My collaborations are kaput.
In the spring of 2015, branding coach Tiffany Han, graphic designer Erin Cassidy and I launched It’s Business Time, a 6-month program that walked its participants through the discovery and launch phase of their business. We ran it once a year for three years, and it was a solid money-making offer, as well as one I had lots of fun running with my friends.
In the summer of 2016, career coach Laura Simms and I launched 90 Day Business Launch, a program that took the jumbled What and How of the participant’s dream business, found the intersection of what they wanted to offer and what was marketable, and gave them a detailed business plan. It included a 3-month Launch League to offer guided help, coaching, and support through launch day. It was my biggest money-making program for 2017, and Laura and I were killing it when it came to writing really detailed, on-the-nose plans. We didn’t have 1 participant ever tell us we missed the mark in 46 plans.
And yet: Tiff, Erin and I decided that the last round of It’s Business Time that ended last September would be our last.
And then: Laura said this round of 90 Day Business Launch needed to be her last.
And here’s the thing: It’s all amicable. It’s all okay. It’s all exactly right.
On the surface, this makes no sense. The participants were showing up, and we loved working with them all. Seeing their ideas go from a tiny seed to real, tangible businesses was – and is! – extremely satisfying.
These offers were making real money, with the potential to grow.
The programs were aligned with our business missions and made sense under our individual and collective umbrellas.
But something had felt off.
With It’s Business Time, we were poised in 2017 to take it up to 3x as many participants (and money) as we had previously. Now that we had the experience and data from 2 years of running the program, we re-jigged the structure so we could drop the price and welcome more people while being confident they’d get the same results. Our launch for this program was intense, and left us totally depleted and exhausted – the opposite of the energy we want to feel around our business.
In addition to the launch prep, the 6-month timeline of the program meant we couldn’t put energy towards other offers and products that had started coming into focus for each of us individually since we’d started the program. We were all craving a different path for ourselves, and agreed that it was best to put It’s Business Time to bed.
I learned so much from Laura’s decision with 90 Day Business Launch, which I agreed with but wouldn’t necessarily have been brave enough to pull the trigger on. She’s making big changes to her business, and the work we were doing here would take her away from her own business goals. I could say the same, and yet I prioritized the safety blanket the program provided instead of going all in on the new direction my business is going.
But Laura’s decision made me look at a hard truth: Because we wanted to do all we could to lead all 10 of our clients to a 90 day business launch, we added more and more value to each round. While we loved raising the success rates of our participants, we realized that we added dozens of hours to this program that we didn’t account for. Although this was a financially successful program overall, we were losing money on our time, and couldn’t find the grey area without putting in dozens of planning and execution hours that we don’t have.
Initially, we were planning to close up shop after our current participants launch on April 4th. But because Laura told me I could run this on my own, I started wondering how I could make this work for me. What would need to change so I can still deliver these results to my clients, but in a framework that works for my preferences, mission and goals?
I came up with something totally dynamic and next-level for me, and I ran it by Laura. She gave me her blessing, and I’ll move forward to pick up 90 Day Business Launch on my own starting this spring.
And now, as Tiffany said to me the other day: “This is the beginning of the birth of THE MICHELLE SHOW! I can feel it!”
I can, too. My Dear Future Me letter is coming true, and I just keep breathing through the fear and the excitement.
Things here are evolving, and I’m ready. I’m standing on my own two feet as a business owner, focusing on an abundance mindset and all the proven results I have behind me as a creative career coach since 2008.
And now, I proudly announce my new solo program, Discover Your Dream Biz.
This is where I know I can help multi-passionate, creative women who want to be business owners clarify what the heck they’d actually offer. I’m (finally!) able to do it now in the space between a $99 on-demand class and a $4k+ one-on-one coaching program.
Click here to learn more, and quick. Applications will be open through Friday, but as I’ll be accepting them on a rolling basis and spots are super limited, it might not last that long. I can also confidently say that the price won’t be this low again.
With a deep breath, I can stand here and say that there is nobody like me doing this work in this way. I’m insanely thrilled to add a program like this to my business offerings.
Honestly, it’s about damn time.