Posted on

E#255 How to Play Big (Stop Playing Small)

How to Play Big (Stop Playing Small)

Are you committed – but terrified – to taking your business to the next level? Have you been playing small and feel ready to step up and into what you were meant to be doing? This episode provides some proven methods to help you stop playing small and start playing big – so you can step into your greatness and live a more authentic and purposeful life.

What Playing Small Means

You’ve probably heard people talking about playing small. But what does it actually mean?

In this episode, we’ll cover 
* What Playing Small Means
* Why We Play Small
* How to Play Big

The Cambridge Dictionary says to ‘play small’ means to avoid risks and actions that might cause problems or make you feel uncomfortable, with the result that you might not achieve what you want to achieve.

It means your actions are motivated by fears, insecurities and low self-worth.

It means you’re not honouring your passion – instead, you’re settling for a life that is less than what you are capable of living.

Now if that definition doesn’t punch you in the face, I don’t know what will!

To me, playing small is a bit like that old analogy of someone ‘being a wallflower’ – standing back, not knowing what to say, blending in and being invisible.

The signs that you’re playing small might include that you:

  • let fear defeat you
  • you wait to be asked rather than taking the initiative
  • you rely on others’ opinions or directives
  • you are crushed by criticism
  • you struggle to say no
  • you may be envious or resentful of others’ success
  • you match other people’s ideas rather than speaking your own – to avoid standing out
  • your life is full of clutter and meaningless stuff (keeping busy to avoid pursuing your dreams)

Playing small really takes away from our ability to live a full life – and it’s incredibly inauthentic. If you’re too afraid of being judged, of failing or not being good enough, then you will likely shelve your authentic self, needs and ideas to avoid the associated pain.

Why We Play Small

Why do we end up playing small?

Maybe it’s because our reptilian brain is constantly trying to keep us safe – to seek pleasure and avoid pain. After all, it’s much easier to sit on the couch watching Netflix than it is facing a difficult conversation.

Maybe we’ve been through traumatic experiences that have dysregulated our nervous systems – and we’ve become risk-averse. For example, some people have been through significant experiences that have led them to be fearful of exposure to harm at the hands of others. Burnout could be one example, or some sort of abuse or assault.

Maybe we’ve been conditioned to believe we aren’t good enough, or that we don’t have enough – and we have adopted those beliefs to make it our own narrative. For example, a lot of people fear not having enough money, of being alone, of being judged or criticised, or of failing, and those sorts of thinking patterns keep them stuck in their boring, unhelpful or toxic situations.

Maybe we’ve developed a habit of outsourcing our sense of worth, validation and needs to other people. For example, some people constantly ask others for advice or opinions of what to do, or to get help with something, not trusting their own ideas or solutions. Some have been in controlling relationships and believe that the other person knows better and has all the answers.

As you can see, there are these physiological and psychological drivers that work together to work against you.

The great thing is – a huge part of turning things around is in your hands. It’s about developing the skills to challenge and overcome your narrative – the underlying beliefs and assumptions you have created for yourself – and to start becoming an independent thinker.

An independent thinker is someone who can use “critical thinking” to evaluate situations and points of view, with curiosity and then, to change their beliefs or standpoints. Critical thinking is not about criticism – it’s about being open-minded to new ideas but ultimately deciding for yourself or solving problems on your terms, based on your own judgement and perceptions.

When you can unwind the thinking habits that lead to this impulsive, reactive and fear-driven way of living, you can start to play big and start living the life you were born to lead.

How to Play Big

It’s clear that playing small can feel safe but is deeply unsatisfying.

Playing big is the opposite of playing small. It means that your actions are motivated by the things that bring you true fulfilment and satisfaction.

So how can you learn to play big?

Firstly, you can become an independent thinker. This involves:

  • Reading and travelling to see a bigger picture and more expansive point of view.
  • Talking to different people with different opinions and asking why people think that way, so you can hear their reasons and understand their perspective.
  • Trying new activities or hobbies to discover new skills and abilities that you can apply to problem-solving and decision-making. For example – playing chess might help you think more strategically!
  • Developing a practice of self-reflection, so you become more self-aware and more in tune with who you truly are and what you want.
  • Ask for feedback from people you work with or who are in your friendship group. Get an honest, non-emotional account of what people really think.

When you do these sorts of things, you get to know yourself better, see life from a bigger and broader perspective, and gain skills to help you move forward on your own.

