This might sound a little crazy, but what if you tried thinking of your business in a different way?
Perhaps as a garden…
Something living and breathing, that needs to be nurtured, that follows the seasons, and when well-tended gives you a bountiful harvest…
Instead of inanimate structures that just sit there as you tinker with them, moving pieces around and experimenting with whatever shiny things come your way?
One of my favorite lessons from Abe’s post last week was that for your business to be successful, you need to be consistent, to focus on one area, and let it grow over time.
Rather than allowing ourselves to get pulled in every direction by the newest, brightest shiny object, what if we spent the next year “following the seasons” of business growth?
Take a moment and imagine what your business could look like this time next year if you followed a structure that allowed you to plan, then prepare for, grow and benefit from your most successful business year ever.
Looks pretty good, doesn’t it?
So. Our challenge to you (should you choose to accept it) is to follow along with us this coming year as we guide you through the growing seasons of your business.
Let’s do this.
Plan Out Your Year (Late Winter)
It’s the end of January, gray and cold outside, and there’s pretty much nothing to do out in the garden.
The previous year’s harvest is put away, the soil has been prepared for a deep rest over the winter, and it’s still too cold to start planting anything for the spring.
And while some established businesses may be able to take advantage of the New Years rush, if you’re just getting started, January and February can feel pretty bleak.
You may look at everyone around you and see that they’re already launching great new courses, amassing large social media followings, writing tons of amazing blog posts, and talking up the latest and greatest training that they’re involved with.
Let’s be honest: to a beginner, this can feel all kinds of overwhelming. And then the feelings arise and the questioning starts:
“Maybe I should launch my course now, too. If I just put more hours a week into Facebook, maybe I could have that many fans. And I really should be writing for my blog more. Ooh, and maybe if I take another course…”
Suddenly, you’re standing at this same time next year having accomplished far less than you had hoped, and feeling even worse than you do now.
So what’s an entrepreneur to do?
The answer? Put on the blinders to what “everyone else” is doing, so that you can plan and prepare for spring. Not someone else’s spring. YOUR spring.
During the month of February, the posts that we’ll publish will be about how to get going and build up momentum to carry you through the year.
The posts will have a strong focus on motivation and planning. Because, rather than being just another “rah, rah” motivational month, we want to put tools in your hand so that you can get up and running in preparation for an amazing 2016.
We’ll cover things like systems and routines you can put into place, as well as productivity habits that you can build. Our goal is to get you geared up and ready for spring, when the fun stuff really starts.
Start Planting Seeds (Spring)
Ah, spring – the beautiful, hopeful time of year where tiny bursts of color begin to return to an otherwise brown and gray landscape.
The days begin to lengthen, and we can finally start preparing the soil and planting seeds for the coming growing season.
During this season change, we’ll be covering how to move from a brilliant idea to a fully fleshed-out course; March and April will be when we walk side by side as you finally start to turn your vision into something concrete.
It’s also a time when you may want to cinch down your blinders extra tight, so that you don’t get swayed from the path by any shiny objects (especially the ones that always manage to pop up at the most inopportune moments).
If you use your spring wisely to sow the seeds of your newly-created online course, then we can make the transition to…
Grow, Baby, Grow! (Summer)
Summer has arrived. Some of the hard work you did earlier in the spring is starting to pay off, and if you nurtured it just right, your business has started to really show the initial phases of growth.
As Abe wrote about in last week’s post, this is also one of the most dangerous times for our focus. When you see the early signs of success, the temptation may be there to leave off with the small gains you’ve made and run ahead to focus on something else.
That’s why during the months of May and June, we’ll be talking about some awesome ways to market your course, so that you can continue to grow the seeds you so carefully sowed in the spring. Because really – what’s an online course without students enrolled in it?
And, in July and August (as the harvest gets so close we can almost taste it), we’ll help you stay on track and focused with posts about setting up systems to support the growth that you’ve experienced during the early “growing season”.
Gather the Harvest (Autumn)
After all the hard work you’ve put into your business the past few months, it’s time to start to gather up the bounty of the season.
This is the time of year for celebrating, for bringing back in the good stuff that you’ve been putting out into the world.
The months of September and October will be all about launches – more specifically, how to get better results over time.
Rather than have one successful launch, and then a second launch that fizzles instead of igniting, we’ll walk you through how to make sure that each “next” launch does even better by building on the success of the one that came before it.
Review Your Year & Plan Ahead (Winter)
After the bounty of the harvest, the end of the year provides us with a chance to continue our celebrations, to gather together with friends and family, and to begin to think about the year ahead.
It may also be the time of year where you’re wrapping up the course that you launched in the fall, or at least taking a holiday breather from teaching.
One of the things that we love the most about the end of the year is that it gives us an opportunity to review the results of what we worked on during the previous year, and to renew and relax as the days grow shorter.
In November and December, our content will revolve around the best ways to review what went well and what didn’t, and to use those results and observations to plan for the coming year. For a bit of fun, December will also have some special content around building up skills that will help you as you move forward with the next phases of your business.
Ready, Set, Grow!
Who knew that something as simple as seasonal gardening advice could be the key to unlocking a successful business…
The real question is, what would happen if you spent the next year cultivating (and thinking about) your business as a garden? Are you ready to take action and turn your business ideas into reality?
This next part is totally up to you: do you accept the challenge, to see what kind of growth is possible in 2016?
If so, put it in writing in the comments section below and let us know which season you’re most excited about. Then stay tuned next week as we start planting the seeds of YOUR business success!