Amy Porterfield: Hey there, welcome back to another episode of The Online Marketing Made Easy Podcast. I’m you host, Amy Porterfield. If you happen to be listening to this episode as it goes live then Happy New Year!
I hope this is your year. I hope you reach every single goal you’ve set for yourself and for your business. As my dad always says, “I hope every light ahead of you is green.”
If you happen to be listening to this episode well into the year, that doesn’t matter. I think you’ll find insight and value and inspiration in this specific episode so definitely keep listening.
Today I’m going to share with you my core theme of the year. I’ve decided to share this with you in hopes that it will inspire you to create your own theme for your business and for your life as well. Beyond just sharing it with you, the theme I’ve chosen is one that I truly think will help you to embrace the journey of building a business and encourage you to enjoy the process of creating and innovating.
Beyond just sharing my core theme with you, I want to break it down a bit. As I teach even more in the New Year around online marketing and new strategies and new tips, I’m going to use this theme as the foundation for all of my lessons.
My theme is “Make it simple, but significant.” Yes, I totally ripped this theme off from Don Draper of Mad Men. I absolutely love Don’s character in Mad Men and what makes it even better is that he says this theme, “Make it simple, but significant” when he’s actually making himself a cocktail in the office with Joan…In the middle of the day, no less.
You’ve got to love it, right? “Make it simple, but significant,” I promise I won’t say it a million times in this episode but had to say it a few times to really let it sink in for you. This theme will drive my actions this year.
I’ll post it somewhere near my desk so I see it ever single day. It will be visible in my recording studio and in my co-working space with my team. I’ll definitely share it with my team and make sure they really are on board with the theme as well.
I’ll say it while I’m walking my dog, Scout. I will eat, sleep, and breathe this theme as I create content and share my podcast episodes with you and make videos. It’s always going to be about simple but significant. That’s what I’m going to focus on.
Again, I didn’t just want to share it with you and say, “Hey, here’s my theme. Now, go off and make your own.” I actually wanted you to start thinking about this concept inside of your own business.
A lot of the times we don’t make it simple as entrepreneurs. For me, when I hear this theme of “simple but significant,” here’s what it means to me. It means I’m no longer going to try to do too many things at once.
Instead, I’m going to be very intentional about all the different projects that get put on our calendar as a team. It also mean’s I’m not going to let too many things fight for my attention. I know if I have a bunch of plates spinning in the air my mind just cannot focus.
If I simplify that’s not going to happen as much in the New Year. It also means making a genuine impact. That’s where this whole idea of significant comes in, one that is honest and real and vulnerable. It is one that really speaks to my audience. It may not speak to everybody but it really speaks to those that are genuinely learning from me.
It means getting real and always seeing consistent results in the work I do in my own business and those of my students. It means working on the right things. It’s simple but significant.
It also means I’m seeing transformation happen whether that means seeing it in you, my students and listeners, or seeing that transformation in myself as well. I know if I simplify and really zero in on what will make the impact that is where I’m going to find my happy place. That’s where I’m going to make the biggest impact.
I wanted to share with you what it means to me and as you create your own theme, maybe you’ve already done this, when you create your theme for your business for the year (I think everybody should do this) it’s important that you’re able to talk about it in the way that I just shared with you.
What does that theme you created mean to you? Why is it important? What does it mean to your audience and those that are going to learn from you?
Today I thought I would share my theme with you, which I’ve done, but also what I’m calling My Three Vs (V like Volkswagen). These are three ways I’m going to embody this theme over the year with the hopes that I can be an example to all of you.
I’ll go first. I’ll show you what it looks like. I’ll use it in my business and then I’ll share it with you throughout the year. Again, my hope is that it will inspire you and move you forward in the direction you want to go.
Let’s go ahead and dive in.
Be a Visionary
The first way I’m going to make sure I implement my theme of being simple but significant is by being the visionary in my business. I want to talk to you about this one because it’s a little bit embarrassing in terms of how I found out that I wasn’t really showing up as the visionary.
