So even though this blog is not just for entrepreneurs, I tend to attract a lot of entrepreneur readers (or aspiring entrepreneurs) because I have been a business coach for the last 3 years.
Even though my business and coaching continues to grow and shift, I love supporting others to create businesses that are truly fulfilling in every way (financially, emotionally, spiritually–all of it!)
This blog is based around principles of rediscovering our truest selves, and going back to that place of true authenticity, so this topic is right in line.
I truly believe that our businesses get to be an extension of our personal self-expression and that we have full reign to create our lives and businesses in a way that is fully authentic (after all, what is the point of starting a business if you don’t get to take advantage of the freedom that comes with it?)
I think a lot of people start businesses with the best of intentions and desires–wanting to be able to create something that is their own and with that, be able to do things “their way.”
However, what usually ends up happening is that newer business owners get caught up with the hustle and bustle that inevitability comes with getting your business off the ground, and the next thing they know, they are running their business in a way that leaves them totally stressed out, overwhelmed and under paid (exactly all the things biz owners typically intend to avoid.)
A lot of my work as a coach is reconnecting business owners back to themselves:
Helping them remember their original vision for their business by dusting away all of the outside opinions and pressures that may not be serving them, and instead re-infuse their business with the magic of their personal goals and dreams.
I wanted to write this post to share some ways that I help business owners make their business unique to them in hopes that you can take a few points and make even the smallest shifts in your business to see huge differences in your overall fulfillment.
I’m going to take you through 5 different elements of your business that you can take inventory of and see what might no longer be working for you (and then figure out a solution to get back on a track that is right for you!)
I have journal prompts at each step for you to reflect on, so definitely take the time to work through those as well.
Soooooo….let’s do it!
#1: Your marketing plan
A lot of times we end up doing things that we feel we are SUPPOSED to do instead of things that we WANT to do to market our businesses.
We see what other successful entrepreneurs are doing, or we are told that there is only ONE way to do things, and so that is what we do.
However, when we follow what we see others doing, or blindly get advice from outside sources, we are not taking into account the background of their strategy, meaning we don’t know the full picture of how this marketing strategy fits into their long-term vision for their business.
No marketing plan will work for one person.
Yes, business owners will do similar things and have similar approaches, but ultimately at the end of the day what matters is that you know very clearly how your marketing plan plays into your goals for your business.
For example, you might see someone doing big workshops to market their business, and how successful they are with them.
However, if you are more of a homebody and an introvert, going out and speaking to large groups of people will not fulfill you personally. Also, this might not be the best approach for what you are selling.
This is where you have to get clear on what both your personal and business goals are to see what marketing technique would make the most sense for you.
When you are creating a plan to market your business, it’s important to make sure that it is in alignment with the way that you want to live your life and the way you want to show up in the world, as well as make sense for your business goals.
Journal prompt: Ask yourself, what is something you are doing right now in your business to market that isnt feeling good, isnt working, or you are only doing because you feel like you should?
Maybe you dont have any of that. I would then ask you to think about where are you holding back in your marketing? Is there a marketing technique or idea youd love to give a try but you are holding back due to fear, confidence, etc?
Take a few minutes to reflect and journal on these questions and see what comes up. Trust yourself in this moment and know that if something is sticking out to you that you need to change or finally take the leap and do it, you can trust yourself!
#2 The way you sell
There is a sea of people out there who teach different sales techniques. There are so many varying opinions and it very easily gets overwhelming.
The truth about sales is that the only way a selling system will ever be sustainable and work for you is if it feels good to you.
If you are constantly battling the feeling of being “salesy,” you will continue to struggle.
We all want our businesses to feel easy.
Now, I am not saying that business is easy. Because it’s not. There is a ton of hard work, dedication, focus and commitment involved.
However, doing things in your business that constantly feel BAD and like an uphill battle are not the answer.
There is a difference between knowing that you have to work hard on something but it will eventually pay off and just forcing yourself to do something that feels horrible in every way.
Journal prompt: So ask yourself now–what is your current system for selling in your business? How do you feel about it? What is working and what isnt?
What would you love your process to be?
What would be a fulfilling sales process for you?
Your process needs to be effective, which is the benefit of learning sales with a coach or in a course, but ultimately, you may have to adopt that process in a way that feels good to you.
#3 The clients you work with and how you work with them
When we dont have solid beliefs about how business can be/how we should be treated/what we desire to have or what we wont put up with, we can sometimes have less than desirable clients.
We can also be working with clients in a way that doesn’t feel good, or isn’t part of our bigger vision for our businesses.
For example, you may have gotten into business for time freedom and to be able to be with your kids more, but if you are meeting up with all of your clients to coach them and you have 15+ meetings a week, plus drive time, is that really giving you the freedom you crave?
This is where you unapologetically get to shift things.
Perhaps make your client sessions virtual calls so you can take your calls at home.