When you do this, you become more open minded, confident, competent at solving problems, develop impartiality and leadership skills, and learn to be more aware of your own thoughts and emotions so you can stay above them. You can also enjoy better relationships!

Secondly, you can notice and re-wire any unhelpful ‘playing small’ habits and replace them with healthier options.

If you think about it, a lot of people who are in the playing small mindset are operating and responding automatically.

It takes what I call ‘conscious conscientiousness’ to break these automatic patterns and start living a bigger life – that is, being aware of what you’re doing and consistently working on changing those patterns.

I’ve done a lot of this work in my own life, and developed my own model of Factualising (instead of Catastrophising) as per a podcast I did a couple of years ago.

Here are some examples I’ve used:


  • Instead of ‘they’re better than me,’ I caught myself thinking that and changed it to ‘I have unique abilities’
  • Instead of ‘I can’t do that,’ I caught myself thinking that and changed it to ‘I will give it 100%’
  • Instead of ‘what if I fail?’ – I make myself answer that question to see the actual consequences. What would happen if I did fail? Often, the outcomes I come up with are never as bad as it felt at first.
  • Instead of ‘I don’t know enough,’ I asked myself what enough actually looks like, what I want it to be, and if required, what I could do to improve my knowledge.


  • Instead of not starting a business, I decided to pursue a passion and give it 100% commitment and effort in terms of quality work.
  • Instead of trying to do it all on my own, I chose trusted partners to work with me or to outsource parts of my work to.
  • Instead of sitting in fear, I made plans to move forward and then reality-checked those plans based on research and help from others.
  • Instead of half-committing, I went all in with a focus on being my best and bringing my best. That involved extensive reading from multiple sources, observing others, evaluating what works and what doesn’t, and planning and executing toward well-thought goals.

The interesting thing is that it’s not actually about success as an end goal. Whether you win or lose, flourish or fail, what happens is that you learn to respect yourself, trust yourself, and embrace the processes along your journey. This is where fulfilment actually lies – not in the outcome!

In other words, playing big is a process. If you learn to embrace and love the process, you will get the reward of satisfaction, and integrity and you will live a more authentic life.


A lot of people play small in life because it keeps them safe – but the downside is a sense of frustration and dissatisfaction.

Playing small comes about from the interplay of physiological and psychological factors – things you have experienced, and things that you tell yourself.

To break out of playing small and start playing big, you need to do a lot of work on your mindset and to rewire your old, unhelpful habits.

When you start challenging and rewiring your thoughts and taking actions from a more conscious and conscientious point of view, you will live a more fulfilling life that is more authentic and meaningful.

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:

Posted on

E#239 How Following Up Grows Your Business

How Following Up Grows Your Business

If you’re building business, then you’ll be pursuing new leads and making offers to your growing audience. The surprising thing is, after making an offer or delivering a service, so many people DON’T follow up on their existing leads and customers – yet this is an incredibly cost-effective way to grow your business. Let’s explore how following up grows your business and revenue, and how to create, automate and celebrate your follow-ups!

In this episode, we’ll cover
* The Statistics on Following Up
* How to Follow Up to Grow Your Business

For so many coaches and other business owners I know, their version of ‘business as usual’ is a kind of set-and-forget approach.

What I mean is, that they go out and meet lots of different people or organisations in an attempt to become known and win work. Or they’re on social media and they put out an offer, and then forget about following up.

In either case, they commonly say things like, ‘If you’re interested, give me a call!’

Why do we do that?

Often, it’s because you don’t want to feel pushy, or salesy. You feel like following might pressure your leads and put them offside.

But think about your own busy life for a minute. How often do you remember to book your next appointment?

And when you’re struggling with something, how easy is it for you to reach out for help?

Do you hate making phone calls?

For me, I book the next appointment when I am in the session, whether it’s a haircut, massage or any other sort of session. I hate making phone calls and am busy – I’d rather be efficient.

And when the car service business reaches out to me, I’m thankful that they’ve prompted me and I book in for a service online. Otherwise, I might not get around to it. Now let’s go back to your customers. You don’t need Harvard Business Review’s insights to know that most people have hundreds of emails in their inbox each day, and spend up to 2.6 hours per day on email.

So the problem is not that people are ignoring you, or resistant, or don’t want what you have to offer. It’s just that they have a lot happening.

Now in the customer’s shoes – how would you feel if you had a great service with someone, but they never followed up to see how you were, or whether you needed help?