Here’s what happened. I was flying to New York to speak at James Wedmore’s mastermind. I was going to speak in New York and I also wanted to be a fly on the wall because I’m always curious about that mastermind. I love what he’s doing so I wanted to be a part of it.
I was also bringing my project manager, Chloe, with me to New York. I wanted her to experience a mastermind. She had never done so before so I thought it would be a great opportunity. So here we are on the plane and Chloe passes me a few pieces of paper.
She said, “I want you to take these quizzes.” She did this at a time we were starting to hire more on our team. We were really figuring out the roles. She passes me these assessments in the aisle.
This is why I shouldn’t book travel, every time I book travel I mess something up. I booked it under my maiden name, which is very bizarre. I don’t know how that happened. We were seated nowhere near each other so I really screwed up.
Chloe had to come into my aisle and give me the little quiz she wanted me to take. The quiz was actually from the book, Rocket Fuel, and it was a rocket fuel assessment. I highly recommend this book. There were actually two quizzes.
One quiz was for what Rocket Fuel calls an “integrator”. I would call that a project manager position. The other one was for a “visionary”. I actually took both quizzes because Chloe thought it would be fun to see where I fell on the spectrum of both.
She knows I really like a project management role. If I were to go work for somebody else I would be a great project manager. I took both quizzes and it said that if you hit 80 on either one of the quizzes that is a good thing. You are in the zone in that role.
Truth be told, I didn’t hit 80 on either of them. I hit a 70-something on the integrator and a 60-something on the visionary role. I looked at it and had to laugh. I said, “I’m not even surprised.”
No wonder I’m actually not scoring exceptionally high on either because I have my foot in both. Truth be told, I’m more comfortable in the integrator role but it’s not my role. I hired Chloe to do that in my business so I shouldn’t be spending too much time there.
It was a huge eye opener for me and in that moment I said to myself that I would become the visionary of my business. I wanted to share a little bit about what that means to me with you.
I started to journal about this, literally on the plane to New York. This is what I wrote:
“To me, a visionary is someone who dreams big. Someone who is not afraid of taking risks. Someone who is open minded, always learning, always taking in new ideas and figuring out how they might work in their own setting or their own environment. Someone who is an influencer. Someone who definitely inspires.”
To me, I think of a visionary on my team in the way that I inspire everyone of my team members. I’ve got to do that by being a good communicator as well. I communicate the direction that we’re going and the whole “why” behind it, why we’re going there and why it’s important.
I think a good visionary keeps the end in mind. They are always looking forward, never looking back, and they know where they are going.
When I looked at this list I could see myself sometimes showing up that way but definitely not all the time. It’s not all the time because sometimes I get in the weeds of my business and start working on projects. I become so narrow minded on a slide deck or so narrow minded on one email that’s going out that it just crushes my creativity.
I started to think about who I would look at as a really great example of someone who has amazing vision. Don’t laugh at me because this is a little bit cliché but I think Oprah has amazing vision. This is what Forbes said about Oprah, “Oprah’s people strategy is simple. She invests in top talent, seeks out smart mentors, values her customer, and consistently nourishes each relationship.”
When I read that I was reminded that a visionary also builds relationships whether it be relationships on the team, relationships with customers and clients, or relationships with other influencers. That was another one I added to the list.
When I’m thinking about Oprah, to me, it’s her mix of business sense, taking care of her viewers/customers, and relationship building that makes her truly amazing. Plus, she’s not afraid to take risks. She’s a perfect example.
She’s got the “O” network that never even existed just a few years back when she had a talk show. Maybe that was many years back but it feels like yesterday that she had a talk show. But she’s completely reinvented herself.
That’s another one, reinvention. I think a visionary is really good at reinventing themselves, their businesses, and their teams. When I think about all of that I get excited. You can probably hear it in my voice.
But, I want to ask you. Are you being a visionary in your business? If you own the business and it is yours, whether you are the personal brand or not doesn’t matter, but if it is your business I see it as your role, in most cases (99% of the situations) you would be the visionary.
