I learned some great business lessons this year and since I’m almost at 100 episodes of my Planning For Profit podcast, I wanted to dig even deeper. Here’s what I’ve learned and my biggest takeaways from where I was in my business when I started the podcast (way back in March 2018) over 98 episodes ago, and where I’m at now.
Back then I was still new-is in the integrator role and had about 3 clients while trying to launch various other offers that just weren’t aligned with what my audience wanted. Now I have 8 amazing clients, my rates have tripled from what they were back then, and I’ve pared down my offers to my 1-1 service and my signature offer, the Digital COO Academy.
I’ve learned some stuff in that time, and I want to share it with you. If any of this resonates with you, I want to hear about it - feel free to DM me over on Instagram and let’s chat. And some of this isn’t what I’ve learned JUST from my business but also in working on a lot of different teams and seeing a lot of different businesses.
If you are a visionary CEO type you’re going to hate this, but hear me out - you don’t need to do it all right now. I know you have a million ideas and all we hear about is how important growth is in our businesses, but slow down. You can build an amazing business, one project at a time, one offer a time. It’s not a race. Stop trying to keep 87 irons in the fire all at once.
For example, people have been asking me since last year to create some sort of matching program for CEO’s and COO’s. I love that idea, and it’s so needed. I have all these amazing students in the Digital COO Academy, why not match them with CEO’s looking for their own integrator. Yet I knew this year I just didn’t have the bandwidth for it. I was focused instead on growing my 1-1 integrator services and serving my academy students and launching the academy. While it would have been cool to jump on that idea and add that to the mix, I knew it wouldn’t be done well or right and it would detract from other offers. (For the record, it is finally going to launch in February so it’s coming!) But it’s ok to slow down, say no to rapid business growth, and just focus on one idea or project at a time. I am giving your permission to push things OFF your plate, instead of adding more on your plate.
And related to that is the notion that ‘done is better than perfect,’ which is absolutely true, but done poorly is not better than than done well. We’ve gotten into this bad habit as an industry where everyone is so focused on rapid business growth and climbing the industry ladder that it’s become a race to the top. Then instead of taking the time to create offers that actually get people results, or content that is truly valuable - a lot of people are just throwing spaghetti at the wall in rapid fire and hoping something sticks.
They’re just building one complicated funnel after another or making promises that they can’t possibly deliver on all in the name of, well done is better than perfect! As someone who used to do that as well, it doesn’t work. Once again, slow and steady does indeed win the race. Taking the time to do quality work is important and it will pay off.
My next lesson is something I especially learned over the past year as we’ve dealt with the pandemic, lots of civil unrest, and a very important election in the US When this whole pandemic began I was at a pivotal moment in business growth, I was starting to receive a lot more inquiries than I ever had, and I was gearing up to expand my 1-1 services by niching down my offers, and streamlining my operations. But then COVID began and for several months many people tightened up their purse strings a bit. People were uneasy about investing in their businesses, and some people just couldn’t because their own revenue had diminished. I had a couple of clients have to end their contracts because they didn’t have the income coming in anymore to support an integrator on their team, and like everyone, I definitely had a moment of “uh oh, how is this going to pan out.”
But if I’ve learned anything in the past 5 years it’s to trust. Continue to serve your people well, do good work, be grateful, keep your vibe high, and trust that it’s all working out exactly as it’s supposed to. And it turns out, with 3 kids home for months and out of school, there was no way I could have taken on more clients or more launches. So the universe knew exactly what I needed during that time, to support the clients I did have as best I could. And then right around the time the kids went back to school in August, the inquiries began again, and I booked 3 new clients over the fall months, as well as signed on to work in a higher capacity for another client, so not only replacing any revenue I had lost, but increasing it as I closed out the year. I’m not telling you this to brag, but just to say that you’ll always have what you need and when you need it. There is plenty of business out there, there are plenty of clients out there, there are plenty of customers out there, so keep refining your offers, your launches, your messaging, and trust that they are coming your way.
My next lesson relates to social media and showing up and it was kind of a surprising lesson for me because it so often goes against what other people are preaching. Social media is great and has many advantages, as far as getting seen, and growing & engaging with your audience, however I feel as though we place way too much emphasis on growing our follower count, posting every day, and doing 8,000 IG stories or reels or tik toks. And for what purpose? Many business owners don’t even have a grasp on their offers or have an effective launch strategy in place but they are spending 2 hours scrolling on social media, trying to get an idea of what everyone else is doing. They are spending their time copying the latest social media fads instead of refining their offer, or launching. Guess what, I barely showed up on social media this year, I usually do 2-3 IG posts per week, and I maybe do a few stories throughout the week which usually aren’t even business related, and my revenue almost doubled this year.
Now there is a time and a place for employing a solid social media strategy or visibility strategy, but you don’t need to be visible all the time. If you aren’t feeling it, then don’t do it. Don’t feel like you have to force yourself to be ‘on’ all of the time if that’s not you. Now of course you have to be visible sometimes, because that’s how you can grow your audience and allow your audience to get to know you. This year I pulled way back and my business still grew. I just focused on showing up and serving my current clients and students.
Nevertheless, next year I am hoping that I’ll have more bandwidth and time to be more visible. I hop to do more Facebook live trainings, more IG stories, and join more summits and speaking events and other podcasts. Audience growth and getting in front of new people is a goal of mine in 2021, but I’ve learned you don’t have to be “on” all the time. There is a time and a place for being super active and visible, and a time for just serving your current audience and clients or customers well.
My last lessons that I learned over almost 100 podcast episodes involve how to cultivate a small but mighty team - including why you need to move away from team meetings. I also get deep and discuss the importance of aligning my business and myself with people who share the same values, and that goes for everyone on my team, for my clients, and for those I follow and learn from. To hear more about the questions I ask of my future clients and teammates, head here and listen to episode 98.