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E#133 Why (and How) Does Coaching Work?

Melanie White E#133 Why (and How) Does Coaching Work?

This episode is about Why? (and how) does coaching work?

Today I want to talk to you about why and how coaching works so that if you’re having trouble explaining it to your clients, you can get some ideas from this episode, and maybe make your own video or blog about it. Or maybe you just want to send your clients directly here to listen and learn how it works for themselves.

I’m going to walk you through a list of things that you get from working with a coach and then give a simple explanation of how the process of coaching actually works.

And give you a few simple hacks to help you tackle issues like how to get a good night’s sleep and wake up feeling refreshed and energised and more productive at work. Or how to help you when suffering from stress and anxiety, a sense of physical tension in their body and wish you could just feel more relaxed and calmer.

As you can see, there are lots of problems out there that people wish they can solve.

In this episode, I’ll talk about – 
* Helping your clients understand how a coach can help them
* The science behind making significant life changes
* Tools and techniques to stay focused and motivated

And maybe you think the problem is that you can’t do it, or you don’t have time, or that you don’t know how to do the right thing, or you don’t know where to start. But the real problem is, you don’t have the right structure, support or accountability to make a change.

You don’t have the systems to get it right. And that’s where working with a health and wellness coach can help you.

I’m going to talk about the word coach in this episode. But I want to be clear that I’m talking about health and wellness coaches, specifically, who are qualified and certified to work in the area of health and well-being habits. Now let’s talk about some of those benefits that you get through working with a health and wellness coach.

And the first one is focus.

Let’s face it, very few people are self-motivated, and most of us are busy. So one of the key benefits of working with a health and wellness coach is that you’re creating a commitment to dedicate enough time to give enough focus to a certain area of your life for long enough that you can automate a habit for two or three and get the results you want.

Think about it, you get fired up about starting an exercise programme or an eating plan. And you get all organised and you get off with a bang. And then invariably, life gets in the way you get busy. You feel a bit guilty because you’ve missed a couple of things that you were intending to do and your best intentions go by the wayside.

You just don’t persist for long enough to form the habits. And so that’s what I’m talking about when I use the word focus. It’s your commitment to the coaching programme. You end up forming a relationship with somebody who can help you to stay focused for a discreet amount of time, eight weeks, 12 weeks, 16 weeks, six months or 12 months. And it’s long enough attention that you will cement a couple of habits into and make a significant difference to your life and get the results you want.

Listen to the full episode to learn how to cement habits and get results.

Ready to get clarity on your pathway to success?

Understanding who you are and what you need will allow your business to thrive! If you’re truly ready to break old habits and get out of the rut I encourage you to check out the Habitology membership.

Learn more here:

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E#120 Foolproof Resolutions (Part 1)

Melanie White E#120 Foolproof Resolutions (Part 1)

This episode is about creating Foolproof Resolutions.

Today is the first of a two-part episode on getting what you want. And this one is called resolutions. I’m going to suggest that rather than making Halo resolutions or set unrealistic goals that go nowhere or pay lip service to the idea of achieving something. I want to invite you to think of the future in a different way so that you can be more self-motivated, self-directed and self-responsible, there’s a lot of selves in here.

But seriously, this is important stuff most people start goals that they think are exciting or that they think they should do and they’re caught up in the moment of making resolutions, but often those things are not what people truly want and so they don’t persist and they fail.

So before we go into the concept of resolutions and how to make foolproof resolutions, let’s touch on the backstory, which is motivation.

I want to talk about building intrinsic motivation or motivation that comes from within and when you have that you can make resolutions that you can commit to 100% and follow through on.

So to start with, I want to talk about extrinsic versus intrinsic motivation because this is an important platform for you to set resolutions that you can actually achieve.

In this episode, I’ll talk about – 
* Intrinsic and extrinsic motivation
* Why people fail to meet their goals
* How to create your foolproof plan to achieve your resolutions

Most of the people I coach aren’t that good at setting and achieving goals. That’s why they come to me. They need that help to get started and to keep going and what I’ve noticed is that for the most part, it’s because they lack self-awareness.

So they’re not good at taking responsibility for their actions or being self-accountable. They don’t know who they are or where they’re slipping up or what they actually want and because they lack that self-awareness. It compromises them and their need to take action.

And what’s really interesting is that a lot of the time when people lack self-awareness and don’t follow through on things. They don’t take responsibility. It stems from an over-reliance on other people’s opinions validation and praise.

It’s when the motivation to act and the impetus to continue comes more from others than yourself comes from other people other things from outside of you.

And as long as the extrinsic motivation is a big driving force in your life. Then you’ll struggle to be self-motivated self-directed self-accountable and self-responsible because you’ll just keep relying on other people to do those things for you.

So why do we rely on extrinsic motivators? Why do we rely on other people? Well because it’s easy.

If you have to be accountable to someone else it’s often but much easier than trying to do it for yourself, but it’s also unfulfilling and frustrating. It means that you end up on a hamster wheel letting life just happen to you and responding to life being swayed by what other people think and want they say and perhaps never truly exploring what you want and why.

And while there are circumstances where yeah, you surely need to seek external advisory opinions (I totally get that), if you have an over-focus on extrinsic motivation. It’s a short path to feeling powerless, helpless and doubting yourself because you’re putting your future and your life in other people’s hands and you’re not trusting your own judgment.

So it’s time to start trusting your own judgement to reach your goals listen to the episode to create your foolproof plan.

Ready to get clarity on your pathway to success?

Understanding who you are and what you need will allow your business to thrive! If you’re truly ready to break old habits and get out of the rut I encourage you to check out the Habitology membership.

Learn more here:

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E#132 One Easy Way to Get Chemistry, Clarity and Confidence in Your Business

One Easy Way to Get Chemistry, Clarity and Confidence in Your Business

This episode is about one easy way to get chemistry clarity and confidence in your coaching business.

I’m going to share a simple secret with you.

I’m going to share the story of how to do market research, why it’s so important, and how it helps you to understand your niche, feel totally clear about what you do, and confident to promote yourself. It is 100% free, and it’s low risk.

So what are you waiting for?

This is the tool that can rocket fuel your business. Let’s explore market research. Now you might have heard the word market research come out of my mouth and gone.

Boring Is that all?

But let me just say it’s a super powerful tool.

So what is macro research?

In this episode, I’ll talk about – 
* A tool that will rocket fuel your business
* How & why you should be doing market research
* How knowing your niche can improve your relationship with clients

Well, it’s simply asking coaching style questions of people in your niche to find out what they want? what they need? what they like? what they don’t like? how they feel? and those sorts of things. You’re looking for those emotional highs and emotional lows to get the truly most important things they want. And the things they really don’t want.

If you really want to understand how they feel and capture their exact words. This method is going to give you so much information. And most people in business, don’t do market research or don’t do enough of it. But let’s face it, as a coach, you know that your clients are the experts in their own lives.

If you’re truly a coach, then you’re going to do market research, it totally makes sense. You don’t know exactly what they want and need using their words. And you need to be able to market and advertise your services in a way that captures their attention. So you have to use their language for that. I’ve been doing some market research lately for a role I have with philia medical device company. And it’s been super insightful. And I thought why not do an episode on this exact thing so that you can enjoy the benefits too. I want to share some key lessons with you so that you’re really clear on what to do and how it works.

Let’s talk about how market research actually works. It’s a no strings attached conversation. It’s a coaching style. And you’re speaking to people who are in your niche, not just anybody, but people who you think you might like to work with on a specific type of problem. So that could mean that you’re talking to friends or family or colleagues who are in the right age group, the right demographic, the right profession, maybe they have the right character traits or a similar sort of problem.

You need to start to narrow it down a bit and capture those same sorts of people. Start listening to find out how.

Ready to get clarity on your pathway to success?

Understanding who you are and what you need will allow your business to thrive! If you’re truly ready to break old habits and get out of the rut I encourage you to check out the Habitology membership.

Learn more here:

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E#119 Celebrating Success

Melanie-White-Celebrating-success-119

This episode is about celebrating success.

I know it’s been a wild crazy ride of a year and I’d like to talk to you about something a little fun. I got thinking about this today because I was speaking to a client who is feeling a bit down about what was going on in her life all the things that she’s failing about. She’s tired. It’s the end of a hard year. It’s been a hard slog. She’s struggling and she’s just in her words trying to get through the next few weeks and she can’t wait for the new year.

I’ve heard a lot of people saying stuff like that as she started to tell me all of the things that are going wrong for her. I asked her to pause there and rather than saying, well what’s going right tell me about what’s going right?

It was interesting that she started off well down that path but then she kept diverting back to the failures and I kept steering her back to the successes and after a few false starts, she ended up rattling off a huge list of successes. And then the fails become relatively small in her eyes. She felt better.

In this episode, I’ll talk about – 
* Not falling prey to the ‘Woe is me’ thinking
* The importance of nurturing your mental health
* How to recognise your successes when your in a negative state of mind

She realized that she’d been over focusing on the negative and that there was still so much more to celebrate than there was to worry about.

Are you feeling like it’s been a tough year, like you’re in a bit of a funk. Well, strap yourself in because I propose that there’s a lot to celebrate even though it’s been a really difficult year for a lot of people there have been some really significant moments in the world some huge improvements and some things that have gone well in your life.

In my experience, very few people take the time to truly celebrate success and focus on what’s gone right. I want to invite you to do that right now. Even if just for the next few minutes no matter who you are or what your life is like, I want to talk about what’s gone well for you. There are definitely some things let’s just ask the question.

Why do we need to bother to celebrate success? Is it really that important? Well, I say, yes it is. It’s fundamental to our emotional health.

Sure, you can sometimes go down that negative pathway the ‘woe is me’ pathway that ‘nothing is working’ pathway this happens to all of us. But I want you to know that you can flip things around you can get out of that funk. You can recognize your successes and very very quickly work out that things aren’t so bad that you did better than you thought and that maybe there’s some hope that you can move on.

Start listening so you can get out of that negative funk and start celebrating your successes.

Ready to get clarity on your pathway to success?

Understanding who you are and what you need will allow your business to thrive! If you’re truly ready to break old habits and get out of the rut I encourage you to check out the Habitology membership.

Learn more here:

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Episode 117: Two Types of Business Person

This episode is for you if you are starting out in your business and you really want to make it work, and you are getting ready for success but you are not sure how to make it happen.

In this episode I will give you a couple of idea on how to get it right from the get-go so you don’t compare yourself with others or beat yourself up, or feel frustrated by your blocks. There are reasons you feel like this and have these blocks. What I cover today will help you get really clear on this.

In my experience, there are two main types of business people, and therefore two types of ways to run a business.

When you know which type of person you are you are more easily going to find your best way of doing business, and follow a straight line to getting there.

Imagine yourself realising that you are a certain type of person, and a certain way of doing business is going to work best  for you and you can just follow that path instead of wishing you were like somebody else. Imagine what that would be like.

The Concept Of Knowing Yourself

As a coach, you need to develop and consistently work on self awareness. You need to know yourself. This is really important in the context of running a business – what you offer your clients you need to be doing for yourself.

Two Types of Business People

As I discuss these, you might start to identify traits and decide that you are more one than the other, or you might be a blend of the two. You might start to get some clues about what you need to do to succeed in your business.

If you’re interested in learning more, take my free quiz on business personality types.https://melaniejwhite.com/business-personality-quiz/

Or, Gretchin Rubin’s Four Tendencies Quiz:  https://quiz.gretchenrubin.com/four-tendencies-quiz/ 

Type 1: Influencer, Self Starter, Entrepreneur, and a Questioner

This type of person is self motivated, and intrinsically motivated. Their motivation to do do business comes from within themselves.

These people are often extroverted, well networked, and often leaders. They love being in contact will lots of people and being the driving force for groups and movements, even if they are on the introverted side.

These types of personality traits tend to be very successful in their own right, and rarely rely on others to get things done. They do get help – they are the type to build a team around them. Importantly, they have that internal drive, they are driven to bring their idea to the world.

Understanding who you are is the first step to understanding what you need to do to succeed in your business.

The main challenges that these people face might be a lack of structure, or booking keeping, or being bogged down in over-analytical thinking. But they know they need to hire or involve people to do things for them. They may actively seek out a coach as a vehicle to overcoming the obstacles to their success.

If this sounds like you, you probably have a good chance of succeeding, assuming you have a valid business idea.  You may need to get some people to support you, but know that you are master of positioning promoting and being seen.

The great thing about you is that and your personality type and traits is you have a captive audience, and it’s easy for you get to know people you want to work with.

Type 2: Supporter, Manager, Obligor

The manager type may be a little more introverted and is typically quite organised. They don’t like being in the limelight or being seen in a leadership role. The may feel exhausted about networking or connecting with people/

If you are this type of person you may not be intrinsically motivated, you may not be as much of a strategic thinker, which means that you may struggle with a business vision that excites you.

If you are an Obligor type, your ability to make change or pick up habits, probably hinges on being able to do things for the benefit of others. If you are this type, you may need accountability to get ahead and succeed in your business.

This type is often not willing to ask for help or feel as though they should be able to do it on your own.

If you aren’t intrinsically motivated or can’t create a strategic vision for your business, then your success might be more difficult or might take you longer to achieve. But don’t worry – you might just need to learn to ask for help – especially when it comes to marketing.

I’ve seen this time and time again, and the ones who do succeed have often done well in a collaborative environment.

 

What does this look like in the real world?

I know someone who is a Type 1 person, and once she understands the process of how to do specific tasks or functions, she simply schedules these things and gets on with it.

Sure she has a bit of fear in the beginning, but she just gets on to get over those initial uncomfortable first steps.

She promotes herself, she challenges herself to get uncomfortable, she puts herself out there in person and online, she meets people.

She’s such a self starter, and she’s super determined to do what it takes to succeed.

She’ll ask for help for specific things along the way but is generally very self motivated and self accountable.

Now compare that to a Type 2 person, which is probably a bit more like me. I’ve been able to build my own program and run a successful business. I do all of my own research on my target market  and get very clear on how to meet the needs of my clients while working on my pilot program.

But I will say that my success in all areas of business over the years  has happened because I’ve been in partnerships and collaborations.

I’m not always a self starter. I do have a lot of internal drive, but its not as strong as a Type 1 sort of person.

And I’m ok with that.

The great thing is that because I know myself and I know my strengths, I play to those strengths. One of my greatest strengths is my ability to find partners to leverage my strengths. I may have been able to succeed on my own, but it might have taken twice as long.

I don’t need a team, but I do like bouncing ideas off people. I like reality checking my ideas, I like peer review, and I prefer to work with someone than delegating. I prefer to work alongside with someone to make sure the work suits my needs.

You’ve identified which type you are, what next?

If you are one of these kinds of people, I want you to think carefully about what your business is going to need from here.  

Who would be on your support team?

What might you need to outsource?

Which areas are you good at, and where do you need help?

If you are a Type 1 you’re more likely to be intrinsically motivated and the way you work with people and run your business is probably going to be different to if you are a Type 2.

Importantly, you need to stop comparing yourself to others.

