Ever get the feeling that the big project you’re working on is bound to fail? Maybe it’s a big marketing campaign, a product you’ve put your heart and soul into, or a big presentation to some very important people.
It seems no matter how much work into it, you’ve got the shadow of doubt making your optimism a little darker than it ought to be. You’re certainly not alone.
Many of my Quiet Power Strategy (formerly 10ThousandFeet) clients come into the program with high hopes but plenty of “bound to fail” feelings. They’re fully invested in turning their big idea into a business model that pays solid dividends. They’ve had success in the past but they’ve also had failure.
Of course, that’s just business. You win some and you lose some. The key, though, is finding a personal system for making the losses few and far between. In Quiet Power Strategy, we teach the art of perception and the focus of testing and experimentation.
When you train yourself to be more perceptive, you’re better able to anticipate the needs, desires, and objections of your prospective client. You create products that are easier to sell and marketing that’s more compelling.
When you test and experiment with your message, your value delivery, and your method of exchange, you focus on making sure each variable gets you the results you’re looking for. You can ease your mind through pinpointing your best opportunities.
When Dr. Michelle Mazur, a speech coach that helps professionals, academics, and entrepreneurs craft more compelling presentations, focused on creating a new model for serving clients, she had those same “bound to fail” feelings. She’d been burned before; what could make this time any different?
Through the Quiet Power Strategy process and her keen perception, Michelle identified an opportunity, the right people to serve, and the pain points that needed to be solved. She met objections, offered an innovative solution, and closed deals. But let’s not jump the gun, here is Michelle’s story in her own words:
Doing a big launch makes me feel like the girl at a high school dance, standing in a corner, and praying that the boy that she likes will ask her to dance. It’s a lonely place. My first launch felt exactly like that but with far more tears, panic, and stress.
When I came up with my minimal viable product (MVP), The Speaking Collective, which is a hybrid mastermind, public speaking group coaching program, and community, I knew I had an excellent offering that wasn’t like anything else on the market. But the old feelings from that first ill-fated launched crept in. What if I throw a public speaking party for 10 and no one comes?
I followed Tara’s Living Room Strategy for launching. I sent short emails to people who I would love to work with and who would benefit most from my MVP. In 10-days, I sold out of all 10-spots and had people who were disappointed that they missed their chance to join the program who wanted to know about the next launch.
Best part is that I finally have a successful launch strategy that works, is true to who I am and how I want to connect with people, and doesn’t leave me feeling like a hot mess.
Michelle is up to great stuff. She was recently featured on Fast Company and has landed gigs with top corporate clients. Having worked with her personally on my Quiet Power Strategy keynote address, I can tell you what she offers is ready for the big time (and so am I!).
You see, starting small isn’t the same thing as playing small. You start small to focus and hone what you’ll offer, banish the “bound to fail” feeling, and create something better than your original vision. Michelle and The Speaking Collective are bound for a much bigger stage.
To find out more about Michelle and how you too can create a presentation that garners standing ovations, click here.
Feel overwhelmed by all the options you have for growing your business?
We have the prescription for relief. Join Tara Gentile and Brigitte Lyons for a FREE training call that helps you banish shiny object syndrome and find the focus your business needs to succeed. Click here!
Your goal is simple: take your big idea to market.
But do you ever feel overwhelmed with the idea of putting your ideas, your aesthetics, even a career’s worth of expertise into a product or service offering? For many, it can be paralyzing. Instead of figuring out how to make money fast, you’re stuck on a mental hamster wheel that may or may not pay any kind of dividend down the road.
Couple that with the images of content marketers, startup founders, and idea people crushing it with big launches, fancy websites, and [potentially] crazy price tags; it only makes it worse. You want to do your ideas justice. You want to pay your bills. And, if you’re anything like me, you feel your competitive spirit starting to morph from helpful to harmful.
The good news is that big ideas don’t start big. They start small. Their creators tap into the essence of the idea—the very reason people need it to begin with—and create the minimum.
Creating the bare minimum is a great way to make money fast in a way that’s sustainable, honest, and strategic.
Businesses you know and love started this way. Think Facebook, Dropbox, Google, DailyWorth, Mailchimp … the list could go on and on. They turned the a simple “make money fast” strategy into big impact and long-term revenue growth.
Yet, time and again, we try to do better and go big right out of the gate.