One word comes up for me – I’d feel FORGOTTEN.

I’d question my trust in the person who makes an offer and never follows up. I’d wonder how reliable they are, and whether they really care or not.

The Statistics on Following Up

Online CRM Hubspot cites a study by Brevet, that says:

  • 80% of sales require an average of five follow-ups in order to close the deal.
  • However, 44% of sales reps follow up with a prospect only once before giving up.
  • After four follow-ups, 94% of salespeople have given up.

These are the stats for professional salespeople – what do you think the follow-up rate is for coaches and small business owners?

That’s a lot of money being left on the table.

My Chiropractor friend told me that if an existing customer doesn’t rebook an appointment, he sends out a physical letter, then another, then another – all about a month apart. He says that most people respond and book on the third letter.

One important point about this is that these are the existing customers that he’s re-engaging – not new customers. So, it’s going to be way easier to follow up and secure appointments with them because of the existing relationship.

Of course, if you don’t want to follow up existing leads and clients, you can always start from scratch, put yourself out there again, and spend money on advertising! Who wants to be on that treadmill when you can invest in building more valuable and supportive relationships!

How to Follow-Up to Grow Your Business

Let’s start from the beginning and talk about setting yourself up for follow-up success.

Direct Response and Customer Connection

Before you do any follow-up, you need to make sure that you are getting a direct response from every lead and creating some sort of customer connection – a database, list or group – where you can have regular contact.

What does that mean?

Firstly, it means that everyone who enquires about your business is invited to join your newsletter email list or your online group, or your F2F meetup group, or to follow/subscribe on social media.

Doing this gives you clarity on whether they’re serious about building a relationship with you.

Then, that list, group or following – or whatever it is – is the vehicle that allows you to follow up! Without this ongoing contact opportunity, you’ve got nothing.

Defining when and how you’ll follow up

The next thing to do is to define your process for following up.

For example, let’s say that someone comes to a live event that you run (e.g. webinar, workshop etc) and you make an offer at the end to join your next program. They’ve never worked with you before.

With all of your leads in  one place, I recommend you map out what the next two follow-up steps are for them to work with you will be.

Firstly, make sure you are VERY clear on where you are leading people. What is the follow-up product or service you are offering them?

Then, map out the next actions they will take, and you will take, to engage them with that. Planning this in advance means that you have an intention and are mentally prepared to talk about it effortlessly and with confidence.

Make sure the follow-up steps are active, not passive.

  • Active = inviting someone to do something/sign up for/ etc.
  • Passive = call me if you’re interested (although this is relevant in some cases).

In other words, on the day of the session, let them know what the steps are – and then follow up! Now, when will you follow up, and how?

Some ideas might be:

  • At the end of the webinar/workshop, invite them to register for your program,
      • Make sure you outline the next two follow-up steps so they know what they are, and
      • say you’ll follow up for confirmation either way, so they expect to hear from you.
  • Follow up with a friendly email within 24 hours with a link to book now or have a quick chat
  • Follow up with a second email within 48 hours with a link to book now or have a quick chat, plus a link to some FAQ on your website
  • Follow up with a final email within 72 hours with link to a blog (case study) with a testimonial, and a final invite

These are just examples of how you could do this – it’s totally up to you as to what you do exactly.

Here’s another example for existing clients.

Someone completed a coaching program with you two months ago. You want to check in with them and see how they’re going, and find out if they need any support or a top-up session.

When would you follow up, and how?

Some ideas might be:

  • Send a ‘how are you going’ email or DM
  • As follow up, ask them to fill out a survey talking about what is new or different form them (the survey is not about you, it’s about their progress and what they’re able to do! So that they learn about themselves)
  • Ask them if they need a ‘top up’ or ‘check in’ session – has anything gotten in the way, or do they need some support with a specific thing? This could be free leading to a paid offer, or a single paid session.

Once again, I just made this up.

Come up with your own ideas, considering how you’d like to be treated if you were the client.

Templating your follow-ups

The next thing to do is to sketch out your follow-up process (or checklist it), and then create any templates you might need e.g. email templates, message templates etc.

That way, you can easily rinse and repeat your follow-up process, or ask a VA do to it for you!

Actioning your follow-ups

The next thing to do is to diarise times to follow up, and actually do it.

Maybe you schedule a Friday every three months where you dedicate half a day to phoning or emailing old clients to check in with them.

