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The Truth About Why You Don’t Have Time to Start Your Coaching Business

 

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve entered into a conversation with a coach who says she wants to start her coaching business, but she “doesn’t have time.”

Does this sound familiar?

You have a full-time J-O-B. You have a spouse and kids and friends. You have errands and cooking and dishes. You have to get an oil change. And if it’s an oil change this week, it’s a doctor’s appointment next week, and a filling the following week.

Life is busy, and starting your own business seems insurmountable, given all the time constraints you face.

If you’re here, I consider you one of my unofficial coaching clients. So today, you can expect to get a little tough-love-style coaching. (You’re welcome. 🙂 )

If you don’t think you have enough time to start your business, you’re wrong. (I know. Ouch. But stick with me.)

This is NOT an issue of time management. It’s an issue of priorities.

You see, time is your most precious commodity. It’s a non-renewable resource.

You give your time to the things you consider most important.

Sometimes, when you’re not paying attention, your calendar gets full with the “external.” Maybe a friend invites you to lunch and you pencil it in. You realize you’ve run out of milk and you have to run to the store. You volunteer to run a bake sale at your kids’ school, and that’s an hour out of your day. See where I’m going with this? We allow outside influences (friends, family, boss, kid-related activities and events, etc.) to add countless items to our calendar all the time.

In cases like these, life happens TO you. It really can feel like you don’t have time to think about, focus on, or (especially) work on your business.

Don’t worry, there is good news in all of this: you can regain control of your time and your life. And you can make the time to work on your business.

It’s all about priorities.

Here’s a simple exercise for determining where your priorities are now, whether they align with what you want them to be, and how to adjust them if they don’t.

 

 

Identify What’s Most Important to You.

 

I always love a good brain dump! Take a few minutes to write down the things that are most important to you, right now. These may take the form of goals, like running a marathon or starting your business, or activities, like spending time with your family or exercising. Then, prioritize them. Put a #1 next to the item that’s absolutely the most important to you, and go from there.

 

 

Identify Your Current (Real) Priorities.

 

When I say, “Identify your current priorities,” I mean, figure out where you’re investing your time. Look at your calendar or schedule for the past several days or week, and write down the three activities on which you spend most of your time.

 

 

Compare Your Current Priorities with the Priorities You Chose in Step 1.

 

Once you know where you’re investing your time, evaluate whether those activities are in alignment with the most important things in your life.

 

If your current priorities align with the three most important things in your life, that’s great! And if your business isn’t on either list, that’s okay—now may not be the right time for your business.

 

On the other hand, you may identify your top three priorities and realize they’re not the most important things in your life right now.

 

 

Adjust Your Schedule.

 

Becoming conscious of where you’re investing your time versus where you should be investing your time, if you want to focus on your priorities, is an important step toward making time for what truly matters to you.

 

Now, it’s time to make changes to your schedule that empower you to give time to your true priorities.

 

Here’s another piece of coaching: you may need to let go of some things that are not easy to let go of.

 

  • For example, if you’re accustomed to working 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. in your day job, consider working 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., and working on your business for those two remaining hours.
  • If you’re accustomed to waking up at 7 a.m. to start your day, get up at 5 a.m.
  • Take shorter lunch breaks.
  • Spend a couple of hours every weekend morning working on your business.
  • Say no to lunch out, so you can work on your business during day-job lunch breaks.

 

I’m telling you, this works.

A recent graduate of our Easy Breezy Coaching Business Bootcamp was supporting her husband, and they had three kids under seven and a fourth on the way. Her business was a top priority, so she got creative and resourceful and was able to get her business up and running by fitting entrepreneurship in with her family (and other) responsibilities.

 

A current Bootcamper has two kids, a full-time job, and a part-time job. She’s supporting her husband. Getting her business up and running is a priority. That’s why she finds time to work on it! She wakes up earlier, takes shorter lunch breaks, and finds little chunks of time—because it’s important to her.

 

Even small chunks of time can yield amazing results. (Think about how much you get done in an eight-hour period before you go on vacation!)

 

 

Repeat This Mantra:

 

“I have all the time I need for my priorities.”

 

 

 

Work It!

 

Once you get used to prioritizing and setting your schedule around your priorities, you’ll be amazed at how much you can get done.

 

I’d love to hear from you!