During my last CreativeLive workshop, I introduced the idea of the Living Room Strategy. In other words, you don’t need to fill a stadium full of customers with your new idea for it to be a success, for it to impact all the right people. You can start by filling a Living Room.
Even better, filling a Living Room first can give you the experience, feedback, and stories you need to fill that stadium when you’re ready. The Living Room Strategy is the process by which you make the first set of invitations to your idea, host your intimate dinner party of an idea, and then gather feedback on how to make it better next time.
After my CreativeLive workshop, Gloria Roheim McRae put the idea to the test. Gloria had a decade-long global career but left her last position in 2010 to launch her entrepreneurial journey in digital strategy. In 2013, she and her husband merged their businesses to become Wedge15 Inc. and enjoyed great success. They’ve served hundreds of clients individually, self-published a best-selling book, and been featured throughout the media.
But they still faced familiar dilemmas when it came to taking their ideas to scale:
- When do you create the content?
- How do you ensure it sells?
- How much time and energy do you need to put into marketing it?
- How do you push your next big thing to live up to the reputation of your tried and true big thing?
Inspired by what she saw on CreativeLive and with fellow Living Room Strategy user Marie Poulin, Gloria constructed a plan. She says, “we created a landing page, a wait list and mentioned we would launch in October 2014. Our intention was to sell out the BETA program at half price to help us pilot the full priced program with customer feedback and reviews in 2015.” She acted fast and with focus. Gloria and her husband Ricardo honed in on what values would shape the program (“intimate and interactive”) and decided to do things very differently than they’d done them in the past.
Here’s a sample of what they did:
- Didn’t wait to be done creating the program but instead let the program grow around the participants. Gloria says, “You made it look easy and fun, and it was.”
- Focused on personalizing the launch to a small wait list instead of generalizing their marketing to their full list.
- Invited prospects to a free in-person private dinner event to find out what their pains were, in their own words.
- Tailored the program to exactly meet their pain points where they were instead of trying to push them 10 steps ahead.
- Wrote their sales copy using customer-centered pain points instead of expert-centered ideas of what’s going wrong and what they need to fix.
- Highlighted their own expert’s perspective to formulate a clear statement of value (their hypothesis).
- Delivered great content that gave their wait list a taste of their offer but didn’t try to sell it.
- Opened applications at the end of their series of content.
- Reviewed applicants and only those that we thought would be an ideal fit were sent the registration link to pay and secure their spots.
- Followed-up individually with successful candidates to keep the momentum going and confirm the sale.
- Maintained the energy of the initial invitation period through a variety of content marketing and posted until the very last minute.
In the end, Wedge15 had a $7200 Beta launch that sold out their Branding School program. They were able to welcome a small group of the perfect customers into their “living room” for an intimate and interactive experience of great material, tailor made for them.
Maybe this example applies directly to you in your business right now. Or maybe you’re considering a new service offering and wondering how you can get the first 5 clients to try it out before you unleash the offer to all of your prospects. Or maybe you’re thinking about a new collection of home goods for your textile business and wondering how you can ensure the first 10 wholesale orders to recoup the initial expense of production.
The same concepts apply. Start small with the very essence of the idea and the core values that influence how you want to deliver it. Know who you want to invite to purchase, who you want to create for. Devise a way for those people to find out about the offer—personal invitations work great—and then create a way for them to RSVP with a yes.
She says that without this approach, “I would have let the process defeat me and delayed launching again until things ‘felt perfect.’” Instead, Gloria’s customers are enjoying the benefit of her knowledge, experience, and brilliant ideas. And now Gloria is primed for a much bigger launch the next time around—if she wants to make it bigger.
Have you been letting the process defeat you? Have you delayed taking your idea to market because of a fear of everything you have to do to “crush it?” Do you fear that making money fast now could hurt your chances of making good money down the road?
It doesn’t have to be this way. Follow Gloria’s example. Or, join me in Kick Start Labs where you can find the official Living Room Strategy training & workbook, plus plenty of other training for maximizing your business with minimal effort.
Kick Start Labs is where creative entrepreneurs go for training, support, and a good kick in the business pants. Click here to learn more.
Decision-making is making a choice between 2 or more alternatives, right? In business, it can often seem like your choices are loud or quiet, big or small.
Discernment, on the other hand, is “the ability to see and understand people, things, or stituations clearly and intelligently.” When you engage your power of discernment, you can see that you don’t have to choose between this or that but that you can integrate what you really want into the options in front of you.
