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...
Otros episodios de "Success Road"
440: Using Your Podcast to Pivot Your Business
32:59David Hanscom has an entertainment company that provides DJs, photo booths and more for weddings and corporate events. David has also been featured on television, radio programs, industry magazines, as well as selecting the headlining talent at events such as Super Bowl XXXIX. Getting StartedDavid started podcasting and creation online content because it was a natural extension of what he likes to do. He likes to talk, and he also loves to hear people's stories. He also loves to hear about the successes people have and how they accomplish those things. While we all face different struggles and challenges in life, when we engage in conversation, we learn more about each other. We can see that the challenges a DJ has are not very different from the challenges of a restaurant who suddenly has to cut their capacity of guests by half or down to 25%. One of the things that David always wanted to do was to find a way to give back to the industry. He says a lot of amazing people mentored him and guided him especially in the early years. Even now, he still looks to these people for help and guidance.The Benefit Of Doing Live ShowsDavid says that sometimes when you do a podcast, it feels like being on a one-way street. Occasionally, you'll get comments on your podcast or somebody might reach out to you, but the communication is not instant. That’s one of the clear benefits of doing a live show. You can have direct interaction without delay. And that is quite powerful. Another one of the really cool benefits is having a different guest every week. That created a drive in me to keep going out and finding new, interesting people to bring on board. And number two, I think it's helped me to, understand the importance of kind of this symbiotic relationship where one person is not doing all the talking all the time and make it more of a communication and less of a presentation, if The Power of PivotingHistorically, we have seen big companies that have gone out of business because they did not pivot. For example, Blockbuster went out because they did not change their business model when Netflix came along. A modern business needs to be able to pivot and adapt to the wants and needs of the customers. David has stayed relevant within his industry because of pivoting. Through content creation, David has been able to educate people and to engage in healthy conversations on a regular basis. Podcasting and live streaming has given him the opportunity to start laying the foundation and planting the seeds for the future. This concept is the same as if you were making investments. It's not always a direct line from making a podcast to money in your pocket. Rather, it's more of cultivating those relationships and being able to make those connections. There is even more information included in this insightful episode. I highly recommend you listen to it. You can connect with David at his website or on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Thanks so much for listening to the Podcast Experiment and for being a part of this community. Special thanks to Richard for being a guest.
439: Making Interviews Easier So Your Message Can Shine
50:37Mark Herschberg is the author of The Career Toolkit, Essential Skills for Success That No One Taught You. From tracking criminals and terrorists on the dark web to creating marketplaces and new authentication systems, Mark has spent his career launching and developing new ventures at startups and Fortune 500s and in academia. In this episode Mark shares his approach for podcasting and how he used podcasts as a way to build an audience for his upcoming book. The Importance of PodcastsWhen Mark started writing his book he first reached out to his friend, Dorie Clark. Dorie has written a number of bestselling business books. She said, podcasts, podcasts, podcasts.If you think about when some big celebrity comes out and they've got a new movie, what do they do? They go on the late night talk show circuits. Podcasts are the standard for authors. Mark approached it very systematically and created a list of over 500 podcasts from the topics in his book.In the career toolkit, he covers 10 different skills. There's a chapter on networking, a chapter on negotiations, a chapter on leadership. So he had 10 different topics to choose from and then he just looked for top podcasts on each specific topic. And from there he looked on websites.Marketing on PodcastsMark says that he thinks no podcast opportunity is bad. Think of it as follows. If you're doing traditional marketing, you’re likely using Facebook or Google. then you're paying a CPC cost per click. Only a few people might click out of a thousand. But when you're doing a podcast, even if that podcast only has 10 people listening to an episode, you have 10 people who are actively engaged with your content.That audience is actively listening to you. They hear about your book, your service, or your product. And it's going to register far more than just some ad that popped up in the corner of their screen. So even when there seems to be a tiny number of listeners for the investment of time, you're going to get just much more attention and much more engagement.Networking Through PodcastingMark says that most people think about networking in a very transactional way. They think I need a job, so I have to go network. However, networking is relationship building. And so when you go out and network, don't think of it as I have to go network today to get a job. Build relationships with people so that down the road, when you need a job or something else, then you can reach out to your network.You're going to want to build that relationship over time. The way you think about doing that is by asking a few questions. What do we have in common? What might be of interest to this person as well as myself? Once you figure that out, you want to do some exploration to understand what is important to this other person. Then you can talk about topics of interest or find activities or common interests for both of you. There is even more information included in this insightful episode. I highly recommend listening to the entire episode. If you would like to learn more about Mark, you can visit his website here.If you found this episode helpful, please share it with someone you think would also benefit.
