Discover Your Secret Weapon for Business Success

Launching and growing a business is tough!  It will bring moments of joy and fulfillment and probably an equal number of moments of self-doubt and uncertainty. 

 We all know that successful business owners have it all figured out and always feel confident about where they are going and what they are doing….right?!?

I hate to break it to you, nothing could be further from the truth. When I work with my clients there is always an underlying layer of self-doubt.  A fear that maybe they aren’t on the right path or that their ideas won’t resonate with their ideal clients.  And this self-doubt makes them feel like frauds as business owners.  It makes them question why they are working so hard in their business and why they started in the first place.

The great news is that if you can relate, you aren’t a failure! You ARE an amazing business owner even in those moments of panic. in fact it’s in the moments of doubt and fear that you build the entrepreneurial spirit that will make you a success.

Here’s the deal, creating a business is challenging and none of us were given a magic roadmap to get us from our initial idea to a wildly profitable business in one shot (and if you do have that road map, you should be marketing and selling it!)

The reality is the biggest requirement to be successful in business is learning how to be resilient.

 Webster's dictionary defines resilience as, "an ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change."

 It’s this ability to adjust, shift, pivot and change that will allow you to build a business you love.  One that makes you feel alive, fulfilled and in-line with your purpose.  One that meets the desires of your clients and provides tremendous value to those you serve.

 It's so easy to feel like we aren't good enough, smart enough or experienced enough when we get ready to launch something new in our business, but we just have to be willing to take action.

 We have to remember that sometimes plans change. Sometimes we have to regroup, restart and rebuild.Sometimes we have to ask for help.  All of these things are part of creating and growing a successful business. 

 Successful businesses aren’t the ones where the founder had an idea, launched a service and became a wild success on the first try.  Successful business owners try something, make small tweaks or radical shifts and then keep moving forward.  But if we look at the little bumps and bruises along the way and assume it means we aren’t cut out for this entrepreneurial adventure, then we sell ourselves short. 

 Stop worrying about launching the perfect service the first time, just launch.  Then listen, regroup and relaunch…over and over again until you are wildly successful.

It’s this resiliency that will allow you to grow and push past the fear, or at least take action in the midst of fear. 

 I was recently at a business conference, where my coach reminded all of us that there will always be a resource gap between where we are and where we want to go in our business. This could be a financial resource gap, a confidence gap or simply a knowledge gap.  When we face these gaps it’s normal to feel a little bit stressed or overwhelmed.

 To overcome these doubts, we have to be willing to take action in the face of fear and then stay the course even if stuff doesn't work out quite like we planned.  That's where the resilience comes in.

There have been a number of times in my business where I have launched a product or service that simply fell flat. At times, this felt totally demoralizing.  But what I realized is that bouncing back and adjusting is part of the life of a business owner. The only way I will continue to build the business I have envisioned and the life I am dreaming about is to continue to move forward, even when it’s not working quite right.

I've learned something from each failed launch, and I'm continually making small changes to what I'm offering and who I am serving.  I’m learning how to leverage my skills and gifts and how to serve my dream clients in a way that speaks to them.  It’s this growth and trial and error that will build a business and legacy that I can be proud of.

I would love to hear…

What have you tried to do (or avoided doing) in your business? 

What would it look like if you went for it and failed? 

What could you learn from that experience? 

How can you build resilience in as part of your business development and growth?

 

5 Steps to Build a Powerful Business

When you are in the midst of launching and growing a business it can be tough to figure out exactly what you want your business to look like. I

t’s easy to get distracted by what other people in your industry are doing and how they are structuring their business.

It can also be tough creating a routine in your business to help you move forward when you feel drained or overwhelmed.

Getting really clear on how you operate most effectively will help you launch and grow a fun and successful business.

When you crack this code, daily tasks are interesting and engaging instead of draining. It allows you to operate at your best and serve your clients in a way that feels authentic and fun.

Here are 5 steps to help you create an actionable plan for your business.

1. Create the conditions for success

The first step I always recommend to clients is getting really clear on how you operate most effectively.

Take the time to figure out what's worked for you in the past and then create those conditions in your business.

