2021 Trends for Online Service Providers

As we look back to 2020 – and ‘ease’ into 2021 – what can we expect as service providers? What are the opportunities for us out there today and how can we make the most of them?

To say 2020 was a doozy of a year is to put it mildly, and yet it was a year that opened up all kinds of doors for online service providers… put simply, the world came online last year and you are needed more now than ever. So whether you are a virtual assistant, online business manager, copywriter, funnel builder, web designer or otherwise… if you provide ‘done for you’ services of any kind now is your time.

Carrying the weight of your business on your shoulders

There is a simple truth that we don’t talk about enough as we grow.

And that is – the bigger your business grows, the heavier it is… the more responsibility you carry.

You are responsible for taking care of clients and team. Making sure everyone is happy.

You are responsible for the work – making sure everything gets done correctly and on time.

You are responsible for making enough money to pay for it all. Paying for team. Marketing. Systems. And hopefully paying yourself!

Let’s be real – it is a heavy burden to carry at times. Especially when you feel like you have to carry it all on your own.

I’m very much a ‘do it myself’ kind of gal. My default mode is to jump in, figure it out and make it happen.

This was a huge part of my success in the early years! When it was just me and my clients.

But when I hit the 6-figure mark it stopped working. It became too much.

Too much work to do.

Too many decisions to make.

Too much to keep track of.

What used to be my strength – rolling up my sleeves and taking care of things on my own – became my weakness.

And this is where my growth stalled. Where my income became stuck.

Because there simply wasn’t enough of me to go around anymore.

When I learned how to shift this – how to shift from doer to CEO – then everything opened up and things began to flow again.

My income doubled practically overnight. My team was rocking and getting stuff done without my having to constantly ask.

I got back to working sane hours – and no weekends! – doing the stuff I loved.

And I felt free – the weight I had been carrying around on my shoulders was gone.

I no longer felt like I had to do it all on my own.

THIS is the work we do together in my CEO Activator – the shift from doer to CEO.

When you aren’t getting the results you want

When you aren’t getting the results you want

“The best way to know what you are thinking is to look at your results” – Brooke Castillo

Pause for a moment on that.

If our thinking creates our results – then what are your results telling you about your thoughts? 

If you think that you can’t find enough clients, then you won’t find enough clients.

If you think that no one will pay your higher rates, then you will struggle to get to a yes with your higher rates.

If you want to hire but secretly think that no one can do it as well as you, then you won’t find anyone who can do it as well as you.

I’ve coached hundreds of service providers in the past 10 years and I know this to be true.

It ALL starts with our thoughts.

I’ve had clients tell me all the reasons they can’t/won’t achieve their goals and they are often proven right. Until we tweak their thinking.

And I’ve had clients create goals that seemed almost impossible given their current situations, but because they believed it was possible they made it happen.

I’ve seen a person charge $20/hr and another person charge $120/hr for the exact same thing.

I’ve seen people tolerate clients who aren’t a fit for them for years, while others find amazing clients seemingly overnight.

It’s easy to think they have “something special” or just “got lucky”. Nope.

They just think differently than those who aren’t getting the same result.

Our thoughts lead our actions which create our results. If our thoughts are misaligned with what we desire our actions will be misaligned (or non-existent) and we won’t see results.

What are your results telling you about your thoughts?

And what needs to change in order to get different results?

Highly recommend listening to the episode of Brooke’s The Life Coach School podcast called Results Truth – it’s a doozy! In a good way.

Tina

The rise of the intrapreneur (part 2)

The rise of the intrapreneur (part 2)

This is part two of an article I shared last week re: the rise of the intrapreneur. (You can read the first article here if you missed it.)

There are 3 shifts to be made as we come together in this new way of working. But first I want to clarify one thing.

Intrapreneur is a MINDSET – not a role.

There are many different roles that an intrapreneur can play in a business. They might be tech focused or marketing focused. They might be coming in to manage projects or make sales.

One of the key distinctions of an intrapreneur is that they OWN their expertise, and are clear on the value they bring to a business. Which leads to our first shift…

Shift #1 – paying for the RESULT and not the time it takes to do the work

When hiring an intrapreneur you are hiring someone who is clear on the RESULT they can create in the business, and they are willing to OWN this result.

Imagine you want to create a new website for lead generation and you have two choices:

  1. Person A who does great work at a reasonable rate, but doesn’t make any promises as to whether or not the website will work for you.
  2. Person B who does great work at 4x the rate of the first person, and they also include a guarantee that the website will bring in a minimum amount of leads within the first 6 months, with a bonus structure for meeting certain growth goals beyond that minimum.

The first instance is (still) the most common scenario in many cases, as it is based on the ‘old school’ method of paying people for time. Paying people to ‘get stuff done’ regardless of how effective it may be.

The second instance asks us to step up on both sides.

  • It’s asking the intrapreneur to ‘put some skin in the game’ and own the results they are being hired to create.
  • It’s asking the hirer to invest more upfront and to be willing to pay an incentive as certain milestones are met

It is a shift in the balance of risk & reward – when the intrapreneur is willing to take on more risk (to OWN a result) they get to share in more of the reward (the amount being paid.)

