Episode 151 // Changing Business Models

November 21, 2017

What happens when you want to change your business model? As creative business owners, we feel the desire to shift, chase interests, and find new ways of monetizing our passions and skills, so today we’re talking about what it looks like to change your business model in a way that benefits your business and life.

Learn More about the Topics Discussed in this Episode
This Episode Brought to You By:
"To run a business, you have to embrace change."
- Emily Thompson

Discussed in this Episode

  • Business model vs. business plan
  • When you find yourself wanting to change your business model?
  • Reasons not to shift a business model
  • Setting goals and tracking progress
  • Talking through shifts out loud or with your friends/a mentor/a coach
  • Planning your business model transition
  • Life adjustments that come with shifting your business model

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Kathleen Shannon 0:01
Hello and welcome to being boss,

Emily Thompson 0:03
a podcast for creative entrepreneurs. I'm Emily Thompson.

Kathleen Shannon 0:07
And I'm Kathleen Shannon.

Hey guys, in this week's episode, Emily and I are discussing changing business models and what to do if you find yourself feeling a big shift or even a little pivot in how you do business. You can find anything we referenced on the show notes at being boss club or sign up for our newsletter to get our show notes straight to your inbox. Okay, bosses, I was shocked whenever Emily shared with me this week that she once had a coaching client who had a stack of unsent invoices for clients, and they were like months old, she was literally leaving money on the table. Now, I don't know about you bosses listening, but I've got bills to pay. And sometimes it can be hard to stay on top of billing Not to mention getting over the anxiety of asking someone for money even if you earned it. And this is why I love fresh books cloud accounting so much. It makes billing your clients so easy, professional and even automated freshbooks has so many invoicing features, including getting paid a deposit upfront, setting up recurring invoices for retainer clients, and even being able to see when a client has opened their invoice, try fresh books cloud accounting for free by going to freshbooks comm slash being boss and enter being boss in the How did you hear about us section? Alright, Emily, let's dig in. What are we talking about today,

Emily Thompson 1:41
I wanted to talk about shifting business models for a couple of reasons. One of which is because I feel like we're doing it all the time. Or, well, we are doing it all the time we've I've changed in the shop biography, up in the past year and a half, you have been making some shifts over at braid. And we're also making some shifts here at being boss. And I don't think that it can be more accurate accurately said than right now that the world is changing, consistently changing. I think with the boom of technology and advances in science and just the sheer number of people who are on the planet, right this moment doing some kind of work. Everything is in perpetual motion and moving forward and evolving. And pretty much just not staying the same. And a lot of our people are coming to us talking about how they're making changes in their business or even we've had several podcast guests lately who have talking about pivots that they've made in their own professional lives. So whether it's our clubhouse members, or former entrepreneur and business owner, pals, or even in our own businesses, the way we do business doesn't have to stay put for very long. So I wanted to talk about sharing some insight into what it is that you do if and when because you'll probably experience it, or you definitely should find yourself needing to change your business model.

Kathleen Shannon 3:12
I love this. Whenever we do branding for creative entrepreneurs, especially for creative entrepreneurs over at braid. Whenever we get to the how to work with us section of branding, we always give them a warning that this is what will change the most whenever it comes to being a creative. The things that you offer and what you sell and how you package it up. And even how you deliver it can always and should always be changing a little bit.

Emily Thompson 3:40
For sure. So you always start with creating a business model. And we've even talked about how we're not huge fans of business plans, because we definitely see this trajectory of wind Enos ahead of especially creative entrepreneurs have like a business plan can box you in but you do have to have a business model. I

Kathleen Shannon 3:59
know. Can you imagine having a five year business plan for any one of our businesses? Hell

Emily Thompson 4:05

Kathleen Shannon 4:06
Why aren't even having a six month plan,

Emily Thompson 4:08
I would feel like a terrible failure. Even even if we were doing really, really well. And whatever we were doing, because that business plan would have been shattered to pieces, I probably would have felt like a little bit of a failure just because of it. So fuck a business plan. Personally, I don't think they are super necessary. But to run a business, you do need to know how you're making money. And that would be your business model. And those things can and should shift. Super not super often. But often and these days more often than I think they would have 50 years ago, like 50 years ago you were building a business that was going to last last for 20 years at least these days. I feel like I almost business model every two to five years. Kind of

Kathleen Shannon 4:57
Yeah, and I think that I just went Make a note here that the word business model itself, almost intimidates me a little bit. I think that there's something about it that carries a lot of weight. But whenever you think about your business model really just being how you make money, it's your streams of revenue. That is a business model. And so whenever we talk about business model today, or business plans, we're really talking about what it is that you do to make money, and how you how that exchange happens. So, so let's get into it.

Emily Thompson 5:33
Let's, but first, I want to I want to preface this whole conversation with a double sided warning. And that to run a business, you do have to embrace change. Absolutely, because I do believe that staying put for too long, it can turn you into the taxi companies of the world, where a smarter, more nimble and fast acting competitor can come in and wipe you off the map without you even realizing it, because you're not being open to changing with the needs of the market. How ever Uh, well,

Kathleen Shannon 6:05
I was even just gonna say, you know, the taxi model example is super traditional and rooted in I don't know, a big system. But I think that even for creative entrepreneurs embracing change, it's not so much about keeping up with competitors, it's about not leaving money on the table. And whenever you can embrace change as a creative entrepreneur, you can open yourself, you can open yourself up to making more money in different ways that feel really good, and that are completely aligned with your mission and your vision. But if you're stuck in doing things, the way that they've always been done, you might be leaving money, or even just innovative ideas on the table, for sure. So

Emily Thompson 6:48
embracing change is super important. But on the flip side of this, we're going to be talking about changing your business model. And just because we're talking about changing your business model does not mean that you need to go change your business model, because change is not always the answer. Just because things are hard or difficult doesn't mean that you need to change everything, it just may mean that you need to tighten some things up or put in a little more effort. So it's not saying that you definitely need to go change your business model right now.