Think about a time that you were successful in your personal or work life in the past. What conditions were present for you during those times? What motivated you and excited you about the journey? Who were you working with? What type of work were you doing? What did you excel at during those times?

Once you identify patterns in your past successes you can figure out how to build those into your own business.

These questions take a little bit of time to really dig into, but they can lead to great insights into how to shape and structure your business.

Here is an example that I worked through for my business.

I know I work best on projects where I can take the lead, I enjoy writing and speaking, but I hate detail work. I like to create ideas and execute quickly, but often lose focus on the tedious details and get bored quickly. I like helping people, but sometimes get tasked focused.

I work best by myself or in small groups where I can influence the decisions and the pace of action. I am most successful when I'm working towards goals and action items that I can check off my "to-do" list. I am drained by large groups and am frustrated by group projects.

Knowing these things helped me set up a business that tapped into my natural interests and strengths.

It gave me clarity around the services I wanted to offer and how best to serve my clients.

2. Identify the skills and talents you bring to the table

When we are operating within our natural skills and gifts we feel excited and unstoppable.

The challenge is sometimes we discount the things we are good at and ignore them because they feel easy to us. We assume if they are easy to us they are easy to everyone else.

Take the time to figure out what makes you unique and how you can bring those skills to your business as much as possible.

This is your zone of genius, and if you can tap into that zone your business won’t feel like work.

It took me a while to realize that my zone of genius was teaching, but once I really tapped into that area of expertise my business grew exponentially and felt a lot less stressful.

What skills and talents do you have that come naturally to you? How can you use those skills in your business? What do people always ask you for help with?

Tap into those strengths and make them a core part of your business.

If you find your business, requires you to always operate outside of your zone of genius, you may want to shift your focus.

3. Just keep going…

Running a business takes a lot of mental energy.

You will spend hours thinking about new ideas and figuring out how to implement what you want to do. You'll do research and slog through hours of articles and videos trying to figure out all the things that don't come easily to you.

That’s okay! It’s part of the process.

There will be moments of exhaustion and overwhelm with your business.

Just knowing those moments are going to show up can help you navigate them. It’s so easy to think you made a mistake when the business starts to feel tough.

Just remember the difference between a failed businesses and a successful business is the perseverance of the owner.

You have to make a commitment to just keep going even when you aren’t sure you’ve made the best choice.

Taking consistent action will allow you to achieve great results.

4. Baby steps

As you get ready to launch your business, it is important to figure out what you want it to look like in a year or two years, but understand you can’t do it all at once.

You absolutely have to know where you want to end up so you can create a plan to get there.

But the challenge with having a big vision for your business (which I think you all should have!), is that it can distract you from what you need to be working on today.

A lot of my clients struggle with wanting to do too much too quickly. Honestly, I still fall into this trap from time to time.

It’s so exciting to think about our vision of a successful business. We have ideas about programs and products we want to launch, but it’s important to slow down and start with step one.

As you are moving forward in your business, it’s important to ask yourself, “what’s the next best step.” There isn’t always a clear answer, so just pick a direction and start taking action.

It’s great to have a long-term plan, but there also needs to be day-to-day action.

5. Remember to have fun!

If you are like most of my clients, you launched your own business because you loved the idea of escaping the 8-5 grind and were excited about serving your niche and using your skills to build a business you love.

The problem is that once we launch these businesses we are so passionate about it’s easy to get lost in the day-to-day operations and lose sight of the things we love.

Here’s my best advice…hold on to the fun parts of your business.

Don’t get bogged down in all the “shoulds” around your business. Do the things that excite you and engage you. Try and minimize the amount of you time doing the things that don’t come naturally and aren’t exciting.

I believe if you hold onto the fun and take consistent action you can create an energizing, exciting and profitable business doing the things you love.

Your goal should be to build a business that serves your clients and feeds your soul.

Define Success on Your Own Terms!

Define Success on Your Own Terms!

Have you ever stopped to ask yourself, “what does success looks like for me and my business?”

It's not always a question we take time to really think about or analyze at any depth.  But if you haven't really thought about it, you could be making a mistake for you and your business.

When you start with the end in mind, you can build a business that supports the life you want to live and allows you to define your own version of success.

