Business Strategy #4 - Cultivate a ready market:
Business Strategy #5 - Stay open to new possibilities:
As a Leadership Coach one of the things that I see regularly is that my clients don't give themselves permission to desire what they really REALLY want. And if they do, they don't acknowledge the reasons why they want it.
Part of my work is helping them to get to the root of the desire and the reasons why it matters to them and their PERSONAL definition of success. This is important because knowing your WHY gives you energy to fuel your WILL and find resourcefulness to move forward.
Your business is firstly about you and the difference you want to make in the lives of your clients and how you want to do it. If you aren't focused on things you love and feel passionate about, you will not have staying power to grow and sustain your business. The truth is that the level of passion and commitment you have towards your goals affects your ultimate success and profits.
Here are two steps you can use to identify and begin to hone in on your personal mission so you can serve more people and earn more money in your business.
Step 1: Define your personal mission and Unique Contribution
Your mission and passion are the things you already care about and seek out in one way or another. It could be the cause you volunteer for or donate to, or it could be the conversations that fire you up on Facebook or Twitter. Whatever you passionately loath or passionately love are clues to the things you care about most and could be sign posts to where you want to be contributing in your business and life.
Get a journal and respond thoughtfully to these questions to get CLEARER on your personal mission.
- What are the two causes that you care the most about?
- What value do these causes contribute to the world?
- Why are they important to you? What wrong are they trying to correct?
- What are two status quo ways of thinking or behaving that you and this cause want to help reframe for others?
- How might this relate to your business?
List 3 ways that you can give voice to and amplify this cause in your own way? Identify how it can apply to your business or work?
Step 2 - Create a visual representation of your personal mission
When you are having a challenging day or moments where you feel stuck or unsure of your next steps, or even when you might feel like throwing in the towel, reconnecting to your bigger vision and purpose can be just what you need.
When you have a visual or sensual representation of your vision or mission behind your work, it can serve as a reminder and inspiration for you to keep going when you need it most.
This is a deceptively simple exercise, maybe you thought of doing it before, but until you actually do this, you will not know its power. Completing this exercise will help you get super clear and more connected to your purpose and mission for your work.
Takeaway Action: Reserve 20 – 30 minutes of your time today and create something that you can use to remind yourself of what you want and why you want it. The feeling that it evokes is a key to making and keeping a connection that inspires you to keep moving forward.
Here are some ideas!
- Create a timeline vision board
- Draw an image on paper or find a magazine picture that depicts the emotion you will feel when you achieve your goal
- Create a Pinterest board that resonates with the things and feelings you want most
- Write a one page letter to your future self (3 - 6 months from today) about your results and how they feel
- If you are really strap for time- create a voice memo to yourself responding to the questions above and come back to the visual activity later this week.
Be sure to refer to these visuals frequently.
To truly connect with your clients at a visceral level, you need to speak the language of their pain, the solution they want, and the emotion behind their vision of a solution. This is what I am calling a curated archetype, at its core is the ability to talk the language of your clients aka - use their tribal language so you can join the conversation that is already happening.
I created the exercises below to help you get realigned with who you are - this is ALWAYS the first step as a business leader - and then help you create your brand archetype which is established by your over brand experience, including your brand story. This becomes easier when you are self-aligned, vision-aligned and in tune with the customers you want to attract and engage at a deep level.
Your goal here is to refine your message and communicate with clarity what you stand for, what you are against, what makes you a credible leader, and how you can help transform potential clients in the way that they desire most. It's a tall order, but you can do it.
Let's dive in!
Consider the different personality tests or branding tests you have taken over the last few years. These are preset archetypes that can make this work a little easier. Some popular ones you may have taken include:
- Myers Briggs
- The Fascination Advantage
- Strength Finders
- The Enneagram
- Human Design
- Carl Jungian's Archetypes
- and Others!
Considering your results from the personality or branding tests you have taken. What resonated most? What were your key takeaways? You may not agree with all they said in the report and some of the results may even conflict, but you have permission to use your intuition to identify what is true for you. And what to elevate as true for you and how you want to show up in the world.
