Do you remember going to the mall? Do you even remember malls? Well, I do and one of the things I remember best is this: the only way to enter one of the big department stores was to go through the bright and shiny cosmetics department, full of “beauty advisors” with brushes and sponges in hand, dying to make you over in the latest fashion shades. And who could resist?
"There's nothing like seeing another woman sitting on the high stool and getting that temporary boost of dopamine and confidence that comes with having her face completely made over by a beauty advisor."
We do love a good makeover, don’t we? But what if what you are sick of, fed up with, and fantasizing about making over is your business? Should you or shouldn’t you?
In this podcast episode, I guide you through the not-so-simple process of determining whether a business needs a makeover or not, exploring the impulses to blow things up vs. making a long-term investment in building a sustainable business. It can be hard to tell when it’s time for a business makeover because it can range from needing to work on communication and leadership skills, adjust expectations, or shift from a business that is merely financially successful to one that allows you to use your gifts and express your zone of genius.
Many entrepreneurs have difficulty determining if a makeover is necessary, so it is often helpful to hire a small business strategist or coach to help you figure out the next steps. After all, who doesn’t love bringing some fresh new energy into what they spend most of their waking hours doing?
In this episode, you will learn the following:
1. Have you ever felt like your business needs a makeover?
2. What are the signs that it’s time to makeover your business?
3. Could your business be built on your zone of genius instead?
4. How my client Stacey made over her expert business
5. Coming soon: Jan’s business makeover in Ep #152
Is it time for your business makeover? The only way you can work with me right now is through my 1:1 coaching program., and the first step is to schedule a free 30-minute consultation right here: https://bit.ly/3qrJ9YQ
Do you want to be one of the first to grab my brand new Private Podcast “Show Up Like a Boss”? Here is the link to make it yours! https://bit.ly/3lf4W7T
If you love and look forward to each episode of The Driven Woman Entrepreneur Podcast, let me know by leaving a review!
Just want to take the next step & connect with me online?
Other episodes you'll enjoy:
Episode #149 Navigating the Expert vs Thought Leader Debate https://bit.ly/3yoR7qm
Episode #147 Unlocking Entrepreneurial Success with ADHD https://bit.ly/3SrcuR0
Episode #145 The Crisis of Confidence for Female Business Owners https://bit.ly/3m4PThd
Mentioned in this episode:
The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks
Do you remember when you used to go to the mall? Do you remember when there were malls? Well, I do, and one of the things I remember most of all about the mall was the high profit, high traffic, let's be honest, impulse purchase area called cosmetics. There was always a huge cosmetics department on the main floor in the department stores, usually there was one at each end of the mall. You had to go through the cosmetics department to get to anything else. If you wanted a baby stroller or lingerie, or a man's tie, you had to go through cosmetics. Why, because everybody loves a makeover, right? There's nothing like seeing another woman sitting on the high stool and getting that temporary boost of dopamine and confidence that comes with having her face completely made over by a beauty advisor.
Now, if you're anything like me, you did succumb to that at least once in my case multiple times. And in every single time it happened, I left with a bag of goodies, a big dopamine download, and almost without fail, every one of those items were relegated to a spot in my drawer to gather dust and never to be used again. It's kind of like the old school equivalent of all those courses we've bought that are just languishing on our laptop. You know, the ones promising to make self-employment easy, fast, fun, and essentially like making money in your but I digress. The bottom line is our culture loves makeovers, right? We have reality TV shows like The Biggest Loser. We have romantic comedies that all market and sell us on the notion of the transformational power of changing the outsides in order to change our insides. And maybe if we're lucky, our identities, well, at least in the movies, everyone ends up living happily ever right?
But if you are a woman who started a small business, anytime, I'm gonna be generous. Anytime in the last decade and you are still in business, I want you to hit the pause button on listening to this podcast for a quick minute and pat yourself on the back. Because even if you feel exhausted, overwhelmed, on the verge of burnout and fantasize about running away on a regular basis, you my friend, have already beat the odds. Now maybe you tell yourself, I should just be happy, I should just be grateful. I'm one of the lucky ones so many small businesses go out of business before they get this far so why can't you decide to stay the course, even if you're not satisfied. I mean, you might think of it as a marriage, like I said my vows, I took the ring, I made the commitment, and I'm just gonna stay the course.
