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Unlocking Business Success: Insights on Mentorship and Audience Building

Unlocking Business Success: Insights on Mentorship and Audience Building

Unlocking Business Success: Insights on Mentorship and Audience Building

Are you ready to transform your business journey with strategies that actually work? In our newest podcast episode, we sit down with Christine Campbell Rapin, a luminary in the world of business mentorship and audience building. Christine’s approach is not just about achieving success; it’s about understanding the core of your business and the people who make it thrive.

Welcome to a wealth of wisdom where Christine Campbell Rapin, a seasoned business mentor and consultant, delves deep into the art of business mentorship and the science of building an audience. This episode is a must-listen for entrepreneurs, marketers, and business enthusiasts eager to elevate their game.

Episode Highlights:

  1. The Genesis of a Business Mentor: Christine kicks off the episode by sharing her journey into business mentorship. She uncovers the nuances of providing valuable insights and how this can be a game-changer in your business strategy.
  2. Crafting an Audience of Buyers: Moving into the realm of marketing, Christine discusses the intricacies of building an audience that doesn’t just listen but actively buys. This segment is a goldmine for those struggling to convert their audience into customers.
  3. The Art of Client Engagement: Identifying and engaging with potential clients is an art, and Christine is here to be your guide. Learn how to spot and attract the right clients for your business in this insightful segment.
  4. Curiosity as a Business Catalyst: Ever thought about how curiosity can be a powerful tool in business? Christine explores how sparking curiosity can lead to buying signals and how to build this curiosity in your marketing strategies.
  5. Understanding and Communication in Audience Building: The episode culminates with Christine emphasizing the importance of understanding and communication in building an audience of buyers. This is where you learn the secret sauce of audience engagement.

Christine Campbell Rapin’s expertise is not just theoretical; it’s a blend of years of experience and practical knowledge. Whether you’re a startup founder, a seasoned entrepreneur, or a marketing professional, this episode is packed with actionable insights that can reshape the way you approach business mentorship and audience building.

But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. To dive into the depth of Christine’s wisdom, you need to listen to the entire episode. There are nuggets of knowledge and strategies that we haven’t covered here, which could be the key to unlocking your business’s potential.

Embark on this enlightening journey with Christine Campbell Rapin. Tune in now to our latest podcast episode and start unlocking the doors to your dreams. Your path to business success is just a play button away!

Are you interested in being a guest? Contact us today!

Ep.33 – Mastering the Art of Productizing Services

Ep.33 – Mastering the Art of Productizing Services

Productizing Your Services with Expert Maiko Sakai

In the bustling world of entrepreneurship, the concept of productizing services has emerged as a game-changer, especially for those in creative and service-based industries. Episode 33 of our podcast brings this concept into sharp focus, featuring the seasoned business coach Maiko Sakai. Her insights provide a roadmap for entrepreneurs eager to scale their ventures while maintaining authenticity and value.

The Essence of Productization

Maiko Sakai begins by demystifying the concept of productizing services. She explains that it’s not just about creating a one-size-fits-all package but about developing a structured, scalable service that still allows for personalization and quality. This approach helps businesses move away from the traditional time-for-money model, offering a more sustainable and scalable way of delivering value to clients.

Personalization within a Structured Framework

A highlight of the episode is when Maiko discusses how to craft targeted experiences within a productized business model. She emphasizes the importance of understanding your audience and tailoring your services to meet their unique needs. This segment is particularly insightful as it demonstrates how productization doesn’t mean losing the personal touch that often makes service-based businesses so successful.

Steering Clear of Common Pitfalls

Maiko also delves into the common mistakes entrepreneurs make when transitioning to a productized service model. This part of the conversation is crucial as it offers listeners the chance to learn from others’ experiences, helping them avoid common pitfalls that can hinder the productization process.

The Journey to Effective Productization

Throughout the episode, Maiko touches on several key aspects of productizing services:

  • Asking the Right Questions: She stresses the importance of aligning business goals with customer needs, a critical step in ensuring the success of a productized service.
  • Finding Your Niche: The discussion on the Niche Identifier Diagram is a game-changer for those struggling to find their footing in a crowded marketplace.
  • Aligning Expertise with Passion: Maiko talks about the importance of aligning what you’re good at with what you love doing, ensuring business satisfaction.
  • Scalability and Efficiency: She sheds light on scaling business services without overworking, and the time-saving benefits of productizing services.
  • Pricing Strategies: Understanding the difference between perceived value and true value is crucial for setting prices that reflect the worth of your services.

Episode 33 with Maiko Sakai is a must-listen for any entrepreneur looking to refine their service offerings and scale their business. Her expert guidance provides a clear path for transforming service businesses into scalable, efficient, and profitable ventures.


  • [00:01:11]: Defining Productized Offer
  • [00:03:29]: Example of Productized Offer for Business Coaches
  • [00:05:09]: Common Mistakes in Productizing Services
  • [00:07:19]: Important Questions for Productizing Services
  • [00:09:19]: The Three Circles in Niche Identifier Diagram
  • [00:13:56]: Impact of Misaligned Expertise and Experience
  • [00:18:27]: Scalability of Productized Offers
  • [00:21:40]: Time-Saving Benefits of Productizing Services
  • [00:25:08]: Perceived Value vs. True Value in Pricing

This episode is more than just a conversation; it’s a comprehensive guide filled with actionable insights. Whether you’re a seasoned entrepreneur or just starting out, Maiko Sakai’s expertise in productizing services is an invaluable resource for anyone looking to innovate and grow in today’s dynamic business landscape. Tune in to transform your approach to service delivery and take your business to the next level!

About Maiko

Maiko Sakai, the founder of Airtight Concepts, is a seasoned business strategy consultant, a.k.a. secret weapon & confidant to visionary entrepreneurs with the desire to build a high-functioning, profit-generating business of their dreams.

