Build a Badass Business Podcast | Diane Sanfilippo

Build a Badass Business Podcast #15: Stop pondering and start doing!

BABAB-PODCAST-Square_Episode-15How do you focus as a multi-passionate entrepreneur? In this episode, I talk about 3 tips for focus and direction when you’re not exactly sure which way to go.

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Build a Badass Business: Episode #15: Stop pondering and start doing 

Coming to you straight from her basement home office in suburban New Jersey, this is Build a Badass Business with Diane Sanfilippo. Diane is a New York Times bestselling author and serial entrepreneur. She’s here to teach you how to grow and develop a successful business you love, and how to create raving fans along the way. Here she is, your host: Diane Sanfilippo.

Diane Sanfilippo: Hey guys, welcome back to Build a Badass Business. I’m no longer going to call this recording style where I talk pretty much right into my iPhone, I’m not going to call it rogue anymore, because I’ve decided that a formal set up is probably not going to happen for me most times, and sitting at a desk or kitchen or dining room table or something like that with a microphone and all that, I don’t know. I think it just makes me feel too harnessed, so I’m not sure I’m going to be doing that. So yeah, I’m going a little bit rogue, but indefinitely. I hope the sound quality is pretty good on these. I really don’t know; I don’t generally listen back to my stuff. Sometimes I do.

Today I am going to talk about focus, direction, all that good stuff, when you are either a multipassionate entrepreneur, which is something I know Mari Forleo talks about a lot, and I’m definitely one of those people, or if you’re just getting started, because I don’t think this affects multipassionate entrepreneurs who are further along in their entrepreneurial career as much as it does those of you who are just starting. Because, as somebody who is multipassionate myself, I’m not held back by that, and I think that moving along 3, 5, 10 years into my career as what I would call an entrepreneur, it’s not something that I ever really think about or get too worried about. It definitely directs some of my decisions, but I don’t worry about it. Well, I don’t really worry too much in general about many things {laughs} so maybe that’s something that’s a bit different about me. I’m going to talk about 3 tips that I have here for focus and direction and all that good stuff.

Alright, this may be reiterating a little bit of what I talked about in a previous episode on focusing, but I need to get into it. This was prompted by a text conversation that I had with a friend of mine, who I’ve many friends who are entrepreneurs or emerging entrepreneurs, have been so for a long time, and this one happens to be a personal trainer. She’s got a lot going on with clients and all that good stuff, but she’s also got ideas about a program to put together, and my bit of advice first and foremost is do the thing, do the obvious thing, and just get it done.

Because a lot of you are probably sitting there with an idea for a product or a program, something you want to put together, I talk a lot about not exchanging your time for dollars. This is obviously a big issue for folks who work as personal trainers, who that’s the job. Right? You show up, your client shows up, you train them, and that’s where the work is. However, you probably have something that you do most often. Maybe you work with a lot of brides who are training ahead of the wedding, or maybe you work with people who are athletes who are getting ready for an event or competition. You probably have something that is your area of expertise or specialty, and you probably have a way of programming for them. Of course, it’s individual in a lot of ways, but you probably have an approach that you could write down. Something that people always ask you about.

Maybe you’ve been a trainer, I’m just going to go with this example, for 5 to 10 years doing this work, and you know there are lots of folks who are new. You know what it’s like to be a new trainer, and you’re like, I don’t really know how to direct what I’m doing for every new type of client that I get, I don’t know what I like the most. If for example, let’s just say my friend works with a lot of brides to be. She could write down, how do I help create a program for these brides to be, and just write out the plan, get it down on paper, and have something that could be written into an eBook or some kind of program. It does not have to be a huge monster.

I’m going to remind you guys time and time again; those of you who know me for the 21-Day Sugar Detox, I wrote the original version of that eBook, and I think it must have taken me, I can’t remember exactly how long, between 1 and 2 weeks of going to Starbucks every day for probably anywhere from 3 to 6 hours at different intervals, I’d go after breakfast, and then I’d go home for lunch and then I’d go back and work again, and it was either one or two focused weeks, where I was like, I just have to write this and get this done by X date. Whatever it is by this date, I’m launching it, and that’s it.

The beauty of the internet whenever you’re doing this type of work is that you can always rerelease it. There’s always a way to resend it to people who already bought it so they don’t feel like they missed out, but you have to do the thing. You have to get it out there. People just spin their wheels, never getting that first thing done and launched, and never know how it’s going to be received, how it will do, if you’re paralyzed by perfectionism. It’s an issue of fear and kind of your ego getting in the way, because there is no such thing as perfect.

