There’s a recurring theme showing up in many of my client conversations at the moment and it goes something like this:
“One day, this idea occurred to me and I just knew I wanted to set up my own business. But I didn’t really know what I was doing so I kind of made it up as I went along and now it’s making £40K a year. I know I should be not just going to networking events and I should be doing webinars instead/ doing Facebook ads/ have a better website/ be making a conscious effort to grow my list/ raise my prices/ create online products and programs because ‘they’ tell me I should be. I feel like it’s time to take my business to the next level and stop winging it, can you help me do it properly?”
A few years ago, my answer would have been:
“Yes, of course. Come work with me and we’ll work out how much you want to make from your business because 40K certainly isn’t enough – what about six figures? Hell, why not seven? Don’t play small, girl. I’ll teach you the exact same strategies and steps I took that I used to grow my own business, and as long as you implement them step-by-step and do everything I tell you to (without moaning or procrastinating or I’ll kick your butt), then you get the same results as me.”
It looked so obvious to me: do what I did and you’ll get the results I did.
“Phew!”, they would reply – “Just tell me what to do and I’ll do it.”
“Someone else really DOES have the answers I need!”
I would say around 2-5% of my clients got the results they were looking for.
Just enough to provide me with a handful of testimonials for my website but that was it.
And they were stressed out, driving themselves crazy ‘doing the big scary stuff they just knew they should’, working all hours and beating themselves up for not doing everything they knew they had to.
So I stopped coaching. I thought I was a crap coach. I couldn’t, in all integrity, continue to sell my clients something that didn’t work for the majority of them.
And then I discovered a completely different understanding about the human experience, and about how life really works.
Here’s the truth of how I really grew my successful business.
I had an idea out of the blue for JigsawBox. I knew what the next step was and I did it. Why wouldn’t I? It was a no-brainer.
Then I had the idea for running virtual bootcamps out of the blue. I knew what the next step was to bring that idea into being and I did it. Why wouldn’t I? It was a no-brainer.
And then I hired a team when I knew to do it? Why not? The timing was perfect. It was a no-brainer.
I grew a technology business that ‘they’ told me wouldn’t work.
I didn’t grow it like a ‘proper’ technology business does it.
I have no idea to do it ‘properly’ – there are a handful of books I’ve looked at, and experts I’ve listened to, but their way of doing things either looked too complicated so I never got into action on their recommendations, or felt overwhelming and I just felt like an idiot for not doing it ‘properly’.
In fact every time I tried to do it ‘properly’, I just got in the way of what was already unfolding.
In truth, I winged it. I made it up as I went along.
And at the time I thought it was ME that did it.
That it was my action-taking, my decision-making, my marketing efforts, my relationships that grew my business.
That I, Nicola, could take personal credit for every single one of those dollars.
What I see now is that there’s something greater at work here.
Something that planted the idea of JigsawBox into my head that November in 2009, just at the second I was perfectly placed to hear it.
Something that gave me the action step to take next and next and next.
The same something that already knew exactly how fast JigsawBox would grow, which coaches would hear about it and when they’d decide to sign up, what actions I would take next, and what Joint Venture partners would be attracted to working with me on it.
The same something that allowed JigsawBox to grow fast, to allow it to hit $1m in revenue, so that I could be hit with the thunderbolt that getting ‘there’ doesn’t make you happy sooner rather than later.
Beautiful when you look back on it. Almost like there’s an intelligence behind the design.
The same thing that handed me the idea for the Simplicity Project, that hands me the next step and the next step to grow this business.
Only this time, instead of trying to follow the formulas, the seven step blueprints, the having to grow, grow, grow, faster, faster, faster, bigger, bigger, bigger, I see that this greater intelligence is really what’s in charge.
That no ‘how-to’ coach or program is going to be able to do this better than my own wisdom.
That the answers about how to do this aren’t out there.
That winging it is just perfect.
And as a result the Simplicity Project is growing slowly, and sustainably, and elegantly, and gracefully and perfectly.
So now when a client comes to me and says:
“One day, this idea occurred to me and I just knew I wanted to set up my own business. But I didn’t really know what I was doing so I kind of made it up as I went along and now it’s making £40K a year. I know I should be not just going to networking events/ doing Facebook ads/ making a conscious effort to grow my list/ raise my prices/ create online products and programs because ‘they’ tell me I should be. I feel like it’s time to take my business to the next level and stop winging it, can you help me do it properly?”
I tell them no.
Instead, I show them how ‘winging’ it has taken their business to the exact perfect place it’s supposed to be right in this moment.
No bigger, no smaller.
If they’ve got eight clients right now, it’s because they’re SUPPOSED to have eight clients right now.
Not because they’re not doing the ‘right’ things to get to ten.
They made up it ‘should’ be ten. They made it up.
And that but for the “it’s got to grow, grow, grow, faster, faster, faster, bigger, bigger, bigger” thinking trap you’ve fallen into, they’re doing just perfectly.
That but for ‘it should be ten, it should definitely be ten’ thought, then eight is fine.
That if they take a fresh look, it appears that what’s come into being in the form of their business so far might not be in the exact form that they’ve envisioned it would be yet seems to be just perfect for your life in this moment.
And when they see that, they tend to relax, they slow down to the speed of life, go back to winging it, and allow the beautiful unfolding of their businesses continue.
There’s a lot less to do than you think.