How To Determine Your Ideal Client (And Why It's Important)

how to identify your ideal client, how to identify and attract your ideal client workbook, business coach, career coach.png

One of the biggest challenges I hear from creatives, coaches, and online entrepreneurs who are starting and growing a business is, “Ughhh, I don’t have enough clients.”

It’s a tale as old as time (or at least, as old as service-based businesses), you have the creativity, the drive, the talent, and the skills, you just can’t seem to find the right clients.

The biggest reason creative entrepreneurs run into this problem is that they’re looking at it backward: they are focused on searching for customers when they should be pouring their efforts into attracting them. And not just any old clients, but a defined set of ideal clients.

The truth is really simple: your business can (and will!) be a huge success if you can do three things:

  • Determine your ideal client
  • Create content and branding they will love and naturally be drawn towards
  • Convert those prospective ideal clients into paying customers

While these are three different tasks to accomplish you won’t achieve any of them effectively (or at all) if you don’t do the first well.

Why Are Ideal Clients Important?

Before we dive into exactly how you can determine your ideal client, it’s important to be crystal clear on exactly what an Ideal Client is, and why the concept is so important to your business.

Here’s a straightforward definition:

Your Ideal Client is the type of person who discovers the perfect solution to their problems (pain points), or the fulfillment of their needs, in your specific product or service.

Without a super-clear understanding of who your ideal client is, and what they want, you are going to find marketing your business more difficult than fighting white walkers without dragon glass.

Can I be real with you for a sec?

In your business, not everyone will like you.

Don’t take it personally.

There’s nothing wrong with you. Not everyone will like your style, appreciate your particular zone of genius, understand the value of your offerings, or believe they need what you’re selling.

And that’s totally cool.

Because you know what? You aren’t going to like everyone either.

In fact, there are probably a whole boat-load of people you don’t want to work with.

If You’re Talking To Everyone, You’re Talking To No One

When you’re first starting out as an entrepreneur, you might find yourself desperate for clients.

You’ll take on anyone and everyone because you have bills to pay, you haven’t experienced the horrors of working with a client that’s a bad fit yet, and you’re slightly addicted to the adrenaline rush you get when you get a new client or customer.

But here’s the thing: hustling hard and taking on everyone you can find will (probably) work in the short term, but it’s not a sustainable marketing plan. It’s no good for you, it’s no good for your clients, and it’s definitely no good for your ROI.

Marketing takes a lot of hard graft and (often) money. When you target your marketing messages at everyone, you’re not speaking to anyone.

When you’re marketing at everyone, you need to use a message that is as appealing as possible to a huge range of people.

That’s not easily done.

There’s no such thing as a universally loved product or service.

All that generic effort creates a message that everyone can understand, but nobody will respond to.

To talk to people at the level needed to convert them into raving fans of you and your business, you need to speak their language. You need to fit perfectly with their needs, wants, and goals.

People are too individual to do this well, while targeting a lot of different people.

Getting really specific in who you want to work with, who your ideal clients are, allows you to craft a marketing message that speaks directly to them.

Once my clients wrap their head around this concept, their next question is obvious: “How do I determine who my ideal client is?”

It’s not nearly as tricky as you might think. With a little thought, you can easily identify your ideal client using three straightforward steps:

Step 1: Perform An Internal Assessment

Before you look externally to find the right people to work with you need to do an internal evaluation.

Creatives, entrepreneurs, and coaches all have one thing in common: they pour a lot of themselves into their businesses.

This is great - it’s usually what makes them successful - but it means that making sure your business, brand, message, and clients are fully aligned with who you are as a person, not just a business, is essential.

An internal audit will show you what is most important to you and how that impacts upon the ideal clients you should be targeting.

One thing to note - it’s possible to have more than one ideal client if you offer different services that do slightly different things. For example, a coaching package for a fledgling entrepreneur isn’t going to be the same as one for a boss babe running a seven-figure biz and looking to kick it up a notch.

Both packages are aimed at coaches, but they are at very different stages in their respective businesses, and so are different ideal clients.

When you ask these questions, there is one you must ask first: Are all my services perfect for exactly the same people?

If the answer is no, don’t panic! All it means is you need to repeat this process for every product or service you have that services a different core function (i.e. helping a new coach get started vs. mentoring a successful coach to even greater abundance).

Know Yourself

It may seem contradictory to say you need to know yourself before you can know your ideal client, but it actually makes a lot of sense. They are your ideal client, the specific type of person you will find most enjoyable, energizing and uplifting to work with. Yes, they will find you to be equally delightful, empowering and inspirational, and what you have to offer will bring huge value to their lives, and solve a fundamental problem they have, but it has to start with you.

One of the biggest mistakes people make is to come up with a product or service and then try to fit people into it, rather than determining the right people to work with, identifying their core pain points, and creating products and services that meet those needs.

This is a huge motivation to figure out who your ideal client is; it will help you make your products and services better.

But there’s another component here, namely that you need to have a really clear understanding of what you are capable of offering.

There’s no point selling a product or service if you can’t deliver.

More than that, your offering should play to your strengths, your passions, and your zone of genius.

That is how you will build phenomenal success, and best serve your clients.

So while the specifics of the services you offer should stem from the needs and desires of your ideal clients, your ideal clients should stem from you.

Internal Questions To Discover Your Ideal Client In Yourself

Ask yourself the following questions:

  1. What am I exceptionally good at?
  2. What am I most passionate about?
  3. What is my Zone of Genius?
  4. Where do these three things converge?
image1.png

Consider Your Best Clients

If you’re just starting out as an entrepreneur, coach, or creative business owner, you may not have any existing clients. Don’t worry - it’s actually great to figure out your ideal client right at the start. But if you’re already in business and have existing or former clients, it’s time to dig into your interactions with them and figure out which are a great fit, and which you could do without.

Questions To Find Your Ideal Client In Your Existing Clientele

  1. What problem does your product or service solve? Be as specific as possible!
  2. Who currently benefits from your product or service most? Describe these clients in detail.
  3. Who do you want to help most?
  4. Who do you totally love working with?
  5. Who do you really hate working with? (It’s okay to ask this - it doesn’t mean you hate them, just that working with them isn’t your fave!)
  6. Which of your clients has provided you with glowing feedback? Be specific - what do these people have in common?
  7. Which (if any) of your customers have given you poor feedback, actively complained, canceled a service, refused to pay, or asked for a refund? Be specific - what do these people have in common?
  8. If you could spend all your time doing just one type of work, what would it be?
  9. How did your existing clients, good and bad, find you and your business? Is there a common path taken by all your good clients, or all your bad ones?
  10. Are you happy working with your existing clients, or do you want to shift your focus?

The more details you can glean from your existing experience the better. Download my Ideal Client Workbook for a far more in-depth set of questions.

Once you’ve answered all these questions as best you can, go through looking for common themes. The common threads that repeatedly crop up are the beginnings of your criteria for determining your ideal client. A few widespread commonalities you’re likely to find are:

  • A specific gender
  • An age group
  • A particular industry
  • Common mindsets (i.e. you may love people working with a Success Mindset and hate working with pessimists who have a very defeatist outlook)
  • A certain level of business (i.e. you love working with people just starting out in business, or adore mentoring people who are already doing really well)
  • A particular income bracket (e.g. you love working with people who can afford to invest in themselves and their business, and don’t complain about your prices, haggle, or try to get as much bang for their buck as possible, leaving you drained. Alternatively, you might love working with low-income individuals and helping them transform their lives by earning more.)

Understanding Your Competition And USP

Finding your ideal client is one of the most important steps you can take in marketing because it distinguishes who you are targeting.

But that’s only one side of the equation.

You also need to know how your ideal client will distinguish you from your competitors.

  1. What aspects of your products or services are similar to your competition?
  2. What are different?
  3. What are completely, 100% uniquely you?

If you find yourself struggling to answer either of the last two questions, or answering the first with ‘nothing’, think again! The world of digital marketing has a lot of great benefits, but one of its downsides is how crowded and loud it has become.

There’s no such thing as an original idea anymore. That’s doubly true of products and services. Whatever you’re doing, someone else is doing it too.

But the very nature of creatives and entrepreneurs is that they do the stuff other people are doing in new and innovative ways.

Having competition isn’t an issue because the truth is, there is more than enough for everyone. However, you’ve gotta stand out from the crowd so the right people can find you.

The good news is, if you really can’t pinpoint your unique selling point, once you’ve figured out who your ideal client is you will be able to tweak your offerings so they are tailor-made to those exact clients. In doing this, you’re likely to come up with ways of making them unique, even in the crowded digital world.

But I’m betting that uniqueness is already there; it’s just difficult for you to see it yourself. If you’re really struggling, ask your existing clients, friends, and family what makes you different.

Step 2: Check Your Instincts

By now you should have a fairly clear picture of your ideal client. You should have a good idea of who you want to work with and why, and what it is about you that makes them want to work with you. But you’re not done just yet.

You’re (Probably) Not Psychic

The next step is to check that data. Even if some (or all) is based on feedback from existing clients, they are only a small sampling. It’s important to avoid assuming you know what your ideal clients are thinking and feeling, and what they truly need.

A huge mistake I often see people make is creating offers based on their assumptions about what their ideal clients want.

And you know the old saying as to why you should never assume.

This is a huge problem because you end up with a product or service nobody wants.

You’re not going to make that mistake.

Because you’re probably not psychic, it’s a safe bet you don’t actually know what your ideal clients are thinking. So ask them.

Discover Your IC With ONE Question

The second I suggested asking your ideal clients what they want, I’m betting your immediate thought was: “I’ll run a survey!”

Yes, you can absolutely do that. You can list out all the questions you want answered and try to entice your ideal clients to answer with pleas, bribes, and badgering. But there is (in my opinion) a better way.

Talk to people. YES! An actual conversation with someone talking and listening!

Immerse yourself in your ideal clients’ world. Hang out with them, chat with them, start conversations, and ask them specific questions that lead you to discover what they need, and the problems they face.

