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The 5 Strategies I Use To Beat Procrastination

The 5 Strategies I Use To Beat Procrastination

“Tomorrow is often the busiest day of the week.”
~ Spanish Proverb

The dictionary definition of procrastination is this:

The action of delaying or postponing something.

If you’re anything like most business owners I know, you’ve experienced procrastination.

Most likely when you attempt to do something that will move your business forward. Common tasks that you might find yourself procrastinating on include: marketing, writing copy, creating new products and services and/or doing your outreach (cultivating connections across your network).

When we delay or postpone taking action on the very activities that will help us move our business forward, we are, in essence, sabotaging our chances of success. Overcoming procrastination, therefore, becomes an important endeavour.

Whilst I do still procrastinate from time to time, over the years I’ve learned various ways to minimise and even prevent procrastination from derailing my best efforts.

1. Pay attention

Procrastination is one of most insidious companions to our attempts at productivity. It’s pretty common for procrastination to rear its ugly head the moment we try to do something productive or creative in our business.

If we’re not careful, procrastination becomes such an embedded feature of our day to day working lives, that we don’t always notice when we’re in its grips.

Raising awareness of the fact that we’ve slipped into procrastination mode and doing what we can to understand what lies beneath it is the first step to overcoming it.

When you notice that you’re procrastinating, try reflecting on what your procrastination is trying to tell you. Is there fear around the activity you are trying to undertake? Is there a reason you’re avoiding taking action.

Acknowledge the procrastination instead of giving into the habit of it is key.

Another line of enquiry you might take is to reflect on the importance of what you are trying to do, in essence, asking yourself, what are the consequences of allowing procrastination to win here?

The key is to not let procrastination become a habit. Notice the way it shows up for you and recognise when you’re dealing with procrastination to get better at overcoming it.

2. Block out time

When we’re not yet fully booked with clients, we often have a lot of time on our hands to work on our business. This should be a blessing but more often than not it becomes fertile ground for procrastination to bloom. I wrote about the consequences of too much freedom here.

My advice is to not give yourself hours to do something. Give yourself a deadline. No more than 90 minutes in one sitting — start shorter if you are not used to time-blocking.

For example, I block out most of Monday to work on content creation but I make sure I have regular breaks and clear actions for each chunk of time. Block #1 might be dedicated to drafting my newsletter, block #2 to getting it to a final draft and block #3, sourcing a picture quote, one last proofread and sending it out.

It’s far easier to avoid procrastination if I give myself 3 x 1 hour blocks with clear goals in each than to simply give myself all morning to write a newsletter.

3. Plan ahead

Don’t sit down at your desk to work unless you know what you are going to do or you’ll waste the time you’ve allocated trying to figure out what to work on.

This is especially important if you’ve got a lot of time each day to work on a high number of things (i.e. a long to do list!). I like to give myself no more than 3 tasks to complete per day and I plan these either the night before or first thing in the morning before I get into things.

Having a huge to do list plus countless hours ahead of you to work on things is a recipe for procrastination, so avoid it by doing the thinking before you sit down to do the working.

4. Work with others

Something that has helped me massively while working on my business is co-working. I find that if left to my own devices, it’s all too easy to get distracted and fall into a pattern of procrastination but when working with others, I get so much more done.

Co-working works especially well for me when I get to declare what I’m hoping to achieve (planning ahead) in the session (blocking out time) and when I have to report back at the end of the session how I got on (accountability).

Co-working can be done in person or online. My favourite online co-working tools are: The Cabin, Flown, LWS and Focusmate.

5. Take regular breaks

If you stack blocks of working time together without breaks, it’s as good as not blocking out time at all. The key is to have full breaks between your working sessions.

My mantra when it comes to being productive in my business is to “Work when you are working and rest when you are resting.”

Problems arise when we sit at our desk and engage in procrastination activities, like scrolling on social media or mindlessly searching the internet. We come to blur the line between working and procrastinating. If I catch myself doing this I immediately stop and take a break.

