Ep. 207 The 5 pillars of a profitable and sustainable business

profitable and sustainable business

In this week’s episode, Anna looks at the 5 pillars of building a profitable and sustainable business that you love.

The 5 pillars™ of a life outside the 9 to 5 represent the 5 key areas that you need to make your business, and your lifestyle, viable for the long term. This is not just about financial success but about creating something that is meaningful, enjoyable, and manageable in the context of all the other things (and people) that matter in your life.

*Resources mentioned during the episode*

The Outsiders Business Academy – A self-paced course for you to work through in your own time, to learn – and implement – the foundations of building a profitable business that lets you escape the 9 to 5. onestepoutside.com/course

Profitable and sustainable business

Hello, hello, welcome to November, I hope you’ve had a good Halloween not too scary and that the heating is now well and truly on. If you’re listening in the northern hemisphere, I know I have some listeners down there in some warmer parts of the world. So I hope you’re enjoying the early days of spring and summer as well down there on the other side of the world. But November, December, it is an exciting time still time to work on those goals for the year. But also, of course, to begin to think about Christmas, dare I say it, perhaps Thanksgiving over there in America. And having that time to recharge reflect, take a step back and look ahead to next year. So we’ll definitely be doing some of that as ever. November though, we’re still going strong with building that business outside the nine to five. And there are a few exciting things coming up. If you’re listening to this live, we have my book launch coming up. Yes, the sequel, I suppose to leaving the corporate nine to five will be coming soon. Fingers crossed. I can’t commit quite yet to a date. But it’s definitely imminent, outside of the nine to five, a practical guide on how to build a profitable business that gives you more freedom, flexibility and fulfillment. So if you remember, leaving the corporate nine to five was all about that step of leaving the corporate nine to five strangely, this next one is really a much more of a how to guide how to do it. So the first one was a collection of stories, inspiring a few little tidbits and tips. But now it’s really okay, this is how you do it. So we’ll be talking about that next week. We also have a 2023 business strategy session coming up. So do get in touch, you can message me on LinkedIn, Instagram, wherever we’re connected. Or you can email me at podcast@onestepoutside.com. To get the details of that session is a session that we run every year, if you’re one of my clients, you’ll be getting access to that anyway, if we’re working together already. But otherwise, it’s a great way to set yourself up for the next year.

So today, we’re looking at the five pillars of building a life and a business outside the 9 to 5.

And this may or may not be familiar to you if you’ve been part of my community for a while. But it’s so core to what I teach what I believe what I experience. And I don’t believe I have an updated episode on this topic. So I wanted to create one, which allows me then to send that to people in need. So the five pillars are building a life outside the 9 to 5. The background for this is the following when I quit my corporate job back in 2013. And in fact, that book, Leaving the Corporate 9 to 5, is a bit of a symptom of that or a manifestation. Let’s put it that way. I really did think that was my big, brave decision today. I’ve quit my job, I’m so incredibly brave and courageous. I’m going to be authentic and have freedom and independence. Those are my three core values. I was traveling the world, I really was living my best life. Or as wonderful as that was. Turns out that making that decision, as much as it is a massive decision. It’s a huge step, it does take a lot of courage and commitment. It is just a very first step. So deciding that you want to create a career in life for yourself outside the 9 to 5, to perhaps quit your job to start a business to reimagine success is a fantastic start to what will be a lifelong journey. So if you’re at the beginning, I don’t want to put you off. But I think most of you many of you perhaps have evolved with me, you the audience has evolved with me and I of course quit my job almost 10 years ago, I have to do a really big celebration next year, I think for the 2023. But so through the twists and turns of my own transition.

Of course, if you don’t know my story, I quit my corporate marketing job back in 2013.

Initially, I was doing consulting, I kind of fell into that for a couple of years. Fantastic, really great step in the right direction. But I still was in that corporate world commuting, pretty stressful in the same kind of industry and the same corporate environments and so on. I didn’t quite have the freedom, independence, authenticity that I was striving for at that time. Now, at that moment, I was single, I didn’t have anywhere to live, I didn’t have a partner didn’t have a lot at all. I was very much flying free, which was fantastic. And my aspiration was to create freedom, flexibility and fulfillment in the sense of being able to have that digital nomad lifestyle, travel the world, go on adventures, be free completely in every aspect of that word. As you may or may not know things have changed a little bit. And as you might expect, if you don’t know so things have evolved. I did that consulting for a couple of years. I then realized that wasn’t quite the reason why I quit my job. So I sort of quit that insofar as you can quit your own business and went off on those adventures. I discovered coaching I trained and certified as a coach. And then I tentatively began to actually not so tentatively because I very very decisively put up a site saying, Hey, I’m a coach.

