Scaling deep for lifestyle, freedom and impact
There’s a movement of entrepreneurs who consider impact, after making a certain amount of money, as a key driver for growth. They don’t need to make millions, buy more stuff, manage more people and over-commit to being busy. That’s not the lifestyle that gives them the freedom they desire which is why they are choosing scaling deep.
Scaling deep doesn’t mean ambitious and driven people have to slow down or stop creating. That’s not logical, natural or healthy for many. By scaling deep they can continue to add value, innovate and make more profit and maybe even revenue growing in their own way.
I heard this message loud and clear at the Quiet Power Strategy Summit last weekend. Charlie Gilkey started out his keynote telling us that we don’t have to go big or go home … there is a third alternative, going deep. It was music to my ears and echoed what I have always known instinctively and witnessed in social enterprise movements. He encouraged us to find the place where it takes a little bit of work to find a lot of nourishment using these words, “build a small fire and stay close to it”.
Entrepreneurs who consciously chose deep
Years ago I heard Judy Wicks, founder of White Dog Café and eventually livingeconomies.org, speak. Her eatery had a focus on environmental, social sustainability and community engagement. As it became more and more successful, Instead of spreading out to many more locations she re-invested in ways that supported the world she believed in.
When she became aware of the conditions in which pigs were raised conventionally she took one of her most popular meals off the menu until she could find a solution. When she found a local pig farmer who was happy to provide ethically raised pork, she invested in his business by loaning him $10,000 for a refrigerated truck so he could deliver his product to her restaurant and others. Both businesses grew from this partnership.
This is one of the more inspiring stories of scaling deep. You don’t have to be about this kind of impact to go this route.
Benefits from not chasing endless growth
Having a small, manageable business that continues to change, influence and add value is a rich experience and one that allows you to reap the benefits of being an entrepreneur without selling the company. High growth business work their asses off and get a big payout, sometimes. A business owner who stays small often makes more consistent revenue over a longer period of time without the high stress levels of the high growth game.
By delivering deep experiences to your clients you can cultivate a robust, rewarding business that gives you more time for people that matter, healthy choices and peaceful or adventurous living.
Business models to suit your business goals
Not every owner wants to have a purpose-driven business. You might want to make a good living doing work you love that benefits others. You have the choice to grow in a way that feels right and still adds value. Start building your deep business model to serve you.
1. Preach to the converted
One of an entrepreneur’s first challenges is to find a specific message that resonates with the right audience. It’s easy to spend time and energy trying to attract anyone and everyone and this is a big problem.
The world is very noisy right now and the people who are getting noticed are the ones who have something very specific to say or an audience that really wants what they got. You need to know who’s ready for the strong message you have and what you offer right now – the ones who are going to become superfans.
2. Nurture your 100 fans
Charlie Gilkey also said all we need is 1000 fans to grow a very successful business but I think we can go even smaller. Cultivating just 100 loyal, loving clients who sing your praises is enough of a base to leverage meaningful growth.
Ask them to spread the word for you. Don’t expect that they’ll tell others about you or your product. Be overt and get results.
3. Decide what you want to be known for
Brigitte Lyons, a very talented PR strategist and storyteller, advises business owners to get crystal clear on what they want to be know for.
What’s the body of work and message you want the world to hear?
Once you have this one thing, keep repeating. Nourish your kernel of knowledge. As Brigitte says so wisely, you may think that you are sounding redundant and annoying people but they need to hear your message over and over again to get back on track.
4. Deliver deep experiences
What can you do to deliver deep and shifting experiences for your clients? Knowing the results they want and designing experiences to get them there is the inner scoop in any success story. There are so many ways to do this. Writing excellent content is intensely powerful, finding ways to educate people that transforms their thinking and bringing groups together are effective ways to scale without requiring a huge audience.
This is where you experimentation comes in. Play with the ways you show up best and with which your tribe is most responsive.
5. Know when your fire is big enough
Knowing what big is for you is going to shape what you do now and everyday after. Our immediate priorities might change depending on the current reality. For eg. when I was worried about earning enough to support me and my son, I was focused on revenue. The moment I felt “safe” I began thinking about what my impact could be. Working more for more is not my big dream.
This is when knowing yourself is your strongest asset.
Start small by doing a budget, understanding your desired lifestyle and the impact or legacy you want to create. It’s the first step to knowing how you want to grow and seeing the opportunities for scaling deep that will lead you to living a super satisfying life with an awesome business at your side.
You don’t have to do this alone. Find out how I can help you expand, earn and share more with your value right beside you.