I invite you to settle on who you are as a person, and make peace with that. Love your unique self.

 I invite you to settle on who you are as a person, and make peace with that. Love your unique self.

Identify your strengths, work on those things. Figure out what you are good at and how you can amplify those strengths and build your business in line with that.

Find the right people to support you along the way.

All you need to do is start.

Ready to get clarity on your pathway to success?

Understanding who you are and what you need will allow your business to thrive! If you’re truly ready to break old habits and get out of the rut I encourage you to check out the Habitology membership.

Learn more here:

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Episode 115: Health and Wellness Coaching Prices

Are you a health and wellness coach who wants to know about health and wellness coaching prices – and more specifically, how to price your programs and packages?

This episode shows you exactly how to create yes-please pricing so that your coaching clients see your services as a no-brainer!

As a bonus, I’ve created a download for you – an Irresistible Pricing Guide – to help you take step-by-step action toward your goals.

Now, let’s talk about some steps to start thinking about and getting your pricing right. 

What Commands Price?

I’ve identified 9 things that affect pricing for a coaching business. They are:

  1. People tend to buy from people who are similar to them
  2. Around 90% of a buying decision is emotionally driven (think Rider and Elephant)
  3. People spend on things that are aligned with their values
  4. People buy to solve a problem or for pleasure – rarely for other reasons
  5. People tend to buy things that are described in words and images that are familiar with them and which speak to the desired outcome
  6. People pay more if the problem they want to solve is big, painful and urgent
  7. People will buy what they consider to be value for money
  8. Some people are price-driven and will make most or all buying decisions based on the lowest possible price they can get
  9. People will only buy coaching services when they are ready, willing and able to change.

I’ve covered these in my irresistible pricing guide and what you need to do about them.

For the sake of this podcast, let’s assume you can clearly position your prices around the discretionary income of your niche, the problem they want to solve, and the value of what you can help them achieve through coaching.

A Health Coach Pricing Guide

How do you price your services as a health and wellness coach?

I am speaking directly to hourly rates pricing here because that’s where most coaches feel comfortable to start, usually coming out of an hourly rate job role and being familiar with this.

I will talk about packaging later in this episode, and about other pricing strategies in a future episode.

Based on the 9 factors affecting pricing that I’ve described, we know that lower income people, and people who are frugal, will pay less than those who earn more and who are prepared to spend on themselves for their own personal growth and wellbeing.

This is indicated if they spend on other health boosting services but possibly not if they put themselves last all the time (think about that one).

That aside, depending on which niche you service, most health and wellness coaches who are starting out will charge a lower session rate for either individuals or groups.

Most of them feel like charging lower rates until they’re more experienced – fair enough.

Coaches who’ve been in business longer, or who have a specialised area or other skill set or qualification, will generally charge a higher rate.

And if you package your coaching program with additional services and present raving testimonials and success stories, it becomes 300% easier to demonstrate the value of your services

Here is a quick guide:

You can see the relationship between price and experience, speciality and proof of success.

No matter how many years of experience or what your specialty, social proof is a critical factor in a buying decision and it’s something that even new coaches can get.

All you need is to be in the habit of collecting client feedback AND testimonials for every program you deliver, pro-bono or paid, and to ensure you publish it on your website and/or social media platforms, brochures and any other promotional materials like webinars.

Generally graduate health and wellness coaches in Australia, without another health related qualification, feel comfortable charging in the $30 – $70 per session range.

Those with another qualification or job-related experience such as training, teaching, project management etc will feel more confident and charge $60 – $100 as a starting point.

Also recognise that it takes time to build a presence and a client base, and you need to learn not only to serve them but to keep them buying from you for maintenance or consistency.

Assuming you can do that, then you should be able to earn $30K part time, or $100K full time, within two years, if your value proposition is strong enough.

That is, the reason why people buy from you – in the context of results your client typically get, and how important those results are to them.

With a strong value proposition, I had a six figure business within 18 months of delivering my signature program, in a tiny town where nobody knew me, and you can do this too.

Beyond the prices indicated, most coaches feel confident enough to raise prices within 2 years of starting.

I have two things to say on price:

  1. The price you set dictates the quality of clients you attract
  2. You can only ask for a price you feel comfortable with.

Let’s explore those.

Quality of Client

To the first point, if you set your prices really low, you will probably attract a lot of people, including those who don’t really value coaching, or aren’t committed, or who are just buying something because of the price rather than the value.

They are sometimes called ‘freeples’ (meaning they want everything for free) or ‘cheaples’ (meaning they only buy discounted services).

Here is an important message – if you focus on price in your marketing and sales conversation, you will more likely attract people who focus on price.

So the ultimate goal is to include price in your conversation, but to focus more in the value of what you do.

I encourage you to get into the habit of thinking about value rather than price, and to set a price that is moderate and market-savvy, and offers value for money.

You may attract fewer people, but a higher percentage will be serious buyers who see the value in what you do and are committed to getting results.

Think of it this way – which type of person – the low cost or value based – is more likely to stick with their coaching program?

Which one is more likely to get better results?

Which one will have a more positive impact on your reputation, marketing, sales and referrals?

It’s a no brainer.

Goldilocks Pricing Method

To the second point, you can only ask for a price you feel comfortable with, so start where you are.

I developed the Goldilocks Pricing Method (in the guide) to help you get your pricing right – so that YOU feel comfortable asking for it, AND your clients feel happy to pay it.

When you set a price, check in with yourself and ask yourself how you feel about it:

  • If it’s too high, you’ll be scared of asking for it, which will block you from promoting!
  • If it’s too low, you’ll feel resentful and like it’s not worth it, which will either block you from promoting OR cause a lower quality client experience.
  • If it’s just right, you’ll feel like it’s good value for money.

This is a no-brainer for you as the business owner – if you feel good about the price, you’ll be able to ask for it no matter what.

Here is an important point – right now, you might be set on a certain price or rate because that’s where you feel comfortable.

But imagine how you might feel if you stopped thinking about price, and more about the value of what you offer?

I bet the bar would move on your pricing – you’d feel more comfortable with higher pricing – or you’d get there sooner.

This is not about making a lot of money, it is about positioning value not just for your own services but for our industry as a whole. 

The more people who believe in the value of coaching and can talk about it and promote it, the faster we will be able to gain traction as an industry and create viable careers.

Confidence and Conviction

The #1 secret to feeling a sense of value and to create yes-please pricing, is to develop confidence and conviction in what you do, how you can help people, and the outcomes it can create.

The sooner you believe in this, the better.

I have a podcast on how to do this even if you don’t believe in yourself and your ability right now.

Packaging Health Coaching Services 

I want to talk briefly about a more advanced strategy to really create yes-please pricing – creating a coaching package.

This is where you take your basic coaching program, and add tangible, valuable assets to increase the perceived value of the program.

These assets could include worksheets, videos, booklets, guides or other resources, including physical resources, that will help your client to make lasting change, or to make habit change easier.

Another option is to blend coaching with another professional service that you offer – and I’ll be talking about that in a separate episode.

In either case the potential client can ‘see’ the tangible value and all the things they get as part of working with you, so it feels like more value than just the coaching program and conversation alone.

But in terms of yes-please pricing, it’s also what you call your packages that makes a HUGE difference.  

Imagine yourself as a customer, being offered an ‘8-week coaching program’ versus a ‘Results program’. Which one would you want to buy?

Now imagine there were three options with increasing value.

As a client, would you be more attracted to 8-week, 12-week or 6-month coaching packages (for example), or would you be more interested in a results, success or transformation package?

Summary

As you can see, there are a few ways to build value into your coaching business and to create yes-please pricing.

We talked about the nine factors that affect whether people will buy and what they will pay in a coaching business.

I discussed a guide to pricing your coaching program if you’re starting out and how that might change over time.

I mentioned how success stories are a secret to getting sales even if you’re a new client, because social proof commands respect and trust.

We covered the importance of good quality clients – which I call high chemistry clients – and also the Goldilocks Pricing method.

I mentioned how feeling a sense of confidence and conviction will help you sell anything, because you’re focusing on value rather than price.

And finally, we covered packaging your coaching program with tangible goods and/or another service you offer, and giving it a name that speaks to the results your clients will get. 

 

Ready to get paid at your value?

If you need support to build value into your coaching business and to create the pricing that you deserve, I encourage you to check out the Habitology membership.

Learn more here:

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Episode 114: Client and Work Boundaries

In this episode, I talk about setting boundaries with clients and at work so that you can feel in control, confident and create cash flow and greater client success

Running your business in a 24/7 world, how do you maintain work life balance? 

In this episode, I talk about setting boundaries with clients and at work so that you can feel in control, confident and create cash flow and greater client success.

Modern World Work

Pre internet, small businesses set up as bricks and mortar businesses that relied on print marketing in the physical world and pounding the pavement to find new clients. 

Businesses were open to the public during standard trading hours and probably worked more than this, but there was a defined window of client time.

Now, the internet has created a virtual world that operates globally, 24 hours per day, 7 days per week.

And small businesses seem to be feeling the pressure and buying into it.

Small Business

A lot of my clients are running small businesses but they feel compelled to act like global businesses, answering emails and messages at all hours of the day and night in case they lose a client.

They’re showing up live on social media at all hours, trying to engage people. 

They’re comparing themselves to others who seem to be, in my clients’ words, ‘more organised, all over it, very productive, getting lots of business, showing up consistently all over the place and nailing it, with loads of happy clients.’

That, my friends, is a point of view, not necessarily a fact. 

We all know that things are often different than they seem to be.

But even if it were true, and that person you’re watching is seemingly everywhere and all over it, how do they do it?

Work Boundaries for Small Business

Having been in business for over 25 years, I can say that with a few well-placed boundaries, you can be the owner of an efficient, effective and profitable business.

Here are some important work boundaries that will help small businesses get established, grow and thrive.

Only Work with High Chemistry Clients

Firstly, not everyone is your ideal client. I learned early on that by saying yes to everyone who enquires, I’d have great chemistry with some clients and not so great chemistry with others.

The chemistry you have with a client DIRECTLY impacts their results, so when you work with anyone, then your business may not appear as successful.

With low chemistry clients, they’re less committed, less engaged, less motivated and the rapport is lower, so they are less likely to achieve their goals.

Now picture how that changes if you only work with high-chemistry clients. A higher portion of them will succeed, they will be more connected and engaged, they will rave about their results (and you), and your business reputation and referrals will soar.

It’s a basic formula that works.

So how do you attract and work with high chemistry clients?

Quite simply, you need to be selective by setting some boundaries about who you do and don’t work with.

You can do this by putting some filtering mechanisms in place to screen out anyone who isn’t the right fit for you or your services.

Here are three steps to follow.

Step 1: When it comes to marketing, you can attract high chemistry clients by being specific, and talking about what they are interested in, and using their specific language, pain points and desired outcomes.

Do this, and you’re more likely to build a tribe of high chemistry leads who are engaged and interested.

Step 2: When you make formal offers for a program or other service, you can list criteria – who this is for – to help them qualify themselves as a good fit.

That way, most of the work is done by them, before they even reach for the phone or message you!

Step 3: before working with any client, have a good fit call with them right up front to see if the person who wants to do your program is the right kind of person.

If they’re not, you can refer them to another coach or practitioner, or simply tell them that you don’t think you can give them the right sort of help.

Imagine yourself as the client – would you rather someone be honest up front, or find out half way through a program that this isn’t really your jam? 

In marketing, this process is often referred to as ‘creating touch points’ because the more interactions you have with clients, the more easily they will build trust and potentially buy.

I want to challenge that idea and flip it on it’s head.

I prefer to call this process as Chemistry 101 because the clearer you are about what you do and who you serve, the more enjoyable your business will be, the more enriching your work, and the more satisfied your clients will be and the better results they will get.

It just makes sense.

Establish Working Hours

I often see exhausted coaches who are working scattered hours, nights and weekends, trying to fit clients in at any given time slot. These coaches have no down time and are constantly thinking about work.

Imagine how hard it is to coach when you feel like that!

It’s so important to optimise your energy and set boundaries that allow you to do that.

Here are two things to think about.

1. Working Hours

Think about a big store like Harvey Norman. They advertise specific opening and closing hours. You can’t buy a dining room table at 9pm on a Sunday!

Establishing set working hours is setting a boundary. 

Right now, you’re probably saying to yourself, ‘yeah, but I might lose clients if I am strict with my working hours!’

Here’s the truth.

When you work with low chemistry clients, they tend to be the types of clients who are too busy, cancel repeatedly, aren’t committed, can’t fit you in and turn up late, or want you to work odd hours. 

Here’s the truth.

When you work with low chemistry clients, they tend to be the types of clients who are too busy, cancel repeatedly, aren’t committed, can’t fit you in and turn up late, or want you to work odd hours. 

You end up running yourself ragged trying to keep up with their demands and changing goal posts.

On the other hand, when you work with high chemistry clients, then your availability will probably align with theirs. They will show up on time, every time, and only cancel if something unforeseen and major happens. They are more willing to negotiate the session times and find something to suit.

Why?

BECAUSE of the chemistry – and the value they place on your service, and the respect they have for you.

2. Non Working Hours

Here’s the second part of that. Having dedicated, not-negotiable time off from work is setting a boundary.

Why?

Because if you are constantly working, not sleeping well, giving up fun for the sake of your business and clients, you’ll feel tired and start feeling resentful, disillusioned and you may start questioning your ability.

I’ve seen this way too often.

When you set a boundary around your time off, it shows off your integrity. It positions you as a role model for work life balance. It commands respect.

And more importantly, it gives you the opportunity to rest, relax and replenish your energy so that you can show up and be your best for your high chemistry clients.

Those are the people you value, and want to serve best. You can only do that if you take adequate time off.

By serving yourself in this way, you are serving your clients and offering them premium value – your best self. 

Do What You’re Good At, Let Go of The Rest

Do you know anybody who is good at EVERYTHING?

I don’t.

As a small business owner, one of the boundaries you might need to set for yourself is to focus on doing what you’re good at, and say no to the things you don’t do well. 

You might tell yourself you can’t afford to outsource things, or to buy systems that do it for you, but here’s a different perspective.

How do you feel when you are constantly doing things that you don’t enjoy, aren’t skilled at and don’t do very well?

How does that energy affect the running of your business and servicing customers?

I offer that by investing in the right support, you will more likely do a better job servicing customers and getting referrals as a result.

You will stop wasting hours on Canva, or Facebook, or MailChimp, or any other thing that you wish you could do, but can’t master, and you will have heaps more time to do important business building activities like networking, blogging or interacting in groups.

This was a turning point in my coaching business.

As soon as I outsourced design work, Facebook ads and email campaigns, I stopped spending money on courses I never finished and then felt irritated about spending on.

I stopped stressing about getting things done, or taking hours to do something that takes someone else minutes.

I figured it was way easier to pay someone $70 to do a task in one hour, rather than me spending several hours over several days, procrastinating and feeling overwhelmed that it wasn’t right, didn’t look good or might not work. For ALL of that time, I was useless to everyone and not coaching at capacity.

