Episode 71: 3 Terrible Pieces of Business Advice to Ignore.
If you feel stuck in your business, then you are going to love today’s episode because I am pulling back the curtain on some of the worst business advice I’ve ever heard.
Today I’m sharing 3 popular pieces of advice that have previously kept me stuck, feeling out of alignment, confused, and incredibly frustrated.
And if you are experiencing any of those feelings right now, there’s a good chance that you may be falling victim to the exact same advice.
So here we go.
Terrible business advice, let’s talk about it.
My name is Caitlin Bacher, founder and CEO of Scale With Success®, and I’m on a mission to help course creators all over the world grow their business in a way that is profitable and scalable. We are sharing revealing conversations about what it really takes to scale an online course business to millions of dollars per year. Join us here to discover the tough decisions we’ve had to make, the biggest failures we’ve had to bounce back from and the learnings that emerged every step of the way. We are so grateful that we have the chance to share it all with you right here on Scale With Success®: The Podcast Built for Course Creators™. Let’s get started.
The other day I was scrolling through TikTok and was listening to a coach talk about how she hates launching, but she does it anyway because it works and that we should also do it even if we hate it.
I remember that in the first few years of starting my business, I would’ve taken her advice to heart.
I would’ve thought, well, here’s this woman that has been around longer than me, and if she’s telling me that I should just push through things that I hate doing as opposed to investigating alternative solutions, then I guess I better get to it.
In fact, years ago I did take her advice to heart along with every other coach that was teaching how to launch and telling me that it was the only way to exponentially increase my revenue year after year.
It wasn’t until I stopped following that advice that I actually did experience that exponential increase, going from $200K to $1M in revenue in just one year from one single course.
Is launching itself terrible?
No, but doing something you hate just because you think it’s the only way to do it, is pretty terrible, which leads me to…
Terrible piece of business advice to ignore, #1: There is only 1 right way to do something.
Now, this is completely false and believing this will enable you to go down paths that you have no business being on.
There is always more than 1 way to achieve a specific outcome.
And it’s up to you as the CEO of your business to consider multiple solutions and to choose the best solution, the best path that’s right for you.
You need to find out what is actually sustainable for you, not what you think should be sustainable for you.
And I get it when we’re first growing our business, a lot of times we look around and see what other people are doing and we start to compare ourselves to them and we think:
“You know what? If they’re doing things this way, then I should also be doing things this way.”
But you don’t know the full picture of their lives, you don’t know what circumstances they have going on, whether it’s their team size, whether it’s support they have at home, and you don’t know what those things are.
And so what’s making that option possible for them, you may not have those exact same things and there may actually be a better way for you to achieve the same outcome.
Terrible piece of business advice to ignore #2: Discipline is key to success.
Now, I know I’m going to get a lot of pushback from this because I know that discipline is one of those things that people love to talk about and business owners and coaches, they love to talk about how the reason why you’re not getting results is because you don’t have enough discipline and all of this and that.
And here are some of my thoughts on discipline.
When I think of the word discipline, I think of forcing yourself to do something that you don’t want to do because you feel like you should.
And to me, that feels rigid and unforgiving.
Now I remember when I first started my business, I was obsessed with discipline.
And that’s because hearing this advice of you know, you need to have discipline as a business owner, that fell right in line with all the stuff that I was taught growing up.
And so it just made sense.
That was the paradigm that I was operating under, right?
That if you didn’t do something, it’s because you didn’t want it hard enough or you didn’t try hard enough or this and that.
And for me, it was just a really unpleasant way to grow my business.
And when I say it feels rigid and unforgiving, I am not exaggerating.
It really does feel that way.
And so I started to ask myself, is this the way that I really want to grow my business?
And if you’ve listened to my free masterclass, then you know my story and the turning point where I was just like: You know what? If this is what it takes to grow a million dollar business, I’m out. I am 100% out.
And it wasn’t until I really started investigating and asking questions and looking for different ways of really growing and scaling a business, a way that felt right for me.
And again, if discipline works for you, fine, have at it, right?
But it didn’t work for me.
And you might be thinking to yourself right now, but if you’re not forcing yourself to do what you don’t want to do, then how do you get things done?
And my answer to that is clarity.
I value clarity over discipline.
Now, without clarity, you run the risk of attempting to be, do, and have things that you don’t even want to be, do or have.
So clarity gives you the strength and flexibility, and discipline gives me fear and fragility.
When I have clarity, that clarity gives me strength and flexibility to move forward no matter what.
I’m clear on the outcome that I’m looking to create and I’m flexible with the path forward in order to get me to that outcome.
I understand that life changes and sometimes you get thrown a curveball, something you weren’t expecting.
And if I have complete clarity on the desired outcome, then that gives me internal motivation to keep moving forward.
And when I think of the word discipline, I think of words like fear and fragility.
Fear because to me, discipline is in some ways motivated by fear because you’re thinking like, oh, I have to do this, and if I don’t do it, then something bad is going to happen. And that fragility, if I don’t do this thing, then everything’s going to break.
