that supports sustainability and offers non GMO, organic foods and products.” she said. “I offer the product as part of my nutritional services. I prefer these than the past retail products I used to recommend.


I paused for a moment to decide how candid I wanted to be with her. I decided to be as direct as I could.


Thanks for clarifying. This isn’t something I’m interested in right now. And… ” I paused for a moment to decide how candid I wanted to be with her and decided to be as direct as I could be. “Here’s what felt off for me with this. It felt like a mini ambush a bit. You opened with a sincere compliment and then, suddenly, I was being pitched. It felt like the conversation was opened in one way and then, immediately, became about something else. A woman I used to date met a woman at a cafe. They had a great conversation. The woman invited her out for coffee and she agreed because the interaction had been so nice. When she got there, the woman began to pitch her on Amway and her heart broke a little bit. Her head was swirling in wondering how sincere the compliments and good connection had been at all. I don’t doubt that your words to me are sincere and I’m grateful for them and… there’s a beauty to directness too. I’m sitting with what might have felt better for me as an approach here. Here’s one I’m imagining

You: “Tad, you came to mind today and I wanted to reach out to you about two things. The first was that I just read _____ blog post recently and I loved it and I love your work and wanted to tell you. And then, as I thought about you and knowing that you’re into health and wellness, I thought you might, or might not, be interested in something I’ve been involved in. Do you ever do cleanses? I don’t know if that sort of things is something you’re interested in.”

Tad: “Sometimes. I should probably do it more.”

You: “I know the feeling. Well, to put it out there, there’s a ten day cleanse I’ve come across and it’s the best one I’ve found. I wasn’t sure if you’d want to know more about it or not but there’s a video I can send you about it. No pressure on this. And a disclaimer, it’s an MLM company so, if you signed up I would make some money but there’s also a direct link I could give you where you could buy it directly and I wouldn’t get any money. I just think it’s a great thing. Again, no pressure, I know you’re busy.

That sort of direct conversation, with context given as to why you thought it might be relevant to me, with the disclaimer about the profit motive might have felt a bit better. It just suddenly went into a pitch. And I appreciate very much that you asked permission to share the video. That feels good. How does that all land for you?” I asked hoping this had not been too much for her but also aware that I had not asked for her pitch at all and it had found me in a Facebook message on my personal profile and leveraged that connection and opportunity for her business.

I reflected on the incredible importance of Permission Marketing in which you don’t market to people without having their permission to do so first.

She replied, “That’s very good. Thank you for for offering that suggestion. Sorry if it felt intrusive. I’m a bit excited about it and what I experienced. I definitely will apply this as it does feel better. My appreciation for your work is authentic and sorry of that felt otherwise.”

It was a relief to feel her openness to my words. I have had to cut off relations with colleagues in the past because they couldn’t hear my feedback on similar issues. “I think part of it is that Facebook is such a personal medium for me and so I assume messages I receive here are in that vein. MLM is a very tricky situation because the level of stigma around it is large (and not unearned). What that means is that, if people even get a sniff that it is MLM there will be pressure present because now they will see you in a particular way. And if they smell it and get the sense that it’s being hidden, all of the alarms go off. This is all true in sales in general but it’s extra true in MLM. There’s a need to be direct but also to keep focused on constantly diffusing pressure.

The-Heart-of-Selling-3D-Ebook-Cover-JPGThe best person I know around this is Ari Galper of Unlock the Game whose work is based in how to constantly be diffusing pressure so that an authentic conversation can unfold. It’s something I also explore in depth in my ebook The Heart of Selling: An Interview with Mark Silver.

Another approach that could feel really good would be to simply message me and say, “Tad, can I pitch you on something?”

I’d likely say, “Ha. Sure. What you got?”

“And then you could give me your best pitch for your cleanse with all of the disclaimers and ‘no pressures’ etc. And then I’d be able to sit with it and see if it felt like a fit. There would be no suspicion about intentions. I think sometimes people think it’s not very ‘hippy’ or ‘conscious’ to be that blunt and direct but it’s actually deeply appreciated if it’s balanced with a detachment, a lack of assumption that this is going to be a fit etc. A hard pill to swallow is that our natural enthusiasm, unchecked, will often read as sales pressure. On your end, if feels like you’re being authentic and effusive and, on the receiving end, it comes across as pushy. It can be hard to tone down our vibe. It can be hard to be chill about these conversations but it’s important to remember that most people have an incredibly hard time saying ‘no’ and so our passion can actually be something that bullies someone into doing something that doesn’t feel right for them. It can have us want to move the conversation faster than is right for the other person. There is a deep need to keep slowing ourselves and the conversation down.”

