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BettyMeansBusiness - 300KFirstYearInBusiness

 

When I first co-founded a management consulting firm and started my business back in 2007, I was shitting myself. How was I going to win clients? Replicate my 6-figure corporate salary? How would this whole thing work?

 

Even though I wasn’t stepping into a whole new industry, the leap felt risky and massive.

 

My business back then had nothing to do with the webosphere. Sure, we invested in a web site, but it was simple and completely static without blog at all – in fact I don’t think I even knew what a blog was.

 

Even though times have changed pretty dramatically when it comes to how I run my business these days, I feel like looking back can really help you move forward. Even though today my business – and I’m betting probably yours too – has much more to do with the web, I thought it’d be kinda fun and hopefully useful to share some of my experiences from that first year in business.

 

And yep, as the title of this post suggests, we bought in just over $300k that first year.

 

I see many people sharing how they made almost nothing their first year of business – and getting lots of support from their readers (and maybe even some 6-figure backlash) celebrating them for opening up and admitting that they made so little. And I sincerely agree; good on them for sharing their journey so openly. I admire and am inspired by them too.

 

But at the same time those stories made me hesitate to share my own first year journey… because I didn’t struggle that way. Don’t get me wrong, there was plenty of struggle, and many times I was worried about revenue and cash flow and all that, but we brought in multiple 6 figures early. Somehow… and I know this is my own shit to deal with here… I felt a little ashamed to share because I don’t want to be taken as big noting myself. That first year was fucking hard – and the revenue is just one small part of the experience.

 

Ok, now that’s off my chest, read on to discover what my very first year in business looked like.

 

Hours

 

That first year there were very few 20 hour weeks for me. I was working on my PhD as well as starting a business and life was hectic. I worked my ass off. Seriously, if I’d done the maths at the time I probably would’ve discovered I was earning less than $40 an hour.

 

As well as client work and setting up business structures and systems, I threw myself into business development. Think: strategising, coordinating, writing and submitting 60+ page proposals and panel submissions, and me standing in copy centers waiting for bound hard copies A LOT. I regularly worked until 7pm on weeknights and at least a few hours most weekends.

 

At the time I was doing heaps of pole dancing for fitness – and having something active that had nothing at all to do with work that I loved to do 3 or 4 times a week definitely helped me stay sane.

 

Key Lesson: No matter how much there is to do, don’t spend all your time working. Your wellbeing will thank you.

 

Packaging

 

A lot of the big proposals I worked on had to be submitted by hand (how old school does that sound!) and presented exactly as per their seriously stringent guidelines in every way – fonts, spacing, number of pages and content, even whether the proposal should be bound or in a 3-ring folder. I had to find ways to stand out from the crowd in other ways. Hear me when I say: really thinking through the client’s needs and then packaging up and showcasing our expertise accordingly was key.

 

Key Lesson: Packaging your expertise the right way will help you stand out from the crowd.

 

Getting Clients

 

There’s SO MUCH to do when you’re starting a business. Even though we started by trying to cover as many bases as possible, we quickly realised we were gonna get better traction focusing on only a couple of lead generation techniques that suited our strengths and market.

 

Specifically we focused on:

  • Getting on as many preferred supplier panels as possible (we figured by doing this we were starting to build assets for the business),
  • Responding to all relevant requests for quotes (sometimes just so we’d get our name out there and in front of people), and
  • Re-signing current clients (we figured this would be easier than always going after new clients).

 

When we opened up shop, we had one client. By the end of the first year we’d worked with a total of 6, maybe 7 clients. That’s it. And we re-signed most of them, some 2 or 3 times.

 

In the first year, we managed to get on 6 panels, which may not sound like a lot but was honestly a mammoth task. This meant we had access to requests for quotes that never made it to public tender or regular media outlets. Having access to these opportunities – literally even just seeing and knowing what was happening for our potential clients – helped A LOT.

 

Whenever I met with potential clients, I’d ask as many questions as I could, and I’d happily do whatever I could to help clients get clear on the vision they had for their business – whether that meant me sharing recommendations and IP, pointing them in the direction of resources, drawing diagrams or providing other advice. I did this for a few reasons:

 

  • I was usually excited by the project and couldn’t help myself,
  • It made my job of putting together proposals and quotes MUCH easier,
  • It built goodwill, and
  • It helped potential clients get a taste of what it’d be like to work with me.

 

We’d be thinking about re-signing clients almost as soon as we won the work. Not in any sleazy pretend-there’s-more-work-here-than-there-really-is way, but rather going into things committed to doing the best work we could for the client.

 

We bet on that goodwill and momentum paying off somehow. And it usually did.

