One year ago on this day I was at my first day of a 5-day Residential at the Gold Coast in a mansion with an amazing bunch of entrepreneurs. I hoped they wouldn’t notice that I snuck my way in. That somehow I had pretended what I need to do to be there. I hoped the clothes I had packed would be appropriately professional enough. I brought shoes with money I didn’t have to make sure I had the “right” kind of chose to wear with other entrepreneurs. I had no idea what the following year would bring. I knew what I needed to do. I needed to create a real business. I needed to create something of value and change the model of my business so it worked.
My business wasn’t really real. I was working as a life, relationship and business coach with my clients coming to me primarily through a company I worked for. I had worked with about 100 clients over the 3 years my business had existed, and believe I did a pretty good job. So that was real. I had an office space and an email address and clients. So that a really real business right?
Funny how the outside and the inside need to match for things to be really real. Or not funny. Just how it is. And the story of my life.
I had been searching for about 6 months for a way to make my business real. To make it actually earn enough money to support my family. To make it that I wasn’t so wiped after 4 coaching sessions in one day that I could barely function outside the beautiful office space I had created. To be congruent with what I wanted to teach people and the way I wanted to do that. For that to be OK. To not wonder if I actually had anything to offer of value to the people in front of me. To prove that you can make money doing what you love and IN FACT it would flow to you if you were passionate about what you did. Not just to believe in this because I did) but to PROVE it. The clients I worked with were always thanking me for what I helped them to see or shift or create and mostly I didn’t even know HOW I did that. I kept doing more and more training, so I had enough tools to keep helping them. I just didn’t realise I didn’t have to try so hard. The more I tried the less it worked. And the less real it (and I) was becoming.
I found my business coach whilst I was laying on the bed my spare room with the broken wall, on a pile of clean but unfolded washing. It was about 5.30pm on a weekday and I was hiding from my children and the need for me to make dinner for them. I was on Facebook scrolling without purpose and wondering what the fuck had happened to me. So it was either really clever marketing or God chucked her ad in front of me (thank you brother!) on that day at that time. It said everything I was feeling in that moment and before I knew it I’d filled out every thing and given all my details to someone who was offering me help to get more clients (because for some crazy reason at that time I though more people (not just more of the right people and the right value) would help and clever marketing (and good business) offers what you want and delivers what you need) AND make more money in my business so I wouldn’t be in constant struggle. I had done years and years of personal development work and training in coaching and those things were beyond valuable. But in that moment I needed something new. And there it was. After one conversation with her salesman I had invested more money than my business made in 2 months and then I was doing an 8-week program on marketing, and then I was flying to the Gold Coast to hang with all these other people I thought were not like me. Oh those people. A year with those people. All my people. All the same. Perhaps they were all pretending on the first day too?
Somehow in those 5 days, I outlined my Incubator program, offered conversations to my people (via FB) to talk about it. Learnt how to do sales calls (made me want to vomit). Did sales calls. Cried on the lawn at the front of the mansion after 2 calls and no sales. And then watched and listened to the guy who was making call after call and no sales and pushing past his shit and still going and I just decided that it had to work. And I got centred in what it was that I was actually offering those people I spoke to, and how much it would help them if they did it and then one person said yes. She, an amazing woman named Bronwyn, most simply is the reason my 8 week Incubator Program exists, because as soon as she brought it (for a price worthy of the value she would receive for her investment) she paid me to create it. And create it I did. And 6 women got to do that. And now the fifth program is running and I cannot tell you how it is the realest thing I have ever done. Really, really real.
How did I create it?
- I had a model. All the practical stuff around timing, creating content, delivering content, running Q&As, setting up sessions. I didn’t make this up. I modelled a program I did. I had a coach to help me with technical stuff.
- I learnt how to market and sell it. All the practical stuff around creating a funnel using Facebook, managing a database, consistently putting myself out there, sales, sale calls, pitching and not pitching, handling objections and taking money easily. I didn’t make this up. I modelled a set-up. I had a coach to help me with technical stuff and my fears around this stuff.
- I made time and space in my schedule to write and create content. This meant I had to get really, real about the value of my time. I had to risk not taking on more 1:1 clients and filling my time with coaching sessions so I could actually just write and create the content that would deliver what I was selling. Plus more. I had to say no to the old model of working. I also had to get my support system back on track.
- I wrote it. I pulled it out of my head and my heart and from wherever else I knew the things I knew that helped me get where I got. I made it up from my life experiences, my training, my education and things other people had taught me. I referenced those people. I connected to someone/something bigger, wiser and deeper that me and found other things I needed to say. And I had to trust that what I was giving was enough. And then I had to get it to the people so they could do it.
It’s that simple. But I absolutely could not have done that on my own. I knew what I needed to do. There is enough free information or cheap programs on the Internet that will show you how to do all the practical stuff. But it’s funny isn’t it, that even once you know exactly HOW to do something you don’t always do it? And that was the bit I needed a coach for. She would laugh her evil laugh and say “Do the frickin’ THING! NOW.” And I would. I would do it. And sometimes it would work straight away and sometimes it wouldn’t and I’d need to tweak it, and sometimes it was magic and sometimes it was hard and frustrating.
But one day, a year later, I found myself with a real business. I found myself being really real in my life. It is the vision I had a year ago. Plus more. And I am not pretending. Not even a little bit. Today I am wearing thongs. They are entrepreneur’s shoes. Really.