I reflected on how my colleagues Jesse and Sharla often speak about the importance of surfacing the concerns the others might have before signing any documents. They suggest that you literally stop the conversation and say, “Are there any concerns you have that might stop you from moving forward on this?” and then to really, really listen.

It had me think about my recent practice of creating an ‘are you sure?’ page that interrupts and slows down the buying process.

It had me think about how selling and marketing feel so unnatural to so many of us and how brave people are to even try, like this good woman did, to extend herself and take the risk of offering something she believed in.

It reminded me of how many people have had some version of the following experience:

“I went to a 1/2 day workshop about envisioning your future and I liked the information and the presenter. The women then offered free 1 hour consultation to go deeper and see if we could work together. During the 1 hour consolation I told her something pretty vulnerable (I don’t do vulnerable easy but she seemed like she was genuine) and then later in the call she used that information in a way that made me feel bad about myself and like pressure to work with her. I will never work with her. Now if someone offers free time, I say upfront I just want to know more about your ability to support me but if you are going to do a hard sell I will not waste your time. I really felt like she had no integrity – I’m sure it’s something she learned from her coaching course – but it felt very mean. (Feel free to post this anonymously if you are sharing this with others).”

It reminded me of the heart of my work and my commitment to the idea that marketing can feel good.


The real work in selling, for most of us, is not about learning how to be more convincing, it’s about learning how to identify and remove sources of pressure so that we can have a human conversation with people instead of giving them a pitch.


Additional Reading:

To read more thoughts on my notions of how to approach people with graciousness I recommend reading The Classy Cold Approach.

I also recommend reading A Client Says I’d Love to Work With You… And Then You Never Hear From Them Again by Rich Litvin in which he explores the notion of “Questioning their ‘yes'”. Brilliant stuff.

And, again, Ari Galper’s work at Unlock the Game is brilliant here as is Mark Silver’s Heart of Selling program.

Chat Transcript: Asking People to Come to Your Workshops

invitation_envelopeA few weeks ago, I was trying to fill up a marketing workshop I was hosting in Edmonton with my colleague Mark Silver.

Numbers were lower than I wanted and so, instead of just relying on the facebook event, email lists and such, I decided to do some personal outreach to key people I thought might want to come. Honestly, I tend to avoid this because it can take so much time. If I can fill a workshop by sending out a few emails, I’d rather do that. But, in this case, it wasn’t happening. One of the people I messaged on facebook was someone we’ll call Jane Doe. I wanted to share the conversation we had (irrelevant bits deleted) because I thought it was telling. It shows how a very direct approach to marketing and sales can actually feel really good.

Sometimes an old fashioned, personal invitation goes a long way.

Tad: Jane, can you come to this? i think you might dig it and I would personally love it if you were there. not 100% sure its a fit for your situation but i think it might be. – The Mr. X Experience a one time only, three part experience for conscious entrepreneurs serious about growing their businesses Hey there, On Sept 23-24th, 2014 in Edmonton, I will be hosting the most unusual marketing workshop I’ve ever hosted. And, before you decide if you want to come, I’m go…

Jane: you might be right…i will have a look

Tad: coooool

Jane: it’s s tuesday-wednesday thing? I’m just checking to see if i can get someone else to get my kid to footballtues-wed are practice days

Tad: Mr. X is Mark Silver. Have you heard of him?

Jane: no but even his name feels good and i feel good about you, Tad. one of my friends took one of your marketing for hippies courses and really liked where you were coming from she said you were very real and it was a great workshop

Tad: so glad check out his site! i think you’d love him so much

Jane: thanks Tad, I’m going to recommend this to my co-workers one of them is just starting her business so its perfect timing

Tad: thanks so much!

Jane: k. i signed up. thanks for the heads up. see. this is what i like about you…you can send a message selling something…and it doesn’t feel like pressure…it feels like you are doing mefavourvor…thats how i want my marketing to feel

Tad: I’m glad it felt good. and so happy you can make it. is there anyone else you can think of who should be there? i feel like i’ve invited all of the usual suspects but i know there are scenes within scenes i know nothing about.

