In the episode:
01:55 – Women creating success
04:06 – What prompted a decision?
07:24 – Say yes, then figure it out
08:37 – The time it took to change
10:09 – Money versus the customer
14:58 – Excellence and integrity
18:20 – Seeking out advice
19:55 – A behind-the-scenes role
20:52 – Good for the customer, good for you
23:49 – The fun of renovation
27:00 – How to decide
29:06 – Renovate versus detonate
30:21 – Buying or selling?
34:57 – Does it give you joy?
James: James Schramko here. Welcome back to SuperFastBusiness. This is Episode 660, and we are going to talk about renovate or detonate. And for that I’ve brought along subject matter expert Janet Beckers. Welcome.
Janet: Hello, James. Hello, everybody.
James: Janet, you have a site called romanceyourtribe.com. But it wasn’t always that domain name. And I think the story behind that is really the theme of this particular episode.
Sometimes when we’re going along in our business, we have a need for change. In fact, Peter Drucker used to talk about business being a function of marketing and innovation. And I would agree with that. Certainly, when I quit my job, I made a commitment that I would have to keep innovating to stay alive, because I didn’t want to go back to a job. And over the progression of that last 11 years since I walked out the door, I’ve changed my business model, I’ve turned off business units, I’ve deleted probably more sites and domains than most people will ever create in their lifetime, at a rapid phase of production. And you’ve been through some changes lately, as well, and you’ve got a whole training on renovate, or detonate, addressing this subject. So why don’t you give me a little bit of outline as to the Janet Beckers story and why this topic became important for you?
Women creating success
Janet: Yeah, sure. My main business, the first one that took off that was successful, I should say, like a lot of people, you know, I’ve tried a few different things, and they didn’t work. But the one that was really successful was Wonderful Web Women. And it started, as you know, me just a search for successful role models online, looking for women who were creating success. And so it started as a very, very simple model of me doing a, like an online summit. It was like, one of the first ones, it was over 10 years ago. And I just kind of worked it out as I went, and it took off like, super duper fast. And all of a sudden, I’d gone from no list to thousands on my list, getting invitations to speak overseas, to getting people contacting me saying, you know, can you mentor me? And I’m going, Sure, and then I’ve gone, What’s that?
You know, a lot of it came from very, at the beginning, just really taking risks and being gutsy, just thinking, you know, it doesn’t matter if I fail, because honestly, I’ve failed so much before anyway, this is kind of, you know, what else have I got to lose? So taking those big risks, and then the whole business model really evolved from me saying yes, and then working it out. And that lasted me really, really well, for quite a while, until the market changed, which was the model that I had, which was, every week doing an interview with a different successful woman, and people would pay me for a membership to actually get recordings and transcripts. But you know, you’ve got to be prepared to listen to the market. And as soon as podcasting started, well, throw that model out the window.
So that became the theme of Wonderful Web Women over 10 years, me keeping an eye on what was working in the market, what was changing, and being willing to adapt my business model, so that it didn’t become obsolete. You know, as the market changed, that I would change as well. And that worked really, really well for me for 10 years. We won multiple awards. I won Australian Marketer of the Year for the work that I did in listening to the market. And I helped thousands of people, made hundreds and hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of money.
What prompted a decision?
But just a couple of years ago, I didn’t recognize that there was another thing that can change. And it’s not necessarily, you know, well, your market can change, of course, that happens. And you’re, you know, what’s the market itself is doing, that I had been evolving too. But the big change that happened to me is, I changed. I really started to grow in the different ways that I could help people, and my vision for what I wanted to do. And it took me about 18 months to accept that the brand that I had built up, the business Wonderful Web Women, was not going to take me to that next level. And it was actually restraining me, because I was still working within the model, very much by its name of Wonderful Web Women. It was no longer a business that was by women, for women; I had evolved more into my signature system, my way of building a business, and people wanting to learn that. So I felt really incongruent.
And so, that was a different thing for me to try to adapt to. Because you know, it’s one thing to adapt within a brand, and that’s more your product offerings. It’s completely different when you’re thinking, you know what, is this holding me back? Am I not being congruent? Am I putting something out to the market that doesn’t feel right? And if so, then you have to make a decision. You know, should I detonate something that may even be working, but it’s causing you a conflict and holding you back from the next big level you want to go to? Or do I just need to tweak and renovate what I’m doing? And so that’s the decision that I started down the path just over a year ago. And I decided to detonate, but save a lot of the assets that I had been creating, and to put them under a completely different brand, and a completely different product offering. So that’s the path to there, and just really recognizing that there is a big difference to responding to changes in the market, and responding to changes in yourself. And that it does require a different approach.
