PODCAST: An exercise to support you whenever you have a wobble aka the success timeline | Mini Episode Seventy Four

One of the reasons, I feel compelled to create content is to offer an alternative voice. 

When I first started my business, I was fascinated by 'how people created success'. I heard lots of the same things, a strong morning routine, a powerful network, consistently taking action, thinking positively. For a long time I looked outwards inside of inwards. I was seeking the latest hack, strategy and inside knowledge. I didn't realise that one of the most powerful thing could be to work on myself. 

Life is busy, we know this. Sometimes it can be overwhelming. 

I am two people's Mum, a partner, a friend, a daughter, a sister, a family member, a business owner etc etc. 

Sometimes life can be a lot. 2019 seems to have been a tough year for lots of people, certainly in my close circle of friends and family. 

It can be tough to just stick on a smile especially when you are not feeling it. 

Over the years I have had many wobbles; self doubt, near misses, frustrations, confidence dips, questions around 'Is the hard work really all worth it? 

Interviewed for NIDO Student

I was recently interviewed for NIDO student. The brief was ‘Building out your schedule to stay productive whilst studying’

Read the full article here

5 Things I have learnt about feedback

We all have opinions. I have plenty of my own. However I know when it may be ok to share them and when it wouldn’t be. 

One of the most common obstacles my clients face is ‘What will people think?’ It’s a fair comment. So many of us have a driver of ‘I want to make my friends and family proud’. 

From an early age, we can be labelled and pigeon holed… due to our physical appearance, our intelligence, our interests, our attitudes, where we fall in our family or other people’s expectations. 

From a young age, I had a great sense of self; however quite often I felt stifled as so many people around me had a different set of interests and values. 

As an actor, I learnt pretty quickly that feedback, ‘honesty’ (often without kindness) and rejection would be part of the job. I have found a way to dance with it but it still pokes you in the eye sometimes. 

As a ‘personal brand’ I have learnt how to manoeuvre the ‘being brave at putting myself because I know I can do a great job’ vs ‘What happens if they say no because there is someone better’. 

Ultimately my ‘You’ve got to be in it to win it’ mantra bellows loudly so for the most part I have to send the email :) Plus my skills, expertise, experience and testimonials speak for themselves. Sometimes you have you read your own testimonials you know… :)

Here are five things I know about feedback: 

1) It is always going to be there to a greater or lesser degree. Some is going to be said to your face. Some behind your back. You can’t control what comes out of people’s mouths. Only your own and your reaction going forward. 

2) Question the source of the feedback and are they the expert? Both pregnancies I have been told ‘I look huge’ and then five minutes later that ‘I don’t look pregnant at all.’ These are passing comments. Unless they are being said by a medical professional who knows me and my situation, I simply have to smile. 

3) Be discerning about when and how much you share. A few years back, I used to get really excited about ideas and throw them into the conversation. Sometimes they were just a seed of an idea. Much of the idea hasn’t been figured out yet. However I left myself open to questions, doubts from others, judgement and logistical queries. All of this got in the way of creation mode, which is such an important part of the process. I have to be in control of any potential leaks. I don't want an idea to dilute too quickly. 

4) Most people are not paying much attention, they have too much going on in their own lives. There will be a small proportion that are paying every attention. I read a quote recently which I am afraid I can’t remember accurately…it was something along the lines of ‘Those who judge you will always be doing less than you, those who are doing more will always encourage you’ Apologies for the hashed together version, but I hope you get my drift. 

5) Finally not everyone is going to get you and what you are doing. In fact, you changing your lifestyle, your habits, your hopes, your dreams and your boundaries may be very triggering and annoying for some people. This may show itself in less invitations, clicky behaviour where there is unsaid exclusion, or a passive aggressive comment or a loud disinterest in what you may hold very close to your heart. Please don’t let any of this slow you down, alter your path, question your abilities or ignore your instincts. The next chapter is waiting for you. 

I want everyone to be able to play the game...

What game is that you say? You know the game of ‘doing what you love and having a nice time whisky earning stacks of cash’ This is not about freelancing or starting a business necessarily.

Let me explain...Through the rise of social media, we can see how other people live, play, eat, interact, cry, parent, wax, wee etc etc

I’m not a psychologist but surely social media interruptions play a part in our everyday wellbeing (I see the irony of writing this on social media) . To give you a motorway analogy; you are trying to stay in your lane (and then maybe you start to veer off to junction 37 aka dream life) but other cars are poking into your lane so you can’t move forward as quickly.

