Yes, it’s being a long pregnancy.
I began this journey of rethinking, redoing, revamping, repurposing, my business in October of last year. The doldrums (clients completing their work, lack of new clients to take their place) had set in and my efforts of marketing and sales in the same way I always had were falling flat. I had been hearing and reading about Mark Silver and his work in Heart of Business for a couple of years.
What I read about his offerings like Opening the Moneyflow resonated in me; I started subscribing to his newsletters in 2009. In my usual slow-to-move way, it took me a lot of months to go from lurking into action. Once I decided to get some help, I thought, at the time, that it would take maybe a few months to transform my business from the doldrums into a successful heart-centered, niche-marketed operation. Three months, maybe. (Every time I reread this an involuntary and slightly painful snorting noise escapes my nose.)
I hadn’t worked with a coach in a couple of years. I had been soldiering on on my own. When I made the decision to get some support, I felt immediate relief, mixed with some fear. But then, every action I had been taking was tinged with fear. The relief, though, was delicious. Deciding to invest in myself and my business development in a way I had never done before was huge for me!
My initial strategy: start with the Spiritual Marketing Quest and get support around having a niche. Then take the Heart of Business Momentum course, and learn about heart-centered marketing. I had operated my business as an intentional generalist for years. I refused to declare a niche; I like variety, I’d say. What I was realizing is that my determination to work for every possible client (remember Anybodys in West Side Story?) came from fear, the fear that there would never be enough, that I had to be a Yes to all clients and projects.
These two courses helped me let go of that old structure and envision and define and declare my niche. Then I gave myself the gift of a True Spirit of My Business session with Isabel Parlett, the Soundbite Shaman. I ended up with my top-secret, powerful, foundational mission statement, which doesn’t — and won’t — appear in my marketing materials in this form, but which I’ll share with you now just because it’s so juicy and audacious.
The True Spirit of my Work is to stand at the sacred fire ushering seasoned women into the spaciousness of recognizing their own value, inviting them to walk in the world as queens, head up and tits out, as they audaciously take on the difficult acts of living, and, in doing so, to be inspired to dance into their highest good, and do their part to contribute to a community that can care for itself and the planet.
I realized with astonishing and appalling clarity that I was only just beginning. Yes the surface was now scratched, yes now I had the beginnings of a roadmap of the steps I wanted and needed to take. Next: action steps! So many action steps! I needed/wanted to completely redo (as in massively rewriting and restructuring) my website, my offers and my… oh, just everything—descriptions on all social media, content of autoresponders, taglines, and probably a few million other things that haven’t yet occurred to me!
I decided to get more support and after some deliberation (do I take another group Heart of Business course or do I work with a coach?) I hired Yollana to support me through this process. The foundational work of the first three months was liberating and agonizing all at once. Like learning a new language. Heart-centered marketing syntax means I shift from Here’s what I do, please hire me to Hi, gorgeous! Is this you? Does any of this resonate with you? If so, we should talk. Or maybe you know someone who…
In short, simply changing my offering, my stand, from being about me (I do this well, yo, hire me!) to being about you, my gorgeous woman client/student who yearns for support in bringing the juicy back in her life and the audacious into her brand. All about the writing.
Second trimester (April to June):
Putting all these changes into place. The first big huge one: My website now has a way for people to pay me. Until a couple of months ago, the income flow looked like: talk to prospect, negotiate with prospect, get hired (hopefully, finally) by prospect, then bill prospect and wait for checks to arrive. Now? I have offers with payment buttons that can be clicked on and payment made without my intervention (!) and money will flow into my account! Next: Having actual defined offers. In addition to the option of hiring me month-to-month ongoing for coaching, or hiring me for your unique design and branding needs, I developed the first of what will be a series of packages one can buy to get support for living your most juicy life; or for assessing and assuring that your actions match your values; or to develop your business’s brand, review it, refresh it, and make it shine and sing and reflect the gorgeous audacious totality of your offering.
[An aside that will show you just how challenging this phase can be: Yes I would have put links to the appropriate pages in the above paragraph, if in fact those pages existed! I’m in that painful almost stage, and it’s driving me a bit nuts! I just made a note in the spreadsheet that rules my life to come back here and add the links as soon as possible! And remove this embarrassing confessional note!]
All of these changes to tone and text affect every page of my website, and I will be launching an interim version of the new stuff by Memorial Day weekend. And then all that will be left to do is to refine it, expand it, make it consistent and do the zillion ancillary bits. Which will take me to the end of June. And probably beyond, if I’m being honest. I’m not completely certain about how July, August and September will look—my crystal ball’s a little cloudy—but my actions in this trimester will include the visual and technical refresh of my website (yes the blog has got to look like the rest of the site and have the same navigation, I know!).
This refresh will allow me to do content management on the fly, instead of being so dependent on my developer partner. And there’s some video that wants to happen. A welcome video on my home page, and one on each of the new Live Juicy! and Brand Audacious! landing pages. Gulp! And a teleclass is coming, hopefully for the end of the year. Something sacred and juicy and audacious and fun! Oh and one more thing! The month of October looks like it will be a retreat month, a pilgrimage to someplace that feeds my heart and soul that is not seen on my laptop screen or my iPad, but seen with my eyes, touched with my hands, walked upon and honored. Thank you for your patience as my business goes through its reconception, labor and rebirth. And for your compassion as my website goes through its changes. It may get a bit bumpy for a while, and I’m sure the end result will make it all worthwhile.
Have you gone through transformation in your own business? Share in the comments, any tips you might have on staying sane, and balanced, and patient, as you move through… Thanks!
Love and blessings, Sue