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Goal-Setting & Planning to Grow Your Standout Business

Lesson 4 of 16

Choose Your Growth Style™


Goal-Setting & Planning to Grow Your Standout Business

Lesson 4 of 16

Choose Your Growth Style™


Lesson Info

Choose Your Growth Style™

We're gonna talk about a new tool that I've been using with clients to help them find focus and to know exactly what to leverage to grow their business. Because there are a lot of options for growing your business, right? There are so many different kinds of tactics, there are so many different kinds of formulas, checklists. It doesn't matter what social media platform you go on if you're an entrepreneur, you are going to be bombarded with 35 different people telling you 35 different things that you should be doing to grow your business. And we all know, that 34 and half of them are not relevant to you, right? They're not relevant, but what I see over and over again is small business owners with checklists a mile-long and the vast majority of it doesn't matter, it's just crap. It's not that they're not good things to do, it's not that they don't work, it's not that they're not great tactics or techniques or strategies, but it's not designed for the kind of business that you want to hav...

e and the kind of style that you naturally bring to the table when you're growing your business, when you're working with customers. And so that's what growth styles is all about. Your growth style is not a formula for success, it is not a checklist, it is not a to-do list a mile-long of things that you need to do to be a "successful business owner". Instead, your growth style shows you what you naturally leverage to make the best use of anything you do. And when we talk about leverage, I like to get really fundamental with this. So leverage is a concept in physics, right? A lever is a simple machine, fulcrum, lever and that simple machine helps you lift heavy objects with less work. And that's what leveraging your business means as well. When you know what you leverage, what that focal point is, the fulcrum in your business is, then you too can lift heavy objects with less work. You can get more clients, you can get more traction, you can get more subscribers, you can make more money, you can create more products, you can get more things done or more of it done with less work, does that sound good? Yes, so your growth style shows you what you naturally leverage to make the best use of anything you do. Now, in order to discover, to choose rather your growth style, because again, this is a choice. This is gonna be a recurring theme by the way throughout the day, is that you get to make choices. We're not figuring out what's right or what's wrong, what's good or what's bad, you are choosing what's going to work for you. You're choosing your goals, you're choosing your targets, you're choosing your actions, you're choosing the resources that you're going to invest in, and right now, you're choosing your growth style. So we've already done half of that piece, figuring out what you're going to choose, and that is naming your five-year vision, getting crystal clear on where you want to be five years from now. Think for a moment about, think back again five minutes on what that five-year vision was. What's different about that business than the business that you have now? What changes, what evolves, where do you see it becoming easier? Where do you see it becoming more effective? Where do you see it becoming more fun? Think about that. And once you have that kind of nailed down, then I want you to go way back, or maybe not so way back. But I want you to think about a mountaintop experience that you've had in your life. It could be a professional mountaintop experience, it could be an educational mountaintop experience like when you were in school, it could be a mountaintop experience from your personal life and what I mean by a mountaintop experience is this is a time when you have felt in control, when you've felt a sense of mastery, when you've felt a sense of your gifts, all being brought to the table in the best way possible. Think about a time when you have felt that sense of exhilaration, that sense of purpose, that sense of mastery over your domain and over your work and over your life, in one of those mountaintop experiences. Does anybody wanna tell me about one of theirs? Melissa, I'm sure you have a mountaintop experience off of the top of your head. Yeah, delivering a keynote. Yeah, was this one of the recent ones? Yeah. Tell us more about it. Just recently, I flew across the country to deliver a keynote at a conference of professional photographers and it was pretty special because I got to incorporate my singing and songwriting as part, that was integrated into part of my keynote. Like you I'm an introvert, but I love getting on stage in front of people You're a performer. I'm a performer and I got to perform and I got to deliver the message that I'm really passionate about and, it was just incredibly special, and to see people really engaged, and whipping out their iPhones to capture me on video and be really engaged in this message and, there's just nothing like that. It was incredible special. Yeah, and yet, I think there is probably at least one person in this room, who's thinking, "That sounds terrifying." Right, because that's your mountaintop experience. Alright, hold on that, how about one more? Yes, Patrice. I recently had the opportunity to present at a conference for the American Bar Association and the topic was on creativity in the law which was a topic that I'd never thought I would be able to present to a roomful of attorneys on. And it was really fantastic. I was a part of the innovation track but just being able to speak on something that was authentic to a roomful of vet attorneys, newer attorneys and to see the engagement at all levels was pretty fantastic and I even had one slide of Solange Knowles, where I talked about why she was my client avatar and like they were so into it, it just blew me away, so that was-- That is so cool, okay, so this is really interesting and I'm gonna use this as a teaching moment here for a second, if you don't mind. So you guys both had a very similar mountaintop experience. You both presented talks. I'm curious about the why, why was that a mountaintop experience for you? Was it because performing is