Shift #2 – FREEDOM to do it their way

If you have solid processes and systems that you want people to follow – aka “here’s how we do things around here” – an intrapreneur is probably not going to be what you need (in that particular role at least.)

When someone is willing to own a result, they also need to be free to create that result in their own way. In the way they know works. Or to experiment with ways to do things differently to get to the same result (especially important when we are asking them to bring creative thinking and innovation to the table!)

An intrapreneur is going to be driven by freedom – and if you stifle that freedom they aren’t going to be able to do their best work, and probably won’t stick around for long.

This may mean they do things differently than you would do them and that can feel uncomfortable for some of us. So long as they are producing the result you have mutually agreed upon (as per Shift #1) it’s good to give them all the freedom they need.

Shift #3 – working WITH vs. working for

Intrapreneurs want to be a part of something bigger than themselves. They want to make a meaningful contribution to a big vision. They need to know that they work they are doing matters.

The old school way of ‘working for a boss’ is demotivating for the intrapreneur. Of being put in a box based on their role. Of feeling like their contribution isn’t valued or their ideas aren’t welcome.

Likewise this puts all the pressure on the leader as the person ‘at the top’. To be the one making all decisions. Being the hub of the business. Responsible for everything in a ‘buck stops here’ kinda way.

When we shift to a working WITH mindset we are sharing the journey together. Making decisions together. Brainstorming together. Problem solving together. We openly invite ideas from all sources in the business. When we honor each person for their strengths and contribution.

A culture of working WITH opens up the door to another level of success for everyone involved.

I’m curious…

Are you looking to BE or HIRE an intrapreneur? Which of these three shifts is most important to you or feels like the biggest challenge?

The rise of the intrapreneur

The rise of the intrapreneur

I was talking with a friend recently about a role she was struggling to fill on her team.

“I’ve tried a few people already in this role and it hasn’t worked. You know who I really want? Someone who is tired of running their own business and wants to work with someone else… I feel like they would get it and have the drive I’m looking for.”

On the other side of the coin, I have another friend who has owned and run successful businesses for over 20 years and decided to temporarily shut down her business a couple of years ago to take a sabbatical.

In her words “I was tired of my business. Tired of the hustle. Tired of the grind. The thought of letting my business go felt like freedom to me, and so I shut it down and spent the next year as part of the executive team for another business.”

There is a middle ground opening up between having a job and having our own business. Between being an employee vs. an entrepreneur.

It’s the intrapreneur.

Put simply, an intrapreneur is someone who brings the characteristics of an entrepreneur into the work they are doing for another business. Talked about often in corporate circles, the intrapreneur has a lot to offer to smaller businesses as well.

Vision. Drive. Passion. Innovation. Ownership. Experience.

They can plug into the vision of the company and see the possibilities.

They have the drive to own a project and make it happen, with the ability to tap into the resources of the company they work for.

They can focus their energy on work they do best, vs. trying to get better at things they aren’t good at.

They take ownership of a specific project or division and have the freedom to create results in their own way.

And if they have the experience of running their own business, they bring a level of insight into ‘what it takes’ to make things happen.

The benefit to the intrapreneur – the ability to do their best work and create results, without having to carry the ‘weight’ of the entire business on their shoulders.

I’ve spoken with countless individuals over the past few years who are done with their business. They are tired of the hustle. Tired of the heaviness of total responsibility. Tired of the constant struggle to find or manage clients. Tired of having to jump in when a team member drops a ball. Tired of working too many hours for what often feels like a small return.

They are also lonely.

And yet – they can’t imagine having to go get a job. Having to fit into someone else’s mold. Being told what to do and when to do it.

What if having to ‘get a job’ wasn’t the only option for the disillusioned business owner?

The benefit to the business hiring an intrapreneur – someone who isn’t afraid to take ownership of a project/division and be responsible for the results.

I’ve worked with small business owners now for over a decade in hiring and building teams, and they are equally as tired.

Tired of trying to find good people. Tired of trying to manage and motivate people. Feeling like they are spending all of their time telling them what to do, how to do it and chasing them down to make sure it gets done. Having high standards of work that it seems no one can meet.

At times it can feel like the only option is to do it all themselves, even when they KNOW they need support to take things to the next level.

The number one request I hear from business owners is that they want to hire a ‘self motivated’ individual – someone who bring the intrapreneur characteristics of plugging into the big picture, seeing what needs to be done and taking ownership to make it happen.

I can’t help but wonder – what is possible when we each stop trying to ‘do it all’ and instead look to come together and bring our best in the pursuit of a common goal?

How much more successful could we be when we join forces? When both the risk and the reward are shared?

There are key shifts to be made on boths sides to ensure this kind of relationship works – if you would like me to write another article on these shifts comment below and say ‘more please’. I’m happy to write a ‘part 2’ if it would be helpful. 🙂

And in the meantime, may you know and own your brilliance… and marinate in the possibility of what is created when we come together.