- What 6 + elements do you need to have in place when you’re in the foundational stage of your business journey
- What’s the 1 core things all business owners need, no matter what stage of growth they’re in?
- What’s different when you’re in the growth phase of your business life?
- How do you make sure your business is enjoyable, sustainable and makes you money (all while staying ethical and unshiny?)
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[00:00:00] Hello hello. Hello, lovely people. It’s Jo Casey, welcome to the Unshiny podcast. All right. I feel like I’ve given you a lot of nerdy, big picture stuff over the past few weeks and you know, I’m not averse to a bit of nerdy, big picture stuff. I own my nerdiness. Quite close to my heart. It’s absolutely fine. But. I also wanted to give you some more of the, the juicy specifics, which I know are really helpful, especially when it comes to this, this whole business building and business running type thing. [00:00:38] So today we’re going to look at what does your business need at the different stages it’s at? Because one of the things that I find really frustrating, especially with the. Big marketing names is they are selling strategies that may well have worked for them. So I’m not saying that they’re all selling total bullshit, but part of the problem is that they are usually at a different stage of business to most people. [00:01:15] So they will usually have a team around them. They will already have a large audience. They will probably have run a program several times. They’ve they’ve tested it. They’ve tweaked the messaging. And so [00:01:30] they’re just in a different position than most of us when we’re putting together our programs or when we’re trying to start off by selling our services. [00:01:40] And we don’t have an audience or not quite clear on who our audiences is or we don’t have a team around us, running Facebook ads or a budget for those things. So I really want to share what I think is important when it comes to, what do you need to focus on? Because I’m also aware that I’ve spent quite a few weeks talking about, you can do it your way. [00:02:00] You don’t have to follow somebody else’s blueprint, all of which is true. And that can leave you feeling like you’re in the middle of a deep dark forest, and you don’t have a map. So in this episode, I’m going to be sharing with you, the, the destinations you want to get to on your journey, the kind of little towns that you want to stop off in this path, too. [00:02:27] Achieving a really thriving, successful nourishing Unshiny business, how you get to those places. That’s where you have the freedom. That’s where you have the flexibility. And also that’s where sometimes the trial and error comes in. Because even if you look at a colleague or a peer or somebody else in your, your space, your industry, who is doing something very similar to you, The route that they take [00:03:00] to get to the kind of various base camps along this journey may well be different to you down to their personality, down to the nature of their audience, down to what things they already have in place down to their skillset. [00:03:16] It’s going to be different. So we have to have , a loose level of structure or a route map. If you like guidebook to business, where are the destinations that you’re going to be moving towards, but also to know that you have this real flexibility [00:03:34] in there and there’s going to be some trial and error, and there’s going to be some messy bits. And those going to be some parts where you do feel like you’re a little bit lost and what to do when you’re in those places. And I’m going to be focusing on two stages of business. I call it the foundational phase and this can last [00:03:57] anything between a few months to a few years. For me, it was a few years. I’ll be absolutely honest. It was a few years because I really struggled to fathom these things out. And then we’re also gonna look at the growth phase. So when you have those foundations in place, what do you need to be focusing on? [00:04:17] Then, and I’m not talking about growth as in scaling or growth as in this is where I build my empire and I diversify and I go over to a totally passive income [00:04:30] model or anything like that. Growth just means solidifying what you’ve already got and then being able to develop new programs. Continue building your audience, build your revenue, those kinds of things. [00:04:46] [00:04:46] Let’s dive into today’s topic properly. Let’s talk about that foundational stage, first of all, and by the foundational stage, I mean that you’re either not yet making money in your business or you’re not significantly doing it, or it’s not consistent. And as I say, that for me was a good few years. [00:05:07]There is this real pressure. I think that the internet tells us. That we should be making money right off the bat. And that’s just not the case for most of us, especially if we’ve had no experience of running a business and marketing and promoting our work before. So