Your Personal Brand: The Key to a "Pivot Proof" BusinessOct 17, 2023
You dream of making a ton of money in your business.
But you have a huge, glaring problem.
You keep losing interest in one business idea and pivoting to another.
You don’t stick with any one thing long enough to gain momentum.
You know this isn’t good. You aren’t stupid.
You know you have to be consistent—over the long term—if you want great success.
But, you genuinely keep losing interest in what you’re doing. And, you don’t want to force yourself to keep doing it when your heart isn’t in it.
So, you pivot once again.
This is a huge issue. I know it well. I’ve pivoted more times than I can count.
I have been seeking the solution over a decade, and I’ve finally found it.
I’m going to show you how to “pivot proof” your business. You will break out of this cycle and be able to stick to something that grows over time.
You will be there when exponential, compound growth happens. This is the only thing that leads to extraordinary wealth and success.
My Pivot Story
I started out as an unhappy guy in corporate America. I sat in a cubicle doing health insurance claims. After 3 years, I quit. I got a job at a grocery store. There, I met a guy who flipped houses. He taught me how to flip houses on my own. I started a house flipping business and built a rental portfolio.
Then, I got tired of flipping houses. I pivoted to coaching. I started helping people buy rental properties. I had a podcast that got over 1,000 downloads per episode, and a book that brought clients in. I built it up to 25K/mo. For a few years, things were going great.
I was sick of real estate coaching. If I had to do the math on another rental property I was going to puke.
I had, however, fallen in love with the coaching business. I wanted to help other people become coaches.
It was time for another pivot—great for my happiness, deadly for the business.
When I made this pivot, my podcast listenership went from 1,000 downloads per episode down to 100. The people who had come for real estate left. They didn’t want to become coaches.
After that, I pivoted more. Each time, my audience got more confused. “What does he even do?”
I kept destroying my momentum. I built entire courses that barely got promoted, because they no longer fit with my new direction.
This has always been my biggest issue. For a long time, I was unwilling to face it. I thought it meant I had to force myself to stick with something I didn’t love.
I was wrong.
Here are the two competing truths that kept me stuck:
#1 - Consistency over the long term is required for success
#2 - Humans are dynamic, evolving creatures. Our interests and passions will change.
In other words: You gotta stick with one thing for success, even though it isn’t natural to do so.
If you’re into personal growth, you will always seek a new level. You’ll read new books. You’ll meet new people who inspire you. You will change your mind about how things should go.
If you are a creator, you will want to create content about your evolving interests. This will never end (unless you decide to stop growing).
What in the world are we to do about this?
How To Fix It
If you asked me this question just a few months ago, I would not have had an answer.
Today, I have discovered a way to “pivot proof” your business. This will work for anyone who offers coaching, consulting, courses, or done-for-you services.
The solution is:
Center everything around your personal brand.
If you’re not sure what that means, let’s describe it.
A personal brand is what you build online.
- The content you create
- The audience you build on social media
- The email list you own
- What you are known for (your brand recognition and value)
- The level of trust your audience has in you
We’ve all had a friend recommend someone to us, like this:
“Have you heard of Melissa? She’s an author and Youtuber. She’s all about holistic health. You should check her out, her stuff is really great. You’d like her. I’ll send you a link to her Instagram.”
The things people say about Melissa—when she’s not around—are part of her brand.
You click the link and see that Melissa has 30K Youtube subscribers and 100 five-star reviews of her book. This is social proof, a big part of a brand. Melissa becomes even more credible.
Melissa’s brand is powerful. She can sell books, courses, coaching, workshops, events, merchandise, and more, all using social media and email. She gets asked to speak at events. Companies reach out every day about sponsorship deals.
Her brand is the engine for her business.
You might be thinking:
OK, so a brand can make you money. I knew that. But, how exactly is it “pivot proof”?
One key understanding about a personal brand:
It’s all about content.
Everything is about content. It’s why you can’t go to the toilet without bringing your phone along. We crave content. We want new content everyday.
Content is how you define your brand. It’s what you become known for.
When I was a real estate coach, I thought I had to create content about real estate only, since this was my niche.
This attracted an audience of people who wanted one thing: real estate.
That backed me into a corner. I couldn’t pivot without destroying the biz. When I was forced to pivot, I did destroy the biz.
When you center your business around your personal brand, the business becomes “you”. This means that your content includes all of your interests.
This attracts an audience of people who resonate with your way of thinking. They share your values.
They don’t show up—initially—because of your “niche”. They follow your journey so they can learn from you and be better off as a result.
In order to do this correctly, you can’t make content around just a niche topic. You’ve got to show what makes you unique. This comes from the combined set of interests you have.
I talk about the following topics:
- Growing a brand online
- Publishing books
- Personal growth
This is my unique “set” of interests. It will attract people who have a shared interest in these things, and repel those who don’t.
If I get interested in yoga, I will add it to the mix. It will pull fellow yoga enthusiasts closer, and repel those who don’t like it.
I get to talk about whatever interests me. My content changes as I change.
This approach will grow an audience of people who like and trust you. You can rotate or add to your product offerings, and this won’t be a “pivot”. It will just be another solution you’ve packaged up to help them.
For example, I might create a course about mindfulness. If I get to a place of progress in my own journey where I’m experiencing a lot more inner peace, I’m going to tell you about it. Why wouldn’t I, if I thought it could help you?
I might make a course on how to get your first 1K subscribers on Youtube. I just cracked 1K myself, so I don’t feel qualified yet. Maybe when I’ve got 10-20K subs, I will feel ready to help a beginner grow to 1K.
All I’m doing is pushing towards my own goals, and documenting the process. When I feel like I know enough to package up a solution, that becomes a product in my suite. But, the product never defines the business. I do, as the center of the brand.
I used to give my products so much power, but now I see a better way.
People Inspire Us, Not Businesses
If you asked me what my biggest sources of inspiration are, I would not say “It’s a company called Grow Your Coaching Business”
I would give you the names of people:
- Tim Ferriss
- Brendon Burchard
- Eckhart Tolle
- Dan Koe
- Ali Abdaal
It’s not about a product they created. It’s the journey they are on. I resonate with their story. I share a similar set of values.
With a personal brand, what you’re really doing is inspiring people by sharing your journey through life.
When you change your business from:
“Here at Digital Consulting Academy we help coaches hit 10K/mo using Facebook Ads”
“I’m Chris and I’m here to write on what I’m learning about fatherhood, nutrition, and online business”
Then you now have a dynamic personal brand that is free of pivot danger. The business moves with you because it is you.
See your personal brand as the heartbeat of the business, and your products as a rotating cast of supporting characters that help your followers get a result.
What Matters Most
I was recently part of a cohort taught by Dan Koe. Someone asked him about his business strategy. I will never forget his answer:
“I’m all about sustainability. If I can’t see myself doing something for 10 years, I won’t do it for a single day.”
This is the real power behind a personal brand. Since it changes with you, it is sustainable, for as long as you like growing as a person and sharing about it.
If you want some more guided advice about establishing your personal brand, check out this article:
If you are still unclear about the niche that your product should be in, I’ve written an entire book on this, which you can get here:
Now, go out and build something amazing.
You are free.