I want to know, are you showing up that way? If you’re not too sure, be really honest when you take that Rocket Fuel assessment. I kind of wanted to score a little bit higher when I answered each individual question but if I was being brutally honest then I wasn’t scoring very high on any of the questions; hence, I didn’t score high overall. Just be really honest.
Here’s my exercise for each V. The first one is the visionary role. I’m going to give you an exercise. I want you to start thinking about who your visionary role model is and what makes them that type of mentor or role model to you. The second thing is to define for yourself what makes you a visionary.
Who do you need to be or who are you today? You might say you are an innovator or an influencer or a connector. I think you should journal just like I did to get really clear about what it means to show up as a visionary in your own business.
That’s the first V as it relates to me really implementing my core theme of “Simple but Significant” throughout the year.
My second V is to be vulnerable. Specifically, it’s to be more vulnerable in your business. Truth be told, I’ve always tried to be vulnerable and open and honest in all that I do in my business but at times it didn’t really come naturally to me.
I want to show up as professional and like I have it all together. I want to be your leader in this online marketing world that you’re navigating. At the same time I want to be real. One of my really big attempts to invite you in and really show you a different side of myself was Episode #179, The Real Truth Why I Hate Video (hint, it’s my weight).
That was the official title. But, if you heard it you know that I got pretty vulnerable in that episode. Sometimes I still cringe thinking about it. However, I’m so glad I did it. I felt like I had to do that episode to really show you all sides of me. But I actually didn’t realize it would affect other people’s lives profoundly in many ways.
I’ve got to tell you a quick story. I have a friend, Ray Edwards. He is a dear friend. He’s one of those friends that I may not talk to all the time and I don’t get to see him a lot. But the minute we show up at the same marketing event or whatever it might be we’re just instantly connected. It’s like no time has passed.
I feel like he is family. I tell you this because I did this weight episode and then somebody asked, “Amy, have you listened to Ray Edwards’ podcast?” I hadn’t yet. It was the newest episode. I was on my way to the hair stylist and put it on while I was driving.
It probably wasn’t a good idea because I cried the entire way to get my hair done. I showed up and she asked if I was okay. I wasn’t okay. Ray heard my episode and said, “I had to go right into my studio with no editor or producer, it was just going to be me real raw, no script, and I was going to tell the truth about my battle and experience” with what he calls “The Parkinson’s”.
Ray has battled with Parkinson’s for a while and he has talked about it a little. But this was a whole different experience. At the very beginning he actually said:
“I just listened to an episode of Amy Porterfield’s podcast, Online Marketing Made Easy. That episode shook me up. Ha ha, the first Parkinson’s joke of the episode. After hearing Amy speak so powerfully I felt an overwhelming sense that I needed to say a few things publicly.”
I get chills even reading that because it just means so much to me that he did what he did. You’ve got to listen to this episode. I will definitely link to it in the show notes (Ray Edwards Podcast). It’s a perfect example of somebody that’s just putting it all out on the table and holding nothing back.
At moments during his podcast episode he shared some things that just broke my heart about how the Parkinson’s is progressing in his life. It really hit me hard about the importance of being vulnerable and how it can actually impact other people’s lives.
Ray, you gave me a gift in that episode and I wanted to publicly say thank you so very much for putting that out there.
If we go back to the core theme of “Simple but Significant” it gets really complicated when you start to become someone you’re not as an online business owner and personality. It’s easy to lose yourself when you’re building an online business.
There are many reasons that could happen and we won’t get into all of that right now. But I will say that social media makes it really hard. We all want to look like we’ve got it together, I know I do. We all want to look like things are running really smoothly.
My fear is that if I show you guys the messy side of things too often you’ll think I’m not a good leader or you’ll think that if I don’t have it all together why would you want to spend your money and buy my courses because I’m a hot mess over here.
These are the things that go through my mind when I’m being really dramatic. But if I’m going to commit to being significant but keeping things really simple I’ve got to show up as myself. I cannot put on airs and I cannot be someone I’m not.
You will see me do that more and more in the coming year because I really do believe it’s an important part of enjoying the business you’re creating and connecting with people in a real and honest level.