Here is one question that is an absolute goldmine. Whenever I talk to potential clients, I put a big *BC at the top of the page and ask, “What’s your biggest challenge right now pertaining to…?” (Fill in the blank for whatever area your work helps people with.)

This question is invaluable for your market research. If you ask it often enough, you will see patterns emerging in the answers. You can learn a huge amount about the problems and issues your ideal clients are facing. No more guesswork, this isn’t your voodoo powers at work, you know.

These are your ideal clients’ pain points.

Download my FREE Ideal Client Workbook for more details on exactly how to do this.

Step 3: Create An Ideal Client Avatar

You’ve done the hard part, now comes the fun part.

There's something inspiring about having an avatar for your ideal client. A ‘profile’ similar to what you’d see on LinkedIn or an online dating site.

Consider the core demographics of your ideal client:

  • How old are they?
  • Where do they live?
  • Where do they work?
  • What careers are they in?
  • What are their hobbies and interests?
  • What are their hopes, dreams, and aspirations?
  • What are their fears?
  • Do they have any common health, wellness or mindset troubles? (i.e. weight problems, mental health concerns, confidence issues, etc.)

Your avatar will depend entirely on the answers you came up with in steps one and two. If it helps, you can find a photograph or image that perfectly captures the essence of your ideal client if this helps you visuals them.

The idea is to see them as a real person. Someone you could take out to coffee for a chat. Because that’s basically what you’re going to be - every time you need to know what direction to take in your marketing, you’re gonna sit down with your avatar and talk it out.

Keep a flash car including all the need-to-know information close at: core demographics, pain points, and where you will find your ideal client.

Put Your Ideal Client Profile Into Action

Would you believe me if I said that loads of coaches and entrepreneurs go to a lot of effort to identify their ideal client, and then fail to do anything with them?

It’s true.

It’s really easy to figure all this stuff out, use it for deciding exactly what you will offer, and then forgetting about it entirely. But your ideal client is vital to every aspect of your business.

It should inform every aspect of your business.

Now you have your ideal client profile you need to put it to work. Your ideal client should infuse all areas, from your designing products and services to creating your branding, crafting content and other marketing, writing your sales language, organizing your customer service and beyond.

To really get actionable and get your ideal client working to supercharge your business, download my FREE Ideal Client Workbook. Use it to fine tune everything you’ve learned in this post, and check out the Action Checklist at the back to make sure you’re putting your ideal client profile to work as much as possible.

The Biggest Block To Success In A New Business (And How To Move Past It)

money mindset and blocks to success in new coaching, creative, and online businesses. how to move past mindset blocks.png

You’ve finally started your creative, coaching, or online business — woohoo! Congrats!

Now you just have to succeed. And not just by mom’s standard, but real, bona fide, Taylor Swift level success. You’re doing everything right. Yet success still feels out of reach.

I can tell you why:

Your mindset.

How Your Mindset Is Blocking Your Success

One huuuuggge mistake many people make is believing that success hinges on action alone.

You crave success and immediately start taking action designed to achieve your dreams. This is a problem if you do so without direction, and before you’ve done the inner work needed to support successful outcomes in the long run.

In the short term, the action you take seems to work, but it will eventually lead to big trouble. Your focus should be on more than growing your business quickly.

I know, I know, growth hacking is all the rage, but if your growth isn’t built on strong foundations, and backed up by your own rock solid success mentality, it’s not sustainable growth.

The obsession with reaching a large dollar amount in a small space of time can be crippling to long-term success. The much-hyped ‘six-figure business’ is a label we all want to wear proudly, but earning six figures isn’t nearly so tough as making six figures consistently.

Year in, year out.

Yes, you want to make money in your business. It’s a business after all. But a quick boost in income is just that: fast and fleeting.

That’s not T Swift success. That’s more like a one-hit wonder.

You’re worth so much more than that!

Here’s the thing: taking massive action can result in progress. It can even lead to epic growth. But it will only get you so far before you slam into the Dark Lord of all barriers: your own upper limit.

The Upper Limits

“The goal in life is not to attain some imaginary ideal; it is to find and fully use our own gifts.” 
– Gay Hendricks

Experience taught me the upper limit lesson all too well.

I started out working as a lawyer. Despite enjoying the mental challenge of the work, and the financial success it brought, I was getting run down.

What I was craving was work I’d find fulfilling and enjoyable. Eventually, I found my passion and purpose in coaching.

Once my path became clear, I worked my tail off! I was so relieved to finally be doing something that lit me up; I hustled hard.

Pouring everything into my coaching business, I built a six-figure business in less than a year.

It was exciting and I was ready to up-level.

At least, I thought I was ready.

When I tried to take the next logical step, I smacked right into my upper limit.

It seriously felt like I’d mentally and emotionally run headlong into a cement wall.  

Everything came to a complete standstill.

I was at a total loss.

After several months of soul searching I finally recovered and was ready to take action, but I’d learned my lesson: I had to do the inner work first.

The Big Leap

I’m far from alone in my experience. What happened to me is typical; when you’re making a big transition in life, and you fail to do the mindset work to support your efforts, you inevitably hit an upper limit.

It was the tremendous book, The Big Leap, by Gay Hendricks, that first introduced me to the concept of upper limits. As the book explains, upper limits are set points we subconsciously harbor, for everything from love to wealth to happiness. If we find ourselves going beyond one of our set points, we are thrown off-balance and (either consciously or unconsciously) do everything within our power to return to our established equilibrium.

So, if your set point for money is an income of $80,000 a year, hitting a six-figure income is going to throw you off kilter. Even though earning more is a positive thing, and it’s a great achievement.

It doesn’t matter, your upper limit has been breached, and you will scrabble your way back to safety beneath it as fast as you can.

Why Lottery Winners Go Broke

Here’s a shocking statistic to demonstrate the point: According to the National Endowment for Financial Education, 70% of lottery winners who win huge jackpots quickly lose it again, going back to being broke.

Why?

Quite simply, the majority of people who play (and win) the lottery have never experienced anywhere near the amount of money they suddenly have when they win.

They weren’t necessarily poor before, but their set point for wealth was far lower than their bank balance instantly became.

The sudden nature of lottery wins also means that, for the most part, winners have not mentally prepared themselves for the abrupt change in fortunes. How could they? Nobody actually expects to win millions of dollars.

Most people don’t sit down and work on their mindset every time they buy a ticket.

So they’ve not done the inner work needed to adjust to the transition.

They hit an upper limit, and like anyone else hitting an upper limit, do everything they can to return the world to normal.

Humans are hardwired to flee the unfamiliar.

Whether it’s conscious or not, lottery winners often make impulsive, rash purchases, poor investments, and fail to put anything aside in savings.

It’s the fastest way of getting back to a situation that is familiar, and therefore comfortable.

The Celebrity Trap

Another great example of upper limit issues are the musicians, actors, and athletes who achieve great success, far beyond their set point, and self-sabotage to regain their equilibrium.

Look at Macaulay Culkin, Lindsay Lohan, and Amanda Bynes. All child stars who rapidly shot to fame when they were accustomed to relatively humble, and considerably younger lifestyles. They hit the upper limit trifecta: wealth, success, and maturity, and buckled under the pressure.

Britney Spears, Amy Winehouse, and Pete Doherty, all suddenly hit superstardom and had no idea how to cope.

Self-Sabotaging Your Success

While there are loads of ways people can react to upper limit issues, self-sabotaging is the most common.

When I hit my upper limit in my business, I self-sabotaged by disconnecting and becoming stagnant in my work.

I stopped communicating and connecting, with friends, family, and readers.

Completely.

I stopped writing new content, engaging on social media, and sending emails. Worse, I turned away potential new clients, completely withdrawing. My business ground to a halt.

Your dream doesn’t work unless you do.

I wasn’t putting any energy into my business, and it didn’t have the juice to carry on without me.

Other people react by running themselves ragged, piling more and more work on themselves until they eventually get sick.

Everything still stops, but for a different reason.

Another common self-sabotaging trick is creating unnecessary drama in your life. You pick fights with your friends, overspend causing financial issues, fall into destructive behavior that can cause problems in your work and relationships, or just indulge in negative thinking. You wallow in negativity until you’re so saturated by it that it’s all you know, and everything in your life begins to reflect it. This only convinces you of the futility of things, and on and on it goes…

Self-sabotage is generally subconscious. Most people don’t willingly prevent themselves from experiencing wonderful things. But the sense of safety and security that comes with our established equilibrium is incredibly powerful. It’s often far more powerful than the lure of whatever aspect of life we’re in the process of up leveling.

Safety is a primary human need. Our brains are, above everything else, programmed to protect us. As a result, they often act in counterintuitive ways, damaging good things in our life to preserve the norm.

Beyond The Upper Limits

Upper limits exist where we have limiting self-beliefs. When you’re ready to move on up to the next level, either in your life or business, you need first to examine the beliefs you have around the change.

You may find nothing is standing in your way, but you might equally discover there are certain mindsets, concepts, and beliefs that are deeply ingrained, which contradict the change you’re looking to make.

If that’s the case, a little personal growth is needed to smash that upper limit, and clear the way to reach your next level.

Upgrading Your Beliefs About Being The Boss

Let’s say you’re starting a new business. You’re about to become your own boss for the very first time - awesome! But you’ve never been a business owner before. It’s an entirely new concept for you. Up to now, you’ve always had someone telling you what to do and when, which tasks to prioritize, and whether or not you’re doing a good job or not.

Shifting to a state that allows you to do this for yourself, and even delegate tasks to others is a big leap. It takes a whole new way of thinking and operating.

A little mental preparation is required before you attempt it. Otherwise, you’re likely to find it very uncomfortable and may self-sabotage your new business efforts to force yourself back into a position that’s familiar.