 She serves her clients whom she fondly calls “Grounded Go-Getters” to shift from operating a transactional business to a transformational business through her 3 business programs, “10 Leads in 10 Weeks Challenge,” “Define + Refine Your Profitable Niche” and “Business Optimizer 360.”

 Originally from Japan, Maiko considers herself a New Yorker, loves ethnic foods of all kinds, and is a sucker for ultra-contemporary design & exotic houseplants. She earned her MBA from Cornell University. Find out more:

Are you interested in being a guest? Contact us today!

Ep 26. How to Attract Your Dream Client

Ep 26. How to Attract Your Dream Client

Are you an entrepreneur struggling to attract your ideal client? The latest episode of The Entrepreneur Society Podcast might just hold the key you’ve been searching for. In an insightful and empowering session, we had the pleasure of hosting Navi Bliss, a renowned love and confidence coach, who shares her transformative journey and how it influences her unique approach to business and personal success.

Navi’s Personal Odyssey: A Beacon of Hope
Navi Bliss’s story is nothing short of inspiring. Overcoming a challenging past, she emerged with a profound understanding of self-worth and self-love. Her experiences are a testament to the power of inner transformation and how it can radically change our external world, including the realm of business.

Self-Love: The Core of Attracting Dream Clients
One of the most striking revelations from Navi’s interview is the concept that the journey to attracting your dream client starts within. It’s not just about how you present your business; it’s about how you perceive and value yourself. Navi beautifully parallels her personal experiences with relationship attraction to how entrepreneurs can magnetize their ideal clients.

Sourcing Worth from Within: A Game-Changer for Entrepreneurs
Navi delves into the concept of ‘self-sourcing worth.’ This idea is a game-changer, especially for entrepreneurs battling imposter syndrome or the ups and downs of business. By drawing worth from within, Navi suggests that entrepreneurs can face rejection or challenges without losing their core confidence and value.

Daily Practices of Self-Love: Nurturing Your Business and Yourself
Practical and grounded, Navi doesn’t just stop at theoretical advice. She provides actionable steps towards incorporating self-love into daily life. These practices are not just self-care routines; they are strategies to enhance your business by enhancing your self-perception and energy.

The Bigger Picture: Attraction Beyond Business
What makes Navi’s insights universally applicable is her emphasis on the holistic nature of attraction. It’s not just about business; it’s about life. Her advice transcends professional boundaries, providing listeners with wisdom that can improve their personal relationships and overall quality of life.

Why This Episode Is a Must-Listen
Whether you’re an established entrepreneur or just starting out, Navi’s insights offer something for everyone. Her story is relatable, her advice is practical, and her approach is holistic. This episode is not just another business strategy session; it’s a guide to personal transformation with direct implications for business success.

Final Thoughts
In a world where business advice is often limited to tactics and strategies, Navi Bliss brings a refreshing and deeply effective perspective. It’s about aligning your inner self with your business goals. So, if you’re ready to embark on a journey that transforms not just your business but your entire approach to life and success, this episode of The Entrepreneur Society Podcast with Navi Bliss is your starting point.

Tune in Now
Don’t miss out on these invaluable insights. Tune in to The Entrepreneur Society Podcast to hear Navi’s full story and learn how to attract your dream clients by starting with the most crucial relationship – the one with yourself.

Connect with Navi




Clubhouse/Twitter/Tiktok: @navibliss



Are you interested in being a guest? Contact us today!

Strategies to Grow Your Business

Strategies to Grow Your Business

Being an entrepreneur can be challenging, and being a woman entrepreneur can be even more challenging, especially when it comes to wanting to grow your business. However, with the right strategies and resources, women entrepreneurs can succeed in their ventures, and that is precisely what we will explore in this blog post. Today, we will delve into some of the most effective ways for women entrepreneurs to scale their businesses and achieve success.

  1. Leverage your network:

Networking is a vital aspect of growing any business, but it is even more critical for women entrepreneurs. Your network is your greatest asset, and it is essential to build and maintain relationships with peers, mentors, and other professionals. By attending networking events, joining groups, and taking advantage of mentorship opportunities, you can establish valuable contacts that can help guide you towards success.

Additionally, women entrepreneurs should make sure to seek out other women in particular, as research has shown that female entrepreneurs often have better outcomes when they work together. Create and nurture relationships with other female entrepreneurs and seek out coaches or role models who can offer support and guidance.

  1. Embrace Technology:

Technology has revolutionized the way we do business, and it is now possible to leverage a range of powerful tools to help grow your business more efficiently. From social media marketing to online tools that help you manage your finances and streamline your operations, technology can be a powerful ally for women entrepreneurs.

AI’s popularity has grown over this past year and more and more people are starting to see the benefits and how it can help them save time while boosting productivity. Some of our favorite AI platforms are:

  • for research, copy, and blogs
  • Canva for creating graphics
  • Happy Scribe for transcribing audio and video files
  • for transcribing and notetaking in Zoom meetings

In addition to leveraging technology, it is also important to stay up-to-date on emerging trends and new tools that can benefit your business. Attend webinars or watch tutorials to learn new skills and make sure you are using the latest and greatest tools in your industry.

  1. Invest in Yourself:

Ultimately, as an entrepreneur, you are the driving force behind your business. Therefore, investing in your own growth and development is critical to long-term success.

Investing in yourself can take many forms, from attending conferences and workshops to taking courses and learning from other successful entrepreneurs. Seek out opportunities to continually improve yourself, and don’t be afraid to seek out feedback or coaching from others who have been through the same experiences as you.

  1. Prioritize Your Financial Management:

Effective financial management is critical to the success of any business, but this is particularly true for women entrepreneurs who may be operating in industries that face additional pressure or discrimination.