Kathleen Shannon 7:15
Right. And I feel like, you know, we've experienced all the spectrums of change, and not change, for example, a braid creative, we've had the same offering since day one. And that is not changing anytime soon, it has evolved. Yes, and we can get into that. But it hasn't totally changed. we've experimented, yes, but that hasn't changed our core offering. Whereas that being boss, we can, I don't know, experiment with a whole new product or launch or offering and see how it goes from month to month. So I think it's really cool for me personally, to see both sides of what kind of a more steady business model looks like and what a more fast moving business model might look like. And I love your disclaimers that you've got to embrace change. But that change isn't always the answer and really digging into the nuances of both,

Emily Thompson 8:11
for sure. I think the thing that makes me want to talk about this, particularly today is really around what we have going on here at being boss. So I have kind of saying being boss is like our a science experiment of a business, where you and I can come into this with the knowledge and experience that we have and just see what works and see what doesn't work. And, and because this isn't either of our main gigs, because we do have our other businesses that we're running as well and that also support us and do those things, we're able to have a little more flexibility. And what it is that we do here at being boss because we're not as dependent on it for our livelihood. And though it has definitely become a very huge part of our livelihood. I don't want to dismiss that by any means. We do have a little more freedom and playing with what works and doesn't work. And do you think that that freedom has allowed us to monetize it beyond our wildest dreams?

Kathleen Shannon 9:07
And we

Emily Thompson 9:08
never expected? Yes, I think that because we've been able to go at this business model with so much less fear and like so much less of a scarcity mindset because it hasn't, it certainly did not begin with us relying on it in any way other than some sort of creative expression, that we've been able to properly dream bigger and take chances that we wouldn't have taken otherwise. So for sure, I think that because we have been able to be a little removed from the success of being boss. It's allowed it to be more successful.

Kathleen Shannon 9:45
So I want to share a very specific, nitty gritty example of this and how it works. So over at braid creative. I have not been the best about keeping up on my email newsletter. Basically because I haven't been blogging I've been either working directly with As clients or focusing my efforts here at being boss, or I don't know, redesigning my website, just doing a lot of other things than writing content. Whereas Emily, you have written D sharp autography you are, I mean, consistent every Thursday morning, I am going to get an email in my inbox from you, and it's going to be incredible. And then that being boss, we can experiment with sending people eight emails a week and just see what happens. And what I love about it is kind of using it as a way to test what works and what doesn't. And, you know, it does eight emails a week, and I'm being I'm exaggerating a little, but I think at one point, we were legit sending out three, study emails to our whole list. And then there are a lot of people that are subscribed to indie typography and braid, creative and being boss, and they were getting a whole lot of emails. And so really seeing what works for us what works for our audience. We no longer send emails a week, but it was cool to just be able to test it out without feeling like there was so much on the line.

Emily Thompson 10:59
For sure. Um, and and I think that's one of the important things to keep in mind with changing your business model, or at least you were just looking at your business model where even if you do have a lot riding on it, because my experience at indie shot biography has definitely been one of it's been my test and change playing field for seven and a half years now, where I was really steady and how I delivered but always consistently changing things until one point, whenever I launched my indie boom, web design and coaching offering where I changed the entirety of my business model overnight. And then a couple years later, I changed it again. So in each of our graphy has been the place where even though my livelihood rode on its back, I was still able to go at it with that mindset of, of just seeing what works. And I think a business should be one of those places, especially for creatives, if you are a creative entrepreneur, specifically. So not only someone who has this need to create for self fulfillment, but also someone who loves business enough to turn your creative endeavors into a money making endeavor. If you're one of those people, then you have the opportunity to play with your business model in really creative ways, hopefully, in order to make the most money out of your creative projects. So with all of that in mind, why would you ever want to change your business model?

Kathleen Shannon 12:29
I mean, you would want to change your business model a to make more money, love it. I mean, like, let's just get nuts and bolts, B because maybe I'm thinking about things like your dream customer has changed a little bit. So right now over at bright creative, we're evolving to not just work with creative entrepreneurs, but to also work with organizations and small businesses and even like higher education institutions or financial institutions. And so that's been a very interesting evolution to business model. I can't help but think about creatives, like jasmine star, for example, who built her business based on photography. And now she's going from more of a doing to a teaching model, where now she's teaching, branding and building a business of your dreams just like she had. I'm thinking about our boss boyfriends, who are constantly shifting how they work. And I think that one of the big reasons why they're always changing their business model, which is usually just project project, I feel like they're always experimenting project to project on their business models is because their

Emily Thompson 13:41
business model is there is no business model, right, or whatever they're doing in that moment.

Kathleen Shannon 13:46
But I think that for them, and we just recorded an episode with them. And I think for them, it's really about dreaming about an alternative. I think about you know, Jason's book specifically thinking about how could I do this easier? or How could this be unlike the way that anybody else is doing? And it's not always a total success. I also think about people changing their business model based on life changes. I remember speaking with Elise and Scott Grice of Hey, Sweet Pea, toward the beginning of launching our podcasts and a big reason why they change their model from working with clients to becoming kind of a more information based teaching model was because of an illness, I think, was it Zika. Anyway, Elise got bit by something, she got sick. We will include the link to that. I'm sorry, I don't remember a lease, but I do remember that she was in the hospital thinking there's got to be another way. my livelihood cannot be solely dependent on me showing up and doing the work. So I think it's really interesting whenever life changes can kind of affect How you do business model, we've seen a ton of stay at home moms get real bored real fast, and dream up of something really cool that they could do with their creativity.