Taking a break for me means stepping away from my desk and going to do something completely unrelated to work. This might be watching something on TV, reading a book or taking a short walk to clear my head.

When we don’t do this the boundaries between work and breaks become blurred, impairing our ability to focus when we’re working and impairing our ability to really switch off from work when we’re on a break.

And there you have it, 5 things I do on the regular to stay productive, avoid procrastination and ultimately have a better work-life balance.

Did you find these helpful? I’d love to know which of these you might try. If you want to let me know simply comment and tell me!

SIGN UP FOR MY 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 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 Exact Formula I Use to Price My Offerings

The Exact Formula I Use to Price My Offerings

“If you’re not worried you’re pricing it too cheap, you’re not pricing it cheap enough.”
~ Roy Williams

Ethical and accessible pricing is super important to me. So much so that I get told regularly that I don’t charge enough for what I offer. I love it when that happens because that’s actually one of my primary goals with everything I create — to give tons of value for the most affordable price possible.

Now I say affordable, but of course, that’s subjective. What’s affordable for one person might be impossible for another person, but my strategy around pricing is to go as low as I can on price without sacrificing myself and my livelihood. I do this because I remember well how hard it was to access useful and much-needed business advice when my business was not yet making enough money to be able to afford it. Talk about a catch 22.

I knew early on that I didn’t want to be a business owner who charged exorbitant prices for my work.

So if I don’t charge the way I often see others in the mainstream marketing and business coaching world charging, how do I come up with my prices and how do I advise my clients come up with their prices?

Pricing is something that gets discussed in many of my coaching sessions. And when it does, the topic of worth often comes up — i.e. what is this offering worth to the end user? Which on the face of it might seem like a sensible question to ask but when it comes to services or digital products like coaching, workshops or courses, “worth” is a tricky one to determine.

By comparison, physical products are a different story because there is a cost to the elements included in the product itself. An Apple phone, for example, is worth more than a cheap, unheard of brand phone because the quality of materials and the technical spec are significantly higher. Worth in this case is easier to determine because of the cost to make it.

Given that there is rarely physical materials involved in what I or my clients sell, a better predictor of price is time. Let me walk you through what I mean.

When considering the price of a new offering, I first consider my minimum hourly rate. That is the lowest amount of money I want to earn per hour of my time spent delivering my services.

This is something I highly recommend you do for yourself.

In terms of how you come up with that number, I usually recommend considering the figure below which you would start to feel resentful. For example, if someone paid you $75 for an hour of your time would that leave you feeling resentful? If so, at what point would you not feel resentful and start from there.

Remember, your minimum hourly rate today can increase with time as your audience and demand grows. Starting off lower gives you that scope but if you start off high and find that price is affecting sales then it’s harder to reduce prices without sending the message that not enough people were buying.

My minimum hourly rate is currently 150 euros. The only thing I charge that for are the discounted single sessions I offer to former 1:1 clients or CBM participants. The price per hour for all other offerings is usually higher. Hence it’s my minimum hourly rate.

A few years ago I hit a cap in my earning potential with 1:1. Given that there are only so many 1:1 sessions I can do in a day, week or month and that I wanted to keep my services accessible when it comes to price, putting my rates up to 300–500$ a session (like many other business coaches with my level of experience do) didn’t feel like an option for me. So I had to think about other ways to make more money per hour.

That’s when I started to offer workshops — that way I can keep prices low and work to get more sales so that I can hit and even exceed my minimum hourly rate target.

Taking into account my minimum hourly rate of 150€, I was able to work through how to price my workshops based on how much time I needed to spend delivering the product and the number of sales I’m likely to make.

Note that I say time spent delivering the services not creating the services. This is because the creation of a workshop only happens once, but because I get revenue for my workshops in multiple ways I don’t include creation time in the price. For example, I usually go on to sell the replay of my workshops and I often deliver my workshops in other people’s group programs or masterminds and get new clients as a result. I even use the same teachings in my group mastermind which I’m generating revenue from too.

I also don’t include my marketing time in the cost of my workshops. I’m of the believe that we do our marketing to get paid not get paid to do our marketing.