Even books that I’ve published and I’ve printed, you know 10s of thousands of copies have been printed of books with typos. It happens. We’re human, we read something and perhaps it’s a word that’s a real word, and the computer didn’t catch it, and four other humans didn’t catch it, and it happens. It’s no big deal, and we get past it. You just have to know that that’s part of putting yourself out there is that there will be imperfections, and that’s ok. The beauty of programs that we can all kind of create now is that we do get that time to iterate and change and update and send it out again, so there’s really no reason to hold back.

The other thing there is that you have no idea how good it can be until you just put it out there. I think a lot of us have fears that it’s not good enough, or it’s not enough information, or it’s not valuable enough, and that’s just really misleading. Because if you have one thing to offer one other person, you’re adding value into the world. If you can help somebody else get through a hard time with something that you’ve created, in this case let’s just it’s another group of new personal trainers who want to help brides out, but they just really don’t know how.

This is something that if you create something, even if it’s just a 4-page guide, “How I Help Brides to Be Create Training Plans”. Maybe that’s something that’s free that you put out, and then maybe you sit down and write out all the things that you do and get it organized into something that’s a little bit more formatted, and maybe it’s a 20 or 30 page eBook or guide that you can create to release after that that does have a price tag on it. It doesn’t have to be super expensive. Generally there are some rules around these things, like the more niche the product is the higher the price is.

I generally like to create things that have more broad appeal so that I can price them lower because I like to be as inclusive as possible in the things that I’m offering and selling. I like as many people as possible to be able to get in on whatever that is. I’m constantly working at, what’s the lowest price I can sell this at without undercutting the value of the program or the product or service, and also without exchanging too much of my time for not enough dollars, if I am doing something that’s kind of consulting or what not and it doesn’t involve my time.

So, that’s the first point, just do the thing, get it done, stop thinking about it, stop being in the pondering stage. I know Gary Vaynerchuk says, the more you ponder, the more you squander. I absolutely believe that. I do not spend too much time thinking about what I’m going to do; I just put it into action. Of course it’s thoughtful and considered before I do it, but I don’t recommend sitting and festering on things for too long. The thing that I probably spent the most time thinking about before I took action was when I started a meal business, because there were a lot of different moving parts, and there was a lot of money to spend on things like the food itself, the space I was going to rent to cook the food, the packaging that was really important to me to get the packaging as right as I could. I was buying corn plastic that was compostable for cold containers.

All these little details of things that, absolutely, if you have a business like that, you do need to stop and think and consider things, but you need to make decisions on things. Write them down, you know, if it’s something you’re going to buy right away, write down what your decision was, and keep moving on. The consistent issue around being an entrepreneur is that we have to make a lot of decisions all the time, and a lot of people are not convinced that they’re decisions are right. It doesn’t really matter, you’re never going to know if you’re decision is right, you just have to make one and then move on, and then change it if it wasn’t the right decision. I do this all the time.

My poor team is constantly working with me to iterate on things that we’re doing. You know, we update the website all the time. Right now we’re in the middle of a website overhaul on the Balanced Bites site. So what, you know? We launched the new website, it couldn’t have been more than, I don’t know, two years ago. It was probably a year, year and a half ago that we launched the existing website, and now I want to change it. So what? No big deal, we relaunch it.

So this brings me to step number two; that is to launch it. Get the thing out there in front of people. This goes back to my listen, labor, launch talk that I did at PaleoFx, and that is episode, I’m not sure what number, but you can check out the episode that I talked about this whole process that I like to go through with everything that I put out and I think that it’s something that you guys can find really useful. If you’re holding back from launching; when I say do the thing or do the obvious thing, get it done, it really is doing the work part. That’s the work stage; writing, sitting down, getting all this stuff that’s’ in your head out. This is the stage where you actually push it out. You either give it away for free, you show it to friends, you put it for sale, whatever it is, just get it out there now.

If you don’t know what the thing is, obviously getting to launching it is tough. It’s something that you might want to talk to your friends about; what’s the thing that you think I should be doing, getting done. I can say to my friend really obviously, this is the idea that you’ve had. It’s so obvious to me that you’re passionate about this, and you have a lot of ideas and opinions and information about this topic that you could just write down. I think sometimes we consider putting things into a blog post, but we don’t realize that consolidating information and making it easier for somebody to consume in one sitting is a better approach. So blog posts are great, but getting that thing out, getting that product out, that’s kind of the bigger goal.

