The C.R.A.P Cycle - Christine Kane

Learning to run your business in an elegant, entrepreneurial way requires a paradigm shift from functioning in reactionary energy into a more proactive way of thinking and working.

Today you’ll hear about what I call the C.R.A.P cycle – both what it is, and why it’s an ineffective way to operate for the long run. Because let’s face it, running around knee-deep in shit, stress, and anxiety isn’t going to help your Empire Mentality.

You’ll hear what started me thinking differently in my business. I’ll give you 3 steps to do the same in yours if you didn’t consider the model, the sustainability of the model, or the income streams. 

This isn’t an episode to beat yourself over. It’s an invitation to run your business in a way that better serves and supports you. I’ll share ways you can think more creatively about how you work with clients, plus an (optional) assignment to help retrain your brain so you can start running your business instead of letting it run you.

Episode Transcript

An anti-trans actionist is really about shifting out of looking at your business as just a series of transactions.

Welcome to the Soul-Sourced™ Podcast, unconventional business advice for the highly creative, secretly sensitive and wildly ambitious entrepreneur. I’m your host, Christine Kane. Let’s do this.

Hello my friends. This is episode number 58. I don’t know why it’s so hard for me to remember the episode. It’s like, I get all geared up. I’m ready to start. I’m ready to roll. And then, um, I press record and then like what, what, what the hell is the episode number? I don’t even know. So, um, we’re on episode 58. Um, I’m gonna, I’m gonna lay some money down on that one. I think that’s where we are.

I’m going to talk about something that I spoke about this week on a coaching call with a group of my peeps in Uplevel Cafe, and it is something that I call the Crap Cycle of business, C R A P. And that is an acronym for the cycle of reactivity and panic. And this is something that happens in business for a lot of solo entrepreneurs, solo business owners who get started, and then don’t really consider anything like the model, the sustainability of the model, their income streams. They’re typically just so freaking shocked that they’re even making money doing what they’re doing. And they end up inadvertently in a cycle that I call C R A P.

And before I dive into what this cycle is, I want to just speak to the thing about shifting into entrepreneurship and why it can be so challenging for people. And that is mostly because in our culture, in our society, we are not taught to think creatively. And I don’t mean creatively like, oh, finger painting and art and writing in a journal. I mean, creatively, like proactively, like really thinking ahead. And if there’s one huge mindset shift that is really key to running a business well, and this is, this was a tough one for me to learn is to stop living reactively and just sort of being like, oh, Hey, uh, you know, in my case, a gig showed up, oh, a client shows up, oh, you know, we, we live very reactively. We, we don’t think in terms of looking ahead, creating a sustainable lifestyle, thinking of how our mindsets impact things. And so what we tend to do is we live in kind of this default mode of just reacting to what happens, and coaching, the reason I love it so much and why it has worked for me so much is that given that I know for me being wired very emotionally, very in the feels as I call it, having a coach really guide me towards thinking ahead, it was not an overnight process. And so anything that I teach on these podcasts, it might be nice that I can get them get the teaching in in a half hour, but the actual immersion of it and learning of it really does require being around it around other people, because your mindsets get in the way when you’re used to just doing things by default and just hoping that there’s enough money at the end of the month, hoping you have enough time to do something shifting from that into planning and creating and being proactive.

That’s hard. It’s not easy. This is why coaching, you know why I have Uplevel Cafe. And you can find out about tha at Uplevelcafe.com. It’s why I started masterminds. It’s why I coach people, because we don’t get this naturally. In fact, I would say that the biggest awakenings that happen in M Club in our masterminds the first year is just the mindset shift out of these old patterns that we’ve just thought, well, this is how everyone does it, right? This is how it works. And no, it’s, it really takes some rethinking of how you’re doing things and that’s almost like an entire restructuring of your brain. So it’s hard. It’s, I mean, I don’t mean it’s hard like I’m trying to be doomy and gloomy. It’s just, you’re moving out of one paradigm and into another. And one way that I see that old default pattern working in business is something I have deemed, I’ve named the Crap Cycle.

And it’s one of the things that I’ve taught in, um, I call it, you know, broken business models and it’s where Crap Cycle is where I call it the cycle of reactivity and panic, because it’s something where I see entrepreneurs kind of accepting that this is just how it is, this cycle of feast or famine, where they find themselves completely strapped. They don’t have enough clients and they completely go into reaction to that fact, I don’t have enough clients, and without really giving it any creative thought, any proactive thought, they just go do the hustle and they go try to get clients. And they get, they do all the little work and they get all, you know, hyper and, and they go get clients and they go get all kinds of clients. They don’t think about what kind of clients they get. They just go get clients. They don’t have an ideal client profile. They just go get clients. And then they get a lot of clients.

