What Would You Create If Time Was No Object?

No doubt, you’ve been asked, “What would you do if money was no object?” I don’t love that question for a what-kind-of-business-should-you-start  question, but it certainly has its place.

But when growth is the answer, I think you need a different question. And that question is an unusual one for microbusiness owners who generally have full inboxes, overloaded schedules, and stressed out mindsets.

What would you create if time was no object?

Yes, time.

This is a better question than the “money” question because money will always be an object. It’s a key metric for being in business. No, it doesn’t have to be your only metric of success, but if your business isn’t at least measuring the bottom line, it’s not a business.

The time question begs you to consider how you’re holding yourself back right now. 

It can seem like the best answer is always to “do it yourself” in the micro business world:

  • I can figure that out.
  • I’ll give that a try.
  • I can work on that next week.

But business isn’t really about doing it yourself. It’s about—as my friend and the founder of Maker’s Nation Isaac Watson said this weekend—“doing it together.” You can create exponentially more value with a team than you can on your own.

Planning to build a team isn’t about leaving your microbusiness behind. It’s not about giving up freedom or flexibility. In fact, it’s about gaining more of it.

Your ideas shouldn’t be a burden to you.

You should be able to envision ideas as big as you want them to be.

But you can’t do that if time is always a constraint.

…not when it’s so easy to get more time. You can buy more time for as little as $5-10 per hour. You can shortcut idea development by bouncing ideas off of other people. You can pull together bigger projects with less hassle than you thought possible.

The good news?

You don’t have to start by forking over money today.

You don’t even have to interview anyone or write a job description.

You just need to ask yourself, “What would I be creating today if time was no object?

Letting yourself think about what you really want to build, the product you really want to design, the problem you really want to solve and how you’d take it all to market puts you in the right position to attract quality team members, better understand the role you play in your business, and create plans that launch your business into the future.

Example? Elizabeth Cronise McLaughlin, founder of 40% and Rising,  the world’s first organization for breadwinning women. When Elizabeth shared the idea with me this summer, it was just a seed. But because she was open to consider how she could distribute the workload of her huge vision, that seed is sprouting and she’s got incredible people lined up as Charter Members, even as the team is still solidifying and before the organization has even launch officially.

Microbusiness should be a way to do more with less. But, unfortunately, it’s often used as an excuse to create something smaller, do less, and impact fewer.

So. What would you create if time was no object?

What I Needed to Conquer to Conquer Our Biggest Launch Yet

Well, we did it. We’re on the happy side of our biggest launch yet. While I’m happy to give you a tactical break down of everything we did—and didn’t do—the most important parts of this launch were the fears, goals, and barriers to success that I conquered as the leader of this business.

1) Conquered organizing a team and letting them do the work.

With the way I planned the marketing around this launch, I had a lot on my proverbial plate. I did a CreativeLive workshop (on launching, no less) just 2 weeks before this launch. That meant that I needed to both do the content for that course and the marketing plan. I needed to send at least weekly emails from June through August—a period of time I normally sit back and relax my way through.

The only way I could pull this off was to rely on other people. First, I relied on the perennially awesome team at CreativeLive, including my content producer, Michael Karsh. Second, I hired Breanne Dyck to help me plan instructional activities that would make this my best workshop yet. Finally, I hired a project manager—my mom, no less—who set up all my tasks and to-dos in Evernote using Natasha Vorompiova’s Evernote for Small Business system.

Don’t worry. There will be more on hiring my mom and a full review of Natasha’s program very soon.

I also hired Claire Pelletreau to manage a Facebook ad campaign and relied on Brigitte and Megan even more than usual to support the business.

More than ever before, I got to show up and only supply brilliance—never mediocrity. Why put mediocrity into my business when I can hire others for their brilliance?

2) Conquered not believing I’m a special snowflake.

