The Number One Business Question I Regularly Ask Myself

The Number One Business Question I Regularly Ask Myself

After years of trial and error and navigating periods of burnout, I’m delighted to report that I have a business model that really works for me. Not only does it bring in regular and sustainable income but it does so in a way that allows me to take time off when I need to, not work crazy hours each day and still have an impact on my client’s lives and businesses.

This is not by accident, it’s by design and from keeping my focus firmly on one question and 3 variables.

How can I make the most amount of money, with the greatest amount of ease without sacrificing impact?

What I love about this question is that it’s answer leads me to a business model that is sustainable for me. Let’s look at each of these in turn.

You don’t need me to tell you how important income is. Without income, we don’t have a business (rather an expensive hobby). Without a steady and consistent flow of income that covers our expenses, we struggle. Often living month to month in a state of stress and worry, which then impacts how we show up to our work.

We might even repel would-be clients with a needy, desperate energy because we are so focused on getting the sale that we struggle to stay in a mode of generous service.

Or maybe you are making regular and consistent income and want to grow. You want to go beyond just covering expenses and want to be able to save for the future, travel, buy a home.

Whatever your situation, as a business owner, income is likely to be a priority for you.

If it’s the only priority, that’s when we run into trouble. That’s where we see businesses that prioritise profits before people and we all know how that goes.

As conscious business owners, only focusing on money isn’t enough of a driver for us, so it would be unsustainable over the long term if this was our only priority.

When we seriously consider how easy it is for us to do the work we do, we begin to work smarter instead of harder.

It’s a common mistake to think that if we are going to make a decent living, we must be working hard. I long ago stopped buying into the idea of hard work. Does that mean I slack off all day and do the bare minimum? Hell no!

What it means is that I consider each and every task and service I offer in my business and ask myself, how can I make this easier for me to do? How can I work smarter instead of harder?

Over the years that has looked like simplifying my services so that I still serve my people but without overstretching myself to do so. Why? Because overgiving and overextending ourselves is not sustainable in the long term.

For the conscious business owner, having a positive impact is a key driver in everything you do. It’s why you do the work you do, it’s what motivated you to start your own business in the first place.

When impact is focused on above all else, we start to see overgiving. We tell ourselves that in order to have a meaningful impact we must be doing all of the things for all of the people, all of the time.

When impact is prioritised over income, I hear business owners saying things like “the money isn’t important to me” and this is where I despair.

When we only focus on impact and ignore the importance of both income and ease, we deplete ourselves in the name of giving. We give everything to our clients and don’t get enough in return. We live in a state of unsustainable struggle and over time, this inevitably becomes unsustainable.

When making the most money in the easiest way possible becomes the goal, without any consideration of impact then the end user or client can suffer because the impact of the service is not being prioritised.

Maintaining a healthy balance between all three of these variables (income, ease and impact) is crucial and ultimately leads to the most sustainable way to do business.

What this looks like in practice

Allow me to give you an example of how this has played out in my own business.

When I first launched the Conscious Business Mastermind back in 2020, I had the price low — 100€ a month. I gave a lot for that. Weekly calls all year round, new classes every month and 1:1 sessions for every member, every quarter. The number of participants that first year was also low. The result being a yearlong group program that wasn’t profitable and that took an enormous amount of time to deliver. Low income, high impact, low ease. Not sustainable.

Over the years, asking myself the question, how can I make the most money, with the greatest amount of ease, without sacrificing impact? has led to many changes which have resulted in the Mastermind becoming a hugely important revenue generator in my business. It’s also where I see many of my clients really soar. Those changes have included: Putting the price up from 100€ to 135€ a month, removing the free 1:1 sessions and instead offering these at a discounted rate and focusing on getting the numbers of participants up. Given that I repeat much of the teaching, every year it gets easier to deliver.

