“Who” is Your Target Market and Biblical Principles that will help!
Today I’m going to be talking about “who” is your target market and I’m going to be sharing with you biblical principles that will help you determine that person. If you are reading this you are most likely an entrepreneur or a business owner and you are trying to figure out how to incorporate faith in your business. Maybe talking more about God and money, faith and finances. How do we expand the kingdom…while also serving others in a business kind of sense?
My name is Ray Higdon. I help network marketers achieve time – money – freedom without selling their soul.
Have you ever struggled with “who” should be your target market? Who should you be talking to? Who should you be conforming your marketing message to..? Ever struggled with that or is that just me, because I’ve had that struggle. Let me know in the comments.
What we can do by overthinking our target market is not impact anybody. We don’t solve any problems because we are sitting in wonder-land and wondering “who” we should be serving and never actually serve anybody. So today I hope to illuminate and bring some light there with the help of the word of God. If you are in network marketing we actually help you create time-money-freedom.
Side note: This month will be my year anniversary (believe it or not) of coming to Christ, of giving my life to Christ and it has been such an amazing ride. So awesome…I’m so grateful. God has given me more than enough Grace, more than enough hunger for the word…I’m just so grateful for our Heavenly Father and all that Jesus did for me and did for you.
My format on these is to cover one or two verses and share a few takeaways. How I’ve applied it in my life or or failed at it. Then give you ways to apply in your life. I try to make these very applicable to you, not just to flex on knowledge but to actually help you devise your life and possibly business better. With these topics I am trying to relate to business because I know that’s who I’m called to serve. “Marketplace ministry right? I’m not called to serve as a pastor but in the marketplace using what God has helped me learn throughout my entire life (even before I knew Him, He always knew me) and now to help entrepreneurs and business owners with this kind of message.
Let’s Dive Right In.
Today is one of my favorites. I love this message. It actually will help you identify your target market in an interesting way and its from Second Corinthians 1: 3-4
2 Corinthians 1: 3-4 Paul tells us, “blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ the Father of mercies and God of All Comfort who comforts Us in all our Affliction so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any Affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”
Isn’t that a good one? Such a powerful verse.
Takeaway number one, “He Comforts Us in all our afflictions.” What could be an Affliction? Well an Affliction could be…confusion, stress, a confliction, anxiety, physical pain, something you’re experiencing like heartbreak. Right?
Another favorite verse I have is…
1 Peter 5: 6-7 “humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you by casting all your anxieties on him because he cares for you.”
I’m going through Matthew (yet again) and it talks about, “you are not a teacher because you only have one teacher, you are not a savior you have one savior, you are not a father, you have one father“… and it talks about “he who exalts themselves will be humbled and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” So that goes right along with the verse above in 1 Peter.
Okay so the first part of this is “humble yourselves.” You aren’t your savior. Now have you ever heard the phrase “if it’s going to be, it’s up to me.” Have you ever heard that one? I have, in fact I lived my entire life that way up until a year ago…maybe even longer because I didn’t get this. If we can humble ourselves and stop making ourselves our own savior then we can cast our anxieties on Him. If we’re the savior….we have to solve every problem. If we’re the savior…if we’re exalting ourselves… “if it’s going to be it’s up to me” then we have to solve all problems and we’re not able to cast our anxieties on him. Humbling ourselves is so important. This is all about the heart.
Takeaway number two, those who are in any affliction (now I’ll be honest, I’ve read this verse a hundred times) that means that when we are utilizing the comfort we got during any affliction we can help others in any affliction they get. What this is saying is that by sharing how we overcame or survived something in our life with God’s help (and we always have God’s help) we can comfort those with afflictions that we haven’t even had.
Let me give you an example. One of my favorite sets of verses,
Genesis 45:8 (This is when he’s revealing himself) “Joseph said to his brothers come near to me please and they came near and he said I am your brother Joseph whom you sold into Egypt and now do not be distressed or angry with yourselves because you sold me into slavery for God sent me before you to preserve life.”
So it was not you who sent me here but God. Man if we had that kind of wisdom…. can you look at your abuser and say “hey you didn’t abuse me God allowed this to happen so I could serve more people.” None of us…how many can look at the person that put them through trauma and say “hey hey don’t stress it God allowed the trauma so that I could serve more people.” That’s what Joseph is saying. Can you even comprehend that? No, we want to hold the grudge against the person that abused us and hold the trauma and we make ourselves the savior and the judge. We make ourselves the judge and say “they did us wrong, they deserve my wrath, what they did was wrong.” When you recuse yourself as a judge…that doesn’t mean you’re proclaiming them innocent, it means you’re just passing the case off. You’re passing the case off to the Heavenly Father…to the actual judge as we’re instructed.