I can’t express what a relief it was to find someone who was like me (a high chemistry contractor) to turn my ideas in reality before I’d had a chance to even transfer the money.

Setting that boundary with myself was SO worth it.

And even if you can do it all, it doesn’t mean that you should.

Summary

Today we discussed three areas for setting boundaries in business that will make a big difference to your energy, motivation, self-confidence and ability to show up for your client.

Those boundaries are:

  1. Only working with high chemistry clients
  2. Establish working hours, and
  3. Do what you’re good at, let the rest go.

Think about your own business situation and imagine what would happen if you started moving toward these boundaries?

Setting boundaries in business will make a big difference to your energy, motivation, self-confidence and ability to show up for your client.

How would you feel if you could operate like this?

What might open up for you?

What else could change?

I invite you to consider what’s possible, and to map out a couple of first steps you can take to get there over the next 8 weeks, so you can regain control, confidence and create cash flow and better-served clients in your business.

Ready to strike the right balance?

Being clear about your boundaries will give you more time and improve what you are able to offer. If you’re truly ready to break old habits and get out of the rut I encourage you to check out the Habitology membership.

Learn more here:

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Episode 111: Succession Planning

Early succession planning – that is, planning the way you will run your business and gradually transition out of it or sell it – has lots of great benefits. Here are FIVE that I can think of.

Today, I’m going to start with the end. And the reason is that when you’re thinking about exiting your business, after many years of service, or even just a few years, that is, you might be selling your shares out, or you might be selling your business to another company or an individual.

Then, as part of that, you’ll naturally be tidying things up and positioning your company to be really attractive to buyers, or to be able to hand the business over in a really seamless way. As part of that process, you need to be making sure that all of your systems are in place working well, you’re making sure that your business is running properly, and that all of the policies, procedures and financials are in order.

It’s not like selling a house, when you make the decision to sell him at least cleaning up waiting the garden planting and renovating so that you can put your best foot forward and make the house attractive to buy, hopefully for a high price of what it’s worth.

 And when it comes to business, sure, you could do it that way. You could say, well, we’re ready to sell it. Now let’s improve everything. You could do that without any planning.

But I want to explain why early succession planning is important. And I would say exceptional, and how it might just change a whole lot of things for you and your business. So let’s ask the question and answer the question: Why should I succession plan early?

Early succession planning or planning the way that you’ll run your business and gradually transition out of it or sell it has a lot of great benefits, and here are five that I can think of.

1. It gives you focus and intention.

Having the focus of preparing your business for eventual sale helps you to bring a stronger intention to the way that you run your business.

You’ll be focused on being professional proactively.  You’re very clear on this long term vision. It means that you’re more likely to put purposeful steps in place to succeed and to reach that goal.

You’ll be motivated to develop a clear plan of building and maintaining strong foundational systems, policies and procedures that will ultimately make it really easy for you to hand your business over someone else when it’s time.

In the meantime, it will also help you to run your business more efficiently and to take holidays when you need to. With good systems policies and procedures in place, almost any qualified person should be able to step in and hold the fought. And that’s one of the indicators that your systems in your business are robust.

As the E-Myth author Michael Gerber says  – systems drive the business and people drive the systems.

So get that set set up right and you’ve heard a lot of value to business.

2. Early succession planning helps you to create and really feel that belief in the value of what you’re doing.

Think about it, your goal is to create a business that offers value to the customers, and the more valuable your services and products are to your customers, it will be so much easier for you to sell your business later, or hand it over to management teams as you prepared an exit.

By purposely creating value for your customers, building on the value of the systems that you’ve set up, you’re going to feel good about your business. You’ll feel more confident about what you do and you’ll have a true sense of the value of your business in and of itself and to the world.

You’ll be striving for quality and impact and that will in turn attract more customers and more profit.

It’s just going to be an upward spiral of you really feeling like your business is truly worth something. And that will make it easy to ask for what it’s worth at the time, the right sale price.

3.It helps you to enjoy the journey of running a business.

It helps you to think about how you’d like to live your life in the future and how you might need to evolve on the journey to get there.

You might ask well, why is that important? Simply because most people spend their time focusing on what they’re doing right now in the immediate future without any regard to them. Then they get to retirement age and realize that they don’t have a plan. They realize that they’ve worked hard and work has been in life often at the expense of the hobbies and the health fitness, possibly also family friends sanity. Why work long and hard in order to retire, but then just finish up all broken with no energy left?

Early succession planning is a tool to help you keep focused on your vision of a future balance life of what your retirement is going to look like, and  it helps you to proactively create and update visions for your business in your life and plans to get there.

So you’re progressively spending less time on work more time enjoying your life, and gradually over a period of time putting people and systems in place to take over some of the tasks so that you can gradually move towards that really pleasurable, healthy retirement. And when you operate like that, you’ll never get stale, you’ll always be having something to work towards.

That’s exciting, something to look forward to. And you’re more likely to enjoy your work and have enough time for yourself. So there’s a lot of balance to be had.

 4. It gives you a reason to start your business and give it a shot.

If you know that there’s a financially viable exit plan ahead of you. You know that if you no longer want to do business or you’re bored with it, you’ve got an option. Think about how much a new business owner in your industry would love the ease and confidence walking into a ready  set up operational business that was systemized and you could create that.

And if you approach your business from your mindset, in the beginning, it makes you probably take a more balanced view of things and be more intentional and purposeful about creating a business, without getting caught up in that typical startup self taught like, “what if I don’t like it,” or “I’ll just give it a bit of a go and see how it turns out.”

Obviously having those sorts of thoughts means that your business won’t succeed, because you’re going to approach it with a half hearted attitude. But if you have the confidence for security of knowing that you could sell your business or lock it up, license it out for other coaches to use, it shines a whole new perspective on things.

And it can give you the impetus to give your best shot and make it work right from the get go.

 

5. It means less stress for you for you.

I think that one of the best parts of having a succession plan in place is that you’re going to be allowing yourself progressively more time over a period of years to work on the business rather than in it in an uninterrupted way.

Think of it this way, when you’re in a solo business on your own and you start your business with a big picture strategy in mind, it’s easy to get bogged down in all of the day to day detail of running all of the aspects of your business yourself.  You end up working all day, every day in well into the night. You need to stop doing that , and make plan to step away from that work ethic because it’s just goin to burn you out.

A succession plan gives you a framework for progressively extracting yourself from a day to day grind, and what you’re doing is bringing in others to do some of the work for you. It could be outsourcing, or hiring people, contractors or employees, or perhaps automating some of the work or building in leverage.

When you do that, it means it you’ll be able to step away from people focused on the day to day work that you’re doing and do work on the business.

When you’re working on the business, it means you’re able to continue adding value to it, which is just going to build profit margins income and enhance the value of your business when it comes down to sell it.

I could go on there are many more benefits like certainty about the future, confidence in what you’re doing, clarity on your direction, clarity on who your best strategic partners are going to be, and clarity on what you shouldn’t do, because it’s not part of the plan and it doesn’t align with your goals.

But I’ve just mentioned five benefits for early succession planning today. And there are others that I didn’t go into today.

So what does succession planning actually look like?

I’m going to keep it fairly big picture so you get a bit of an idea and I succession planned out of my business in Perth, and over a two year period.

I founded the company co founded it with someone else. And after 13 and a half, 14 years in the business. I knew everything about the company. So I wasn’t just going to walk away.

I had my lifestyle – my new life, I should say – planned out as a sea change. And over two years, I made progressive moves to work myself out the business.

I suggest that you keep a really simple and use the framework, if you’re starting out have a five year plan or a 10 year plan, or at a minimum two or three years if you’re in a workplace or a job or business right now that you’d like to get out of and move to something else.

Write it down two pieces of paper. If you’re new in business, or if you’re in a job, start by mapping out the next two years of productivity, quality revenue or other income goals that you need to have any plan to achieve them. For me, I knew that when I sold my shares and business I would have a certain amount of money I had to save, so that I could have a buffer and then be able to move.

So it’s easy to put away savings over three or four or five years to do that. And then to gradually succession plan out, and have financial stability when you make a plan like that.

So mapping out what those income productivity or quality goals in your business or your workplace are is the first step. And you need to identify that tipping point at which you could start to outsource your tasks, employ staff or start to automate areas of business by upgrading systems or creating rich service products.

Typically, a tipping point would be that you reach a certain amount of revenue in your business, and you have six months or more of future work ahead of you. When you’re at that kind of steady level of performance, it’s probably a good time to think about what happens next.

So that could be the first page and on the second page, you can map out some key criteria and a bit of a timeline towards succession planning yourself out of business. Some of the things you might want to write down are what sort of take home income you would need each year for years 3,4,5 or longer, based on your current lifestyle and commitments that might require you to do a budget income budget to see how much you’re actually spending. And this is something that my husband did, we created an Excel sheet and we logged everything we spent in that sheet per month. We set up a budget for every nine year living, and we stuck to a budget, knowing that we would still be stepping away from big salaries into a low income situation for at least a year

. So that was stepping out of a job and into the unknown. But if you are selling out of your business, you might just be thinking about how much revenue your business would need to generate. If you remained a partner, or perhaps if you sold it, what do you need to sell it for. So thinking about your income needs as the platform for that.

You also want to think about how much how you would maintain revenue in the business if you started to spend less time with it. And usually, as I’ve already mentioned, that means you’re going to be hiring staff, upgrading your system so that businesses more automated before requiring less manual work. Or perhaps you’re starting to really to more leveraged business model or leveraged income products.

If you’re going to do any of those, you’d need to think about which the best one would be to fit your business and then how much time and money you’d need to set those things up. That might require a little bit of research or to ask someone’s opinion. But after working in your business for two or three years, you should have a pretty good idea of the options available to you.

The last thing to think about is whether you would sell your business outright or simply hire people to run it for you so that you still maintained a stake in it.

So you might need to think about who might need to be upskilled or brought in to step into the leadership business. This might be especially the case if you’re planning on selling it too, because they’re going to need to know how to run the business. And often in the transfer business, there is a period of training and bringing the new person up to speed with things. So you want to have some pretty good training manuals and operating procedures and those sorts of systems in place. Also, you could start to think about how many hours a week you’d be working in business in year 3, 4 and  five or beyond. So you’re gradually and progressively working less and handing over that period. So identify some key dates typical, it’s useful.

Then you have the succession plan. You could define an end date if you wanted, or you could make a date to define the index.

So let’s summarize what I’ve talked about today.

I decided to talk about succession planning. And mainly from the point of view that a lot of people who started businesses get scared of doing their best in their business. They say what if I like it, or what if I can’t make it. And that way of thinking about it is going to set you up to fail.

Marketing and making friends follow roughly the same sort of process. You have to have some general conversation to build trust and rapport over a period of time – at least a few months – before you can expect anything in return. You need to give first in order to receive, as Stephen Covey would say.

Early succession planning helps you to create and really feel that belief in the value of what you’re doing.

But when you think about your exit plan from the beginning, you can see beyond that mindset, you can create an exciting vision with minimal goals for yourself. And you can get past those mental challenges. You could put a lot of effort and energy into doing great business making it a profitable businesses, that’s highly efficient and systemized. And then it’s ready for sale.

 It makes sense for a whole bunch of reasons to succession plan from the beginning. And if this is something that you’d like to talk about, or get help with, hit my website up. Hit me up on the contact page on my website and just send me an email. I’ll be happy to talk to you about what succession planning in your business.

 

Need to move forward with succession planning?

Simple changes to your business like this can be life changing! If you’re truly ready to break old habits and get out of the rut I encourage you to check out the Habitology membership.

Learn more here:

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Episode 110: Coaching in Corporate with Christine Boucher

Today I interview Corporate Health Coach Christine Boucher on how to launch your corporate health coaching business.

Christine Boucher is super passionate about transforming the health and workplace culture of organizations, big and small, and helps coaches to bring their coaching businesses into the corporate sector.

Melanie: Christine, I’m so happy to have you here. And I’m just looking at all of your qualifications, and I can see how much work you’ve done. How did you find the time to do all of those things?

Christine: Hi Melanie! Thanks for having me. It’s great to be here. I think looking back I have done have done a bit now – accumulating a few certificates under the belt, but I think I’m just driven by my passion. My passion for education, my passion and value for health, and I figure out ways to really be proficient and efficient with my time, I could sit there and watch TV, or I could, you know, read a book and learn something new. And I choose to do the latter.

Melanie: I bet love of learning is one of your signature strengths.

Christine: Absolutely. Yeah. My top three values, health, education, and adventure. And to me adventure is something like putting myself outside my comfort zone, whether that’s standing on a stage in front of a large audience or climbing a mountain, I like to put myself outside my comfort zone.

 

Melanie: Awesome. That sounds amazing. And just for the people listening, I want to read out your qualification. So everyone has a bit of a understanding of the breadth of what you’ve done. And I guess that kind of leads into what we’re talking about today is you helping coaches coaches bring their businesses into corporate, I mean, the depth of your experience, you’ve got a Bachelor of Nursing and you obviously worked as a nurse for many years, there’s a diploma of intensive care nursing, a diploma of Bowen therapy, level three health and wellness coaching. You’ve got an MBA, a Gippsland Community Leadership Program, and President of Empower Her East gippsland. East gippsland. That’s right. You have a lot going on.

Christine: Yes, yes. I’m juggling a few balls, plus, on the personal side, a single mom of two little redheads and they sit like me on my toes. How do How are your kids 12 and 13. So one in primary school, one in high school, so that you know as everyone else, it’s been challenging here, Victoria homeschooling pretty much the last six months. So I’m so happy that they’ve just returned back to school. For a few weeks before we break up for Christmas.

Melanie: You get back some business time and some me time during the day.

Christine: Yeah, that’s right. 

Melanie: Well, thanks so much for being here today, Chris. And I’m really excited to talk to you about the topic of expanding your health and wellness business into the corporate sector because I know so many people want to do this. And they just say: Where do I even start with that? What do I do first? So what do you think of some of the challenges that people face coaches face when they’re getting ready to get their businesses into corporate?

Christine: Well, if I take myself back to five years ago, when I first moved into corporate so I started as other health coaches do with that one on one model and trying to find clients and I was really struggling with finding new clients, I was struggling with sustaining the clients, I was I was struggling with bringing in a decent income. And I, you know, I really thought to myself, how can I work with more people? And how can I leverage my time? And how can I make more money in my business? And so then I started doing some group coaching.

So I would formulate, instead of doing a one on one model, or formulate small groups of women, back then I was really focused on prevention of chronic disease and coaching these women through through that and that was quite successful. But again, I was challenged by bringing these these women together and sustaining that. So I thought, How can I find a group within a group and that quite naturally led me into the corporate space where there’s groups of people within an organization that were just, you know, ready to roll, so to speak.

And so when I think back at, you know, that making that transition from the one on one into the one to many in the corporate health workplace wellness space, what I was really challenged with was: where do I start? How does this look, and what do I do? I didn’t really know how to how to begin.

