Are you already working at capacity?

Are you already working at capacity?

It’s Friday.

How you doing? Good week? Tough week? Slow week? Busy week?

Glad it’s the weekend?

I’ve been thinking a lot about capacity. Our capacity to give. Our capacity to love. Our capacity to serve. Our capacity to thrive.

Is it about creating more space, more time, or more simplicity to make room for more of the good stuff in our lives?

I phoned my sister yesterday afternoon to check in with her.

She is a temporary foster parent. She takes in kids at the drop of a hat. Sometimes one, sometimes two…but this week it’s 4 children. All under the aged of 8.

“How do you do it?” I said.

I have one child and I am in awe of people who have multiple children.

But I know my sister is great at structure and routine, it’s why she is so good at what she does, and why children always leave her care in a much better way than they arrive.

She just has the incredible capacity to do what they need, not always what they want….and she does that consistently, and with love.

So how does this translate into business?

Well you know when you start out in business and you think “ah I just need to get a couple of clients” and you do. |It feels great for a bit because you have hit the ground running. But you always underestimate how difficult they are to acquire in the first place, how much energy they take, and how little you are actually left with after you take out expenses, tax and all that jazz.

So you can either charge more or get more clients right?

You put your prices up a bit, you get more organised, you get a bit more savvy, you stop over-delivering, you tighten up your boundaries….and it works for a bit.

You make more money, you make more impact…you love working with your clients, but you get to a point where the capacity issues raise their ugly head again.

You want to take a holiday, your car breaks down, the kid gets ill, the dog gets run over…there isn’t a lot of give, so you sleep less, you work harder, you take on clients that perhaps were not such a good fit.

It will get easier you think.

You dream of the day where you feel like you are really making a difference…to clients lives, but also to your own. The first few years can be tough…but also so can the years where you plateau.

Sometimes you have to stop and admit things are not working.

There gets to a point where you just can not grow your business simply by working any harder…there literally is nowhere left to go using the 121 model, or any model really that trades your time for money.

Even if you are paid handsomely for in-person delivery to larger groups, or are highly paid for consultancy, there are still only so many days on the road one person can take, how many contacts you can juggle at one time.

The term “work smarter… not harder” originated in the 1930’s. Allen F. Morgenstern, an industrial engineer, the creator of the work simplification program, coined the term where the intent was to increase the ability of people to produce more with less effort.

Little did he know that technology and in particular the internet would come along and take this principle off the factory floor and into the busy laptop lives of so many solopreneurs.

I spent most of my working life juggling multiple priorities. I had proper jobs working for local government, and I had contracts with major cultural organisations…sometimes at the same time.

I have never been work shy.

While on summer break from university I worked all day at a playscheme, and all night in a pub, with a one hour nap in between jobs and a heap of diet coke to keep me going.

A few years later while saving for the deposit for my first home, I worked all day for a local authority running an award winning volunteer service, and then worked a couple of nights a week, and many weekends in Southend on an arts regeneration programme.

But I’m not in my late teens early twenties anymore…AND I have a pretty demanding 7 year old who likes to see me from time to time.

  • I don’t want to work all the hours god sent
  • I don’t want to reach an earning ceiling based on how much I can cram into my week.
  • I don’t want to be limited in terms of how many clients I can impact
  • I don’t want to turn round at 50 and realise I haven’t made enough provision for my future

And that is why I decided 6 years ago when I was returning from redundancy and becoming a parent…that 121 work or traditional consultancy could not going to make up the bulk of my work.

I was going to find a way of multiplying my impact and therefore income and minimising my effort, and looking back that was the best decision I ever made.

Working one to many is all about creating space for simultaneous transformation…it requires creative thinking, empathy and robust ethics. It is not about stack em high and sell em any old crap, it can still 100% be about serving your clients to the highest degree…so they get what they want AND what they need.

In a world where we have all experienced just being part of someone elses drive for financial success, buying products or services that simply don’t work…over promised and underdelivered…it doesn’t have to be that way.

So when you get to the point where you simply can’t grow anymore, because you can not work any harder. Take a breath. Rethink your model. And if taking your expertise to the masses is part of the plan. Let’s speak.

I have spent the past 20 years designing, managing and delivering group programmes. It’s not hard when you know-how.

So I invite you to think about the impact you could have if you stopped working so damn hard.

What do you need to make space for, when it comes to having more capacity to deliver bigger impact.

Have a great weekend.

If you’d like to hear more about how I help small business owners to scale their business using a One to Many model check out my latest programme.

Photo by Jordan Whitfield on Unsplash

This is not my first rodeo

This is not my first rodeo

I had the funniest discovery call yesterday.