Or you might be one of those people who blamed it on your coach or the course creator or the economy or just feel like burning it all down and simply can't stop yourself from following through on that fantasy. Now, if you're like most women, and I think you probably are, you probably went into business ill-equipped and ill-prepared for the day-to-day realities of small business owner. You probably bought into somebody's air quotes proven system or someone's idea of what you need to do in order to be successful. There are so many people out there, so many programs, so many courses, so many books, so many podcasts, so many YouTube channels, selling everything from franchising to whatever step-by-step program they're shilling on the notion that if you do exactly what they say and they tell you exactly what to do, you will end up a business. That sounds an awful lot like the people who are selling religion instead of entrepreneurship like, do it this way, my way, our way, this way is the right way. It is THE way.
But as we now know, there are many different ways to create a business and many, many different ways to be successful in business. So if you are succeeding by any stretch, by any metric, which is statistically improbable, if you followed the mass marketed advice, chances are you ended up with a business that is not built with your needs, wishes, wants, preferences and priorities in mind. Which means that even if you're making money, even if it is quote unquote successful, it's probably not sustainable. But wait, what, because if Covid has taught us nothing else, it has definitely taught us this, your health and wellness, meaning mental and physical, are intimately tied to how you spend your time, energy, effort, focus, and attention. And if you are spending those things on your own business when you're a solopreneur or small business owner, you can only neglect your mental and physical health for so long sooner or later we get sick. And I use sick as a broad category because burnout is a form of getting sick.
Now, it may take years or even decades cuz some of us are tough mothers, especially those of us with a trauma history but eventually you hit a wall and start sliding down. Now, I have seen this so often in my own business with strategy and coaching clients. I just knew it was time to talk about it here on the podcast. So the question is this, does your business need a makeover like how would you even know. What are the symptoms? What can actually be done? Do you just need to burn it down and start from scratch and where would you start? And more importantly, how do you run your existing business while you're making it over into the business that you want to have now? Well, I've been divorced twice, I just celebrated my anniversary with my current husband. I like to refer to him as my current husband, even though we've been together 26 years. I just think it's important that people stay on their toes and not get too comfortable.
But we have been through multiple home renovations and always lived in the house that was under construction. This is a real test of endurance and compatibility like none other, another test of endurance and compatibility is your relationship with your business. When you live in a house that's under construction, you do no makeover the kitchen and both bathrooms at the same time, that is a disaster. But sometimes we let ourselves get so desperate in our business that we kind of do the equivalent of that. Well, not on my watch so let's first look at the examples of when you may think your business needs a makeover, or alternately, you would just like to burn it down and start over, and when it doesn't, one of the smaller ways of thinking about this is the person who changes their niche frequently, who rebrands frequently, who changes what they offer frequently.
This is usually the case and someone who's in their first couple of years in business and they don't yet have an established track record of success in a given area. There's nothing wrong with pivoting. When you are in the early stages of business and you haven't yet hit your stride, you don't really have a lot of tread on your tires and you don't really know yet what you are offering and to whom you need to experiment. Now, some people are afraid to do that because they think it makes them look unprofessional or flaky. You know what, once you hit your stride, nobody's gonna remember what led up to it, trust me on. But if you have been in business for longer than a couple of years, let's say three to five or more, some of the signs that may lead you to think your business needs a makeover, but it might actually not are these, one the fun part is over and now it's work.
Now I remember someone telling me years ago, I don't even remember who it was, I would give them credit if I did, but they said, the only thing you need in order to be successful, Diann, is to be able to tolerate the monotony of success. I was like, wait, what? Yeah, a lot about business is boring. It just is and if we are the kind of person and I happen to be exactly this kind of person who loves, loves, loves the ideation phase, the brainstorming phase, the coming up with the idea, the building out the idea, and maybe even launching it out into the world, that is so fun for me. In fact, if I could have a consulting business where all I do day after day is come up with ideas for other people's businesses, I would be in hog heaven.
That would be perfect for my kind of brain but many entrepreneurs have this in their nature. They like the first part of the business they like with, they like coming up with the and getting it put together and getting it off the ground. It's kind of like the hot air balloon going up in the air. They don't really think about keeping it up in the air, and they don't really think about what do they do when they need to bring it down. So if you are the kind of person who feels like it's just no fun anymore, or you are bored, I gotta be real honest with you because you know I'm so good at that It's like right between the eyes kind of stuff, because I want you to succeed, not because I'm an asshole, truly. Just ask anybody who knows me really well, you're gonna get bored with the next one, my friend. You are going to predictably feel like you want to start over from scratch in the future if you drop what you're doing and start something over.