“There is a big difference to responding to changes in the market, and responding to changes in yourself.”
James: Janet, you’re what I call a self-saucing pudding.
Janet: Self-saucing pudding!
James: That’s, like, the podcast guest who can anticipate the next question and just keep rolling. I was enjoying just sitting back there listening to a professional. Love it.
Janet: Oh, thank you. I’ve never been called that before. That’s great. I love self-saucing pudding.
James: I do too, especially, like, butterscotch ones or the chocolate. It’s like, when you heat it up and the sauce’s all ready to go. Like, this is a podcaster’s dream. I can tell you’ve got that background in doing podcast, before podcasts were a thing. You know, this particular show is now 10 years old. And I’ve seen a lot of changes happen in my short time online, since I started at the end of 2005, which was a decade after the internet sort of started. We’ve seen things like Facebook groups come, and of course, my SuperFastBusiness membership is 10 years old. And I’ve been running events for 10 years. So, so much has changed since then. And you’re right about you changing. I’ve certainly changed. And I’m going to come back and ask you a few questions around that in a minute.
Say yes, then figure it out
Let’s go back to a couple of things. I thought some highlights for me were that you just said yes, and then figured it out. I remember, when I sold my first website to an automotive dealer, I didn’t even know how to create a contact form. I didn’t let that stop me taking the order. And I notice when I’m coaching people, sometimes they need to know all of the answers and have all of their ducks lined up before they can move to the next step, which of course they never move to. Because you will never get to that point where you know everything and you can already in advance have every single contingency accounted for. There is some risk involved in being an entrepreneur. And especially if you’re an online based entrepreneur, you have to accept there is going to be inevitable change at a faster rate than some of the more traditional businesses. And every single time I go down to Manly, my local shopping village, there are empty shops, where the business’s gone out of business. They didn’t innovate, or they were in the wrong category, or they didn’t get their numbers right. So we have to accept change. And one thing I focused on was mastering change, to being able to master it.
The time it took to change
There is, of course, the risk that you can change too much. Some entrepreneurs jump from idea to idea to idea. How long did you go with your WWW before you changed that model?
Janet: So, you mean, changed the model over to what I am now, Romance Your Tribe, or you mean…?
James: Yeah, how long was Wonderful Web Women a going entity for you?
Janet: Oh, look, 10 years. In fact, it took me close on a year to really build a new brand, Romance Your Tribe, which was actually not new. I had published a book, and it was called Romance Your Tribe. And I was using that, and using that as a lead to get people to Wonderful Web Women. So my signature system wasn’t new, but it wasn’t the star of the show.
So I decided to change it from focusing on the avatar, which I suppose it was with Wonderful Web Women, over to the signature system being the star. It’s really that completion of that process. It took me a year to complete, and we only removed Wonderful Web Women from the world in February. So like, really, really recently.
And it was really, I cried a lot. I was grieving. There’s a real grieving process to actually close that after 10 years, because that was my baby that I grew. And it was very, very much, you know, it was a bit like, my children were at the age where they’re ready to leave home. So I felt like the same thing was happening in the business, I was getting an empty nest. So yeah, 10 years for me to accept that, you know what? It’s holding me back.
Money versus the customer
James: Yeah, it’s a big emotional decision. I guess I’d partly be crying if I couldn’t sell the business and start a new one, as well. Like, I know, I was thinking about the changes you made and reflecting on some of the ones I’ve made as well. I remember turning off my successful website campaign, that was the first product that I sold as an affiliate that made me my first hundred thousand dollars online. I got it up to about $10,000 a month, and then I switched it off. I switched it off, because I felt that WordPress had overtaken it and become the better recommendation.
James: And I couldn’t fully recommend the solution that was clearly being overtaken in the market and not the best solution anymore. So I made an integrity-based decision to switch off a six-figure-per-year income. And the way that I replaced that was I actually built a website development team. So I switched from teaching people which software was great to use to build a website, to providing ready-made websites and pre-done templates and custom websites. And I built a six-figure business out of that. So I was able to move the mojo and transfer that solution to a new thing. But it was a big decision. And I think what I’ve seen people do is be a little bit greedy, or a little less values-aligned, and continue to sell things that are not good for humans.