 

Post in the comments below: right off the bat, can you think of anything you’re spending your time on, that’s not actually one of your priorities?

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The Top 3 Lessons Learned From 2015

Whew! This year has just flown by, hasn’t it? There are only 15 days left in 2015, and wow, has it been a FULL year!

Our team at The Coaches Console and I have learned so much, but in reflecting on 2015 recently, I came up with the Top 3 Lessons, and I want to share them with you, today.

It is my hope that as you move into 2016, you’ll be able to use these lessons to improve your efficiency, boost your profits, and have more FUN than ever!

So, without further ado, here they are:

Lesson 1: Prepare for the unexpected—the truth about systems and teams.

As you may already know, my mom became very sick this fall, and after an unexpected hospitalization and surgery, she passed away. My sister (one of our TCC team members) and I were away from work for several weeks.

Guess what?

Even though our leaves of absence were unexpected, business went on pretty much as usual. Why?

Because we had created and implemented systems in advance, so that our marketing, new client engagement, and client support was organized and in place.

That meant that we could be with our mom when we needed to be, without worrying about whether our business was continuing to thrive.

And as a quick reminder, having a team in place doesn’t mean you have to have a full offense, defense and second string! It may be as simple as hiring a Virtual Assistant or Online Business Manager. Either way, it’s important to have someone else who knows your systems, and who can help run them in your absence.

I was (and am) beyond grateful that we had taken the time while all was well to create the systems that sustained our business during our unexpected time off, and I’d love for YOU to take advantage of this lesson now, too!

Following are two things you can do to get started:

Lesson 2: Give the little details the attention they deserve—they really add up!

Sometimes the tiny details don’t seem like they make much of an impact, but when you look at the big picture – the way all the tiny details combine – you may find that they make a huge difference in your bottom line, as well as in your ability to serve and support even more clients at the highest possible level.

One significant example is our last Easy Breezy Coaching Business Bootcamp promotion. We’ve run this same promotion 2 times before, but this time, we optimized several “tiny” details.

We:

  • Took a different approach to setting our goals.
  • Solicited expert advice (instead of figuring everything out on our own).
  • Added a short, engaging video to the launch.
  • Edited the “thank you” page, which people see after opting in for our free training.
  • Added a few new emails into our existing marketing sequence.
  • Implemented 3 additional ways to support clients.

Individually, none of these items seem like they’d make a huge impact, right?

But together, they resulted in an additional $500,000+ in sales and many more clients that are impacted!

In our business, I often see people overlook these kinds of details, thinking that if they get those big pieces of the business in place—like their free gifts, autoresponders, sample sessions, online scheduling, and online product store—then they’ll be golden.

These “big pieces” create a good start, but the real success lies in how you plan for, prepare and execute the details!

I like to use the analogy of the old-timey radios. You know the ones: you have to turn the dial until you get to the station you want to hear. As you get closer, you can kind of hear the music, but you have to slowly, gently, carefully, barely turn the dial one way and then the other, carefully adjusting it until the station comes in clearly.

That’s what we’ve done with our marketing and support at TCC over the past year. In slowing down, we’ve made a significant impact. (Yes, we’ve slowed down in order to speed up!)

So let me ask you – are you paying attention to the details in your business? In 2016, take some time to focus on them, and I’m confident you’ll discover they have a bigger impact than you expected!

Lesson 3: Affiliates—of any size—can be powerful promoters. Nurture these connections.

Sometimes, in an attempt to develop what we believe will be lucrative affiliate relationships, we look for “big” affiliates—those who have big lists of responsive clients.

I want you to know that you should never overlook opportunities to partner with the “little guys.” (And don’t sell yourself short if you’re a little guy!)

One of my favorite examples is that of Jory, one of members and an affiliate with a relatively small list of 900 members. She promoted us in a launch, alongside other affiliates whose lists are in the 15,000-50,000 member range.

The features and benefits TCC offers complement what Jory offers—they solve a problem for her clients that she doesn’t solve, herself. Rather than worrying about how many of her members signed up for our promotion, she simply shared the features and benefits because she knew they were a good fit for her community.

As a result, she referred us a significant amount of new Bootcampers—and was among our top 10 affiliate promoters, which means she joined us on the trip to Greece (where we thanked our team and top promoters for helping us create our biggest launch ever). So even though Jory had a “small list,” she definitely made a significant impact.