You might find that including this time in the price is important but I’ve found that if I try to include creation time and marketing time, it renders the price prohibitive for many.

So let’s work through this with a real example.

Recently I’ve been charging 50€ for a 3-part workshop. This is cheaper than many of my colleagues might charge for 4+ hours of training, but here’s how I do the math.

First of all I figure out how long it will take me to deliver my workshop. Let’s use my Create More Clients with Gift Sessions Workshop as a working example.

This was a 3-part workshop which included 2 x 90 minute sessions plus 1 x 60 minute session. That’s a total of 4 hours.

But there is also some prep before each session. Let’s say one hour per session. This makes for a total of 7 hours.

If I go back to my minimum hourly rate of 150€, that means I would need to make 7 x 150 (1050) in sales for this to hit my target of at least 150€ an hour.

I figured if I priced the workshop at 50€ and got 20 people registered, I would just about make it (and that’s without replay sales).

In the end, I actually had 17 people register for the live workshop which brought in 850€ but since then I’ve made 11 sales of the replay which adds up to another 550€, bringing the running total to 1400€ which brings my hourly rate up to 200€ for the time spent delivering that workshop. This will only increase as more sales of the replay are purchased.

I’m aware that these figures are lower than I would like, but I’m aware that as I grow my audience and the number of live attendees and replay sales grow, so will the revenue.

Hopefully, that makes sense. But just in case it doesn’t let’s work through a second example. My Conscious Business Mastermind.

I charge 135€ per person per month for this program. There’s usually 1 x 75 min call every Tuesday (excluding my holidays). This year for the first time and because the number of participants was high, I decided to run two groups. So that’s 2 x 75 min calls per week. And let’s say I spend about 2 hours a week on call prep and between call support inside the Facebook Group, that means I’m spending 4.5 hours a week on the delivery of this program.

It used to be a lot more because I was doing all of the admin and creating the content from scratch but this is my 5th year of running the Mastermind so much of the content has already been created, refined and improved and I have VA support for much of the admin.

If we consider the average month is 4 weeks long then I’m spending approximately 18 hours a month on the delivery of this program. 18 x 150 = 2700€ so this is the number I need to exceed if I hope to clear my minimum hourly rate. With 22 participants each paying 135€ a month, that brings in 2,970€. It’s important to note that I also don’t run the CBM every single week of the year as I have holidays so when you take this into account it well exceeds my minimum hourly rate.

So my price of 135€ a month feels good to me, despite the fact that people are constantly telling me I should and could charge more. That said, because of the feedback and to account for inflation, taxes and Stripe fees, I will probably put the price up to 150€ next year.

Now this all might sound great, but the downside is when you don’t hit your sales target. There have been years where my Mastermind didn’t make its sales target and the numbers didn’t look so great and the same for some of the workshops I’ve run.

That’s why I always recommend having a minimum number of sales. So that you can say, if this workshop doesn’t get at least X number of sales, I will cancel it and refund people’s money. Or if you know it’s early days and you’re prepared to make less as you build it up, then go into it knowing that this is something that will grow.

My first Mastermind had 6 people paying 100€ a month and boy did I do more work than I got paid for that year, but over time it’s grown into a profitable source of revenue and one that I absolutely love delivering too! So it was definitely worth the hit in that first year.

The formula is, therefore, as follows:

Number of delivery hours (DH) x Minimum hourly rate (MHR) ÷ Expected number of sales (ES) = PRICE

So in the case of a my gift sessions workshop, my formula ran as follows:

7 (DH) x 150 (MHR) ÷ 20 = 52.50 (Price). Hence why I priced my workshops at 50 euros.

Going forward, I do feel this price has to go up somewhat because of what gets taken in fees and taxes.

Now, I’m not saying that this is how you should price your services. I do believe pricing is very personal and even when I run the formula and it looks like I won’t hit my minimum hourly rate, I may still choose the price that “feels right” but I have found this formula helpful and I hope you do too. Let me know in the comments if this breakdown was helpful to you. I’d love to know.

