Success Road podcast

431: When It's Time to Regroup and Reassess

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I love watching superhero movies. Take the original Avengers movie, for example. You have a conflict that starts when Loki shows up, takes the Tesseract, and starts his plan to take over the world. SHIELD assembles the Avengers for the first time to find and take down Loki. Loki is captured, but soon the SHIELD flying base is attacked, the Hulk goes crazy, Loki escapes, and it looks like the Avengers are defeated.

That’s the point where they step back and regroup to figure out how to make it work now that new variables are introduced.

So what’s the situation that we have here?

There’s a dream to assemble a team of superheroes to save the world. The problem is that these heroes, for the most part, have never worked together before and each one has his own idea of how everything should go. And then there’s a disruption that shakes up everything.

So, they’re at this point of regrouping before they can go back out to face Loki again.

Of course, this is the overall scenario of most superhero movies. But it is also the story of many entrepreneurs as they start and grow their business.

You have a plan to save the world - or at least serve it. You start to assemble a team. As you start to figure things out, then something disrupts the business.

Then it comes time to take a step back and regroup.

That’s where I’ve found myself.

As you’re well aware of, the pandemic and wide-spread shut downs across the country and world have impacted almost every small business. For a long time, I thought that I was doing well with little-to-no impact on my business. But then I lost a couple clients back in the fall - this may have been due to the pandemic, but I’m not entirely sure.

But let me rewind quickly:

Back in January 2019, I left my full-time job to work on growing my business. It had been a side-gig since 2015, slowly growing. It wasn’t enough to live on yet, but I had several potential opportunities that I was hoping would pan out. Some of them did, but most of them did not.

I also made this decision to leave my job with little discussion with my wife. But after I did it anyway, my wife and I laid out a plan and gave 6-12 months to get the business making the money it needed to.

Well, by the summer of 2019, the business had seen some growth - not to where we wanted it to be, but it was showing some good promise.

By the beginning of 2020, the business finances had gotten better and I had a plan to try to get some new clients. The plan, though, was dependent on going to a live event and to utilize networking to get new clients. We all know what happened to live events in 2020, but the first event happened right before everything shut down. The problem was that I am introverted by nature and terrible at networking. I had a few conversations with people I already knew and met a few people, but few that were potential clients.

From there, a couple of other podcast editors and I started a mastermind group and met almost every Friday. From those meetings, I started to develop a plan to delegate more of the day-to-day responsibilities and focus on networking and lead generation. I developed a new, higher end offer and did some work to update the copy on my website. I used a VA to help me reach out to all my connections on Linkedin, but I connected with very few potential clients.

And that’s where I found myself in the fall of 2020. So as I looked at the down-turn in my income and the lack of growth, I was also reminded about the 6-12 month timeframe my wife and I had set. I had a lot of hopes and dreams of growing the business, but only had 50% of the income we planned for.

So after several difficult conversations, we decided that I needed to step back. I’m going back to my previous job, which is a box factory and has only grown throughout 2020, so it will provide a stable income. I’m scaling back my business and focusing just on podcast...

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