Believe it or not, I don’t believe that you’re the only person who can do what you do. And I don’t believe that very common mantra is a very good foundation for starting a business. This summer, I trained 8 women on how to use my methodology and had a very difficult time choosing 3 of them to coach 10ThousandFeet with me.

I’ll be taking new apprentices in early 2015. So look for that.

I couldn’t have grown this program to where it is without getting help on the delivery of the program. For me, that wasn’t about inviting in other experts to teach. The value of the program has always been in that it’s a bottom-up coaching program, not a top-down course.

Just a few days into the program, Jen Vertanen, Natasha Vorompiova, and Suzi Istvan are already laying down serious insight and wisdom for our participants.

Which leads me to number 3…

3) Conquered the 3rd role of the E-Myth narrative: manager.

The E-Myth (a sacred text among creative and lifestyle entrepreneurs) defines 3 roles that every small business owner has from time to time: technician, entrepreneur, and manager. The entrepreneur’s role is the one that comes most easily to my INTP personality. I’m happy to think big, conceptual thoughts, I’m happy to design my own systems, and I’m happy to move fast and break things.

It’s always been easiest to generate revenue (at little cost) by also being the technician and actively delivering the services that my business offers.

But the role of manager has seemed less than attractive or well-suited to me.

This was a bad assumption, however. I’m actually a great manager but, without the space and flexibility to manage my business and team the way I like, it felt extremely stressful. Now that 10ThousandFeet is handled on the logistical side by a customer support person, a project manager, and 3 coaches—in addition to Brigitte and myself—I am able to step into the role of manager and create a much better experience for everyone involved.

Which has actually put me at greater ease over the last few weeks, even as I step away from being the technician and the entrepreneur for a time.

What do you need to conquer?

We all have assumptions, modus operandi, and ruts that keep us from realizing the next level of success. Consider what assumptions you’ve been working under and how they are impacting your business and its opportunities for growth.

***

The Conquer SummitSpeaking of what you need to conquer, I’m also thrilled to tell you that I’m a featured expert in Natalie MacNeil’s Conquer Summit. It’s a completely free course (valued at $999) designed to help you build a foundation for your business that gives you more confidence, clarity, and cash.

I really love what Natalie has done with this program and all the high-quality effort they put into the program. You can sign-up—FREE—right here.

Know Where You’re Headed

One of the Quiet Power Strategies that I shared on CreativeLive a few weeks ago was: Know where you’re headed.

Are you playing a game of leap frog from good idea to good idea without knowing exactly where you’re going to land in the end?

If you are, you’re not alone.

I’ve talked to a lot of business owners lately, everywhere from San Francisco to Philadelphia to right here in Astoria, and I’ve heard that same story. You’re building a business, you’re crafting great offers, you’re even putting together good marketing campaigns.

But to what end?

Until you know where you’re headed, you can’t create a plan.

And what’s more, you end up reinventing the wheel each time you embark on a new project.

When I work with clients, my goal is to help them establish the single thing they’re driving toward overall. It’s that spark of motivation that can lead to an inferno of action. It’s focus. And it’s quite powerful.

We call that their Chief Initiative.

Do you know what your Chief Initiative is? It’s the one goal that is the destination for all the navigational decisions you need to make in the next year.

  • Release your new product?
  • Get a book deal?
  • Bring on a business partner?
  • Attend your first wholesale show?
  • Do a quarter-million in revenue?

Everything else you do in your business revolves around that one goal. You build other goals, systems for growth, marketing campaigns, product development, team-building moves–everything–around that one goal.

Because then you know WHY.

You know where you’re headed.

And you can lead your business that direction.

Knowing where you’re headed is the biggest shift you can make between being reactive and being proactive.

And being proactive instead of reactive can make a huge difference in your energy level, creative capacity, and confidence in your business.

Instead of feeling like you’re spinning your wheels, you feel like you’re in the driver’s seat.

Do you like how many metaphors I’ve squeezed into this blog post?