It is crucial to build a strong financial foundation for your business by investing in bookkeeping and accounting services, setting up an emergency financial fund, and creating a budget that allows for flexibility and innovation. Additionally, prioritize funding sources that are supportive of women entrepreneurs, such as female-led venture capital firms or crowdfunding platforms that prioritize diversity and inclusivity.

Scaling a business as an entrepreneur can be challenging, but it is also one of the most rewarding experiences you can have. By leveraging your network, embracing technology, investing in yourself, prioritizing your financial management, and focusing on diversity and inclusivity, you can overcome the challenges and achieve success. As a community of entrepreneurs, we’re here to support and empower each other as we climb higher toward our goals.

Yes, You can ignore that business feedback.

Yes, You can ignore that business feedback.

Do you need to listen to that business feedback?

Do you know when it’s time to ignore feedback? It’s an important key to success for startups and small businesses, as it can easily get caught up in constant advice or opinions. After all, every business owner strives to increase their growth potential and build a solid customer base. However, understanding when criticism is beneficial — and knowing that sometimes ignoring the feedback will result in a better outcome — is crucial for entrepreneurs looking to achieve those objectives. In this blog post, I discuss why being open to customer feedback isn’t always the best option for your business and how you can tell which sort of critical advice should be ignored!

What is business feedback, and why is it important

As a business owner or manager, it’s important to know how your company is doing from the perspectives of your customers, partners, and employees. That’s where business feedback comes in. Simply put, business feedback is the information you receive from these groups about your products, services, processes, and overall operations. It’s one of the most important tools you can use to evaluate your business’s strengths and weakne ands to identify opportunities for improvement. Whether you’re gathering feedback through surveys, social media, or other means, it’s crucial to take it seriously and use it to guide your decision-making. By listening to what oth to say and taking action based on their input, you can build stronger relationships with your stakeholders and drive your business forward.

Benefits of being open to feedback

Being open to feedback can be a powerful tool for personal and professional growth. When we accept feedb, we open ourselves up to new perspectives, ideas, and ways of doing things. Feedback can help us identify our strengths and weaknesses and give us a roadmap for improvement. Moreover, seeking and accepting feedback builds trust and strengthens relationships. By showing that we are open to receiving feedback, we signal to others that we are committed to growth and development. Finally, being open to feedback can help us become more resilient and adaptable. When we embrace feedback, we become better equipped to deal with unexpected challenges and setbacks. Ultimately, being open to feedback is an important mindset for everyone looking to achieve their full potential.

When to ignore business feedback

Have you ever received negative feedback about your business and found yourself unsure of how to proceed? It’s important to remember that construprecious be incredibly valuable, but not all feedback is created equal. When evaluating whether to listen or ignore feedback, consider the source. Is the criticism coming from a unpleasable customer or from a friend who has never ventured into the world of entrepreneurship? If so, take it with a grain of salt. On the other hand, if multiple people are making the same complaint or a trusted mentor in your industry offers a suggestion, it’s worth taking into consideration. Ultimately, it’s up to you to weigh the feedback and make informed decisions for the growth and success of your business.

Types of feedback to avoid as a business owner

As a business owner, receiving feedback is essential to improving your services or products. However, keep in mind that it’s up to you to decide if this feedback is worth paying attention to or if you should toss it in the trash. It’s important to be mindful of the types of feedback that may actually hinder your progress. Avoid feedback that is overly negative or attacking in nature. This type of feedback can be discouraging and unproductive- and completely mindf*ck you. Additionally, feedback that is vague or unclear can be difficult to act upon. It’s important to seek out feedback that is specific, actionable, and offered in a constructive manner. By being open to feedback while also being discerning, you can set your business up for success.

How to handle feedback that doesn’t make sense

Have you ever recieved feedback that didn’t make any sense at all? For example, as a business owner, you will have people tell you that you “need” to be on the latest social media platform that is booming. There may be some truth to what they are saying- but let’s say that your target audience is somewhere else or that you realize you’ll be spreading yourself too thin- and it’s better to be consistent on one platform that inconsistent on several.

Rather than being discouraged, take the opportunity to ask clarifying questions to better understand the perspective of where they are coming from. It’s also important to respond with understanding, acknowledging their experience and expressing gratitude for their feedback. Consider incorporating the feedback into future improvements or updates, regardless of whether or not it initially made sense. Ultimately, handling feedback in a positive and proactive manner can lead to increased loyalty and satisfaction.

Strategies for dealing with negative feedback in a positive way

As much as we may try to avoid it, negative feedback is an inevitability in both our personal and professional lives. However, it doesn’t have to bring us down. Learning strategies for dealing with negative feedback in a positive way can help us grow and improve. One approach is to take a step back and evaluate the feedback objectively.

Instead of becoming defensive, try to understand where the feedback is coming from and what can be learned from it. Another helpful strategy is to reframe the feedback in terms of constructive criticism, rather than solely focusing on the negative aspects. This can shift one’s mindset towards improvement rather than dwelling on shortcomings. Ultimately, the key is to see negative feedback as an opportunity to learn and grow, rather than an attack on our abilities. By approaching negative feedback with a positive mindset and using effective strategies, we can turn it into a catalyst for personal and professional development.

As a business owner, giving and receiving feedback is an important part of your work life. Knowing that feedback has many positive aspects, it’s important to remain open to critique and criticism. It’s also important to remember when you to ignore advice when it isn’t the best for your business. At the same time, try to handle customer feedback in a respectful manner, even if you don’t agree with it. Working on strategies such as maintaining a sense of humour and focusing on solutions rather than issues can help make negative feedback more manageable. Every conversation gives you valuable insight; use this knowledge as a guide when forming strategies to grow your business and reach new heights!

How to Find Your Profitable Niche in Business

A lot of people use this expression, finding a niche or picking a niche. I take a different approach from it. You’re not picking or finding your niche. Your niche will speak to you. Your niche will appear in front of you, discovering your profitable. This is the important part. By the way, I always say profitable niche.