Essentially, when you leverage discernment you fully understand all the possibilities. It’s not just between this or that–but what you can create to make you feel how you want to feel, impact your business the way you want to impact it, and create an experience for the people who matter most that makes them feel great, too.
Discernment requires real insight into who you are, what you want, and the experience you’re creating for your customers. Then decision-making becomes second nature.
Today’s story is about Megan Roop, a coach for women who are ready for complete freedom from their eating disorders. She came to 10ThousandFeet as a brand new business owner. In fact, she hadn’t even launched her website yet.
But that didn’t stop her from creating some amazing results simply by taking focused action on what she really wanted: to give women who feel less than free a voice.
Megan Roop’s Story
Let’s go back to May 2013 when I had recently found Tara’s work. I immediately loved and appreciated Tara’s no-nonsense, thoughtful approach to building a business. Everything about her felt refreshing to me, so when she opened registration for 10ThousandFeet I considered joining.
But because I was just starting out I decided against the program. I thought it was for people with “real businesses” and the thought of joining without a solid base terrified me. So, I sat on my ideas and while I made important progress behind the scenes, I still wasn’t building a sustainable business.
Throughout the next 9-months I took several coaching and business-building programs designed for people just starting out, but I always finished disappointed. When I saw registration open for 10ThousandFeet in March, I immediately signed up. I was ready to find clarity, move into real action and evolve my ideas. I knew Tara’s program was just the thing to support me.
I worked hard and gave 10ThousandFeet my all. In return, it saved me months of time, frustration and hassle. The solid structure of the program provided me with tools and systems that I’ll be using in my business for years to come. It also cut a big part of the learning curve for someone like me, who was just starting out.
During the program, I launched my website, created an outreach plan, solidified a business model and so much more. But most importantly, everything I’m creating is aligned with who I am and what I value most. In a sea of blueprints and cookie cutter methods, 10ThousandFeet taught me how to build my business in my own unique way.
Now, just a month after finishing the program I’m welcoming new members into my community every day and I’m creating my first product and in-person mini-retreat. I’ve landed placements on MindBodyGreen, an interview with a leader in my field that I truly admire, and more opportunities are coming my way daily. The best part? I feel inspired, energized and more confident than ever.
Tara and Brigitte are an incredible duo who have so much to offer. Tara gets to the heart of the matter like no one else and is someone you can trust with something as important as the legacy you’re creating. She is the real deal, folks. Brigitte has a gift for coming up with outreach ideas that will be meaningful and impactful to your community. She really helped me feel more confident and comfortable with the world of outreach.
If you’re just starting out and worried like I was about being in a program of people with “real businesses,” don’t be. This community is one of the most welcoming and supportive I’ve encountered. You’ll get support and so much more from this program!
Megan is a perfect example of what can happen when you’re willing to leave the research phase behind and plow into the results phase. Sure, you can keep searching for answers or you can start acting on a personalized plan for your success.
Your choice. Megan made hers.
For more on Megan and her growing community, click here.
“When it rains, it pours.”
— Liz Lemon
There’s an episode of 30 Rock–my go-to television show–where Liz Lemon attracts quite a lot of male attention because, according to blonde & beautiful Jenna, she finally has a boyfriend.
Liz is radiating. And it’s attracting attention.
Business is no different. I believe in the power of small wins because even a small win puts a sparkle in your eye and a hop in your step.
When your business is radiating, it’s much more attractive. It’s not forced, it’s not desperate, it’s not even stretching.
And small wins can add up to big wins. Too often, entrepreneurs make the mistake of stretching for big wins without building a foundation of small wins below it. You see, I’m not suggesting in the least that you throw away your big dreams.
Instead, I’m suggesting that it’s a heckuva lot easier to attain those dreams when you’re radiating with the results of small wins.
Last week, I talked about the power of filling living rooms on the way to filling stadiums. That’s the kind of strategy that can set you up for big wins. Each living room concert you preform will make you more confident, more attractive, and more compelling when you step on stage in the stadium.
Which means you’ll put on a better show.
See, the extra great part of this is that when you’re achieving small wins and radiating with results, your customers will have a better experience and getter better results, too. And that in turn, will make you even more radiant.
Beautiful cycle, isn’t?
Let me introduce you to a business owner who is radiating brightly right now: Melissa McCreery, founder of TooMuchOnHerPlate.com. Melissa came to 10ThousandFeet because she didn’t want to hold her own business back anymore. While things were growing, she wasn’t seeing the kind of consistent results she wanted to see.
