Recently, I was hanging out with my dad and he gave me some business advice that I’m not taking.
Now, my dad is a smart guy and he’s been an entrepreneur and a business owner for longer than I’ve been alive.
He (and my mom) have been top earners in multiple network marketing companies over the years. Heck, I even have a vague memory from when I was 5 or 6 of riding out on stage in a red convertible that my parents won from being top earners (that they quickly exchanged for a more sensible car for a family of 4.)
The point is, my dad is a smart guy in business. But he gave me some advice that I just don’t agree with.
Here’s what he said…
“You shouldn’t mention that you’re married to a woman in any of your business stuff.”
Me: “But I have no interest in working with homophobes.”
Dad: “Yes, but you will miss out on working with people who would be okay with working with you, but they’d be turned off by knowing that you’re gay.”
Me: (Well, actually I prefer the term queer, but that’s a whole different conversation.)
His point of view reminded me of the most recent Olympics, where Adam Rippon and Gus Kenworthy were the first openly gay American men to ever compete in the Winter Olympics.
That fact that they were the first was crazy to me. (And like me, you might have thought, “Wait, what about Johnny Weir?” He actually didn’t come out until after he competed in the Olympics.)
I thought it was amazing that these guys were out because having representation is important, but on Facebook, not everyone agreed. I saw so many comments saying things like, “I don’t need or want to know that he’s gay. The focus should be on cheering for Team USA, not on sexual preference.” and “Sexuality shouldn’t be talked about from Olympians.
These people weren’t saying that they shouldn’t be gay, but rather that they didn’t want to know that they were gay. That knowing that somehow took away from the joy they found in cheering for them and the country.
They weren’t blatantly homophobic, buuuut I think those were some pretty homophobic points of view.
Would those same people not want to know about a straight athlete’s marriage or dating life?
I’ve never heard someone say, “I don’t need to know that they’re straight, I just wanna watch them compete in their sport.” Have you?
Being married to my wife is just part of my every day life. If someone isn’t okay with that on any level (which includes not wanting to know about it), then I am not the right person to work with them and they are not the right person to work with me.
And that’s okay. I’m not for everyone. And not everyone is for me.
Okay, so why am I telling you any of this?
Because in your business, there are going to be people who aren’t the right fit for you.
You’re not for everyone. Not everyone is for you. And that’s a good thing.
There will also be people who are the right fit. Your ideal audience. Your avatar.
And the better you know who your ideal audience is, the easier it is to be authentic and to speak to your audience in a way that lets them self-select if they are in or out.
And the easier it is to run Facebook Ads that your ideal audience sees and immediately think, “OMG! That’s exactly what I was thinking! How are you reading my mind?!”
Sometimes, when figuring out who your ideal audience is, it’s easier to start with who your ideal audience is not.
Like knowing that my ideal audience is not homophobic.
What they are though, is nothing short of amazing. They are personal brands, sharing products and services that are changing the world. They tend to be women and have established businesses that they are ready to take to the next step by growing their list through Facebook and Instagram Ads.