About the Episode

Welcome to today’s episode. In our last episode, episode 41, I covered how we can anti-bro our businesses in three steps. I shared with you how I use the intersection of strategy, spirituality and self-inquiry to run my business.

Since that episode, I’ve spent a lot of time leaning into that intersection so I can find and share simple ways of creating strategies in our business that also feel aligned, that also feel humanized. So that’s what we’re going to be talking about today. I’m going to be sharing with you the four steps that I follow to create ethical strategies in my business. This is the same format I use for my launch strategies for content strategy, really any time that I need to be strategic.

If you’ve lost the desire to strategize and plan, this episode will help you get excited for your business again.

Topics discussed in episode #42

Topics Discussed:

  • The four steps Melanie follows to create ethical strategies in her business
  • Getting comfortable with thinking long term again and how to view strategy
  • How to decide what is a reasonable goal for your business and the importance of checking in with yourself and your business regularly
  • Remembering that your goals are your why
  • Knowing how you strategy serves your audience wherever they are at
  • The reminder that your business can look however you want it to look

Episode Resources:

Connect with Melanie here:



Speaker 1 (00:06):

Hey Outlaws. Welcome to today's episode. I am so excited to sit down and chat with you all because I feel like it has been a hot minutes in our last episode, episode 41. I went through how we can anti high-brow our businesses in three steps. And I shared with you the intersection that I run my own business from strategy spirituality and self-inquiry, and this is the way in which I run my own business. It's how I mentor and work with my peers and collective inside of the outlook collective. It's also how I recently ran the autumn business planning workshop that I hosted beginning of September, which was so much fun. And we had so much from planning together and connecting, and it was a great time, but the reason these three stages are really important. And this intersection is really important is because they work really well together.

Speaker 1 (01:05):

And I've spent a lot of time looking at this and really working through it in my own business so that I can share with both of you, all of your, but also anyone that works with me the most effective, yet simple ways of creating strategies in our business that also feel aligned. That also feel humanized. And that's what we're going to be talking about today. I'm going to be sharing with you the four steps that I follow to create ethical strategies in my business. This is the same format I use for my launch strategies for content strategy, anything where I need to be strategic, where I need to kind of put that step into that role and put that hat on. This is how I do it. And this is really cool because honestly, 2020 kind of burnt me out and I didn't want to be strategic.

Speaker 1 (01:59):

I tried so hard, but by the end of 2020, I was done. I didn't want to do anything strategic. I was just flying by the seat of my pants. And if you knew me before that, that's not how I do things. I like a plan. I like a plan. I like to know what I'm doing. I like to have a focus point and I've slowly but surely regained that in my business. And I'm so excited because in the last few weeks of summer, I've been mapping out things for the rest of this year, but also heading into the next year. I've been looking at planning out the podcast and reaching out to amazing guests, sitting down and recording sessions. It's been a really great few weeks. And honestly, I'm very excited that it is pumpkin spice season now. So if you didn't know that about me, there is a little thing I'm, I'm kind of obsessed with little things, pumpkin spice, and I'm really looking forward to sweater weather.

Speaker 1 (02:52):

So anyway, today we're going to be focusing on at these four steps to ethical business strategy, going to walk you through the four steps. We're going to talk about all this good stuff. And I'm hoping that you'll leave this episode with an idea of how you can really lean into being strategic in your business. If like me, you have lost that desire to strategize and plan. Well, you've just been really on the side of how to create an ethical strategy in your business because so much of what we see in online space is unethical. This is going to help you map that out. So we're going to get into episode 42, get cozy and let's get into it.

Speaker 2 (03:47):


Speaker 1 (03:51):

Okay. Outlaws. So before we dive into the four steps, I think it's really important that I share with you how I, how I like to explain strategy too well to myself, but also to do my peers and mentors when we're discussing strategy. I like to think of it as a bridge, right? Trust me, go with me. So strategy and being strategic. This is about kind of long term, right? Which I think is really daunting for most of us right now, because the only certainty we've had is uncertainty and constant change. And I, and I fully appreciate that. But when we think about what we're doing from a strategic point of view, this is a longer term process. So this doesn't have to mean that you're mapping out the next like five years of your business. In fact, I'm not mapping out any further than three months, but what it does mean is you are thinking about the longterm of your business.

Speaker 1 (04:51):

And I want you to keep that word in mind. Long-term because that's really important when it comes to entrepreneurship. So often we can be impatient. And we see so many of these stories that are all, they glorify these kinds of short term and quick results. That is not the norm, right? That is not the norm. It is an exception. So when we're talking about strategy, I like to think of it in the long time. And as I said, that doesn't mean that you have to blindly follow something, even if it's no longer working. But what it does mean is that you're really thinking about the future of your business, right? You're thinking about the future of your business and really how you want to achieve that thing. So back to the bridge, right? Just, just imagine for me for the second, if you need to close your eyes, I'm going to do that too.