James: I think it’s going to eat away at your subconscious eventually. And you know, you’ve clearly laid out that the business model is going to start interfering with the way you feel about yourself. And it is a very emotional thing. And I’ve always made the values decision. If there’s ever a choice between making money, or doing the right thing by a customer, I’ve always gone for the customer, because that’s the ultimate answer. The lifetime customer is the best way forward. And that involves some discomfort and change along the way.
There was another example of a business model where I started to feel less aligned with, not from a values perspective, but just from an interest level. After seven years of running my SEO business, it was time to sell. And there are a few other factors, which I’ve talked about on previous episodes, mostly involving a customer taking up a lion’s share of supply. It was time to let that go. And rather than have my whole identity attached to that business, I transferred that into monetary value, and let it go and and saw it off to a good owner. And that decision was largely based around who will buy the business and keep the team. There were 38 humans in that business. And I didn’t want a single one of them to go without a job offer, which is what would have happened if I’d sold it to the first person that offered to buy the business from me, because they only wanted the customers, and they didn’t want the team. And I said no. So you’re going to encounter these values decisions a lot along the roadway. And I think what you do defines you.
Janet: You know what, yeah. I’m so pleased hearing you say that.
James: Yeah. I was saying that, you know, the decisions you make, you’re going to have to live with those. And they will define what kind of person you are. And I think over time, people will detect that. They’ll get a feel for if people care or not. And anytime I’m coaching someone, and I start to feel like they’re getting a bit dollar-eyed, I’ll point it out to them.
You know, one of the coaching calls I had today, actually, my customer can make a lot of sales, but his product is not good enough. And I said so. And his support is not good enough. And I said, You need to focus there first. Go and build that strong. And have the best product in the marketplace, and have a higher level of support than any of your peer group. And you will find the refund rate will drop; you’ll feel better about your product. This guy’s always edgy and a bit angry, because he’s under a lot of stress, because there’s a compromise in the equation out in the marketplace. So that’s a good, clear sign. Time to renovate.
Janet: Yeah. And you know what? I’m so pleased that you had that discussion there on values. And I’m sure, I mean, this is why I’m part of your membership,SuperFastBusiness. Because really, there’s a lot of people in the world that can teach around building businesses, building online businesses. So you really make your decisions around who you’re going to associate yourself with, who you’re going to learn from, by their values, by their integrity. And that’s why I’m part of your community. I know I will be for years, because that’s actually infused in absolutely everything you do. And the same is for me, like that was one of the reasons why I felt that Wonderful Web Women was holding me back, was because I knew I could do better; I knew I could help people better. And I knew I could get greater results for them. But I just felt that there was too much baggage involved with the way I used to do things, and also because it was identified by the avatar rather than the process.
Excellence and integrity
So, as part of me deciding, all right, okay, there needs to be a change, what does the next level look like? So I set myself two sort of guiding principles. Number one is, how can I get the best results for my clients, that’s going to help them to make the big difference that they need to make in the world? And I work with people who create transformation for people. So they’re coaches, they’re consultants, they might be service professionals, but they take people from point A to point B. And so I wanted to help them to do their stuff with more excellence. So that was my number one, is how can I help them to create excellence through me really lifting my game?
And the other one was also going to be around, you know, how can I be living within integrity? You know, like, how can I be doing this in a way that allows me to be myself and be totally on focus? And so, I didn’t feel as I was doing that well enough through Wonderful Web Women. And so when I decided to do the rebrand, those things were really core.
So one of the very first things I did was, I did an exercise that I do with my clients. And people can see this, if they go to Romance Your Tribe, is I really worked out 15 things that I believe about business that I was going to base every single thing that I did when I created my new programs, that it was based on that. And the majority of those are around, what do I believe in business? Like, what do I believe about my clients? And what do I believe for them? And what do I believe about who I won’t work with? And for me, I use that as my, am I actually walking my talk? So I review those 15 things that I believe, and then I will look at them and go, am I doing that one well enough?