Emily Thompson 15:10
Right, I also think of people who have new skills that they want to employ. So as you are working at one craft, you may be, it may be teaching you something else that you can employ, or you may be learning something else on the side that you want to bring into your business. So I feel like that could be a place where you may have a shift and business model, or also, maybe just you wanting to find something more fulfilling, I think specifically of me working with a web design clients one on one, and though I could see myself picking up a website project or two in the future, because I still do find that fulfilling. For me, I wanted to spend more time at being boss, which I did find more fulfilling than launching website after website. So I think there are many reasons that you may find yourself thinking of changing your business model. And again, going back to that idea where just because you have a skill doesn't mean you need to sell it. And just because you're getting bored for the moment does not mean that you need to wipe the slate clean and start all over again. But I think that keeping these things in mind can and form shifts and changes in your business that can happen really organically and feel really good or maybe prompt a very abrupt change, which is right when it's right.

Kathleen Shannon 16:32
I love being business partners with you over at being boss. And I love being business partners with my sister. And now we're bringing on a third partner over at braid creative, because they're two very different philosophies as far as change and evolution goes. And I think it's really fun to see how it works on both sides. But I wanted to share that whenever we are working with people on branding over at breed creative, and they're wanting to shift their business model. One of the things that we are shifting your business model is a great time to rebrand, it's a great time to really look at how you're positioning yourself and even the look and feel of your brand and your dream customer and all those things. But the thing that we always are looking at with our clients is what doesn't change. And so even if your business model is changing for a variety of reasons, which we listed, I really want you guys to think about what doesn't change. And I think that what this kind of does is it removes a pivot and business model from being a distraction or like kind of chasing the shiny penny. I think that a lot of people sometimes jumped the gun in shifting their model, because they're scared, like so maybe we should dig into this a little bit and come back around to what doesn't change. But what are some reasons not to shift your business model? And I think one of them is because you're scared or because you're looking at what everybody else is doing and feel like you should copy a template, or because you're just freaking out a little bit. I mean, I think that that is like, don't shift the minute something doesn't work,

Emily Thompson 18:18
right? Or don't I also feel like a lot of people shift because because of this, the shiny Penny syndrome, or like someone being a, what do they call them a serial entrepreneur, which is something that I thought was interesting and like appealing for a long time. But now that I've met several serial entrepreneurs who just open business after business, and they change their business model, because they get bored, or they get a better idea or whatever, over and over again, like those people to me are not, may not be able to sustain that lifelong entrepreneurship, for sure. And you're not giving yourself time to really get out of a single business, what you're meant to get out of. So I think that just like general boredom, get over, it should not be a reason for you to change your business model, there should be something else in there, or shiny Penny syndrome where you just want to go after the next thing. That's a sign that you should be doing something more than shifting your business model.

Kathleen Shannon 19:21
I think also there's an element of and I want to be very careful in the way that I say this, I don't want to come across wrong, but I think that you have to be careful. Whenever you're shifting your business model for reasons for lack of better word that feel like greed, like maybe you've hit success and you're like, Okay, how can I scale this? And I'm not saying that scaling is greedy by any means. But I know that for me whenever I've been motivated, only buy money to shift my business model. It's never been a good thing. It always has to be rooted in the intentions and values and helping who I want to help. It has to be rooted in Who my dream customer is and really making sure that I'm doing the best by them. And so talking about longevity of business model, if you're just chasing the penny, if you're just chasing that dollar, it is not going to serve you. And it's not going to serve the people who will help you make your business a success that it is.

Emily Thompson 20:18
I agree with that so terribly much. So I want to talk now about what do you do whenever you decide that you do want to make a change, and it's for a good reason. And you obviously know that know what it is that you don't want to change, because this is I think, is where we're some like real business magic can happen. This is the place that where you get to dream of all the alternatives, or dream up any solutions to whatever problems you're experiencing in your business. And this is where you can break the mold of old traditional business models or how it is that you've been doing business? Or how it is that anyone you know, does business and come up with a solution that really works for you and for the people that you are here to serve.

Kathleen Shannon 21:02
Yeah, so what do you do whenever you're dreaming up the alternatives? What's your process? Like? What did you do before you shifted any of your business offerings or models or how you deliver,

Emily Thompson 21:14
I always get really dreamy with pen to paper. So usually comes it usually begins with like a tearful journaling session, which doesn't happen very often. But I feel like changes in business are usually, especially for me, that can be super emotional, like there are a time when my emotional cup is full. because something is not working correctly with how it is that I do business, and therefore, in a lot of ways live my life, because my life and business are so intertwined. And so it usually happens with me getting really clear about what is wrong, like what is not working for me, and then getting really dreamy, with what could be working better. So I think specifically, whenever I went from doing one off website projects, to launching my indie boom surface, and that came from months of having a harder time in business than I had previously. still being profitable for sure, I think making more money than I ever had. But being so unhappy with the work that I was doing, that I knew that I had to make a change, I remember sitting down in my journal and writing out about how much I hated my job, or whatever. And then getting it out of me long enough to sit down and think about what could happen. So if this business is not working for me as it is, what can I do? Or what would my business? What would my business look like? If I were happy? or How would my business look to make me happy, or whatever, whatever that is supposed to be, and dreaming about how I wanted to work with people. For me, the the pain point was the friction between me and my client because of how projects were packaged and delivered. And they were packaged and delivered in a traditional sense that everyone else is packaging and delivering. So it wasn't wrong by any means. But it also wasn't right. So it was me getting dreamy with how to fix the problems that I was having between me and my clients. And that was rebuilding how I worked with people. So I remember, I remember very clearly outlining. For me, it's always timeline and money and not like a greedy money thing. But metrics. I'm all about having things that I can measure along the way. So let's talk about timeline, deliverables and how much not only I would charge them, but how much my business could make in a year if I were to sell it successfully.

