What seems like flexibility can turn into isolation. What looks like independence can feel more like quarantine. Business just isn’t a solo act.
If you spend all your time thinking you’re alone in this game, you’ll never take full advantage of the sheer breadth of people available to you. Plus, you’re likely to make the same mistakes over and over again, suffer from the same assumptions, and miss out on big opportunities.
Business is a social act. Click to tweet!
Your business team might be the single biggest factor in your success.
Whether you have a vision for building a robust, in-house team, or whether you’d prefer to be lean and mean, you need to surround yourself with the right people to get the results you want. You can’t just dig in on your own and wrestle success into being.
In the New Economy, “team” is a distributed concept. Your micro business team isn’t just the people that you pay but everyone who contributes value to your business. Your team is your community, your clients, your colleagues, and your friends.
Take a minute and take stock of who’s on your team, how they’re a part of your business, and what value you’ve received from them in the past. Then, consider whether you have these 4 absolutely essential people on your team.
…And where you could find them if you don’t.
Someone to Show You Your Unique Contribution
When you’re in your own head, it’s hard to tell that what’s going on in there is probably different than what others have going on in their heads. Take Natasha Vorompiova, creator of Systematic Success and one of our Quiet Power Strategy™-certified coaches. Last summer she made an off-hand remark about being able to run your whole business (project management, CRM, etc…) in Evernote.
As an Evernote addict myself, I said, “Woah, woah, woah. You can’t stop there. You must explain.”
She started to lay it all out, bit by bit. Allow me to speak for the group listening when I say our minds were blown.
She capped it all off by saying that she’s beginning to realize that most people don’t look at apps and tools and think, “How could I use this to simplify my business?”
No, Natasha, we do not. We think about adding, we think about fitting it in, we think about getting it to do 1 little thing instead of 100 big things.
We all have unique things to contribute. We all have a different way of seeing the world. We all have different strengths and ways that we’re effective. But we take them for granted. Our unique contribution colors everything we see.
You need someone in your corner to regularly point out your unique value to you. Sometimes she’s a boss, a business partner, or a colleague. He could also be an employee, even a contractor. Other times it’s your community.
People all around you are likely pointing out your unique contribution. But you’re not listening. You’re not hearing them when they describe in detail the unexpected way you solved that problem or the surprising way you handled a tough situation. Listen. Own it.
Someone Who is Making It Happen
Do you have business owner friends who are just trying to get ahead? Or do you have business owner friends who are making things happen? Too often, the people I talk to have friends who are all hustling and going nowhere fast.
It’s not that you should only spend time connecting with successful people. It’s that, if you don’t intentionally connect with successful people, there’s a good chance you’re missing a big piece of the puzzle.
Everyone you add to your business team who is making it happen has something they can demystify for you. While their answers may not be your answers, their stories can help you connect dots you wouldn’t have connected on your own. You can find your way more easily, even without copying their plan.
Sometimes these people are the contractors we hire. They’re experts in their fields and they can help you learn the ropes. Other times, they’re the coaches we hire. Their experience can provide a foil for your own. Still other times they’re our friends, colleagues, or people in our mastermind groups.
Trying to figure it out with a group of friends or employees can be helpful, but gaining knowledge from the experience of someone who’s been there, succeeded at that, is priceless.
Someone Who Complements You
Look, you’ve got strengths and you’ve got weaknesses. I have strengths and weaknesses. The beautiful thing is that there is someone out there who believes in your vision as much as you do who has the opposite strengths and weaknesses. That person should be on your team.
Recently, I hired my mother to manage projects, monitor communication, and create systems in my business. In the Fascination Advantage system, I am Power + Prestige, she’s Alert + Trust. In Myers-Briggs, I am INTP, she’s ISFJ. In English, that all means that I’m a big picture creator who performs best when I’m on stage and in charge. She’s a detail-oriented caretaker who performs best when she’s making all the puzzle pieces fit together.
She complements me.
Don’t try to be something you’re not. That’s what your business team is for. Whether they work for you or create value for your business more casually, find people who complement you.
Someone Whom You Can Trust With Responsibility
You are not your business. Even if you’re operating a one-woman show, you are not your business.
You need to be able to hand off responsibility. It’s not enough to outsource a task or try to fill in the blanks on a big project. You need to let go to succeed.
If the people on your business team can’t be trusted with true responsibility (the ability to create value for your business without your constant intervention), you’ll never feel like you’re getting ahead.
