Boredom is simply a sign that it’s time to explore what is next for you.
I used to think that there was a magical place in my business journey where I would “get there” and be eternally content. And once I arrived there everything would be smooth sailing from then on out.
In my 24 (!) years of being in business I’ve come to realize “there” doesn’t exist.
Because we are meant to continually grow and expand. To learn more. To try new things. I’ve landed “there” many times and every single time boredom would creep up. Even if I tried to stop it!
“Come on Tina, can’t you just be content with this?”
I’ve tried to ignore it and just keep on keeping on but ended up feeling like a slowly deflating balloon.
Part of the journey has been giving myself permission to recognize that I’m bored and that it’s totally OK to make changes!
This doesn’t have to mean throwing our business out the door. Even simple changes can free us up to explore more exciting things.
- Hire someone to take over a key role in the business that you’ve been hanging onto.
- Bring out a new offer for the folks you are working with already.
- Start talking about things that you don’t normally talk about with your audience.
One of the best things that ever happened to my business was when I got bored of teaching my Certified OBM training.
First of all it was hard to admit that I was bored – because I loved my students and being a part of their journey! And admitting I was bored felt like I would be letting folks down. But when I was honest with myself I had done the training so many times that it wasn’t challenging anymore.
This led to building a team of licensed Certified OBM Trainers in 2018 who became the lead trainers and took over all the things I was tired of doing. This model has worked beautifully in that it freed me up for other things while also providing my training partners the opportunity to do what they love and build a thriving business around it. (Shout out to my training partners Keldie Jamieson, Shar and Wade Langin & Amanda Hyde-Pierce).
Bored business owners are some of my favorite folks to work with as we get to really dig in and look for ways to spice things up!
I’m curious – what aspects of your business are you bored with right now?
Most everyone I’ve been talking with lately has seen this trend occurring – especially in our online marketplace.
What used to work for sales is not working the same way as it was a year ago… or even a few months ago.
Put simply, buying habits are changing for a lot of folks.
On one hand, this can be a freaky thing… especially if we (or our clients) find ourselves in a cash crunch based on fewer sales than we were anticipating (ie: a launch that didn’t bring the same results as last time.) Combine that with the potential of a looming global recession that is being talked about daily in the news and it’s easy to think “yipes! maybe people aren’t buying anymore?”
People are still buying… just not in the same way.
I certainly don’t mean to sugarcoat anything here – especially if you or your clients are currently struggling. There are certainly some industries and businesses legitimately struggling right now.
But I do want to encourage you to also look at it from a different perspective:
When the marketplace changes it invites us as business owners to dig deeper, get creative and look at other strategies to bring in sales.
There are a couple of things that I’ve noticed…
Folks are taking more TIME to make buying decisions. Many of us are simply burnt out and tired – especially at this time of year – and we aren’t willing or able to make decisions in the moment. Now if we are used to or expecting the ‘quick sale’ (ie: lots of folks signing up during a launch) this can feel like a big problem.
I spoke with a woman last week who referred to this as the “slow yes”, which I thought was such a beautiful way to describe it. People may need more time to make a buying decision – so how can you work with them through the buying process to honor this, while also not letting them slip through the cracks? A mix of patience, persistence and solid follow-up strategies can work wonders for the “slow yes”.
Folks are being more DISCERNING with their purchases. I see this as a combination of two things – inflation and folks feeling burned by past investments. The cost of living is going up for many of us around the world, which naturally has us looking to be purposeful with our spending as we may not have as much money to spend as we used to. Likewise, if your prospects feel like they have spent a bunch of money before on past programs or coaches and didn’t get anything from it… they are naturally going to start questioning future purchases.
The solution to both of these things is the same – be crystal clear about the ROI that folks get from working with you. What exactly are they going to get as a result of joining your program or hiring you as a coach? Marketing hype is no longer enough to make the sale – we need to be able to back that up with results.
All of this to say – folks are still buying. I saw a post just this morning on Facebook about a live stream where people were buying $70K masterminds right on the call. I have colleagues that are having their best months ever (yes… even in December 😉
The money may not come as easy as it once did, but it is certainly still out there if we are willing to be creative and open to change. If we are willing to put in more effort than it might have taken before.