And now we move into the panic portion of the cycle where they’re slammed and they’ve got too much going on. And so they are running and running and running and serving and serving and serving. And, and this is where you often hear, by the time I show someone else how to do it, I could just do it myself. And so they never hire help. And they also don’t hire help because what happens is they’ve become addicted to the Crap Cycle and they don’t know when the dry time is going to come again, when the famine is going to come again. So they can’t possibly hire someone because they’re so used to this whole thing. And then because they haven’t spent time with marketing and with being consistent with marketing and understanding what they’re doing, the inevitable famine time comes. And now we’re back into the reactivity stage of the Crap Cycle and it all starts over again.

And so the thing I want to talk about here on this episode is what it takes to shift out of that cycle, which is a very normal cycle. And I’ve, I’ve taught it before and people will kind of smile and laugh. But the key thing there is, there are three key things I want to talk about when it comes to exiting the Crap Cycle. And the first thing is a mindset thing, and this is what I mean by the paradigm shift that has to happen. And that is doing what I call becoming an anti-transactionist and an anti-transactionist is really about shifting out of looking at your business as just a series of transactions. And those of you who have come to my retreats or events or anything, you’ve seen me up on the stage, I pull out a big bright board, and I describe what a transactionist business looks like and how, you know, I do all these little stick figures all over the place. And I described the transaction and yay I got money, Yay I got money, Yay I got money. And then eventually there’s not enough of you to go around to keep that business model working.

And, and in my own experience, the way that worked was as a musician, it was just gig after gig, after gig, after gig, after gig. And then, you know, realizing this entire business is just a horizontal movement. And I don’t know when it’s going to end. And I had to really step back and say, what is it that I’m really doing here? So becoming an anti-transactionist, what that looks like, is that you start to ask yourself, what would this look like if I created something deeper, if I create built a foundation of something that I could really stand on, what is the model of what I want here? Why do I do what I do? Who do I truly serve? What is this all about? And really stepping out from a mindset perspective and not looking at business as just transactional, you know, transaction after transaction.

And then the second step that you take, and this is where you start entering into the strategy track. Now that you’ve opened up into the mindset of it, the strategy of becoming an anti-transactionist is to really start thinking in terms of packages, in how you offer everything. And I know, you know, I’m doing a podcast here, so I’m not able to sit in front of you and say, okay, here’s your business model. Here’s how this could work for you, because I know that there are some businesses that it’s really, really hard to think in terms of a package or extending what I call the backend of your business. Something that actually creates a foundation. And I want to give you, you know, first, the basic example of why a package works and what that, what that’s all about. And then I’m going to share, you know, little creative ways in terms of thinking of the package. That will be our step three.

Okay. So creating a package, why this matters and why it works. A lot of times when we are in the Crap Cycle, when we are a transactionist, what we do is, is a little bit on the, you know, we’re in the, go with the flow mode and you know what, people will book with me when they’re ready to book with me and they’ll come and then they’ll go and, and I’ll pull out my credit card. And like, when you think in terms of whether you are a physical therapist or a healer or whatever, when you create a package, it can feel mindset wise, like you’re being really sleazy and you’re being like a money grabber because now you’re getting a big, large chunk of money. When you say to somebody, Hey, you know what? I work in three month packages, or I work in six month packages. But ultimately what you’re doing when you build a package model is that you’re saying, this is how I do this. I am here to serve. I am here to get results. When we set things up in a transaction model, we think in our minds that we’re just letting them show up when they need to show up. But in my experience, what we’re doing is we’re teaching people to wait until they’re broken. We’re teaching people, the reactive model of life. Come to me when you’re broken, don’t come to me for maintenance, come to me when everything hurts and I’ll be here for you.

But when we, we build packages, what we’re doing is we’re saying I’m here to serve you and really create something proactive, and we’re really going to get ahead of the curve. And so when you think in terms of coaching, I remember in my first year of coaching people, I was still a musician at the time. And I had set up a year long program because, you know, it was playing music and I was coaching people. I only, you know, I had like 10 people and one of the people, like I set it up where you’d get a call with me every week for three weeks of every month throughout the year. And one person didn’t want to use one of her calls and she wrote me an email and said, you know what, I’m good. Let’s just wait until things aren’t good. And then I’ll work with you and we’ll stack the calls up for when I’m not good.

And I had to go into some deep thinking on that. And I said, wait a minute, this is coaching. This is not like an emergency room. I don’t want the, you know, this is really designed to keep you accountable and moving forward. And so when I built packages, it was so that, that wouldn’t happen. And so when you’re creating a package, you’re actually setting someone up for better success. And so what you do when you build a package is you, you know, let’s say you build a three month package to start and you’re setting it up in your business model in a way that serves people so that they, you aren’t getting people who are committed to their brokenness. You, the business owner, you the service provider start serving people who are on board with maintenance, with getting ahead of the curve with being proactive.