SIGN UP FOR MY 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 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 5 Strategies I Use To Beat Procrastination

The 5 Strategies I Use To Beat Procrastination

“Tomorrow is often the busiest day of the week.”
~ Spanish Proverb

The dictionary definition of procrastination is this:

The action of delaying or postponing something.

If you’re anything like most business owners I know, you’ve experienced procrastination.

Most likely when you attempt to do something that will move your business forward. Common tasks that you might find yourself procrastinating on include: marketing, writing copy, creating new products and services and/or doing your outreach (cultivating connections across your network).

When we delay or postpone taking action on the very activities that will help us move our business forward, we are, in essence, sabotaging our chances of success. Overcoming procrastination, therefore, becomes an important endeavour.

Whilst I do still procrastinate from time to time, over the years I’ve learned various ways to minimise and even prevent procrastination from derailing my best efforts.

 

1. Pay attention

Procrastination is one of most insidious companions to our attempts at productivity. It’s pretty common for procrastination to rear its ugly head the moment we try to do something productive or creative in our business.

If we’re not careful, procrastination becomes such an embedded feature of our day to day working lives, that we don’t always notice when we’re in its grips.

Raising awareness of the fact that we’ve slipped into procrastination mode and doing what we can to understand what lies beneath it is the first step to overcoming it.

When you notice that you’re procrastinating, try reflecting on what your procrastination is trying to tell you. Is there fear around the activity you are trying to undertake? Is there a reason you’re avoiding taking action.

Acknowledge the procrastination instead of giving into the habit of it is key.

Another line of enquiry you might take is to reflect on the importance of what you are trying to do, in essence, asking yourself, what are the consequences of allowing procrastination to win here?

The key is to not let procrastination become a habit. Notice the way it shows up for you and recognise when you’re dealing with procrastination to get better at overcoming it.

 

2. Block out time

When we’re not yet fully booked with clients, we often have a lot of time on our hands to work on our business. This should be a blessing but more often than not it becomes fertile ground for procrastination to bloom. I wrote about the consequences of too much freedom here.

My advice is to not give yourself hours to do something. Give yourself a deadline. No more than 90 minutes in one sitting — start shorter if you are not used to time-blocking.

For example, I block out most of Monday to work on content creation but I make sure I have regular breaks and clear actions for each chunk of time. Block #1 might be dedicated to drafting my newsletter, block #2 to getting it to a final draft and block #3, sourcing a picture quote, one last proofread and sending it out.

It’s far easier to avoid procrastination if I give myself 3 x 1 hour blocks with clear goals in each than to simply give myself all morning to write a newsletter.

 

3. Plan ahead

Don’t sit down at your desk to work unless you know what you are going to do or you’ll waste the time you’ve allocated trying to figure out what to work on.

This is especially important if you’ve got a lot of time each day to work on a high number of things (i.e. a long to do list!). I like to give myself no more than 3 tasks to complete per day and I plan these either the night before or first thing in the morning before I get into things.

Having a huge to do list plus countless hours ahead of you to work on things is a recipe for procrastination, so avoid it by doing the thinking before you sit down to do the working.

 

4. Work with others

Something that has helped me massively while working on my business is co-working. I find that if left to my own devices, it’s all too easy to get distracted and fall into a pattern of procrastination but when working with others, I get so much more done.

Co-working works especially well for me when I get to declare what I’m hoping to achieve (planning ahead) in the session (blocking out time) and when I have to report back at the end of the session how I got on (accountability).

Co-working can be done in person or online. My favourite online co-working tools are: The CabinFlownLWS and Focusmate.

 

5. Take regular breaks

If you stack blocks of working time together without breaks, it’s as good as not blocking out time at all. The key is to have full breaks between your working sessions.

My mantra when it comes to being productive in my business is to “Work when you are working and rest when you are resting.”

Problems arise when we sit at our desk and engage in procrastination activities, like scrolling on social media or mindlessly searching the internet. We come to blur the line between working and procrastinating. If I catch myself doing this I immediately stop and take a break.