And just for example, one of them was, I believe that money makes a difference in the world. So you know, we help our clients make money, we want to make money, and then we can use it to do good in the world. So I looked at that and thought, okay, I haven’t systemized doing good in the world. So that’s when I looked for a partner, a charity partner, and integrated the way we do our business. First of all, you’ve got to be super duper clear on what does integrity look like for you? You know, what are your values? And can you integrate those into your business and actually not just do lip service? So that became a very big part of me making the decision about how I would structure my new programs and how I would structure my marketing.
“Money makes a difference in the world.”
James: So you’ve essentially created a scorecard for yourself. And then you’ve used your own product process on your business, which is, I think, in the software business, they call that eating your own dog food, which is an unappealing metaphor.
Janet: Yeah. That is an unappealing one.
James: However, I’m often applying a self-coaching diagnostic approach to my business. I look at my business as if I was going to help it, what would I do? And I’m most definitely going through renovations on an ongoing basis. So it’s like, they talk about the Harbour Bridge, you know, once they finish painting it, they start painting it again, because it’s ready for the next coat. I’ve been using that Japanese Kaizen principle of constant improvement since I opened that membership.
Janet: I love that philosophy.
Seeking out advice
James: And right now I’m going through a few campaigns. By the time this episode airs, we will have just done a reconfiguration of how you can buy access to the membership, which level, because there’s going to be two levels compared to the current one. And it all came about through going back to my core, to the heart of the lifeblood of the membership, which is the members. And I did a change campaign, and I asked for advice. And it’s sometimes hard to do that. You could shield yourself from it if you’re very sensitive.
I mean, I was on Amazon yesterday, I was buying a book. And I flicked across to my own book to check it out. And I’ve got 100 reviews in the US marketplace. And one guy gave me a one-star review. And I was so disappointed, because you could put your effort into that, you can create the book, and still someone’s not going to be pleased. And it just proves that point, you know, 1% of the population is bat shit crazy, for starters. But his critique of the book was that I had extra resources listed at the end of the chapter, which, by the way, are free and don’t sell anything. So it was unfactual, but it was hugely disappointing to see that. And I just thought, you know, it just takes a bit of nerve to be putting yourself out there in business.
If you’re going to create stuff, you might as well ask your best customers and work with their sensitivities. So I’m making a lot of changes based on what they feel would improve the membership. And, you know, I’m not so proud that after 10 years, and being somewhat of an expert on subscription models now, that I can’t still lift the bar, and I’m constantly seeing how far I can move that bar on myself.
A behind-the-scenes role
And it was also really enjoyable for me to be behind the scenes, watching you navigate this change and seeing your thoughtful decisions and applying your best possible sort of hypotheticals and then playing them out into practice, to see, for example, when you made price changes and packaging changes. I know I was involved in those. And there is an element of risk, however, I think it played out well for you.
Janet: Oh, look it did. And you know, it’s just fantastic to have somebody that you can just go, Look, James, this is what I’m thinking of doing. And just, Am I on the right track? And then you’ll come back and go, Yeah, but you know, there’s this… And like, I can remember one of our messages, I went back and said, Oh, I just noticed casually, James, there, that you tripled my price.
Good for the customer, good for you
And yeah, oh, yeah, yeah, right. Okay, fine. Okay, that’s made me think something else. But the big thing is, when you were talking about that self-coaching is, I thought, okay, if I’m going to set myself a bar for excellence for myself, but also, how can I create excellence for my clients? I’m going to actually test out my own system, my own framework. So this is a great opportunity. Here is a business that’s going to do a renovation, and really more of a detonation. And what would be the process if I was my own client, what would I do? I would use the framework. So I actually use the exact exercises that I used with my clients. And the nice part about this is, as I was going through it, I re-developed all my training material at the same time as me actually doing all of this stuff. Because I kept on going back with this, you know, less is more, less is more, what can I take away? Very much like your work less, make more.
And so I actually removed a lot of steps that I had in my framework. I removed a lot of the exercises, because I thought you know what, that was a nice to have, but it’s a distraction. So I don’t need to do that, so neither do my clients. And the result is, I love what I’ve designed now. Like, I know that the business itself is getting better results with the clients. Because I’ve got clients who have gone through it going, Wow, I’m just getting this so much faster. And they’re getting the results. And for me, it’s actually taking me less time, because I’ve removed all the unnecessary stuff. And so less is more is actually, you know, it’s better for your clients as well.