Maybe you have a dedicated time slot for follow-ups in the three days after you make an offer. This might include your email that goes out, but also answering questions by email or by phone.

Make time for your follow-ups, and therefore, your clients!


Leads and clients are people you already have a relationship with. It means they’re interested in what you do.

If you want to generate more revenue and grow your business, following up is an easy and important process to help you get there.

If you are clear on where people are heading, and what their next steps are, and you have systemised your follow-up (templates, and diarised actions), you’re well on your way to actively building relationships and increasing your revenue.

This is a low-cost way to build a business compared to spending money on advertising and starting from scratch!

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:

Posted on

E#238 Scale Your Business with Group Coaching

Scale Your Business with Group Coaching

If you’ve been coaching 1:1 for a while and want to scale your business, moving into group coaching is one option. By the end of this episode, you’ll have clarity on how group coaching works, why it’s so powerful and how it can accelerate your business growth.

In this episode, I’ll talk about 
* Presence and resonance
* The inspiration for the book: The Connoisseur of Time
* How changing your relationship with time supports better coaching and business growth
* How being present creates more satisfying relationships

How group coaching works

You might feel like groups would never be your thing, but they could be a ‘later’ thing once you have enough experience and confidence as a coach.

Groups are really interesting.

For you as a coach, working with groups requires you to have certain skills in facilitating. For example:

· You’d need to learn how to ask a few broad questions and invite the group to discuss their ideas, and maybe write down their own goals and/or insights around those things.

· You’d need to develop the skill of helping everyone have a chance to speak and be heard while keeping the more boisterous people attended but not dominating the floor.

· You need to be able to keep the focus of the session and keep to time so that you deliver value and respect the audience.

For clients, groups are rarely a ‘forever’ thing because people come to get a result, and then they either:

  • get the result and leave, or
  • don’t get the result and leave, or
  • outgrow the group and leave, or
  • lose focus on all the other things in their lives and leave (other things become more important)

This can happen in groups with a defined period (e.g. an 8-week program) but more likely in a long-term group (e.g. a membership-style group).

People will be more likely to commit and stick with 8-10 weeks to help them solve a problem. In membership style groups. dropping in and out is part of the natural buying and change cycle! Readiness to change peaks at certain points in time and that is where the enthusiasm is. When enthusiasm wanes, people drop out.

Remember also that as a coach, you are helping your clients become self-empowered and self-responsible so they don’t need you anymore and can do new things consistently on their own. That is a mark of your success as a coach!

Some groups do persist – and they have a few things in common:

  • like-minded people who love being together for further growth
  • continual stream of new people coming in with that problem who feel supported by the group
  • the problem is painful on a day-to-day basis and requires long-term support, and/or
  • people lapse back into the problem and keep coming back.

These types of groups are good candidates for a membership model versus just a program on rinse and repeat.

Grey area drinking is a good example. Drinking affects health, self-worth, productivity and relationships. It’s a big pain point that can disrupt daily life and can be hard to be consistent with.

It might take 6 months to feel ‘sober’ and it might take a year to ‘trust yourself’ to remain sober. Once you’re sober, great. But you might keep feeling pulled back into it. Or, you might really want to be a role model to others and help them stay on track.

Why Group Coaching is so Powerful

Why is group coaching so powerful? One way to think about it is to consider how you feel when you’re watching a DVD at home, versus how you feel when you go to the pitch-black cinema to watch a movie with surround sound and a large audience laughing, getting a fright and shrieking all at the same time as you.

Groups leverage emotional contagion. They create an energy that is attractive and appealing.

Groups create connections between members. In fact, some studies into group education show that peer support is just as important for learning and insight, as facilitator support in a group environment.

Group coaching presents multiple points of view so it’s easy to gain a broader perspective, to feel like you’re not alone, and to learn more ways to overcome your challenges.

How Group Coaching Can Accelerate Business Growth

When you move from income in a 1:1 setting to a 1:many setting, you’re earning more money per session. If you have a group of 5, then you’re earning 5x as much per session.

How big should the group be? A group is technically two or more people. Small groups of up to 10 are best, as it’s easier to have intimate conversations and give everyone a chance to speak and be heard.

In my own face-to-face weight loss business in a small country town, I ran four groups of ten people, with a few separate individual sessions for those who wanted more privacy and personal conversation. The program was successful for the 3 years that I ran it until I decided to pivot my niche and move online in 2016.