 

Also, I’m convinced building weekly 1:1 review sessions and project wrap up sessions with clients into all projects really helped here. At those meetings I’d present my consulting and coaching records, including my key results and recommendations for the week, so I could keep clients engaged, accountable, and clear on all the awesome work we were doing.

 

Key Lesson: Focus on just a few overarching lead generation strategies that play to your strengths.

 

Key Lesson: Build in opportunities for clients to recognize progress, results and the benefits they experience from working with you.

 

 

Pricing

 

When it came to pricing, the same kind of full on guidelines applied as other parts of the proposal process. Most potential clients had certain categories/ranges within which you could nominate consultants and coaches based on their experience and quals. So for example, back then the range for a principal coach/consultant might be between $1250 – $3500 a day.

 

I decided early on that I was going to have big balls and always quote towards the higher end of the range. This was something my biz partner and I debated a lot – and gave me a chance to really consider and solidify my personal position on premium pricing strategy for coaches and consultants.

 

But… that doesn’t mean that once we were accepted onto the panel of providers I wouldn’t low ball our prices on certain quotes in a panicked attempt to win work. These days – as you know! – I’m against this kind of discounting for lots of reasons. But I definitely learnt this the hard way. On reflection I can see this came very much out of fear, insecurity and doubt, instead of any solid business strategy.

 

Key Lesson: There’s no point waiting for permission to charge premium pricing. If you want it you have to claim it.

 

 

Working for free

 

That first year I never explicitly worked for free for clients – but I definitely found myself putting in a bunch of unaccounted for hours on both business development and client work (especially client management, which sometimes seemed never-fucking-ending).

 

I wanted my work to be really high caliber – because I figured (and still believe) the quality of your work and how you make people feel is your ultimate calling card – and quite often that meant putting in extra hours.  Because of this, 2 things happened: 1) I developed a solid rep for doing high quality work (yay!), 2) I was constantly over extending myself and exhausted (boo!). (By my second year in business it dawned on me that this thing was a marathon, not a sprint, but it took me until year 3 and a serious health challenge to make proper changes on that front.)

 

Key Lesson: Build in client management time and quote projects at at least 1.5 X’s what you think it’ll take to complete the work at the outset – especially if you don’t have a bunch of experience with similar offers. That way you’ll have some breathing room. This goes for forecasting resources and scheduling as well.

 

 

Investments

 

In that first year, we kept things pretty lean because we were always worried client work could dry up (read: earning 6 figures doesn’t make you immune from those fears!). My business partner and I contributed $10,000 of our own money so we knew we had coin in the bank for any expenses that came along.

 

We whacked together some totally dodge looking business cards, “designed” (and I’ve never used that word more loosely) by me. As soon as we realised our business cards were part of our branding – we hired a profesh designer to do a better job, along with a logo, brand colours and simple website. All up I think it cost us about $2000.

 

We also invested $1000 in a monster printer/scanner thing, which at the time felt hugely expensive, but was totally worth it. It saved us a bunch of time and printing costs when it came to getting all those massive proposals together and workshop materials printed.

 

Perhaps our biggest investment was insurance, especially $10MIL worth of professional indemnity insurance. It alone cost us around $5000, but without it we weren’t eligible to bid for some of the bigger contracts we wanted to go for. I know it sounds totally boring but this was a great investment and returned at least 10X in our first year.

 

That first year we also invested in branded Christmas cards for us to send out to clients. I went for it, even though the smallest print run we could get was 100 cards. We really only needed about 20. At $550 plus postage it was SO not worth it. I should have just added a handwritten note to some regular cards.

 

Key Lesson: Invest and go pro where it counts.

 

 

Networking (blergh…)

 

Something I hated doing (but forced myself to do anyway) was attending networking events – especially ones hosted by the profesh associations we were members of. Honestly, 99% of the time, they were shit boring and I personally didn’t see any particular direct return on the investment in terms of winning new clients that way… but I do think that being seen at those events was important when it came to actively participating in the industry and continuing my education. And I reckon attending those events helped clients see us as experts in our field.

 

Seriously, the idea of introducing myself to someone I didn’t know at these events made me want to die, so instead I hung out with people I knew (usually people I’d already worked with and liked). Occasionally they’d introduce me to other people they knew. Occasionally I’d introduce them to people I knew. This approach still had me feeling nervous when I was parking the car and readying myself to go inside, but was far less cringe worthy and no where near as bad in reality.

 

Key Lesson: Do what you can to get involved in your industry and continue your education in ways you like.

