How To Get Your First Clients Without Spending Money

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When you’re a brand new entrepreneur searching for your first clients it’s easy to believe you need a fancy system in place to find them. You study all the shiny software and try to create a seriously intense marketing plan. You probably believe this is the only way to land clients. That all new business owners have to go through this.

Like it’s a rite of passage, and requires a lot of blood, sweat, tears, struggle, and money.

But the truth is, if you have something of value to offer people, you can start working with clients right now.

No bells and whistles required.

The trickiest part of being a new entrepreneur is knowing when to start charging people. Once you wrap your head around that, and turn your attention to finding clients, it’s a lot simpler than you might think.

The Easy Way To Get Your First Client: Just Start

“Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.”
- Arthur Ashe

The key to getting started is to just start.

You have to begin where you are, with what you have.

Really, there’s no other way to do it.

You can wait until you have this fancy software system, or that awesome qualification, or a million other things, but all you’re really doing is avoiding.

At some point, you are going to have to take the plunge. It doesn’t matter if it’s now or a year from now, it’s always going to be a big, scary leap.

The sooner you start, the sooner you get the ball rolling, the sooner you get successful.

It’s that simple.

So stop for a second and think: Who is there in your life right now that could potentially use your help?

Grab a pen and piece of paper, right now, and come up with a list of ten people you already know, who you would love to help.

They don't have to be people you know particularly well.

It could be the girl you met in yoga the other day, or your bestie.

There are no requirements for this other than you wanting to work with this person, and having something to offer them.

For example, if you want to start coaching people in business, you’re probably not going to be able to do much for your brother, who created a 7 figure startup overnight and is currently jet setting around the globe on his latest book tour.

BUT, I bet you’ve got a boatload of amazing advice for your brother’s best friend, the one who’s suuuuper jealous of his success and wishes she had her own amazing business.

How I Got My First Clients

When I first started my business I thought about some of the female entrepreneurs I’d gone to college with.

I knew I was interested in working with women entrepreneurs, so even though I wasn’t particularly close with the ones I knew, I reached out. It was really simple; I just zipped them a message asking if they’d like me to block out some time for them on my calendar, now that I was coaching people professionally.

They all said yes!

After that I thought about some people I'd known in high school. I’d seen on LinkedIn that they were hunting for jobs, and thought, “I like these people. I’d love to chat with them. And I can help them.”

If you want to get your first clients, you just need to start talking to people.

Start having conversations.

Offer people powerful advice and they WILL want more. They’ll want to know how they can continue getting your awesome wisdom.

Not everyone is going to be interested in continuing to work with you, but that’s okay.

You’re not meant to serve everyone, and you won’t want to work with all of them either!

But if you start putting yourself out there, and having these conversations, you'll start getting clients.

Tell The World You’re Ready For It

The biggest hurdle between you and your first client is making the decision that you actually want them.

Once you’ve decided you do, you have to make a bit of an effort. You might not end up working with the people you first reach out to, but that doesn’t matter. When you start putting your energy into finding clients, the universe takes notice.

That effort, that energy, is telling the universe, “I’m serious. I’m ready for this!”

If you make the unequivocal declaration that you want to work with people, by starting to work with people, the world will line itself up with you.

And your new clients will line themselves up right along with it.

Make your list of 10 people, reach out to them, and give them some time on your calendar.

Build Your Support Network

Your friends and family may know people who need exactly what you’re offering, even if they don’t need it themselves.

My first clients were mostly friends of friends, and people who knew me in some way. Telling the people who already know, like, and trust you (or know someone who does!) about your new enterprise is a great first step in building your confidence in what you’re creating.

For example, if you’re starting a biz as a wedding photographer, you may not have any friends currently planning on getting married. But it’s very likely that between friends, family, and colleagues, somebody you know, knows someone who is.

More than that, you’ll almost certainly find a couple trying to keep their costs down, who are open to working with someone looking to build their portfolio and gain experience.

You’re not a huge risk for them, because you have a mutual friend, and there’s a huge benefit for them in working with you as it will help them save money (check out my post on pricing when you first start out for more details on this!).

Likewise, if you’re a health coach looking to support people losing weight, you will have someone in your network that currently needs help with that. It might be someone you know directly, or a friend of a friend, but when people need something, they are very willing to accept help when it’s offered.

So offer it!

This is true of pretty much any service. If you’re starting out as a web designer, a writer, social media manager, whatever, there will be people who need help with the service you want to offer.

It doesn’t matter what you’re offering, there is always someone you already know who needs it.

Or at the very least, someone known to someone you know.

Reality Is What You Make It

Entrepreneurship is soooo rewarding, but it can also get kinda lonely. One thing I figured out early on is that there are two types of people in your life: the ones who are super supportive of your efforts, believe in you, and share your vision (even if they don’t always understand it!) and the skeptics.

When you’re seeking out new clients, use your discretion.

You know that one friend you have who always poo poos everyone else’s ideas, goals, and dreams?

You know the one, they’re constantly negative (even when good things are happening), and perpetually caught up in some huge drama (which is always ‘worse’ than whatever is going on with you and your other friends).

People like this often have many great qualities - you wouldn’t be friends with them otherwise, right? But don’t count on them for support.

In fact, don’t even mention your new endeavor to them yet.

Starting your own business is a huuuuge change. It’s part of the reason we put off starting - change is scarier than the Night King riding an undead dragon!

Some people can handle change. They see potential in it. Others struggle with it more, seeing only the possible negative outcomes.

People who don’t know you or support you may try to keep you grounded “in reality”, which really just means keep you from exploring what’s possible.

The truth is, you can be, do, or have whatever you desire.

Reality is what you make it.

It can be difficult for some people to see this, particularly if they’re not willing to take risks, and really work on the tough stuff. Change feels impossible because the work needed to make it happen doesn’t feel achievable, or simply doesn’t interest them.

It’s easy for someone with this mindset to project it onto others and assume the same is true for them. They believe their reality is also your reality. When you start describing something they can’t envisage ever doing themselves, it’s unachievable, and they try to talk you out of it.

“I’m just trying to be realistic.”

“Yeah, but that’s not reality is it?”

“It’s a nice thought, but dreams don’t pay the rent!”

You don’t need to hear things like this!

Starting a business is hard enough without all that negativity. The good news is that you don’t have to share what you’re creating with people unless you choose to.

It’s easy to sidestep the issue.

Be selective in who you choose to speak to about your new business.

Get in touch with the people who have supported and encouraged you in the past. Friends and family you know are always supportive of others, and positive and enthusiastic when it comes to change.

And try not to resent the people you can’t share it with; they’re not purposefully trying to bring you down.

They probably genuinely believe they’re looking out for you and helping. But the result will be making you feel bad. You’ll start second guessing yourself, doubts will creep in, and you’ll put everything off a little bit longer.

What To Ask And How To Ask It

When you talk to people, be specific in what you say. Let them know exactly how you can help each other. Keep it short, simple, and direct. Here are two examples:

“I’m sooo excited about my new photography biz, do you know anyone who needs a wedding photographer? I need to build my portfolio, gain some practical experience, and collect testimonials, it would be a massive help if you could put me in touch...”

“I’m suuuper excited to be taking on my first coaching clients, do you know anyone who is looking to lose weight and create a new, healthy lifestyle? I need to test out the amazing new health plan I’m developing, gather some success stories, and build my confidence, I would be hugely grateful if you could put me in touch...”