Kathleen Shannon 23:34
Well, and I want to come back to that greed comment because I don't in any way want to make people think that making money is greedy by any means. And I think that that shift for you wasn't motivated by them. How can I add some more zeros to the end of what I'm already doing? I

Emily Thompson 23:51
mean, it was a little bit but that was not the only piece of it for sure. I think the greedy thing comes in whenever money is the only motivator? I think money is plenty good. plenty good motivator. But I think it's the only motivation. That's where you go wrong.

Kathleen Shannon 24:08
Well, and if you're listening to this podcast and money is your only motivator, you're probably in the wrong industry like go become a financial banker, right?

Emily Thompson 24:16
creatives are not super known for being super wealthy.

Kathleen Shannon 24:21
Were compensated with freedom and flexibility. So one of the big questions that I like to really ask myself whenever it comes to shifting business model is more of thinking about what is it that I want to be doing all day? So you know, I remember just a few years ago thinking, Well, I'd love to just be writing all day, how can I make money doing that? And then that kind of turned into the podcast and it's like, Okay, how can I make money doing this? This is incredible. And so it's really getting dreaming about what do I want to do all day and how do I monetize and That are how do I even shift my job role into being that thing? And then how do I, I don't know, business model it out? How do I make money actually doing that?

Emily Thompson 25:12
Yeah. And I think whenever you can get in those places where you're being super dreamy and have your ideal day in mind, like, that's when creative solutions to your problems will come up. And that's when you're not looking at anyone else's business model to solve your problems. You're looking at your own skills and availability and values and intentions to create a business model that will work for you. And I think those shifts in business models usually end up being the most advantageous for anyone with the guts to take the leap.

Kathleen Shannon 25:42
And you know, I've even thought before, like this is an example of getting really dreamy with business model is how can I create something for free for a bunch of creative entrepreneurs, but still get paid for it? And then someone like fresh books, cloud accounting comes knocking at your door, and they're like, hey, we'll help you fund this thing. And so that is like, I never knew that that was specifically the answer. But by asking the question, How can I make this possible? When the answer revealed itself? It was such a clear, yes. And it was so cool to not have to, I don't know, wrack my brain figuring out the answer. I just had to ask the right question. For sure.

Emily Thompson 26:27
And I also want to state whenever you do decide to change your business model, and you start taking the steps, one very important thing to do is to set goals and track your progress. Because if you're not being really mindful of how shifts in your business model are affecting your business, your bottom line or whatever you want to call it, then you're not being a very great business owner, you have to know if the changes that you are doing are hurting or helping your business. And you do that by setting goals and tracking success along the way,

Kathleen Shannon 26:58
men, right. It's not just about getting dreamy, it's about knowing your numbers, for sure.

Emily Thompson 27:06
So I want to talk about actually making the business model. So you've decided you want to change your talked about like what that can look like the brainstorming process and setting those goals and all of those things. But the next step I think, is defining, as with all business models, it's redefining. So you've had a definition of how it is that you make money in your business, you sell these products, or you sell these services. And if you sell so many of them a year, you make this much money like that some good business models and projections high five, but you need to do that, again, for your new business model.

Kathleen Shannon 27:40
My favorite way to do this is to write a sales page. Oh, I like yes, I feel like really making it real with a sales page on my website like that How to hire me chunk will make it so clear. And that part always, really helps me figure out okay, where could there be confusion in what I'm offering? What am I actually delivering? So even along with sales page is thinking about a contract, for example. So if I'm changing my business model, and how I'm working with my clients, one on one, what does the contract look like? And that's where it gets into the nitty gritties of you can expect this timeline, you can expect these deliverables, here's how much it cost, here's how we'll work together. Like just really getting into the nuts and bolts of that, even better of describing, okay, here's what I'm doing in exchange for whatever it is,

Emily Thompson 28:39
yeah, I love that you're making a container for your, in this case, new service. So you're actually giving it a space to live and bringing it to life, which I think is really important for obviously taking those first couple of steps. But in defining it to what those like really precise notions of who it's for what will help them with what's included. And you can even think of this in terms of product, product people as well. It's about knowing what you will do and what you won't do. It's about creating that definition, those boundaries around what it is that you are creating new through your business. those definitions are really important. And then even as you were talking about your ideal day, and really getting clear of what it is that you want to be doing all day, you have to know that this shift, and how it is that you run your business essentially will require some redefining of your roles and job title as well.

Kathleen Shannon 29:36
Yes, so that comes back to that question of what do I want to be doing all day? What are my job roles? What are my functions in this business model? So for example, with being boss for business modeling that out it's like, Okay, my number one role or title in being boss is podcaster. And then that helps you really figure out where I need to focus my efforts and how As a podcaster, I mean, this goes a little bit back to imagining what the business model is. But then it's really just about writing it down. So I'll even just open a Google Doc, I started talking about the sales page or the contract. But sometimes it just starts with a Google document of, Okay, here's what I'm doing in any given week, you can even kind of map out your, your entire week, not just your ideal day, but your ideal week, and really start figuring out what it is that you're actually doing.

