Business Development

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 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!

5 Things You Need to Know Before You Launch a Business

We all start on our entrepreneurial journey with excitement and enthusiasm.

We are passionate about the services we are offering, the products we are launching and the clients we are serving.

We are hopeful, joyful and optimistic. We talk about our business to anyone who will listen and we drive our friends and families crazy with discussion of branding, website development and marketing strategies (I know that’s not just me, right?)

Building a business is fun and rewarding.

It taps into our strengths and values in a way that most traditional jobs just don’t. It can fill us with anticipation and notebooks full of great ideas.

But if you are at all normal there will be a moment on your business journey where you will stop, look around and ask yourself, how on earth am I REALLY going to make this business work?”

I am guessing if you are like me and most of my clients, at some point in the first few months of business development you begin to wonder if you’ve made the right choice.

If like me, you left a secure job now is the time where you are really wondering what on earth you were thinking…I know I’ve been there!

Here’s the tough reality…launching your own business is one of the most rewarding, terrifying, frustrating and exciting ventures you will ever undertake. And there will always be moments of doubt.

The bad news is that the moments of doubt will probably always creep in regardless of where you are in your business.

The great news is that you can control your response and the outcome when you are faced with those little voices that make you wonder if you were crazy to start this journey.

5 things you need to know to build your own business:

Businesses are Built Around Relationships

One of the biggest struggles any entrepreneur has in the first few months of launching their business is finding clients (or at least Paying clients!)

Finding clients is HARD…no really hard….but don’t let that scare you!

In the coaching industry there is this misconception that once you complete your coach training and get certified somehow the clients will materialize. After all, the “experts” tell you just to have a few “real” conversations and clients will follow.

I can tell you that although there are probably some outliers who effortlessly fill their rosters it is likely because they have been cultivating relationships with their clients for years.

Finding clients and customers is hard, but if you focus on developing relationships and consistently deliver value, you will slowly gain traction in your business. Never forget that businesses are built around relationships.

You will probably feel lost and alone…a lot

Starting a new business takes courage and guts. It’s tough to launch a new business, even if it is in a proven industry with a proven business model.

There are going to be times where you wake up and feel tired, overwhelmed and quite frankly a little bit scared.

Just knowing that you are having a completely normal reaction to trying something new can help you not get stuck. Getting comfortable feeling a little bit stretched will help you navigate the unknown with confidence and enthusiasm.

Moments of doubt are normal…just remember to focus on your WHY behind your business and give yourself some grace when you’re feeling a little overwhelmed.

Consistent action is the most important thing!

We all launch our businesses with the expectation that every action is going to result in clients, sales and overall business progress.

The problem with this mentality is that when progress and sales are lagging behind the action it can be tough to keep moving forward.

One of my coaches once told me the difference between a successful coach and one that doesn’t make it in this industry is the committeemen to take consistent action. After almost a year in business I would add to this…I think the key to success is taking consistent action when you don’t feel like it and you aren’t seeing results!

So often I see other business owners try a new tactic for a few weeks and then completely shift directions when that doesn’t yield immediate sales results. I always try to remind myself (and my clients) that it takes time to develop those relationships and build momentum. If we are constantly changing directions, we never give our clients the time to develop a bond with who we are and what we are offering.

Create routines and plans to help you follow through with your ideas so you can maintain consistency even if it feels like the action isn’t producing the results you want.

Build a support team

One of the best things you can do for you business is to build a strong support team. This may include family members, friends and other industry experts.

Build a team that encourages you and cheers for you on the days you feel a little bit doubtful. I am incredibly blessed to have an amazing husband who is absolutely my biggest fan and who is always there with encouragement and support when I feel overwhelmed. You need a cheerleader…go find one!

You should also team up with other individuals in your industry that are at a similar place in business development. This team is invaluable for bouncing ideas off of, getting new ideas and generally acting as accountability partners to help you move forward.

I’d also recommend reaching out to coaches or industry experts in your field. It’s great to get support from peers, but it’s also vital to get the mentorship and advice from those who are a few steps ahead of you in business development. They can help you skip some of the mistakes they probably made and can often give you amazing advice in how to develop and grow a profitable business.

This is an amazing opportunity

Perhaps the most important thing for you to remember as you launch your business is that this is an AMAZING OPPORTUNITY!

Building your own business is an opportunity to use your skills and gifts in an authentic and powerful way.

It’s an opportunity to learn more about yourself and develop skills you probably wouldn’t have to learn in a “normal” job. Take advantage of all of the resources out there as you launch your business and be willing to learn from others.

Finally, never lose sight of the fact that your business is a beautiful reflection of you and what you value. Be bold and share your story. It’s an opportunity to connect in meaningful ways. When you share your story you will attract clients and customers that believe in you and your business and they will become your biggest fans.

Starting you own business is an amazing adventure. Like any good adventure it will have moments of victory and tiny defeats. One day you’ll feel unstoppable and the next day you might be in a pile of tears on the couch eating tortilla chips (okay, again maybe that’s just me!). But by taking a few simple actions, you can set yourself up for success and build the business and life of your dreams.

Until next time, pursue your passion and build your platform.