If you’re ready to feel more in the driver’s seat of your business–and reclaim your energy level, creative capacity, and confidence, choose a Chief Initiative to serve you the next 12 months and focus all your activity on reaching that goal.

And if you want support on choosing that goal and creating the systems that serve it, I invite you to join us in 10ThousandFeet this Fall. We’ve got 5 spots left and I don’t expect them to last long.

Click here to learn more and apply.

The Power of Focus: How Stacey Howe-Lott is Giving Her Husband a Run For His Money

It might be cliche; but it’s truly amazing what you can do when you put your mind to it. A huge part of Quiet Power Strategy is knowing what to focus on and taking action on those things and those things alone.

I knew Stacey Howe-Lott, the founder of Stellar Scores, was making progress on the plan she had created during 10ThousandFeet. But it wasn’t until a few months ago that I happened to see something truly extraordinary.

Scrolling through my Facebook stream, I noticed a post from her saying she’d just done 500% better in July 2014 over July 2013. And, in fact, that while July was normally her slowest month of the year as an SAT tutor, July 2014 was her highest grossing month ever in business.

Wow.

I had to know what shifted for her.

The first thing was complete focus on her new identity in business: CEO. She isn’t a technician anymore, she’s the powerhouse behind an SAT strategy revolution. Instead of going client to client, she’s seeing her business and how she plans for it in a whole new light.

The second thing was focus on her own special sauce: strategy. For Stacey, tutoring the SAT is about identifying strengths and playing to them. (Really, it’s a beautiful metaphor of the whole theme behind 10ThousandFeet.) When her special sauce became evident, the ideas for scale and leverage became unrelentingly apparent.

What’s more, she hasn’t even had digital products on the market very long. Just knowing her special sauce and repositioning her business around it has kept a steady stream of clients coming in, even in the off months, ready to pay higher prices than Stacey ever dreamed of charging.

Stacey’s new focus has helped her create a plan that will grow with her, products that will introduce whole new markets to her methodology, and positioning that puts her on the top of her industry. But enough from me, let’s hear it from Stacey:

Stacey Howe-Lott’s Story

400px-wideSince taking 10ThousandFeet, I’ve doubled my revenue in 7 months and am on track to triple it by 12 months.

I’ve completely become the CEO of my business–first recognizing it as a business, and then stepping into the CEO role. I am a teacher, so I was always focused on the kid in front of me instead of stepping back and looking at my business as a whole.

Tara dragged me, with me kicking and screaming the entire way, from being convinced that the only way I could serve is in one:one sessions which didn’t scale, to seeing how I can teach on a much broader scale.

I’ve figured out what I’m great at, what I’m terrible at, and how to leverage my strengths and manage others in order to accomplish my vision.

It was hard to break out of my old mindset. But being on the other side is so easy–I’m able to teach more kids, in less time and with less stress because of all the systems I have in place.

I love the fact that I’ve got a business plan to give my very-well-paid-computer-programmer husband a run for his money as to who can be the top earner in the family. On what planet do teachers ever out-perform computer programmers in income? I love the fact that I’m showing my daughter that she can dream up something out of nothing and make it happen. I love the fact that I am funding my daughter’s college education AND donating money to donorschoose.org to help fund educational projects for other schoolchildren as well.

But mostly I love the fact that I am able to help hundreds of more students learn more efficiently, more effectively, and accomplish their dreams.

***

That’s what focus can do for you. Less stress, more money, more impact, and action that gets results. You in?

Find out more about Stacey and Stellar Scores, click here.

Discerning the Path Forward When You’re Just Starting Out: How Megan Roop Landed Big Opportunities Fast

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

M14-682x1024Let’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.

Results Make You Radiate: How Melissa McCreery Created a More Attractive & Compelling Business in Just 16 Weeks

Results Make You Radiate: How Melissa McCreery Created a More Attractive & Compelling Business in Just 16 Weeks

“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

Melissa McCreery, toomuchonherplate.comI 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.