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Kristen Smith

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Kristen Smith last won the day on July 22

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    Kristen Smith

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    A Better Way to Thrive
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  1. Thank you for getting the tortoise moving on this idea, @Kendra Burrows! My site serves Christians who are interested in natural health. I'm a trained herbalist and certified aromatherapist, so they look to me as an expert and I feel like they trust me pretty well. I'm working through a brand pivot right now that I hope to make a lot of progress on this summer. My "day job," or really, 24/7 job, is homeschooling momma to 7 kiddos, ages 14 to 1, and wifey of a bivocational pastor (school teacher by day, pastor by every other waking moment). I love being with my kiddos all day. I don't resent this stage of life at all. But. There are times when my ambition and competitive nature gets the best of me, and it's hard to watch others succeed when I feel like I'm climbing uphill with weights on my back. I'm working hard at digging into those feelings, and I've realized a few things: 1. When I'm tired or discouraged, I can read other people's success as my own failure. I know this isn't accurate, so I'm working to recognize that, name it, then dismiss it. 2. I can slip into seeing these other "successful" ladies as my competition, instead of my colleagues. So I'm working to intentionally cheer them on and be happy for them. There is enough success to go around. 3. I'm learning, sooooo slowly learning, that small success counts, and failure is only failure if I can't learn from it and move on. I know those things in my head, but don't often feel them enough to believe them when I'm faced with a disappointment. I've realized that my biggest struggle comes down to something Jessica Fisher said in a different Biz Mavens thread. I have to be content with the boundaries God has placed around my business. I can't resent them, wish them away, or try to jump over, push through, dig under, or try to get around them. Thinking of these limitations as boundaries has done so much for my focus and attitude.
  2. When you started learning to read between the lines of what your target superfans truly needed, what was that like? I've done this twice. The first time was intimidating. There was so much information to go through because I had a wide range of blog posts. I was scared that I'd get this step wrong and ruin everything for my budding business. Eventually, despite my rather irrational fear, a picture developed of a target market superfan and I moved forward, still a little nervous. Two years later, though, I noticed a shift. The people coming to me were different than the ones who were there before. Going through the process the second time still felt big, but it wasn't as scary. I had been listening and paying attention to what my readers were saying and asking over those two years, so I already had a strong sense of how I needed to shift to better serve them. Was there a pivotal moment when things started falling into place? The first time I wrote a post dedicated to the need of my target market, the response was amazing. I had blog comments, organic social media shares, and emails back from readers who were deeply helped by my article. Getting that confirmation back from them was a huge confidence booster! When I shifted my focus and narrowed my niche a couple years later, the result was similar. Emails from readers, social media interaction, and blog comments all confirmed that I made the right choice. That gave me more information to keep moving forward with better ways to serve them and build my business.
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