for many of the folks I work with, I don’t know if you can relate to this. [00:05:35] We start our businesses because we found something that we love to do. Whether it be coaching, whether it be healing, modality, whether you’re a maker or you have a particular service that you really want to, to offer to folks with, that’s the starting point for us. And there are a lot of marketers out there that will tell us that it’s then really easy to start your business. [00:05:59] Do my [00:06:00] course you’ll be raking in the money and that doesn’t turn out to be the reality for most of us and the reason why. And I came to this conclusion after many years of trial and error, and then many subsequent years of working with people in this phase of their business. The reason why is we need foundational pieces in place before that consistently income can start to come. So maybe you’ll get a client here and there. Maybe you’ll get a few clients here and there, but then maybe you’ll have a few months where. You don’t know where the clients are and you don’t know what to do about that. [00:06:41] So I thought, certainly thought for the first few years of my business, that I had kind of an accidental business, so the clients would come and that would be brilliant, but then there’d be periods where the clients weren’t coming and I had no idea what to do. It felt like it was very much in the lap of the gods where the clients would find me, whether I would have enough money to pay things that month. [00:07:06] And. Having a real sustainable business doesn’t rely on, on that. You you’re able to have a real sense of ownership and direction over your income because you, you have the steps in place and you have the knowledge and the confidence and things that you can [00:07:30] do to. Generate more income to bring in more clients. [00:07:36] And that full the first few years of my business felt like a mythical unicorn creature to be able to get to that stage. But once I’ve realized these, these five plus elements that we need to have in place. It, it did happen, and that’s the position that I’ve been in for quite a few years now. [00:08:00] And it still sometimes makes me kind of go, Oh, I could go back and say to my younger business owner self. You don’t you see, you just need to this, this, this, and this, and you really can start to feel like you’re in the driving seat of your business. And that feels really amazing. Really lovely. And so until you have that in place, [00:08:25]you’re still really in the foundational stage of your business. There’s no shame in that whatsoever. We all have to learn and there’s way too much. Shaming goes on in the online business space. Anyway. It’s, it’s just a fact an awful lot of my clients come to me because they’re struggling to put these pieces together. [00:08:45] And they’re overwhelmed by all of the conflicting advice that they’re finding on the internet, or maybe they’ve worked with different business coaches who have a particular style that teaches them one part of what they need to do, but doesn’t join it all up together. And [00:09:00] that’s why my work for a long, long time has really focused on providing help and support at that level of , that setting the foundations. [00:09:10] And that’s why my program, the supernova collective is such a gorgeous, deep, and I said, I suppose, encompassing program, because it helps to give you those foundational pieces along with a ton of support and mindset, work and community and all of that and stuff. [00:09:33] [00:09:33] So these foundational pieces, there’s the six + foundational pieces. Let’s go through them one by one. And if you want to know more about these, I’m going to be running a challenge. In a couple of weeks time. So keep an eye out for that. [00:09:50] I don’t know why we call it a challenge, not really a challenge challenge, like a bootcamp challenge. It’s a challenge. That’s going to lead you through each of these, these steps each day, each of these pieces each day, so that you can look, how, what do I already have in place? What can I tweak? And where is the gaps? [00:10:05] So keep an eye out for that, let’s go through them one by one. And let me give you the overview of them. You might want to make a few notes and see where you’re at with them at the moment. [00:10:15]So the very first piece, if you like the place where I start with all of my clients is your Onlyness what makes you unique? [00:10:30] Not who your clients are, not what your niche is. What is it about you? And this work can be really empowering It can also be a little bit challenging sometimes because it’s where a lot of us have been told to dim down to retreat to shrink. [00:10:53]Or to pretend to be somebody else. I think I’ve talked about this story before, about how, when I first started my business, I couldn’t see anybody else out there like me. And so it felt like the only option for me was to pretend to be a much, smilier much more together polished person, because that was all I could see out there. [00:11:15] But what