How are you? For me, it's been a busy start to the year, but the thing I am focusing on most right now is the next round of the Change Maker Programme. I can't believe that this will be round 5, it feels like no time at all since the first cohort joined. In fact, I am seeing the first Cohort next week for lunch and somehow the planets aligned and I saw Cohort #2 for dinner just a few days ago (head on over to my Facebook page for a photo of all the group together).
The Change Maker Programme is built on the three pillars which are the core of every sustainable business, structure, systems, and strategy. What makes the programme special though, is that it doesn't just help you develop the knowledge to run a business, it helps you take the steps you need to take to run the business you really want to run. The business that produces consistent, repeatable results for clients you love and that sits so well within the life you want to lead that you feel ease and flow in what you are doing instead of overwhelmed, lacking in time, unclear in your focus and wondering whether you are really doing the things which you need to be doing to grow your business. I love this programme, I am so proud of it. It is everything I wish I had known and that I had to learn the hard way in growing both of my businesses. And I know it works because the participants tell me:
"I'm loving it. Thank you so much for creating this program, for sharing your knowledge and experience and for this opportunity to learn from you. This is hands down the best program I've done and the best money spent in my 5+ years of business. I love your approach and the way you lead the calls each week, allowing us each time to speak and get feedback. Thank you SO much!"
Over the next few weeks, I am going to be diving a little deeper into the principles of the Change Maker Programme and how you can apply them to your business right now to move your business ahead in 2018. I promised you when you signed up for Notes for the Curious that I would not take up space in your inbox with things that weren't relevant to you. So if you would like to receive the additional emails (not many, just a couple) then click here: CHANGE MAKER and you will be added to the VIP list who will receive the special edition mailings. If you don't click, you will continue to receive the Notes for the Curious every two weeks just as I promised you would when you subscribed.
Now, let's get on with the Notes...
1) It's the end of the world, or Facebook, or not...
If you operate in the online business space then all anyone's been talking about is Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg's most recent announcement. Changes to Facebook? Panic! Except, that it's really not such a big deal. Nobody knows exactly how this is going to impact people. Nobody will know until it rolls out. Inevitably, it's going to cause some shifts, but I'm going to predict that for businesses who built solid foundations, with a good model underpinning them, this is not going to be an issue. Facebook is not over for small businesses, in fact, this is likely to make it a place the people want to spend time again. It seems that the experts over at Buffer feel the same way. Nevertheless, if you have been experiencing social media fatigue, then I have just the steps to recovery that you need.
2) Fear and the entrepreneur
Did you know that humans can actually scare themselves to death? I'm pretty confident that entrepreneurship has never scared someone to death (even if sometimes it feel like it might). However, it does seem that fear is a huge inhibitor when it comes to building the business we want to run. In this study by Shopify they find that fear was the biggest obstacle to new business owners getting their first sale. Then they dig into the psychology behind it give some solid strategies for overcoming fear as an entrepreneur.
3) You don't have to do "all the things"
You just have to do the thing that you do, really, really well. For Christmas, my husband bought me a year of flowers from Bloomon. I am three weeks into my deliveries now and already they have made me a raving, superfan. Not only are the flowers beautiful but I am running out of vases because the flowers from week one are still going strong! Bloomon is a Dutch startup who are changing the way that the very traditional flower industry does business. They looked at the system and thought, "That's broken, and we think we can fix it." So they did, and now investors are calling them the Netflix of flowers. Psssst! If you live in the Netherlands and you'd like to try Bloomon, use my link and you'll get a free vase with your first delivery (and I'll get more flowers, win=win!).
4) Do you know what it takes to be a community admin?
We've all read those comments on line. You know the ones, the ones which are so bad that you suck your teeth and wonder how someone could let so much negativity and crazy spill out of their head and into the public arena. Trust me, after 8 years of moderating the Amsterdam Mamas Facebook Group I feel like there is nothing more that could surprise me about how truly awful people can be when they can hide behind a computer screen. But as this article illustrates, on balance, the opportunity to see so much good and intelligence and community vastly outweighs the bad.
5) How to write a great speech
Indulge me, Curiosity Seekers, because I'm about to show you my geek side. This is a wonderful analysis piece on the greatest American speeches and why they influence you. It is completely fascinating to me how humans use language, it always has been. I love political speeches. Aaron Sorkin's writing bowls me over with it's structure and impact, I could listen to the top TED speakers on a loop and never get bored. So this treasure trove of infographics and language analysis is definitely my happy place.
Do you have a business buddy? That person who you can talk for hours with about your businesses, and the industry, and what's going to happen next. I do, it's Stephanie. Our calls are always full of "Yesssssssss!" and "Me too!" and so much laughter I've cried actual tears. Because, we get real on our calls, we tell the truth with each other. And we've noticed, there's not an awful lot of truth telling going on these days. There's a lot of shiny stories, great copy and polished angles but the truth about what it takes to run a business? Not so much. So we decided to set the record straight. Introducing Business UNVARNISHED. It's like eavesdropping on one of the conversations Stephanie and I have all the time. We picked a theme for each video and recorded six of them, just for you. The first one is all about getting over your fear of visibility. We gave ourselves some rules, no retakes, no edits, this is us, unvarnished. I would love to know what you think of them, don't forget to leave a comment on the video page.
Until the next Notes,
P.S. Don't forget! If you would like to connect in person, then I am speaking at two events this quarter (so far!): Families in Global Transition in the Hague on the 8th of March at which I will be talking about leading the change you want to see in the world. And Spark Women 2018 in Amsterdam at which I will be moderating a panel discussion on the Winding Path of Entrepreneurship. If you haven't got your ticket yet then use the code: SPARKFRIEND to get a discount on the full ticket price.