Ep. 152 Where to focus? #askanna


In this week’s podcast, Anna addresses the question of where to focus in your business.

It’s easy to get overwhelmed with all the strategies and tactics and ideas that are jostling for your attention. To help you with where to focus in your business, we have a free business assessment for you. Use it to identify the gaps and get clear on what action you need to take to fill them.

*Resources mentioned during the episode*

Free business assessment: The scorecard consists of 50 statements that will help you discover where you are on each of the 5 pillars of building a life outside of the 9 to 5, give you an indication of specific areas to focus on, and offer you clear next steps for how to improve your score. www.onestepoutside.com/scorecard



Where to focus? #askanna


Hello, there. Welcome back as we continue to look at escaping the 9 to 5, of course, our very favourite topic. And the first thing to say is that if you’re listening to this live, we’re in October 2021, then do make sure you sign up to join us in the live masterclass over at onestepoutside.com/masterclass. We’ll be going through the five pillars of building that life outside of the nine to five. And if you’re not watching or listening live, if you can’t watch it live, then do head on over to that link anyway, because you’ll have the recording after the fact as well. Of course, it’s great to watch it live, but if you’re listening months later, hello there in the future. And I’d love for you to still join and get the value from the session. So, that’s onestepoutside.com/masterclass.

Now, one of the questions I often get from people in my programmes and from everybody in fact, from people all over and that I ask myself is, okay, where on earth should I be focusing? And that’s when we’re often asking this question, right, I feel like things aren’t going as well as they should. I’m not seeing the growth. I’m not growing as quickly as I want to. I feel like I’m the best kept secret in my industry. I know I’m close to breakthrough and yet, ah, it’s not looking as rose tinted as I hoped it would, right? We’re not quite getting all the clients. We’re not getting the opportunities. Things aren’t going so well. If they were going super well, if we’re completely in that flow and things are falling into place, then I think that question wouldn’t arise because we would be naturally going to where things are working, where we felt the energy and that flow, the passion, the purpose. And then we’d know it would just kind of click and at least for that phase, because of course things evolve, it would be super clear what to focus on.

So if you’re not clear on what to focus on, it may be that something is not quite right. And the first thing I actually want to encourage you to do is take a big step back. And of course this podcast is called Reimagining Success. We focus a lot on business strategy and the five pillars and so on, but the first pillar is reimagining success, is the name of the podcast. And ultimately for getting a bit stuck. Now, this is not something we want to do every day because that can get quite exhausting and repetitive, but I’d really encourage you to take a step back and look at if your definition of success has changed and to really clarify and make sure that you’re still working towards something that is meaningful to you.

So really, if things aren’t quite working, there are a couple of options. And I had this chat with a client a few weeks ago. And this is the question to ask yourself, is it that your definition of success has changed? You’re not motivated anymore. That why isn’t sort of where you want it to be. Your heart isn’t in it. In which case, look, we need to go back to the drawing board a little bit and make some tweaks and rethink what you’re working towards. Or is it that the definition of success is still there, you still want to work towards the same thing, it’s just that it’s not working and that’s why you’re getting frustrated, right?

So, first of all, as much as I’d love to help you design and build the business that you’re wanting to build and escaping that nine to five and absolutely will, and I can, and I will, when you’re ready, it’s important to have that first big picture view of what’s important to you. There may be other things that you need to prioritise. You may want to rethink the business. Maybe you’ve dived into this idea. And again, I have many clients in the corporate world who sort of go, “Yeah, I know what I want to build. I’m going to do this.” And actually when we get into it, when we do the foundational work of understanding your values and what’s important and what success really looks like, they realise, oops, this isn’t actually a meaningful business. It’s just something I can do. It’s not something I want to do.

So there may be other things to prioritise. You may need to tweak, shift, pivot your definition, your vision, before we then start working on getting the results you want. And I know it might sound frustrating. It might feel like you’re going backwards rather than forwards, but I promise you, and I see this again and again with my clients, you’ll take one or two steps back and then make a massive leap forward. And when you do see the results, which you will, you’ll be seeing meaningful success, that’s actually getting you closer to where you want to be and not just where you thought you wanted to be or where you thought you should be, right?

