As an owner of a 6-figure part-time business there are a few things that have really made a difference to me. In this blog post, I will share my 5 key principles to a successful business.
A little bit of a background on me. As I said my name is Holly, I live in Sydney with my baby girl and my husband and two fur babies. And I have only ever been part-time in my business as I mentioned, so I negotiated a part-time role in a Fortune 500 Company, which is really exciting and amazing and has allowed me the freedom and flexibility to also create a passion driven 6-figure business on my terms!
So I am all about re-writing the rules for success in your career or business, whatever that means to you and to be able to create a career of your design. That may mean making the corporate world work for you, it may mean creating a side hustle around your 9-5, or leveraging the fact that you are multi-passionate. Or….taking your business to the next level and quitting your 9-5 like many of my clients do and have all the freedom and flexibility that you could possibly desire to work within your own business, on your own terms and running your own show.
I guess the point being that there are so many opportunities and choices that we have these days. The 9-5 can look like anything you want it to. And if that means creating your own passion-driven business then this video is going to share with you the 5 key principles that you want to be focusing on in order to scale to the heights that you want to. Principles that will ultimately help you steer that course sustainably, which is the key thing, because there are many people starting their own businesses nowadays but the key is we want it to be profitable, long-term and for it to fulfil us in a way that doesn’t just swap a business for a 9-5, working crazy long hours chasing our tails. I know there are a lot of people in my community right now, tinkering around with their websites (to use their words) and not feeling like they are getting very far.
“I guess the point being that there are so many opportunities and choices that we have these days. The 9-5 can look like anything you want it to”.
Now if I break it down to the simplest of terms to what is needed to start your own business, firstly you need to know what you are selling. You need to have something to sell, you need to know who you are selling it to. You also need to be super clear on why they would buy it from you and anyone else? Why are you their go-to person? You need to be top of mind and easy to find (as I like to say), and you need to break through your own barriers, limiting beliefs and your own BS, to be quite frank!!
So those are the key things on the simplest levels possible that you need in place. Now, I am going to share the 5 key principles that have really helped me bring all of that to life myself and helped all of my clients to create freedom based businesses that are also profitable, even if they are part-time.
1. BE SIMPLE, NOT SMART
If we break those things down you really need to be simple, not smart. I can’t emphasise this enough. It is a principle that should be a guiding one across everything you do in your business, as the number of people I see trying to be too clever or intelligent in their positioning; too fancy in their marketing tactics, or creating complex funnels and doing things that overwhelm them and ultimately mean they don’t take any action. And it’s just crazy. We need to be simple and smart about everything.
Who are you targeting? In the simplest of terms; who is it you want to help the most? Again, I have worked with people who had a shopping list of like 10 different people they want to work with but all this does is complicate everything because we are not going to be single-minded enough, we are not going to have that one killer message that strikes a chord and resonates with those people that most want to hear it. It makes everything you do far, far harder because it is a division of attention. You are focusing on too many areas and when we stand for everything we ultimately stand for nothing. So be super simple about who are you speaking too.
Now, I get a lot of questions about how to figure out your niche; “If I work with these people, does it mean I can’t work with those people?” I spend a lot of time deep diving into this with my clients because it does take time to get clarity around it and consolidate your messaging and positioning so it is just seamless. But, the key thing to remember is what should ultimately be front of mind is the number one problem that unifies these people. It may be what you do transcends across some slightly different groups, as long as the universal thing that unites them is that same problem and challenge that you help them with.
I think that’s the simplest way to break it all down. It doesn’t have to be that you are targeting Sandra, who is 35, and lives in Wisconsin and has a horse. It doesn’t have to be that specific or drilled down, but your target market, (the people you want to work with and serve) should be able to identify themselves in your descriptions, in your messaging, and they need to be able to come across your content and know they are in the right place because it is speaking to the number one challenge that they are facing right now.