Jane: i will spread the word to ppl i know will be interested

Tad: thank you so much! huge help. oh boy. so excited. it’s mark and my first time meeting in person. so many skypes. and now i get to introduce him to my community who i love so much.

Jane: by the sounds of it…the community loves you back

Tad: #mutualadmirationsociety

Jane: :-)

Sales Letter Case Study: Permanomics

1623499_10154654352970230_3741222619418861514_nI was just chatting with my colleague and dear friend Javan Bernakevitch of Permaculture BC. He dropped me a line of facebook asking for help in spreading the word on a course he was doing. It’s a course he’s told me about and that I know is brilliant. 

Javan: Hey bud, I’m offering the core of the personal niche course and, personal function finding course as a stream cast on October 8th with Nicole. Would you be willing to post the below? My bud Javan is offering an elegant process on how to understand your skills, function and niche… what you need to consider before your business model on October 8th and you can stream it from your house for $10, this is $100 deal for $10. Check it out.

PERMANOMICS! Right Livelihood: Using Permaculture and Holistic Management to design a profitable and high quality life TICKETS for IN-PERSON attendance OR, ON-LINE Live Streamed Broadcast attendance here: the new Economy-Victoria, BC, Education in Action Series Presents: 

Tad: the word ‘function’… i don’t think anyone will understand it

Javan: Function in the ad copy?

Tad: yeah. i’d cut that word or find another way to say it. i think it’s a permie word that permies would get but will totally lose other people. like why would would someone want to ‘My bud Javan is offering an elegant process on how to understand your skills, function and niche’ – what would that give them? What’s the impact of that? What are they wanting from that? I even think ‘niche’ may be too jargony without a certain context around it

Javan: Thanks for that feedbacK. Would something like, “My bud Javan is offering an elegant process on how to interpret the intersection your skills, future goals and the local world problems that make you grit your teeth as potential to discover the reason you’re on this planet.”?

Tad: better! or “Ever look at the world and wonder what you can do to make it better? My friend Javan has a special genius is helping people identify their best skills, local problems in their communities, their goals and interests and turn them into projects that can get them moving (and maybe even make them some income or turn into a business. If you feel like there’s something you want to do but feel stuck in terms of what that might look like, you should check out…”

Javan: You could do this for a living.

Tad: I don’t know… I’m not sure how i’d articulate it… HAYoh!

don’t ignore your niching fears

As I discovered during my Niching for Hippies six week coaching program, people have a lot of fears around niching. And then coaches encourage them to push through those because ‘niching is so important’.

But I’ve been learning that those fears are actually important to listen to. Sometimes the very thing that seems like it’s in the way of your progress is the way to progress. If you feel stuck in your niching efforts, don’t just push through it. Don’t discount it. Consider how your experience of resistance to the niching process could also be connected to the challenges your clients face.

One client told me they felt so stuck in their niching and I invited them to consider how that particular feeling of stuck might relate to how their clients felt about their own problems. Eyes widened, ‘Oh.’

In the example below, my client (in an actual chat transcript) realizes that her fear of being seen as a fraud might actually be connected to her clients’ burn out. That her fear of being a fraud might be her flavour of how she goes about burning out: ‘I don’t want to be seen as a fraud, so I will over compensate by working so hard to prove myself . . . and then burn out.’

It doesn’t mean this will be true of all her clients.

But it does mean that she now has a much more personal connection to and understanding of burn out and how it can happen. There’s more compassion and understanding. There’s more empathy. She’ll be able to see their situation much more clearly because she sees herself more clearly. The thing which seemed like the wall, became a doorway.

I am finding, more and more, that this is very often the case.

When a fear comes up you can dismiss it and say that fear is bad. Or . . . you can really listen to it and hear the wisdom it has for you. Your fears and resistances might surprise you. They’re often some part of us that is wanting to be acknowledged for their gifts. They might be trying to tell you it’s not the right niche. Or that your approach isn’t quite right. Or that there’s something you’re not seeing.

Instead of trying to ‘get over it’ try really sitting with it. Get still and quiet. Pour yourself a cup of tea. Bust out your journal.

Get curious.

Here’s our conversation . . .