I needed to hear that but check this out. How many of us have never been slaves or sold into slavery but we can relate to Joseph’s story. I’ve never been in slavery but the first time I read these words I cried because I thought “oh what an incredible heart of God, what an incredible wisdom of God.” It just blew me away. I cried the first time I read this… it was several months ago, but I cried because I thought “man what would it be like to think that way? To think that every person that stole from you, that every person that abused you, every person that gave you trauma, that was actually God allowing it so that you could comfort others in any affliction they had.”
My friend Michaela has a shirt that says “but did you die” it’s kind of funny right? You didn’t die, you survived. God got you out of that mess so that you could go and serve. If you’ve been through a lot of stuff, guess what? All that is, is evidence that you have a big calling. How many of us have never been slaves but we can hear Joseph’s words and say “dang…wow that’s powerful…” Maybe you’ve been through some stuff and sharing it is going to give other people some hope. That’s going to give them some hope that maybe they can get out of it. This is why I’m not holding a grudge against my abusive childhood because it got me into doors I otherwise couldn’t get in. I remember several times going and speaking to a group of either kids in foster care or troubled teenagers and they’re like “who’s this white boy…” Then I share a few of my stories from my childhood and they’re like, “oh okay” all of a sudden they connect and relate with me. That leads me to takeaway number three.
Takeaway number three, we have to be vulnerable. If no one ever knows what pain we overcame then they can’t gain hope from what we have been through. Now a proverb that is associated with Joseph is “cursed is the man who withholds grain but blessing is on the head of him who sells it.” Now you may not have grain, but what is grain? Grain is a solution. When you don’t share the things that you’ve overcome you’re withholding that solution, you’re withholding that hope. If only you shared more of what you’ve overcome, of what you survived…I know that you’re worried about it painting you in a bad way, I know you’re worried about looking good to others because that’s super important, right? They really care about that…right? So when you withhold your grain, withhold your solution, withhold your afflictions, withhold the things that you overcame or survived you are withholding hope.
How I Have Applied or Failed.
How have I applied or failed at it? I already gave you one example, but first one thing that I’m really called to do is helping entrepreneurs get off the money and significance hamster wheel. Here’s what I know about the money and significance hamster wheel. There’s never enough. When I sit down with someone who has a net worth of $100 million, you know what they talk about? They don’t talk about gratitude, they talk about who they know that’s worth 200 million. Now I don’t routinely sit down with billionaires but I have to wonder how many of them sit down and think about their competition that has two billion, right?
What I know about myself is whether I had a million dollars in the bank or whether I just had a million dollar day or a million dollar month it was never enough. I always needed more. When I didn’t have much money I was sad, I was depressed, money was my source. My source of significance, status, safety, security, self-worth. My net-worth was my self-worth. That’s where most people are at this point. It’s an IQ test if you are constantly chasing money and significance. That’s where you’re trying to fix yourself and trying to help yourself and you’re never going to get there…that’s never going to fill you up because there will never be enough. But….what is enough is the grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. What is enough is the healing that comes from accepting Jesus into your life so you can have money.
This isn’t a money bash and those that preach to you that having any money is bad or whatever they need to study up. Ecclesiastes 9:16 “The poor man’s Wisdom is despised; his words are not heard.” Deuteronomy 8:18 “he gives us the power to get wealth.” What’s the power to get wealth? Wisdom and resources. You can have money. There isn’t anything wrong with that, but don’t have money have you. That’s where most entrepreneurs are these days. They think, “if only I hit that ink 5000 ,if only I get that bestselling book, if only I get on that stage….
I know because that was me for most of my life. None of those things that I accomplished that I set as goals actually did anything to me…it just made me want more. So it’s this IQ test of this hamster wheel of how much am I going to hustle and grind and not feel any different. You can deny it for a while but I hope that it comes sooner for you if you’re reading this post. I had to make over $30 million and speak on a lot of stages to realize it.