Step 1: Make a list of the top five most empowering things that you have learned about yourself from personality or brand assessments.
Step 2: List three people (famous or personal connections) that you admire greatly.
- Who are they?
- What did/does their mission seem to be?
- What adjectives come to mind when you think of them?
- What status quo or injustice do they fight against or defy?
- Can you see how their life story connects with their mission?
- Do you also care about the causes that they promote or the injustices that they rally against?
The values you admire most about these individuals may also align very closely with who you aspire to be and the impact you want to make through your business (and life!).
The responses to these questions can serve as clear cues to helping you define what you stand for, what you're against, and who you want to serve. We resonate most with those things that are also apart of us.
Takeaway Action: In a journal make some notes from the above exercise. Are there connecting words or themes between your personality types, your known strengthens, and the top people you most admire? List those words, feelings, and adjectives that come up a few times or seems most relevant.
These are clues to your key values and may relate to your business vision. How can you translate them into your business brand story? This is the work of creating a clear brand and mission-aligned business so you can stand out in the marketplace, make more money and have more impact.
If you are finding yourself stuck or unsure of how to move forward on this work, we can work on this during one in one of my transformational leadership or growth programs. Working with me accelerates your process. Or you can try to do it on your one, but this is important work. Knowing yourself and taking the time for self-discovery is a step you cannot miss on your way to success and fulfillment.
If you are a newer business owner, the overarching "why" behind your business or brand may not come up immediately or it may change over time, but your values (what you care about deeply, and the way you do things) will most likely remain the same. Focus more on your values and the issues you solve in your marketing and communications strategy. This approach will answer the bigger question of why your customers should care about your business and your solutions and before you know it, you'll be well on your way.
Enjoy the discovery process! Email me about what resonated most with you.
Success is never a straight line, assuming you've lived pass the age of 13 - you know this to be a fact!
However, one big predictor of success and happiness is your ability to be persistent and remain in the game, even after upset and disappointment. Here are my favorite strategies for staying the in game and winning time and time again.
Success Strategy #1: Refocus on the prize – When I was a sprinter in high school, my coach always told the team, no matter where you are in the race or how many people are ahead of you, never look back. Even if you are in front - never look back.
Looking back slows us down. Looking back takes us out of the game and into comparison.
Looking back takes our eyes off the prize and could literally be the difference between winning and losing. Even if you do slip up and take a glance, remember! Winning sprinters NEVER look back. Quickly refocus on the prize. Keep your eyes in your lane and on your goal. It’s the best path forward.
Success Strategy #2: Be selective – When I was growing up, I use to be upset when I found out my friends didn’t tell me ALL that was happening with them. Then as I matured, I realized that sometimes even with the best intentions, if your friends do not have the same vision or foresight as you do, they can stunt your ideas before you even have a chance to fully evaluate them.
The fact is you have to be selective. If you know someone could potentially kill your dream by being negative, asking doubtful questions, or giving you unsolicited advice, then don’t share your infantile ideas with them. Wait until you have planted your seed and it has roots, then you can share it with a wide audience. Especially in the early stages of your idea, be selective and share only with other like-minded winners, mentors who have taken a similar path, and individuals who can understand where you are going and give you guidance that will help you to flourish.
Success Strategy #3: Desire is destiny calling – No matter what your situation might look like, remember that if you have a deep desire in your heart, you can achieve it. We are built that way, providing the situation is healthy and good for you, your desire, your courage, and your confidence to go after it, can be just the fuel you need to achieve it. If you are pursuing a goal that is not your true and deep heart’s desire, you may find that you become frustrated very quickly. You may find everything to be a struggle and success will be difficult and hard won.
Depending on how you were raised, you may have a belief that working harder to achieve a goal, even if you heart is not in it, is the only path to success. But, unless that goal serves a much higher purpose for your life, you will only be wasting your effort and you will soon be burnt out. So when you have a setback, don’t be so quick to beat yourself up. Sometimes you might just need a moment to reevaluate and assess if your next best step is aligned with your heart’s desire or if it will lead to the ultimate outcome you want to create. Your heart’s desire is truly the compass you need to achieve your destiny.