And I think another thing that I was really challenged with was my confidence. You know, I thought to myself, who am I just to walk into an organization and sell my services. You know – I need to have a psychology degree, I need all this the self study. Self sabotaging talk that I had, that I was that I was saying to myself – that I needed more to enable me to do this – which actually wasn’t the truth at all.

What I had was was more than enough, I had the knowledge I had the experience. So it was I guess they were the two biggest things was my uncertainty, which exacerbated my lack of confidence, and it was just that uncertainty of how I was to make this happen and where I was to start. Probably the biggest challenges, and I often hear from other health coaches, they tell me that working in corporate health, workplace wellness, that’s just for the large health organizations to do that, you know, I’m just a solo business person, I can’t do that. Well, they tell me that, yeah, again, like I was saying to myself, I don’t have enough experience, I don’t have enough qualifications I don’t… So it’s sometimes just us as individuals, we limit out ourselves. And if we have a belief that you know, we don’t have whatever it takes, then we’re not taking the action, then we’re not getting those results. So it’s really about breaking through that mindset.

Melanie: I love that you said “sometimes,” and I would say, most of the time we have those beliefs. I don’t know anybody who hasn’t struggled with that sort of mindset. And I love that you tell it as your own story and having been there, and you totally understand what it’s like.  I think it’s really valid what you’ve said, too, I mean, there is a steep learning curve, when you learn how to coach, and then you’ve, you go through that phase of doing one to one so you can learn your methodology, you can get really become really confident in the how the program will work and what sorts of outcomes people can get. And then generally, there’s a natural movement into all what if I could do this with a group? And there’s that next step of working with groups and becoming comfortable. But as you say, then you’re faced with a choice: do you go down the track of learning how to do marketing in the online space or in your local community and having to be on that marketing treadmill, or do you get into more of a corporate environment where you have, I’m guessing, fewer clients and anymore, as in less marketing effort for more return?

Christine: Yeah, that’s right. I remember the very first client that I had, my very first corporate client. So I’d secured this client, we’d sign the proposal, we’re ready to roll. And I remember sitting at the front of my car at the front of this organization, and that fight or flight kicked in. All I wanted to do was was run I was just thinking, “I can’t do this” – this impostor syndrome, this lack of confidence, and I was on the phone with my business coach at the time I mentor, going through this, this state of mind that I was in and he said: “Chris, you’ve got the knowledge, you’ve got the experience, you know, you’ve coached people before, it’s just a different setting, you can do this.”  And I went in, and I faced my fears and I did the program. And, you know, no one found me out because I was successful. And I WAS successful. It was just that that initial hurdle, once I got into it, I’m like, I can do this. And then this is repeatable to other clientele. And as you said, Melanie, it’s you’re working with far fewer clientele, I will generally work with no more than six organizations, because that’s enough to work with at any given time. So there’s this marketing, but there was a whole lot of other turning parts that over the five years that I’ve been doing this, I’ve made lots of mistakes, and learn how to now work with corporate clients. And that’s what’s now led me into mentoring other health coaches to move from that one on that one model to that one to many model.

Melanie: That’s the thing, it sounds like a great pathway, and there’s always going to be things that you need help with. The fact that you’ve been there and helping people through – that’s fantastic. Because it’s the straight line method, is what I would call it. Like when I help people start their businesses, I think I made lots of mistakes, I help you to set up a business and bypass as many of those as possible. And you’re doing this in the corporate space. I think it’s also a very exciting opportunity for coaches right now to get into corporate. There seems to be this real shift in the way people view well being, particularly mental health and well being. Then recognize the recognition that it’s so important for employees to really bring a more targeted approach to their workforce.

Christine: 100%. It was seen as like a sort of an added value, now I believe that it’s seen as more of a norm – like a necessity. Particularly what we’ve been through this year, you know where I’m from, Gippsland, we’ve had the bush fires and then COVID. We’ve had a lot of stresses, and working with your employees and investing in your employees is essentially an investment in your business.

And the return on investment for how a general health and wellness program is about three fold. I’ve managed to get some of my clients six plus fold, when we calculate what it’s costing the organization, when they tallying up things like absenteeism and presenteeism workers compensation claims, staff turnover – all those things as a result of mental health and well being and physical health and well being emotional health and well being… if they’re not taken care of is a significant cost to the business. And by the employer looking after their staff, looking after their mental, physical, emotional health and well being is really an investment in their business. The return on that is productivity and having the emotional intelligence within the organization. So there aren’t issues with with relationships, and helping to keep that net mental health base. They’re able to manage their their stresses, and they’re able to focus on the job.

So this, therefore, is no accident. It’s a significant return on investment, by investing in your employees with a health and wellness program. And health coaches are well set up and suited to sort of slip into this organization, this corporate world. They have the expertise, they have the knowledge and sometimes just perhaps need a little bit more guidance on the business acumen to deliver that and make that happen.

Melanie: There’s two things really that come to mind as you’re speaking and one is this. It’s almost like now is a golden opportunity to step into this space, there’s never been a greater need, or a greater awareness of the need for coaching in corporate health. And the the other thing I hear is that the way you’re talking about the benefits to the organization, I think that’s a big gap for coaches to really understand. How do I get people to buy coaching?What is the language around them, the marketing of what you do, and the positioning of the benefits… I’m imagining that is something that you bring to what you teach coaches?

Christine: Yeah, 100%. So they’re not purchasing the coach or seeing the coaching, they’re purchasing the outcomes of benefiting what’s in it for them. And that’s what they care about. And that’s what we really need to focus on, when we’re utilizing our language through, the sales conversation or language within our copy copy within our marketing, and to really portray the those outcomes and those benefits. So that it’s, it’s a no brainer for them to invest into your program, so that they reach those outcomes and move away from their pain points and move away from what it’s costing their business into where they want to be, which is healthy, energetic, happy staff that are that are really performing optimally and that are really productive. And therefore, that’s going to be most financially optimal for that organization.

Melanie: I would imagine that makes the sales conversation a whole lot easier as well.

Christine: Yeah, that’s a big component of what I teach, because there’s a lot of turning parts in that. And several years ago, I did some training around the psychology of selling. And it’s really helping them to shift, to hold them in the pain point of where they are at with that emotional or that logical challenge or problem, until they’re wanting to move away from that. And then you’re showing them that emotional and logic future that they can potentially have.

And you’re what comes in between that cognitive dissonance. So you’re bringing them from that pain point to where they ultimately want to be in the future. And you’re helping them to realize that they need you.

That’s a really big point because it takes in working in the corporate space it takes really can take quite a bit of time to build those healthy, strong relationships, that trust and rapport. So once you have the opportunity to sit in front of the decision maker and have that sales conversation, it needs to be seamless – it needs to flow. You don’t want to get all the way to that sales conversation and have it fall flat. You want to get them across the board, so that you can help them with your services, they can gain the benefits from working with you. And therefore it’s beneficial for your business’s health coach because you’ve got a sustainable ongoing long term client where you’re making good profits from.

Melanie: Yeah, it’s a great explanation, and I teach much the same concept when working with coaches in starting up their own business and working directly with with B to C. It’s that whole use of the coaching approach in your sales conversation to take them from the “pain point” to the desired outcome. And so positioning is part of what you teach, and I guess I don’t want to reveal all of your secrets about how you work with people, but I know that you are running a webinar. It’s Thursday night this week. Is that right?

Christine: Yeah, that’s right. So Thursday, the 22nd 7:30 Australian Eastern Standard Time. So it’s really a webinar for health coaches that are interested that have been considering it, or maybe I’m sure, just to come along, and I’m just going to really be touching on the basics, we’re going to be looking at basically what you can earn working in the corporate health workplace wellness space, as opposed to that one on one model, we’re going to be looking at, you know, how to get the corporate client to really love what what offerings you have, what services that you’re already delivering, and how that can be transported into the corporate space. And we’re going to talk a little bit about just basically how to get started how to get your first corporate client.

Melanie: Okay, fantastic. They’re very important things. And I bet a lot of people are really interested to know what you’re going to talk about. Are there any prerequisites, Christine, for coming along? Do you have to be at a certain level? Or, you know, anything else like that?

Christine: I think it’s important, if you’re serious about moving into corporate health and workplace wellness, that you have an established business, and that you have some coaching hours under your belt. I don’t think you can expect to sort of just get your certification and walk straight into the corporate sector, I do believe that you need a some experience under your belt. But having said that, if you’re just curious and interested, maybe this is something for you later, and in the future, by all means everyone’s welcome to come along to the webinar and hear about it. Because I know when I first started in corporate health, you know that the biggest thing for me was just to make that decision. Did I really want to move my one on one and quite successful business into the one to many in corporate health? And so it really took me some time to get very clear that it was the direction I wanted to go in, to get into that mindset to then transition my business in into corporate health. So the more clarity you have, and the more certainty you have around something, it makes a whole lot easier to achieve, if that’s the way that you want to go.

Melanie: It makes perfect sense, and actually, as you were talking earlier about all of the fears, and the imposter syndrome, and all of the things that come up for people, I was wondering if those sort of things are just simply a lack of knowledge of how it actually works. And when you understand the mechanics, which you’re obviously going to explain in your webinar of what’s involved in getting into the corporate space as a coach, what are what are the main things you need to do? I think kind of dissolving some of those myths and getting clarity on the process will help people to say, yes, that’s for me or not, for me, at some point down the track. And, and therefore, as you say, having that even if you’re not ready to step into that now, understanding what’s involved would be really important and almost like part of your vision for your business, if you have clarity on Yes, I know what’s involved in being in the corporate space. And that’s where I want to take my business, how much easier then does it take? Is it for you to align all of your personal and professional development plans to go down that path?

Christine: Yeah, 100%. If you if you know where you want to go, and you have you have certainty or have some sort of clarity around that, then you kind of reverse engineer and you can put all those steps into place. What do I need to do now to achieve that ultimate goal? What resources do I need? What education do I need, what mentoring what support and then you could put all those things into place to help to expedite that process. So I’ve developed a whole program to help coaches move from that one on one into the corporate house, and it just sort of came about quite organically. It’s just all the mistakes I’ve made, like speak to the process. And as I was doing, and I thought, well, I wish I had this when I first started. I really do and would have really guided me along the path so much so much quicker. But um, yeah, I just love it.  I love seeing the transition. I’ve put some other health coaches through and to see them come out the other end and actually start to sign corporate clients and start to make some good money in their business. It’s really exciting. I love seeing that transformation.

Melanie: Yeah, and I guess that’s the message. It’s powerful. You’ve done it. You’ve been there. I don’t think anyone else is doing what you’re doing, Christine. It’s such a valuable service that you offer. And I love it that you’ve got this webinar. It’s a free webinar, right?

Christine: Yeah, that’s right. It’s a free webinar, it goes for an hour, and I’ll be giving away some free resources at the webinar. Since I help coaches get started – if they’re interested, if they’re serious, then there’s going to be lots of value there.

Melanie: Great. And even if they’re not sure, then obviously it’s a place to get clarity on whether that’s something they’d like to do in the future.

Christine: Yeah, that’s right.

Melanie: Absolutely. And of course, now is a very good time to think about it and to plan for it, because I think we’re at the tipping point of a big move into coaching in the corporate space being taken a lot more seriously. And there’s going to be a lot of opportunities coming up for people who are positioning themselves in that way with the right skills and knowledge to do that.

Christine: Yeah, there seems to be really significant demand. And particularly, there’s a lot of investment from the government, a lot of funding going around, particularly in the mental health space and sector. And that falls through into organizations, of course, and as I said before, with everything that we’ve experienced this year – there seems to be a really significant demand. And what I’m noticing more of is the that kind of that tailor made program, as opposed to that sort of generic program that a lot of the large organizations might offer. So to be an individual and to really listen and understand the challenges of that organization to tailor made a program that fits that organization to reach those outcomes and achieve those benefits of is of great value.

Melanie: That’s the coaching approach. It makes it hard for anyone to copy you. And it makes you stand out and really deliver value. Thanks so much. We’ve covered so much today. Christine, is there anything else you want to add? Before I point people to the registration link, which hold attached to this Show Notes for this episode, and all of your social media links? Is there anything else you want to say?

Christine: Yeah, f you know if this is something you’re interested in or perhaps you’re unsure about, or you want to perhaps learn a bit more about… by all means, come on to the webinar, jump into our Facebook group health coaches in corporate health we are a group of over 300, like minded people who are interested in some are breaking through. Some are doing it, some are actually quite experienced in that area. So it’s just a real community of people supporting each other in transitioning into that space.

Melanie: Sounds like a great place to be, and thank you so much.

Anyone listening who’s interested, I’m going to put all of these details in the notes, and I advise you to get in touch with with Chris before Thursday, the 22nd of October, otherwise, the Facebook group is the place to go if you’re listening to a recording after that date.

Christine: Thank you. It’s great to have a chat and have a lovely week.

Melanie: You too. Bye for now.

Interested in corporate coaching?

Follow the links to learn more about Christine. I can also recomment the Habitology Membership as the perfect tool if you’re ready to break old habits and start a new chapter. I encourage you to check it out. Learn more here:

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Episode 106: Essential Advanced Business Systems

Today I want to talk about essential advanced business systems that you will need to set up once you’ve been working in your business for at least 6 – 12 months.

On the last episode of his podcast, I talked about essential start-up business systems that you need in your first few months of operation.

The systems I describe today will help you to get organised and deliver a more professional, efficient, and seamless experience for your clients.

Before starting

Before you build more advanced business systems, it’s best if you have some experience under your belt, and have a fairly good understanding of your niche and ideal client, and some experience with working with clients.

What I’m saying is this – it’s only through experience and market research that you can get clear on how you like to do your work, what your ideal clients like or dislike, where you connect with them and how they like to buy from you. 

Imagine setting up a complicated sales funnel on a social media platform and then finding out your clients don’t like that social media platform and don’t spend any time there! 

That would be wasting time and money.

To get some clarity on what your ideal customers want, just ask them! It’s called market research, and it’s one of the best ways to start client-centred conversations with the people you wish to serve. It’s good marketing.

When you are doing pro bono sessions or your preliminary programs, weave in a few questions to learn more about them.

Do they prefer to meet you on Zoom or on the phone? 

Would they visit a website to download information as part of a membership or not?

Are they involved in Facebook groups or not, and how do they use Facebook? 

Do they spend any time on LinkedIn or Instagram and how do they interact there? 

Who do they follow, and why?

Do they really want to learn about something specific and to get help with that, or do they just want someone to talk to?

Do they like to read blogs, watch videos or listen to podcasts?

Do they subscribe to email newsletters and what sorts of topics do they like to hear about? 

You have to keep doing this research on an ongoing basis in your business so that you can keep your finger on the pulse in terms of what your clients want and need.

That way, everything you do will be on point, and meeting their needs. It means you’ll be able to give excellent customer service.

Now let’s talk about three advanced systems that you might need in the next 6 – 12 months!

1. Your customer relationship management system (CRM)

A CRM is usually made up of one or more software programs that improve how you interact and do business with your customers. 