If you’re not at the stage of bringing on actual team members, think about what you’d like to let go of—not just because it’s annoying or time-consuming but because it’s not something you need to do. Consider creative ways to trust others (or tools or applications) with that responsibility. And if no creative solutions exist, make a plan and benchmarks for bringing a business team member on board.
You can’t get ahead without support. Whether you choose to invest in a program like Quiet Power Strategy™, a contractor or employee, or your community, make team-building a priority for your business this year.
How much more is possible when you build a business on your strengths? Today, meet 2 10ThousandFeet
alumna who are finding out. Meet Christine, who has made the shift from freelancing to true business ownership, from hustling to ease. And then meet Natasha, who has created a system for earning more than she possibly could trading her time for money.
Christine Thatcher, founder & creative director of Christine Marie Studio
I used to refer to myself as a freelance web designer. I was the one always working hard on what’s right in front of me, without time to think about to what and where I wanted to be 6 months from now. Tara’s reference to “getting out in front of my business” hooked me.
Having been a “freelancer” off and on the last 20 years, I wasn’t sure if this was possible. I’d never achieved it.
Now, on the other side of 10ThousandFeet, I’m beginning to experience it. During the course of the mastermind:
- I rebranded my business under a name I liked better.
- I have created a business model that works for me. I no longer feel compelled to do things a certain way, just because everyone else does.
- The Customer Perspective Process™ helped me get inside my client’s head and understand what she’s thinking and feeling. I’ve tailored my offerings to be more relevant to what she needs.
- I wrote an “about” story that feels true to me. As a result, I’ve gotten several notes of encouragement from potential strategic partners and booked a new client who identified with my story. (Understand that I used to stare at the screen for days, trying to write about myself and it never felt “right”. Tara and Brigette’s formula made it an almost effortless process and I did it in one evening.)
- I recognized where I could leverage my time further, created a job description and hired a second administrative team member.
- I’m looking forward to implementing referral and communication strategies, many of which came directly out of coaching calls with Tara and Brigitte.
I now say that I own a web design studio. I have a legit business with dedicated team, I am no longer an overworked freelancer. By shifting my perspective and delegating away what I don’t enjoy, I have more energy for the parts I really love and where I can make the biggest impact. I’m working less, more-focused hours, designing for clients that inspire me.
I’m grateful for the effort that went into creating a mastermind packed so full of value, tools and lessons relevant to my business right now.
The heart of Christine’s business transformation was based on getting clear on her strengths: she feels most masterful creating immersive web experiences for her clients, not branding or business strategy. She also got clear on her goals and how her strengths support her in those goals. After plenty of back & forth, we crafted a business model plan that would give her the time off she craves and the income she desires.
For Christine, leverage isn’t so much about “passive” income but income that is based on her working at the highest levels of mastery and finding others to do the work that drains her. And in the end, that creates a much better experience for her clients.
Find out more about Christine & the beautiful websites she designs at christinemariestudio.com.
Natasha Vorompiova, founder of Systems Rock
I am eternally grateful to 10ThousandFeet–to Brigitte and Tara.
When I first started my online business, I got hooked on buying one online program after another, trying to fill the huge gaps in my knowledge of how to grow it. Then I got completely overwhelmed and torn between all the contradictory advice.
It was so frustrating to have this amazing vision but to be stuck in this giant gap between where my business was and where I wanted it to be.
I felt so inadequate. . .especially because I’m a systems person! I create systems for my clients every day. Why, then, couldn’t I get my own business together?!
When Brigitte mentioned that she and Tara were accepting applications for 10ThousandFeet, I was immediately intrigued.
After three months in the course, I emerged with an even more precise sense of where I wanted my business to be heading. Even better, I learned exactly how to make my vision a reality.
Having gone through Tara’s Customer Perspective Process,™ I learned precisely whom I need to be targeting, with what messages and what kind of offering will help them get to their goals faster. With Tara’s help I mapped out the plan of action and with Brigitte’s guidance, an outreach strategy.
I’ve never felt so grounded and in control. The painful tension between all that conflicting advice has dissolved, and information overload is a thing of the past.
There is so much ease when you’re running a business in this way! I feel so inspired as I take each and every step to transforming my vision into a reality.
Natasha is finally creating her own system for revenue growth. She’s working on two leveraged income offers that pinpoint both the results her clients want and how they want to be served. She’s building on her strengths–analysis and systems–to create a model that will serve her & her customers infinitely better than a 1:1 service model.
That said, offering those more leveraged offers means that she can position her 1:1 service at a higher level, attracting clients that excite and challenge her, pushing her further & further into her realm of mastery.
Find out more about Natasha and systematizing your business at systemsrock.com.