The Missing Piece When It Comes to Business Growth

The Missing Piece When It Comes to Business Growth


“Networking is simply the cultivating of mutually beneficial, give and take, win-win relationships. It works best, however, when emphasizing the “give” part.”

~ Bob Burg

Do you ever feel like there is a part of the business building puzzle that you just can’t seem to find. You know like the piece of a jigsaw puzzle that is invariably found covered in dust under the sofa, when you move house?

It can feel so frustrating to have so many of the pieces in place yet still not be making enough money to really feel like you can say this thing is working.

Of course when you find yourself in this place (and it is much more a case of when rather than if) it can feel very disheartening. Like everyone is in on some secret you haven’t been told yet. In several of my recent coaching sessions this question of the missing piece has come up and in this blog post I want to share with you what I believe that piece is.

Allow me to cut right to the chase — CONNECTION is for many business owners the missing piece when it comes to business success.

Yes I know. This isn’t news coming from me but It bears repeating again (and again) because it’s so easy to forget and get drawn into the idea that we should be focusing on promoting and selling ourselves rather than making meaningful connections with people. Even when people hear me talk about the importance of connection in business and agree that it’s makes perfect sense, rarely do they follow up with the very real action required to develop and deepen actual relationships with people in their audience and network.

And what does connection look like in practice? Simply put — it’s having conversations — the actual real-life sort!

Back in the day when I spent a LOT of money on an expensive Business Coach, one thing he drilled into me was the idea that no client was ever created outside of a conversation. So the goal of everything I did in my business was to have more conversations. And let’s just be very clear, conversations are not: posting on social media, commenting on other people’s posts, doing Instagram stories, making videos for YouTube, writing on Medium or blogging. Conversations are what happen after those things. They are what happen when we engage with another human being and say: Hey thanks for your comment on my post, I’d love to know more about how it impacted you, do you fancy hopping on a call? Or Thanks for sharing how you are struggling with this issue, I’d love to gift you a complimentary session for us to look at that?

In a recent coaching session with a newly qualified coach, we looked at what she was doing to grow her business and I was impressed to see that she was consistently putting out solid content to her audience and getting a lot of great engagement in return. What she couldn’t understand was how to take this engagement and transform it into paying clients.

The missing piece? Connection.

As we reviewed her Facebook page and looked through the comments people had left on her content, it quickly became clear to me that she wasn’t doing enough to deepen the relationships on an individual level. She was responding to the comments people left by saying thank you but she wasn’t trying to move the conversation forward beyond that.

When we seek to deepen the connection and engage in a more meaningful dialogue, it becomes more likely that an opportunity to serve the other person will arise. And when we genuinely serve the other person, we allow that person to see the potential impact of working with us.

Just this week someone left the following positive comment on one of my videos on YouTube:

Lovely interview, I was so engaged, the information was beneficial and relevant, thank you. Now I could have simply replied with something to the effect of thanks for your comment or not even replied at all as some people do, but instead I wrote the following: Thanks Lillian! I’m so glad you found the interview useful. Curious to know what your biggest take-away was?

Can you see the difference, now this lady may never reply but if she does and she shares with me why the video was impactful for her, then the chances of me being able to help her on a deeper level dramatically increase. And if I genuinely help her, the chances of her hiring me also increase.

People buy from people they know, like and trust and it’s said that it takes 7 touch points (interactions with your business) to create a deep enough connection to make a sale. In fact some experts predict this is now closer to 13, given how inundated we are by marketing messages across devices and platforms these days. Some examples of touch points could include, reading a blog post, seeing a FB ad, watching an Instagram story or receiving a marketing email.

But here’s the thing. Not all touch points are equal. Which do you think is more likely to be effective in creating a genuine connection — a cleverly crafted social media post that you blast out to hundreds or thousands of people or a direct and meaningful 1 to 1 conversation? In my mind it’s a no brainer and as well as being more effective at creating connection, it’s also a far more conscious, authentic and fun way to do business.

