An online friend asked the other day about leading your business through massive change. I get it, why she asked the question. There is so much talk in the online world right now about the tried-and-true models being “broken” for coaches, consultants, speakers, change agents and other service based professionals. Almost everyone I know is facing change.
Yes, there are a few people who are still working the online business model we all know and love and they are still getting results, but there's less of us with each passing month. Consequently, I hear a lot of angst and bewilderment from my friends and peers in the online world. They see change is needed, they want change for themselves and their business, and they are scared. For the first time in years the model they know, the steps they have always taken, are not working very well. They are willing to do the work, but they are not sure what work to do – how to go about leading their business through massive change.
I've felt some of the same. Underneath my own coaching and consulting in how to be a confident marketer I've always taught and coached how to be. How to be through change, tough times, too busy times, scary times. Because how to be is stronger and more resilient than how to be a confident marketer. How to be gets takes you further in business and in your personal life. If you master how to be, you don't have to worry about being a confident marketer. You just are one.
Those of us who are online entrepreneurs have to remind ourselves that angst and deep change are normal for folks like us. It's not something we get over, it's something always happening and sometimes the gas gets turned up underneath for a while. We put our offers out there into the swirling waters of the online world, offers that change both our clients and ourselves. But as business owners we want to think and plan as if things are static. We want to say, “I will always feel this way and want to do this thing, this IS my business. My clients are XX's and their desires and behaviors are set in stone. I will always want to serve these XX clients.” We fall into this trap because we want to be businesslike, we want to plan it, launch it, monetize it, and have our systems down, our income planned, our web pages done. This is the model we were taught – a static model.
Static models will never last for entrepreneurs, for anyone who owns an online business, and much less for those of us who are seekers and change agents anyway. Our very natures are ones of change. Top that with the fact that our online world swirls and changes around us constantly, and our target market matures and changes, and we've got a triple dose of massive change. My view of the online world of coaching and consulting is that it's in a sea change. It's a maturing industry in terms of the model we all know. Yes, some people are still working the model. They tend to be those who were already in early on and have huge lists now. Folks with a huge list can weather change a lot better than those with lists less than 10 or 15 thousand. It's much harder to build list and keep list now than it was even three years ago. There's much more noise in the system. The model that we all know and have used for years is maturing and not working as easily as it once did. That doesn't mean all is lost. It means that a new model (probably more than one model) will emerge. And in the meanwhile leading your business through massive change becomes your work. It will scare you, frustrate you, and make you lay awake in your bed at night.
My suggestions for leading your business through massive change are these:
- Use your community of peers and colleagues to talk things through.
- Normalize constant change – put it into your business model.
- Remind yourself that you have business skills that are honed and experienced – you can use these skills in new and different ways.
- Don't hide your head in the sand – you'll have a dead business before you know it.
- Don't seek perfection before your new thing – get it out there as you are creating it.
- Be prepared to have a shift in who follows you and buys from you.
- Understand this will be a zigzag path.
- Take super-good care of yourself.
I'd love to hear your thoughts about broken business models and that scary feeling of switching things up in your business, so please share below. Want to read more about leadership in business? Just click here for a summary of articles.