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E#175 Does Your Business Need a Website?

This episode is about if your business needs a website?

A lot of graduate coaches get focused on having and launching a website because we are told that having an online presence is essential to business success.

But is this important? Does your business need a website?

Let’s talk honestly about this so you can take a breather and get clear on exactly what you need to do, and when.

The Reality

There are two realities when it comes to business websites.

Firstly, you need to know a lot about your intended audience, and you need to have spent enough time on income-generating activities to know the value you bring to your audience.

In this episode, I’ll talk about 
* The two realities of business websites
* A simple website readiness quiz to work out if you’re even ready for a website
* Some ‘for now’ options that are just as good, if not better!

Secondly, when you hit ‘publish’ on the website, it will end up on page 7 gazillion on a Google search. Nobody will know it’s there – so you will need to have a plan to promote and market your website.

What this means is that if you are fairly new to the business, and/or lack client experience, you have a lot of work to do before even considering building a website.

Otherwise, you risk spending a huge amount of time and money on something that won’t generate you any income, delays your getting experience and reviews, and isn’t visible to the outside world.

I have prepared a website readiness quiz to help you get clarity on where you are at. See how you go with answering these questions and check your score at the end.

Website Readiness Quiz

Let me ask you a few questions before we answer this question.

1. How long have you been running your business – or are you brand new?

2. Do people know what you are capable of?

3. What sort of people do you attract?

4. What does your business stand for?

5. Do you have clarity on your niche?

6. Do you truly know and understand your niche client?

7. Can you describe your niche client’s problem and solution clearly, in their words?

8. Do you know their specific desired outcomes in their words?

9. What format is your program?

10. Which dates are you running your program this year?

11. What is your lead magnet for the program?

12. When are your marketing campaigns running – and on which channels?

13. How and where will you promote your website?

Here’s how to score yourself for these questions.

If you could answer all 13 questions clearly and easily, then your business is probably ready for a website. You have a clear offering, clarity on your market, what they want help with, and probably some level of traction and proof of success.

If you could answer 7 or more questions clearly and easily, your business is not quite ready for a website. You need to do some pilot or beta testing, market research and/or planning to truly understand how to position your business on a website, and/or where to promote it.

If you struggled to answer even 7 of these questions, your business is clearly not ready for a website. You need to do or get help with many of the business basics, to develop a blueprint for success, get some experience and start earning an income before you are ready to create a website.

So, If Not a Website, Then What?

It’s super easy to create an online presence and credibility without the time and expense of a website.

Three cheap, very effective options are:

1. Create a professional-looking LinkedIn profile for your business, with good quality photos and descriptions of how you help your clients. You can also ask clients to give reviews on this platform which lends credibility, trust and social proof.

This option is great if your business targets clients in professional roles or corporate settings, or where your leads come from professional networks such as allied health.

In these cases, professionalism is especially important, and a good LinkedIn profile can convey this.

2. Create a professional-looking Google My Business profile for your business, same as above. You can ask clients to give 5-star ratings on this platform which boost your Google visibility.

This option is great for businesses targeting a local area (e.g. your local shire) and/or if your marketing strategy will focus on publishing, guest blogging, blogging, SEO or other online strategies.

It can be an easy entry point for more introverted people who feel exhausted at the thought of daily interaction on a social media platform, or for those who are not on social media.

3. Start a social media following (e.g. Facebook or Instagram).

This option is great if you love being on social media and are a people person, love being in groups, and are extraverted or get a lot of energy from others.

It suits clients who are extraverted and love engaging online, being active in groups, and getting value from a lot of support and interaction from you and their peers.

Summary

Does your business need a website? As you can see, it depends on which stage of business you are in.

If you are brand new, without a track record, it makes sense that you choose a quicker, easier option to gain online visibility.

Then, when you have a track record, experience, a better understanding of your niche, and some social proof – you will have all the information and clarity you need to launch a website that will actually work for your business.

If you need help with understanding your audience, enquire about my February or June Passion to Profit Course intakes, where we go through the foundational work behind understanding your clients, your best marketing strategies and marketing channels.

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#154 The Why, What and How of Pilot Program Workflows

This episode is about the why, what and how of pilot program workflows

When you’re creating a coaching program or an educational program, there is SO MUCH that needs to go into the finished product that you don’t even realise. It’s like thinking you are putting together a 50 piece jigsaw and realising it’s actually a 5000 piece jigsaw. 

In this episode I’m going to help you sort out the pieces of your program jigsaw and map out the basic roadmap or workflow of your pilot program so you can build it quickly and efficiently.

In this episode, I’ll talk about 
* What pilot programs?
* What are workflows, and why create them?
* What is it that you are mapping out?

Why pilot programs  

I did a compete episode on the benefits of pilot programs a while ago. But to recap, in my experience of over 3500 coaching hours, I have had the best results in programs that have started with a pilot version. 

Now, I firmly believe that you should always run a pilot program so you can develop and test a draft version of a program with real clients before you launch it so you can feel more confident, professional and give clients exactly what they want.

The starting point for any program is to map out a workflow which helps you to develop a professional program outline that captures all the key things you need to do, in a way that maximises your clients’ experience and results.

In this episode, I’ll briefly map out the Why, What and How of pilot program workflows to help you capture the key elements and make the build out a little easier.

What are workflows, and why create them? 

Workflows are essentially planning tools that help you think through and map out the individual tasks you need to do to build your pilot program from both YOUR perspective AND considering the needs and wants of the clients you will serve. 

Workflows help you build your program in a way that is very time efficient – aiming to capture all the important steps and do them in a logical order, so you know exactly what to do and how to do it.

For example, building a program isn’t just about working out what you are going to do in a session and what content you might need to create. 

It’s also looking at those things from the clients perspective – like how to make your client feel excited and comfortable when they attend the session. Consider also the format and delivery style of content in your program.

For example, some social media Guru might have told you that you need to send three emails each week with a long story to engage your reader. How is your ideal client going to feel if they hate getting lengthy emails? The answer is simply, turned off.

Or, what if you want to build out some fancy expansive platform to share coaching resources with your clients, but they are virtually IT illiterate and hate being online?

As you can see, workflows are definitely about creating your own step-by-step roadmap for building your program, but more importantly they’re about making sure that your client has an exceptional service experience with your business.

After all, it’s exceptional customer service that creates raving fans, transformational results, and plenty of referrals.

In summary, workflows are all about good planning and customer service. They ensure you don’t miss anything in the build, and to co-create the program and build it in exactly the right way for your niche clients to have the best experience and results.

What is it that you are mapping out?

Since you want your clients to have a great experience in working with you (UX = user experience), you want to break your program into chunks and ensure that the customer experience in each area is easy, seamless, and enjoyable.

There are three main areas to map out with workflows:

  1. Key steps in the promotion-to-sign-up phase
  2. Key steps in the onboarding phase (payment, welcome, engagement)
  3. Key steps in how the program will be run and what needs to be delivered, and when.

Along the way, you can liaise with a niche focus group to get their opinions at each step of the way. Here’s how that could work.

Once you’ve mapped a workflow for the areas above, test each one out yourself, as if you were a customer. 

What was the experience like to sign up, be welcomed, pay, receive the info etc?

How did you feel as you did it?

What could be different/improved?

Refine the process if needed, then, ask a couple of focus group members to talk through it or walk through it with you to see if you’re on the same page.

No need to ask the WHOLE focus group to do all three aspects – just a couple for each is enough.

How do you create workflows?

The workflows themselves can be as simple, visual or detailed as you like – YOU decide.

Some people (e.g. visual learners) like to use post it notes. 

They write one step on each post-it note, then rearrange them on a mirror, wall or window until it seems like all of the steps (for signing up, on boarding or working through the program) are in a logical order, easy to undertake without any frustration, tech issues or time wasting.

Alternatively, they may like to draw pictures.

Some people (auditory or interactive learners) prefer to talk through things.

Asking clients for their opinions might be the best way for you to map things out – or to talk through it aloud on your own.

Some people (visual / detail learners) prefer to write answers and/or use spreadsheets.

Working through a series of prompt questions might be helpful to identify all the considerations.

Having a detailed, step-by-step project plan in a spreadsheet might help you to capture all the steps and schedule/allocate time to each task.

Remember, they can be as simple or detailed as you like.

Some people are happy to go with the flow and build things on the fly as they go, so might prefer to start with little detail and just some main ideas.

Other people feel like they need a detailed, step-by-step list of tasks in order to do it properly and feel confident enough to launch.

Summary

Pilot programs (and eventually, full programs) contain a lot of moving parts.

Workflows are great tools to help you capture all the steps and put them in the right order for three critical areas: sign up, onboarding and program delivery.

As you create workflows, it’s important to get client opinions, test them yourself as if you were the client, and even get clients to talk through or walk through the ideas with you. That way you build more than just a great program – you build a program that gives your niche the best possible experience in working with 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:

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#152 7 Considerations for Choosing a Program Platform

This episode is about 7 considerations for choosing a program platform

When it comes to offering a program and content to your clients, there are SO many ways you can do it. Today, I want to help you break it down and get clear on how to choose a platform that is right for you.

What is a platform?

The word ‘platform’ refers to the online space that hosts the content for your program for both you and your clients to access.

Ideally, a platform provides content in a way that is easily accessible, visually appealing and in a logical order/layout. 

In this episode, I’ll talk about 
* What is a platform and its main functions?
* What your audience wants?
* What doesn’t the platform do?

Platforms are many and varied. They perform different functions and have different levels of complexity.

Here are seven main considerations for choosing a platform for YOUR program.

What is the main function of the platform? 

Is it primarily for delivering content, or creating a community, or facilitating communication between you and your clients – or a mix of these? 

This is a huge consideration when picking a platform. It needs to be fit-for-purpose.

What does your audience want?

Do they prefer to go to a platform they’re familiar with, or something else?

This is the second biggest consideration. If they don’t like the platform you’re using, or if it’s hard to use, they won’t use it.

How user-friendly/intuitive is it?

Trialing a platform before you buy/sign up is important. 

If it’s not intuitive or doesn’t quite fit the structure you want, then it will be hard for you and your niche clients to use it.

You can ask focus group members to test it for you during the trial phase (screen share on Zoom, or send them a test link) and again once you start building it out.

How secure is it?

Platforms have varying levels of security and this is a key consideration, especially with regard to national Privacy Acts, GDPR, etc – AND your intellectual property.

Example: when you load content onto a WordPress website on a ‘hidden page’, it may be discoverable by random keyword searches.  Make sure you choose a system that doesn’t expose your IP or the confidentiality of your members.

Also, ensure you have clear disclaimers and policies about privacy, use of personal information and precautions taken (including liability).

What DOESN’T the platform do?

If you like a platform but it doesn’t cover all the functions you need, look at what it integrates with, and/or what you might need to set up as a separate system.

Examples include Zoom meetings, payment gateways, landing pages, email functionality, automation, booking links.

This will help you decide whether you need to switch platforms, and/or set up associated systems to deliver your pilot.

How tech savvy are you and your audience?

Simpler platforms (even the more manual sharing of a Google Drive folder, or printing worksheets) might suit some demographics and live audiences better. In this case, YOU will still need a digital platform to store and create files in a logical, sequential order. 

If your audience is familiar with tech, they may be interested in something more complex. 

How long will it take to set up? Do you have the knowledge? These are two important questions to ask yourself.

You can always pay someone to set up a platform for you – but this is a cost and, I think if you need to pay someone to set it up, that’s an indication that it’s too complex or big for your needs right now.

How much do your niche want, and in what format?

If your audience wants a lot of content, consider what the platform allows in terms of storage, and if web-based, how it might affect speed.

Example: website membership plug-ins are great, but a lot of video files loaded onto a website take up space and slow site loading. In this case, you’d be better to host videos externally (e.g. Vimeo) and simply provide links within the platform.

Some platforms allow hosting of a variety of content while some are restricted.

Example: Facebook groups allow live videos, uploaded videos, written content etc).

Example: you can’t upload audio files to Mighty Networks directly, you have to use a third party program like Soundcloud to store the file.

Summary

This is an overview of considerations when choosing a platform to host a coaching program.

There may be other considerations not listed here.

The message is – don’t jump in too quickly. Think about how it will actually work when you are ready to use it. Test it. Get your clients to test it.  

Pick something that is the best fit, and then, start building it out in collaboration with your focus group clients.

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#144 How to Write Compelling Copy

This episode is about how to write a compelling copy

Are you promoting your business, but only hearing crickets?

So many business owners I know have trouble writing compelling copy that attracts quality leads. 

After working with hundreds of coaches on this challenge, and recently devising a pitch for a startup, I have truly immersed myself in what it takes to write compelling copy and how to position your value in a mouthwatering, irresistible way.

I have developed what I am calling the ‘End Point Method’ and it helps you to get past the features and jargon that you might be using now, to rather describe your services in a compelling and attractive way that makes sense to your niche.

If you get it right, you will attract more quality leads and enquiries.

In this episode, I’ll talk about 
* What you need to communicate in your copy
* What you need to be doing instead
* How the End Point Method works

What You Need to Communicate in Copy

When you consider any purchase, you subconsciously ask yourself – “what’s in it for me?” 

In other words, you ask yourself something like – ‘Why should I spend my hard earned money on this?’ ‘Do I really need this?’ ‘What will it give me?” “Is it worth it?”

Everyone – you, the clients you are trying to secure – buy because of what’s in it for them..

