What is a Hybrid World?
A hybrid world includes the word hybrid, which is something that is made by combining two different elements. It’s a mixture. If you have a hybrid citrus tree, you may have oranges and lemons growing out of the same tree, though on different branches. They’ve been grafted together. Most hybrid versions work extremely well, especially in the right conditions.
We've heard the word hybrid quite a bit, especially in the last couple years, referring to the addition of virtual meetings and opportunities. I’d like to expand the thinking of hybrid world to include multiple grafts of business on a main stalk, and not just online versions of a live presentation or meeting. Many speakers, entertainers, artists and business persons have obtained the ability to use online tools to enhance what can happen face-to-face. The next step for most everyone is expanding how multiple areas, not just tools, can work together in a hybrid situation.
Different branches and types of of business can flow out of the same root source--which is you. This is especially relevant for those in the field of arts, education, coaching and speaking. But it applies to many others as well in order to diversify income. We will cover four ways to develop those branches and I hope it will spark your imagination to use more of your uniqueness and creativity. See: Developing Your Intellectual Property.
One: Identify Your Main Purpose
In a hybrid world, you’ll have multiple grafts on a tree, or lanes on a highway. But you should be able to identify your one main trunk on the tree or route on the highway. All parts of your life and business will then make sense as they will be able to compliment and work together, headed in the same direction. (FREE Purpose Tree Download)
As an example, the main goal of my business is to help people maximize their skills at the halftime of life, focusing on their uniqueness. There are offshoots of that goal with not only the messaging through speaking and books, but music products that promote learning and discovery.
I’ve established the area of music as not only another business to sell and license product, but to inspire, keep the mind sharp and add enjoyment. The training I provide in music helps others maximize their skills, still fulfilling my main purpose.
Two: Identify Your Areas to Diversify
Regularly identifying the different areas of your business and how they work together should be a priority. I think it’s important to do so at least quarterly as an entrepreneur, the same as many corporations. As you do so, determine how you are unique in each of the areas you’ve identified. You will keep your main purpose as your main lane, but there will be multiple lanes to fulfill that purpose. The challenge is to not be overwhelmed with the organization and management of all the areas, which isn’t always easy!
I grew up adapting the philosophy of a wheel of priorities. Today, we often hear it called a wellness wheel and you can find a number of variations on the reasoning behind the wheel. Primarily, it focuses on a balanced life and includes physical, educational, financial, family, social and spiritual areas. You rotate the wheel as you focus on balancing the different areas of your life. Many life coaches use a form of this approach.
I like to go a step further in creating a business wheel of priorities as I think the wheel application applies fairly well. (FREE Business Wheel Download) A speaker may have live engagements, online courses, webinars, coaching, product, etc… The challenge is keeping all areas balanced and turning. You can’t feel guilty that one hub gets more attention at a certain time.
Going a step further for speakers or other business owners, you may have original art for sale or another side business. Determining the connection of those side projects should be noted as branches, grafted on the main root of your tree and the business wheel of priorities will help to keep all areas at least moving.
Three: Multiple Wheels of Business
With a business wheel of priorities, you have identified multiple businesses, even if one of the areas feels more like a hobby. Anything that makes money can be identified as part of a business. It took me awhile to admit that this is what I was establishing with music publishing and licensing. That realization helped me to calm down and manage each area more effectively, rotating as needed and not feeling guilty when I needed to spend more time in one area than another.
I’ve recently had to apply this. No one can give attention to every area at all times. I needed to automate as much as possible and plan ahead when finishing a book. Since I’ve been spending so much time recently writing The SUMMIT, I temporarily paused the promotion of Learn Music Again. However, the emails and lead magnets were automated and kept going for music licensing and sheet music and that has proven to be successful.
With every project I do, when it is almost done I am reminded of the tremendous concentration to not only finish but finish well. It’s like the last push in a race. You can’t fall down. Also, the marketing effort takes as much, or more work to plan and execute. This takes a shift of focus to automate as much as possible in all other areas to keep them running. Nothing is completely dropped. Certain areas just get less direct attention.
Four: Get the Help You Need
I caution anyone to hold off hiring help until you have time to manage well. It’s very tempting to free up your time by having a virtual assistant do some of the tedious work. But if you want good results, you need to allow enough time to communicate clearly and succinctly, especially when working with anyone from another culture.
I have spoken with more than several people that have not had a tremendous amount of success using services such as Fiverr. In those cases, I ask how much research they did in finding the right person. When hiring someone from organizations like this, spend enough time to really look through their work and read reviews. Also understand there may be a language barrier, so beware! Note: never base your hiring on reviews alone as those can be misleading.
I suggest to start out with a small project with very little risk when hiring someone new. I started one of my assistants on a two-week trial. With graphics, I started with one small project that was very cost-effective. You will soon find out if they are trustworthy and will do what you need. This is especially advantageous when embarking on multiple projects that need different skills.
As an example, I used a contact on Fiverr for my new book cover. I looked at every sample and even though my project had some unique requests, I was able to hire intelligently and got the results I wanted. I was also able to refer back to the designer’s examples to explain what was working on my project and what wasn’t. It does help that I have quite a bit of experience working with Photoshop, but that’s not necessary. I just know what’s possible!
The Way to Apply a Hybrid World
Included with this article is a free Purpose Tree download to identify your areas of business pictures as grafts on a tree. You can add or subtract branches, then place those areas in a wheel diagram for your own business wheel of priorities. While you’re at it, update your wellness wheel.
It’s worth taking the time to identify your main purpose, areas to diversify, wheel of business and the help you need now or in the future. A good plan will help you with solid, successful execution. I’m rooting for you!
A good plan will help you with solid, successful execution.
Thought Leader, Keynote Speaker, Author
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