Learn more about planning for 2024 with the Growth Navigator Workshop HERE.
Diving into my nerdiness to find business strategy lessons? Absolutely!
I received an unexpected perspective shift direct from the hallowed halls of Hogwarts, which tied directly to business strategy -- and it was a lesson I absolutely had to share.
We all know the struggles of business in the online space -- the shiny object syndrome (that I refer to as SOS), the FOMO (fear of missing out), all the distractions...
The dreaded but incredibly tantalizing "side quests".
This week I explore how to maintain a laser focus on your "main quests" to avoid being derailed by the "side quests". I share my thoughts on conducting a thorough audit of experiences and knowledge, the power of engaging conversations with coaches, and the need to fill any knowledge gaps.
I also touch on the essential elements of planning a year of intentional focus on our primary business mission. Strap in and prepare to level up your business game.
Connect with Sarah:
The Business Blasphemy Podcast is sponsored by Corporate Rehab® Strategic Consulting.
Corporate Rehab® is a fierce ally for ambitious ex-corporate moms who refuse to be restricted by outdated work (and social) norms. We challenge the status quo, empowering you to lead from your truth. Forget the empty hustle and build a legacy of success your way. The key? Our distinctive 4-part framework, The Audacity Factor™. It's not just a strategy, it’s a groundbreaking shift in how you approach your goals. Sarah, a seasoned strategist and advisor, not only helps you craft a path to long-lasting success where smart, deliberate actions replace the weary treadmill of hustle and grind — she walks beside you as you do.
Schedule a no stings "Let's Talk Business" call today and find out what small shifts you can make to work less and double your profitability....
Welcome to the Business Blasphemy podcast, where we question the sacred truths of the online business space and the reverence with which they're held. I'm your host, sarah Kahn speaker, strategic consultant and BS busting badass. Join me each week as we challenge the norms, trends and overall bullshit status quo of entrepreneurship to uncover what it really takes to build the business that you want to build in a way that honors you, your life and your vision for what's possible, and maybe piss off a few gurus along the way. So if you're ready to commit business class for me, let's do it. Hello, hello, blasts femurs. This is a little bit of a special episode. I did not anticipate recording this episode. It wasn't on my list of things to do this year, but I just felt so passionately about it and the response that I got to this message was so good that I really wanted to share it with you, because not everybody follows me in all the same places. So I want to share a story with you and hopefully facilitate a perspective shift, because that's real. I mean, that's really. What I'm here to do is facilitate perspective shifts, and if we can shift this particular perspective, it would make my year. So I want to start with sharing a story. Now, I swear I'm not a gamer, unless you count those countless hours spent in my bedroom as a preteen playing Super Mario World on my Nintendo 64. Okay, actually, now, if I'm going to be completely honest, I did play some of the more mainstream games. Like we had role playing games. I don't know if anyone's ever played Under a Killing Moon. We played that when I was a preteen my brother, my sister and I, and let me just tell you that's the origin story for my horrific fear of clowns. That's all I'm going to say. But really, like Super Nintendo, that kind of thing is really all we really got into. But a few months ago, my brother, who does like to game on occasion and he has this massive setup in his in his basement we started playing Hogwarts Legacy. So my brother, my kids and myself, we started playing Hogwarts Legacy. We're all Hogwarts fans. My brother not so much, but the kids and I love the whole Harry Potter universe, and so when the game came out, we were very excited and we were a little bit disappointed that it had to be played on a PC versus like a gaming console. But that's neither here nor there. So Hogwarts Legacy it's a first person role playing video game and our character is a fifth year student, I think, at Hogwarts, and we named him lovingly, pontificus Funnelberry, and it's wonderful. It's really very different from Super Mario World, but it's. It's a lot of fun. I mean, hogwarts Legacy is this incredibly rich, just, beautifully designed game. When you look at the graphics and you know how far they've come from Super Mario World, you know the environment, the characters. They're incredible and the interactions that you as a player are allowed to have are some of the best I've ever experienced and, to be fair, that is part of the problem. Every single space or place we enter, every character we interact with, there are multiple options for what we can do next. So we will have a conversation with a character, for example, and they will respond, and then the game kicks up like three or four different responses that we can make and then whatever we choose will send us in a specific direction. It's fun and sometimes we choose what makes sense because we want to get to the next part of the story. Sometimes we choose chaos and violence because we're in a mood and we're curious what happens if I, like, sass this person off, or what happens if I blatantly say no, and the game responds in kind. It's actually been a lot of fun because in addition to the main quest of the game so when you start the game, there's this whole video prologue that sets the story in motion and gives you the context for what you're supposed to be doing. In addition to that, there are 57 side quests that you can take 57, 57. They are additional experiences that can be had. The side quest Now, not all of them have a direct impact on the main quest of the game. Some of them do. Like some of them, you have to go and do a thing or you have to find a thing so you can gain the experience or learn a spell or learn something to help you on your main