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438: Shifting Gears with Podcasting
31:12Richard Haiduck is a former life sciences executive and mentor, and is the author of the book, Shifting Gears. In this episode, We will talk about how we can utilize podcasting to help grow our business as well as how you can be a great podcast host and guest. Go Where Your Audience GoesIt is important to hang out wherever your audience hangs out. That’s a great way to meet them and interact with them. For example, Richard is a part of several Facebook groups for retirees or baby boomers. There are about a dozen different groups focused on this demographic and focused on the topic of what you do during retirement.He is very active in those groups. Richard is also a guest blogger on websites that have about 200,000 subscribers. Using these opportunities, Richard’s content is broadly distributed. The Book Writing ProcessRichard says that he interviewed about 75 retirees which gave him approximately 800 pages of transcript. He has a half a dozen interviews about someone who had a spiritual experience and shared about it at a deep emotional level. There are others that are about physical conditioning. There was one individual who ran his 19th marathon and almost did it. And he almost collapsed over the finish line.Others interviews focused on business, leadership and social impact. Others were about volunteering for organizations. Through the process, Richard was able to cover a lot of different stories and share a variety of perspectives. Promotion through PodcastingRichard says that he views all promotion is good promotion. So the more different things he can do, the better. He doesn't want to be known as just the Facebook guy or just the LinkedIn guy or just the podcast guy. Rather, he wants to have content available in multiple places simultaneously. It’s important to have a diverse content mix so people can find your content in a variety of ways. A friend of Richard’s told him to get involved in podcasting. She told him that you just show up, and you tell them what you want to tell them. They take care of everything. She recommended he try it out. So a few months before his book launched, Richard started sending out requests to various podcasters. He also used some organizations that provide leads such as Poddit.The more podcasts you do, the more practice you get with storytelling. Podcasting is a learning experience. There is even more information included in this insightful episode about reaching your audience, writing a book and promoting a book. I highly recommend you listen to it. You can pick up Richard’s new book, Shifting Gears, here on Amazon. Thanks so much for listening to Podcast Experiment and for being a part of this community. Special thanks to Richard for being a guest.
437: The Four Patterns of Healthy People
30:27Matt Norman is President & CEO of Norman & Associates as well as the author of the book “Four Patterns Of Healthy People”. In addition, Matt’s coaching and facilitation has helped Fortune 100 corporations, nonprofits and entrepreneurial firms to transform the way they engage employees and clients. Today’s episode of Success Road focuses on how to be more healthy. Matt’s StoryMatt realized we all develop ways of thinking and behaving as an adaption to our environment. And every day we repeat those thoughts and behaviors in order to succeed and maybe even survive in our environment. And one day, it's likely that we realize that those ways of thinking and behaving no longer serve us, well, we realize we're stuck. And so because of that, we have a decision to make, whether we'll remain stuck, or self confront and grow. And because of that, Matt wrote the book, to help people grow into healthier patterns. In addition, the book focuses on how successful people think, relate with others, view themselves and make choices about how they operate. The Four PatternsThe first pattern is our thought patterns, which is how we think. Then our relationship patterns, which are how we view ourselves. Our relationship patterns are the third, which are our ego patterns. Then fourth is our operating patterns, which is really about the choices we make and about how we engage with our environment.A good example is with energy. When we're tired, it's hard to have healthy thought patterns. It's harder to relate well with others, as we become less patient. And we also become more self protective, more focused on our own needs, which is when the ego comes into play. So simple things like getting enough sleep, from an operating pattern standpoint can really fuel the other patterns.The Importance Of SleepMatt mentioned that the Stanford University's sleep Center has produced really interesting research showing that for about 99.5% of the population. This organization says we need to have at least seven hours of sleep on an ongoing basis in order to function properly. In fact, they recommend between seven and nine hours of quality sleep. So a key part of sleep is just making a commitment to get that amount of sleep. You also have to start asking ourselves how we can optimize the quality of our sleep or ability to go to sleep. Studies show that screens activate parts of our brains and make it harder to enter into REM sleep or just shut down our thoughts. Food and alcohol consumption affect our sleep. So it is important to not eat or drink anything but water before bed. Stretching, for example, or having a nightly routine is really important. Your body builds circadian rhythms. For example, if one day, you’re waking up at 7am, another day, we're waking up at 5am and then another day at 10am. Your body just doesn't know quite what to do with it. We've all had the experience of going to another timezone where it's hard to fall asleep or wake up at certain times. Keep in mind that circadian rhythms are really a thing. When Do You Have The Most Energy?There are certainly people that tend to be morning people. There are people that are night owls. And then there are people that have the most energy in the middle of the day. We must know what kind of person we are, so that we can do our most vigilant activities or most thought intensive activities during our most productive time period. Next Steps We dive deeper in this podcast into the topic of self-awareness as well as how to have more mental energy. I...