 

 

Being Myself

 

By the time we started the business I was already committed to being unashamedly myself. I’d already figured out that being me usually worked out pretty well and that in a mostly male dominated industry, where clients tended to expect dower men in dark grey suits, just being myself (which usually involves swearing, laughing, a sense of general wrongness, embarrassing myself, and keeping it real) made it much easier to stand out. (Also, I’m tall. In heels I can get to a dizzying 6’3”, which was taller than most of the guys. That probably helped too.)

 

Key Lesson: Your personality is just as important as your expertise for clients, so bring your whole self to the table.

 

 

To sum up

 

Here’s 15 factors (in alphabetical order) that I think were critical to bringing in $300k+ that first year in business:

 

  • Asking lots of questions
  • Becoming known for high quality work
  • Being myself
  • Being seen by clients (not even actually talking to them) at networking events
  • Building goodwill with clients
  • Creating high-value packages
  • Focusing on getting on preferred supplier panels
  • Focusing on solving problems for existing and potential clients
  • Having mentors and role models
  • Investing in a couple of big ROI things (like insurance)
  • Offering a select range of services within a niche (we offered coaching, done-for-you consulting, workshop facilitation and training)
  • Our premium pricing strategy
  • Regularly connecting with clients and creating opportunities for clients to keep the results we were getting front of mind
  • Submitting heaps (and heaps!) of proposals
  • Regular meetings with my business partner where we worked ON, instead of IN the business

 

Did you notice almost all of these factors are transferable across most industries? If preferred supplier panels don’t apply to your industry or niche, read that instead as lead generation tactics that’d work well in your industry. For example, maybe for you that means blogging, or speaking to industry associations, or running Facebook ads, or something else entirely.

 

As you read this monster post, did you think ‘sure, that’s ok for her, but I wouldn’t be able to do that’? If you did, back up a second. I urge you to dig a little deeper and examine those beliefs. I have a feeling they’re likely unfounded.

 

Your entrepreneurial journey might look very similar or very different to mine. Maybe your business is entirely online. Perhaps you’re not dealing with corporates or government. Whatever it is, I believe that if we set our minds to something and take consistent action, almost anything is possible.  You are limitless if you want to be.

 

Now it’s your turn: What’s the biggest lesson you learnt from your first year in business? I’d love you to share so we can all learn together.

 

If you liked this post, please hit one of the social buttons below and share it with your friends. It could be just what they need to read today! Thank you – I really appreciate your support! <3

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Betty Means Business - Kate McCormack

Getting really clear on who you serve and knowing your worth is something you hear a lot in the halls of Betty Means Business.And it’s always great to meet other entrepreneurs who are on the same page. Because this wisdom? It’s worth repeating.

Kate M has definitely been kicking some incredible goals since she started her business earlier this year – probably because she’s found her groove, keeps her big why front and center, and follows her own advice.

Lovely, down to earth and so SO much fun to be around, brand strategist and mama bear to 3 young cubs, Kate McCormack is a pleasure to know.

Read on to learn more about Kate escaped corporate once and for all (I especially love her tips for those just starting out and what she thinks of community – GOLDEN!).

Dig in!

 

Tell us about your journey into entrepreneurship.

It’s been a long journey actually, 18 years in the making and my path started out entrenched in the corporate beast. I knew in my heart I always wanted to do my own thing, when the time was right. I always wanted to find a way that I could work and actually help other people but still create the financial freedom I wanted. This was my driving force in knowing working for myself would always happen.

Having my three little tigers was the reason I needed to finally make the break and create a career that allowed the space – physically and emotionally – for my babes.

I’m a big believer in always continuing to learn and it’s really important to me that I am qualified to give people the advice they rely so much on me for. So, before I had my babies I got my MBA and I knew this would give me the platform I needed to launch into the intriguing and exciting entrepreneurial world. It’s also the reason I decided to become a qualified life coach this year and that has definitely helped me help others.

I did start out slowly and that was very much about finding the right time and space for me and for my family, and the beginning of this year I finally committed all my work focus on my business. And I’m happy to say, that with the support of my husband, great coaches, and gorgeous friends and clients, I matched my corporate salary by May this year. Happy dance!

Betty Means Business - Kate McCormack

Whats the best business advice you ever got?

Oh wow there is so much I have learnt on this I don’t even know where to start. I think I would have to focus on this year when I was finally focusing purely on my coaching and consulting business to build my income.

Know your worth.

Understand that you are valuable in this world and you have something genuinely worthwhile to offer. You can’t build a sustainable business by undercharging. Even though you might feel that you are being of service by keeping your prices capped, are you going to be of service to anyone if your business doesn’t exist because it wasn’t profitable enough? Nope.

Do whatever it takes to get past the money blocks that are keeping your from earning more money.

 

What was one of the biggest challenges you faced setting up your biz? How did you overcome this challenge?

