“I’m spreading myself thin,” I mournfully replied to a friend I bumped into at Fueled Collective who inquired about how I was doing. “I’m losing focus.”
He graciously offered to meet up with me a week later to sort this out.
Prior to this strategy workshop, I benchmarked the following:
My Biz Does:
- Freelancer Coaching
- 1-on-1 WordPress Training
- WordPress Hosting
- WordPress Security, Maintenance, & Upkeep
- WordPress Virtual Assistant
- Small Business Digital Consulting
- WordPress Development
- Free Community Support Resources (Meetups, MSPWP)
- Local SEO (at least I’d like to…)
My Personal Values:
- Playful curiosity.
- Living authentically.
- Saying what is truthful in all circumstances.
- Form deeper connections with humans.
- Mindset of abundance.
My Biz Values:
- I iterate quickly.
- I help solve the big problems, not necessarily the problems that are brought before me.
- I leave my ego at the door.
- I own my work.
My Biz is Different, Because:
- We respect your time. (We reply to emails & phone calls quickly.)
- You always speak with an expert.
- We know you by first name.
- We ask strategic questions first, tactical questions second.
My Best Customers:
- Share my personal & biz values.
- Are looking for a long-term, ongoing biz partner.
- Respect my time & experiences.
- Understand the value of their business AND the value my work brings to their business.
- Are able to document clear goals and successes from our work together.
- Want a conversation and pay $$$ for it.
My Worst Customers:
- Are transactional, usually buy a block of hours, and talk about costs more than goals.
- Don’t respect my time.
- Don’t respect my experiences.
- Are unable to document clear goals.
- Don’t want a conversation (or at least they don’t want to pay for a conversation!).
My Ideal Customer
My ideal customer is a small business owner (lawyer, building contractor, business coach, furniture consultant, etc.) who is pissed off at their current web team or wants to offload their digital work to someone who is much better at that sort of thing.
- They don’t want to have technology conversations.
- They just want a site launched today.
- They want to have businessy conversations – i.e. how does this website help me land new customers?
- They don’t want to talk about new technology and actually hate new technology.
- They want a web/digital team (me) who will not speak tech jargon and will just solve problems without a bunch of confusing talk.
With all that info in hand, I was prepared for our business strategy workshop.
In my world, where time and attention is my most valuable asset, my achilles heal continues to be two of my core values: Playful Curiosity & Building Deeper Relationships.
These two beautiful values lead me down paths that are not necessarily great for business, nor are they great for respecting my time and attention.
This whole coaching business, on which this blog was predicated, is one of those things that is amazing, future-facing, satisfying, etc.
But, frankly, I lack the time to build a coaching business pipeline.
Over the last year or so, I’ve been intentionally-straying from the WordPress universe.
I’ve been forging a path in the jungle towards a more value-oriented business (coaching, consulting, etc.).
But in doing so, I lost sight of the value-oriented business that was staring me in the face: Bringing joy to people’s digital lives!
Joy is not an elusive thing. It’s totally-attainable!
But it requires intention, and that’s where people get hung up. It’s also where I can help.
“Why are you using Shopify for that?” I asked a Bob, a local retailer who hired me to help them create more online sales. (Bob’s not his real name)
This is a textbook case of how you, too, can kill the joy in your life: By going against the advice of the very experts you have hired to get you out of that hole!
I’ll never begrudge a business owner for ignoring advice. It’s their business, after all, and I’ve ignored plenty of advice (good and bad).
Buuuuut…Maybe Bob should fire me now before it gets worse. Or maybe I should fire him.
Bob has made a conscious decision to make his digital sales process even more complex than it already was! Not a great path to more sales. And certainly out of line with my teachings!
Oh! I almost forgot the best part:
“We are sticking with [cheap web host],” Bob replied to my question about when he would like to move to my recommended WordPress hosting platform.
“Toby, why is our website so slow?” Bob continued a few minutes later.
Get out of my own way!The best business advice I can give myself.
Rather than focus on building a fancy, brand-new, business coaching pipeline for my new business coaching biz, I will be refocusing on my WordPress product biz, which offers me the best combination of:
- Bringing joy to my customers’ lives.
- Building deeper connections with customers.
- Maximizing my time investment.
In practice, this means I’ll be doing more of the same ol’ and less of the new.
Maybe this means I’ll be a little more restless than usual today.
But another fact: Calming my innate restlessness is probably the second-best business advice I can give myself!