6. Staying Nimble as an Entrepreneur

Staying Nimble as an Entrepreneur

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If you approach your business with a fixed mindset, you won’t be able to pivot when you need to. It’s inevitable that you’re going to have to make changes in your business at some point, and if you’re too rigid in your thinking you aren’t going to recognize those opportunities quickly enough. Whether it’s reacting to personal life events or something in your business that’s no longer working, you need to be nimble and able to adapt.

In this episode, you’ll hear… 

  • Accepting change as part of the process
  • How pivoting can help your business
  • When the world forces us to change
  • Shifting your mindset
  • Studying the market
  • Taking questions as hints
  • Putting on your scientist hat

How change can help your business grow

When I started my health coaching business, I quickly realized that it was not the right business for me. Instead of digging in my heels, I chose to reevaluate what I was doing, what I liked and didn’t like about my business, and find clarity on the kind of business I really wanted to run. In 2017 I pivoted to only selling digital legal products and it has made the biggest impact on my life. 

Shifting your mindset around change

In order to accept change more readily you have to adjust your mindset when it comes to change. The first thing to do is recognize that things will never stay the same forever, and that’s a good thing. The other shift you have to make is that change is an opportunity to do things better. Think about the ways that the changes happening in your life or in the world can bring you more into alignment with how you want to live your life and run your business.

Studying the market & your clients

Just as change is inevitable in life, it is also going to happen in our market and with our clients. The way the world shifts means the way people operate businesses within it will have to change. This goes especially for client changes. People’s needs and preferences are constantly shifting, and where once the written word was the best way to reach people, now they may prefer short form video. You want to look at what others in your industry are doing and how people are reacting to it.

Ultimately, keep in mind that we are all figuring this out as we go. Nothing you do in your business is irreversible. Try new things, see how they land, and either move forward and iterate or go back to the drawing board. Approach your business with an open mind and you’ll be able to change quickly to meet the needs of your customer… and yourself!

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Resources Discussed in This Episode

Episode Transcript

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Sam Vander Wielen: [00:00:07] Hey, there. And welcome to the On Your Terms podcast. I’m your host, Sam Vander Wielen. I’m an attorney-turned entrepreneur, and I help online coaches and service providers legally protect and grow your online business using my DIY Legal Templates and the Ultimate Bundle.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:00:21] So, every week I try to balance giving you legal tips with also tips about how to grow your actual business on your terms. So, what you will see here most often is me encouraging you to do things your own way. I’m a huge believer in that, and part of doing that is staying nimble as an entrepreneur, which is what we’re talking about today.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:00:39] So, in today’s episode, I go over staying nimble as an entrepreneur whether it’s because you’ve been faced with a bunch of difficult life hurdles like some of the things that I’ve shared with you that I’ve gone through over the last several years since I started my own business. From my own brain surgery to my dad getting sick and being his caregiver to just a lot of different bumps in the road to, you know, the last year and a half has thrown everybody a huge curveball in figuring out how do I offer my products. What are some of the challenges and new struggles that are coming up with my clients?

