Your business model is the mechanism by which you monetize your MAGIC. As such, your business model is inexorably intertwined with key outcomes in your business, most notably: income, lifestyle, and IMPACT.
Your model determines the work you do day in and day out, the people you do it with, the degree of leverage built into your business, your scalability, stability, income streams, and much more.
In this article (and the accompanying video, click here to view on YouTube), I share how tweaking your business model – sometimes just a couple of “clicks” over – can help you to create more stability, more prosperity and more JOY in your business.
But first, it will help for you to hear my story of how I shifted my own business model from one that was exhausting and draining (for over 7 years!), to one that is now fulfilling, joyful and prosperous.
When I started my coaching, consulting, training, speaking business, my “model” (I use that term very loosely) was a “professional services” model. But really it was a “whatever-I-can-sell-to-make-a-buck” model.
I was serving a variety of markets, and a variety of leads, with a variety of needs. I was not specialized in a clear solution, and that was confusing – for me AND for them. I found myself constantly networking, outreaching, writing proposals, following up, attending meetings, and trying to find ways to “fit” my skills to all these different and diverse needs. I didn’t have clearly defined service offerings or client paths. Every client was a unique animal, and required a unique sales process and offering. Not to mention, I was always selling ME.
It was exhausting.
The issue was not ONLY a lack of a business model (although that was a big one), it was also that I was operating from a paradigm of scarcity. Because I felt scarce, I felt the need to capitalize on EVERY opportunity – however ill-fitting – that came my way.
And because I was providing so many different services, and getting leads from so many different places, I also didn't have a sales process whereby opportunities funneled into one place and moved through a clear path.
If somebody emailed me and asked me for my prices, I would email them a price list of MANY different offerings (mostly priced by the hour or other unit of time)…
If they asked to meet, I would, and spend a couple of hours letting them pick my brain… and then another few hours writing a follow up proposal (that would often get ignored!)…
Or if they called me, on the spot I would try to sell – by answering all their questions (and often writing – yet another, ugh – proposal)…
Then I’d spend hours every week following up. It always felt like I was juggling hundreds of balls – and couldn’t keep track of it all (not my strong suit). Lots fell through the cracks.
As I mentioned, many (maybe most) of my proposals didn’t sell – probably because I gave away my best strategies and ideas (AKA: my “magic”) during that initial pre-proposal phase, and then tried to sell the implementation of those ideas, which I didn’t really enjoy doing.
Ultimately I had built a business around giving away my highest and best value, before the clients were even invested, and then trying to sell the activities I was worst at.
Obviously, this was unsustainable for many reasons. The first was that my revenues went up and down like a roller coaster. There were some months when I would pull in $20,000, and then the next month it was $2,000. Not fun. The concern was always: how am I going to make it this month?
Because of that instability, I didn’t hire support – it's hard to hire when you don't know what your revenues are going to be. Employees – even just part-time ones – like to get paid every month, you know?
And to top it off I was miserable. I felt like a failure inside, though I was too proud to show it, or ask for help.
Long story short, clearly my “model,” wasn't working well. Then 6 years ago, all hell broke loose, such that I could no longer ignore or “power through.” I experienced a health crisis and the breakup of a relationship at the same time, which meant I backed off the constant hustling and activities that were driving business…
Within just a couple short months, my revenues dried up altogether. I was broke. I was going to either have to 1) figure this out, or 2) go get a job.
So, I had to figure it out.
Serendipitously (thank you Universe!) I met a mentor who had a model that looked intriguing, and who was willing to help me emulate it. In my last “hail mary” attempt to make my business work, I jumped in.
I did 5 key things to turn it all around.
- First, I added a new program offering, with a simpler model. A program in which clients started in ONE place, which I now call a “Breakthrough Program.” My breakthrough program was a retreat – yours can be anything (though I really favor retreats!) – where 10 people at once could experience my core content and get a big breakthrough. Such a big breakthrough, in fact, that some of them would be ready to keep going and go deeper. Which leads me to #2.
- I created a “go deeper” program, which I now call “The Big Back End.” This is where clients got to work with me on true long-term transformation and mastery, and which – from a strategic business model perspective – delivered ongoing, monthly recurring revenues (MRR). Can you say “win-win?”
- I started leveraging my time and technology in new ways by delivering programs virtually, and in groups. This way I could continue to add more clients, without having to invest a whole lot more time.
- I implemented a simple, consistent sales process centered around “meaningful conversations,” which is what one of my mentors, Mark LeBlanc, calls sales conversations. No more proposals, no more pricing menus, no more tech-heavy funnels, no more lunch meetings… Instead I would say, “The way I work is we start by having a strategy session over the phone, where I can learn more about what you're looking for, and from there we can see if we're a good fit to work together.” And if it was a fit? I’d make the offer for the Breakthrough Program right there on the spot. No following up.
- Finally, I began REALLY paying attention to my mindset, my beliefs and my internal habits. I started meditating and doing yoga, I gave up drinking heavily, and started eating healthy foods (90% of the time). These were GAME-CHANGERS for me. I started to think and feel abundant – no matter what the circumstances were.
The result of implementing these strategies?
Not only did the business income quadruple within 14 months, at the end of the first year of “Big Back End” there were clients who wanted to keep working with me for a second year, then a third year… (I now call this the “Even Bigger Back End”).
The best part, I LOVE my business and what I get to do every day. I wouldn't trade it for anything.
I hope these 5 strategies help you envision ways your can increase your income and your impact – without sacrificing your lifestyle in the process.
If you enjoyed this video / article, and want to go deeper, here are a couple of free resources for you:
- Superstar Business Alignment Assessment – Get insights into the best areas to focus your attention for more financial stability, freedom and fulfillment by taking the Superstar Business Assessment. (Takes about 30 minutes).
- Monetize Your Magic Playbook – A 6-Step Process to discover how to strategically monetize your gifts.
And if you're interested in / curious about working with me, visit www.SuperstarDiscoveryCall.com to set up a time to chat.