#78: A Step-by-Step Approach to Business Building


Have you ever wanted a step-by-step approach to building your business? You know, where it says, step one, do this step two, do this. A list where if you simply check everything off, you’ll be good to go? Have you ever found yourself wondering where that list is, how you can find it and how you can then implement it to make building your business, becoming an entrepreneur, a little bit easier?

If you’re shaking your head, “Yes!,” then you are like most of us who have started a business.  Having a step-by-step process or procedure would make life so much easier, but it doesn’t always work that way, does it? Having an opportunity to have a step-by-step process that works in all situations at all times, doesn’t seem very likely.

So today we are going to talk about the fact that you really do want that step-by-step approach, because you don’t know what to do in what order and a step-by-step approach would fix that. But maybe you’ve tried a step-by-step approach in the past and it hasn’t worked, or you have found that yeah, it works kind of, or partially that there are still gaps that don’t have a way to fill them in.

You don’t have the step that will fill in that gap with a step-by-step approach or process. That’s what we’re going to talk about today. What to do in face of the fact that there is not necessarily a step-by-step process to building your business. 

If you are ready to get started, grab your notebook, grab your tablet, whatever you’re using to take notes on today, get your water and a snack. And if you’re ready, with our theme of simplicity, clarity, and vision for 2022 in mind, let’s jump in!

Wishing for a Step-by-Step Approach

I was on a call the other day with a health coach who is building out a brand new membership. She is successful. She has a wonderful business built, and now she is branching out in order to serve more people with her health coaching business. And she was sharing with me that she serves the upper tier income bracket and that what works for other health coaches doesn’t necessarily work for her because the step-by-step approach that a health coach serving your local, YMCA may not work, what you’re doing there at that local YMCAs may not work in her market.

It brings home the fact that there is not a single step-by-step approach that we can all just adopt, use, implement, and find success in building our business. There are always going to be gaps. There are always going to be exceptions, and there are always going to be pieces that don’t necessarily work for you and your business or pieces that work really well.

When you find a list, for some reason you always find something missing or something that works even better than what the list suggests.  

So what do you do if there is not a single step-by-step list to follow? Well, the first thing is to become a scientist. Now, this does not mean that you have to go back to school and study science and learn all these kinds of fancy statistics.  What it means is that I want you to become an observer. I want you to notice what works, notice what doesn’t work and start to do more of what does start to do less of what doesn’t. But even as you’re saying, okay, this doesn’t work, see if you can figure out why.  See if you can dig into why that tool, technique, or skill isn’t working for you inside your business.  Maybe it’s just a matter of tweaking something a little bit.  

If you don’t take the time to observe and dig into that, you’ll never know, and you might be throwing out a tool or a resource that would otherwise be amazing inside your business, for building your audience, for serving your audience, for making a difference.

Recap Step 1: The first thing to do in lieu of a solid step-by-step process that works across the board is to become a scientist. Observe. 

The second thing is to start identifying a trusted mentor or mentors, I would start with one and really ask them for their experience, their expertise in the specific situations that you are finding most challenging, because what will happen is a good mentor will not only help you identify the resources that would be most helpful, but they’re going to also help you think through what you’re already using and might be able to adjust for this situation.  They are going to be able to connect you with the right peers and collaborators, so that maybe that’s what’s missing you can work together with someone on, on a piece of your business and they are going to help you stay out of that indecision and overthinking that can happen when you don’t have a step-by-step list. 

The fact of the matter is that business is a complex breathing organism and just like humans are complex breathing organisms. No single solution works for every business. No single solution works for every single human being. It’s the same concept. If you start thinking about your business as a living, breathing organism, just like a human being as a living, breathing organism, you’ll realize that the $37 ad you got served on Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn offering you the step-by-step process to building your business is going to have some great ideas in there 99% of the time, but it’s not going to have the perfect solution for your business.  This is because your business is a living, breathing organism. There is no perfect solution. There are ideas that you can implement and try and tools and skills and resources, but you again, have to be a scientist.

Recap Steps 1 and 2: Identify a trusted mentor who can help you work through all of these things without losing who you are, what you need for your business, what you want for your business, or to see well, and to keep you from kind of swirling in the indecision that can happen when you’re trying to build things up. 

So step one, become a scientist. Step two, identify a trusted mentor and really dig in with that mentor really start working intensely on making progress in your business, taking the next step. Just because there isn’t a step-by-step process that has every single little thing laid out for you that you could possibly need to know, do, think, and implement there ARE next steps to take.  A  good mentor will help you to identify those next steps. 