So I do want to give you a resource to do this, first of all. So almost unrelated to the business, you may have heard me talk over the years about the five Ls. So these are the five key areas in our lives that in my own experience, from my own life and from working with clients over the years, I feel need to be balanced for us to thrive and to live that truly successful life in a more whole and holistic sense than just the fame and fortune and the promotion and the salary and blah, blah, blah.

So, this is an assessment. You can get it at onestepoutside.com/success.

Onestepoutside.com/success, and it’s really a practical tool that you can use to check in, see where you are today, identify the gaps, opportunities, make sure you’re prioritising the right goals to get you to where you want to be because again, there might be things, maybe it’s your health and wellbeing, maybe it’s your relationships, or maybe it is something within the career and impact space that you need to address and get clear on. So getting clear on that what and the why before we then help you with the how.

So that’s my first call to action for you. If you’re feeling a bit stuck, if you’re not sure, let’s really go back to the drawing board, maybe revisit your vision board, if you have one. I do have an episode on how to pull that together and we’ll be looking at that again for the new year. Look back at your goals and see are they truly meaningful for you? Again, we don’t want to be chopping and changing, moving the goalpost every day, every week, even every month, but it’s important to not keep slogging away, hustling away if perhaps your goals, your motivations have changed. So again, onestepoutside.com/success.

Now assuming, I guess that you do know that you’re working towards the right goal, it is still meaningful to you, the question then is, okay, how do I know when to keep going? What should I be evaluating? What should I be focusing on, right? And the entrepreneurial journey is a famously emotional one. It’s that rollercoaster of, oh my gosh, it’s so exciting. And then feeling disillusioned and disappointed. You put your blood, sweat and tears into the business. You have a real belief that, oh my gosh, this is an amazing business idea. It’s then really difficult to face a world in which the sales just aren’t coming in as we’d expected. What am I doing wrong? Why isn’t it working? It should be working. It’s working for these other people. It’s not fair. Should I just give up or am I close to breakthrough? Unfortunately, there is no magic solution, right?

There’s no answer that you can get. I can’t even tell you as an expert, no expert can tell you, ta-da, this is the truth. This is the one and only answer solution to all your problems. This one tactic, and then boom, you’re going to have sales flooding in. Maybe, let’s be honest, the business in the form it’s in now, isn’t ever going to work, or maybe you’re really, really close to breaking through. You just need to make a few tweaks. You just need to keep going. Maybe it’s a strategic issue. Maybe it’s an executional tactical issue. So we don’t want to give up and scrap the whole thing, but we do need to be asking ourselves targeted questions in order to narrow down what might be the problem or problems that you’re faced with.

So you need to be asking yourself questions like, what have you been doing and for how long? So if you’ve done one webinar, sent one email newsletter, written one blog post, done one launch, that’s not enough, right? You need to keep going.

If you’ve been consistent for the last week, amazing. But now, do that for another three months. If you’ve connected with 10 people on LinkedIn, if you’ve sent a proposal to three possible companies to work, if you’ve spoken to a couple of clients on the phone, great. Do the same next week, right? So I always say, do the work for three months before you start doubting, head down, keep going. Assuming you have a clear strategy, assuming you have an approach that you believe is the right one for you, first, do it, head down, keep going. And only then should we be getting up and assessing and thinking, hang on, I’ve done the work. I’ve put in the input to the actions and I haven’t come out with it.

So someone in sort of my industry, Rich Litvin, who’s a coach, I heard once on a podcast say, “Hey, until you’ve got 50 nos, I don’t want to hear it.” So until you’ve told 50 potential prospects, hey, this is what I offer. This is how much it costs. And they’ve all said, no, there’s no point in coming back and going back to the drawing board. So you just have to keep going. Resilience, confidence, persistence, grit, whatever you want to call it, you have to try it first before you give up and start again. Right? So that’s one of the main reasons I think why we fail. We’re constantly chopping and changing and doing a mishmash of different gurus, strategies, and tactics, and so on. Right?

