Is Your Business Ready for a Bigger Message (and to Tackle Bigger Challenges)?
Welcome back to the Rebel Rising Podcast as we dive into the first episode of 2020, I'm sharing how I hope to have a bigger message this year. I'm also talking all about author, Charlie Gilkey's, life cycle of a business because I think it's important to know where you are in order to decide what your next step should be. Whether your business is just a seed in your mind, or you're booked out, the life cycle will help you craft the plan that will launch your business into a movement.
Listen in or read the transcript below to learn more and hear some exciting news that is happening in my own business, too!
Tune into the audio:
Hey, Hey rebels. Happy new year. Happy 2020 I hope you had a wonderful holiday season.
I always love the holiday break. It is two weeks of just kind of relaxing. It's just my husband and I, we really don't spend a ton of time with family or anything. So it's a time to relax. It's a time to enjoy imbibe and good food and good drink and the company of our cats.
It's this time of reflection and I always appreciate that because I always seem to have a really big breakthrough. And at the end of 2019 I did a metric ton of sales calls. I felt like probably more sales calls in the month of December than any month of 2019 and now when someone decides not to work with me, it's not a big deal. It's pretty easy for me just to kind of let it go, bless and release them, hope they find a way to solve their problem, build their business, get their message out there and make more money, you know, solve whatever it is that has been ailing them.
But there was just this one call that I had that I just couldn't quite shake and it was following me in to the holiday season and I understood why this person said no. In fact, I wasn't surprised at all when she came back as a no because it was really clear on the call that she wasn't ready to step in to a bigger message, but I just could not stop thinking about it.
Now I am changing the details to protect confidentiality, but this person let's call her Barbara. So Barbara developed this a revolutionary process that solves a super big problem. Let's say Barbara figured out how to cure stress, stress in every single form. If you felt a stress response coming on, Barbara knew how to deal with it. It didn't matter what was triggering the stress. Barbara had a cure for it through this process and so when Barbara and I were talking I was like, wow, this is revolutionary. This should be taught in schools, like she is solving a major problem here. Like I could see her doing a legit TED talk, like it's a big problem.
However, for the past 30 years, Barbara had been working with women, just helping them overcome work stress, you know, working with their bad bosses and feeling overwhelmed and don't get me wrong, working with women on stress responses from work, that's an important problem. But it's a small problem, right?
It's that 3:00 AM, keep you up at night, problem that we're all told to solve when we first start our business. And yeah, that work is important, but there are a million other people who saw like stress responses, you know, overwhelmed women at work. There are a million coaches for that. Right? And she was telling me how she was sick to death, talking about stress and anxiety at work and she didn't want to be doing that anymore.
She didn't want to be the stress coach for women at work. And she knew she had something much bigger. Like she had this solution that was going to have a much bigger impact. And then she told me that, oh, but you know, stress at work was the 3:00 AM problem that kept people up at night. So she was creating her three part webinar series or whatever and so she was going to position this as a stress with work at work solution.
I was like, oh God, you are playing so small with this, but she just couldn't escape it and I just kept thinking about this. I just kept thinking, you are still going to be stuck as this life coach for stressed out women and not solving this much bigger problem that you have a solution to like what is going on here? And I am like, why can I not let this go?
Then it hit me. The reason I couldn't let this conversation go, why I kept thinking about Barbara and her hiding away from this message, this big solution she had that she could help millions of people with is that I was hiding away from my own message.
I started asking myself the question, where am I solving a 3:00 AM problem instead of solving something bigger and bolder? Where am I hiding? And literally the answer was sitting in front of in black and white and well red and blue and teal.
And in today's episode I want to challenge you only if your business is ready for it. I want to challenge you to think about the bigger message and the bigger problem that you can solve and that is what we're going to talk about on the podcast today. And before I tell you about it, we're going to get a word from our sponsor.
All right? Before you can go after a bigger problem, a bigger message, your business needs to be ready for that bigger message and frankly so do you, because you know I wrote a book a couple of years ago called the 3 Word Rebellion. It came out last year and I thought I was ready to own a bigger message. And clearly I was, because the message that I was running from, that Barbara thankfully reminded of, was that my real message with the 3 Word Rebellion is to create a one of a kind message that turns your business into a movement. And last year in 2019 I was talking about how can you get clients and podcast interviews and speaking and yes, that is about you playing a bigger game. And yes, I want you to get clients because I want your business to have money. And all of those things are very important.