Client: Ok, I have a quick niche question
me: yay! thank you so much!
Client: if you have a sec
me: sure

Client: ok, so I’ve been working on my website free resource, I think it’s really awesome and it actually really naturally rolled to a place where offering a free intro session felt good and valuable (yay!) anyway, I know generally who the market is and the result, but I haven’t crystallized it into a clear statement yet, I’m working on that now
me: cool

Client: So my niche is burned out entrepreneurs – but I love working with experts – you know authors, speakers, etc burned out experts
me: right
Client: but I think I’m having the “it’s too specific” fear
me: sure!
Client: but I love them…
me: tell me more about the fear?
Client: there won’t be enough.. which I know is irrational because I’ve been working with a bunch already

me: is there anything underneath that? or anything else coming up around that? these things are good to pay attention to

Client: yeah I think part of me is scared, I finally found something that I love and I want it to work… and for some reason get specific leads the brain to think I’d cutting people out . . . just typing this stuff to you is helping:D
me: and what would it mean to you to be cutting people out?

Client: it’s really weird, because I know that the original thought was I wouldn’t get clients because there probably isn’t enough people who are experts that are burned out… but then when you asked me the question, the first thing that popped into my head was I’d get to work with exactly the people I wanted to – the people that excite me most. and since I’m not financially dependent on my business, that’s really the only way I want it

me: got it. so . . . what else might stop you from really focusing on these people?
Client: my fear of being seen as a by getting specific, those people are all somehow connected to each other and if one person thinks I’m a fraud they all will. that’s a simplistic way of thinking about it, but the essence of the emotion is that

me: that’s so real and honest. i totally get that. so that if you narrow in and focus on this community it’s like a much faster track to implosion. like if you don’t do anything or just help friends in general ways then no worries

Client: yeah
me: but if you really focus on something then shit – it acccelerates you being exposed
Client: right it’s the exposure thing…I’ve been really trying to focus on what I need to feel safe
me: so then it’s inevitable that you’ll be shpwn as a fake and everyone will be talking about you. i totally get it!being exposed as a fraud does not feel safe

Client: right…
me: i imagine that might be one of the least safe things that you could feel in your life

Client: although I’m not sure why I feel like a fraud.. because the work I’ve done has completely changed my life and now it’s working on others who were feeling burned out and lost hope for their businessand most of all I figured it out on my own and I’ve tested it.. that’s the least fraud-like behaviour ever

me: i invite you to keep sitting with it. you might look at where else in your life you’ve felt like a fraud. or when you first felt that.
Client: yeah ok
me: but also – i’m curious if you can see any connection between the FEAR of being seen as a fraud and burning out

Client: oh GREAT question
me: like does the fear of being seen as a fraud cause you to overwork which then causes burn out?
Client: totally... I think I’ve made this connection before… at least the over-compensating and burn.. not the fraud part

me: i think that this fear isn’t in the way to you finding your niche – i think it might actually be a doorway into going much deeper into this niche and finding our perfect authentic relationship to it
Client: you are so right… when I read that my whole body relaxed..

me: that is a good sign

Client: that was awesome 

You can learn more about my perspective on niching in my Niching 101 for Hippies ebook.


Want Help? If you’d like some more direct guidance and hand holding on figuring out your niche then go and check out my Niching for Hippies coaching program


backstage pass: how i write blog posts

Just had a chat with my pal and colleague Jaime Almond (pictured below) about the behind the scenes of how I write a blog post and thought you might find it interesting.

I just had an idea for a blog post for you


you know how we were talking about how you turn everything into a blog? well look at this break-in you could do a inside look on how this turned into blog posts it started with posting on Facebook…


then you turned the experience into a blog about what you learned then you posted questions about backups on Facebook this might not be the best example, but it’s interesting

which i will then turn into another blog post about ‘online back ups’


i think what it hilights for me is the dynamic between my blog and facebook.

yeah, and how you blog about everything… also I love how I can say “you should turn that into a blog” and you do you really listen to others. seriously Tad, I bought 2 new hard drives on Saturday because of you I’m backed up! What a relief

i am constantly struck but the overwhelming amount of content there is. i think part of the challenge is most people don’t have a place to capture their ideas. every good comedian i know has a little back pocket book where they can jot down their funny ideas. and i think every serious blogger (and entrepreneur in general) should have a place where they capture good ideas. I’ve got 616 potential blog posts jotted down right now. plus fifty or so half written on my blog that i’ve not yet published. like when we were chatting in Toronto, I’d get an idea, jot it down and then forget about it.