Now of course, if you have been going for three months or more, and I know some of you have been working really hard and you’re super self-motivated and you’re doing what you think is all the right things, you’re not getting meaningful results, then there are some areas and questions you can ask yourself to troubleshoot and pinpoint the issue.

So it might be that you’re not quite looking at the right customer or you don’t know who your customer is. Is there an issue with the market? Is it your brand? Are you not credible enough within this field? Right? Do you have the experience and credibility and authority? Is there something about the positioning of the product or service? Is it the marketing? Is it the sales? Because, those are two different things. Is there something around the financials, the pricing and so on? Or is it you? Is it something you’re not doing? Right? So, lots of questions you can ask yourself.

As ever, I want to give you a tool. So I gave you already the so-called success assessment, the life balance at onestepoutside.com/success. This is a scorecard, which is a free assessment, basically of where your business is on the five pillars of building that life outside of the nine to five. They go through the five pillars of your definition of success. How clear are you actually on that vision of what you’re trying to build, your confidence and resilience, your mindsets. Three, your business models. So do you have the right business model and clarity in place on what you’re actually trying to do in your business and is it viable? Your personal brand credibility, authority, positioning. And then finally, your work-life integration.

So I’d love for you to get that. You can get it at onestepoutside.com/scorecard. Onestepoutside.com/scorecard. Again, it’s a free assessment, tick the box 10 statements on each of the five pillars, and then you get it. And I’m clicking through, that’s why you’re hearing my click. You can then, at the end, add up your scores, you can understand. I talk you through what the individual scores mean on each of the pillars, if you choose. You see that actually I need to work on one, I need to work on three. You get really specific action steps then on what you can do, what you should do to move forward.

So it’s a really comprehensive resource to, first of all, just sense check, oh my goodness, of course, I’m two out of 10 over here, whereas I’m 10 out of 10 there. So it’s pretty clear then where you need to focus or maybe, and don’t get disheartened if that’s the case, you might be really low across all of them in which case great, because it means we have a base on which we can build and actually get your results. It’s sort of easier if we can pinpoint those issues, right, and help you out because there are actual solutions to those problems.

So again, grab the scorecard. It’s a free assessment of your business, onestepoutside.com/scorecard.

I’d love to hear from you, of course. Do join the Facebook group if you’re not already a member, the Escape the 9 to 5 Facebook group and get in touch with me. You can reach me on any of your favourite social channels, or you can email me at podcast@onestepoutside.com. I’d like to hear how you get on with the scorecard and you’ll be getting some more support and next steps coming out of that as well in terms of how you can take what you’ve learned and actually implement it and fill those gaps. And of course, how we could potentially work together as well to help you do just that.

So again, two resources I mentioned, the first one is the big picture life balance assessment. You can get that at onestepoutside.com/success. And the second one is the free business assessment, the scorecard across the five pillars, onestepoutside.com/scorecard. I hope those are two useful resources for you. And I look forward to hearing how you get on. I’ll see you next week. Bye for now.

If you’re ready to start to reimagine what success could look like for you, here are some of the ways in which Anna can support you:

Get private mentoring for your business – Partnering with a business coach can help you see those blind spots and get both external accountability and expert guidance to take your business to where you want it to be. www.onestepoutside.com/freeconsultation

Get private career coaching – Individual coaching is fully tailored to your specific goals and desires so we can create the programme that works best for you, with the support that you need to move forwards. www.onestepoutside.com/claritycall

Grab a copy of Leaving the Corporate 9 to 5 – After interviewing 50 people who have left the corporate 9 to 5 to forge their own path, Anna has collected their stories in a book that will inspire you with the possibilities that are out there and reassure you that you’re not alone in looking for an alternative. www.leavingthecorporate9to5.com

Join the One Step Outside the 9 to 5 Business Incubator – This is your roadmap to transitioning from a corporate job into setting up a meaningful business that will bring you more freedom, flexibility and fulfilment outside of the corporate 9 to 5. www.onestepoutside.com/9to5

Level up with The Outsiders Business Accelerator – This is a mastermind for entrepreneurs, freelancers and small business owners who want to create a long-term sustainable brand and business. www.onestepoutside.com/accelerate


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