436: Creating a Podcast For Marketing Purposes
29:50Emilie Aries is the CEO of Bossed Up, an author, a speaker, and also the host of the Bossed Up Podcast. We discuss pivoting during times of crisis, using a podcast as part of your marketing mix, having an advertiser on your podcast and also the unexpected opportunities that can come your way from podcasting. Insights From Emilie’s Story Emilie started as a professional advocate for political campaigns and elections, where she became good at advocating for other people. However, one day realized how hard it is, especially as a woman, to advocate unapologetically on your own behalf. She started Bossed Up where her company has created coaching programs, leadership accelerators, in person training programs. She now works with companies who believe in gender equality to really help further develop their women leaders. Pivoting During Crisis The Bossed Up business model was based primarily on live events and workshops. So during 2020 they had to change their business model. All of Emilie’s in-person speaking contracts evaporated. All of the Bossed Up events we had planned for across the country went away and her company had to scrap everything.Emilie realized that her company had to figure their own way out of these problems. She started to ask questions such as: “How can we offer these services online?” The answer to this question led to the creation of new online offerings. On the whole, Emilies says her business is actually going to be stronger because of Covid-19 forcing rapid innovation into the digital space. Using A Podcast To Market A Business Emily was originally recruited by a very big podcasting network called HowStuffWorks. She was offered the position as host for a major podcast. Then the podcasting network was sold and she found herself out of a job. However, by that point, she already had fallen in love with the medium. At that time, podcasting really wasn't used for marketing. She decided to create her own podcast: Bossed Up. She thought it was an opportunity to be generous and to serve others well. For anyone who wanted more content or services, she would sell products and services to those individuals. Creating a Podcast For Marketing Purposes Emilie views using podcasting as marketing as a compromise between her artistic desires and her business requirements. Emilie has a marketing director Kirby. Together they look at the calendar as it relates to their sales goals. When creating the new podcasts, Emilie and Kirby ask, “What kinds of episodes would attract that client? How can we create fun, interesting, informative and high value episodes that also happen to attract the client we're looking for?”Once they come to a conclusion, then that's the topic that we hammer home for a couple of weeks. There are some exceptions. For example, something might happen in the news that calls for our attention, we kind of stop the presses and focus on those current topics. Finding Advertisers For Your Podcast Emilie works with an advertising agency, because she is not a full time podcaster. Her role is that of CEO. An advertising agency does the work for her. Emilie admits that she is not sure if it's worth the time. It takes time to research brands and to figure out if they're a great partner for the show. Then they have to read the copy that they send over and then record it, edit it, upload it, and insert it into the podcast. And for all of this work, Emilie says that the company does not make much money. Finding Opportunities Through Podcasts Emilie got
435: Why Podcasting Is Important For Business
12:34Sarah St. John is an entrepreneur, podcaster, author, animal lover, and world traveler. Her goal is to show people how to launch and manage an online business on a budget. https://www.thesarahstjohn.com/about/Sarah’s StorySarah started her entrepreneurial journey back in 2008. She decided that she wanted to work for herself and realized that she liked taking photos of architectural landscapes and animals. She didn't like taking photos of people. But that's where the money was, so was doing portraits and weddings. Over time, she decided to do something online. She tried different things like drop shipping, affiliate, marketing, and all these different things. But it was in the process of trying these different things, she discovered many free or affordable tools and resources that can help you run a business on a budget. Sarah got the idea to write a book called FrugalPreneur, where she would talk about the different types of online businesses and how you can run them affordably. She decided to start a short-term podcast to coincide with the book. Sarah realized she was getting more traction leverage from the podcast than the book. So she kept doing podcasts and like just basically fell in love with the medium and the connections