CRM systems help you manage and maintain customer relationships, track sales leads, marketing, and pipeline, and deliver actionable KPI data.

When you have a system or systems that work well and are easy to manage, it can streamline the administrative processes in the sales, marketing, and service delivery areas of your business so that you can focus on engaging with prospects and working with clients. 

The foundation of every software based CRM is an email list. It’s what you can do with that list, and how you can engage with the list, that makes a CRM different from just a regular email program.

This is one of those systems that has a LOT of features that you’ll only really make the most of if you have a good understanding of your niche and ideal customer, and are prepared to set aside blocks of hours for training to help you set up and use the system.

Here are some examples of how you could use a CRM;

  1. Track how people are responding to your emails and interacting on your website, what they are clicking on or not clicking on, and then to follow up with them depending on how they interact.
  2. Set up an online sales funnel – e.g. a landing page to advertise a specific service, and the page has a built in buy now button that captures payment, delivers a welcome email and signs the buyer up to a DIY program or membership that they purchased.
  3. Develop a membership that can be embedded in your website and give members access to surveys, quizzes, blogs, member forums and events calendars within the membership.

These are 3 common examples of how you can use the integrated features of a CRM to do specific things in your business. Of course, you need to know who your ideal client is, what they want and whether they’ll buy it from you before you’ll get any value out of having this sort of system.

A lot of software companies claim to have an all in one system that “does everything”, but in reality I have found that each software I’ve looked at covers their own select suite of business functions.

Some options that are popular include: 

  1. Active Campaign email system which has facility to upgrade to a CRM to track leads and enquiries, 
  2. Kartra, which includes inbuilt landing pages, email automations, pre-built sales funnels, a membership platform, and quiz and survey functions are coming soon.
  3. Clickfunnels, which is a similar product to Kartra but has been around longer
  4. HubSpot, which is focused on email communications, ad management, booking sales calls, live chat facility and providing quotes. 

Some of these have free or low cost trials, and I highly recommend taking up the free trial option before you dive in.

Here is a link to the $1 trial for Kartra.

2. Your Document Management System (DMS)

If your office is strewn with paper and post-it notes, with duplicates and different versions of things, then you probably need to set up a document management system. 

Even if you don’t have a lot of experience in business or clients, you can start setting up a DMS once you have a feel for how you like to work with documents.

A DMS is simply a standardized way of receiving, tracking, managing and storing all of your business documents. It can help you store data securely, and maintain version control and ensure all your documents are current.

A DMS means you can find anything quickly and easily because you have a logical system and process for all the documents you handle.

You can set up a manual DMS with file folders, file dividers and a lockable filing cabinet!

But there are software programs to help you set up a digital DMS that helps you to organise and manage your documents.

If you have completed my Passion to Profit training, we cover this in Module 6 of the program, in business systems.

Here’s an example of how it works.

In my business, I use Dropbox, a cloud based platform, to store all of my documents.

I organise my documents into several main folders: 

  • Business assets (all the content I develop)
  • Policies 
  • Procedures 
  • Templates
  • Registers

All of my admin, financial, IT, legal and marketing guidelines fit into those folders.

One of my key registers is an Asset Register, which contains a hyperlink to every video, blog or landing page or booking page that I have created. It’s like a library catalogue for all of my intellectual property which makes it easy to search for and find resources to give to my clients.

I also have dedicated folders for Marketing, Advertising and Training Courses.

My client folders are stored on Google Drive as I find this easier to share with people because we can both have a document or spreadsheet open at the same time and work on it together. 

It’s pretty straight forward to set up a document management system – the main thing is that you find a way of filing everything that is logical to you, so that you can use it in the same way consistently.

3. Your Continuous Improvement System (CIS)

 

A continuous improvement system is a way to constantly evaluate and improve the efficiency, effectiveness and flexibility of your business systems and the delivery of your services.

There are four parts to a CIS:

  1. You have some performance goals, and a way of monitoring or tracking progress and performance toward those goals, e.g. customer satisfaction, total sales per month, new enquiries etc.
  2. You take time to review this data and evaluate how you are tracking as compared to your goals
  3. You reflect on your data and identify areas for improvement if relevant.
  4. You schedule those improvements, which might include revamping a program you wrote, hiring a specialist to help with an area of business, or doing a training course to learn how to do something better or at a more advanced level.

Here’s an example.

Let’s say that you want to deliver a pilot coaching program to a group of target clients so you can deliver a high value experience to them and be sure it’s exactly what they want and need.

You’d have some specific goals around the customer experience and quality of service you deliver, and you might measure that in two ways:

  • Asking the customers specific questions each week about their experience, and
  • Asking them to complete a survey for the whole program, at the end.

The customer feedback would include things like how they liked the process of being signed up, your between session communication with them, the coaching process, and the support and resources they received.

You might also do your own coaching log after every session, and a formal post-program review for yourself to gauge how you felt about the program, what could be improved and to see how your own impressions compared with the participants’ feedback.

Then, you can reflect on all of the internal and external feedback and decide what you want to change to improve the efficiency, effectiveness and perceived value of the program, as well as the customer experience.

This is just one example but it’s an important one.

You can use the same process for your financial processes, marketing campaigns, sales strategy and any other areas.

Summary

When you have had a bit of experience in your business, you can create a more professional, efficient and seamless experience for your clients and yourself!

One of the triggers is that you find yourself spending as much time bumbling around with administration as you do working with clients, unsure of where to spend your energy, and lacking any sense of organisation. You want to feel focused and do more of the work you love to do, and less of the boring, clunky administrative stuff.

Or maybe, you simply want to do things a little easier and free up more time, and you now have some income to invest in automating some of the manual things you’re doing. 

Today I’ve outlined three advanced business systems that you can use in your service-based business to achieve any or all of these aims.

You want to feel focused and do more of the work you love to do, and less of the boring, clunky administrative stuff.

You can start with two of them right away, but I recommend getting more clarity on your niche, ideal client and your own work processes before investing in a CRM.

If you are looking at CRMs, I recommend using their free trials and allow several hours of training over two weeks to properly assess if something is right for you, before you buy it.

If you need help with business systems and are ready to create your own rinse-and-repeat way of doing business, hit me up on the contact page and we can talk about how I might be able to help you get this up and running, quickly and easily.

Ready to get your business systems up and running?

Having the boring bits taken care of will give your business the space it needs to thrive. If you’re truly ready to break old habits and get out of the rut I encourage you to check out the Habitology membership.

Learn more here:

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Episode 105: Best Essential Business Systems

This episode details some of the best essential business systems available, as well as low cost software options that will help you to get started and boost efficiency.

I’ve just finished the latest round of my 12-week Passion to Profit business training course for coaches. 

I find that a lot of students in this course are unclear on which systems they need to set up a streamlined, professional, tickety-boo coaching business, how those systems can save them time and money.

So in this episode, I want to walk you through four of the best essential business systems that all businesses need, plus to talk about some low cost software that will help you to get started and run your business more efficiently and effectively.

In the next episode, I’ll talk about more advanced business systems.

But for now, let’s dive in.

1. Your Financial System

The first system I want to talk about is your financial system. 

Every business needs a financial system – sorry to be Captain Obvious here!

Your financial system needs to perform several functions, including things like: 

  • tax-compliant invoicing, 
  • reconciling bank statements, 
  • keeping track of business income and expenses, 
  • keeping track of capital purchases, 
  • budgeting, and 
  • keeping track of debtors (people who owe you money) and creditors (people you owe money to).

When you start out, it’s possible to do most of these things in spreadsheets or word processing software on a cycle of regular tasks that you put into your calendar.

This is a really low cost way to go.

But there are two problems with this method: 

  1. You need to know what all the moving parts of your financial system are, in order to be able to do them properly, and
  2. It is a very manual process and one that can be fraught with mistakes.

In my experience, most people don’t like finances or spreadsheets very much. So your options are to get a bookkeeper to help you with these regular financial tasks, OR, to find a more effortless way to do the financial tasks. 

After all, why would you use a cumbersome, difficult system to manage an area of business that you don’t particularly like?  It’ll just make things harder and will be an energy drain.

I have come to believe it’s actually way better to get straight into a software that will help you to run your books in a way that is accurate and time-efficient and that makes your business look professional.

I have two recommendations for software; one free, and one paid.

If you are ready to commit to subscription for a software that does the work of your bookkeeper and accountant, and can even be accessed by them, then I recommend Xero.

But if you can’t afford that yet, I suggest looking at a free software that does all of the essential financial functions that Xero and similar softwares can perform.

That software is called Wave Financial and you can do basic accounting, invoicing and receipts in the free subscription.

2. Your Payment System

Most accounting systems are designed to manage the books but not actually take payments, so I want to talk about your payment system now, as a kind of a subset of your financial system.

There are lots of ways to collect payment and a lot of people who are starting out will usually take either cash or direct debit.

Those are fine, but there are three issues with taking payment like this:

  1. A lot of business owners feel uncomfortable about asking for money and more manual payment systems bring those conversations to the forefront e.g. you have to physically ask for money in a session.
  2. Manual payment systems require a lot more time to administer, additional forms, and good planning to reconcile your books. 

Probably by now I’ve convinced you that an up-front payment system is way better.

I’ll talk about how to get payment up front in a moment, but first, we need to talk about the system for collecting money – also known as the payment gateway.

A payment gateway is a means to receive money – it is the middle man between your customer and your bank. 

Online platforms offer a great way to collect money in many different ways and there are a lot of options available. 

I personally use Stripe and Paypal, which are two payment gateways that are secure, well known and trusted. There are other gateways for collecting money, but I like to use those that have the best reputation.

The great thing about Stripe and Paypal is that they work internationally, they can collect payment in a variety of different currencies, and they only charge a fee per transaction rather than on subscription.

They also integrate with a variety of websites and booking forms, which means no tech headaches for you – everything in your client onboarding process can happen at once!

You will need a business bank account to use these platforms, and can use them to collect payment even if you don’t have a website. 

You can manually enter customers and send invoices from either system.

But let’s talk about automating things!

3. Your Booking System

You can manually book people in for sessions in a diary or a spreadsheet, but there are two main problems I discovered with doing this: 

  1. You can accidentally double book yourself, and
  2. You can accidentally overbook yourself.

Picture this – two people want to talk to you, and you offer them both a few time slots. 

But you realise afterwards that you aren’t actually available in one of those slots, and then one of your clients wants to book into that time, so you need to go back and break the news.

Argh! Not very professional.

Further to this, if your booking system is separate from your payment system then it means multiple manual, administrative steps to get bookings and payments sorted out.

And then, there is the challenge of manual reminders, and sometimes needing to chase overdue or declined payments which can feel uncomfortable and take up your valuable time and energy.

Luckily, there are booking systems that take the pain out of things and help you take bookings and payments at the same time up front, including all your client contracts etc, so that you can simply get it all done at once without needing to lift a finger!

I like using Acuity scheduling because it integrates seamlessly with my payment gateways Stripe, Paypal, and it ALSO does reconciliation for me automatically in Xero.  

In fact, Acuity links with a whole bunch of different webinar, email, accounting, website and CRM platforms. Those linkages are available with paid plans, although there is a free scheduling version available too.

But for around $150 per year, it’s a steal for a software that saves you hours of time.

4.  Your Coaching System

Finally, there is your coaching system, the last part of the essential business systems that you need to run a service-based business.

When I talk about your coaching system, I mean the sequence of documents that you might use in a coaching program that you deliver, from worksheets your clients use to set goals, to any emails you might send afterwards.

I tried a few different coaching software programs out there (and there are about 30 different kinds) but I didn’t want to pay upward of $30 per month for two clients, increasing from there, for a software that didn’t do what I wanted and overlapped with some things.

Maybe that’s just me and my Rebel tendency, but I decided nothing fit the bill therefore it wasn’t worth the fees.

SO I set up my own system using Google Drive and Google Forms, Sheets and Docs.

I use google forms for questionnaires and quizzes, client feedback surveys and my own coaching log. These forms dump all the answers into a Google Sheet for each form, so everything is consolidated automatically.

I use Google Drive to create sharable client folders and as a place to share Docs and Sheets used to contain notes, plans, schedules and other important information.

There are other ways to do this, but I find the Google system is easy to navigate, cloud based and all in one.

For example, you could use Word and Excel to do these things but the form/quiz function isn’t as easy to set up and run with.

Taking Time to Learn

Don’t expect to buy a software and ask someone to teach it to you. That won’t work, and it will be a long and frustrating process.

If you want to use a software, do the free two week trial (or whatever they offer) first and test it out to see if it suits your learning style, and makes sense to you.

Use the help videos and blogs to help you learn how to use it. Don’t ask someone else to do it for you. Set aside several 1 – 2 hour slots over two weeks to have a good go and understand it.

As the future manager and owner of any business systems, you need to start developing these skills right from the start unless you plan to outsource these things.

My litmus test for anything is if you can’t get the hang of it within two weeks, it isn’t the right system for you.

Summary

When you start your business, you want to run it as efficiently as possible to eliminate mistakes and reduce arduous admin tasks by using simple, efficient and effective systems.

Today I’ve outlined four of the best essential business systems that you can use in your service-based business to run a start-to-finish client process, from onboarding and taking payment, to running sessions and closing a program.

The right software will help you to run your books in a way that is accurate and time-efficient and that makes your business look professional.

Use the free trials and allow several hours of using the free training and help videos over two weeks to properly assess if something is right for you, before you buy it.

Then, you can say goodbye to tedious paperwork and manual, laborious, error-laden spreadsheets, and hello to some efficient and effective systems that give you confidence, professionalism and a rinse-and-repeat way of working.

If you need help with business systems and are ready to create your own rinse-and-repeat way of doing business, hit me up on the contact page and we can talk about how I might be able to help you get this up and running, quickly and easily.

Ready to get automated?

Using software will help you to simplify the tasks that you don’t love. If you’re truly ready to break old habits and get out of the rut I encourage you to check out the Habitology membership.

Learn more here:

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Episode 103: Four Legal Essentials for Business

Are you unclear on how to be legally compliant and protected in your business? 

Today I want to answer some questions that have come in from students in my Passion to Profit business training program and from some of my private business coaching clients, about the legal essentials of business.

I’m sure you’re aware of why it’s important to operate your business in a legally compliant way, so I want to introduce you to some of the basics that you need to have in place to do that.

In this episode I’m going to list four legal essentials for business that you need to be aware of, so that you can operate your business in a safe, professional and compliant way.

Just a note that I previously published an episode on must-have legal agreements for coaching businesses, and you can listen to that episode here.

I am hoping to secure a special podcast guest on this topic in future – stay tuned.

1. Appropriate Insurance

Any practitioner needs insurance that’s appropriate to their profession and level of risk associated with it, which could include the sale of products. 

There are two types of insurance that you normally buy in a package:

  1. Medical Liability / Professional indemnity, and
  2. Public liability.

Let’s talk about the professional indemnity aspect first.

This is designed to protect you if someone sues you for loss, injury, omission or breach of duty from using your health coaching services. 