The problem I’ve found with this missing piece is that it’s so deceptively simple — sure people say, I can have more conversations but when it comes to doing the real work of outreach, people often underestimate the time, effort and energy it takes to be in a mode of connection. It requires you to take actions daily to reach out to people in your audience, to serve them powerfully and to deepen the relationship. But here’s the good news, whilst it may take effort, the rewards are plenty. To name just a few, if you prioritise connection in your business, you’re likely to have:

  • More collaborations,

So there you have it the missing piece that many business owners simply overlook when it comes to growing their business. Who could you reach out to today to be more connected in your business?



Once a week, in the form of an e-letter, I share the best of what I know about building a business with integrity for conscious business owners.

The intention behind these letters is to be a voice for integrity within your (undoubtedly) cluttered inbox. To be the one email you can count on to contain strategic and soulful advice for building a business without selling your soul.

If you want to receive the Soulful Strategies Weekly, simply share with me your name and email address below and you’ll start recieving emails right away.

To Niche Or Not To Niche

To Niche Or Not To Niche

Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue.”

~ Rainer Maria Rilke

Whether you pronounce it nitch or you pronounce it neesh (and for the record as a Brit, I say “neesh”), it’s generally accepted that having a clear niche is considered a necessity if you want to get more clients and make money in your business. 

But let’s get real here, niching is hard. 

More than that it can actually feel quite counter-intuitive, especially for conscious, heart-centered types — business owners like you, who are committed to changing the world and having a positive impact on others. Because if the purpose of your business is to do good, why on earth would you want to limit that good to a specific problem and/or group of people?? 

I know I get it, we’ll get to why niching is important later. 

For now, I’m getting ahead of myself, because we haven’t even defined what a niche is. Sure, you could probably give me a definition if I pressed you to, but on a deep down, know in your bones level, how comfortable are you really with the term niche and what the activity of niching actually involves? The truth is, a simple google search will bring up a gazillion different definitions and the dictionary definition I found online which speaks of market segments and specialized areas (yawn), is about as helpful, to the likes of you and I, as a chocolate teapot. 

Here are a few helpful definitions I have found. 

Tad Hargrave calls your niche the role we want to be known for in the marketplace.
George Kao describes your ideal niche as the place where you are offering a service/product that you love, and that others love to buy.
Rebecca Tracey calls your niche the problem you solve and the people you solve it for.
Danielle Gardner splits your niche statement into 3 elements — 1. Who you enjoy helping + 2. What you help them with + 3. Your take on how to approach those challenges and goals. 

All of these descriptions are helpful and what they also point to is the fact that there is no hard definition when it comes to niching, which on one hand is sort of a relief (yay freedom) but on the other hand it can leave us feeling a little confused.

But defining what the term niche means is not the biggest hurdle business owners face when it comes to niching. The biggest hurdle is finding and clearly articulating our own niche. Even when we’re clear on what our niche statement should include, knowing those details for our own business is a whole other matter. 

What adds to this difficulty is the barrage of messages we receive online that tell us, in order to succeed in business you absolutely MUST have a clearly defined niche! Talk about pressure. 

This advice trips so many people up and places them firmly between a rock and a hard place. Because if we believe that we need to have a clear niche to be successful, then we are likely to stop ourselves engaging with the world with our business until we have found the perfect niche.

Goodbye action, hello chronic overthinking.

But guess what’s wrong with this thinking. First of all, there is no perfect niche. It is, in fact, an ever evolving thing and secondly, you won’t come to understand what your niche should be unless you are out there taking action on your business and engaging with potential clients. 

But how can I enrol clients if I don’t have a clear niche? You might ask. 

I had my first $10,000 month many years ago, when my niche was about as clear as mud. Back then, I helped people (all people) overcome their fears (all fears) to live the life of their dreams (all dreams). I worked with people on all sorts of issues from relationships, self-esteem, addictions, business, wanting to travel the world and so much in-between. I coached hundreds of people on a wide range of issues. 

