Ep. 243 Stop worrying about the numbers

stop worrying about the numbers

In this week’s episode, Anna argues why the figures in your business are not the most important measure of success.

Stop worrying about the numbers in your business!

In this week’s podcast, I look at…

  • The pressure in business to grow at any cost, to get that VC funding, to grow the team, and to have the thousands of followers on your Instagram, etc. etc.
  • Why, in obsessing about the numbers, you’re losing sight of more important things.
  • How to shift your mindset around the numbers and what really matters in your business.

Have a listen to this week’s episode to start looking at your numbers, and success in your business, in a different way.

*Resources mentioned during the episode*

The Outsiders Business Incubator – A mentoring programme focused on implementation support and accountability to help you grow your expert business faster – without sacrificing your personal life to do so. onestepoutside.com/grow

The Outsiders Business Incubator

A mentoring programme focused on implementation support and accountability to help you grow your expert business faster – without sacrificing your personal life to do so.

Numbers in business

Hello there, and welcome back to another episode on the podcast. I’m your host, Anna Lundberg, and today I’m talking to you about the numbers. And when I say the numbers, I’m not actually talking about sales, although that is a part of it. However, before we get into this, I want to do a little bit of a message because it is independent bookshop week here in the UK. And so I wanted to ask you for a favor. Now, as you may know, I have two books or several books, in fact, but two books in the current business, let’s say, leaving the corporate nine to five and outside the nine to five, the second being my latest book that came out last year, and they have self published them on Amazon in the past, however, Thanks to recent feedback from among others, the amazing Tory, so Tory, if you’re listening, thank you very much around the of course, the value first of all, which I know myself and I very much support of supporting our local independent bookshops. Has anyone seen and is it You’ve got mail with Mike Ryan and Tom Hanks. 

So there is value in supporting, of course, our local businesses these days, although unfortunately, Amazon is just so convenient. So it is a tricky one.

But I have gone through the process of publishing my book, to in theory be available now in libraries and in local book shops. So I’m talking UK here, I’m afraid but I would love for you to go in to your local library to your local bookshop and ask them for leaving the corporate nine to five and or outside the nine to five, any book by Anna Lundberg, I can’t imagine there’s so many by someone called Anna Lundberg here in the UK. And of course, if you have any issues do let me know on social on Instagram, LinkedIn, or you can email me podcast at one step outside of Comm. So if they can’t find the book, let me know. And because then I can obviously try to sort things out on my end. You don’t need to buy it if you don’t want to. But if you could ask them for it, see if they’ve got it in stock. And that would be super helpful if you can let me know as well. But I would love to support our local book shops, especially this week independent bookshop week so Let’s all make an effort to go in. And if you don’t buy my book, by the way, why don’t you buy someone else’s books if you in there and see something else you’d like the look of. And let’s all support our independent book shops this week. And every week in fact, but certainly this week, as we celebrate the the lovely local businesses who are selling books, I love a bookshop, especially if there’s a coffee place inside. Obviously, that’s quite important. But I mean, really holding the physical book in your hand, a really lovely environment.

And then and finding some unexpected treasure on the shelf is always really lovely. So please do go in and ask for my books, and then above all, support them in some way or another. So thanks so much for that little side message for our independent bookshops this week, coming back to the message this week around the numbers not to worry about the numbers. Now, there is this view of success in business, I think being bigger, bigger is better. You need the VC funding, big teams, big offices, although there is a bit of a move away from that, obviously, since the last few years of the pandemic, and so on. But there’s this push of Grow, grow, grow. And in the entrepreneurial space, even for those of us who don’t do the whole funding piece, you know, solopreneurs service based expert businesses, there’s still this pressure, I think, to scale to 678 figures and all these things and to hire more freelancers supporting you and to invest in bigger tech that’s going to let you automate more and have millions of people and whatever. And a lot of the business models also are based on selling 1000s of courses and so on, right, so you need to grow. And that’s always the goal.

Then the second piece, so that’s a piece around sort of sales and just the big image of success in society. The second piece is around followers, and it used to be on Instagram that you had to have at least 10,000 followers to get access to certain features like the link, right, and you had to have the blue tick.

And by the way you can pay now if you haven’t read that in the papers, you can pay to get the blue tick. So that means less than than it did in the past. Thank you, Elon, Mr. Musk. And there is this and I have to hold my hand up here there is this sense of oh my goodness, I wish I had 12,000 followers on Instagram, it would look so cool. And I’d be saving had on my vision board a few years ago, embarrassingly, and if you pop on my Instagram, you’ll see that I do not have over 10,000 followers and very much growing slowly incrementally them. But there is this, you know pressure, whether self imposed or otherwise to have more views, more followers, more subscribers on Instagram On Facebook, less so now, but still having a massive Facebook group and all of those big Facebook groups have shut down now, when I first did digital marketing and in my corporate career, the pressure and that was you know, 1516 years ago, it was always on when Facebook was new getting the page likes which of course now we know is completely meaningless in for a gazillion reasons these days. And but there is still this desire to have more followers.