Larger groups are less personal and less interactive but can be peer-supported. I like to define group coaching as up to 10 people, beyond that I feel it’s an interactive workshop. In that larger group setting, you’d use tools and strategies like asking the audience to fill in worksheets, asking for hands up to answer a question, and using small break-out groups for peer discussion, which you walk around and monitor.

Beyond creating a group and earning more money per session, you are likely to earn more money over time.


Because groups tend to stay together for camaraderie and support to stay on track e.g. Weight Watchers which started in New York in 1963 and is still operating worldwide today.

Further, groups grow when members tell their friends about the support and value they get and invite them to come along. Growth can be exponential if the group program is great; more easily in an online environment.


Group coaching is one way to scale and grow your business and revenue and is a natural progression from 1:1 coaching.

When you understand how groups work, and why they’re powerful, it’s a no-brainer to turn to this business model to build your business.

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:

Posted on

E#235 3 Proven Strategies to Grow and Scale Your Business

3 Proven Strategies to Grow and Scale Your Business

In this current podcast series dedicated to business and revenue growth, let’s talk about three proven strategies you can use to grow and scale your business – even if you’re relatively new to the business and have a few paying clients. Two of these methods discussed today do NOT require you to find new clients – which is often the most costly and time-consuming way of building your business. That means you can improve revenue immediately!


When your business reaches a certain size, you might find yourself working at full capacity in terms of the hours you can physically work or the clients you can physically service in your business.

In this episode, I’ll talk about 
* Upgrading Your Systems
* Changing Your Prices
* Increasing the Offers

You may reach an upper limit of income or find that your start-up business systems (e.g. manual invoicing) are inadequate and time-consuming to manage.

While there are no immediate problems with either scenario, a business that relies solely on you presents a level of ‘risk’.

What happens to the business if you get sick? What if you want time off? And how can you outgrow your expenses and start making a real profit?

These are just three of many considerations that might inspire you to grow or at least improve efficiencies in your business.

There is a saying that goes, ‘If your business isn’t growing, it’s shrinking.’

If you want to grow your business and revenue, there are several options.

Here are three of the easiest options for businesses in the early stages of growth (‘seed’) who have some customers and are ready to expand their reach, sales and profit.

Upgrading Your Systems

Upgrading your systems becomes a relevant growth strategy if you have reached a limit as to how many clients you can see, and therefore how much money you can earn.

Before you consider upgrading, you’d want to make sure you have regular cashflow and enough profit margin to cover the costs you will incur via systems upgrades.

Two ways of upgrading your systems include:

– Getting specialist help (outsourcing) and

– moving away from manual systems into more automated ones.

Either or both of these can free you up to service more clients. Let’s look at each in turn.

Upgrading by Outsourcing

Thinking about the outsourcing, hiring specialist contractors is an easy way to get qualified help when you are busy or need help in a specific area. This is known as a ‘business to business’ arrangement whereby you engage another business to complete specific work or tasks within your business.

It is also helpful if you don’t want the burden of buying and setting up software (e.g. accounting software) and just want someone to do it for you.

If you are considering outsourcing, you might not have the workload or cash flow to employ someone permanently, but they could do some monotonous but important tasks for you, or cope with irregular busy periods, so that your time is freed up to service more clients.

For example:

· Hiring independent contract coaches can be helpful for irregular work e.g.

  • busy periods
  • when you go on holiday.

· Alternatively, outsourcing allows you to hand over specific tasks or regular roles to an expert e.g.

  • virtual assistant
  • bookkeeper
  • accountant
  • marketing consultant
  • IT professional.

I will be talking more specifically about VA’s in the next episode of this podcast.

If you do any outsourcing, you would need to have a formal signed agreement in place before work commences, which clearly outlines the scope of work, specific duties and payment arrangements.

You’d need to have some clear policies in place about privacy, conduct and other things that state your expectations around quality of work and expected behaviour, and procedures to help hand over specific tasks.

Upgrading by Automating Tasks

When you start a business, you’re often doing a lot of things manually. For example:

  • Creating invoices in Microsoft Word.
  • Keeping track of clients in a log book, or an Excel worksheet.
  • Posting your social media posts one at a time on each platform.
  • Manually writing individual, separate emails to your customers, before, during and after programs.

When you switch these manual systems to automated processes and/or use software, you can save yourself a lot of time and mistakes, which frees you up to coach more clients.