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:01:11] And more than anything today, I hope that you walk away from this episode feeling inspired, that being nimble is a good thing, and change and things popping up in your life and your business can be a good thing, especially for your business. And, I share a lot of my personal examples of how I turn certain things into benefits in my own business. So, I hope that you love today’s episode. I will round out today’s episode with a bunch of tips about how to stay nimble, how to act more of a scientist in your business, which is a huge, huge thing for me, and I think have been a part of my success or whatever we call it. So, I hope that they’re helpful to you.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:01:49] And, before we get into today’s episode, if you haven’t already, it would mean the world to me if you follow the show wherever you listen to podcasts, if you rate it and leave a review on Apple Podcasts if you listen there. I would love to hear your thoughts and as always, send me a DM with anything that came up for you in today’s episode. I’d love to see you over on Instagram. I’m @samvanderwielen there. And with that, let’s get into how to stay nimble as an entrepreneur.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:02:21] So, I’m just getting settled in my new house in New York. We moved to the North Shore of Long Island, outside of New York City. It is absolutely stunning, beautiful here. We’re surrounded by water. It’s super quiet. In fact, it’s so quiet that Ryan and I have been pretty freaked out when we fall asleep because we’re like, “What’s happening outside? Why is it so quiet?” Where we moved from outside of Philly, it was just so loud. There was like – my dad used to call our street the superspeedway because it was supposed to be a side street but everybody used it as a cut-through and it was really annoying. And so, it was very loud and there just seemed to always be like someone emptying their dumpster on the main street in the middle of the night. And it was very loud. So, I am getting settled in. I’m trying to get used to the fact that it’s so quiet here, but it’ll all be good in the end. We have a beach at the end of our street. It’s so beautiful.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:03:13] But if you’ve ever moved in your entire life, you know that it is not all fun and games. It is quite the process. I actually lost my podcast mic in the move. There was a big sticker on it that said “Do not take.” And then the movers took it and they put it in the foyer box and I couldn’t find it forever. So, I finally found it. We’re back to normal with our audio equipment here on On Your Terms.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:03:36] But moving definitely throws you for a loop personally and for your business too. If you have your own business, it’s not just your stuff, but obviously, it takes your time and attention away from your business, from maybe even social media if you’re used to being on social media like I am every day. I not only didn’t really have the time, but I just found myself over the last several weeks not even wanting to be on social very much so because I would rather get situated and get organized and try to learn my new area and all of that kind of stuff.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:04:04] So, it’s been really interesting, but it’s been yet another, I guess, adventure in staying nimble. And that’s what we’re talking today about is really staying nimble as an entrepreneur. Because if I’ve learned anything over the last five years of having my own business, it’s that staying nimble is absolutely crucial to staying in business. Not just staying in business, my goal is not for you just to have a business and call it a day, it’s for you to continue to grow and to love your business and to have fun.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:04:33] So, I find that staying nimble and being open to pivoting and experimenting and being the scientist in your business is so crucial when it comes to this success of your business. Because if you approach business with a fixed mindset or a mindset of like this is it has to be or this is the way that I’m going to do it because this is the way that I see other people doing it, you won’t be able to pivot when and if you need to. I really should just say when you need to because I find that this is inevitable whether you have something now or later, but you’re going to have to pivot at some point.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:05:08] We’re going to talk today about – I’m going to give you some of my best tips about staying nimble, how staying nimble in your business actually can help grow your business, some of the things that I wish I saw people do more often with being a bit more nimble. But I’m also going to talk about this from two kinds of approaches.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:05:24] One is if life stuff comes up. And, I’ve spoken about this a lot publicly and on the podcast about the things that I’ve gone through in the last several years that have, you know, kind of forced me to be nimble but in a good way. They’ve had good side effects and we’ll talk about that. But also there’s the idea of staying nimble just because maybe something in your business isn’t working or maybe you don’t like something about your business. Like, maybe you find yourself at a place where you’re like, “I’m just not loving what I’m doing,” or “I’m not loving my clients right now,” or “I’m not feeling like I’m attracting the people that I want to work with,” you know, or you don’t like the way you’re working. Like, you’re on the phone all the time and you don’t want to be.