That’s why you hear marketing professionals say things like: 

“Sell the sizzle, not the sausage.”

“Facts tell, stories sell.”

“Promote benefits, not features.”

So number 1, your copy needs to answer the question – ‘what’s in it for me?’. 

There are some other things that are important to include in the copy, too, and these are relevant if you are running a service based business.

There are three things you need to weave in:

1. When people buy, 90% of their buying decisions are emotionally-driven. 

So your copy needs to tell a story that clearly articulates the benefits and results but does so in a way that engages them emotionally, which will increase their motivation to enquire.

2. People buy from those who are similar to them, and who they trust. 

So your copy needs to tell the story in a relatable way that will resonate and connect with the person seeing the promotion, so they will be more motivated to enquire.

This comes down to you personally. If you are a 20-year old woman and you are trying to sell menopause coaching to a 50 year old woman, it’s probably not going to go so well because – what would a 20 year old woman know about menopause?

This is where the relatability comes in. Part of communicating your value is why you are positioned to be the provider of choice for this service. It could be your similar life experience, your journey, your expertise in an area, or your demographic.

3. People buy to solve problems – not for fun! 

Unless you speak to results and outcomes that they are seeking, then people aren’t interested. 

A lot of people try to sell services to people that don’t need them, because the problem is too poorly defined, too vague – or too small.

A simple example is this: if I get a cut on my arm, I’ll use a bandaid to solve it. If I break my arm, I’ll go to a doctor or better still, a specialist.

So in your copy, when you can clearly describe the big problem people want to solve, and the benefits and results that someone is seeking, you are demonstrating your understanding of their challenges, and they are more likely to enquire because they trust that you truly understand them.

What You Might Be Doing Instead

If not doing the above things in your copy, what might you be doing instead?

What I see a lot of is copy that focuses on your title, your qualifications and/or the method you use to work with people, and all of the things you do with them in your program/

If your copy is solely talking about you and not in a relatable way to your ideal client, and if your copy is describing the features of your work or the science behind it, there could be a problem.

Read your copy out aloud, and how do you feel afterwards? 

Put yourself in your client’s shoes – if you stumbled across your promotion – would YOU want to buy it? Why or why not?

If it’s all about you and how you work, that’s why you are probably hearing crickets!

Getting your story right is really important and it is ultimately the difference between enquiries or no enquiries.

While there isn’t enough time to go into a full page copy example, I want to share some simple statements I often see on websites that don’t quite fit the bill: 

“I help you create an exciting vision that feels good inside and out.”

“I help you work out what you want to achieve and how to get there.”

“I help you develop healthy habits that are sustainable and fit with your goals.”

Here are a few statements that are a lot better and make the value a lot clearer:

“I help women in their 50’s to reverse diabetes and lose weight with a simple, low-carb eating approach.’ 

“I work with athletes to address their inner critic and mental wellbeing so they can achieve those important 1% increases in performance.”

I’ve just made these examples up, but you can tell right away that one set of statements is much clearer, free of coaching jargon, and easier to buy.

The nutshell is, when you have clear copy, the reader can identify themselves in the statement and will more likely qualify themselves as a good fit for your business.

The best way to get the words to answer these questions is with client interviews.

How the End Point Method Works 

If you are a coach then you have some skills to help you master this already. 

Just like helping your ideal client peel off the layers to get to the heart of what’s important to them, my End Point Method is a similar process.

It helps you get past all those features you keep listing in your ad copy and all those jargony words, and pull out the feelings, results and benefits that people will want to connect with.

It also helps you map out the customer journey so you can explain to clients how you help them get to their desired end result.

So by using the end point method, you can work out:

  1. The problem your ideal client needs to solve
  2. The result they desperately want
  3. The step by step process you guide them through to get there – but spoken as a list of benefits, not a list of features.

There are a few simple questions to ask yourself and answer to get the heart of the valuable copy.

  1. What do you do?
  2. How do you do it?
  3. What are the results?
  4. How do people feel?
  5. If people achieve these results, what else becomes possible?
  6. How does THAT feel?
  7. Why does that matter to them?
  8. What might that mean?

Summary

If your promotional copy has gotten NO traction, it might be worth looking at the copy and value proposition in your promotions.

I discussed four important things that your copy needs to cover:

  1. What’s in it for me
  2. An emotional story that shows you understand their problem
  3. Text that shows how you resonate with the ideal client 
  4. A focus on a big enough problem they have and want to solve.

Market research is the best way to get the answers to these questions.

Further, you need to coach yourself or work with a business coach to get to the crux of the matter – to get to the heart of your value proposition – so that you can clearly articulate this in your messaging. 

If you need support with this process, get in touch. I have about 5 places available this month to dive deep into getting your messaging right.

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#142 Interview with Michelle Hasani

This episode is about my interview with Michelle Hasani

MW: Today, I’m very excited to be talking to Michelle Hassani today and Michelle, I’m not going to introduce you. I’m going to let you introduce yourself and tell us all about your business and what it is that you do.

MH: Thanks Mel. Well, I’m Michelle Hasani and my business is Revive and Thrive. It’s about workplace wellness, leadership and lifestyle coaching. And I’ve been in business for about three years now. So my background is in leadership policy. 

I work a lot for not-for-profits, in government organizations, which is where those services will come into play. For me, starting out in business, I had been in leadership for a long time and realized that I didn’t actually loved what I was doing anymore, and I guess the flow had gone out of it. 

In this episode, I’ll talk about 
* The value of coaching
* Helping clients understand whether they have systems and structures that support people

I had an aging father who was ill and I had a young daughter at the same time so it was just a combination of things and reflecting and thinking I’m not loving what I do anymore. And there must be a better way of doing life. So following that I went and worked for the government for a little while. And for about five years and did some really interesting pieces of work.

During that time I started thinking about where I wanted to be long-term and coaching was the bit in the equation that I loved doing as a leader and as a manager. But I didn’t really get the opportunity to do it because there were so many other parameters that were influencing my time and then having had a cancer experience within the mix of that, I recognize that prevention was an important piece. 

Our health system, while fragmented, was awesome at providing treatment but not awesome at helping a person, really make behavior change or reclaim their health and wellness post-intervention of some really heavy-duty chemoradiotherapy, lots of surgeries, that kind of thing. So, often our system leaves people broken rather than cured.

So that’s kind of where I started thinking, what did I want to be doing? I wanted to help people with prevention which is far better than cure. 

MW: You’ve talked about the gaps in healthcare, and it’s an interesting thing, and people often say what’s the value of coaching, and when you think about somebody having been through such a significant journey and then being on their own in between visits to their doctor or their specialist or whatever. It’s a lot to deal with. It’s not just like you broke an ankle. It’s a it’s a life-changing experience, right? And you have to maybe rethink and re navigate your life going forward and who’s going to help you with that? 

MH: That’s where I started in terms of thinking it was one of the areas that I actually wanted to be working with people, helping them navigate the multiple practitioners that are in your world. When you have something like cancer, you’ve got multiple practitioners who aren’t necessarily talking to each other. And so that in itself presents a whole heap of other challenges in the equation. 

It’s about helping people to develop a really clear plan about what their priorities are, and how can they rebuild following that trauma of the experience. 

MW: So fast, forwarding three years now who’s your typical client? Who are you working within your business? 

MH: It’s predominantly women though I have started to get some male referrals. My model is about working with a whole organization, but I have to say that that hasn’t transpired as I thought it might. It’s still work in progress. But my main clients are coming from government employees, who are actually being seen to be underperforming or having significant health issues that are preventing them from performing, or perceived health related issues that are impacting their ability to perform at work. That’s one cohort. 

There is another who have been underperforming but they’ve been long-term employees so their employers are wanting to invest in them, rather than the ‘three strikes or you’re out’ approach. They’re looking at what else they can be doing to actually help these people reach their maximum potential. It’s quite a proactive approach? It’s actually still very experimental. 

For me, this work has extended to two government departments and I’m talking to a third, so it’s slowly developing. But we’re looking at how we can look at that as an ongoing model rather than it just being.

I have other clients who have had breast cancer and want to invest in not going back there again. So rebuilding post-treatment and and going from there.

I have a few clients who are women who run their own businesses. They work as professionals and recognize that their health and well-being has been compromised because they’re putting others first rather than self. Some of those want to progress in terms of being at a particular level in their career but that would like to go to the next step but they know that going to that next step requires them having the foundation really solid in terms of their self-care as well as their skill set. 

Because of my background, I’m able to help them build the tool kit around leadership, as well as their toolkit around their their health and well-being. 

MW: That’s interesting. You’re working with those three groups and I think I can hear some similarities between them.

MH: Yeah, there are similarities. So performance is there, people working at their optimum, whether it’s their day-to-day management of their family versus how they perform within their workplace, or whether it’s about that performance in terms of the next step career-wise and building on from where they are now. 

Some of the tools that I use with people are the same regardless of whether they’re underperforming at work, or they’re wanting to progress to the next level. The foundation for each of them is very similar, the same because one size doesn’t fit all, but it is quite similar.

MW: Interesting. We are kind of dancing around the topic of niches, but it’s almost like you’re looking at above and below the line of performance – with some coming up to that line and then some wanting to exceed.

MH: Yeah. Sometimes people don’t even know what their baseline is, you know. So that’s helping them to know where they are at right now, where they want to be and how they are going to get there, which is the whole coaching Journey. 

And when I think about a whole organization and when I go in and work with them, it’s about helping them to understand whether they have systems and structures that support people.

Not being an effective leader is actually holding them back so I talk about wellness systems but it’s as simple as their communication. It’s not just about the health. It’s about the mindset and values that organizations use and then how that plays out in terms of enabling and supporting people to actually be self-driven within context. 

MW: That’s interesting to think about the types of organizations that you’re working with. Are they generally that are more proactive and have a bit of a framework and some policies in place? Or are they people that don’t give that level of attention to their workforce, and almost need to be educated and directed a bit in that area? 

MH: It’s kind of interesting in the government because the state government is such a large beast, then there are policies and procedures, but what happens in practice is different depending on who’s leading individual teams. There’s not a streamlined consistent approach, so that’s where the work is.

With some of the smaller organizations that I’ve been working with, they might have some things in place. One in particular that I’m thinking of have done some fantastic work in terms of the documentation, but it’s then the implementation and anything leaders need to model what they’re doing. So you can have it on paper, but if you don’t have people that are walking the talk so then it isn’t congruent. 

Often there’s a lack of congruence with the environments and so it’s about helping them to recognize that this may be the aspiration, but you’re not quite there yet. 

MW: I was thinking this morning that a corporate culture starts with the individual and every individual has an impact on that. There’s definitely that role for leadership but it’s also, “how do you help the individual to take responsibility for their own health and well-being in a place?”

MH: Yeah I talk to organizations about that in my model, it starts with self, then it starts with the shared systems within an environment then it’s about enabling and equipping the leadership. Whether you’re a leader or you’re not, it all starts with being self-aware and building your own toolkit. 

Then as you build your leadership within that, you’ve got your shared systems, shared language and shared values. 

What that does is it frees up your teams to actually be self-managed. They have the confidence to be able to experiment as we do in coaching and explore different ways of doing things and it brings a freedom in environments because, you know, everyone’s on the same page and consequently creates thriving cultures. It’s like, you’re closing the gap between the leadership in the workforce, almost bringing them onto the same page and getting them talking, the same language and working together, rather than that distrust or that they don’t understand me. 

I think what I see more is that often smaller businesses are fantastic at taking care of their people but they forget to actually take care of themselves right? You know so you can have the policies and practice you can actually really give you staff days off. You can fund them to go and have fun. You know, you have a gym program for them, all of those things, but when it comes to, you know, a couple of organizations, I’m thinking of their stress levels are really high because they’re actually spreading themselves too thin. So some of the work I also do is around helping to identify what the gaps are. So one organization are recently worked with was identifying the right level of support that is needed for their growing business as well. By then being able to help them develop what that looks like. 

We don’t have to do it all ourselves. It’s sometimes knowing when’s the point same as in your coaching business, when’s the point of when you get help from others and pay someone to do a component of your work versus

MW: I’m curious to know your focus in business for the next 12 months. So if there were one or two things that you think are your priorities, what would they be? 

MH: I’m having some interesting conversations with some peak bodies at the moment around how they can provide adequate support.

A lot of services are delivered by not-for-profits and see organizations might have an employee assistance program but it’s about helping people to change the behaviors on going around their health and wellness. You can have a debriefing service, for example a lot of not-for-profits work in environments where vicarious trauma is actually an issue.

But there are a whole heap of things that you can put in your toolkit to reduce your stress, manage your health and wellness, be more open around those conversations, those kind of things. There is a space for coaching to actually support in education engagement. 

The other is around, consolidating, some of the government work and and trying to move it from an ad hoc referrals to actually looking at a system response.

For example, you can get a free physio appointment or something like that, but you co uld also have a health check or health and wellness check. How might we be able to add a service in place that’s been so that the employers are getting maximum benefit?

MW: Yes, really packaging what you’re doing and taking that out into companies. 

MW: I was talking to someone the other day and it’s all about timing. In September last year, I had conversations with a person. He’s a head of a peak body and they were worried about getting support, and decided to go a different way which is absolutely fine. Then only a week ago, I pick up the phone and say, hey, I’m just touching base to see how you’re doing and is there anything I can support you with?’ And that person said hey your timing is perfect. We need to have this conversation. So, you know, sometimes you as a coach who’s running a business, you don’t see the immediate effectiveness of those conversations that you are having. 

