Building a Business: A Note from My Personal Journal
Over the past few weeks, I haven't spent as much time blogging as I'd like. I haven't published a blog post and I haven't spent just a ton of time working on my book.
However, I haven't been sitting around doing nothing. The truth is, I've been working on building a business.
In my yearly community survey, I always get the feedback that readers want more personal stories. So, here we go.
If you're a regular reader and haven't taken my survey, I'd be grateful if you did! Click here.
To be honest, I have spent a fair amount of time on my PlayStation. I'm sure there's a business lesson to be learned and taught about creating a game that you can never quite beat, but I don't know it yet. But, in addition to playing Tom Clancy's The Division, I've been working on building a business.
Many people don't know, and even some of my coaching clients aren't aware, that before I was a coach, my business made money doing other things. Before someone hired me to work on their mindset and show them how to think like an entrepreneur, I was building a business that managed websites for people who shouldn't be doing it themselves.
After I got fired in 2014, my first money was from building a website for a painter who had amazing skills with stencils and paint brushes.
I learned then that:
- A single product does not a business make
- Building a business requires more than just doing the things you want to do
- I have to work harder on my business than anything else and anyone else
A single product does not a business make
Even if your goal isn't to sell off your business after you make it big, and all you really want to do is have the ability to work from anywhere and be your own boss, you still need to realize that a single product does not a business make.
Think about it, if you only have one product, but it's not the right fit for the customer, you make zero money.
My managers at Dell always used to tell us,
Sell what's on the truck.
And I hated it. Why would I want to sell something I know isn't right for the client?
Stupid. But that's off topic.
Building a Business
If you want to start, build, and grow a business, you need more than one product. You must figure out what people need, determine what you're good at, and bridge the two with your offer. In addition to my Personal Branding Toolkit, I was also building the best websites and marketing tools I could.
But, as my coaching business started to grow and I started filling new mastermind groups every other month or so toward the end of 2014, I began to get away from the thing that helped me get started.
And it worked out, too. In 2015, my business' revenue grew over 400% and we had an incredible year! Though we're very much still in “startup mode,” instead of barely making it like we did in 2014, in 2015 we really started to see the possibilities of owning a media and coaching business.
NOTE: It's funny to write the paragraph above as if I got started in 2014 when in reality, I began the process of building a business in 2012. It took a lot of blood, sweat and tears to get to a place where I can talk about things going on behind the scenes. The “entrepreneur struggle” is often glamorized, but there's really nothing glamorous about crying and wondering if you should apply for jobs and “go back to work.”
So, fast forward to the end of 2015 and I've got the idea for a new service. Unlike the previous twelve months, this service would not be focused on 1×1 coaching or private mastermind groups.
This service would be targeted to entrepreneurs and business owners (no, they're not the same thing) who knew they needed a website but didn't know how to get one set up. They knew they needed an email marketing system and sales funnels, but they didn't know the first thing about relationship marketing.
But I did nothing with the idea.
That is until March of 2016 when a prospective client mentioned his need to me. On a video call, he said,
Ellory, do you know if there's a product or service out there that would help me set up my website, get me started with landing pages and sales funnels, and allow me to do email marketing, but that I don't have to set up? I'd like to just pay $3500 to $5000 and just have it done right the first time.
Actually, I do. Give me a couple of weeks and I'll get back with you.
If you've ever wondered how to come up with new product ideas, take this as a lesson – when someone in your target demographic tells you their need, gives you a budget and throws a buying signal in your face, take the hint. Because that's what entrepreneurs do.
Entrepreneurs see the needs people have, and they find a way to meet those needs. (Tweet that!)
Now, I'm not saying you should take every buying signal as an indication you need to create a new product or service, but in this case, the service he was looking for was something I had already considered. My service would meet his need.
That just pushed me over the edge.
My Rule of 3
I have a general philosophy that guides me as I try to figure out what should get my interest. If I encounter something once, like if a friend recommends a book or a restaurant, I think “no big deal.” If I come across the same thing a second time, I think to myself, “huh, that's interesting.” And if the same author, resource, tool, TV show, whatever, comes my way a third time, I start to pay close attention.
In this case, I'd been slapped in the face with an opportunity to re-focus on the non-coaching part of my business and been provided with an outline of what needed to be done and how to market it.
So, over the past several weeks, instead of blogging, I've been working on a new white-glove service for entrepreneurs – real estate agents, doctors, dentists, coaches – and anyone else who should be focusing on building their business instead of working in it.
Want to grow your blog in ? Then check out my free 30 Day Blog Transformation email course!
My business partner and I have worked together to provide everything a new business could possibly need to get started, and eliminated 99% of the hassle. Our goal is to save you the time and frustration of building a business online yourself.
We're pretty proud.
If you'd like to check it out (and maybe let us help you get back to focusing on your clients) click here.
In addition to focusing on the other part of my business, I've also been working on Exit Strategy: The Exact Tactics to Transition from Where You Have to Be to Where You Want to Be. I am so pumped to share this book with all of my readers and listeners, and it has been nice to get back to working on the book these past few weeks.
The 14 hour days aren't over just yet. But I'm enjoying every minute of it. As Mark Cuban says,
Work like there is someone working 24 hours a day to take it away from you.
‘Cause there is, and it just might be me.