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:06:01] So, we’re going to talk about staying nimble for both of those reasons, whether you’re forced into it and in certain life circumstances or whether you’re just at a place where you’re like, “Maybe being not nimble enough is what’s hurting me and how do I stay nimble? Where do I go? How do I experiment?” So, we’re going to talk about that all today.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:06:20] So, if you experience something like, you know, some of the things that I’ve experienced over the last several years, some of the things I know you have to, like family emergencies or family situations like mine with like health, you know, taking care of a parent or a loved one, a child, obviously the pandemic over the last year and a half has thrown everything into a tizzy. It definitely threw it into a major tizzy when the pandemic first started. You know, there can be financial changes in your life whether you lose your job. I’ve heard from so many people, especially over the last year and a half, where maybe their partner or spouse has lost their job and that has thrown your family’s financial situation into a different situation. And so, you’ve realized you either have to grow your business more or you have to start your business or whatever.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:07:06] I know from so many of you and so many of my friends the child care changes this year have been, I don’t even know, like, significant doesn’t even begin to cover it, whether you’ve lost the person that took care of your children or you’re not comfortable sending children back to school or to daycare or something like this. There’ve just been so many changes that have affected your schedule and your well-being and your financial well-being. So, there are just so many curveballs that come at us in life in general but these are things that heavily impact us as entrepreneurs.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:07:40] And, you know, like I said earlier, maybe you haven’t experienced as many of those things, and if so, you should be very grateful, but, and I hope that you are. Or, maybe just things aren’t working out the way that you thought they would in your business, whether that’s because you’re not happy with your sales or you’re not happy with your clients or you’re not happy with the product or you’re just like feeling uninspired. I go through time periods where I’m just like, “I feel like I’m doing the same thing. I’m not super inspired right now.” That is all where, to me, pivoting comes up and I find it really helpful if we go into this process and we start off today’s conversation with a little bit of a mindset check of reminding ourselves that change and pivot in life and business are just part of the process.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:08:25] My coach, Jamie Mendell, tells me this all the time about so many different things. And I think she’s so right and she’s so brilliant in general. This is just something that she’s taught me that’s been so helpful if, like, what if we just think about these things as part of the process instead of like, “I have to change again. I have to switch again. I have to pivot again. I have to change my messaging. I have to change my offer.” What if that is just part of the process? And so, there’s not so much like resistance or anger right there, but it’s in fact it’s like, “Oh, this is actually part of it. This is all part of the plan.” And if we embrace some of that, it can make it a little bit softer. It’s not to say that we can’t feel those other feelings and feel frustrated.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:09:07] For example, this comes up for me a lot in the business where I call them Lynn’s. They’re called in the business. No offense. Absolutely, no offense to anyone named Lynn. But this is just an insider terminology, real behind-the-scenes look at my business. People who write us nasty messages, emails, whatever Facebook comments, we call them Lynn. Long story. And, I’m actually working on writing a book right now and we have a whole chapter dedicated to it. But for me, when I started getting Lynn comments and I started getting Lynn emails and all that kind of stuff, which wasn’t until my business became more successful, it really, really hurt. I was like, I was devastated. I’m very sensitive. I feel everything. Definitely, an empath. And so, I was so upset every time I would get one of these and it would like throw off my whole day, maybe days on end.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:09:54] And so, Jamie and I spoke about this in this context of like what if that’s just like part of growing the business instead of feeling like everything’s supposed to go perfectly and you’re only supposed to get nice, you know, glowing comments and reviews? What if getting a Lynn comment every once in a great while? Because that’s the truth of it. It’s not often. But it hurts when it happens. It’s just like part of the process.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:10:16] And so, I feel like this can be a very similar mindset shift here that if you can go into this thinking that change is all part of the process, then you can maybe take a little bit of the shame or judgment out of the fact that like, “Oh, I have to change again,” or like, “This isn’t working. I keep having to move around.”