Or if you are dead-set on in-person meetings, maybe it’s time to charge more so you can see less people but make the same amount.
This is where you I want to empower you to remember that as a business owner, you are the driver of your own ship and YOU get to decide what the rules are.
I understand that it might feel like your clients won’t “like” your changes, but the clients who are really meant to work with you will understand.
Also, you teach people how you operate! So, if you get a new client and you share that all calls are virtual, that is all they will know to expect.
Yes, you may have an awkward period of transitioning current clients, but all growing businesses make changes, and if you accept that you may have some bumps in the road, you can very easily navigate through!
Journal prompt: Do you have any unhealthy interactions with clients, or things that you wish wouldnt happen (people asking for refunds/cancelling appointments/not coachable/difficult?)
Where can you take responsibility for this unwanted behavior and how can you create new policies and procedures that will support a different outcome?
Who is your ideal client?
How can you call more of that in?
#4 Your schedule/time management
Probably one of the biggest complaints that I hear from entrepreneurs is that they don’t have enough time.
I have been supporting business owners for over 7 years now and what I can say with confidence is that no matter what amount of time you have to work your business, you can make progress. However much time you have is always enough.
Now, I totally understand that having more time is a great advantage and can make things easier and also help you make quicker progress.
But I have never seen a situation where someone can’t make ANY progress in their business due to lack of time.
Even if you have only 1-2 hours a week to work your business, you can make massive moves.
The key here is to know exactly what are the most important things to be done in your business to get yourself to your bigger goals, and then focus solely on those.
The first step is knowing what your ultimate goal is.
From there, your job is to focus on the easiest and most efficient way to make that happen.
This is a good example of where you can do an inventory of your marketing and sales plan and make sure that it is in alignment with the time constraints you have (aka make your marketing and sales strategies as simple as possible.)
I could go on and on about time management, but what I will say here is that to manage your time, you must know your big end goal of your biz and then reverse engineer from there and use the time you have to start checking off that to do list. Making peace with the time you have and then using it wisely is the most productive thing you can do (over wallowing about how you don’t have enough time to get it all done!)
Now ask yourself these questions:
Journal prompts: What is your experience with time management?
How would you love to improve?
Are you planning ahead?
Do you know your main focus points or are you reacting to things as they come along?
#5 Work life balance
Ohhhhhh, the idea of work-life balance.
Some people think it’s a myth. Some people think it’s the only way to do life.
I think balance is the whole point of our time on this earth. We are here to experience so many different aspects of life, and for that to happen, we must find a way to prioritize all the moving pieces (that are important to us) as much as we can!
We get in to business for many reasons, but what I can say with full confidence is that no one gets into business to hate their life.
The beauty of creating a business that is unique to our personal passions, gifts and purpose is that:
a) we will be super fulfilled by our work
b) we get to have an impact
c) we have the ability to make space and room for other things in our lives that are important to us, so we feel well-rounded and supported.
However, what happens a lot of times (as I said before,) is that we get caught up in the hustle and bustle of “making it work” in our business and then we don’t actually set our businesses up in a way that supports out true fulfillment.
This again is where we get to take a hard inventory of our personal boundaries.
If you love taking dance class, but it is in the evenings and you are making exceptions and doing client calls in the evenings, it is time to ask yourself if you are willing to continue to sacrifice something you love so much.
After working with tons of clients, I have found that most of the time, our clients will adjust to the structure of our business, not the other way around.
This is where we get to practice stepping into our leadership and create systems and boundaries in our business that allow us to find fulfillment in all areas of our lives.
Is family time a top priority to you?
Make sure you are honoring that by having set times that you are absolutely not working and fully present with your family.
Is your health and fitness important to you?
Make sure you have space to get your workout in everyday.
Yes, you can be a hero for a *little bit* and put these needs to the side, but ultimately you will end up exhausted and resentful.
Not to mention, you won’t be doing the things that mean the most to you, so you might as well go back to a suffocating job…am I right?
Why did you get into business? What did you want more time for? Are you currently doing those things?
What is something you’ve always dreamed of doing? (taking a pottery class, ice skating lessons, volunteering…the list goes on and on.) How can you start dipping your toe into this personal dream NOW!? (We are always so apt to work on professional/biz dreams…remember that personal dreams are just as important!)
So there you have it!
These are the 5 areas of business that I like to break down with my clients to get them back into a place of joy and fulfillment in their business!
I am actually launching a course where we go deeper into all five of these areas and create your unique plan to shift your business back into a place of joy, flow, ease and authenticity (spoiler alert–you will ALWAYS get better results when you are in this place!)
Want to know all the deets when the course launches?
Use this link to join the waitlist!
And while you’re at it, comment below and let me know what your biggest takeway or “ah-HA!” moment was from this post. I’d love to hear what you are shifting, and support you if I can in the comments!