In partnership with taking out indemnity insurance, it’s essential that you work within your scope of practice and can prove that it’s your intention to work that way and that you actually ARE working within scope.

This is where formal policies and procedures come in. 

Policies state your intention and include statements of your scope of practice and the standards by which you deliver services and/or products. 

Any practitioner needs insurance that’s appropriate to their profession and level of risk associated with it.

Procedures back up your policies by outlining the specific steps you take to ensure safety, quality, privacy etc in your day to day operations. 

Note that policies and procedures are only evidence if you are actually running your business in alignment with them!

Now let’s talk about public liability.

This is designed to protect you if a third party sues you for accidental injury or damage sustained while using your service.

Imagine that you are holding a workshop in your home and someone trips on your extension cord and smashes their nose on the side of a table and needs costly medical attention.

OUCH! 

That person might decide to sue you to cover their medical bills, claiming that you didn’t take due care to provide a safe environment.

Apart from ensuring safety basics for any events or services you deliver, such as putting a slip-proof mat over your cords and tucking them away safely out of reach of people’s feet, it’s essential that you have public liability to cover you in this situation, and many others that fall under the banner of liability.

It’s important to ensure that your policy includes legal defence costs so that you have adequate legal support to defend allegations made against you arising from your Health Coaching advice or business operations.

If you run a coaching business, then I recommend checking out insurance cover via our industry association – Health Coaches Australia and New Zealand Association.

2. Website Disclaimers

Do all Australian websites need a disclaimer?

Your website needs disclaimers to prove that it is fit for purpose and to state the intention of how the information you provide should be used.

Remember that you can’t control how people interpret your words and ideas. 

So if you give opinions or advice, even inadvertently, a reader may decide to sue you because they experienced loss, misfortune or health issues after reading one of your blogs, or buying one of your DIY products, and misinterpreting the application.

Here is a great blog by Legal123 on this topic

They say that “every website contains information, and in most instances there is a specific intention for the information on the website. A disclaimer will help prevent a viewer suing the website and owner for any loss suffered from taking this information and interpreting it in the wrong way.”

3. Complying with Copyright

According to the Australian Copyright Council, copyright is free and exists the moment you create something in material form. There’s a great fact sheet that I’ll link to in the notes.

In other words, the programs, resources and client worksheets that you create automatically have copyright applied.

When it comes to your website, the whole website is not protected but all of the content you create and add to it IS protected by copyright.

And if you decide to quote somebody or use somebody else’s images or words, you need their permission to do that otherwise you are breaching copyright.

So, what about all those great free images that you get from places like Unsplash.com to use in your blogs or on your workbook covers?

Some sites like Unsplash say that you can use images for free, but they do prefer you to attribute authors in your blogs, and they have a couple of conditions on use.

In the design platform Canva, you can access free images and have freedom of use, but there may be conditions on how paid images may be used in a commercial setting.

The takeaway is – if you are using images, text or music that someone else created, you may need permission to use it but you will need to check the terms of use for that item.

In any case, make sure you include a references section with a hyperlink to the source in any published material that draws on others’ work.

4. Client Data Storage Security

Life was easy before the internet. You simply needed a lockable, fireproof filing cabinet and a pledge to keep records safe and secure for 7 years, before archiving them until the 15 year mark at which point you would shred them.

If you operate in the hard copy world, this is still valid.

But if you’re working online in any capacity, you need good digital security.

There are two parts to client digital data storage and security: 

  1. Making sure that clients sessions are stored on a secure cloud platform if using, and 
  2. Ensuring security of your own PC.

Regarding platform security, I want to share this blog that seems to be independent and gives a great comparison guide. It rates OneDrive as the best for security and privacy as compared with Dropbox and Google Drive at the time this podcast was published.

Even if you’re not using the cloud to store client information, you need to ensure that your computer and digital data are secure.

Individual businesses may be less likely targeted/attacked by hackers, but it’s no guarantee.

Two things you can do to beef up your security are:

  1. To share files with clients via a secure upload/transfer program like wetransfer, then move them to your C drive (off the cloud) or a plug-in external drive that you can lock away in a cabinet.
  2. It’s also critical to have a firewall, virus and malware software to reduce or eliminate the issue of hacking. Malwarebytes is a free online, trusted tool for scanning for and eliminating malware.

Summing it Up

Aside from business law, which I’ll discuss in a future podcast, and legal contracts, which I discussed in a previous podcast, there are four essential ways to ensure that your business is legally compliant and protected. They are:

  1. Appropriate insurance, backed up by policies and procedures
  2. Website disclaimers
  3. Complying with copyright, and
  4. Client data storage security

I have included links in the notes that will help you with these areas. I’m not a lawyer but I’ve been in business and around contracts for a long time and have seen things go pear shaped for others – as well as having a couple of near-misses myself and am grateful I’d done the right thing in both cases to protect myself from client misuse.

Putting the necessary legal infrastructure demonstrates that you’re serious about your business and about operating to a high, professional standard. 

Let me be clear – most of your business activities are probably safe, compliant and harmless. 

But I encourage you to safeguard that by putting the necessary legal infrastructure in place to get your business up to an appropriate standard of legal compliance and protection.

Aside from anything, it demonstrates that you’re serious about your business and about operating to a high, professional standard. 

Ready to get savvy about all aspects of your coaching business?

Knowing what to do can make it easy. If you’re truly ready to break old habits and get out of the rut I encourage you to check out the Habitology membership.

Learn more here:

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Episode 101: Two Hot Marketing Success Tips

In this episode I’ll be sharing two powerful aha moments that my clients have had this week, so that you can get really comfortable with marketing AND do it with confidence, and sell your stuff like a boss.

This past week I have had two really interesting conversations with a couple of my clients about what marketing is and what marketing isn’t and how to get into the right mindset to really embrace marketing and do it well. 

These conversations were eye openers for my clients and it helped them to totally get a different perspective on  marketing, so I wanted to share them with you here today. 

The tips are to help you 1. feel totally comfortable about marketing and how to do it, and 2. To sell your services with a sense of conviction.

Tip #1 – a comfortable marketing perspective

One of my clients is SUPER good at connecting and networking with people, yet she has always shied away from the idea of ‘marketing’

I explained to her that, essentially, marketing is exactly like the process of making friends.

You need to invest in friendships and earn the right to be a friend before you can ask them to help you move house, or babysit your three kids for a weekend, right?

So in the same sense, marketing is a process of getting to know your kind of people who have a common problem and interest. And it’s about networking with colleagues in the same way, having general conversations on points of interest and staying in touch.

You’re staying connected with those friends (potential clients) and talking about things that matter to you both. 

You can do this on an email list, or in a FB group, or via a WhatsApp feed, or a meetup group, or whatever way you want.

The point is, whichever way you choose to build and maintain a community of ‘friends’ (prospective clients), you need to show up consistently and talk to them about what matters.

By being a good friend – supporting them, offering help and value, helping them stay motivated or inspired – they will want to reciprocate.

So every now and again, when you DO make an offer, free or paid, they’ll either want to buy it, or recommend it to others, because they think you’re amazing.

Once I’d explained marketing this way to my client, she had a massive shift and it suddenly opened up so much understanding and possibility for how her marketing could look, going forward.

Tip #2 – celebrating success to sell more, more easily

I have helped several clients with sales conversations recently and there seems to be a common theme – the feeling of I’m not good enough.

Sound familiar?

Most of us are taught that we shouldn’t be boastful, or that we should be humble, or that we shouldn’t talk ourselves up.

I totally agree! Humility is an important and attractive trait.

BUT you can be humble AND promote yourself at the same time in an authentic way, so that you can sell more easily.

The main obstacle most people face is that they’re stuck in the ‘I haven’t done anything amazing’ headspace.

The way to get around that is to celebrate your success – then the authentic sales copy will come tumbling out.

Here’s an example.

I was speaking with someone trying to reach people in a new niche, and she was feeling pretty disheartened by what she described as a ‘lack of ideal clients’ in her latest program.

With some coaching conversation around her successes, it was revealed that she had more clients than she thought. In fact, 50% of her current clients were her ideal clients.

Further, those 50% of clients were all very well networked and could introduce her to potential opportunities in the corporate space.

Celebrating success created a fresh perspective on things.

Coupled with Tip #1 above, suddenly a whole new world opened up for this client of mine, in terms of marketing and she left our session feeling energized, excited and very proactive about connecting with people (instead of marketing) and expanding her niche.

By celebrating her own wins, she was able to see what she had achieved and how to go out and talk about the wins of her clients so she could attract more of the same.

I had two other experiences like this in the past week and it made me realise that I had to share this with you!

In all cases, it all comes down to that good old coaching question – what are you making this mean?

The facts of the situation never change – it’s your interpretation of them – or what you make them  mean – that affects whether you feel like a loser or a winner.

The great thing is that you can control your thoughts.

And to succeed in anything, in business or life, you need to believe in yourself and your methods. 

In Summary

Marketing and making friends follow roughly the same sort of process. You have to have some general conversation to build trust and rapport over a period of time – at least a few months – before you can expect anything in return. You need to give first in order to receive, as Stephen Covey would say.

Marketing is a process of getting to know your kind of people who have a common problem and interest.

In addition, when you celebrate your successes, you see valuable wins which can help you to either feel more confident in talking about what you do, or even better, to help you speak about the results your clients achieved, so you can attract more of the same.

It all comes down to your thinking patterns – they rule your results.

If you want to master your thinking and beliefs about your business, visit melaniejwhite.com/habitology and join my monthly membership where you’ll gain the skills, structure, support and confidence you need to take action and get traction in your business.

Ready to get more comfortable with marketing?

There are habits can help you sell more easily! If you’re truly ready to break old habits and get out of the rut I encourage you to check out the Habitology membership.

Learn more here:

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Episode 100: Client Centric Business with Bridget Healy

Today’s interview with Bridget Healy is a great example of how you can create a global brand using a client centric approach to business.

Visit Bridget and buy quality, values-led products online!

https://www.noopii.co.nz/

Ready to up-size your business?

Everything is possible with the right tools. If you’re truly ready to break old habits and get out of the rut I encourage you to check out the Habitology membership.

Learn more here:

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Episode 99: Money Values

Today we’re going to talk about how your money values affect the quality of clients you attract and how to hack your own brain to improve both!

Today‘s episode is a short one, but a powerful one.

There is a pile of research that shows the old adage – that ‘like attracts like’ – is true.

An article in the Huff Post, written by PhD Margaret Paul, provides a great summary of how and why this occurs in relationships.

This is very relevant to today’s episode, because let’s face it – your life and your business are FULL of relationships, including relationships that are based around money.

I want to read you a direct quote from the article:

“While no one deliberately seeks out someone who is closed, negative and needy, if this is you, this is what you will attract into your life. If you want a loving relationship, then you need to do the work of learning how to take emotional responsibility.” 

Dr Paul’s antidote for attracting the wrong kind of people into your life is to take stock of the way you treat yourself, and to work on your own mind, thoughts, feelings and actions.

Who Are You Attracting?

Start by looking at the types of clients you typically attract.

Are they penny pinchers? 

Are they fearful of spending money? 

Do they find it hard to say no?

Do they see spending on themselves as wasteful, or a risk?

Let’s first acknowledge that this is NOT a sustainable business model.

But further, if your clients behave like this then it is a pretty good indication that your money values are similar and you’ll continue to attract people like this.

What you say to yourself repeatedly is both an instruction to your body on how to act, but also, it creates or reinforces your beliefs.

If you don’t value yourself, if you find it hard to ask for money, or if you just want to help people who have nothing, then you’ll remain stuck in this space and it will be difficult to build a business, let alone a viable one.

So, what’s the answer?

It’s that you’ll need to work on your thoughts so you can change your own beliefs.

What you say to yourself repeatedly is both an instruction to your body on how to act, but also, it creates or reinforces your beliefs.

The first question I’d invite you to ask yourself is – is business really for me?  I recommend thinking long and hard about whether you are willing to do the mindset work required to run a successful business.

This means actively working on your self-talk and your self-worth, so that you can start to change your money values over a period of time – perhaps a few months.

If you feel that this is definitely what you want – not to work for someone else but to truly run your own business, then let’s talk about what you can do in the meantime to start shifting your money values.

Becoming Buyable

Even if your money values need a bit of work, there are some things you can do right now to help you communicate value to your clients – and yourself – more easily.

1. Describe services as affordable and set prices that feel good to you, right now.

The word affordable has a positive ring to it and creates openness around pricing for both you and your client.

Now, to get your pricing right, I developed something I call the goldilocks pricing method, and it works like this.

If your fees are too high in your own mind, you’ll feel scared to ask for the money and it will block you from selling. Your clients will sense the doubt in you and it will transfer to them!

If your fees are too low in your mind, you’ll feel resentful about being paid too little and it will show up as negative energy around your product.

Remember that this pricing is relevant right now, and that you can revise and increase it whenever you like.

2. Communicate value, not price

When we focus on talking about price, we draw attention to the price, and it becomes the main event and the main factor affecting someone’s decision to buy or not.

It’s WAY better to prove the value of what you offer.

To do this, you can talk to potential clients about the value of what you’re doing in terms of:

what it will save them e.g. they’re no longer going to spend $100 per week on wine

  • what they might be able to let go of e.g. no more toxic relationships, or may be able to come of medications with doctors help
  • the value of tangible elements e.g. physical resources that are included such as a welcome pack, a journal etc
  • what it’s worth e.g. testimonials, where clients gush about the value of working with you and how it’s changed their lives
  • what they will gain e.g. typical results from other clients, outcomes they wish to realise that are valuable to them.

3. Make charity a longer term goal

I have seen people start businesses with the sole aim of helping those who are less fortunate – and not wanting or being able to charge very much – then failing in business because they couldn’t meet their income needs.

Quite simply, it’s better to make your money first, then you are way better positioned to help people who are less fortunate!

Summary

Today we discussed the fact that like attracts like – it’s a proven phenomenon.

That means if you have poor money values, you will probably attract those kinds of clients into your life and it will hinder your ability to build a profitable business!

The first thing to ask yourself is whether you are really cut out for business – whether you are prepared to do the mental or mindset work required to do it justice.

And if you are, then changing your self talk around money will be a priority for you. 

In the meantime, how can you attract clients who are willing to pay?

Coaches help people accumulate good habits that will help them achieve. 

Firstly, by describing your services as affordable, and setting a price that is comfortable to you, using my goldilocks method.

Secondly, by shifting the conversation away from price and onto value.

Thirdly, for those of you who want to help the disadvantaged, it will probably be easier if you create profitable business first, then make charity your longer term goal.

Coaches help people accumulate good habits that will help them achieve. 

Ready to change your money values?

You can change your relationship with money by changing the way you think! If you’re truly ready to break old habits and get out of the rut I encourage you to check out the Habitology membership.

Learn more here:

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Episode 98: Consistency with the CARE Model

Today I want to walk you through a model I’ve developed – the CARE model – to help you be consistent with self-care and build resilience.

As I mentioned in episode 96, resilience is the ability to adapt to and cope with life’s challenges with ease, and to bounce back and thrive in spite of them.

