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Productivity / Professional development

Is playing by the ‘rules’ holding your business back?

When it comes to business, conventional wisdom often rules. Sometimes, however, we have to challenge those rules to make our business better.

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I’ve been a coach and educator for women in business for over five years now. And there is one thing I have preached to my clients over and over again: before you do anything first you must have absolute clarity on this one thing … your ideal customer.

Get clear.

Get specific.

Get narrow.

Niche down to one very distinct target market.

"The one thing I’ve noticed is that my business is no harder to run! So it appears I was hanging on to that ‘rule’ for nothing. "

I’ve taught this, I’ve lived this with my own business, and it does indeed make it easier to communicate with your branding, marketing, and selling strategies. (I always say it’s much easier to connect with ONE person than it is to try and connect to EVERYONE.)

Yet …

I’ve had the feeling for a while now that my message and my teaching could be helpful to a wider audience (beyond my original niche of female, solo, entrepreneurs who’ve been in business for more than three years and are still not finding the success they long to have).

But …

That feeling has always been over-ridden by the little voice in my head saying:

  • ‘Who are you to help all kinds of women, you are just a business coach!’
  • ‘No one needs you, there are already lots of people helping women shine their light.’
  • ‘It’s way better to stick with what you know, what you are already good at.’

So what did I do?

Well,  I used that ‘rule’ about needing to have a specific, narrow audience (niche) as a crutch, an excuse to stay safe and small and comfortable!

That niggling feeling, however, just refused to go away.

So last month I decided to break that rule about ‘niching down’.

Want more articles like this? Check out the business branding section.

Enough people have told me they love what I do, and have told me they want more of my help, expertise and inspiration. So I’ve decided I should believe them!

As I’ve headed into brand new, expanded territory all sorts of fears and blocks are being triggered in my head.

But, interestingly, the one thing I’ve noticed is that my business is no harder to run! So it appears I was hanging on to that ‘rule’ for nothing. I still have a very clear understanding of my target audience … the room is just a little bigger now, the door is open a little wider.

Meanwhile, making the decision to expand my audience has actually opened up the flow of ideas and inspiration in my business again … things feel more aligned, purposeful and impactful than ever before.

So what’s my message here? Well, if the conventional rules for building a business are working for you … awesome.

But if you are hanging on to a so-called ‘rule’ as a safe excuse for staying in your comfort zone, maybe it’s time to give yourself permission to let it go.

Have you ever let go of a ‘rule’ or assumption in your business and found it’s helped your business?

Karen Gunton

is a passionate business educator. Via her unique program The Lighthouse Revolution, she helps entrepreneurs ignite their purpose and share their message with the world.

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