When we worked with our “little guys” this year, we brought in an additional 1,000 opt-ins and close to 40,000 more in revenue!

Now, to help you nurture your affiliate connections, we’re sharing below some additional ways in which you can support your referral partners – in addition to emailing for promotions:

  • Brainstorm prospect or client engagement ideas
  • Review their content or material
  • Introduce them to resources that may support them in reaching their long-term goals
  • Gift your product or free gift to their audience as a value-add bonus
  • Share templates you’ve created for your own clients or programs that may benefit them in solving their challenges
  • Host them on your podcast
  • Include them as a resource in your newsletter
  • Have them speak at your events
  • Bring them on as guest experts as a bonus in your program

Again, as you move forward into 2016, keep those “little guys” on your radar! They have the potential to make a BIG impact.

We’d love to hear from you—what are YOUR Top 3 Lessons from 2015? Post them in our TCC Facebook Mastermind group. (Must be a member to participate. Not a member, no problem, you can learn more here.)

And from all of us here at The Coaches Console, we wish you and yours the happiest of holiday!

We are so grateful for each and every one of our TCC community members (that’s you!), and we can’t wait to have more fun with you than ever before, in 2016!

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3 Tips to Create a Perfect-for-You Holiday Schedule

As the holidays approach, do you find yourself contemplating whether to work through the holidays, because you need the money, or to take time off to be with your family, but suffer a financial hit?

Let’s call it what it is, shall we?

If this sounds familiar (and we know it does for lots of coaches—we’ve heard people talking about it on our forums), you’re stuck in what we call the (drumroll, please) …

“The Entrepreneurial Conundrum.”

Yikes!

It’s the holiday season! You’re probably feeling pulled to take time off to hang out with your family, eat yummy holiday food, play games, drink and be merry! 😉

But you also know that if you take time off from work, you may lose momentum and you’ll almost certainly lose money.

When this internal struggle occurs, you likely come out of it feeling like your work is controlling you (and that’s never a good feeling!).

So what to do?

If you’ve been asking yourself that question with the holidays right around the corner, you’re in luck. We have answers!

And we want you to know that, although we’re talking about the festive season here, everything we’re sharing with you today applies to ALL situations in which you have to take time off, whether they are planned or not. Let’s face it – sometimes, the unexpected occurs – like when my mom recently became ill and passed away. I had to take time away from my business, and I could without worrying, because of the systems I have in place. (Also, a quick, loving “THANK YOU” to all of you who have reached out with condolences. You warm my heart, and I so appreciate you.)

So today, we’re giving you 3 tips for working as much as you want to, and only as much as you want to, over the holidays (or any time you feel compelled to take time off).

Tip 1. Set your intentions and desires.

It’s simple, but it must be done!

Answer the questions: Do I desire to work? Do I desire to take total time off?

Sure, that sounds obvious, but if you haven’t outlined (even for yourself) exactly what you want your holidays to look like, how will you achieve it?

The same idea applies to your business, as a whole: if you’re not crystal clear on your intentions for your business, it controls you, by default. And that’s exactly what we don’t want.

During our next complimentary webinar on Wednesday, December 2 at 4:00 pm EST, we’ll talk about how to structure your business so you can work AND play during the holidays, or so you can take total time off, any time. We’re covering topics like getting support systems in place, a simple automated promotion you can put in place at any time, and an easy autoresponder series you can send out to reengage former or inactive clients while you take time off. So watch your inbox – it’s going to be great!

Tip 2. Implement your structure.

This is where you take your holiday vision and create a specific framework for making it reality.

First, set expectations for yourself and for your clients in terms of office hours. In order to do that, you need to determine when you will be available to work ON your business as the business owner, when you will be available to work IN your business as the practitioner, and when you will be available to be AWAY from your business, as you. Then, set up your voicemail greeting and the Out of Office Assistant in your email to remind people of your office hours. Putting these processes in place allows you to continue to provide exquisite client support, even when you’re not in the office.

When you return to your full work schedule, plan an entire, “secret” re-entry day to give yourself time to get back up to speed and get your head back in the game. For example, if you plan to come back January 2, tell your clients you’re coming back January 3.

Again, we’ll take this even deeper in our upcoming webinar, and we hope you’ll be there!

Tip 3. Organize promotions, autoresponders, and client engagement in advance.