It’s about planting the seed and then making sure that you go back and water it. 

MW: It’s such an important point because a lot of people say, “how do I get a steady flow of clients?” and the answer is, “you have a steady flow of conversations.”

MH: Absolutely, you know, lots of people will go the social media way and you have to really know who the client is. The clients that I’m working with are of the age and professional status that are not going to pick up a service from an ad on Facebook or Instagram, you know. So they might check it out in terms of the quality of your content. Yeah. But they’re not going to click a link and book there. 

MW: That’s a very important point. Coaching is a relationship business and you’re in the you what you are doing is building relationships in both the service that you deliver and the marketing of it and it’s like building friendships. I remember moving to a town where I knew nobody, but I didn’t get on the internet and start posting and hoping to make friends and business connections. I went out and talked to people and kept showing up and kept showing up and kept showing up and eventually they figured out who I was and got to know me. It’s that repetition of showing up and adding value to them, sharing articles, asking how they’re going, following up and it’s also about making those strategic connections. 

MH: This year, I’ve done a couple of workshops for a local government, but also for the tourism industry tourism Commission of South Australia. 

Now I can’t say that immediate work has come from either of those but the relationships that I made in one Workshop, eighty percent of the people in there were in the health provision space, but they’re all relationships, you know, from that we’ve talked about setting up a meeting on an ongoing basis to come together and look at how we can actually collaborate to provide support to clients. So that becomes a referral pathway rather than a thing that you sign up a client there and then. So that’s ongoing and it’s about building that relationship again with the tourism commission. That’s about keeping in contact with the people that attended, you value-add by giving something and not expecting anything back but what might come is that referral. 

MW: It’s called the principle of reciprocity. Give first in order to receive as Stephen Covey, would say, absolutely yeah. 

MW: So, and I don’t go and deliver a workshop with the intent that I’m going to walk away with three clients from it.

I have the intent of hoping that people walk away with an aha moment that they can, then start to make improvements within their business, or within their own personal life. And then to know that if they then need additional support that it’s a phone call away and that starts a conversation. 

MW: And I guess the other thing too, is that when you go to go to any sort of event or you run an event, there are going to be people who your values are aligned with. As in “values-aligned” as a hyphenated word. That’s a bit jargony for a podcast, but it just means that you might make a couple of connections in that session that you then take offline and and can, continue and build that more intimate relationship as well. 

MH: There are some people who I know of who run workshops and sign clients before they’ve left the room and I don’t know how authentic that is. What I mean is, I personally like to process the information. And so, you know, gathering information and testing and then saying “is that what I want to be doing? Is that who I want to be working with?”

And maybe my clients stream comes slower because that’s the approach I take, but I’m actually quite comfortable with that because the people that come on board are genuinely committed to going through the process and then become long-term clients rather than it being you’ve done this short intervention and thanks very much.

MW: So, just to wrap up, Michelle knowing what, you know, now of all that you’ve done and experienced. If you could go back in time, what advice would you give yourself the you of five years ago or three years ago? 

MH: If I just go back three years I think the thing that I would have done is I probably would have stayed working part time. I need to be in collaboration and working with people in that context. So I think what I would have done is maybe stayed employed by someone for a period of time until I had the flow of clients because it takes time, it takes a good two years not just in coaching just generally. It takes time to build a solid client base to build those relationships. 

Also, I’d say trust yourself in lots of different stuff. I originally was encouraged by multiple people to have a niche and one niche, you know, like an I think that slowed my business progress rather than looking at my whole skill set and tool kit. So, you know, like I was going mainly in that cancer space to start with, but in actual fact, our culture in Australia around paying for support in that space people get so much free stuff and there’s so much fundraising, and those kind of things, people expect to be given. I don’t agree with that but that’s okay. So I think, yeah, I think take the advice of others but then really trust your sense of where you think you need to go. 

And I think the other thing, a great piece of advice that I and I was given is, don’t build it unless you’ve sold it. One of the things I did in the beginning was start writing programs, having them ready to go, but if you actually haven’t sold it, there’s no point building it now.

MW: Right, you just need enough of a skeleton to have the confidence to go out there and promote yourself and say I’ve got this, but it’s not the complete whiz-bang finished product. 

MH: Yeah. Because you can spend a lot of time that’s not paid for so, you know, like, be really clear. I guess the advice is, be really clear on what is income-producing activity? And what’s not. Because at the end of the day, as much as, you know, we all become coaches because we want to help and support people who grow the stuff that you can do sitting at your desk like designing your website, doing your social media, all of those kind of things isn’t actually income-producing activity so it’s about having it’s been clear on what is what is your income activity and what’s not and so have a best structure. 

You don’t need it to be perfect and, you know, as we would talk to our clients about progress, not perfection, I think in terms of our business that’s the same piece of advice. I would have given myself. It’s progress not Perfection. Yeah. So and no, you don’t have to spend a lot to get your business off the ground but there’s just some key Basics that you need a good logo, good business card.

MW: And you can do that electronically, you don’t even have to have a paper form, you know, if you’ve got a fantastic LinkedIn profile. You don’t need a website until you until you’re really clear who you want to work with and you’ve done some work, it’s good to have a starting point, but then when you don’t know in the beginning. 

It’s like when I was three, I didn’t know that I was going to University and to become a biologist 20 years later, you know? So it’s that same kind of thing. You might pick a direction and keep it rubbery and also not too much in place so that you can develop it out through your experience of working with people and figuring out what you love to do. 

Thanks so much. Michelle for your insights today and I hope that everything goes as you wish it to this year and the coming 12 months. 

MH: One thing I’ve learned Mel is that it’s just being open to what the possibilities might be – to have a direction but then be grateful for the new opportunities that are presented. If you’re not open to them, you can’t actually know what they are. The space that we that you’re going to work in may not even be designed yet. So the space that we’re working in as health and wellness, coaches may not even be defined yet be open to listening to what people need and adapt.

MW: It’s very valid and the first bit you said is the important bit – listening to what people need.

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#141 How to Bust Your Decision Blocks

This episode is about how to bust your decision blocks

Includes offer to free P2P info session

If you’re struggling with making decisions in your business or your life and you’re feeling overwhelmed and procrastinating then this episode is for you. I want to help you to bust through your decision-making blocks and start taking action so that you can create the business in life that you want and do it your way.

In this episode, I’ll talk about 
* Knowing and identifying decision blockers
* How research can help you bust these blockers
* How planning can help you overcome these blockers

Decision Blockers

I’m currently reading Lisa Sasevic’s book Meant for More. It’s a really inspiring book and I am totally aligned with what she says, she says what I think so eloquently. So I’d like to share some insights from her book in this episode.

Lisa talks about the concept of decision blockers. These are things that stop you from pursuing your dreams. These are the things that keep you stuck in the I’m not good enough or it’s not perfect headspace and prevent you from achieving what you wish for.

As Lisa rightly says, all transformation is preceded by a decision.

In this case we are talking about daily and weekly decisions – the little things – as much as we are talking about the bigger decisions.

Reflect on that for a moment, like I did.

Maybe you’re trying to decide when to officially launch your business.

Maybe you’re trying to choose a colour and font set for your business branding.

Maybe you’re trying to finalise your website.

Maybe you’re finding it hard to commit to a niche.

Maybe you’re trying to decide which CRM to sign up for. 

Maybe you’re trying to figure out whether you need a CRM, a certain email program, or financial package.

Maybe you’re wondering whether you should do some specific training course to help you with your business, or to hire a business coach.

Maybe you’re wondering if this coaching thing is really going to work and if you can commit to stepping away from your job, so that you can transition into your business.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed just listening to this right now, that’s exactly what happens on a daily basis to a lot of people. You can see how this sort of thinking is not very helpful

Now, remember a time that you’ve made a decision about something, and how much clarity, confidence, and certainty about what you’re going to do next. Even if the thing is a little bit scary, at least you are clear and confident about the next steps.

So what gets in the way of making decisions like this and how do you get past that?

Here are some ways to bust common decision blockers, according to Lisa Sasevich and I.

1. Do “Just Enough” Research

Some people do a lot of research before they make a decision. And if you are researching all the time and then never making decisions it means that you are researching probably a bit much.

And while a little bit of research is great to help you make a decision, too much is going to tip you into decision blocking. 

It’s easy to get stuck in analysis paralysis, especially if you are a questioner tenancy or if you lack self confidence.

Here are two things you can do.

Lisa recommends that you tune into what you really want, hear the answer, and take action. 

I recommend that you put a time limit on your research – a hard stop – so you contain it to equip yourself with r ohhh  essential information to make a decision.

2. Stop Seeking Opinions

We’re not talking about market research here. If you are constantly second-guessing what you are creating, wanting to put out there, or wanting to sign up for, then you can ask other people about their experience and opinion to a certain point, but once again it’s easy to go overboard with this.

Just remember that other people can give different perspectives but they have different values, goals, and resources.

So like doing research, it’s important that you put a hard stop on the amount of opinions you seek, and to seek opinions from people who you believe are wise and sound. 

But ultimately, I recommend you use those perspectives to either strengthen your own opinion, or reconsider it. 

Here’s an example. Let’s say you’re thinking about getting a VA for your business. You aren’t quite sure if you want to spend the money or whether it will be worth it. 

So you start asking other people what it’s like to have a VA and what they recommend. Because everybody will have a different VA and for different types of tasks and they will have totally different expectations of their VA compared to you.

Opinions can be a handy but subjective guide – take them as information and not gospel. As the expert in your own life, only you know what you want and need, why, and what your expectations are.

The same goes with software. People often ask me which CRM they should use, which mail program they should use, and I just say do the free trials and see which one works best for you. That’s what I do, because some of the most popular software doesn’t gel with me and my learning style, but you can only know that if you do a trial. 

3. Trust Yourself 

People are often researching and polling and getting opinions because they lack trust in themselves. Remember that you are your best investment. If you want to be light, respected, trusted, and invested in you and you need to do these things for yourself.

Start to trust yourself. Do you research, get opinions, but make your own decisions for your own reasons. 

Know that you will make mistakes along the way, but they can use this to tweak and find tune your decisions to get the best outcome anyway

Nobody else is you. Only you are you. Back yourself, and you will find that other people back you too. 

As you can see, to make decisions easier on yourself, you are going to need to pull back from a few things, and let go of achieving. When you can tap into your courage you will bypass the overwhelm and you can try, and adjust as you go and learn. 

It takes courage to do certain things in your life. And that’s really what we are talking about here.

4. Make a Plan

In my experience, every time you get decision fatigue and feel overwhelmed, you can get past that by making a plan. 

Even if you plan to make a decision by a certain date, at least that is defining a hard stop.

Plan to spend a certain amount of time doing research. Plan to spend a certain amount of time asking opinions if you need to do that too.

Plan where and when you might do a trial of some sort. 

You will have your next steps mapped out clearly and will know exactly what to do and when. You can even ask for help to get those things done, once you have the steps written out and scheduled.

Summary 

Today, I talked about how easy it is to feel overwhelmed and to become stuck with decisions or taking action. I have discussed four ways to bust common decision blockers, according to Lisa Sasevich and myself.

  1. Do just enough research
  2. Stop seeking opinions 
  3. Trust yourself
  4. Make a plan

For this to work, you’ll need to take action.

You might like to write out these four steps, as a reminder of what to do and how to do it. You might like to put in place a timeslot every week to make a plan for things that you need to make decisions on that week.

Also, you might like to create some sort of a decision matrix to help you make decisions and take action in the moment. 

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#140 A Four-Point Checklist to Launch Your Business

This episode is about a four-point checklist to launch your business

When you’re starting a business, there are some specific things you need to do to get set up and ready to operate.  Today I’m talking about four parts of my business startup checklist that are part of my Passion to Profit program

In this episode, I’ll talk about 
* Deciding your business name
* Registering your business
* Setting up your business’ bank account

Deciding on a business name

Please don’t get hung up on the perfect business name.  

I recommend that, unless you are clear on your niche, simply use your own name as your business name and get on with things.

Why?

Simply because you are your own brand, and by using your name you can become more easily recognisable to your audience.

It also means if you decide to change your niche later down the track, you don’t have to worry about whether your business name is still relevant.

I recommend doing this and then, having programs that are well-named to suit the niche problem, so that those programs can be branded in their own right, and you have the flexibility to work in different areas if you wish, or to pivot down the track.

Example: I started my business as Melanie J White coaching, and ran the Downsize Me program, which I licensed for other coaches to deliver. Later on, I decided to pivot into business coaching, so now my name is more commonly associated with the Passion to Profit program.

So that’s a way to keep it simple and get started – choose your own name. 

The other way to go, if you’re clear on your niche, is to choose a business name that speaks to what you do and this is appropriate if you have a clear niche.

I would recommend looking at a name that speaks to the niche, rather than a general name.

That’s because general names get lost in the sea of businesses, and if they are not clearly related to a problem solved, then they don’t catch the eye of the masses.

A good example of a clear name is Vital Lifestyles which is Jason Nikakis’ business in Melbourne. I like this name because it’s an outcome-based name, and

Registering a business

Once you have a name, you are ready to register a business.

I recommend you talk to your accountant if needed to work out the best type of business to set up – Sole trader, Company or Trust.

The reason is that everyone has a different financial situation and that might mean one option is better than another.

For me, setting up a company made more sense.

For a lot of people, setting up as a sole trader will be enough.