quest, but not all of them have a direct impact on the main quest of the game. How do I know this? Because I am a Googler and apparently there's a lot of side quests that you can take after you finish the formal part of the game. They don't really have a lot of impact on gameplay, but they're fun and they're interesting and they allow us to increase our power and our knowledge and it's just something to do. I mean, technically, a video game is something to do, but side quests are also something to do. You know what I'm talking about Now. Some of them are quick, some of them are you take 20 minutes to do a task. You get the goal of that task or you get the thing that you needed, and then you go back to the main quest. Some of them are much longer. There was one side quest that we had to collect 12 of something, and every single one was really arduous. It was really really hard to do, and we don't play this game every day. We may be playing it once a week if we go to my brother's house for dinner and, depending on what time we go, if we have to, we're not playing it every single day. We're certainly not playing it every single week. So it's been taking some time and this one particular side quest took almost a month and we finished it and were like, okay, you know what, no more side quests. We really need to focus on what the main quest is. So here we are, playing the game and I think we're about three or four months in and we realize we are nowhere near making progress on the main goal of the game and, to be fair, we've actually forgotten what the main goal of the game is, because we've been caught up in side quests, even though completing the side quests felt very much like progress. Now, if you've stayed with me to this point, we're five or six minutes into the podcast and you're like Sarah, what the hell are you talking about? I don't listen to your podcast to talk about video games Fair. Here's where this applies to business. Too many of us run our businesses the same way. We have a goal, right, let's call it our main quest, but we get so caught up in things like marketing, like FOMO, fear of missing out, conflicting pieces of advice, the sheer volume of courses that are out there, the programs and their promises. I need to get certified, I need to take that person's coaching program. I need to. I need to. I need to right All of the side quests. We get so caught up in those that we often lose sight of the main goal. Now I want to put this into perspective for you. Hogwarts legacy, if you stick to the main quest, will take roughly 30 to 36 hours to complete. If you do all 57 side quests in addition to the main quest, you are looking at around 75 hours to complete it. That is more than double. More than double, thank you. And it really got me thinking about business and I will like full disclosure. I have also been distracted by side quests. I mean, when I started back in oh gosh, let's skip forward to 2020. When I started my business actually in 2018, 2019, when I got to 2020, and I actually had an idea of what I wanted to do with my business that's when I started to pay attention to all of the things that were on offer. So I got certified here and I got certified there and I took that program and I went to work with that coach and all of these things are going to give you different perspectives, right? So, for example, I was coaching in 2018 and 2019, I was coaching women in business, and that is what I've always wanted to do help women stand in their power and realize their business as a vehicle for change. And I heard about a certification to become an online business manager and I thought cool, because I was working with these women and realizing, you know what these women could really use some support in managing the back ends of their business. Now, operations is my thing. I was an operator, an operations professional in the corporate space, and so it was like a natural kind of pull for me, right? So I did my online business manager certification. I became a certified OBM and now I'm like you know what, yeah, I should offer OBM services. So, in addition to coaching, I was now offering OBM services. And then I got so busy with the OBM stuff I stopped offering coaching. And then someone was like Sarah, you are too talented and have too much knowledge and experience. It's going to waste as an OBM. You should really up level to a DOO. So I did my director of operations certification and that took time. I did that in, I wanna say, 2020, 2021, maybe 2020, yes, 2021. I don't know, time is a flat circle, but I did that. And then it was like, oh, you know what, now, instead of offering OBM services, I should up level to offer DOO services. Now that's what I'm doing. Am I coaching women? No, I'm sitting in the back end of people's businesses which just like, honestly, I don't mind it, I can do it, I enjoy it, but it was not the main goal of my business. And so now I'm in a space where I'm like you know what? I've really gotta take a step back. I've got to zoom out and really look at what I'm doing and, honestly, I kind of have come full circle, and it's frustrating for me because it's like I had to take this really long-winded roundabout journey to come right back to the beginning, and that's because I got distracted by side quests Like, yes, everything that I have done has been of benefit, it has given me broader perspective, it has given me those XP right, those experience points that we all want when we're playing video games. But life and business are not video games. We don't constantly need to be confused and distracted by side quests, because what happens Everything takes longer, and sometimes you get confused as to what your main goal even was. And so I really want you to think about where have you been getting distracted by side quests in your business this past year, or maybe even longer, and honestly, this kind of couples with last week's episode where we talk about prepping for planning for 2024. Where have you been getting distracted by side quests? Where have you felt like you needed more experience points before you could get back to your main quest? I can almost guarantee you, probably not