happened was. I just blended in with everybody else. There are people who I think genuinely like that who could pull it off much better than me. And so there was this disconnect and that’s what happens when we are , masked up when we have the shiny mask on. So what this piece is about is really diving into not only your. [00:11:43] Your personality and who you are as a, as a person, but really kind of going into where is the intersection between your interests and your skills and your values and your experience and your beliefs, and kind of mapping out [00:12:00] your unique combination. [00:12:03] There’s a lot talked about About how to stand out as a business owner, how to stand out as a brand and this law pretty crappy advice about be deliberately provocative, say the controversial things like, no, no, no, no, no, no. Show up fully as yourself and you then by design are un-copyable so being authentic, I mean that in the truest sense of the word, not in that kind of, Oh, I’m just being really authentic right now. [00:12:34] And that kind of way. I mean, being really authentic, being unshiny is the most powerful thing. It’s not about sharing everything about you. It’s not about revealing all of your vulnerabilities or doing the naked selfies or whatever it might be. You get to choose how you put that out into the world, but we start with you, your values, your beliefs. [00:13:02] What makes you unique based on this idea of Onlyness from Nilofer merchant, which I will link to her Ted talk in the show notes, because you’re only in assess the space in the universe that only you can occupy and. By being able to express your own wiliness, your uniqueness, not in a shouty way, just in a quiet, solid, grounded way. [00:13:31] [00:13:30] Not only will help your sense of self-confidence, but will also help to attract. Your people to you. So it does become almost like this. This magnet is more people will find you, but they can’t find you if they can’t see who you are, if you’re pretending to be somebody else. And this can include a lot of unlearning for many of us, if you’ve been around for a little bit. [00:13:55] I had to take off the suit jacket and not smile quite so much and be goofy and, own the mistakes I was regularly making. And it was only once I was able to do that, that I started to get that real resonance with the people who were attracted to my style and my type of work. So that’s part one. [00:14:18] The second part then is your message. And that’s the through line that connects everything. Now this can include. Things like who you work with. So that might mean that it’s about an, a niche, but it’s bigger than that. It’s about what is the transformation? What is the real impact and benefit of the work and the work with you. [00:14:46] So it’s about being able to really clearly express what it is that you do. And this is about not fitting you into this really narrow box. I just have this [00:15:00] frustration that so much work around. Also much of the stuff I say about niching branding and messaging is about trying to get people to simplify their message by shrinking it down, or by possibly dumbing it down by oversimplifying it by, by taking out all the nuance by taking out all of the, the magic. [00:15:24] And to narrow it down to one tiny little thing. And it was, Oh, I have this analogy of like having all this magical spells kind of pinging all over the place. And you’re trying to kind of squash them down and keep the lid on in this box. That’s not what we do. What we want to do is we want to take your magic and I’m big arm gestures here as I’m talking. [00:15:49] I’m fully, my arms are fully above my head as I’m doing this. We want to take your magic and bring it out so that you have this clear through line. That’s like an umbrella that is over your business. And the umbrella message allows you to incorporate the different facets of your work. So it’s not just about, well, if you take me for example, I will help you make more money in your business if you’ve, I suppose, boiled it down to its essence. [00:16:19] Yes. That is one of the things that I do with folks, but also what people are attracted to me [00:16:30] for is that I’ll help you make more money in your business and I’ll help you start to see your business as this creative impactful endeavor your work in the world. I will help you own your magic and I’ll help you do it in a way that doesn’t rely on. [00:16:45] Bullshit sales or pretending to be somebody that you’re not, I will help you do it in a way that feels lovely to you and to your clients. That’s way more nuance on that does not fit into a tiny weeny little box and neither does your work. So we’re not going to do a box. We’re doing an umbrella. I’ll get, to be honest, this is the, this is the one piece that is so difficult to do on your own. [00:17:13] So difficult to do. I have P this is the part in my my business where I get the most help and support, I think because we’re too close to it ourselves. We need somebody else to be able to help us to see