“Bums on seats….it’s all about the bums on seats….but not just any old bums on seats, they have to be the right bums on seats”
I remember my boss saying this to me in one of my first jobs, as a theatre usher at The Theatre Royal Stratford East, tearing tickets as folks from all backgrounds came and enjoyed the variety of shows which they put on.
The success of that theatre over the years hasn’t been the number of tickets it’s sold, but its commitment to great productions, and looking after their local community.
Last week I ran a free masterclass exploring whether in business size matters when it comes to growing a tribe, an online community. Whether we have become unnecessarily concerned with metrics, quantity over quality.
Today I was reminded that 6 years ago I made the first bit of money in my plus-size fitness business Too Fat to Run, I launched a crappy little ebook priced at a whopping £2.99 and I sold 100 of them…£300 it felt like all my Xmas’s had come at once.
I was unemployed with a new baby to look after, I’d been made redundant for the 4th time in 10 years, and my savings were gone. £300 was a lifeline. But more than that it was evident that there was a market for what I was hoping to do with my blog.
Numbers do matter sometimes.
But not in the way you may think.
So I sat down a few days ago and did some of the maths. not in terms of turnover or profit or any of that jazz, but more about the impact…and the leverage potential for your audience.
So I thought I’d share some of it with you.
This year I worked with 150 entrepreneurs.
56 of those went through my Tribe Builder 12-week incubator programme, which I have been testing this year…34 of those folks (so more than 50%) were people who already knew me…folks in my existing network.
And yet so many business owners are afraid to talk about what they do in their business to their existing network.
I never thought I was a numbers person, but this exercise has been really helpful.
You know back in 2013 when I officially decided to turn my blog into a business, I set myself a really ambitious target of helping a million overweight women to take up running.
I had of course no way of tracking this, and even totting up the number of women who have completed one of my programmes now it’s hard to say for sure what the number is, probably somewhere around the 10,000 mark…even though my website has had around 6 million hits, and who knows how many of those have been inspired to run.
Plus there’s the mere mention of the estimated 20,000 books I’ve sold…again that’s an absolute guess…hey but whos counting?
This year though from my records its been around 1500 women taking part in paid for running programmes with me.
There has been 270 women working with me on life coaching programmes and as I said 150 entrepreneurs on my most recent programmes for small business owners.
I have delivered 21 different programmes this year, some automated and some live rounds, I’ve had 3 pieces of consultancy, I’ve had 12 speaking gigs, visited 7 countries for work, and appeared on 9 TV, radio, or podcast programmes.
Looking at the numbers like this feels strange.
I sometimes wonder how I juggle it all…but what can I say, I love bringing people together.
This year I’ve also completed 1 marathon, 1 triathlon, some 5Ks and a half marathon…so not actually a big year for my running actually, ha ha.
I’ve written 68 blogs, and probably a few other articles for things I forgot I wrote.
I probably posted close to 1000 social media posts.
And sent out probably around 150 different email communications.
My email list?
It might not be as big as you think.
I currently have around 5000 on my list, and around 60K followers on social media….but most of those are from my running work.
My list of business owners is very small, maybe around 300.
Now, look there is no right business model.
No right way of marketing.
No perfect business coach.
What feels right for one business owner might feel completely wrong for another, and we must find our own way of showing up and building a community of followers, fans and clients.
But here is something I do know.
When you make space for BIG impact in your business, when you set that as an intention, everything changes. You grow into that ambition and people better understand the scale of what you are trying to achieve.
Everything I have ever done in my life has been about scale, how we can build more value, get more people involved, make a bigger difference in the world.
Do you know your numbers?
Are you making enough space for more?
Are you ready for 2020 to be your year of growth, not only in terms of your numbers but in terms of your capacity to be do and have more?
Today, and only today I am offering a flash sale on my new and improved 6 month programme for small business owners. I am making 33 places available to founder/early adopter members.
The next round of Tribe Builder will have up to 150 business owners in its ranks, moving as a unit towards a shared goal, of more impact, more income and more freedom.
Drop me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like the details of the discount and the payment plans available, plus the bonuses I am throwing in for anyone who books in November or December.
I’m also running a FREE challenge for business owners in December called Dare to Dream, which I know it going to be brilliant. It will be about your vision, imagining what it would look like to play bigger in your business, and stepping up into the business owner you know you can be.
The numbers matter sometimes.
Cos there is strength in numbers.
And for me, I know surrounding myself with awesome people helps me feel less alone.
So yes…this month I am getting more bums on seats, and 100% the right ones. Will you be one of them.