The decision to add something to our businesses often feels fun, exciting, and exploratory. Yes, adding something new can require hard work and an initial load of tasks on our to-do lists.
But how different does it feel when you CUT something out of your business, like when you remove a revenue stream or eliminate a service or offer?
We start to worry. Maybe we have to explain it to our customers (or perhaps we don’t). We wonder what it will do to our bottom line. We worry about judgment and disappointing others. No matter what tough decision you’re making, there are a lot of emotions that go with that!
As much as I work on my mindset, I never want to act like I have “perfected” doing hard things or that I don’t feel any emotion in my businesses.
So even though I’ve recently made a hard decision in my business, I want to share some of the GOOD that can come from a tough decision, too.
A Recent Hard Decision: Closing The Shopkeeper’s Lab
I recently announced that I’m closing my Shopkeeper’s Lab membership group. This means moving forward, I offer and host just ONE group membership, Master Shopkeepers.
Even though I did my due diligence during the decision process, this was still a HARD decision!
What I Looked at to Help Me Decide
I took my time with this decision. I spent the past 6-12 months thinking about this! Here’s everything I did to help me make this decision:
- I had several conversations with trusted people in my life
- I analyzed the data from the Shopkeeper’s Academy to see how and how many members actually utilized the resources inside
- I reviewed the engagement and participation rates in the Facebook group
- I looked at feedback and churn
I found that I was causing a problem by having two memberships, which led to confusion and indecision. Members often wondered which group to join, where to go with questions, and which resources were meant for them. That’s the LAST thing I want to do! In the end, my findings didn’t support keeping this group open.
How Our Brains Can Trick Us When It Comes to Hard Decisions
I feel confident that this was the right thing to do. But goodness, our minds can really mess with us leading up to a decision, and it can be a bit grueling, right?
I went live in the Lab group to announce my decision. My brain was preoccupied with the actual decision and announcement process, so I didn’t think of things like…
Other Business Owners In The Process of Doing Hard Things
Several shopkeepers chimed in with examples of hard decisions they’ve made recently.
A shopkeeper in the process of merging two of their businesses shared:
“It was such a tough decision, but it will help me streamline operations and make for a better customer experience. It is a bit overwhelming, but one step at a time! (Except they are really fast steps at a time because we have our open house on Saturday, and it all has to be done by then.) Anyway, sending hugs and thanks for making me not feel alone!”
Another store owner shared about closing their membership group:
“I had to make the decision early this year to close my small online membership group. It felt hard even though it was just a few hundred dollars every month. But the freedom it gave me to focus on other things was worth it. I know it doesn’t compare, but you’re going to feel so much better on the other side.”
Words of Encouragement and Gratitude
I sincerely appreciated the number of members who shared encouraging words and gave me positive feedback about this decision.
“I’ve been on a hiatus—but sometimes we have to step back and re-evaluate what is good to make it better. You are great and what you do for others is great! No second-guessing yourself, lady!”
“You are such an example for us with how you shift and pivot [based on] what’s best for your clients and you and how it just flows together!”
“If you caught the live today with Kathy, you just saw first-hand what boundary work looks like. Thank you for your example, Kathy. Hard decisions are freeing.”
“This is a great decision that will really allow you to help shopkeepers MORE!”
“I’m so proud of you. Even to me, this feels like the right decision! I applaud you for drawing lines and understanding where you need to focus.”
“Kathy, Thank you for being you! There are so many ways you have made a difference in my business; I will always appreciate that. More importantly, I am so happy for you; as it is evident this decision was important to you and pulls on your heartstrings… yet there are exciting adventures ahead for you. That is why I am happy for you.
Wishing you much success and happiness with your future endeavors. I’ll be listening to your podcast and cheering from afar.”
Shopkeepers Who Were Inspired to Make a Hard Decision
I received emails and comments from members who were grateful I had the courage to make this hard decision because they were also considering tough choices.
One shopkeeper emailed me the following after being inspired to close an arm of their business:
“I was feeling a little trepidation about [making this decision], and then I got your email. Although I was a little sad about your decision, it was strangely validating for me. It was clear to me that you were doing the right thing for you and your business, and I went ahead and posted my ‘for sale’ sign on IG, and I had four inquiries in the first hour.”
My “Why” For This Hard Decision
Many members of Master Shopkeepers reminded me of one of my biggest WHYs regarding my decision to close the Lab. Master Shopkeepers is where the magic happens. It’s where I truly show up, it’s where members show up, and it’s where members get results, feel less lonely, get inspired, get motivated, get answers, and feel supported.
Here are some of their messages about why they love Master Shopkeepers:
“The community inside MSK is pure magic, and I highly encourage you to apply. That comfort and support you crave-it’s in there.”
“If you are able to join Master Shopkeepers, do it! The info and resources available is priceless—you will not find it anywhere else.”
“I absolutely recommend applying for Master Shopkeepers. I’ve enjoyed the Lab FB group and gotten so much value from it, but the additional resources in the Master Shopkeepers part of the Academy and the connections in that FB group have been priceless.”
Whatever Decision You’re Considering, You’re Not Alone
If you find yourself in this space of making a tough decision in your business, I understand it can feel challenging.
However, know that other business owners are in the same situation as you (ahem, like me!). You aren’t alone.
There are friends, loved ones, customers, and team members that will encourage you and cheer you on for your decision.
You never know who you’ll inspire by making a tough choice!
And most of all, your business, your life, or both will likely be better for it—and that’s probably why you’re considering this decision in the first place.
Moving forward, I know that the shopkeepers listening to my podcast, joining Master Shopkeepers, or signing up for one of my other programs are SERIOUS about running a business. You’re not a hobbyist or “jobbyist.”
The stronger my thoughts get about helping you run a profitable retail business (that doesn’t consume you!), the stronger my teaching becomes and the stronger your results.
Lastly, if you were a Shopkeeper’s Lab member: thank you for being on this journey with me. Many of you have been here for years, and you know I adore you. This isn’t the end of my book OR yours; it’s just the end of a chapter.
- Learn more about & apply for Master Shopkeepers
- [04:17] A Recent Hard Decision: Closing The Shopkeeper’s Lab
- [05:41] How Our Brains Can Trick Us When It Comes to Hard Decisions
- [15:23] Whatever Decision You’re Considering, You’re Not Alone