Taking a break for me means stepping away from my desk and going to do something completely unrelated to work. This might be watching something on TV, reading a book or taking a short walk to clear my head.

When we don’t do this the boundaries between work and breaks become blurred, impairing our ability to focus when we’re working and impairing our ability to really switch off from work when we’re on a break.

And there you have it, 5 things I do on the regular to stay productive, avoid procrastination and ultimately have a better work-life balance.

Did you find these helpful? I’d love to know which of these you might try. If you want to let me know simply comment and tell me!

SIGN UP FOR MY 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 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.

Ignore Red Flags At Your Peril. A Cautionary Tale

Ignore Red Flags At Your Peril. A Cautionary Tale

“Intuition is a sense of knowing how to act spontaneously, without needing to know why.”
~ Sylvia Clare

I want to share with you a personal story about the worst thing that has happened to me in over 12 years of working online. I’ve decided to share it so that I can glean the learning from the experience and pass that on to you (in the hope that it’s helpful) and also because to write and share about it feels like my best way of processing it.

I’m sure you all know what I mean when I refer to red flags. We often hear the term used in the context of dating and it can also apply when we are choosing which clients to work with.

Google’s definition of red flag is this: “something that indicates or draws attention to a problem, danger, or irregularity.”

If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably ignored a red flag or two as it relates to working with clients and suffered the consequences of doing so. I thought I’d got pretty good at spotting red flags and taking measures to mitigate against them, but recently I messed up big time in this regard.

In the context of this story, my use of the term red flags relates to whether or not a person might be a fit for me and my work. Red flags in this case, simply point to things that indicate that the person in question might not fall into what constitutes an ideal client for me. Everyone’s red flags and ideal client descriptions will, of course, differ.

So it all started when someone completed the application form for coaching on my 1:1 coaching sales page. The next step I take, once someone has filled in the form, is to read the application thoroughly and then decide if I want to schedule a call with that person.

To be transparent, I don’t remember ever not offering a call to someone who has completed the application form. Most people find me through my content, or come from a word of mouth referral and as such, I rarely have calls with people who aren’t a fit.

The way it normally goes is this: the person completes the form, I send my scheduler, the person books a call, we have the call and then we decide whether or not we want to work together. It’s a process that around 60 people have been through since I implemented it 2 years ago and I’ve never had any negative feedback or experiences from it. Until I did.

This particular person found me on Google which, from experience, can mean that they know less about my approach than other warmer leads and can mean that we’re not a fit, but not always.

Usually at this point I do a bit of research, look at the website, check out their social media accounts and get a sense of the person and their business. I do this to ascertain whether or not this is a business owner I think I can help.

In this case, where I ask on the application form for details about “audience”, this person wrote “N/a” and said that they didn’t have any social media channels related to their work. This could have been a red flag (given that I primarily work with “online” business owners) but I have worked with many clients who hadn’t yet got their websites or channels set up so I dismissed it as unimportant at this stage.

Even though the answers were fairly sparse, I went ahead and sent this person a link to book a call. Shortly afterwards I received an email questioning my time slots as they were the middle of the night for her and saying that despite being a night owl, meeting that late would be pretty weird even for her.

Less than 48 hours later, before I had a chance to reply, she forwarded her previous message with a solitary “?”. A personal pet peeve of mine. As a solopreneur, who manages my own inbox, I struggle to keep up with the amount of emails I receive on a daily basis and always do my best to prioritise emails from my paying clients. This means that sometimes it takes me a while to get back to people. Something I value highly is patience and understanding. This was a red flag that I should not have ignored.

Despite this, I followed up with her to let her know when in my schedule the next daytime slot (8am) in her timezone was available. The next thing I know she booked a call at 1am her time, which was very confusing in light of her last message. So, I followed up to make sure that it wasn’t a mistake. She said it wasn’t a mistake and that 1am worked better for her than 8am.

By this point all of this back and forth over email and all of these little niggles amounted to a sense of unease in me, I can’t really explain why, but something just didn’t feel right. I’ve learned, after well over a decade of dealing with strangers on the internet, to honour my instincts when I feel uneasy.