I’m regularly told by participants that I could charge more for what’s on offer but I don’t because I think that on this service, I’ve got the balance of Income, Ease and Impact just right. But this didn’t happen by accident. It happened because I thought long and hard about these 3 variables and made sure that all were taken into account as I tweaked and redesigned my offer. High income, high impact and high ease = sustainable over the long-term which is why I’ve offered it for 4 years running.

So how about you? Is your business model working for you? Could you use some support. See below for details of a low-cost workshop I’m running on this very topic.

On Friday 24th February, I’m hosting a Create Your Sustainable Workshop in which I’ll share what it takes to create a business model that can sustain you financially and energetically. To register head here.

Why I Don’t Recommend Coaching Packages (+ What I Do Instead)

Why I Don’t Recommend Coaching Packages (+ What I Do Instead)

“Don’t be intimidated by what you don’t know. That can be your greatest strength and ensure that you do things differently from everyone else.”
~ Sara Blakely

In this blog, I’m going to talk about coaching packages, why I don’t do them or recommend them and what I do instead. If you’re a coach, healer or teacher the approach I’m going to share might be a useful one to explore for your business.

Let me start by sharing my experience. If we rewind just a couple of years, I was firmly in what I call the feast and famine phase of my business journey. I was primarily offering 1:1 coaching packages and only getting a new client every month or so. Or sometimes, like buses a flurry of clients for ages and then nothing for weeks or months. I followed all of the mainstream advice and offered a variety of ways to work with me 1:1, ranging from single intensive sessions up to a 6-month deep dive package. In the middle was my Soulful Starter 3-Month Package. That package cost 2200 Euros (approx. 2500 USD). Nearly always people paid in installments, month 1–1000€, month 2–700€ and month 3 — €500€. If clients overlapped it was great and felt a bit like I had sustainable recurring income.

Finding an alternative to packages

The problem was that new clients were hard to come by, which meant that some months were okay financially and others were dire. I had never considered that the package format could be part of the problem as I had never seen any other alternative talked about online. That is until I discovered the work of George Kao. At that time (circa 2018), he was offering coaching on a subscription basis, you paid an affordable monthly fee for 2 coaching sessions a month and could cancel anytime. I was blown away by this way of offering coaching.

Everything (well nearly everything) in me wanted to implement it in my business right away, but a small niggling voice of fear stopped me. I thought about moving to the subscription model for a good year before I started to implement a behind the scenes version of it. Basically, when clients on my 3-month package (because nobody enrolled for my 6-month package…ever!), came to the end of our time together, I would offer them the option of going on to do what I called “continue coaching”.

This was a 300€ a month subscription for the same two sessions a month but was a significant drop in price for the client. After introducing continuation coaching, every single package client I offered the option of it to said yes. I couldn’t believe it! It seemed that people really liked the lower price point and monthly subscription model.

It still took me another year to introduce the subscription model as my only way of doing 1:1. I’m not sure what my fear was, but I think the fact that it was such a reduction of my fees and aside from George, I’d never seen anyone else do it that I constantly questioned whether or not I was making a huge mistake. Eventually, I bit the bullet and did away with my premium priced packages and embraced the subscription model wholeheartedly. I can safely say that it’s been hands down one of the best business decisions I’ve ever made.

Suddenly, it became 100 times easier to sign up new clients. Rather than a handful of clients, I now consistently work with 15+ clients at any one time. The subscription model is an easy yes for most people and so I rarely have people say no once they’ve got on a work with me call. There are several reasons I think the subscription model has worked so well for me.

Why the subscription model works

It’s more affordable than a premium priced package, making it far more accessible for people. I think there is something about seeing a 400€ a month price tag that feels easier to swallow than a 2200€ price tag.

Given that there is no set end date, it doesn’t place a burden on myself or the client to achieve results in an arbitrary time frame like 3 months. I do ask that people commit to a minimum of 3 months so that some traction is possible, but after that, they get to cancel whenever they want.

Typically clients stay with me between 6–12 months with several clients going well beyond the 1 year mark. I truly believe that the subscription model empowers the client to decide when they are ready to end the coaching relationship, rather than feeling forced to end too soon because renewing is too costly.