While you’re still going full-throttle, before you actually begin your holiday schedule, take the time to set up and schedule the items you can ahead of time, so they’re rolling out even while you’re sitting in front of the fire drinking eggnog. 😉

In Tip 1, we mentioned a simple automated promotion you can put in place so it’s happening without your input, as well as a simple autoresponder series you can send out to reengage former or inactive clients. (This series can be something simple, like a set of 3 emails for a “Start the New Year off Right” special offer on your coaching packages (I’ll talk more about this on the webinar, during which I’m also giving you a structure you can use for your offer and bonus, and an email template, so be sure to join us!).

You may also consider sending out a 3-part autoresponder series for current clients that gives them holiday-related exercises and activities to help them successfully maneuver through this time of year. One of our favorite ideas is asking clients to journal in their client log during your time away from your typical coaching schedule.

Finally, consider creating your December and January newsletters in advance and schedule them for future send dates, so you don’t have to think about them while you’re taking time off or when you return to your full-time schedule.

Again, our in-depth, complimentary “Easy Breezy Time Off: Your Guide to Planning and Preparing for Time Away from Work … While Your Business and Clients Thrive” training on these topics is scheduled for Wednesday, December 2 at 4:00 pm EST. Be sure to watch your inbox for details to join us.

We want to help you ensure your holidays look exactly like you want them to … and we’re so excited to share them with you, our cherished community, this year!

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Organization: The Key to Efficiency, Profitability and Sanity

And … we’re back with this second installment in our series on the role your mindset plays in running a successful business!

In our last article, we talked about 3 mindset mistakes business owners make, and how to reframe them for maximum success.

Today, we’re talking about organization as it relates to mindset—and to your success.

“One of the most important rules of personal effectiveness is the 10/90 rule.

The first 10% of time that you spend planning and organizing your work before you begin will save you as much as 90% of the time in getting the job done once you get started.” – Adapted from Brian Tracy

When you’re thinking like a business owner rather than a technician or employee, you understand time is money. The more efficient you are, the better.

So how do you achieve maximum efficiency? You get organized.

When you’re organized, you spend less time correcting mistakes and searching for information, and more time on money-producing activities.

Here are 5 of our favorite tips for getting organized, staying organized, and achieving maximum efficiency!

Get Organized Tip 1: Put all the Details in One Place

From your calendar to your invoices, putting everything in one place is the best way to keep track of those slippery details that have a tendency to fall through the cracks. Never miss an appointment, forget to follow up with a client, or forget to invoice a client because your information is scattered!

Get Organized Tip 2: Create and Maintain Good Organizational Habits and Boundaries

Good organizational habits decrease stress and again, increase efficiency. Here’s one of our favorite tips: Never begin your day by diving into your email. This immediately puts you in reactionary mode, responding to and taking action on the emails that require your attention. Instead, choose a 30-45 minute time slot around 10 a.m. to spend on email and related tasks, and then one more time slot in the afternoon just before you pack up to go home. This way YOU remain in control of your time.

Get Organized Tip 3: Prioritize!

Begin every day with a list of 3 tasks you absolutely know you will complete before your head hits the pillow (see Tip 2!). Complete the tasks one at a time. Laser focus increases efficiency and productivity. Going back and forth between tasks can zap your energy and concentration, slowing you down. This tip ensures you consistently move forward.

Get Organized Tip 4: Automate What You Can

Thanks to the wonders of today’s technology, you can implement software that reminds your clients (and you) when you have an appointment, AND follows up afterward. You can offer your products and programs online, making it easy for your clients to access them at their convenience—without you having to lift a finger! After the initial set up, automation keeps you organized—effortlessly—saving you tons of time and stress.

Get Organized Tip 5: De-Clutter Your Workspace and Your Virtual Space

One of our favorite sayings is “How you do one thing is how you do everything.” In other words, a cluttered workspace (real or virtual) means your entire business will be cluttered – including marketing, follow-up and client support. By now, we all know a cluttered workspace is distracting and stressful. You don’t have to keep your desk spotless, but you’ll work more efficiently if extra papers and “stuff” aren’t constantly catching the attention of your eyes and thoughts. Your virtual space—like your email inbox—is just like a physical workspace. Delete emails you don’t need and create (and use) folders for emails and files you do need. This allows you to focus only on items that actually require your attention.