“Less is more is actually better for your clients as well.”
And I think a big part of that is reflected in, you know, I launched my program which was $2,000, like a signature system program. And then I had clients saying, Oh, can I work a bit closer with you? So, you know, following my normal way, Yeah, sure. Let me work it out. So I added an extra level, a VIP level to that. And when the first six months finished in the cohort, and I said, Well, you know, what do you want to do now? And they said, Well, what can you offer us? So I came back with an offer of, you know, it’s $1,000 a month, if you want to keep on continuing. And 75% has been the return rate. So for me, that is a sign that it was a great thing to do, because people don’t return if they’re not getting results, especially at that level.
“People don’t return if they’re not getting results.”
And so it was just a really nice, I guess, reinforcement that it was a really good decision to do not just for myself and my own business, but for my clients. That it was a really, really good thing to make the huge effort to do the whole restructure, and the restructure of the programs. So it’s been a good result. I can say now that it’s working.
The fun of renovation
James: One of the huge benefits of going through a big renovation, is you get to, apart from purge and clean and declutter your systems and frameworks and content, you get to start fresh with new platforms and pick the best off the shelf of what’s available now. So that must have been hugely fun, because I imagine things have changed a lot since you set up your first version of your membership.
Janet: Oh, look, you know, through Wonderful Web Women, I tried practically every single membership software that was out there. And I kid you not, this is not an exaggeration. Because we would grow one and then we would find all the holes, because the membership was always growing quite fast, we would find the holes in the software. So then we’d use a different software, then we’d find the holes in that. So when we went over to consolidate everything under the Romance Your Tribe brand, initially, I looked around for what was the best software around. And I started building up using Infusionsoft and Memberium, and everything that was like the whole Frankenstein model of trying to bolt it all together.
And then I met John, John Lint who owns 10XPRO. And one of his business partners, he’s a friend of mine, Charl, was showing me this software that John had developed. And it had been going long enough with enough clients that I knew that it wasn’t just somebody who’d come up with an idea. So when I looked behind the scenes and saw how fantastic it was, that’s when I thought, You know what? All this Frankenstein model stuff is just, I’m just over it. And because I’ve been burned before, I’m really, really careful about getting to know the people who own the business, for the main software that I’m going to be using to run my business, because that had happened to me in the past where they were out for sale, and they weren’t in for the long haul.
So we moved everything over to 10XPRO, I got to know John well and knew that he was actually in business for the long haul, and that he had the same values. And honestly, it’s actually cut the support down of staff who I need. Because it’s really simple to use. Sometimes it’s just as fast for me to create a page than it is to delegate and give the instructions because it’s just simple to run. So yeah, we do everything through there. Now all our sales letters, all our membership, our list-building, our one-time offer, everything. All the sales, we just put everything through there.
James: Yeah, that’s phenomenal. I’m a huge fan of his, as you know. I’ve got him here on this podcast with a Membership Series. Having spent weeks with him now in real life and speaking to him every week. I know he’s a deep-level, core-value human, and that’s what encourages me about wanting to help his business, because it’s making what’s so hard for us so much easier. I wish that I could transport most of what I’ve got into that one simple system. But I tell you, I’ve been working on new projects that involve that platform. I’m co-doing a course with John, my wife’s product’s going on that platform. So it’s definitely the place I’m putting my new stuff, as well. So that was a good one.
How to decide
What could we do, if we’re listening to this and we’re wondering, should we be renovating or detonating? What are some of the triggers or tools that you use to go through that process of arriving at a decision?
Janet: Yeah, sure. As I was sort of like, well, it wasn’t even reverse engineering, I was consciously evaluating, you know, the process as I was going through it. I was consciously evaluating how I would guide somebody else through it as I was doing it. And I’m a framework addict. So these are the kind of the four signs that you need to be either renovating or detonating or considering it. And so if you fall into one of these four categories, it’s a really good sign.
So number one is, it’s like it’s been struggle street from the very beginning. Now that wasn’t with me in these businesses. It certainly was in my first one, my internet art gallery, that’s another story. But yes, so if it’s been struggles street, then you know, something seriously has got to change.
Now, the other one’s could be if the market’s changed. And we talked about that may just be that you need to renovate and look at your business model, rather than the whole brand and the whole business. So the market may have changed.