Speaker 1 (05:38):

You're standing on one side of a bridge. And at the other end of that bridge is the goal is the vision of your business. It's something you want to achieve. The strategy that you're going to use is the bridge, right? So essentially you're going to walk across the bridge, but you need the bridge to be in existence for you to get them. So along the way, you're going to have these tactics and ways of which you actually achieve this strategy. Okay? I hope you're still with me. I hope this is making sense. I'm going to put a visual over our Instagram feed so that, you know, you can understand what I'm saying, but essentially for, to get from one side of the bridge to the other, you need to walk well, when it comes to strategizing, you have to put certain things in place and decide on certain areas of your business to achieve that goal, right?

Speaker 1 (06:27):

You can't just get from a to Z without doing everything else in between. And that's essentially what I'm trying to explain in a very poor way. So these four steps I'm going to share with you today. This is how you get there. And you can do these as regularly as you need to in your business. There is no prescription for this. And as you know, I hate telling people what they should do, because it really depends on so many things. So your strategy could look so different to mine because you have a different business model. You have a different lifestyle, you have different goals. And that is okay. That's a big permission slip today. It is. Okay. Okay. Okay. So let's get into these four steps, right? The first step to creating this ethical business strategy is checking in and reflecting, right? The recent workshop I hosted before we did any strategizing or planning, we spent time journaling and checking in and reflecting on our previous season, right?

Speaker 1 (07:35):

And this is so important because we usually dive straight into kind of the action taking, right. We would go get us with people who really want to take action. And I get that and that's great. But if we don't know what's working and what isn't working, then we can't set reasonable goals. We can't set goals actually reflect our business. And this is a mistake I see happening. I used to do this all the time and it's a mistake. I see that happens a lot in online business is we look at these big names of all my business. We see these people who are quote successful, and I'm sure they are, but at the same time, their business is not our business, right? It's none of our business, what they're doing. And they will use that as, as an example. But what we really need to do is kind of be really, really reasonable with ourselves and say, okay, hang on a minute, put my blinders on.

Speaker 1 (08:28):

Is this a reflection of my business? Right? So let's say, someone's saying that they made a seven figure launch. Great. Is that something that realistically you can achieve right now? And this isn't because I don't think that you can, or it's not because I don't believe in you. Trust me, I'm your biggest Julietta, but is that realistic? Is your audience size big enough? Are you up? Does your pricing reflect that these are the things that we have to consider? And these are such crucial factors that are left out of the equation. When we see these stories and transformations in the online space. So by checking in with yourself and your own business and reflecting, or how far you've come and where you want to be, this really helps you to establish what is reasonable and realistic for your business. Moving forward. It doesn't mean that you will stay in that same place.

Speaker 1 (09:30):

And this is why it's so important to check in on a regular basis. This is why it's so important to do business journaling and really integrate this into part of your strategy. Because by checking in with yourself, checking in with your data, checking in with what you really need and want from your business, you are going to be able to create strategic plans in your business, that both help you achieve your goals, but also feel really aligned and are ethical. So therefore they're serving you and your goals, but they're also serving your audience in a really wonderful way. And this is really important. So when it comes to setting yourself up for success, you really want to check in and reflect. Now, as I said in the workshop that I recently hosted, we checked in over the previous season. So we sat down and we looked back over the summer and we look to what was working and wasn't working.

Speaker 1 (10:25):

And one of the ways in which you can do this, if you already journal is looking through your journals, especially if you do a business journal, you can look back through those pages. Maybe you want to look back through, you know, if you have KPIs or you track that data and you want to go back through those numbers, all these things are going to help you look at what is working and what isn't working. But again, those two things are really crucial here. What is working from a data point of view, right? What is the, what are the numbers telling you those facts, but also you need to check in with yourself. And it does, even if those numbers are telling you that something is working, do you want to continue doing that thing? Because sometimes we will do something in our business and it works really well, but actually we hate it and it makes us miserable.

Speaker 1 (11:12):

So that's when we need to check in and reflect and decide what's next. So that's the first thing, the second thing, and this is, you know, this is a given is creating goals, right? Part of your strategy is going to be creating these kind of short term goals to get you there. Your strategy is how you do it. It's the path, it's everything along the way. But your goals, all the why, right? Your goals of why, why you want to achieve this thing, why you want to run a business, why you're running this particular business model, why are you helping these particular people? Why do you do what you do rather than something else? These things are really important because not only do they help you to really create this kind of anchor and create this foundation from which you build your business from which you create your goals and your strategies, it also helps you create content, right?