Examples include:

  • Using dedicated financial software like WaveApps (free), Quickbooks, or Xero
  • Using a social media scheduling tool instead of manually posting (e.g. RecurPost, HootSuite)
  • Using an email system like Mailchimp or Mailerlite
  • Using a booking system like Calendly or Acuity Scheduling. For more info on these, you can listen to episode #105 Best Essential Business Systems or episode #106 Best Advanced Business Systems.

Increasing Your Prices

When your business reaches a certain level, a very simple strategy to grow your income without any cost to you, or without working extra hours, is to repackage services and/or raise prices.

For example, you might decide to:

  • raise prices by 10% and may also offer a bonus downloadable training course with your program – which raises the tangible value of your services and makes the increase more palatable with only a one-off labour cost, or
  • raise prices by 15% and re-position yourself as a highly experienced specialist in one area of coaching –raising your tangible value, or
  • creating a group coaching model to increase ROI
  • develop a premium (high-priced) specialty service.

There are many pricing strategies to choose from.

Pick the one that best suits your niche, your level of expertise and your business and lifestyle (working hours) goals. Work with a business coach to create the right strategy for you. You might also be interested in my podcast episode #202 Should I show pricing on my website?

Increasing the Options

When you start out in business, you’re often just focusing on doing one or two things well, becoming known, and getting a good reputation.

As you start to get more customers, you will start to see more opportunities to work with people in different ways.

By increasing the number of service options you have, you can grow your business and revenue.

For example:

– A short, DIY program with email support provides a low-cost entry point for people who are interested in working on one small problem they have (e.g. establishing a bedtime ritual for better sleep).

This means you are getting some income for very little live client time and gives them a step into your main program. This equates to more money for less time and effort (note: you would still need to promote this program regularly in order to sell it).

– A 1:1 program is now available as a small group program

This means you are earning more money per session, and also building a community of like-minded people who work with you and connect with each other. They are more likely to want to stay connected.

– Your initial 8-week program is now followed up with a 6-month maintenance program (VIP high-end pricing for individuals or mastermind, or moderate price for groups) or a membership.

This means you are keeping customers longer, earning more money and/or over a longer period, and helping your clients get next-level results after their initial program has finished.

– A higher value program where you add specific resources, a welcome pack, or package up other services or products such as meditation playlists, or a recipe book.

This means you can earn more money in the same amount of time.

One important caveat is this – keep your number of available services to 3 or 4, maximum. Otherwise, you risk entering the paradox of choice, where customers walk away without making a decision as there are too many options or difficulties in making the best choice.


When you are coaching enough clients that you hit a ceiling of available time or income, or if you notice opportunities to help clients more or for longer, there are a few strategies you can do to take your business to the next level.

We talked about just three of the options today, including

  • Upgrading your systems
  • Increasing your pricing, and
  • Creating more options for working with you (but not too many).

If you need help developing business and revenue growth strategies to suit your business and niche, contact me to join my private coaching waitlist, which runs for five months in February and June of each year.

My private coaching programs usually sell out within a week of advertising, and you need to qualify to be a part of them. To enquire or join the waitlist, hit up my contact page and I’ll get back to you!

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:

Posted on

E#233 Running Pilot Programs for Quick Revenue (and Growth)

Running Pilot Programs for Quick Revenue (and Growth)

Whether you’re starting out in business or thinking of a new service line, it can be tough to break into a new market.

Pilot programs allow you to test a new service for the first time on a test audience in exchange for feedback but better than that – they are a great way to create business and revenue growth through live customer experience, results, reviews and referrals.

In this episode, I’ll talk about 
* Why Pilot Programs?
* How to Create Value in Pilot Programs
* Building Revenue with Pilot Programs


Why Pilot Programs?

Pilot programs are a low-risk opportunity for you to test and refine your coaching or other program using live feedback from people in your niche or target audience.

But more than that, running a pilot program is a pre-marketing activity. It is essentially a soft launch that creates visibility, interest, engagement and excitement around your new program.

To answer the question – why pilot programs? – they are a great way to give people a taste of what you do, and to create initial revenue, results and reviews (traction) that lead to future sales.

What I mean is this: by running a test version of your final program, you’re giving people a live experience of what you do, which generates positive feelings and other outcomes (which is what people actually buy – feelings).

You are showing you care about the customer because they’re helping you to make it exactly what they want and need.

It doesn’t have to be perfect, and there is far less pressure for you as you work out the kinks and bumps with a willing audience.

In return, they feel wonderful about helping you and they’re also getting a result in a structured, step-by-step process. Then, they are going to tell people about what they’re doing – spreading the word for you.