Picturing yourself in a role before you step into it is a great way to prepare yourself for the change. Step into the shoes of a business owner or CEO and ask yourself:

  • How would a business owner make a decision?
  • How would a business owner schedule her day?
  • How would a business owner talk about herself?

Upgrading Your Beliefs About Money

In business we make money. That’s the goal. We often have other goals as well, ones that ensure our work is personally and professionally fulfilling, but at a basic level, we need to earn enough to live. At a higher level, we want to earn enough to live our dream life.

Hindsight always comes with 20/20 vision. When I look back at the upper limit I hit in my own business, it’s clear that I needed to seriously upgrade my money beliefs before I could move forward.

One month I earned more than I ever had before, and it scared me. All the fears and limiting beliefs I harbored about money reared their ugly heads. They growled and snarled and made me feel it wasn’t safe to earn that much money.

And the following month, I didn’t earn as much.

My fears receded slightly, I felt safer, but I was never going to move forward in my business if I couldn’t get over the block I was facing.

“It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves.”
– Edmund Hillary

I had to find a way to accept that it was safe for me to earn more. Not only that, but it was also vital that I believed I deserved to make more.

Until I did that crucial inner work, I was stuck.

What I needed was a great success mindset. Part of that is embracing the climb that is inherent to building a business or achieving any goal in life. Sometimes though, the mountain you’re climbing isn’t a series of obstacles blocking your path in the real world, but an internal mountain of mindset issues and limiting self-beliefs that you need to conquer.

Raising Your Money Consciousness

To succeed in your business, you need to regularly upgrade your beliefs around money. Download my free Money Workbook now to help you raise your money consciousness.

5 Blocks Holding You Back

The specific blocks standing in your way will depend on your personality, history, and beliefs. But here are five common blocks that you’re likely to experience at some point:

  1. Believing success and abundance only come from hard work. Because you’re running a business you love, which doesn’t always feel like hard work, you are somehow conning people or earning money dishonestly.

  2. Feeling flawed and therefore unworthy of success, wealth, and happiness.

  3. Fearing abandonment or the perceptions of others, and therefore avoiding exposure and signing new clients.

  4. Believing success is a burden, and avoiding it in favor of an ‘easier’ life.

  5. Hiding your light for fear of what others will think of your true abilities, or how they will feel if you outshine them.

4 Practical Steps To Move Past Your Upper Limits

Here are four simple steps to help you take action supported by inner work, and reach for real and sustainable level success:

Step 1: Identify Your Self-Sabotaging Patterns

The first step is raising your awareness of the beliefs you hold surrounding success and making money, and pinpointing the patterns that are limiting you. Once you know your patterns, you can work towards changing them. Simply paying attention to your thoughts and beliefs surrounding success and money is incredibly powerful.

Begin by taking a few minutes every day to reflect on the thoughts you’ve had surrounding success and money. Like other bad habits, self-sabotage and negative beliefs follow a pattern that’s predictable once you’re aware of it.

Keep a journal of them so you can see what crops up repeatedly. Jot down a quick note of anything that happened to trigger your thoughts, and any negative things they resulted in.

Step 2: Face Your Fears

At its heart, self-sabotage is nothing more than fear. The irony is that it’s rooted in a very natural instinct for self-preservation.

Think of it as self-love that spectacularly backfires.

It’s driven by your fears and the only way to defuse it is to face them.

What exactly are you afraid of, and why?

Every time you come to an answer to the ‘why?’ ask again. Keep digging until you can’t go any deeper and you’re sure you’ve found the root of the fear.

How realistic is that fear? If there’s genuine cause for concern? How can you make sure the possible negative result doesn't happen? If it’s not likely to happen, what can you do to remind yourself of this when you start to become afraid?

Step 3: Do Less, Be Better

One of the first things any coach will tell you is that abundance is best created through simplicity. Focus on the things that matter most, and stop wasting time on things that don’t matter, or can easily be outsourced or delegated.

Refusing to prioritize and delegate is a form of self-sabotage, constantly keeping you in a state of overwhelm that prevents you achieving your goals.

List out your top three most important tasks (MITs) each day. Focus on these tasks. If other tasks must be completed that day, delegate.

You will spend less time working, but the quality of everything getting done (by you and others) will be better.

Step 4: Check In Regularly

Creatives, coaches, and entrepreneurs often find their work lonely, especially when they are working on growth, and doing the inner self-development work necessary to support it.

It’s so important to surround yourself with like-minded people who understand the challenges you are facing, and goals you are trying to achieve.

Every time you uplevel your business your goals and inner work will shift up a gear. Make sure you are always surrounded by people who are at the same level as you, as well as people a few steps ahead of you.

Join a mastermind group, get an accountability partner, and don’t worry if you find that, over time, you outgrow relationships and need to find new ones, in alignment with your new level of growth.

Take courses, hire a coach or mentor. Invest in yourself.

Check in with yourself (using daily affirmations, and by keeping a journal of your blocks), as well as with your mastermind group and accountability partner on a regular basis.

How To Transform New Subscribers Into Super Fans

how to transform new email subscribers into super fans, email funnel, creatives, coaches, online business (1).png

Here’s a bit of truth talk for you: 30-50% of your leads aren’t ready to buy when they first learn about your business.

I know, bummer. Sorry to be the bad news bear, but here’s the good news: around three-quarters of those leads will be ready to buy down the line. For some, it will be in just a few short months, and for some more like 12-18 months.

It can take time for leads to develop into sales, often more time than we’re willing to allow.

We’re all so impatient. We start a new marketing tactic, and if it doesn’t immediately get people lining up and sleeping outside (the way they do when a new iPhone goes on sale), we give up, thinking it’s not working.

Digital marketing is incredibly powerful, but it may not be instant. To generate long-term success in your creative, coaching, or online business, you need to build a relationship with your audience, and cultivate the know, like, and trust factor s before they will be ready to buy.

It’s like dating. You don’t propose on the first date. You take the time to get to know each other and fall in love. You nurture the relationship.

You need to nurture your leads.

You don’t just need to entice people to sign up to your list. Once they’re on your list, you want to transform them into Super Fans who can’t get enough of you or your products and services.

For that, you need an A-MAAAZING nurture sequence.

Now you may be wondering exactly how to nurture those leads, and ensure as many as possible convert into sales.

What Is A Nurture Sequence?

A nurture sequence is also known as an indoctrination series, welcome series, warm up series, or email funnel.

It’s your chance to connect with your audience, right after they have chosen to become a part of your world. At this time, they are the most interested and excited about what you have to offer. You can take advantage of this time by introducing them more fully to your world and what you have to offer.

If you’re doing it properly, it will take time to put it all together. But that’s essential time to invest, and once done, your new nurture sequence should last six months to a year.

A nurture sequence is a vital element of your marketing strategy. It’s the first direct contact you have with a lead after they have expressed an interest in your business. They may have inquired through your website or signed up to a free opt-in.

By signing up to your list, they have essentially raised their hand and waved, “Hello.”

Your nurture sequence is how you wave back, and totally WOW them in the process.

Prospects all want the same thing: a solution to their problem. What that problem is will vary, but they have a problem (possibly more than one), and they’re looking at you for the answers.

A nurture sequence is a series of automated emails that are sent out after a new lead signs up to your list. These emails are packed with valuable content, along with information about you and your services, which ‘nurtures’ the budding relationship between you and your prospect, ensuring it eventually blossoms into a sale.

The Process of Transforming New Subscribers Into Super Fans

Creating an effective nurture sequence takes some thought and effort, and several different elements that all need to work harmoniously to create a complete system. Although the core of the nurture sequence is a series of emails, you need more than just the emails themselves.

You also need:

  • Content to fill and complement those emails.
  • More content to draw people in and entice them to sign up in the first place.
  • A lead capture and email delivery infrastructure.
  • And a clear path to steer your prospects down, which makes your desired outcome (generally a sale) a really easy choice for them.

If all this sounds like a lot to deal with, don’t worry. Taken together it can feel slightly overwhelming, but when you break it down into the different elements and handle one at a time, it gets a lot easier.

The hardest part is nailing your emails. I’ve created a free Nurture Sequence Bundle, which breaks it down for you step-by-step.

Download it now and work your way through each of the following elements...

Step 3: Capture Your Leads with Lead Magnets

After your lead has been introduced to your world, you want to capture their information so that you can continue building a relationship with them. On your site, there are two main types of lead magnets. One is a larger free offer that can stand on its own. I’m going to refer to that as your Freebie. The other type is adding more value to the content you’ve created — a content upgrade.

Freebie

If you don’t already have a Freebie, it’s time to get creating!

You need one really good freebie that the majority of your ideal clients will jump on immediately. Common forms include eBooks, audio or video trainings, webinars, and mini-courses; your main lead magnet should offer a TON of value.

I like to think of it as a potential moneymaker - it’s SO super valuable that I could easily sell it and make money with it. It just happens to be that I’m making it available for free for a limited time.

If you already have a free opt-in offer available on your site, woohoo, you’re doing great!

But, if I’m being real with you, you’re not quite done.

The more lead magnets you have, the more easily your content will convert into leads.

And the more leads you have, the more valuable your nurture sequence becomes. If you already have one amazing Freebie, fabulous! You’re well ahead of the curve. But you can add new Freebies every few months, or as they correspond with your current offers.

In addition to your Freebies, you’re also going to want to start creating content upgrades.

Content Upgrades

The easiest way to add additional lead magnets to your overall system is through content upgrades. When you’re creating your core content (be it blogs, vlogs, podcasts, etc.) you should be thinking of ways to add extra value to the post.

How can you help your readers act on the information you’re giving them? What additional tips and info can you add that make it even more valuable?

Rather than putting that extra value right there in the post, pop it in an easily downloaded file, and include it in your post as an ‘upgrade’.

For example, this post is all about crafting the perfect nurture sequence. To help you act on the advice I’m giving, I’ve created a Nurture Sequence Bundle including a breakdown of all the emails in your nurture sequence, all the elements of the emails, a step-by-step worksheet to craft stories and outline the emails, AND my full nurture sequence so you can see a clear example of how it all works together.