like your jam? Like I can get up on, so that is my jam. I could get up on a stage, and do anything and feel really good about it as long as I felt like I was performing and getting a good response and that I was feeling confident about it, but really I can feel pretty confident on a stage about just about anything, except maybe playing trombone anymore. That's not, I can't do that anymore the way I used to. But just about anything else, I'm good to go on a stage. That is that I leverage, that is that focal point for me. For you guys, was it that, was it the performance piece or was it, in your case Patrice, was it the bringing a really unexpected creative element to the, yeah? So a piece of it was something that I learned from you which was how to connect the best and it was small groups. So this was a big conference but it was a smaller talk within the big conference. Okay. So it was being able to own that within the larger space and then also being able to present a topic that is what I feel like the opposite of what is taught in the legal industry, where if you're a lawyer you have to be this way or you have to do this and you have to approach it that way. So being able to be a voice that says well no, we can approach this totally different and you can build a successful practice and be creative in a way that connects with who you are was part of the why behind it, because I think there's this single kind of voice in my industry. Yes, okay, so it was, it was bringing something different to the table in a unique format that you felt like you could own. Yes. Yes, okay, love it. Melissa, same with you or something different or? It was a combination, it was the performing thing which was totally my jam but it was also a message that I'm really passionate about. So it's being able to bring that message combined with the jam of being a performer. Yeah, and so a certain amount of like having authority over that message too probably, yeah? Okay, cool, so hold on that. But I want everyone to think about now, now that you've heard a couple of mountaintop experiences, you've thought a little bit more about yours, you've thought a little bit more hopefully about your five-year vision as well. What commonalities do you see between your mountaintop experiences and your vision for your business? What commonalities do you see between your mountaintop experiences and the vision that you have for your business? Because here's my theory, and it's still work in progress, but here's my theory and I feel pretty good about it. What those commonalities are is a thread that ties what we naturally leverage into those experiences that we feel incredible about, that we feel that sense of mastery around, and that we see ourselves growing into because I think we all recognize on one level or another what that certain spark is, that certain unique thing that happens or that thing that we are playing with when things just become easy and good. And so that commonality between your mountaintop experience, this thing that you've already felt and the vision that you want to create, that is your growth style. And so if you can come up with a word or a short phrase to describe what that commonality is, so for Patrice, it might be something like a creative approach or a creative process that she brings when she's talking to lawyers about this particular subject. For Melissa, it might be authority like I said over your message and the authority of performing on stage. I don't know what the vision is for your business but do you see those two things that play in your vision as well? Yes. Okay, excellent, good I guessed correctly. This is why I have rigors (laughs) So that's what I want you to think about. That's what I want you to start to find because now I'm going to go through each of the eight growth styles, and each of those eight growth styles has a unique point of leverage, a unique way of looking at how you get more done with less work, how you create more ease with bigger results, 'cause I hope we all want that, right? Like I hope we all want it to be easier but also get more. 'Cause that's why you're here. You may not have known it, but that's why you're here. So there are eight growth styles. I'm gonna go through each of them very quickly and then I'm gonna go through each of them a little bit more in depth and tell you about each of them. I also at the end of this particular piece of the talk, there's gonna be a URL for resource guide on my website. It's totally free, you don't have to give me your email address or anything, where I go really into depth on each of these. So if you're feeling like that sounds really good and I want to pick one, I want to choose my growth style but I don't know yet, that's okay, I got you covered. Okay, so just hold your horses. So there is eight growth styles; prestige, bespoke, institution, systematic, exploration, leadership, relationship and identity. Okay, those are the eight. I'm gonna go through them in detail and tell you what they each leverage. Prestige businesses leverage the power of experience. Prestige businesses create amazing, fully featured, in depth, intimate experiences for small groups of clients or for one-on-one clients where they create something that is incredibly powerful, incredibly immersive and something that creates amazing results. And my example for this style, so you can start wrapping your head around it is none other than CreativeLive's very popular, Sue Bryce. Sue Bryce runs a prestige business. Sue Bryce will say to her clients, prospective clients, "I will take the best picture of you "that you have ever had taken." That's a bold statement, but she uses the experience of walking into her studio, getting your makeup done, getting your hair done, putting on the vintage Cotoure gown, sitting in front of the glorious natural light and having Sue manipulate you and mold you and massage you into the best you you could possibly be. And she does that for every single one of her photography clients, that's what she does. She creates these immersive, intimate experiences. Does she need to sell thousands of these per year to make a crap ton of money? No, Sue Bryce doesn't care about scale, Sue Bryce cares about experience and so everything Sue does, whether it's a photography session, a portrait session or whether it's a CreativeLive class, whether it's a class on her own platform is an experience. Sue