Swap out the specifics and keep the tone light and positive, while still very clearly explaining what you’re doing, what you need, and how they can help you.

The Targeted Way To Land Your First Ideal Clients

Talking to people you already know is a great way to get the ball rolling. But if you want to build your business fast, and make sure you are doing exactly what you want it to be doing, there are a few other things you can do.

Step 1: Know Your Ideal Client

These steps will not only land you clients, but land you your ideal client. But you can’t do that until you know exactly who that is, so get a really solid understanding of who your ideal client is, and what they want. Check out my post on How To Determine Your Ideal Client And Why It’s Important for more info on this!

Step 2: Get Crystal Clear On Your Outcomes

What exactly are you going to be achieving for people? What can they expect from your process? Do you have any specific methodologies you favor, or a signature service/style you’re developing?

If these are your very first clients, you probably don’t have anything to demonstrate how well your way of doing things works. Consider trying it out on yourself first! Can you take great photographs of your friends, family, dogs, or the elephants at the zoo, to demonstrate how good you are with a camera? Can you build your own website and ensure it’s utterly perfect to showcase your web developer skills? Or maybe you’ve already overhauled your own diet and lifestyle and are seeing amazing results.

Get creative. How can you pin down the exact things people will get out of working with you? How can you make them tangible?

Step 3: Create An Irresistible Offer

Once you’re suuuper clear on what you’re offering, package it up in a way that is really appealing to people. Even if you don’t have a physical product, you can still create ‘package’ services.

Packaging up your offerings with a clear outline of everything people will receive (whether it’s the number of coaching calls and sessions, or the number of photography prints) will make it easier for people to buy. If you can add complementary extras all the better.

Unsure what to add to your packages? Think about the practical things your new clients will need in order to make the most out of what you’re offering. How about offering unlimited email support, or a weekly phone catch up? Can you create PDF downloads, tutorials, audios, video, or other content to help them?

Step 4: Create Amazing Content

Speaking of content, the more you create, the more people will find you and reach out to you. There’s no right or wrong way of creating content. You might blog, vlog, or start a podcast. You might dedicate yourself to Snapchat, Instagram, or another social media platform. Exactly what you do and where you do it isn’t nearly as important as getting your content out there.

It’s how people will find you!

Step 5: Put Yourself Out There

Another great way to ensure people find you is to really put yourself out there. Guest blogging, getting featured on sites like The Huffington Post, and gaining press coverage for yourself and your new business will all build your profile and reputation.

See if you can land some speaking gigs in your local area. Offer them for free initially, for the opportunity to get yourself in front of new people, and pitch your offering at the end. Go to local business networking groups and meet other people who are starting up their own businesses.

Step 6: Targeted Networking

In a similar vein is a much more targeted form of networking. Once you’ve identified your ideal client you should have a really good idea of where they love to hang out. Get on social media and find ideal client-specific groups and networks.

Join in. Start talking to people.

Check out my FREE Finding Your First Clients Checklist for a detailed breakdown of exactly how to target your ideal clients on Facebook (without spending any money!).

Step 7: Listen Keenly, Offer Freely

One of the huge benefits of really getting involved in online groups and taking and interest, is the opportunity to share your knowledge.

You don’t have to pitch people, just get yourself known to them and when they ask what you do, tell them. Offer your expert advice when people ask.

You will find people start to remember you for your specific talent, and come to you for help. The next time they need someone who does what you do, you’ll be the first person they think to ask.

And the next time someone asks if they know someone in your area, you’ll be the first person they recommend!

Letting people genuinely get to know you will do a lot more to help you than just dropping in once a week to post a promotion.

Be a better listener than you are a talker, letting people explain their situations, problems, concerns, and share their hopes, fears, and wins. When appropriate, offer your help, but when you do, offer it freely.

Yes, it feels counterintuitive, but if you offer your services freely right at the start, when you do start charging you can immediately charge what you’re worth!

And Finally...

Your first clients may come to you quickly and easily. Or, they may take a bit more work. Your mindset is incredibly important. You must know, believe, and be excited to assist people. If you have a conflicting energy about it, it’s going to be much harder to attract the right clients.

If you’re looking for extra help getting started, join the FREE live workshops I’m teaching November 28th, 29th, & 30th on How to Master Your Mindset & Marketing to Fully Book Your Creative, Coaching, or Online Biz (Even If You’re Still in Your 9-5).

10 Ways Your Brand Can Voice A Powerful Message

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“Everyone wearing a pink sweater, look here!”

Clear, definite direction for specific people — this is what branding is all about!

You may already know that. A HUGE mistake I see people making, though, is thinking that means your visual branding alone. Yes, we recognize brands first and foremost by their colors, fonts, logos, and the kind of images associated with their content, products and services.

Buuuuuut, that’s only telling ½ of the love story between your dreamboat clients and your business. The other ½ of the story, that’s just as vital, and probably even more important: your brand message.

The message of your brand includes a lot of different components, including:

  • Your brand values

  • Your brand story (and often your personal stories too!)

  • A consistent tone your ideal clients instantly recognise and respond to (just like they respond to your colors and logo!)

  • A language that really resonates with your tribe, to the point that they’re thinking, “how the heck is she reading my mind like that?”

All of these things together form your brand voice.

Brand Voice Can Be More Important Than Visual Branding

‘Cause visual branding draws people in, but it’s your words that do the heavy lifting: selling.

Not all brands have a consistent visual ‘look’. They may not have a logo at all. Their color palette could be non-existent, or extremely broad, leading to their appearance seeming a bit messy. They might lack a particular tone and sensibility, or any kind of consistent touch points that exist across all their platforms (websites, customer interactions, packaging, advertising, etc).

And yet, they still have a very recognisable brand.

But if you tried to pinpoint what it is about them that’s so recognizable, you’d struggle, or come up with a single slogan, or logo, that is used consistently but it the only thing that stays the same.

Here a great example: Disney.

They have a really recognisable logo, but it appears in a million different forms.

They use a castle, but it’s not always the same castle.

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Sometimes they don’t use the castle at all. Sometimes they use Mickey Mouse, and again, it’s not always the same version!

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Sometimes they just use Mickey’s ears, or a stylised version of his head.

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And sometimes it’s just the text, and then only ‘Disney’, not ‘Walt Disney’ as used in the full logo.

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Sometimes it’s just the distinctive Disney ‘D’ and nothing else!

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And although the font remains the same wherever they use it, the colours and embellishments of the word change massively,

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Disney has an astonishingly consistent brand, but visually it’s all over the place. It’s bright and colorful and changes character depending on what they’re promoting, yet it is still, somehow, completely consistent.

Now you might be thinking, “Ohmigosh, I never even noticed that! But, ovi, I’d recognize Disney anywhere. How’d they do that?!”

It’s all about the voice.

Many of the best, most popular brands, achieve complete brand consistency with nothing but the power of their voice, and the power of their brand message.

If you think about Disney it always has a slightly dreamy quality to it. It’s bright, colourful, magical, filled with the awe and wonder you experience as a child, that’s somehow carried through into adulthood. It’s charming innocence and a guaranteed good time. It’s the sense that anything is possible, that everything is achievable, and that the world is a fundamentally good place; you just have to know where to look for the magic.

