Archive: Jenn's Stuff

Building a Business Foundation: Why it can’t be avoided & why you can’t ‘buy’ your way through it

The concept of ‘stages of business’ is relatively new to a lot of people and you might not have heard about it. But having worked with hundreds of solopreneurs I can tell you that it’s one of the keys to success. The first three (of five) stages is the road from 0 to 10K consistent months, not one offs. To make it easier for people to remember the stages and what they’re about I call them The Foundation (1st stage), The Hustle (2nd stage) and The Flow (3rd stage). The names pretty much sum up what the stages are about if you ever want to remember. If you don’t know what stage you’re in, take the quiz now

Today I want to talk about the importance of stage one –  The Foundation.

A lot of you reading this or watching the video above probably have already moved through this stage one and are in the Hustle stage. I encourage you to still read this, even if you probably recognize what I’m talking about, as going through the following stages is nearly impossible without a solid foundation. For those of you who are new to business, this will be important for you to hear and more importantly to implement.

So stage one is the time where you feel like you don’t know what you’re doing. You feel like you have no idea what’s going on, you have some sort of idea of ‘I think I want to be this’ but you’re not even really sure of what to call yourself, you maybe even have some idea who your clients could be…you might have created some free stuff, done some volunteering or it’s a hobby that you love and people have started to show an interest in and asked for more from you.

In summary it’s an idea with the potential to becoming a business. It’s called the Foundation, because it’s about building the solid ground underneath you.

Here are 5 things you need to know about this stage:

  1. It is an absolute must and can’t be skipped

Imagine building a house on a wobbly foundation. The first earthquake or strong wind is going to collapse the building. Just like the house, your business will collapse without a solid foundation. The reason why it sucks and  why a lot of people want to avoid it is, that it doesn’t feel like it’s going well while you’re in it. It feels like nothing is happening and you want to skip to the fun parts, the making money, changing lives and you’re a success story parts. Let’s take that idea of a house again. What’s the most fun part about designing or building your house? The decorating of it, when you get to put your own taste in colors and make it look beautiful. It’s certainly not pouring the cement..Who wants to do that? No one!

But fact is, it can’t be avoided to build a sustainable, long-term successful business.

  1. Investments are important but make sure they’re the right ones

Yes you have to invest in things, but make sure they’re the right things. In the online world there are a lot of temptations, people promising you to get you to 10k in 3 months. As a once off maybe, but not as a sustainable consistent income. So before you invest in the wrong things and end up in a mountain of debt, stop. Think of the analogy with the house when you’re tempted. Think whether this will help you build a foundation or if it’s a quick fix. In the foundation stage things you absolutely SHOULD invest in are: a website, email marketing software to build your list, basic branding. You don’t need the most expensive and complex systems either. As your business grows so will your systems.  

  1. You’ve got to go through entrepreneurial school

The foundation is your entrepreneurial school. There’s no place that you can go that’s just like a college where you can like ‘hey I want to practice being an entrepreneur’. No, you go be an entrepreneur, that’s your practice and the foundation stage is the school part of it. It’s when you’re trying to figure out where you come from, what your message is, who your clients are, what your niche is, you’re in school. And what usually happens when you’re in school, you’re broke. You’re usually broke and you’re usually working your ass off. There’s no doctor I know, no teacher, no lawyer, no super successful person that gets big decent money that just woke up one day and decided to be a doctor and they just showed up at the hospital and operated. No! They study at school, they’re broke, they have student loans, it’s awful, they never sleep, they don’t have a life.

Sound familiar? Why? Because they’re building their foundation. And that’s the thing that we’ve lost along the way in the online world of entrepreneurship. We’ve lost this sense of ‘hey I have to put some hard work in here’. I have to put some blood, sweat and tears in to here and build this foundation, I’ve got to go through entrepreneurial school and it’s not going to be easy. It’s going to take a lot of time, guts and discomfort. I remember when I was in university studying for tests and stuff like that sucked, right? But eventually you build your foundation and you graduate and that’s part of going becoming who and what you want to be.