It’s super valuable and I could easily sell it.

But I’m giving it to you for free — this means you can ‘upgrade’ the information you learn on this blog post for free, in exchange for joining my list.

The more posts with content upgrades, the more opportunities and incentives readers have to opt-in. This makes them far more likely to do so and more likely to remain on your list.

And it’s essential they stay on your list because it could take twelve to eighteen months before they’re ready to buy from you.

Step 4: Lead Capturing Capabilities

Once you have a great lead magnet (and eventually magnets) that your audience is clamoring for, you will need to connect your list to your website through signup forms that allow people to opt into your list. You can either do this through the forms and plugins provided by your email service or using a plugin like ThriveLeads or LeadPages.

Step 5: Mailing List

From the sign-up form, the lead’s email needs a home. Without an email list, your nurture sequence has nowhere to go. You can set up an email list with any number of services, like ActiveCampaign, MadMimi, or MailChimp. They will enable you to easily collect email addresses from people interested in your business and place them on an email list.

If you don’t have a list already, it’s time to start one.

If you do have a list, check you are with an email service provider that allows you to easily create and send an autoresponder sequence.

3 Important Things To Remember When Creating a Nurture Sequence

1. Value Before Pitch

Before you jump right into a sales pitch on your first email, pause.

This is a nurture sequence.

You’re not proposing on the first date. You are nurturing your relationship with your prospects, and the last thing they want immediately after signing up is a barrage of emails asking them to buy something.

You need to give them something of value first.

If you’ve set this up properly they will already have claimed something of value when they signed up, in the form of a lead magnet — either a content upgrade or freebie. Make sure you give them what they asked for immediately.

Once they have it, focus initially on providing them with even more value.

A large part of content marketing is educating your audience on the value of your products or services. Use this as an opportunity to do just that. Before you try to pitch anything, send them value-packed content that is really useful for them, and simultaneously explains exactly why the thing you’re eventually going to offer them is invaluable.

Don’t be brazen about it, be subtle.

If, for example, you eventually want to offer them a course on how to find clients on Instagram, you would ensure all your initial content was focused on the purpose and nature of Instagram marketing. You would educate your audience on how vital and potentially profitable it is, so that when you finally do pitch them that service, they’re at a point where they are desperate for exactly what you’re offering.

2.  Goals, Planning, And Timing

There’s a reason we call it a nurture sequence. Your emails need to go out in a particular order. You also have to time them right. Send too many, too fast, and it’s like the guy calling you 11,073 times right after your first date.

It’s annoying.

You don’t like it.

Your leads won’t like it either. They’ll say, “No, thank you!” and hit unsubscribe.

Send your emails too far apart, and your prospects will have forgotten who you are, the connection will be lost, and they’ll think your messages are spam, say, “No, thank you!” and hit unsubscribe.

It’s also important to have a clear intention for every email in your sequence.

They will all contain different content, but you need a coherent message running throughout, and they all need to serve a function. The primary function of your nurture sequence is the introduction to you and your brand — you want to develop the know, like, and trust factor in order to turn cold leads into warm ones.

Download the Nurture Sequence Bundle for examples of each email you should send, and details of how to space them out.

3.  Segment Your List

It’s unusual for businesses to have no variation in their customer base. Even if everyone on your list is your ideal client, you very likely have people who need and want slightly different things. Segmenting your list allows you to create bespoke nurture sequences for the particular variations of ideal clients on your list.

If you have several core services, for example, the problems those services solve may be slightly different. You may have a low-cost option and a premium option. If your clients are separated by budget, pain points, location, age, gender, or any other factor, segment your list and create a nurture sequence tailored to the exact requirements of each group in your client base.

It’s more time consuming to set up, but well worth it!

Writing Your Emails

Now it’s time for the fun part! You need everything on this list in place to make sure your sequence runs smoothly and works as well as possible. But, if you don’t absolutely nail your emails, everything else will all have been for nothing.

The Nurture Sequence Bundle will give you a jump start. Don’t forget you need to be crystal clear on the objective and function of each email before you write it.

Make sure you’re open, friendly, personable, and genuine. The voice you use to communicate your business message should be consistent in all areas of your marketing. That includes your emails.

If you’re usually very informal and witty, make sure you pack your emails with that ready charm.

And if you tend to keep things super-professional and a little formal, echo that tone throughout.

Use Stories

This is perhaps the most important things about your emails: they need to tell stories! It’s an underappreciated fact that stories are far more effective at selling than cold pitches and depersonalized arguments. When it comes to explaining value, it’s important to frame your information in a form that’s as easily digested and understood as possible. Stories are the perfect way to do this. You can explain your points in the form of an analogy, using examples from your own life and business to draw your prospect in. This is how you’re truly going to engage your audience.

This has the benefit of making your point both relatable and personable. It will go a long way towards building that crucial know, like and trust factor.

More importantly, it will make it as easy as possible for your prospect to say, “Yes, please!” when you finally ask them to buy.

Download the Nurture Sequence Bundle to get your hands on my exclusive formula to storify your nurture sequence.

Watch Your Metrics

Once you have your nurture sequence in place, don’t take it for granted. Decide ahead of time what benchmarks you will use to gauge your success and track them all carefully.

  • What are your conversion rates like at each stage in your sequence?
  • Which blog posts are generating the most signups, and how can you create more content that will have a similar effect?
  • Are your lead magnets and content upgrades as efficient as you’d like them to be?
  • What can you create that might prove even more effective?
  • Do you need to improve the quality of your copy and content?
  • What about your open and click-through rates on the emails themselves?

Your metrics are a goldmine of information on the performance of your nurture sequence. They give you all the information you need to tweak and perfect every element - use them!

Why Is It Called A Sales Funnel?

image1.png

There are a lot of terms used to describe this process, but one of the most common ones is ‘sales funnel’. I prefer to think of them as ‘nurture sequences' because that is exactly what they do - nurture - but the term funnel exists for a reason, and can be helpful in visualizing the process.

Imagine your audience passing through a giant funnel, or filtration system, starting as readers, becoming new subscribers, and finally converting into super fans.

Like a caterpillar entering a cocoon and emerging as a beautiful butterfly.

You begin with a pool of ideal clients that’s relatively large. You create exceptional content which attracts some of them, shrinking the pool slightly.

Of those interested in your content some will opt-in to one of your content upgrades, and some will opt-in to your freebie, shrinking the pool further. From there, they will enter your nurture sequence. Some will unsubscribe (totally normal!), and narrow the pool even more.

Those remaining will stay on your list and do one of two things: immediately convert into a new client (wooo!), or continue to read the amazing content you sell them (potentially converting in the future).

Start Growing Your Tribe Of Super Fans…

Now you know everything there is to know about creating a nurture sequence it’s time to get creating. Grab your copy of the Nurture Sequence Bundle and start building your own legion of dedicated super fans!

How To Cultivate A Rock Solid Success Mindset

How To Cultivate A Rock Solid Success Mindset

Dreaming of success, are you?

Determined to make an impact, as well as a great income as a creative, coach, or entrepreneur?

Excellent! You have a gift and a message. It’s only right that it’s shared with the world.

But do you know the difference between the dreamers whose visions get lost in the clouds, and those who bring their dreams down to earth, and make them a reality?

Mindset.

The most successful individuals are the ones who understand that accomplishment doesn’t just happen; it requires action and a rock-solid success mindset.

Those who make it big and fulfill their hearts’ desires have resourceful minds. They’re capable of focusing on the things that will help them reach their goals while creating within themselves the beliefs, motivations, and emotional states that propel them to success.

What Is A Success Mindset?

A success mindset ensures you take actions and develop habits that are essential to achieving your objectives.

As an entrepreneur, cultivating a success mindset is vital for building a prosperous business.

But exactly how do you go about it?

The tallest tree in the forest was once nothing more than a teeny tiny nut that held its ground.

Successful people may look polished and sometimes exude charisma and confidence. They may carry an aura that makes it appear success was always inevitable for them.

So what’s the problem?

We seldom examine these people at the start of their journey. We see the end result and admire their success, but we don’t see everything it took for them to get there.

Every successful business owner was once a fledgling entrepreneur who had yet to succeed.

Everyone has the potential for success. The question is not can you succeed, but will you?

Are you tenacious enough to hold your ground?

Your Definition of Success

Success is a funny term. We all know what it means, yet it has different meanings.

What does success mean to you?

daenerys.gif
  • For Khaleesi, success is nothing less than taking the Iron Throne.
  • For many entrepreneurs, it’s a laptop lifestyle with time and location freedom, as well as a five figure monthly income.
  • For me, success is having my own cozy little office where I work with my ideal clients, share my message, and make great money doing it. It’s creating my own schedule. It’s being able to close my laptop when my hubs gets home from work without stressing.

But enough about me, and all these other peeps. Let’s talk about you!

Maybe you already know exactly what success looks like for you.

If so, cheers!

If not, don’t despair. I’m gonna give you some food for thought, to help you figure it out.

Set aside a couple of hours and think about your business:

  • What is your ultimate goal?

  • When will you feel you have achieved success with it? It may be when you reach a particular level of income (the much-hyped six or seven-figure business perhaps?), when you’ve attracted a certain number of clients, or produced a specific product or service.

  • You may have goals based on your morals, beliefs, or ethics, and success for you might mean your business reaches a point you can donate a large sum of money to a charity you support or set up a social enterprise.

Now, picture yourself in your ideal life:

  • What are you doing?
  • Where are you living?
  • What kind of car do you drive?
  • What kind of clothes are you wearing?
  • How many hours do you work in a day?
  • How many days in a week?
  • Are you working alone or have you built a team?
  • Have you expanded into other areas?

Try to leave your ego out of the equation, as well as any guilt you may feel when you picture your dream life. Indulge yourself in imaging exactly what ‘success’ means to you.

Go Deep And Stay There

Are you committed to your success?

