I used to have a real phobia of speaking on the phone.
We didn’t always have a house phone at home growing up, and we were not really allowed to use it when we did…in fact I remember having one of those one yous had to put money in…any one else have one of those?
To get over my fear, as a teenager the opportunity came up to help out on one of those telephone things (I think it was pre-children in need) but me and my college friends spent the day in telecom tower taking phone calls all day to collect credit card numbers…it was relentless.
The fear surfaced again when I went into the world of work, and open-plan offices were all the rage? Are they still now? Wouldn’t know…couldn’t think of anything worse than being at a desk all day surrounded by the same people.
Anyway, I digress.
I think I still have some residual fear from those days, because I don’t spend much time on the phone these days, a lot of my interaction happens via Zoom and via Facebook groups and messenger (I HATE EMAIL)
Last week in my Tribe Builder programme my clients were all busy promoting their new pilot programmes, and I brought in my friend and colleague Anthony Steers AKA the telephone assassin.
Some might say a strange call for a guest expert, seeing as most of my clients are building online business, and dabbling some for the first time in a one to many model.
But the session was 100% what we all needed.
The art of telephone conversation has been well and truly lost, and Anthony gave us an hour full of strategy and advice around making more phone calls in your business, both by way of building your network and securing more leads.
I’m still a little frightened…especially if I don’t know the person that well, but the thing is once I’m on the phone it’s fine. But Anthony has inspired me…and on his advice I have turned it into a point-scoring game.
So…today I am putting on my big girl pants and I am offering phone calls to people on my email list who are on the fence about joining the next round of Tribe Builder.
Some might call this a discovery call, or a strategy call, or even a sales call…I instead call it a chin wag…an informal conversation involving two individuals who are considering working together.
I have two booked in already.
I think in a world where so much business is done via flashy website, chatbots and automated email sequences, a bit of old fashioned “shall we just pick up the phone” could go a long way.
I’d you’d like to jump on the phone with me today book in here (we can do it via the telephone or zoom I don’t mind)
How much business are you leaving on the table?
How many relationships are you not developing?
What is it costing you due to your fear of not picking up the damn phone ha ha?
Happy Black Friday!!!
There is currently a £500 off the early bird price of Tribe Builder my 6- month business coaching programme for small business owners. Learn how to grow and nurture a profitable community of clients, fans and advocates, while being in a safe space of other entrepreneurs for learning and growth. Find out more here
Throughout November & December, I have committed to writing a blog a day, sharing my thoughts on everything that’s happening in my business and life as we spring towards the end of this decade.
Yesterday alas I did not blog.
I had a terrible migraine and instead lay on the sofa with the lights off for most of the day…feeling sorry for myself.
My 6-year-old daughter did her best in the evening to look after me and cheer me up, but it was a stark reminder of just how lonely it can be as a single parent…well in fact just as a single person.
Add to that the loneliness of running your own business, and having the pressure of being the sole breadwinner…yep you can pretty much say I had a big ole pity party for one yesterday.
I am feeling better today and trying to be a bit more positive.
Nothing changes until you do, right?
At the weekend just gone, I was with some girlfriends in The Cotswolds and we were having a right old giggle about being single, dating apps, first dates…and all that jazz…I’ve been single for 5 years which is a long old time…there have been dates but not a lot more than that.
But I’m not stressed.
I’m not panicking.
It only takes one person to be the right person, right?
But as a single woman in her 40s it would be very easy to get caught up in this fear based world which would have you believe that
I have to change everything about me to find a man
All the good ones are taken (the rest are gay)
I have to be on all of the dating apps and be out playing the field every weekend to snag one, it’s a numbers game after all
For me though it’s about trust.
And also knowing my value.
When you get super clear on what you want…a lot of the rest of that stuff just becomes noise. If you focus on pleasing everyone, being open and available to everyone, hoping you will find a diamond in amongst all that crap….you lose sight of who you are and what you are about.
I think marketing is a bit like that.
It can be real scatter gun out there on the internet….a heap of messaging done badly is simply hoping to bring as many leads in as possible, rather than just being consistently you and let them come to you when they are ready.