For me it was challenging to find the best way for me to work. A huge part of me taking this leap was to find a balance with my children. When I first started I was trying to do a lot of my work with one or three kids at home. This just didn’t work for me – I felt like I was doing a bad job at everything – being a crappy boring mum and not building my business fast enough. Something had to give.

I am absolutely at my peak in the mornings, I always try to make meetings in the mornings and do my most important work – after about 2 or 3 in the afternoon I am anyone’s! Working long hours into the night just didn’t work that well for me.

This year I feel like I have really found my flow – what works for me and what is definitely working for my business. I have three school hours days during the week where I focus only on my work. The headspace it gives me, and the mental space of knowing that I have that time, is perfect for me right now.

You have to work out what is right for you and not fall into the trap of thinking you should be able to do what other people do. Find your own groove.

Betty Means Business - Kate McCormack

What advice would you offer to someone just starting out (or dreaming of starting out) in your field?

For me, in the beginning I am all about going back to basics. It is really important to take the steps to defining our business, our brand and who we are for that we can sometimes skip in our race to jump in.

I am talking about being really clear on what you and your brand stand for, having real conviction about who your ideal customer is and not being afraid to go with this (defining your customer clearly and succinctly is a guiding light for you in your business when it comes to so many things BUT don’t worry because it is an internal tool for your eyes only and it doesn’t mean you are going to exclude potential customers).

Get really clear on your vision and your uniqueness, to the point that when someone asks you, you can give it to them straight with no hesitation. You have to own it if you want people to believe you! This can take some getting used to actually, but practice it in the mirror if you have to.

Once you have worked through this share with your supporters – your partner, your friends, your coach, and your mentor – whoever that is for you. Your plan can be written up in a big fancy document or it can be done in circles on a whiteboard – whatever the right way is for you make sure you create this platform to launch from in your business. It’s all about clarity for you.

Also, I can’t leave this out, never forget your why, your passion, your driving force. Make sure you allow yourself the space to come back to this and actually spend time doing this in your business. I worked with a beautiful artist once who was ready to give it all up because she didn’t have time to do her artwork anymore! Make this commitment to yourself, otherwise its not worth it.

 

How would your besties describe you in 5 words?

Funny, thoughtful, generous, smart, straight shooter. Years ago would have been ‘a bit naughty’ but now that I am a mum ‘mature’ ;)

Betty Means Business - Kate McCormack

How important is community for your business and you as an entrepreneur?

Community is totally where it’s at. Naturally my own community of my awesome clients is the most important thing in my business without a doubt.

But also really important is the amazing community of supportive people I have around me everyday.

Working in my office at home has taken getting used to and it helps me enormously to know that I have this wonderful network of women I can reach out to at any time for support, guidance or even just “I am having the freakin worst day ever” type convo.

Being able to spend time with like-minded women when I want to is critical for me personally in this entrepreneurial world. I am an ENFJ personality type so being an extrovert by this definition at home alone all day has it’s draw backs for me.

I love the feeling of community so much that it did even tempted me back into the corporate world for a bit last year – what a mistake that was! When my youngest is at school I will explore the option of working in a shared office space because for me, the energy of being around people is like a magnet.

When it comes to finding your own community you have to take what works for you and leave the rest behind, just know that you are never alone out there in this space!

 

What are the last 3 books you read?

:: Mindset – How you can fulfill your potential by Dr Carol Dweck

:: Thrive by Ariana Huffington

I can’t even tell you the 3rd one – this makes me realize I just need to read some good fiction!

 

‘Find your own groove.’

You can learn more about Kate right here.

I love Kate’s comments about finding her flow and personal productivity. It can take testing, trial and error, self awareness and a whole lot of reflection to recognize what works best when it comes to work.

Get this wrong, or force yourself uncomfortably into someone else’s work pattern, and business can feel like a helluva struggle. But once you’re able to plug into your own innate daily (and weekly!) energy cycle, your productivity can soar (even if – as in Kate’s case – it translates as fewer total hours).

My personal daily work schedule has evolved for sure. These days things seem to flow best if I write first thing, have meetings from mid morning and spend afternoons getting stuck into my priorities. I’m utterly hopeless in the middle of the day, and usually use this time for rehab and personal errands.

What about you? Is there a particular time of day that works best when it comes to specific tasks/activities for you? I’d love to hear from you!

 

If you liked this post, please hit one of the social buttons below and share it with your friends. It could be just what they need to read today! Thank you – I really appreciate your support! <3

 

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Betty Means Business - What I Wish I'd Known In My 20s

 

This post is part of a blog crawl that’s been organized by my friend Sarah from Yes and Yes to celebrate the launch of her latest offering The Post College Survival Kit. We learned the hard way so you don’t have to! You don’t have to wait till your thirties for a better job, a cuter apartment, financial stability, better relationships + friendships.