Realising that the only availability I had to work with her, should we get through the work together call and decide to proceed, would mean having ongoing coaching sessions at 2.30am or 8am — both of which she had said weren’t ideal, I decided to email her to let her know, and suggest that as a result of this, I may not be the coach for her.

Several confused emails later (she thought I was trying to change the time of our work together call) and she finally shared that the available time slots of 2.30am or 8am would not be a problem for her. Which left me feeling even more confused as it contradicted what she had already told me.

I’ll be honest. I should have cancelled the call at this point as I already knew deep down that I didn’t want to have it.

So why didn’t I cancel? Well at this point it was just a feeling that we wouldn’t be a fit. I was also in the middle of my CBM launch and onboarding the 2024 cohort and I didn’t have the headspace to craft a message that could explain why I was cancelling the call.

It’s also a really tricky one, how do you tell someone you have a gut feeling that you’re not a fit for each other without offering some explanation? So, instead, I said fine and agreed to go ahead with the call which was going to take place just 90 minutes before my first CBM call of the year, which is a pretty big deal in my calendar!

Then, the night before our session (after I had already gone to bed) this person wrote to tell me that she wouldn’t be putting her video on during the call. When I saw this email on waking, it was like all the red flags converged at once and I just didn’t want to get on the call. It was the hour before my mastermind kick-off call, I was already feeling uneasy about the call and now I wasn’t going to be able to see this person (video is extremely important to me, especially when trying to forge a connection).

So I decided to cancel the call, with 2.5 hours notice. Not ideal I know, but I just didn’t want to get on a work together call with someone I had already decided I wasn’t going to work with.

This was the email I sent:

Hi xxx,

I’m really sorry to do this but I’m going to cancel our call. I’ve made this decision for a few reasons.

Firstly, I have an extremely busy day today as I kick off my group program and the slot you booked wouldn’t normally work for me, it was only available because I opened up more spots to talk to people interested in the group program.

Also having no way of confirming your identity, given you have no website and no social media and now no video, I’m not feeling comfortable about the call.

Finally, on re-reading your application, I’m not sure I’m the best fit for what you need anyway. I tend to work with people who already have a social presence and an audience.

I apologise for any inconvenience.

Caroline

What followed was a flurry of angry emails.

In which she accused me of being thoughtless, inconsiderate, unprofessional and unethical. She accused me of treating her like an object, tossing her out like trash and described the cancellation as a punch in the gut and said that I had ruined her chances of trusting or opening up to another person online.

She also said in regard to the video that I didn’t need to see her face and that a good coach would do what their client is comfortable with not the other way around.

I was shocked by her response and I genuinely felt bad that she was so upset by the cancellation. But, given the tone of her emails, I also felt somewhat relieved that I had cancelled the call. Now my gut feeling made sense.

I tried my hardest to reply with kindness, stating in my reply: “I’m truly sorry you feel that way, it was never my intention to cause harm.”

And attempted to explain my decision, “When you said you weren’t going to do video, it prompted me to look deeper at your application and my gut feeling was that I’m not the coach for you. For me it felt more unprofessional to waste an hour of your time than to get on a call, knowing already that I didn’t feel that working together would be a fit.”

This just seemed to make her even more angry and she accused me of trying to excuse the inexcusable, saying “you are wrong and you refuse to admit it”.

I’m not going to lie, these emails were deeply unnerving.

I’ve never had someone get so angry at me before and all this was now happening in the hour before my CBM kick-off call, the very space I had wanted to protect, so after she ended an email with the words “spare me any more self-serving emails.” I decided to close down my email and try to gather myself to host the first group call of my yearlong group program. I was genuinely shaken.

After the call, I had lunch with my 6 year old. Normally I rush around trying to clean up and answer emails while he watches a bit of post-lunch TV. On this day, still feeling knocked by the experience, I felt the need to snuggle with him on the sofa. Cuddling with him started to calm my nervous system. I had my phone on the arm of the sofa when I saw a notification pop on the screen saying that this woman had not recommended my business on Facebook. My heart plummeted, I had a spike of adrenaline and I cautiously opened up Facebook.

