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Take Baby Steps

Lesson 36 from: Create a Product Plan & Grow Your Standout Business

Tara McMullin

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Lesson Info

36. Take Baby Steps

Lesson Info

Take Baby Steps

Here, as we start to wrap things up, I want to remind you that product development is about taking baby steps. It's about taking baby steps. And here, being here in San Francisco is such a great reminder of that, because there are companies that will one day be worth millions or billions of dollars that are right now just taking baby steps on their very long road to scale. Every so often, a company takes off like Gangbusters right from the get-go. They got that product market fit right away. User acquisition is a piece of cake. But the vast majority of businesses do not form that way. I have been at this for almost 10 years now. And my idea of scale and the steps that I need to take right now are, I'm still, I'm still in baby steps. We still take baby steps. So, this is just a reminder to start thinking about what your baby steps, what your next steps might be. So, I'm curious for you guys here, and again I'd love to hear from you online as well, how does your future business look diff...

erent than it did when we started Lesson One? How does your future business, the business that you're envisioning five years from now, 10 years from now, look different because of the work that we've done here, than it did when we started with Lesson One? Jennifer? It's more focused. Mm-hmm. And I think about, it was interesting, I've been thinking about the idea of the follow-up, or complimentary things that are the accessories that work, and I hadn't figured out how to maybe piece some other ideas that I had, but I can see that that would fill into that. And I'm also thinking about what my first step might be. So it, while it seems focused, it still feels like it's pulling in these threads that I've been floating around, like these different things, and making it a cohesive unit. Yeah. Do you feel like you've got a company now instead of a bunch of ideas? I think I'm getting there. You're getting there. Alright. Who else? How has your business, the business that you're envisioning, that future business, look different than when we started Lesson One? Aaliyah? I'm still looking, thinking now more from the training company lens versus direct service provider 100%, or 80% of the time. So, thinking about what that looks like and what scaling that looks like. Nice. Anyone else? I just feel like there's a bigger possibility. Yeah, there's just a... And also simplicity, how important it is to keep things simple. You know, stick with, stick with the plan, not get sidetracked. Yeah. I've learned a lot. Yeah. Good. I'm glad, I'm glad. I love when someone tells me that something that they've learned shows them there's a bigger possibility out there, because that bigger possibility really is going to change the action that you take next. If all that was available to you was just a, you know, slightly more profitable version of what you're working so hard at now, would it really be worth it? Probably not. You might stick with it for a little bit longer. You certainly wouldn't really change the action that you were taking, or if you did it would be like, "Well, I'm gonna try this. "If it doesn't work, I'll try this other thing." But instead, when you have that bigger possibility in front of you, when you're really focused on that future business, and what it is that you're building as the CEO of that future business right now, it changes the action you take. Which leads us to the next question. What is the smallest step you could take today to make your highest contribution to your one year goal? What is the smallest step you could take today to make your highest contribution to your one year goal? Ellen, I want you to share with me what you shared on the break, because I think you've already gotten this done. So I had, I got an email today during one of our breaks that a potential customer was asking me, "I'm interested in your products and what you have. "I love what you do and now I'm ready to buy "one of the things you have to offer. "Can you, what's the difference "between this thing and that thing?" And instead of, hmm, thinking about, "Okay, well what's the best way I can answer her?" Or, "I'm gonna leave this to really sit down "and write a long email, write a long-winded email." I instead was like, "I'm gonna get on the phone with her." You know, "I'd love to talk to you about that, let's talk. "Can we talk later today?" And so, we set a date. Yay! (laughter) And she was probably thrilled. Yeah! "Oh my gosh, she answered my email "and I'm gonna get to talk to her on the phone!" (laughter) Thank you for boosting my ego here, Tara. (laughter) Hey, I know how these things go. So that is a tiny little baby step. And just that change, because yeah, that's their first thought, right? Is, "Oh, okay, I'm gonna assume "I know what she's talking about or what her situation is. "I'm gonna diagnose it here and now "and point her in the direction of this product." Or I'm gonna say, "If your situation is this, "this is what you need. "If your situation is this, this is what you need." That's our normal course of action. Every single day we're taking actions like that. And now that you know better what you're going to create, what direction that you're heading, you're willing to change your action and make a different choice that says, "You know what, I don't know what you need." Yeah. And in fact, I might be building the thing you need best right now. Yes. Let's get on the phone. I'm gonna, it's worth it to me to invest that 15 minutes, 20 minutes with you to find out what you really need, what your situation really is, and build it for you. Yeah. Or tell you which product you need to buy. Right, and actually it's funny, because I feel like I came into this yesterday morning thinking, "I need, I need systems, "I need a vision, I need streamline, I need focus." And today, I feel like I have at least the very good, a wonderful start at all of those things, and I also have a better sense of who I am in my business. Yeah. And that informed me as to how I could respond. Because again, I think again like you were saying, the, "Oh, I should put on my business owner hat "and explain the differences between this thing "and that thing and do the logical steps "and if you are this, that way." But instead, actually I am, my business is all around that personal flavor that I can bring and that's what I should bring to each and every customer when I can. Yeah. So. And I love it. Thanks. I love it. Jennifer, what's the smallest step you could take today? I think I want to either get on the phone or send a survey out to that list of people that I have. Yeah. And ask them, "Here's what I'm thinking, "where are you struggling? "We've talked and I've helped you with X in the past, "what would you want more of?" So I can get a little bit more refinement on that core offer. Except we're not gonna ask them what they want, right? Well, true. (laughter) Just for everyone at home. Yeah, but