Now, I know your brain is telling you, yeah, but I just lost interest because this isn't the business I actually wanna run this new idea, this new idea, that's the one. No, probably not. In fact, very likely not. It's just a new at the top of the stack, it's like the record. Do you remember records? Well, some of you don't remember records, but I d nd you got a brand new, now they're called vinyl. We used to call them records, but you got a brand new vinyl. You haven't literally played it to death yet so of course you love it. Once you've played it out, you're never gonna wanna hear it again and the same thing is true with folks with this personality type when it comes to business.
So the challenge is going to be what do I do once I hit that stage in my current business. You don't necessarily wanna throw out your current business and start a new one, I'm just saying from experience. Another way of knowing that you might not need a makeover is that you have encountered a stage of your business where you simply do not have the necessary skills or mindset to proceed. A lot of women start businesses out of a sense of passion and purpose, and I love working with passion filled, purpose led entrepreneurs, and a hundred percent of them will reach a point where it's now hard, in addition to being less shiny and probably a little boring, not just because the novelty is worn off, that's part of this, but it's that they realize the business has reached a stage where it now needs things from them as business owners that they don't know how to do.
That's when you hire a consultant or possibly a contractor or a team member, you don't burn it down. One of the biggest things I see with my clients and with people who have done a consultation with me, but I did not invite them to work together is unrealistic expectations. Unrealistic expectations about how long it will be before they are profitable, how much actual marketing and sales they need to do for the type of business model they have chosen, those kind of things. And it's not really their fault because we are all. Listening to and think we're learning from the web celebs and the online internet gurus who are telling us it's easy, fast, and fun, you can make money in your sleep. It's passive income and anyone can do it, and it's simply not true. But when we come to business and start a business and launch a business and reach a certain point where it's just not fun anymore, everybody gets there, trust me.
Lots of times it's not only because we don't have the necessary skills in order to move forward, we had grossly unrealistic expectations about being a business owner from the get-go. And I think if that's the case and you can't work through them. You cannot adjust your expectations to the actual reality of what it takes to be self-employed and a business owner. You would be better off letting it go and getting a job. This is not for everybody, and I'm so damn mad that entrepreneurship, specifically solopreneurship, specifically online business ownership has been sold like it's the fricking holy grail. It is not for everybody. This lifestyle is not for everybody, and there should be absolutely no shame in calling it quits, if you've dealt with the fun part is over. I'm bored. I don't have the skills and you know what? This is so much more effortful than I expected it to be based on the people I paid to show me the way. I would rather not.
That is not a fail, even though it's a quit. It is using your wisdom about who you are and what you actually want and if this is harder and takes longer and a whole lot less fun than you were led to believe, there's absolutely no shame in saying I'm not doing it anymore. That may be the very best business decision you could make. That business makeover may be from got a business too. Now another area where a lot of women think they need a business makeover and they might not, is when what they actually need to do is work on their leadership skills. Lots and lots and lots of women start a business with zero leadership experience and they really don't see themselves as a leader and here's the thing, not everybody needs a team.
That's another thing that I see being sold to all of us on the internet. You need a team, nobody sends their own emails. That makes you look like you are a one woman show. There's nothing wrong with being a one woman, nothing wrong whatsoever. So if you think you need an executive assistant or a virtual assistant, or a OBM or whatever to make you look legit, that's a mindset issue. You may not actually need that person in your business, and it may mean that you are taking on unnecessary overhead and unnecessary stress, but everybody needs communication skills, whether you are a one woman show or you've got a bunch of people working for you, either as contractors, employees, or whatever your arrangement is. We all need communication skills. We all need healthy boundaries and we all need to know how to market, sell, screen, onboard and serve customers or clients.
So if you have issues with other people, you're gonna have issues with clients or customers. This is not, when I say leadership, I don't just mean being a leader of a team. If you are a one woman show and you work with individuals, you still need leadership skills. Because leadership skills allow you to communicate clearly and with confidence, set healthy boundaries and serve your clients well. And that means turning down people who are not a fit to work with you, turning away people and hopefully referring them elsewhere when you are not what they need and being able to tell people who want to work with you but are not ready to do so that that is the case. That's leadership. This happens to be an area where I'm really strong and I work with my clients on every one of them, but most of us went into business having no idea that that was even part of the deal.