Tony Robbins says, “success without fulfillment is the ultimate failure.” There’s a lot of people experiencing ultimate failure because they’re not fulfilled even though they achieve success. Does any of this resonate with you? Is this helpful at all? Part of my mission is to help the person I used to be because I was on the IQ test of the significance hamster wheel which runs the network marketing industry. That’s what all your top leaders are pitching, (I don’t say all) but that’s what the majority of leadership and network marketing is…let me lead with my Lambos and accomplishment I achieved. But why don’t you lead with how many schools you built, why don’t you lead with how many missions you led? Why don’t you lead with how many people you brought to Christ? Why don’t you lead with who you are helping and lead with the people that you help make extra money.
Talk about that, but have some gratitude to your Heavenly Father for the gifts that He gave you because the gifts that He gave you are amazing. If you can step into that you can actually start to step into fulfillment.
Number two. Again this is coming back to how I applied sharing my story to know who I’m talking to and who I’m helping. About 3 years ago maybe God allowed me to reach a level of social anxiety that was really hard for me. I remember I was about to speak at Funnel Hacking Live for my friend Russell Brunson on a stage in front of 5,000 people in Nashville. I’m about to go on stage and I’m out in the lobby talking with people and I don’t think this has happened before but I had a panic attack, I’m hyperventilating. I rushed back to my room and I called a coach of mine at the time and I’m like “hey man you got to help me out man…I’m freaking out and I don’t know why.” I was just freaking out. It wasn’t that I was scared to be on stage…I mean I’ve been on bigger stages, I’ve been on a lot of stages like that, but I didn’t know what it was (it was social anxiety) but I didn’t understand why.
I remember watching a Netflix special about Jerry Seinfeld. Jerry Seinfeld said, “y’all don’t understand I can talk with all of you but I can’t talk with any of you” and he talks about how he was comfortable on stage but when he would come off stage and people would talk to him in a more of a social one-on-one kind of scenario he would freak out. I knew exactly what he was talking about…I knew exactly. I’m like “oh yeah that’s me.” I remember speaking on stages over the last 10 – 14 years and I would rock it out, standing ovation….people like “yay! awesome! woo! “and I would come off stage and I would have the overwhelming urge to rush back to my room. I would go back to my room by myself just sitting there…maybe watch a movie or something and I didn’t know why. Now that behavior was mistranslated, people would think “oh he doesn’t hang out…..oh Diva….oh he must think he’s better than everybody…..ahh got it… got it.”
I didn’t know what it was but it wasn’t that….I was so uncomfortable just connecting with people and I didn’t understand it. After God allowed that high intense social anxiety panic attack I dug into it. I said, “wait a minute…I have to figure this out.” I went to my friend Elliot Row. I’m going to give him a shout out! I went to Elliott and I said, “Elliot bro you’re a hypnotist help me understand this man…. What the heck’s wrong with me?” That’s what I wanted to know. What is wrong with me? Now I wasn’t of Christ back then, I didn’t understand Christ. He knew me, I didn’t know Him. So Elliot through a series of exercises helped me remember something that happened to me that was pretty significant. In the third grade my teacher knew that something….I mean I can’t speak for her but I imagine what happened is she knew that something’s off with this kid. Something’s a little off with this kid and so she had me start meeting with the guidance counselor. I don’t know why I don’t even know what a guidance counselor is….
I started meeting with this guidance counselor and it was this young pretty lady. She was young….I mean obviously I was younger… right? I start meeting with her and I start trusting her and I start sharing the different things that are going on at home. I started sharing the kind of hell I was being put through. This goes on for probably weeks or months I don’t know. Then one day I showed up for our weekly meeting and in that room was my dad and my stepmom. She proceeds to tell them all the things I’ve ever told her because she thought the stories were just too outrageous and that I really needed more attention at home. Well as you can imagine I got some attention at home that day, not the good kind. That was a bad day. That was also the day I stopped trusting all human beings, because I had trusted this person. I had told her all the things that I’d never told anybody else and she had completely betrayed me.
When you have someone in your life that maybe isn’t really open about sharing stuff with you it may not be that they’re arrogant it may be that they were greatly betrayed and a series of safety mechanisms and programs were created in them to prevent them from being hurt like they were in the past. Now I’m not making excuses for anybody but I’m telling you that’s my story. See I didn’t realize that I equated connecting with others socially as dangerous because I’d been so betrayed in the past that equated to mental hurt – physical hurt, that as a little kid in third grade a series of programs were created to prevent that from ever happening again.
Now the first time I shared that story I was in New Orleans and I just discovered it. I shared it on stage at my friends Angel Fletcher and Ryan Higgins team event and I had a client come up to me. (Hurt bad the first time I shared this story……) Client comes up to me and says “you know what that makes a lot of sense. I just thought you didn’t like me.” That hit me hard because I thought how many years have I been making people think that I don’t like them. How many years have I been making people think that I was arrogant or thought I was better than them because I wouldn’t connect with them. I wasn’t even doing this consciously.