Like, really committed?

If so, time to get uncomfortable. Not like ‘getting your wisdom teeth’ uncomfortable, but like ‘pigeon pose during yoga’ uncomfortable (when it hurts so good).

This is the tough part of a success mindset.

You need to dig deep within yourself, find the things that are holding you back, or undermining your efforts and belief in yourself, and heal and/or release them.

Yep, you’ve gotta deal with your blocks and issues.

If you have low self-esteem or confidence, you need to address that. If you struggle with your self-worth, you need to figure out why. Release and re-write any negative thoughts or feelings that crop up when you imagine yourself as a success.

You need to practice self-awareness for this. Monitor the way you think about success and the self-talk you use. When you’re asking yourself if you’re capable of doing something, do you answer, “Yaaas, Queen!!”

yasqueen.gif

...or reel off a list of reasons you will fail?

The only person who can do this is you.

It may take time, and you must be completely honest with yourself. In some cases, you may also need to look back through your life and figure out what caused you to develop your negative thought processes and feelings. That way, you can recognize what’s true and what’s a story that you have been telling yourself (and maybe others) for a long time.

That can be intense, and painful, but it is so worth it.

Examining yourself on a deep level and addressing any issues you have relating to your self-image, self-esteem, and self-beliefs is incredibly beneficial for all areas of your life. But it’s essential if you want to be truly successful.

Download my Free Money Mindset Workbook for more detail on how to approach this, so you can uncover the blocks and release them for good.

One of the top issues people encounter that prevent them developing a success mindset is comparisonitis.

How to Avoid Comparisonitis

What happens if you’re running in a foot race and you start looking around?

You’re going to misstep.

Now, I’ve never run in a foot race, but it’s easy enough to recognize the wisdom in the analogy.

We’ve all been there.

Someone else is doing what you do, and she’s doing it better, or differently, or more successfully, or she simply beat you to the punch. Plus, she’s rocking the Louboutins you couldn’t afford.

It can be valuable to our success to model our strategies and mindsets after the people who have successfully achieved what we are setting out to do. It can allow us to learn from (and avoid) their mistakes, reaching our destination in a shorter time by using proven methods.

But it can also be detrimental to our success if we’re not careful.

The act of mentally comparing yourself to someone else almost inevitably results in competing with her. She becomes the yardstick by which you measure your own accomplishments, and because she is already successful (if she wasn’t, you wouldn’t be comparing) and you are (for now), not yet on her level, you inevitably find yourself lacking.

You begin to doubt your abilities and even the validity of your desire to do what you are doing.

It’s easy for this to then begin spiraling into a harsh analysis of every area of your life until you’re in dirty sweatpants on the couch, binging on Rocky Road ice cream and Katherine Heigl flicks on a Tuesday afternoon.

Let’s avoid this.

A powerful way to avoid comparisonitis is to shift your focus away from other people and bring it onto yourself. This is something most people naturally avoid. It can feel like self-obsession, or even arrogance, to dismiss other people and think only of ourselves. But in this context, it’s imperative.

Stop competing with other people; compete with yourself instead.

  • How much better are you at what you do compared to the level you were at a month ago, or a year ago?
  • What are you doing to ensure you’re at a higher level a month, or a year, from now?

Focusing on self-improvement will soon ensure you compare far more favorably to other people. If you’re always watching them rather than yourself, you’ll get stuck, while they move further and further away.

Establish A Daily Ritual

Once you’ve starting shifting your mindset away from the negative and towards the positive, it’s important to keep the momentum going. Make it a priority to have a daily success ritual, something you do every day that helps you touch base with your success.

It’s crucial to hold on to your vision loosely.

Don’t want to grip it so tightly your knuckles turn white as you desperately squeeze the life out of it.

As my ballet teacher used to tell us about holding the ballet barre, hold your dream gently and softly, like you’re holding a baby squirrel’s neck, and you don’t want to hurt it.

A daily ritual will help you do this.

Setting goals isn’t enough. You need to train your brain to work towards them continuously and ensure you remain inspired and motivated.

One thing you will notice about successful people, they have success-driven habits.

Create a ritual that will help you achieve your goals and do it every day.

The more you do this, the less you will have to think about it. In time it will become something you do on auto-pilot. It becomes habitual.

You will find you achieve far greater success when you have habits in place that directly support your goals and the achievements you want to create through them. A daily ritual will not only help you achieve your goals; it will keep you motivated.

Develop daily habits that allow you to tap into your success mindset.  Some examples of daily habits include the following:

  • Say daily mantras or affirmations that remind you of important elements of the success mindset you are trying to cultivate. Things like:
  • Things are always working out for me.
  • I’m a powerful, prosperous, creator.
  • My work is valuable and I’m highly compensated for it.
  • I can be, do, or have whatever I desire.
  • Meditating
  • Creating gratitude lists. I find it helpful to write down ten things I’m grateful for (including the reason why I'm grateful for it). I then go back and read through the list, really focusing on how grateful I am and repeating “thank you” in my head.
  • Reading books that will provide you with daily inspiration and motivation. Keep a stack of success-orientated books on hand and read a chapter or two every day. Here are a few to get your success library started:
  • Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
  • The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks
  • The Laws of Divine Compensation by Marianne Williamson

Embrace The Climb

While it’s important to understand your ultimate definition of success, and put habits in place to support your goals, it’s equally important to comprehend that rushing to the finish line isn’t necessarily the most efficient way to reach your goal.

What’s the hurry?

This idea that you have to accomplish as much as possible, as fast as possible, comes from a scarcity mindset. You feel there’s an insufficient amount of time for you to accomplish everything you desire.

It’s just not true, my friend.

But it’s understandable that you become attached to, and possibly even obsessed with, the success you are trying to create. Even so, focusing on the final destination puts a massive amount of pressure on you.

It also makes the journey more complicated than it needs to be.

If you’re focused on the end, then finding yourself anywhere other than the finish line can feel like a failure. It doesn’t matter how much you have achieved, or how successful you have become along the way, you’re not quite there yet, and that feels wrong.

But this makes zero sense.

If you were driving from New York to Los Angeles, would you throw a tantrum because you were in Missouri?

I thought I’d be further along by now.
Ugh, I’m such a failure.
I’m giving up and turning around!

No, of course not! (Well, maybe a little tantrum because it’s a long drive, but not enough to give up and turn around.)

So why take that approach in your journey through life?  

Success isn’t a sprint; it’s a marathon.

Or, more accurately, it’s a climb.

Believe You’ll Succeed

“Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right”
– Henry Ford

The behavior we exhibit and the actions we take run in tandem with our beliefs. If you believe you will succeed, your behavior and actions reflect this, and everything you do moves you closer to achieving your objectives.

If you encounter obstacles along that path, your certainty of eventual success allows you to find creative and efficient solutions. You don’t turn back at the first hurdle. You believe you will succeed, therefore anything in your way must be surmountable.

Belief is the difference between understanding that obstacles are a natural part of the journey, and the mindset that everything is too hard, and nothing ever goes well for you.

If you want Beyoncé confidence, you need to recognize what’s true:

beyonce.gif
  • Things are always working out for you.
  • You can be, do, or have whatever you desire.
  • The Universe has your back.
  • The only limits are those you create in your own mind.

Stop arguing for your own limitations.

You will achieve greater success and hit goals in increments, moving increasingly higher and closer to your ultimate definition of success. Sometimes, when you’re climbing a massive mountain, you have to come back down a little way to reach the right path - the path that will lead you even higher.

Success is very much like this. You may have setbacks. You may encounter obstacles. You may fail at times.

Don’t assume it means you’re not destined to succeed. Embrace it as part of the journey. Each step you take is a small success that builds to the achievement of a goal, the surmounting of a new peak. Each peak is a part of the larger climb to the top of a huge mountain.

And guess what?

When you reach the top of that mountain and finally achieve your ultimate goal, your final definition of success, you will look around and find another mountain, sitting there waiting for you to climb.

We’re expansive beings in an expansive universe; your achievements are going to set off new sparks of desire.

You have a destination in mind, but the journey is as important (if not more important) than the finish line.

The more open you are to this, the more quickly you will reach the top, and the more fun you will have along the way.

Download my Free Money Mindset Workbook for more detail on how to approach this, so you can uncover the blocks and release them for good.

How to Raise Your Awareness and Boost Your Money Consciousness

How to Raise Your Awareness and Boost Your Money Consciousness

In the world of coaching - and online business in general - there’s one topic that people can’t seem to stop talking about.

Money.

It’s a subject with endless questions, all of which seem crucial.

How can I make more money?

How can I earn X amount of money in Y amount of time?

How much should I charge my clients?

Money creates a conflict for many who are ready to take the plunge and start a business. On the one hand, it seems like starting a business has the potential to make you lots of money, while giving you full control over your life, schedule, and work/life balance. On the other, people are naturally inclined to seek stability and security, which is in direct opposition to becoming an entrepreneur.

There are so many who dream of starting their own business and escaping the nine-to-five grind, yet they hold themselves back, afraid of losing the stability of a regular salary.

Getting Over The Hump

Most people in this predicament find they can only get over this hump when the pain of staying in their current situation outweighs their fear of change.

That’s certainly how it was for me.

When I was a lawyer, I made good money, but I felt stuck. The world of litigation is fast-paced and challenging, and I learned a great deal.

But I dreaded Mondays.

Each week, as Sunday night rolled around, even the anticipation of a new episode of Game of Thrones couldn’t block out the familiar tightness in my chest, as I thought of the inevitable stress and overwhelm I’d have to face throughout the upcoming week.

The tipping point finally came when one of the partners at my firm yelled at me - for a mistake he had made.

At that point, I knew with certainty that it was time for a change.

Still, I didn’t take action.

Despite knowing change was needed and the pain of my situation, I had intense, constant fear about leaving behind a job that paid well. The truth is, I’d never have started my own business (certainly not a successful business) if I hadn’t first shifted my money consciousness. I’d have followed the safer path, remained a lawyer, and simply moved to another firm.