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:10:34] I used to beat myself up for being somebody who changed a lot because I thought that that meant I couldn’t stick to anything. I had this childhood story. My dad says this about me all the time that I can’t stick to anything because when I was a kid, I would get like a new toy or gadget of some sort and I would play with it for like five minutes, which kids do, and then I wouldn’t want to play with it anymore. And so, this story about me has been told over and over and over again that I can’t stick to anything.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:11:00] And so, when I started my first business and then I transitioned into selling legal templates, I thought, “Oh. See, there you go again. You can’t stick to anything,” when really this is staying nimble. I’m going to talk about this today. But it was really a survival mechanism of staying nimble and learning what was going to be successful, what was going to carry me across the line because what I was doing wasn’t going to do it for me. It wasn’t doing it for me.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:11:22] So, pivots can actually be helpful for your business. I hope more than anything you take away, you know, that’s what you take away from today’s episode. You know, if we use my own journey as an example and I have countless friends I could talk to you about as well. I started – my first business was a health coaching business when I left the law, and it wasn’t the right fit for me. I’m not saying that health coaching as a business isn’t a good one, but it just wasn’t a good one for me. First of all, I don’t think I was a very good coach. It just didn’t speak to me naturally for some reason. I love teaching, so I like being in more of a teaching role, and also for the way that I not only wanted my life to look like but then ultimately what ended up happening in my life with having brain surgery and my dad getting sick and all the stuff, I needed more of a business that I could automate and scale. So when in 2017, I switched to only selling digital legal products that it was the biggest pivot and the biggest staying nimble exercise for me that led to just an unbelievable experience and amount of success in this business.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:12:25] So, my surgery, you know, pushed me to figure out my content in a better way. When I had brain surgery, I was writing all these random blog posts about nothing that, like hardly anybody wrote, read at the time. And I don’t even – I was probably posting pictures of my lunch on social media, I don’t even now, and that I remember that experience pushed me to think, “Okay, I need to be like super targeted with my content,” because I don’t have a lot of time and literally brainpower because my brain hurt. And so, I need to figure out what am I here to say? How is this actually helpful to other people? And how can I get this information out in a more effective way, especially more evergreen way? So, the surgery helped me with that.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:13:06] When my dad got leukemia, I remember that I was making sales, you know, I was making consistent sales, but everything was because of me. I used to say to my husband, Ryan, I felt like my business was such a little engine. As long as I had my foot on the gas, the engine was running perfect. But as soon as I took my foot off the gas, the engine completely stopped. And so, if I took time off as a brake, you know, when my dad got sick, I got super depressed and I would just stand in the shower all day long and cry when I had a break in between chemo appointments and doctor’s appointments and getting him health care and everything else.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:13:39] But the going dark period on social media wasn’t good for my business, and it wasn’t until – my dad got sick in September. It wasn’t until around the holidays that I was coming out of it and I realized, okay, I can’t just be on social media all the time. I don’t want to be on social media all the time. I want to live my life. But also, I’m just being realistic. It’s like, I’m depressed about my dad being sick. What do I do? And that pushed me to create my free workshop, which leads to a funnel, a sales funnel that leads people to The Ultimate Bundle, my signature product.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:14:11] Moving just recently, you know, I knew that this was coming for a little bit, and so moving pushed me to think more about how do I make sure things are running in the background without me being so involved. Because even though sales were super automated, I was not super automated. The business still very much required a lot of me.

Speaker2: [00:14:29] So, now having a big team of all of these people, helping all these incredible people, helping from a VA to a tech VA to a copywriter or a design or a marketing manager, everything in between, we have a lot of stuff running in the background to the point where I actually ended up taking over a month off. I mean, primarily, I would check in and answer their emails and their Slack messages and stuff like this but really overall, because I got really sick before we moved and then we moved. The business ran totally like normal. There was nothing – no hiccups. Sales were normal, everything.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:15:00] So, you know, all of these life situations pushed me personally to stay nimble and to pivot and to make the business better. But that does require that mindset of like, “Oh. This is an opportunity for change, and change isn’t always bad.” Or, it was also an opportunity to be like, “Oh, yeah. That’s like not working.” Like, it’s not working for me to have to be on Instagram every day. It’s taking me away from being present in my life and my family. It’s making me maybe feel bad about myself sometimes when I’m on social media. So, what are some ways where I can do this better, right? So, this stuff can always be seen as an opportunity for better change.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:15:42] Have you ever felt lost about where to begin with the legal side of protecting your online business? Some people say you can just wing it at the beginning and get officially set up later. Not a good idea, by the way. Whether you’re afraid to even start working with clients because you don’t want to do something wrong legally and then get in trouble or your business is growing and you sort of forgot to take care of the legal pieces, I’ve got you.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:16:04] I don’t want you to live in fear of the internet police coming after you and your business, but you do have to do certain things and get certain things in place in order to legally and safely run your business online. As much as it just feels like an unregulated wild wild west online, that is very much not the case.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:16:21] As an attorney-turned entrepreneur and former corporate litigator, I can assure you that there are rules. There are real steps that everybody who runs or starts an online business needs to take. And you’re not behind at all. We can get you set up in following the rules right away. In fact, we can even do it today.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:16:38] I want to teach you the five very simple steps to take to legally protect and grow your online business. You don’t need an MBA to be a successful entrepreneur and stay out of legal hot water, but you do need to dot your legal i’s and cross your t’s in a few key areas that can’t be skipped. That’s exactly what I’ll teach you in my free one-hour legal workshop called Five Steps to Legally Protect and Grow Your Online Business. Just head to mylegalworkshop.com, drop in your email address, pick the time, and I’ll send you a link to watch the workshop video whenever you have time.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:17:08] This is the best place to begin if you’re just getting started legally legitimizing your business. So, head on over to mylegalworkshop.com and sign up to watch, Five Steps to Legally Protect and Grow Your Online Business now.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:17:25] And, you know, I think the last year and a half, the pandemic obviously has also pushed us to think about things differently. The world is changing. The way that people consume information is changing. The way, you know, people are going to be working from home more often. People are experiencing new mental health challenges. People are experiencing new just day-to-day difficulties. You might be seeing this with your clients as well. Like, maybe the kids are home from school, or maybe both partners are working from home and they’re driving each other crazy or something. So, there’s a lot of stuff going on now that can push you to have to think about your offerings differently, your payments differently.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:18:02] Like, for example, during the pandemic, I was very resistant – prior to the pandemic, I was very resistant to longer-term payment plans because I had a lot of fear and anxiety over what would happen if I created this longer-term payment plan. I thought everybody would buy it, pay the first one and bounce, you know. So, I wouldn’t do it. And, it was definitely holding me back in my business. So many people were asking for it, and the pandemic pushed me to think about making The Ultimate Bundle, in particular, more accessible and allowing people to get in who needed a little bit more time to pay. I did that. It was huge. It was huge. It’s been very successful. People have been very respectful as well. And so, that was an example where like that was something I was freaking out like, “Oh, I can’t believe that the pandemic pushed me to have to do this,” and it ended up being great. And I actually feel really good about the fact that, you know, people can have access to this over a longer period of time.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:18:56] So, you know, another thing I just wanted to mention quickly, too, before I get into some of the tips I have for you today is that the changing landscape – I mean, over the last five years that I’ve been in online business, the marketing game has shifted so much, I mean because it changes what’s the hot platform of the moment. And then, you know, even if, like Instagram’s been the hot platform the whole time, the way that we use Instagram has changed. There were no Reels. There weren’t even Stories when I started. Then, there were like no Reels. Then, IGTV was like hot for a hot minute. And then, you know, things just keep flip-flopping all around.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:19:29] So, you just want to stay nimble because these things, the way that we do our business, the way that we use certain tools, they are not constant. So, you can’t be constant. So it doesn’t make sense, and it’s just not ever going to be like, “Okay. If I just like do this every day for the rest of my life, this business will be successful.” That’s never going to happen because the things that you’re using to market your business and to attract clients, they’re not staying the same. And, your audience is going to change. If you’re in business long enough, your audience is going to evolve and change. So, it’s really important for you to stay nimble whether it’s from your marketing to your offerings to your website, whatever it is.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:20:10] So, okay. I want to get into a couple of tips I have for you about staying nimble as an entrepreneur. The first one is a little two-part mindset shift that we’re going to make. So, the mindset shift that I want you to make, maybe we even write this down, maybe we reflect on it, whatever you want to do, whatever is helpful for you, is that one, things will not always be the same and it’s not even good for them to be the same. So, I want us to start thinking about things and, like, it’s not normal.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:20:40] So, getting back to that part that I was saying that my coach, Jamie Mendell, has taught me, is that it’s not really normal for things to just be the same or only be positive or whatever, but it’s not going to be good for that to be the same either. So, it’s going to be fun. We want to start thinking about this from a positive perspective like it can be fun that things are changing and evolving. It’s kind of fun, and I find it challenging in a good way that these platforms keep changing the way that we use these platforms. I find that all super interesting. So, we’re going to approach it from that perspective.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:21:10] The second part of this mindset shift that I want you to think about is that change is an opportunity to be better and different. So going back to what I was saying about how, you know, not wanting to be on social media anymore or not wanting to be on social media every single day, documenting every single thing, got me to think about like how can I create a sales funnel or how can I generate leads without me having to be on social? Or, where am I spending my time that’s actually working instead of me just like being on my phone and hoping it’s working? So, change is an opportunity to be better and different, and I want you to think about the ways that some of these changes whether they’re in your life or in the world or in the way that your clients are consuming information, how that could actually be an opportunity for you to make things more in alignment with the way that you want to do them, the way you want to run your business.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:22:03] The second tip I have for you is that I want you to stay nimble as an entrepreneur by studying the market and studying your clients. So, I can tell you over the last five years, our industry has changed a lot. The way that we market our products, the way that we sell them, the way that people want to be spoken to. I mean, definitely the way in Facebook ads, the way that even the Facebook ads are structured with more video and now the videos looking more like Reels are looking more organic than highly stylized videos and stuff like that. All of that has changed.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:22:39] And so, I have to stay very nimble as the CEO of this business of constantly looking at things and saying like, “Okay. This is how people are responding to information now. This is how people are consuming information now.” Even this podcast like, “Okay. People might go on.” Like, I was thinking about this as I was creating the podcast over the last several months was like, “Well, people probably don’t have as long commutes anymore, so I don’t want this to be super long.” I also know that you’re busy, so I don’t want it to be super long. I think to myself, like, maybe you pop the same while you’re out in a walk or something, or you’re like cooking or something, I don’t know, doing something that is not super long. So even that, I tried to think about how are people listening to this, how are people going to be consuming this information, and then, what is most relevant about what I want them to go and do from this episode or from my content now, which is very different than when I started this business?

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:23:35] So, I think people’s needs have changed. People’s desires have changed. Like, when, you know, if you started around when I did in 2016, 2017, it was really popular back then to have like free PDFs, downloadable PDFs and guides, and that’s still popular. But now people are consuming that information in a much different way. Videos are big. Audio things are big, like secret podcast episodes. There are all different kinds of ways. Whereas when I started, it was like one-way. What you do is you start a business, you create a free PDF, people download that PDF if you add them to your email list. Boom. Done. Like, that was the way you start in a business. That’s obviously very, very diverse now. Like, there’s just a lot of different ways to do this.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:24:15] So, it’s really important that you’re constantly studying the market. And by that, I just mean observing, seeing what other people are doing, not copying, obviously, but just kind of getting a good feel for like, “Oh, people’s needs seem to be shifting. Video seems to be more popular, short videos, or whatever it is at the moment.”

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:24:34] I find it really helpful to work with experts on these things too. Like, when I hire my copywriter and we’re working on a project together, I am asking her because she has such a good – first of all, she’s talking to my clients, right, and she’s getting a good idea. She’s also writing the stuff for other people and she’s talking to their clients and they’re all other industry people. And so, she has a really good pulse on like, oh, people are really liking gifts at the moment or people aren’t liking this or people are really liking when you – like, she just told me the other day it was something about the way that she phrases language in a link has changed. That there’s a certain way that’s more popular right now. So, it’s not always just stuff that I’m pulling away, obviously. I don’t know anything about a lot of things.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:25:16] And so, I’m looking to industry, other industry experts to say, “What are you seeing? What’s changing? What do you think people are wanting right now?” And those are the kinds of questions that as a CEO, you have to be asking because you have to be thinking about staying nimble. You want to think about continuing to get ahead and to continue to evolve and thinking of things changing.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:25:39] I also, though, want you to pay attention to your clients and how your clients have changed. So whether your actual clients have changed, like if you’ve been in business for a while, your clients are probably like, quote-unquote, growing up with you.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:25:53] So, I have one friend in particular that I can think of who’s a fitness coach and over the years she’s been in the game for a long time. And over the years, her clients have kind of grown up with her and what started as women in their 20s, probably post-college figuring out how to like work out on their own as they were getting into corporate jobs, has now turned into women who had their first or maybe even second child. And they’re trying to navigate new mom life and maybe even also working in a million other things. So, it’s been interesting to watch as she has evolved because she also had a child. But as she’s evolved, her clients have evolved.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:26:31] And so, you can’t just be like doing the content the same way. Because the content that you were doing four years ago when your clients, for example, didn’t have children or didn’t have a job or whatever isn’t going to speak to them now. And so, what you’re going to do is you’re going to end up losing your clientele. And, I think when your business evolves in that way, you kind of have two choices. You can either continue to speak to, like if you’ve decided that your ideal client is a mid-20s, unattached, childless or child-free person who, like, that’s all they’re focused on, then that’s fine. You can keep going to that. But if you have this super dedicated core group of clients and they want to continue working with you and taking your programs and all that, then you’ve got to update your content to match.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:27:14] So, that’s what I would suggest in terms of studying the market, studying your clients, seeing how they’ve changed. Also, paying attention to how they have consumed information or how they want to consume information now. Maybe, that’s different. Maybe, their platforms are different. Surveys are great for that. You can send out a survey to your email list. You can do surveys through polls on Instagram. You can do surveys all over the place. And just remember, though, that when you do surveys, like if you do a survey on Instagram – I always find this funny, and people will be like, “Do you want to watch stuff on Instagram or YouTube?” It’s like, but they’re on Instagram. So, they’re going to answer Instagram. So, you always see in these polls, like people will ask that stuff and it’s like, well, yeah, they’re on that platform.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:27:54] So you just have to – I still recommend doing it, doing the surveys, but you want to take some of this information with a grain of salt. Obviously, people are going and they’re watching you on the platform that they prefer. So, I think it’s more about where your ideal clients hang out and then where you can consistently show up. So, if you’re not at a place in your life where you’re going to do a YouTube video every day, don’t offer to do YouTube videos every day. So, that’s my suggestion on studying the market and studying your clients.