If you don’t have an accountant – get one. It will save you a lot of pain at tax time and help make sure that your business is legally compliant.

You need to find out if you should register for GST or not (most people won’t need to at first, unless their business is going gangbusters).

You can ask your accountant to set up the business for you, otherwise go to the ASIC website to register your business name and get an Australian Business Number (ABN).

Registering for insurance

Before you exchange service for money, you will need to have appropriate professional insurance as a coach.

The two basic types of insurance are professional indemnity and public liability.

Professional indemnity is designed to protect you if somebody wishes to sue you for malpractice.

Public liability is designed to protect you for general loss or injury, for example, if you are running a workshop and somebody trips over your extension cord and hurts themselves and wishes to sue you.

Do you need insurance?

Definitely.  Firstly, it tells the world that you are a professional entity who takes their business seriously. Secondly, it offers protection from potential litigation.

The probability that someone will sue you is low, but the consequence is extreme.

If someone were to attempt a legal challenge, it would cost you money, time and emotional wellbeing  in addressing the challenge – and there is also reputation damage which could affect the future of your business.

Having insurance offers a buffer of support and it should be backed up by appropriate policies and procedures, which we cover in the Passion to Profit training. 

In addition, if you are hiring an office, a venue for running a workshop, or going into any sort of partnership arrangement including running a training course for an organisation, you will need to present evidence of your insurance in most cases in order to be able to conduct those activities.

Where do you get insurance?

There are a few companies that will insure you but you typically need to go through an insurance broker to get the right coverage for your situation.

Two options are:

  1.     Become a member of our national industry body – HCANZA – and contact their recommended insurance provider for a quote.
  2.     Contact IICT for information and a quote on insurance.

Insurance costs could be in the range of $300 up to $600 typically, with the premium being related to the type of services you want to offer and the risk associated with each. For example, you are an exercise physiologist who also wishes to work as a coach – these services have different levels of risk and therefore cost associated with them.

Typical amounts are $2M for professional indemnity and $10M for public liability.

Set up a business bank account

Set up a separate bank account for your business to keep your business income and expenses separate.

This sounds like a pain – but trust me – it has a lot of value.

How serious are you about your business?  Are you intending to persist for at least 2 years to make it work?

A business bank account is important for your own mindset as it makes your business real and tangible.

It also makes tax time MUCH easier because you can clearly separate personal vs business income and expenses.

It means that when you are ready to take payments, your clients know that they are dealing with a professional.

Business bank accounts are easy to set up and don’t cost a lot. Look for an account with low fees and charges – it should cost you under $100 per year to maintain.

There are other things you need to do to set up your business, but these are the essential starting points that get you ready to serve your customers.

If you’re in the Passion to Profit course, check out page 37 of the Student Guide for the complete checklist.

Summary

Today I talked about the first few points of a business startup checklist that I use in my Passion to Profit Program.

Before you start a business, you need to:

  1. Choose a business name – preferably your own name as your own personal brand
  2. Register your business with ASIC (in Australia) using the best structure for your personal asset and income situation
  3. Get professional insurance for yourself as a professional providing a service and your liability in a public setting
  4. Set up a business bank account.

If you have a great idea and need help to create a solid business blueprint and turn your idea into a thriving, profitable business –  make sure you book in for a free info session to learn about my Passion to Profit program.

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#139 17 Proven, Viable Niches for Health and Wellness Coaches

This episode is about 17 proven, viable niches for health and wellness coaches

If you’re starting a business and you need help to create a solid business blueprint – make sure you book in for a free info session to learn about my Passion to Profit program.

Click the link in the show notes to book.
Being specific about who you want to work with helps you to create more targeted marketing – but you first have to find a viable niche that has a big enough pain point that they will pay to get help. Today, I will discuss 17 proven, viable niches for health and wellness coaches and provide links to those people who are successful so you can see for yourself!

In this episode, I’ll talk about 
*Understanding niches and knowing their basic concepts
* What makes a viable niche and know which is the right one for you

Understanding niches 

People often ask me, will my business succeed? Which niches are most successful for coaches?

Let’s talk about some basic concepts first.

A target market is a set of buyers who have a common need or characteristic.  In health and wellness coaching, target markets might include things like:

  • Weight Loss
  • Strength and fitness
  • Mental health
  • Self-image
  • Specific chronic diseases

Within each of these target markets, you will find various niches.

A niche is a more specific group of people with a specific problem. For example, within the target market of weight loss, there are many different niches.

If you’re thinking of starting a health and wellness coaching business, then you need to understand the concept of who you are targeting so that you can get your marketing messages right, and create services that will truly help a specific cohort of people – your niche. 

What makes a viable niche?

According to internet guru Frank Kern, there are a few traits of a viable niche:

  • A huge number of people with a specific problem 
  • The problem itself is very big and painful 
  • The person is desperate for help – the problem is really important enough that they will pay to get help no matter what
  • You can access people in the niche easily
  • And my additional point – your high chemistry clients are in that niche.

In essence, you can spot a viable niche because the people in that niche have some really strong values behind them – and they have shared values or stories with you. 

They tend to be people who: 

  • Have had a health scare and are afraid of dying or being incapacitated
  • Feel that family is everything and they want to be better role models for their kids
  • Are driven to achieve more at work or perform better in sport
  • Are at a certain age or stage of life and are facing specific decisions
  • Have been diagnosed with a serious health issue
  • Desperately want better relationships
  • Are feeling so sick and low and have had enough.

In other words they have a really HUGE why.

They are also people who value themselves and their health enough to invest in themselves.  Look for people who are already spending disposable income on health-related services like the gym, physio, chiro, massage, acupuncture etc.

Remember that there are different levels of readiness to change and at any given time, the people in YOUR niche may or may not be ready to buy. 

If you’re trying to work out which niche to pursue, then a critical factor is that their why is big enough.

And in terms of the niche containing high-chemistry clients – when you work with the people that light you up and have shared values or stories, then you will wake up excited to go to work every day. 

Now, let’s look at some target markets and niches that have been successful for health and wellness coaches in the past five years.

Target market – weight loss

There are several successful niches within the target market of weight loss.

One of the reasons why weight loss niches are so successful is because it is a very visible, painful, and irritating big problem for a lot of people – and weight is a causal factor in chronic diseases. 

That means it qualifies as something that people take seriously and really want to do something about, for aesthetic reasons, for self-confidence reasons, and for health reasons. 

In other words, there are a lot of drivers and motivators that cause people to want to lose weight and even become desperate to do so.

Not every overweight person is motivated to change though! So within this target market – which types of people are more motivated to change?

Here are a few:

Thinking of these niches, you might link back to some of those drivers I mentioned earlier – the desire for achievement, to look good, to be better for the people around them, and so on.

Also note that different niches might want to focus on changing different sets of habits. 

For example, people in high pressure corporate jobs might be overweight because they are sedentary and drink more alcohol as part of their work culture. 

Some people might be overweight because they overeat or eat sweets to cope with emotions or because they are bored. 

Shift workers may be overweight because of irregular meals, poor sleep and poor food choices.

A final word on these niches: hormonal imbalances, stress or both are almost always implicated in weight gain and are important for most niches in the weight loss sector.

Can you see why weight loss is a target market and not a niche? 

The needs of the people in this market vary greatly depending on their life situation.

Target market – mental health

Much like weight loss, there are multiple niches in the mental health market that are viable for health and wellness coaches.

And similarly, mental health issues can be extremely painful and upsetting so there is motivation to change.

Some viable niches in the mental health market include the following;

Where people are struggling to cope with mental health issues, greater skills sets are often required, but not in all cases.

Health and wellness coaches can legitimately work within their scope in the mental health space by focusing on daily wellbeing habits that build resilience and coping skills.

Target market – self image

You might notice that there is some overlap with these niches and the mental health niches.

I want to talk a little more about confidence here because there are nuances for this one. 

Coaches often say they want to coach around confidence, but it’s important to be very specific here. That’s because most people want to be more confident but only to a point – and may not pay to get help. 

So who IS desperate to become confident and even pay to get help?

Go back to the drivers and values and the answer to that question becomes clear. It comes down to a situation where confidence is holding someone back from succeeding – they may be motivated by achievement, stability or financial reasons, or a combination. 

An entrepreneur launching a business who struggles to show up needs confidence otherwise they can’t be successful.

Someone who wants to do well in their career needs confidence to take the next step to earn more or achieve more.

Someone who has been out of the workforce for a while and wants to get back in may need the confidence to start.

Someone who is sick of feeling ashamed of themselves, and of self-loathing.

Someone who want to live a bigger, better life and are using unhealthy habits.

This market is a little less clear cut than others, but it can still be successful if you can find the right angle and build a supportive community.

Target market – specific chronic diseases

Chronic diseases are an emerging area for coaches, especially at the point of initial diagnosis where change has been thrust upon someone and they are unsure of how to alter their lives to cope with the diagnosis.

Unlike other niches where there is a chance of recovery from the problem, there are many chronic diseases with no cure, and the people in those areas need support to accept their diagnosis and find ways to change habits so they can improve their quality of life.

People tend to be more hopeful of change and motivated to change in the earlier stages of diagnosis, or after they have accepted their condition and that a new way of life is needed.

Some viable niches in the chronic disease market include the following;

I’m sure we will see others emerging in this space.

Coaches who work in these areas often have had their own experience with the disease, and/or work in another profession where they are treating people with this condition.

Summary

Being specific about who you want to work with helps you to create more targeted marketing – but you first have to find a viable niche that has a big enough pain point that they will pay to get help.

Today, I’ve discussed 17 proven, viable niches for health and wellness coaches and a few others that I think have good potential – in four main target markets:

  • Weight loss
  • Mental health
  • Self-image
  • Specific chronic diseases.

If you have a great idea and need help to create a solid business blueprint and turn your idea into a thriving, profitable business –  make sure you book in for a free info session to learn about my Passion to Profit program.

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#136 Have to, Need to, Want to

E#136 Have to, Need to, Want to Melanie White, habitology

This episode I would like to invite you to think about the language of success.

I want to ask you to reflect on your commitment to yourself, and how you speak to yourself and whether it’s really giving you the happiness and the sense of purpose that you want. I’ve come up with a concept that I’m going to call language feeling. What I mean is that when you use certain words, they make you feel a certain way and this is going to affect your experience, things, situations in life.

Notice the language that you use on a day to day basis, and think about how it serves you and decide how you like it to be going forward. I want to talk to you about ‘I have to’, ‘I need to’, and ‘I want to’, more specifically and it was so interesting because I had the idea for this podcast a week ago. I saw a product client who was using this exact language and it was so funny because it felt like I had the concept in my mind. And then I started to see it everywhere.

In this episode, I’ll talk about – 
* The connection between your words and your emotions
* Pressure and the language we use
* Where to focus your attention to feel good about the ‘have to’ things 

That’s how your brain works, right?

Your reticular activating system is at play here, what you plug into that creates a filter so that you start seeing those things around you. This led to a fruitful discussion and allowed me to come up with this episode and I want to start with the concept of ‘I have to’ how do you feel when you say ‘I have to do this’, or ‘I have to do that’. When I say ‘I have to’ I feel a huge sense of responsibility, I feel like I have no way out except to do the task at hand.

So if I say I have to do something, it means it’s not negotiable. Do you feel like that too? If you think about it, this could be helpful or unhelpful. If you say, I have to do something for a specific reason, then it could be like meeting a deadline or getting paid or something like that, then maybe there’s a motivation and a drive to do that thing so that you can achieve that outcome. But on the other hand, if you are saying I have to all of the time about everything that you do, then maybe what you’re doing is actually conferring a lot of responsibility, and maybe a bit of drama and pressure that you don’t necessarily need.

That’s not helpful.

I’m going to invite you to think about that language and how often you say I have to, is that something you say all the time? How does it make you feel when you say I have to? How does it affect your energy levels, your stress levels and your ability to switch off and take care of yourself? Or are you driving yourself to do things because you feel like you have to I would speculate that the more you have to have in your life, the more pressure you had in your life pressure to perform and pressure to complete. And I bet that could leave you feeling overwhelmed or unable to sleep or putting aside your own needs at certain times to get things done.

Keep your eyes peeled for this one and have a think about how you respond when you start saying I have to. Notice yourself over this week and see what happens. Here’s an example. Maybe you’re saying I have to exercise or I have to do my social media posting for my business. Notice how much of a burden that is when you use this language? Maybe you feel there’s no way out. And it’s something that you don’t really want to do.

Is this how you want to feel?

Think about I have to. But now let’s talk about ‘I need to’ how do you feel when you say those words, I need to do something? What does that bring up for you? Is there a sense of urgency? Is there a sense of desire? Notice how it’s different from ‘I have to’. ‘I have to’ sounds like you must do it. But you don’t necessarily want to or maybe you’re not looking forward to it or you feel a sense of tension around it. Whereas ‘I need to’ has more desire and a sense of urgency. I think, in my opinion, if you say ‘I need to’ it could mean that something’s really important to you. And in certain cases, that could be a good thing, right? I reckon though if you say ‘I need to’ too often, then it might mean that you’re living with a sense of urgency all the time, or heightened importance about things that may not necessarily matter too much.

It could be a different kind of pressure that you’re applying to yourself if you’re saying ‘I need to’ all the time that is and so then the question really is what is it that you truly need to do and why is the need there? Is it your need? Or is it somebody else’s need, whose need is being met? 

 Listen to the entire podcast to learn more.

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#137 Should You Start a Business?