You can also share wins, photos, insights and progress along the way with your future audience to build their interest and excitement for your next program.

That means you end up with a refined product that exactly suits your target market – ready to go for a full launch – and with plenty of eyeballs on the next intake of your program. Much more fun than a pile of ads for something you’ve never tried or tested!

If you choose the right people for your pilot program, you’ll get relevant feedback to improve the final product, and glowing testimonials that will attract more people to your business.

I covered how to get the right people for your pilot program in episode #134 Five Top Tips for Finding the Right Pilot Program Clients. I explained why being selective is important, and how to find the right clients for your pilot program.

To answer the question – why pilot programs? – they are a great way to give people a taste of what you do, and to create initial revenue, results and reviews (traction) that lead to future sales.

Now that we know why pilot programs are great, how do you get people to join your pilot program? Well, you need to create value by communicating the problem you help to solve, and the solution or outcomes people will get by participating.

How to Create Value in Pilot Programs

Two previous episodes of this podcast do a deep dive into creating value within the program. In episode #154, the Why, What and How of Pilot Program workflows, I talked about how to map out the steps of signing up clients, onboarding clients, and the key steps in delivering the pilot program to those clients, so that you can prepare properly, and then deliver a complete and wonderful experience to your clients that covers all the bases. In episode #155, The Value of Pilot Program Content and Emails, I described how to create value for your clients in different elements of a pilot program – basically, how to create value within the content of the program that you can then test with a pilot group!

Building Revenue with Pilot Programs

Someone asked me recently – does a pilot program have to be free or can it be heavily discounted?

The short answer is – it depends on the niche clients, the size and urgency of their problem, their ability and willingness to pay, and the importance of change to them.

If you think about it, someone with a big, painful, problem that disrupts their daily life will be more willing to pay, and to pay more, and to get help, than someone with a minor problem that has little to no impact on their life.

Let that sink in for a moment – it’s important.

How do you feel about paying for something versus getting it for free? Several people have told me that they want to pay me for coaching because then they have skin in the game and will be more committed.

And on top of that – as the saying goes – nobody wants a free kitten. Because then the question is – why is it free? what’s wrong with it?

So how do you price a pilot program? Firstly, I think the language is important. If you talk about discounting as it devalues what we do as coaches.

I prefer to say that “this first program as a pilot will cost $X, and future versions will be $X”. This can help people decide to buy now or to wait until later.

Generally, I charge about 1/3 to ½ of the retail price for a pilot program, with a clear requirement for feedback along the way (which includes verbal and surveys). So if it will eventually be a $1500 program, a pilot version might be promoted as a one-time-only price of between $500 – $750.

Remember that even with in a pilot program, the right clients will get incredible value, assuming that you pick a niche, you’re clear on the problem they want to solve, and that the aim/outcome/result is clearly defined and exactly what they’re looking for. That is where the value is created – the old ‘what’s in it for me’.

People love to help, and they love getting a sense of value (which is simply a function of the results they get – and how important the results are to them – in exchange for their investment of time and money). If they can get a result in your pilot program, they’ll be incredibly grateful and will spread the word.

This is how pilot programs lead to business and revenue growth.


To answer the question – why pilot programs? – they are a great way to give people a taste of what you do, and to create initial revenue, results and reviews (traction) that lead to future sales.

They are more engaging than the more formal and structured forms of marketing, in that they are experiential and give your customers a feeling. After all, that’s what people buy!

I’ve linked you to two other episodes of this podcast to help you map out the steps, create valuable content, and take your idea to the world.

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:

Posted on

E#150 Business Self Care

Business Self Care

I want to start today’s episode with a question for you – how resilient is your business? 

Are you looking after your business as well as you’re looking after yourself? 

As a specialist in resilience building and planning, I have come up with a concept – business self-care – that will help you to develop and manage your business in a more proactive and organised way so that you can stay on top of things and build resilience in your business to help you better withstand the storms.

In this episode, I’ll talk about 
* What is business self-care?
* How developing weekly habits and monthly reviews can help your business
* How a support/check-in process can help your business

What is business self care?

In a general sense, self-care refers to activities that you do to enhance your physical, mental and emotional wellbeing, so that you have the resilience to maintain your energy and manage stress well.

In other words, if you want to be physically and mentally fit and resilient, then you need to have regular habits and rituals in place to first achieve and then maintain those states.

