Some of my all-time favorite things are “befores and afters.” But I’m also an aficionado of “behind the scenes.”
In case you share my sensibilities, I thought I’d give you an insider’s peek at some of what happened during the first meeting of my Small Biz Mastermind Group* to give you a feel for how quickly being a member of a well-facilitated, supportive group can positively impact your life and career.
Three very different SMG members are profiled below. I’m leaving out the identifying details – not because these folks are fugitives – but because I want the focus to be on the value each of them received from the meeting.
This writer/producer father-of-two has started a new business and needs to maximize its profitability as soon (and as much) as possible.
The service his business provides is centered around a terrifically unique concept, but, because of its rather broad appeal, he’s been trying to “market to the masses” and thus has had difficulty getting traction and booking clients.
After getting my coaching and hearing feedback from the other members, he left the meeting with clarity around:
• the most profitable niche to focus all of his marketing efforts on
• who the influencers are in that market, where to find them, and how to approach them
• exactly how to structure and deliver two offerings specifically for this market in a way that will generate not just income, but net profits
• how to alter his client intake process in ways that will drastically reduce the time he was spending on each project
Plus, all of the suggestions above are possible to implement with very low overhead: he’ll add only one page to his current website, add one form, and perhaps make one new piece of marketing collateral.
He left with a list of action steps and with one group member considering becoming a customer.
This silver fox is retiring from a long career at a major institution and transitioning to becoming a freelancer in one area of his highest expertise.
When he began describing how much he planned to charge for his services, it was clear to everyone in the group that his rates were Way. Too. Low.
Deep down he knew that. But even so, he could very well have spent months – many, many months – undercharging new clients had he not received the group’s very convincing feedback.
Sometimes, even though you know what’s necessary, you need a little push outside of your comfort zone to actually DO it.
But we didn’t stop there.
We began crafting some language he can use on his website (and when talking with potential clients) that clearly communicates the value of his service as it relates to the problems he is solving for his clients.
Experience has shown me that you can charge any rate that you can communicate the value of. The more confident and compelling you become at communicating (and, of course, delivering) value, the more you can charge.
He left with a few homework assignments and a revenue structure that can genuinely support his lifestyle.
This multi-talented performer has already established several robust revenue streams that fully support her, so now she wants to dedicate more of her time and energy towards bringing a large creative project to fruition.
If this particular project is executed as planned, it definitely has the potential to take an aspect of her career to the next level. BUT EVEN SO, keeping it front-and-center in her schedule (as I’m sure you know) is easier said than done…
…especially when no one is paying her to do it.
…especially when she is the one who will be paying for the creation of it.
…and especially when other people want to pay her to do other things instead.
So, we explored what changes might need to be made in her life to keep this project moving forward despite the temptations of other income-producing opportunities that are sure to come her way.
She already had a producing partner lined up so I suggested that she start scheduling weekly production meetings. Perhaps, at first, two of those meetings each month will be with her partner and two of them will be just for her to plan and organize the project’s “next steps.”
These meetings will obviously serve a practical purpose, but, way more importantly, they bring another person into the mix which immediately makes her project bigger than just her. Making a project bigger than “just you” increases its importance and legitimacy in your own eyes! This means YOU will take it more seriously and be less likely to flake on executing your plans.
I also recommended that, as she plans her week, she makes this project her top priority by scheduling its todos first and arranging (as much as possible) everything else in her life around them. In other words, start treating THIS project as if it was the work she is getting paid the most to do.
Although no one can assure her that this project will be a success in and of itself (although I’d bet on her talents and skills any day), what I can assure her of is that, by implementing the guidance outlined above, she will start to strengthen the muscles and gain the experience necessary to shift herself into the leagues of the Big Project Creators in her industry.
Next month we are welcoming two new members into the group. So, if you know someone who wants to make their small biz, micro biz, or side hustle a more enjoyable, successful, and/or profitable venture…
…tell ’em they are warmly invited to join our circle.
* While the Small Business Mastermind Group is no longer open for enrollment, you are welcome to join my Inspired Action Mastermind which is a monthly, on-going coaching group for independent professionals of all stripes: creatives, entrepreneurs, self-employed – even those transitioning from one career to another or those ready to reinvent themselves post-retirement.
Keep betting on yourself – I believe in you,