In an ‘industry’ famed for how many figures you make in ratio with how many clients you have. I worked with three clients in ten months to see what would happen if I slowed down the rapid transformation treadmill. I was amazed to instead see the horizontal growth that happened instead.
The transformation sector is one of the fastest growing. With an expected market value of $6.1B by 2023 you’ll often hear coaches, mentors and gurus talking about five, six, seven, eight figures.
They reel them off like they’re saying their multiplication tables. Promising easy ways to grow your business and brand to the sky and beyond. Although attractive and alluring, it’s often what they don’t mention that comes with that territory that matters.
Figures means structure. Whether it’s technology, teams, or templates. The workload isn’t solely on the single small business entrepreneur or owner. The weight of what’s being achieved and the results are spread horizontally. Not stacked like Jenga.
Spreading the load horizontally means you can put your energy into the main benefit this gives you. Building your business as an investment vehicle. This means you could now even add philanthropic ventures in the beginning of your business. Where your heart really wants them to be! Look at you getting to give as you gain. 💞
It means you can build your business so that it is impact-led. As a vehicle for investment in causes you care about. Imagine working with people and projects you’re aligned with everyday from day dot. Not waiting until you’ve got ‘enough’ figures on the board to use your overflow to finally help others.
But where do you even begin to put something like that together. And what might this flexible yet supportive structure look like?
It starts with a theory of change
You don’t use figures to measure impact. You use a theory of change (TOC).
My personal theory of change for Enlightenly is to build a platform that moves me from clunky and cost heavy business, toward simply joyous online business, and work less freeing up time for my loved ones.
What this translated into was an experiment of joyous proportions.
I followed only what supported this question. If you’ve ever read the Celestine Prophecy you’ll know that the path that’s the answer appears illuminated before the questioner.
The challenge though is to be able to see this in real life. Like when you’re neck deep in wading through the contrast. What if you’re sure you’re still anchored to the shore but the water is moving so swiftly beside you. Now you can’t tell if it’s you moving or the water. 😱
Figures are great for results. But what do you look at to tell if you’re moving toward or away from something when you’re in the middle of the darkness?
Starting with a theory of change structure inspires joyous spontaneity and impact you can measure.
Contrast looks like
Comparing your negative cash position in business to someone else’s result of cash received or sales for the same period is like comparing your self now to who you were twenty years ago.
Just like the cool flannelette shirt you wore then with the flick fringe hairstyle, you do you best. Even though the trend is there, you get to decide how much (if any) you want to follow.
Let’s take the situation of looking at the amount of likes, shares and comments someone has on their post today, when just yesterday you shared on the same thing and got nadda, nothing, zipo, zilch.
Replenishing your business bank account funds yet again with personal funds because of that decision you made last month to double down on your learning.
This is the contrast that horizontal growth brings my friend!
The constant is change
You needn’t feel triggered by those kind of ‘figures’ events. Especially the financial ones. What if instead you could approach it with the mind’s eye of a child.
For a child learning the ways of the world the constant in that equation is change. Everything else varies! Even down to what they’re learning, understanding and starting to realise. When you approach your lifestyle and business in this joyous way the best bit is that anything can be learned anew.
When a child learns something new there’s two things usually going on. The first is cause and effect at play. The second is mirror-neurons at play.
Cause and Effect –
Notice how they’re both at play! This means spontaneity abounds through the structure of play. Flow literally follows when at play because of your contemplation in play and connection with what’s in front of you.
A child doesn’t berate themselves for not doing enough play. Nor do they place expectations on what must come from play. They simply joyously play. And when you use a TOC as an anchor point to measure off, you can start to see how far you’ve come and that the constant you’re moving with is change.
It’s like the boat you saw anchored to the shore with the gently lapping waves around the hull. Is the boat moving or is it the water around the boat? To me movement can really be understood as noticing change. Are you moving toward or moving away from your anchor point?
The change you wish to see
You are the change you wish to see. In fact your mirror-neurons are pointing it out all around you. That’s what that
trigger information is telling you! Time to get learning through your Theory of Change.
- Name your anchor point. Decide. What is it that you want to have impact on and with what vehicle.
- Name a way that you might like to have a try. How might you consider moving toward your anchor point.
- Where are the places you could try this? Consider where you might feel supported. Somewhere they help you to reduce your risk of having a go. Is there a platform where you know they’ll strengthen your anchor point as you both align to similar values.
The journey with three
Over the last ten months what was certain for me was that I didn’t want more contrast. Refining my journey to hold an intimate perspective with my three client peers gave me the clarity I needed.
It meant I was able to:
- restructure, reorganise and trust without any feelings of resentment, shame or from needing to hold back my ‘too much-ness’.
- create using what I call my ‘heart-mirror-neurons’. Seeing my client peers flourish gave me an inner strength to learn anew. Just like they had decided to through what I was sharing with them.
- take my futurist-technology brain and skills and put them to great use building Enlightenly to become the first values-based and impact-led marketplace for simply joyous online business (and living).
These I can measure with my Theory of Change.
They are impacts backed by outputs (tangibles and practicals) and outcomes (feelings and synchronicities). Most importantly they are moving me toward my anchor point of simply joyous online business, and where I get to work less freeing up time for my loved ones.
My Theory of Change created spacious synchronicity
Three clients in ten months gave me the space to reimagine, restructure and rework my business so it can behave and act in line with my values. Until this year I didn’t realise that it wasn’t. Nor what that felt like in action.
Having restablished my anchor point with my Theory Of Change it gave me space to see what I was moving toward. And what I wanted to move away from. It proved to me that having an anchor point beneath what you offer, well it gives you both spontaneity and freedom to decide your path as you grow horizontally. Gifting you not one way, but many. And from there you’re sure to find the way profit moves to you and through you for helping causes your care about and creating impact.
And for me this is simply joyous business online.