as many as you thought. If you really sit down and do an experience audit, if you really sit down and say, okay, this is the goal that I'm trying to achieve, this is what I want to do with my business. You get to sit down and actually audit yourself. Do I have the skills needed to do this? And if the answer is yes, amazing. Maybe we prioritize the main quest next year. Maybe we prioritize taking action on that. And if you're looking at your audit and going, actually I'm missing, like these are the gaps in my experience or in my knowledge. Then you get to have a conversation with a coach and you get to decide right, where should I be investing my money next year to fill those gaps? And do it from a place of intentionality instead of. That looks interesting. Maybe that'll be helpful. That looks like a lot of fun. My friends are doing that. I want to do that too. Maybe this would help me up level. No, I want you to stick to your main quest. Okay, because here's what I have been learning and here's what I have been seeing in many of my peers and many of the people that I follow on social media. It's okay to pivot your business and it is okay to tweak and evolve and grow in certain directions, but if you have done the foundational work, then the core essence of why you're in business will always be there and it will be visible to people. People will be able to see like this is what she stands for. This is why she went into business in the first place and for me it has always been empowering women to make intentional choices so that they can have businesses that allow them to carry their legacy into the future. Like that is what I've always wanted to do. My cornerstone value is empowerment and everything that I have done hopefully has been a reflection of that value, has been a reflection of that purpose. But if I look at how I want to see that purpose come to light, how I want to embody that particular value, that's where the side quests have distracted me, because I've put other things above what I really wanted to do, because I allowed other people to lead me in the wrong direction. And I say wrong a little bit tongue in cheek, like I don't think I've done anything wrong. I don't think anything that I've spent my money on has been a mistake. I've learned lessons and I've gained skills that I didn't have before. But if I look back and do an honest audit of where my money has gone and what I've invested my time and my resources into not everything has allowed me to get back to my main quest as quickly as I'd wanted. And so all of these people who are trying to sell you quantum leaps and blah, blah, blah and up levels and shifts like maybe, before you jump into all of that, sit down and really decide what it is you actually want to do. What is your main quest? What's your goal? Where are you trying to get to and where have those side quests been distracting you and where can you now buckle down and be like you know what? Yeah, I think I have the skill set that I need. I have the support that I need. You know I've taken a zillion courses. I have a trizillion freebies and low ticket offers. Like, maybe we stopped doing that and we start to look at intentionally this is a specific gap in me being able to get to my goal and we focus on that because, I'll tell you, the hardest thing for me was sitting down and realizing that I had been training to become a Wizarding World Bank Manager instead of the actual wizard that I came to Hogwarts to become in the first place. Hopefully that analogy lands, but that's what side quests have done. They turned me into something that I didn't really want to be, but it was making money and it was good and it was like, okay, yeah, this is fine, but I wasn't being lit up, I wasn't being inspired, I wasn't happy. I mean, I was happy but I wasn't happy. You know, and I am the first person to say that your job, your business, is not gonna light you up every single fucking day of the week, like you are not gonna eject yourself out of bed every morning because your passion burns so brightly. There are days when I hate my business. I wanna burn it down. I don't like working with people and I wanna just like close the door and sit by myself in the dark, and that's normal. And also there are things that I do that when I do them, I leave with such a sense of gratitude and fulfillment and like really living in my purpose, and that is not doing what I have been doing for the most part for the last five years. So I get to change that. I get to change that, and so do you. So, having said all that, I don't do any planning in December. You know that I've shared that I do all my planning in January, sometimes, if it's been on really kooky January, we do it in February, but I am planning to do a planning session for a number of people who would like to join and it's going to be really focusing on, like, what is your main quest, what's your goal, what's your vision, what's your mission, and let's plan out your year based on that. And so you're going to focus on some very specific things. I haven't prepped a sales page or anything like that as of yet, but I will be launching it on Facebook, on Instagram and all the places. So if you don't follow me already, please go follow me. And if you are interested and you don't follow me in any of those places, go to my website. Send me a message from there on the contact page. Get in touch. I will make sure you get that information. I suck at selling on the podcast, don't I? But that's okay. Really, I just want to make sure, because you know things are shifting. I really want to make sure that you feel confident next year that you are doing the things and making the moves that are actually going to get your business to grow. So, having said that, that's all I've got for you this week. I'll see you very, very soon, and stay tuned, because the next episode is going to be one hell of an episode. We're going to be talking about the state of entrepreneurship and where it's going in 2024. So stay tuned for that one. Thank you, as always, for being here and for listening and for supporting me. I appreciate it from the bottom of my heart. I'll talk to you very soon.