Because of the price, the way it’s structured and the fact that clients tend to work with me for much longer, tangible results are much more likely, meaning that I get more word of mouth referrals and therefore more glowing reviews.

The logistics

Given the success I’ve had with the subscription model, it’s something I now teach to my clients, many of whom have had similar successes. I want to share with you now a few of the logistics so that if you feel called to implement the subscription model in your business,

Eliminate other options.
Don’t add the subscription model in amongst other 1:1 offerings, this can be tricky for some people who feel that they want to give their would-be clients as much choice as possible but in my experience, having one clear way to work with me is one of the reasons, it’s been so successful. Remember a confused mind says no so a simple offering is usually a far easier sell than a suite of options that can cause confusion in the buyer’s mind.

Use a recurring payment system.
I recommend Paypal’s subscription option. It’s quick and easy to set up and means the amount is taken from your client each month, without the need for invoices or payment requests, much like other subscriptions might work.

I set it up as a button, but rather than have it as a button on my site, I get the link, which is a bit long and unsightly, so I pop it into bit.ly to get a nicer looking link and simply send these to people in an email after we’ve agreed to work together.

Some people who have tried to implement this model have mistakenly set it up just for the 3 month minimum commitment period, don’t do this. Simply state up front that the subscription runs until either the coach or client cancels it.

Ask for a notice period.
I ask for 30 days notice so that I have time to refill the spot. However, often clients don’t give this notice and while I do have a contract this is not something I would ever enforce. It doesn’t feel good to me to make people pay for a service they no longer want, need or can afford. However, saying up front that you would like at least 30 days notice before terminating the subscription is helpful.

Set a minimum commitment time frame.
The beauty of the subscription model is that the client can cancel anytime, but without a minimum commitment you run the risk of people quitting before your work together has had a chance to have any impact at all. You don’t have to use the 3 month mark like I do, but take some time to consider what feels like a good minimum commitment to you. Be mindful not to make it too long. I think the 3-month mark is good because it doesn’t feel too overwhelming for the client but it’s long enough for people to see the value in what I do and then stay on far longer.

I hope this gives you enough to consider using the subscription model in your business. If so, let me know in the comments.



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.

Are You Paying Enough Attention to Your Business Model?

Are You Paying Enough Attention to Your Business Model?

“Most people overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in ten years.”
~ Bill Gates

I don’t know why, but “business model” is not something I see talked about all that often when it comes to building a sustainable online business, but it’s absolutely key to your business and personal success.

If you’re sitting here wondering what exactly I mean by business model, don’t worry I’ve got you.

The term business model is one of those business concepts that many business owners will have some idea of what it means, but if pressed couldn’t quite articulate or describe all of the key elements. Like many other business terms, the definition will change depending on who you talk to or which google search result you look at.

One technical definition is this:

“A business model is a company’s core strategy for profitably doing business. Models generally include information like products or services the business plans to sell, target markets, and any anticipated expenses. The two levers of a business model are pricing and costs.”

For micro businesses like ours, a more simple and therefore useful definition is:

How you make money in your business.

The second seems simple enough, but when you look at this more closely — what exactly are we talking about when we ask: How do you make money on your business? Are we talking about the offerings you have? The way you market those offerings? Or how people find your offerings? The specific combination of offerings you have and/or their relative price points?

For me, business model is a combination of all of these things and the combination we end up with determines the kind of business we have. And, if we’re not intentional about the business model we create, we’re in danger of building a business at odds with the kind of life we want to live.

Where most people fall down is that they don’t think about the overall business model they are creating and instead dive headfirst into creating products and services. If we are not intentionally creating products and services with our overall business model in mind, then we tend to create for one of the following three reasons:

1. It’s something you feel like creating.
2. It’s something you think you should create based on what other people are creating
3. You feel the need to be launching something new in order to make more money.

Let’s take each of these in turn.