Now, if any of these the fun part is over, you feel bored. You're in the messy middle, and you realize you don't have the skills to proceed. You entered into the business with unrealistic expectations, or you need to work on your leadership and communication. If any of these are the reason for your discontent, are the reason for you even listening to this episode because you're like, Ooh, yeah, my business needs to makeover then you can actually hire a small business strategist or coach to address these issues. I am one of any number of people that you could hire to do that with. Now let's talk about the maybe Yes folks, cuz I've just covered, you may think your business needs a makeover, but maybe it doesn't. Now we're gonna talk about maybe it does. For example, if your business is built on your zone of competency or your zone of excellence, and you are longing to express your zone of genius, that is a sign that your business may benefit from a makeover. And if you're not familiar with these terms, I talk about them quite often because I'm a huge fan of the work of Gay Hendricks in the book, The Big Leap.
Where she talks about upper limit issues and zone of genius. If you built a business based on your zone of competency, an example of that might be you were a bookkeeper. You were a bookkeeper in an accounting firm all of the customers that you served who were actually customers of the CPA you worked for, loved your bookkeeping, and then you had a baby and decided you didn't wanna put your baby in daycare, or you couldn't afford it based on what you were being paid, so you decided to open up your own bookkeeping business. That's a perfect example of how many women end up being in business. Now, maybe you became a bookkeeper because you didn't wanna go to college, but you were really good with math and you were natural at bookkeeping. You liked it, but you don't love it, it’s what you've been paid to do. It's how you've developed an occupational path, and now you've started a business on it.
Is there something that you are really uniquely qualified to do something you actually love? Maybe something that has nothing whatsoever to do with business, bookkeeping, math, or any of it? Maybe what you really, really love is cake decorating or I don't know, kids' birthday parties. It doesn't matter what it is, but if the business you have now is built on something that you know how to do and you do well, and other people are willing to pay you, but all you can think about is that zone of genius gift. Something that you love to do and you've loved it ever since you were little. In fact, you do it so ridiculously well and so naturally well that you don't even realize it's a gift and that other people don't have that gift and they would pay because you do. If that is something that just keeps coming around, coming around, coming around and you really find yourself fantasizing about what it would it be like to be able to express your gift in your business.
Now, the example I just gave you, obviously that would be a burn it down kind of example. What's one that would be a makeover example? Well, it might be that you offer a done for you service plus strategy. But what you really love doing is helping business owners come up with the concept and then creating the strategy and then handing off the implementation to someone else. That's what I'm talking about, transforming your business from I'm the one who does the done for you service to I'm the one who partners with you to create the concept and then create the strategy, someone else will do the done for you. Maybe someone that works in your business, it may be someone who works in another business. That would be an example of a makeover.
Here's another one. When your business was built without taking your personal and business values into account that is one of the more frequent examples of a business that would benefit from a makeover. For example, I had a client who, among her top five core values were creativity, excellence and connection. Her business model was based on selling a low ticket offer through Facebook ads and having zero contact with her customers. She also had a very low completion rate for her course, so creativity no, excellence not with a low completion rate ,connection not when you have zero contact with the users of your product. You see the disconnect there? This happens so often when women start a business because they went through some coach's program or they bought some course and it told them, this is what you need to do, and they did it. They actually did it.
They can end up with a business that they absolutely hate because it's not an alignment with their personal and business values. That is a business that can, and I think probably should be made over. Here's another example, the delivery model of your service-based business is not a fit for your stage of life or obligations an example of this might be. You started a business as a single woman, three years later you're married and pregnant with your first child. The business that you have may not be sustainable now that your stage of life and obligations are different. Or if you find yourself taking care of an aging parent or having a mother-in-law move in with you because your father-in-law passed away. There are so many things that can happen from an accident, an illness, a chronic disease that nobody plans for. We don't know these things are gonna happen to us, our partner, a dependent or someone very close to us. But when it does, sometimes we need to make pretty quick and sometimes drastic changes to our business in order to keep going.
