Tuesday, February 19, 2013

NYC Seminar Speaker Lois Barth: Is Your Business An Evergreen?

While my classrooms of life include reading books, having thought-provoking conversations and seminars and workshops, perhaps my greatest teacher is the one that's right in front of me; nature. I walk down the country road near more 100-year-old farmhouses, and today's lesson presents itself beautifully; the metaphor of the evergreen. 

Among the plethora of trees that have lost their leaves in the dead of winter, I see cluster after cluster of evergreens, the pines, the cypress and many others, with all their colors rich and their various needles intact.

The evergreens catch my attention because it brings me back to the metaphor of my business, and my work. That while there are different sales cycles to one's business and outside circumstances, just as the seasons are a natural part of life, how will I take these same principles in having a flourishing seminar speaking business, and how I will support my clients and groups as well in doing the same?

Here are some of the principles see for myself and my clients that really make a difference.

Is my business still relevant with the needs of my client?

While it's very important to always do what lights you up and inspires you, you must always "marry" it with what the growing needs are with your current clients and the clients you want to attract.

Are my offerings in line with the changes going on in the world?

Are you noticing the trends or themes that are emerging in the world around you and are you creating services that actively meet those needs? Keeping current isn't always about having top notch technology or knowing every little nuance that's emerging in pop culture, but rather looking at the "collective society cry" based on the shift that you notice. 

For example, we are in informational overload, so yet another information product based on consuming more information, may be a ho-hum more of the same, but a product on how to manage, sift through information, or relaxation tools to get back on track with people's instincts and ability to enjoy life.

Am I still "on fire" with what I provide to my clients or ideal audience, and if not how will I get my mojo back?

Often what inspired us 5 months or 5 years ago about our businesses is no longer resonant or exciting to us, and whether it's a product or service, it's just a matter of time before it trickles down into our work or target market interest. 

  • What are you planning to do about that? 
  • Perhaps it's changing the market you address to one that speaks to your heart more? 
 Maybe it's making a small adjustment in your offering, or simply addressing your own burnout and taking a break for a bit. Maybe you need to fire yourself from things that are not worth your time. Whatever it is, you must look the dragon square in the jaw and assess where the challenges or disconnects are.

Are you evaluating where you are going in your own life, and how your business either supports or doesn't support that?

We can get myopic and think of our life as something separate from our business, when in fact, it's all the same. What shows up in our business, affects our life, and visa versa. Now more than ever, the lines are blurred into one. One of the things to look at is what holds meaning to you in your life, and how does or doesn't your business support that. 

Perhaps quality of life and free time are more important than ever, and the avalanche of business is now landing as a burden more than a blessing. Maybe your lust for travel is screaming at you to create a more mobile business model, or the huge overhead of running your business would be better served by having employees working virtually, rather than in the office. The separation between work and personal is now invisible. As a NYC Life Coach, I always say: "The more you can really clarify what's important and what's not, the more you can keep your work relevant and as a result, keep your "needles" intact."

Do you have any structures in place for the changing circumstances around you?

Now that you see the trends changing, are you looking for the silver lining in those changes that can keep your business current? One example is in the speaking industry, more and more presenters are doing virtual telesemminars. 

Another client had a pet business including grooming and food delivery and started to notice that people were so busy, that they created a pet concierge business, to also include transporting their animals to the vet, and look after them the first few hours after the visit, which became a very lucrative part of their business.

Look to nature to give you the answers. The nature of who you are and how you work, but also our blessed creatures and living organisms like the Evergreen, to inform us of our everyday wisdom.

Lois Barth

Speaker, Coach and Motivational Expert