The next one is, you’ve changed. So you’ve evolved in what you can do, and your business is no longer reflecting what you’re capable of offering. So that’s a real flag that you need to make some big changes, because if you don’t make them now, you’ll probably end up constricting your business. That was what was happening with me, my business was actually, I could feel it was starting to decrease, it wasn’t growing anymore, because I wasn’t allowing it to. Because the model itself wasn’t allowing me to be able to do what I wanted to do. So if you’ve evolved, you’ve really got to look at that.
And the other one, which for me was a big one, is if you’ve got like a really big vision, there’s a big impact you want to make, you’ve probably got some bigger clarity on playing a bigger game. But your current model, whether it’s the brand, or the way that you’re using the business, if that’s not working, then that’s another thing that you really need some having a good look.
Renovate versus detonate
You know, I would always prefer to renovate rather than detonate, because it’s a lot less work. Like, honestly, it’s been a sh*t lot of work these last 12 months, you know, every single thing that we’ve done. But if you can renovate it, do that within your brand. But if you’re finding that every time you come up against a brick wall of, yeah, that sort of doesn’t sort of fit in with what our philosophy is, or what the whole structure of it is, then you know what? It’s really worth making that effort and starting almost from scratch. Of course, you’re bringing in some wonderful assets into it. It’s not as if you’re starting a business from scratch, you’ve got customers, a list. You’ve got your way of doing things, but it allows you to reimagine. And sometimes that’s the hardest part, because you’re so used to looking at your business the way that it is, to be able to allow yourself some time to imagine. Like, imagine what would it be like if I had to close this for whatever reason? So that’s the first part, is just allowing yourself to imagine. And sometimes you really require somebody else that you can imagine with, and it may require a few bottles of red wine. But that imagining phase is first, it’s a really, really important one, so that you don’t just reinvent the same thing.
Buying or selling?
James: That’s a really good point. I’m wondering, where does buying a business or selling a business fit on the spectrum?
Janet: That’s a great one. You know what? My very first business, an internet art gallery, which was way before its time, you know. Nobody was buying art online; l mean, WordPress didn’t even exist. I spent so much money on getting custom software made, like huge investments. But you know what, I sold that business. I just realized that it was never, never really going to work. For somebody else, it may have, if they would have been willing to change the model a bit and maybe take it offline. I didn’t want to do it, I had little kids. So if it’s going to work better for somebody else, then you know, selling it is a great thing to do. And, you know, selling a business is a whole process of being willing to let go. So yes, selling a business there can often be the best choice. And that was, for me, that was the most liberating thing, because it allowed me to just start again, reinvent, but have a little bit of cash there.
So the other one about buying a business, you know, if you’re deciding that you’re going to detonate, then if you’re imagining that you’re going into, that’s a great idea. You may not need to do it from scratch – there may already be something out there that’s going to be the perfect vehicle for whatever your bigger vision is going to be. Again, you’d really, really want to have a good look at it, though, to make sure that it’s not going to restrict you, and also that it has been built with really similar values, because that’s going to be kind of infused into absolutely everything. From the kind of customers that it’s got on their mailing list, they are going to be attracted to people with a certain type of value. But yeah, that’s a good question. What do you think, James?
James: I’ve been in this situation where I’ve founded most of my businesses. I’ve sold several businesses, I’ve most definitely renovated the core businesses for a long time. And I’ve switched off income streams. So I guess there’s the four things. I would say, a detonate could be a sell maneuver, you know. If you don’t want to load up the explosives and push the button, you might be able to sell. I didn’t feel comfortable selling my affiliate website site side, because my decision was that that product wasn’t the best solution in the market anymore. But I did sell my website development business, I did sell my SEO business. I have bought things before – I bought a couple of hundred websites from a guy once that had already got blogs on them. And I bought another couple of hundred websites from a company that had pre-built them, and I used them as part of my SEO business at one stage. And then I sold all of them off. In fact, funny story, of the 200 websites I purchased, one of the domains in there was a two-word name domain, just a regular name, you know, like Janet Beckers or whatever, but not those two words, but a first name and last name. And I approached the person of that name on Facebook, and I was able to sell that domain to them for more than I paid for the 200 websites. So I got all my money back straightaway.
