A client recently asked me for feedback on her idea to pivot her business model. She outlined a detailed scope with the specific characteristics of her target audience. While it was quite thorough and well-thought-out, it differed vastly from her current focus. Naturally, I had some reservations about the merits of pursuing this opportunity.
In my experience, sudden changes in business direction indicate impatience. And impatience can jeopardize the foundation that we’ve already established. It can lead us to “chase shiny objects” rather than pursue productive endeavors.
While I believe there’s value in exploring new options, I know first-hand that we should be reasonable about what that exploration looks like.
A Lesson Learned: Stick to What You’re Good at!
In my 12 years of business, impatience to grow my business faster prompted me to attempt changing course several times.
I created three different products at one point — each took a year to develop. Only one of them generated revenue — and not nearly enough to account for the immense amount of time I spent building and launching them.
Several times, I attempted to move away from social media management and jump into a consulting-only space. That was silly. I am a project manager at heart, and project management is critical for successful social media management. The systems and processes I created over the years are immensely valuable. They have made #Strella’s social media management services our bread and butter.
And at one point, I developed a coaching program for budding female entrepreneurs. That created confusion in the marketplace and didn’t lead to the outcome I wanted.
These efforts were time-consuming and exhausting. I wasted a lot of energy on them. I know now that I should have just stuck to what I was good at — and stayed the course. While the social media management business isn’t a fast path to growth, it’s what I know inside and out. And I believe our company is one of the best in the world at managing clients’ social media presence.
In my client's case, we spent months branding and building relationships in her original niche. That, I believe, is her golden ticket.
The space she wanted to venture into is already very saturated. She would find it difficult to gain traction, even with her very well-defined plans. Also, the major shift in her business direction may prove to take far more energy and time than devoting her attention to building and growing her current offering.
Be Patient and Build on Your Success
I firmly believe in the power of momentum. Achieve small wins, rinse, and repeat.
Before switching gears and turning 180 degrees, consider what you’ve built and the blood, sweat, and tears — and time and money! — you’ve invested. Even though your efforts may not yet have paid off to the extent you believe they should, you will likely find it more beneficial to stay the course than start all over again.
Your turn! Have you ever tried taking your business in a new direction because you were impatient? Did it work out well for you? I’d love to hear your thoughts!