That’s not something that can be conveyed with a logo alone.

It’s the message carried in everything Disney does that has created and honed this feeling over the years.

It’s the voice.

Voice is something that far too many solopreneurs and new entrepreneurs overlook. If you don’t take the time to really explore and consider your brand’s voice, it’s message, you’re not necessarily setting yourself up for failure, but you’re not setting yourself up for success either.

You may be doing well without a clear voice, but I guarantee you’re not doing as well as you could be doing if you really focussed on this.

If you invest that time, and hone a really clear voice, you can give your brand a suuuuuper powerful message.

And that, my friend, will only carry you to even greater success.

What is your brand voice?

Your brand voice is the part of your branding that expresses the personality of your business and sets your brand apart.

Like a person, your brand has characteristics that should be expressed through all aspects of its identity. That includes your visual branding, as well as your voice, but in many ways it’s a lot easier to create a consistent visual brand than it is to craft a truly consistent voice with a powerful message.

We often underestimate just how difficult it is. As a solopreneur you may be tempted to skip developing your voice.

“My brand voice is already defined: it’s me. And I’m saying it, so it’s already me - I don’t need to do anything!”

But it’s not quite that simple.

If you don’t take the time to get clear on your brand voice, it can lead to inconsistency and confusion with your clients.

As normal humans, yes, we have a voice, personality and character traits, but they’re far broader and more nuanced than the voice of our brand.

Even if you are your brand, is your brand the whole of you?

There’s an awful lot that goes into a complete person, and since you’re here reading these words I’ve written, I already know you’re pretty awesome ;)

Waaaay too awesome, multifaceted, and complex to condense every-single-little-thing into a clear and persuasive brand identity.  

Rather, your brand might be focusing on certain aspects of your personality. We can have a much wider variation in our personalities than we want to include in our brand.

For example, before I became a coach, I was a lawyer. I’m still a lawyer - all that training doesn’t just vanish because I switched career tracks. That means I can be very serious, overly intellectual, with a focus on all the possible things that could go wrong.

My brand as a coach isn’t that! As a coach, I’m much warmer. My sensitive, spiritual, supportive, and my intuitive side is much more present in my coaching brand that it ever has been in the part of me that practices law.

Brands have personalities of their own. They’re not straight copies of the personality of their creator.

Here are some examples of brand personalities:

  • Cordial, but reserved

  • Humble and generous

  • Aggressive and direct

  • Bold and energetic

Clarity on brand personality would answer the following questions about the brand:

  • The brand’s core values

  • The brand’s passions

  • What the brand is striving for

  • What the brand finds fascinating

  • The brand’s guilty pleasures

The Limitations Of Having No Voice

If you don’t have a defined brand voice and message, it may limit you in terms of growth.

It’s possible that, right now, you’re a one-woman show in your business. If so, that’s fantastic; but if you’re learning and growing, it may not be that long until you’ll have a whole team of people supporting you. In which case, you will definitely need to be clear on the voice of your brand, because there’s only one of you!

You can’t expect other people to perfectly emulate you in order to ‘be the brand’.

How To Ensure Your Brand Voice Is You

“Always be a first rate version of yourself instead of a second rate version of someone else.” - Judy Garland

Despite the fact your brand voice isn’t as simple as being just you it still has to be you. You’ve gotta be completely comfortable with it, or you won’t be able to advocate for your brand.

More than that, the easiest way to ensure consistency in your voice and message is to be genuine. Your brand must be a true reflection of you, partly for the sake of transparency and being honest with your clients, but largely because it doesn’t work otherwise.

People can see through the phony brands and personas people adopt to sell stuff. They might buy into your brand if it’s not genuine, but they won’t stick around.

It won’t take them long to see through the charade.

So here’s where people struggle with this:

When you admire other entrepreneurs and creatives, and read all their stuff, you start to sound like them.

It’s like learning from a teacher or college professor — you pick up their arguments, expressions, and view point. That’s part of what makes them a good teacher. Part of what makes you love the people you follow online - coaches, mentors, celebs, whoever - is their unique view of the world and how they convey that.

And it influences you.

That’s not a bad thing!

But if you’re not careful you can find yourself sounding more like them (at least sometimes) than yourself. Your brand becomes an odd mash up of the people you admire and love. Not only will that be inconsistent and ingenuine, it makes honing a distinct voice for your brand tougher than a $5 steak.

The easiest way to make sure you don’t sound too much like anyone else?

Stop reading their stuff while you’re creating!

Yep, just click that little X at the top corner of the blog. Pause the podcast. Stop your scrolling. Close Insta.

Now, now, don’t get worked up! I don’t mean forever.

That doesn’t mean you can’t ever read other people’s stuff or do research, but it is very easy to get your head clogged with other people’s voices.

And here’s a distinction: It’s not just about other people’s ideas -- it really is more about how it’s said.

Most things have already been said.

There really isn’t any such thing as an original idea anymore.

That’s ok.

If you haven’t said it yet, then there’s still a unique way for it to be said, even if the notion isn’t itself unique.

Say it your way!

You have your own voice, message, and story. There’s no reason for you not to share it just because someone else has had a similar idea or experience before.

It is, however, important that you do share it in your own special way. Here are a few easy ways to do exactly that:

  • Don’t just research your topics and parrot the information you found. Weave your own experiences into it, think about your perspective, use that to make it completely unique.

  • Use your own analogies. Your life should inform your teaching.

  • Use your stories to develop your voice into something nobody else could possibly replicate - you’re the only one who has those stories!

  • Don’t read other people’s stuff while you’re writing your own content.

  • If you’ve done research, and want to use a point, phrase it in a way you would actually speak. Use your own words, expressions, examples, and ways of explaining or presenting the facts.

  • Just say what you want, in your own voice.

  • An easy way of testing it? Say it out loud! If you feel ridiculous, it’s prob because you’re not speaking in your voice.

Defining Your Brand Voice

A well-defined brand voice will allow you to understand how your brand will behave in any situation. From cocktail party banter, to apologies for a mistake, to Tweets.

Once you understand the personality of your brand, you will always know how it should sound, in any situation. Here are a few example of definitions of brand voices - don’t feel you need to pick one of these, they are just to give you ideas:

  • Intelligent: geared to an intelligent audience but not overly complicated or complex.

  • Courageous: short dynamic statements that reveal a willingness to confront issues.

  • Inspiring statements.

  • Innovative ideas.

  • Sincere sentiments.

  • Down to earth.

  • Friendly: upbeat and positive. Open and accessible.

  • Tone down overly professional

  • Conversational.

  • Inquisitive - always asking questions.

Once you’ve settled on a definition of your brand, go through the various situations you will need your brand to have a clear way of getting your message across, and ask yourself, WWMBD?

What would my brand do?

For a great example of this, have a read of this interview with Warby Parker’s Copy Director, Molly Young, who describes the personality of the brand perfectly:

“Warby Parker is the person you want to sit next to at a dinner party. They are funny and smart, and they get up to do the dishes.”

How can you make your brand’s personality come to life like this?

For specifics on exactly how to outline your brand voice, download my FREE Brand Voice Workbook!

Brand Voice Vs. Brand Tone

It’s important to understand the difference between the voice and the tone of your brand.

Your Brand Voice is the overall style that your brand expresses.