A friend and colleague who is potentially interested in doing my new One to Many programme phoned me to ask some questions about whether it would be a good fit for his business.

He said,

“You know it’s a beta round? Does this mean it’s going to be new and cutting edge or just a bit shit”

Which cracked me up.

I am a massive fan of beta testing or piloting new things.

It is what I encourage all of my business coaching clients to do in their work.

  • Beta testing is not just doing something for the first time
  • Beta testing doesn’t give you permission to cut corners
  • Beta testing isn’t about underdelivering
  • Beta testing isn’t about just winging it and hoping for the best

You should only really be beta testing the delivery model, not the actual content/expertise.

Trying something out because you think you might be good at it, is asking for trouble.

I have been running group programmes for more than 20 years, I have been delivering online group programmes, courses and challenges for the past 7…I know my shit.

I am however still beta testing my new group programme, not because I don’t know if it is any good. But because I am testing a range of factors associated with the delivery of the programme, and testing its viability for me.

Plus it gives folks the chance to work with me at a discounted rate.

I once met this woman in an online group I am part of who sunk her life savings into creating an online course that a few of her clients had asked for. She invested heavily in the tech, and spent a year creating of the resources, but when she took it to market there wasn’t a drop of interest.

THIS HAPPENS!!!

My online programme One to Many walks coaches, experts, speakers and consultants through a process, where at every step of the development process we sense check the concept and the viability of the programme.

We design, create and fill the right programme, and take it to market quickly, without a heap of fuss, without a heap of money or time being wasted.

And I share with you the key factors that will make your programme one that folks will rave about.

Trust me there are heaps of courses out there that never make the creator any money, there are heaps of online programmes that people buy and never complete, they just sit there gathering dust.

This is not that!!!

This is about creating a transformative experience that you take a bunch of clients on, whether that’s learning, exploring, implementing, or experiencing.

And it’s my job to make sure it’s not Shite…even if it is a beta round.

5 years ago I beta tested an online 5K runners programme, more than 3000 women have been through that programme, it became a best selling book, and I was commissioned to deliver it on national TV on This Morning.

This time last year I got the idea for a programme for business owners called Tribe Builder…I beta tested it with 18 clients, and now more than 80 small business owners have been through it.

The programme has generated an additional £50K to my business and helped position me as an expert.

Just because something is packaged up in a new way for the first time doesn’t mean its not of excellent quality. What you are paying for as a participant of a beta round is not the packaging, it’s the transformation…so as long as you do not underdeliver on that, it’s all good.

If you are interested in beta testing One to Many, check out the details here. What expertise could you package up into group programme and test?

Photo by Christine Benton on Unsplash
Anyone else think the woman in this picture looks like me? It’s not

Last Orders

Last Orders

Do you know I used to be a barmaid? Best job in the world.

Back in the summer of 1997 I had a place for University, and no money to actually live on while I was there…in Winchester, hundreds of miles away from home in East London.

So I got a job in The Moon and Stars Pub in Romford.

I worked every day over the summer, some times a double shift…the work was easy enough, but being a Weatherspoons Pub it was managed well, and there were systems and procedure for EVERYTHING.

A year later after having been at uni for a year, I came back and looked for a pub job closer to where I lived with my Mum and siblings in Forest Gate…and that’s when I worked in the Railway Tavern and the fun began.

Oh what fun we had ha ha.

I worked there for 2 years on and off as I came back to London, and it was the best time of my life. I met some great people, and got into some right scrapes…just like you should at that age right?

I loved being a barmaid in a local pub, you got to know everyone from the post men, to the school teachers, the dustmen to the local drug dealers…variety is everything right?

And my fav bit of all?

Calling Last Orders.

I don’t know what it was, but having the power to bring everyone’s night to an end was marvellous. Little ole 19 year old me, ringing the bell beind the ramp and shouting with my cockney accent,

“Last Orders at the bar ladies and gentlemen.”

It was a great marketing technique too…leading to…

“just one more?”

“go on…I’ll get the last round”

“Oi you owe me one”

Talk about scarcity and FOMO.

Once “Time at the bar” was called legally we were not allowed to serve anyone else, but occasionally we would sneak one more in. Occasionally my boss would give me a wink that said…yep let the DJ order one more round, and sometimes even “pour one for yourself”

So what has this got to do with business?

You have to call time. You have to give people a reason to make a decision. Are they in or are they out. You have to give people a framework they understand…like earlybird pricing or bonuses for example.

But when you run your own business you are also the landlord…you get to call the shots, you can offer discounts, you can extend the deadline, you can do whatever you want…you are in charge, and if people don’t like it they can clear off and drink in another boozer.

Anyway.

That was a long winded way of saying the doors are nearly closed on my Grand in Your Hand mini-course which starts on Friday…you’ve missed the earlybird, that’s your fault for not paying attention.