Most marketing experts would have told me that it was impossible to make good money with such a wide (read: absent) niche but I made it work for me. Something that helped all those years ago was reading these words from one of my favorite coaches, Steve Chandler: 

“Most coaching “certification” programs urge novice coaches to find and choose a niche…a specialty!

I have never encountered such counter-productive nonsense. Most of the coaches I know who are extremely successful have no niche at all. A niche would limit them! It would shut them off from many categories of people who are yearning for their help.

I know coaches who emerge from “certification” programs crowing about the niche they have chosen. They have no clients, but they have a niche! “I am going to coach rodeo clowns!” I mean, good luck!

The only time I see a niche working in a coach’s favor is when it emerges on its own…..if you have a certain success in a certain category (and it can happen by accident) you can now go to other people in that category and they are more likely to listen to your success stories. But even then, you don’t have to let it restrict you.”

I eventually decided to become a business coach in much the way Steve describes. Because my coaching business was doing so well, more and more coaches started to ask me to coach them on building their coaching businesses. After several (6+) years of coaching, I realised that this was the work that lit me up most, as well as the area my work seemed to be having the greatest impact and so I made the bold leap of letting go of my successful life coaching business to start from scratch as a business coach for conscious business owners.

Looking back now I’m aware that I couldn’t have known any sooner than I did that this was the niche for me. I had to go through all of those years of coaching to find my sweet spot. 

Why then is it important to have a niche?

You’re probably wondering then if what Steve Chandler says is true and if I can make $10,000 in one month without a clear niche why would you even bother? Well having a well articulated niche can help you in a lot of ways:

  • It makes it easier for people to find you because people are usually searching for support with specific issues rather than general themes.
  • It makes it easier for people to refer you, when you become known for doing that one thing (e.g, ethical marketing) when that topic comes up in conversation, so does your name.
  • It helps you to be in your zone of genius, because you are doing the work you most love to do with the people you most love to do it with, which makes working in your business more enjoyable and what you offer more impactful.
  • It allows you to achieve a level of excellence and master your skills in one area rather than just being good at many things.

Is it possible to make money without a solid niche? In my experience, yes. 
Is it preferable to have a niche? In my opinion, yes!

What to avoid

The biggest mistake in all of this is trying to niche too soon. We tend to tie ourselves in knots when we attempt to pick a niche before we’ve even began the real work of serving our clients or audience. How on earth are you supposed to know a) who you most enjoy working with, b) what topics you most enjoy working on and c) where your greatest strengths lie i.e. where you can be most impactful, when you’ve only worked with a handful of people (or less)?

Here’s the truth — you can’t. So if choosing or clarifying your niche is something that has been holding you back in business here’s what to do instead. 

Experiment widely! 

The best advice I can give here is to EXPERIMENT — try out, play with and try on for size lots of different niches and see what works and what doesn’t. 

List out all the problems you think you can help people with and all the types of people you think you’d enjoy working with and start reaching out and offering complimentary sessions (or doing market research calls) with each of those groups of people in turn.

When I went through this phase in my business, for a while I offered out complimentary coaching sessions to women who struggled to have healthy relationships (and had a few paying clients in this area!), then I spent some time offering sessions to people who would like to give up alcohol (and realised I hated coaching on this topic despite knowing a lot about it, I celebrate 10 years of living alcohol free next year!). Later on in my life coaching business — I offered more and more sessions and resources on business building (which I soon discovered was my absolute fave thing to do — hello business #2!).

Through all of this, I coached a lot of people (and got a lot of coaching practice), I also got a fair amount of paying clients and crucially I came to understand my role in the world — what I most love helping people with (business growth), who I most loved helping (conscious changemakers) AND what qualities and traits my ideal clients have (spiritually inclined, with a tendency for action, combined with a deep desire to change the world). 