And then the final piece of numbers, although I’m sure you can think of others is you know how many people are joining your live webinar, how many people are in your group program and so on.

Right and there’s this desire because let’s face it We want to make a big impact. We want to feel successful as well, we want to make more money, let’s be honest. There’s this pressure and I see other people, oh my gosh, they’ve got 1000s of people signed up to their free challenge. Or they you know, whatever it is that you’re when you’re comparing yourself to other people, they’ve got 50 people, 100 people in their group program. And there’s this kind of push towards having more people. So again, I’m sure you can think of other aspects to this. But there is this pressure desire to grow the business, to have a bigger business, to make more money, to have more followers to have more people in all the different programs and so on. So I want to counter this a little bit with a few different points today. And the first one is, and I know I’ve talked about this before, and I remind myself of this too, and it’s so important. The first one is to value each and every human being who is listening to you. So if you’re just starting out, and you’ve got 10 people on your email list, that is amazing. That’s 10 People imagine being a room with 10 people who are listening to everything you have to say about your business, if a couple of those by that’s already amazing, right? If if they’re all listening, if they then tell somebody else, if they have an incredible experience, and they go and say oh my goodness, Debbie did this workshop, and it was so valuable. And even if they don’t buy from you, they’ll go off and recommend you to other people. I’ve had so many incredible ambassadors, here in my community, the last few years, they’ve never bought anything from me, as far as I’m aware, constantly recommending me cheering me on on Instagram, and being so supportive, and that means the world to me. But I really think we can’t underestimate the importance of valuing each and every human.

First of all, just out of the inherent value and, you know, generosity as opposed of this person to show up the trust, they’re showing in you to listen to what you have to say.

So even if nothing else happens, just valuing that is important enough. But then even if we’re going to be a little bit more capitalist, and think about the consequences, I said, you want to over deliver for anyone who is listening now, so that you can you know, so that they will go on and recommend you and then they’ll bring more people and so on, right, if you do a really rubbish job of the current people in your program, anyone, one person who signed up only one person, that’s one person who’s gone out their credit card and paid you and believes in you. So do your best, most amazing job with this person, and you’ll have two or three next time, you’ll have five, you’ll have seven, before you know it and a few years time and it might take longer than you want, you have more people and you’ll have possibly a fan for life if you over deliver for these couple of people, right. So even if you’ve promised a group program, and only a couple have shown up, then then of course, it needs to make sense for you financially, and so on, but over deliver for those people. And that can only be a good thing. So that’s the first piece is to really value each and every human person, just first of all out of their inherent trust and and yeah, the fact that they’re showing up for you, that’s huge. Let’s celebrate that and be grateful. And then secondly, also for the potential implications of really doing an incredible job with those people who are showing up however few, then the second places that I personally or a little sparrow has just landed on my on the brick outside my window.

I personally love working with an intimate group, whether it’s a free workshop, a paid workshop, in a program, as much as it’s really hard.

And I like to think that I’ve perfected the art of talking to myself now on a live. So you know, if you ever do catch one of my lives, you probably wouldn’t know. There might be less interaction. But but you know, I’m very happy as you can maybe hear to just to babble on. So you know, that’s an art in itself. But I love when a couple of people show up and they can ask their specific questions. And I can really tailor it to you, we talked about this before about the value of that personal feedback and so on. In a paid program, especially and this is some work I’ve been doing. It’s easy to think I say want to have 50 people, my program 100 people, but a couple of things. One is maybe you don’t even have the tech setup, and the capacity to onboard all those people to deliver an amazing job and so on, right.

But secondly, again, I actually love making a bigger impact on a handful of people, this is part of choosing your business model in the first place. If you want to reach 1000s of people, and you don’t mind not really having a huge impact, you just want to you know, give an inspirational talk that you get paid for and everyone leaves with a bit of a nugget or sell lots and lots of courses at a really affordable price. And they get some basics. But you know, you can’t deliver. You can’t you just can’t financially and energetically provide the support that they actually need with that kind of model. If that’s what you want to do. That’s that’s completely fine. And that’s the whole point of choose your own business model. However, actually, in my case, and I heard this on a challenge I did recently as well, having that intimacy. That’s how I thrive as much as I’d love to be on stage and speak in front of lots of people.