Your Brand Tone is the variation in voice used to reflect a particular attitude, or respond to a specific situation. The tone is an expression of of your brand’s character to the specific audience or situation at hand.

Your tone changes all the time. It must change -- it’s how you express empathy and relevance.

While the tone of your brand can change depending on context, your brand voice should be consistent.

For example, when you make a first time sales pitch, you’re likely to be upbeat and positive. When you’re onboarding a new client, you’ll offer cheerful encouragement. In an emergency response to a client you’re more likely to be brief, precise, and careful.

Another brand that is really transparent about their voice and has a FANTASTIC brand guide is MailChimp. They have a really detailed breakdown of everything that makes the MailChimp brand voice, from the cheeky high fives to the types of content used. Their guide to tone and voice is particularly useful for understanding the difference.

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10 Ways To Create A Brand Voice With A Powerful Message

Here are some tips so that you can develop a unique and genuine brand voice.

  1. Be consistent - whatever you decide on, stick to it!

  2. Speak the language of your ideal client - hang out with them in their natural habitat and learn the words and phrases they use. Incorporate that into your brand voice to make it relatable.

  3. Maintain professionalism (even if your voice is relaxed and laid back, it needs to be professional - i.e. written content should always be fully proofread, you need a clear understanding of unsuitable language to use, and subjects to cover -  will you swear? If so which words are okay and which aren’t? Will you use slang and abbreviations?)

  4. Develop unique terminology and expressions to explain your core concepts and signature offerings. It will make your voice distinct, avoid cliches, and help solidify the uniqueness of your offerings.

  5. Use references that are completely relatable and relevant to your ideal client (i.e. if you’re using pop culture references, find out what TV shows, music, films etc. they like and use those!).

  6. Be authentic and trustworthy. Never say anything you’re not completely comfortable with. Make sure every word your brand ‘speaks’ is totally true to you, and TRUE!

  7. Advocate for causes you are passionate about (especially if they are relevant to your niche).

  8. Sparkle with star quality and your own unique flair - stand out rather than blending in!

  9. Establish an ethos and stick to it - what are your values?

  10. Tell stories - personal and professional stories will help you really personalize your message while demonstrating you know what you’re doing!

  11. Create a special document where you keep track of the things you commonly say, as well as the things that your clients commonly say (you can use things like Facebook groups and Amazon book reviews to give you more info on that).

For a more detailed breakdown of exactly how to create a powerful message, download the FREE Brand Voice workbook now. Also, be sure to sign up for my brand new FREE Live training: How to Master Your Mindset & Marketing to Fully Book Your Creative, Coaching, or Online Business happening November 28th, 29th, & 30th. Click the link here to sign up.

3 Ways You're Blocking Yourself (And How To Fix It)

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It starts with a little voice in the back of your head whispering, “That sounds fun!” or “I could totally do that!” And suddenly, you have a new dream.

The second the dream takes root you realise: “I’m soooo not happy with where I am right now. I want to be there instead!”

It’s a no-brainer to recognise where you want to be, but getting there...that’s a whole other thing.

The human mind is really weird at times.

When you think of a new career, or a fresh direction, and you know it would completely light you up, your brain right away gets to work tearing it down.

All this resistance appears (seemingly out of nowhere):

“Is this really going to work for me?”

“How can I do this when I don’t know the industry?”

“I’ve invested so much in my current career, I can’t just abandon it!”

And so you stop yourself from getting to where you want to be, and what you truly want to do.

What’s up with that??

Let’s dive in...

#1 You’re Waiting For…

There are three main blocks that get in people’s way, but this one is The Big One.

Committing to a career (or career change) is a lot like dating.

There are a lot of really cute prospects (the good ideas you have about careers you might like), but you’re waiting on ‘the one’.

The one career that’s going to be your thing.

So while these ideas look pretty attractive, you’re not interested. You’re waiting for the one career, the one idea, that smacks you upside the head like a sledgehammer.

The one that makes you dizzy with possibility.

You want the certainty that it’s definitely right for you, and definitely the right time; you need that before you commit to it.

This is especially true if you already have a career you’ve put a lot of time and effort into.

It’s...dating a guy you like, and have good time with, but there’s something missing. You know he isn’t your ‘forever’. But he’s a great guy, and he makes you laugh, so you’re in no rush to walk away from him.

It would take someone really special to make you sure. Someone you just knew, immediately, was perfect for you.

Your fate. Your destiny.

You want to hear the bells! *Ding Ding Ding! He’s THE ONE!*

Switching careers is no different. Your current situation might not be perfect, but it could be worse.

You need reassurance before you jump ship.

So you wait. You wait for the perfect time to make the move.

You wait for the bells!

What’s wrong with that?

I mean, it’s a big commitment after all, you don’t want into rush it. You should be sure, right?

Except... nothing is ever sure in life.

While you’re waiting for the perfect moment, for that sledgehammer to hit and those bells to ring, opportunities are passing you by.

You might very well meet your destiny, your forever, and not give them more than a glance, because you’re expecting a huge romantic event when you meet your elusive ‘one’.

It’s hard to imagine you might just bump into them one day, smile, say, “Sorry!” and that would be it.

The One should be bigger than that, right?

Wrong.

Not every great relationship (or brilliant business idea) start with a bang.

The Perfect Time Doesn’t Exist

Before I launched my business I was desperate for change, but it never seemed like the ‘perfect time’ to do it.

My job as a lawyer was overwhelming me. I needed change, but I was scared. I didn’t know where to start.

In the end I realised it was time to stop asking myself, “Why now?”, in an attempt to prove the perfect time was upon me, and instead ask, “Why not now?”

And to that question, I had no answer.

Since then, I hear people say some variant of, “I’m not sure it’s the right time!” about so many things.

They might be talking about taking a new direction in their career, starting a new biz, diving into a new relationship, or committing to a new health plan.

It doesn’t matter what they’re talking about, they’re all waiting for…

Something.

They’re not even sure what, they just feel they have to wait for it.

Such a momentous change should be heralded by an equally spectacular feeling, or a grand sign; the ringing of those bells.

As if the universe is going to do something to finally make it clear to you that, yes, now is The Perfect Time for change.

The truth is that any moment can be a time for change, if you choose to make it so.

You make it the perfect time when you decide to start.

But starting is something we really struggle with...

A while ago I was speaking to a woman about the new business she wanted to start.

Like many of the people who find me she had this big dream, and she was putting it off.

I asked her what she saw as the next step needed, in order to move forward with her business idea. I asked, “What’s keeping you from taking that step?”

“I need a designer to create a logo,” she told me. “And I can’t afford that right now, so I’m stuck.”

Immediately, I felt the side of my lips curl up into a smile. Not because I was laughing at her, but because I could see that she heard the absurdity of it the second the words left her mouth.

“Oh,” she said, "that sounds insane now I actually say it out loud!"

"Yup, sure does," I said. "Plus, it’s just not true. You don't need a logo to move forward. You don’t need a logo at all!"

You’re Really Just Procrastinating

If you're waiting on a logo that you can't afford, or you're waiting for some other event that’s outside your control, but you think you desperately need to happen before you take the next step, you're making excuses.

Let's call an audible on that, shall we?

Obsessing over logos and branding shouldn't be an excuse for not moving forward. Especially since you can create your own amazing visual brand yourself aaaaand develop your brand voice and message, really simply.

