Invest in Your Values Through Meaningful Change
We need to make our values, again, not just a piece of paper that hangs on the wall, or in my case like, an Evernote that I come back to on a regular basis that lives on your computer, but instead it has to be part of your daily action. But it also has to be a part of the way you structure your business, the way you structure your plans, the way you structure your goals. And so that means that we need to invest in our values, maybe not financial, but with time, with energy, with thought, with analysis, through meaningful change. In other words, every single one of us in this room, myself included, has a huge opportunity to create small or large changes in our business to help amplify our values and our guiding principles. So here's what I mean by that. Again, on the kind of negative side of this, what kind of offers are you not going to make? What products or services won't you offer? What's out of bounds? And have you thought about those things in the past? Have you thought about inco...
rporating, you know, like, "Everyone's making an online course, I guess I should too"? Does that fit your values or does it not fit your values? Does it help you live up to your ambition or does it not help you live up to your ambition? What products or services won't you offer? This is so helpful for crossing things off of your mental to-do list. All of those "shoulds" that you're like, "Oh, I really, "I should do that because everyone else is doing it, "or that other guru over there, or Tara's doing it, "so that must mean I should do it." No. So what are you not going to offer? What marketing tactics won't you use? I know we all have a list a mile long of those. How many people are thinking they should be using Facebook ads but they just haven't gotten time for it, right? This is the one I'm hearing all the time now, that and Funnels. "I really should spend time working on my Funnel." Really? Does that fit with your values? It's not that Funnels are bad, but maybe there's a better way to look at it. Maybe there's a change you could make to the way you approach your marketing, so you're not thinking about Funnels, but instead you're thinking about guiding people through a journey. Helping them empower themselves to make change. What sales tactics won't you use? What sales tactics won't you use? What management practices won't you use? Even more questions, I have so many questions for you. What about long-term? What changes should you make to the way you envision your business to build for longevity? We talked about kind of balancing between short-term and long-term. What kind of action are you taking right now that's based more on the short-term stuff, that isn't as aligned with your values? And where are you taking action or where could you take action to help build for longer term, longer term success? What would you change about your plans to create timeless systems or habits? This is another thing. Do you guys feel like your constantly changing things? Like, "Oh, I got it dialed in this month. "Next month I'm doing something different." And then the next month you're doing something different? What if you used your values instead to create something that was actually gonna work for you from month to month to month? Where you're not just following a formula, you're not just doing what you think you should be doing, but instead you are intentionally, purposefully, with leadership of your own business, building systems and routines and plans that are timeless for your business. And then finally, what would you change about the way you treat your customers to keep them for life? Again, we can be so focused on what's gonna get that customer now, that we forget that what we're really building is a long-term relationship. And if you're building that long-term relationship, it absolutely has to be built on your personality, on your principles. Those relationships that are not based on personality and principles, they don't last very long, do they? You don't want a one-night stand with your customers. You want a long, happy marriage. And so you have to based that on your principles and on your personality. So I want everyone to think about what are three actions that you could take to make the culture in your business, the values, the principles, the personality behind what you do, more apparent or real? What are three actions you could take to make your culture more apparent or real in your business? And I'll give you some examples from mine. I know this is gonna be something that you're gonna have to think about for a little bit, but I wanted to leave you some examples here. So recently we rebranded our business. My company has been called CoCommercial for several years now, but that wasn't really what our offer was. And I made some big decisions in January, because like I said, planning is a constant process, it's not once and done. And so we make changes. And so we decided to do a big rebrand and relaunch of our membership community as CoCommercial, The Business Association for Digital Small Business Owners. And in thinking about my values and my guiding principles, experimentation, agency, community, I decided to make three, among many other, changes. First of all, we decided to get rid of our content library in favor just-in-time member-driven content stream. You know, most membership communities, when you buy into like a subscription program, you're buying access to a library of information. And that library is overwhelming, it's often out-of-date, and it's often very formulaic. Those aren't necessarily, well, some of them are bad things. But the idea of having a content library is a bad thing, er, not a bad thing. However, it wasn't something that I wanted to do because it didn't fit my values for experimentation. How do you have a content library that's based on experimentation? You don't. Instead, I wanted to encourage myself, and our team, and our members to experiment and share the results of their experiments. So we got rid of our content library, we're still creating content, we're still creating training, but instead of going into a library it's in a stream of information. You dip in, you dip out, you search for what you need, you show up and you realize that someone's having a conversation about the very thing you need right now. And that was the choice that we made, that was a change that we made to amplify that particular value of experimentation and our value of community as well. We also post a weekly check-in thread to celebrate victories as a "we", instead of as a "me". Right, it can be kind of lonely sometimes to just be in your home office being like, "Yes, I did that thing that I was supposed to do," or, "Yes, I got that client." You know, and your kids are tired of hearing about your marketing successes because they don't care and so we decided that it was really important to us to honor the victories in our community every single week. So we asked people to check in. And then finally we attributed power to other members by recasting our value proposition. In the past, our value proposition has really been around access to me. And when people buy in, when they sign up, when they start their free trial, they sure do still do get access to me. But way more important than that is they get access to our community of people, the knowledge that our community brings to the table. And so we help people take agency and understand their own agency or personal sovereignty, as Megan said earlier, by reminding them in our very value proposition for this offer that what's really important here is access to conversations with other people, not just access to me. I'm just one person, I'm just one set of ideas. But our membership is 500 sets of ideas, right? So again, think about what are three actions that you could take to make your culture, your personality, your principles, your values more apparent? Maybe there's decisions that are on your plate right now, choices that you need to make, opportunities that you're considering taking advantage of. What would you decide, what would you take action on, in order to make your culture, your personality, your principles, more apparent and more real in your business? Use this as an opportunity to take decisive action, to build new ideas into your plan based on these decisions that you might have been weighing for a very long time. And that's really the power of understanding your company values. Like I said, it's not a piece of paper you pin on your wall and forget about. It's not something that your read at the team retreat every year and then forget about. It's something that informs your planning and action, daily action, every single day. Something that affects your goal-setting every single day.
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.