Growing Your Business Blog Post Cover

We’re continuing our look at Marcus Whitney’s Book Create and Orchestrate and how you as the owner need to spend time growing your business.

If you missed any of the previous posts, don’t worry, links are at the bottom.

Growth is about understanding that change is always happening. You can and should drive and leverage change to realize the vision and live out the values of the company.*

Reinvestment, Anticipation, Innovation

While highlights the need for growth under the three ideas of reinvestment, anticipation, and innovation. His focus on core aspects of your business are helpful, below I’ll use those ideas to talk about how we approach the same topics throughout coaching.

Reinvestment

In life and business, reinvestment is primarily about the daily habits and routines we build into your schedule for success.

Reinvestment asks questions like: Growing Your Business Blog Post Cover

  • Did you give your best effort towards getting better today?
  • What goals did you accomplish?
  • What new goals did you set?
  • How were you successfully able to eliminate distraction and do something of significance?

Throughout coaching, I highlight the need for these basic elements of our own growth. Many of my clients already know I’m going to ask these sorts of questions, even before I do. It becomes ingrained in the way we think during our times together.

Growing your business is about making small daily deposits of success, consistency, and routine. Otherwise, you will never achieve larger breakthroughs.

Anticipation

Anticipation is about your future self as much as it’s about the future market

When I started coaching, my focus was exclusively on leadership health and burnout. Part of that was my own circumstance at the time. I was in an organization that consistently produced burned out leaders and I wanted to avoid that trend.

But it was also partly cultural. I started coaching as the U.S. economy was still feeling the lingering effects of the 2008 market crash. While in many ways we were ‘out of it’ by the time I started coaching, many individuals were still terrified and afraid. They were still recovering financially and were scared that something else might happen.

This made them extraordinarily open to talks of leadership health and sustainability, especially my focus on all areas of life.

As the economy recovered, I began to focus more on small business and HR needs. Again, both a personal decision and a cultural one.

It wasn’t that the need for leadership health was gone, but for many a strong economy hid the need to talk about it.

Shifting Back

The current pandemic and economic collapse (and the resulting questions) have seen a large uptick in conversations around leadership health. People again are afraid and unable to mask their worry and anxiety.

I’ve had a number of individuals reach out to me about leadership health, including one organization who basically said, “We’re all hurting and can’t keep going on for much longer.” The long drawn-out year of 2020 has revealed the deep need for total leadership health.

Anticipation for me was preparing for this months ago and being ready to step in and offer coaching and consulting to these individuals and businesses. Your own anticpation needs might be different, but you can start by asking questions like:

  • What events, meetings, or opportunities are ahead of me in the next six to twelve months?
  • Who will I need to be to make those things happen?
  • How are my current behaviors limiting or enhancing my growth opportunities?

Growing your business starts by growing yourself and addressing your own needs first. Reaching your full potential allows you to serve others more.

Innovation

In coaching, innovation is finding new ways to meet current needs.

As a business coach, I often tell young entrepreneurs that if people aren’t buying their product, they aren’t meeting people’s needs. Unfortunately, it’s just that simple.

We’ve seen a huge growth in the online education market, and rightfully so. Gone are the days of needing to be present for live or in-class training. Now, the convenience and adaptability of online learning make this decision a no brainer. 

But smart entrepreneurs are already asking, “What’s next?” Online learning is the new, current, and necessary trend. But something will be next? Keeping an eye on upcoming methods of delivery, education, product placement, and advertising will keep facilitating steady growth in growing your business.

Here’s an example of an online course I highly recommend.

Eight Core Concepts

This list is updated as the blog series continues. Click on any live link to go to that post in the series. Create and Orchestrate Book Cover

  1. Leadership
  2. Finance
  3. Operations
  4.  Growth 
  5. Product
  6. Service
  7. Sales
  8. Marketing

* Whitney, Marcus. Create and Orchestrate: The Path to Claiming Your Creative Power from an Unlikely Entrepreneur (p. 79). Creative Power. Kindle Edition.

Three P's to Strong Leadership

Today, we’re beginning a new series where we examine eight core concepts to help you grow your business. These eight core concepts come from Marcus Whitney’s book Create and Orchestrate. You can currently pick up a copy on Amazon Kindle for only $.99.

In his book, Whitney outlines eight core concepts that every business owner must track, measure, and invest in in order to grow their business.