My friend Josh sent me a reel from one of the gurus from India (I forget his name) and he said, “you know when you’ve been through trauma you can either choose to be wise or be wounded.” No you can’t….If you were abused as a kid. I didn’t choose to be wise or wounded. I was wounded and my body, my neurochemicals created a set of programs to prevent that from happening again. I didn’t choose in the third grade, “what am I going to learn from this or am I going to be wounded.” I didn’t choose.
That’s crazy. You didn’t choose the reason you’re not consistent in your business. It is because you made an observation as a kid that drew the wrong conclusion to success. If you’re not consistent I assure you, you didn’t choose. It’s just you have an incorrect definition of success based on observations you made as a kid. If your parents were really well off and then they lost it all…you created a safety mechanism that said, “well if you make a bunch of money you’re just going to lose it so let’s not go through that pain.” or if you had parents that made a bunch of money and ignored you, you drew the conclusion that… “let me never have a bunch of money because then I’ll ignore my kids and I never want them to feel the way I felt.
The number one story.
The number one story that I can think of around this (and I really believe) it’s at least the first time that I felt God’s nudge. I didn’t know it was God’s nudge back then. In 2009 I attended an event called the Landmark Forum in very weird circumstances. I’m broke, a million dollars in debt, in foreclosure, I’ve gone through a divorce so I’m not in a great place and someone I don’t know buys me a ticket to the Landmark Forum. Very strange…. so I attended and I realized…
(I went there thinking, “hopefully I’ll learn how to make some money because I’m so broke.” All my bills are late, I have one credit card left and all the rest of them have figured out… “this guy’s just not paying.” I wasn’t opening my mail, it was just stacked up in the corner until I threw it away. I didn’t want any of that negativity. It was a reality but I didn’t want it.)
….I attended this event and I realized on day two that I had to repair my relationship with my dad on a to-do list with no priority. Now I already said that I had reasons to not have a relationship and I hadn’t talked to him in 13 years. On the second day of Landmark Forum I reached out to him and I apologized for not being a great son and not reaching out to him sooner and that I’d like for him to meet his grandsons (who at the time I think we’re maybe 9 and 10 years old something like that….he accepts. He even flies us up because I’m broke and didn’t have money to fly up. He flew us all up to Indiana the first week of July 2009 and we created a relationship where there was nothing. Right? That went from nothing to something. I come back and within a week I join that network marketing company that I go on to become the number one income earner. I make millions of dollars. Turn around my life, create a whole new career and I really attribute forgiving, releasing anger, wrath, justification, all these different things… as that’s what created an opening in my life to even see this opportunity.
In most cases your business problem is a personal problem. I had never shared that story because I was always taught that when you’re a speaker or a leader you have to be Superman, you have to talk about your success, talk about what’s right about you and how good, how awesome you are… right? But it was in 2010 my friend Kenneth had recently written a book and he asked me to come and speak in Myrtle Beach. I go to Myrtle Beach and I’m to do an opportunity meeting then a training. I do the opportunity meeting and I’m off to the side. I’m about to do the training and I just get this “talk about your dad” and what’s weird! I wasn’t of Christ, I didn’t know Christ. He knew me, but I get this “talk about your dad.” Where did this come from? Not only where did it come from but why did I trust it? Why did I listen to this voice? It’s very strange. Looking back I can see God works in amazing ways. I feel this “talk about your dad.” I had never talked about my dad. I share that story that I just shared with you and when I finish the guy that invited me to the meeting comes up….he’s walking down the aisle with tears pouring down his face….I mean he’s physically sobbing…he is messed up.
I’m like “you okay bro?”
And he says, “I can’t believe that you just shared that story… (I had never shared it. He had never heard it.)….I haven’t talked to my dad in 17 years and tomorrow I fly out for his funeral.”
I’m like whoa! That hit me. Back then I was such a fan of beating myself up that my immediate reaction was I should have told this sooner… what’s wrong with me…how come I didn’t share this sooner maybe he would have called him. Then afterwards I’m like many people are hurting. Up until then I’d only taught business tactics and strategies, sales and marketing and I realized just how more serious the problem was and what people were going through and so that day changed me. God allowed that to work in me and ever since then I’ve been vulnerable because I realized how much people need it. Since sharing that story… I’ve shared that story a thousand times, probably I have letter after letter, email after email, direct message after direct message, people that come up to me at events that because of hearing that story they repaired a relationship. In fact three stories (this to me is just wild) three stories of people who reconnected with their fathers after they heard my story they reconnected with their fathers and then their fathers passed away. They literally had to hear my story or they would not have reached out before they passed away.