  1. You can’t buy your way out of it

You can’t buy a course that’s going to teach you this one thing that’s going to bring you all this money, you can’t buy a ninety-day program that’s just going to solve everything for you and now you’re going to be making six figures. It doesn’t exist. I’m not saying that you don’t need certain courses to learn the skills you need, but in the foundation stage it’s not about a quick fix payoff. It’s about learning who you are, about trial and error and about studying things. It’s about getting practice with some free coaching sessions and it’s about failing because in the failing you actually learn how you can really succeed. You’ll be going through a lot of ups and downs, highs and lows that’s what it is because you are in training. But what happens when you allow yourself to go through the foundation stage, to try and fail, to celebrate the small wins and keep going, is you build the two things resiliency and perseverance. Two absolute characteristic traits that entrepreneurs need to succeed. So you learn how to persevere and you build resiliency. By the end of the Foundation stage you’ll get so clear on your vision, your mission and what you’re here to say and what you’re here to do. That’s when you know you’re ready to start hustling and heading into the second stage.

  1. You need to change your mindset to succeed.

Expect that if you’re in it, you’re going to want to avoid it. You’re going to feel like you’re no good, you don’t know what you’re doing. You’re g it’s going to be so many highs and lows, you’re going to think that you’ve finally found the answer to something and but nope sure enough it sets you back again, this is normal.

Every stage comes with its own challenges and mindset issues that need to be addressed. Don’t get frustrated if you’re in the foundation stage. Change your mindset. Think about the house that needs the foundation to stand on, the broke doctors going through med school.

You’re out there and you’re in school, so you don’t get down on yourself, if you’re not making a pile of money or you don’t have thousands of followers. No, you’re learning how to do that. Financially speaking by the end of the foundation stage you’ll be usually around like 0 to maybe 1K a month.

Your strategy at this stage is to get out there and practice, to offer free calls or low cost calls, to maybe hire a coach and work with the coach, it’s going to help you practice and get in touch with what you really want to say especially when they can help you with your messaging in your niche. You want to start getting visible, to get known and having a strategy around that. It’s more in a way where you’re practicing, you’re seeing, you’re trying and you’re putting yourself out there and it’s really uncomfortable.

So, stay away from shiny objects syndrome, you don’t need to go buy a million things. It’s a great business investment to invest in a coach that could help you through this first stage. I coach solopreneurs on the strategy and mindset shifts that need to happen to make consistent income build momentum in their business. If you feel like you’re in the foundation stage and need guidance to navigate through this difficult phase, book a call with me and see how we can work together

Why treating your business like a lottery is holding you back

As an online entrepreneur we’re bombarded with quick fixes, promises about giving you the exact formula to build a 6 figure business in 90 days and stories about how someone made 5 figures in their first month of business. Doesn’t that sound amazing? If that was the case every person would leave their 9-5 job and start a business. In reality, scenarios like that are more like winning the lottery. I’m sure it happens, just like winning the lottery does, but not very often and not for the majority of people.

So let me ask you the question. Are you treating your business like a lottery? Putting all your hopes and dreams into it winning the lottery? By buying programs that promise you’ll be guaranteed to build a 6 figure business in a short amount of time and therefore skipping the natural stages your business has to go through in order to grow and be sustainable?

Don’t get me wrong, it’s absolutely normal and in line with our society to want things to happen instantly. We’re used to get things right away. And naturally as an online entrepreneur we want the same for our business. We have such passion and drive for what we do we want it to work right away and are drawn in by the promises of the clever marketeers who promise to give us exactly that – instant success.

