I often talk to coaches, consultants, freelancers, small business owners, authors, speakers … etc. who feel stuck.
Well, screw the label, that's not important. They're the "do their own thing, do something meaningful" kind of people.
They've done the professional training, bought the marketing program, and even built a business or two.
But they rarely go back to square one and question whether they have structured their business to amplify their vision and message.
Oh, you're certified as a "coach" – so there's what a coaching business model looks like: a 1: 1 program, a group program, an online course, and an info product. Or, a 1-month, 3-month, and 6-month package. The end.
When people are starting out, a business model is a godsend. It gives you something to build upon and the visibility of "where the money is coming from."
But as you evolve and refine your skills and message, it's easy to get on autopilot and take the business model as a given.
What used to work when you needed training wheels may not work now that you've figured out what the heck you're doing.
Have you revisited and validated your business model lately?
Is the suite of offerings in alignment with your message?
Are they giving you the best venue to serve your ideal clients?
Are the programs / products / services tapping into your strengths?
Are the creating the most value for your clients?
Are the formats of delivery amplifying your message … or are they snuffing out its essence?
When we try to squeeze our message into some predetermined format … due to habit, laziness, fear, unawareness, inertia, or good intention (because the gurus say so) … we may not be doing it justice.
Product-Centric vs. Client-Centric
If you start with a business model (which is essentially a collection of products, services, and pricing) instead of your message and its expression, you're putting the cart in front of the horse.
Leading with a business model is a product-centric mindset. It's an old-school approach and doesn't do well when we're evolving quickly as a society (think Kodak and film.)
Leading with an audience is a client / customer-centric mindset. It helps you stay relevant even when "the thing that people want" changes (think Netflix and entertainment.)
Leading with your message grounds your business in your Truth, connects you with the work you do, and anchors you in the community that you serve.
Have you asked your message what it wants to be when it grows up?
Are you connected with your message in such a way that you can let its expression come through without overthinking it or mucking it up with your ego?
Pop the bubble. Leave the echo chamber.
Don't limit your message to "what a _______ business is supposed to be like."
(If you keep digging, you may realize that your business isn't about ________. What if you're something else?)