But as it turns out, saying, Hey, I’m a coach on your website doesn’t a coach business make does not mean you’ll have suddenly, hundreds of clients flooding your way, my credibility was all in luxury and beauty and corporate and FMCG CPG, as you call it in America, fast moving consumer goods. And it certainly wasn’t an instantaneous process to steer that ship of my personal brand in a new direction. But I discovered coaching, I integrated that ultimately into my business. So that now I combine the positive psychology, the resilience, the mindset, the life coaching piece, with the more concrete tangible elements of business strategy, business models, branding and personal branding. I love it being multi passionate, multi potential, like renascence, women, whatever you want to call it. And for me, it really is the best way to support myself, certainly, and the best way to support you as you navigate that transition. So these five pillars that I talked about are five key errors that I’ve identified over those almost 10 years now as as of the time of recording, that I have had to focus on that I have had to work hard on and that I have supported my clients and community through over the past several years, again, almost a decade, if not beyond. So these five key areas are areas you need to focus on to make your business and importantly, your lifestyle, viable for the long term.

And if you’re lacking in one or more of these areas, and again, this is not a one and done, it will evolve. So you can be high on one. And then after a few years, that might decline and vice versa, you’re not likely getting the results you want. And we will look at that in a couple of episodes as well. But importantly, of course, it’s not just about financial success. It’s about creating something that’s meaningful, enjoyable, managed, manageable in the context of all the other things and people that matter in your life. And really getting an idea of course of where you are. And each pillar, each area is a great place to start to help you identify what to focus on going forwards. By the way, I do have a scorecard that talks you through this and gives you an assessment of where you are, whether you’re just coming to this new, you haven’t quit your job yet, or you’re further along, perhaps you’ve even done the assessment before, I’d really encourage you to do it again. Because as I said, it can and will evolve. It’s a bit of a roller coaster journey as we know. And for example, you might have a super clear business model that setting your goals. But then perhaps months or years later, you’re evolving your financial or lifestyle goals.

And in fact, when I was talking about my my life changing, I failed to to get to the point that I was trying to make which was that I started with that digital nomad aspiration.

But did the I then fell in love. I started back in London, we had a daughter, we moved down to the south coast. In fact, we had a son there along the way as well. So my life now looks very different. And of course, my definition of success has broadened, deepened, evolved. And so the business model that was previously supporting that kind of single carefree digital nomad lifestyle is now supporting, hopefully still elements of carefreeness and adventure. And I’m certainly trying to bring back elements of that. But in the meantime, allows me to work from home, pick up the kids, if they are inevitably ill, especially in winter, and above all, be present with them and have really lovely family time with them as well, while still having my freedom, flexibility and fulfillment. So that’s how it’s evolved for me. But again, the scorecard the assessment, it’s a free tool. It’s a PDF, you can download at onestepoutside.com/scorecard. But to talk you through Of course, the five pillars, the first one is identifying your personal definition of success. Second, we have cultivating confidence and resilience.

The third is to choose the right business model.