There you have it. That is the second V, being more vulnerable in your business. I want to give you an exercise. Imagine what you could do if you were more open and honest in your life whether it be your personal life or in your business life.
Imagine if you were more willing to share. I want to give you a mission. I want you to push yourself. As we get into the New Year or if you’re listening to this late into the year I want you to think about how you can show up more like yourself in your videos and podcasts, in your social media, in the courses you create and the webinars you do. How can you be more “me” authentically and how can you use that to impact other people’s lives?
Think about it. Where is one area where you could be more vulnerable right now? That’s your exercise. Think about it. I hope you take action with it. We’re going to dive into the final V.
Number three is a little more tactical. I can’t help myself. I want this to be very actionable for you. Three is to be vigilant in your business.
In Episode #183, I put an entire promotional planning process together for you. I called it the New Year Planning Episode. You can use it at any time when you’re planning your promotional calendar inside your business.
Part of that process was a step called “Map it out.” Maybe you remember this and maybe you don’t. That’s okay. The map it out process was where you are actually writing all of your promotions inside of a calendar. Any time you need to lead up to the promotion or any white space you need between promotions should be calendared all out.
I have a feeling many of you did some of the planning process but many of you probably didn’t actually go to the calendar and map it all out. If you did, get up and do a little happy dance. I’m very proud that you did so.
If you haven’t, this is the opportunity to really push yourself. I want to make sure that if you look at the next six months of the year, no matter where you are in the year, look at the next six months, you have already put on the calendar the time that you are going to create whatever it is you want to sell, the time you need to review everything and make sure it’s all working properly before you launch, the time you’re actually launching, and after that the time you need to deliver whatever it is you sold.
Is all of that on the calendar? If not your exercise is to go back to Episode #183 and relisten to it or listen to it for the first time and plan out your next six months from start to finish. Don’t skip any of the steps. Really make sure you’re vigilant in terms of mapping it out on the calendar.
If it’s not on the calendar I’m going to bet it’s not going to happen. That’s harsh, I know, but it is very, very true. I’ve seen it in my own business as well. So what do the next six months look like? Is it on the calendar?
It’s not just that you’re going to promote in February. Do you have the actual dates mapped out? Have you talked about how you’re going to promote? Have you looked at how much time you need to ramp up in order to promote and how much time you need to create whatever it is you’re going to sell?
I want you to think about all of that. I know that feels a little bit heavy but this is how we promoted. This is how we do business. This is how you create campaigns. You’ve got to think about all of these different elements and get them on the calendar.
There you have it. Thank you so very much for letting me share my own theme for the year. Heck, if you like it you could definitely steal it since I actually stole it from Don Draper. But one more time, “Make it simple, but significant.”
Again, those three Vs that go along with it:
- Be the visionary in your own business.
- Be more vulnerable in your business; and heck, in your own personal life. That’s a good life lesson.
- Be vigilant in your business.
Those are the three Vs that hopefully will inspire you and encourage you to keep innovating in your business and keep doing the stuff that is really making an impact. Here’s my wish for you. My wish for you is that you absolutely fall in love with the projects you’re working on for this New Year and that you fall in love with not only your business and projects but your team and clients and those you serve.
I recently did a podcast episode all around getting more specific in your niche. I interviewed a woman, Danelle German, the cat groomer. If you follow along with my podcast you know who I’m talking about. I loved that she said, “You know, at one point in my business I just lost that loving feeling and I had to get it back.”
If that’s where you are at right now you’ve got to find a way to get it back. I think creating a theme will help you do that. You will remember why you’re doing what you’re doing, what your mission is, and who you serve.
I also hope this is the year that you find your voice and show up vulnerable more often than not and that you lead with confidence and conviction. That’s truly my wish for you.
Thank you very much for listening. I cannot wait to connect with you again next week. In next week’s episode, #193, we are talking about a question I get asked all the time, “Amy, should I join a mastermind? If so, how do I know which one to join?”
I did an episode about masterminds over a year ago but I want to approach it in a different way because the questions still keep coming up. I cannot wait to talk about masterminds and if you should join one in the next episode. I’ll see you next week. Bye for now.