I was making. As she kept podcasting, other people told her that she is pretty good at it. She figured why not get paid to do it for other people? That was the moment Sarah decided to launch a podcast production agency.Using Giveaways Strategically Every month Sarah does a new giveaway on her podcast. Most often, the prize is a book that her audience would enjoy. She uses the same url each month, thesarahstjohn.com/giveaway and uses a free tool called King Sumo for the giveaway.Sarah shares that it is important to giveaway something that's relevant to your audience. For example, if you were to give away an iPhone, well, everyone is going to want that. But as soon as the giveaway is over, like probably 99% of the people who signed up for the prize are going to drop off. So it really helps to giveaway something that your audience would actually like. What Podcast Production Looks LikeA lot of people might want to start a podcast, or they're thinking about starting a podcast. But many people may find it overwhelming due to technology and the post-production. So when Sarah is working with clients, the client records their podcast episode and then sends it to her. Sarah then does the editing, producing and the mixing. She then uses a service called Chartable To track podcast statistics. This service gives more information than most other podcast services and then each month she sends a report to each client. Why Podcasting Is Important For BusinessPodcasting is great because it's a way to get your content out there. And Google transcribes podcasts now. So even if you're searching for something in Google, it's a possibility that a podcast might show up. Of course, every podcast directory is a search engine too. In addition, podcasting has a shareability or viral aspect to it, because people will actually share podcast episodes. When you interview guests or being a guest on someone else’s podcast, you're getting access to that person's audience and you can cross promote. You're reaching people you wouldn't otherwise. Sarah also says that she thinks podcasting is only going to continue to grow and get bigger. In the same way every business needs a website, Sarah says that every
434: Changing Your Life After a Plane Crash
31:01Jason Osbourn is a LinkedIn coach and consultant with an incredible story. In this episode, he shares how he was involved in a plane crash and how he used that as a catalyst to help him change his life. Jason’s StoryJason started his first business when he was 20 years old. He sold window coverings. After Jason was involved in a plane crash, Jason decided that he still wanted to go into business. However, he wasn't sure what he wanted to do. Once he recovered, he started some different things. He transitioned into coaching and a few years later, he moved to Ireland. He realized that he wanted to start an online business where he could do business anywhere in the world, doing something that he loves doing. Jason studied as a life coach, and took a course for that. Within 18 months, he built up an email list of about 9000 people and was coaching people in 13 countries. A Simple, Powerful Tool Jason shared that his most useful tool is a daily journal daily log where he tracks the different things he wants to achieve in his life. His daily log has three sections to it. The first section tracks his daily habits. He tracks health. He tracks finances, LinkedIn and some personal development areas. And a lot of times people say that it takes 30 days to build to create a habit. But a habit doesn't really form until it becomes second nature. That’s when it is an ingrained habit. Another powerful way to stay on track is to have three clear priorities for the day. Jason does his in the evening. When he knows his top two or three priorities are for the next day, he doesn’t have to think about it in the morning. A Common ChallengeJason shared how he thinks we often create unrealistic expectations around things in our life. Whenever people start something they often think about all of the positives that are possible. We start thinking about the lifestyle we want. How this opportunity is going to give you money or freedom. We rarely consider the negatives. We don't think of these things from the beginning. And so we go into a situation infatuated with all the positives. The reality is, as soon as you start doing something new, there is going to be challenges.A Final WordWe also spoke about the importance of finding the right customers and how to scale your business during this episode. I encourage you to listen to the podcast in its entirety. If you would like to download the first four chapters of the book Rethink Social Media by clicking here. If you want to connect with Jason personally, you can find him on LinkedIn here. Thanks to Jason for being a guest on Success Road.