I don’t just say niche. It needs to be a profitable niche.

Maiko Sakai

I wasn’t thinking of finding my profitable niche when I joined my friend Nathalie’s Twitter space. I was invited to be the guest, sharing my insight on some latest digital marketing trends, and there happened to be a woman in there also that I had not met yet- but soon would. Maika Sakai is a business strategy consultant, and she started sharing her perspective on finding your niche.

Starting a business can be an exciting and rewarding experience, but it also requires careful planning and consideration. Before you dive headfirst into launching your business, you need to identify a profitable niche that will ensure the success of your venture. Finding a niche in business is essential for setting yourself up for long-term success. With the right approach, you can uncover untapped markets with plenty of potential customers who are eager to buy what you have to offer. In this article, we’ll discuss how to find the perfect niche for your business so that it has the best chance at profitability.

Having a niche in business is important for many reasons. It allows you to focus your efforts and resources on a specific target market and build expertise in the field. A well-defined niche can attract loyal customers, open new doors to collaborations with like-minded people, and help you stand out from the competition.

But what if you want to find your profitable niche?

What goes into discovering that? What mistakes do we typically make?

Maiko started to share some of her tips that took finding my niche to a deeper level- a level that I hadn’t thought of before. As she began to explain some of the most common mistakes that business owners made, I recognized many of them as some of the mistakes that I had made before. She was now giving them a name that I didn’t realize existed.

I had to invite Maiko to share her insight with you!

Do you have a friend who needs help finding a profitable niche? If so, share this video with her!

Connect with Maiko Sakai

Twitter: @MaikoSakaiBiz

IG: @MaikoSakaiBiz


Be a Guest

If you’re interested in being a guest, please request by visiting my Be a guest page.


[00:00:02.970] – Deanna

Maiko, I am so excited to have you here today. Oh, my gosh, I’m so pumped. Now, you and I met on Twitter and some of those relationships that you meet somebody virtually on a social media platform, but you never really get to see them in person. The first time that you and I are having a conversation face to face, virtually face to face and no interruptions. Exactly. I am so excited to have you here because you are going to be sharing some really good information with everybody today, and I just appreciate you taking the time to join me.

[00:00:48.670] – Maiko

Oh, my pleasure.

[00:00:50.290] – Deanna

When I first met you on Twitter, I believe it was in a chat or something along those lines, and your whole vibe was about Niching Down and why that was so important. And you actually have a test that you can take on your website to find out where you fit. But first of all, let’s talk about how did you first decide that Niching Down was important? What got you on this journey?

[00:01:23.830] – Maiko

Right, so it was kind of, like, happened accidentally. I had an opportunity to present in front of a bunch of winners. There was a startup competition at WeWork Organization, and my job was to present something that would have been useful for them. The start of the environment is a little bit different from, like, a service business owner environment, but I figured, you know what, let’s talk about positioning without really talking about positioning. So the framework itself is still the same. It’s just a three circle Venn diagram. I’m not going to get into all that nitty gritty of it, but very simple framework, and the feedback that I got from that was really good. So back then, I thought, you know what? To me, I didn’t think anything of it. I was just trying to look for something that could be useful for them. Right. But then I realized, maybe I really need to focus on this and make sure that the people can get the concept the right. So that’s how I started.

[00:02:39.090] – Deanna

That’s interesting. Now, I know when I first started in my business a long time ago, if someone had told me that I need to niche down, that would have scared me, because in my mind, that would mean that I’m leaving money on the table, that I’m not talking to everybody. And my product or my service was able to help a lot of people, not just one particular person. But what exactly is Niching down? Because you actually enlightened me about what Niching down was even after that point. So what is Niching down?

[00:03:22.370] – Maiko

Basically, a lot of people use this expression, finding a niche or picking a niche. I take a different approach from it. You’re not picking or finding your niche. Your niche will speak to you. Your niche will appear in front of you, discovering your profitable. This is the important part. By the way, I always say profitable niche. I don’t just say niche. It needs to be profitable.

[00:03:52.660] – Deanna

Difference there.

[00:03:53.630] – Maiko

Yeah. Think about it. We’re not running a hobby here, right? We’re running a business. So it needs to be profitable. It’s a byproduct of you experimenting your business. It’s okay to have some bad client experiences, right? You can read about it all you want, but unless you really go through with the real life experience, it’s harder for you to really determine what works for you and what doesn’t work for you. Maybe a couple of clients weren’t that bad, but the set up or the premise or the context of the working arrangement, maybe that wasn’t ideal. Maybe you liked the clients, you just didn’t like what you’re doing for them. There’s so many things you get to learn from that while you’re going through all those experiences. You get to see what your profitable niche might be, but it doesn’t end there, right? You get to have that hypothesis, but then you’re going to have to test it and see if there’s a demand. Again, it needs to be a profitable niche.

[00:05:00.290] – Deanna

So if I’m understanding you correctly and please let me know if I’m wrong, niching down isn’t just finding that ideal person. It’s also about what you love to do. Of course. Because I know, let’s face it, right? We probably all have taken on a job. And even when we sent the proposal, we were just like, we really don’t want to do this.

[00:05:27.210] – Maiko

There’s a red flag or something inkling in the background. Sometimes you do it for money, right? I love non sugar cord conversations, and I want this to be another one of those things. Let’s face it. Sometimes we do it for the money or for the sake of a cash flow, but the end result is always the same, right? We regret it because it took so long, or it took so long to get paid, or it took up so much time that you couldn’t really like you might have missed an opportunity because of it. At the end, we learned the same lesson. But the thing is, you want to have your own experience going through with that. Again, you can read all about other people’s experiences, but you want to feel it. You want to be present with those experiences. Bad experiences are not actually bad.

