A Surprising Solution To The “Too Many Ideas” Problem For Entrepreneurs
“I’ve got three business interests,” Sally said. “For one, I hold leadership workshops with Fortune 500 companies. Some women in those workshops have started asking me if I’d work with them one-on-one for coaching.
“And I’ve got a side hustle that’s related to personal growth and spirituality.”
Sally’s got the potential for a strong story.
Sally’s corporate workshops add credibility to her one-to-one coaching. In turn, her coaching experience establishes her deep understanding of the women who will attend her corporate workshop.
Her clients will most likely tell the story, “I heard Sally speak at an event with my company. I knew my company had already vetted her credentials: they’re very fussy about who they bring in. Sally seemed to read my mind when she talked about challenges facing women like me. She impressed me so much, I just had to hire her!”
But she faces three challenges:
… building a website that will encompass both market segments without confusing either one ;
… developing a core story that communicates how these businesses relate to one another
… identifying one story archetype that will create a consistent foundation for her brand. Currently, she’s a Role Model archetype for her one-to-one clients and an Educator archetype for her corporate clients. Can she choose one or perhaps realize she’s an Innovator?
And she’ll find unexpected synergies.
Sally assumes the corporate women will be skeptical when she talks about her archetypes and spirituality. But the executive women might be responsive, especially after Sally gets to know them. I know a successful corporate lawyer who regularly consults with psychics; another corporate lawyer told me her male colleague keeps crystals on his desk.
I’ve experienced something similar. My first website was MidlifeCareerStrategy.com; I don’t market the career site but still get clients.
The potential for conflict seems to be a non-event. Most clients don’t care. Many career changers consider starting a new business. Many business owners think of their progress as a career trajectory.
Today we’re more aware of people with diverse interests.
- Tim Ferriss writes about fitness, cooking, and of course working with ridiculous efficiency.
- Arlie Hochschild writes about emotional labor, family dynamics and most recently, the impact of rural America on the recent election.
- Chris Guillebeau’s blog is targeted simply to “remarkable people.”
The reality is, most people evolve in their businesses.
Their stories tend to be non-linear and heavily influenced by serendipitous events. They start side hustles to get new energy for their main businesses.
One business owner used to refuse affiliate opportunities that involved mindset or personal growth. “My audience won’t buy,” she insisted, as she promoted business and marketing products and services.
But one day I noticed she was promoting a workshop on attitude … and then produced a lead magnet on the entrepreneurial mindset. She had broadened her scope, instinctively following her audience’s growth.
This is where storytelling plays a crucial role.
Stories help us make sense of our world. We can use stories to help prospective clients make sense of our businesses — which in turn helps melt resistance. Stories turn confusion to clarity and I don’t have to remind you of the marketing aphorism, “A confused mind doesn’t buy.”
So instead of fighting your diverse interests, think of gathering them into an authentic story …and prepare to be surprised when you realize your audience accepts and even cherishes your complexity.
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Cathy Goodwin, Ph.D., is a copywriter, storyteller and strategist, specializing in service businesses. She helps clients use storytelling to stand out from the crowd, melt resistance and establish credibility with a memorable brand. Visit her website at http://CathyGoodwin.com
Originally published at http://cathygoodwin.com on September 1, 2019.