Should You Start a Business? Habitology Podcast

This episode is about whether you should start a business, or not

As a coach trainer and strengths-based business specialist, I see a lot of people who are lacking meaning and purpose in their lives and wanting to do something different. They’re bored, unfulfilled, and wishing that they could get out of their current situation and into something more exciting and meaningful.

If this sounds like you, then you need to keep listening because I want to talk to you about whether or not you should start a business. I want to talk about the specific types of people who are more likely to succeed, and those that aren’t. 

I want to help you get a realistic view of what is required to be successful in business so you are equipped to make good decisions about your future. 

In this episode, I’ll talk about 
* Idealism vs realism – Separating the dreamers for the doers
* Having a genuine desire to help people
* The search for more purposeful work

Idealism vs realism

I see a lot of people join my Passion to Profit program because they have realised they want to do something more meaningful that truly makes a difference.

Some of these people are idealists – they have a big dream, but lack the drive or commitment to pursue it, or their idea lacks enough substance to be viable.

But there are some people who have a very realistic vision but might just be scared that they won’t be able to make it, or that they don’t know how to run a business and they might fail. In other words, they’re just lacking confidence and clarity on how to turn their business vision into a reality. 

If this is you, I really want to speak to that and equip you with some information to help you get clarity in whether you should start a business – and perhaps more specifically – whether you’re ready and how to become ready.

Right off the bat, I want to say that anybody absolutely anybody can be successful in business.

The caveat on that is that you need to be prepared to do the work required on yourself and your idea, if you want to be successful.

Sure, you might have learned a new skill or gained a qualification and you will need to be proficient in that, but that aside, you will also need to commit to becoming uncomfortable, putting yourself out there, and learning the skills required to run a business – not just a hobby!

Knowing there is hard work ahead, I want to map out three things that are required for success in business, and that you would need to develop in order to be successful for yourself.

As I talk about these three things, I invite you to reflect on how strong these skills and strengths are in you, and what you would need to do to build on these before launching into your business.

Helping others

To be successful in business, and particularly a relationship business like health and wellness coaching, you need to have a really strong desire to help other people.

Over time you will need to become more specific about who you help and how you help them to be very clear in your marketing, but in the beginning, it’s your passion and drive to help and serve others that really makes you a suitable candidate for running a business.

If you don’t like people, if you aren’t interested in people, or if you just want to make money, then you are unlikely to succeed. The reason is that you are not going to be able to express the empathy and make the connections you need to connect, empathise with and truly serve people.

A really great example of this is what happened during the Covid pandemic in 2020. A lot of businesses went under during this time. 

But the ones that survived went over and above to serve people in the community who were doing it tough. Those businesses that donated food or gave people work experience opportunities, or who contributed in other ways to people in their local areas, built loyal customers by simply demonstrating their core values around the desire to serve.

One of the most interesting aspects of finding the courage to make change is that it’s a lot easier when you have a big driver, when you are attached to something that is way bigger than yourself puts you way ahead of the pack in terms of commitment, persistence and motivation – and attractiveness to your audience!

So if your desire to help people and to be of service is so great that you’d be willing to do anything to achieve that outcome, then that drive alone means you’re more likely to succeed. You’ll keep going, there will be fewer ‘mindset’ obstacles and you will leap over the obstacles more easily.

In summary, if your desire to be of service and help others is great, then starting a business is an option worth looking at.

More purposeful work

The next step is about purpose. It’s great to want to help people, but you can still be aimless and unclear in that, or not driven to start a business. 

But if you are actively seeking more purposeful work, then running your own business might be a viable option.

This was me 15 years ago. I had already created a couple of successful businesses, but I was feeling disheartened with the industry I was working in. Through building a successful business, I had the opportunity to change legislation and change the way some aspects of that industry operate it. 

But I wanted a new challenge, and I wanted to impact individuals to improve their quality of life. 

This led me into health and wellness coaching, because physical, mental, and emotional health and fitness were way more important to me at that stage of my life.

My desire to find this meaning in my work was so great, that I set up and built a successful business and went on to teach others how to do the same.

In my own words, staying in a comfortable safe but unfulfilling role would have been living in mediocrity for me. I didn’t want to live a mediocre life, knowing that I had the potential to impact the lives of so many others.

Does that sound familiar to you?

Fast forward 14 years, and I can truly say that I look forward to getting up every morning, excited to go to work, and excited to make a difference in people’s lives.

After many years of unfulfilling work, I finally found my calling, and 14 years in, I am still as excited about it if not more so than my first day.

In summary, it’s great if you love helping people, but if you want to do that in a bigger way, beyond your everyday life to do more purposeful work – then running a business might be a good option.

Being your own boss

Sure you can work for someone else in a job and there is safety in that. And some people are frightened of doing anything without the permission or validation of other people, so they prefer to stay in a job. 

But please know that these fears can be overcome, and I would suggest that if you have a strong desire to be your own boss and carve your own path in life, then it’s worth tackling those fears, because your chance of success in business is excellent.

When I entered the workforce I was shy, quiet and didn’t want to speak up for myself. But I was just a number in a big machine, having no tangible impact. 

Plus, I had lots of ideas about how to improve systems and processes, ways of communicating and ways of improving businesses I worked for.

Over a period of time, I became a frustrated employee. Sure I liked my bosses, but I could see ways of improving things that nobody else could.

 

I took a hospitality job with a 5 star hotel for a year between my degree and Honours. On my first day in the job in 1992, I waitressed at an outdoor function and saw huge containers of untouched fresh food going into the bin. I wrote a letter to the manager and said ‘Hey, can’t we do something about this food waste?  Couldn’t a charity collect and distribute it?’

A few days later I got a letter basically saying, ‘Thanks, great idea, but it’s too hard with current food safety laws.’

Now 30 years later we have Food Bank, and other such organisations. Imagine if I’d had the courage to take action all those years ago?

This is one of many examples where I was a frustrated employee. Ultimately, I realised that I needed to be my own boss, so I could innovate, improve and create to my heart’s content, to make a difference in the world.

Being your own boss has a lot of benefits. It means that you can work the hours that suit you best, it means you can decide how much income you want it in, and it means that you can work in a way that suits you, your learning style, and your strengths.

Compare that with a job, where you have to show up and work the hours that a company dictates, you have to have a set salary and package, and you might have to do things that you disagree with or in a way that doesn’t suit you or your strengths, or where your ideas for improvement don’t fit in. Mostly when you show up for a job, there is a set job description that you have to fit into.

I have always hired on personality and personal strengths, with qualifications and experience being secondary. 

That’s because while qualifications and experience were definitely important, it’s the people that make a business and which attract all the clients! 

My question to you is – are you satisfied with being an employee? Is having a job comfortable, safe and familiar and satisfying?

If so, then you should definitely stay in that role. 

But if you feel hungry for more, or you’re a frustrated employee who wants to make an impact, to be in charge of your own schedule and your own earning potential, to be in charge of the scale of impact that you can have, then you’re probably more suited to running a business.

Being in business for myself has been challenging, but it has made me who I am today. I have gone from being a shy person who never spoke up, to a more confident and fulfilled person who lives and works on purpose. The challenges, skills and lessons along the way have helped me to grow personally and professionally. I like the new me MUCH Better! 

I’m more resilient, and I have more capacity to make a difference in the world because I took the leap into running my own business.

Running your own business is one of the best adventures you can possibly have in life.

SUMMARY

I invite you to reflect on how much you love your job and how many boxes it ticks for you. Is it satisfying, meaningful, purposeful and fulfilling? Does it help you grow personally and professionally? Does it help you to play to your strengths?

If not, if you are a frustrated employee, you might want to consider starting a coaching or other service-based business.

This is a great avenue for you if you are driven to help people, you are looking to live a more purposeful life, and you want to learn how to be your own boss.

It is difficult but also such an amazing journey of growth, and an exciting opportunity to create personal freedom and choice and to have a greater impact in 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:

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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 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 102: Purpose

This episode is all about purpose, and how understanding your purpose can change your life.

Our self-coaching topic for the Habitology membership in September is PURPOSE. 

Today, I want to talk about what purpose is, why it’s important, and how to figure out your purpose so you can live a more fulfilling and meaningful life.

My First Thoughts on Purpose

This is one of the earliest memories of asking my mother a question; ‘Mummy, why am I here?’

I was about three years old and was stuck on the reason for my existence. This floored my  mother and she had no idea of what to say. She was concerned about why I was asking such deep questions. 

Fast forward to today, and I am on a path to fulfilling the purpose I identified several years ago.

Purpose Defined

According to Dr Paul Wong, purpose and meaning are linked.

Purpose is simply the reason you exist, while meaning is the intention or reason for doing something – in other words, the beliefs that sit behind your purpose and cause you to take action toward it.

Some people refer to it as ‘your why’ – the big reason why you do what you do in life.

So why is purpose important, and how do you figure out what your purpose is? 

Why Your Purpose Matters

There are lots of reasons why your purpose matters. Here are a few.

Beyond Blue has a great fact sheet that I’ll link to in the notes.

They say that your sense of purpose is the motivation that drives you toward a satisfying future and helps you to get the most from the things you do and achieve – large and small – right now.

When you know your purpose, you feel enthusiastic about waking up. You have plans, intentions, the drive to keep going, motivation and importantly, resilience.

Positive psychologists say that knowing and working toward your purpose helps you to identify and use your strengths, to grow, to feel happy and to thrive.

Think for a moment about the flow on effects of that.

Imagine yourself being someone who knows what they want and how to get it. 

Imagine that you are clear on what you will be doing today, next week and next year, and why you will be doing that.

How does it feel, right now, to think of those things?

By now you should be feeling motivated, alive, vital and all warm and fuzzy, thinking of that result that you could create by having a purpose.

That said and done, let’s talk about how you discover your purpose.

Discovering Your Purpose 

Let me be very clear. 

You can’t necessarily just discover your purpose and live happily ever after. 

For a lot of people, discovering their purpose is a journey that takes time, reflection and life experience. Having said that, there are some things that you can do right now to start getting clarity about your purpose. 

Knowing and working toward your purpose helps you to identify and use your strengths, to grow, to feel happy and to thrive.

Remember I said earlier that your purpose – or the reason you exist – is driven by your reasons for doing something – that is, your beliefs and values.

On that basis, a good starting point for discovering your purpose is to explore your values, character strengths and beliefs.

I also believe you can access more information about your purpose by reflecting on your hobbies, past experiences and successes, times you felt proud, moved, and motivated.

In other words, the times you feel most moved and emotional in life are probably sign posts that you’re close to discovering your purpose.

There are plenty of online quizzes you can do to discover these things about yourself if you’re unsure.

But let me ask you some questions now, to help you get the idea of how it works and to start narrowing it down.

1. What is most meaningful to you?

 

At the big picture level, you can start working out your purpose by figuring out what is most meaningful to you.

According to Psychologist and researcher Dr Joel Vos, there are five main sources of meaning:

1) Materialism: finding meaning through your animals, possessions, professional successes, finances, nature, leisure activities, sexual experiences, health, and/or sports.

2) Self-growth: finding meaning through resilience/coping, self-insight, self-acceptance, creative self expression, self-reliance, reaching daily goals, and/or self-care.

3) Social: finding meaning through feeling connected with family and friends, belonging in a specific community, contributing to society, and/or taking care of children.

4) Transcendent: finding meaning through purpose in life, personal growth, self-development, the temporality of life, justice and ethics, religion, and/or spirituality.

5)  Being here: finding meaning through your own uniqueness, for simply being alive, connecting with others and the world, and/or freedom.

Reflect on yourself right now – are your interests spread across these areas evenly, or do one or two stand out for you?

This is a starting point.

2. What are your values? 

Now, reflect on your values, or what’s most important to you.  

Values are things that are important to you and that you feel strongly about.

A rough definition of values is that they are the principles by which you live your life. They guide all of the thoughts and beliefs you have and actions you take.

When you live in alignment with your values, in other words, when you are being authentic, then you are living in integrity – which simply means your behaviour is consistent across all areas of life, driven by your values.

Think for a moment about different people that you know. 

You probably know some people who place high value on achievement and spend all their time striving to innovate, or get ahead. Others you know may be passionate about creating community, and others are focused on spirituality.

It’s great that we’re all different and have different values, because each of us contributes in some way to humanity, the world and our human ecosystem.

With all that said – what are YOUR values? 

If you’re unclear on this, I will place a link to a ‘defining your values’ booklet on my website that you can download to help you get some clarity. 

I think about what’s important to me, and it’s definitely being of service, achievement innovation, and fairness. 

These are huge for me, both important and meaningful. 

They drive nearly everything that I do in my life.

2. What are your strengths?

 

The next step in working out your purpose is to consider your strengths, as these are the things you’re good at, and which you use to overcome challenges. 

Strengths are things that you role model for others – that means others come to you to get help with the things that you’re masterful at – so they are also part of your purpose.

Strengths are strong character traits that you use often in life, and in most cases you’re using those strengths to help you succeed or overcome challenges.

Strengths are defined as things that you are good at AND enjoy.

You can take a VIA test and work this out but better still, ask your closest friends and family to describe three of your greatest strengths.

What do people say about you?

I collect words that people say about me in my coaching log. The list I have says that people think I’m calm, non-judgemental, persistent, productive, creative, inspiring and knowledgeable.

If you’re still unsure about your strengths, you can reflect on the qualities you like most in others, as a clue to what your values might be.

