On the last episode of the podcast, I shared with listeners that I made the big decision to shut down The Bold Profit Academy. Today, I’m back with Stacey Harris to talk about what I have started to do since making that decision. By sharing my story and my process, I hope it helps anyone listening who might be facing a big decision about their business, even if they aren’t currently offering a group program.
Stacey has experience making some important shifts in business as well. One example she gives is when she wanted to switch the audience that she’s working with. She went ahead and turned off a stream of revenue in 2020 in hopes that it would turn on a lot more. It’s a scary transition, but it has paid off for her.
One big difference between myself and Stacey is that she is her household’s breadwinner and primary earner. I come from a situation where my husband also has a business bringing income into the household. It’s afforded me to be a bit more risky with decisions. However, the same amount of panic still sets in because I take my ability to provide for my family extremely seriously.
Transparency is good, and this podcast is for people who want to run a business to provide for their family, not someone who is looking to glorify small business ownership. When I made the decision to close down The Bold Profit Academy program after five years of success and revenue, it was panic-inducing, but we are all about the safest ways to take risks.
This episode will cover two things: a framework I relied on while going through this process and some tangible steps I took. Steps are much different than a plan because there are too many variables to call it a plan.
The SLOW Framework
The SLOW framework will help you slow down, so you can speed up. You’ll need to make decisions quickly but also intentionally. This framework helps you put a pause between stimulus and response but still continue to move forward.
The first step is to step back and reflect. Ask yourself what’s working and what isn’t working. Any kind of reflection questions can be utilized in this step. I asked myself, “How do I want to show up in this season of my business?” This is one of the things I can control right now. Many people skip this step, but they are so in the weeds that it’s critical to dive in.
Each person is building a business that is unique as they are. You can ask others around you for insight, but at the end of the day, self-reflection is critical for your success. People spend a lot of time looking for the right path, but every path will be unique.
The second step in the framework is to lower pressure and expectations. This can be hard for people as well. Stacey remembers having a lot of tantrums. Getting comfortable with the idea that less could be more was extremely hard. You can have what you want, but you need to lower your expectations of yourself and get comfortable with discomfort.
For me, I sat down with my husband and said that I couldn’t keep carrying things the way that I was. I needed to take that pressure off. I also reduced expenses which literally took pressure off the business. That was the hardest decision because it included letting go of team members. In any business, you can either invest money, time, or energy, but usually, it’s a combination of the three. This step requires you to release some of the pressure in one of those areas (or all three.)
The third step is to own the now, and the fourth is what’s next. This is the part where you need to discern what is important to you right now and what is coming up next. For me, what was important was closing down the program with integrity and maintaining the relationships I had with the clients in the group. I wanted to give people an opportunity to share their thoughts, ask questions, and get what they needed in the last 30 days of the program.
What Happens Next for Me?
I learned a whole lesson that making decisions that are good for me won’t always be good for other people. I had to be very honest and transparent with the people on my team. I did the best I could at that moment and felt like I could move on. It was not easy. I flip-flipped a bunch and tried multiple timelines. But the reality was that I needed to make it happen
Another thing I needed to deal with was new content. I won’t create content from an energy that is less than my best. Stacey and her team at Uncommonly More stepped in and helped me repurpose podcast content. She was able to take that off my plate.
Finally, I turned to the Revenue Goal Calculator. It’s a free tool that I’ve created, and you can utilize it as well. I ran different scenarios through the calculator. It included places I cut things personally and in the business. The number one goal was to build my CEO pay back up before anything else so I could feel rewarded and see the monetary payoff for the effort I’m putting into the business.
I took that information and started reducing expenses, including systems and ancillary things, before people. Slowly but surely, I stripped back the business to bare bones. The process is difficult, and I was lucky to be supported by a coach, a therapist, and my team.
The final step was moving forward. What comes next? Revenue generation was the next step for me. I needed a sales plan. I am very confident in my ability to make money because I have a proven track record, so I just needed to decide what I wanted to sell going forward. Since announcing the closure, I have enrolled two new clients and two new one-on-one clients, and we are testing a fractional COO offer with existing clients. I’ve just shifted to selling one-on-one consulting services instead of a group program.
I have been asking for referrals, going to my center of influence, and doing some good old-fashioned networking. It’s good practice for me to talk about my new direction and what I’m doing now.
Advice and Closing Thoughts on the SLOW Framework
It’s important to remember that nothing happens as quickly as you want it to. You will likely always feel like you made the right decision too late and too early at the same time. You also need to be extremely aware of your energy levels and capacity during transitions. It’s going to be more complicated than you anticipate, and you need to make sure you have the capacity to handle it. Manage yourself and take care of yourself. Lean on your support pieces.