“The key thing to remember is what should ultimately be front of mind is the number one problem that unifies these people”.
Being simple, not smart goes across everything as I said. Your website, your copy, your content, your videos, – just stop being so fancy, that is my message here! Break things down to what it is that people really want. That’s what I mean by simple, not smart.
Then when we are really clear on who we are targeting, we need to be visible. This is what I mean by top of mind and easy to find. It’s amazing how many people I support in my own programs who haven’t even publicly announced that they have a business, on any social platform, or even told friends or family or their wider networks.
The lowest hanging fruit opportunity in terms of business comes from people who already know you because they already know, like and trust you, so the hard part in the terms of establishing that relationship is already done. They can refer people to you, they can send ideas your way, they might be able to send clients your way; they may be your ideal clients! But if they don’t know what it is you are doing obviously that is an impossible opportunity to tap into. So being visible, (not only to those who know you but being visible to attract new people into your audience) is absolutely key.
2. SHOW UP LIKE NO-ONE IS WATCHING
There is the age-old saying, ‘dance like no one is watching’. I say ‘show up like no one is watching’. Show up even if you feel like there is no one listening to you. Show up even if you have a tiny list. Show up even if you aren’t sure exactly what you are going to gain as a result of it or what people are going to take away. Just be visible. Be top of mind, be easy to find, because the right people will connect to you and your message. The right people are waiting to hear what you have to say to them. And until you put it out there, there is no way they will be able to seek you out and work with you. You will never be able to make that connection. So brave up, show up like no one is watching, and you will be amazed at the impact you end up having, even if it feels like no one is paying attention to you.
“Be top of mind, be easy to find, because the right people will connect to you and your message. The right people are waiting to hear what you have to say to them”.
3. ESTABLISH & BUILD RELATIONSHIPS
So as part of that, I mentioned about establishing relationships and that would be my third key principle. Build relationships! It’s amazing how many of my clients tear their hair out over trying to write the perfect sales page or the perfect sales email, newsletter, poster or whatever it is they may be doing in terms of marketing their message. But, the number one way to get clients, the number one way to make sales is first and foremost building relationships and that means ideally in person, powerful connections; that is THE number one way. Otherwise, you need to show up as I mentioned before, online, and really establish that connection.
People buy from people they know, like, and most importantly – trust. There is no trust if there is no relationship, and there is no relationship if there is no trust. Now, we can also shortcut our way to our ideal audience by partnering with organisations or people who already target our same audience as well. I have had so much success by creating amazing, strategic, enjoyable and rewarding joint venture partnerships with other organisations, membership bodies – it might even be networking groups where I have been a keynote speaker.
There are so many opportunities out there, so think about how you can shortcut the process. Ask yourself, “Who already is connected with the people I most want to serve in my business? How can I offer something different that has a mutual benefit and interest and establish those connections and relationships?” These can pay off time and time again and this is how we can have an incredible 6-figure business on repeat and sustainably from just a handful of clients. So we do not need to waste time or money trying to get thousands on our list when we can instead spend the time, focus and energy on creating these powerful, deep-rooted relationships that just pay off immeasurably.
And I can speak first hand of clients I have had repeat business with for years that have amounted to tens and tens of thousands of dollars because of one initial conversation I had in person. So please don’t think that the number of people on your list is more important than the quality of the relationships that you have with them, it is NOT. Consider how can you show up, how can you be more visible, and how most importantly how you are building those relationships so you can have other people refer to you.
“Consider how can you show up, how can you be more visible and how most importantly how you are building those relationships so you can have other people refer to you”.
4. BE MEMORABLE
The fourth principle is to be memorable, so be memorable for something. Far too many people are just showing up and being visible and saying any old thing, which is great to start with, and it is great to put yourself out there and build a presence but we want to be known FOR something. We want to be remembered for something. And we can only achieve that if we are really consistent and really specific in terms of what we are talking about. What I always recommend with my clients, (and we spend a lot of time diving into what these are and what it means in terms of content and positioning overall) is to figure out your go-to expert topics. What do you want to be known for? That might be three key things, that might be 5 key things. I wouldn’t recommend any more than 5 or 6.