it also highlights the power of word of mouth marketing. so i get my stuff stolen, put up some facebook posts, realize it might be a good facebook post and then someone writes a comment about how they use online back ups. that inspires me to do it. so i go to sign up for the service they recommended and thought, ‘wait. maybe there’s a better one out there. let me pause’ and so i posted a question on facebook asking, ‘what’s the best online back up service you know?’ and that will almost certainly turn into a really useful blog post for my crowd itself. so it becomes this neverending conversation. and i get to hear word of mouth recommendations from people i trust. this feels so different from trying to sell people. or ‘trying’ to engage them. i’m asking questions i’m genuinely curious about and then i harvest and share the learnings.

i think people think that they have to come up with all sorts of original content – and you don’t always. sometimes you can just gather up all the flowers and arrange them in a beautiful bouquet. you don’t need to grow them all yourself. or create some new flower no one has ever seen.

absolutely! it’s such a great way to learn too because you aren’t the expert in everything. you crowdsource. plus it cuts your research time down by a lot

so it feels like three main parts (in no particular order):

1) using social media to engage conversation and get different perspectives, ideas and suggestions or just express where you’re at.

2) my blog where i gather it all together and offer the synthesized versions back to the community (and often get even more corwdsourced wisdom) and

3) a place to capture ideas that come up through these conversations.

yeah, and then it helps you develop your content etc

can i turn this convo into a blog post?

of course

(for more of my thoughts on blogging click here)


If you’d like get cool posts like this in your inbox every few days CLICK HERE to subscribe to my blog and you’ll also get a free copy of my fancy new ebook “Marketing for Hippies” when it’s done.


are your clients saying the right things about you?

A colleague of mine recently told me that she had been talking about me a lot with people in her life – spreading the word about my marketing work.

But . . . she wasn’t sure she was saying the right things. And this is an important piece of word of mouth marketing – not just that people are talking about you – but that they’re saying the right things. So, I thought that these questions and answers might be useful to share with you. Maybe it will get you thinking about how your clients see you and help you get to know me a bit better too.

1. You’re becoming a mainstay on a large number of people’s Facebook pages and e-mail inboxes.  What do you hope is the first thing folks think when they see your image/your name?

Ooooh! He’s handsome!

I think I just want to be a source of good things in people’s lives.

Like when they see a note, a post or an event invite they think, “I wonder what cool thing Tad has for me today.”  Some people tell me they log onto facebook just to see what I’ve posted. That feels really great.

I think of my facebook page as a channel – like a tv or radio channel. And I want to make sure the programming is always top notch. Something worth watching.

2. I saw a Facebook post by someone just beneath your recent Winnipeg ad for your seminar asking you why you’re always in Winnipeg when their improv crew goes on tour.  Do you see Marketing for Hippies ever becoming so big that you lose the freedom to be involved in your creative endeavours?  How do you feel about that?

Hrmm. Over the past year, interest in what I do has really exploded – and I feel like it’s still just the tip of the iceberg for what’s coming. I still don’t have any real products I’m selling (coming soon!). And . . . no. I won’t let it get that big. I’m really not trying to build an empire. Just a village. In fact . . . I don’t even feel like I’m trying to build anything in a way.

There’s just this community of amazing people doing inspiring things – and I’m a member of that community – contributing to it in the best ways I know how. The idea of being on the road all the time feels appalling to me. I may add staff at some point beyond my current part time personal assistant. But, for me, quality of life is primary.

I love some travel – but too much feels draining.

3.  In considering the answer to #2, divide Tad into his key components – what percentage is the innovator (the author/creator), the marketer, the presenter, the researcher, the entertainer, the private individual?

Hrmm. Interesting question. This is my initial crack . . .

innovator (the author/creator): 20%

the marketer: 20%

the presenter:20%

the researcher: 5%

the entertainer: 5%

the private individual: 50%

4. How big do you want Marketing for Hippies to become?  Do you want it to remain something that you are always in sole control of?  Do you wish to see it grow into something that you franchise?  Do you hope to see your concepts in print with CD/DVD/ publishing house backed speaking tours as part of the program?

I really don’t know. At this moment, I’m just following my curiousity.When people call for me – I try to respond. I don’t think I ever want to franchise it at all. If someone expresses interest in learning from what I do – and wanting to be a teacher of my stuff – I’d be open to exploring that – but I’d probably just encourage them to start their own thing vs. working for me.

I’ve got three books I want to write:

Marketing for Hippies: an exploration of the principles of conscious vs. gross marketing

Hub Marketing: this is my favorourite topic in the world in marketing. Hubs!

