Are you struggling to tackle overwhelm in your business?
As a business owner or entrepreneur, it’s easy to get caught up in all of the things that need to be done. Whether you’re managing a team or just managing client work, your time is valuable.
It doesn’t get easier when you start thinking about adding a new product or service to the mix. Chances are you feel like you don’t have the time or the resources to commit to one more project. In fact, a research article I just read indicated that most small businesses commit less than 5% of their annual budget (time and money) to marketing efforts. That says a lot about where your focus is, it’s on the day to day of running your business. As well it should be!
Recently, I had the pleasure of working with a young woman who was struggling with overwhelm to the point that she was actually reaching out about bringing on a partner in order to accomplish what she wanted to do; She wanted to create an online course and membership site.
The sheer thought of everything that needed to be done was weighing her down. From the technical details of building websites and member options to how to maintain consistent content that members would pay for, and much more. If you think about a large goal of any type, there’s certainly a lot that could contribute to making it a reality.
I want to break down a few simple steps to help you tackle that feeling of being overwhelmed so you can take deliberate action and start achieving your goals today.
In our session we worked through the fundamentals of SMART goal setting. I’m not going to cover each of the steps here, but adding them for reference if you need a place to start defining your goals
- Time Bound
Step 1: Identify Your Goals
When we started our session, the first thing we determined is she had a goal in mind, but it wasn’t clearly defined. She wanted to deliver her training for photographers online.
We identified the type of training she wanted to deliver as well as what steps she’d already taken to build course materials. What we learned in the process is she wanted to be able to build a sustainable additional income stream by delivering course content, creating additional videos, training and tips which would be ideal for a membership or mastermind.
So her goal redefined: to create a means to deliver course content and build an audience of entrepreneurs who wanted to learn how to take better photographs with their smartphones or digital cameras.
As it turns out, she already had a 5 day course built that could easily be offered to her audience.
Step 2: Identify Action Steps
Thanks to Michael Hyatt, the next step in this process can be fairly easy. If you’ve defined your goal, the next step is simply to make a list of things that you need to do in order to achieve your goal. I find it extremely helpful to ask the simple question: “What needs to be true in order to achieve this goal?”
It doesn’t matter how much needs to get done, the key here is to remember that not everything needs to be done at once, there will most likely never be a time when everything is “perfect”, so the focus should be on what needs to happen in order to “Start”. Focus on the task or tasks that you can take action on today without any outside assistance. As you move through your list, you may find that you’re able to resource fairly simply the additional tasks once you’re able to view them without that feeling of overwhelm.
For my client, we needed to tackle the technology side of things which had seemingly contributed to much of her overwhelm, how to build a website and membership platform, after all she’s a photographer not a developer. In addition, there was a need to address billing, how to introduce the course and membership option, how to continue to add valuable content on a consistent basis.
We were able to break this down into simple action steps, the first being to establish a membership site and introduce it to her audience. I’ve found a great resource for offering a membership platform that includes CRM, Email and Marketing Automation, Payment Integration and Content Management allowing for a one-stop shop versus tying together multiple components to build a single product. www.simplero.com makes it easy, and for a lot less than most of these products individually. Another great platform is www.kajabi.com
One of her concerns was how to create interest with a small list. Thanks to a recent podcast episode from Amy Porterfield, Stu McLaren provided some valuable insights on launching a membership site:
- Offer Pre-Registration Set a course launch date or membership launch date and offer pre-registration
- Offer Founding Member Pricing – for only 49.99 per month you’ll have lifetime access as a founding member and your membership price will be locked in for life.
- Give founding members special access to new products, first look, sneak peaks etc.. In exchange they will help create a buzz with their own audiences.
Another concern was creating consistent and valuable content, should she tailor it to a specific niche, how can she manage all of the content for each industry before knowing who to build content for? I don’t know if you’ve faced these same thoughts, but I have. It’s easy to get caught up in the details and suffer from the curse of knowledge, that is, being so close to your passion that you can’t see the forest for the trees.
Our solution? Create a simple survey for membership registration that helps segment your audience and asks simple questions about the type of course content they might like to learn in the future. Let your members help decide what content you need to produce.
In addition, focus on spending time learning about your audience, going deeper versus broader, getting feedback throughout the process on how you can improve your product or services along the way. Learning what your members are most interested in. This also offers a unique opportunity to guide your content creation versus worrying about whether the content you create will be right for them or not.
Don’t put the cart before the horse!
Step 3: Time To Outsource
If you’ve gotten this far, then you’ve done a great job sorting through all of your tasks. Identifying your goals and simple action steps you can take to start reaching your goals. Congratulations!
But there’s still some things that you’re not sure about and you need some help. At this point though, if you’re like my client, you’ve figured out that bringing on a partner might have been more costly than it needed to be. Once you cut through the fog, things started to get clearer for you.
If you still need help completing some of the tasks on your list, maybe they’re outside of your comfort zone, or you just don’t have time to keep up with them all. Whatever the reason, it’s probably time that you remember to focus on what your talents are and where your passion is.
I heard another podcast recently discussing this point. If you’re a photographer and you hate building websites, but you do it to try and save money or some other reason and the quality isn’t great, think about what your time is worth. Would you pay a web designer XX per hour to provide a less than quality product? No, so why are you wasting your time building a product you know you aren’t great at? Wouldn’t that money be best served with someone who has the skills you need?
Identify what your critical tasks are and resource someone with the skills you need to complete them.
I recommend a couple great resources for Virtual Assistance, Freelancers and more who provide a wide range of specialized services.
Wise Advise + Assist Team, a network of VA services provided by military spouses)
FreeeUp, founded by a friend in my network
Belay Solutions, for an executive level suite of services.
If you’re struggling to break free from that feeling of overwhelm in your business, trouble identifying how to tackle your next project or need help developing clear actions steps to start achieving more in your business, then schedule a 90-minute strategy session today Schedule Now