Quote: “The employee mindset is focused on doing tasks to reach an outcome. The business owner mindset is focused on creating systems and processes to reach an outcome.”
Is there an area of growth that doesn’t demand some flavor of consistency? Presently, I can’t find it; maybe there is. However, when it comes to building a business, consistency seems to be a fundamental and required element of making meaningful progress. And, it’s the area that I, personally, struggle most in. Oddly, it’s also an area I’ve seen the most growth in; funny how that works.
Perhaps my struggle in this area is simply because I see how important it is and therefore look to consistently be growing in this area.
In this Sunday Letter to Heart-Based Solopreneurs, I want to offer three distinct reflections that might help you stay more consistent on your business journey. Naturally, I also write this to myself as an inspirational reminder.
3 Keys to Consistently
1. Don’t Fail; Learn
This has to do with mindset, with how you approach the journey. It’s common to assume that we are chasing some version or image of success in the future. While it might be true that we have a target we’re aiming for, it’s critical to remember that the real prize is growth.
If there is growth, then success is inevitable.
Don’t overvalue the destination. Look at your experiences and remember that the real and deeper value hasn’t been the collection of worldly things (more money, status, or a bigger whatever). The real and deeper value has been your personal growth, the journey of learning and moving through your fears.
The real prize is growth, and if growth is happening, then that growth will inevitably compound itself. This is also like saying, “Trust the process more than the destination.”
In so many instances, what gives energy to my struggle is holding on to the destination, thinking that where I “think” I’m going is more valuable than where I am right now. This simply isn’t true. Every worldly prize I’ve seemed to capture (destination) has ultimately shown itself to be fleeting and not nearly as important as I once thought it would be.
Also, worth noting: If I think the prize is in the future, then I will interpret “failures” as personal failures, rather than seeing them with an attitude of curiosity that’s open to learning. If the point is growth, then I’m ultimately looking to see what works and what does not. And if I’m looking to find more of what works, then I have to explore and experience what does not work.
2. Simplicity is Power
My goodness, my ability to create complex plans is the killer of my ability to be consistent. There’s this unconscious belief that assumes it must be complicated, and therefore I must create a complex plan. A complex plan on the surface makes it look like there’s more potential and opportunity. However, what it really does is steal my ability to focus and make meaningful progress in one or two important directions.
What this comes down to, as it relates to making meaningful progress, is my ability to focus. This is where the real power is. The more complex things are, the less I’m able to focus. It’s like trying to focus on, or multitask, fifteen different things while thinking they are all of equal importance. They are not.
We create complexity in what we offer to people, as a product or service, incorrectly assuming that it means it’s more valuable. Do you think this is what people want, to add more complexity to their lives? Maybe the real value is offering something that is both simple and powerful? 🤔
This is something I keep coming back to when considering how I’m supporting/coaching heart-based solopreneurs. I’m always asking myself, “How can I make this more simple for them?” What I see is, “Ohhh… 😮 we have to take a step back, and rather than trying to make huge leaps and reach the future, we have to focus on the baby steps.”
There is so much more power in simplicity than there is in complexity. You may want to ask yourself, “Where am I making this more complicated than it has to be?”
Here are 3 areas of business where simplicity is key.
- The simplicity of the problem you’re solvingChoose one well-defined problem to solve in people’s lives. Instead of trying to solve 15 different problems for various types of clients, focus on one problem and demonstrate how solving it will naturally resolve other related problems. Then, concentrate on solving that one problem for a specific client type (ideal customer).
- The simplicity of the solution you’re offeringIf you’re focused on one problem and one ideal client type, then you can offer the same solution to all those types of people. The ways you help one person will be the ways you help everyone. The content, instruction, or support you create for one client will apply to all clients.
- The simplicity of finding the right people you’re servingThe more well-defined the problem/customer is, the easier they are to find. Where you find one also shows you where the others are. This comes back to seeing what works and doubling down (focusing) on that. Also, in the eyes of other people, you want to be seen in a simple way, as in… “You are the person who solves ‘X specific’ problem for ‘X specific’ type of person.” As you build that type of social awareness over time, it will come back to you in many ways.
3. Systems & Processes
Here’s the thing, if you can bring greater simplicity to the problem, solution, and ideal client, then you can create clear systems and processes to run your business on. Every successful business runs on systems and processes. There is also a wide gap here between the employee mindset and the business owner mindset.
The employee mindset is focused on doing tasks to reach an outcome. The business owner mindset is focused on creating systems and processes to reach an outcome.
You cannot be consistent without systems and processes.
Think about it this way…
You have one business objective: deliver a valuable service/product to a specific type of customer.
You need to do four key things… (Find, Nurture, Offer, Deliver)
- Find Leads / potential customers
- Nurture those leads / build a relationship
- Offer your service to those leads / potential customers
- Deliver your service to those customers
Now, imagine you had a process/workflow/system for each of these areas, and every person went through the same journey. Again, this is only possible if there is simplicity in the problem/client you’re looking to serve. You can’t send 5 different types of clients through the same process. Well, you can, but it’s an unnecessary complexity.
I invite you to ask yourself these questions…
- FIND: How am I going to find potential customers, and what are the simple (consistent) things I can do every day or week to make that happen?
- NURTURE: How can I nurture those leads in a consistent and repeatable way that builds a relationship with them?
- OFFER: How am I going to proposition my offer, and what is the best way to do that for everyone I have nurtured a relationship with?
- DELIVERY: What is the 4-step process that I take every client through to solve the same problem they all have, and how am I going to track their progress?
Once you know the answers to these questions, you can outline a process and system for each area. Essentially, having such a system tells you exactly what you need to do every day to make meaningful progress. This removes the guesswork and hours spent aimlessly roaming around the internet or thinking about your next steps.
Yes, it takes some time to get this set up. But… that’s what building a business is all about. It’s about building a system and process that delivers a consistent product or service. Taking the time, and investing your time, is what makes future success so much more possible.
- Again, the mindset shifts from employee to business owner. You’re building something, so be conscious about what you’re building.