Speaker 1 (12:14):

I'm just saying it helps you create content because when you know why you do what you do and why you do it in this way, you're able to explain that in a better way to audience, you're able to explain that to your people. And you're able to build that connection with them because at the end of the day, people are going to be interested in the way you do something. And by showing up and creating your business in a way that reflects you and who you are and what you stand for, you are connecting to your audience and that deeper level. And I think for most of us, that's something that we have seen over the course of the last 18 months. We have become salvia. We are not interested in kind of aesthetics or things on a surface level. We really want to connect with businesses and do business with people who just get it.

Speaker 1 (13:02):

So when it comes to your goals, think about the question, why, right? Why do you do this thing? Why do you want to achieve this? Go at a really a good example that I often use is if I say to somebody, what's your content marketing goal, they'll be like, I want to grow my list, right? This is something I've said in my business. And I think we've probably all fell at some point. Like I need to grow my list. I need to grow my audience. And there's nothing wrong with that. But my question is always cool. Why? Because growing your email list is truthfully a never-ending process. If you're going to be an online business, you're going to want to grow your email list. That's a given, but why is that important to you? Why is that important to your business? Why and how does that help you grow your business?

Speaker 1 (13:52):

How does that help you reach the right people? And these are really important questions. And I hope you can see a theme here that so often we talk about strategy. We talk about growing a business and we talk about it from this very surface level place. Like, Hey, have a goal, create a strategy, make a plan. Cool. But there's so many questions that we really need to dig into to be able to actually do that in a way that is actually effective. And especially if a business owners, like if you will like myself, you have somebody who really runs with feelings and you can't just do something for the sake of it because you're being told you really want to understand this and you want to really make it your own. These are the kinds of questions that are going to help you do that.

Speaker 1 (14:34):

So, as I said, understanding why that is going to help you to create those goals, right? So your business goal is all about why, why you want to do this thing. And it really is about your needs and your feelings. Okay. So what do you need from your business? Maybe it's not just a financial goal, but there may be other goals as well. What do you need from your business? How do you want to feel as you go through the next three months, six months, 12 months over your business. Again, these things can evolve and change when always the same. We are, we are cyclical just like the seasons. So you may feel that right now in the autumn, you need something, but maybe in winter, it's something different again. That's okay. And that's why we check in and reflect. Okay. So just to go back, the four steps we've covered with them so far, the first one is checking in and reflecting, right?

Speaker 1 (15:29):

Being curious, asking yourselves questions, checking in with what worked and what didn't work. And this can both be data-driven, but it can also be driven by what you need. The second thing is knowing what your goals are, and this is really the why of your business, understanding why you do what you do and why you do it in the way you do. That was a very complicated, I feel like I've not sat down and spoken to your for so long that I can't get words out today. So we're just gonna, I go with it. Okay. So the third thing, the third thing is that strategy, right? The how your strategy is the, how it's the path takes you from point a to B and so on. So this is how you're going to achieve something. This is like, what might be call to actions are, and where am I directing people?

Speaker 1 (16:23):

You know, what is my lead magnet? What is my end goal? What am I products and offers? This is a journey between you and your people. And this is a journey that you create, right? So this is Johnny that you create for your people to take them from wherever they are right now, to wherever they want to be. And presumably your businesses involved in that journey. And along the way, they're going to learn more about your business. They're going to connect with you. They're going to engage with you. There's going to be conversation and community, wherever it is that you want a need from your business. And however you are creating that business. This is your customer journey. This is the journey you take your people on. This is the path and this is how you're going to do it. So really think about how you want to take people on this journey.

Speaker 1 (17:16):

This could be things from as simple as which social media platforms or which marketing platforms are you using, but then you want to also think about once they're on that platform, okay? What's the process here? How am I creating content? And how am I asking them to take action with me? How am I engaging with them? How am I involving them in the conversation? These are all strategic parts of this process. And this is what's really going to help you to get from point a to point B and also help your audience decide if are the right person for them, which by the way is completely up to them. We have zero control over this. We can only be ourselves and they have to make that decision. So the fourth and final step to creating these ethical business strategies is the planning, the planning, oh, I love planning the planning.

Speaker 1 (18:09):

And this is the what, okay. So this is the, what of your business. This is the execution. This is the, what you're going to do to actually have these conversations, engage with your audience and build those communities, right? Or build the visibility dependent on what your goals are for your business. But this is the planning stage. This is the part where you get to say, okay, well, am I going to create, what am I going to share with them? This is your content themes. And you know, you're posting schedules. This really like fine details. This is where you get to be really, really specific about what you're going to do and how you're going to execute this over the coming days, weeks, months, et cetera. So just to go back across these four steps, the first one is checking in and reflecting, right? Checking in and reflecting with yourself and the data what's working, what isn't working and using that to help you create the next stage, which is your goals.

