Are you a purpose-driven entrepreneur who resists content because you either don’t know what to say or feel like you’ll come off as spammy or annoying if you put it out there? Amber McCue is getting R-E-A-L with us about her content struggles and how shifting to a focus of just being of service with her content relieved the pressure and allowed her to show up more consistently.
Amber McCue, Business Operations Expert, studied Organization Development in Johns Hopkins’ MBA program, and CEO and founder, of a modern business management and operations consultancy, ambermccue.com.
McCue is the creator of several noteworthy programs & courses for successful, busy, and first-time business owners, including her signature How to Clone Yourself (which accomplishes exactly as it sounds, sans sheep), the long-term hands-on program Freshly Implemented, where she acts as an outsourced COO for struggling small business owners, and CEO School, a brand new way for smart business owners to stop letting their business run the show, and start running the show for themselves, instead. Amber is also the author of freshstartworkbook.com, a workbook and digital planning guide for entrepreneurs to map out their winning year.
Key Takeaways from this Episode
What has your business journey looked like from when you first hung out that digital “come in, we’re open sign” to where you are today?
- It has been a wild ride. Every step of the way I've sort of wondered, all right, is this what I should be doing? We're just gonna do it, right? I'm gonna step into action because I mustered up a belief that I could really serve and support.
- But, like I said, I mustered up. It did not start that way and it's really hilarious. The first online digital marketing sign I hung up was for life coaching. I thought that … At the time I was in a MBA program. I was doing a lot of coaching as a part of that MBA program because the program was organization development and of course, organizations are made up of people. And people are how we bring our visions and our strategies to life. But I thought, “You know, this is a lot of business. I think I want to step away from business.” And life coaching was really emerging as something life changing for people. I want to support people in that way. And I was also at the time running really an offline business that we use a lot of online strategies for. Our photography business, Three Boudoir which is a ton of fun. And I through that realized, “Oh no, I really do love business.”
- So all of my life coaching conversations were moving toward business and our photography business. I love doing the strategy. Like oh gosh, I gotta really go back. Go back to the heart and the core of what I have done throughout my career so far.
- But one big pivot I made was clearly not working as much in corporate and with big business and working more with small business. I have a huge heart and a huge passion for the change that we can create as modern CEOs and freedom seeking entrepreneurs who are doing things totally different.
- I started to focus in small businesses and the first program I ran, in the first consulting engagement, an area focus I had, was around the concept of how to clone yourself which you know all about. But just so everyone has some background on that, I was speaking with a friend, Laura lee through messenger on Facebook and she said, “Don't you ever just wish you could clone yourself?” And I thought, yeah. And I've done that.
In terms of legacy – what is the big mission you’re here to accomplish with your business?
- You know I believe that when we run better businesses, right when we … And it's always tricky. There are ebbs and flows and ups and downs and things … Everything gets systematized and fine tuned and all your clients are happy, and then you up level and something breaks.
- But, despite all of that, if we can shift our mindsets to deal with those things … And I heard Ali Brown say, “Running is a business is one of the greatest personal development journeys you will go on.” So once we come to terms with that and we are determined and have a vision and will run our businesses in a way that's different, that changes the game on how business has historically been done, I think we have a huge opportunity to change lives.
- I talk about how a better business means a better life. And yes, I want your business to run smooth but more importantly, me as partner to modern CEOs, entrepreneurs, business owners, I want your life to flourish. Because I think we can create a massive ripple effect being role models for our children. Being role models for other people that are aspiring to be entrepreneurs. So better business means a better life and I want to impact and support as many people as possible. In fact, I've set a goal to help one million people move forward and have a better business so that they can have that better life.
What is one piece of advice you have for online business owners who see what you’ve built and all the success you’ve had doing it – and want to create their own version of it but have no idea where to start?
- The biggest thing I would say is that it is coming for you too. But you have to stay in action. I can not tell you, Hailey, how many times in the last few weeks I have talked to someone who … And a number of people have experienced this and they said, “Should I just stop doing this? Should I close this product? Should I stop marketing this product? Should I shift gears altogether?” And I ask, “Okay before we close this down, let's look at what the reaction is to this product. Have you been marketing it?” Silence. “Nope, haven't been marketing it.”