for some of the people I'm thinking it's a very, there's a specific reason I'd ask them, because it's in a context where-- Fair enough. You know, because I've helped them with their writing in the past. Got it, got it, got it. That's what I'm saying. So it's like, "Alright, we walked through this sales page." Or, you know, 'cause somebody was offering a course, and they had like three days to fill that sucker or else it was gonna get pulled. So, "Okay, so what would you want more of with that?" Or, you know, that kind of stuff. So, thinking about helping them with writing or those kinds of questions. So, kind of going through my little survey that I went through. Nice, excellent. Greg, what's the smallest step you could take? You know, I'm really gonna work on the differentiator, and I've got some people that I'm gonna get on the phone with and talk to them. You know, we've walked through a few things together and I'm gonna let them help me. And-- Yeah! Help me figure out what that is, because hey, I'll take it on the chin and they'll give it to me on the chin. Yeah. So, it'll be nice to get them on the phone and ask. And then really nail that down and stick to it. And I love the five year visual. That really, really helped. Good, I'm glad. So, thank you for that. Excellent. Maria? I think, what was it? Oh yeah, systemizing. Yeah, for me. I just bought an app that will help me do that. Nice. I just have to get some help with that. Yeah, so that's the process of systematizing is really-- Systematizing. Taking little baby steps every single day. Every little thing you do, is something that gets written down in one of those systems. Right, Aaliyah? Yep. (laughter) I'm really ready to do that, because it's like I've been doing all these little tasks that drive me nuts, you know? Over and over, the same old. You know, it's like oh. And now you have this vision for something so much bigger. And so you've got to get this stuff taken care of. Yes. And the best baby step you can take is getting that stuff taken care of so you can create the space for this bigger vision that you have. Yes. Cause the CEO of your company is not doing all this little stuff. No. They don't have time for that. (laughter) Aaliyah, what's one baby step you can take? I would love to survey people, but I think the step before that immediately would be to reach out individually to some people that have already expressed interest in the program. And talk to them about where they are in their business and what kind of things they need and then down the line do the survey form thing and give that a shot. Yeah. Excellent, excellent. I'm so glad so many of you are considering the next tiny baby step of just getting on the phone with people. If I mean, really, to go back to that do things that don't scale lesson, if there is one thing that can make the biggest, hugest difference in the future course of your business, and continuing to streamline it, focus it, build around your highest contribution, it's getting on the phone with people. Or it's meeting up with them. You know I don't, I'm one of those introverts that just is totally averse to being on the phone, so I don't really talk to people very often on the phone. But I love talking to you guys in person, I love going to meetups with our members, I love chatting along with people. But it's those individual person-to-person interactions that really make all the difference in the world. Whatever it is that is your five year vision, your 10 year vision, your 20 year vision, it starts today with tiny baby steps. A lot of the stuff we talked about are wholesale changes to your business. It's maybe things you had not even considered before you started this class, things like hiring people, things like investing in new technology. It's things like getting rid of three quarters of the offers you currently have on your website. These are all things that have to happen tomorrow for you to be making progress. Many of them may not happen for a year or more from now, but there's something today, there's something tomorrow, there's something the next day that you can do to put yourself on the course to that five year goal. And that's what I want you to be thinking about. Take some time, take some additional time today to think about what that baby, next baby step is. And the next one after that, and the next one after that. And I would encourage you to make it different than what you would normally do. 'Cause what you've normally done has gotten you to where you are right now. And what we've really done here is changed the trajectory of your business by creating this new product plan, this new vision for how you're gonna create and offer your highest contribution to your customers, to your community, and to the world. And that's gonna require something different of you at this point. You didn't take this class to come out with the same knowledge or the same ideas on the other end. So I'm going to ask you, now that you have taken this class, to do something different as well. But not just to do more, to do less but better. That's in three words, that's kind of the overarching idea of this whole class. Do less, but do it better. Offer fewer things, but make it your highest contribution. Get one really important job done for your customers, but make it a huge impact on their lives. Make a small singular change in your business, but make that change put you on the fast track, or at least change your trajectory, so that you're aimed in the direction of where you really want to go, instead of just chugging along trying to make ends meet. That's what this class has been all about. That's what really creating a product plan does for your business. At this point in the class, you probably need to start over. You probably need to start thinking through, "Is the core offer I started with "the core offer I'm gonna continue with? "Is my positioning in the market "really what the real opportunity is here?" This is a continual process of refinement and development. The way it is for you is the way it is for companies small, and large, and ginormous. It is this constant process of evolution and continual refinement, so that you are as a business and as an individual working towards making that highest contribution to your customers, your community, and the world.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials

Product Plan -- Implementation Month

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Product Plan -- Workbook

Ratings and Reviews

Lindsey Warriner

Every time I thought the class had reached a point that I knew "enough" about, Tara dropped yet another game-changer that I'd never even considered. Great experience, great speaker, great class.

Alaia Williams

Once again, Tara has been extremely helpful in getting me to think through where I'm taking my business next. I'm excited about the opportunities that lie ahead!

Ate Myt

Although the course targets people who have already started a business, I found it very helpful for me as I start my own business. I particularly appreciate the step-by-step guide to developing a 3-pillar business model. Very practical. i highly recommend it.

Student Work