And I absolutely will do that again in the future. In the meantime, I want to you know, in the incubator program that I’ve been talking about the last few weeks or so, and in the Business Breakthrough challenge, I want to be there for you. And I can only do that if I have a small group. Now. That’s not to say that you know, if you And hopefully this will happen, hopefully. So hopefully, yes, I suppose hopefully at some point if and when I want to, let’s put it that way be intentional about it grow and scale the numbers. When I have, you know, maybe when both kids are at school when I have more than three days during the week, although I’ve been told by everybody that school time actually gives you less time, but let’s just forget about that for a moment. If when the kids have graduated from school in 14 years time, 16 years time, I have more time, then maybe if I want more people, then that’s fine, I know that I’ll be able to have all my business.

In fact, I could cope with that now, because I’ve got the backend systems and so on, I’m just choosing for now, especially as I ramp up the program to have smaller groups, if I had more people, to be honest, I probably do multiple calls.

And also, just so you know, while we’re on this, you know, usually I’ve heard the number 20 30% of people who are signed up to program will join the call. So you could have 100 people in the program, and still only 20 Turn up in your call. So it’s not to say that you can’t have lots of people in your program. But again, I would much rather have a smaller group where I can really make a big impact. So that’s my own personal preference. And then finally, putting our capitalist hat on again, we want to pay the bills, we want to have financial abundance, whatever it is, with the right business model and pricing, you absolutely can have a financially thriving business without having huge groups, right. If you sit down and do a bit of maths, you’ll be able to see that actually, you only need to be paying, you know, five people, one to one clients, 10 people in a group program paying, you know, whatever it is 500 pounds, 5000 pounds, do the maths over the year, you do not need 1000s of people in order to hit even your six figure, target and so on. Right. So that’s just something to think about. So again, first of all, challenge some of this mindset piece around bigger is better. Then value each and every human who is showing up over deliver crater, a fan for life, an ambassador for you and what you’re delivering. So they go on and recommend you and rave about you to other people.

Secondly, see the value if you’re like me, and you like working with an intimate group, I know some of you really love the personal connection a lot of us do.

And and above all, the impact we can make is so much deeper, we can really provide a bigger transformation, if we’re working with an intimate group. And we’re able to provide personalized feedback, tailored support and troubleshooting and so on. And then finally, make sure that you do have the right business model in place, if you’re charging 10 pounds or a logo for your graphic design or you know, 50 pounds for one to one call, whatever, you’re just not going to hit those targets, right. So you need that business model and pricing in place. So question your mindset and do the maths and stop worrying about the numbers. Once you’ve done that, once you’ve done the maths, and then you’ve got those targets in place, you know, you’ve got the business model in place, and then focus on really showing up really serving those people who are there for you. And growth can come later if and when you want it to. But for now know that it’s not necessary. And again, you only need to look at my numbers to see that, you know, with 2000 odd people on Instagram, yes, I have about 10,000 on LinkedIn that’s a little bit different. With corporate, by the way, we haven’t even talked about that if your business model is b2b and corporate, you don’t need any followers, of course, LinkedIn connections and so on, you certainly don’t need people following your YouTube or Instagram to do really lucrative contracts with big companies.

So there you go, we can end on that note, your business model can be completely unreliable. And having any followers, you can have two or three clients, I wouldn’t recommend having just one because that becomes then a job.

And then you’re depend on that one client, but you can have a handful of b2b clients, and have a really thriving business. So just leave you with that final mindset shift as well. So I hope that was helpful, let me know as ever, your feedback and best of luck with growing the business that feels right for you, right, that’s what we’re always talking about the size, the nature, the type of transformation you want to support your clients with, and how you want to show up in your marketing and so on, you know, if you want those big numbers and so on, by all means, and you can you know, invest in ads to get those numbers there are strategies to get these sort of lower quality lower caliber, I suppose lead but to get the numbers. And by the way, we’ll be talking next week about the opposite and how to attract the right caliber of clients, the high quality leads and clients as well. And but if that’s what you want to do, the big numbers that there’s by no means anything wrong with that it just happens to be that my business model. And certainly, it is possible to have a business model that doesn’t require that that’s the key takeaway from today. So I hope that’s reassuring to you. And I hope you can really now go back to your desk, go back to your clients and people who are there in front of you right now. And really serve them as your big focus and and not worry so much about the future of who and how many people will show up later on. Thanks so much for listening, and I’ll see you next week. Bye for now

WORK WITH ANNA

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The Outsiders Business Incubator

A mentoring programme focused on implementation support and accountability to help you grow your expert business faster – without sacrificing your personal life to do so.

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