This is the review that she left (available for anyone who visits my Facebook page to see):

Caroline canceled our scheduled appointment that I anxiously waited a whole week for, just FIVE MINUTES before our call time…. because she “couldn’t find my social media”. 😳
For the record, I have an established writing & consulting business that I keep under my pen name, she never brought up this concern in all the surveys and emails back and forth, she just suddenly decided to treat a new client like trash without any warning or attempt at communication.
Oh and don’t believe the sales pitch about her “compassionate” approach to helping introverted, sensitive service professionals with their online businesses… she is ruthless, money driven, zero compassion, and I felt objectified during the entire onboarding process, right down to revealing my financial information on pure faith to a complete stranger. SO inappropriate… Felt like a slap in the face that she turned out to be thoughtless and unprofessional, unethical “coach”.
Don’t trust the fluff written by her friends in the recommendations… I recommend you run the other way and find guidance for your life/business anywhere else… it wasn’t just a waste of time, it was deeply hurtful and dehumanizing the way she treats people as pure comodities without any respect to them having feelings or schedules of their own. I’m sorry I ever trusted her “pitch” only to end up feeling so violated. 😓

In that moment, I felt devastated. I couldn’t help but feel that all of my years of hard work had been trashed by a stranger on the internet, one I had never even spoken to and all for cancelling a call.

Words like ruthless, money driven, objectified, unethical and dehumanizing swam around my brain. I felt total panic.

I had my second group CBM call that afternoon, so I did my best to put it out of my mind and focus on other things, but that felt impossible.

That night, I couldn’t fall asleep, I kept going over every aspect of her review. Was I really ruthless? How am I money driven? Would it not be more “money driven” to get on a call with someone I didn’t think was a fit? Am I unethical? Is my enrolment process really objectifying? Why had no one else said anything?

You get the idea. I was rattled and it made me question everything.

I subsequently blocked her Facebook profile from my page and reported her review to Facebook. I have no idea if they will remove it but I’m okay with the fact that it may stay there. I felt nervous that she may show up in other places to write bad things about me.

So that’s the bad news.

The good news is that I got through it and within a few days I started to feel better, as I realised that there were lessons to be learned from this experience.

This is what I’ll take from it:

1. If something a (potential) client wants or needs makes me uncomfortable, we are not a fit. Period.
I can’t do my job effectively if I feel uncomfortable.

2. I absolutely reserve the right to cancel a call if something doesn’t feel right and I’ll probably add words to this effect somewhere in the enrolment process.

3. From now on I will read each application for coaching carefully and thoroughly and if in doubt follow up with clarifying questions.

4. I won’t offer a call if it doesn’t feel like a fit or if something doesn’t feel right.

5. I will create an email template for use in these situations. I’ve always struggled a little here because I’ve never wanted to lie and say I don’t have availability if I do but saying we’re not a fit right off the bat can feel a little brutal.

I’m thinking something along the lines of: “thank you for your application, based on your answers, my feeling is that I’m not the coach for you. If you would like me to refer you to a coach who may be in a better position to serve you, let me know”

What do you think? I’d love to know. Do you have a suggestion? I’ll be honest, I find this bit tricky and I am open to ideas.

6. People can say bad things about me without it meaning anything about who I actually am.

And that’s it. Thankfully the worst and only bad thing to happen to me on the internet in over 12 years, so something like this was probably overdue!

I thought long and hard about whether or not to share this story and I decided I would for a few reasons.

I like to be transparent with my struggles not just my wins, a hope that you can gain something from my experience and to remind you of these 3 things:

  • Always trust your instincts, even when you can’t explain them.
  • Don’t work with anyone who expects you to sacrifice your comfort for theirs. Your ability to do good work, requires you to feel comfortable and safe.
  • Don’t stop yourself from showing up for your business out of a fear criticism, you can do your best and still get criticised, the key is you will get over it.

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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.

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Who Do You Need To Become In 2024?

