The Invisible (+ Sometimes Painful) Side of Business Growth

The Invisible (+ Sometimes Painful) Side of Business Growth

“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”

~ Thomas Edison

I can’t begin to tell you how many conversations I’ve had with business owners who are feeling deflated, discouraged and like they want to give up on their business out of sheer frustration. Why? Because they’re not yet seeing the results that they are both wanting and needing to see.

These are difficult conversations for me to have for a few reasons. Not least because I now find myself on the other side of this particular business dilemma and I worry that people think I don’t truly understand what they are facing and because in many cases there is no easy fix to this situation. Not what people want to hear when they are suffering.

My hope is that what I share in this blog helps to make this aspect of the business journey, at least somewhat easier to navigate.

The entire business journey in a nutshell goes from starting a business to succeeding in business with a whole load of stuff in between. I wrote a whole post about the various stages of business growth which you can read here but for the purposes of this blog, the stages themselves are less important than the problem that we as business owners face on our way to the goal of a successful and sustainable business.

The problem I’m referring to lies in the inbetween. It lies in the period of time during which the business is not yet working OR doesn’t seem to be working. Because here’s the thing, sometimes things are working even when they don’t look like they are.

Here’s another thing. There is always a period in any business journey when it looks like it’s not working. There is always a period of time when it feels as though success is eluding you.

The key is what you make of this information. Rather than think that the lack of tangible results is because you’re a failure, what if you just knew that this was an expected and necessary part of the journey?

The tricky part is that sometimes we’re not getting results because we are missing a crucial step or important part of the strategy and sometimes it IS working but we can’t yet see the evidence of it. Given that we rarely know which of these it is, being in this situation can feel both excruciating and frustrating.

Here’s what I recommend, regardless of the reason behind your lack of results.

Get curious and have faith.

Not sure if the lack of results is because you’re not executing your strategy correctly? Get curious. Ask your audience, do research, read up on how to get better results at the thing you’re trying, tweak things, test things but don’t give up. If you are consistently showing up for your audience with valuable content and offers, keep doing so. If you’re not, start doing so asap.

If you feel like you are doing everything you should be doing and yet you’re still not getting the results you desire. Have faith. These things take time. It takes time for social media algorithms to recognise your consistency. It takes time for people to realise that you are not just another flash in the pan, it takes a certain amount of regular new content on your website for Google to start showing it to people.

Now I’m not telling you to deny your feelings, pretend like everything is okay even when you feel miserable and pessimistic, but whatever you do, don’t stop. Don’t give up. Don’t allow your feelings of despair to result in you saying f*ck it, I’m not going to bother anymore! Because that’s the worst thing you can do. That’s when I begin to despair. When I see talented business owners allowing their feelings of doubt and insecurity to derail their business growing efforts.

It’s my belief that how you respond to your feelings about this phase of the business journey is what will determine how long or how quickly you will see results.

If you drop the ball on your consistent marketing efforts everytime you lose hope that anyone is listening, it will take longer to get the success you crave. If you retreat from your outreach efforts, everytime you begin to wonder if anyone even cares what you are up to then it will take longer to see results.

Maybe you are sat reading this and thinking, yes I get it and I still need things to move faster.

Are there shortcuts? Sure. A business owner I know started an Instagram account for a new business endeavour and started using a bot to follow and like other relevant accounts, while he’s eating dinner and sleeping, the bot is generating new followers for him. In the space of just a few short weeks, his business Instagram account went from 0 to 1500+ followers and he’s already getting enquiries about his product before it’s even ready to be delivered. Often when we see this kind of growth online and compare it to our own journey, we assume there must be something wrong with us.

On the other hand, I have had my Instagram business account for well over 4 years and I’ve just surpass the 1000 mark. Could I double, triple, heck even quadruple my numbers over the next month if I wanted to? Sure! Could I do it in a way that is in alignment with my values? Not likely. Could I do it in a way that generates the kind of trust and loyalty I enjoy from the people in my current, small but highly engaged audience? I don’t think so. That’s why I don’t subscribe to those kind of strategies.

Slow, organic and relationship-focused growth has been a conscious and intentional choice on my part.

I don’t underestimate the privilege that allows me to make this choice and in the first few years of my business I worked several side jobs to pay my bills while I waited for things to start working in my business. I did VA and online business management work right alongside my coaching business until my business started making the kind of money I needed it to make.

I’ve also been at this game long enough to know what works and how long it typically takes to see results from my efforts. It’s longer than you think! I also wrote a post about how long it really takes to succeed in business which you can read here.

To illustrate my point on this I’d like to share a couple of examples.