 

Sarah’s asked me to share a few things I wish I’d know in my 20s, straight out of college. I’ve been thinking about what to share for the past few weeks now, and um, honestly… I’ve struggled. How can I sum up all the experiences, life lessons, pointers and the surprising, delightful and horrifying discoveries I’ve uncovered on my journey through this life so far, especially when I’m still finding meaning, joining the dots and my own evolving perspective is a daily moveable feast? I realised, I can’t. No chance. Instead, the best I can do is present a few tiny tidbits of advice. So here’s my humble offering to the blog crawl gods. Let’s jump in:

 

You rarely get points for effort.

 

At once sadly and fabulously true, this was a big lesson for me. When it comes to work, I’ve found your results are mainly what count. Please don’t take this as endorsement to be an underhanded dickhead. That’s not at all what I’m saying. If you want to feel good about yourself kindness is critical. But this does mean that your boss or your clients probably aren’t going to want to see your working in the way your maths teacher did on your exam papers.

 

Beware: you’ll still often get out of your endeavours what you put in, the trick is knowing where to best invest your energy for the greatest return.

 

If it matters, go for quality over quantity. Always.

 

Bear with me while I share a story that makes me sound like your grandma: When I was 15 I fell in love with a leather satchel. At a budget busting $500 it was way out of my league, but I decided I was going to buy it anyway. Amazingly the über understanding shop owner let me have that thing on layby for a billion years. I literally paid it off with $5 bills. I think of that bag as my first foray into the whole quality versus quantity thing. And here’s the kicker: I still have AND LOVE that bag. It’s still officially the best bag ever.

 

Underwear. Market positioning. Dark chocolate. Shoes. Friendships. Over and over, trial and a whole lot of itchy, unaligned, gag-worthy, painful and embarrassing errors have taught me that for me personally, the words ‘quality’ and ‘always’ are where it’s at.

 

Relationships are almost everything.

 

Who you chose to spend your time with changes everything about your experience on this planet. Period.

 

Also: there’s no substitute for old friends. Even on the days they really shit you because they remember that time you were deeply lame in Year 8. (Sylvia, Sibylla, Sally: if you’re reading this, please know: You never ever shit me!)

 

Your gut is your true north.

 

I mean this in 2 ways. First, when people talk about going with their gut or using their gut instinct or following their intuition, what they’re really referring to is trusting themselves enough to honour their intrinsic them-ness. I believe this is important because our gut can be our very own built-in true north if we let it.

 

Over the years I’ve asked a heap of women entrepreneurs if their gut has ever been wrong, and no one (no one!) has ever said yes. And this has personally been true for me too. Anytime I’ve gone off the tracks it’s because for whatever reason (usually fear) I wasn’t going with my gut. Hear me when I say: If I had my time again I would definitely work on fine-tuning and honouring my relationship with my unique me-ness sooner. Not only will it always serve you well, learning how to tap into and trust your true you-ness is also self-affirming like nothing else.

 

And here’s my second meaning: Your actual physical gut is also worth tuning into. The sooner you can figure out how best to work with it, the happier you’ll be. I guarantee it. An unhappy gut can literally bring you to your knees and totally screw your day – not to mention your plans for world domination (think: if it’s in knots; if it’s bloated; if it’s angry with you; it if doesn’t want to play… Eugh!). Seriously, whenever I listen to and take cues from that baby I’m SO MUCH WELL-ER on every level.

 

Don’t stress about getting things ‘forever right’.

 

Guys. Haircuts. Big presentations to clients. My first website. Back in the day I was so hung up on getting things ‘forever right’ straight up, but I see know that, in almost any endeavour, that’s a fools errand. Your tastes will change. Humanity’s body of knowledge is constantly growing.   Shit happens. Instead, just aim for delighting yourself and your clients where you/they are right now.

 

And one more thing: Back when I was in my early 20s and starting out I thought I had a better chance of being successful if I followed a more conservative, mainstream path. Now I KNOW TO MY CORE that’s bona fide bullshit. Instead, here’s what I know to be true:

 

If you want you can probably be the best in the world at what you do, so pick something you love.

 

Now I’d love to hear from you. What’s a fun tidbit you know now that you wish you’d known straight out of college? I can’t wait to hear what you share!

 

If you liked this post, please hit one of the social buttons below and share it with your friends. It could be just what they need to read today! Thank you – I really appreciate your support! <3

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Betty Means Business - Kathryn Hocking

I’ve already shared some of my learnings on this here on the blog, but lemme tell you: when it comes to the nuts and bolts of successfully launching an ecourse, there’s a lot more than meets the eye.