Clients should be brought in on a one by one basis, even if your business model is one to many (which mine pretty much is)
Each client that you acquire comes with their own quirks, their own talents, their own aspirations…sure they might be of a “Type” but let’s not overlook their individual personalities.
Let them fall in love with you by showing them who you are, by being super clear on what the offer is, what the promise is.
Are you in it for the long haul…or is it more of a quick fling?
Can they trust you to keep to your word?
Much of this is about vibe. There is a process of wooing clients, just as there is a process of wooing a potential love interest.
Position yourself in your best light (but don’t lie)
Be friendly and available
Know your boundaries and don’t be afraid to uphold them
Give them a taster (but don’t give too much away)
Leave them wanting more
When the time is right seal the deal
A self-love coach I followed for a while spoke about creating a shopping list for the man she wanted to meet, with real detail, down to the kind of clothes he wore, the food he liked, his height, his beliefs…everything.
She then trusted he would appear and said no to anything that wasn’t him…and then low and behold he appeared and from what I can see on social media (which I’m sure is not the whole story cos nobody’s relationship is that happy) they seem happy.
Getting clear on the vision is so important, and then drawing it into your life. Become a visionary for the relationships you want in your life, your clients, your business buddies, your coach, your support network… and don’t accept anything less.
Join me next week for a 7 days of dreaming and scheming, getting clear on the vision for your business (and for your life). Dare to Dream is my FREE challenge for small business owners who want to have their BIGGEST and BESTEST decade yet.
Urgh what a day I’ve had….and yes I know it’s not all about me.
You see, I’ve been trying to write this blog post all day but I have felt blocked…I’ve changed the title numerous times, this morning I had to go for a walk to clear some of my issues of being triggered by it’s content and this evening while on a session with a coach I’m working with…it all flared up again.
Oh and let’s add to that…people getting on their high horse about all of the above.
The thing with ethics is, just like values they are subjective.
What one business owner things is fair and ethical, another might feel is misleading and just bad practice. What works for one business owner (as in feels good and generates income) could feel like the devil’s work by another….and let me just say the run-up to Black Friday in the online world is like a big old stick stirring the pot.
Earlier this week I posted a question,
“Black Friday Deals by coaches and experts yay or nay?”
What followed was a relatively tame discussion thread of peoples in my network opposing views….but it was all pretty mild natured disagreement…with some broader stuff around over consumption thrown in for good measure.
And then over the last few days the internet (and my inbox) has become awash with heartfelt arguments for and against doing Black Friday deals…even the mainstream news had something to say on it today…but surely they are talking hoovers and washing machines rather than online course bundles and coaching programmes.
So full disclaimer…
I have run Black Friday deals in the past on my running programmes…and I kinda have one running at the moment for my small business clients, a £500 off my current earlybird price of my Tribe Builder Programme that kicks off in January.
I feel good about offering this discount because I know some people love a bargain, some people are on a budget, some people need a bit of FOMO marketing to tip them over the edge.
Here’s the bit I don’t get though, is the amount of shame and judgement that is flying around the internet about whether you should or should not either offer discounts or purchase them.
Repeat after me…
“It’s my business and I will run it how I see fit”
And again so they can hear you at the back (and add a few swear words if it helps)
“It’s my M*****r F*******g business and I’ll run it as I flipping well want to”
Look it is 100% OK to have an opinion on how other people run their businesses, but expressing it like you are the be-all and end-all expert on the subject is both stupid and unfair.
You may be in a position where you don’t have to discount, where you run a well-oiled machine based on repeat bookings and a half a million pound spend on Facebook ads each year…but there are a whole heap of people just trying to make a living…trying out different marketing tactics to see what sticks.
Give people a break.
This level of opinionated bullshit online keeps people stuck, it makes them think they are unworthy of even trying, it makes them feel ashamed for wanting to make money in their business.
How we choose to run our business will repel and attract people who might want to work with us. Different horses for different courses and all of that. Live and let live is my view.
Choose to work with businesses that you resonate with, that you can afford to work with, that appear to have the same values as you…don’t be deterred, don’t be put off, don’t believe the hype…don’t feel less than because of something anyone else either in your industry is saying about the way you do business.