Those who work with me will have already heard my anecdotes about Medium, how it took nearly a year of publishing weekly content on there before I started to hear from several new clients, that they had first found me on Medium or how it was around the one year mark of publishing a weekly blog post before the people who were applying to work 1:1 with me started to say that they had found me on Google.

Many people will have also heard me share that despite consistently publishing on LinkedIn for the same amount of time, I’ve had nothing. No real engagement whatsoever. Despite the fact that I have well over 500 connections and I have it on good authority that the content I create serves people, there has been zero interaction. N-O-T-H-I-N-G. zilch.

Until there was.

Then one day, rather than get no likes and less than a handful of views, 2 of my published articles got 7 likes each and several comments apiece. To be honest I’m surprised, I had all but given up on LinkedIn and then as if by magic suddenly it seems like people are seeing my posts and they’re reacting positively.

Have I considered quitting publishing on LinkedIn over the past year or so? Yes, many times but I haven’t, because I know that success takes time. I know that success takes showing up consistently even when it seems like no one is paying attention. I know that there is a tipping point when all my effort adds up and I will start to see results.

Here’s the definition of tipping point:

“the point at which a series of small changes or incidents becomes significant enough to cause a larger, more important change.”

That’s what happens in business. A series of small regular and consistent actions that seem insignificant at first but then become significant enough to create a larger, more important change.

Whilst every business journey is unique, one thing I do know is that we all start at zero. Zero clients. Zero followers. Zero subscribers. Even those who today have tens of thousands of followers, subscribers and dollars in monthly or annual income, started with zero.

I also know that somewhere along the way to success those business owners, wondered if what they were doing was working. Wondered when or if their efforts would pay off and then at some point, there was a tipping point.

Mine came around 3 years in. That’s 3 whole years when it wasn’t yet working as I needed it to be. Three whole years in which I stayed curious and had faith that one day it would.

So if that’s you — if you are in that period of not knowing — that post-starting, pre-results stage, know that you are not alone. I’ve been there and so has every successful business owner you’ve ever followed (and admired or envied) online.

You’ve got this.



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.

10 Things That Support My Content Creation Habit

10 Things That Support My Content Creation Habit

In this blog, I share the tools and strategies I’ve adopted over the years to facilitate a consistent content creation habit for my business.

I hadn’t fully appreciated, till I started to really think about it, just how many things I have in place to make the delivery of my content marketing strategy as easeful as possible.

Without further ado let’s dive in.

1. I create sacred space

Since my business really took a few years ago, my schedule has become very full. Despite that, I have Monday mornings blocked off in my calendar for content creation. This time is held sacred, I don’t bump it to squeeze in other things, I don’t skip out on it when I don’t feel like it. Monday mornings = content creation and that’s just the way it is. Does that mean I always produce a finished piece? Nope, sometimes despite my best efforts, I don’t get a piece of content created or published but the commitment to trying is there.

Something to mention is that I used to have content creation in my schedule daily and I actually found that then it was easier to miss or skip those sessions. Knowing that the only space in my week is Monday mornings means that I know that if I don’t do it then, it won’t get done.

2. I have a deadline

Monday afternoons through to end of play Thursday are filled with 1:1 and group coaching calls. If I don’t get the piece written before lunchtime on Monday, I know it won’t go out because I literally don’t have the space in my week to finish it. This is what happened last week. I have a half written piece about Visibility sat in my drafts folder because it was too big a task to finish in the time I had available and half-way through writing it, I ran out of steam.

Having this lunchtime deadline on a Monday really helps to motivate me to get my ideas out of my head without overthinking it too much. It also means that if I miss the deadline, I don’t send out content that week.

3. I use accountability

This comes in the form of mindful coworking sessions from the cabin. These are 75 minute sessions that contain movement, meditation and a 52 minute focused working session. They are run by a client of mine, which gives me an extra reason to go and for me they are brilliant. I’m actually typing this very piece in my morning cabin session.

Coworking with others and sharing my intention for what I plan to get done during the session keeps me focused on the task at hand. Left to my own devices, with the whole morning open for content creation, it’s easy to succumb to distraction. To open up social media or my email and get lost in busy work. working alongside 4 or 5 other people, knowing that we’re all trying to complete an important task really helps me stay on task.

4. Never miss twice

Years ago I watched a video, in which someone shared the idea that if we endeavour to never miss a habit two days (or two times) in a row, we’re guaranteed to hit our target at least 50% of the time. I loved this idea so much and it has played a big part in how I approach habits in my life and business ever since. Allow me to explain what this means in practice, when it comes to content creation.