that. And he’s also one of my favorite parts of working with people, being able to help them to translate all of the magic that they have into language that they’re, that, that people are going to understand. [00:17:42] And will you be able to own that magic? The third bit is who are your people and where are they? And yes, this, this is, I suppose, that can be a little bit around niching, but not as anything like as rigidly as you’ve maybe [00:18:00] come across it in the past. It’s about who are the people that you create real alchemic magic with who are the people who really need your services in the way that you. [00:18:10] Offer it. So this isn’t about boiling people down into little avatars. So I work with middle-aged women who are looking to have more joy in their life. That’s great, but that’s really really broad. It’s about honing it down even more around. what’s, sometimes referred to as psychographics rather than demographics. [00:18:35] So it’s about finding, what are your people believe in? What keeps them awake at night? What what frustrates them? What would they like more in the world? What do they secretly want? That they can’t. Talk to anybody else about what they wouldn’t want to share with anybody else. And that is that’s where your empathy and your social knowledge of your people comes in. [00:19:00] And yeah, there’s a little bit of magic in that too. I have this really lovely process that I guide people through that helps them too. Really tune into who their people are really, really start to think about who all their people and what they really, really want. And so, whether they’re middle-aged or whether the identify as a woman might be important, but it certainly won’t be anything like the most important thing [00:19:33] [00:19:30] we get to the fourth bit, which is how you’re going to make money. So, what are your, what’s your business model for want of a better word, but basically what, what you’re selling, what your products, what your services and how are they priced? So, yeah, we look at things like money and how much you’re charging and how much do you need to charge? [00:19:55] How much do you want to charge and how much does what you charge impact you emotionally, the emotional side of, of money and charging, and this for women can be such a, a real ball of yarn to, to unravel, What does charging X amount mean about me? Will anyone buy it if I charge Y and so really starting to look at how can you price your, your products and your services in a way that’s going to support you and help you to thrive. [00:20:32] I see so many women, especially coaches and healers, majorly, undercharging. There’s all of these myths around this somehow unseemly to sell or to charge for our healing, our caring, our love that somehow it sullies it, and it can feel really confusing and really quite icky. And so, this can be an ongoing process of helping people to [00:21:00] really own the price and look at the value that you provide. [00:21:07] The fifth bit is, do how to sell in a way that feels. That feels good to you, and that is ethical and that is selling in the written word. So, can you write a half decent sales page, that’s going to convey all of the value that you have. And even if that’s one of the things that you’re going to want to [00:21:30]hire out for certainly in the first few years, you really need to be able to at least express what the, the elements that would, would go into a sales page yourself anyway, because it’s things like what the benefits of working with you. What are your clients feeling when they come to you? Who are your people? [00:21:52] What do they need to hear? What is the, the, the gap that’s missing for them? Are you the person to fill that? And then also, especially if you’re a service-based business, how do you do things like have sales conversations that are going to feel really good and aren’t going to feel nauseated or that you did what I did way back in the early days when people would say, how much is it to work with you? [00:22:15] And I go, Oh, don’t worry about that. I will work for you for free. You know, it’s almost like I was paying them. So with me, it’s the whole money and charging thing can be such a, a heady heady subject, and this really kind of kicks in and sales. [00:22:30] Plus we also have. Loads of really terrible examples of bad aggressive selling from, from movies, from films, from TV shows, from just our own experiences of, of being sold to that. [00:22:46] We don’t want to do any of those things. And so that I think puts us off in a lot of ways and means that. For a lot of folks were really don’t enjoy that selling process. And I firmly believe that you can enjoy it because it can be a really lovely, gorgeous extension of the work that you’re doing fully aligned with your values fully aligned with your style. [00:23:11] And that’s one of the things I love teaching people about and helping them with. the sixth Part is the finding your energetic mix and then finding a marketing plan. That suits that, and also it goes