Bryce leverages experience, that's prestige. Bespoke businesses leverage the power of process. Bespoke businesses develop a one, two, three, four, five, 10-step process that they take each one of their clients through. Again, they don't need tons of clients to make tons of money they need clients that trust their process to create exceptional results. They need clients that trust their process so much to get exceptional results. And that's really why process is what they leverage because they know if they follow that process, their own secret sauce, their own special sauce that they will get exceptional results for their clients. So a great example of this is Aeolidia. Aeolidia is a web design company that specializes in e-commerce businesses. They take really cool brands like, do you guys know McDowell and the empathy cards and that whole thing, they just redid her site, and so they take these really cool brands and turn them into really well converting e-commerce websites. That's what Aeolidia does. Arianne Foulks, the founder of Aeolidia, I talked to her on Profit. Power. Pursuit and she walked me through the process. Like okay, starting off with the client has this many steps and ending with the process has this many steps and in between, there's all these other steps but each one of those steps, each one of the pieces of each project that she does is tied into this process that is key to ensure that each client gets the results that they really, really want. That's bespoke business. Now, institution businesses leverage the power of infrastructure, infrastructure. In other words, they build out the systems and the technology or maybe the physical infrastructure to create results, to create value for their customers. A great example of this one is a company called Great Escape Publishing run by my friend Lori Allen. Now Great Escape Publishing is this really cool venture where they have developed classes and retreats and workshops and webinars and courses that are all designed to help people start a second life after retirement as a travel writer or a travel photographer. So she teaches retired people how to travel the world and get paid for it. And even better how to find a new identity in retirement. So she has this deep purpose behind the business. She has this incredibly inspirational foundation for her business, but the way she tackles that is not to like get up on stage and make really inspiring speeches about that, that's not who Lori is, that's not how she thinks. Instead, Lori leverages infrastructure. So she knows exactly how to construct a course or a retreat, or a safari, or a conference to create the results that she wants to create and help people fulfill the purpose that she has for her business, to help them create that new identity. And so, an institution business is going to have lots of different things for sale because they're intent on building the structure behind being able to do that, so that they can create for their greater purpose. Does that make sense, you guys still with me, okay. Systematic businesses leverage the power of efficiency and optimization. If you obsess over making things easier and working better and figuring out like how you can make them as seamless as possible, this is not me by the way, you might have a systematic growth style. Systematic businesses are really focused on creating products that sort of insert themselves seamlessly into our lives. Think about something like Uber, right? Uber has got a lot of bad press lately. We won't speak to that, but in terms of how they have inserted themselves into our lives, like I don't live in a place that has a lot of Uber. I live in a teeny little town in the middle of Central Pennsylvania in Amish country and it still kills me, like I am so ingrained in the like, if I wanna go out to dinner, we should get an Uber that I still think about it, even when I'm at home in Amish country. Like we should call an Uber, no, I can't call an Uber. I mean technically I could but it would not go well (laughs) It would take like 30 minutes to get there and I'm sure it'd be really expensive. So anyhow, but that's, that's how seamlessly a company like that has integrated itself into our lives. But another example of this is, Laura Roeder's MeetEdgar. Laura has taken a vast amount of knowledge and experience and a process, but instead of just continuing to teach that to people or managing that process for clients, she created a piece of software. So that instead of having to charge lots and lots of money for what she knows how to do and what she can do for clients, now she can charge very little money and seamlessly insert that application into business owners' lives. She's really focused on the efficiency and optimization of this particular tool and of her particular set of knowledge so that she can grow that business the way she wants it to grow. That's why MeetEdgar is systematic growth style. Now exploration businesses leverage the power of curiosity. People love when I get to this one because they're like yes, that means I don't have to decide, and you're right, it does. (laughs) Exploration businesses leverage the power of curiosity. In other words, they take their customers on a journey. In fact, exploration founders tend to be like surrogates for their audience. They kind of lift themselves up and say, "Alright guys, come along with me "and we'll explore this together." There's this great sense of togetherness, this great sense of community in an exploration business as the founder and as the company itself kind of explores from one avenue to the next or from one project to the next or one mission to the next. And a great example of this is my friend, Chris Guillebeau. He typifies curiosity, right? This is what Chris does. He obsesses on something for a while, right? Whether it's traveling to every country in the world, or whether it's learning everything he can about people who have particular missions, or it's learning everything he can about starting a business for less than $100. Chris leverages his curiosity, has leveraged his curiosity to grow a massive community of people who are curious about the same things he is. And so while he is very much a leader and he's absolutely willing to get on a stage and talk about what he does, instead of being kind of separate from his audience or apart from his audience, he's constantly trying to draw them