I’d have continued to struggle on, just under a different set of stresses.

Here are three concepts to support you in raising your money consciousness.

Your Fear Isn’t What You Think It Is

Here’s the thing: the majority of your concerns are rooted in a desire to avoid a particular feeling. When we are afraid of a negative event, we’re usually not scared of the event itself, but the feeling we would be left with should the event occur.

For example, I was recently speaking with my client, Carrie, who had a deep desire to start her own business. When I asked her what was holding her back, she said: “I’m afraid of failure.”

By itself, the fear of failure is meaningless. You can fail in any number of ways, large or small, at any time, and nothing bad will come of it.

When we dug a little deeper, it became clear that Carrie wasn’t afraid of failure alone, but of public failure. Carrie was afraid of what people would say about her if she were seen to fail. If she tried to start a business, and it didn’t work.

She was imagining people judging her for that failure, saying things like...

“Who did she think she was, to start her own business?”

“She made a huge mistake leaving her cushy job.”

Imagining those words coming from people she knew, liked, respected, or admired, and even people she didn’t like, left Carrie feeling ashamed and embarrassed.

Realistically, she knew that failure would not be the end of the world. She had enough support and resources in place that her situation would not be dire. Failure itself was not what she feared, but the thought of enduring the shame and embarrassment that would come with it was terrifying. The fear of judgment was holding her back, preventing her from pursuing her dream.  

There Are Three Types of Business in the World

Carrie’s fears are typical. Indeed, the majority of fears concerning to how we might feel relate to other people. I learned two important things about fear from Byron Katie’s excellent book Loving What Is.

The first is that there are three types of “business” in the world:

The Universe’s Business

Things that are completely beyond your control, such as famine, floods, earthquakes, tsunamis, wars, tornadoes, hurricanes, etc.

Other People’s Business

This type of business relates to other people’s thoughts, beliefs, opinions, actions, or emotions, and is also totally out of your control.

Your Business

The only kind of business over which you have control are your thoughts, beliefs, opinions, actions, and emotions. Concerning yourself with anything other than your business is what leads to much of our unhappiness. Moreover, if you’re preoccupied with someone else’s business, who is paying attention to and leading your life?

The second thing I learned from Byron Katie is that many of our thoughts related to other people are projections.

Your Thoughts About Others May Be Projections

If what you are thinking or feeling relates to other people, it’s likely you are projecting.

A projection is the belief that someone else is thinking something because you think it. You believe something to be true, and therefore assume other people believe it. Rather than accepting it is your own thought or belief and taking ownership of it, you attribute it to someone else and react to that person as if you genuinely know what they are thinking.

Here’s how you know it’s a projection: you’re attributing a particular thought, attitude, or line of thinking to someone else.

You can never know, with absolute certainty, what someone else is thinking. Even if someone tells you something, it may not be an accurate reflection of their thoughts and beliefs.

“I know she thinks that because that’s what she said!” is a response I frequently hear to this point. But it negates a fundamental truth about human nature: people lie. Not all the time, but often enough that you can never be entirely sure they are telling the whole truth. Often enough, people don’t even know they’re lying to you because they don’t know that they’re lying to themselves!

Your projections can tell you a great deal.

You may find the opposite of your projection is true, or it could be that your projection is how you truly feel about yourself.

For example, you’re upset with your friend, Sarah, because you think she’s disregarding your feelings. But when you dig a little deeper, you may find that’s not the truth of the situation.

Perhaps Sarah is not disregarding your feelings.

Perhaps you are disregarding Sarah’s feelings.

Perhaps you are disregarding your own feelings.  

Teaching yourself to recognize when you are projecting will help you to move past the preconceptions and misunderstandings that are holding you back in your life and your work.

How To Raise Your Money Consciousness In Your New Business

The concept of projection is often vividly demonstrated by someone considering starting a new business because the desire to become an entrepreneur brings up so many fears relating to what other people may think.

People will think I’m greedy if I want to make more money doing work I love.

People will think I’m a failure if it doesn’t work out.

People will think I’m arrogant and presumptuous; who am I to start a business?

These are all projections.

For example, a common fear among people interested in starting their own businesses is that people will think they’re irresponsible if they leave their 9-5.

But is that genuinely true, or can you turn it around?

Will people think you’re irresponsible, or will they think you’re making a responsible choice by extricating yourself from a stressful situation?

Do you believe it’s irresponsible when other people leave their 9-5s? Are you harboring the thought that leaving the financial security of your 9-5 is an irresponsible thing to do?

When you’re willing to explore the possibility you are projecting you can make a powerful shift in your perceptions. It can allow you to take personal responsibility for your thoughts and feelings, and gain the self-awareness needed to correctly understand what you’re worried about.  

Recognising Real Fear

Not all fears are projections; some are real. The trick is identifying the real ones and taking calculated risks.

If you are already struggling financially, now is not the best time to risk investing in something you can’t afford. When you’re struggling to make ends meet, leaving your day job to pursue a get rich quick story someone told you is a bad idea.

Be willing to take risks, but be smart about it. Don’t take action that will put your well being in jeopardy.

The Difference Between Effort and Struggle

There is an important distinction between effort and struggle. Effort is a natural aspect of our creative work. Making an effort is a wonderful thing!

Effort means you are putting your energy out into the world.

Humans are constantly exchanging energy. At its core, money is simply a form of energy. We ascribe it meaning and value; without that, it’s nothing more than a piece of paper or disk of metal, created by various governments.

Money is significant to us for one simple reason: we can exchange it for things and experiences we need and desire.

We all have some gift. Making an effort allows you to share that gift. Money allows you to exchange it for things you need and want while providing others with things they need and want. Effort enables you to do this.

Struggle is very different. Struggle is what happens when your efforts are infused with negative emotions. Struggle removes all the lightness, joy, and fun from your effort and makes it a burden.

You can either exert effort or you can struggle.

Either way, you are putting your energy out into the world in the form of work and creativity, and receive energy back from the world in the shape of money. But when you are struggling, the amount of money you receive in exchange for your work is out of balance with the energy you put into it. In fact, struggle can entirely cut off the flow of money or reduce it to a drip. This leaves you drained, and often prevents you from having the things you need and desire because you don’t have enough money to pay for them.

Making money through effort is far more fun (and abundant) that making money through struggle.

Are Your Struggling In Your Business?

If you’re creating something and find it a huge, horrible struggle, you may be heading down the wrong path.

One of the joys of launching your own business is that you have the freedom and flexibility to make your own choices.

You have the ability to create things in a way that is naturally aligned with your gifts, that feels good. It’s an effort, but not a struggle. Challenges are often a positive aspect of this, but if everything is negatively charged, causing you stress and struggle, and making you groan every step of the way, where’s the fun for you?

Where’s the freedom?

Worthy endeavors and great ideas won’t get you far if your heart isn’t in it. It’s easy to hold onto ideas even if they don’t inspire you, because you know they’re good and capable of helping people. You’re afraid to let go due to a sense that you (or the world) would be missing out on something. But whenever you’re creating something new, it’s important to know why you are doing it.

Why you are doing it for yourself, and why you are doing it for the world.

You need both.

It’s not enough that your idea is right for your audience or humanity in general, is also has to be right for you.

Finding Your Why

Why do you, personally, want to create this thing? How will it benefit you, how will it enrich your life?

For example, I started my business to create more fun, freedom, and flexibility in my life. I wanted to teach and help people, but in a way that felt positive and uplifting. Seeing other people reach their potential lights me up. I wanted to earn great money without feeling drained and exhausted at the end of the week. Instead, I wanted to feel inspired and proud.

Finding The World’s Why

There are people out there struggling with things that come naturally to me. When I started my business I knew there were women in the same situation I had been in: stuck in a draining job, or an even more challenging situation, searching for a way out. I knew that with my support their path could be easier, and they could find their own freedom.

A Belief Is a Thought You’ve Thought a Lot

As individuals we tend to put too much stock in thoughts. Our minds don’t stop. All day, every day, they’re buzzing with thoughts. We’re very attached to our thoughts, and our individual thought processes. We believe our thoughts define us.

I think, therefore I am.

More than that, however, we believe our thoughts are true.

When we have thought something repeatedly it ceases to be a mere notion and becomes a belief. A truth of our existence.

Beliefs are nothing more than thoughts we have thought a lot.

The problem with this is that repeatedly thinking something doesn’t make it true. When we think something and find evidence that supports the thought, or simply a lack of evidence that disproves it, we assume it’s true.

We think it again.

The more we think it, the more we believe it, and as soon as we believe it, it becomes true for us. It’s true for our world view.

It’s not necessarily true in a factual sense, but we believe it, and most people do not question their beliefs.

Once we have a belief, we continuously look for evidence of it’s truth. It’s just the way our brains work. They want to be right. Your brain processes information and thoughts and uses that data to affirm what you already believe. The world appears to be confirming your thoughts, so you think them even more often, and believe them even more thoroughly.

At the same time, your brain is (either consciously or unconsciously) filtering out anything that contradicts your belief. Anything that indicates what you believe is incorrect is filtered out. You ignore it, so much so that you’re often unaware it exists.

How to Be Successful: Upgrade Your Beliefs Around Work and Money

Even when our beliefs are not serving us, we find it very difficult to question them. This can be a huge block if you want to launch your own business and believe you won’t be able to earn enough money or make money easily.

In order to be successful, you need to upgrade your beliefs surrounding money and work. To do that, you first need to be willing to question them.

When you catch yourself thinking something negative or disempowering about money, pause and ask yourself, “Is that actually true?”

For example, you’re out shopping and see something you love. You want it, but when you check the price it’s higher than you expected. You immediately think, “I can’t afford that!”

Ask yourself, is that genuinely true?

The concept of what we can and can’t afford is frequently inaccurate, yet we throw the phrase around regularly. “I can’t afford it!” is, for many people, a mantra they live by and it’s very negative. It’s also frequently inaccurate.