And your business starts to shift so that you aren’t as running around in the Crap Cycle. You aren’t serving those people. You aren’t tolerating that anymore. And things just change. And it’s not just from that emotional level. It also changes because you’re getting set up to be paid in advance. And so building the package model into your business also creates a very strong foundation for you because now you have money in the bank. You have people, clients who are matching that same thing, because they’re committed to being proactive. You, the service provider are now serving people from a proactive level and you are able to stand on a foundation that is not based in the Crap Cycle. So it’s really interesting about the model is that it’s not just a, I think a lot of people just look at this as, oh, great. You make a lot of money. It’s not. It’s you make a lot of money or I, you know, not necessarily a lot. It depends on your business model. You make a strong foundation of money. You serve people at a higher level, and guess what? You start attracting people who are at a higher level and who can get behind this model because people who get pissed off at this model often are very committed to the broken, like, see me when I’m broken model, which I think we all have to, as entrepreneurs, as creatives, as business owners, we have to start really questioning, does that model really, really create healing no matter what your business is? And it often does not. And so the ending that cycle really starts meaning ending the paradigm, becoming an anti-transactionist creating packages that really serve people.

Now, this brings me to the third and final point I want to make. And that is the not every business model is set up, not every entrepreneur is set up with the mindset for this, but not every business model feels like it is set up. For instance, with, with music, you would say, you know what, you’re not going to offer a promoter, who’s having me come play. Hey, if you, you know, have me play for three months at your venue, you know, you just, it doesn’t work for every model. I get that. So I’m going to tell you, like, I’ve told this story before, I think probably even here on podcast, but you’re really what you’re doing is you’re looking, you’re exiting the reactionary ego based model, and you are saying, how do I extend or expand this idea of the backend of my business? And I’m going to give you an example again, I’m pretty sure I’ve talked about this on this podcast. So I apologize if I’m repeating a story, but it still applies.

And I didn’t, it was, this was in my career. I’d already started working with a coach. I was already starting to change that transactionalist model and I’m playing at a show. And there weren’t that many people there. They’d put me in the bigger theater cause I’d sold out the last time. And then the theater was only half full and the promoter came in and he says, oh, the place is only half full. And you, as you’re in the green room, just the one thing you don’t want to hear is the promoter coming and going this night is going to suck, you know, best of luck to you now.

So what I did, I wanted to just like, literally crawl under the sofa and not go out on stage, but becoming an anti-transactionist, I didn’t have that word then, but I, I just sat there. I, I breathed, I got out of the feels and I made a few shifts that night. And I, this is where it’s like getting out of reaction, like, wow, this night sucks. Let’s just get through to the next night. I did two things on stage. One was I told a story. I was about to play a song, I told a story about the women’s retreats I was doing, because I was doing them at that time. And then I told a story about how I was teaching, um, creativity to federal government leaders, ’cause I did that once a month, I used to go to a leadership training thing and I taught, I had a day of creativity that I taught for about, I guess it was about two years. I did that.

And I made, I just told a little story about it. And that night I had, um, I, I don’t remember the numbers, so don’t hold me to this. But I think three or four women signed up for my women’s retreats there. And two people booked me for coming and teaching creativity in their businesses. And that created a bigger back end. And I started like, I think it actually at the bottom line, I think I’ve said this either 14 or 18 extra thousand in the coming year. It wasn’t that night. Like no one paid me on the spot. But my point being, when you start to look at everything as feeding into everything else, it stops being about, oh, this particular event sucked. We didn’t sell as many as you thought.

Everything starts to extend and expand off of everything else when you start stepping out of this limiting model that just says, I am being dragged around by my business. I am at effect in my business. And another, another, like just, this is the third step is like being more creative in your model with creating packages and becoming an anti-transactionist. But another, um, instance that I had with this was with my own physical therapist, shout out to Wes. He’s awesome. But he had just started his own business. And when I first stepped into work with him, ’cause I at the time was lifting super heavy weights. After quarantine I will admit I’m not quite at the same level, But I, um, I, I don’t like as, as somebody who is a recipient of a lot of different healers, I am an anti transactionist there as well. And I cannot stand doing a deep healing with somebody, getting body work, getting any kind of work, and then being like, okay, pull out your credit card. It just to me deadens the entire experience. I don’t like it.

And so I said to Wes, on my first thing, do you do packages? And he got all, he was like, oh, all those marketers out there and all those guys who teach, no, I don’t do that. And I said, well, how about I pay you for a package? And I designed it myself and I just, I just paid him upfront for a package. And now he does packages. ‘Cause he started working with a really good coach for physical therapists. And it was, it was cool to watch that happen. And he still jokes about it, that I was the first person who ever paid him for packages. But the thing is he does it where it’s more of us. It’s still sort of hours for dollars sessions for dollars, but you get a little bonus when you do, when you sign up for packages.