Enter Kathryn. These days this lovely and über switched on mama – who originally started out as a coach for mums returning to work, which then led her to supporting mums in business – specializes in helping people create and launch their own ecourses. It might sound like a small niche, but when Kath saw her own business quickly grow to 6 figures thanks to ecourses, she knew she wanted to help others achieve the same level of success too. And niching in this way has really paid off for Kath, with her business continuing to grow – even while she’s stripped back her offers and ‘officially’ been on maternity leave for the past few months.

I love this meaty interview and I’m sure you will too. If you’ve ever thought about creating an ecourse OR wondered how the hell anyone gets anything done with little ones in tow, this interview is for you!

You’re welcome.

 

Tell us about your journey into entrepreneurship.

I never expected or planned to start a business but when I saw my brother and sister-in-law both take the plunge into entrepreneurism and following their passions something started ticking over in my brain.

I’d never had any entrepreneurial role models in my life but all of a sudden I saw this whole other possibility for myself.

I spent some time soul searching thinking about what I could do that:

  1. Meant I could work from home;
  2. Was creative; and
  3. Involved helping people

Finally I decided to enroll in a life coaching course and my business Reverie Coaching was born

Initially I thought I would be a return to work coach for mums but I started attracting mums in business instead and found that I loved business coaching.

Within six months I had launched my first eCourse and discovered that I loved creating online learning but also teaching others how to do it themselves and so my flagship program the e-Course Launch Formula was born.

I worked very hard on my business for 12 months whilst also working full-time in the corporate world and finally in January 2013 took the leap and quit my job and I have never looked back.

 

What’s the best business advice you ever got?

I have worked with a number of coaches over the last 3 years and also enrolled in many online learning programs so it is hard to narrow down to just one piece of advice.

But last year in a mastermind, Denise-Duffield Thomas, a friend and mentor, said to the group ‘making money doesn’t have to be that hard‘ and I realised that we often make things really complicated for ourselves when it can be really easy. That made me realise that focusing exclusively on e-Course Launch Formula (rather trying to run and promote multiple eCourses) was the smartest and easiest way to grow a business and a life I love.

Betty Means Business - Kathryn Hocking

You’ve been doing incredible things! What’s been your most exciting business success so far?

I find that with every six months or so in my business there is a new level that I reach and new goals that are achieved and if entrepreneurs would just take a step back they can be amazed at all that they have done!

For me it has been the continuing success of the e-Course Launch Formula and the fact that it is now a truly global course and one that some really amazing entrepreneurs have noticed and helped me promote. I’ve managed to get some guest spots on some incredible blogs, have been offered an amazing partnership for 2015 and in my current free video series eclipsed my goal of 1,000 opt-ins over the entire launch by getting over 1200 in the first week!

There have been so many highs in my business and what I love is knowing that the only way is up!

 

Collaboration or competition? What’s best for business?

The concept of competition is a bit of a nemesis for me. My rational brain will tell me that by being my authentic self I have no competition but it doesn’t stop the nasty fears and insecurities creeping in.

The approach I take to competition is to where possible just focus on myself and shut out from my consciousness anyone who triggers any insecurity. This means I unsubscribe from any newsletters or Facebook pages that trigger me and surround myself with people that inspire and energise me instead. Because I don’t ‘follow’ my competitors it also allows me to feel 100% confident that my work is 100% from inside of me and not influenced by others work.

I think there are amazing opportunities for collaboration but I tend to pick complimentary businesses rather than direct competitors so that the relationship can be truly mutually beneficial.

Betty Means Business - Kathryn Hocking

Alters, vision boards, crystals, tarot, affirmation, dance party breaks. What, if any, rituals do you regularly include in your business day?

I’ve tried lots of rituals over the last three years and the answer is that I am not particularly consistent with any of them. However there are a few things that I like to include in my day to help me.

I like to set three tasks each day that I want to accomplish but since having my baby I have reduced that down to just one key task.

I have an inspirational quote about competition on my screen saver to ground me for the day that reads ‘ A flower does not think of competing to the flower next to it – it just blooms’.

I also have a number of visuals posted up around my desk including inspiring affirmations from the Packing You eCourse, my Passion Test cards that affirm what I am working towards and lots of beautiful images to inspire me.

During a launch I up these rituals to include listening to an amazing meditation on Omvana – the ‘3×3 Manifesting Abundance’ meditation which at just 3 minutes is amazing! I also set an intention each day for enrollments and will often also listen to a subliminal abundance soundtrack while I work.

 

How much time do you dedicate to working ON your business (as opposed to IN it) each month?

I’m a big advocate of lifelong learning and continually reinvesting back into your business.