Pay What You Can: I do almost all my workshops on a pay what you can basis. And I see a number of other businesses using this or experimenting. I’d like to write a book documenting this whole thing.

And I’ve got a tonne of products I want to create. Some on Niche. Some on leading workshops. etc. I kind of like the model of Seth Godin or Chris Guillbeault. Being a thought leader. Leading the laptop lifestyle. Doing the occassional workshop. Doing lots on the phone or via my blog.

Lately, I’ve felt really drawn to critiquing marketing (especially in the workshop industry). I’m a curmudgeon.

Things seem to be growing really nicely. I feel like my next stage is not so much about focusing on growing my list (which keeps happening without me) but rather deepening my business. Getting more products created. Better systems. Creating a stronger container to hold it.

5. If ‘they’ make a movie about you in 10 years’ time, what would it be called, and what result of your efforts would be the inspiration for the movie?

Oh lord. I don’t even know where to begin answering this. Ten or fifteen years ago, I would have wanted this. Desperately. I wanted to be a Tony Robbins for Teens. I wanted to be super famous. I wanted everyone to know who I am. And  . . . I’m just so not there anymore. I wouldn’t  shun it, but I’m not courting it anymore.

So, that’s for starters.

I think it would be called ‘Marketing for Hippies’ and it would be a documentary where I interview my favourite marketing coaches and we pick apart capitalism and marketing. Or if it HAD to be about me – it would be interviews of people talking about my work? Man. I don’t know how to answer this.

I think it’s because I enjoy that a lot of my work is sort of behind the scenes. Organizing events that bring cool people together to meet. They meet and seeds get planted and they may never remember that this cool project they collaborated on came about because I introduced them – and that’s just fine.

Plus – the marketing is only one thread of my life. I also feel really called to explore work around authentic masculinity, authentic communication, I’m loving Byron Katie’s stuff, I feel an ever present and subtle draw to explore traditional Scottish Gaelic wisdom, there’s the work with and the improv comedy I do.

And, this year, self care has been so big for me.

And my most satisfying moments always happen one on one with friends. Just sitting together and exploring life. Being there to support and listen to people as they wrestle through their struggles is so incredibly, deeply satisfying to me.

I don’t think my answer has been particularly useful . . .

6. I call you a ‘phenomenon’, followed by a brief explanation of an innovative young man who is thoughtfully bringing practical marketing advice and marketing confidence to people (read ‘women’) in holistic arts through seminars, insightful blogging and social networking, and personal coaching.  Would you wish to have anything added, or subtracted from this description?

Heavens. Phenomenon. Uhm. Gah.

The only thing I’d ammend is that it’s not only holistic types – though that’s been primary lately. When people ask me what I do – this is what I say, “You know how there are a lot of conscious, green, holistic, community minded business types who are struggling to make their business grow? Well, what I help them do is figure out strategies to attract more of the kinds of clients they’re looking for – without spending a fortune or doing things that seem gross. These days, that’s meant working with a lot of holistic practitioners, crafters, permaculture teachers, people who make green products and other ‘green service provider types’. And I mostly do that through workshops I run across Canada on a pay what you can basis.”

But I like what you say too.

So, those are my answers.

And it lifts up a few things for me.

Your clients are probably more curious about who you are than you think. They want to know what makes you tick. Where you’re heading and why. How they can help.

We often assume that people ‘get’ what we do and can articulate it. There are a number of things you can do to make sure they do.

  1. A simple and to the point URL: Having a website name that kind of ‘says it’ is great. works great. Or – perfect. You know exactly what it’s about. Or – which speaks to the masses working in corporate cubicle jobs.
  2. A solid tagline: I’m usually not a fan of spending ages figuring out a tagline. But if you can sum up what you do in a way that’s funny, memorable, to the point – this can be a huge help. “Visibly clearer skin in three days. Guaranteed!” or “Overnight delivery” or “Hot, fresh pizza to your door in 30 minutes. Guaranteed.” Think about what your biggest promise to your clients is. Boil it down into six or seven words.
  3. A clear target market: This will go a very long way to helping people articulate what you do clearly.
  4. A clear ‘journey’: Related to all of the above is the principle of getting crystal clear on the particular journey you take people on.

For more thoughts on word of mouth marketing just CLICK HERE.


If you’d like get cool posts like this in your inbox every few days CLICK HERE to subscribe to my blog and you’ll also get a free copy of my fancy new ebook “Marketing for Hippies” when it’s done.