(I was originally going to call this “On outgrowing your pot,” but I realized that sounded like a very different non-business problem)
Matt and I have black thumbs, despite coming from successful gardening families.
However, because we come from successful gardening families, we know just enough to be dangerous, so each year we attempt to make a new mini garden.
We have a yard, but because we do so poorly at each attempt, we buy pots and planters to start our projects in.
This year, we got a couple of flowering plants, as well as tomatoes, rosemary, and basil.
The herbs, in particular, were rather grown from the time (insert “thyme” pun here) we brought them home, so we debated what to do with them.
We chose to put them in a shared planter, but we stressed to each other (because we tend to assume the other person, not ourselves, is the real reason for our dying plants) that we’d need to replant them in their own, bigger pots in a few weeks.
This is a problem I’ve seen (and have had) multiple times in the online business world.
Whether you’re first getting started in business or you’re a few years in, there comes a point that you need to do some pruning or replanting to give your company room to grow.
Here’s an example:
When I began offering systems consulting services, I tried to squeeze it into The Off-Road Millennial podcast’s planter.
But TORM was doing its own thing, and its roots had spread to an audience that wasn’t necessarily interested in systems–they were interested in entrepreneurship and freedom.
Meanwhile, my systems peeps weren’t looking for an inspirational podcast for Millennials–they were looking for practical business advice.
So after stifling both brands’ growth by trying to put them too close together, I finally replanted my systems work under Systems Scientist.
I’ve repeated that process a few times by now, because, sometimes, it makes sense to start a project within your current one so that it doesn’t become too unruly too quickly.
But at some point, you’re going to have to give your projects their own containers so they can grow and soak up resources the way they’re supposed to.
That may be in separate websites, social media, products, offers, audiences, or all of the above.
It may be in separating your personal brand from your business brand, or you may choose to merge them so they’re each better supported than they currently are individually.
Even if you’re focused on a single project right now, be aware of how your revenue streams interact. The idea of a sales funnel is that your offers should feed into each other, not cut each other off.
Make sure you’re giving your business and brand the space and support they need to thrive. Otherwise, you’re doing a disservice to yourself, your brands, and the people you want to serve.