Of course, it's fantastic to have professional branding that fully encapsulates what you're doing, but it's not necessary when you're starting out.

And it definitely doesn't need to be your first step.

This isn’t a genuine reason to put off starting a business.

There’s nothing standing in your way, you’re simply procrastinating.

In fact, you’re procrastibranding (Yes, it’s such a common block there’s a word for it!)

I built my first website on weebly. That got me through my first handful of clients. It wasn’t fancy, but it did the job until I could afford a pretty site with professional branding.

Here's the big truth about branding:

Branding is just letting people know who you are.

When the right people know who you are, they want to know more.

As they get to know you, they start to like and trust you.

Once they know, like, and trust you, they're open to buying from you.

When they're open to buying from you, you can sell to them with ease.

They receive something of high value. You receive money.

Yes, there are other things to consider. But when you break it down to it's purest form, all branding does is help people get to know you.

The only thing you need to let people know you is yourself.

You already have that!

If you're just beginning to develop your brand and you approach it from this pure place, you're going to naturally accomplish the golden rule of branding: be real.

Procrastibranding is a really great example of how procrastination can hold you back, but it’s something we do about so many things in business.

Every time you ask yourself, “Why not now?” and come up with an answer, check it.

Is it something that is genuinely in your way, an insurmountable obstacle, or are you just procrastinating?

I’m willing to bet you can’t think of any excuse that isn’t some form of procrastination.

If you’re struggling with procrastibranding be sure to sign up for my FREE WORKSHOP How to Master Your Mindset & Marketing to Fully Book Your Creative, Coaching, or Online Biz, so you can learn the activities you should actually be focusing on and the actions you need to take now to move the needle forward in your business.

#2  You’re Stuck In A Limiting Mindset

Another challenge I faced when I started my business was my own limiting mindset.

I loved the new work I was doing, but it was hard for me to push past my own established limits. There were a lot of ideas I had about myself and the career path I had carved out as a lawyer, which I had to leave behind.

I’d worked so hard to get to where I was, only to realise it wasn’t where I wanted to be. When you’ve poured that much of yourself into something it’s really tough to let it go.

It’s like losing a part of yourself.

There aren’t many of us who can willingly let go of a pieces of ourselves, even if they’re pieces we no longer want.

They’re still a part of you, so you must need them, right?

And what if you change your mind?

What if you’re making a mistake?

Really what you’re thinking is, ‘What if i can’t be any more than I am, and by trying to do this, I become less?”

There’s this fear that by striving for more, you will end up with less.

It’s hard to see how important a step it is to let it go. It isn’t a loss. It doesn’t mean everything you’ve done so far was a waste of time. You’re simply continuing your journey in an unexpected direction.

It will take you somewhere you never expected to be, but that doesn’t mean where you were is any less vital.

You have to wrap your mind around the idea that everything we go through, we are meant to go through.

The lessons, skills, and experiences we are meant to have stay with us.

The path that I went down as a lawyer uniquely prepared me for what I do now. That experience is part of why I am a great coach.

Shine a light on your own worries and concerns. They are what’s holding you back. No one’s blackmailing you into staying in the job you hate.

You are the one stopping yourself.

Action Plan

Dive into upgrading your mindset! Check out the posts, here, here, and here.

#3 You Live By the Expectations of Others

Once you’ve moved past all the ways you’re getting in your own way, you need to deal with the expectations of others.

One of the hardest things to do is let go of other people’s ideas of what you should do, and do what’s best for you instead.

The things that have most held me back over have always been my fears surrounding the judgement of others and how they might perceive me.

It’s really tough when you have a passion for something, and are really enthusiastic about doing it, but it’s ‘just not done’.

When I decided I wanted to become a coach, I faced a lot of resistance. Coaching simply wasn’t something that was taken seriously. I mean, I was coming from law! That’s a respected and very well-established profession. Something your friends and family can understand.

Coaching was this new area with no regulations.

A lot of people don’t understand it, or they view it as being a bit sketchy.

I could have easily been crippled by other people’s expectations and views. Instead, I got the training, I started coaching on the side with no expectations of what it might become, and now, I’m a full-time coach.

Most of the people I work with are making some kind of transition.

They have a lot of concerns about how people are going to respond to the change.

And it’s true, people might not understand.

Everyone is used to taking traditional steps toward success. But that might not be the way for you.

You might be different, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

That’s what makes you amazing.

You know The Voice, the singing competition? Whenever a singer gets the chairs to turn around, I feel ridiculously happy for them. That’s how I feel when I coach and help people get what they really want.

When you find something that gives you that feeling, that makes you feel you have star quality, that you’re good enough to turn the chair, you quickly realize your feelings and the way you can serve others are more important than what other people think.

Give your new career dream a chance.

I guarantee, when you prove everyone wrong by becoming a huge success, all the people you were so worried about it will be trying to pretend they were behind you the whole time.

Action Plan

Recognize that many of your thoughts and beliefs about how other people are going to react are actually projections. The Work of Byron Katie is the most powerful and effective way of understanding and moving past this. Click here for more information as well as a step-by-step worksheet to move past others’ expectations.

If one of the dreams you’re blocking yourself from is creating your own business, then be sure to join me on November 28th, 29th, or 30th for a totally FREE live workshop on How to Master Your Mindset & Marketing to Fully Book Your Creative, Coaching, or Online Business (Even If You’re Still in a 9-5)

 

7 Things You Must Do to Realize Your Big Dream

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.”

- Marianne Williamson

I am obsessed with this quote from the brilliant Marianne Williamson because I see this SO much — people fearful of really putting themselves out there, creating what they want, switching jobs, pursuing the person the want to be with, or starting their dream business.

The thought process goes something like, “Well, if I don’t get what I want, it’s ok because I didn’t reeeeeally try.”

Let’s call an audible on that, shall we?

The truth is, there’s magic when we can recognize and move towards our own light — our big dreams.

Wanting something that’s big and out of your comfort zone can be scarier than a blackout when you’re home alone during a horror movie. Many people experience ‘upper limits’, a point in our growth and achievement that takes us outside our comfort zone because it goes beyond our threshold for a certain amount of good in our lives. When this happens, even though we really want it, we often find we’re unprepared for the change, and we self-sabotage, returning ourselves to a set point at which we felt comfortable.

Realizing a big dream takes more than just envisioning it and hoping for the best.

Aside from the physical work involved in making your dream a reality, you need to do the inner work necessary to ready yourself for that reality.

You need to mentally prepare yourself for the shift from the idea of your big dream, to actually making it happen.

When you have a big dream, it’s suuuper important to grow into it.

If you do some work around your dreams, what they will mean for you, and how they will change your life, it’s a lot easier to realize them.

And you’re far more likely to hold onto your dreams when you do succeed if you’ve done the work to prepare for their arrival.

Here are 7 things you must do to realize your big dream:

1. Get Clear On Your Vision

When there’s something you want it’s important to get really clear on exactly what it is.

When I decide there’s something new I want in my life, I picture exactly what my world would look like if I actually had it.

I’ve seen that things line up if you’re specific about exactly what you want.

You would never call up a pizza store and say, “Send me a pizza. Kthanksbye.”

You’d tell them exactly what you wanted, right down to the extra cheese, onions, and olives.

If you don’t tell them you want a stuffed crust, you can’t be surprised (or annoyed!) when a thin crust turns up on your door. (Uhh, pizza sounds so good right now!)