Success Strategy #4: Stay in prayer - When others try to downgrade you. Prayer and connection with God and the divine will upgrade you. Stay in prayer and meditation, even a few minutes per day can make a world of difference in lighting your path. Your spirit needs that connection to stay energized. It is really the key to being able to refocus, to have the discernment about who to share your ideas with, and to know without a doubt that your deep desire is meant to propel you towards your ultimate destiny.
If you need help regaining your focus and developing a plan and strategy to ensure your win. I am always here to help you. Consider signing up for one of our intensive sessions.
I look forward to hearing from you!
Are you tired of telling everybody that you're working on something, but it never gets done?
Or tired of getting excited about a new idea and then, poof! Nothing happens.
Are you tired of not knowing what to work on, AND if you are working on something, you're not really sure if it's the most important way to spend your time?
That’s because, my friend, you need a CRYSTAL clear and actionable strategy
This problem is common among my very creative and innovative clients. You have so many ideas and so many things you could be working on, but then you get stuck in your thoughts. You get excited, share it with a few people, maybe even post if on social media, do a quick mind map, then...
Poof... here comes another idea or another top priority. You let that last one swirl around too long and now you have a new shiny object. Then the cycle starts again.
There are typically a few reasons why you are getting caught in the idea cycle. It could be that you are not REALLY clear on the value of your idea, or specifically what problem it solves or desire it fulfills. Or it could be that you're not sure of the first steps, or what comes next and next as you work on it. This uncertainty can easily make you feel like you have a “fear block” or major ADHD.
The truth is you need to organize your ideas into an actionable plan! One that you design based on your natural approaches and areas of strength. It needs to feel so logical and simple that it propels you into action and removes that “fear block” from your path!
That's what I want to talk to you about today. How to you get your stuff to market. How do you ship it? How can you get it done?
Here is a simple 5 stage framework that you can follow. It is based on one of the project management processes often use to develop software in the corporate business world. It is called the Software Development Lifecycle (SDLC). It literally moves you from and idea cycle to a life cycle. Your ideas come to life. Got it? :)
Here is how it works
Strategy Creation Step #1: Define what you really want
Identify the objectives of this idea. What is behind your desires for creating it? Make the vision for it very clear so you know the value it will provide to the people you want to serve. How will your audience or customers feel when you deliver it? How will you feel? Is there truly a need for it now? Once your write or draw out the goal for this idea. Then map out your first few 3-5 steps. Write it down and schedule it into your week. This part is key, once you have the first few steps and its scheduled it becomes real.
Bonus tip: Don’t beat yourself over the head, it’s okay if you decide to go in a different direction after you start researching or working on the first few steps. You may come back to it later or decide it wasn't the path you wanted to follow. That's okay, now you know its not about you having fear or some other mindset issue. Following this process for your meaningful idea will help you learn so much more than sitting in the land of second guessing and frustration.
Strategy Creation Step #2: Analyze what it will take to get this done.
Here you figure out the best way to actually create your thing. Is it an app? What will it take to create it with the features you envision? Is it a course? What will be the best way for you to deliver it and for your people to receive it? Will you use audio, video, text, a mix of all? You really want to be thinking about what is commonly called the use cases or user stories in the phase. These are a series of snippets describing how your product will be use, what value it will provide, what will it enable? This is a good place to further validate your idea by looking at your competitive landscape, what are others doing and how can you add your twist and perspective on it, or how can you make it even more valuable and priceless to the people you want to serve? This validation is commonly called a product –market fit, it’s where you make sure that before you go into creating it, there is in fact a need, and that what you are planning will solve the needs that you identified as a market gap. You want to be original, yet relevant.
Strategy Creation Step #3 – Design your product/offering
This is the creative part, where you actually get in there and write the code, record the videos, and create your workbook etc. This is a very important step and one that is best done in phases, so your first time out try to keep it simple. If you are doing a beta test, just create the minimum viable product version (MVP) that will still provide a great value and experience to your clients. Don’t get too fancy your first time out. After you test the product in the market, your customers will give you the feedback you need to create more robust and all-inclusive product for later rounds. Your price will also reflect your updates and value-added changes.