Everyday I am bombarded with quick fixes, ‘Just follow my method, 3 keys to success, my EXACT formula and you too can be like me’

I have to call this out. Over a 100 interviews later on the podcast and I can share there is no one size fits all. Results are not always guaranteed; certainly not if there isn’t human interaction and accountability . We are not pieces of IKEA furniture that are built by following the instructions. You and I make follow the same instructions to build that IKEA kitchen (the one that you think is going to take 45 minutes but actually takes four hours!) and the end result may be slightly different. So as human beings who are building dream lives, but also in the presence of real life, there definitely needs to be flexibility.

Two of the themes that prompt 1:1 clients getting in touch with me are clarity and urgency.

Firstly they want to gain more clarity. They are maybe working too hard, or they are doubting their path or need some support carving out the next chapter.

Or urgency. Sometimes life goes in an unexpected way; becoming a parent with postnatal depression, a partner’s redundancy, a traumatic event which has left lasting effects, a lost of a family member who may be a valuable piece of their childcare puzzle. A loss of a spouse, a change of financial circumstances, a new commitment of taking a parent to the hospital for treatment once a week. Or that rogue sleep deprivation.

This is my second call out.

Please stop telling people they are ‘not serious about their business and life unless they are willing to invest in themselves with a 4 figure plus sum’

Those in the urgency camp are the most serious of us all because they have to figure it out. They can’t not. They have to continue and deliver the life responsibilities. Bills and essentials may take priority to keep their family safe for that month. This is not limited thinking... I know things can change quickly. However if you can't put food on the table, having a chat with a coach about what your dream house looks like may not be a fit.

I have invested on a big and small level in my life and business and will also continue to do so. However please know big investment doesn’t always lead to big results. If you are so squeezed and your back is against the wall, you definitely won’t be able to thrive and build your dream life. A promise of your ‘tribe’ in a group maybe useless if they people are not in fact your tribe.

I have come to know of some pretty toxic websites recently after watching some videos on trolling and online discussion forums. The conversations are pretty hideous, however in between, there are a few truths. Beauty bloggers complaining they don’t have enough storage for all their #gifts, pr trips that are a ‘disaster’ and ‘the worst day ever’ because their flight is delayed by an hour or complaining about a lack of money whilst shopping and then magically the clothes appearing for free at their door. For most people this isn’t reality. Back in the day, we had to put ‘things we had our eye on’ on our birthday lists and then ‘we shall see’ Side note: I know people have worked hard to build audiences, work for free etc but that being said grace and gratitude are wonderful things.

I think some of trolling comes from jealously and general meanness but some may come from frustration... why is it only an elite few that get to experience all the things?

I believe it is because we are maybe subconsciously told things are not possible for us. We may believe we can’t do that too because of our background, education, skin, gender, body, age. Or maybe all the seats are full at the table. We somehow missed the boat. We wait for the perfect time, for the stars to align, to be less tired, to be more motivated or until we have a spare 10 grand lurking under the bed waiting to come out to play.

I have known for a while I was missing a piece of my business, a more cost effective offering with a philanthropic arm.

I have surpassed my 10,000 hours now and have a lot to share. I can short cut so many processes because I have figured out frameworks.

When I started coaching, money was beyond tight. But I was dedicated and kept going. At that time, personal development wasn’t really a thing. The people doing it didn’t look like me or sound like me. Please don’t ever make me chest pump another human in dank conference room

I can’t sit back and watch the development industry become more and more elitist. We need more female voices with spending power. If those around you don’t realise the power of development, things won’t progress. Their beliefs will seep in and drown yours. The money can always be spent elsewhere or we are told we have enough on our plates.
That is why I have created a non negotiable shop ( maybe I should have call it that) There are 6 trainings, all priced at £20 each, or 3 for £50 and £95 (the individual trainings are available immediately but DM me for the code for the bundles as that piece of technology wont' be ready until later in the week).
These are not 'How tos'... these are powerful frameworks to help you start making money and progressing. They all have audios versions so if sitting down and concentrating is stretching you at the moment, have it on in the back ground and let the ideas flow whilst you make a spag bol. But get in the game. You know the answers, if you allow them to come through. Strangers in a Facebook group don’t know you better than you know yourself. Staying stuck in what to charge will stop you charging.

The second element I want to share is that every month I will be giving away 2 x the entire bundle for free. ‘Set up a charity’ is definitely on my vision board but I’m not there yet. So in the meantime over the the course of a year I can help 24 people create more of that they love for free and build on it. Look out for more details on this towards the end of the month.

Check out more of the story here and to purchase here

Working with Stylist Magazine | A Woman's Worth Summit

I am thrilled to be working with Stylist Magazine once again and I will be talking at their summit in partnership with Nat West.