[00:06:26.570] – Deanna

Well, you’re right. You’re absolutely right. But see, I didn’t look at things like that. I always looked at it as being a person. So it’s really cool and almost refreshing to hear that. Niching down doesn’t have to be necessarily a person, but it can be your product or your service or the way that you’re doing business can look differently.

[00:06:50.620] – Maiko

Oh, absolutely.

[00:06:52.310] – Deanna

Yeah. It’s not like this. It’s awesome to hear that. It’s like, okay, so let’s talk about some of the biggest mistakes that you see, because you’ve been working with clients for a long time on nishing Down in fact, you talk about nishing down on your business doesn’t have to be limiting or boring. And I really believe we think that. We feel that. A lot of us do.

[00:07:22.430] – Maiko


[00:07:22.820] – Deanna

So let’s talk about some mistakes so that we don’t feel so limited and boring, right?

[00:07:28.590] – Maiko

Yeah, totally. Exactly. So dealing with those concerns and fears is definitely a big part of it. So some people might say running a business is all about 90% mindset and 10% strategy. Some people say 80 20 based on 80 20 rule, that sort of stuff. But it doesn’t matter. 80% or 90%, it’s up there. Right. So that’s part of the mistake as well. The first mistake is definitely this a lack of understanding what it is to really define your profitable niche. And we touched on that a little bit. Right. And we sort of debunked the myth of it needs to be sort of like an ICA based ideal, customer, avatar based. It doesn’t really have to be. And if I can touch on the framework itself, I can make it very quickly that there will be three circles, right? Two circles on top and one circle at the bottom. That’s called the Venn diagram. And in the middle there’s the overlapping part. That’s what you wanted to tap into. I don’t have anything to present in terms of visual, but I’m sure you can visualize that quickly. Right, right. So the top two circles to the left, it’s all about your experience and your expertise.

[00:08:52.690] – Maiko

But when I say experience, I don’t talk about your work experience or your skill set. It’s the experience you bring into the table. If you work with your client, how does that person feel when that person is working with you? So that’s the experience that I talk about. And of course, expertise, what you are great at or what you love doing. So that’s part of that. Right. The next circle to the right would be the one that’s the market. Obviously, you’re not selling to yourself. You have to sell to someone else. And there has to be a market. How do you define it? Right. And at the bottom is the delivery circle. That’s all the how is house. How do you price it? How do you deliver it? What’s the duration of time? Is it via audio, remotely, in person? All those houses at the bottom? The problem is that everybody wants to go to that third circle first. How am I going to package this? How am I going to price it? You know, how long should I continue? And they get into this whole decision. Fatigue. Right. And analysis. Paralysis. You know, that’s the area.

[00:10:05.410] – Maiko

You’re not supposed to go there first. That third circle should show up sort of naturally. If you work on the first two circles, what are you good at? What kind of experience is that? Excitement or calmness or reliability? What kind of experience are you bringing to the table? You really need to spend some time figuring that out. Right. Then who would appreciate that the most? So that’s when the quiz actually comes in. That’s why I created it. Only because people look at niche and down to be something completely different. And I really wanted people to see, you can slice the market differently based on what you’re greated at. Sort of like a matchmaker. Right? And eleven questions, and it doesn’t take more than two minutes. Seriously. But that’s more like an assessment quiz. It’s not like BuzzFeed.

[00:11:03.570] – Deanna


[00:11:04.160] – Maiko

You will definitely take something out of it, and you’ll save a lot of time by just taking that so that you don’t have to sit around with those three circles, racking your brains out. Like, you don’t really need to do that.

[00:11:15.050] – Deanna

Right. As you were talking, I was like, you know what? I was so guilty of that in the earlier years of thinking, okay, first let me create this product. And in mind, it was a service in different packages. And you’re right. I absolutely started with the how at the bottom, and I believe it came from lack of confidence of why I started there. Right. And then once I realized, which I didn’t realize I had the top two until I realized I had the top two.

[00:11:49.650] – Maiko


[00:11:50.630] – Deanna

And then I think I just naturally reversed it. But you’re right. I was doing that, and I was definitely doing that. Starting with the how.

[00:12:02.790] – Maiko

If you visually see that Venn diagram, you go, oh, okay, maybe you had a hunch or like a gut feelings about this, but when it gets all laid out visually, that just looks so different. You get to just see it and you go, oh, my God, this is what I was missing.

[00:12:24.190] – Deanna

Exactly. And I think so many times, especially as a business owner, if we’re solopreneurs, if we’re the only person in our business managing it, we don’t have a team to bring ideas to to help us brainstorm. We’re trying to figure it out on our own. We miss these big AHA moments. That’s what you’re sharing right now. Thank you. This is such a great point to have that diagram and just start at the top and then the bottom will come naturally.

[00:12:53.020] – Maiko

Exactly. It’s an easier way to go about it. Seriously.

[00:12:57.330] – Deanna

It’s liberating I mean, just even that one, I know we’re going to be talking about a couple of other once more. Even just that one. It’s like, okay, yes, that’s step one I could be doing differently. What’s another mistake that you see?

[00:13:12.590] – Maiko

Well, along with this confirmation bias to creep up, we do have a lot of biases. And it’s okay. It’s okay. That’s normal. Right. We’re all humans, and it’s okay for us to have biases, but when we don’t really have any awareness of the existence of those biases, you’re making decisions just based on your feelings or emotions or hunts or gut feelings. Well, some people are very good at it. I’m not one of those. I have to be honest with you. Sometimes my hunches can be completely wrong. And the confirmation bias is where we want to believe what we want to believe. And that’s so hard to fight. Right. So if you start from the bottom circle, going back to that framework, and we start from how you come up with a package, for example, how long that’s going to last, how much it’s going to cost and what is involved with it, how do you deliver it, how quickly you’re going to deliver it. If you start from there, you kind of want us to believe that will work for your business and for you as well, right? That’s nothing bias. You kind of have to next step when you’re experimenting.

