Productivity Tips from Dr. Melissa Gratias
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Variety is the Spice of…Business!

By Melissa Gratias, Ph.D. 

Yes, I have been radio silent (blog silent?) for the past couple of months.

One reason is that I have been working on developing online, on-demand courses to help people improve their productivity.

I have invested in software, education, graphic design, and many, many hours. I’m fully engaged in this endeavor after “thinking about it” for the past eight years.

Why have I not created on-demand courses before?

  • I love the real-time interaction with participants from live sessions.
  • I make good money from in-person and virtual training sessions.
  • I can tailor my messages to each audience.
  • Delivering live courses is so much easier than developing online courses.
  • I felt “snug as a bug in a rug” with my existing business model.

It is time to be brave.

It is time to muzzle my inner critic who loves to tell me…

  • If you build it, no one will come.
  • You will never make enough money to justify the time invested.
  • Online courses will steal clients from your live ones.

It is time to remember the “radical trust in the perfect unfolding of my life” that began early in the pandemic.


Variety and the Business Owner

When you are a solopreneur, you are the CEO, COO, VP of Sales, CFO, and so on. You must want to run a business as much, if not more, than you want to practice your craft.

I love running a business. It appeals to my desire for variety.

Speaking of variety, don’t you just love my new coffee cups?


In business, we often strive for automation and efficiency. That’s productive, right?

For example, most California wineries strive for consistency in their bottles year after year. The benefit to the customer is a predictable glass. Customers enjoy knowing what flavors are about to hit the palate.

By contrast, bottles from French wineries vary according to the “terrior.” Terrior is a French term for the variance in wine according to region, soil, traditions, climate, etc. Thus, the year and appellation on the bottle makes a huge difference in the glass. It is less predictable, but also enjoyable, especially for those of us who love variety.

I believe that my love of variety has contributed positively to being a successful business owner.

I also believe that my love of variety has led me to pooh-pooh the many requests I receive for online, on-demand, versions of my training courses.

It’s time to visit California.


The Tension between Variety and Consistency

Below are a series of video excerpts from an episode of The Customer Experience Podcast on which I was a guest recently.

You may listen to the full podcast episode here.

Here are some of the main points in the episode:


First, our customers want to feel seen and validated. You can arrive at this goal through either the California or the French approach to wine making, right?


Second, I believe that customers want personalized experiences. They want to be approached as an individual even when buying something that is produced en masse.


Third, content creators must balance efficiency and customization when approaching potential new clients. We must find that middle ground between sending 1,000 impersonal emails versus doing a half day of research on a single prospect.


The Marriage of Variety and Consistency

Because I love variety so much, I often manufacture it in my life. I will drive a different route home, even if it is a few minutes longer, just to see different scenery. I buy coffee cups that are all different colors, patterns, and textures (see above). I detest planning vacations and prefer spontaneity when I travel.

I was afraid that on-demand courses would be too…fixed.

However, I am learning that I can inject variety into this new product line through efforts such as:

  • Personalized outreach to students
  • Periodic updates to existing courses
  • Adding new courses
  • Trying new sales strategies
  • Challenging myself to venture into scary “terrior”

I will step out of my preferred comfort zone in France and joyfully serve the California clients.

This will be fun…and different!

The post Variety is the Spice of…Business! appeared first on Melissa Gratias.

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