Details of the session are here:

Session 3: The Secrets Of Turning Your Side-hustle Into A Full-time Success

The UK workforce is made up of more freelancers than ever before. So how can you take the plunge and become your own boss – without falling foul to the faff and becoming your own secretary? Here to impart the secrets of launching a successful business and staying in control are a panel of experts who’ve all been there and launched that.

Panelists:

Emma Sexton - Founder and CEO of MYWW™, Pippa Murray - Founder of Pip & Nut, Nicky Raby - Life & business coach & Nafisa Bakkar - CEO at Amaliah

Tickets are sold out but you can join the wait list here

You don't have to own a drone, do a salacious 'kiss 'n' tell in the side bar of shame or an interview with Piers Morgan...

I want to talk about visibility today aka putting yourself out there so people know who you are and what your business is. 

I know many coaches show this version of ‘visible’…Hello, I'm fabulous, I show you my travels, my designer hand bag and how many shoes I have. (My mum wisely once said 'But isn't that just bragging?!') She is a wise woman. 

However this isn’t my reality of ‘success’. I am a working Mum raising a young family. I am not travelling every week. I am not hanging around Bond Street and I frequently working in some suspicious loungewear and a Mum bun.

Showing how you can help people and sharing your message and your brand has to be about you. I can spot copy cats a mile off.

For me things have to feel good. If it feels good, I am more likely to share.

When we work out what works for us; our personality, our goals, our circumstances everything feels so much easier and we see results; increased brand awareness, more clients/customers, exciting opportunities and a happy bank balance.

When we start our businesses…we know what we are good at. It usually begins with a skill, a talent or an experience to share. Very quickly it becomes apparent that there are many more pieces to running your own gig; some of which may not be in your natural comfort zone.

I recently read the results of survey detailing where people struggle in their business.

1) Getting consistent clients/customers

2) Selling/pitching/promoting to get the above.

I know both of those tasks can seem enormous. Especially if you have no idea where to start.

In the beginning of my coaching business, I used to listen to endless You Tube videos/podcasts/webinars and feel all inspired. However I didn’t implement.

Firstly because it often felt scary and I regularly convinced myself I wasn’t ready and secondly because it all felt very overwhelming.

If my business/brand had been a physical shop, the analogy I would use would be that I spent a lots of time rearranging the shelves, dusting them, attending to them and enjoying the view without actually opening the door/shouting about my business so my customers could actually find me and BUY from me.

BECAUSE you kind of need people to buy so you have a BUSINESS. I know that sounds obvious but I needed to hear this myself.

Selling / Putting yourself out there / Saying you are available to do a fantastic job can be scary.

For most of us this completely contradicts what we were taught or learnt in school.

Here are a few attributes that were celebrated in my school:

  • Blending in…be like everyone else. Follow the crowd. Wear an identical Kappa jacket. Don’t be an individual.

  • Don’t get above your station. Don’t dream big. Don’t question (do not pass go and collect £200!) simply concur with the current situation.

  • Don’t blow your own trumpet, don’t share that you are good at something or do an excellent job. Put your hand down. Do not show off.

My goodness these beliefs stayed with me for years and sometimes still pop up to say hello. However I have found a way to move forward anyway.

On being asked to talk about our businesses, our default settings can be ‘NOOOO, please don’t make me’ ‘I’m not good at that’ or ‘I hate public speaking!’ or the general fear that people will think you are a twerp. 

Linked in nonsense aka How not to do business

Does anyone else receive about 200 of these day? For me, it is networking nonsense and makes me immediately want to delete.


Here’s why:


1) It is so obviously copied and pasted- this dude is playing a numbers game

2) The phrase ‘Let’s connect’ makes me want to throw up in my own mouth.


3) It is so generic and doesn’t tell me anything.


4) It isn’t enticing in the slightest and makes me do the work ie the person hasn’t told me anything so I have to investigate.


5) I can’t imagine this version of ‘Putting yourself out there and networking’ will be effective.


I know so many people struggle with getting clients or standing out or how to sell themselves and I am not going to promise there is a one size fits all because there isn’t. In fact it is important you find your version so you can do things that feel good.

Collaborating with Digital Mums

Last year I co hosted two online workshops with Jo for Digital Mums.  Not only are the digital mums a fantastically supportive community but truly practise what they preach. 

They have a huge reach and so many are my ideal customers so it was a pleasure to add value to their platform. 

Hundreds of people (probably thousands now) viewed the workshops and afterwards I gained 3 new clients. 

Errrrm only 3 new clients you could say? Out of hundreds of your ideal clients? That’s not a great conversion rate? 