[00:14:35.520] – Maiko

So very analytical people are good with this part, but most of us entrepreneurs, especially creative entrepreneurs, that’s not their strong suit. So taking emotions and feelings out of the equation is not an easy thing to do, but it’s required. You have to set aside those things. Look at whatever you created as a hypothesis. You’re going to test it without investing your emotional like thoughts and feelings into it. If it doesn’t work, you’re going to have to be able to just drop it and redirect.

[00:15:16.710] – Deanna

So when you say through the experimenting, what is that experimenting you’re talking about?

[00:15:22.820] – Maiko

So that’s the normal validation process, right. Ultimately speaking, I can get to the point very quickly. Do you find anybody who’s willing to pay for it? Not just the lip service? Oh, yeah, no, that sounds great. I will definitely go for that. It’s not a confirmation right away, right?

[00:15:46.110] – Deanna

Because everybody will tell you, yeah, sure, but will they reach out to pay for it?

[00:15:52.260] – Maiko

Yeah, exactly. But are you ready to put your credit card down? Are you ready to make that payment? That’s the ultimately, that’s the experiment. Well, I should say that’s the kind of result that you’re looking for from your experiment. So sometimes it’s a tried tested method of doing training or free workshop. That’s a good one to do. Or you get to do one on one, right? You can call up a few past clients or prospects or whatnot and see if they would be willing to get on the call with you. It doesn’t have to be so complicated. You don’t need to create this crazy rabbit hole looking funnel to find out whether or not they’re going to pay. If you’re gravitated towards something like that, you really have to question your confidence because you might be trying to hide behind that, I don’t know, crafty funnel that you’re building up. It doesn’t have to be, just pick up the phone and it talks to someone. Would that person be willing to pay for it or not? It can be that simple.

[00:17:05.620] – Deanna

That’s such a great tip. I know. I went through a rebrand in the beginning of this year, soon to be last year. And something that I did differently with that rebrand is I did pick up the phone and not only did I call some of my current, in fact, I called very few of my current. I called people that I knew who were what I believe my ideal audience, the clients I wanted, and asked them just like three questions about what they needed and what was it worth to them and what would make them make that decision. And the information I got back was so valuable. I was like, why didn’t I do this a long time ago? It’s just willing to tell you. If you ask them, they will tell you exactly where they are, what they want.

[00:18:00.810] – Maiko

I’m actually doing something similar right now. It’s not for my rebranding or anything. I’m just purely doing some research. And really if you spend enough time coming up with the right types of questions, the questions that are not leading questions, that are open ending questions, they are more open to share their thoughts with you and the insights you get. Just as you said. It’s so invaluable. Like, why would you run a survey? Now you’re hiding behind the survey. You need to really ask yourself a question why you’re doing that, right? You’re not feeling strong about this. You’re worried that you’re going to get some kind of a negative feedback. There’s no such thing as positive versus negative feedback. It’s just a feedback. You decide as the CEO of your company, which feedback to take up on. Because their journeys are different, their situations are different, their beliefs are different, and you have to digest it in a way that would work for you.

[00:19:09.900] – Deanna

And what I learned through that, just to kind of add to what you’re saying, is if you send out a survey which they have their purpose in their own way, sure, there’s a place for that. You really want to uncover your business and your niche or what your clients want and identify that niche a little bit more. Clear calling them, a lot of times the first thing they say is not the truth. It’s not that they’re intentionally lying. It’s that they don’t realize that there’s really something deeper below that. And as you ask questions, not guiding, but just ask them to explain it, they even have like this moment.

[00:19:54.350] – Maiko

You’re right, so true. I don’t know who said it, but you need to ask why seven times or something, right? To peel off those layers after layers. And you’re right, they’re not intentionally hiding anything. It’s just that they’re accustomed to answer certain questions in a certain way and they don’t even think twice about it. But it’s your job to unearth all of it, to say, how did you come up with that answer? What made you to feel that way?

[00:20:31.900] – Deanna


[00:20:32.970] – Maiko

They’re going to think a little bit more on it and they’ll tell you what you’re looking for. So you’re right that just asking those surface level questions. Would you recommend my business to someone else? I’m like, God, please don’t ask that question. Kind of a thing. Like, unless you’re running this multi million dollar SaaS product or something. There’s a place for surveying, for sure, right? For solar printers to small size entrepreneurs, service based entrepreneurs. That’s not the best method.

[00:21:11.590] – Deanna

I agree with you. I absolutely agree. What’s another mistake that you see?

[00:21:16.890] – Maiko

I would say that it requires a high level of a commitment in order for you to really find your profitable niche that’s been always in front of you. Actually, like I said, it’s not about picking or finding because some people talk about niche and down as if you’re walking down the cereal aisle at a grocery store and they decided to pick one off the shelf. And some people even say, like, are you in the fitness niche or are you in the business niche? I’m like, Wait, what are you talking about? Those are not niches. Those are sectors. In each of them are trillion dollar sectors. That’s not a niche whatsoever. Right?

[00:22:11.610] – Deanna

Yes, I get that question too, a lot. Right? Yeah.

[00:22:16.060] – Maiko

You’re not just, I don’t know, like Russian Roulette to see which one is going to show up. Beauty sector is truly an age. Just range from 13 to, God knows, 86. I don’t know, but it’s crazy. That’s not a niche, that’s a sector. That’s an industry. But anyway, the whole point of this tip is not to really think that it’s going to be like sitting and forget it, or pick one and stick to it. That’s not the way it goes. So you do have to be committed, especially when the going gets tough. You’re not really finding enough evidence to support it, or you’re still experimenting. It’s not an easy process, and also it’s not a linear process. So sometimes you may take two steps forward and you’re thinking, I’m getting closer. Then there might be a setback that you may have to take a step back, or you may take a step forward, but you have to take two steps back. It’s just not a linear process. You have meditation and you need to be able to commit to it. Once you make a decision, you just have to see through the entire process.