These are the 3 or 5 key pillars or buckets in terms of areas of focus that sit within your niche and your area and the industry that you only ever talk about. And this is how you own an area of expertise, this is how your build authority in an area of focus in your niche. And there are multiple and multiple layers within those topics of course that have tons of content ideas but it is really making sure you are single-minded. Because what we want is to stand for something, not for anything and everything. It also makes it easier for other people to send referrals your way again because they know, that you are the person who others you should contact if this is the thing you are looking for or the challenge you are struggling with (and that is how I have had word of mouth and referrals sent to me because it is super clear about what I talk about, in terms of my career and business area, niche and passions); so be memorable, be single-minded.
“Because what we want is to stand for something, not for anything and everything”.
5. BE GOOD ENOUGH
The fifth key principle is to be good enough. I say that because mindset is the number one reason why so many talented, incredible women do not put themselves out there and create the career or business of their choosing on their terms or of their design. Because there is something, somewhere, niggling in the back of their mind, that inner critic voice saying, “Who am I to do this? Am I really good enough?’ ‘Is this really possible?’ ‘It’s probably not meant to be.’ And all the other things that are on a bit of a loop. We all deal with it, we all get it. It doesn’t matter where we are, how successful we are, what stage we are at in business or in life, everyone has to deal with those self doubt thoughts.
“Mindset is the number one reason why so many talented, incredible women do not put themselves out there and create the career or business of their choosing on their terms or of their design”.
The key difference between successful people who achieve things overall is that they take action in spite of that self-doubt. They don’t allow it to block them, they don’t withdraw and retreat and tell themselves, ‘ok’, ‘another day’, ‘another time’, ‘maybe’, ‘when I have more confidence’, ‘when I have more experience’, ‘when I have more knowledge’, ‘when I have more qualifications’. Whatever the story is that you are telling yourself personally, just be good enough. Because your 80 per cent is probably way better than someone else’s 150 per cent anyway. And the most important thing is that you are out there making a difference and you are making an impact.
Let’s be honest… no one else is paying the level of attention and scrutiny to your stuff than you are. No one else is going through all that detail of your website, no one else is reading every single last apostrophe of your newsletter. Honestly, no one has time for that. The key thing is have you shared something that struck a chord? Have you resonated with them? Have you connected and related to that person? Are you reassuring them that you have a solution that can support them? Are you standing for something that is memorable and single-minded?
And just remember, showing up doesn’t have to be polished perfection. Far from it. It is far better that people get to see the real you, that it is authentic, natural, that it is not rehearsed. (I am living, breathing proof, to be good enough right now as I am taking a ten-minute window of opportunity to record this video, whilst my nanny has my daughter out in the pram). There is no time for rehearsal, there is no time to fix my hair. I just know that this message is really important to all the women who have been asking me this question lately and it has been the video I have been wanting to record for the past few days. This is my opportunity to share it, and that is all that matters.
I truly hope that these principles have given you inspiration to start thinking about what you could change in your business, or your plan of attack or to finally launch that dream business in 2019 that has been on the back burner for…lets face it… far too long. Because you ARE enough, you are capable. This is what has served me. I am not about the fancy marketing tactics, I am just about building those really important relationships of trust, and ultimately sharing what I have that I believe can support other people and those things, in particular, have enabled me to create a six-figure part-time business for the past few years.
So I truly hope this supports you and I would love to hear what resonates the most. if you are not already in my group then join us over at Empowered Career Women Connect where I share all kind of hints, tips and inspiration on a daily basis and I would love to support you in the new year in 2019 to make it your best year yet as well.
Reach out, say hello and I look forward to connecting with you soon.