Speaker 1 (19:12):

This is the why of your business, why you are doing this, why you do this thing in this way. The third stage is the strategy, which is the how, right? This is the journey you take your audience on it's the path. And the fourth is the planning personally, probably my favorite piece, but the planning, which is the what, right? This is where you get to be really, really specific. And if you are a creative person, you get to come up with fun ideas. You get to think about what kind of content you want to create. Uh, what kind of mediums you're going to use? Was it written podcasting, video, et cetera. This is the, this is kind of the planning stage. So these four, these four steps, they are all super important when it comes to building strategies within our business, right? So if you are creating a launch strategy, you're going to want to use these four steps.

Speaker 1 (20:05):

If you are creating a content strategy, you are going to want to use these four steps. You want to check in with these four things. Every time you're looking at creating something strategic in your business. And I promise that when you sit down and start with checking in and reflection, it is going to be a far easier and much more aligned process. Because when you know what you need from your business, you are able to make quicker decisions. You're able to make decisions that feel aligned decisions that are led by your values. And you're also going to make decisions that you're confident with, right? It builds your confidence because you're tapping into your own inner wisdom, your own intuition, and you're creating your business from that place. This is something we've talked a lot about inside of my membership, the outlook collective, because so often the online space, it actually doesn't build know like, and trust.

Speaker 1 (21:07):

It actually starts to deplete that know like, and trust within ourselves. And it shames us into having goals that don't look a certain way. It shames us into thinking that we should be doing something different. It constantly tells us that when never enough. And I want you to know today that you are enough that whatever your goal is is valid and you are allowed to create goals that awful yourself. So for example, if you want your business to remain a side hustle, you are allowed to do that, and nobody should have any opinion on that. Other than you, if you want to create a business that provides you with a small, additional income, whatever that means to you, that is okay because success is unconditional, right? So we shouldn't be putting conditions on our success. I'll be successful when you are already successful, you are already amazing.

Speaker 1 (22:09):

And now you get to create strategies from this really intuitive and value-driven place that helps you build a business that is ethical, right? This is the next kind of stage of taking everything we've been discussing here on the podcast with regards to burrow, marketing, and slowly replacing that with these ethical and humanized ways of running businesses. Now, the thing about these ways of running business is often, it feels like wait, going backwards. It feels like really uncomfortable because we're not sure even if something hasn't been working, we are uncertain as to whether this will work. And here's the thing is a lot of trust in ourselves and a lot of trust in the process. And I know that's really hard and it's not practical. And it's like, it feels like a theory, but I promise that there has to be some trust. And the more that we trust in ourselves, that we are making these decisions from a place of value and from intuition, then really you're not going to be doing anything wrong, right?

Speaker 1 (23:14):

I don't know how, if you make a decision from your own intuition and you trust yourself because you're building a business that's based on values and your own beliefs, you conquer wrong because you're trusting yourself. And that's the most important part of this process. So I would love for you to come over to Instagram and share with me what you've taken away from today's episode, because I've been really excited to be leaning into these full stages in my own business. This is something we've been working on inside of the outlook collective. And as I said, it's, it's how we approached planning for autumn on my recent workshop. So over the coming weeks and months, we're going to be talking about launch stretch. GMOs are going to talk about content strategy. There's going to be specific episodes that dive into this. We're also going to have some incredible guests and in October is our first birthday.

Speaker 1 (24:10):

So we're going to have some really fun stuff planned for October and some fun episodes then as well. Our next episode, episode 43, I am going to be joined by a guest. I'm going to be joined by Zuzanna from medley think. And I'm so excited to sit down with her. If you to hear this conversation, it was so much fun. And she's going to be sharing about branding and marketing and really what branding essentially is. And you might as going to be blurred, right? Because she's going to be talking about, um, why branding is not just a logo. And I absolutely adored this conversation. I felt like it just really was so powerful and no matter where you are in business, this is going to be a conversation you want to be a part of and here. So that's coming in a couple of weeks, but for today, I want to say, thank you for being here.

Speaker 1 (25:04):

Thank you for listening into this pod podcast. If I could get my words out and I wanted to ask if you could pop over to apple analytics and rate and review the podcast. So if you could take just a few moments, if you've enjoyed today's episode and you love the show, if you could take a few moments to come over to apple podcasts and rate and review the podcast, this really helps me to put the podcast in front of new listeners, but also helps us to engage and connect with other guests who we can bring onto the show so that you can hit that. No worries about being an entrepreneurial outlaw and how they're doing business differently. I would really appreciate it. Thank you so much for that taking the time to listen today. And as I said, make sure you come over and join us on Instagram. It's entrepreneurial under school Outlaws and come and say, Hey, share your favorite gifts with me. And let's have this conversation over there as well. Let's talk about these four steps and how you're going to be using these in your own business in the coming weeks and months until next time Outlaws.