The truth may actually be, “I can afford it, but it’s not the best way to spend my money right now.” Maybe you need the money to pay the rent, or buy food, or fix the car. The likelihood is you could, technically speaking, buy that thing you want, but if you do you won’t have money for something else.

Something you need or want more.

That’s not a lack, that’s a choice.

You don’t need to feel bad about choosing not to buy something. Instead you should feel positive that you are capable of making wise financial decisions, keeping a roof over your head, keeping yourself fed, or ensuring the car is running.

Shifting your mindset enables you to take yourself out of the role of victim, and empower yourself with the knowledge you are making a choice that best serves all of your interests.

By being discerning in your choices when it comes to money you are ensuring your financial security in the long run. When it comes to running a business, you will regularly have to decide where to invest your money. What are your priorities? What’s most likely to make you succeed. There will be many things you want (courses, flashy software, advertising campaigns, PR services, the list is endless) but you won’t always have the money to have everything.

If you are stuck in the “I can’t afford it!” mindset you will be easily demoralized and feel you are failing in your business, even if you’re doing well, simply because you can’t have it all.

Shifting to a more empowering perspective and recognizing you could afford things, but choose not to buy them right now, will likely ensure that (at some point) you will be able to have it all, without sacrificing something you need.

Start Raising Your Money Consciousness Now

A strong money consciousness is a necessity for running a successful business. Start raising the way you think about money now to ensure your success. To really help you action these concepts and take it all a step further, I’ve created a powerful in-depth workbook for you to download. Grab it now and let me know what you think.

How to Prioritize Your First Steps In A New Coaching Business

If you’re dreaming of starting your own coaching business, you’ve likely come across lots of wit and wisdom on the subject. In fact, you may be drowning in ideas, strategies, methods, and possibilities.

Starting a business is incredibly rewarding, but it’s also extremely daunting - especially at the outset. Two things make the difference between sinking and swimming when you’re starting a new coaching business: whether or not you over-complicate things, and your ability to prioritize.

Why you should always be networking

Are you making a HUGE mistake at your current job by not networking consistently?  Everyone knows how important it is to network when you're looking for a job, but many just stop once they move into a new role.

The best time to network and the time when its most often overlooked is while you're still on the job.

If you want to put yourself in a position where you're going to be the first person up for a promotion or become an integral part of the team when you're at a new job, you've got to network with the people that you work with and not just the people at your level.

How to become a Coach: Your First Step

How to become a Coach: Your First Step

For many aspiring coaches, the best time to begin their new coaching business is going to be while your'e still in a full time job. Why? Because it will allow you greater ability to support yourself financially and also allow you to invest in building your business.

People often want to know "whats the best first step for me if I want to be a coach?"

Develop some coaching skills.

I say develop coaching skills as sort of a broad and open term, because there isn't one specific path to follow or way that you must do it. As you may know, coaching is not a regulated industry meaning that anyone can put up a sign and begin calling themselves a coach and charging money. Many people do do that, but its not what I would recommend if your desire is to create a sustainable business. Nonetheless, you need to spend some time to determine what kind of training you want to take.

My personal belief is that working with a powerful coach or mentor is going to be the best way to acquire your coaching skills.

There are so many coach training programs out there that may or may not give you the skills that you need. Rather than spending a year n a coach training program that may or may not prepare you for running as successful coaching business, invest in working with a coach or mentor that you admire. It one of the best way to develop some powerful and essential coaching tools.

Moreover, they may have access to a far greater number of resources and may have a much greater knowledge of which coaching programs are actually worth investing in and going through with.

As a coach. your education MUST be ongoing - you need to acquire some basic coaching skills to get started, but there will not be a point where its going to be good for you to just rest on your laurels. Even as you develop your business and advance its going to be important for you to continuously develop your skills and acquire a further education.

I worked with a mentor when I first began my business and I found that propelled my business growth and my coach training far more than the actual coach training program that I was in.

So – your first step to launch your coaching business – research to decide how you're going to start developing your coaching skills.

How to get coaching clients by creating your signature talk

How to get coaching clients by creating your signature talk

If you're a new coach one of the best ways to get new clients is through public speaking. This video is going to show you exactly how to create a signature talk so that you can connect with your ideal clients and start making money!

One of the best things you can do to set yourself up for success is create a signature talk.

This is something that I created for myself and used countless times, and is now something I coach my clients on as well. Your signature talk is just a prepared speech that will be well aligned with the needs of your ideal clients that you'll be able to use under a wide variety of circumstances as needed. You'll be amazed at the opportunities available when you're prepared.  

I personally had an experience shortly after I created my own signature talk when I was asked if I was available to speak to a group of 70 people the same evening that I got the call. Because I had my signature talk all prepared, I was able to give an enthusiastic yes to the opportunity presented!

Here's a rough outline of what you want to include in your signature talk.

Part 1: Introduce the topic.

You're going to start by introducing the topic that you'll be discussing and you'll tell the audience why its important.

Part 2: Introduce yourself.

Then you're going to to introduce yourself and you'll share your personal story. The important thing to remember about sharing your story at this point is that its not just a chance for you to dryly recite your biography. Its a chance for you to talk about yourself in a way that will allow you to really connect with your ideal clients in the audience. It going to allow your audience to engage with you so that your message will resonate more strongly.

Part 3: Overview.

After you've introduced yourself and your topic you want to let the audience know where you're going.  You do this by laying out signposts; the three main points of your talk.

Part 4: Share your content.

Then you're going to go in depth into each of the points that you're making your talk. Be sure to include examples and anecdotes as you make your main points in order to keep the attention of your audience throughout your talk.

Part 5: Conclusion.

Wrap up the speech by summarizing what you've discussed and giving your audience a call to action - some step that they can take to move forward. This will ideally be some way of connecting with or working with you.

As a coach, its so important that you're help people. I know that you have a unique message to share so its SO important that you get out there and share it.

How to be more confident

How to be more confident

We all have huge potential energy that remains untapped because we allow our egos to get in the way. Our egos stop us from doing the work we’re drawn to because we fear we’re not good enough, smart enough—or simply not enough.

These internal blocks prevent us from experiencing fulfillment. When we’re able to get out of our heads and just focus on serving others, that energy is able to flow through us more readily. It’s only then that we can serve the people we work with (and work for) more fully and completely, allowing us to have a greater sense of fulfillment, self-confidence, and happiness.

Get out of your own head and take action to experience greater confidence NOW!

How to find your ideal coaching clients with public speaking

How to find your ideal coaching clients with public speaking

Are you a new coach trying to find ideal coaching clients? This video will give you some practical tricks to finding and connecting with your ideal clients so you can start making money now.

For many many people, the best place to start is going to be colleges.

Many college professors are often looking for people to speak to their students so this can be a really great opportunity if you're interested in working with young people.

Meetup.com

Another great resource for coming up with opportunities of where you can speak is meetup.com. Meetup has meetings in many cities all over the US and there is an incredibly broad range of offerings for the types of meet ups available. Spend some time searching for meetups that are aligned with what you offer and start attending the meetings.  

Once you get a feel for the types of speakers they have and feel that you could offer something of value to their audience, pitch yourself to the leaders of the group as a speaker.

Research other types of clubs in your region that cater to people that would fall into the demographic of people you serve.

Things like alumni associations and group, professional groups, and networking clubs.  There are so many opportunities available, I'm sure you'll be surprised once you start doing the research.

Here's your action step: come up with a list of 15 places where you could be a speaker. Start by attending the meetings and begin networking with the leaders to see if you may be a great fit.

Even before you develop your signature talk it will be a great ideal to start researching and looking into various places where you could potentially be  a guest speaker.  Once you get the ball rolling with that - it will be a great time to begin to develop your signature talk.

An introduction to EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) or Tapping

An introduction to EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) or Tapping

Some of you who do a lot of mindset work may have heard of thins thing called EFT or Tapping and wondered what the heck people are talking about.

Tapping is based on the same meridians that are used in acupuncture – its a psychological acupressure technique that can be used to optimize your emotional health – your emotional health is incredibly important as it often determines the things we do and how we act on a regular basis.

EFT is incredible easy to learn and do and can be practiced on your own without any additional tools and resources.

The way of doing EFT is to think about whatever the issue is, accept yourself – even with your shortcoming, and then remove the charge through tapping on the acupressure points. All the while you're repeating an affirmation. This combination of activities then allows you to feel some emotional relief as the energy around whatever the issue is dissipates.

It sounds more complicated than it is so I'm going to show you an example in the video above.

The only thing that even needs to be learned are the points because you can make up your own scripts for tapping for any issues.

If I'm feeling anxiety about something I'm trying to finish before a deadline my script would be something like this, "even though, I'm anxious about this deadline, I love and accept myself completely and fully." I then repeat it. Then I begin tapping on the points thinking about the way I feel.

How to get coaching clients by creating a signature system

How to get coaching clients by creating a signature system

One of the things that helped me build a six figure coaching practice in less than a year is that I was able to create a step-by-step system for the services I offered. A signature system adds to your credibility and makes it easier for ideal clients to decide to work with you.

Here's the thing: people come to a coach because they want their hand held as they navigate some terrain that they're not familiar with.

One of the core principles of coaching is that the client already has the answers, and they need your support in getting to them. Now, with some coaches there is also an element of teaching involved, but that doesn't change the fact that the brilliance is always within the client!

Developing a signature system allows the client to recognize that you understand what their problem is even better than they do, and allows them to see that you can help them solve it.

For example, in my business I help who want to make a change in their career OR who want to launch their own service based business. I have a step-by-step system for each of those things. Even before a client begins working with me, they can understand the things that we'll cover in our work together.

Here are a few questions to get you started in developing your own signature system:

  • Question 1: What is the problem that your work helps solve?
  • Question 2: What is needed to solve that problem?
  • Question 3: What do you offer that will solve that problem?