Exactly the same goes for your business!

Business self-care is a concept that I developed to describe the set of activities that you do to enhance the running of your business, so that you are actively taking better care of your business, experiencing less stress and have more clarity, certainty and a sense of organisation around what you are doing each week.

If you want to grow and manage your business in a way that feels easy, organised and generates regular income – then you need to adopt a few regular business habits and rituals.

Here are my top four business self-care practices that every business needs.

(1.) A routine of weekly tasks (habits)

For you as a person, there are certain things you do every week to build resilience – the ability to bounce back from stress. These include things like exercise, eating well, getting a good night’s sleep, journaling, creative hobbies, social contact and being in nature.

There are also parts of your business that need attention every week so it can bounce back from setbacks and not succumb to pressure.

What are business weekly self care tasks?

They’re generally tasks related to financial health, service quality and generating new income.

While every business is unique, I’d suggest that most businesses can be resilient by:

  • making a weekly plan and priorities list,
  • checking the bank balance, 
  • calling in debtors, 
  • paying bills on time, 
  • confirming client appointments, 
  • scheduling and completing the week’s marketing activities, 
  • measuring trends in engagement, and 
  • taking time out for personal self care.

All of these tasks might equal around one day’s worth of time per week, either in one block of time or in not negotiable time slots.

Scheduling them into not-negotiable slots makes them happen, and will keep your business running smoothly. 

These are the things that keep the wheels turning and to stay on course toward your goals.

(2.) A monthly review 

For you personally, checking in with yourself helps you to identify what’s working well and which areas of your life need more attention, or help. 

The same goes for business.

It’s easy to get busy with doing the work, but you also need to take time to review how things are going, what’s working, and what’s not.

One very good reason for this is to increase your efficiency – to do more productive work in less time and/or with less effort.

Your business review highlights what’s working in your business, and what’s not.  It might help you to identify where you are losing money, wasting time, or misguided effort.

In one example, I had a client who spent around 10 hours per month promoting products in her business, but they made up only 1% of her business!

As soon she saw that, she realised that those 10 hours could be better spent – and, she defined an easier way to sell more products that took far less time.

Another example is marketing.

When was the last time you looked at how many people responded to your offers, or joined your mailing list, or joined your group?

If you don’t know those things, then you have no way of measuring the effectiveness of your marketing. You’re flying blind.

Knowing and tracking a few numbers and doing a simple monthly review will help you work out what’s working and what’s not – so you can build more resilience into your business.

(3.) A support/check-in process 

Support and check-ins are so important for us as individuals to maintain health and wellbeing.

I go to my dentist regularly, get checkups with the doctor, see a skin therapist, and do other things to help me get an external perspective on my state of health and resilience.

I hire coaches to coach me through the year in different areas to help me recommit to my health habits or motivators.

When life is busy, it’s easy to forget to check in and ensure things are on track, and that you are attending any blind spots, and anticipating challenges so you can respond appropriately.

The same goes for your business.

Having outside eyes on your business, or helping you recognise what’s working, and trends over time and identify which areas of your business need attention, is the best way to maintain the health and well-being of your business.

(4.) A growth process

If you know anything about how the human body works, you know that it’s only by changing things up regularly that you get progression and growth.

It’s only by changing your exercise routine that you maintain fitness and strength.

It’s only by learning new things that you grow your knowledge and mental capacity.

Without changing things up and committing to growth, you risk becoming stagnant and bored. 

The same thing goes with business.

You can keep doing the same thing day in, day out, but it may not help you to keep abreast of changes in technology, client sentiments, trends, disruptors and industry changes.

Professional development and business training are essential parts of business self-care and resilience.

When you stay on top of the changes that affect your business, and upskill to address those changes, you’ll more easily pivot and adapt, keep the ship sailing on course, and roll with the changes with ease.

The pandemic is a great example. We all had to learn how to pivot into online service delivery and for some people, that means learning new skills like using online conferencing platforms, changing to an online payment system, and finding new ways to market their business.

Being responsive and proactive means you can prepare yourself to adapt and maintain your clients and your business income.


Today I talked about self-care essentials for business, which I consider to be:

  • A weekly schedule of not-negotiable, business-critical tasks
  • A monthly review to see what’s working and what’s not
  • A support or check-in process to help you see the blind spots so you can remedy them, or simply get new perspectives, and
  • A process of ongoing growth and learning so your business stays agile, relevant and appealing to your target audience.

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: