I have really struggled with this in general, as a person who is really an idea-person. I've gotten a lot of ideas over many years of business, and I've learned really the hard way on how to first do some inner questioning before just jumping out of the gate and putting a lot of chi, energy and time into it only for it to not fall through, to not go anywhere, to not work out and feel like in the end, "Well, that probably wasn't the best use of my time".
This is really hard when you're an ideas-person and we do healing and helping work that we know would be a great idea and would be helpful. But ultimately that's not the question to ask so I'm going to give you two foundational questions for evaluating a new business idea, as well as two next-stage questions as well to really help you answer this question and keep your chi aligned with creating a sustainable business that pays you excellent living working with ideal clients.
Let's start with the foundational questions.
Stage 0: What is the outcome that I want to happen from this endeavor?
What is the outcome that I want to happen from this endeavor? Is it that I want to create relationship with practitioners or power partners? Is that I want to get new clients?
You need to be sure and clear of what your ideal outcome is. There might be other side benefits and other things but preliminary question number one is "what is the outcome that I am desiring?" Be clear on that.
Stage 0: Who is involved?
These people that we're talking about, are they my ideal clients? This might seem easy and straightforward but we often stray from it. What's inherently suggested here is a reminder and you'll hear me say this like a broken record that underneath is always laser beam clarity of who my ideal people are.
You want to make sure that you know so much about your ideal people, that you're going to be able to answer this preliminary question because maybe your business goal is to give more talks and you get actually invited to give a talk, but where you're invited to give a talk, it is very likely not going to have a high percentage of your ideal clients.
That doesn't mean you say "no" right away, because maybe you're at the beginning and you just need to practice giving talks and so that could be the benefit. Then, you go back to that number one—"what's the outcome that I want?"
I did this a lot at the beginning—just get out there and do talks but then as I got busier, you'll often find that you'll get requests for your time or to give a certain talk. At that point, when I get those inquiries where people like, "Hey, can you come and do this talk for free?" Sometimes I will if I feel inner calling but if it's not aligned, if it's not going to serve my ideal outcome and I'm in a stage of business where I'm pretty busy, my marketing is going well, and I just want new clients, then I'm probably going to say, "no, thank you".
This is so important for learning how to really balance your qi, which is a big part of sustainable business.
Next level, if you've passed through those two things, here is the next way to evaluate those questions. This is the same question that we're asking when we're trying to find a new niche or essentially a new idea.
Do they know they have a problem?
So the first one, when we've decided who this offering or ideas going to be for, the question that we're asking is, "does this target audience know that they have a problem?"
This is a big one because often, especially as practitioners, we know what the problem is, but the person themselves might not know that they have a problem or they might think that the problem is different.
For example, I know as a natural health practitioner that people's diets or often the food that they're eating is a huge problem. But very often, especially in my non-ideal client version of "normal people" (the most people in society), they think they eat pretty well. Even if they're eating the standard American stuff that they think is healthy, like, "Oh, I drink orange juice every morning. I'm healthy", that's really shitty diet, but they don't know it. That fails question number one. I can not sell them something that is clean-up-your-diet because they don't think or know that they have a problem.
Are they able and willing to pay for it?
Number two, if they know they have a problem, are they willing and able to pay for it?
This is key in a perfect world (if you are a nonprofit organization, you're in a different category). Like my example of someone who doesn't even know they have a problem, maybe they do start to know that they have little problem but is that pain point strong that they're willing to put money towards it? Put their resources, time, effort, and money to hire you as a professional.
If the answer is no, it's not something for you to focus your qi on because in business we need the cycle of chi of offering something that people are willing to contribute their resources for so that you can keep offering.
This is how the business cycle works and it's a good exchange of chi.
The other aspect that can come is that, for example, when you want to focus on children, people who are out of work, struggling, are homeless really could use this. Again, do they know they need it? They might. Are they willing or able to pay for it? If not, you have to connect with the organizations who are willing to pay you to help other people who cannot pay for it.
These are the two key questions. One, does my target person for this idea know that they have a problem? Two, are they willing and able to pay for it?
If you take nothing away from all of your work with me, remember that we always want to market test things before we create it.
This is a big healing business owner mistake that I have made myself more than a couple of times. I get an idea. I create the thing. I make all the audios. I do all the classwork. I've made the handouts before I've actually really tested whether or not anybody is even interested in what I'm doing, let alone are they willing to pay for it.
Over and over again, we need to bring ourselves back to "Is this something that people actually want?" There's lots of ways to ask some ideal clients, put it out there on your Facebook group, chat a little bit about it, see what people's reactions are and then move steadily down the way.
You can always create content and create ideas as you have people enrolled, maybe at a lower level or a test group before you invest your time and energy wholeheartedly creating something that is not really being asked for.
This is the spiritual equivalent of being in touch with what our Dharma is. What are we being asked to do? That means we leave the mind to the side. We don't just come up with ideas. We really listen with our heart in our inner, spiritual, personal growth path. What is being asked of me?
In the outer version connecting along that spectrum, we do the same thing in business where we're really listening and we're testing. We're not just going by the mind. We're sitting with it, we're putting it out there and then we're listening and waiting to see what comes back before taking action.
I hope this was helpful. I'm here to support. I'm wishing you and your ideas great things! The world really does need the things that you have. You need to hone down in on what you are being asked to do. That creates the most sustainable, flowing, ease-filled profitable business that you can have and that helps you support more and more people out in the world as well.
Disclaimer: This program is not intended to be a substitute for professional mental health or counseling services. No practitioner-patient relationship is established and the training content is for educational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and nothing here is intended to diagnose, cure or treat any disorders.
Leslie Huddart L.Ac. is a Healer and Spiritual Guide with over two decades of experience in natural medicine, yoga and spiritual practice. Leslie helps women on a healing path achieve their Heart's Desires and to live the life they're called to.