My 5 Hard-Won Lessons from my Exciting 2017 Business MakeoverJan 27, 2017
Back in 2012, I went to Nantucket for a well-deserved personal and business retreat. My consulting business was growing by leaps and bounds and I was working with clients all around the world. As I pondered what it would look like to take my business to the next level, I swear I audibly heard the words from higher guidance, the universe, God "Write what you know." And my response was, "Well...I know a lot about consulting" and I set out to find a way to capture what I knew about consulting into a format that was accessible and applicable to others who were seeking the same type of consulting success that I had.
And five years later, I am super-excited to announce the launch of my new business "The Consultant's Institute." Yes, you heard me...FIVE YEARS LATER!! While I would love to share with all of the amazing value I have for new and seasoned consultants, I would be remiss if I did not share more about my journey to get here and what I learned about business re-inventions so you can learn from my wins AND sidestep my MANY mistakes along the way.
So, here's my top 5 hard-won ("excruciatingly won" might be a better word but I digress...) business reinvention lessons:
1. Reinventing your business is the SAME THING as starting your business...just dressed up on new clothes. I completely under-estimated the shift I was making in my business. I was seeking to go from a corporate-based business to a retail-based business. The sales funnel, pricing strategies and marketing approaches are COMPLETELY different. When I was a consultant, I only had to attract a handful of leads because each lead that turned into a client was worth around $100,000. On the other hand, as a mentor to other consultants, I had to attract MANY leads and land MANY clients in order to make the same amount of money. This shift required me to learn about webinars, email marketing, list management, Facebook ads, social media marketing and not to mention the myriads of technology systems to support this type of marketing. I had to learn Leadpages, webinar systems like Zoom and then Zapier to make sure they all talk to one another. I could go on but you get the picture and my stomach is starting to hurt...
2. It ALWAYS takes more time and money...especially when your strategy is not crystal clear up front. When I started out, I was thinking I would make a 7-module eLearning program and hired a bunch of people to help me write scripts and downloads, program a website, film videos etc. They didn't work out so I hired someone else to help me with just the videos and that turned into a few smaller products. I did a lot of costly experimentation until a well-timed question from one of my workshop participants inadvertently revealed my strategy. Innocently she asked, "Betsy, I can tell this is all part of a system but I can't see what it is."And that's when I realized my strategy was all about SYSTEM behind what I was doing but I was not seeing it clearly because of learning #3.
3. Being double-minded and holding on what worked in the past DOES NOT WORK! I now completely get what Marshall Goldsmith meant when he said "what got you here won't get you there." I had a hard time letting go of Accelera (my consulting business) as I was leading it because I knew (and still know) how to make money consulting and I was just learning how to make money mentoring. And so my double-mindedness drove me to create a combo website that tried to satisfy both audiences and as a consequence - I tanked my results. My organic search, which was the fuel of my marketing engine, dropped dramatically. What was even more painful was my declining conversion rates due to the fact that visitors to my website had no earthly idea what actions to take and what I was all about.
4. Letting go is the hidden secret to accelerating business reinvention. Once I came to terms with the reality that what I was doing wasn't working and something had to give - I was ready to make a decision. I decided that I was ready to commit to this new business in the same way that I committed to building a successful consulting business several years before. I had to let go of my cushy and high-profile job at Disney in order to become an entrepreneur and now I had to the same thing once again.
5. Once I let go of the old business model and committed to the new one - the right platforms, tools, resources and support appeared. I was able to move all of my consulting related products and services into my brand new and absolutely favorite system Kajabi. Not only has it enabled me to create a more user-friendly experience for my existing content, it provides me the means to create everything I can imagine...and as fast as I can imagine it. And in the process I discovered the best thing about all of this. All of that time that felt unproductive, where I was wallowing in trying to recover my results and learn all of the in's and out's of retail marketing, I was actually growing as a entrepreneur in dramatic ways. Once the new platform appeared, I had the skills AND resilience to take advantage of it.
Change is hard and anyone who says it isn't, hasn't really embarked on real transformation. Maybe a bit of evolution here and there but not transformation because in order to emerge as something new, something else has to die. The caterpillar has to give way to the butterfly.
And the process is messy. I don't even want to think about what might be happening in that cocoon.
But I can tell you this - the challenges of transformation are the very elements that creates the transformation. There is that old story where a scientist felt bad watching a butterfly struggle while trying to emerge from the cocoon and so he used his pocketknife to create a little slit to make it easier. And the butterfly died because it was the struggle that strengthened its wings to enable it to fly.
All of my struggle with turning around tanked results and the pain of learning so many new approaches and technology systems is what strengthened me to be ready to run this new business and offer the greater value that I hoped that I was capable of all along.
So, please check out my new site (which I designed all by myself) and celebrate these hard-won lessons with me. I hope that my experience will empower you to go after your dreams and big ideas with greater conviction and courage because you will find that no matter what the results turn out to be, the process will make you stronger and more personally powerful.
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