Are You Supporting Your Empire?

By Jane Atkinson

The year 2008 is nearly upon us and it is an opportunity for us to evaluate and strategize.

One of the mantras that my clients create during our work together is ‘support the empire’.

Sounds like something straight out of Star Wars, doesn’t it?

But really what it means is supporting the lane that you’ve chosen with every new idea, product or speech that you develop.  You may not consider your business an empire, but I think it’s a great word to help us all think bigger.

I can’t tell you how often I’m talking to a client who has an idea for a new product or speech that has absolutely nothing to do with the growth of their business.  It takes them off focus and usually does not get the attention it needs to get off the ground.

I use an umbrella for a visual of the empire. Here’s a sample so that you can see how it looks:

At the top of your umbrella on the outside, write a label that best describes your lane or your expertise.  This is the title of your empire and should be very broad.

Some examples might be sales, leadership, teams, attitude, etc.

Next step, while keeping an eye on the empire, in the middle of the umbrella, write down the topics that you deliver that support the empire.

You may drop some topics in this exercise, the fewer the better because clients don’t believe that you are an expert in 10 completely different topics anyway.  Forexample on the sales front you might have: Sales leadership, closing skills, and negotiating topics.

Finally, falling underneath the umbrella, like rain would drip off the sides, write down your distribution channels (revenue streams).  Again with the sales example, you might list keynotes, workshops & training, coaching, consulting, and teleclasses as your product mix.

When you’re finished, you should be able to see anything that doesn’t fit and remove it.

When you have an idea for a new product or revenue stream, you can look at your umbrella and ask yourself this key question:

Is this idea going to support the empire??