It’s only taken close to a decade to get to this, but my niche statement, for what it’s worth, is this.

I coach conscious business owners, such as coaches, healers and teachers, to build and grow successful online businesses, using strategies rooted in integrity,

This is, by no means, a perfect niche statement but allow me to break it down for you.

I use the term conscious to denote a type of person, with a specific way of seeing the world. To understand further, check out my article Conscious Business — What it Is and Why It Matters some people have told me that this word may not be understood by everyone and I therefore shouldn’t use it but here’s one of the keys to niching — my people, not only understand the term but relate to it because it speaks to their spirituality. 

Next, I specify the type of conscious business owner and in doing so demonstrate that I largely work with service providers rather than (hold in your hand) product based businesses. People offering coaching programs, healing sessions, health and wellness services and teachers offering courses, classes and/or other digital offerings. 

I specify that I work with online businesses, also ruling out bricks and mortar businesses because that’s not in my wheelhouse. 

I talk about building and growing which indicates that I not only help people build their businesses from the foundations up but I also help them to grow existing ones. 

And finally, the most important distinguisher for me is that my business coaching focuses on using growth strategies that are rooted in integrity as opposed to the icky and manipulative marketing tactics we all know and hate. 

I share this with you to demonstrate that one simple statement covering the nuance of what you do is possible, but not in a vacuum.

If you feel unclear on your niche and feel like this is holding you back, you absolutely must be out in the world trying out different niches and working with different types of problems and people to find where you fit. 

Your homework

If you’re up for it, I have a challenge for you.

This is something I have my 1:1 coaching clients do and it’s a great way to start working on your niche. Have a think about who and what you most feel called to work with right now.

If you’ve been thinking about 3 or 4 different niches you might do, which of those calls to you the most in this moment? Next I want you to sit down and write a long form post titled: I’m looking for someone… 

Then go ahead and describe that person in as much detail as you can muster. What kind of person are they? What are they struggling with? What might they have tried already? How do they show up in the world? What are their values, traits, characteristics? 

Once you’re happy with the description. add a sentence or two in which you offer a set number of complimentary sessions or calls with people who identify with what you’ve written and then go ahead and share it everywhere you can, with your subscribers, Facebook fans, Instagram followers and anywhere else your ideal client might be hanging out.

For one of the best examples of this I’ve seen, check out this post from one of my former clients. 

So there you have my thoughts on niching, if you have any questions or thoughts on what I’ve shared in this article, please drop them in the comments below. 

Soulful Strategies Weekly

Once a week, in the form of an e-letter, I share the best of what I know about building a business with integrity.

The contents offer a more conscious way to see an old issue. Soulful strategies to bring more integrity into the way you do business and permission to do things in a way that feels good to your soul. 

To subscribe simply fill in the form below. 

Three Lessons I’ve Learned Since Launching My Business

Three Lessons I’ve Learned Since Launching My Business


“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.”
~ Mahatma Gandhi

In this blog post I wanted to take some time to contemplate what I’ve learned over the last 4 years of building and growing my current business.

I launched this business just as my maternity leave with my first son was coming to an end. It wasn’t something I had planned to do but I hadn’t been enjoying my life coaching business for well over a year and there was something about giving birth to my first child that made me determined to live my life with absolute integrity. For me working in a business that I didn’t love was the opposite of that and I felt deep in my soul that I wanted to model for my son that it is absolutely possible to do work that we love also pays the bills. What better way, I thought, than helping others to do just that.

As you’ll see, if you read the post, my business has evolved somewhat over the past 4 years. I no longer call myself a Business + Mindset Coach, I don’t remember when I changed my title but I have been referring to myself as a Conscious Business Coach for some time now. I no longer work exclusively with women and my focus on and understanding of doing business with integrity has deepened hugely.