My commitment is to create one piece of long form content a week. However, there are times I don’t manage to do this. Maybe I’m just really not feeling it that day and as hard as I try the words won’t come, sometimes I’m sick or one of my children is, sometimes I’m exhausted (two children under the age of 5 will do that) and I just need to go back to bed for an hour. Whatever the reason, I don’t execute my plan to create content every single week and I am completely okay with that. If I miss a week, for whatever reason, I’m not going to give myself a hard time about it.

What I’m less relaxed about is missing my commitment two weeks in a row. This never miss twice idea makes so much sense to me that it’s how I overcame my resistance to writing this very letter this morning. Because I missed last week, I knew that missing today would break my never miss twice rule and the reason I’m so strict about it is because if we go too many days or times in a row without honouring our commitment we undermine our self-trust and it becomes increasingly more difficult to get back on track. To hear James Clear, author of Atomic Habits talking about this in a super short video click here.

5. My Content Strategy

Another things that provides accountability for my habit of content creation is that my entire content strategy depends on it. My whole approach to content marketing is to create one solid piece of content each week and then repurpose it so that I can publish daily content without having to create daily content.

My whole strategy is create — repurpose — promote.

If I skip the create part too many weeks in a row the whole strategy collapses. It’s taken me years to create a marketing system that is simple, enjoyable and that brings in new clients, so the idea of not showing up for the most important part of that system is often enough to get my butt in the chair.

6. I plan ahead

Planning what I’m going to write about before I sit down to write is make or break for me. If I sit down to my Monday morning cabin session with no idea what I’m going to write about or several ideas for what I could write about, I know for a fact that I won’t get a newsletter out that day. No joke it’s that clear cut.

Not having thought about my content idea ahead of time means I inevitably spend the time allocated to create, thinking instead. My ideal is to have come up with the topic for my piece of content the Friday before so that my subconscious can chew it over in the background over the weekend. Sometimes, however, like with this piece, I came up with the idea less than 30 minutes before I sat down at my desk, but that still gave me enough of a head start to be able to start writing as soon as my content creation session began.

7. I write about what is

Years ago I dreamt about being the kind of content creator who could batch create content and have a month of newsletters or blog posts pre-written and pre-scheduled but since then, I’ve well and truly let that dream go. Why? Because I feel inspired to create when it relates to what is going on for me and/or my clients in the present moment.

Let’s use this piece for example. It started life as a newsletter and the Monday it was due to be sent, I hadn’t come up with an idea for it on the previous Friday. Given my weekends are busy with my family, I didn’t get a chance to think about it until the morning it was due to go out. On my walk I went back and forth on several ideas, capturing some of them by talking into my phone, but none of them felt right (you know how it goes). Then the thought of not sending a newsletter out popped into my head and all of the reasons I’ve outlined above started to come up. I’d missed the week before, so don’t want to miss another week, I had a cabin session planned in so I didn’t want to waste or miss it, if I didn’t write something that day, my assistant wouldn’t have anything to repurpose a month from now etc etc.

And then it hit me, I could simply share with you all the things I have in place to support my content creation habit. Et voila 🙂 Looking at what is present for me right now, is often all the inspiration I need.

8. I draw on real conversations

Similar to my last point, I also draw much of my inspiration from my conversations with other business owners, my clients and mastermind participants, I have many coaching sessions each week and these conversations are rich with ideas and topics for content that I know will help my audience.

Side note: In case you are wondering, this is where I got up to in my 52 minute coworking session — not bad eh? What happens when I put a timer on a task and throw in some shared accountability is nothing short of magic! 🙂

Now if you don’t have a schedule filled with client sessions to draw on, don’t despair. There is nothing to stop you having regular conversations with your ideal clients. These could be complimentary sessions, research calls or just virtual coffee dates, the format doesn’t really matter. What matters is that you are out in the world talking to the very people you’re trying to support. Hearing from your ideal clients directly about what they are struggling with and need support with has been an endless source of inspiration for me.

9. I always have you in mind

If I didn’t have the reader in mind when I sit down to create content, I think I would find it overwhelming. There are so many things I could talk about in the realm of business and so many ways to talk about them that I would struggle to know where to even begin. What works for me is to think, first and foremost, about what would support you the reader, as I craft my piece of content.

It’s for this reason that I focus mainly on content that moves the reader from doubt and resistance to clarity and action.

My hope for nearly every piece of content I create is that they contain practical strategies you can go away and try on for size, that the content is genuinely useful and practical rather than simply inspiring or thought-provoking. Don’t get me wrong, inspiring content has its place but always coming back to the question: What can I share that will support my audience to grow their business? really helps me to create my content with more ease and flow.

