Sparkchasers Episode 4 | Show Notes
Finding Your People
So glad to be back with you today, my friend. I hope you’re well and hanging in there this week. Now, on a previous episode, we chatted about the Enneagram and how powerful knowing those 9 types can be in your relationships with others. If you haven’t listened to that episode yet, definitely go back one and check that out. Because today, we’re going to use that information to figure out a key puzzle piece for anyone looking to start a business serving educators: how to find and connect with YOUR people.
As you probably figured out from that episode, you’re not going to jive with everyone. That’s really great, actually. Because if you want to start a side hustle and maybe turn it into a business, you do NOT want to appeal to everyone. It sounds counterintuitive, but I promise you – this is key to what you want. And that’s going to be our focus for today. Now, if you’re not trying to start a business using your teaching knowledge and are really looking for teaching tips and strategies, this might not be your jam – I’ll be covering that in our next episode. Even so, I’d still recommend having a listen. Because how we operate in a good business is also how we operate in a good classroom. So I think you’ll still find some diamonds in the dust. Let’s dig in.
Everyone is Not Anyone
- If you have a service or product, you need to be solving a problem.
- If it’s solving a problem, you need to think about who the solution is for.
- Not everyone has the same problems – think about the Enneagram!
- If you’re trying to solve everyone’s problem, you’re solving no one’s problem.
- So – how do you know if it’s a problem worth solving (and if you have the solution)? Listening.
Why We Need Others
- For those of us who are introverts (or who are 1s, 3s and 5s), the idea of reaching out and asking questions of others feels scary. We like to work on things alone and then put it out in the world and say “look what I made you. Come get it”. But that doesn’t work
- Think back to the Enneagram – there are 9 personality types. And we need all of them to make the world work. When you reach out to others, you’re making your idea, service, product better.
- Other people make our solution stronger.
- Remember: you don’t need everybody. So find the people you do need and seek them out.
- You’ll need different people for different things: intended audience, idea iteration, risk assessment, support system. So look for people who serve your specific goals.
How to Find Your People
- Start with your homebase. Who are people you respect and listen to on a regular basis?
- Jump into social media groups and just listen. Start writing down the words they use, the common questions that pop up, the themes that keep surfacing.
- Just as important: outline those who are NOT your people. Who do you want to push away and who do you want to attract?
- Get a clear picture of the exact person you want to serve. In the business world, this is called an ICA – short for Ideal Customer Avatar. Ever see or hear those ads where you find yourself nodding along saying “yes! I have that same feeling.”? That’s because the company has nailed their ICA.
- We’ll do a whole segment on how to create your ICA. For now, write down the specific qualities of the person your idea/service/product is for so you can begin to create something that will work for THEM.
- Remember: People FIRST.
Listen, then Learn
As educators, we have been trained to learn first. To hop into a PD session or a class like excited puppies ready to soak up all the information and then show people what we can do with it. But I’m going to encourage you not to do that with this process.
- Start by listening with an open heart and mind. Let go of your preconceived ideas and be open to allowing and receiving what others are sharing.
- As you listen, begin taking notes and reflecting on what you’re hearing. Are there gaps in your own knowledge about the issues surrounding your topic or idea?
- If so, then start actively learning ways to close those gaps and improve your idea can begin.
- Learn with intention. There’s so MUCH to learn – be careful with your time. Select specifically what you want to learn (based on you listening) and then just dig into that one thing.
Things that Have Worked for Me
- Reaching outside of my genre to see how other industries are tackling similar themes.
- Setting boundaries on when and how much I consume. At some point, you’ll have to get to work.
- Always be checking in – people change and the world move’s fast. It’s okay to shift direction or groups.
- Once you find your people, focus on building relationships with them. What do relationships entail? Give and take. You have to be willing to give as much as you take.
This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to building your own business. But we’re doing this in stages, my friend. And I’m being very intentional about our discussion surrounding this topic. I know you want to get to the fun stuff: creating a website, setting up social media accounts, creating your product, and maybe even running ads and how to make sales. I promise we’ll get to all of it. But I also can assure you that none of that other stuff happens without the important ideas we chatted about today.
I’d love to hear your thoughts and questions about what we’ve covered so far. Remember that there’s a question button below where you can ask me anything. And if you are enjoying the show and know someone who could benefit from our discussions, please share the podcast with them. Together, we can chase the spark of our ideas and make a brighter future for everyone. I’ll see you soon.
Have a Question?
Do you have a question about today’s episode or need help with something? Let me know using the button below and I’ll make sure to chat about it on an upcoming episode.