The Nitty Gritty

  • Why Jason Van Orden ultimately left the business he ran for ten years and how taking a sabbatical helped him get to the heart of why he felt so discontent and uninspired
  • The identity crisis Jason experienced as he shifted from being known as the founder of Internet Business Mastery to being a consultant
  • How Jason realized that his unique genius comes out when he’s in a room full of people — not teaching online courses without a real-time feedback loop
  • Plus, a look at Jason’s quick reference guide, a document that reminds him of who he is when he’s at his best

Jason Van Orden founded Internet Business Mastery ten years ago — and over the last decade, he successfully grew it into a well-known resource for starting an online business. Yet, as the business boomed, Jason started to feel more and more discontent with his work, especially during the last couple years. Through scaling the business and automating it, Jason lost connection with his creativity and passion.

That’s when he decided to take a break and to ultimately start a brand new business from a different angle and doing something completely different. In this week’s episode of What Works, Jason shares what starting a new business looks like after being known for another one — and how he reignited his passion for his work and business.

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Curiosity as the antidote to discontent in business

“I could see that I hadn’t been following my curiosity anymore, hadn’t been experimenting, hadn’t been trying new things, hadn’t been as interactive and connecting with my audience because I’d been making things more and more hands-off. These were all the little things that were adding up to not providing me the energy that it used to.” — Jason Van Orden

After a decade in business, Jason started to feel the inklings of discontent. Where had his creativity gone? Where was the passion? It started to wane so he decided to do something to open himself up to new possibilities.

With prompting from his wife, he took a sabbatical from his business. “At first, I thought all I needed was just a sabbatical from my business to figure out how to reinvent the business I already had to be fulfilling for me once again.” But it wasn’t an overnight aha moment or quick change. “I started following my curiosity and it took a good couple years of following that to get to the heart of what needed to change and what the next evolution looked like for me.”

After some time, Jason realized that what he needed was much more than a shift within his current business. It was time for something bigger — something different — than that. Ultimately, Jason realized that he was ready to collaborate with other people and with a completely different audience so he decided to shift into business strategy, coaching, workshop facilitating, and mentorship.

Uncovering your unique genius

“I haven’t made a digital course in a few years now. Everything’s been geared more towards facilitation and the group workshop framework over formula teaching and how-to. That’s where I create my greatest value and find that people enjoy — and benefit from — what I do.” — Jason Van Orden

Your unique genius is usually something you find incredibly easy that your clients don’t want to do or can’t do. For example, Jason’s unique genius is solving problems in a creative way that provided results for his clients. As Jason says, it seemed to natural to look at problems in a certain way — a way that would provide the client with a level of confidence and clarity that they hadn’t reached before.

In particular, he prefers facilitating group workshops over specific how-to classes with prepared activities and exercises. For Jason, facilitating is where his special sauce is at. He knew it worked because of how people responded to him during workshops. “This is why my last business started choking the life out of me,” Jason says. “I do my best work when I’m in the room with people or at the very least interacting with a group or an individual.”

Listen to this episode to hear more from Jason Van Orden around unearthing your unique genius, building a brand new business from scratch, and learning more about yourself in the process.

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