For example, I serve women who want to leave their 9-5s and work full time in the dream businesses. The problem that I help solve is that they don't know where to start. To solve that problem they need an action plan for getting clear on their ideal client, their marketing message, their branding, how to coach, and how to connect with their ideal clients. I offer private and group coaching programs that address all of those things in a detailed way so that they can have everything they need to start making money.

I have a signature program with multiple steps that lays out each of the things that we will work on together. Not only does this make it easier for my clients to decide that I'm the right coach for them to work with, but also gives some structure for our work together.

Answer the questions I've outlined above and begin creating your signature program. This will be an evolving process. I worked with dozens of clients to develop the perfect signature system. It doesn't need to be prefect to start, just get started!

How to find your purpose in 3 simple steps

How to find your purpose in 3 simple steps

Mark Twain famously said that, “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.”

Many of the people that come to me for career coaching are looking for their purpose. Looking for purpose is a challenging concept, so I want to give you a couple of steps to help the way you approach this.

Before going any further, I want to give a couple of definitions for job, career, and purpose.

Job – something typically done from 9-5 for pay.

Career - system of advancements and promotions over time where rewards are used to optimize behavior.

Purpose – something that we feel compelled to do regardless of fame or fortune; the work is the reward.

To find your purpose – stop looking for it and become active instead. You’ll never really know with absolute certainty whether your work is your purpose. You’ll get some clues, but full on knowledge may be reserved for the after life. Looking for your purpose has an inherent risk because its only about you. Meaning and purpose come when we focus on others. I invite you to stop looking for purpose and start living with purpose.

Here are three simple steps that can get you on your way to living with purpose:

Ask – what am I needed for?

Not what do I need or want. Look right in front of you – family, community’s, and friends. Start by asking what you can do for them. Or what do they ask you to do?

Start to do the things that can contribute to those around you.

Whatever it is that people want you to do for them or ask you to do, just trying doing it!

Review – was that the best use se of my time.

Can I do more? Can I delegate or should I spend more time.

If you start doing this, now you’re learning by doing – you living with purpose. Your purpose may consistently change.

I can use myself as an example of this because this is exactly how I was able to go from working as a lawyer to coaching – which I believe is my purpose. – I asked/people asked.

I started doing it, evaluated and did more.

How to Forgive – What is Ho'oponopono and how to use it

How to Forgive – What is Ho'oponopono and how to use it

Ho'oponopono – the name is a little difficult to say, but you don't have to be able to say ho'oponopono to use it! If you want to know how to forgive anyone or anything, this video will share the basics of what ho'oponopono is (a Hawaiian forgiveness practice) and how you can use it in your life.

Anyone who has spent time developing their mindset, will likely have heard discussion regarding the importance of forgiveness.

Forgiveness is one of the most powerful ways to create emotional and mental space. The more mental and emotional space you have, the more light and spacious your life wil feel in general. Ho'opnopono is a way of practicing forgiveness that is very simply to use and doesn't require much more than a bit of time and focus.

The way ho'opnonpono works is you simply think about whatever the person, situation, or thing is that is creating a charge within you. What i mean when I say charge is just some form of emotion -- its not necessarily negative emotion because it doesn't necessarily have to be a bad thing, but it may feel triggering or less than content.

Allow yourself to feel whatever is present for you in terms of emotion.

As you thing about the person, situation, that has caused the charge simply say, "I'm sorry, please forgive me, thank you, I love you." As you say these phrases you can imagine yourself releasing the situation to the divine. Moreover, you're sort of saying these phrases more to the divine, or the universe, or whatever higher power you think of. Its not that you're apologizing to the person that triggered you.

We can take 100% responsibility for everything that comes into our lives.

Although this total responsibility can be distressing to some because it seems like you've perhaps created less than ideal situations from yourself, its ultimately empowering, because if you created the situation, then its within your power to turn the situation around and improve upon it. That the point of view that you're taking as your practice ho'opnonpono.

Let's say for example that I have an old relationship – a boyfriend that hurt my feelings because he lied to me when we were still dating. I would take a moment and write it down, then I would just bring up the memory - close my eyes and feel into the situation. Then I would repeat those phrases either in mind mind our out loud, I'm sorry, please forgive me, thank you, I love you, until I felt like the energy released.

Depending on the situation something things are a much bigger release than others. And when I say release - it doesn't necessarily mean that its some dramatic feeling. Just a general sense of less intensity.

Here's an in depth explanation of Ho'oponopono by Joe Vitale.

Why public speaking is a great way to find clients

Why public speaking is a great way to find clients

When I'm coaching women who are ready to leave their 9-5s to launch their new businesses, one of the biggest things I support them in doing is public speaking. Why? Because public speaking is one of the fastest ways to cash as a new coach.

I'm always thrilled when I begin mentoring a new coach and she tells me that she loves public speaking. Its not only fun, but its a great way to get new clients, and share your message.

There's so much I could share about speaking, but for this I just want to share why you should be doing it and how to get started with places to speak and a signature talk.

In this video I'm sharing some thoughts about public speaking as a coach, why you should do it, where to find places to speak, and the importance of coming up with a signature talk.

When I started my coaching business, I, like many of you, wanted to make money ASAP. I just didn't really know how or where to start. What I learned is that the fastest and easiest way to new clients is through public speaking.

Why You Should Be Speaking

You see, when you're speaking in front of a group of ideal clients, it makes it much easier for your ideal clients to self select and immediately want to work with you. They get to experience you. Its the same reason that audios or videos are powerful - people get a much fuller sense of who you are when they can hear and see you. This goes times 100 when someone is actually experiencing you in person. Those who are aligned with you and your message are going to feel that right away and will be determined to work with you without you doing much more beyond that.

As a new coach, it will really serve you to speak for free. It will pay off way more in the long term for you to get clients from speaking to a group of people who are ideal clients, rather than waiting only for speaking gigs that will pay you.

These are the reasons why – be sure to subscribe to this channel because I'm also going to share videos on where to start speaking and the basics of your signature talk.

How to advance in your current career by networking

How to advance in your current career by networking

Networking on the job is one of the most powerful ways of influencing your career. Here are some practical steps that you can take right now.

Step 1: Identify some of the people that would be great for you to connect with.

The length of the list is going to vary depending on the size your your employer. If you work for a small company than you're going to want most of the people you work with to be at least some what familiar with you and your work. If you work at a huge company than a list of 10 people you want to develop relationships with is a great idea.

Step 2: decide who you want to start connecting with first.

Perhaps you'll choose someone who you've felt a natural affinity with or someone who has already made it clear they'd be happy to grab coffee or lunch with you.

Step 3: reach out to them and arrange some time where you can get to know each other better.

If you're reaching out to someone ho is significantly higher up in your company than you are then you'll want to take a more formal approach and let them know about specific topic you'd like to discuss with them. For example, you might email them just saying you're interest in learning a bit more about their career trajectory - more like if you were reaching out to someone outside of your company. If its someone who is just a level or two above you, then it maybe easier to just ask if they'd want to grab lunch or coffee with them.

Step 4: continue to nurture the relationship.

After you've had a chance to connect with them, continuously make an effort to nurture the relationship. Set some sort of quantifiable goal so tat you're making a consistent effort until its like a regular relationship where you don't have to think about it. For example, maybe you'll decide that two times per week you'll some form of contact whether its popping your head into their office in the morning to say hello or shooting them an email bout something they might find interesting and relevant.

These steps are so simple but SO many people overlook them and just focus on their work. Definitely focus on your work and do the best work that you can, but don't forget to nurture those relationships too.

How to practice for a job interview

How to practice for a job interview

The age old phrase "practice makes perfect" applies to just about everything– even nailing a job interview. To be a star interviewer, you have to practice– just like you would to be a star at anything!

Job seekers often take so many steps in order to land the interview itself -- preparing to answer potential questions without thinking to practice answering them out loud. As a result, nerves take over once the interview begins, and things fall apart.

The importance of practicing for an interview cannot be overemphasized. The benefits you’ll get from being an awesome interviewee will yield more job offers, which means more money and a more fulfilling career path.

So, how do you actually practice?

Here are a few suggestions for exercises you should do before the big day rolls around.

Create a list of questions

If you want to practice your answers, you'll need a list of questions to ask yourself! Come up with a list of questions that you think your interviewer may ask you, and spend some time writing out the jist of what you would want to say in response.

Practice in the car

The best thing about a long commute? Being alone in your car gives you some much-needed alone time to practice saying the things that you might respond with during an interview, and to see how you like the way your responses sound. Writing down your answers to potential interview questions isn't enough -- you need to hear how you sound saying your responses in order to feel confident in them. Keep in mind, you want to sound professional and polished rather than robotic and rehearsed.

Say your answers in front of a mirror

Another great way to practice is in front of a mirror. Sure, it's super uncomfortable initially, but it gives you a chance to see if you make weird expressions while saying certain words, or if you have any ticks that you’re not aware of. Try doing this in the outfit you plan to wear to your interview, so that you feel confident not only in how you look when you're speaking, but how your outfit lays once you're in a seated position.

Do a mock interview with a friend

When you're alone, it's easy to feel calm and collected about the answers you're giving. The real test is being able to say your responses in front of someone without feeling nervous or second guessing yourself. Ask someone to act as the interviewer, and give them your list of questions to ask. Perhaps you have a friend who is going through the interview process as well, and you can each trade off practice interviewing each other. A mentor or advisor is also a great person to practice with, as they could provide you with solid feedback and advice on how to get better.

Overall, you want to come across as prepared, likable and confident during your interview -- which also means being relaxed. Being prepared and having already practiced is going to make it so much easier to do so. Uncontrolled nervousness puts people off, and is inclined to make your interviewer nervous or uncomfortable -- which almost guarantees you won’t land the job. The more you practice the more natural it will feel. The more natural it feels the more fun it will begin to be. Going on an interview is like anything else -- if you’re good at it, you’re more likely to enjoy it!