What most of the people talking about making 5 and figure months tend to conveniently forget to tell you about are the gruelling 18 month prior to that, where they built their business, slowly and over time. Hustling and going from making a few hundred $/month to eventually making 4 figures/ month to get to that one month they’re telling you about. The hustle isn’t pretty and takes a lot of persistence and perseverance which isn’t sexy and doesn’t paint the picture they want you to have in order to buy into their programs.

Of course we start comparing ourselves to these stories and wonder why we feel bad about ourselves for NOT achieving the things they promise we would. Doing that actually holds us back even more. The constant beating up that happens in our minds, let you lose track and forget what you should be focusing on in order to grow your business.

When I talk about a sustainable business I am talking about building a consistent income that you’re focused on building consistent 4 figures / month before even considering to make 5 figures/month. Naturally this takes time, from crafting your message, creating your packages, setting up your systems to overcoming all the mindset blocks that naturally come up..Most important though it takes time for your audience to get to know you, what you do and stand for and that you’re even around. It simply takes time and consistent effort, there’s no way around this.

So what’s am I trying to tell you?

3 things.

  1. It takes time to build a sustainable business both strategically and mentally
  2. Just because someone won the lottery (aka made 6 figures in 90 days) doesn’t mean you have to.
  3. Start to take the action your business needs instead of comparing yourself to others.

So in case you need permission to stop comparing yourself and aspire to unrealistic standards, I give you a free pass and ask you to look at what stage of business you’re in and start to take consistent action. Not sure what stage you’re in and what you actually need to do to move forward? Take the quiz to find out!

 

2 Reasons You’re Not Making Consistent Cash (And What To Do About It)

In the first 2 – 3 years of business (and sometimes more), nearly all Solopreneurs struggle to get clear on where they’re at, what they need to be focused on in order to make an impact and difference in the lives of others and most importantly how to make consistent income.

Consistency is the keyword here. I am not talking about the one offs where you make $12 000 a month, and then you make a thousand dollars for the next 3 months. I’m talking about consistent income that you can start to really rely on.

There are two major problems that I see repeatedly in my coaching clients.

 

  1. People don’t realise that there are 3 distinct stages in business, on the road from $0 to $10K consistent months and don’t know what stage they are in. The Foundation, The Hustle and The Flow. Each stage has unique strategies and mindset shifts that need to be focused on to build the foundation that leads to the next stage.

  2. Solopreneurs are constantly bombarded with marketing promising them the one thing they need to reach their goal of consistent $10K. Be it funnels or launches or copy or website or blogging. The problem is, it often isn’t the right strategy for them at the time and because they don’t have a clear roadmap of their first 3 stages they make impulsive purchases they don’t need.

These two problems combined, have been a problem in the online world and unfortunately hurting people when it comes to their bottom line, and making consistent income.

Solopreneurs waste thousands of dollars and massive amount of time on things that will NOT get them where they want to be. Now don’t get me wrong, all these things – funnels, launches, copy – are all valid strategies, BUT ONLY when they’re done in the right stage of business. (Not sure what stage you’re in? Find out here) So of course there’s some great products, great coaches, great courses and great, awesome, wonderful products out there and when purchased at the right time, can have an awesome impact.

Still, common confusions often arise around implementing an effective visibility plan, how often or when they should be blogging, how to communicate their core message, how to do effective market research, when the right time is to execute a launch and even what they should be charging. So, in an attempt to make their dream (which is a worthwhile pursuit!) they flail around, patch-working it all together. Trying to implement something that is 10 steps ahead of where they’re at, before having the foundational pieces in place to support the implementation of a more advanced strategy.

As solopreneurs start knowing what stage of business they’re at, what they should focus and what problems they’re going to face in each stage, they can avoid shiny object syndrome. Which helps them stay on track, disciplined and focused.  This inevitably creates the momentum they need to move through the 3 stages and make consistent income!

I help solopreneurs navigate these stages by helping them implement the right strategies and mindset shifts, to build the momentum they need. If you are struggling to get clarity, stay focused and make consistent income in your online business book a call here to see how much working together can help!