For example, if you admire people who are honest and forthright, then you are probably that way yourself, and they are probably strengths of yours.

Another way you can work out your strengths is to reflect on what people rely on you for.

Do they always come to you for help with sorting out their messy schedules?

Do they come to you for a friendly ear when they’re down?

Do they beg you to bake your famous biscuits?

Do they seek support with massive cleanups?

Do they get your advice on gardening?

Everybody has something that people turn to them for. What is it for you?

People often come to me when they’re doubting themselves, overwhelmed or unclear. 

I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve helped people write resumes, or reviewed blogs or marketing copy, or are unsure about something – and I’ve helped them to acknowledge and get perspective on their strengths, achievements and their greatness.

3. What gets you fired up?

Finally, purpose is ignited by passion. The things that you get fired up draw on what is meaningful, your values and also your strengths, so even if you aren’t clear on those other three areas, your passion can be a very good indicator of your purpose in life.

Zoom out from your thoughts for a moment and think about what gets you ranty.

What is the injustice that you feel emotional about, or the outcome you’re passionate to see?

Be very specific about this.

Think about situations or injustices or exciting innovations or visions that get you fired up.  What are they?

Pulling it Together 

I’ll give you an example of how to pull this all together, walking through these four steps.

For me, all areas of meaning are important to me, but self-growth and contributing to society are big.

Below that, my core values are being of service, achievement, innovation, and equal opportunity. 

Feedback says my strengths according to the VIA test are creativity, gratitude, perspective and fairness. Client feedback is that I’m calm, non-judgemental, persistent, productive, creative, inspiring and knowledgeable. I think I am innovative and have a pioneering spirit and I value achievement.

People come to me when they lack self-belief, when they are bogged down in overwhelm or self-doubt.

What gets me ranty?

Well, I get ranty about the fact that we waste so much food. I get ranty that there are people who could be healthier if they just knew what to do and had support to do it, that we could solve our nation’s health issues if people ate better and were less stressed.

I get ranty that there are people who have amazing businesses that could help so many people – if those business owners just had the self-belief and the means of getting their greatness out into the world.

If I pull this all together, a few things are clear: I am passionate about creating health and wellbeing in the world, but I realise I can have the greatest impact in the world by helping people start business in the health and wellbeing space, and to believe in themselves and back themselves.

That, my friends, is my purpose.

What’s yours?

For a lot of people, discovering their purpose is a journey that takes time, reflection and life experience.

Summary

Finding your purpose can seem a bit like finding a needle in a haystack.

But if you follow this four step approach – to look at the pillars of meaning, to define your values, to get clear on your strengths and to find out what makes you ranty – then you’re well on your way to finding the answer.

If you need help to figure out your purpose, join the Habitology membership now, because September 2020’s self-coaching topic is finding your PURPOSE.

Ready to find your purpose?

Our September intake is all about finding your own purpose. 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 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 90: Working From Home

If you want to master working from home, this episode is for you. 

 I want to walk you through a four step process to set up a really effective working from home situation so you can more easily adapt to a new way of doing business.

Before we start I want to share a bit of my story with you so you get some context for the rest of this session.

Twelve years ago my husband and I did a sea change. 

We moved from our businesses with busy offices and staff, and our nearby friends and family, to the opposite side of Australia where we knew nobody and at the same time I was doing a career change.

So as you can imagine we went from being very well-connected and very confident in our skills to having no external connections with others, no other close relationships, spending all day with each other and grappling with the steep learning curve of doing something new and different then we were used to.

It took a long time for me to get my head around how I was going to operate in the world. I felt like I had lost my sense of purpose, who I was and what I stood for. 

I want to mention this because a lot of people right now are feeling this way too. 

Maybe you’ve had to give up your job or change your job, or have suddenly faced the new and uncomfortable reality of being faced with your life in the home environment as you work from home. And perhaps as part of that you’re really questioning your capacity or whether you can cope with this situation. 

My answer to you is yes you can. You can absolutely cope with this.

The secret is to figure out how to adapt, and to do your way. 

That’s what I want to talk to you about today

I want to walk you through the four steps that I went through to be able to work at home and be productive and feel connected as an example of what’s possible.

I hope this helps you to come up with your own ideas about how to transition into this way of working, yourself.

Let’s walk through the four steps!

1. Connection

Connection is the first important step, because without a sense of feeling supported, you can quickly spiral into fear, doubt and lack of confidence.

When I first moved to rural New South Wales I intuitively knew that I needed some sort of connection to feel sane and normal, and that things were working. My logical brain was telling me that I needed to make contacts for my business. 

But emotionally, I was missing the day to day camaraderie of like minded people in the office. I was missing catching up with friends and I was missing interacting with my family. 

So one of the things that I did when I first moved to a new place was to start going to different sorts of association events, social group events, sporting groups and meeting people in different contexts, so I could figure out where my people were and how best to connect with them.

For me, this was finding smart, positive people who are interested in health and wellness, who like brainstorming and being creative, and who like a laugh.

Connection is the first important step, because without a sense of feeling supported, you can quickly spiral into fear, doubt and lack of confidence.

Even if physical meetings are impossible for whatever reason, there are still plenty of online communities that you can join and be part of. 

One of the things that’s great about connection is the chance to get to know your neighbours, the people in your street, the people who run your local businesses, and those who own the coffee shop down the road. 

Even without friends in an extreme case like a sea change, these become points of contact and help you feel socially connected even if you don’t know them that well. 

Let’s be clear – when you move interstate you will be starting off with fairly superficial relationships because it’s pretty difficult to replicate the friendship of 25 or 30 years. But what I have made peace with is that you can build those relationships again in a new place or in a new context simply by showing up regularly in social situations where your tribe is.

First, you have to find them.

Beyond getting started in a new place, I think it’s really important to know that when you work at home and you’re with yourself and perhaps your partner 24 hours a day.

You can feel a bit claustrophobic, so it’s important to schedule in meeting opportunities so you can get enough connection with others. 

What could this look like for you?

It could be having a daily trip to a local cafe to write a blog. 

It could be that during the week you schedule time slots to get you out of the house and go to places where you will see people, whether that be the shop, the gym, getting a massage or any other sort of social interaction. 

Add another level if you feel that you need to be able to brainstorm ideas with other people in business. 

Perhaps then you could hire a co-working space for a day, book a room in the local library, or join your local Chamber of Commerce and meet other people in business who might like to get together and brainstorm ideas at one of these venues, or a cafe, or at someone’s home or a Zoom meeting.

All of these things are possible, it just requires creative brainstorming. 

2. Planning

Once you have a plan for connecting with people you will be able to fill that very primal need to be part of a tribe.

The next thing to do is figure out what you need to do each day. 

It sounds simple but it can be challenging when your whole environment, schedule and context has changed. 

Planning is super important if you are somebody who is used to following directions or collaborating with teams on how projects will be delivered. It’s also important if you’re prone to distraction, or to procrastinate as soon as an obstacle comes up.

The easiest way to get your planning right is to start with one month at a time. 

Within that month, block out your must do activities like taking kids to school or shopping or other sorts of life appointments.

The reason that I recommend you plan one month at time is because initially, you’re going to need to experiment with what works for you. 

You’re going to find that some days or some times a day you have more energy or more focus or more creativity than others. 

So in that first month your goal will be to understand your natural rhythm and then to adjust your schedule to fit with that. 

There are also some ways that you can proactively change your state to be focused or analytical or creative but I will cover that in a separate podcast.

Once you have your month planner in front of you, the next thing to do is to schedule:

1. any set work meetings that you have and any of those connection points that you’ve defined, and then;

2. the obvious things that you need to do like reconciling invoices once a month or doing social media posts for business or submitting monthly reports for work.

By now you should be feeling pretty good, because it feels great to have identified some concrete regular tasks to do each week and to know when exactly you will do them.

3. Now think about how and when you will check your email and social media.

You may not normally schedule that kind of thing in a normal work environment, but at home, these are rabbit holes for a lot of people. 

One idea to get you started is to think about coming up with one or two time slots per day where you will check emails and allow a bit of time after that to attend to any immediate business. 

For example you might decide that you will spend 10 minutes in the morning and 10 minutes at the end of the day checking email, and allow another 20 minutes after each of those sessions to follow up with schedule any tasks that arise. 

So that’s 2 x 30 minute email slots, for checking and taking immediate action.

I was speaking with a client yesterday about the best time to do the morning email. 

What actually happens in the morning is that it’s often a very good creative thinking time and if you launch into email right away, it can lead you into a hyper-responsive, detailed focus pattern that stops your creativity. 

Experiment for yourself; you may find it best to do a block of work or a creative task first before you do your first email check.

4. The next step is where you need to be a little bit creative and work out how to deal with bigger, project-level tasks. 

These are bigger tasks that you need to do that aren’t so easy to identify, or quantify. 

They are usually things that you haven’t done before, that you might usually brainstorm, or that you usually have guidance and direction to complete, or that usually involve getting other people‘s opinions or advice or expertise.

With these sorts of tasks you will need to break them down into smaller steps, and identify which segments require external help, review or ideas.

I like to use the Getting Things Done model to tackle projects and I’ll explain that here, because it’s been a game changer to help me quantify and chunk down project-style jobs. 

You may have a different way of working with projects but I’m just going to explain this model now.

The idea is that you identify separate projects and I have a folder for each one and a sheet of paper or a blank document to outline what the project is and what the main steps are. At the very big picture level I have a time frame on that project and A series of main steps. Here’s an example. Let’s say that my project is to overhaul my website. And this was an actual project that I snoozed for 40 weeks because it lacked clarity and definition of the step-by-step process. 

So if my project is to overhaul my website I could break that down into main tasks of revamping the homepage, revamping the services page, and revising the blogs. I could prioritise those main steps from most to least important and then what I could do is take the main priority step and brainstorm some smaller steps within that. 

So let’s say that revamping the Homepage was my first goal. I would need to decide what that actually means. It could be that I want to read and possibly update the copy. It might be that I want to add some new photographs. 

For somebody else this task could mean that they want to totally change the layout. So as you can see doing that sort of breakdown process allows you to get clear on what the individual tasks are and it makes it easier for you to assign times and timeslots to each of those. 

For example I might decide I will allow an hour to read my homepage copy and revise it. If you’re unsure about how long something will take it’s best to add an extra hour to the end and be prepared to need to have a second session later on if required

Then what I would do is pick the very first task of the project and schedule it into my calendar. And when I do that task I would go back to my project list and identify the next task and schedule that in. 

Working in that way avoids overwhelm and it helps you to get clear as you’re navigating that project on what the tasks are as they arise. Because let’s face it we can’t necessarily know all of the steps in the right order up front and it’s possibly better to define them as you go. Our brains have a tendency to want to latch onto predefined schedules even if they stop making sense.

3. Brain Breaks

Planning aside there is something else that needs to happen when you work from home. And that is taking breaks. If you get really focused on your work and are working effectively and there’s nothing else to do chances are you’re going to work too much. 

I put my hand up this happened to me a lot in the beginning and still does sometimes. 

That’s why doing number one first and establishing those outside connections and commitments socially is really important because it gets you out of the house and gets you away from work so that you don’t overwork.

There’s two types of breaks. 

The first is taking a brain break while you’re working so that you’re not staring at your screen all day. It can be useful to put house work or other small tasks in between work tasks to give your brain a break, want to go and take a shower or to walk outside into the garden or something to give your eyes a rest and give your brain a chance to shift the focus.

The second type of break is taking a more extended break and knowing when to switch off at the end of the day and having a set lunch break. 

It’s really easy to work through lunch and to sit at your desk all day and for the slumped over desk posture become your new ‘asana’, and for digital eye strain to creep in, and to start feeling disconnected and snappy.

Discipline is often required to disconnect. Create rules and boundaries, and know that when you stick to them, you will be powerfully productive when you ARE at work.

4. Self Care

I coach a lot of business owners who work from home. And their universal lesson is that they need to do something for themself FIRST thing in the day in order to maintain emotional balance, to feel calm, and to eat well and exercise.

Many of them have learned the hard way; that when all work and everyone else’s needs come first, they start reaching for the chocolate, the wine and the weight watchers subscription, they sleep poorly and feel flat, snappy or moody.

I am thinking of several clients who do one thing for themselves before starting their day, and that allows them to do so much more and feel satisfied without needing to reach for comfort.

They typically start with either:

  1. Journaling or writing goals, or
  2. Exercise of some sort, or 
  3. Meditation, or
  4. Doing something creative or doing creative work FIRST before the meetings and clients. 

There are other options; these are just a few things that my clients are doing to stay sane, grounded, happy and productive.

Create rules and boundaries, and know that when you stick to them, you will be powerfully productive when you ARE at work.

Summary

We’ve talked about the challenges of working from home, and it may take you up to a year or more to get your head around how to make it work for you.

In this episode I’ve talked you through four steps that have helped me to gain enough connection, structure and balance ro adjust and adapt to a productive, happy work environment.

Ready to be more productive while working at home?

You can proactively change the way you function and even the way your brain works! 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 87: Creating A Vision For Your Coaching Business

Any time, but especially now, it’s a good time to review and revise your business vision. 

This episode explains two vision traps to avoid, and two steps to creating a compelling, inspiring, get-me-out-of-bed vision.

You might be asking – why write a business vision, and further, why would you revise it? 

Well, because your vision is a clear and vivid image or statement describing where you want to take your business and what it will achieve in the world.

It’s the thing that gets you excited. It’s a get-me-out-of-bed statement that inspires you to persist, no matter what, to overcome any obstacles that come up.

