“The size of your list doesn’t matter. It’s the size of your impact that counts.” – The Connection Effect

How the hell do you build a successful business with less than 1,000 subscribers on your list?! That’s the question that hit us this week when we realized we hadn’t yet hit 1,000 subscribers to our ‘list’….!!

998 Subscribers to be exact. Holy sh*t!

After almost three years creating The Connection Effect, building our ‘list’ has been low on the priority list. It just never felt right to us; even so, there have been so many times when we doubted ourselves and read article after article about how the ‘money is in the list!’ Not to mention the crazy looks of disbelief when we told people how intimate our community is and one person even said ‘You guys are completely crazy for not opening your private Facebook group to the world – that can not be good for business!’

The more we are in this game of entrepreneurship and impact making, the more we realize there are no hard and fast rules, strategies, or quick fixes. And so today we want to share with you three things that have made all the difference as we’ve navigated these uncertain waters.

Because what we now know is: building a list is just one tiny part of the equation.

And although we have a small ‘list’, it does not directly equate to impact. With a small list we have:

  • empowered many others through our programs to make substantial impacts of their own
  • sustained a team of four for the past 2 years
  • well-beyond replaced our previous ‘day job’ incomes
  • been able to travel internationally at least 2-3 times/year
  • made a difference to thousands upon thousands of people
  • create opportunities and clients from thin air
  • and plenty more.

There are three things that we have employed consistently over the past three years that we believe have enabled us to succeed in what is otherwise a tough road and we want to share them with you in the hope that they might make a difference to you also.

#1 Creative thinking

Along the way we’ve tapped into our creativity and strategic thinking. It’s easy to think there is only one way to skin a cat, there isn’t. Get creative and think ‘outside the box’ as much and often as you can. Rules are not set in stone, they are there to be stretched and remade when possible.

Our creative thinking has included things like:

  • launching a 10-month immersion program – this meant a consistent customer base + a timeframe that meant we could actually deliver results for our clients
  • hosting a local meetup in Sydney in 2013 – many of those people are some of our best supporters and repeat clients now.
  • trialing live workshops and events
  • creating our own high-performance Mastermind groups and developing a network of peers (instead of trying to access people who have already ‘made it’, we started to pick out people who could rise up alongside us and collaborate with us in the future).
  • reaching out to individuals one-one-one (instead of lazy, impersonal blanket emails) and invite them to our latest offerings – not to get the sale, but because we felt they were a great fit.
  • enabling potential clients to counter-offer – this sounds little crazy, but we don’t believe in hard and fast rules so we give our potential clients the space to do their own creative thinking. We do almost none of that today but in the early days it meant that affordability was never an issue for people to say yes to work with us, so long as there some kind of value exchange.


#2 Connections

Fostering strong connectedness with others has been a huge accelerator for us. Relationships are everything:

  • we have built some solid connections along the way, and not just with influencers, but with people we believed were up to something ‘big’ – you see, when you ignore people just because they haven’t broken through yet, you rob yourself of an opportunity to be one of their biggest supporters and connections to other networks of game changers.
  • we have also fostered relationships with people not just when they are doing our courses or coaching with us, but we continue to care well and truly beyond any particular timeframe – this is not so much a strategy but more a deep value that we can’t ignore. We try to reach out as often as we can just to say hi to people.
  • pretty much what we all want, whether we like to admit it or not, is to be ‘seen’ – taking the time to genuinely give others your loving attention is really at the heart of every success we’ve had and it’s super simple to do. Just simply show your care for others. Fortunately, this can’t easily be faked 😉
  • If you take a course, don’t be passive. Do the work, implement it and let the course creator know about your success! Offer a video testimonial and share SPECIFICALLY what results you created for yourself. There is no greater compliment and you will be immediately memorable.


#3 Collaborations

From creative thinking and connections then come collaborations. Finding others to collaborate with is not only way more fun, it can give you much needed traction and visibility, for example we:

  • pitched and ran a co-hosted, co-branded meetup with Live Your Legend at World Domination Summit in 2015
  • offered our coaching services for free (and then eventually paid) to Scott Dinsmore’s programs
  • coaching alongside Jonathan Fields’ RevU course as an affiliate and being sure to communicate the results of our clients along the way
  • inviting trusted peers and experts to run workshops or online training for our peeps
  • offering to host Chris Guillebeau in Sydney last year
  • creating Mastermind groups with fellow kick ass coaches and referring clients between us.


From Little Things Big Things Grow

So how would you rate your own levels of creative thinking, connectedness with others, and current collaborations? What area needs more focus? Where are you doing well?

Whatever the case, we want you to know that you can blaze your own trail, and what’s worked for us might not work for you – there is no ‘one size fits all’ – so take the reins and give yourself full permission to do things differently and block out all of the other noise.

And if our style does jive with you and you’re missing some crucial keys, then we are always here to support you.