How Destroying My Business Has Been My Best Business Move

Earlier this year I announced to my coaching group that I’d destroyed my business.  And I had.  I had no clients, and no money coming in, and it was all my own fault.  I’d become complacent and gone chasing after the new, shiny thing.  I’d got carried away with my online creative space and was following a dream of making money from my cartoon sheep.  Which is all very well if I’m still writing for a main living, but the clients I’d had in the pipeline fell away for one reason or another, and I wasn’t doing the activity I needed to keep filling it up.  And so it was that I woke up one morning and realised what I’d done.  Idiot!!!  Or so I thought.  Turns out it was the best business move I’d ever made. The best move ever because I was forced to get creative.  The best move ever because I had nothing to lose.  The best move ever because the two people who coach and mentor me really came through for me, and I realised the level of support I have around me. I went back to basics: what I do, and why I do it.  I’d struggled to articulate this for years, now it was easy: I write stories about businesses, to help them get chosen by the people they love to serve.  I had an emergency call with my coach and mentor, Judith Morgan, and between us we came up with the three services that would form my core offering.  Out went all the stuff I felt I had to offer, in came the...

Guest Blogging: Saviour or Sabotage?

What else to do while listening to a load of pretentious lyrics, set to a folksy tune at a music festival, than wonder how to turn the experience into a blog post?  After all, you’re never getting that time back, so you may as well try and get some use out of it!  But then, what’s this, they’re inviting a well known, quality musician onto the stage.  And, reluctantly, he’s accepted the invitation!  And so the band turns it’s favour, and we’re enjoying the music: hooray!  The band have redeemed themselves: maybe they’re not so bad after all?  Perhaps it was just those first few songs.  The benefit of the doubt is awarded and the crowd is predisposed to enjoy the rest of their set.  Then the musician leaves the stage, and the band continue on.  We’re determined to enjoy it, but halfway through the second song, we’re forced to admit defeat: if anything it’s worse than before; now that we’ve heard what a talented musician sounds like. So what does that have to do with anything?  Well, it made me think of guest blogging.  Now I have nothing against guest blogging, per se: it’s a great way to get your own blog noticed when you have posts published on other people’s blogs.  It’s a well known way to add value to someone else’s blog, drive traffic to your blog, and bring traffic to the blog you’re a guest of.  Win, win, right?  Mostly. The problem with guest blogging comes when you invite so many people to guest blog that you rarely write a blog post yourself.  This can have two detrimental effects: firstly,...

Why Every ‘Offline’ Business Needs A Blog

I’ve been speaking a lot lately with face to face, bricks and mortar businesses, who don’t see the benefits of being online.  And I get it.  When your clients come to you through face to face networking, word of mouth, or off the street, what’s the point of updating your website or investing time in social media?  If your business is done ‘in real life’ rather than online, why bother.  Well, as you’ll not be surprised to hear if you’re a regular reader of this blog, the reasons are threefold.   One: Your customers are there Your business may not be online, but I’ll bet your customers are.  These days the majority of the population spend time online.  The biggest rise of subscribers to Facebook, based on age demographics is in the over 60s: age is no longer a barrier to being online.  And with the rise in smartphones, you don’t even need a computer!  So if your customers are online and you’re not, you’re missing out.   Two: You’re missing an amazing opportunity to show what you can do Yes, I know, my headlines need some work!  Anyway, did you know that you can post whatever you want on your blog?  It doesn’t have to be post after post of written articles.  Some people would even say that variety is the spice of life, and your blog should be a mix of different types of posts.  One of those people would be me, in a do-what-I-say-not-as-I-do kind of a way – ‘I’m a writer’ is my excuse.  My point is this: you can post whatever you like.  Handy tips,...