I’ve also learned a whole heap. With my first business, I worked very closely with a coach for the first year and found myself operating under his influence long after we stopped working together. When I launched my second business, much of what I learned back then had definitely stuck, but I’ve also let go of some things (like being fixated on constantly raising my prices)

When I started this second business it felt like the training wheels were well and truly off. At first there were definitely wobbles, but the truth is that today as I reflect on my journey over the past 4 years, I’m excited to be in a position to say that I have a business I’m not only head over heels in love with, but one that is also financially, emotionally and intellectually sustaining and sustainable.

It felt apt to share with you a few of the big lessons I’ve learned.

It’s okay to start over

When I chose to start this business — I was in effect walking away from a life coaching business that was working. One that had seen me earn as much as $10,000 in a month. One that had nearly a thousand subscribers on its mailing list. One that had seen me coach hundreds of people. One that had a website with 100+ blog posts. One with several evergreen online courses and a Facebook Page with 1.3K likes. The truth is that Life is Limitless was doing well, I had an online presence and a growing audience but I was unhappy. There were days that showing up to that business had started to feel just as hard as it had when I was working in a 9–5 office job I hated.

You can probably imagine my dilemma, I wondered if I was mad to even consider starting over. For sure some of my audience were business owners or wanted to be, but the majority of my audience were there because they were interested in Life Coaching and my articles on personal growth. I knew that I would need to build my business and audience from scratch and in the end that’s exactly what I did. I eased myself in gently. I kept my life coaching website, Facebook page and Facebook group, but funnily enough the life coaching enquiries dried up almost over night. I had made my choice and the universe was responding accordingly.

Initially, I tried to engage my old subscribers a few times so as not to lose their attention entirely. I did a small amount of marketing for my old courses and over the years I have had a trickle of sales from that business, but with time I realised that I needed to let go and focus entirely on carolineleon.com. My old website is still live but mainly because I still do get traffic and the odd course sales on there but mainly because it’s a place that houses a lot of articles that document one of the most transformational and exciting phases of my life. I simply haven’t had the time or inclination to save them somewhere else.

When I launched my first offering in this business the, now retired, Female Business Academy, I had a tiny list of around 50 women. Women business owners from my old audience who had stayed with me. Not long after launching the business I launched a beta version of the Academy to those 50 subscribers and had just under 20 women sign up. That’s a conversion rate of around 40% rather than the usual 1–2%. I took it as a sign from the Universe that I was doing the right thing, that this new business was my path and that starting over was the right way forward. I’ve never looked back nor regretted my decision since.

Now I share this, mindful of the fact that I see many new businesses owners change their niche, title, business name over and over in the early stages of business and I would caution against this. I had been in business for nearly 4 years when I decided to make the change. I’d had a certain level of success, I had created and launched profitable offerings, I had a solid and growing audience as well as paying clients. I wasn’t quitting because it wasn’t working. It was working but I wasn’t enjoying it.

If you are in business and reading this is making you consider whether or not you should start over. Ask yourself this first: Have I given my current business my best shot? If not, might you be considering changing because you think you could be more successful doing something else? I didn’t change my business because I thought I’d make more money as a business coach. I decided to change because I thought I’d enjoy the work more and as a result have a greater impact and thus feel more fulfilled. In fact, initially making money was harder than it had been with my first business. I was starting from zero unlike with Life is Limitless which started out as a blog that I had been growing for 3 years before turning it into a business.

My recommendation, should you be considering starting over, is to do some soul-searching first and be honest with yourself about your reasons as well as your efforts thus far.

Sustainability must be a priority

When I started out in business, I never really considered my business model, I doubt I could have even defined the term business model for you. I read a lot online about all the different types of products and services an online life coach could offer and I simply cherry-picked those that sounded like fun to me we well as a few that I felt I should do.

