"Your business will impact people’s lives far beyond your own. People will read what you write and change their minds. They use your products to feel happier and more connected to their lives and the world around them."
The Conquer Kit, the latest release from Emmy-award winning media businesswoman Natalie MacNeil, is a working “sketch, scribble, collage” journal-style, business planner for female entrepreneurs.
Creator of the acclaimed SheTakesOnTheWorld.com, an award-winning website recognised on Forbes’ Top 10 websites for Entrepreneurial Women, MacNeil has created The Conquer Kit to be a practical resource to help express business dreams, ideas and goals in a planned and structured way.
Designed for both female entrepreneurs just getting started and those yet to get begin their business venture, The Conquer Kit covers all the elements you need to consider within your business planning to be successful. From finding the ‘courage’ to get started, identifying a viable product, controlling your finances, marketing your idea, building a team and much more.
Clarity not clutter
"Mindset mastery is something most successful trailblazers do and it’s vital for you to bring your dreams to life"
Becoming clear about your goals and having personal awareness are the central principles of The Conquer Kit. To “get in the flow” MacNeil emphasises the importance of taking a step back (from wherever you are on your entrepreneurial journey) and purposefully reminding yourself of the core goals you set out to achieve, and the reasons you want to be in business.
Knowing your personal archetype or ‘type’ is a useful way to recognise the challenges that are most common for certain personalities and the ways these issues are most likely to detract from your success. The Conquer Kit introduces eight female entrepreneur archetypes inspired by the original ‘ego’ and ‘self’ types used by psychologist Carl Jung in the early twentieth century. MacNeil’s modern business woman types are:
Attributes: Fearless leader
Challenges: Commands respect, egocentric mindset
Attributes: Clear vision
Challenges: Reinventing process; prefers originality
Attributes: Big picture thinker
Challenges: Daydreamer; follow-through
Attributes: Results oriented
Challenges: Perfectionist; detail oriented
Attributes: Administrative centric
Challenges: Micromanager, lacks flexibility
Attributes: Big giver, philanthropist
Challenges: Easily discouraged, not profit oriented
Attributes: Unconventional thinker
Challenges: Administration, process
Attributes: Five star communicator
Challenges: Brand focused, customer centric
Nothing great lasts with shaky foundations. That’s not to say that what you’ve already started isn’t great. But, addressing areas of your business that just aren’t fun for you, that leave you feeling stressed and deflated can really make a difference in moving positively towards your business goals. Now is your chance.
Know your customers
"No matter what business you are in, having a process for welcoming and supporting new customers is a fundamental necessity to help them feel cared for and totally loyal to you for the long term."
If you’re already in business you may have data and analytics that tell you who your loyal clients are. When thinking about potential new clients, to match your existing or soon-to-be launched product successfully, MacNeil suggests creating “an insanely detailed picture of your client” first. Defining your ideal customer will help you form a business idea that will be more likely to attract them.
- Are they a man or a woman? What’s her name?
- Where does she live? City or suburbs?
- How are old is she?
- What does she read – which magazines, website or books?
- How does she spend her free time?
- What is she willing to splurge on?
You get the idea. The Conquer Kit takes knowing your customers beyond the traditional marketing concepts of customer segmentation and demographics, into a very personalised customer experience mindset. To get there, think about the products and services you love and why. Why do you keep going back to them? What problem do they solve for you?
"Finding time to plan out the next year, when you are distracted by the dirty dishes and a full Netflix queue, will prove to be challenging."
The Conquer Kit refers to Napoleon Hill, author of Think and Grow Rich who, like MacNeil, is also a great believer in a person’s positive mindset being the absolutely key to success. You may be familiar with his quote “A goal is just a dream with a deadline.”
Goal setting is not something we usually think positively about, because it sounds and feels like an onerous task, a time waster. Not any more. Month Mapping, a clever business planning alternative from the book, overhauls the boring task of tracking your business progress, your marketing efforts and financials against personal goals and your bottom line in four easy sections:
1. Each month, list your consistent “Balanced Ambitions” which are:
- Money: e.g. Earn $5,500 in revenue. Save $500
- Career and Learning: e.g. Read Good to Great
- Giving Back: e.g. Volunteer with a local charity
- Health: e.g. Walk 10,000 steps each day
- Relationship: e.g. One date a week with your spouse
2. Next, write down you “Conscious Creation” (marketing tools) such as:
- Social media
- Crete blog content
- Write new product copy
3. Then, capture your “Big Picture Milestones”. Examples are:
- Contact 100 new prospective clients
- Send information packs to 20 potential suppliers
4. Finally, be sure to record “Reflections” from the month. These would be individual and personal but could include reflection on:
- The biggest risk I took…
- The most valuable lesson I learned…
- A new connection I made…
After Month Mapping for 3, 6 and 12 months you will have developed a well documented, but more importantly, personalised business record that aligns your business goals with your sense of purpose. Goal setting that’s relevant and maybe even a little bit of fun too.
There is something to be said for writing stuff down. Impossible dreams and moments of inspiration become tangible. The Conquer Kit’s format gives you the opportunity to step away from your everyday “all-business” female entrepreneurial approach and have some honest ‘girlie’, diary-like fun in the process of building your business empire.
The author also supports students in Tanzania through the book’s royalties and the #PledgeYourProfit initiative.