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:28:21] I also want you to take questions as hints. So if you keep getting the same question, maybe it’s a sign that you should test it out, whether it’s like, “Hey, do you offer this product?” Or, “Hey, do you offer this service in this way?” And you just keep saying no, maybe that should be a sign that that’s something that you should get curious about and you could test out.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:28:41] That’s definitely how I felt about the payment plan issue with The Ultimate Bundle. People kept asking and I was so stubborn. I’m a Scorpio, so I’m super stubborn. And so, I kept getting this question and I was just like, “No, no, no. I don’t.” Like, on principle, “No. I don’t do it.” And eventually, my little stubborn walls broke down and I was like, “Okay. Everyone keeps asking about this for a reason.” Right? People need it. This is people asking for what they need and what they want. It’s something that I’m not offering.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:29:08] And that takes me to my final tip here for you, which I put my scientist attitude hat on, which is my last tip for you today about staying nimble as an entrepreneur. It’s like you have got to wear the scientist hat often because it is all about testing in business. Nothing is so tragic that if you try it out – like people reaching out to me to ask about the payment plan. I was so resistant to it, so resistant to it. And finally, when I thought about it from a rational perspective, I was like, “Okay. Let’s test this out.” Maybe you give yourself a time period. Maybe you give yourself a certain number of clients or a certain number of sales of your product. And I said, “Let’s test this out. Let’s sell it for a few months. Let’s do like 90 days. And if people stop paying me all over the place, then I’ll cancel it.” And that’s that. It was an experiment. And what do you know? It was like the complete opposite. We had tons of, a huge influx of people who purchased the bundle. No issues, or very, very little issues, definitely below industry standard, which by the way, again, another part like this is to be expected if you offer payment plans or things like this. It is not normal to have 100% success rate. But overall, like very positive experience.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:30:20] And so, it’s something I even have to remind myself of because I’m just such a big believer in this scientist’s attitude that in business it is all about testing. Nothing has to be permanent. If you don’t like it or if it doesn’t work, you can change it. Maybe, it’s not so black and white either. Maybe, it’s not like – in my case, maybe it didn’t have to be like payment plan or no-payment plan. Maybe, it could have been a shorter one, or maybe I offer it in a different way using a different platform that’s a bit better with capturing cards or something like this.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:30:49] So, it’s all about approaching this stuff with a testing attitude. I really, really, so heavily believe in that. I’d be happy to do a whole episode on scientist attitude in your business and going in leading with curiosity. Curiosity and being curious. It’s one of my favorite words and terms in general. I just so believe in seeing how does this go? Like, I wonder how this will go. I’m not sure, but I’m open to it.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:31:14] And of course, I will teach you all day long about doing the things that you can do and should do to legally protect yourselves. It’s not like I just threw caution to the wind and was like, “Let’s see how this payment plan thing goes.” You know, I had a very strong contract. I had things in place. I was using a great payment processor, all the stuff. But it’s more about the mindset attitude of like, “Let’s just see how this goes. And if it doesn’t go well, I can always change it.” That’s the cool thing about being the CEO.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:31:39] So with that, I hope that this episode was helpful. I encourage you to stay nimble as an entrepreneur, too. I hope that maybe a little piece of today will spark some idea about something that you can do a little differently, or maybe it’s even just an idea of going into this with a little bit more positive attitude about change because change is scary. I get that. I feel that to you. But also these things can be beautiful blessings in your business, and you might not understand why now or why you had to go through certain things now, but I think you will in the end.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:32:10] So with that, if you liked this episode, please screenshot, share it on Instagram, tag me @samvanderwielen, and send me a DM. Let me know what you thought about this episode. And if you haven’t already, please go and leave a review and follow the podcast wherever you listen to podcasts. If you listen on Apple, please rate and review. If you listen on Spotify, follow the show. It’s so helpful into getting this into the hands of other online business owners. And with that, I can’t wait to chat with you next week.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:32:43] So just remember that although I am a attorney, I am not your attorney, and I am not offering you legal advice in today’s episode. This episode and all of my episodes are informational and educational only. It is not a substitute for seeking out your own advice from your own lawyer. And please keep in mind that I can’t offer you legal advice. I don’t ever offer any legal services, but I think I offer some pretty good information. Also, remember that I am based in the United States, so that’s what I’ll focus on today.