I’ve seen a lot of entrepreneurs get a little out of control where they invest because of fear of missing out or because they are searching for the missing piece to the puzzle or a magic bullet. So it’s really important to make sure these investments are made for the right reason.

At the start of the year I set some intentions about what I need to learn about and also what key things I need to accomplish in my business separate to client work or running my eCourses (the day-to-day work).

Because of this I am then able to filter any decision about enrolling in a course or taking on a new coach or mastermind-based on how aligned it is to my overall goals.

I am not sure how much time I work ON my business but the answer is that I spend a very sizable percentage of my time working on my infrastructure, systems, knowledge and strategies to ensure my business continues to grow and that at all times I have a clear vision for the future.

 


Want to learn more about Kath?

I strongly recommend you check out these free videos from her here now.  (Yes, these vid’s are part of Kath’s latest launch and I’m a yell-it-from-the-roof-tops proud affiliate for her eCourse… but seriously, she shares so much gold here – the first vid even details her income over the past 2 years! – and they aren’t sales at all.  I reckon they’re worth checking out and soaking up her wisdom even if you’re not thinking of creating your own eCourse at the mo’.)


 

Kath’s realization – that we can often overcomplicate things for ourselves – can change everything in business.

This is definitely something I’ve worked on myself – and I’m sure I’ll continue to work on it in the future – and truthfully, it’s something that comes up for many of my clients too. Why do so many of us make things more difficult than they need to be?

Getting really clear on what you are (or would like to be) known for and focusing on a single signature offer can make things much easier for you and at the same time easier for clients to identify exactly how you can help them (and I really believe the clearer we are with communicating that, the more clients we’ll have).

How can you streamline your business? Where are you currently making the most money most easily? And what could you do to make things flow even more easily?

Now it’s your turn: Do you make things harder than they need to be in business? What’s one way you could make making money easier for yourself? I’d really love to hear from you!

 

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Betty Means Business - Adele Means Business

From her humble roots as a snap happy foodie to now hugely popular blogger of Vegie Head fame running an online academy dedicated to plant-based living, Adele is the epitome of the incredible success that can occur when you combine passion, dedication and courage.

Not necessarily knowing how to do things doesn’t get in Adele’s way. She tackles her fears head on whilst still maintaining optimism and dedication to wellness and self care.

Adele is a tour de force and truly inspiring. Also, her photos make me want to eat ALL the food!  You’ll love her incredible zest for life that jumps off the screen in this interview. Enjoy!

 

Tell us about your journey into entrepreneurship.

In 2009, I bought a big, fancy camera. I had no idea how to use it, and nothing to really take photos of – except my food. So I began to snap photos of my food and the response was overwhelming.

I built my first website (again, no idea what I was doing!) and it started to get thousands of views each month. I launched an ebook, and in 2013 I quit my full time job to focus full time on Vegie Head.

Since then, I’ve gone on two national tours, have released a published book, 5 more ebooks, 2 programs, and my Vegie Head Academy. I coach clients all over the world with their businesses and health as well. It’s a busy life! Now the website gets over half a million hits each month, and tens of thousands of members!

 

Whats the best business advice you ever got?

Work smarter, not harder – my dad always said that.

Betty Means Business - Adele Means Business

Youve been doing incredible things! Whats been your most exciting business success so far?

Thank you! Probably The Vegie Head Academy. It’s an online ecourse that not only teaches students about cooking, but also health, nutrition, how to deal with ‘the hard questions’, ordering in social situations, the importance of organics- and SO much more.

It was 8 months work that took me overseas to film, research and write. It was a phenomenal experience and it’s being incredible to see the finished product.

 

Alters, vision boards, crystals, tarot, affirmations, dance party breaks. What, if any, rituals do you regularly include in your business day?

All of the above for sure! I also meditate every day, walk on the beach, and have regular kinesiology sessions. I am also a Reiki and Bush Flower Essence Practitioner, so I use those modalities daily as well.

 

You know Im a huge fan of prioritising health. How have you built self-­care practices into your business?

Absolutely! I make them my number one priority. That means the best quality organic food, filtered water, meditation, walking, personal training and acupuncture once a week. They are my non-negotiables.

 

How important is community for your business and you as an entrepreneur? Why?

SO important! My ‘Vegies’ as I call them, are my reason for BEING. I am grateful every single day for them. They give me inspiration- and when I receive that acknowledgement from them, it makes it all worthwhile.

We both know fear isn’t necessarily a reason to not go forward with something; that it can in fact be a signpost that we’re heading in the right direction. What’s the number 1 way you personally manage fear in business?

