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  • Writer's pictureChristina Sjahli

The Difference Between Growing a Conscious Business vs. a Traditional Business

Updated: Jun 1, 2022

Building a conscious business is different from building a traditional business. Conscious businesses emphasize the personal relationship between the buyers and the company. Conventional marketing techniques appear inauthentic and do not work on conscious buyers.

Share on Purpose, Inc., founded by Terri Maxwell, provides the professional needed services to create, launch, and invest in companies with innovative, meaningful solutions. Maxwell is also the founder of Shift/Co — a business growth community for conscious entrepreneurs who want to expand their business success and make the world a better place. Based on Terri's CEO journey, here are some insights on growth and scalability.

Running a Traditional vs. Conscious Business

To run a conscious company, you may need to do some unlearning. Proven strategies for traditional companies will not always lead to success with a conscious company. There are two critical differences between a conventional and conscious business:

1. The Relationship with The Buyer

A conscious entrepreneur should consciously, deliberately, and authentically exert effort to create a relationship with their buyer until they are ready to buy the product or service. Conventional marketing techniques like click funnels, lead magnets, and FOMO strategies can feel impersonal and likely won't attract conscious buyers.

As Terri learned from their experience,

“They just don't work because conscious buyers want a relationship with the company they're buying things from. It's personal for them, and the work is purposeful; the product or service is purposeful — it means something."

2. The Focus on Personal Development

Your business grows as you evolve. Conscious entrepreneurs work on their mindsets by managing their emotions and dealing with failure. Whatever is holding you back at the personal level will also affect your business.

It's critical to implement personal development tools into your business training. Learning authentic business practices goes hand-in-hand with developing yourself as an individual.

The Six Phases of Conscious Business Growth

Shift/Co has identified five phases that a company will likely go through. This frame of reference serves as a diagnostic tool to determine the phase a business is in and the components missing in each phase. It is also a prescriptive tool that provides solutions to the issues examined.

Here's an overview of the phases so that you can gauge where your business is and take appropriate steps toward the next stage:

1. Launch Phase

This phase can include a range of businesses, from recent start-ups to those earning $10,000 per month. Breaking your way out of the $10k barrier is not an easy feat. It involves a lot of personal growth. As Terri says,

"It's not just 'Oh, I need to learn this marketing system,' and magically, 'I'm going to break that 10k barrier.' There's a lot of breakthroughs you're going to have that are really more about you and less about the business."

2. Shape Phase

You are in the Shape phase if your company earns anywhere from $10,000 to $30,000 per month. After you've figured out what your business is about, this is the part where you form your company into something that you can scale. Go back to your vision and ask yourself, "How can I shape this into something that can scale to a seven-figure level and beyond?"

3. Build Phase

In this phase, you create the infrastructure and foundation to turn your company into a multimillion-dollar one. These same strategic imperatives pan out whether you are selling a product, service, or something digital.

4. Evolve Phase

If you earn one to two million dollars, you are in the Evolve phase, where you create and train a leadership team under you. Terri puts it this way,

"You're truly working on the business and no longer in the business."

5. Grow Phase

The Grow phase is where you consistently earn two to five million dollars. Scalability happens fast in this stage. Within Shift/Co's portfolio of companies, they hire people and train them on how to lead a conscious business. It's all about turning over the keys to a leadership team who works for you in the business.

6. Scale Phase

Finally, the scale phase is when you regularly earn around five million dollars and beyond. This phase is where you get into growth models. You can turn your business into an ESOP, franchise it, add a new product set, or open the business up to new markets.

There are many options to choose from, so consider the best strategic growth model that will help you scale your business.

In each of these phases, you will face varying paths, so keep in mind that they are not definitive. It is not about getting into a phase then locking and loading that in; choose a path that creates different options for what you can do at the seven-figure level.

