A few weeks ago I interviewed an unquestionably successful entrepreneur and coach. (I’ll call her Catherine.) She usually has a lot of energy for her business, but all went to you-know-what when she became suddenly ill with a mysterious digestive ailment that persisted for about 6 months. She told me that during the worst times she could only work about 2 hours a day. Putting the physical pain and emotional fears aside for a moment, it’s frustrating when others are dependent on you and you can’t do much.
Once Catherine grasped the reality of her situation she was able to adjust her client schedule so that she only met with clients during “safe” times. But not everyone can do this. If you watched the interview I posted a few weeks ago with Terri Williams, you may remember that she does not know what a day will be like until she gets started.
A few days ago I spoke with a woman who gets migraine headaches about 10 days each month. Like Terri, she does not know when she will feel well and when she will not. She wants to offer teleseminar workshops and fears that she will schedule an event and then not be able to follow through. We brainstormed solutions and alternative means for delivering her material.
These are the solutions and alternatives we discussed:
- Instead of holding live workshops she might consider recording webinars when she’s feeling well.
- She could develop do-it-yourself programs that would include an ebook and/or a sequential email program.
- She could hire a Virtual Assistant with sufficient skills to moderate a workshop with her, or in her absence.
- She could find a business partner, or form a strategic alliance with someone in her field, someone who can step in and take over if she cannot conduct the workshop herself.
- She could tell program participants about her situation and give them advance notice of a potential need to reschedule.
Each of these options is less than optimal in that they represent a potential compromise to her ideal, to work directly with a group of clients and deliver a stellar program.
I’m becoming increasingly convinced that the most sustainable business model is not the solo venture, but one where at least one other person is involved in the business. The roles of the other team member(s) depend on a variety of factors, but the best solution accounts for Plan B contingencies.
Which of the above solutions seems most practical to you?
Have you tried something similar?
What has been the result?