There's also the issue of energy, a lot of women started business because they were sold on the idea of it could be anything from, let's say, let's use the example of a high-touch group program that has two launch cycles a year. What that actually means is that they need to have the energetic bandwidth to both run the high-touch group program and the energy to do the promotion, sales and launch cycles. And that would mean year-round launch and sales cycle alternating with service cycle launch and sales cycle, alternating with service cycle. That sounds exhausting even to just describe. Another example is when you have a team, but you don't actually like managing other people and the reverse when you're running everything on your own because you don't know how to hire, delegate and manage other people. I see this all the time, and we're gonna talk about an example of that in just a moment. Most of us would find it really, really hard, if not downright impossible to figure this out on our own.
But let's just say we could, would we be able to give ourselves permission to course correct, make the necessary decisions and changes, and implement all of them while dealing with our own fear, doubt, and uncertainty along the way? In my experience, what most of us will do is just hunker down and stay the course, and that is one of the primary reasons I see so many business owners literally on the verge of burnout. If you are identifying with any of these scenarios, it's a really good question to ask yourself if I could figure this out on my own. Could I make the necessary decisions and implement the necessary changes? Most of us would benefit from working with someone else because the alternative is we give up burnout or just try to hunker down and just hope things get better on their own. If this is you, I want you to keep listening we’ve got a few more minutes of content.
But as soon as the episode is done, I want you to click on the link in the show notes to book a free consultation with me. Let's have a chat, it's a no pressure conversation. We are either a fit and you're ready or we're not, either way, it'll be time well spent. But first, I want to tell you about one of my clients and the result of her business. So lemme tell you about Stacy. Stacy had a thriving business, a clinical practice as a licensed healthcare professional in a mid-size Midwestern city. She really wanted to be speaking and teaching at a national level at conferences and dreamed about being a thought leader. Now, if you don't know what a thought leader is, I did a recent episode talking about the difference between experts and thought leaders. I'll make sure I drop a link to that in the show notes because if that might be you, you're gonna wanna listen to that one as well.
Anyway, Stacey dreamed of being a thought leader in a very specific area of specialty practice, but she would need some additional training and certification and was completely bogged down with the following, the demands of running a clinic, managing multiple employees, marketing the business so that they would have a steady flow of clients customer relations. I mean, if you're the business owner, you are the complaint department, so anybody's not happy with somebody, you are the one they're gonna talk to. Doing everything necessary to make sure they were profitable and let me tell you, she was regularly fantasizing about running away to Bali and living in a hut. Now, needless to say, by the time she came home at night, her husband and kids were, let's just say, not getting the best of her, but she was also often missing out on family time, even on the weekends, because she always had to take work home.
Now in order to create her boss up breakthrough, my name for her business makeover, we went through my signature system, which involves identifying her true goals, identifying her unique abilities and her zone of genius, clarifying her values, figuring out what a right size business would look like for her, examined what was working in her business and what just wasn’t. Making decisions about what to keep, what to let go of, and what could be transformed, creating a roadmap and then implementing the decisions and changes with my guidance, support, and accountability. The last thing we did was future forecast, the next stage of her business beyond the time that we would be working together. Well, what did that look like and what actually happened? How did the, you know, department store make over look? These are the changes that were made, she downsized her practice and let her low performing team members go. That was a major boss up move.
She moved to a smaller office to reduce her overhead. She also let go of a lot of things that she thought were necessary, but were actually limiting her profitability. She enrolled in an advanced course in the specialty area that she wants to develop thought leadership in. She resumed speaking at local and virtual conferences. She's not yet able to take the time away from her business and family to speak at national and international conferences, but she is back on the speaking circuit and, and I think this is a really important one, she stopped working weekend. For future forecasting and future goals, she has plans to sell her clinic to her senior practitioner down the road to become a specialty practitioner after she gets her new license and accreditation ,working a hundred percent virtually via telehealth and publishing and teaching to develop her thought leadership. That will be the next iteration of her business so her makeover is actually happening in two stages.
Now I have another client, Jancina, that I would really love to tell you about. Her business makeover and personal transformation were such an inspiration to me that I decided rather than tack it on to the end of this episode, I invited her to join me on the podcast and we recorded her story and I'll be sharing it with you next week, you are definitely gonna wanna listen because Jan is an example of what is possible when you get serious about making the business you have into the business you want. If this episode really landed with you, chances are you know another woman who also needs to hear it. So why don't you be a biz bestie and share it with her, she would be grateful and so would I. You could think of it as good business karma. Well, that's all for this week. I look forward to bringing you Jan Dyer and her amazing business makeover one week from now. In the meantime, stay driven.