There are two elements that are constantly changing in your life that you need to consider: the changes in the environment of your business and the changes in yourself.
Check for changes in the environment of your business
My friend’s business had been built on her ability to help writers publicize their books. However, two major changes have occurred in the field of publishing – marketing itself has changed from selling to educating and the publishing business has broken wide open so anyone can self-publish a digital book. Those major changes in her field meant that she has to complete rethink who her target community is and what she wants to offer them. Publicizing a book is and always has been about your platform. Should she start offering courses on platform building? Did she want to work with the beginning author or did she want to work with people who had been writing for a while? Who you work with and what you help them do are two vital decisions that will dictate how you repurpose your business.
Check for changes in you
My interests have shifted. I am looking for ways to stay relevant as I gradually move into retirement. That’s what I want to think about. That’s what I want to figure out. That’s what I want to write about. That has shifted my target community from people interested in creating information products to entrepreneurs who are facing retirement with ideas still calling them. I now have to figure out what that target community needs from me and what I am willing to offer. It also requires me to let go of what I have created so far and look at what I am willing and eager to do next. Letting go is hard to do, but you have to let go in order to embrace the new.
What have you learned?
A major reason you might make a shift in your business is that you have developed a new skill. As I got better at creating information products, I positioned my coaching practice to specialize in that. I don’t have the skill of staying relevant in retirement yet but I’m figuring it out. What new skills have you learned that you can put to use in the service of others?
Has your passion shifted?
It was a shock to find myself becoming uninterested in doing what I had been doing. I no longer wanted to coach people in developing information products because I already knew how to do that. I wanted to go exploring. I wanted to learn something that was new to me and more relevant to my interest. My passion shifted and I had to change my business to accommodate it.
Check for changes in your community
When you shift your business, you don’t have to develop a new community; you just have to notice how they are changing and address those changes. For instance, I’m aware that members of my community are growing older just as I am. Their needs are changing. They are beginning to look at slowing down, at retiring, and they will face the same challenges I am. Of course, I could go try for a new target audience but why would I not simply find ways to keep on serving the people who already know me, those I have already served. All I have to do is identify what they need from me now that I am willing to offer.
Watch for the signs
I’ve been thinking about this repositioning change for several months. Not knowing what I wanted to do made me feel stuck and even lost. I finally figured out that at the very least I would write about the topic of creatively moving into retirement. It was a topic I was exploring on a personal level and I knew it was relevant for others. However, personal expansion is esoteric. It’s much easier to coach someone to create an ebook than to help them find and develop their passion. I watched my own progress, observed the questions I asked myself and I began to see how I would coach people – the questions I would ask, the exercises I would give them, the sequence I would use to help them unfold. I wrote down a coaching sequence. I love to coach and if I choose this path, I can help people move in this new direction. What signs are showing up in your life that are asking you to change?
Redefine your offer
What do I want to offer? What do people need? What form does this take? I can write. I can teach courses. I can coach. I will write articles. I will create self-discovery exercises that help people make strong choices. I will help entrepreneurs who are moving into retirement with all their creative juices still flowing, to repurpose their passion and talent so they can slow down and still feel productive and relevant. I will encourages awareness and help people find balance.
Who do you help and what do you help them do? How does that need to be modified because both you and the market have changed?