Bottom line: Organization keeps you sane, improves your efficiency and allows you to devote your energy to the whole reason you started this business in the first place: coaching your clients.

As you know, The Coaches Console is an all-inclusive software system designed specifically for busy coaches. We’ve designed it with you—and your organizational goals—in mind. Use its scheduling feature to keep track of all your appointments and tasks. Send your clients invoices and homework, and give them access to their materials. Learn more about what The Coaches Console can do for you and your business … and your clients … here.

Get organized, stay organized, and experience success as a calm, confident business owner!

Stay tuned for our next mindset article next month!

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The Top 3 Tips for Making Sure Your Business Is Taking Care Of Itself During Holidays

In a recent webinar training, we taught our bootcampers how to “Plan, Prepare, Party & Proceed” before taking extended time away for the holidays so their business is working for them. Three of the tips we shared wow’ed our bootcampers. In this issue we want to pass them along to you as well.

Most entrepreneurs experience one of three symptoms leading up to and during the holidays:

  • Buying into the limiting belief of “it’s the holidays, no one is doing any business right now,” which causes them to let their foot off the gas pedal for the last few weeks of the year.
  • Falling prey to the scarcity belief of “nose to the grindstone” or working countless hours to get it all done. As a result they spend much of their holiday time cramming in time on their computer, away from family and hardly present for many of the functions that occur during this time of the year.
  • Experiencing the stop-start reactionary approach to their business. It looks like this: things are rolling with great momentum as you go into the holidays, then when you leave for the holidays you stop cold turkey on your business so when you return after the new year you’ve “gotta get back on track” and build up momentum again.

Belch! None of those are any fun! So here are the hot tips we shared:

Hot Holiday Tip #1: Self Care Safety Net

You weren’t expecting that one were ya! This is actually the secret sauce to mine and Kate’s success. Self care. BEFORE you leave for the holiday (any holiday or vacation for that matter) schedule into your calendar at least three self-care activities. It might be a massage, a trip to your chiropractor or acupuncturist, or a yoga class. It could simply be sitting on your couch, by the fire curled up reading a good book. Or it could be lunch with friends. Whatever it is, it has to refuel you and rejuvenate you.

By doing this, when you then leave for the holidays you can fully give ALL of yourself to the point of depletion because you know rejuvenation is built in and waiting for you on the other side. It also makes re-entry WAY more fun and effective. The more you’re fueled up, the more of you there is to bring to the projects you’re working on, and the clients you’re serving

It’s important to put it on your calendar in advance BEFORE you leave for vacation!

Hot Holiday Tip #2: Automate Client Care

Create 2 emails in your Console system to send to your clients during the holidays. These emails will focus on the top 2 challenges your client faces during the holidays (it’s their holiday pin island). In this message you’ll describe their challenge, give them a hot tip to overcome it and include a “coaching question” – as if they were on a coaching call with you and brought you this challenge – what coaching question would you ask them.

Then you set a future send date for the first email to be sent during the week of Christmas. And the second email has a future send date for the week of New Year’s. That way while you’re away partying with your family and friends, you’re clients are still being fully supported by you! Your business is taking care of itself!

Hot Holiday Tip #3: Identify your Projects and Tasks For When You Return

Just like the first holiday tip, this is also done BEFORE you leave for vacation. The more planning and preparing you can do ahead of time, the more you’ll avoid the stop-start bumpy experiences of your business.

So PRIOR to leaving for holiday, identify the top three projects that are most important to the first quarter of the year. And for each of those projects identify the next 3 steps/actions for each of those projects. In your Console system, put those tasks on your “to-do list” feature and set up future due dates and reminders. This will equip you to be prepared for when you return from the holiday to know exactly what to focus on when you sit down to your desk.

When implementing these tips you no longer have to dread “getting back on track” or “picking up speed” when returning from holidays and vacation as it was never lost to begin with. You simply continue the momentum you had already begun.

And as a result you’ll have self-care WITHOUT GUILT, because you’ve set it up so your business is taking care of itself! And you can jump in and give your clients last minute tips without missing a great opportunity!

May your holidays and vacations be fuel for your business to work for you instead of you working so fricken hard on your business! That’s where the real magic and fun begins.