Emily Thompson 30:30
Yeah, I also like the idea of what it is that you don't want to do and helping that even guide what it is that you're creating as well. That was one of the things that came up for me whenever I was going from one off websites, to creating my indie boom offering, because more so than knowing how I wanted to work, I knew exactly how I didn't want to work and what job role I never wanted to have again. And by doing that, I was able to create a really dreamy offering for myself and my business and the people that I wanted to serve. So I think going at defining that with knowing what it is that you do and don't why and really looking at at that job title at that role that you will have in your business will help you gain some serious clarity around the shifts that you're making.

Kathleen Shannon 31:16
Okay, I have a couple of questions about business model just as far as how it works whenever you shift. So Can that be confusing to you? Can it be confusing to your dream client? Can it be? Can it diffuse your brand that you've worked so hard to build? Like, I want to kind of get into the logistics of that a little bit? Do you completely rebrand? Like, what are the opportunities? And what are the challenges whenever it comes to shifting your business model?

Emily Thompson 31:46
I think that goes down to what you were saying a minute ago about knowing what it is that you won't change because I think okay, and I'm gonna use indietro biography as an example here, because that's the one that makes the most sense in my head right now. Where I can look back at the branding that braid did for nd Shah biography, oh, my God, what was that six years ago now, five years ago, something like five years ago, yeah, getting old all those years ago. And I can read through that. And with the exception of that my deliverable being websites, my branding platform is the exact same how I deliver that mission is a little bit different. But my mission is the exact same as it was all of those years ago. And I not only have went from doing one off websites to doing indie boom projects that were websites and coaching. But I've stopped doing client work altogether and turn to my India biography efforts into creating digital products that help one to many, as opposed to one to one. And so in the case of India biography and the shifts that I made there, it made no sense for me to rebrand. I'm still known for doing websites, I still get requests for website projects all the time, I'm sure I have in some way diffused my expertise, by also teaching people how to build online courses as well. But I think the shifts that I have made along the way have been less diminished and more grown in my expertise in the arena of online business.

Kathleen Shannon 33:18
Yeah, I wouldn't say that that diffused your expertise at all. And in actuality, I think it helps you deepen your expertise by going from doing the one on one work to then teaching other people how to do it too. And so that can be a good opportunity for shifting your business model is deepening your expertise. So in the case of braid creative, for example, we've always worked one on one with people. And we continue to do that. But then working with you, Emily, convinced me to have an ecourse. And that really helped actually deepen our expertise by putting it on paper. And now we have a new stream of revenue, which is a digital product. And the other thing I want to mention here, too, I think that the most confused that someone ever was, is whenever they went on our website, and asked us if we were still doing client work, or if we were just offering an E course now. And I think it's because of the way that I had designed and highlighted the ecourse button in the navigation because I wanted everyone buying it. And also just you know, people don't really read websites, like that's the thing. For sure. Pro pro tip.

Emily Thompson 34:25
No one is leaving your website.

Kathleen Shannon 34:27
No one's reading it. Um, so you know, that's part of it, too, is just my offering didn't change my expertise, or as my offering changed my expertise didn't if anything, it helped me deep in my expertise. And so that's something I want our listeners to think about whenever it comes to evolving. Your own business model is how does it deepen what you're known for, and not become a distraction to what you're known for?

Emily Thompson 34:55
Yes, and that's where that's where I go into thinking of some People who have jumped from one profession to another in a way that looks a little chaotic and has not made me trust them or not like trust them as a person, but like trust them as someone that I would want to give my money to as a professional anymore, because they have lacked the ability for that like contained evolution or contain the shift in their business model. That's just new business to new business to new business,

Kathleen Shannon 35:31
right, I want to come back to that word chaotic real quick. Sometimes even adding a new offering to what you're already doing might feel chaotic. So I know I've brought this example up before on the podcast. But whenever I decided go through life coaching training, while I owned braid creative, I didn't quite know how that would fit in. But I knew I wanted it to fit into what I was already doing. I didn't want to all of a sudden go from being a graphic designer and branding expert to Oh, nevermind, now I'm a life coach. So for me, it was getting really creative about how I blended my interests to then expand and or deepen my business model. So now, what I'm learning, the new things I'm learning are now becoming tools in my tool belt. And I can also think about that as different projects or different offerings. If you really think about them as different tools in your tool belt. It's really just about how you're working and not so much like a total 180 or abandoning ship. We've even had some people pitch us to come on the show. And then before we even get to recording, they say, Oh, nevermind, I'm not doing that anymore. I'm now doing this completely different. Other thing, and really so on your show, and we're like, No, no, you can't. Best of luck. We love you. But I think that that's whenever I start to feel a little funny about just completely shifting. And that's whenever it does feel like shiny Penny syndrome a little bit.

Emily Thompson 37:05
Yes. And I can think so. Let's bring up a couple of examples here. Because I think this can this works all across the board. And then little nuance things can make it not work the same way or at least will require either a whole rebrand or you to open a whole other business, which is not things that we that we would tell you not to do if it fit at all, but I think so, in our clubhouse recently, one of our really great artists, was asking us what she or what we thought about her rebranding, as she was taking her art to create a product line out of it. And that was one of those examples of someone who was overthinking it, who was really thinking she was gonna have to create a whole new business or a whole new brand for these products that she was creating that was using the artwork that she was already using under her current name. And that was one of those examples, I believe of someone who was overthinking it, who just needed to create the products hold it in her in the brand that she already has and see how things work.

Kathleen Shannon 38:07
Yeah, I think that there was like a procrastination happening there whenever it came to expanding the line. And I think that's also an example of where someone on the inside felt super chaotic. And like, how does this all fit together. But from the outside, it's so easy to see, this is fine. This is an evolution of what you're already doing. And so one of the things that we always say over a break creative is that if you think about your business and your brand, as a book, and you're flipping the page, and you're going to the next chapter, does the next chapter Make sense? Or do you need to go write a whole new? Right?

