Do you have a great idea? Have you thought about turning that idea into a business?
It can often be a challenge to find focus and clarity about what you're doing or around the adventure you're about to start. One of the benefits of participating in a mastermind is that your fellow members can help you define your business and get clarity around an idea.
And that's just what happened during a mastermind call just a few months ago…
Want to listen? There's an audio version below
While I won't share any specifics about my members or their businesses, I do want to share the lessons learned from a recent meeting.
My clients, for the most part, are at the startup phase of their businesses. They're in the process of finding their passions and focusing their energy on tasks that will bear fruit and which will help them achieve their long-term goals.
If you've tried mastermind groups in the past but were unable to get results, you should consider applying to join my next mastermind. Because that's what I focus on, and that's what the following questions will help you get: results.
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4 Questions that Will Help You Clarify Your Business
1: Who Do I Want to Work With?
This is your business, so you can set it up however you want. Don't define your business in a way that will cause you to work with people you don't want to work with.
A long time ago, I realized I wanted to work with my friends. I've never been as close to achieving that goal as I am now when working with my friend Jason (Beaton), owner of Airtight Marketing. Together we partner to build websites, create sales funnels, and develop email marketing automations. You can learn more about that part of my business here.
When putting pen to paper and outlining what you want your business to look like, think about who you want to work with. That includes clients as well as potential business partners and employees.
If you don't want to fix cars or get your hands greasy, you shouldn't start your own car-flipping business like my friend Justin Carper.
If you're not a health nut and you don't have a passion for sweating on the beach, you shouldn't become a personal trainer like my friend Ted Ryce.
Figuring out who you don't want to work with is just as important as determining who you do want to work with, so spend time thinking about both.
2: What If You Focused on Instead of Avoiding Them?
I get to work with a lot of people both in the military and connected to the military. Some of them have a passion for helping their fellow service members, others don't want to get pigeon-holed, so they focus their energy outside of their military connections.
When I first started defining my business, I tried to avoid or downplay the “work sucks, start a business” part of my message. I felt like a more moderate or tempered approach would help me reach a broader audience and keep me from alienating a larger percentage of the population.
Questions like this one will help you flip the script on your existing ways of thinking. Instead of avoiding a certain demographic, think about targeting them. What impact would that have on your business? How would that change things?
3: What Can Only You Do?
It's hard to have an original idea these days. Over the past 200 years, thousands of great ideas have been generated, and hundreds have been put into action. I used to think there was value in an idea; I realized I was wrong.
What really matters is action.
What is it that only you can do? What skill, talent, or training do you possess that makes you particularly well-suited for a specific task?
A lot of people want to “motivate others.” A lot of people want to “encourage the people around them.” A lot of people can have a lot of great ideas, and a lot of people do. But few follow-through with action, and even fewer focus on what only they can do.
It may take a while, but you've got to figure out what it is that only you can do, and do that. Focus on that.
4: How Can You Build a Community Around Your Business?
One of the coolest feelings is seeing my clients do business with one another. In the private Facebook group I have for my coaching and mastermind clients, people from across the country and around the world connect and collaborate, and some even develop friendships and partnerships.
How can you foster a community around your business?
How can you create an ecosystem everyone wants to be a part of and no one wants to leave?
I'm not saying I have that with my group, but I think I've come pretty close.
The most successful companies don't sell products, they create ecosystems. Buyers and sellers can connect via Amazon, eBay, Craigslist and other similar sites. Developers create apps that work in and across the Apple ecosystem. You can store, edit and share your documents, spreadsheets, and slide shows across any device anywhere from inside Google Apps.
There is tremendous value in being the connector of people and things. When you connect your friends, clients, and prospects to one another, you gain mind share that often leads to market share. Think about INclusion instead of EXclusion.
I've met several business owners who rely (and thrive) completely on referrals. That would be great, wouldn't it?! Build a community around your business and you'll always have a business.
Over to you: Did these questions help you define your business? Which question helped you the most? What question should be added to the list?