As I’ve mentioned previously, if resilience were money, it would be a $50,000 buffer in your bank account. In other words, building resilience requires a regular investment in your own physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing.

One of the challenges people face is being consistent with self-care.

You know what it’s like – the kids need something urgently, or you get loaded with extra work, or your partner wants you to spend some quality time with them and your exercise session or meal prep or book chapter gets shelved – yet again – for later.

In the short term, that’s ok, but if that keeps happening, then you’re adding nothing to your resilience bank account, so your ability to cope with stress, be creative, make decisions is going to decrease.

Now is a great time to decide how you want to respond to stress in the future – whether it’s a downwards spiral or to lift yourself up out of the chaos you feel.

And assuming you want to choose the latter, then you will want to choose some self care activities that are absolutely not-negotiable, and that you can be consistent with.

Let’s look at a simple, five-step process to get it right – the CARE model.

Self Care to Build Resilience

Self-care is any activity that builds and maintains your physical, mental, and emotional health and it’s therefore essential for building resilience.

It could be described as a more positive set of habits that can create an upward spiral rather than a downward one.

Some self-care activities that build resilience could include exercise, being in nature, painting, gardening, singing, reading, cleaning up or getting organised, cooking and eating healthy nutritious food, speaking aloud, writing, drawing, playing with your pets, sleeping well, doing puzzles or playing games, speaking to friends or families, being part of a community. 

A friend of mine came up with a novel self-care activity recently.

She sat with her partner and they looked through photos from their 2018 European holiday, while reading their travel diaries together and reflecting on the memories of some wonderful experiences.

Reflect on your own life for a moment – how would you rate your current level of self-care? Are you attending to it as much as you’d like, and in ways that you enjoy?

Here are some clues that you might need more or different self-care habits:

  • You’re experiencing insomnia
  • You have food cravings
  • You are overeating or overdrinking
  • You feel stressed
  • You are short of breath, feeling rushed or have fast resting pulse
  • You have aches and pains
  • You feel run down, tired or unwell.

Any of these indicates something needs to change!

To that end, what are some creative self-care activities you can think of that would help you to build resilience?

Step 4 is to ask: What does my ideal self-CARE routine look like to meet all my needs?  

Now, for each of the activities you’ve listed, use the CARE model.

Is the activity:

  • Convenient – does it fit easily into your existing lifestyle?
  • Attractive – do you want to do the activity? Would you enjoy it?
  • Realistic – can you enjoy a benefit from as little as 5 minutes up to 50, depending on available time? Does it fit in?
  • Energizing – do you feel good afterwards? Remember, this could be accomplished, productive, uplifted or have a calm energy.

Score each activity according to this model.

If an activity ticks all those boxes – great! 

If an activity doesn’t tick all those boxes, it could become a source of guilt, so you’ll want to change it or replace it.

Firstly, look at any activities you currently do and ask yourself how you could change them to fit with the CARE model.

Then, look at any new activities and ask yourself how you could make them fit with the CARE model. 

Step 5 is to develop a realistic, not-negotiable schedule.

Start with what’s already working – the things you are currently doing consistently.

Schedule those into your calendar, making sure you feel at least 9/10 confident that you could do them each week, in that time slot.

Now, consider whether you have room for any more right now, and can add to your self-care routine without stress, pressure or guilt.

If you can’t, keep your routine as it is and review it in a couple of weeks.

If you can, then consider one or maybe two things you could add, even just once or twice in the coming two weeks, to build more self-care into your life.

It takes about 12 weeks or 86 days to habituate a new routine on average, but often much longer.

This is a gradual process, and you’re building up your self-care activities in a way that is low-pressure, comfortable and achievable. 

Remember:

  1.     Keep it simple – rather under-commit and exceed your own expectations, and
  2.     Be extremely specific about what you will do and when so you always win.
  3.     Build your habits gradually, starting with what suits your current capacity.

Summary

Self-care is any activity that builds and maintains your physical, mental, and emotional health and it’s therefore essential for building resilience.

It’s a positive set of habits that can create an upward spiral rather than a downward one.

When people struggle to be consistent with self care, it’s usually because they expect too much of themselves, try to do too many different things, or do things they think they should rather than what they like.

Self-care is any activity that builds and maintains your physical, mental, and emotional health and it’s therefore essential for building resilience.

I described a CARE Model to help you overcome those obstacles, and to help you get clear on the habits that will be sustainable in the long term.

Then, there was the five-step process I outlined to help you implement habit change on your own.

What I’ve described today is exactly how a Health and Wellness Coach works. We can support you to become motivated and self-accountable for building your own realistic, not-negotiable self-care routine that will build resilience, capacity and a better quality life.

Ready to be consistent with self care?

Habitology can give you the support you need to create your own realistic self-care routine that will build resilience and improve your quality of life! If you’re truly ready to break old habits and get out of the rut I encourage you to check out the Habitology membership.

Learn more here:

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Episode 97: Defining a New Normal in Business

As a result of lock down, a lot of people and businesses have been re-thinking what’s important to them, their values, and how they want their business to run.

Today, we’ll look at these related aspects and walk you through a simple process for defining a new normal.

The Need for Change

Before lockdown you were probably doing what you loved, had business goals and aspirations, a plan of attack, and you were using some marketing processes that allowed your business to hum along.

But since lockdown, our clients’ priorities have changed, and so have ours. 

Think firstly of your ideal client. 

They may no longer want a body transformation, but have decided their priority is to be healthy and mentally stable enough to support their families. 

They may have decided not to go out for coffee or food and to rather cook at home or, they may be working at home such that going out for food is no longer part of their work day.

They may be afraid of going back to the gym in case they become ill.

On the other flipside, some people may want to get outdoors to connect with nature, to grab a take away, or to redefine their health goals and weight loss approach.

To sum it up, business the ‘old way’ may not suit your customer anymore. Your business may need to rebuild customer trust if they are reluctant to attend businesses in person or you may need to pivot your messaging and products or services to speak to what’s important right now to your customer.

Also, think about what’s changed for you as a business owner.

Maybe you have realised you need more work life balance, so the way you do business needs to change.

Perhaps you’ve been forced to downsize, leave your premises or shift the balance of your work to a more online format.

Or even further, maybe you’ve decided to pivot at a bigger scale and pursue a different type of business model or a different niche.

In any case, because of all that’s changed for both you and your ideal client, you’ll need to rethink your business vision and what you want your new normal looks like, and map a clear path to get there.

What’s Important to Your Clients

A lot of people have realised that their families and significant relationships, self-care and health are more important than they used to be.

They are more aware of, and focused on, their mental health.

As a result, people are looking at at-home solutions for health, fitness and wellbeing.

People are talking about taking the pressure off, doing less, and being more mindful. There has been a shift away from the idea of big goals and more into maintaining what they have.

Since lockdown, our clients’ priorities have changed, and so have ours. 

They are shopping more online, but may be more mindful about their purchases and more price sensitive due to economic uncertainty.

They are seeking contactless or more efficient ways of buying.

Consumers may be more ready to leave their old brands and try new things.

They are more willing to buy local and support local businesses and economies, and are looking for ‘value’.

They are more values-driven in their purchases, looking for safety, equality, environmental stewardship, and businesses who are giving back or supporting their community.

In any case, the businesses who’ve done best during lockdown have been those who are actively supporting their communities.

People are risk averse and generally avoiding public social events, but may be engaging more in online communities with like-minded people to feel connected.

They are spending more time viewing media, especially video.

What’s Important for You

Remember that business owners are also consumers. You have probably exhibited a lot of the shifts in thinking and action around your purchases as your customers have.

This puts you in a perfect position to pivot, move sideways or reinvent the way you do business.

You may be ready to shrink or scale your business, to shift to an online presence, to engage with your clients on different platforms, or to rethink your value proposition.

Whatever your situation, it’s time to rethink your business vision, strategy and goals.

Defining Your New (Business) Normal

It’s typical to start any business with a vision of what you want it to stand for and become, and how you will operate going forward.

I think exactly the same process is useful here and I’d like to walk you through it.

Step 1 – Define What’s Important (to you and your customer)

Let’s start with you.

Considering what you’ve gone through, your skills and your strengths, what’s important to you right now?

How will that play out in your business?

Here’s an example.

Let’s say you run a cafe. And let’s say that you’ve realised how important family and your health are to you and in your life. That your strengths are warmth, connection and giving back.

Looking at your old business vision, you might decide that you want to pivot to a delivery or take-away model, offering a healthier menu of family-sized meals, along with a personal hand-written note of thanks for supporting a local business and some staff training on customer service and care.

Or perhaps you run a fitness studio, or work as a coach in a face to face setting. Your strengths are compassion, zest and vitality. The personal connection with clients is important to you, but is difficult in lockdown.

Perhaps your new business model will be to shift from 80% face to face services, to 80% zoom services so that your clients can connect with you from their home, and altered work hours so that you can get enough downtime from the screen.

You could still offer services or events in an outdoor setting with social distancing as allowed, or organise online fitness community events that support your clients around motivation, energy and fear.

So, what about your customer?

We know that pricing is a consideration, yet they want connection and a values-driven approach.

Putting yourself in your customer’s shoes will help you work out the best way forward. 

Perhaps you need to shift your messaging. Perhaps they no longer want a “body transformation”, but are looking to “stay on track” with their eating or exercise or to be kinder to themselves, or develop consistent self-care rituals.

I had this conversation with a coach today, who has seen a shift in clients away from the idea of transformation and into staying on track and self-care, and into more of mental well- being habits than eating and exercise.

Customers want safety and convenience right now; how can you deliver that?

Customers want positivity and some fun; what could you do that offers that?

Creative thinking is required, and so your own resilience and self-care are essentials for facilitating that. After all, nothing creative comes out of a stressed brain.

Step 2 – Ask Your Customer

In my experience, most business owners don’t consult with their clients to find out what they want and need.

But the purpose of any business is to find out what customers want, and then give it to them.

Phone surveys, email surveys, written surveys, competitions with survey questions and other methods can be used to ask your customers what they want and need.

You can ask simple questions like; 

  1. How do you prefer to buy from us? 
  2. What do you like best about working with us? 
  3. What can we do better? 
  4. Is there something we don’t currently offer, that you’d like to buy from us?

I worked with a business once who added $100K revenue to their business and saved $50K on an unnecessary software just by doing a survey like this of their existing customers.

Surveys are part of your marketing; they demonstrate that you care enough about your customer to find out what they want and need, and how you can serve them.

Even better, post a thank you note to their address as a personal touch for participating in the survey.

Your customers feel heard, appreciated and valued. And they will stick with you, possibly spending more, or referring others.

Step 3 – Develop a Strategy

Most of the time, it’s best to make only one or two changes, or a few small changes to your business at a time.

If you survey your clients first, it gives them advance warning that changes may be coming.

Gaining their feedback means you can start working out a strategy that is feasible.

Your strategy could include one or two of the following:

  1. Changing your pricing strategy e.g. 
    1. discount, 
    2. packaging, 
    3. bonuses
  2. Adding a new service or product line e.g. 
    1. smaller purchase, 
    2. product to suit the at-home arrangements, 
    3. product or service to suit their altered priorities
    4. delivering services via video or 
    5. offering a low cost community membership
  3. Collaborating e.g. adding perceived value and/or convenience
  4. Convenience e.g. home delivery, online delivery

It’s important at this stage to see what others are doing and what’s working, not for the sake of comparison, but to validate the idea and give some certainty that it could work for you. 

The final steps would be to get clear on your support, resources and partners that you might need to bring it into action, and then develop a plan.

I’ll cover that in the next episode.

Summary

Today, I’ve talked about how our world and our priorities and values have shifted.

This has undoubtedly changed the way we buy, and the way we sell.

Business the ‘old way’ may not suit your customer anymore.

I’ve outlined the first three steps in a process to review and revise your business vision, to find out what your customers want from you right now, and to brainstorm some strategies to achieve it.

Hopefully, you’re clear that consulting with your customers will tell you most of what you need to know.

And if that aligns with what you want and can deliver, it’s time to pivot and make it happen.

Ready to find your new normal?

Considering what you’ve gone through, your skills and your strengths, what’s important to you right now? If you’re ready to break old habits and move forward I encourage you to check out the Habitology membership.

Learn more here:

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Episode 96: 5 Tips For Coping With Uncertainty

Resilience is your ability to bounce back from stress and it’s something you need to be able to cope with uncertainty in a healthy way. 

It’s not until you’re tested that you realise how much resilience you actually have, or not.

In this episode, I’ll define resilience, and talk about five things you can do to better cope with uncertainty and build resilience.

Here are three definitions:

  1. “Advancing despite adversity”
  2. “Recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change”
  3. “The capacity to respond to stress in a healthy way

When you’re resilient, you’re better equipped to cope with uncertainty.

Resilience is built by using a set of skills and doing certain habits consistently.

If resilience was money, it would be like having $50,000 in your account as a buffer. Just like savings in the bank, resilience is a kind of personal wealth that must be built over time.

Firstly, I’d like to talk about the skills of coping with uncertainty.

Then I’d like to talk about habits you can develop to build resilience and help you cope better.

5 Tips for Coping With Uncertainty

1. It’s normal to feel stressed

As we have seen, uncertainty is a normal and unavoidable part of life. 

We have control over many things, but we can’t control everything that happens to us. Life throws us all curve balls at times. We lose our jobs, people pass away, our kids leave home, and relationships change.

We may feel stressed about what we can’t control, and that is normal.

Stress is a response that helps us to survive. Healthy or positive stress allows us to adapt and make good out of situations.

It’s unhealthy or negative stress that feels difficult and needs attention.

Recognising and accepting that you feel stress, and understanding which type it is, is a first step to being able to cope and build resilience. 

It can give a sense of relief to recognise that you’re feeling something right now, that is normal and will pass.

2. Process negative emotions (feel the feelings)

 

For a lot of adults processing the emotions around these types of events is difficult. Many of us have forgotten how to do it, or we are too busy to give this attention. 

It’s a really important skill to have because we cannot suppress negative emotions. They hang around in the background and eventually come out like a big volcano when you least expect it or, when something stressful happens.

If you want to learn how to process emotions properly, watch your kids. Think about the last time your child fell over or got in a verbal fight with a sibling or friend. 

They probably talked about how they felt, they probably cried a lot, and eventually the crying would have stopped and they would have settled down and moved on.

Making time and space to acknowledge and process your emotions, with self-compassion, can help you to cope better with stress.

3. Focus on what you can control to dial down stress and emotional intensity.

Please know that stress is caused in your own brain, and therefore, you can use your brain to resolve stress.

What I’m saying is that we are the ones that decide how we will react to life’s circumstances.

While your brain can tell you a big story about how bad things are, realise that you are not your thoughts. Thoughts come into your head, but they are not necessarily facts.

Rather than get bogged down with your thoughts, it can help you to see the flipside – what I call factualising.

By focusing on the things that you can control, you can shift out of an emotional state and back into some logical thinking which can help to calm things down.

