Pinch of Thought – How COVID kicked my butt into action

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It’s been quite the year hasn’t it?

When COVID first hit, like many, I was fearful that my consultancy business could be in real trouble. Having lived through several recessions, I knew how vulnerable such services can be to the cost-cutting pencil.

But I was not going down without a fight. I already had a clear of idea to where I wanted to take my business. With fear and hope in equal measure, I got busy accelerating the changes I had in mind.
I have never worked harder. Six months on, the fruits of those labours are appearing and I wanted to share some of them with you here.

New Strategy
Many of the businesses I work with have prospered from the changes enforced by the pandemic. When the deck is burning, we are forced to jump!  My business strategy has benefitted in the same way. There are now two clear parts to my offering;

Executive Mentoring
Helping smart professionals and businesses to Build their brand, Showcase their thinking and Show Up at their best – as an executive mentor, facilitator, advisor and strategist.

Business Mastermind Groups
Working with the leaders and owners of SMEs in a group setting, with a focus on business growth, group learning and mutual support. At the heart of the strategy is scalability. Both parts of the business are now designed to scale, supported by new products and infrastructure.

New Website
To support this strategy, I have just launched my new website. For anyone who has built a website, you will know how much work that involves.

I’m stoked with the result. I have learned a lot about how a website needs to be so much more than a brochure (like my old site). It must be a part of an integrated marketing system that invites the customer into conversation and captures data that can be used for ongoing business development.

New Value

Part of the website/data ecosystem is my new Personal Brand Report. This is the result of a lot of thinking and design investment. It provides clients with a complimentary customised 15-page report on where their Personal Brand currently sits (Asleep, Agitated, Active, Amplified or Awesome) and offers a road map for how to improve it to enjoy greater professional success.

This will very shortly be complemented by a new 8-hour online programme, Building Your Personal Brand. My plan is to sell this online programme at volume through channel partners in 2021.

New Learning

Underpinning my strategy has been a lot of investment in new learning. I have burnt the midnight oil attending the certification processes of the excellent US-based programmes of StoryBrand and Business Made Simple University. I am now a Certified StoryBrand Guide and a Business Made Simple University Coach (the first in Australia).

These are strategic investments in thinking, tools and resources that I know will help my clients to thrive and succeed – personally and commercially. Crucially, they give me access to a community of similarly qualified professionals who can help me scale as client numbers grow.

Clarity, Simplicity, Brevity

StoryBrand’s tagline is that it helps business leaders to ‘Clarify Your Message’. This resonates strongly and has helped clarify my own message to upgrade my offering.  The COVID storm has forced change on all of us. It has accelerated pre-existing trends where many professionals felt overwhelmed, overworked and out of balance.  Right now, we are looking for products and services that solve our problems. That speak directly to our lives and take up as little of our time and headspace as possible in the process. Simple, done well, wins.

Make your Customer the Hero

The other key shift that I have learned from the StoryBrand team is that we need to make our customer the HERO. Our role is to be the GUIDE – the person or business that equips the Hero (customer) to win the day.

I will explore this in greater length in further articles, but it is a subtle change in thinking that changes EVERYTHING. Have a quick look at your website for example. Who is the Hero?

Hope springs eternal

I often say that Hope is a wonderful thing, but a terrible strategy. I wanted to share some of my experiences across the last year to give a sense of what I think is possible. COVID has made me change up my business far faster and more aggressively than I would have done. It has kicked my butt – in a good way!

It has been a lot of work, but I an excited. I enter the post-pandemic world with great hope. I hope you do too.

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