It’s not what you wanted, but the world didn’t know that, because you weren’t specific enough.

It’s the same with your dreams.

The more specific you are about what you want, the closer you’ll get to receiving exactly what you wanted.

Think about it.

How can you work toward something if you’re not completely clear on what exactly you’re aiming for?

You’ll never know when you achieve your goal, if what you’re doing is working, and whether there are other things you should be doing to get there.

You could be heading in the wrong direction, and you’d never know it.

It’s also a lot easier to stay motivated if you have a really clear image of how life will change once you have that thing you want.

Most of us would say we wanted more money, but when you know exactly what you’d do with that money, and precisely how much you need in order to do it, working towards the goal is a lot easier.

And the more specific you are the better.

Rather than saying ‘I want to earn more so I can go on vacation every year’, think about what that would look like.

Where will you go?

What will you do while you’re there?

How many vacations in a year?

Who will you take with you?

If you can picture yourself in Bora Bora, in a beautiful little bungalow with the warm sun kissing your skin and sparkling azure waves all around (can you tell what I’m dreaming of?), you’re going to be a lot more motivated to work on your goal.

2. Focus On How You Feel

One way to get clear on your big dream is to evaluate similar experiences you’ve had in the past. Times when you got close to your dream, but it wasn’t quite right.

Ask yourself, “Why wasn’t it right?”

By asking this question, you can find out what you need to be doing differently.

You might also want to think about how you’ll feel when you achieve your dream.

It’s easy to focus on the practical details of what you’ll do, and the numerical details of how much you will have, but feelings are just as (if not more!) important.

As you’re zooming in on your big dream make sure you don’t leave out your feelings. They are, ultimately, a big part of what we create in our lives.

The more aware you are of your feelings, the more easily you will be able to tap into your intuition, and work towards your goal from a place of inspiration.

Often we know in our gut if we’re on the right track, or heading down the wrong path, but it’s easy to disregard that intuition.

We set it aside, dismissing it as nerves, paranoia, cold feet, and any number of other explanations.

But if you’re truly going to create the life you want, and realize your biggest, most fabulous dreams, you should learn to follow through on the “nudges” of inspiration you feel.

More than that, working towards a dream shouldn’t be a huge struggle.

Often it’s the journey itself that proves to be most rewarding.

So while achieving your ultimate goal is important, you want to enjoy the ride to get there!

It shouldn’t usually be a struggle.

If you’re finding everything you’re doing is laced with negative emotion, and that you’re struggling through regardless, you’re probably on the wrong path.

3. Review Your Personal State

When you’re trying to realize a big dream, you might forget to look at how your current state invites that dream in.

Are your daily habits, work environment, and leisure time such that you’re big dream has the opportunity to become a reality?

Here’s the thing: big dreams don’t happen until there is space for them in your life.

For example, I wanted to meet my soulmate for years and I dated a lot.

There was a period when I was a lawyer, unhappy with my job, and I wasn’t attracting the person I wanted. I realized my life vision was too small for the person I wanted to meet. A man like the one I dreamed of meeting would want someone who was more dynamic than my current self. Someone who wasn’t sitting wasting away in a job, miserable, with no ambition.

I realized I needed something else to focus on.

Before I could find the perfect person to spend my life with, I had to make myself the person I truly wanted to be.

Until I’d done that, until I was 100% comfortable in myself, I would always attract the wrong people, because the man I wanted wouldn’t want me!

How could he - if I’m totally honest, I didn’t fully want myself back then. But it wasn’t until I stopped and reviewed where I was at personally that I realized this.

So, I shifted my personal state to focus on making myself happy instead of searching for a partner to do it. I became a coach ‘cause I wanted to create a career I could love and be proud of. I did become happier and more fulfilled as a result.

And right on cue, as I welcomed my dream self, I made room for my dream man to scamper into my life.

How could you shift your personal state to welcome your big dream?

Instead of focusing on what’s missing in your life, focus on creating the space in your life that will be occupied by your dream when it arrives.

Create the opportunity for what you want to enter your life.

4. Release Negative Beliefs

If you’re harboring any beliefs that your dream isn’t possible, it’s important to release them.

This can take a surprisingly long time. It helps to remember that a belief is nothing but a thought you have thought a lot.

Some of your beliefs become deeply ingrained, especially if you’ve been thinking them for 20 years or so.

It’s not as simple as saying, “I’m not going to think that anymore!” or “I don’t believe that anymore!”

The more ingrained beliefs are, the more they stick around.

At the heart of your negative beliefs is usually the feeling that you either don’t deserve your dream, or you’re not good enough to ever achieve it.

“I don’t deserve to have this!”

“I’m not enough to have this!”

There’s considerable variety in both of these. The specific reasons you believe you don’t deserve something will vary. Exactly why you feel you’re ‘not enough’ will also be different.

Whether you feel you’re not good enough, strong enough, smart enough, pretty enough, funny enough, thin enough…. It doesn’t really matter.

I’ve experienced aspects of both of these beliefs. I had to forgive myself for believing each, and release them both on a deep level.

EFT and Ho’oponopono are two of my favorite tools to clear limiting beliefs.

5. Clear Physical Space

You’ve already mentally and emotionally cleared the space for your dream by focusing on your feelings, reviewing your personal state, and releasing your negative beliefs.

Now it’s time to make the physical space required for your big dream.

It is crucial to really, really believe that your big dream is going to happen.

When you 100% believe in the eventual realization of your dream, it makes sense that you would physically prepare for its arrival.

That means decluttering.

Clear your calendar, make room in your home, or get the materials you’ll need for your dream.

Symbolically making space for what you want can have a big impact on actually creating it.

Once you have taken this step you can shift into a new mindset:

“I’ve done my work, now things are going to align.”

Your big dream becomes inevitable, because there’s space for it in your life, and you’re ready to receive it.

6. Take Inspired Action

Achieving your goals has a lot to do with mindset, but it’s important to remember that you also have to take action.

I say it all the time: your dreams don’t work unless you do.

It’s not enough to declutter, mentally and physically, and wait for your big dream to happen.

You need to take inspired action to make it happen.

Clearing the physical space for your dream is the first step to doing this, because it requires you to take action in the real world, and not just in your inner world.

Taking too many actions can be as limiting as taking no action at all. It’s far better for your action to be inspired, and firmly rooted in the clear vision you have established.

Rather than spinning your wheels and getting overwhelmed trying to do a million things that might achieve your goal, really focus. Determine exactly which actions are most important, and most likely to move you forward.

Start by asking yourself a simple question:

“What must I do today to move the needle forward?”

That will get the ball rolling.

If you can, come up with a full-on action plan.

Determine exactly what needs doing and when. Plan your inspired actions for the upcoming days, weeks, months, even years.

This can be a truly powerful and wonderful experience. It not only motivates you to act, and keeps you motivated in your action, it will help you achieve consistent, inspired, massive action.

7. Learn Continuously

Whatever you’re doing, become a master of it.

Mastery takes experience and constant learning.

When I became a lawyer I had to go through 4 years of undergrad, 3 years of law school, and take the CA bar before I could practice law.

I also spent 2.5 years actually working in a law firm as a clerk, learning the ins and outs of trial law.

There aren’t requirements like this in my current industry, but I bring that same studiousness to my career as a coach.

