Hey hey, bold leaders. Welcome to another episode of the Bold Leadership Revolution podcast. I’m your host, Tara Newman.
Today’s episode is about being wrong and how when take a step back and take ownership of our decisions, we find opportunity. And maybe it’s less about being wrong and more about allowing things to be imperfect, messy, and providing space to test your assumptions and evolve in your learning and your thinking.
When we take imperfect action, obstacles naturally arise. I think that’s why we try to perfect it so much is to avoid the obstacles, avoid the potential pitfalls and failures, but that’s where the good stuff is. When we take that imperfect action, we then create the opportunity to learn and grow. We have the opportunity to develop by taking obstacles and finding win-win scenarios for ourselves and our customers and those around us, which for me feels incredibly generous.
So by taking this imperfect action and looking for solutions to the obstacles that stand in our way, we experience growth as well as the opportunity to provide these win-win solutions and scenarios for the people around us.
I’m going to share an example of this very concept from my business to provide context and clarity and perhaps make the case for just doing the thing without having it all figured out or thinking you had it all figured out, only to realize that an adjustment needs to be made.
Adaptability is required for growth. And so here is a story about The BRAVE Society and when we started The BRAVE Society back in August of 2018 I wanted a community that felt open and inclusive. In one way we decided, or I say I decided to do this was to run it open enrollment, so to allow people to enroll at any time.
I wanted people to feel like they belonged in this community. I wanted them to feel safe and I wanted them to feel like they could come in at any time that they needed to be surrounded by community. No hard sells, no doors are closing in 24 hours, 24 minutes, 24 seconds. As a matter of fact, when we opened the doors to BRAVE, the thought of a launch in the traditional sense made me want to barf. Launching, while an actual business concept, has been turned into what I feel is a cliche on the internet. I was resistant and wanted no part of it.
However, I know I would need to make friends with launching if I wanted to serve more women because I needed to be able to get my program out in front of the eyes of the women that I knew this program would help. So over the last 15 months, we have left BRAVE as open enrollment and created sales cycles or campaigns where you would have more emphasis on BRAVE to encourage women to join.
WE HAVE SINCE STARTED CALLING OUR LAUNCHES ‘ENCOURAGEMENT PERIODS.’
We have defined an encouragement period as an opportunity to meet and get to know new and interesting female leaders. It’s also a time when we look forward to sharing more of the Bold Leadership Revolution’s why and how we provide unique experiences for leaders to grow and develop.
Our goal during our encouragement period is everyone who follows along will receive a shift in their perspective and can take one action that creates change in their life and business. Encouragement periods are for making every person in our community whether they make a purchase or not feel important. This is one way we operationalize our core value: people are important.
We don’t ever want people to feel FOMO or scarcity or like they’re a number during our encouragement periods. We want them to feel inspired to join us and we believe it’s our job to encourage and inspire people to join us. Encouragement periods are our commitment to leading with an extreme amount of joy and alignment without any of the emotional and energetic depletion that comes from launching.
What I just read to you comes straight out of our standard operating procedure for launches, by the way. I know this sounds like utopia and I personally think The BRAVE Society is pretty damn close. One member said to me, “If I wasn’t a member, I would think it was too good to be true.”
So our last launch was our very best ever in terms of strategy, content, organization, process, the things that I love about business that are so important to me. We had so much interest. People were DMing me all about the optics of the launch. Now, optics is a throwback to my corporate days and it means how things look, right? Like, what are your optics as a leader in an organization? How are people perceiving you?
So it is the same thing in business. How are people perceiving you through your marketing? What are the optics? You know, you might have an intention for your perception, but maybe the impact is different and therefore your optics won’t be so great. But on this launch, our optics were fantastic. However, we didn’t hit our numbers; we fell really short.
The upside is my business doesn’t live or die by a failed encouragement period. However, I know that I’m meant to impact more women and I know what we are up to in BRAVE is so critically important.
During this time I started to hear the rumblings of the women who truly valued having a quiet and safe space that allowed them to connect with other women virtually. The internet is a big and wild place. There’s a lot of noise and I’m always so surprised about the stories I hear about the seedy underbelly. Women would start asking me about my growth plans. They were protective of the space that we have cultivated and at the same time, I’m a business. The revenue I make from BRAVE for the most part actually goes back into BRAVE, which is really what I want, is to have BRAVE be a container that invests in women. So this year we had an in-person event that was a bonus to members who paid in full or maybe made a referral and now we are committing to putting aside a stipend to pay our guest experts who deliver trainings inside The BRAVE Society. No more of this free guest expert and access to community and blah blah blah.