I’m very much a believer of facing my fears head on. I don’t coddle them. If I can identify something that’s blocking me, I address it, acknowledge it, and then try to work around it or through it. I meditate on it, have some reiki, pull some cards and journal. I have a team around me- a manager, business managers, 2 staff members and my husband… so when those fears arise, I have sounding boards to go to. I truly think talking it out helps!

Betty Means Business - Adele Means Business

What are the last 3 books you read?

– A new earth by Eckhart Tolle

– The 7 habits of highly effective people

– Gone girl (a good beach read!)

 

Whats your fave way to celebrate successes?

A really special dinner out with hubby. We do it all- three courses, a gold class movie (because who can sit in a normal cinema once they’ve gone to gold class?!) and big cuddle with the puppies when we get home.

 

**

You can learn more about Adele here.

As entrepreneurs, by definition when it comes to our work, we naturally accept greater risk than others. Even if you’re not a one woman show, or brand new to business, growing your business can feel like you’re constantly breaking new terrain and with it stretching your comfort zone at a pace that feels waaay beyond what’s reasonable. Is it any wonder fear is something that most of us have to deal with at one time or another?

I love hearing about the tools Adele keeps in her arsenal to help her manage fear. As well as drawing on her courage to tackle it head on, meditation, sounding boards, reiki and journaling help her stay grounded and connected to her intuition. What a beautifully balanced approach!

In my own fear busting kit, I include walking in the bush, free writing, and working with coaches and experts.

What about you? I’d love to know: What’s one thing you call on to help you manage fear in business?

 

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Betty Means Business - 3 Biggest Launch Lessons

A few months ago I launched my very first ecourse, Packaging You. While I’ve created a bunch of courses and workshops offline before, this was the first time I’d released one online. To say I learnt lots is a massive understatement.

On the whole, it’s been an incredible and really worth while experience, and I’ve been blown away by feedback I’ve had.

I know there are already hundreds of blog posts out there sharing ways to optimize your online launch. And that’s great because there’s always more to learn about launching. This isn’t one of those posts. Instead I’m focusing on my inner journey during the launch. This is about the personal, mindset issues that tested me during this online launch. And heads up: I’m gonna be open and vulnerable.

So, in the spirit of all learning together, here’s 3 of my biggest personal launch lessons:

 

1)    Hold your nerve

I thought I’d got over my worries about unsubscribes long ago, to the point where these days when I see them I literally vibe out a silent blessing and wish them well. If I’m not right for you, I sincerely hope you find someone who is.

Even still, when 67 people unsubscribed in the 12 hours after the second promo email I sent out I got worried. I managed to only-just hold my nerve and forced myself to get away from the computer that day.

After a visit to the pool, a talk with my guy, and an embarrassingly big dose of Desperate Housewives, I returned to a find a flood of new sign ups.

I took a deep breath and continued to send out my full series of promo emails and reminders. I personally had more people sign up after every email I sent out, and that one with the 67 unsubscribes also garnered more than half of my total sign ups. So… Holding your nerve?  Definitely worth it.

 

2)    Stretch yourself and be courageous

One of the things that made me most nervous in the lead up to the launch was knowing that I’d be sharing a video of me on the sales page.

Video felt like a big step. Truth is, I’m a pretty private person. And sharing that video felt utterly public, like I was really showing you inside my world. That’s really me. That’s really my forever guy. That’s really my cherished pup.

Now? I’m SO happy I put it out there. I feel like I grew my comfort zone in leaps and bounds. Both personally and financially, by sharing that video I experienced a great return on investment.

(I honestly had such a positive experience with this that I can’t wait to create and share more videos!)

 

3)    Recognise this thing will bring up your money issues

At the end of the first day of the launch, I was in tears. Sure, it’d been a long few days and I was exhausted, but on reflection I can see that I’d also let my money issues take over the driver’s seat that day. Hello emotional roller coaster!

I think the key thing here is less about what your exact money issues are, and more about knowing big online launches are the perfect environment for them to show up. Successful launches can represent significant pay days, and I’ve since talked with a number of women entrepreneurs about their unexpected experiences of guilt, worthiness, disbelief, confusion, comparison and fear during their own launches.

I woke up on day 2 and stuck a Post It on the corner of my screen that read ‘money means what I make it’. Having that right in front of my face, reminding myself to focus on being in service, and being disciplined about sticking to my workday routine definitely helped a lot.

**

 

I hope you like my personal launch lessons and that they inspire you to rock your own launch!

Now it’s your turn: What’s a key lesson you’ve learnt launching something online? Big or small, everything counts – and I’d love to hear from you so we can all learn together :)

 

If you found this post useful, please hit one of the social buttons below and share it with your friends. It could be just what they need to read today! Thank you – I really appreciate your support! <3

 

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