I'm a serial entrepreneur. Well, actually a recovered serial entrepreneur.
For 7 years I searched for my thing. My purpose-full business idea that would light me up, change lives and make money. I searched for that elusive overlap of purpose and business.
During that time, I started over half a dozen ventures.
I was an interior designer, a freelance writer, a blogger, a yoga teacher, a social media consultant (to name a few) and finally a Clarity Coach, helping other women entrepreneurs realize, own and live their fullest potential professionally and personally.
The funny thing is, if you asked me how many businesses I had over the years, I would say probably say one, maybe two.
If you're an entrepreneur, you'll get this. Oftentimes, businesses don't start and stop. They evolve. They grow and change as you grow and change.
But, to the outside world it can seem like you can't commit. Or worse, you fear that people view you as a quitter with over a half dozen "failed" ventures.
When you're searching for your purpose-full business, you know when it's time for a change. You know when it's time to evolve your business, but it can be a scary prospect to course-correct and head in a new direction.
What will my friends/parents/significant other think if I start over yet again?
If you're experiencing business growing pains and feel that it's time for something new, perhaps it's just time for a new evolution of the business you're already building.
Here are 5 ways to reinvent your business without starting over AND without feeling like a failure.
Target a New Market
If you're burned-out because you feel like no one is interested in what you're offering/selling/talking about, maybe you're targeting the wrong people. Your advice and products could be solid, but if the audience isn't there or isn't interested, you're going to be fighting an uphill battle. For example, if you're hoping to get new moms as fitness clients and no one is interested (because they're all at home -- exhausted -- with their babies), try shifting your ideal client to moms with school-aged kids that could squeeze in a workout while their little ones are at preschool or elementary school.
Narrow Your Expertise
Sometimes when our business fail to fly it's because we're trying to cover too much ground. We offer "Life Coaching" or "Nutritional Counseling" without pinpointing the exact area in which we can shine and establish our foothold as an expert. Under the umbrella of life coaching you could be the "Millennial Life Coach", the "Newlywed Life Coach" or the "Love Your Life Coach for Woman". In the way of nutritional counseling you could counsel on lifestyle and eating with a focus like Veganism or Ayurveda or work with people with special dietary needs like Diabetics or people with Celiac or Crohn's Disease.
Sometimes all it takes is a subtle shift to align more fully with your purpose. You could offer "yogic business advice to budding entrepreneurs" OR you could offer "yoga business advice to yoga teachers". In one case you're working with mindful entrepreneurs in all categories, in the other you're working yoga teachers specifically. One is not better than the other, it just depends who you like working with and who is a better fit for you.
Be More Transparent
If we're not being ourselves in our businesses, it can feel stifling -- like you're constantly "putting on a act" or being a version of yourself. Sure, it can be vulnerable to share your personal stories and life experiences, but it's also what makes you relatable and interesting. People connect with people, not with stiff experts who seem untouchable and unreachable. Give it a try. In your next newsletter, open with a personal story. Or, share a personal tidbit on your blog. Post some selfies on your Facebook Page or tweet them out. Share a secret with your community. It will endear them to you and breath new life into your business.
Share Your WHY
People are fascinated with people who seem to have a calling, a mission, a purpose behind their work. People who are serving something larger than themselves and who feel pulled to do something that leaves a lasting impact. If you don't yet have your WHY down on paper, it's time to figure it out, write it down and let it serve as the backbone of everything you do, say and create. The simplest, best way to get to the heart of your mission is to keep asking "why".
Let me demonstrate.
If someone were to ask me what I do. I might respond...
"I coach women entrepreneurs." But, let's dive deeper, shall we?
"To help them realize their fullest potential, own it and live it every day." Getting much warmer.
"To enable them to build a purpose-full life and business that they abso-freakin-lutely LOVE." Bingo!
(Once you discover your why, I'd love to hear about it! Pop over to my website or send an email to hello [at] cailenascher [dot] com, and let me know what it is.)
Businesses grow, change and evolve over time. It's inevitable. It's healthy. Don't ever convince yourself that you're a failure or a quitter for seeking to improve and align more fully with your purpose. You're here to make a difference in a way that only YOU can. It's OK if it takes a little time and a little work to figure it out. It's supposed to. That's what makes it worthwhile.
Author Bio: Cailen Ascher is a Clarity Coach for women entrepreneurs who are ready to realize, own and live their fullest potential professionally and personally. She's been spotlighted on Entrepreneur on Fire, Huffington Post, MindBodyGreen, Gary Vaynerchuk's Q&A and was the 2014 Gold Stevie Award winner for Young Female Entrepreneur. Her coaching and teachings have helped 1000s create purpose-full businesses. Learn how to take your business from stuck to $6K months at CailenAscher.com.