In this series, I’m not going to rehash his points (you can read his book to know what he thinks). Instead, I want to use it as an outline as a frame for what I do with business owners and leaders in the context of coaching. I agree with much of what Marcus said and want to springboard off of that to give you some additional insights, pointers, tips, and business tricks on your entrepreneurial journey.

A software engineer by trade, Marcus outlines his eight core concepts in terms of ‘priority’ and ‘inheritance.’ Create and Orchestrate Book Cover

He says,

What’s counterintuitive about this framework is that if you get hung up on the “priority,” you’ll miss the importance of inheritance. In computer science, inheritance means that an object has all the capabilities of the object it inherits from, plus its own new capabilities. If you apply this to the Eight Core Concepts framework, it means that while marketing is the least core of the eight concepts, it is the most comprehensive. Marketing has aspects of leadership, finance, operations, growth, product, service, and sales within it. It is the only concept comprehensive of all other business concepts, and that’s why marketers are so elevated in today’s business world.*

Concepts Number One: Leadership

John Maxwell has made famous the line, “Everything rises and falls on leadership.” Whitney, in his book, agrees. Leadership is a necessity for any business to be successful. Without good leadership, a business is doomed.

I’ve written a lot about leadership, especially in the workplace. The higher up you are in an organization, the more good leadership is expected (and demanded) of you. In order to provide this effectively, you must be rooted in the internal and external aspects of leadership health.

The internal dynamics of coaching include your spiritual, emotional, physical, and mental health. Internally healthy individuals ask questions like, “Am I spending time improving and leading myself well?” Strong morals are a part of internally strong leaders, but so are times of rest, physical activity, mental stimulation through reading, coaching, therapy, and times of quiet mediation.

Externally healthy leaders are focused on the relational and financial dimensions of growth. Their finances are in order so they can live generously and their relationships are strong. These strong relationships are found both inside and outside of work. Well-rounded leaders have close friends, a vibrant relationship with family, and uplifting and positive interactions in the workplace.

Strong leaders also have their finances in order. To lead a business well, they must lead themselves well. To grow a strong financial portfolio at work, they must know how to manage their personal money first.

Growing leaders know that they can only lead others as well as they have first led themselves and they take their own growth seriously.

Grow Your Leadership Capacity

Here are three ways to grow as a leader.

Professionally.

Professionally, seek out good coaching. This should come as no surprise. I’m a huge advocate for coaching. Coaches provide a judgement-free zone to explore serious topics. The higher you rise in an organization, the fewer peers you have to talk to, the more you need a coach. Find a coach who either specializes in your particular niche or area of growth and commit to twelve weeks of intentional investment in yourself. You’ll be surprised how much you can grow in twelve weeks. Reassess and recommit as necessary.

Three P's to Strong Leadership

Personally.

Develop deep relationships. One consistent problem I see with success-minded individuals is that initially, success can be viewed fairly small. Most of the time, success is thought of in relation to our work. We can be tempted to think, “I’m successful because I’ve made XXX amount of money.” This fallacy leaves us in danger not only of burnout but of disconnect in our relationships. If you ever hear a phrase like, “Dad made a lot of money but was absent most of my childhood and a jerk when he was around” you’ve failed as a leader. Success happens one drop at a time, make sure that you spend time putting effort and success into many aspects of your life, including deep and significant personal relationships. 

Privately.

Just yesterday, I spent time talking with my wife about some current frustrations in my business. There are parts of my business that I know are struggling and some that need to be reevaluated. As a solopreneur, finding time to balance everything can be difficult, and I was sharing some of that frustration with her. My failure to hit some of my more significant KPI’s left me frustrated. When I asked her what I should do, she said, “Ride your motorcycle.”

It was genius advice.

For me, more stress equals more I work. That helps no one. Instead, I needed to do the opposite of what my gut told me. Private leadership development is about finding life-giving and enriching hobbies that keep us sane. When stressed, I experience less productivity, decreased creativity, poor results, and increased anger. That’s not at all the type of person I want to be. In fact, that’s the exact opposite of what I’m trying to do. Privately, find and develop hobbies. Escape your workplace. Find ways to evade work. Unplug. Recharge. Breath. The only way to keep your sanity in the midst of a difficult time is to know when to turn off your work brain and turn on your fun brain.