in, because he is them, they are him and that's a key part of being an exploration business. Now on the other hand, leadership businesses are sort of the opposite of that, because a leadership business leverages the power of influence and authority. I mentioned authority when we're talking to Melissa earlier. Influence means that the audience, the community, the customer base is actually looking to the founder of a leadership business for advice, for inspiration, for new ideas, new ways of thinking, for trends, for new ways of approaching the world. And so a great example of this one is again, a CreativeLive favorite, Vanessa Van Edwards. Vanessa Van Edwards is the founder of, she's a behavioral investigator. In other words, Vanessa is incredibly curious about what makes, I should not have used the word curious, that's going to be confusing. She is incredibly curious about why people do what they do, and how people interact with each other. And so Vanessa, instead of just kind of exploring this anecdotally, has set up a human behavior lab where she actually does research, she does experiments, she figures out very scientifically what in the heck is going on. And so, because of that then, Vanessa is very much able to position herself and her company as an authority in her field, and when Vanessa talks you learn, you listen, you are influenced by her. This is what she leverages to grow her business to the point where her business model is actually based on helping other people teach the same information. So she's gone and taken herself and multiplied it out times hundreds of people, who know what she knows and can help lead and influence in the same way she leads and influences as well. You guys still with me? Alright, we got two more to go. Relationship businesses leverage the power of people. Do we have any people people in this room? Anybody, maybe. (laughs) I am not a people person, I mean I like people fine, I love you guys, you guys are great. I could never do this in a million years but relationship businesses really focus on how they can bring people together. I like to think about relationship businesses as sort of like dinner party businesses. In other words, relationship founders are like hosts that are really good at getting the right kind of people together to make magic happen. You guys know those people, right? And so that's what they're all about. They actually create value through the magic that happens when they get really cool people together. Now, I can give you a lot of different examples for this, but I want to give you kind of an example for this one out of left field, because you might think, oh, that's gotta be a membership business, that's gotta be a community-based business, it has to be like a curated business, it does not have to be. I am a huge fan of Brass Clothing. They're so cool, we interviewed them for the podcast as well. And when I was talking to them for the podcast, one of the main things I wanted to ask them about is how they use EQ, emotional intelligence quotient to fuel their marketing. They do this to the point where none of their products are ever finished. Even though they have this very curated, very pared down kind of caps of wardrobe style collection of clothing, they are constantly working to make their products a little bit better and a little bit better based on the people that they bring together. So they have like a private Facebook group where they get some of their best customers together and ask them, how did this go, was the seam in the right place, where did you wear that, can you send us a picture of that, how did you style it? And they're constantly bringing people together to influence the business in an incredible way. And so they've got this Facebook group, they have like an insiders group and they're constantly, even just their customers, emails, reviews, they're constantly using the power of people and leveraging the power of people to grow their business. It's so cool, 'cause it's just a product-based business, like it's an e-commerce business but it leverages people to make it happen. Last one, last but not least, identity businesses leverage the power of meaning. Identity businesses leverage the power of meaning. In other words, these are the kind of businesses where the brands becomes part of who we are, because the meaning they add to our lives. Think about Apple's old campaign. I'm a PC, and I'm a Mac, right? That business is such an identity business. Their customers literally will say I'm a Mac. "Oh, you're a PC, well, I'm a Mac." Sorry for any PC users in the house, I don't mean to wrinkle my nose at you. But that's the kind of business it is. Lululemon is another brand that's very much an identity brand. They've taken this very kind of mundane product, a pair of black yoga leggings, and they've turned it into a part of your identity if you're a Lululemon customer. There is something about wearing that weird little logo thing that changes how you see yourself, if that's the kind of person you want to be. And so they've actually imbued a product like leggings or your computer, or your phone with meaning and that meaning contributes to your personal identity. And when something contributes to your personal identity, you value it a lot, and you're willing to pay a premium for it, right?? We pay a premium for those fancy black leggings, we pay a premium for our silver computers and the reason for that is because it contributes to our own kind of self-actualization. But a great example of this kind of in our world is Danielle LaPorte. Danielle could be an exploration business, she could be a people business, she could be a leadership business but I see her as having this identity aspect. Because what she does is explores a variety of subjects. She explores a variety of products. She, and imbues those subjects and those products with her particular brand of meaning, so that you change your identity so that your identity evolves when you use those products. Do any of you use Danielle's planners? Couple of people, I do. It's part of my identity. She's that planner literally helps to shape my identity on a daily basis. It turns that first 15 minutes of my day when I'm filling out that planner into a deeply meaningful experience. It's not just a to-do list, I'm desire mapping. (laughs) That's very, that's very different, very different. But she had other kinds of products