When I was going through my downsizing journey and tiny house adventure, I spent a lot of time analyzing what made me happy and started getting really clear on what I wanted out of life.

Although I had started life with a very conventional view of what success looked like, my attitude and views shifted as I started downsizing.  I went from wanting the traditional American Dream (you know a good degree, secure job, happy marriage, nice house and a dog) to wanting my own dream that looked a little different than what others said I should want.

Success was a lot less about accumulating all the trappings of a "successful" life and a lot more about collecting experiences that added value to my life. I was clear on who I was and what I wanted, and that was an incredibly liberating experience.

SO imagine my surprise when I realized that my vision of success for my business had been hijacked by the "experts" in the coaching and business world...after all I just KNEW I wanted to create a million dollar business.  If I could earn that much money, my business would be a success!

UGH...why is it so easy to get sucked into the conventional image of success?

I had bought into the lie that my business was only successful if it was generating a certain amount of income.  Now don't get me wrong, most of us build businesses to create at least some profit.  Otherwise we would just have expensive hobbies, but why I had decided that success was tied to the revenue my business generated?

Luckily, I realized pretty early in my business journey, that the income generated by my business was only part of the success equation.  I also realized I didn't need to earn seven figures to be completely satisfied.

Today my version of business success looks a little different.

Success is being able to use my skills and gifts on a daily basis and feel completely in alignment with my purpose and passion.

I'm proud of the clients I have worked with and I get immense joy from watching them move forward with their businesses.

I am reminded that success is living authentically and in alignment with my values even in my business adventures.

As your virtual coach, I want to keep you from ever falling into the trap of chasing a particular income goal without being really clear on the why behind it.  Today I challenge you to really identify what success looks like in your life and business.  Answer the following questions to get really clear on your version of success.

1. How much does your dream life really cost?

I had a coach that once challenged me to map out my ideal life and then associate a dollar amount with it.  It was an incredibly powerful exercise.

I dreamed as big as I could!  I imagined living every day in alignment with my values and having the financial resources to pursue my dreams and goals.  It turns out that the number I needed from a financial perspective was significantly less that one might imagine.  It turns out that my dream life doesn't require seven figures, or even half of that.

Take the time to map out what success would look like for you and your family and put a dollar amount to all the things you want to do.

If you want to build your dream home, take vacations three times a year or pay for all your children's college expenses, great!  Figure out what those things cost and create a plan.

It turns out that most of us don't have 7 figure dreams, and therefore don't need 7 figure business to be successful.  If your dream life does require a 7 figure income, that's okay too...at least you know what you are shooting for and more importantly why that number will allow you to be successful in business.

2. How do you want to spend your time?

It's also important to figure out what success looks like in terms of a time commitment in your business.   How do you want to spend your days?  What activities give you joy?  How much time do you want to spend working on your business each day that works with the rest of your life?  What does your ideal day, week and month look like?

When I looked at these questions, I realized that I wanted to have time to work in my business, but I also wanted time to pursue my hobbies, spend time with my family and travel.  That picture of my ideal day, week and month gave me insight into what type of business model I needed to create to be content.


3. How can you build a business that helps you fund your dream life without consuming your life?

Once you have your income goals based on a realistic understanding of what your dream life looks like, you can begin to build your business offerings.

This is where you start deliberately planning how you are going to spend your time in your business to meet your financial goals.  It might mean that you spend a little more time on the business up front to create systems and programs that can fund your dream in the future.  Or maybe your business goals are always to have a side-hustle that gives you extra cash for those family vacations, but doesn't require 40 hours a week to run.

When I did this exercise I realized I didn't want to coach one-on-one for more than 5-10 hours a week. That meant I needed to focus on building group programs, online courses and speaking engagements to help build my ideal business.

Balance is going to look a little different for everyone, and it's okay for it to shift over time.  Don't get caught into believing the way you run your business now is necessarily how it's going to run in a year, 5 years or 10 years.  Create a plan for what fits into your life today and always be willing to adjust your business model as your priorities shift.

Hopefully, by taking a conscious look at what success looks like for you, you'll be able to build a business that you love to support the life you want to lead.

I'd love to hear your version of success.

Share your vision with us!