deeper than that. It’s finding a way of working that suits your energetic mix. So if you’re an introvert going to lots of in-person networking events might not be a great fit. [00:23:42]I know nobody’s going to in-person networking events at the moment, but we will do one day. Similarly, if you’re an extrovert staying at home. tapping away behind your computer every day is going to drive you kinda nuts. So it’s about finding that [00:24:00] right. Mix finding things like what marketing methods do you enjoy and do you find ease with and focusing in on a streamlined. [00:24:12] Marketing plan so that you’re not trying to be on all the platforms and do all of the things, but you’re going to focus on one or two things that you really enjoy, that there is ease and for you, because that’s where you’re going to get consistency and you’re going to get results. [00:24:30]the plus that I talked about and I say it’s a, it’s a, it’s a plus it’s these six stages plus is because this plus isn’t only for those at the foundational stage of their business, the plus is support and follow travelers. So I talked about different types of support that you need in your business. [00:24:56] A couple of weeks ago. And I talked about that because I genuinely think it’s the thing that makes or breaks a business. If you don’t have that, if you don’t have a quite clear message, yet you can probably muddle through you won’t get the kind of results that you deserve and that you wanting, but you can kind of muddle through. [00:25:15] It’ll be hit and miss. If you don’t have your pricing quite, quite right, you can pick up different things and it will evolve over time. You might make some mistakes. It’s going to be a bumpy road, but you can get [00:25:30] by the fastest way, I think to go out of business or to give up on your business. [00:25:36] And these. Not just in the foundational stages, but also further along, is not having that support around you, not having the people who are in your corner, who can give you that outside perspective, who can give you that encouragement, who can hold the mirror up to what you’re doing and kind of go these over this way. [00:25:54] Or here’s something that I tried before being able to have that at the different kind of types of it. I just think it’s the most essential part. And it’s why I have that support and community aspect built into every one of my programs. And it’s also why I am retiring. My standalone one-on-one offer because I see people get so much greater. [00:26:26]Results through working, not just with me one-on-one but also having a peer group and a support network around them so that they’re able to brainstorm ideas and get support. And just for the people who get it, it can be really lonely. This idea of, of running your own business. Most people don’t get it. [00:26:52] Most people don’t know what it’s like to do sales calls in this kind of environment, or to wrestle [00:27:00] with your webpage and things like that don’t care. And there is such a relief and having other people say, yeah, yeah, I get it. I feel that. So at that foundational stage, it’s important, but also [00:27:13] at that growth stage, what you need is. Less of the, those foundational [00:27:22]pieces. and more of an open, yet supportive container for you to experience, experiment, play about with reflect, build on your successes so far, maybe develop new. Programs, maybe increase your prices, maybe look at new ways of working and that’s going to be different for every single person. But the thing that isn’t different is that need for some support is that need for having that. [00:28:00] Outside eye on your business on a regular basis is a need to have a facility to work through the, the feelings and the emotions that come with with growing, being able to find nuance and refine your approach. Sometimes, get out of the swirly. swirl of [00:28:30] thoughts that you have around you and be able to really focus in on, yeah, this, this is the right way to be able to build your resilience so that you can bounce back faster from the setbacks, because there’s always going to be setbacks. [00:28:46] It’s not that the setbacks disappear is that, . They tend to be different setbacks and sometimes that they feel bigger, but you can bounce back more readily. Sometimes you do need specific strategic inputs and being able to have that and being able to be discerning about what strategic input you need based on your changing and evolving business. [00:29:17]Is something that is incredibly important. So having that, ongoing strategic help and support to really tailor your actions for you. Being able to have that emotional support, to be able to work through the feelings because they do not go away. Things like the fear, things like the, I did this thing and I feel really embarrassed or I’m such a shame now because I have a voice in my head telling me I should have known how to do that better. [00:29:46] Or everyone else seems to be doing this thing and I’ve got wicked FOMO about it. And there’s 17 shiny objects