“The reason why that matters is you want to give yourself as many different options when you're in the multi-million dollar stages. The more options you have, the better then when we get into grow and scale [phase], that's where we start really executing against that higher vision.” - Terri Maxwell

Applying a Business Simple™Method

The Business Simple™ method is one of Terri's methodologies in their Conscious Business Growth Platform under Shift/Co. It is how you chart the scalability of your business.

If you're stuck at an inflection point–like not having the revenue for resources but not having resources to get the revenue — then this method is for you.

Many entrepreneurs focus too much on one side of "supply and demand." As Terri says,

“We're not worried about supply and demand. What we're building is a strategy to deal with the pressure on the fulcrum so we can realign and rebalance supply and demand. That's where the five tools come in.”

Here are the five tool kits in the Business Simple method:

1. Refine Your Product or Service Offering

Throughout this tool kit, you will reflect on questions related to the Energy Impact Grid. These questions include:

  • What do you enjoy doing?

  • What adds value to your clients?

  • What should you outsource if you have the money to do so?

Once you have defined what fills your energy cup and what does not, you can manage the fulcrum through outsourcing.

2. Map Out Your Resourcing Plan

Now that you have determined what your business needs to outsource, you can go through your resourcing plan. Think outside the box; you do not necessarily need employees to do these things. These are some things you can consider:

  • Hire freelancers

  • Forge partnerships

  • Use white labelling

  • Apply technology in some areas

  • Change your delivery model

Be creative with the solutions you can come up with; a conscious business does not follow the rules of a traditional business.

“You can make better decisions in shape [phase] that will make you grow faster from shape [phase] to build [phase]. But if you don't get that expertise in shape, when you get to build, there's going to be a lot of financial things you're gonna have to fix.” - Terri Maxwell

3. Rethink Your Pricing and Profits

Most entrepreneurs in the launch or shape phase do not understand their profit. They either undercharge for their product or service or are confused about their cash and profit.

You have to understand your numbers — having revenue doesn't equate to having a real business. You have a business when:

  • You have the revenue to reinvest in your business

  • Your revenue and profit are predictable

Terri emphasizes,

"We can almost break it down into like a lemonade stand and help them just see these basic building blocks, but the profit management and the cash flow management, in the launch to shape [phase], are life or death of the business."

4. Apply Tools, Processes, and Technology

Look back at your product or service development and ask yourself, “Where do I need to refine my process?” Then determine what tool or technology you can add to simplify your business.

5. Partnership Models

There are ways you can strike alliances with other businesses and collaborate to take the pressure of that fulcrum. Taking off that pressure can lead to your business growth.

At Shift/Co, they have a Conscious Marketing Collective where different marketers collaborate and share work if it does not fit their wheelhouse or time management.

All these different toolkits are designed not to fix your business necessarily, but to take pressure off the fulcrum so you can balance your supply and demand. Remember that the Business Simple method does not mean easy business — it is breaking down the process that's easier to digest and understand.

Advice to Conscious Entrepreneurs From Terri

As entrepreneurs, we tend to focus on the negative. It is good to note what's negative, but shift your focus to where you want it to be.

When you make a mistake, acknowledge it, then breathe that negative energy out of your body. What is critical is that you take what you can learn from that mistake. Entrepreneurship is difficult! You can either focus on what's hard and not working or change your perspective. Look for the good, the gift, and the opportunity instead.

Terri lives by these words:

If you want to build a thriving business, focus on the way you want it to be, until the way that it is matches the way you want it to be.

Learn more about Terri and their companies, Share on Purpose, Inc. and Shift/Co. Get to know why they are doing what they are doing. You can also connect with them on LinkedIn here. Reach out to Terri on LinkedIn or via their website.

If you want to know if your pricing is correct and whether it can lead to your growth, a CFO can help you figure out your next best move. Understand what fair yet competitive pricing entails and how it plays a critical role in your business with the help of a finance team. Schedule a discovery call with Profit Reimagined™ to help you cover your foundations and deepen your understanding of these concepts.


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