- There are so many things that are possible but if we don't get in action around those things, right? It's all going to fall flat. So we get really caught up in those things that are … You know let me build that logo. What should I do? Should I do a membership, should I start a community, a free Facebooker. Should I do a challenge? Right? And that's when I think it's so helpful to either leverage these tools that we're gonna have for you in the Planathon or work with someone. Grab a group of people. Grab a mentor. Get in something, you know a mastermind, where you will be surrounded by people that can help you elevate as CEO and practice making that decision. What's my next move? What am I gonna get an action on? Because if we get stuck and we don't actually go beyond, if we can't answer the question what am I gonna focus on … We might be focused on all the things which is not going to be good, or we might just be paralyzed. So I'd say definitely get connected or leverage the tools that we've got for you so that you could answer the question: What am I gonna focus on? So you can step into action.
- It's when, not if. As long as you step into it. And it's gonna be uncomfortable and sometimes you're gonna want to do all the things. You know I've been sharing a lot lately as well, this analogy of, how many cars can you drive at a time? You can only drive one car at a time. So pick your car, hop in. You might start with the Ford and you might slowly move to the Audi but start and drive that one car until you've learned and you've experienced and you've gotten feedback and you have a clear focus.
So shifting gears to marketing – How do you stay motivated and inspired when it comes to content creation (especially after all this time)?
- Well I already confessed that I Google and come across your resources. And part of that is because this is an area that is hard for me. I absolutely show up more in my client groups, working with my clients, through Backpocket TLCs with my clients and that is what I love to do. Like, directly serve.
- And so for a long time in content creation … I mean early on, I was so hesitant to post anything because I had this mindset that, who's gonna see it? And if they do see it, boy am I gonna feel like a used car salesman. So I had this resistance to sharing, showing up, promoting my services. And I realized on this personal development journey we are on together, I was going to have to make a shift if I really wanted to grow this business. Because nobody was gonna know about me. Nobody was gonna know how I can help them. And I was not gonna be able to serve which is really important to me.
- So the mindset shift I made was going from that used car salesman mentality to when I show up and I serve, I can help other people grow their business. I can help them have a better life and get out of the weeds and get away from the struggle and the overwhelm. So when I did that mindset shift, that's what enabled me to share, period. Forget about consistently. Although that does come and I do, right now I get some help from my team. And your resources and I reach out and I get support.
How does content work in your business. What do you handle and do you have a team that helps? Fill us in!
- So right now, we're going through a little bit of a shift and during this season it's really incredible and I'm really loving how it's structured and set up. We've recently hired, this is our first full-time hire. I've worked with contractors from the very beginning. But Maleah, our queen of ease and our operations manager, joined the team and we're in a heavy content creation mode right now with the Planathon coming up and enrollment into our Mastermind. And what she is doing is she's got a copy tracker for me and it's got a date and it is red until I turn it green, and she links me to a document where I create content.
- And because she is focusing on some of the operational stuff, it's freed me up to serve through content creation and I am knocking it out, Hailey. You would be so proud.
- It's also really set me up for success and that's it for so many of us, right? We're focused on too many things which was certainly me, or we're focused on things that aren't in our zone of genius or that will distract us from our end goal. So it's been an incredible shift.
How would you define a content empire as it relates to your own business and what you’ve built?
- I really think that building a content empire, and I've hit on this a few times so this probably won't come as a surprise to you when I say this, but it's all about being in service. And certainly it ties to marketing and it ties to growing your business. But if I can think about a person who might be receiving or watching or listening or reading that piece of content, that really helps me step into that space. And of course, that will help you grow your business, that'll help you build your personal empire. But it starts with content and it starts with connection and it starts with service.
The 2018 Planathon is coming up. Can you tell us more about it?
- Oh my gosh. I would love it if anyone wanted to join us in our planning party because it's totally more fun together. So invite your friends, hop on in there and you can jump in and learn all about it at theplanathon.com. And it's gonna be a blast. We have phenomenal speakers sharing about the latest trends in each of their areas of expertise. Memberships, courses, a passive income, content. I mean just so much good stuff. And there are prizes because when you show up in your business you will win. And when you show up in the Planathon, you will also win.
Latest content or marketing tool discovery? Hemingway App
Most profound business book you’ve read? Business Brilliant by Lewis Schiff
What is one marketing trend that you're passing on for now? Memberships
2018 or 2019 planner of choice? This is a little bit complicated but I've gone digital. So it's a digital planner, in GoodNotes, on my iPad Pro. Bam.
Where would you invest $5,000 in your business today? Facebook ads.