Now to keep it simple. I just want to give you one more thing to think about as you think about what to do in lieu of a perfect unicorn step-by-step process to building your business. And here it is.  Recognize that there is no single approach that works for everyone, but there are going to be common components. Remember I said that that $37 Facebook download that you found offers you a step-by-step guide to building your business? Chances are, there is some really great information in that. It’s going to have key things like how do you build your audience? How do you solidify your offer? How are you going to talk about your business? How are you going to price things? What are you going to do when you have a customer who is unhappy with your business? 

You’re going to find some really great information in those resources that you’re finding, whether they’re free or paid, but the key is not to keep looking to the point where you think just one more click and I’ll find that guide I’ve been looking for and has everything all in one place. 

If that were true, then the book industry would cease to exist. I can’t tell you how many business books I have sitting in my bookcase right now.  You can’t learn everything from one resource. You aren’t going to learn everything from one resource. No single approach is going to have all of the answers for your specific living, breathing organism of a business. 

When you recognize that, it takes away some of the pressure, some of the confinement or restriction that you might be feeling when you see a plan that says follow these six steps, and you’ll be good to go as an entrepreneur.  You’ll realize that those six steps have some great guidelines, but there are going to be pieces that you need to put in in order to truly have a well-rounded business, a profitable business. 

When you do this, when you take a step back, learn to be a scientist, learn to identify and work with trusted mentors.  When you release yourself from the idea that there is a step-by-step process out there, what you’re doing is enabling yourself to choose the pieces that are right for your business.

You’re going to choose the components that are right for your business, and guess what? That keeps everything so much simpler when you’re able to just adopt the things that will work for your business. You’re not worried about all of the other things in the lists that aren’t designed for your living, breathing organism of a business. Doesn’t that sound great? Being able to say yes to the things that make sense and no to the things that don’t for your business keeps you from trying to fit a square peg into a round hole where you just want to bang your head against the wall because it’s not working.

So let me give you an example of what this really looks like. When I work with brand messaging clients, I provide them with about a 50 page document at the end of our initial brand messaging conversations. And it goes through their messaging, words to use, and lots of ideas. It goes through their whole StoryBrand approach to messaging. At the end of the playbook, I always have to take a moment and talk with every client that I walk through this messaging playbook with, because at the end, there’s a list of next things to do, and it’s pretty lengthy, but here’s the thing. I always encourage anyone that looks at this list to recognize there are great ideas, but you don’t have to do them all right now or even in this specific order.  Some of these you may find can be put on the back burner for quite some time, while you focus on other aspects of your marketing and messaging inside your business. Because even though there’s a list and it’s fairly step-by-step, it doesn’t mean that every little piece is right for you right now.

When you become a scientist, you are noticing what works and doesn’t work. When you work with a trusted mentor who can help guide you through this process of identifying what to do next and recognize that there is not a single approach that works for everyone. Everyone is going to have a slightly different spin or take on how to build their business. And that is just fine.  It means you’re choosing the pieces that are right for your business at the right time, and it keeps it simpler. 

So what do you think about that? You know, that I’m a big fan of taking action inside your business. It’s not enough to just learn. We want to make sure all of the learning that we do is progress driven, which means let’s talk about your action item for this week.

Action Item

What I’d like you to do is take action on that first piece of the puzzle. I suggest that you become a scientist, start exploring what does and doesn’t work inside your business and for your needs, remembering that your business is a living, breathing organism that is unique. Your business is just as unique as you are. And as your fingerprint is, when you remember that your business is as unique as your fingerprint, it is much easier to say yes to the items of that step-by-step approach that you found and no to the items that aren’t going to work. So you’re going to say yes to the ones that will and no to the ones that won’t, or even maybe later to the ones that don’t seem to make sense right now. That’s the point, choose the pieces that work for you.

Last Thoughts

You are not going to find a step-by-step approach to building your business that is perfect. You’re going to find a lot of great approximations. You’re going to find a lot of great ideas out there. If you’re anything like me, you’ll end up with so many different books, so many different resources, but here’s the thing: don’t get so overwhelmed in learning that you don’t do.  It is in the doing, in taking action, that you are going to figure out what steps to take next for your business. 

I hope that was helpful. This was a question that I get quite a bit, what’s the next step, but really what they want is a step-by-step approach to building a business. And I often say there isn’t one, because even though we can go out and find plenty of these lists, no single list, not even a combination of lists is going to be perfect or complete. The key is to be observant, ask for help and recognize that no single approach is going to fit for every business. So if you’re doing something a little bit different than your colleagues who are also building businesses, that’s okay, so this week start exploring what does, and doesn’t work inside your business and for your needs.

That’s all I have for you today. I look forward to seeing you back here next week for another episode of the Coaching Hive Podcast, where a focus on mentoring and community removes the overwhelm of building your successful and profitable business and adds in a dose of momentum.

Until next time, have a healthy, safe, and happy week!

~ Dr. Moira

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