It is the outcome you seek to create, therefore your vision creates a framework for setting specific, actionable goals.

And of course, your vision may change over time, so you need to review and perhaps revise it from time to time – especially when your life and/or circumstances change.

A vision is SO important to your business because strong emotions are what drive us to persevere and what cause our customers to buy.

We need to create business vision statements that are aspirational, motivating and speak to a purpose that is bigger than ourselves.

A vision is SO important to your business because strong emotions are what drive us to persevere and what cause our customers to buy.

To get it right you need to reflect on your why – your values-based motivators; your deeper purpose, and what lights you up emotionally and touches your heart.

As you can guess, it takes some work to uncover these things. 

And that is probably why I see a lot of business owners struggling with creating a business vision – because they aren’t sure how to peel off the layers to find and explore their values and purpose.

So today I’m going to walk you through a process of defining a business vision so that you can firm that up and then, as a result, start to set and achieve meaningful, realistic goals.

I want to help you to create a vision for your coaching business that is realistic, meaningful and purposeful, so you can work every day on purpose.

Vision Traps

Before we talk about creating a business vision, I want to point out two main vision traps that people fall into. This will help you to understand why you might be getting stuck with your business vision.

The first main trap is the ‘looks good on paper’ trap.

If you’re like most people, you think that you operate and make decisions from a position of logic.  

In this case, rather than digging into what’s important to you and why, you are simply using your logic to examine some superficial facts about yourself and using those as your basis for creating a vision. 

Vision traps can happen to anyone who lives in a world of shoulds, or who isn’t that connected with their emotional side or values. Maybe you’re not sure if what you’re thinking is ‘right or not’.

Here’s an example.

Let’s say that you have had experience as a personal trainer, so it seems logical that you would set a business vision that builds around your skills in those areas.

For example, you might say to yourself, ‘I’m a personal trainer, so my business vision is that I want to help women in their 30’s to be fit and healthy and to have strong bodies that look good in a bikini.’

And let me just say – this is totally fine if that’s truly meaningful to you.

BUT maybe in your heart, you want to work with women who want to be consistent with going to the gym because they are struggling to manage stress, and they aren’t eating well or exercising as a result – and that’s meaningful to you because you’ve been in that situation yourself and it felt awful and out of control..

What I’m saying is this – If you looked a little deeper into what is truly meaningful for you, you might uncover that deeper sense of purpose, the stronger values behind the work, the bigger reasons for you to take action no matter what.

Think about how very different those two business visions might be – one around helping people to exercise, and another around helping people to manage their time, responsibilities and their minds.

The key message here is this: your past doesn’t necessarily dictate your future.

You get to choose a business vision that is meaningful and purposeful to you, in simple terms – it’s heartfelt

Sure, it may draw on any of your life experiences, skills and qualifications, but not necessarily the most obvious.

The second type of trap is the ‘this is working for other people’ trap.

It is similar to the ‘looks good on paper’ trap that I just described.

The main difference is that in this case, you’re not sure what you want to focus on, so you look at what others are doing and try to do the same thing – because it’s working for them, so it must be the right thing to do.

Notice once again how your logic is jumping in and taking over from the heart. Perhaps you are afraid of failing, or you’re unclear, or you aren’t backing yourself.

The same thing applies as for trap #1 – you need to get in touch with your feelings.

I am NOT trying to be your therapist here – just to explain what you need to do instead of using logic to define a vision.

And, I do want to say that yes, it can be useful to look at what others are doing to help you get perspective and ideas, and to help you to define what you like and don’t like.

But a business vision is a very personal thing and you probably won’t find that same level of emotional connection to someone else’s vision. 

Now that you’re aware of the traps, do either of them resonate with you?

Or are you really in tune with your heart and higher purpose, and working to that?

If you’re stuck and need help, let’s go to the next part – my process for helping you create a business vision that compels you to take action and persist.

Step 1 – Getting Clarity on Your Vision 

To clarify on the values behind your business vision, or the main areas you wish to focus on, I invite you to zoom out of what you think you know about yourself and start asking yourself some thought-provoking, coaching style questions, with a very open mind.

Here are a few of my favourite questions that can help you connect to what’s most meaningful and authentic to you.

  1. What did you love to do as a child when you were playing?
  2. What is your struggle to success story with your own health and wellness?
  3. What are your strengths and how have they helped you to change habits or maintain habits more easily?
  4. Who sees you as a role model, and why?
  5. What is your passion area of health and wellness?
  6. What really irritates you about a specific area of health and wellness?
  7. What do you feel is lacking in a specific area of health and wellness?
  8. What do people need more of? Why is that?

Using the previous example of a personal trainer creating a business vision, going through these questions might uncover things like:

  • You always struggled with body image
  • Your role model was Oprah – and you could relate to her yo yo weight struggles
  • You are passionate about helping women accept themselves and feel strong, without needing to turn to food
  • You are irritated about the unrealistic body imaging out there in the media
  • You feel that self-compassion is missing from the gym environment
  • You feel that the current advertising around gyms is disempowering and could speak more to strength, confidence and personal power
  • You want to help women to feel more confident about exercising in gyms so that they can be their fittest self

So as you can see, when you ask yourself for your opinion on things, your values are revealed in that conversation and you can uncover some more emotive statements that could be used to create a powerful, inspiring vision.

This exercise is a great starting point for creating a new business vision, or to clarify or test the relevance of your existing business vision.

Step 2 – Going Deep

To make sure you have gone deep enough into your values and motivators, you can use the Five Whys exercise.

This is really simple – it’s about digging deep to explore what’s behind the things you want to do or achieve.

It’s great to do this as an exercise for either a new business vision or an existing one – it is a reality-check that the vision truly represents what you feel, believe and stand for.

Basically, you look at the vision you created and ask yourself why five times in a row.

Those are all why type questions that might reveal values.

Here is an example to illustrate how it works.

Let’s say your business vision is to inspire women to feel confident about exercising in public so they can be strong, fit and confident role models in life.

Now you can use the five whys to see whether that really does matter to you, and what the values or motivators are behind that.

You’d first ask yourself – why is that important to me, personally?

Maybe you want to smash society’s body image issues and right the wrongs of the media.

Then ask yourself another why question, like – So what? What difference will that make?

Maybe you feel that if we all had better body image, we’d be more confident in our daily lives.

Then ask yourself something like – why does that matter?

Perhaps you know from personal experience that when you feel good about yourself, you can achieve more and be more and that feels amazing. You feel happier and healthier. Stronger.

Why is that important?

Maybe you feel that women are role models for their kids and peers, they have the power in the family unit, and they have a unique opportunity to end the cycle of body shaming.

You might then ask yourself – What could that create in the world?

And perhaps the answer is equality. Peace. Confidence. More women in more powerful roles, making the world a safer, happier, healthier place.

These are all just made up examples, but I use them to illustrate how you can go deeper into what’s important to you personally, so you can polish up your vision and make it more meaningful.

Road Testing Your Vision

Exploring the values behind your vision is designed to uncover the deeper stuff that is personal to you, so you will probably know when you get it right. 

But in case you are unsure, there are a few ways to road test your vision to make sure it is true, values-aligned, meaningful, exciting and compelling.

1. Read it aloud, with gusto.

Do you feel a swelling in your chest, or goose bumps, or feel a little teary, or hear the word ‘yes!’ in your head? 

Then it’s probably on the mark.

2. Ask a client’s opinion.

How does your client respond to the vision when you read it out? Are they visibly and audibly excited or inspired, does it resonate?

If so, then it’s probably on the mark.

3. Read it on a day when you feel tired and flat.

We all have bad days. And if you read your business vision on a ‘tired, flat’ day – does it perk you up, get you interested and fired up again?

If so, then it’s probably on the mark.

A word on perfection here – it may take you time to get it right. Maybe 3 months, or a year.

It may change over time, as your stage of business, life or priorities change.

And that’s ok. 

Review it once every year as part of your business planning process. And as long as your business vision inspires and excites you, it’s doing its first and most important job.

Then, you are ready to set some goals to achieve it.

Summary

Your business vision should be an inspiring, vivid statement that describes what you want to achieve in your business, and why that’s important to you.

A lot of people try to create a vision based on their logical thought processes, or leave their vision on the shelf for years without revising it.

Your business vision should be an inspiring, vivid statement that describes what you want to achieve in your business, and why that’s important to you

Today I talked about how important it is to bring heartfelt emotion into your vision, so that you are truly and emotionally connected to it.

That will bring energy and emotion into your marketing and help you to set relevant goals for achieving it.

Using a process of big picture questions to uncover what you want, and the five whys process to clarify the values behind it, is a great way to create a compelling vision statement for your business.

If you need help with this, visit melaniejwhite.com/contact and drop me a line, we can make a time for a free coaching call to see if this is something I can help you with.

Ready to create an awesome business vision?

You will love the feeling of having the right energy and emotion in your business! 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 81: How To Run A Business In Stressful Times.

This episode describes three levels of resilience and helps you to get clarity on what to do at YOUR level to keep your business on track in stressful times.

Everyone responds differently to external pressures. The way you respond depends on your personality, your thought processes and your personal circumstances.

But at the core of things, stress starts in your mind. Your perception (thoughts) determines your resilience. Resilience simply means the resources and capacity you have to cope with the circumstances around you. 

When your resilience is low, it affects your ability to make decisions, to think clearly and to be fully present with your clients – all of which are obviously important in relationship-based businesses like coaching.

When you’re running a coaching business in stressful times, there are different approaches you can take to support your wellbeing and to feel at peace with your business decisions. 

Your best approach depends on how resilient or stressed you feel. Most people will fit into one of three categories.

Three Categories of Business Owner Resilience

Category 1 – feeling resilient, seeing opportunities to be of service, and feeling ready, willing and able to reach out and help others. These people may have fewer external pressures, may be more extroverted, or could be people who have done a lot of their own coaching around beliefs and behaviours. In any case, they have the resilience to be able to cope with stressful times.

Category 2 – feeling fearful or overwhelmed, seeing roadblocks, and feeling unable to cope with the responsibilities of both business and life. These people may have more challenging circumstances, may be more introverted, or are yet to master the skills of emotional balance. They are unlikely to have enough resilience to cope with stressful times.

Category 3 – wanting to help, seeing opportunities but becoming easily overwhelmed. These people may be managing internal and external pressures but are close to capacity. They may have some skills around emotional balance and some level of stability in life. This means they feel resilient at times and are able to cope, yet can fall back into overwhelm. Their resilience is ‘inconsistent’.

These are generalisations but they may help you identify yourself for the purposes of making rational decisions about what to do with your business.

Let’s look at some approaches for each category.

Business Approaches for Stressful Times

If you’re in category 1, seize the day. Despite stressful times, you are best positioned to continue running your business or even expanding it, so that you can help others.

You may offer services that help others to;

  • Get some respite (e.g. online retreat)
  • Cope better (e.g. plans and strategies)
  • Maintain positive habits (e.g. visions and goals, accountability groups)
  • develop new habits or routines (e.g. challenges or programs)
  • create more joy, fun, freedom (e.g. uplifting classes or events)

Remember that showing up for others in stressful times takes time, energy and effective planning.

Showing up for others in stressful times takes time, energy and effective planning.

You may tend to attract clients who have similar resilience to you, but be mindful of others who are struggling and may have less capacity to cope with higher energy activities or sharing of information in a group setting.

If you are in category 2, your primary concern is your own wellbeing, stability and your loved ones. In stressful times you probably have limited capacity to truly be of service to your clients.

You may like to define a period (e.g. 2 – 6 months) to focus on your own physical and mental wellbeing, during which time you:

  • close your business temporarily (e,g, block your calendar)
  • Subcontract another coach to service your clients
  • Reduce business activities to a minimum (e.g. working with a few select clients)
  • Consider Centrelink or other options for financial support if needed. Business offsets, grants or hardship payments are sometimes available.

Remember that as a business owner you may have legal obligations to clients such as coaching out their contract, refunding them, putting payments on hold or suspending memberships.

There is also the common courtesy of emailing your clients to let them know that you are taking time off, and to let them know what to expect from you in the interim.

Maybe that’s nothing, or you may continue newsletters, or you may schedule social media posts, podcasts or have a VA do that for you. Just make sure you tell your clients how they can stay connected or when you’ll be back in touch with them.

If you’re highly stressed then it’s likely you’ll be in decision fatigue, so you may find it easiest to discuss a strategy with your business coach or mentor to help you develop a clear plan going forward.

If you’re in category 3, then your biggest priority will be emotional balance. 

That’s because you may feel motivated to make offers in the heat of the moment, or be super responsive to clients, but then realise you lack the energy or capacity to follow through with an appropriate level of service.

Your best approach will probably be to:

  • create a clear schedule of work and non work activities and stick to it (e.g. a weekly plan)
  • reduce the number of clients you see each week, and set a maximum number of sessions per day
  • pause and reflect on your capacity when a client asks for help rather than just responding  
  • pause and reflect on your capacity when you get an impulse to offer help or run and event, rather than just rushing into action  
  • Automate your marketing activities.

Remember that a successful business is consistent how it shows up. It underpromises and over delivers in value, not the other way around.

If you run your business in fits and starts, it may damage your reputation. You’re better off to dial down your activities and be consistent with them. 

SUMMARY

Those of us who serve others can fall into the trap of overhelping, overcommitting or overextending ourselves, and burning out.