And again, that can and will evolve. The fourth pillar is to build an effective personal brand. And the fifth pillar coming full circle is to design flexible work life integration. So right from the big picture of defining success for you defining your vision, your goals, through to working on your mindset, your grit, your resilience, your confidence, choosing very tangibly concretely, your business model, what are your criteria? Who are you going to work with? What are the products and services you’re selling? What does that whole ecosystem look like? building your personal brand? What do you understand for how you’re going to bring that to life and content you’re creating and how you’re going to build your credibility and maximize your visibility. And finally, again, coming full circle, being super clear on what matters in your life and anchoring that big vision and the incredible strategy you’ve come up with in your day to day life, your day to day routine, because that I think is where I one of the many places where I’m different in terms of my approach. It’s all very well to have that beautiful, amazing vision. You also have to anchor it in your day to day how But same routine. On the other hand, if you only have the routine and you’ve got your hustle, hustle, doo doo doo productivity, you know, it doesn’t matter how fast you’re going if you’re heading in the wrong direction, as Stephen Covey said, again, if you have a really ambitious, audacious goal, if you don’t believe in that goal, if your confidence isn’t there, if every setback knocks you down, and you give up before you even have a chance to get results, you’re not going to get anywhere, either. If you have the wrong business model, if your pricing is wrong, if you’re working with the wrong types of clients, that’s never going to work, right? If you have the right business model, but you’re not actually out there. Yes, dare I say it, promoting yourself, building your credibility, getting people to believe in what you believe attracting those people who share the same values, building your online presence, and offline, by all means, and so on, then that’s not going to work either. So if you have one and not the other, there’s something missing. And that’s probably why things aren’t quite going to plan. So a few questions, you know, you can ask yourself, and again, check out the scorecard. The first one is really are you actually crystal clear on what matters in your life and in your business? So yes, having a vision for your businesses, but importantly, having the bigger picture of why do you want to escape the nine to five? What are you trying to build? Why is this work life integration so important to you? What is it you love doing? What are you great at? What’s that bigger mission or y purpose that’s driving to driving you? And yes, of course, also, financially? What are your criteria? And that’s part of the business model as well, in terms of your confidence, you know, do you actually believe that this is going to work that this can be more than a hobby that you can actually have a successful business?

Let’s say you do have a successful business, but also have functioning work life integration or balance?

I did a live on LinkedIn a few weeks ago on that topic, do you actually fundamentally and subconsciously, perhaps not believe that it’s possible? So yes, you have the great success, but you don’t have the balance, or perhaps you have quite a bit of freedom, flexibility, you’re enjoying what you’re doing, but you’re not generating the income and you sort of think, Oh, it’s okay. You know, it doesn’t have to, but but it’s not okay, if this is your business, this is your big, you know, actually could be should be your full time income, or certainly a substantial part of your income to support your family, whatever that family looks like. So your self belief, your community, your support network, then the business model, again, that clear vision of what you want the business to look like, do you want to, you know, and off offline, what’s it called, I don’t even know the word because I don’t even have a brick and mortar, physical office presence and a big team, probably not the kind of people I work with. Certainly, I don’t want that right now, at this phase of my life, I want to have the flexibility, I want to have perhaps a when in fact, I do have a freelance team has a loose team of freelancers who are helping you with the podcast editing, with the social media, and so on. Having a real strategic plan, having targets and knowing what you’re going to do to hit those targets.

And that’s what we’re looking at in the strategic planning session for 2023. Knowing what problem you’re solving, knowing which products and services you should be delivering in order to get your clients to the result that they’re after. And above all, that also is a way of delivering that you really enjoy and that is sustainable for you, knowing how you’re actually going to reach those clients, attract them, convert them, and ultimately, consistently bring in that revenue that you need. From the Personal branding perspective, there’s that headline or elevator pitch, whatever you want to call it, the one liner, of course, having that online presence in the form of a website, knowing which channels you’re using, whether it’s more LinkedIn, which I’m a huge fan of Instagram, Facebook, showing up there, attracting those new people continually growing your audience. So you are getting new people into your community, it can be great to, to have, you know, to nurture the people you already have.

But ultimately, you do need to keep growing. So you’re not stagnating. And having a way as they say, to get people to know like, and trust you running, for example, as I do workshops, whether paid or free, having lives in your group and on LinkedIn, having sales calls, of course, and so on, and demonstrating your credibility and authority in particular, if you’re pivoting into a new area, and really having that confidence to declare this is what I do. This is how I can help and and attracting those people, converting those people and building that effective personal brand platform. And then finally, again, in the work life integration, finding a way to balance everything right, and everything is a bit of a stretch because we can never balance everything every day. So one day, the other day, I had back to back calls, I barely left the house. To be fair, I had just done a half marathon. So you know, it was quite nice to have a bit of a rest day, barely left the house, had back to back calls, didn’t really see the kids because they were in nursery all day. The following day. Again, didn’t have time for exercise. I have since started exercising again. But I had the kids all day and so it was all family and not a lot of work. So you know, it’s not that every day has to be perfectly balanced. It’s balanced for From a bigger picture perspective, having those really clear priorities and having really clear boundaries for where work ends, and when your personal life begins, having an integrated calendar blocking time, and again, enforcing those boundaries, I have so many clients now who say that people who come to me and say, Look, I had planned a day off, but actually then this and that happened, and I didn’t do it. And the first thing to go unfortunately, especially for parents, especially for mothers is time to yourself. And that’s so, so critical. So that’s an important one as well.