[00:23:37.830] – Deanna

How long does that process typically take? Is there a set amount of time?

[00:23:43.910] – Maiko

It could be as short as a couple of weeks, and it could be as long as 13 months. For example, like I said, the validation process doesn’t have to be that complicated. Right. So it really depends on how much of intensity you wanted to put in that process. If you really wanted to discover and you’re say, like, setting a goal of speaking to at least 30 people over two weeks time or something like that, that may not get you the answer that you’re looking for, but that will probably get you to two thirds of the process. Understanding what kind of voices that you’re hearing from those people.

[00:24:27.940] – Deanna


[00:24:28.630] – Maiko

At least that activity, that business activity alone will clarify what the next step can be. So it really varies. But you can intensify and shorten the time period if you want to.

[00:24:42.410] – Deanna

Okay. All right, so it needs commitment too. What about four, I think, right?

[00:24:50.190] – Maiko

Something like that. We covered a lot of things, but another thing that I would bring up, the biggest mistake is not having any systems in place.

[00:25:01.020] – Deanna

But preach.

[00:25:04.370] – Maiko

Yeah, I’m not talking about like the tech stack or something. That’s not what I’m talking about. I’m not talking about tools per se, but for example, you do have to have a support system.

[00:25:17.510] – Deanna

Okay, then I misunderstood. I was thinking of like automation.

[00:25:24.890] – Maiko

That’s down the road. Yeah, that’s down the road. Once you discover what your profitable niche is, then of course those things will come up. But we’re kind of talking about how to go about this process of spotting, discovering unearthing your profitable needs so that I’m not going to touch on it. But having a support system again, when the going gets tough, when you feel like you hit the wall, who do you speak to? Someone who’s done it before or someone who might be a couple of steps ahead of you. Someone you can trust. Aiming for something similar that is really important so that you don’t have to feel like you’re the only one doing this. That’s hardly the case. That is not the case. But a lot of people, the business owners feel alone when they are going through with that process. Especially during the messy middle, so called the messy middle in the middle of any process. Sometimes nothing happens for days. It feels like you’re not making progress and it feels like you should have been further along. Whatever you’re thinking or feeling, that’s when a lot of people give up, right? So they don’t see the end of it.

[00:26:53.560] – Maiko

And that kind of support system, the mental support system comes in really handy. Another system that I wanted to talk about is the tracking system. That is more like on the tech side of things. You do want it to measure things you wanted to track things, you wanted to get data out of things. So don’t be afraid of those things. Like, I know some especially creative business owners or creative entrepreneurs, they say they don’t like numbers, they don’t like looking at them, all those things. But numbers tell stories and that’s the end of it.

[00:27:34.020] – Deanna

They do.

[00:27:35.650] – Maiko

There’s no ifs, and buts about it. You need to learn to love it and you can. It’s not that hard. Right. So that is something that you wanted to focus on. So it’s not about just a hunch or gut feelings or what’s trending right now. It’s more about the data that you gather. Yay or nay. Some people said, oh, that’s nice to have. What’s the degree of it? How imminent is it that you’re offering? How painful is it for them to solve? How bad do they want it? Some things are kind of like qualitative things, right? But some qualitative things can be quantified. So don’t give up there and see if you can convert what you’re gathering into some type of data.

[00:28:30.370] – Deanna

What type of data do you look at when it comes to identifying your niche?

[00:28:36.690] – Maiko

Right. So there’s no, like, one formula to this. As you recall, we talked about the validation process, right. The whole purpose of validation process is, are they willing to pay for this or are they just saying that to be nice to you? Right. You figure out a way to get to the bottom of it. Would you be willing to pay for it? Because that line alone can scare the diseases out of a lot of people. I know that. Right. You don’t want us to talk about it, but you kind of have to. You can rephrase it any way you want, but the gist of it is that when do you want to get started? Right. Would you be willing to put a deposit down or some kind of, like, assigned to show that we’re moving forward? Once you get to it, that number, depending on a sample size that you choose, whether you’re speaking to 15 people or seven people or 56 people, bigger the better. Of course, just even now, all sorts of variables that we can even predict, the bigger the better. But you can tell you that up. That’s like the simplest data you can get.

[00:29:50.720] – Deanna


[00:29:51.870] – Maiko

It’s not that scientific. You don’t need any mathematical skills to figure that out. It’s actually pretty easy.

[00:30:00.740] – Deanna

So you can look at just your prospects versus how many actually move forward. I suppose you can even look at your prior clients, the profitable ones, identify the profitable ones that you have worked with and looked at characteristics of not just the person, but the entire structure of that job, and identify things that were similar.

[00:30:28.670] – Maiko

So many, like organizational sizes.

[00:30:31.520] – Deanna

Right, right.

[00:30:32.620] – Maiko

Or whether that was the nonprofit versus for profit. Were they globally located or purely based on where you’re based in all the sectors and industries. But a lot of times, people only focus on those things. But you can have all those filters and see where you land. And sometimes it could be sector driven. That’s okay if it turns out to be that way, you just don’t want to assume that’s the case. Right.

[00:31:05.530] – Deanna

That’s the key right there. Yeah, right.

[00:31:08.630] – Maiko

Like, for example, here’s an example. Some people great working with family owned businesses, like going for generations, right? And some people absolutely avoided that set up because the family situations right.

[00:31:28.590] – Deanna

It’s a different piece.

[00:31:30.140] – Maiko

Right, exactly. But if you think about that, that’s not a sector.

[00:31:34.970] – Deanna


[00:31:35.700] – Maiko

It’s a set up. So there are many things that you can look at.