Let’s be clear… it takes time.
Despite what you see online when someone is sharing how they ‘made 3 gazillion dollars in 30 days’.
Despite what you expect of yourself when you look in the mirror and wonder why things aren’t moving as fast as you thought they would (and then wonder what is wrong with you or what you are missing…. ugh).
Despite what that coach/trainer/consultant may have promised would happen when you followed just ‘7 steps to making moola in your sleep’.
Despite what you might think – or hope – success takes time. Probably more time than you wish it would.
A flower doesn’t spring up the day after you’ve planted it. It needs water, sunshine and nutrients. It needs TIME to become the glorious plant it’s meant to be.
Success takes time.
It takes time to lay out a solid strategy (and then more time to try it, tweak it, and improve it).
It takes time to find and hire the right team, and then time to lead them to do their best work.
It takes time to do great work for your clients. Create new programs. Deliver amazing service.
Success isn’t a race, even though it can feel that way.
Success is a daily commitment.
The commitment to keep going. To show up. Every. Single. Day.
And I promise you – so long as you do that the success you seek will come to life, even if it takes longer than you thought it would.
It’s day 2 of OBM Live – this is our annual conference for our Certified OBM® community that we do every fall.
My friend Kelly O’Neil was the opening speaker yesterday morning and there was something she shared that I found SOOO powerful.
She was talking about working with affluent clients and what they really want from service providers and consultants…
They want someone to lighten their mental load.
“Lighten their mental load? What the heck does that mean?”
Affluent business owners have A LOT on their minds. They are constantly thinking about things like:
- What needs to be done – when, how and by who
- Delegating what needs to be done – passing the work along for others to do it is a lot of work
- Following up on tasks – checking in with folks re: “what is the status of this?”
- Managing their own clients – how are they doing? are they happy? is there anything more we can do there?
- Thinking about team – who to hire next? how to handle team issues.
- Strategy – what is working and not working in the business right now, and what do we need to do about it?
- Planning – where are we headed next? how do we want to get there?
- All the day to day decisions – be it big or small decisions, there is energy required to think through everything (and decision fatigue is a very real thing)
Put simply – the mental load of running a business can be exhausting! In many ways it’s more tiring than doing the work – especially for successful business owners with dynamic, growing businesses.
If you are someone who wants to work with these clients, there are 3 magic words that they most want to hear from you.
“I’ve got this”
“I’ve got this” means they can let go of thinking about ALL the various aspects of what you are doing and trust that you are going to make it happen. It means they don’t have to chase you down to get the work done. It means you are lightening their mental load.
It doesn’t matter what you do or what you offer – an “I’ve got this” approach can apply to anything! Admin. Projects. Managing Ops. Marketing. Strategy. Design. Tech.
When you show up ready to OWN what you do – and see it through – this is of HUGE value to clients and will have them salivating to hire you.
(You do need to deliver on the promise as well, but of course!)
I invite you today to consider – where could you add more “I’ve got this” into your offerings?
Where are you not yet stepping up into full ownership? Relying on your clients to make decisions or drive the process of your work together? (sometimes we are doing these things and don’t even realize it.)
Oh, and if you are looking for a great speaker for your (or a client’s) event highly recommend Kelly — she’s a hoot.
I hit a point in my business a few years back – in 2019 to be specific – where I was no longer needed in the day to day running of my business anymore.
I had partnered with our licensed Certified OBM Trainers
, who took over the sales & delivery of the Certified OBM Training program. Plus I had my operations team running the backend of the business and taking care of all the admin/tech/etc tasks.
I went from working 30 hours a week to working maybe 5 hours a week. From my calendar being full of calls to having just a handful of calls here and there. All while the business continued to bring in a solid income without me having to ‘lead the charge’ everyday.
Sounds pretty dreamy yes? This is exactly what I had worked towards for so many years!
But let me tell you. I was BORED out of my skull.
I had all the free time in the world, and didn’t know what to do with it. I tried just “enjoying the time off”, but frankly that meant just watching too much Netflix.