I’m constantly investing in coaching, mentorship, courses, and training. I continually invest in myself and the support I need for creating what I most desire.

Hire a coach or mentor. Take a course. Sign up for a training.

If you’re looking for a place to start, the waitlist for Business Launch Lab is now OPEN! It’s the PERFECT thing for anyone dreaming of starting their own biz and it’s opening November 13, 2017 with LIMITED spaces available. Click here to get on the waitlist so you can start realizing your big dream!

Can I Start Charging In My New Business Without Experience?

Can I Start Charging In My New Business Without Experience_, testimonials cheatsheet, business coach, career coach.png

One of my 1-on-1 clients asked me this the other day, and I thought it was about time I shared my thoughts with my readers.

I know there are loads of you out there, dreaming of starting a business, who desperately want the answer to be, ‘Yes, of course, go for it!’, but it’s time for a little truth talk.

I might not make friends with this one. Because I’m not gonna say what you want to hear.

I’m gonna be real with you.

But I’ll soften the blow by starting with some good news: every single entrepreneur started out with zero experience (including me!).

Every single entrepreneur began by asking this question, and finding themselves suuuuper frustrated by the answer.

“But I know exactly what I’m doing!”

“I deserve to be paid for my time!”

“If this were another job it wouldn’t even be a question!”

True, true, true.

Nobody’s questioning your worth or abilities!

But here’s my take on the question (and there are other opinions): you probably shouldn’t be charging until you have experience.

Why You Need Experience Before You Start Charging

That probably isn’t what you want to here. But the reason is also probably not what you think.

The real question is not whether you’re capable of doing your work well enough to charge peeps, but whether you’re confident enough in your abilities.

Having the confidence of knowing you’re able to truly help people and provide a valuable service comes from experience.

It comes from having clients you can look at and say, “Yes, I helped them! I’ve totally got this.”

When you start asking for money it’s uber important you believe in yourself. If you don’t, potential clients may pick up on it.

They might not hire you.

Even if they do, you’ll probably lowball your prices and end up working for peanuts.

You’ll be charging, but nothing like what you’re worth.

Whatever you’re putting out into the world, until you have the confidence that it’s genuinely beneficial, and truly helping people, you’re gonna struggle to land clients and charge what you’re worth.

It’s partly their perception of you and your lack of experience, but it’s mostly a mindset thing.

So, rather than spending the first few years in your biz working for peanuts, I have a better suggestion:

Hold off charging until you have enough experience to be confident in your own abilities, and demonstrate them to potential clients. Then, start charging a premium rate right away.

No peanuts for you.

What They Forgot To Tell You About Entrepreneurship

Taking a plunge and setting up a creative or coaching business is an amazing choice. Coaching is very powerful, rewarding and a great business choice. Creative entrepreneurship is similarly awesome. But there are a few things they don’t tell you when you’re first starting out.

It takes time and effort to build a biz and start earning enough money to support yourself.

If you approach it in the right way, there’s no need for it to take you an age, but it does take time. The initial period when you first start out can be frustrating - you so desperately want to get ‘there’, but you’re not there yet, and that can feel like failure.

It can also make you impatient, and lead to you skipping steps and trying to take shortcuts.

That will likely do nothing but make everything take even longer!

There are a couple of options:

  • Start your new creative or coaching business on the side of a paid job.

  • Save up enough to cover a few monthly (longer if you can afford it).

Here’s the truth. Money is a resource.

When you’re starting a new venture money can be a valuable resource. Whether it’s from savings, another form of income, or a supportive family member or spouse, having funds available will take a huge amount of pressure off your new business.

You can advance waaaay faster when you’re able to invest in courses, coaching, and other support for your business.

Here are the four things I did that made all the difference when I was starting out as a coach:

  1. I worked on my money mindset

  2. I believed in what I was capable of achieving (both for myself and my clients)

  3. I invested time in talking to people, connecting, and getting in front of my ideal clients

  4. And I started doing the work.

What To Do With Existing Skills

When I switched career tracks it was a big change. I went from working as a lawyer, employed by a firm, to running my own business.

Big change!

Change can be great, but it’s also a lot. And when you’re focussing on your new zone of genius you can go a bit overboard.

It’s easy to have an ‘all or nothing’ attitude, and ignore everything that came before.

You might not think it’s relevant.

And on the surface, your existing skills might not be directly relevant. But when you dig deeper you will find there are ways your existing experience can complement your new calling as a coach or creative entrepreneur.

Don’t discard everything that came before. Here are a few examples:

Social Media Skills

You don’t have ‘no experience’. Whatever came before your new business (personal or professional), it is experience. For example, if in your corporate job you managed your company’s social media accounts, and were able to build up a huge following of thousands from scratch, that’s a great skill! Put that to work in your new biz right away, and get out there on social media.

Better yet, can you leverage that skill (something demonstrable that you do have experience it) right away, and charge for that? It may not be what you want to do long-term, but if it brings in a little money, and overlaps with the audience you eventually want to work with, it might be a good fit.

If you want to work with entrepreneurs as a coach, the odds are they need help with their social media. That’s a good way to introduce yourself while you build their awareness of you and your experience of the new direction you’re taking.

Writing Skills

If you spent time at university, writing and research are both existing skills you have. Beyond that, a lot of people acquire copywriting skills during the course of other roles without ever really noticing. If you prepared written reports on a regular basis, or managed the creation of content as part of your previous role, you may have spent a lot of time writing.

How can you put those writing chops to work? You could start a blog, and regularly write about the area you’re moving into. But think beyond that. What other forms of written content can you create? Can you get an article featured on a prestigious site or magazine in your niche?

If you’re really good at writing, you could hire out as a freelance writer to clients who overlap the niche you’re moving into.

Look for ways to combine your existing skills with your new biz vision, and create your own unique methods.

Acquire New Experience

If you’re serving other people it’s important to work on your own strengths. To do that, you need to capitalize on your existing strengths, skills, and knowledge, as much as possible.

Then you need to continue to acquire new experience.

This isn’t just true when you’re first starting out - running a successful business requires a long-term commitment to your own personal and professional growth.

If you want your business to go from strength to strength, you need to be the solid foundation of that success, constantly strengthening and growing yourself.

Passion Alone Isn’t Enough

You can absolutely make your passion your paycheck, but passion does not equal moolah.

Your dream only works if you do, and there’s more to building a successful business than simply being passionate about your zone of genius.

This is particularly true of creatives and coaches -- they can be incredibly talented in their craft, but lack the business acumen that would lead to financial success.

In order to make a business out of your passion, you need to combine it with other key things (marketing, branding etc.).

These are the things that make it WORK.

And you need to build all areas of your biz, not just the fun parts.

You might hate marketing, but you’re gonna struggle to land consistent business without it. If you hate technical stuff the thought of building a website probably fills you with terror, but you need one. Just like you need an email list, and fabulous content.

A lot of work goes into building a business. The good news is, most of the stuff that’s outside your passion, your zone of genius, can easily be outsourced.

Delegating is a perfectly viable option!

When To Start Charging

“The only source of knowledge is experience.”
Einstein

Anyone who has ever made a name for themselves, in any field, started out without experience. The difference in coaching and creative entrepreneurship to other areas is that, in other areas, it’s reasonable to expect to be paid for your time, even if you’re brand new and you’ve never done the job before.