NO, WE ARE HERE TO PAY WOMEN FOR THEIR ZONES OF GENIUS.
It’s something that we are very strategically and vocally taking a stand for. We are on a mission to develop more female leaders in the world by giving them a place to learn, grow and develop the skills they need to run a business in a sustainable and profitable way. We’re on a mission to help women become their own economies and create a marketplace full of reliable, incredible experts. And in order to do that, we need more women in BRAVE because the more women in BRAVE, the more we all rise.
So I’ve come to the realization that I was wrong and misguided in a few areas. In order for BRAVE to grow, we actually have to close enrollment. I know that sounds completely counterintuitive, but here’s what I have found and here is my why from making this decision.
Now I’ve held onto BRAVE being open enrollment for 15 months, trying to make this work and really wanting to be right that it was open enrollment and wanting my idea to work, but it hasn’t. So we’re making some changes and we’re closing enrollment. And so even though it sounds counterintuitive, I want to share with you why we are making this decision and why I think it’s important.
And you’ll see from my reasons for deciding this are incredibly unique to my business. So that’s like a takeaway I want you to have is, when you make these decisions, you can’t make decisions from a blueprint or step by step plan. Your decisions need to come from that very unique place of your leadership, your community, your customers, what’s happening around you. And it’s very different than what’s happening around me. So I don’t want all of a sudden you to go out and if you have a program that has open enrollment to close enrollment. That’s not the point of this conversation. The point of this conversation is to show you how different factors go into making a decision and how you can start pulling together your own factors, not my factors, into making a decision.
MEMBERS STARTED SPEAKING UP
So the first factor is the few women who had started speaking up and asking me about my growth in what happens when we start to add a lot of people to this space, right, is maybe one to three people who have asked me this question out of the 40 women who are in BRAVE. But if one woman is thinking it, there have to be other women who were thinking this. So the women in BRAVE need to feel safe. They have a need for safety. This is something that some of them have expressed to me in varying different ways. This has become a much larger purpose of this program than I ever realized.
I did not realize this is what the value was to the program until we had it running. So when you’re sitting there and you’re writing your initial sales copy and you’re trying to figure out the benefit and the benefit of the benefit and all that jazz, right? The result behind the result, you might not be able to see what that is. But once you do see what it is, you need to run with it and don’t question it. So my mission has always been to provide soft places for business owners to land after all. That’s what I craved during the startup and rocky progression of our first business that eventually ended in bankruptcy.
I was isolated. I had nobody to talk to. I had nobody to bounce ideas off of. I had nobody that just … who could listen to me, who I can process with. Like I needed a mastermind at that time in my life. And while BRAVE is not a mastermind, it is a community of women that are like-minded, that are experiencing same/similar as you.
Now I understand that owning a business isn’t all unicorns and rainbows. I’m very present to the shame you can feel when business feels hard and community is so important to normalizing what happens with women small business owners. Community is so important and this community provides a quiet and secure space to land has never been more important, especially if you’re doing business in the online space.
So now more than ever, I’m realizing the need to defend this space and protect it and we have done a damn good job at that over the last 15 months and we are going to continue and by closing enrollment, it’s going to make it even better and easier for us to do this.
So women need to be able to connect with the other women, build relationships built on trust and mutual admiration and respect. If BRAVE is open enrollment, it’s basically a revolving door or an open circuit. It disturbs the energy of the group and pierces the circle of trust because at any moment, it’s unpredictable and inconsistent because people could be coming in and leaving.
It also makes it difficult for new women to come in and really get stuck in the group and start to bond right off the bat, if it’s one person coming in versus like an entire group of people coming in at the same time. Almost like having a cohort, which is probably how we’re going to start looking at this. By opening enrollment only two times a year, so we’re closing enrollment and we are only going to open it twice a year, we create a tighter container and therefore a greater sense of harmony among all the women, which is something we definitely want.
URGENCY DOES MATTER
Our second deciding factor is we thrive when more women join us and not having a clear cart close leaves these encouragement periods, feeling nebulous and uncertain. Urgency does matter when selling, but it doesn’t mean it needs to be done in a way that feels sleazy. We can create urgency and have it feel good. This is exactly what I’m doing right now is we are creating urgency, but in a way that completely is honoring the women in this group and the women who we want to bring into this group.
There’s a reason beyond urgency. This is not fake urgency. There is a reason for why we are doing this and honestly as a business coach who loves teaching sales, not having urgency in an encouragement period would be completely out of integrity with what I teach. So all the more reason why we have to use integrity, use urgency in a way that is in integrity with our company and our values and not just saying, no, I’m not going to use urgency because the only times I’ve seen it used, it’s gross and sleazy. I’m going to lead here and say, no, that’s incorrect. We can use urgency in a way that feels good and is in service to everybody who is coming into our energetic field.
WE NEEDED TO CLOSE AN ENERGETIC LOOP
And the third reason for this decision is open enrollment is an open, energetic loop in my business plan. It doesn’t allow me or my team to focus in the moment if we’re always thinking about enrolling women in BRAVE. By moving to a closed enrollment period where we have two sales cycles a year, this allows my team to be fully present on welcoming new members in to The BRAVE Society, which enhances our efficiency and our ability to control the customer experience. So this is my point about having two cohorts a year allows us to control that customer experience where women are entering The BRAVE Society in groups, which feels a lot better for everybody involved as part of the customer experience.
And since people are important at the Bold Leadership Revolution headquarters, that is our first and primary value is people are important, the customer experience is the first thing on our mind. And so in doing this we are really taking a stand for that value which feels really good and when things feel good, they run well.
So, those are my three reasons for why we are making this change. And I want to wrap this up by giving you some takeaways that you can think about. So don’t be afraid to change your mind and change your direction. I hear from people all the time that changing their minds makes them feel flaky. That’s a story. You’re being adaptable. Change the story. When I changed my mind, I’m being adaptable. Two, if you’re death gripping the plan, you will miss opportunities for growth, have a plan and then you have to make decisions that change the plan. I personally look at planning as I create a plan so I know what I can change. I know where I can adapt and I know where I can be flexible. I don’t create a plan to box me in and to make me feel stuck.
Listen to what your customers are saying and what they aren’t saying. So I had a few customers that said that they were concerned for growth, concerned for the safety of the community, but they didn’t all say that. However, I know that even though some of them didn’t say that to me they are either thinking it overtly or they’re thinking it subconsciously or they’re feeling it or it’s an energetic vibration that’s happening. I know it’s there, even though only a few people have said that to me.
Look for ways to be more efficient in your business. It’s what will set you apart. It’s what will increase your profitability is looking for efficiency in your business. I hear from people all the time in there. They say, “Let it be easy,” right? I’m don’t love that for a lot of reasons, which is like a whole other podcast episode. So instead of saying, let it be easy, can you say, let it be efficient, right? What’s the most efficient way that you can run your business? What’s the most efficient way that you can make money? What’s the most efficient way that you can serve your customers powerfully?
I’d love to continue this conversation with you, so head on over to Instagram and share your thoughts with me. You can tag me in your posts. I’m @theTara Newman.
Now, if this conversation was interesting to you and felt unique and a little different, I want you to do me a favor. I want you to take me up on my invitation to join The BRAVE Society. If you are a female, small business owner, this is likely your community. If you are resonating with this podcast and the things we are talking about over here because they are very much the essence of how we talk about things in The BRAVE Society.
The BRAVE Society was founded on three basic principles.
How can we come together and become a marketplace of business owners where we can do business together, where we can open doors for each other, where we can collaborate with like-minded, credible business owners.
2. Nobody should ever short change their leadership development.
I see too many times women spread thin making investments in their businesses as they grow and shortchanging their leadership development and I’m here to solve that problem. You can make the investments that you need to make and say your marketing or your branding or your website and develop yourself as a leader.
3. Stand at the pinnacle of our leadership.
John Maxwell talks a lot about in his work. He says that we’re the pinnacle of our leadership when we are a leader who develops leaders who develop leaders. And what I asked the women of The BRAVE Society to do is to take what they learn in The BRAVE Society and bring it into the world, into their communities, into their families, to their clients and their customers. And to really continue to develop more leaders on this planet.
If this sounds interesting to you, I want you to apply to join us today. Or you can come to find me on Instagram @thetaranewman and ask me any questions you need to about joining The BRAVE Society.
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