for courses that I might take. And I don’t know which one is going to be the right one that being [00:30:00] able to stay in action, but being able to adapt and be flexible. Know if the last year with COVID didn’t teach us anything else. [00:30:12] It taught us that the businesses that were able to not just survive, but thrive through such a massive change. We’re the ones who are able to be flexible and responsive. And that’s going to be the thing for any business. Once it’s out of that foundational stage, being able to respond to what’s happening. [00:30:39] Is a key scale on that that comes down to resiliency that comes down to having regular time when you’re able to see the step back and see the big picture when you’re able to see the wood for the trees in your business, because you’re going to be spending an awful lot of time in your business, doing the things and what can happen if you’re doing that, is you miss out the, the signs that [00:31:01] things that may be changing. And there’s I’ve worked with a few folks in the past year or so, who had really, really successful businesses based on blogging and selling courses, where they were able to sell the courses at a low figure because they had quite a big audience and enough people bought it. [00:31:23] That is, it was always they were making money relatively easily. And then it was almost like that tap turned off. Almost [00:31:30] overnight over the course of a six month period, suddenly those courses weren’t selling people, weren’t buying the things, anything like the way because the market was changing because people were massively overwhelmed by the number of things they had in their inbox, because people’s lives are radically altering. [00:31:49] We’re homeschooling, we’re working from home. We’re having to go out in the midst of a deadly pandemic. There was suddenly people’s priorities were changing. And yet, the methods of selling, the business structure. The messages, even weren’t, reflecting the new world, the new reality for people. [00:32:09] So having that space where you can be making sure that you are doing the things, not getting pulled into procrastination, but also being able to have that strategic step back on a regular basis, along with making sure that you’re looking after your mental and your physical health, that you’re well [00:32:31] supported. All of those things that we need as a, as a human, all of those are, are essential. The growth stage. And so one of the things that I have been looking at for quite a while now is will, how do I support my people once they’re at the growth stage? And so that’s why this week I’ve launched a new program. [00:32:55] So we’ve got supernova collective, which is for those of you who are at the foundational stage. [00:33:00] And then we’ve got this new gorgeous program called supernova continuum, which is designed to help you stay in consistent action and see concrete progress. Doing the things don’t put it off for three weeks. [00:33:13] You’re going to do it this week. If that’s what you decide that you’re going to do, maybe forward on that goals. Okay, better at launching, launching the thing showing up more consistently, really being able to remember to nourish themselves. And it’s really designed for those folks who are at that growth stage. [00:33:29] They have the foundational pieces in place, but sometimes the keeping going is just as challenging as the starting out. And about being flexible and being resilient. So I’m really excited about this new offer. And if it’s something that you think you might be interested in, then go to my website or go to my Instagram or go to Facebook or just put into the Googles Jo Casey supernova continuum. [00:34:04] There’s a link on my Instagram bio that will take you and explain it. Or if you go to Jo casey.com and click work with me, you’ll see supernova, collective and supernova continuum. At the top of the page, you can get all of the details there. The plan at the moment is that I’m going to open it for a few weeks and then close it for about three months. [00:34:27] So it’s going to open roughly every quarter. [00:34:30] And then once we get to 14 peoples, it’s not many people at all. When it’s full it’s full until somebody leaves and then then a new space will open up. So it’s, it doesn’t have an exact start date. It’s going to be on a rolling date. And I’m really excited about it. [00:34:48] So if there’s something that this feels like could be just the thing that you need to get you out of. Maybe you find yourself procrastinating or spending too much time overthinking losing momentum and getting pulled up off track and spinning your wheels for way longer than you’ve intended to then. [00:35:08] Check it out. I’d love to have a chat with you about it and see if it’s going to be a good fit for you. That’s it for me today. Thank you so much loves for listening to me. I hope you have an amazing weekend or rest of your week, obviously, depending on when it is that you’re listening to this and I will speak to you very soon.