Who Do You Need To Become In 2024?

“Success is not so much what we have, as it is what we are.”
~ Jim Rohnn

Sometimes our inability to achieve our goals comes from a lack of skills or knowledge but often, we actually know what it is that we need to do but for some reason, we simply don’t do it.

Why is that? And how can we become the kind of person that does the very things that will bring us the success we so dearly crave?

I’m going to give you my best answer to these questions.

As I see it, there are 3 main reasons we don’t do what we know we need to do or what we say we want to do.

1. Lack of desire — We don’t actually want to do it. It’s not something we enjoy or have any true desire to do.
2. Lack of knowledge — We don’t know how to do it. The desire is there but the knowhow is not.
3. Presence of fear — We want to do it, maybe even know how to do it but there is some level of fear about what will happen if we do it.

Take a moment now to think about something you set out to achieve this year in your business but failed to do so. Do any of these three reasons apply?

What all of these three have in common for me is they relate to how we’re thinking about the task at hand and how we think about something directly affects how we show up to that thing.

One woman in my business planning workshop shared this comment and it felt so apt:

“I thought I really hated doing administration, marketing, planning, and all of that, for my business. And that I was bad at it. And I have to admit, with my ADD, HSP and possibly autism, it’s a big challenge. But if I take my time, stay in touch with my gut feeling, stay true to my values, accept that I have my own pace, my own way of doing these things, I actually kind of enjoy it. And I feel proud when I’m doing these things. I really do get better at it.”

Can you see how by changing how she showed up to those very tasks she thought she hated, how she felt actually changed?

Consider now something you want to do, know how to do and feel excited to do. I’d guess that nothing would stop you from doing something you feel this way about.

Now consider something you know you should do but have zero desire to do, have no idea how to do and/or feel some level of fear around doing it. My best guess is that it would be nothing short of a miracle if you managed to do this thing.

So let me ask you this. Where in your world do you need to change how are you are thinking about things to change how you are showing up to them?

I’d like to share with you something that’s coming up for me around this question of who I need to become.

Over the past few years I have had a financial target I’d like to hit, which, after several years of stable and steady financial growth, would be a stretch for me. And whilst I have increased my income year on year, I’ve yet to hit this particular stretch goal, which has been frustrating to say the least.

As I’ve been working on my business plan for next year, I’ve done just about as much thinking as I can about what I’ll need to do and how I’ll need to change my business model in order to achieve this goal but if I’m honest with myself, I’ve been feeling anything but excited about the prospect. Instead, there’s been a serious lack of desire or motivation to tackle these things head on.

As I contemplated my word of the year, which is what I suggest speaks to how you want to feel in your life and business, my mind kept going to a desire to feel more motivated or inspired. For a while, I thought INSPIRED might be my word of the year, but as I sat with it, I also couldn’t see how I was going to magically feel more inspired in 2024.

Then, this word dropped in.

BRAVE.

And I couldn’t shake it, it felt scary (in a good way) and big (also in a good way) and that’s when it dawned on me…

In order to do what needs to be done to hit my stretchy financial goal, I need to feel excited, inspired and motivated and in order to feel those things I need to be brave.

I need to push the edges of my comfort zone, challenge myself, do new things and be bolder and braver.

So my answer to who I need to become in 2024 in order to achieve my goals?

I need to become brave.

Now I’m here, it feels so obvious, some of my best life moments have come from leaning into being brave and I realise now that once I achieved a level of success in my business, I got scared of doing anything that might rock the boat. I now see that becoming brave again is exactly what is needed to take my business to the next level and, more importantly, feel inspired and excited in the process.

Shifting my thinking from what I need to do to who I need to become is such a simple shift but one that has the power to change everything.

It’s oh so easy to tell ourselves that we’ll never be able to do something, that we’ll never be able to be something but I’ve experienced and witnessed myself and others achieving what felt like the impossible time and time again.

So, my lovely, as you consider all that you would like to bring forth in your life and business in 2024. Who is it that you need to become?

SIGN UP FOR MY 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 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.