I hate that fear-based type of storytelling…”FB ads are dead and I’ll show you why” “101 reasons your funnels are not working for you” “10 things you must-do if you want to be a successful network marketer”
I hate the “I’m a better coach than all the others out there because of XYZ” and the “I hang out with 7 figure coaches (which reads I queued up like everyone else to get a photo) and that’s why you should work with me” bullshit.
Just do you.
Be authentic, share your thoughts and opinions but be mindful to know that they are not the “truth” even if you think they are “your truth” and also just because you think or believe a certain thing to be true or working for you now…the world changes…and you get to change your mind too.
As you were.
So my Black Friday deal…is literally just me reminding folks that I am offering a founder member price on my next cohort of Tribe Builder (A whopping £500 off, check it out here), which is valid until Midnight Friday (or the remaining places get snapped up)
Also…tomorrow I might collate a list of products I’ve got my eye on, that might be helpful for business owners…nothing wrong with a little spend up to oil the wheels of your venture….it will feature…
And This – A) because I’ve always wanted one, and B) I can stick pictures of the folks who wind me up online and throw sharp objects at them when it all becomes too much
Oh and while I’ve still got your attention…I am running a FREE challenge next week called “Dare to Dream” where you will not only get my expert coaching around creating an exciting vision for your business in 2020…you will also get to see me live rant in a kick-arse community of other entrepreneurs who are looking for a different way.
Because there is a different way….there is…
PS. Yeah…I do know you should only ever have one call to action in a blog post, but fuck it…I’m having one of those days where the rules are going out of the window.
At the weekend a heap of women from my running business Too Fat to Run? braved the elements and ran 5K…nothing new about that you might think…it is a running business after all.
But here’s the thing.
If they were not in my running group, its quite possible they wouldn’t have run…because on the last Sunday of the month we do something called #OneBigFatRun a FREE virtual 5K.
If I am being 100% honest…if it wasn’t for yesterdays #OBFR I wouldn’t have run 5K either.
You see I was away for a friends birthday, and after a gin fuelled evening of great fun and laughter, the prospect of running for almost an hour did not look that inviting.
But I had said I would do it.
So do it I must.
Now not everyone is programmed like me.
I call this the shame and fame school of motivation…where you use the carrot of fame, and the stick of shame as drivers to do the thing you said you would do.
It’s motivated me in all manners of ways over the years.
It can work really well in business too, especially when procrastination, self-sabotage, laziness, fear, lack of time, lack of focus can all keep us stuck.
When you surround yourself with other people working on similar things to you, you find yourself saying if they can do it so can I, and if I commit to taking action then I should…because I don’t want to get left behind.
Here are 3 top ways to build accountability into your business,
Number One – Post about your goals publically
This can be anything from announcing dates for events, sharing your sales or sign up targets, your vision for scaling up, your intentions for people you want to work with…all kinds of goals.
You can call this law of attraction “release it to the universe” kinda stuff, or you can simply call this putting it out there so more and more people will see it, leading to more traction and more action on your behalf to avoid failure and embarrassment.
You have to be OK with not hitting your target too…but I find this super powerful as a driver for taking action.
Number Two – Get yourself an accountability buddy
I have a number of accountability buddies, one I speak to every Monday morning, some dear friends that I touch base with every week or so, and a high-level mastermind who I meet up with bi-monthly.
This is a two-way thing though…this is collaborative in as much as they are also going to expect you to keep them accountable. So you have to be willing to hold space for the other person/people.
This approach works because there is nothing worse than having someone you know say, “how come you didn’t do what you said you were going to last time” or knowing that you keep harping on about the same shit in your business…its only a matter of time until a good accountability buddy will call you out on your bullshit excuses as to why.
Also, I think this approach helps you to clarify your goals in the first place….just saying them out loud to people who know you can be brilliant.
Number Two – Get yourself a coach
Now, of course, I am going to say that as I am a coach, or at least I use coaching techniques alongside my work as a community engagement specialist and business strategist.
I am a massive advocate of having mentors and coaches in your life that you aspire to, that you respect, that you want to be told “Well done” for a job well done.
My business only started to see real traction after I started becoming accountability to my selected mix of business coaches, advisors and coaching groups I was part of.