I found myself feeling really unmotivated and unproductive, for the simple fact that I didn’t really have anything that I needed to do! It was such an uncomfortable feeling as I’m naturally a very action-oriented “lets get ‘er done!” kind of gal. I felt like a balloon that was slowly deflating… I didn’t feel like myself.
And I was beating myself up for feeling this way “Are you kidding me Tina? People work years to reach this space, and you are just going to complain about being bored?! What the heck is wrong with you?”
Then one day it hit me. I like to work… in fact I LOVE working.
My work is my purpose – I am here to help other people change the world through their business.
And if I’m not working… well, then I’m not fulfilling my purpose!
No wonder I was feeling so bored and unmotivated.
Now this didn’t mean going back to what I was doing before – I was no longer needed there and I didn’t want to stick my nose back in and start messing things up. What it did mean was asking myself some really important questions about what was next. Honing in on my true work – the highest expression of who I am through my business.
When I got clear and got back to work, I found myself getting my mojo back. My motivation was returning. I was waking up again feeling excited about inspired by the day vs. wondering what Netflix series I should dive into next.
We don’t talk enough about what happens when we reach our business goals. When we are no longer needed in our business. When we don’t have to be working as hard as we once were.
Yes, there is something to cherish and celebrate about this achievement. But for those of us whose purpose is entwined with our work… sitting back and relaxing just isn’t going to cut it (well, maybe for a week or so but after that it’s just boring.)
I’m curious – do you feel like work is a part of your purpose? Have you ever had the experience of reaching a goal and then wondering “what’s next?”
If you are in this space right now and looking for some guidance let me know
– I have 2 spots available right now to work w/leaders who are looking for their “what’s next”.
I spent many years trying to find my purpose, only to find it was right there in front of me.
Business is my purpose.
Being in business. And helping others with their businesses.
It’s what I love. It’s what I do best. It’s what I’ve done now for almost 23 years (I started my first business in the fall of 1999.) And it’s what I plan to do for the rest of my life.
Why was it so hard for me to see this for so many years? Because I thought that my purpose was supposed to be about doing one very specific thing.
And that when I found that ONE thing, I would be set for life. Everything would fall into place and I could just keep chugging along on that one track.
But that’s not how things have gone for me. I’m just not wired to do one thing forever (perhaps you can relate?)
My business has changed like the seasons – I’ve done many different things over the years.
I’ve had seasons as a 1-1 service provider. A writer. A trainer. A coach.
I’ve written books and launched programs. I’ve led retreats and done high-level consulting gigs. I’ve run an agency. I’ve created memberships, trainings and a certification program.
I’ve enjoyed all the things I’ve done! I’ve had a lot of fun and worked with amazing people, BUT that part of me that was thinking I had to find my ‘one thing’ was always feeling frustrated and frankly, a bit judgey!
“Woah Tina, make up your mind! Can’t you just pick something and stick with it? This is getting ridiculous…”
I judged myself for wanting more. Wanting things to be different. For getting bored with something and wanting to do something else. A part of me even felt a bit like an imposter “How can you help others in their business when you can’t even seem to stick to one thing in your own business?!”
Until recently when it occurred to me.
What if our purpose isn’t about the thing we do… instead, it’s about the THREAD that ties it all together.
And that when we know our ‘thread’ – our purpose – it can take various forms through the lifecycle of our business.
For me that thread is business – it’s woven into everything I do. It’s been there every step of the way. It’s the common denominator in the many different things I’ve offered over the years.
I was speaking with someone yesterday about a change that he is making in his business. He is a tech whiz and it’s his favorite thing to do. He started his business as a tech VA years ago, has worked as an OBM for many years and is now up leveling his business to focus exclusively on tech automation in marketing. To help clients make sure that all the tech aspects of their marketing strategies are streamlined, working and producing the results they want to create. Even though his role has changed over the years, the ‘thread’ of tech has always been there.
So long as we remain true to our ‘thread’, then we are on purpose in our business! Even if what we are doing changes over time.
Every time I work with a client this is one of the very first things we look at together – what is their thread? And how does that get woven into the work they are meant to do in the world – what I loving refer to as their True Work.
I’m curious – what do you consider to be your ‘thread’? Your purpose? Is it something that you feel clear about, or is it something you are still exploring?
Comment below to let me know.