What to do when your business starts evolving
Something that has been on my mind lately is evolution.
No, I'm not talking about Darwin here...
I'm talking about business owner evolution.
Evolution as a business owner is something so essential to success yet is often times glossed-over. As if overnight you have the biggest ah-ha moment possible and the next day *POOF* your business is on a totally different playing field than before.
Why do we think that?
Social media is great, but so curated that it's easy to think that success and business savviness is gained overnight.
Psst. It's not!!
Evolution is a slow process.
As your business grows, evolves, expands, and changes it's easy to get a little anxious. Suddenly you might face familiar questions that seem to carry SO MUCH more weight.
- Am I ready to do this?
- Will people like this new thing?
- This feels right, but is it *really* the best thing to do?
- Is it okay if my core values shift?
- I know I need to change 'xyz'... but when?
Here's the good news... You're not alone!
Seriously, the past few month I've been going through an interesting business evolution with Linea Mae. And you know what? It's amazing.
Of course the growing process is a little uncomfortable (aka, stressful). To deal with this, I've found a few questions that help me make sure that the changes I make are in alignment with my "big picture plan."
If you're dealing with growing pains as your business evolves, these questions are going to help.
Here are the top 5 questions to ask yourself when you're facing evolution in your business.
If I don't do 'xyz' will it prevent my business from growing?
This question is at the top of the list for a good reason. There is a reason that something might be nagging you - and that reason is that your business will plateau if you do not take action. As a small business owner, prioritizing what you do and do not move forward with is key.
The next time you're about to make a monetary investment, a time investment, and education investment... ask yourself if your business will be able to grow without it.
If not taking action or making an investment will prevent growth, the answer is clear. You must do it OR take steps towards being able to do XYZ. Notice that last part. Sometimes actions/investments are huge and could potentially cause a lot of stress on your business or life especially if something requires $$.
Do as much as you can, with what you already have. Do not be afraid to ask for help. But also do not nickel and dime yourself to death... which brings me to the next question.
Does this change make running my business easier?
When I think of this question, creating systems and automations come to mind. It is a matter of time investment vs monetary investment.
- Does $10, $20, $50 a month in a new program to automate your business free up your time to be able to make $100 more a month?
- Does a shift in your business offers allow you to narrow your focus and amplify your impact?
- Does moving your client work to only 3 days a week increase your overall productivity?
- Does XYZ simplify instead of add to the noise?
These are all correlating questions that help you decide whether or not a small time/money investment, or business shift, makes your day-to-day easier.
Does it simplify your business in a way that allows you to have more freedom for your zone of genius? OR is this thing (whatever you're considering) adding more to your plate? Changes, evolution, shifts should be done to simplify simplify, simplify. Focus on making your life easier.
Do I know 5 people that would love and benefit from 'xyz'?
Stop doing shit without testing it out. Yes, passion projects are great. But your business is not a passion project. Passion projects are hobbies that can turn into businesses (sure). But do not turn your business into a passion project, because your business is not a hobby.
What do I mean?
If you are thinking about doing something, anything in your business, consider your audience. Consider your customers. Consider your clients. Consider your peers.
Consider the people you want to get money from in exchange of you selling a thing. If you want to create a big new offer then you better know 5 people who would definitely buy it.
It comes down to this:
Are you solving a problem or are you presenting a solution?
Know the difference.
Does this change (ultimately) allow me to live a life I love?
You created your business to support yourself. You are not here to only support your business. Big decisions or small decisions should grow your business while also allowing your life to flourish.
What this balance looks like for you could be different from what it looks like to me. If you're not sure where to start - balance should encompasses simplicity, alignment, growth, release, and putting yourself first.
Keeping your personal life in mind and as a priority will help you avoid the dreaded burnout that is so common among business owners. Remind yourself to nurture all aspects of your life.
Is 'xzy' in alignment with my core values?
Right now I'm going to guess that your personal core values and your business core values are not the same.
Because as business owners we know that there needs to be a separation of our personal lives and business lives. But instead of putting boundaries in place to do this, we try to divide ourselves in two.
This does not work and instead leads us to make decisions in for our business that affect our personal lives in a negative way.
When you're a solo business owner, the decisions you make in your business should support your personal core values. In other words, when you own your own business, the decisions you make for your business should be in alignment with your personal core values.
When you recognize this need for alignment, the decisions you make for your business should no longer be at the expense of your personal life and happiness. The decisions you make in your business will instead allow you to lead a life that you truly love AND become the best version of yourself (within your business too)!
Is this confusing you and blowing your mind at the same time? Feel a tad lost? Grab my free workbook created just for you to help you Rediscover Your Core Values.
Next time you're stressing out about making a big decision, use these to reassure yourself that you've got this.