But here’s the thing that happens when, when he’s able to think more creatively. First off, when you put an expiration date on that, like this will apply for your whole year, or this will apply for the coming three months or this, whatever. What happens then, even if you’re still doing sessions for dollars is that people are more likely to schedule their sessions in advance. Meaning they’re not waiting until they’re broken or they’re not, um, they’re not waiting till the last minute or they’re not putting it off, because life gets busy for a lot of your clients and they forget to book with you.

A lot of times we think, well, they aren’t booking with me because they don’t like me anymore. Oh, I didn’t do a good job the last time. Typically it’s because people are just freaking busy, and when you book a package with them, they’re more likely to sit down and schedule out all their dates with you. And guess what? This fills up those holes in your schedule. Again, this whole topic is about exiting the Crap Cycle in your business. It puts you ahead of the curve, makes things more proactive, makes your clients think more proactively.

So the last little assignment I’m going to give you here for everybody who is listening to this, going I could see how that would work. One of the things that really set me up for that one show, for instance, when my, when the promoter said that, was at that time, I was already starting the practice of having a business development day in my work as musician. And this was back when I was a musician ages ago, way back at the turn of the century. Um, but really setting yourself up to say, as an anti-transactionist, I’m going to live my life in a more proactive way. And I’m going to set my day, uh, some one day up a week as a business development day. And so for those of you who have never done anything like this, maybe it’s not a full day because that can be a little daunting, but maybe you have a day where you work on your business. And when you’re fresh in the morning, you start to think more creatively. And I don’t mean creatively like finger painting and writing. I mean, creatively in like creating, building out more creative ways, more proactive ways that you can set up your business model. And so maybe you spend a few hours creating your package. And if you already have packages, maybe you think in terms of a VIP version or a premium version or something that really adds more to your business model, as opposed to just transaction after transaction.

That’s what started me thinking differently was having a business development day. I would start off with just ideas and thoughts. And at first you’re going to draw a blank, primarily because if you’ve been in the default mode of just never thinking in terms of how to run a business, how to think more creatively, you’re going to go right into what I call the storm shield, which is when I, when I am in a room with a group of entrepreneurs who has never thought this way, the first thing that comes up is like their, their entire face shuts down. I call it the storm shield, because it’s like, well, because I’m a Star Wars geek, but because they just, they refute, their brain can’t take in any more. They’ve never thought this way, this won’t work for my business. I am a unique snowflake. I will never have this work. My business is different and what, oh, that’s just the first shutdown. But if you can sit there and just sort of be like, well, what if this was possible? What might it look like? And that’s where it started to get really interesting because you will find little ways in little avenues and it might not happen the first day you sit down on your business development day, what’s going to happen is you’re going to be in the green room and the promoters are going to come in and say, this show’s going to suck. And you’re going to think more creatively in that moment because you’ve been training your brain to exit the Crap Cycle and say, this business is worth more. I am worth more. If I really want to serve people, I have to do this differently. And you start to sit down and think more creatively about how your business is set up.

And like I said at the beginning, some of this is about being around it. This is why Uplevel Cafe, this is why when people come to the group coaching calls in Uplevel Cafe or in my masterminds M Club, Uplevel Academy. They say, I didn’t ask a question, but I got so much out of just being here. And that’s because they’re watching other people struggling with the things they’re struggling with and seeing different ways people think, and how much evolution happens as you run your business. It’s not, it’s not about just, oh, I wish I could sit down with Christine and pick her brain. That rarely works because the immersion of being an anti-transactionist and thinking differently and not, it’s not just a quick fix. It’s not just, oh, how do I run a Facebook ad? Oh, how do I get more people?

It’s really immersing yourself in the fact that running a business elegantly and in an entrepreneurial way really requires different mode of thinking, of operating. And it’s a paradigm shift. And so that’s why, you know, Uplevel Cafe is out there and you can go and take a look at it, Uplevelcafe.com. It’s why coaching works. It’s why we need that extra help because we’re not wired this way. So if you find yourself and you are sitting there in the crap model of your business, this is not a chance to beat yourself up. All of us had to start somewhere and most of us did not start our business with a business plan. We started our business with a really cool idea, or we put it out there. Someone said yes, and we ended up with a paying customer and then we got another one, and then before we know it, we’re running a business by our own emotional default system. And then at some point we have to be wise enough to say, I’ve got to turn this around and set things up differently so that this can run more elegantly and not reactively.

Okay? Hope that helps. Hope I see you in Uplevel Cafe. I will see you guys next week. Thank you so much for listening to the Soul-Sourced™ Business Podcast, episode number 58. I will see you guys next time.