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Plan, Prepare, Party, Proceed

The holidays do NOT need to be stressful. You do NOT need to lose momentum in your business because of the holidays or a vacation. As you may know, Melinda and I travel a lot. Some for business and some for pleasure. We take 7-10 weeks of vacation each year and STILL have a thriving business! Would you like to know the secret to having it all?  It’s actually easy. We “Plan, Prepare, Party and Proceed”

Plan and Prepare is all about being sure we have everything in our business set up to run even when we are not there. Automation and organization are the keystones to accomplishing this. We make sure our systems and processes are in place to run like a well oiled machine regardless of whether we are present or not. We also make sure our team has clear instructions for handling the day to day details and also contingency plans for that “Oh Crap Moment”  that may occur. “Murphy” is never on vacation! We are clear on what we want to have accomplished and put everything in place to insure it will happen. It may be marketing or client care or any function of our business. We use auto responders, advance scheduling and know each item is handled. AND we plan for the future ongoing projects as well, NOT only what has to be done now and while we are away, but also what is upcoming upon our return. Our planning  and preparation insures smooth transitions.  We also are diligent in our self care to insure we do not burn out and get overwhelmed. That is a big part of preparing. Taking care of ourselves so we can be most present, creative and engaged in every party, holiday or business event.

Party: Once we have all the details orchestrated and handled and automated, we can then party full out! We know everything is handled and nothing will slip through the cracks AND we have taken care of our personal health and needs so we are juiced and ready to go! We can be fully present with family, friends and or business colleagues and have fun!

Proceed: When we return from holiday or vacation we know right where to pick up because we have planned for it in advance. Because we have planned ahead, our marketing is still working , new clients are still engaging and current clients are well cared for and all is moving ahead on target. We slip right back in and continue to Plan and Prepare for the next Party!

Would you like more of this flow in your business and less stress and roller coaster income? We have a solution coming your way very soon.

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Breaking Through Coaching Business Myths & Techno Blocks: Myth #4: Just because you’re a great coach doesn’t mean you’ll be great at running a coaching business!

In this 10-part series, we are exposing The 10 Myths that derail start-up coaches and keep them from fully realizing their passions and profits. In this series of articles we will dive into each myth and turn them around with the truth! By embracing the truths you can locate the courage to move through your fears and breakthrough the blocks in your coaching business!

MYTH #4:  Just Because You’re A Great Coach,
Doesn’t Mean You’ll Be Great At Running A Coaching Business!

Have you heard of the book by Michael Gerber, The E-Myth Revisited?  If you have not read that book, stop reading this article immediately and get that book now.  It was my “bible” for the first two years of my business. I kept it on my desk, referred to it often and used it as my guide.

Here’s the deal.  At this point you’ve gone through your coach training and you’ve most likely even invested in learning the most effective marketing strategies to get clients (or you’re about to).  While all of that is necessary, if you don’t also have an organized back-office it won’t matter how great a coach you are and it won’t matter how great a job you do at marketing. Without organization behind the scenes important information will slip through the cracks, money will be left on the table and people who are ready to hire you will look elsewhere!

The part of your brain that makes you an amazing coach, desiring to serve others and make an impact is the left side of the brain; the creative side of the brain.  That’s why you’re an amazing coach and why it comes naturally to you. You love living in that side of the brain.

The part of your brain that is necessary to organize and run your coaching business (just so you can find clients, support clients and get paid by those clients) is the logical, organized side of your brain; the right side. And typically if you live from your left side you hate anything about organization, structure, administration, systems and processes. BLECH!

However it is this right side of the brain that creates the structure needed for you to thrive as an amazing coach.  So while you may not naturally live from that side of your brain, or like it, you must learn how to navigate it and leverage it.

If you don’t, I highly recommend just taking up coaching as a hobby – you’ll save yourself a lot of money, heartache and it will be a lot easier on your bank account!!!

TRUTH #4: An Organized Business Infrastructure
Is The Secret To Getting Your Talents And Services Into The World! 

Your business is the mechanism by which you get your talents and services out in to the world. Learning to leverage the power of your back-office allows you to confidently show up as the amazing coach that you are.  Learning to leverage the power of your back office allows you to implement and automate everything about your marketing.  You business back-office puts your skills and marketing into action.

We call this the 3-legged approach. Kinda like a stool. If you only have two of the legs you’re gonna fall every time.  When you add that third leg, you’ve got a sturdy foundation from which to build from.  You’re business back-office IS that third leg!