But really I want to work with people who want to have a much bigger impact, who want to impact thousands, hundreds of thousands, millions of people with the work they're doing in the worlds and talking just about clients and podcast interviews. It's not the right message. And the Michelle who wrote this book two years ago actually, and published it almost a year ago, was ready for the bigger message, but the Michelle of 2019 was not ready to be the steward of the message yet.
And I now feel ready to step into that message even though it scares me, but my business needs to be ready for it. So, before you can tackle a bigger message, you and your business need to be ready for it. Outside of my book I have another book recommendation for you and this is a great book to read because it gives you focus and helps you determine what you should be focusing on for what stage of you're in. It is called The Small Business Life Cycle and it's by Charlie Gilkey and it's only $5.99 on Amazon, super cheap.
But he takes you through these five stages of small business growth and you really can self identify which stage you're in. But I'm going to talk about them briefly. You should totally get the book. I'm not an affiliate for the book or anything like that, I'm just a big fan of it. So the five stages of growth:
Stage 0: The Aspirational Stage
This is where you're just kind of thinking about having a business so you don't have a business yet, and you're not going to start a movement at the stage.
Stage 1: The Entry Stage
This is when you're trying to figure out what you're going to offer. You're trying to figure out what you want to do. You're trying to figure out what's problem you want to solve.
And so at this stage you're really not up for a movement yet. Like I wouldn't recommend working with someone like me at this stage. Usually most of my clients, they might be at the tail end of this stage, but you're just trying to figure it out. You're probably not making a ton of money yet. But as you start moving into stage two and stage three, this is when you can start focusing on the bigger problems and the bigger message.
Stage 2: The Growth Stage
Here Charlie Gilkey writes that this is the super fund stage because this is the stage where you have it figured out, you have an offer that sells, you're booked out, you're getting recognized.
So really your business is ramping up, you're getting a lot of notoriety, things are going really well until you kind of get to this breaking point. And this was me in 2019 where you're transitioning from the growth stage where it's super fun and then things start to break in your business and you get into stage three.
Stage 3: The Crucible Stage
In stage three, you start realizing that, hey, there's no business under my business. Yes, you're booked up, but you don't really have systems. Your messaging might not be in place. And this is where Charlie writes that the initial solution and the problem that you solve is actually much smaller than what you can solve. Like generally he writes that you can create something larger and more valuable to your customer when you go into stage number three. And that's really exciting because that's when we can start talking about that bigger.
So going from stage two to stage three, we can really start thinking about, oh my gosh, could I turn my business into a movement? What is that bigger problem that I want to solve? And the final stage is the what he calls the cruise stage.
Stage 4: The Cruise Stage
Now you've got everything figured out in your business and your business is just running itself and boredom is probably what happens at this stage. So a lot of entrepreneurs usually go back to stage one and try to do something new.
So for you, I want you to try to think just kind of from this brief description like where are you? Are you more aspirational or in stage one, the entry stage, and trying to figure it out your 3 AM problem that you want to solve? You know, what's keeping people up at night?
That is the smaller problem. But as you get into the growth stage and the crucible stage, you can start thinking about the bigger problem, the bigger message.
And so for me as I am going in to 2020 I am focused on the bigger problem. How do I help more business owners create that movement, reach more people, create a bigger change in the world because I am ready to solve that bigger problem.
So are you ready to solve that bigger and more valuable problem? And even if it's making you feel a little bit nauseous right now, like if you're thinking about in your like, oh my gosh, could I solve a bigger problem that's more fun and more fun to talk about? Is your business ready for it? Do you have the systems and processes and people in place or are you going to have to build that?
It's fine if you have to build it. I have to build it. Trust me. I know. Is your message ready for it? Do you have the message? If you had to hire a copywriter, could you hand them a document where they could just go and write you copy tomorrow or would you have to micromanage them to death? And if your message isn't ready for it, then hey, you better get your butt over to my sit to book a call and then let's talk about it and are you ready for it. And what do you have to do to grow as a leader and a business owner to own a message like that?
I want you to just ponder that because next week we are going to talk about what it means for you to turn your business into a movement. What is, what is a movement anyway? What does it look like and how are you going to define it for yourself?