too. She has candles, she has truth bomb decks, she has jewelry, and each one of those products is imbued with meaning and changes how you see yourself. So your identity evolves because you use that product. Does that make sense? That's all eight now, that's all eight. So I want you to start thinking about which one jives with your mountaintop experiences and the five-year vision that you have for your business. Now this is the part where everyone says, "But I'm having trouble choosing." Don't worry, I've got you. So if you're having trouble choosing, first off, I want you to weigh your current priorities against your long-term growth. Because your growth style isn't about current priorities. It's not about what you need to make money now. I can help you make money now, that's not a problem. We can come up with a plan today for how you're gonna put a few thousand dollars in your account, so you got that cushion, or whatever it might be that you need, or so that you're paying your bills on a monthly basis. Don't worry about that right now, because if you worry about that, that's going to lead you in the direction of a couple of those styles where you're like, "I bet it's easier to make money with that one, "so I'm gonna be that one." Instead, I want you to remember to focus on your long-term growth, where do you want to end up. Because your growth style doesn't actually change. Your growth style is a constant. And our job is to choose the one that we're already naturally doing, but we just might be doing a bad job of it. I have been there, guys, I have done that. I'm a leadership business, that's what I do. If you were wondering, I leverage influence and authority. If you haven't gotten that by this point in this talk, you haven't been paying attention, no, I'm kidding. But that's what I do, that's who I am. There have been times in my business where I have not used that to my best advantage, where I've not made that the focal point, the point of leverage that I've used to get results. Do you know what happens? I don't get results, I don't perform the way I could. My company doesn't perform the way it should, and it's simply because I've tried to do something else and I've ignored that point of leverage. And so, for each of you, there is either a point of leverage that you're kind of using, or maybe you're using it a lot. And every so often, we veer away from it. And so, again, if you're having trouble choosing, remember to get back to what worked in that mountaintop experience and what's going to be working in that five-year vision. Forget your current priorities for a little bit and focus on your long-term growth. I also want you to forget industry conventions and get creative. What I mean by that is that there are certain industries that seem to be just, well, I'm a web designer so I must be a bespoke business. Or I'm a life coach so I must have a prestige business, but that's not true. In fact, one of the best ways you can differentiate your business in your industry is by choosing, by realizing your growth style is something different than everybody else's. You could be a web designer and have a systematic business. You could be a web designer and have an identity business. You'd be a life coach and have an institution business or a leadership business or an exploration business. What you're offering and the conventions of your industry doesn't choose your growth style. You as the leader of your business chooses your growth style and then finally, I want you to forget tactics and focus on leverage. Again, you might think that someone, okay, so Chris Guillebeau writes a lot of books. So, if I want to write a lot of books then that must mean I'm exploration. No, you can write a lot of books in just about any of the growth styles, books are great marketing. They're great products, they're great ways to get in front of people. But what you would leverage in those books is going to be different. So Vanessa's releasing a book here soon called Captivate, I highly recommend it. And she has that leadership style, right? And so that book is going to be influencing authority, or is going to be leveraging authority. It's gonna be using influence to make her mark in her field, which is human behavior and people skills. Whereas Chris's books, like literally you page through Chris's books and it's exploration, like every piece of it. He's constantly looking for, he's very curious about how other people solve the same problems, and he puts that on the page. And so you can take one tactic and approach it eight different ways, depending on your growth style. So I want you to forget tactics and focus on that leverage piece. How are you going to use authority or people, or meaning to make every tactic, every strategy in your business really count? So, what's your growth style? Does anybody know? Like right off the top of my head, right off the top of your head, this is my business right here, I'm so excited, this is what I'm going for. Yes, yes, microphone, very good. I was kind of surprised that mine was identity because I make jewelry, but I've been trying to find a way to bridge, I'm really, environmental causes have always been a big deal and my jewelry is very much natural, I like to make feathers and animals and I'm trying to find a way to bridge that, so people like buy jewelry. Like I love the outdoors, and I want people to feel like they're bringing a part of the outdoors with them where they go. I'm still trying to find a way to bridge that but I think that growth style looks like the direction I wanna go in. Yeah, you totally, totally, totally agree. Yes, especially the jewelry we wear, it's part of kind of, it's a cultural artifact, right? And so the jewelry we wear says something very specific about who we are and the meaning that we want to bring into our lives, and so if you can tap into that as a brand, as a marketer, as a designer, as a creator, then that is, yeah, that is the leverage you bring to the table in a nutshell. That's a story you can tell to retailers, it's a story you can tell on your website, it's a story you can tell through the packaging that you use. It's literally every single layer of your business now you can say, how can I imbue this with that meaning so that when someone opens this up, it is helping to evolve their identity and become the person that they want to become, yeah. Exactly. Awesome. Anyone