On a scale from 1-10, (1 being “I have no organization in place for my business back-office and 10 being I’m uber organized and everything is automated. I make money while on vacation!) how are you leveraging the power of your back-office?  Are you at all?  If not, that may be why you feel like you’re falling over no matter how much you invest in your coaching skills or the ‘right’ marketing strategies!  Let’s take a look behind the scenes.  If you haven’t already, take this Business Confidence Quiz to see how your back-end looks.

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Breaking Through Coaching Business Myths & Techno Blocks: Myth #2: Just Get Something In Place Quickly So I Can Get Clients!

In this 10-part series, we are exposing the 10 Myths that derail start-up coaches and keep them from fully realizing their passions and profits. In this series of articles we will identify all 10 myths, dive into them and turn them around with the truth! By embracing the truths you can locate the courage to move through your fears and breakthrough the blocks in your coaching business!

MYTH #2 
 Just Get Something In Place Quickly
So I Can Start Working With Clients!

The driver behind this myth is the enthusiasm a coach has after just completing their coach training and being ready to implement their new found skills.  Remember what that was like?  You just wanted to start coaching!! You couldn’t wait.  That is such a thrilling feeling, right?!  This myth is further exploited by all the teachers, trainers, mentors and marketing gurus encouraging you that once you have the skills and know the marketing strategies, to just go out and start getting clients. This creates an urgency that causes you to create shortcuts in your business setup and implementation.  These short cuts end up creating more work for you instead of more money in your bank account or the freedom of more time.

Let’s break it down.

I was talking with a start up coach the other day and she had just completed her coach training and was beginning to set up her business.  During her training her teachers and mentors let her know a few key things she needed to have in place in order to attract prospects, engage clients, support them and make money. This basic checklist (just to get started) included things such as:

  • website for marketing
  • opt-in form so people can leave their name and email
  • follow-up with people that leave their name/email
  • organized contact list
  • calendar to book sample sessions

We’ll stop at that for now. So this coach spent her time setting up a simple and free GoDaddy website that had a few pages so visitors could learn more about her.  She placed on the webpage an opt-in form where people could leave their first name and email and subscribe to her newsletter. She set up Mailchimp to do mailings and follow up. And she was using Outlook to set up her appointments.

Sounds pretty good, right? I mean she marked everything off the list that her teachers and mentors told her she needed. It was free. It was quick to implement.  Here’s the deal though. While she “technically” put everything in place that her mentors told her to do what she put into place actually ended up creating MORE back-end administrative work for her. She ended up spending MORE time on tasks that, while necessary in her business, she did not like doing (which meant less time for coaching).

You see her website was very limited and was just a pretty, “brochure” website. It looked nice, but it was not effective.  Your website should work for you just as if you had hired a sales person.  Her opt-in form was not connected to anything. The only thing it did was send an email to the coach’s inbox letting her know XYZ had just subscribed. That visitors name was not saved in a contact list; it simply lived in the email notification. In order for this coach to collect all the names, she had to then manually enter each name/email into her Mailchimp account one-by-one.  And since her opt-in form was not connected to anything, she had to manually set up the follow up messages to be sure she engaged prospects until they were ready to buy.

After piece-mealing three different (quick and free) technologies together, she created so much manual work on the back end; her business became very complex!  Not to mention that she was duplicating her efforts in managing the same data over and over again.  While this is just one example, we see this type of scenario on a regular basis with the start up coaches we encounter. In attempting to put into place everything their trainers and mentors have suggested start up coaches turn the setup of their business into a complex ordeal and long to do lists! UGH!

It as no wonder this particular coach was hesitant to market to large groups of people or network in her community! If someone wanted to get on her mailing list or find out more information, she knew she was facing A LOT of manual labor just to make it all happen.

TRUTH #2: Quick vs. Simple. Make sure your back-office systems are SIMPLE & EFFECTIVE!!!
Quick is not always effective.

Simple systems are integrated with each other – meaning that they share data instantly.  Simple systems are automated – an action in one area automatically triggers an action in another without you having to manually do anything.

As Coaches Console members know, their marketing website is integrated with their opt-in forms, which is integrated with their contact list, follow-up autoresponders, scheduling, client data and payment processing.  You don’t have to manually push data through each of those channels in your business or duplicate your efforts. Simple systems create RESULTS in your business. Results in a growing mailing list, results in converting prospects into paying clients, results in money in your bank account. All without requiring more of your time.