For you, perhaps doing the thing is starting a blog. Perhaps launching it is hitting publish on that blog post. That’s absolutely fine. Get out of that paralysis stage where you’re just not pushing the thing out there, because so many people tell me they don’t start a blog because they don’t know what to write about, they don’t know how to focus it. I’m like, do you think I knew how to focus my blog 8 years ago when I started a blog? It was called something totally different. I was writing about what I was watching on Oprah and what Dr. Oz was talking about on the Oprah show. If I didn’t start with that, I don’t think I would be here today. It doesn’t matter what you start with, you just have to keep going and get something done.

Alright, so the third step or stage in this whole thing is just redirect as needed. This is another part that I think instills a lot of fear in people, because you’re worried that if that thing didn’t work out, you’re a failure. Absolutely not. Just pushing something out, publishing, launching, what have you, that’s taken you so many steps further than what other people are doing. It’s not to say you’re better than anyone else or any of that. It’s just really about doing what you want to do and taking those steps and making it happen, and you know,

I’ll go back to the 21-Day Sugar Detox. I’ve redirected that program, I’ve added to it, I’ve updated it, and I don’t think any of you listening who maybe have participated in it or have seen it out there, would think that any of that was bad or wrong or I made a mistake with what I first did. What I first did was my best effort when I did it, and then I had more to offer. So I updated it, and I changed it, and then I published it as a book. All these things are just redirects along the way with information I’m getting from how it’s received, what I see people might need in addition, and perhaps for you that would be an additional different product, perhaps it’s an update or an expansion on something that you’ve already created.

And this could be true for a product line, too. Maybe you launch one product, and then you’re finding that people really like it, but they wished it smelled different, or tasted different, so do you either change the existing product or do you introduce something new into the product line. Maybe you have some kind of skin care line and people love it, but they’re like, well I wish it wasn’t lavender scented. That would be me, that would be my feedback, because I do not like the smell of lavender. {laughs} Unlike most people who find it calming, I find it to smell, ok this is very strange, but I know you love the little personal insights. My grandpa, who I absolutely loved, I have no negative {laughs} thoughts or feelings about him, but growing up, when I was a kid visiting their house, he used a lavender soap, so to me lavender smells like grandpa soap. {laughs} It’s just an association that I have, so I don’t personally care for the smell of it. I also don’t like floral smells in general. So I would give somebody feedback that has some kind of beauty care product that smells like lavender that I don’t really like lavender.

Do you take that one piece of feedback, and its one person so you change it because of that one person? Or do you just say, well, this is something that’s selling well to 99% of everyone else, I’m going to keep going with that. You have to use your intuition to make that decision. Chances are, if it was a product that I really loved that somebody sent me, and I said, hey I love your product but I don’t love the scent so I’m not going to be able to use it, that person might say, well if Diane loves it, and uses it, and tells people about it, a lot of other people might buy it, so I might change the scent because of that. You have to take the feedback you’re getting with a grain of salt and kind of buffer it against, what does that change mean? Is it easy enough for you to make that change? Is it meaningful? Should you do it? You really have to use your own intuition on that.

Everyone who is an entrepreneur, you have an intuition, you have a gut sense, and so you have to use that. But if you’re not sure, this is where talking to other entrepreneurs and asking those around you who are in similar situations how to help redirect. You let them know, this is the feedback I’m getting, what do you think I should do next? This is where maybe getting together with some other entrepreneurial friends in some kind of mastermind or just a group setting. You guys can connect, whether it’s in person, online, over Skype, what have you, once a week, every couple of weeks, once a month to just check in and see what the direction is that you’re going to move your product, program, services, etc. going forward.

So this week, I want to have you guys comment to me, come over to Instagram, you can tweet at me, you can post on the Diane Sanfilippo Facebook page or on the Build a Badass Business Facebook group. Always use the #badassbusiness, that’s the one that I’m checking the most. I want to hear from you about what’s the thing that you want to focus on. What’s the thing you’re going to commit to, just getting it done. Not sitting in that analysis paralysis, feeling like it’s not good enough, being unsure of it, just getting it done.

This is when you’re pushing through and learning new things. Maybe you have something to sell and you need a website for it too; you have to sit down and just figure it out and spend that time and put that commitment in so you’re learning about it. What’s the thing that you’re going to do; I want you to tell me about it, I want you to be accountable to it. Maybe you’re accountable in the Facebook group; maybe you’re just accountable because you posted something to Instagram and you tagged me in it, and you let me know about it. I’m going to watch you; I’m going to see what’s going on, and I definitely want to hear from you on what’s the thing that you’re doing and just getting it done.

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