else feeling really good about their growth style? Yeah, Jenny. I feel halfway good. (laughter) Tell us about it. I have a business partner and she is relationship 100% all the away, and maybe I have the gift of perspective. So, I feel like half of our business is relationship. For me on the mountaintop moment, I was sort of oscillating between two experiences. One was a little similar to what we were talking about with authority, and being on stage and being sort of able to share a message or expertise on one side, and then the other side, I was thinking about any times that I've created like processes or efficiencies in my business where we're not touching the client every step of the way but they've felt incredibly held throughout the process. So now that we're here I'm toggling between either a leadership business or a bespoke business. I feel like we sort of sit somewhere in there. Yeah, so I think that's a conversation that you need absolutely obviously to have with your partner with your cofounder, and I think that, in full disclosure, we were chatting about this last night in meetup. So I have little backstory here, but I think that you guys need to decide who is lending the vision to the business and ultimately, this decision is going to go to that person. So that person kind of lending that overall vision to the business is going to be the tiebreaker, and the person that is sort of doing the execution piece, figuring out what the plans all look like, how the pieces all fit together, they're going to have unique skills and a kind of a unique style that they bring to the table as well, and so they can incorporate that but the business itself is going to have one style and that's why you need to have a tiebreaker in that particular role. Does that make sense totally? Totally. Alright, have that conversation and then get back to me. One more, anybody else? Melissa? Well, it's so interesting that you just said the thing that you did about authority because I was thinking, I'm either prestige or identity and now I'm thinking maybe I'm leadership. (Tara laughs) I have totally messed you up, I'm so sorry. No, it's really helpful actually, because it was very clear to me the mountaintop moment is very clear, like from my, I spoke at my college graduation which was a huge big experience for me and every time I think of mountaintop moment, peak experience kind of thing, it's always a performance moment is always getting up on stage in front of people, and that when you said authority, it's like whoa, oh, authority, like-- So again, because I know you and I know this transition that you're making in your business right now, that to me very much feels like the direction you're going where instead of kind of trying to involve everyone and try and be everything to everyone you're saying no, I am now, I have this IP, I have these ideas, I have this message that I need to give to these people and these companies, and these students, and to me that feels very authority, very influence, very leadership. Does that jive with your five-year vision as well? Absolutely, yeah, thank you. Yes, absolutely, absolutely. Alright, so, as I promised there is a comprehensive rundown on each style, including like revenue models and marketing tactics and kind of organizational ideas. So like building a team, on my website. You do not need to give me your email address for this. All you have to do is type it into your browser or I'm sure they'll put it in the chat somewhere and you can click the link. And this will really give you the full rundown on it. Patrice? So when you don't have a business partner, what is a good tiebreaker if you're truly torn between two of the growth styles? Tell me more. So I'm somewhere between prestige and bespoke business. The prestige piece, I was convinced was my growth style until today, because I really have focused a lot on making my clients feel like they're a part of this community, I've always focused on client experience which is something that I don't think is heavily focused on in my industry and that's been really important to me. They want them just to feel like a file. The bespoke piece of it is that I do think that in order for me to achieve the big vision which is getting them to the point of using their intellectual property as an independent stream of revenue, that there has been a process that I've used to pool that out of my clients. I just don't know which one is the more prevalent. Okay, so talk to me about your five-year vision. Where do you see your business five years from now? So the five-year vision is that I've helped at least 25 creative entrepreneurs leverage their intellectual property to create an independent stream of revenue of at least one million. And that is the vision for my clients. For myself, it's that Chicago remains my hub but I've now expanded into California and New York as other markets. I'm working from a really cool brownstone and it's more of a, more community space, less law firm where there is part co-work, part space for clients to showcase whatever their tally is, part actual law office. So those are the... And tell me about your team. So my team includes myself, a practice administrator which is really the person behind the operations of the practice, a business development person and then I also have a legal assistant and then attorney in each of those markets that are the leads. Yeah, so that's bespoke. Is it? Okay, wow, okay. So here's another piece of this. So you are huge on intellectual property, you love helping people develop their intellectual property as it relates to their creative businesses, so just for everyone, so that we're all on the same page. Bespoke is great for doing exactly that in terms of your process is intellectual property, right? And so to me, there is this, for you in particular, there's this really beautiful like synergy between you having this intellectual property that is your process, that that's what you're leveraging and so you're kind of living this idea that you're building into your, or that you're helping your clients build as well. Does that make sense, does that feel good? It does feel good, it's so scary. Yes, good, that's good, if it's not scary it's not working. (laughter) Sorry, I'm not supposed to be pointing. So, where am I going with this? What I see is that you have this huge capacity to grow this business based on this process