Finding the opportunity in your frustration (trends)

Feb 16, 2024

Every year I do a trends call for the folks in our Certified OBM® Association where we look at the ‘state of the online world’ and what it means for us as OBMs and business owners.

And frankly, some of the trends this year don’t feel so good.

There is a lot of uncertainty and chaos in the world right now that is affecting all of us (we are – after all – humans running businesses.) Rampant inflation. The housing crisis. Wars and political divide.

Folks are feeling unhappy with the service providers they are hiring. They aren’t getting what they expected and in some cases have had people flat-out disappear on them.

It’s a crowded marketplace right now with LOTS of people who “do what you do” and lots of confusion around who to hire for what – how do we stand out in all the noise?

At first glance yes – many of these things can feel disheartening. And I’m not going to lie – we are in a season of having to “hustle” and work harder or differently from what we have been doing in previous years. 2020 to 2022 was a bit of a heyday in the online space where things flowed smoothly and growth came relatively easy.

That is no longer the case in this season.

And – as much as that can feel like a drag I can’t help but look at all of this through the lens of:

What is the opportunity within all of this frustration?

Because there is ALWAYS opportunity within the frustration. And I daresay, the more frustration there is at the moment the more opportunity there is.

I invite you to look through the lens of these frustrations and challenges as it applies to your business.

In a world of uncertainly and chaos – how do you bring certainty and stability to your clients? This isn’t about fixing the problems of the world directly but about you and your business. How clear are you in your offer and deliverables? How strong is your ability to lead your clients through the work you are doing together? How ‘safe and taken care of’ do your clients feel when working with you?

When folks have had a bad experience with a past service provider – how do you show up with integrity and take ownership of the results you are providing? Gone are the days when it’s been acceptable to do an OK job or for clients to tolerate chasing folks down to get what they were promised. You need to be 100% clear in how you serve your clients. You need to be willing to say no to clients that aren’t a 100% fit. This one seems obvious in some ways and is the ultimate ‘easy fix’ imo – don’t promise what you can’t deliver & deliver on your promises. <– It’s really that simple.

When there is so much noise and competition around you – how do you stand out? The biggest opportunity right now is in a crowded marketplace is to narrow your focus. Find just ONE problem that you solve for ONE type of client. Don’t be another “business coach” in a sea of business coaches who all seem to be saying the same thing. Be a business coach for dance studio owners who want to double their enrollment (as an example.) The “riches are in the niches” is more true now than ever.

I’m curious – what do you find most frustrating right now? And if you pause for a moment to consider, what might be the opportunity hiding within that frustration? Comment and let me know.


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