433: Inspiration to Write a Children’s Book
20:17Lori Olinsky is the author of children’s books such as Being Small (Isn’t So Bad After All) and The Toothfairy’s Tummy Ache. In this episode, she shares the catalyst for her becoming an author and what it is has been like writing several books. Inspiration to Write a Children’s BookLori always wanted to write a children's book, but she never had the inspiration to do so. She shared that she remembered sitting at coffee shops and just trying to think of a subject and nothing ever hit her. One day when Lori’s daughter was three years old, she came home from school crying. And it turns out, her preschool teachers were redecorating the classroom, and they hung a growth chart in the classroom. Her daughter was the shortest in the class, all her friends were at the top and the middle of the chart, and she was all the way at the bottom. It was the first time that they realized she was different from them, they would call her names like “Shorty” and “Peanut” and other names that made her feel really upset. Lori’s daughter even went through a phase where she didn't want to go to school. Lori would always tell her all the great things that small kids can do, because she is only 5’1” tall. However, whatever Lori said never resonated with her. So she just went on Amazon and I typed in books about short kids. Nothing came up. That was Lori’s “aha moment.” She decided that she was going to write this book. And she is going to write it for her daughter and for any parents that are in a similar situation. The book is called Being Small (Isn't So Bad After All.) It's literally a rhyming picture book about this story of a little girl who doesn't want to go to school because she's the shortest in class. How Writing One Book Led To Writing OthersLori says she is thankful for the negative experience her daughter went through because it gave her the confidence to write a book. She realized that she can write more books. Her second book is called The Toothfairy’s Tummy Ache. It's another rhyming lesson based picture book. The background for that book is Lori struggled with teaching her daughters how to be honest. Lori and her spouse noticed her kids were sneaking candy up into your room and things like that. She wanted to teach my girls a lesson on how to be honest. Lori realized who better to do that than the Tooth Fairy? That is someone they look up to and love. And so this book is about a little girl who lies and puts a piece of popcorn under her pillow. Then the story is about what happens to the Tooth Fairy and what happens when we believe a lie. Connecting With LoriIf you would like to connect with Lori, you can visit loriolinskyauthor.com. Her books are available there as well as on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. You can also connect with Lori on Facebook and Instagram. Lori says that she loves talking to people hearing about their experience and reading my books, I love seeing pictures. Lori also mentions a preview of sorts about her third book which is very different from her other books in this podcast episode, so I encourage you to listen to the full episode. Thanks to Lori for being a guest on Success Road. I really enjoyed speaking with her, and I’m very excited about the positive impact her books
432: Using Challenges to Find Leads for Your Business
29:51Joschka Strakerjahn is the founder of the Launch Your Challenge Podcast and has built a successful business using launches. In this episode, he shares how you too can create a challenge. Joschka’s StoryCOVID-19 changed everything for Joschka. Over the course of a few days, every one of his clients was gone. He went from running a successful business to having no business at all. A year or so before Joschka lost his work, he discovered challenges. He saw an ad for a challenge. Joscka signed up, and soon was fascinated with how fast he turned from a complete stranger into a fan. And then he realized the potential of a challenge for businesses to grow and scale. Starting A ChallengeIn March of 2020, Joschka decided to do a challenge of his own, using paid ads. In just three weeks, he had 4,500 people sign up. That response completely blew him away, and it sold him on doing challenges as a way to create a business. When Joschka started doing his challenge, he did not have a real online presence. He just has a very simple website, but he didn’t use it very much. He got all of his clients through personal connections. But for his challenge, he got all 4,500 people for his challenge through paid ads on Facebook and Instagram. So don’t overlook the power of paid advertising. Challenges Faced And Lessons LearnedWhen creating a challenge, the first decision is whether it will be a free challenge or a paid challenge. When you run a free challenge, you can run it with a Facebook group. If it is a paid challenge, you need to create a sales funnel of sorts with a landing page. But it can be very simple. Joschka says that one of his first mistakes was that he actually had nothing to offer the participants of the first challenge. To avoid this mistake, it is important to go to the offer first, then work backwards from there. If you already have an existing business, you want to base the challenge around a specific need your business already serves. This approach will help you create the right call to action. Another common challenge is in how to structure the lessons you give to challenge attendees. Joschka shares that he learned you want to structure the lessons in a simple way that serves the needs of the attendees. In most cases, you don’t want to have lessons any longer than 20 minutes.When challenges are executed properly, you can actually create an entire business based on challenges. You can promote the challenge for three weeks and then on the fourth week do some lessons and at the end of the week, you get more customers. Joschka shared with this flexibility and the use of ads, you can even run multiple challenges at once. Joscka also expands more on all of these concepts and more in this podcast. I highly recommend you listen to the full episode for more details. In addition, you can connect with him on his website or you can join his Facebook Group.
431: When It's Time to Regroup and Reassess
12:34I 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...