And ultimately, do you have the freedom flexibility that you actually desire?

Are you able to focus on the projects you want to be focusing on be present with children, aging, parents, friends, family, hobbies, whatever it is, and say no to the wrong projects, clients things so that you can say yes to the right things. So again, those are the five pillars of building a life and business outside the nine to five, you will hear more about them. If you aren’t new to my community, I post about them my deep dive on some topics, I do overviews, I run workshops on them as well. And again, you have that scorecard one step outside.com. Forward slash scorecard, where you can check where you are. And if you do want to take it further, a couple of options. I have the Business Academy, which is new for this year, but actually the year is almost over. So not so new anymore. This is an updated course with all my latest frameworks, learning, all consolidated into a five module of course course to to reflect those five pillars, short videos, 15-20 minutes, I think the longest as you get into the business model, or perhaps closer to 30 minutes, because it gets a little bit more complex, interactive worksheet, and you can work through it all in your own time. So really comprehensive, really foundational, whether you are just beginning and you want to get a good understanding of the foundations you need and to make some choices and decisions. Or you’re further along, but you believe you need to revisit some of the fundamentals, maybe you want to pivot the strategy, you’re missing something right. And so do check that out, it’s at onestepoutside.com/course.

For that course, there is also an option to upgrade to a coaching version. That’s obviously my favorite way of working with you, because it allows me to give you tailored feedback, we can really work closely together over several months to look at your particular situation goals, challenges, and again, really give you personal support and feedback rather than have you work on in your own time. However, if financially, you’re not quite there with investing in one to one coaching, or you know what you just think, hey, I can do it myself, which you know, I have that attitude quite a bit, I tend to often go for the the self paced version, at least as a first step, then it is a really great place to begin and not just begin actually, it’s pretty comprehensive, as I said, so if you’re self motivated and disciplined, then by all means, you know, I would recommend that you block time your calendar, work through it, set some milestones, perhaps even do it with an accountability, buddy, that’s ideal. So you’re working through and you can even share feedback and challenges. And so with each other, that’s a great idea. So again, onestepoutside.com/course And that’s the Business Academy. And you can also upgrade to the one to one coaching. So those are the five pillars of building a life and business outside the nine to five. I’ll be talking more next week about the new book outside of the nine to five and how to get on the waitlist for that or perhaps even buy it very soon. And then we haven’t asked and our episode, we have another interview coming up. So lots of good stuff. Again, if you do want to join me in the business strategy planning session for 2023 Hit me up on LinkedIn, Instagram, or podcast at one step outside.com. It’ll be a comprehensive, pretty intense session. We were pretty tired last year after we did it together in the accelerator program. And but it is really a fantastic opportunity to get on top of your financial targets, your lifestyle goals, and then your strategies for how you’re going to get there. I’ve decided to open it up to everybody this year, whether you’re a client or not, so really great opportunity to work with me. And of course, if you do love the session, which I hope you do, then there will be opportunities to continue together so that I can support you in actually achieving those strategies that you come up with. Thanks so much for listening. I can’t wait to share more about the book with you next week and best of luck with implementing the five pillars. See you next week.


Let us help you design a business and a life that gives you freedom from the 9 to 5. There are several options for how you can work with us. Choose the programme that’s right for you.

The Outsiders Business Incubator

A year-long business incubator for experienced corporate professionals who want to translate their skills and passions into a profitable and fulfilling business. onestepoutside.com/9to5

The Outsiders Business Accelerator

An ongoing mastermind for service-based business owners, freelancers and online entrepreneurs who are ready to achieve success on their own terms. onestepoutside.com/accelerate

The Outsiders Business Academy

A self-paced course for you to work through in your own time, to learn – and implement – the foundations of building a profitable business that lets you escape the 9 to 5. onestepoutside.com/course

1:1 Coaching & Mentoring

If you’re looking for one-to-one support to help you achieve your specific life and business goals, Anna has a limited number of spots for individual coaching and mentoring. onestepoutside.com/coaching

The Outsiders Business Academy

A self-paced course for you to work through in your own time, to learn – and implement – the foundations of building a profitable business that lets you escape the 9 to 5.


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