Strategy Creation Step #4 – Share it! Ship it! Sell it!
Develop a go to market strategy and gets it out in the world. This is the exciting part! It’s like you created a gift for your best kindred friend aka potential customer and now you get to serve it to them on a platinum platter. You do this by offering it to them with your sales and marketing process. Here you will implement your marketing funnel and track the results to make it more and more resonant so they will purchase it. This is all about knowing where your ideal people are and offering to them, getting feedback and moving from minimum viable product to maximum value product i.e. more and more money. Taking us into Step #5.
Strategy Creation Step #5 – Next you track, monitor, and optimize
As your audience engages with your product or offering, you will start to get feedback on how they are using it, what they love about it and where they get confused, so you can make it better. This is where you are doing what is commonly called “User testing” except since you are not in a traditional corporate environment you don’t have to wait for complete feedback before making money. You are getting paid to learn and improve on your product. Yes, it is a fair exchange with your people to charge for your beta, especially if you give them access to future updated versions.
You will also get valuable feedback after you complete this process. You’ll know what worked really well for you, what registration forms worked, what kinds of people responded the most etc. You’ll get clear feedback for what to do better next time.
So, my friends, no matter where you are in the process of business building or brand creation, if you have an idea, but you are not really sure how to execute it, leverage these five stages and get on your way. This is a simplification of the SDLC, but the truth is you can make it as complex or as simple as you need it to be. Start simple and build it up over time. This is the best way to get past fear and perfectionist tendencies, so you can build and scale your sustainable business.
It’s your turn, go through the five phases of the software development lifecycle and bring your big, bold and bad mama jamma idea to life in the market.
If you need help with creating or finalizing your plan don't be shy, I have a business breakthrough intensive session which is a 90 minute intensive designed to get you clear on your desires, develop a strategic plan and set you up to receive the accountability you need to elevate your business to the next level check it the 10x Growth Accelerator right here!
When Beyonce's new song "Formation" was released, the day before Super Bowl 50. It was a pleasant surprise for her fans and especially her super fans, The Beyhive, who had no idea it was coming. They found themselves delightfully surprised and re-memorized by the wow factor of Queen Beyonce.
However, the Queen did not stop there, the song release was just an awareness strategy to ensure anticipation and engagement with her entertaining performance at the Super Bowl. She made sure all her fans were watching her perform the song and announced her tour announcement at the exact next commercial after halftime. It was a beautifully choreographed launch. Yes, Beyonce has an amazing brand. Yes, she has an amazing platform and over the years she developed a masterful approach to layering her artistry into social conversations, by creating buzz worthy visual imagery, entertainment, and food for thought.
In this post, I want to talk to you about what we can all learn from Queen Beyonce. I made some observations and have included some questions to take you from thinking about what she did and how she slayed, to building your own platform, with seductive strategy and killer marketing instincts that get’s your tribe to help you create major buzz and thousands of hashtags in your honor.
Lets Dive In!
#1 - Master Your Craft & Build Your Brand:
Beyonce has been mastering her craft for over 10 years. You’ll remember that she started her career with the group Destiny's Child, where she was one of three female singers. Her manager at the time worked very hard to position her as the standout star in the top girl’s group. She was always in the center and every one who watched had the sense that she was the standout star. Ultimately she became her own master brand, bringing her Destiny’s Child fans along with her.
Mindset and Strategy: Start from where you are and be focused, diligent, and consistent to master your craft in a way that engages your audience. Also play a long game. Beyonce was able to consistently find the right opportunities to promote her brand. People always knew who she was and what to expect. When Beyonce was ready to add other elements into her personal brand, she created and presented Sasha Fierce to ease the transition for her fans. Beyonce was the one "ringing the alarm and turning it out" for what she believed in, but her fans were intrigued with her new and more edgy Sasha Fierce persona, because it also expressed another side of their personality.