I’m not trying to paint myself up here. I’m telling you God worked in my life to show me the importance of being vulnerable so that others could be comforted. Just like Joseph. By the way I’m not the hero, Joseph is not the hero, Jesus Christ is the hero.
How Can You Apply This?
How can you apply? By the way someone asked me, “hey were you judged when you started sharing your more vulnerable stories?” Of course. I get negative comments every single day and all it is, is a prompt to pray for them, because it’s a revealing of their heart. Every judgmental comment that I get it’s just a revealing of the heart. I’m not taking it personally, it doesn’t hurt me, it’s just a revealing of the heart. Where is your heart? You are going to get some judgment but I would rather be judged and impact others…than judged and not impact others, because you’re going to be judged. Especially if you pick up your cross.
You know what that term means? People translate pick up your cross as that means it’s really painful… bro it’s going to be really hard man…well why wouldn’t he say that if that’s what they meant. If He also said “take up my yoke, the yoke is easy.” You know what a yoke is, right? A yoke is what the oxen stick their head in and there’s two of them in case one stumbles. So why would he say “pick up your cross” if that meant really tough bro. No pick up your cross was slang back then for “hey you’re going to be persecuted…you might die on the cross so might as well pick it up in full ad mission that you’re going to be persecuted and that people are going to hate on you because you’re Christian.” That’s what that means or else if it doesn’t mean that then the yoke is easy conflicts and scripture does not conflict. If you think scripture conflicts then you’re misunderstanding.
Now how can you apply? Number one, be willing to look at what you have overcome or survived and see God’s hand in it. Was it fair that Joseph at 17 years old got sold into slavery? That wasn’t fair. Was it fair that he was accused by Potithar’s wife? Was it fair that after he prophesied to the cupbearer and the baker, that the cupbearer who survived forgot about him. He said, “remember me…remember me” he really emphasized that… “Please remember me…get me out of this place…” but the cupbearer forgot about him for 2 years. Is any of that fair? None of it’s fair but all of it was God’s plan to strengthen Joseph, to strengthen the story and to have perfect timing. Anything you’ve survived or overcome instead of looking at it as that wasn’t fair, because the more unfair things you had in your life the bigger purpose and plan God has for you. It means you’re called to serve a lot of people. You’re called to help a lot of people. You’re called to give hope to more people so be willing to look at what you’ve overcome or survived as things that helped you with the ability and resources and wisdom and comfort to go and help more people which is very admirable.
Number two, be willing to have courage. It takes courage to share what you’ve overcome so that people better relate with you and people better resonate with you. Let me tell you…if you want to sell more shampoo, if you want to sell more weight loss, if you want to sell more cars or real estate or whatever…what do you think will work better? You share more about cars, shampoo, or weight loss or people better relating with your story and seeing you as different and you differentiate them and they say, “I’ll never buy a weight loss from anybody else because this person, they understand me because they’ve been through similar things.” Maybe they’ve been through tougher things. I would totally resonate with Joseph right. I’ve never been sold into slavery but man can I relate with him. I can be inspired, I can have hope from his story.
Number three, what are you afraid to share? That is the story the devil does not want you to share. That is the story that is your game changer. That thing that you do not want to share is the thing that will help a lot of people. Let me tell you something I didn’t want to share, but God told me to share it so I did. I was addicted to porn, totally addicted to porn and it was irrational. Let me tell you this is very common, but this doesn’t paint me in a good light. You think I like sharing that? Looking back it’s gross, it’s disgusting, I have a beautiful wife…what the heck was wrong with me. A lot of people have the same set of situations so by me sharing the things that I don’t want to share, that don’t paint me in some superior amazing light…that gives hope to people who are suffering with the same kind of thing or similar. That thing that you don’t want to share is the thing that would break you through, is the thing that would gain you more influence, that would gain you more perspective, that would gain you more of the people resonating and relating with you and wanting to follow you, learn from you, connect with you, so that you can bring more glory to Him the man upstairs.
Help the person you used to be.
We have to be as Brave as the people that need us.
Bring more glory to Him by sharing what he helped you through and know that your trials only made you stronger and more relatable.