I certainly wasn’t building a business with sustainability in mind. It was more a case of thinking about how many people I would need to enrol into coaching at what rate (premium prices of course!) to have regular $10,000 months. I was completely naive when it came to my business model and what a realistic rate of business growth actually was. I set ambitious, annual money goals like $100K because I had been seduced by six-figure promises and suffered the disappointments that came when I realised that desiring numbers like that and then working all.of.the.hours wasn’t enough to make it so.

So with this business I learned more about what it really takes to make a business work and I learned that simply copying other people’s business models without taking into account the life and business I wanted to have would lead to dead ends and disappointments. That’s why in October 2019 I made a significant change to my business model, as I closed down my Female Business Academy and launched my Conscious Business Mastermind.

I’ve also recently made another dramatic change to my business model as I’ve closed down my premium coaching programs to make way for a far more affordable coaching subscription. I had been offering this same service to existing clients as a continuation option after completing a program with me and people have been loving the affordability of on-going support, which despite being a fairly dramatic drop in rates has seen me bring in more monthly income than before. More on this new offering below.

Both of these changes have allowed me to have higher levels of recurring income from my business. No longer am I trapped in a feast and famine cycle, but have a business that brings in sufficient and regular income.

You can’t do this alone

One of the reasons I chose to work for myself rather than someone else is because I like to do things my way and I don’t like making compromises. What this meant for many years is that I shunned collaboration in my business . In my mind working with someone else meant making sacrifices that, given the choice, I’d rather not make. By the end of my life coaching business I had started to understand just how important collaboration is — I had been in a private mastermind for well over a year and I had opened up my website and newsletter to guest submissions — something I never would have considered previously and I was starting to see how much easier it is to be in business when you have support from others.

Even so, it really wasn’t until this business that I embraced and harnessed the power that comes from working with others. I even made collaboration one of my strategic priorities in 2018.

Since starting this business I’ve had many wonderful collaborations with other business owners. For example, I co-created The Business of Coaching, a 3-part workshop and eBook to support new coaches to master the art of making their coaching business work, with this wonderful woman.

I also grew my (now-retired) Female Business Academy by inviting guest experts to teach classes to my members. As well as the classes, I also interviewed many of these experts for my blog giving me lots of great content for my customers and audience.

But it’s not just about getting support from others. To build powerful and mutually beneficial business relationships you also have to be generous with your time and attention. As a result I’ve jumped in and taken the helm of a colleagues newsletter while she was busy preparing for a wedding, I’ve contributed to a community project. I’ve also shared the work of others extensively, even when it could mean that my audience might choose to work with them rather than me. All of this has allowed me to create meaningful and impactful working relationships with some pretty incredible people online.

As well as that, my newfound ability to collaborate has allowed me to serve my audience more effectively than I ever could have alone. By harnessing the skills and strengths of others, I’ve been able to deliver greater value to my customers.

So there you have it. The 3 biggest lessons I’ve learned since launching my business. I’d love to know what lessons you have learned as a business owner so if you feel called to, do hit reply and share.

Soulful Strategies Weekly

Once a week, in the form of an e-letter, I share the best of what I know about building a business with integrity.

The contents offer a more conscious way to see an old issue. Soulful strategies to bring more integrity into the way you do business and permission to do things in a way that feels good to your soul. 

To subscribe simply fill in the form below. 

Six Reasons to Make Content a Business Priority

Six Reasons to Make Content a Business Priority

“By dedicating yourself to a content rhythm, you’ll develop a consistent level of creativity and energy that flows into everything else in your business.”
~ George Kao

You might already get that it pays to have a presence on social media, to publish a blog and/or to send out regular newsletters. But if I were to guess, I’d say it might not be abundantly clear to you why it’s so important to make content a business priority and because of this, perhaps you’re not making it the priority it deserves to be.

Before we go on, let’s just clarify what we mean by creating content.

What I’m not talking about here is marketing copy such as sales pages, launch posts or any other copy designed specifically to get your audience to buy. Instead, what I’m referring to is content that serves your audience, in much the same way that your products or services might, albeit, of course not as profoundly. Content that helps them, educates them, inspires and uplifts them. Content that freely shares your best ideas and advice on the very transformation you help your clients to achieve.