1. When we create what we feel like creating, we fail to take into account what our audience actually wants or needs. Then when it comes to launching, we may have a beautifully crafted product or service, made with love and all the best intentions, but nobody buys because it isn’t what they asked for, want or need. The solution? Don’t create anything that you haven’t already tested or researched with your audience.

2. I’ve talked about it before but many years ago, I made my first big business model mistake when I became seduced by the idea of a low cost membership program. This was a classic case of choosing to create something based on what others were creating. It felt like a no-brainer to me to charge people a low monthly rate for regular content and classes and in no time be making thousands of euros a month.

With just 200 people paying €25 a month, I would be bringing in €5000, or so my thought process went.

It didn’t work out like that. My audience was so tiny that whilst I had a good initial take-up, because of the low monthly rate I was hardly making anything. Whilst 200 people paying 25€ didn’t seem like a crazy goal, when we dive deeper and consider average conversion rates, I would have had to have an email list of nearly 7000 people, 3% of those signing up, to get 200 people into my membership. For the record, (average conversion rates are between 1–5%) and that’s not even taking into account that around 50% of my list don’t even open my emails so that would mean 14,000.

Now I don’t know about you but I’m some way off 14,000 subscribers. And, the marketing tactics I would need to employ to grow my list to those kinds of numbers are not the kind of marketing tactics I’m prepared to spend my time on.

So, what happened in the end was that I found myself on a treadmill of creating new resources and classes every month so that I didn’t lose the few people I had, with little time to do the marketing required to get new people in or to grow my list. It was exhausting and I finally found the courage to close the doors on that offering at the end of 2019.

I’ve been a lot more mindful since then about what products and services I create.

3. Another common reason for creating a new product or service seems to come from a belief that we need to be launching something new in order to generate income.

This can be an issue particularly at this time of year when we’re busy making plans for the year ahead. It’s not uncommon for me to look over a client’s goals for the year and express concern about how much they are trying to achieve, in particular, how many new things they are planning to create, launch and sell.

“Most people overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in ten years.”
~ Bill Gates

Whilst this quote can seem disheartening at first glance, when the truth of it is embraced, we can actually take heart in what’s possible over the course of a decade or even the next 5 years. If we take me for example, I walked away from my career in program management nearly 10 years ago in 2012. People thought I was crazy to walk away from something I had spent over a decade building and the stability of a well-paid job.

If you had asked me each year since how I was doing, you would have had vastly different answers, some years were great, some years were terrible (emotionally and financially) and yet as I stand, with a decade of effort behind me, I’m excited to acknowledge that my business is thriving and I’m now making double what I was making in the well-paid management position people told me I was crazy to leave.

The key to my success?

One of the keys to my success is the simplicity of my business model. I make 99% of my income from just two things. 1:1 Coaching and the Conscious Business Mastermind. The former, I don’t market at all and yet I have a full practice and a waitlist and the latter I market and launch just once a year.

This is by design. Being in sales/launch mode is not something I particularly enjoy. Creating valuable free content on the other hand is my happy place. This is why I have purposely built a business model that does not require me to be constantly hustling for new business and that allows me space to serve my audience with meaningful content.

This is not only easier on me but also on my audience. When we’re constantly in launch mode, we exhaust our audience, haemorrhage subscribers and generally spend a lot of energy for little return. People are also much more inclined to get confused when you have a vast array of services versus just 1–3 signature offerings. In my opinion, less is definitely more when it comes to business model.

So how do we avoid making these business model mistakes? Before creating something new, ask yourself these questions.

1. Is this something my audience have told me they want me to create?
2. If not, have I done adequate research or testing to know that this would be successful if I created and launched it?
3. Have I thought through what it will require from me to create, deliver and market this — when I consider this, does it fit in with the kind of life I want to live.
4. If 3% of my mailing list bought my new product or service would it be economically viable?
5. How willing or able am I to have this thing start small and spend a few years growing the numbers?

Have you started working on your business plan? Has what I’ve shared today been useful? Let me know by commenting and letting me know.



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.