A tale of two business owners…
Allison is a very dedicated Reiki practitioner. She took her Reiki attunements from a well known and highly regarded Reiki Master and decided that she wanted to open up a healing practice. Not having very much money to start her practice, Allison decided to join forces with a classmate from her Reiki training class. They shared the rent and other expenses for a small space and slowly Allison began to gather a few fans for her practice.
As the months rolled by, Allison became frustrated that her efforts weren’t garnering more clients; so after doing some research online, she opened a Facebook page and offered information to her small group of fans about health, the wonders of Reiki and energy healing in general. Later she decided to share her own experiences with energy healing via a blog and in small workshops; and still Allison’s business didn’t really thrive. Her small handful of dedicated clients kept her from going out of business, but Allison couldn’t help but wonder if she had made a mistake. She blogged, she put up posts on Facebook, she held classes and she felt in her bones that this was the right business for her…why wasn’t her practice providing the support her family so richly deserved?
Not far away lived a different woman, a new business owner named Stephanie who was an astrologer. She had studied with well known astrologers for many years and knew her subject like the back of her hand. Stephanie had worked in a variety of career fields before she finally decided to look into developing an astrology practice of her own; retirement was around the corner and although Stephanie had been employed most of her adult life, she knew she hadn’t any savings to speak of; in addition, she was recently divorced and after running the numbers she soberly realized a tiny pension and Social Security wasn’t going to provide the lifestyle she wanted in her later years.
After talking with some of her astrology teachers, Stephanie decided on one in particular to coach her in building her practice. The accountability factor was a huge help to Stephanie–she committed to taking certain actions such as getting her search engine optimization research done, choosing a niche and getting a new website up and running–all of which meant backing out wasn’t an option. Her coach would be checking with her regularly to insure she stayed on track and met the goals she had chosen for herself.
Deciding she wanted to keep it simple, Stephanie chose to host a blog and offer her services online rather than rent a space with overhead; she was pretty sure she would be able to find plenty of business women with challenges that she could help. Needless to say, Stephanie was a bit shocked when despite her earnest and dedicated blogging efforts and her consistent social media work, her client numbers were rather disappointing. She decided to talk to her coach about her business malaise–at which point her coach asked her again about her passions.
“I already told you,” Stephanie replied, trying to sound polite, “I like helping women like myself reinvent themselves. I have taken a look at the numbers and I can see there are a large number of women who are entrepreneurs seeking information online each month.”
“Yes, that’s true,” Stephanie’s coach replied, “but you’ve overlooked something I mentioned early in our work together.”
“What’s that?” Stephanie asked crisply, trying to keep her temper.
“What is that one thing you offer that reaches the largest number of those women who are online seeking help? What is one problem, block, or challenge they have that is a perfect match for what you do?”
Stephanie sat with the question for a moment feeling irritated. “Isn’t that the same thing as my niche? I mean, if I know I want to work with women business owners between the ages of 30 and 50 who are frustrated in their business, isn’t that the same as what you just asked me?”
“No,” Jan replied quickly. “Think of it this way–if I have asthma and you are a gynecologist–you’re not focused on my problem, my need. Yes, you are a doctor and you have know how–but it’s not my specific problem that you solve. And that means even if you’re the best doctor in the world, I am not coming to you because you don’t specialize in my unique problem.”
“Give it some thought Stephanie,” her coached said sympathetically. “Somewhere between your passion, expertise and the countless number of challenges those business women have, is your business’ sweet spot. It’s the place where your unique skills solve a unique problem–a big enough problem that you can fill your practice and make a difference in the lives of countless women.”
Stephanie thanked her coach and hung up the phone. Why was it so hard to figure out this niche, sweet spot thing?! After racking her brain for some time Stephanie finally decided she would give herself some time and see what came up for her.
Later in the week, while watching television, Stephanie found herself riveted to a program about a group of young entrepreneurs who wanted funding for their enterprises. The show was fast paced as the already successful entrepreneurs shot down the fledgling ideas of the novice business men and women. Watching the program got Stephanie thinking about her own business quandary and she went to bed with the wheels of her mind turning her many possibilities over and over…
Upon awakening, Stephanie was quick to beat a path to her computer. After running the numbers, Stephanie could see there were not only a lot of women entrepreneurs seeking information online–there were also a lot of people seeking to start brand new businesses! What if her sweet spot was to use her astrological skills to help people find the best match between their interests, what was going on astrologically in general combined with what their own birth charts showed were their unique gifts? What if she could help new entrepreneurs find their unique sweet spot?! Stephanie felt excited and couldn’t wait to check in with her coach to share her new insights, but before she had a chance to do so, she received an email from a young entrepreneur whose business was languishing…
Allison did energy work and while she had rave reviews for her work, she couldn’t seem to earn a decent living; could Stephanie help?
“I most certainly can help you–not only with narrowing in on your business’ sweet spot, but I’ll share my own insights on starting a new business–does that sound like something that might work for you?” Stephanie asked Allison.
Allison was a bit jaded by her lack of success, but she liked the sound of the phrase ‘sweet spot’. She decided to give it a try…
Finding the sweet spot for your business may turn out to be quite a journey–that nexus where your passions meet the problems or needs of substantial numbers of people will spell the difference between a business that dies and a business that thrives!
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May you and your business thrive in 2013…
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