[00:31:40.840] – Deanna

Yeah. So I have one more question for you, and this is about you.

[00:31:46.800] – Maiko


[00:31:49.890] – Deanna

I know, right? What would you say is one habit that you have that’s helped you become so successful?

[00:31:59.830] – Maiko

Well, first, let’s define success.

[00:32:03.430] – Deanna


[00:32:04.090] – Maiko

So let’s do the two for answering thing that I’m going to do.

[00:32:07.930] – Deanna

That’s a great one. Success is different for everybody, right.

[00:32:12.170] – Maiko

To me, I want to feel fulfilled and content through my work. So that’s the definition of it. So am I using my skill set or what? I’m great at including experience that I bring in because everybody’s cup of tea, to be honest, I can’t imagine that through that unique package that I have as a business owner, am I being helpful? Am I serving? Am I helping them to deliver the kind of results that they’re looking for? So that’s the definition of success. If I get to achieve that, I called it a success. I’m not running a billion dollar company, let’s just say. Right, but that’s not really my definition of success. It could be for someone’s definition of success. And that’s totally fine. There’s nothing against it. I can put a dollar amount on it. I’m not against it. But I just want to feel fulfilled. I want it to feel rewarded. I want them to feel rewarded. Right. So now that’s out of the way, I would think that only one thing, right? If I am to pick one, you.

[00:33:35.130] – Deanna

Can name a couple, but what’s the biggest thing?

[00:33:38.710] – Maiko

Right? Yeah. I think my strong suit would be my ability to look at things differently. I consider myself I have two different quizzes. One quiz is the assessment, like a niche assessment quiz. And we talked a lot about that already. But there’s another one. It’s more about the personality. As an entrepreneur quiz and using my own quiz, my archetype is Acquired Taste. So there are four different archetypes acquired Taste, community Builder, crowd pleaser, and my Way all the way. Okay. And I’m acquired the taste. And that means I’m not for everyone. Right. But I am the one for someone. Right. On the other hand, the crowd pleasers, they’re naturally great at solving universal problems. For example, how do you stop your dog, the pets from chewing furniture or whatever that might be? I like to be specialized, so I’m not universally appealing all that much.

[00:34:59.090] – Deanna


[00:34:59.970] – Maiko

But the good part of that particular archetype is for us to be able to look at things different ways, package in different ways, explaining in different ways and using different analogies and other things to make people understand sometimes difficult concepts. So I leverage on that. I leverage on that. I don’t shy away from it. I’m not apologetic for it.

[00:35:31.770] – Deanna

Good for you.

[00:35:32.650] – Maiko

I put it up front like, this is how I look at it. This is how I describe it. Here are some examples and analogies. Do you like. Them. If you don’t like them, that’s no problem.

[00:35:43.520] – Deanna

Right. And I think that’s so important to really understand who you are, how you’re wired, because then you can pull from those strengths and not allow it to limit you. Because sometimes our strengths, when we don’t realize what that is, they actually get in our way because we get in our way. But when you identify it now, you can look at things a lot differently. I love that. And I need to take that quiz because I’m so curious now which type of you are. Yeah, I need to take it. I’m going to be taking it today.

[00:36:21.790] – Maiko

Yeah, that would be great.

[00:36:24.010] – Deanna

In the notes, what I am with everybody.

[00:36:27.370] – Maiko

I love that. Yeah, I wanted to know what you are. And we all work together anyway, so those four archetypes, we can gel together. Another thing that I would say about it is that if you don’t have the trait that you actually want, you can hire somebody with that trait. You don’t have to be everything and everyone. So, for example, my way of explaining it is too specific and too targeted. I need to soften it a little bit more. Then I would look for somebody whose archetype is crowd pleaser and see how they would translate the same information. That would be different. Right. So you can use that differently. You don’t have to be everybody and everything. And sometimes crowd pleasers need to hire someone like myself to be a little bit more specific. Right. Because they’re so appealing. I always use this analogy of they’re like Coca Cola. No one says, well, some people may, but no one says they hate Coca Cola or something like that. As an acquired taste, I don’t really have that ability.

[00:37:42.130] – Deanna

Right, that’s a great point. A very good point. Maiko, I just want to thank you so much for coming on today. I appreciate you. I appreciate your time. I’m so glad that we connected on Twitter. I am loving Twitter, mainly because of you. I started on Twitter and I got away with Facebook and everything, right. I drifted and now I’ve rediscovered it again. I have a whole new group of people that I’m connecting with, you included, and you make it so much fun over there. So I’m so glad you have some fun.

[00:38:26.290] – Maiko

It’s a silly thing, right? A lot of people roll their eyes a minute, they hear about Twitter. So your main platform is tourism, like yeah, I know, it’s kind of funny, but it works for me. It’s so weird for Mini. That’s instagram, right? Yeah. For whatever reason, it works for me.

[00:38:49.450] – Deanna

Keep doing it. Try doing it for as long as you can over there, because you do have a strong following, and I know you’ve made great friends over there as well.

[00:38:59.500] – Maiko

Yeah, totally.

[00:39:00.670] – Deanna

And what you want to be in your life.

[00:39:04.990] – Maiko

Absolutely. We communicate over DM and, like, a true DM sense. It’s not like a LinkedIn kind of DM. So it’s weird. It really depends on how you use it. You can definitely enjoy it.

[00:39:19.200] – Deanna

I Agree. Thank you so much, Maiko. For everybody who wants to find Maiko? All of her information, the links to her website and of course, her Twitter account. They’re in the show notes, so definitely reach out to her. She can help you help find your niche and uncover how to grow your business. Become more profitable just by getting laser focus. So, Michael, thank you again. I appreciate you.

[00:39:46.570] – Maiko

My Pleasure.

[00:39:48.010] – Deanna

We’ll see everybody. Bye.