What trips most people up when it comes to content creation is the mistaken belief that their content has to entice people to buy, which of course then feels icky and gross. When we let go of that idea, we’re free to simply show up and share what we know and when we do that, not only does our audience benefit but we also enjoy creating content a whole lot more.

So why is creating content so important if it’s not focused on making a sale? 

Good question! Consistently creating and sharing free content supports you and your business in a number of fundamental ways.

1. It demonstrates your expertise. What better way to show people how knowledgeable you are about your skill or service, than to create content that illustrates it?

2. It helps you more deeply connect to your audience. When you show up regularly in people’s lives, be that in their inbox or their newsfeed, people not only get to know you better, but they also begin to trust and rely on you and the information you share.

3. It allows you to serve your audience before they’ve even spent a penny with you. Being generous with your content and giving your best ideas away for free cultivates reciprocal generosity, meaning people are more likely to invest in what you’re selling (if the content resonates) and/or refer you to other people.

4. It allows you to find your voice and express your point of view. Having a strong point of view is crucial to helping you stand out to your right-fit people. Creating content consistently allows us to explore what we believe and share that with the world.

5. Consistent content creation allows us to get to know our audience better. By paying attention to which pieces of content get the most likes, shares or comments, we begin to better understand what our audience is interested in and therefore what it needs from us.

6. It helps to grow your audience. As your content improves, which of course it will the more you practice and the more you heed the feedback you get, the more likely it is that people will share that content and the more eyes will, therefore, be on you and your business.

It’s for all of the above reasons, that content creation has been at the heart of my business growth strategy for years now and because of this ongoing commitment and consistency, my content is now sending me paying clients on the regular. Two clients recently told me that they found me via my content on Medium and many of my current 1:1 clients found me via Google because my blog posts came up in their searches. 

This wasn’t the case even a year ago but over the past year, having been pretty consistent with my content since early 2019, people are now finding my content online and hiring me as a result.

So what does consistency look like? I always think about these words from my business mentor, George Kao:

“How often should you create? Once a week is a good rhythm, but what’s interesting is that it’s easier to do it everyday. When you have a weekly habit, it can be hard to build momentum. When it’s a daily habit, there’s no question that you have to do it each day, and it becomes a rhythm.”

I certainly don’t write every day these days, but back when I was struggling to get into a rhythm of weekly writing, I took George’s words to heart and whilst initially thinking that there was no way could I create a blog post every day, I subsequently remembered a 30-day challenge I set for myself back in 2012, where I did exactly that for my old personal growth blog.

This in turn led me to running a 30-day content challenge in 2019 in which I wrote 30 blog posts in 30 days. This is where my journey of consistent content creation began. Since then, I’ve written many more pieces and regular content creation has become a ingrained part of my weekly business schedule and I truly wish the same for you.



Once a week, in the form of an e-letter, I share the best of what I know about building a business with integrity for conscious business owners.

The intention behind these letters is to be a voice for integrity within your (undoubtedly) cluttered inbox. To be the one email you can count on to contain strategic and soulful advice for building a business without selling your soul.

If you want to receive the Soulful Strategies Weekly, simply share with me your name and email address below and you’ll start recieving emails right away.

Five Stages Of Business Growth

Five Stages Of Business Growth


Growing a business is a journey, it’s a transformative journey that has various stages of growth, through which, we need to pass until we reach our own personal definition of success. Each stage requires us to do different things and with each stage we ourselves become different people. If that sounds scary, it’s because in many ways it is. Being a business owner is not for the faint hearted.

The problem with this fact, is that many business owners simply don’t acknowledge it. Which is, in part, because unless you’ve done the journey before, how would you know about these various stages and also because we are, more often than not, fed a very distorted image of what the business journey entails.