Now those are just my own thoughts and I’m sure that other people have different ways of interpreting the word discipline, but I can’t tell you the amount of stress and overwhelm that I was relieved from once I just kind of gave up on discipline and I was like, you know what?
I’m just like, forget about you discipline, what I’m really aiming for is clarity.
And it’s funny because I feel like I get a lot more, I actually get a lot more done by focusing on clarity.
And the process itself is just a lot more enjoyable.
And clarity gives me strength because it shines light on my true purpose so that I don’t feel trapped into doing something I don’t want to do.
Now at times, my clarity is so strong that not doing the thing that will lead to my desired outcome doesn’t even cross my mind.
It’s not even up for discussion.
That clarity acts like a magnet pulling me in.
So that temporary discomfort is irrelevant.
Clarity also gives me flexibility.
Now, there are some days when I’m just not in flow and I do feel confused and I do feel afraid or resistant.
And instead of forcing myself to proceed, which is what I used to do, and instead of that, now, so instead of forcing myself to proceed, now I have the freedom to ask myself questions.
So I’m not confined to this rigidity and fragility.
It’s more about strength and flexibility.
So I’m asking myself questions like, why does this feel hard right now? Is that really true? If that’s not true, then what is true, right?
There is always learning and growth available, but not if you’re forcing yourself to bear down and get through it.
And for a lot of people, that’s what they’re doing with discipline.
They’re taking that to mean that they need to force themselves to do something that they don’t want to do just because they think it’s the only way to do it.
So I will take clarity over discipline any day of the week.
So here’s my 3rd terrible piece of business advice to ignore, and that is: bigger is always better.
Now bigger can be better if it’s what you really want in your business.
So our company helps course creators automate their sales process so they can quit launching and generate consistent revenue.
Our clients are looking for things like more money, more time freedom, and way less overwhelm.
And yet the goals of each individual scaler, which is what we call each client inside of Scale With Success®, looks very different. Bigger is not always better. It can be if that’s in line with what you want to do, but it doesn’t have to be.
So let me give you an example.
One of our clients is looking to generate $8K per month, $8,000 per month consistently from her course without paid traffic. That’s it.
- She doesn’t want to go bigger, she doesn’t want to build a multiple six figure revenue stream from her online course.
- She doesn’t want to do things like paid traffic and really scale her results.
- She doesn’t want to turn this online course into a million dollar revenue stream. Not right now anyway, and that’s because she has other things going on in her business and she wants to keep working one-on-one with some of her clients because she enjoys it.
- But she also wants to be able to help folks who can’t afford to hire her one-on-one.
- She wants to keep those prices at a really premium price point.
Now, to some people, her goal of $100,000 in annual revenue coming from this particular course could be considered playing small.
But here’s what those people don’t know, okay?
She has three kids, one of whom is graduating high school and the other is still in high school, and the third is in middle school.
So the middle school child has had some really intense mental health issues that started in 2020 and they’ve gotten progressively worse.
Now, on top of that, her father passed away six months ago.
So the Scale With Success® sales engine that she built is giving her the financial stability and time freedom so that she can work with just a handful of her favorite clients one-on-one and still have time to have dinner with her kids every night and to go to therapy once a week.
Her goal this year is to run a simple and highly profitable business.
Simple and profitable.
So making millions of dollars doesn’t motivate her right now. Could it motivate her next year? Maybe. But for right now, that’s not what she’s looking for.
What she’s looking for right now is more profit and more time to care for herself and for her family. That’s what motivates her. And there is nothing wrong with that.
Now, on the other hand, another one of our clients has used her Scale With Success® sales engine to rapidly increase her revenue going from six figures per year to six figures a month consistently.
She has a really big revenue goal of surpassing $10M over the next five years.
And she knows that automating her sales process gives her the scalable profits that she needs to continue to invest in her business and build out her team.
Now, I want you to give yourself permission to design a revenue goal that feels right for you.
You want to go big, go for it.
But you get to decide and whatever you decide you want your revenue goal to be now, it doesn’t mean that you can’t change your mind later on.
Everyone’s in a different season of life and it’s important to honor that and to choose a goal that makes you feel good.
And your goals may not be just based on overall revenue.
You might have a profit goal, you might have a time spent working goal, you might have some self-care goals.
Whatever those are, it’s important to get really clear on what, exactly what it is that you’re building here.
So here’s the big three takeaways from today’s episode.
1. There is always more than one way to achieve the outcome you desire. Don’t get trapped into thinking that there’s only one right way to do something.
2. Clarity can give you the strength and flexibility that you need to achieve your desired outcome. Don’t think that the only way to get where you want to go is through discipline.
3. Bigger is not always better. It can be better, but only if it’s what you really want.
➡️➡️➡️ If you want to learn more about how you can create a profitable sales engine for your business, then make sure to sign up for my free masterclass.
Just click the link around this episode and sign up. And make sure to tune in next week for another episode of Scale With Success®: The Podcast.
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