Take Action: What steps are you taking to master your craft? What is your brand story and are you being diligent and consistent with how you create and curate it so it connects with your kindred clients? How will you add new facets of your brand story as it grows and evolves? One key component of mastering this process is to create your brand around a message that has timeless relevance. Focus on the words and imagery that will excite your clients and infuse that in all aspects of your brand.
#2 - Know Your Platforms (Mission, Message and Medium):
Beyonce has a through line across all her work; she is connected with her audience who value personal freedom, they are outspoken, and love fun, and fashion. She also speaks to their plight, motivates them, and entertains at a level that is beyond her peers. She brings excellence to everything as an artist and performer. She leverages all the channels available to her.
Mindset and Strategy: Beyonce knows her message and how to bring it to her audience again and again so they connect with her and stay engaged. She knows how to authentically tap into their emotion, so they feel her vibe and relate to her style. In Formation Beyonce’s mission is empowerment. She takes the watcher on an emotional journey, from racism to personal power. She is relatable because she joins the current conversation, she is a leader because she can elevate its importance by adding her voice to amplify theirs. She also appeals to all their senses by not just releasing a song, but also an album and a tour. Together these products create an immersive experience.
Take Action: Your platform is also about your mission and message, as well as how you take it to your people. Which strategies will you use to become a thought leader in your niche area? What areas of business or life will you champion? How can you share yourself authentically for your cause so that the people who you serve wants to be a part of that conversation. What channels and mode of communication will you use? Whatever you choose, make sure it aligns with our natural skills and talents.
#3 - Build Intrigue and Momentum:
As I mentioned earlier, Beyonce didn’t just announce on Instagram or Twitter that she was going on tour. Nope, she created a build up and a momentum of her own. Taking everyone from the new song and video to Super Bowl performance, then to album and tour announcement. She created so much buzz in that 2 day timeframe that by the time the tour was announced everyone wanted to get these "must have" tickets asap! People were texting each other and posting on Facebook creating even more buzz. She also generate some controversy that inspired talk show debates, bringing even more attention to her platform for the issues at hand.
Mindset and Strategy: Be deliberate in your actions, think through and create an integrated strategy that will enable you to meet your goals and make a buzz worthy impact. You can see how this is like a well choreographed dance. It’s a sequential process, the proverbial strip tease to get your audience talking, intrigued and waiting for your next thing, credit card in hand, and microphone in the next to tell the world about you and your awesome products and services!
Take Action: Once you have done the ground work in the last two steps of mastering your craft and creating your brand, and you know who you are talking to and how to talk with them, then you can create momentum to propel your product, offering and message forward.
Here are the steps to this approach: once you know your offer:
Step 1 - Know your offer and how it solves your audiences pain or desire, what will it do for them financially and emotionally?
Step 2- Create a teaser to entice your followers, draw them in and make them care focus on outcomes on all levels tap the emotions
Step 3 - Make sure the teaser creates value and suspense that aligns with the big launch. This is a journey to purchase your “world tour”! So take the time to think through how each step logically leads to the next and creates an anticipation for what could be next.
Step 4 - Create tension, buzz and desire for more in your audience. Get them to keep coming back and checking into what you have going on. Use all your visibility methods, speaking, writing, podcasting, social media, paid or earned media. Get creative and do it!
Step 5 - Finally, drop your main offer to fill that need and desire gap that you created. Make sure you deliver the goods!! Or you may not have a second chance. Deliver excellence. Have you ever seen a Beyonce concert? Aim to be at that level with your delivery.
These steps are the essential cliff notes on how you can slay like Beyonce and deliver your valuable mission and message to your growing audience of fans. Be sure to bring your own flair, your personality and unique way of joining the on going conversation your audience is engaged in, that's the best way to get their attention.
Take action today: What is a key thing you can apply from this blog post? How can you engage your audience, surprise them to keep them intrigued and delighted?
Do you need help executing on this?
I can help you develop your own vision and the goals and strategies to support it with the five steps outlined above. This is one piece of the work I help my private clients with. We identify your master brand story and marketing messages and arm you with a strategic game plan of your own. You'll walk away with clarity about how your content and offerings can work seamlessly together to get more clients and be seen as the go-to-expert in your niche.