Are the systems you have in place in your business creating results for you; results including a growing mailing list, automated marketing follow-up to every visitor, and prospects easily booking sample sessions?  If not, you may have put into place QUICK (and even free) systems just to get something accomplished. But what is it really accomplishing?!

Posted in: Business Operations, Time Management

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3 Insider Tips To Make Sure Your Business Thrives Even During The Holidays

Going into the holiday season can often be a challenge for an entrepreneur like yourself, especially if your business isn’t organized with systems and processes.  You see the holiday season is a time to be with family and friends and those that are closest to you.  At the same time we still need our businesses to work on our behalf, even if we’re enjoying Thanksgiving turkey, spending time with family during Hanukkah or traveling for Christmas.

Over the next 6-8 weeks you will be spending time with your family and not as much time on your business.  So I thought I’d share 3 Insider Tips to automate your marketing and streamline your business even during the holidays:

Tip #1: Automate your newsletters for December & January. That’s right. Go ahead and create them NOW before the holidays even begin. Create your December newsletter and schedule it using your Console system for the future send date (if you haven’t already sent it by the time you read this newsletter). And go ahead and create your January newsletter as well and schedule it for a future send date in January.

That way, while you’re traveling, napping from too much turkey or opening your gifts your business is still working on your behalf!

Tip #2:  Schedule any coaching sessions through the month of January. Many coaches make the mistake of backing off from scheduling sessions until after the holidays.  Instead of waiting, go ahead and make sure you have December & January coaching sessions already confirmed and scheduled on your calendar with any existing clients. Be sure to choose the option to send an automated appointment reminder prior to the session.

So even if there is a big gap of time between the next time you see your clients (or you return from your holiday travels) the reminders will keep you and your clients current and ready!

Tip #3:  Create a holiday autoresponder series of 3 messages to send to all your current and inactive clients. Use this time to share your wisdom with your database.

In message #1 share with your recipients one awesome tradition you have in your own life that helps you stay on track with your goals during the holidays. Then include a “Coaching Challenge” in that message and invite them to try the same tradition in their lives and report what they experienced in the client log.  Schedule that message to be sent out immediately upon subscribing your active and inactive client groups to the autoresponder series.

In message #2 share your top 3 goals you’ve set for yourself for 2014. Include a “Coaching Challenge” in the message and ask them to share their goals with you. Schedule this to be sent out the week in between Christmas and News Years Eve.

In message #3 ask them what their greatest challenge is in their life. In the “Coaching Challenge” ask them to reply to you with one commitment they’re willing to make to move away from that challenge.  Schedule that to be sent out 1 week later (the beginning of January).

You see, by setting up a holiday autoresponder series to communicate with both your active clients and your inactive Clients you keep your current clients engaged throughout the holidays even if they don’t have an actual coaching session with you during that time. And you reconnect with former clients. Often that can create a spark for former clients to re-engage with your coaching services to help them kick off 2014 in an amazing way!

One of the reasons we all got into the coaching business is because it is a deeply rooted passion and a calling. During these holidays don’t let the necessary tasks of that passion overshadow the connections with your family, friends and loved ones. Set up your holiday systems in advance so your business can be working for you… even while you’re enjoying your holiday traditions!

Posted in: Time Management

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How to Stop Trading Time for Money: the 4 essential systems to have in place to leverage your time

Time is one of our most valuable commodities. It always amazes me how much of it I, and many of us, waste. The most disappointing part of the waste is that it is not necessary. What I have discovered is that a little bit of organization and systematization goes a long way to saving time and money.  Elementary, I know! AND, we often ignore this simple knowledge.

For me, it has been about never wanting to be so organized that I lose my creativity and spontaneity.  What I have learned is that being organized and having the right systems and processes in place gives me more time for creativity and allows even more spontaneity! AND,  like Melinda says, to really make the most of it, and get even more time back, you must be organized, systematized, automated and integrated. She goes off the deep end with folks that have 7 to 9 systems to monitor, learn and maintain their business when she knows just one will do it… no wonder many people do not bother to systematized, if it is done poorly or cobbled together, it can cost more time and money than it saves.

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Posted in: Time Management

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