Ok I hear you, if I wanted to close a big money influx within 24 hours you may see this as a failure but that wasn’t my goal. It wasn't going to be my social media opportunity to say I had made 50 grand CASH in 24 hours :)

My goals were to give freely, passionately share my knowledge, build relationships and providing a sounding board to many of the repeat questions that were popping up (and often not shared because everyone is worried about looking a bit daft). 
 

Many people were coming to listen, to engage to find out more, to be part of an interactive group chat. They weren't necessarily coming to the checkout to pay. 

So I presented accordingly. I simply shared my details at the end…once I had delivered what I intended. There was nothing about payment or some sleazy sales secret.

However some people were ready to buy. Many weren’t in that instance but came back to me within the week. Then more during the following month and a consistent flow of clients followed from then until now. 

 

So many of my enquiries start with ‘I’ve been following you for a while…’

A woman came up to me at a speaking event a few weeks ago and said I’ve been watching your videos since 2014 and now I am ready to work with you on an ongoing basis. Another example of how you just need to keep showing up and be the go to person when people are ready. 
 

Visibility and ‘putting yourself out there’ takes many forms. Often you don’t know what is going to stick but you can control your intention and commitment. 
 

I know it is scary. Most people would say they wouldn’t put themselves in a position where they would have to lead a workshop. Or give up their time to offer free content. But there will be a way that works for you.

PODCAST: How to get visible in your business (even if you don't want) on your terms | Mini Episode Fifty One

LISTEN HERE:

Just because people are not engaging, doesn't mean they are not watching

And guess what, the game changing advice wasn't said to me by a business guru... it was in fact said by my man pal...

'Just because people aren't engaging, doesn't mean they are not watching'

The whole room went into slow mo...we were eating dinner. I put down my fork and stared at him.

Boom. It all made sense. This conversation happened about 4 years ago. Things were happening but my impatience was getting the better of me. I was pregnant, I was exhausted and all around me it felt like everyone was getting a book deal, or landing a lucrative job or being hailed as the next 'one to watch'.

I digested the phrase again. He said it flippantly but he was so right.

There is rarely an overnight success. It is about showing up consistently, doing the work, sharing who you are and allowing people to get to know you.

Another weird conversation happened a few months ago. I was at an event when an influencer came over (I won't name but it is likely you will know her if you are on Instagram). I didn't know that she knew me. She doesn't follow me or engage with my responses but knew everything about what I was doing. She asked me a lot of questions; how I landed gigs, why I had made certain decisions and my advice on her business queries. Interesting eh? Again another sign... you just never know.

Please know your hard work is paying off. Everything you want is on its way to you, it simply requires focus.

It can be so easy to slip into a negative mindset especially when you are being pulled in all directions.

PODCAST: Episode One Hundred and Three with Natalie Sanders, Clear Desk VA

Listen below:

I sold two books in labour that paid for my taxi to the hospital...

Don't worry, that's where the labour part ends :) You may have heard me share this story before.

Back in 2014, I wrote a book. I wrote it in 6 months alongside a full time job and a coaching business. I had two wonderful editors and on the whole, it was a great experience. Between you and I, my second book maaaaay be in the mix :) This book still continues to sell frequently and earns me passive income.

Here's what I have learnt from this experience, passive income and missed opportunities:

1) Systems are key. My book is set up to be sold. Everything is delivered without me...the check out process, the book delivery and the money into my bank account. It is tried and tested and people can purchase whenever and wherever they like.

2) It is a wonderful low cost product. The book is about being an actor and combines my skills of being an actor for over 25 years, an agent for 5 years and a qualified coach. To be able to share this information one on one would take me days. Sharing in a book form allows the information to fly and scale. It continues to be the book that I wish I had and I know the value of that.

3) I made money in an easy way when my body was in a state of labour, discomfort and transition. Making money doesn't need to be hard, it doesn't require you to be always there and you never know when people may want exactly what you have to offer.

4) Not everyone needs you 1:1 and quite often, it may not be a financial option. It is a a lovely introduction to your work, plus I have noticed many of my readers have gone on to become 1:1 clients. If you don't have something to share that doesn't require you to be there, you are missing out and so are your customers. The technology is manageable, there is a solution for exactly where you are right now and you could change someone's life with your experience and knowledge. This sounds dramatic but it is true.

I know many people rule this option out because they don't know where to start or whether it will work for their brand. Believe me, there are many options for you and they will provide more ease and flow into your business. As I scale my business and expand my family, I am not looking for stress. In fact I am all about doing something once and giving many times and doing it with flow and ease.

Please think about how you could change things up in your business.