10. I have space to think

And last but not least, I walk every day — now for an hour, which gives me 5 hours of thinking time each week. Time to mull over content ideas as well as listen to business podcasts (a brilliant source of inspiration). Having space to think (albeit no so much that I overthink) is essential to me and it’s why I upped my morning walk from 30 minutes to an hour.

Of course I don’t just think about content, I think about my offerings and business model, my business goals and other ways to make my business work for me, so that I can enjoy life as much as possible. Not just that, but I’m finding that as a result of these daily walks I have so much more energy and feel so much more alert than before. And it’s worth noting that sometimes I don’t think about work at all and instead spend the time taking beautiful sunrise photos, leave voice love notes for friends and family or simply listening to music.

So there you have it, ten things I do to support my content creation habit. I truly hope that you find a few things in this list that you can use to support you. If you feel called to, please leave a comment and let me know what practices you might adopt in your own content creation efforts.



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.

The Difference Between Strategies, Tactics + Tools

The Difference Between Strategies, Tactics + Tools

“The best marketing strategy ever: Care.”

~ Gary Vaynerchuck.

I want to share with you my thoughts on the difference between strategy, tactics and tools when it comes to marketing your business and why I think the distinction is important.

Let me start by saying that a simple google search on these terms would bring up a plethora of definitions so if you have a set idea about what these terms mean, I invite you to suspend those for a moment, as I share with you what they mean for me.

In a nutshell, I would say this.

Strategy is your overall approach/plan, tactics are the ways in which you execute that strategy and tools are quite simply what you use to get the job done.

The terms, in and of themselves, are pretty irrelevant. What matters to me and what I’d like to get across to you in this article is the difference between the overall approach (strategy) vs the ways in which you might execute that approach (tactics).

It’s also worth noting that these terms can sometimes feel quite triggering, given how they have been used in the past, so it makes sense that you might feel some resistance as you read them here. Just searching for an appropriate quote about strategy and tactics this morning, kept bring up quotes about war, battle and winning and losing. This is not at all what conscious business is about, with this in mind, I invite you to look past the words and find the meaning I’m giving to them here.

So why is looking at this distinction even important?

Because, in my experience, people get far too focused on tactics and tools and pay scant attention to strategy and approach.

Let me give you some examples to bring this to life.

Strategy = Deliver valuable content that truly serves my audience and demonstrates my expertise.

Tactic = A weekly newsletter.

Tools = Mailchimp (email provider) + Unsplash (for the photo) + The Cabin (for mindful coworking sessions)

Here’s another.

Strategy = Practice authentic outreach to create and deepen relationships with members of my network.

Tactic = Show up and engage in relevant Facebook groups.

Tool = Facebook.

For each of the above “strategies” there are a multitude of tactics I could employ to execute the strategy, but they matter less to me than the strategy itself. What I care about in my business and what I want you to care about in yours is the overall strategy or approach.

Delivering value, being of service and building relationships are my preferred strategies of choice when it comes to growing my business.

People often ask me questions like:

Should I use Facebook or Instagram (tools) to grow my audience?

Should I do pre-recorded videos or live videos (tactics) to deliver my content?

Should I do reels or stories (tactics) to promote my services on Instagram?

The thing with tactics and tools is that they come and go. They go in and out of fashion and with new trends coming up regularly, it’s easy to burn yourself out trying to keep up. If we are trying to keep up with the latest tactic then we’re doing ourselves and our audience a disservice.

I have a thriving business yet I’ve never done an Instagram reel, I’m not on Clubhouse and I only did my first ever Instagram live in June. Rather than try to keep up with tactics and trends, I stay true to my strategy of creating valuable content and choose the tools that feel most aligned with how I want to show up in my business. I ignore the pressure to keep up with what’s trending and as a result let go of all of the shoulds — how liberating!

Do reels look like fun? Yes. Am I intrigued by Clubhouse? Sure. Do I want to spend the time and energy playing around with shiny new things rather than spend that time creating meaningful content for my people? No I don’t.

Evergreen strategies like offering value and developing and deepening relationships don’t go out of fashion. They have been staples of business growth strategy since way before the Internet was born (which was 1983 in case you were wondering) Imagine!

Now I’m not saying don’t play or experiment in your business, heaven forbid!

But I’m fairly certain that if you were to stop for a minute and get really honest with yourself, you would be able to discern between when you are experimenting and when you are grasping for the next magic solution to all your business woes.

What I’d love for you to do today or this week is the following.

Spend some time considering which evergreen strategies you feel called to employ to grow your business (I highly recommend the two I shared above!) and then look at how you want to execute them. Think first about the strategy and second about which tactics or tools feel good to 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.