that you're developing, your own IP, so you can help other people develop their IP and you can still create amazing experiences for your people, right? Just because you are focused on leveraging process in this case, doesn't mean you can't also create amazing experiences, but it's secondary. So the process becomes primary, the experience becomes secondary. There's still an important, it's all still an important part of your business but what is going to, what's gonna create that traction for you, what's gonna create that growth more easily for you is the process, alright? Alright, thank you. Any other questions? Two online questions, let's give that a try. Kat says, could you speak specifically to those of us who create physical products instead of digital or service-based products, do any of these principles change? No, I was thinking about, we did a Facebook live and someone else asked, is this class good for these kind of people or these kind of people? I was like, I can never say this but it's good for all of the people. Which is not generally a good business principle. So do what I say, not what I do, no. This in particular, goal setting, product planning, thinking about what you leverage in your business is something that applies to all businesses. It might look a little bit different in the way it's executed, in the way that you kind of embody it as a business owner and as a company, but the idea behind choosing a growth style, creating your vision, that remains the same whether you create physical goods, digital goods, services, programs, online courses, no matter what it is. There's still something unique about your business that you leverage that you can bring to the market. As we were talking to Annette, she was talking about the jewelry she makes and how that helps people kind of identify with the environment, with the great outdoors. That same growth style, absolutely applies to a digital products business or a service-based business as well. Some of them obviously are going to apply more easily to one kind of business or less easily to another kind of business. But some of those styles that apply less easily are actually huge opportunities. If you're feeling a real affinity with something like that but you create something very different maybe than what would be expected, that's a huge opportunity. That's a huge opportunity to differentiate, to do something different to really stand out. And this is goal setting to grow your standout business, so if you're gonna stand out, that's a great way to do it. Next question, KrisWithaK says, Hey Tara! I love these growth styles. I struggle to figure this kind of thing out though because I have a wildly different styles and abilities during the different seasons of the year. I have seasonal affective disorder and live in Atlantic Canada, so winter is a hibernation for me but I'm a total extrovert in the summer, and I'm a 100% a relationship strengths person. How can one business use different strengths at different times of the year? KrisWithaK, that is a difficult question. I think when it comes to your business, focus and consistency create traction. You guys have heard me say this before. Focus and consistency create traction. That doesn't mean that you shouldn't observe how you change and adjust during seasons, but it does mean you have to look further out so that you can create consistency and focus, so that you are achieving traction throughout the year. So my business is very seasonal. Some times of the year, people really want to be working on their businesses, and in the summer, they just don't care. (laughs) And I take a nice long break at the holidays 'cause again, no one wants to be thinking about their business right then, or if they are, they've gone and taken themselves to some nice spa somewhere and they're doing their little business planning retreat time, totally support that. And so I think the key for that, when to make the best use of your strengths is to really look at a longer period of time. Part of the problem where we get in the weeds is that we're not looking far enough ahead, where if you're only looking little bit by little bit, it's a lot easier to not really feel like you're connected to that bigger goal. So Kris my challenge to you is going to be to look further out so that you can see how your different personal strengths actually play into one focused strength, one focus point of leverage for your business. Alright so now, what do we do with this? Yeah, there we go. What we do with all of this? I want you to start thinking about and we're gonna go way in depth in this into the rest of the lessons, but I want you to start thinking about the year ahead, and how your growth style is going to influence some of the decisions you make. Like, are the offers that you're planning on building or offering throughout the year, are they built to fit your growth style, or are they working against what you naturally leverage? There's a really good chance that they are or that you haven't used that natural point of leverage to your best advantage. What marketing tactics are you planning on using this year? Do they fit with your growth style? Do they fit with your growth style? What could you do to more strongly tie your brand to your growth style? Your brand is a phenomenal opportunity to really change, to really communicates your growth style, what you leverage, what that unique thing is that you bring to the table. And then, are you building the team that's gonna support that growth as well? Now, you don't have to have the answers to these questions right now, but these are the kinds of things that your growth style is going to start influencing as we go throughout the day. That's why I want you to just start mulling it over now because there could be some scary things in there, or there could be some big changes to plans that you've made. Or you might have a burning new idea about how you're going to incorporate that point of leverage into your plan for the rest of the year, and I want you to start kind of allowing that to take form so that as we go deeper and deeper into this goal setting and planning process, that idea can get more and more specific and more and more well-formed. Because every decision you make should support your growth style. The more you can do that, the faster you'll find traction in the market, the faster your business will grow.