What we most often see online is a story of overnight success. Those that sell this story will speak of some struggle, for sure, because we wouldn’t believe it otherwise but then there is the big aha, the turning point, the moment when it all made sense and the right strategy appeared and from that day forth, money and clients poured in.

But it really doesn’t work like that — of course there is a turning point, a moment when things do start to fall into place but it’s far more gradual and nuanced than we are led to believe. In this blog post, I’m going to attempt to walk you through some of the stages you’ll inevitably experience on your way to success. To be clear, your success and my success are most definitely not one and the same thing so it’s important to be clear for yourself what some of the terms I use below mean for you.

This is what I call pre-business, it’s the desire to start a business, the idea behind it. I see a lot of people hanging out here without ever making it to stage 2. I myself quit a well-paid career in Program Management in 2012 with the idea of becoming a Life Coach, yet it took me 2 more years to really go into business, when in 2014 I got my first paying client. Why? Because I had no clue how to start or run a business, which left me stuck in procrastination and overwhelm. Eventually I hired a business coach to guide me and things took off from there.

Possible Pitfall: Getting stuck thinking about starting, without ever taking any concrete action. It’s easy to get overwhelmed in research at this stage and feeling pushed and pulled by all the competing advice we see online.
Suggested Focus: Avoid hanging out in this stage and get into action as soon as possible. Taking action on any strategy is better than not doing anything.

This is the stage when you move beyond thinking about your business and start taking tangible actions, you don’t yet have paying clients, but you have the makings of a business, you might have a product or service to offer and are ready to enrol your first client or accept your first paying customer.

Possible Pitfall: Taking lots of action but on the wrong things. Getting bogged down in the superficials of your business like branding and web design rather than focusing on the foundations.
Suggested Focus: Make sure that you are creating solid foundations for your business and taking action that will support your business growth in the long term.

This is where you really can call yourself a business. You’ve made a sale (or two) and now know that this thing is possible. In this stage your initial excitement of making your first sale(s) might be replaced by doubt as you struggle to replicate your initial success. You now know that it’s possible to make money and that your business idea is therefore viable, but you don’t yet have a solid system in place to bring in consistent and predictable income. Income that can sustain you over the long haul.

Possible Pitfall: You might find yourself trying out lots of strategies here. The temptation is to strategy switch until something sticks, never truly finding traction.
Suggested Focus: Focus on two key strategies that have stood the test of time: content creation and outreach to grow your audience, deepen relationships and increase your income.

This is where things start to feel easier. Your business is now covering it’s costs and your living expenses but there is little wiggle room here and if you lose a client or two, it could mean that you slip back and find yourself struggling to make ends meet once again. We tend to overwork here and, if not careful to manage our workload effectively, can end up in burn out.

Possible Pitfall: You might get complacent with your success here and take your eye off long-term growth or you might stop working on growth strategies simply because you’ve become so busy sustaining the client load you already have.
Suggested Focus: Here we want to streamline by taking a good look at your business model to remove activities and offerings that are a drain on your energy and replace them with offerings that bring in recurring income you can rely on.

This is the stage when your business does more than just cover your expenses. This is where you can really enjoy the fruits of your labour and breathe easier. It’s a time when you might finally be able to hire help, outsource, invest in your business, clear debt and/or start saving. You know how to make money, your business model is working for you and you can trust in a steady and predictable flow of income.

Possible Pitfall: You try to hold on to everything you’ve been doing thus far to grow your business. Meaning you struggle to outsource or delegate and end up working all hours to cope with your increased client demand.
Suggested Focus: Adjust your role in the business by putting in place the systems and support to allow your business to grow without burning you out completely.

And there you have it, the five stages of business as I see them. I’d love to know where you think you are or if there is anything you think is missing from this roadmap. I’ll be developing these 5 stages more in the coming months and I’d love your input so if you’d like to share or discuss with me, please leave a comment below letting me know.


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