You learn on the job, and expect to be paid to do it, even if only a starting salary.

But certain areas require experience before they provide a paycheck. Think of all the unpaid internships people take on, in order to ensure they get into their top choice of university, or land their dream job.

Lack Of Experience And Impostor Syndrome

Confidence is soooo important when you’re coaching. If you’re a creative entrepreneur of any kind, having confidence in what you do and how you do it is hugely important.

The problem with starting to coach or sell a product or service when you don’t have any experience, is that you end up feeling like a fraud.

Even if clients believe you know what you’re doing, and happily pay you, impostor syndrome can kick in.

I see this with my coaching clients. Other people are happy to pay them, but deep down they know they haven’t had enough experience doing what they’re selling.

There’s a little voice inside them saying, “You should have more experience!”, and they don’t have a proper retort. ”

You’re teaching something you’ve yet to do yourself. That can feel quite icky.

Business coaching is the perfect example of this. It’s the go-to for so many new coaches once they get their first client. But when you’re just starting out in your own business, without a business background, you have no business experience.

If your business involves a consulting or teaching element, you should have at least done for yourself and a few clients what you purport to help your clients with.

And this isn’t just about education.

You could have formal training and qualifications. Or you could be self-taught, and everything you know comes from your fave business blogs and YouTube.

The bottom line is, at the beginning of your business, you’re better off having experience implementing what you’ve learned before you start charging.

Imagine a few of these scenarios:

  • Trying to teach people to paint, or draw, when you’re only just learning yourself.

  • Teaching people to blog when you don’t have a successful blog of your own.

  • Offering marketing services when your own marketing isn’t really working yet.

  • Selling an online programme to create your next bestseller when you’ve never written a book yourself.

You can’t have proven results until you’ve worked with people, tested out your theories, methods, and all that knowledge percolating in your head.

Real clients are your best credentials.

Rushing Into Coaching

Coaching is an amazing vocation, and incredibly rewarding, but it’s not always a good idea to dive right into it. There are so many other amazing things people need, and if you’ve taken the time to properly identify your ideal client, you should be able to generate some other ideas.

Why not start out doing something related to the coaching you eventually want to do?

Start building your client base and reputation, and gain that all-important confidence and experience.

This can give you a way to start generating some cash and charging for services straight away, without the stress of trying to coach clients when you’re still finding your feet.

There are loads of ways to do this. If you eventually want to coach people in an artistic field, or to create their own art-based business, why not start by selling some of your own artistic creations, or services relating to them?

Start by building your own art-based business.

If you want to coach people in blogging and content marketing, start by building your own amazing blog, and selling your services as a writer.

Look at all the wonderful experience you already have. What can you do really well, right now, that’s related to your ultimate business goal, but isn’t coaching?

Get Experience By Working For Free

Take a few months and set yourself a goal of working with at least ten clients. Come from a place of inspiration and reach out to people you’d be willing to work with for free.

Let them know that you’re gaining experience helping people in a particular way and that’s why you’re not charging.

Here’s the thing about working with people for free: it takes the pressure off you. It also opens up the dialogue between you and the person you’re serving for feedback throughout the process.

You can also ask them to ‘pay’ you in the form of a testimonial, and permission to use your work together as a case study.

They may not agree to the latter, but it’s always worth asking! Even if they’re not comfortable making your work with them public, the experience you gain will be worth it.

You’ll grow in confidence as you work with them. It will give you chance to test out your methods and find the best way of working.

How I Started Charging

As I was going through coach training, I was working with everyone who would let me to get experience, including my mom, my sister, my three closest friends, a legal secretary at my law firm, friends from high school, friends from college, friends from law school, and friends of friends.

I had 100+ coaching conversations with people I’d met online.

THEN I started charging.

Here’s what was awesome about that: I was able to immediately position myself as a high-end coach. I had premium prices from the get go because I felt confident enough to charge higher prices AND I had results and testimonials from the work I’d done for free.

How To Get Experience As An Entrepreneur

This doesn’t just apply to coaching, it’s a great way for any creative entrepreneur to gain some experience when they’re first starting out.

If you’re a wedding photographer, shoot a few weddings for free.

Copywriters often start out working for websites and businesses for free in order to gain experience, build their portfolios, and snag some great testimonials from happy clients.

The same applies to designers, and even service-based businesses.

Whatever you’re offering for free, make sure you track everything. Use the time to get a really clear picture of where each of your clients were when you started working together, and the results you achieved during your time together.

After three or four months you’ll have amazing case studies detailing your methods, tangible results of the things you’ve achieved for you for your clients, and hopefully a boatload of glowing testimonials.

Nobody needs to know they didn’t pay you! You now have the experience, the confidence, proven results, and social proof.

You can start charging!

If you’re unsure how to get testimonials download my FREE Testimonials Cheat Sheet. Aim for ten to start with - that will give you a really solid start.

Get Proven Results Through Content Creation

Another way to bolster your confidence, rep, and ability to charge what you’re worth is to gather testimonials about the results people have gained by using your content.

Create high-value content and post it as a blog, vlog, or podcast. Start using content marketing to build your reputation. Establish a history of amazing content (weekly if you can), including posts packed with advice and freebies.

You don’t have to make all this content available for free forever, but while you’re gaining experience put your best stuff out there.

Think of it as coaching a client for free, but you have the opportunity to reach people you don’t know.

Start building an email list and nurturing your leads, without any agenda. Provide masses of value. Get your audience engaging and communicating with you. Encourage them to comment on your posts, follow you on social media, and gather stories and testimonials about the result they’ve had after following your advice.

Write up every client you work with for free as a case study. Create multiple posts about your experiences working with them. Use each post to prove a point, like:

  • Demonstrating the results you got for a client

  • Comparing different methods and showing what works best

  • Sharing stories of lessons you learned that made you better at what you do.

Use The Time To Find Your Niche

Offering your coaching or other services for free will also help you refine your ideal client.

Double check you’re genuinely happy working with the people you think you want to help. Get really specific about exactly what you want to do, and who you want to do it with - you’ll learn this as you go.

It’s also a fabulous opportunity to develop your own methods and signature style, and to hone your voice and brand.

Refine your offering into a very specific package. You should aim to offer a bespoke service, targeted at your ideal client, that provides something that is (in some way) completely unique to you.

That way, when you start selling, you’re targeting a specific market, with a specific, proven service. This will be a lot more effective than offering open-ended, vague coaching, products, or services.

The truly amazing thing about this is that it will allow you to charge what you’re truly worth, right out of the gate.

You may not be charging immediately, but when you do start there won’t be a peanut in sight!

Find Your Own Coach

Here’s another hint for getting your coaching or creative business off to a flying start: Find your own coach!

Invest in yourself and your business, and discover a coach who can mentor you. Look for someone who can show you the ropes, let you learn from their mistakes, and avoid the common pitfalls experienced by people in your area.

When I first started out I worked with a lot of coaches, specializing in different areas, and invested in multiple courses to get my business to where it needed to be. This was, hands down, the best investment I’ve ever made in my biz (and myself!).

Now I’m on the other side, coaching people who are just starting out.

If you’re looking for a coach to guide you through the establishment of your new business, or to help you uplevel an existing business, click here to schedule a consult with me -- I have two openings for winter 2017-2018!

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

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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?
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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)

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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

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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?

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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:

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  • 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!