Class Description

So you launched a business and made the leap. 

Congratulations! But now you are a year or longer into being a business owner and you are HUNGRY for more. 

You have put in the hard work to build your business to where it is today but big decisions about what to focus on and what opportunities to pursue, threaten to slow your progress. 

You want to make the right decisions for your business and your customers so you can feel confident, focused, and accomplished as a small business owner. 

Goal-setting & Planning To Grow Your Standout Business helps you make the right decisions about your ideas, opportunities, and plans so you can earn more money and save time on the path to your dream. 

Whether you’re offering a service, selling online programs, or designing a product, Tara guides you step-by-step through setting the goals and creating the plans that will grow your business. 

By the end of the class, you’ll have a framework for knowing: 

  • What to focus on to grow your business without working harder 
  • How to know which project comes first so you’re never backtracking 
  • How to know you’re making the right decisions for your business so you can achieve your vision 
  • How to set goals you can actually achieve with the resources you currently have 

Tara is a bestselling CreativeLive instructor, with a wide variety of business classes including the first step for entrepreneurs, Build a Standout Business. She is the founder of CoCommercial, the business association for digital small business owners and the author of the book Quiet Power Strategy. Tara’s work has been featured in Fast Company, Forbes, Inc., and Design*Sponge. Her podcast, “Profit. Power. Pursuit.” was named one of the top women-hosted podcasts for entrepreneurs by Entrepreneur magazine. 

By the end of this class, you will have a clear vision of what you are building, a clear path to build it, and a project plan to take you closer to turning your vision into reality.  


Donna Herbster

Packed with truly helpful info and lots of actionable steps, Tara delivers an amazing amount of value in this class! I'm in the early stages of business development and what I have learned here has shifted my focus, brought me greater clarity and a list of things to consider as I plan what, when and how I will deliver an exceptional experience to my clients. I have followed Tara's work from the beginning and she continues to outdo herself time and time again...she is a powerhouse of wisdom and experience, as well as a fun and easy to follow speaker! I highly recommend this class.

Winn Clark

Excellent class and maybe the best online class I've ever taken. It's a great combination of practical and dream big and Tara's credible and funny. I can't wait to go back, listen again and dive deeper into the assignments. I'd recommend this class to anyone who wants to grow their business!

Deb Fels

To Tara and CreativeLIVE: Thanks for your commitment to small business owners. You offer empowering mentorship with smarts, heart, and power - I'm grateful. Tara, I've sought the matching resources for my business as I've evolved, this AMAZING course truly rang my bell. Thanks for the traction, your willingness to keep growing forward, and not settling for less!