James: And the other websites that I purchased, we used for quite a few years for link building purposes, and then I was able to sell off some of those, as well. So I’ve bought, sold, renovated and switched off. So I think there are probably four categories. I don’t think everyone is suited to buying and selling websites. I think you’re right, if you buy a website or an online business, they’re probably like buying a pair of second-hand shoes. They’re going to be sort of grooved in for the previous owner. And I don’t know if they’re that changeable. However, it can get you up and running really quickly if you’ve been walking around in bare feet.
And in terms of selling a business, that’s probably my favorite way to exit. If I’m no longer interested in a model and it’s not going to be renovated, that would be ideal, if it’s valuable to someone else at, you know, any kind of value would be good. But then I’ve just switched off an enormous amount of my old websites and products, just turned them off, rolled them up, cleaned them up. I can’t overemphasize this. There’s a lot of noise about creating stuff and getting new things. There’s not a lot of discussion about cleaning up until now, on Netflix, with KonMari. We really need to KonMari our business, especially all our old content and our products, and see if they’re still relevant. And I constantly archive trainings in my own membership, as I feel they’ve passed the time between relevant or ancient history. It’s a big job. And thankfully, if you have a recurring subscription model, you do get to spend some time and energy on that rather than constantly looking for a new customer.
Does it give you joy?
Janet: Yeah, yeah. And you know what, that’s again, it’s that whole emotional thing as well, because that was one of the challenges that I had. Like I had produced on, through Wonderful Web Women, a video podcast every single week for over four years. And so they’ve gone over to iTunes, it was on my website, it was on YouTube as well. But that’s a lot of content. And, you know, lots of comments. And so it represented a lot of work that I was proud of. But when I decided that I was going to completely close down that website, it meant all of that content was going to go. So we sort of went through and picked out the most popular ones and decided, you know, we’re not going to repurpose, they’re still on YouTube, but I’m not going to put them on my blog, because I’m into it like a lean, mean money-making machine, like, now. So that’s unnecessary clutter. So it’s that whole classic thing of, you know, you can’t throw things out. So it’s that Marie Kondo, like, you know, holding it close to you, and does this give me joy?
James: Sunk cost.
Janet: Yeah, yeah. So it’s that classic thing of, you know, you can value it more than it really is.
James: I like when she holds something that’s never been worn, because a lot of clothes have still got the labels on it, I’ve seen this phenomenon before. And she says, thank the item for teaching you what you don’t like to wear or something like that.
Janet: Ah! That’s a great philosophy.
James: That was quite good, you know. I’m experiencing this with my surfboard collection, it’s hard to let go. But I’m happy to let one back into the world and have someone else ride it and enjoy it. And I’ve had my turn on it, I’ve learned what I can learn from it. And then I release it back into the world rather than hoarding it in my shed.
Janet: I love it.
James: I think this has been such a wonderful discussion. It’s something that we all face. Back when we numbered all of the episodes on SuperFastBusiness, we put a big spreadsheet up and we deleted a lot of posts, and we kept the ones that we wanted to keep. And I put in a cycle of refreshing, I go and get old training sometimes. And I see what I can learn from that. And then I create a brand new one, and then I just supersede it. In the same way, the car industry has to always come up with new stuff and have an obsolescence program, or they’ll just stop, you know? Like at one point, the T-model Ford had the whole world market to itself. And now, you know, time, it stands still and it just sort of fades away. And Ford’s got a tiny percentage of the worldwide market. So if you don’t innovate, you’ll die.
“If you don’t innovate, you’ll die.”
So this episode on renovate or detonate has been wonderful. Thanks so much, Janet. You’ve been so generous with what you’ve shared. I love your contribution, you’re such a good operator and your website romanceyourtribe.com is where a listener could go find out more about what you’re doing. And I just want to say how much I appreciate it.
Janet: Oh, and thank you, James. I’m just really grateful to be able to give back because, yeah, you’ve helped me so much, especially in this last year, just making these decisions, all these little decisions. You may feel like you’ve made small inputs, but they’ve been really, really important ones each time. So yeah, I’m very grateful. And thank you everybody that’s taking part. I’d love to hear if you’ve had to renovate or detonate; I’d be really really curious, you know, if you went through very similar things and what the outcome was for you.
James: Cool. Well, we do take comments. I’m James Schramko, that was Janet Beckers. Thank you so much.
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