This could include:

  • Listing things that you do have control of
  • Identifying all the things that ARE stable in your life right now
  • Recognising how you have succeeded in the past

4. Use Your existing skills

Think about any uncertain times you’ve faced in life, and what you learned from those times.

What skills did you use? How did you use them? What was the outcome?

Here’s an example.

A client of mine said she had struggled with uncertainty around her job. Every week she was told a different thing, and she felt a lack of control over her future, and even her ability to make a weekly plan.

When we discussed this further, she identified that one of her skills was organising and another was persistence, and a third was being able to ask for help.

She realised that in the past, she had been able to develop a week by week schedule to help her cope with the uncertainty, and she realised she could do this again, and reach out for help to make sure it was the right thing for her.

By focusing on using her skills, she was able to get through her period of uncertainty.

5. Self Care

 

Self care simply means doing things that boost your physical, mental or emotional health.

Most of us don’t make enough time to do these important things, but they help to create healthy hormonal responses, remove us from the uncomfortable situation, give us an outlet for stress, and help us feel mentally and emotionally replenished.

Self-care activities can also feel like an achievement, even when life is uncertain.

Some self-care activities tick all of those boxes, for example, exercise.

Let’s say that you’re able to go out into your yard and use a skipping rope for a few minutes. You break a sweat. You release some tension and you release endorphins.

Your mind is on the present moment, not tripping over the jump rope and staying upright, or counting your reps.

Meanwhile, you’re outside in nature. You experience physical sensations that distract your mental worries. You remember what it’s like to be outside again. 

After all that, you feel like you’ve achieved something and you have something to show for it – an elevated heart rate, knowing you’ve done some good for yourself, and you’re feeling calmer and more in control.

As you can see, self-care is a way of building and maintaining resilience. It’s what puts credits in the bank for when you need them.

If you actively practice self-care activities each week you can keep building your mental and emotional savings account.

Summary

Resilience is your ability to bounce back from stress and it’s something you need to be able to cope with uncertainty in a healthy way. 

Resilience is your ability to bounce back from stress and it’s something you need to be able to cope with uncertainty in a healthy way. 

It’s often not until your busy life is disrupted that you realise that you’re not coping well and need to build your resilience.

I described five ways to cope with uncertainty and start building resilience:

  1. To acknowledge it’s normal to feel stressed 
  2. Processing negative emotions – feeling the feelings and letting go
  3. Focus on what you can control 
  4. Identify your existing skills and decide how to use them
  5. Develop a consistent self-care practice

Ready to build resilience?

Resilience is built by using a set of skills and doing certain habits consistently. If you’re truly ready to break old habits and get out of the rut I encourage you to check out the Habitology membership.

Learn more here:

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Episode 95: Validation and Profit

This episode shows you why and how validation using rigorous, high quality data is your secret weapon for helping your clients to get better results and make long lasting change, and to create more value, more sales, higher prices and better profit.

Today’s episode is called validation, and I’m talking in relation to results that your clients get in your coaching business.

In my last episode I talked about how to sell more coaching programs with the inclusion of monitoring data, and that’s the backstory for today’s episode.

I’ve chosen the title ‘validation’ because I want to show you why and how rigorous, high quality data is your secret weapon for helping your clients to get better results and make long lasting change, and to create more value, sales and higher prices.

What is validation?

Let’s start with a simple definition.

  • The action of checking or proving the accuracy of something.
  • The recognition or affirmation that something is valid or worthwhile.

 Change is hard for our brains, and data gives our brains the validation they need to decide a habit is worth continuing.

Why Validation Matters

Let’s start by talking about why validation is important.

Let’s say that your client is living a stressful life, and she quite likes the idea of regular meditation and wants to start up a regular habit to help her relieve stress.

To create a consistent habit, you know she’ll need to convince her brain that it’s worth it.

That’s because the human brain prefers to run efficiently, on autopilot, doing the things it already knows how to do well, so it can focus on threat, survival and fun stuff.

Therefore, according to your client’s brain, having to bring focus on developing a new habit is a chore and possibly a risk. 

Change is hard for our brains, and data gives our brains the validation they need to decide a habit is worth continuing.

Aside from learning how to do the habit, her brain requires a process of ‘learning’ a whole bunch of micro habits and rewiring entrenched behaviours that happen before and after the meditation, before it can get the habit to happen automatically.

For example, she’ll have to learn to stop what she’s doing, say no to people, set aside time, stop saying she’s too busy, and then do the darn 10 minutes of meditation.

As she juggles her competing priorities and her already entrained habits that create stress, her brain will start to realise that starting a simple habit like 10 minutes of meditation is actually hard to fit in, commit to, and do consistently. 

That will probably feel uncomfortable. She’ll have the urge to continue with her ‘more important’ stuff.

And a day after she meditates, she may feel totally stressed again, so her brain will question how effective it really is, because the results may not be huge or immediate. 

Her belief system could jump on the bandwagon. She might start telling herself that this is too hard. She might tell herself that I might as well give up, because I am probably going to fail anyway.

This is why validation with evidence-based data is so important.

It does more than just prove to your client’s brain that a habit is safe and worth the effort. 

It also provides tangible evidence that your client is capable of change and that the results are worth pursuing.

This is especially important for habits that have little to no visible, immediate impact.

For example, there are habits like physical exercise where you feel the endorphin rush and sweat afterwards. There’s a tangible impact.

Compare that with deep breathing exercises to lower your blood pressure and stress hormones. Those are two pretty invisible measures that your habits had a gradual, positive impact. No immediate reward there.

That begs the question – how do we help our clients monitor and measure progress? What kind of data are going to be meaningful?

Let’s look at two types of data – qualitative, and quantitative.

As she juggles her competing priorities and her already entrained habits that create stress, her brain will start to realise that starting a simple habit like 10 minutes of meditation is actually hard to fit in, commit to, and do consistently. 

That will probably feel uncomfortable. She’ll have the urge to continue with her ‘more important’ stuff.

And a day after she meditates, she may feel totally stressed again, so her brain will question how effective it really is, because the results may not be huge or immediate. 

Her belief system could jump on the bandwagon. She might start telling herself that this is too hard. She might tell herself that I might as well give up, because I am probably going to fail anyway.

This is why validation with evidence-based data is so important.

It does more than just prove to your client’s brain that a habit is safe and worth the effort. 

It also provides tangible evidence that your client is capable of change and that the results are worth pursuing.

This is especially important for habits that have little to no visible, immediate impact.

For example, there are habits like physical exercise where you feel the endorphin rush and sweat afterwards. There’s a tangible impact.

Compare that with deep breathing exercises to lower your blood pressure and stress hormones. Those are two pretty invisible measures that your habits had a gradual, positive impact. No immediate reward there.

That begs the question – how do we help our clients monitor and measure progress? What kind of data are going to be meaningful?

Let’s look at two types of data – qualitative, and quantitative.

Qualitative (subjective) data

Normally coaches use tools that are subjective, that is, where the client rates themselves.

We use various quizzes, questionnaires, 1 – 10 rulers, sleep diaries, logging sheets and other self-rating tools to help clients understand what they feel, who they are and what’s changing for them.

They use these to rate hunger, energy, mood, stress, sleep quality, response to food and similar types of information.

Qualitative data is very important because it captures how the client feels at any given moment. The problem is, that information is subject to bias.

A client who self-rates may feel exuberant one day, and miserable two days later, so their mood will skew the data.

Even the more high level, scientifically validated questionnaires can be influenced by bias.

I had a client do a quiz several times because she wasn’t sure that her answers were accurate and she got a different answer every time.

How would you feel about the data if that was you? 

How much would you trust it? 

Could you rely on it?

That’s why coaching programs can be bolstered by rigorous data collected in an accurate way.

This kind of data provides the validation our clients need to believe that they can do something, and to believe that their new habits are ‘working’ and ‘getting results.’

Quantitative (objective) data

This is essentially what quantitative data is – objective data that is measured accurately using numbers.

Even better, using calibrated devices to measure physiological data that shows the impact of our habits on our bodies and minds.

One of the best examples is the bioimpedance scale which measures body composition – in other words – bone, fat, muscle and water. 

While not as accurate as a Dexa scan, bioimpedance is an easy and accessible method to quantify body weight, muscle mass, bone mass, hydration and body fat percentage.

Obviously the more expensive models give more accurate data, and a Dexa scan is the most accurate.

I used this scale early in my business – from 2005 onwards – as a marketing tool. At health expos I had lines of people out the door wanting to get their body composition measured, while other vendors stood at empty stands, wondering what was going on.

 

Data provides tangible evidence that your client is capable of change and that the results are worth pursuing.

I used this scale in my coaching program to help clients see tangible changes in their bodies – inside and out – in conjunction with other qualitative and quantitative measures.

These methods gave my clients plenty of evidence that their bodies and minds were changing and, it gave me a huge data set that could be used to demonstrate typical client outcomes in my marketing.

For example, I could specify that 99% of my clients lost weight during my program, ranging from 3 – 15kg, and with the majority of that being body fat based on the numbers recorded.

These were all things that they measured during the life of their program, so they had great awareness of what had changed.

They loved the physiological data as it proved their lifestyle changes were having an impact and it validated how they felt.

You can imagine what that did for my marketing!

My clients would say things like – “there is real science behind this”, and “I have gotten so much more out of this program than I ever expected!”

That’s just with a simple scale.

More recently, some higher tech options have come up to get even better quality data.

One that comes to mind is the heart rate strap and watch that measure exercise performance.

There are a variety of wearable watches that measure various physiological data. 

I can imagine what my clients will say in future when I use these devices as part of their coaching program and I’m very excited about the value, precision and accurate response measurement that can be developed.

It will help us to add tangibility to our somewhat intangible services.

It will help your clients to quickly identify which of their habit based interventions are having the greatest impact, and help them pinpoint where to focus their energy.

They will have a greater appreciation for the effectiveness of habit-based intervention, and a greater awareness of their own best solutions for managing physical and mental health.

And finally, it will give coaches a competitive advantage over others, help them to sell more programs, at higher prices and retain clients for a longer period, as has been my own experience in my own coaching business.

I am excited to share some new research in this area in coming months.

For now, if you would like to know more about monitoring and measuring, please get in touch at melaniejwhite.com/contact.

Ready to use data to improve your coaching business?

Knowing howto use data effectively can make all the difference. If you’re truly ready to break old habits and get out of the rut I encourage you to check out the Habitology membership.

Learn more here:

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Episode 94: How to Sell More Coaching Programs

In today’s episode, I want to explain how to add massive value to your coaching programs so that you can sell more programs at a higher price, and secure raving fans.

You might be wondering what’s this all about? It sounds too good to be true?

I’m going to explain it all in this episode and it’s so ridiculously simple that you will wonder why you didn’t think of it before.

Today I want to talk about why data is important to YOUR clients, and how you can use it to benefit your business, and what sort of data to collect.

Why Clients Buy

Let’s start with a concept of why clients buy from you in the first place.

This is marketing 101 and there are some key elements that drive a purchase, especially something worth over $600 like a coaching program. People will:

  1. Spend big money to solve a big problem.
  2. Buy from you if they like you as a person and see that you are trustworthy, that you have a similar journey or that you have an area of specialty.
  3. Buy from you if you can prove your service can get results. 
  4. Buy from you if your offer is tangible and makes sense to them.

Let’s look at that first point. In marketing language, a viable niche is a group of people that are spending big money for paid support. 

The second point – buying from YOU – requires you to put yourself out there professionally, with your best foot forward, and being relatable, listening and building relationships.

I find that for most of my business coaching clients, especially those just starting out, the challenging parts are proving the results, and offering something tangible that makes sense to them.

Now I’m going to explain an easy way to do this, right away, even if you have limited runs on the board.

Your Secret Weapon: Monitoring Data

As a scientist by training, I’m a strong believer in high quality data to position yourself as professional, evidence-based and offering repeatable results. 

Part of the reason I was able to help build a multi-million dollar business was that we had 10 years worth of data that none of our competitors had.

We used this data to shift legislation, to position as experts, to develop specialty skills and expertise, and to be the go-to company for two specific types of service.

Further to that, the weight of data that we had was compelling evidence that our management services were effective and could get results.

What would it be like to achieve those things in your business?

In my last episode, I talked about how you can use the data from client strengths surveys to understand your ideal client and rocket fuel your marketing. 

Let’s talk about why data is important to YOUR clients, and how it benefits your business.

Our brains love proof (evidence)

Part of the reason that it’s hard to make change is that we don’t believe what we’re capable of, or that we can change, until we have proof.

That’s because the human brain is wired to want proof that any new behavior is safe, and a good idea.

Quite simply, good quality data provides that proof.

Data provides tangible evidence.

A coaching program without any monitoring data is lacking a critical piece of the puzzle because that data gives your clients the evidence they need that what they are doing is worth it, and getting results.

Now, think about all the opportunities you have to introduce data into a coaching program.

The two aims of a coaching program are to raise self-awareness, and to help people move through the stages of change.

Data gives your clients the evidence they need that what they are doing is worth it, and getting results.

If you ask your clients to capture data at the beginning of a program and the end, they can see quite tangibly how far they’ve come, what’s changed, and by how much.

If they monitor data throughout their program as they are experimenting with change, they will more quickly learn what is working, and more specifically, what is working best.

This will help them to tweak their goals and set better quality goals, so they get even better outcomes by the end of a program. 

In my last episode, I talked about how you can use the data from client strengths surveys to understand your ideal client and rocket fuel your marketing. 

Let’s talk about why data is important to YOUR clients, and how it benefits your business.

Our brains love proof (evidence)

Part of the reason that it’s hard to make change is that we don’t believe what we’re capable of, or that we can change, until we have proof.

That’s because the human brain is wired to want proof that any new behavior is safe, and a good idea.

Quite simply, good quality data provides that proof.

Data provides tangible evidence

A coaching program without any monitoring data is lacking a critical piece of the puzzle because that data gives your clients the evidence they need that what they are doing is worth it, and getting results.

Now, think about all the opportunities you have to introduce data into a coaching program.

The two aims of a coaching program are to raise self-awareness, and to help people move through the stages of change.

If you ask your clients to capture data at the beginning of a program and the end, they can see quite tangibly how far they’ve come, what’s changed, and by how much.

If they monitor data throughout their program as they are experimenting with change, they will more quickly learn what is working, and more specifically, what is working best.

This will help them to tweak their goals and set better quality goals, so they get even better outcomes by the end of a program. 

Summary

Today I talked about a simple way to increase coaching value and sales, reputation and clients.

Clients buy to solve a problem and because they trust you – but beyond that, they need proof and tangible results that are meaningful to them, in order to truly value and be an advocate for what you do.

The simplest way to do this is with high quality data that your clients will collect before, during and after their program.

Since it’s such a juicy topic, I am going to deep dive into specifics in my next episode, next week. Stay tuned!

Ready to sell more coaching programs?

There are tools that can make it easy when your know how! If you’re  ready to break old habits and make your life easier I encourage you to check out the Habitology membership.

Learn more here: