No. 193

Start Where You Are + Know Where You Want To Be

I had a call with a new client yesterday. A designer referred her my way for a conversation. They were planning to work on the client’s visual branding, but since she was still in the early stages of her business, she wasn’t in need of a custom website.

As I listened to the client share her story with me, I was struck by two things: her story needs to be shared and her mission will help give voice to so many people. But there was also something else I discovered along the way: this was a passion project for her. She didn’t have plans for how she would bring money in or what services she would sell. She only knew that she needed to do this.

In this situation, every business owner has a choice. You can make a sale or be a guide.

I used to hate sales calls. I convinced myself a long time ago I would never be good at sales because I wasn’t an extrovert. The advantage I did have and what got me through so many of those first calls was that I was an introvert who loves people. But even more than that — I love helping people. My first business coach taught me how to reframe a sales call to something new: a service call. For the last few years, my job simply has been to serve people, to guide them, to show them what’s possible and help them make the right decisions.

And so I told this potential client something unexpected. I told her not to invest in a custom website or even one of our smaller website packages. Instead, I advised her to start creating content and use YouTube to circulate it. If she really wanted some sort of landing page site, I told her, we could help her set up a simple website with a homepage and blog. But that’s all she really needed to get started. Nothing fancy. No big investments.

The most important thing is that she create. She doesn’t need a website to do that, and I wouldn’t want her to be pulled away from creating by the website process.

Maybe in six months she’ll need a fancier site. Maybe it’ll be a year or two. She understands the work she’ll do will have an impact and it will need a container. But right now, I did my best to reminder her where she is and what’s most critical to her future success: not the website we could build together, but her doing the work she is so passionate about and ready to give to the world.

About brandi

Brandi is a digital strategist, website developer, and founder of Alchemy+Aim, a company that helps entrepreneurs and business owners elevate their online presence and enhance their digital experience. Her academic background in theatre, philosophy and physics was the perfect foundation for launching her business, where she’s worked with Brené Brown, Laverne Cox, Judy Smith, and other notable thought leaders since 2013. She is an advocate for using technology in ways that humanize, connect and serve people as well as for asking deeper philosophical questions and teaching others to think more broadly about impact when they create, particularly in STEAM fields.

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