Make a plan: As we work through the eight core concepts, make a plan for growth. Today, pick one of the “p’s” mentioned above and write out your growth plan. How do you want to grow professionally, personally, or privately in the next twelve weeks. Find someone to hold you accountable. If you need, you can email me your plan and I’ll follow up with you personally.

Eight Core Concepts

This list is updated as the blog series continues. Click on any live link to go to that post in the series.

  1. Leadership
  2. Finance
  3. Operations
  4. Growth
  5. Product
  6. Service
  7. Sales
  8. Marketing

 


* Whitney, Marcus. Create and Orchestrate: The Path to Claiming Your Creative Power from an Unlikely Entrepreneur (p. 57). Creative Power. Kindle Edition.

National Small Business Week 2020 Blog Post Cover

It’s National Small Business Week 2020!

To register, go to the SBA website. The event is free and designed to help you grow your small business.

National Small Business Week 2020

To help celebrate this week, and the vital role small businesses play in the local economy, here are some stats for you:

I got my start as a small business owner somewhere around age 10. I wish I would’ve known then how much I loved it. My mom’s boss needed help around his yard and I became his yard person. Every Saturday I’d rake leaves, mow the lawn, chop wood, and clean up debris. 

My next small business came working at a tractor salvage yard working alongside my dad. From age 15 to 21 I worked every summer and most weekends helping farmers get their equipment running. 

I’ve also spent time in franchise-owned small businesses, nursing home facilities, and owning my own LLC. My entire career has been in and around small businesses and their owners. Their commitment to not just meet a need for their family, but their community has always inspired me.

Recently, was having a conversation with a small business owner around some of their plans for future growth and expansion. The ingenuity, creativity, and innovation from the heart of this individual energized me. The world needs more of this, especially now.

Which is why 2020 has hurt so many people.

Planning for Quarter Four

There are, at the time of publication, 100 days left in 2020. Many of us, if not all of us, have had the craziest year we’ve ever imagined.

Celebrate! You have survived more than you ever thought possible.

Rejoice! You have found a new level of creativity, clarity, and calling.

Commend yourself! You have discovered grit, tenacity, and mental toughness much greater than you originally gave yourself credit for. National Small Business Week 2020 Blog Post Cover

And I want to encourage you to keep going.

The world needs you, your voice, your passion, your experience, your expertise, your product, and your smile.

With the next 100 days, you have a choice.

Quit now, with all you’ve already gone through.

-OR-

Push through and find extraordinary success.

Two weeks ago, one of my clients recently made a goal for 2020: to grow their business by 25%. They are clear and focused. We identified necessary tasks, potential obstacles, and the daily habits that would be necessary to make this happen.

Last week, when we checked in on that goal, they had already made significant progress.

Plant + Preparation = Success

A plan, plus the proper preparation, equals success.

Will you reach all of your goals in 100 days? Probably not. In fact, I hope not. Otherwise, your goals are too small.

But what could you accomplish in 100 days?

To lose one pound of fat a week (seven days), you must be in a calory deficit of 500 calories per day. This means that in 100 days you could lose more than 14 pounds. How much more energy would you have without 14 unnecessary pounds weighing you down?

If you sent three email requests for an introduction, in 100 days you could have up to 300 new contacts on your phone.

If you woke up thirty minutes early to read a challenging book, in 100 days you would spend an extra 50 hours in personal growth.

Each of these on their own would speed up your path to success. Combine some, or complete them all, and 100 days from now you will hardly recognize your current self.

Whatever your goals are, you get there by creating a plan. If you want help speeding up that plan, or have questions on which way to go, I’m here to help.

If you’re already on that plan, stay the course. Voices will start to creep in telling you to slow down, veer off course, or distract yourself with the next shiny object. Ignore those voices. Use them as fuel and motivation that you’re on the right path.

Plan Ahead.

Think Boldly.

Act Courageously.

Live Successfully.

I walked away from my interview with Michael Roberts thinking, “If someone followed these seven steps, they could start a business today.”

Michael Roberts, from the small business celebration podcast, gave us seven timeless qualities of great business leaders. Looking to grow a strong and profitable business? Listen to, and then follow, Michael’s advice.

 

Building With Purpose

This excerpt is a part of the FREE online conference I’m hosting called Building With Purpose. This course will help you pivot during this time of social distancing and working from home.