For sure you can get some of this in all those free groups you find yourself in. But guess what?..the coaches in those groups don’t really give a toss about the answers in those posts #justsaying…they are normally used for algorithm and engagement rather than real accountability…and nobody else cares either for that matter.
Being part of a proper well thought out coaching process, especially one you have paid for is going to have you take the most amount of action…I see it in all of the coaching groups I run…they have paid for this expertise, this facilitation, this accountability and therefore they show up and do the work because they want the results right?
It isn’t easy motivating yourself day in day out week after week as a small business owner…we are our own bosses, and that can have for some interesting internal discussions about working hours, deadlines and productivity levels.
I for one would not have written this blog post today if I hadn’t committed to my coach and my Tribe Builder clients that I would write a blog post every day until the end of the year.
Just one day off wouldn’t hurt would it?
It absolutely would….maybe nobody would notice, maybe nobody reads these anyway, the main thing is letting myself down…we make commitments to ourselves for a reason, so by building accountability tricks in, it increases the likelihood of us reaching our goals
So, for that reason…I will be upholding my part of the deal.
See you back in here tomorrow.
Oh by, the way, have you seen I am running a FREE online challenge next week called Dare to Dream, it is all about how to set a big enough vision for next year in your business.
Feel free to add your business besties and accountability buddies to the challenge…the more the merrier right? Plus, having people you actually know aside from me in the group will keep you more engaged…cos that’s how this shit works!!!
I ran a 24-hour flash sale last week that didn’t get as much traction as I would have liked.
In years gone by I would have hidden under a rock, cried into my blanket while watching terrible TV, or bitched about how life is just not fair.
But now…I look for the lessons.
Don’t get me wrong, there may have been a few tears when sharing my feelings of frustration at not getting my messaging bang on, but they were short-lived and then I went back out to my tribe to get the feedback that I needed to move forward.
Business is a series of decisions, based on intel leading to results and then you are left with the choice with what you do with the results. Nothing more nothing less. And if you are afraid to ever come up against times when you don’t hit your targets then I can imagine you having a bumpy ride moving forward…either that or your goals are too small anyways.
Here are the 3 things I do when I don’t hit the goal
Speak to my coach – Yep I always have a coach…I can’t do this shit without one. A coach will give you the talking to you need to not wallow in self pity and to get clear on your next set of actions. They will also give you practical advice about how to pick yourself back up as quickly as possible.
Ask for feedback from the people who didn’t buy – People don’t buy for a whole host of reasons, and often they are not the reasons you think about “Oh they hate me” “They think my thing is shit” “They don’t want to see me do well”
When in fact it’s more likely to be
Oh I didn’t see it
I needed longer to make a decision
I wasn’t sure it was for me because…
I don’t have that money to spend this month
I have a bereavement/illness/relationship thingy going on right now
I am working with someone else at the moment
I don’t need what you have/don’t see the value
I’m just here for the freebies
And you know what…you have to be able to take all of these on the chin and deal with it.
And then finally…
Take some time away from it – I’m off for a weekend away to regroup, reenergize and contemplate what I want to do next. You can’t do that from within the same environment you normally work from…or at least I can’t. I need to be around nature, I need to be around good people…and I need wine!!!
The main point I want to make is that business is all about learning, and I don’t mean learning from a book, an online programme or even from a coach.
The real learning happens when you take a good long hard look at yourself and ask yourself the right questions, for me this week those are the following …
Is this the right thing for me to be doing right now? Do I feel aligned?
Is this the right offer? Price, Format, Content
Is this the right time? For me and my clients.
Did I do everything I could have done to make this a success?
Is there something I am missing?
You can always get off the merry go round you know, you can always yell “plot twist”, you can always put your hands up and say “I changed my mind” cos you know why.
You are your own fucking boss…you get to make this shit up!!!
Have a great weekend people. I’ve had a bit of a tweak of my Tribe Builder sales page over the last few days (have a nose), and I am also making myself available to have some informal chats about what it is and how it might be helpful to the next step of your business journey…so sign up for a chin wag here if you want to make more money and more impact in your business next year by growing an army of followers, fans and advocates around you and your venture.