So we created a plan to do just that. We tweaked her business model, adjusted the positioning on a few of her programs, and developed a message that resonated with her right people.
Her wins (big & small) are piling on now. Her clients are thrilled. And her business is radiant.
Here’s her story in her words:
Melissa McCreery’s Story, TooMuchOnHerPlate.com
I joined 10ThousandFeet because my business was growing and I was rapidly becoming the bottleneck.
TooMuchonHerPlate.com was established and doing well, but things had reached the point where growth was limited because there wasn’t enough of me to go around. I wanted to serve more people and continue to grow my profitability without sacrificing the life balance I value so highly (and teach my clients to create).
I knew what I wanted was possible, and that I needed someone smart and savvy who could provide the structure and the direction to give me the perspective and strategy I was looking for.
I’ve worked with a fair number of coaches and business building mentors and Tara offered me both a perspective and a path that was unique, refreshing and so helpful. I am in awe of all that I accomplished in 16 short weeks and all the little and big changes that are now underway in my business.
Key for me was the clarity I got from Tara on my message and how to communicate it. I thought I was doing a pretty good job, but with some simple adjustments, I’m seeing a noticeable difference in the effectiveness of my marketing and I’m now attracting more of the clients that I work best with.
Tara also helped me take a program that just hadn’t caught on, and reposition it in a way that made marketing (and enrolling) easy. Running that program (which I launched in less than a month), has been one of the highlights of my year.
Clarity has helped me simplify a lot of what I do and focus on what’s really going to serve my business and my clients. I now have a big picture view of how all the parts of my business and each program and product fit together. I have a plan for the next 18 months (and beyond) that feels solid, do-able, and that I am confident will allow me to continue to grow my business AND my peace of mind.
“Running that program has been of the highlights of my year.” Filling a living room not only brought in great revenue but created an amazing experience for both Melissa and her tribe.
What small wins could you go after & achieve in the next week or two? You might be surprised just how much you can accomplish and how radiant you could become.
For more on Melissa, visit TooMuchOnHerPlate.com or check out Where Thin Begins and see that kind of radiance in action.
When I first met Gina Kearney & Rob Kenney, they were two masters of their craft–digital marketing strategy for manufacturing businesses–who needed help focusing. They had the know-how, skills, and connections to refine their business and move from controlled chaos to meaningful management, but not the big picture view.
We worked on picking out what really set them apart–a focus on strategy that produces results companies actually care about–and making that the cornerstone of their business model so that they could generate incoming leads beyond mouth-to-mouth referrals.
After 4 months, they had service packages that more accurately represented their unique strengths, messaging that set them apart in a crowded market, and more confidence to tackle the kind of projects that really turn them on.
Concept 5 Case Study
As the owners of Concept 5, we were guilty of violating our own rules. We routinely said “yes” to any client work, without considering if the engagement made any sense for our company to take on. As a result, we worked with B-to-B and B-to-C brands, with local and national businesses, with agencies and directly with clients.
In short, we lacked focus.
As big fans of the E-Myth series, we knew our business wasn’t working how we had planned. Sure, we were paying the bills, getting things done and pleasing our clients, but there wasn’t much focus on the big picture, and therefore an inability to scale and grow our business.
As subscribers to Tara’s email, we had admired how astutely she seemed to understand businesses just like ours. All her advice rang true. And so, last summer when the 10ThousandFeet sign-up appeared in the inbox, we took the plunge.
We had taken several coaching or guidance programs and always finished disappointed. But Tara got to the heart of things like no one else. The solid structure of 10ThousandFeet and all of the “homework” drove us to take a long, hard look at Concept 5 and, over time, chart a new course.
And now, we’re heading towards right where we want to go. Thanks to 10ThousandFeet, we have:
- Sharply defined our most valuable clients; and everything we do speaks directly to them
- Distilled our core offering down to the work we want to do
- Created organized service packages, enabling us to streamline our sales and execution processes
- Completely re-branded the Concept 5 website and sales materials
- Created a plan to grow our business in a smart, focused, sustainable way
But there’s something even more important than these achievements: we both completed the program feeling excited, energized and recharged. We have the confidence, and now the tools, to meet our objectives and better manage the business that we love.
Working with Gina & Rob on the next phase of Concept 5 has been a real treat. Check out their fresh new website
(as well as their award for Best of Long Island: Best Web Services).
If you’re interested in joining out next round of 10ThousandFeet, click here.