Sam Vander Wielen: [00:33:16] Thanks so much for listening to the On Your Terms podcast. Make sure to follow on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you like to listen to podcasts. You can also check out all of our podcast episodes, show notes, links, and more at samvanderwielen.com/podcast. You can learn more about legally protecting your business and take my free legal workshop, Five Steps to Legally Protect and Grow Your Online Business at samvanderwielen.com. And to stay connected and follow along, follow me on Instagram @samvanderwielen, and send me a DM to say hi.

© 2022 Sam Vander Wielen LLC | All Rights Reserved | Any use of this intellectual property owned by Sam Vander Wielen LLC may not be used in connection with the sale or distribution of any content (free or paid, written or verbal), product, and/or service by you without prior written consent from Sam Vander Wielen LLC.


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DISCLAIMER: Although Sam is an attorney she doesn’t practice law and can’t give you legal advice. All episodes of On Your Terms are educational and informational only. The information discussed here isn’t legal advice and isn’t intended to be. The info you hear here isn’t a substitute for seeking legal advice from your own attorney.

© 2022 Sam Vander Wielen LLC | All Rights Reserved | Any use of this intellectual property owned by Sam Vander Wielen LLC may not be used in connection with the sale or distribution of any content (free or paid, written or verbal), product, and/or service by you without prior written consent from Sam Vander Wielen LLC.

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  1. Great talk Sam! Love this episode! I always believed changing is a part of life and now I’m sure that it’s DEFINITELY a part of business too! Such good info!

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