Several years ago, I did a major reset in my online business life. I wasn’t happy with the way things were. Everything seemed more complex and more time-consuming than necessary. The days were filled with “busy work,” that promised – but never delivered to the bottom line.
Keeping up with industry changes, software changes, client projects, social media, content creation, inbox messages – it was all become less worth it with each passing day.
Finally, I’d had enough. I reinvented my approach to online business. I rebuilt it around my personal strengths (and personal brand).
I shelved the corporate approach completely in favor of something that was a much better fit for me. In the process, I also rebuilt the digital agency business model from the ground up. After 20+ years in the business, I noticed a lot of people were making this kind of business more difficult than it needs to be.
The point is, it’s easy to get off-course. Before you know it, the weeks become months and the months become years. Then one day, you look around and you realize you’re not a place that you really want to be.
It may be a combination of things like finances, changes in the marketplace, a poor return on various investments, etc.
All those things are a good indicator that it’s time for a reset.
Learning from Past Resets
Back in 2009, I went through another reset (change) in my business. That carried me through another (approximate) five-year span of time. By 2015/2016, times had once again changed, and staying relevant in the marketplace meant having to go through yet another series of changes.
Those changes affected everything (products, services, business strategy, etc.).
That’s when I noticed the pattern with digital businesses.
Since starting my online journey in 1998, I’ve had to take my business through some form of reinvention every five years or so. Today, in 2020, I’ve been through this process four times. The last reset was a gradual one – spanning a period of two years. During that time, I designed my current business model.
The most valuable elements from each stage of my journey are present in the current version. Just think of me as Jim 4.0. The major difference between previous resets and the current one is my overall business model.
(Business Model: a design for the successful operation of a business, identifying revenue sources, customer base, products, and details of financing.)
In the past, looking professional (“clean and corporate”) could open a lot of doors. Today, being personable will do that and more.
People are looking to connect with people in most companies. For every person looking for a reliable company, there are probably a dozen others looking for a reliable individual.
This is what it was like many years ago in small towns throughout the United States. People called “John the Electrician” a lot quicker than they’d called, “Electric Service Corp.”
Back then, you knew the person who worked on your car by name. Phones were answered by people, not recordings.
The online world, as big as it is in a corporate sense, has recaptured this to a degree.
If you’re ready to do a little bit of restructuring in your own business – keep all of this in mind.
Consider restructuring or resetting with personal visibility in mind. Consider having more of a conversational tone flavoring your content. A lot of topics in and of themselves are dry and technical. What would happen if you changed that?
If you haven’t experimented with the personal brand approach yet, give it a shot.
Word of Encouragement
If it takes you years to get it right, all that’ll matter in the end is that you got it right. Time will pass regardless. You can get there if you refuse to give up.
Can You Do What You Enjoy and Still Make Money?
The simplest approach may be to – do what you have to do until you can do what you want to do. Maybe you’ve heard people talk about the intersection between what you want to do and what people are willing to pay you for? That also sums it up pretty well.
If you’re no longer enjoying the work, it’s worth taking the time to figure out why. For example, one or two bad clients can suck all the enjoyment out of what you’re doing. In that case, maybe all you really need is a plan in place to replace the bad clients?
I’m bringing this up because the summer of 2020 is going to be a good time to work through these things. There’s a general slowdown in place right now that you can use to your advantage.
Remember the saying about life giving you lemons? Take the new few months and do your best to turn the lemons into lemonade for your business.
Work on your projects. Create better plans. Map out a new strategy.
Yes, you’ve heard all of this before. The reality is, now may be as perfect a time as you’ll ever get to start putting new things into motion. You can only watch so much coronavirus news. You can only listen to the media talk about debt, business closings, and more for so long. After that, you’re ready to check out.
Social Media? People are more distracted and limited attention-wise than ever. Now is a great time to work on your business. It’s a door of opportunity you can step through to finally get things done.
One last thing, if you have some extra time and would like to share some thoughts on this topic, go ahead and send me an email. I’d love to hear your thoughts.
OK, I think I’ll put the bookmarker in it right about here. Thank you for reading. I hope it helped? Have a good week!