But the doors close 7pm on Thursday so if you snooze you lose.

We are going to be spending 10 days learning an income generation and sales strategy that will transform your business. It will help generate engagement on social media, help you get clear on your offerings, and give you more courage than you have ever had while selling your programmes.

But you have to be in it to win it.

How much could you make in 10 days? A Grand? A Pony? A Monkey? A Ton?

*rushes off to check Cockney Rhyming Slang Dictionary ha ha

Anyway…get involved. My online challenges are fun, educational and impactful. Plus you get to see my no bullshit coaching style live and direct…what more do you want?

Check out what it covers here

Photo by Amie Johnson on Unsplash

What are you making space for in 2020?

What are you making space for in 2020?

I have been having the clear out of all clear outs.

It’s what we do right? In the lead up to Xmas we make room for new stuff (well you do when you have kids that’s for sure) and then in the new year you have a bit of a declutter to start things fresh.

Back in December, I was obsessed with all things decluttering and run a range of webinars and FB lives on the topic of letting go.

My top prompts for things to think about include

A recap of the things to think about letting go of…

  • Lingering items on your to do list
  • Subscriptions you don’t need or use
  • Business relationships. Suppliers, Clients, Partners. (or if not decluttering maybe redefining)
  • Products and services you don’t want to do in 2020 (feel free to have a last hurrah if you like)
  • Physical reminders of past jobs and businesses (especially if they were failed or have bad energy)
  • Digital Files/Duplicates
  • Memes, Vision Boards, Affirmations that have lost their power
  • Books you don’t need to read again, or probably won’t ever read
  • Old tech that doesn’t work
  • Old note books (I struggle with this one)
  • Clear out your office space
  • Clothes you don’t need

But why is this important?

Look we only have a certain level of capacity at any one time, and as business owners often our goals are about getting more.

  • More money
  • More clients
  • More impact
  • More credibility
  • More freedom

But surely we have to make space for some of this new stuff to come our way.

We can look at decluttering almost like a chore, like one of those things we should do, or maybe even do under duress, when the desk or office becomes unworkable, or the PC becomes unusable.

But making space is actually a really smart business strategy….and alongside the decluttering, there is a visioning piece that can be done to metaphorically make space for the success you want in your business.

Let me give you an example.

When I made the decision to turn my blog into a business I knew I wanted to go BIG…my vision was to help 1 million inactive or overweight women to take up running.

My vision could equally have been to have a filled up week of one to one clients, and local success…I do very little locally.

I made space for massive growth, I made space for global PR, I made space (in my business model) for large group programme offerings, I made space for a 6 figure business.

If I had decided to go down the traditional running coach/Personal trainer route I’d have to deliver 2500 client facing sessions a year to make the same money…and I’m not sure locally I could find 2500 women willing to pay me to learn to run.

When I decided to move more into life and then business coaching, the same rules applied. YES I can work 121, and sometimes I do…but for me I know I can have more impact and make more money (plus keep my fees reasonable) if I work with groups…plus I believe there is added value in the communities I create.

There is this bullshit belief that to make more money you have to increase your productivity, work more hours, or charge more.

But there is another way.

On Monday I will be welcoming 300 women into my beginners running programme 5 weeks to 5K…these will be women from all over the world, accessing my coaching via the powers of the internet and modern technology.

This programme will lead to around £20,000 of income over the course of this year, as many of these women will go on to do other programmes with me, or buy kit or books to support their journey.

They will often also share their progress with their friends and on their social media channels, meaning I don’t have to give my hard-earned cash to Mark Zuckerberg…because my lead generation is primarily organic.

Growth doesn’t happen simply with harder work and time.

It works with making strategic decisions that fit with your skills and expertise, and what your clients need. So I ask you to consider what are you making space for in your business.

What could 300 new clients in your business in a week mean for you, or £3000 of cash?

If you would like to learn more about this way of thinking and test it out for yourself, I am running my first business coaching mini-course of the year…I say it’s a mini-course but actually it is jammed packed full of value.

What you will learn and apply in 10 days, other coaches might stretch it out to a 3-month programme, and charge 5 or 6 times the price. But I want to show you how easy it is to make sales and give you a process that you can rinse and repeat?

Why?

Because that’s what I would have loved to have had access to 6 years ago when I was struggling to grow my business and make the money I needed to make to live properly…I also know the 68 small business owners who have signed up so far, will make their money, and then rave about it to their business buddies.

Plus karma right?

A Grand in your hand starts on Friday 17th January and lasts for 10 days. Sign up now for £149 and have fun seeing how many times over you can make back that investment. Register Here

Photo by Guillermo Ferla on Unsplash

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