The most important thing for us all as individuals is to check in with ourselves each day and reflect on how we are holding up, what our capacity is, and to maintain our own physical and mental wellbeing habits. We must do this to meet our own needs and to have the capacity to serve others.

The most important thing for any business – in good times and hard times – to be is consistent. Consistency builds a sense of trust, reliability and professionalism.

In times of stress, I encourage you to reflect on your resilience and make a decision as to what your business approach will be. Decide how long you will do this approach for. (E.g. 3 months? 4 months?) then take the appropriate actions.

The most important thing for any business – in good times and hard times – to be is consistent. Consistency builds a sense of trust, reliability and professionalism.

You can revise your plan at any time but definitely at the end of your defined time period, and get clear on how you’re feeling and what you will do next.

If you need support with your business in stressful times, these resources may help.

Summary of state-by-state stimulus measuresAustralian Tax Office information for COVID 19Business support for sole traders

Small Business NSW (includes info on financial hardship and bank loan deferment), Business Qld (includes information on economic relief, payroll tax relief,  power bill relief and support facts), Business Victoria (includes different support options including low cost business mentoring), Telstra small business supportTips for coping with COVID anxiety (Psychology.org, includes a list of resources)

Ready to navigate your business through this stressful time?

Now is a time to have a clear and realistic picture of what your business can do. If you’re looking to break old habits and get through this, I encourage you to check out the Habitology membership.

Learn more here:

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Episode 55: Business Models for Startup and Growth

This episode of they habitology podcast is about simple business models that you can use to run your business.

I want to talk about this from two perspectives.

  1. Transitioning from a job to a business.
  2. Transitioning from startup phase to an established business.

 

Most of us start our working lives being paid an hourly rate for a defined set of tasks in a business for somebody else’s company. So we are used to being paid by the hour. 

And then when we get to running our own business and we go through that transition we are still thinking about the hourly rate model. 

Think about working a job for somebody else. You go to that job and you are doing paid work for 40 hours a week. Your job is to show up and do a job for the business, just a part of all the work that the company does. 

For example, let’s say that you show up at a department store and your job is to sell perfume for eight hours a day at the perfume counter. Every hour that you’re there involves selling directly to clients and making sales so it totally makes sense that you are paid by the hour for that job.

But this mentality needs to change when you start running your own business.

Because suddenly you are doing more than just selling the perfume. You are formulating it, packaging it, costing it, running financial spreadsheets, finding brand ambassadors, pitching to stores, setting up an online store, and paying suppliers. 

Suddenly there’s not a lot of time left to sell the perfume! 

Running a business means you have to do a lot of unpaid business level tasks. 

You have to do administration work, you have to pay bills, you have to create invoices, you have to develop services and products, you have to do research and all of those things don’t earn any income. 

And in fact you’ll need to spend money on things like marketing and advertising. So what that means is that a portion of the work you do in a business is unpaid – it does not directly earn you any revenue. 

Running a business means you have to do a lot of unpaid business level tasks. 

You might have a few clients to begin with that pay you by the hour. But there’s no way you are going to replace your income in the long-term if you stick with that model.

So while it’s great to start your coaching business on a pay per session model with individuals in a one on one coaching environment, please know that you will need to change your model different later on if you want to scale your income and earn what you need to earn to replace money that you would earn in a job.

 

Let’s now look at TWO business models – firstly the startup service model, and then the growth business model.

The Start Up Business Model

We’re starting with the one to one service business model. 

Let’s first figure out what’s realistic and reasonable in terms of your earnings. 

I’m going to suggest that you just start by selling one core service. You might have two slightly different versions of the same service but let’s understand this-you are going to earn most of your money and income most easily by doing one thing consistently and very well. 

The reason I suggest ONE service is that it’s easier to become good at something and to create a clear marketing message if you start by keeping it simple. And all the other parts of your business will be simpler if you start by focusing on one thing. 

People who are new to business, let’s use the example of coaches, often have 10 different options like corporate and group and one-to-one coaching and 4, 6, 8 and 12 week programs. 

What does that look like to the consumer? 

If you go to somebody’s website and see one person offering all of those things, how do you judge that? For me, I don’t believe that person can do all of that and I’m put off by a lack of trust, and a lack of personalisation.

And from a business model perspective, it’s much simpler to sell one or two things, refine and test them, and become known for them. The financial and planning side is much easier.

So what I want you to do is to define a single, specific program that you can run and test repeatedly with a series of clients in your first 3 to 6 months. 

Usually you would price X number of sessions for X dollars per session and create a bit of a package that way. 

This creates a tangible offering to your audience with a tangible start and finish time and normally that is accompanied by a tangible result that they will achieve in that period of time. After all what people are buying is results. 

This type of business model X week program in exchange for X dollars is the best way to start.

Normally your goal would be to work up to seeing 100 clients per year on a 1:1 basis, perhaps over 45 working weeks of the year so you are taking off public and a few other holidays.

If each of each client paid $600 for an 8-week coaching program, for example, that’s $60K.

So in that scenario, you are delivering 800 sessions per year which is 100 clients x 8 sessions, for $60K.

Hearing this – can you see what would it be like if you kept it really simple and just offered 1 – 2 versions of something, knowing then that all you had to do was find 100 clients who would pay $600 for it?

If you like, you can offer other options, but given that you are investing a lot of time with clients at this stage in your business, and you are learning about business, I think you really want to keep it simple with your client work so you can simplify the unpaid stuff and make it as easy and time efficient as possible.

Working this way for 6 – 12 months allows you to find tune what you do, to become known for it, and become very good at it. It allows you to develop confidence and certainty on your own terms and in your own time. 

Use this period to get really clear on what you offer, the benefits of that one service, the types of clients you attract, and what they are getting out of working with you.

Then you are ready to adjust or grow.

From a business model perspective, it’s much simpler to sell one or two things, refine and test them, and become known for them.

The Group Model

The easiest way to scale your income and start earning a full-time income is to start working in groups. 

As a coach you can realistically only give enough attention to a group of 10 people at once, unless you are doing a more educational or teaching style approach where you can see rooms full of people. 

But let’s say that your ideal is to coach very interactively with a small group of people – this is an easy way to scale.

In the previous 1:1 scenario we had $600 for an individual 8 week program.

Now imagine that becomes your group program rate, and you run 10 per group.

Now you’re earning $6,000 in 8 weeks. You have 10x your income for 1/10th of the time.

If you ran 3 concurrent groups per week, you double or triple that amount. Your annual income would be in the order of $72K per annum, for around 96 sessions.

My scaled business model was just like this. 

I ran 3 – 4 x 8 week group coaching programs every school term. My groups ran on Tuesday at midday, Tuesday at 5.45pm and Wednesday at 5.45pm.

The group sessions may be slightly longer, say 1.5 hours instead of 1 hour. And you can still the same program in a few 1:1 situations if you like, probably for a higher price of say $800.

It’s feasible for a coach who has a great program that gets results, to earn around $80K per year this way.

The Premium Model

Another way to scale your business is to increase the prices of your packages because you have more experience – a specialty – and/or give a bigger result. 

In either case, you are offering more value and this transcends the idea of paying an hourly rate. Now the client is truly paying for a specific result and for access to the value of your experience.

In the Premium model, you can continue to work 1:1 or with small groups, but you significantly increase your prices so that you are charging a premium price to reflect the increased value of your services.

The way you deliver services could take a few different forms, such as 

  1. A VIP program that packages small group and individual coaching sessions, or 
  2. An intensive longer-term program or 
  3. A series of workshops.

These are just a few examples – and you would pick ONE of these to focus on.

No matter which format you choose, the model is based on doing some sort of deep intense work done to create a big transformation and you must specifically articulate the transformation and result, and the value of it, in order to be able to charge a higher price.

Usually these programs would involve highly personalised sessions, longer sessions, or the addition of coaching and/or other resources. It might include a hand-created welcome pack – it’s the real ‘chocolates on the pillow’ type of service, the Rolls Royce Service.

Your goal would be to service a few high-paying clients – often called high ticket clients – over the year.

For example, your 12 – 24 week program, VIP package or workshop series might cost $5,000 per person, and your goal is to sell your chosen Premium service to perhaps 20 clients per year. 

That would earn you $100K per year.

This is a more advanced strategy and is good for someone who is highly specialised, creates massive transformations, or is working in the richer end of the market.

The Automation Model

Another option for scaling is the Automation Model.

There are numerous ways to do this, but it is essentially a one-to-many service that might be a version or a combination of the other two models I’ve just discussed.

One way to semi-automate your program, such as an email system of worksheets or quizzes sent via automated email, supported coaching-style videos of you asking open ended questions, some self-coaching elements, and supported by 15-minute laser coaching sessions that you or a subcontract coach delivers.

This is like a group coaching model with less contact time and more self-coaching resources.

Another option is to deliver a program for people who don’t need a lot of intense coaching support, such as people who are in the maintenance stage of change, so you can see perhaps up to 50 or 100 people at a time.

You might run live webinars and use worksheets for your clients to fill in as you talk to them and ask questions of them. While much less personal, this is highly scalable. You could charge $100 per month to upward of 100 people which is $120K.

Automation models are the most advanced as they rely on technology, a strong coaching presence, good resources and an ability to stay in the coaching mode without reverting to teaching.

You are the boss and you have the flexibility to earn the income and work the hours that suit you best.

Summary of Business Models 

Let’s summarise the different business models that I’ve discussed today.

Firstly, the 1:1 model is the easiest place to start for most coaches or other service based businesses.

If you are someone who has left a job to start a business, this way will be easiest for your brain to handle as it’s basically like the hours-for-dollars model of the job you used to have.

If your goal was to work up to 100 clients per year, selling two slightly different versions of your one program, that’s an easy way to deliver a great service, become good at something and learn about running a business effectively.

That’s around 800 sessions per year, possibly 500 – 800 hours depending on session length.

When you become proficient at that, you can look at models to scale your income and reduce your time. In this scenario, you are focussed on selling value and that is what’s required to attract larger numbers and/or charge a higher rate independent of your time.

The three different options I mentioned as growth models included:

  1. The group coaching model, which is the easiest, ($80K, around 150 hours)
  2. The premium model which is for specialty and packaged services ($100K), and 
  3. The automation model which is higher tech and services many more clients at once (upward of $120K, possibly around 100 hours)

In any case, you are the boss and you have the flexibility to earn the income and work the hours that suit you best.

Ready to get your business model up and running?

I can help you work out which model is best for you, and start applying it.

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 51: Becoming a household name

This podcast is about how to become known for what you do in your area. I share my own experience about how I relocated to a regional community, how I became known, and the one thing I had to do to gain traction. 

These are the things I did to become known in the first 3 months in a new area.

You can do these even if you are not moving!

  1. Online research – I know it sounds boring, but you just need to spend an hour or two doing this and you will gain so much information. Go to the sensus data for your area and find out who lives there, or use the suburb information from realestate sites. Find out what the demographics are for your area so you can know who you’re working with.
  2. Network with clubs – Find out which clubs are operating in your area, then meet with people for a coffee. This will help you to find out who your tribe is, and to find out who they are already working with.  .
  3. Speak in public – You can do this in person, in community groups or online as a webinar. Speak about what you are passionate about, and make yourself known. This will help you develop relationships and find out who you have things in common with in the area.
  4. Host events – This was something I did that was really useful to interact with clients on a social and personal level. For me it was workshops, and movie nights, but it could be anything you are into that will welcome potential clients and and enable that social interaction.
  5. Attended expos – When setting up my stall, I try to use catchy things to engage people and start conversation. For example, my Tanita scale to measure body composition, bone mass etc. was a huge success. What I learnt from this is that people want to know about what’s going on with themselves, and I used this knowledge to help set up engaging activities at other events.
  6. Adult education – When I first moved to the area, I signed up to teach short courses based on private workshops. I taught from my experience,  knowledge and interest. It gave me intel on the local community and what their needs were, and helped me understand my niche.
  7. Form partnerships – I partnered with a wellness clinic, and by working out of that premises I connected with other allied health workers and got exposure from that workplace.
  8. Run a big promo event – The community I moved into needed a footpath, and had slowly been fundraising for it over a great length of time. I saw the need for this to move faster, and decided to run a fundraiser – we held a Guiness world record event for the longest bellydance hip shimmy. It turned out to be a great fundraiser, but also a great way to become known. The publicity was free – local newspapers supported the event and spread the word far and wide.

Without specificity you risk being vanilla and not standing out.

I used these things to get known – and I did.

BUT it was only when I niched down that I got traction.

I built a specific program around weight loss called downsizeme. When you have a name that is specific and clear, with a specific set of three pillars to create a specific result, then people know exactly what you do.

From there things began to fall into place.

I ran a pilot program, which is where you offer your product for free or at a reduced rate. Participants know that you are testing it so they are very forgiving of any mistakes, and are willing to give feedback to get what they want. It was a great success, and the participants told their friends about it, so publicity took care of itself.

I also consulted with a local doctor about the process, and suddenly I was communicating clearly about who I helped and how. All of the connections made prior to this began to make sense and became an integral foundation of the career path I was building.

The same sorts of stories can apply everywhere – online, or in your existing community – talk about a strong point and find your tribe.

Get out there and get known, build a profile for something. Then you need to talk about that something over and over. Without that specificity you risk being vanilla and not standing out.

Ready to make yourself known?

Let your community know who you are are what you do! If you’re truly ready to break old habits and get out of the rut I encourage you to check out the Habitology membership.

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