Emily Thompson 38:48
Well, and I also think of so another one I feel like we get relatively often is from product makers who want to go from making product to teaching, whether it's teaching consumers how to make the thing that they're making, or it's teaching other business owners to build a business similar to theirs. And I feel like that's another one of those places where it feels more chaotic to you than it probably looks on the outside. And even if it's completely different from the jewelry or candles or whatever that you're selling, it's still housed under the same brand is your brand that you have built that will allow you to teach in this other capacity. And I can't really think of trying to give any other examples. Hopefully that illustrates though that you can make shifts in your business. Oh, I remember I was gonna say Danielle Laporte, the interview that we did with her, she had a great way of talking about these little shifts in your business and how they just make sense. Or I've been listening to making Oprah and I even think of like Oprah and her like skinheads episode back in the 80s or whenever it was, and then now you know, living in her wonderful plantation, running her Empire from home and how those like shift after chefs has made her who she is now from having a or actually, I guess being a newscaster to having her own show to having a magazine and then her own network? Like, I wonder how much Oprah was questioning herself and or how much she just did it.

Kathleen Shannon 40:17
I mean, she's probably still questioning herself. And I think that that's actually I hope not, I

Emily Thompson 40:22
hope she doesn't question a damn thing anymore.

Kathleen Shannon 40:26
Oprah I'm almost positive that she is, and I think that most entrepreneurs are and so that's the thing that I really want to get across with this business model episode is that things might feel a little chaotic. Or you might question you might even have some self doubt, but charge forward with confidence. And from the outside, it's going to be fine, and in hindsight, and it's all going to fall in place the way that it should. You know, you mentioned email reports episode, I was thinking about Marie Forleo, his episode where we really talked about being a multi passionate entrepreneur. And I can't remember exactly what we discussed there. But I'm sure that she had nuggets of wisdom whenever it comes to really integrating all the different things that you're interested in. And I think whenever it does come to business model, I think it's because creative entrepreneurs are interested in a lot of different things. And they want to do all the things. And so one thing I think about a lot, because I struggle from this myself is that I want to do all the things and maybe in time, I will. But for now, I can just talk to other creatives who are doing all the amazing things and get almost as much satisfaction out of hearing their story versus having to live it myself. So that's something else to think about. Like even as you know, for you, Emily, whenever you are working with one on one web design clients, or even me working with creative entrepreneurs, I get so much satisfaction out of kind of giving them fun ideas that I would love to execute myself and giving them the ball telling them to take it and run with it versus me having to do it myself, I can excite yourself up to where you can be an idea person, but not executing all of them.

Emily Thompson 42:14
For sure. In that way. I guess we've both in some ways, run hundreds of businesses,

Kathleen Shannon 42:20
or at least built them. Sometimes it feels that way. It

Emily Thompson 42:23
does feel that way. All right. And I want to talk a little bit to about about how it is that you can help like, one streamline the process, but also like help you come to terms with it, and also communicate it to the people who are around you. So I think if you are having or if you are making shifts in your business model, I think it's important for you to tell people what you're up to, I think it's always really weird when people just show up one day, wearing something they've never worn before talking like they never had before about something you've never heard them talk about before. Like, that's always creepy.

Kathleen Shannon 42:57
But I'm thinking about when Madonna had that English accent for a while.

Emily Thompson 43:05
Right. So please don't be one of those people. But I do think it's important for you to start talking about it. I like to talk about things prematurely a little bit. I know you do, too, Kathleen,

Kathleen Shannon 43:17
we've been talking about our damn book for like, three years now.

Emily Thompson 43:21
Right. And but I, I do it, we do it because we know that by putting words behind it action is taken and you know all the things in the universe get in motion, where people start contacting us about writing that book we're talking about or whatever it may be. I'm very good about talking about things prematurely as a way to hold myself accountable to actually doing them for sure. But you don't have to talk about it early. I also like talking about things that shifts in my business to the people who are closest to me first. So whether it's my business bestie, or my business partners, obviously, or anyone who is in my business enough to know, to know if it's a good idea that I can count on for good advice, or at least that look that they'll get on their feet or in their face telling me that I'm crazy or a genius. Depending on the look, I find those really helpful and in helping me talk out how to make that shift happen. Usually there's some good ideas about weaving things together in ways that I hadn't yet considered.

Kathleen Shannon 44:24
Totally, I think that talking to your mentors or a coach or your business bestie or a mastermind group is a really great way to see things from a point of view that you haven't seen, but from people that you know and trust. It's so funny, I've been listening to how I built this a lot which is a podcast that shares the journey and story of creative entrepreneurs. And a lot of them keep it a secret from even those who are closest because they need it too. They don't want any naysayers and a lot of times in retail, the people You're closest to about a shift in business model, you might get a negative reaction. And I see this so many times I've even seen myself do it whenever Emily came to me and said, I'm gonna shut it all down. And here's what I'm doing. Are you sure? What are you doing? And it's because, you know, they might be afraid for you. And they might feel like, if they were having to undertake that big task of shifting their own business model, they'd be freaking out. And so I just want to make sure to let you guys know that whenever you do talk to the people closest to you hold space for them to one contribute better ideas than you have, but then to also to be a little scared for you. And that that's perfectly normal and totally okay, I think that the more you can include people in your decision making or in your thought process, or your creative process, or you know, a spreadsheet is always very convincing, the better, they're going to be on board,

Emily Thompson 45:57
for sure. So once you tell the people who are closest to you, then you start moving out from the center of your circle, basically. So especially in business, you need to tell your followers or your biggest fans or the people who are on your list or in your Facebook group, or wherever they may be, you need to let them know that these changes are coming as well. And maybe it's like two days before maybe it's two months before, that's totally up to you. But I do think by that, by having this conversation, you start getting people ready for a shift, I also think that you should be completely open to and expectant of people leaving, because you're shifting, that's a good thing. I believe, whenever you are positioning yourself in a way that's different people will have different views or the people who are no longer your dream customer will need this group. So expect those things to happen and don't see them as bad see them as good.

Kathleen Shannon 46:53
Yeah, I want to say you even did a big email clean out as you were shifting your business model. And so it was like a hey, here's what I'm up to. If you want to keep following sign up here, you're gonna have to re enter your email address, otherwise, this is going away.

Emily Thompson 47:08
Yep, I did. And it was very invigorating, for sure. And it got me to a clean space in my business where I was able to really start out, start out fresh and a lot of ways and not necessary by any means, but is a good way to do it. I also think that you should definitely be telling your new dream customers. So in telling your followers tell people that you've hoped to work with or that your new shift will allow you to work with them that you are making these changes. Because then they'll see what you're doing and be more aware of it and hopefully more in line with picking up whatever it is you're putting down. You know, I

Kathleen Shannon 47:46
think that this is a good point. Well, I have two things. One, I also love the idea of like just a Beyonce album drop, like just boom, overnight, out it is if you can be that polished and that impactful. That's not really how we roll. We're more about telling people months in advance and kind of working our way up to it. Maybe at one point, there's kind of like that switch, where things start to shift and look and feel more immediately or overnight. But

Emily Thompson 48:16
I don't know ever get there. Maybe Yeah, it's not our style.

Kathleen Shannon 48:19
But I know I'm even I'm redesigning the braid website right now. And I'm starting to just design my blog posts in the new style. Because I don't want to have to go back and redesign all the old blog posts, and then switch them over. So I'm just doing my new blog posts in the new style guide, do it. And it might be a little confusing at first, but eventually it will all make sense. And that's the other thing I want to say too is that sometimes there can be too much over explaining. So like I don't need to send an email to my entire list explaining why my why my blog posts look a little different because guess what, no one is noticing no one cares. So if your shift isn't huge, if it's not a big deal, it's no big deal. You maybe don't have to talk about it as much as you think you need to be talking about it at least to like your greater following. But I wanted to mention about telling your new dream customers, what you're doing is also telling people that might be referring you business what you're up to, or even bad fits. Like if someone emails you wanting you to do something that you don't do like websites, for example, that's something I get a lot like, Hey, can you redesign my website and I'm like, I actually don't do that. But let me tell you a little bit about what I do actually do. And so I'm always sure to practice saying what it is that I do for a living so that everyone is on board and many times I've gotten clients that way. Love it.

Emily Thompson 49:49
Alright, want to talk about now what happens whenever you have made the shift so done on the planning all the dreaming and all the scheming and the defining and I got to start doing it because This is where it starts getting real.

Kathleen Shannon 50:03
Yeah, like team members like you might have to hire some people, you might have to let some people go.

Emily Thompson 50:09
Yeah, I also the hardest part for me, which always seems fun until you're in it is how your entire, like work structure changes. So whenever you make a shift in your business model and what it is that you're delivering, or how it is that you're interacting, or whatever it may be, you're not showing up at work the same way anymore. I remember whenever I went from one off websites to indie boom projects, I was no longer managing projects in my inbox, but instead in Asana, and that's just that's a small shift, where I'm spending less time in my inbox. So I'm not coming in and spending two hours in my inbox, I need to come in and spend 15 minutes in my inbox and then go to my Asana. So I can manage everything there. So whenever you start making these shifts in your business model, it changes everything around your daily routine, what it is that you're responsible for, and my favorite, the systems and processes that make your business work. So it's really getting in there and changing the way your business functions and how you make your business function so that it functions differently.

Kathleen Shannon 51:10
Yeah, I think more than anything, it's just a good opportunity if you're shifting your business model to reassess everything else. So even if you could fit a new model into old ways of doing things, why not go ahead and try something new?

Emily Thompson 51:24
Yeah. So you'll be making always little adjustments in how it is that you are working. And I think it's important to to give yourself a grace period, like plan this transition for me whenever I did, whenever I went from one off websites to indie boom, I went fucking cold turkey. Like one day, I'm doing this. And the next day, I'm not anymore. I'm only doing this other thing.

Kathleen Shannon 51:45
But see, what's funny about it is that you're still building websites for people, though, yes, like, at the end of the day, yes,

Emily Thompson 51:51
at the end of the day, the deliverable was more or less the same. But the process of doing it was completely different. So but what really shifted for me there was the sales process, which was one of the things that was the pain point that I was trying to solve was I was tired of trying to sell websites, I wanted to make it easier to sell websites. And so instead of spending my days selling, because that's what I was basically doing at that point, instead of spending my day selling, I was just sending off a PDF, and then otherwise doing the work. But I still had to plan a time of transition, where I knew that for the first two months of this new offering, I would be still selling just as much so that I could learn how to sell it more effectively, and give by giving myself that grace period. And I gave myself that grace period, because I had a really great sales coach who told me to give myself that grace period.

Kathleen Shannon 52:47
And I just want to say, I feel like during times of transition, you've always been so great about hiring coaches to help you through it. So you had a sales coach, you had a systems and processes coach, you had people helping you make this transition,

Emily Thompson 53:02
yes, because it's not easy. And well, it's not easy, and you can definitely do it yourself. But you can also have someone who knows what they're doing help you do it so you can do what you do better. So that's always been really important is you have to plan for transition and also hire some help if you need it. Amen.

Kathleen Shannon 53:21
And then I think it is a good time. Well, this probably comes before the transition. But I do think that it is a good time to reassess your brand. I know that every single time we've shifted our business model, we have also evolved our brand. And so I know that I'm doing this right now for braid creative the first time ever, we've had our brand for five years now. And I'm just making really subtle shifts, and it's no big deal. But it is a good time to really look at not just our logo, for example, but also our positioning statement and the copy that we're using and the messaging that we're using to describe what it is that we do. I've seen too many people shift their business models, but then keep their old sales copy on their website for something that they no longer even offer. And I know it sounds really Noda but you would be surprised you guys, everyone go through all of your things and look at if you have any copy on your website, that is telling people that you do something that you don't do anymore, even in a blog post. Even I got an email last week someone asking me to design their wedding invitation for them. What?

Emily Thompson 54:31
Yeah, 10 years talk about the transition years and years. Right. And that is part of it too is you will be you'll be turning people down more people down. I turn people down for websites at least once a week these days and this I haven't. I haven't actively market marketed my website services and probably a year and a half and I'm still getting people requesting websites. Kathleen hasn't designed a wedding And five years, six years?

Kathleen Shannon 55:03
Well I do for my closest friends. But that's a secret noted. If you ever get married like, yeah, okay,

Unknown Speaker 55:11
I'm designing your

Emily Thompson 55:12
invitation for us. I would not ask anyone else for sure. Alright, so let's let's bring this home with what happens? What happens to you once your business model changes or set your bank account

Kathleen Shannon 55:26
gets fatter? Hopefully, as you have more time to do the things that you love doing outside of dinner?

Emily Thompson 55:32
Right? If you did it right, that's certainly

Kathleen Shannon 55:34
what's Do you see me getting real dreamy here? Yeah.

Emily Thompson 55:37
Kathleen, what are we going to change soon?

Kathleen Shannon 55:41
Well, you know what, I do think that there is an adjustment that happens though in your life to making more or potentially less money, I know that whenever I've shifted my business model, I've budgeted for a grace period of what if I don't make as much money. But then also, whenever I've shifted my business model to have more time, I realize how addicted to stress I am and how open space kind of freaks me out a little bit. So there are some adjustments that you have to make, for better and worse whenever it comes to shifting your business model, for sure.

Emily Thompson 56:15
So be prepared, any change is going to ripple out to like one small shift in your business model, or how you do business or what the systems and processes look like or whatever is going to shift so many more things in your life in business, and you have to prepare for them. But if you're doing it right and mindfully with good intentions, and great strategy, and all of those things, the outcome will most likely be better than if you hadn't made the change.

Kathleen Shannon 56:44
Like sorry. So I think that our listeners should take a look at how they're making money. So one of the things that you can do is just start to list out your streams of revenue, all the different things that you may do to make money. And this can be as specific. So for example, if you are a web developer, if you're, you know, putting design the website in a line item, or developing the website or hosting the website, like or you could just put websites as one stream. So you can get as specific or broad as you like, I like getting somewhere in the middle. On a scale from one to 10 a vague to specific I like being at like a six or seven. So listen to your streams of revenue, and really look at what's making you the most money. What's not making you any money, where you could be focusing your efforts and where you could be shifting or pivoting things. So that you're actually living what you love.

Emily Thompson 57:41
every damn day guys, life is too damn short. So

Kathleen Shannon 57:47
maybe make some changes. Let's give you guys a couple of tools to help you with this one in the show notes. I'm going to give you the ideal day worksheet. So this is where you can start to get really dreamy about what life looks like. And then I think we should throw in the what's working, what's not working, what's kind of working list.

Emily Thompson 58:07
Love that. So this is my first exercise. I think this will be the first time we've ever used this for sure. So new upgrade or content upgrade guide exclusive right. This is super exciting. This is one of my favorite exercises for purging. Because, guys, I have no fear of purging everything out of my business at any given moment for sure. And I use this exercise to get clear on what it is that I need to be getting rid of in my business and what I should be doubling down on because it's working. So the idea of this is to do have to get really clear on what's working, what's kind of working and what's not working in your business and then we'll have a worksheet there to tell you what to do next. So check out the show

Kathleen Shannon 58:50
notes. That was at WWW dot being boss club.

Emily Thompson 58:55
Thank you for saying www that time without saying as cool as you do.

Kathleen Shannon 59:01
Should we get w w?

Emily Thompson 59:02
w w w?

Kathleen Shannon 59:05
w w? w?

Unknown Speaker 59:07
Now I can't do it. I lost it.

Emily Thompson 59:11
Lost your mojo. We have gotten so much amazing feedback over the years from listeners about how our podcast has helped them start to grow and uplevel their businesses. So we want to celebrate you. Here's the boss we're celebrating this week.

Unknown Speaker 59:28
Hi Emily Kathleen and fellow bosses. My name is Sammy Jo Johnson and I am being thought I make 100% natural and vegan beauty at Flora apothecary calm. And this week I'm celebrating being named one of the best boutique green beauty brands you haven't heard of yet, by origin magazine. Except now you have and you heard it first on being boss. Love to you all and thanks for what you do.

Kathleen Shannon 59:55
If you're feeling boss and when to submit your own boss moment or when go to www Without being boss club slash I am being boss. This episode of being boss was brought to you by fresh books cloud accounting, thank you to fresh books for sponsoring us and you guys can try it for free by going to freshbooks comm slash being boss, thank you so much to our team and sponsors who make being boss possible our sound engineer and web developer Corey winter. Our editorial director and content manager Caitlin brain, our community manager and social media director Sharon lukey. And are being countered David Austin, with support from braid creative and indicia biography.

Emily Thompson 1:00:34
Do the work. Be boss, and we'll see you next week.