September 30, 2020

Creating Story from Struggle with Stephanie McLarty

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Creating Story from Struggle with Stephanie McLarty

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We’re talking about facing hard things today in business, pivoting when things don’t go according to plan and how to make quick decisions as a business owner when you think everything has been lost. 

To really make progress on your goals and your dreams and your business, you have to be able to be mentally strong, you have to be able to keep going no matter what.

Today’s guest, Stephanie McLarty, shows how she did just that when faced with the devastating reality that the business she worked tirelessly to build was in financial ruins.

Stephanie is Founder & CEO of REfficient, which provides a reuse and recycling marketplace in the Telecom sector. In the last few years, REfficient has ensured 150,000+ items were diverted from landfill annually and into productive reuse. After becoming a mom, Stephanie saw firsthand the power of entrepreneurship to provide freedom, flexibility and income for families. She created Wealth of Family to help moms start a business they love and avoid going back to jobs they dread.

So often in business we hear the Hollywood version of the highs and lows of the entrepreneurial roller coaster. I was touched by Stephanie’s courage to openly talk about such a difficult time in her entrepreneurial journey and hope that it inspires more business owners to share their stories.

If you have walked through something and you’ve been wanting to share your story, let Stephanie’s example today set one for you that you too can share your story.

Whether that’s on a podcast, guest stage, during interviews, to your audience or with your friends, sharing these stories of struggle remind us that we’re not alone. It’s an incredible and brave way to put yourself out there and make the impact that you want to make in your business. 

We’re all here to make a bigger impact. 

Episode Show Notes:

Importance of getting really clear on who your target customer is:

(7:54) Get really clear on who your target customer is, because then you’ll understand where they hang out, what they listen to, what it’s like to be them, what’s on their mind and it will be much easier to talk with them and communicate with them.

..And the process you can do to identify and be clear on who you serve

(08:57) One of the most effective exercises was to do ‘a day in the life’ exercise. It was visualizing – okay, I’m my target customer. Now that I got clear, I wake up in the morning, like, what do I do and what’s on my mind? 

(10:05) So doing that ‘a day in the life’ exercise, I think is really important for anybody, because it’ll usually give you some more insights on a different level than just figuring out, you know, where people are hanging out. You’ll really get to understand what it’s like to be your target customer, and therefore, how you want to receive information to.

How to pivot with intention during tough times:

1. Get support to process what you’re going through – through a coach, family, friends, community, etc.

(16:54) It is so important that you have a couple of people that you can be completely open with, and you can cry to. I think that’s really important, because the emotional side of this can be so devastating, and so raw and real that you need somebody to process those emotions to. 

2. Understand where you’re at financially – get to the bottom of your numbers. You will likely see new insights on where to save money, spend time and money.

(19:14) Began to see the numbers as numbers. The numbers were not some reflection of how good I was or wasn’t whether I was smart enough. I didn’t take them personally…When I saw them as numbers, there was a freedom around it that I could just make choices. It didn’t have to mean any of the things that I was making it me and about myself. 

3. Review your passions and strengths, and see what other economic opportunities might leverage these two.

(21:15) What I would recommend for anybody, and it really is at any stage of your business, whether you’re starting out, or if you’ve created a business and things aren’t working quite as well as you’d like, maybe COVID has, you know, impacted your business, which it has for many, is to go back to that exercise of understanding. What is it that I’m really passionate about? And what is it that I’m really good at? 

If you don’t know that, ask other people because usually, other people have clear insight on that than  we might. Then think about what economic opportunities marries those two things.

4. Make a plan, execute on it, and also be open to doors that open.

(24:45) Create a plan. Something simple, you can hang up on the wall that you’re very clear on and execute on that plan day after day.

At the same time, also be open. Be open for new opportunities that can come. Be open for new doors that can open. It’s sort of this balance of having your plan and doing your plan, but also staying open, ultimately, because there could be other opportunities out there new directions that we just don’t see right now, that will present themselves, and we also want to be open to that as well.

5. Get out of your own way – confront your worst fears.

(28:24) ‘What is the worst thing that could happen?,’ I asked myself that question.I think it’s really important to ask yourself those types of questions like, what is the worst thing that could happen here, and can I handle it? Usually, once you see clearly what it could be, it’s much more manageable than what we think about in our head.

How the value of communication, openness and vulnerability helps you in your business

(46:17) When we open up and we’re vulnerable, I think it draws people in… Being open and vulnerable and going somewhere where we wouldn’t normally go. It actually helps us in the long term, and it helped us to really strengthen those relationships and created the space for them to open up to which I don’t think they would have done otherwise.

Links mentioned in episode:

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