Bubbles are fun.
You can blow them.
You can bathe in them.
You can run and bounce in them.
But being in a bubble makes things unclear and it’s much harder to see the possibilities outside of it.
I’ve been in the “online business bubble” for a long time.
Where I’m mostly interacting with other online business owners and focused on what’s happening in the online business world.
This kind of thing happens in whichever industry we work in.
The bubble is comfortable and familiar.
We understand the way things work and we become experts within it.
Though, I do think that the online business bubble is a particularly unhealthy co-dependent bubble
I can’t tell you how many conversations I’ve had with clients and other entrepreneurs that go like this:
“I thought my audience was moms/executives/teachers etc. but I’ve come to realize that I most enjoy working with other entrepreneurs. They just get it.”
So like 99.9% of us with an online business, their market is small business owners.
This online business bubble is super saturated.
And it’s making it harder for you to grow your business.
Most small business owners make less than $50,000* a year.
A market without money is a terrible market.
Yet so many businesses are serving this market.
Because as my client pointed out the other day, we buy into the notion that entrepreneurs are more likely to invest in themselves and in their businesses. And this willingness makes them a more receptive audience.
Do you know who perpetuates and benefits most from this story?
Gurus selling the dream of entrepreneurship.
It’s time to stop this B.S.
I want your business to succeed in the real world.
Not the made-up fantasy world that we’re being sold.
That means creating a business model that has the best chance of working for you.
And figuring that out is much more doable when you leave the bubble.
One of my clients recently shifted out of the entrepreneurial bubble. Woohoo!
For years she’d been selling her offers to other entrepreneurs and she did manage to have some great launches. But the model was challenging to sustain.
She now focuses on an audience of people who want to accomplish the same thing – to write online in a way that sounds like them, feels good, and resonates with readers.
Her market is now defined by the thing they want to do and not as much by who they are.
And they have the money to pay to get help doing what they want to do. Brilliant!
(This follows the Jobs-to-be-Done Theory. Something I’ll cover in a future email.)
Even if your audience isn’t other entrepreneurs, it’s worth shifting your perspective to get fresh insights and ideas of what might be possible in your business.
How to step out of your bubble
Here are some ways to do this that might very well point you to a more mighty business model.
1- Talk to people outside your network
Be intentional about who you’d like to connect with and ask to interview them for market research.
You can choose an industry you find interesting and decide who in that industry to get to know.
Or you can choose a big life transition you’re curious about like getting married, divorced, moving, etc. and find out more about what that’s like for people.
I started by asking friends if they knew anyone over 58 who has money but doesn’t want to retire so they can keep doing work with purpose.
Which brings me to…
2 – Select a market that has mone
I want to talk to people over 58 because they are part of the boomer generation.
And Boomers have money.
Also, I want to connect with more people who are older than me because I don’t have nearly enough of them in my life.
Who else has money?
People with well-paying jobs.
Lawyers, doctors, C-suite executives, accountants, etc.
Also, electricians. Skilled trades are in demand and they pay well.
Well-established companies have budgets for all kinds of things.
I know of a few yoga instructors who make 6 figures working only with organizations.
3 – Go to events or join groups outside your industry
A friend of mine joined a very fancy exclusive club in her city. It’s not something she ever thought she’d do but it makes good business sense. She’s an amazingly talented portrait artist and her commissions are $70k+.
The members of this club are her market. So she found a way to get invited and is loving all the events she now gets to attend.
I’m interested in exploring events and groups in industries like community building, financial independence, sexuality, death & dying.
If you know of any good ones, let me know.
4 – Leave your house regularly
I’ll admit that I’m terrible at this.
Barbara Sher said, “Isolation is the dream killer.”
And I want my dreams and your dreams to come true.
It’s easy to stay home.
But virtual chats and meetings do not make up for real-world interaction.
Get into the habit of going out in the world.
Join a coworking space.
There’s only one near me and it’s small and quiet so it didn’t give me the stimulation I hoped for. I’m always on the lookout for a new one.
Become a regular at the library.
Physical books are a joy. Roaming the shelves and reading a random page in a random book can spark ideas.
Consider hosting an event to meet more people in your community.
5 – Do business with local businesses.
Amazon is convenient, cheap, and all that. Fine. But put out what you want into the world.
Support other small business owners if you can.
I use local florists rather than use one of the big companies online.
Consider paying a bit more for 1 or 2 things that are available in your city or town.
If you’re feeling stuck, it’s probably that bubble you’re in.
When you step out of your bubble, you have a whole new vantage point. You will start seeing the world a bit differently.
There are people out there who have needs that aren’t being met.
They may not be who you think they are but you might be the right person to help.