For many of us, it’s a new experience. These experts will help you gain clarity and momentum and experience success.

To sign up for the conference, go here.

Registration is completely free and is currently open.

Building With Purpose Online ConferenceIn this conference, we hear from leading experts in:

  • Coaching
  • Business Consulting
  • Human Resources
  • Finance
  • Digital Marketing
  • And more

If you’re interested in starting or growing a business or even just wondering how to maximize your time and what to do next, enroll in the free conference.

To follow up, I’m offering all attendees a complimentary session.Building With Purpose Online Conference

To redeem your session, go here.

 My Interview With Michael Roberts

During my interview with Michael Roberts, he gave us seven steps to business growth, even during COVID-19. It may sound hard to believe but even now, there are things you can do to grow your business. Here are three key takeaways I learned from Micael.

1.) Expand – Don’t Contract

The world is telling is us to be afraid. To shrink back. To hide. Michael challenges this thinking and tells us to charge ahead. Position yourself as the authority now by pivoting your mindset and products to help those in need around you. He provides a real-world example of a restaurant doing that and how it is actually growing, even as we follow the stay-at-home mandate.

2.) Value First – Sell Second

As entrepreneurs and business owners, we are all excited about our product. The problem is that sometimes we are more excited about selling that (and making money) than we are about helping and serving others. Michael challenges that thinking. Start first by creating a value-based relationship and then sell your product.

3.) Take Care of Yourself First.

I can’t run a business, help my neighbors, or provide for my family if I’m sick. Now more than ever we need to take care of ourselves first. Start by looking after your own health: spiritual, emotional, physical, relational, and mental health matters. 

 

Want to hear the rest of Michael’s other points and grow your business?  Join the Building With Purpose Conference for free.

Person Rock Climbing with Overlay text "Do Hard Things"

One of the common phrases in our house is, “Do hard things!”

It’s a call. A challenge. To our kids, but also to the adults. Life requires, necessitates difficulty. We should rise to the occasion.

Do Hard Things

Life is full of the difficult.

Taking our first steps requires doing hard things.

When we’re young, learning to walk is hard. Yet without knowing any better, our natural instinct is to persevere. We fall, we rise again, and we take another step.

Somewhere along the way, however, we get talked out of that mindset. We learn to shrink back, play small, give in, and give up. Ultimately, we end up missing out on some of the greatest aspects of life.

Because everything we’ve ever wanted is on the other side of fear. Our ability to push through, rise to the occasion, and achieve the difficult things, determines how far we get in life.

 

Don’t Run From Hardship

One writer from the early church history penned the idea of difficulty this way:

Don’t run from tests and hardships, brothers and sisters. As difficult as they are, you will ultimately find joy in them; if you embrace them, your faith will blossom under pressure and teach you true patience as you endure. And true patience brought on by endurance will equip you to complete the long journey and cross the finish line—mature, complete, and wanting nothing. If you don’t have all the wisdom needed for this journey, then all you have to do is ask God for it; and God will grant all that you need. He gives lavishly and never scolds you for asking. (The Voice)

We were warned thousands of years ago about the necessity of doing difficult things in life. From cleaning our rooms to forgiving someone who offends us, the message is the same: do hard things!

Got a side-hustle you want to be your full-time gig? Do Hard Things. 

Looking to advance in your career and get a promotion? Do Hard Things.

 

Discovering the need to be a better parent, spouse, or lover? Do Hard Things.

Trying to lose ten, fifteen, for fifty pounds? Do Hard Things.

Convicted to swallow your pride and ask for forgiveness? Do Hard Things.

A Call For Growth

Ultimately, this is a call for growth. For all of us. We are presented each and every day with the chance to grow and get better.

For my son, it’s cleaning his room, engaging in his math homework, and being nice. (Even when his little brother is legitimately being annoying).

 

For me, it’s putting in the focused effort on the right action items every day. Ignoring distraction, feeding my quest for self-improvement, and growing a business.

For you, it might be something different. Maybe it’s to put the phone down and engage with the family. Perhaps your growth point is to finally start that business venture that has you so scared (I can help). Maybe there’s that small voice that is urging you to show up, to speak up, and to act for justice.

Whatever it is. Embrace the call. Press into that feeling. Rise to the occasion.

Do Hard Things.