Your worth is not dictated by how much you get done in a day. How much money you make or how big your car is.
(Says in a whisper)
You are also allowed to desire more.
You are allowed to want more, do more, have more.
It is this wonderful dichotomy we live with in these modern times.
A world filled with shoulds and coulds, and the influence of those around us. On the one hand we talk about being frugal and only using what we need, simplifying our lives and ensuring there is enough to go round and then on the other we are like “Dream Big” go for what you want, welcome abundance into our lives.
It is totally Ok to feel confused about this.
As a transformational coach, I work a lot with values. I get my clients to think about these often. Now if you have been in the personal development or even business world for a while you might find yourself rolling your eyes and going, “yep been there, done that” and that may well be true…but values are not something you think about and write down once and then think you are done.
They are an ever-evolving beast.
They drive everything, or at least in my opinion I choose for them to.
My number one value is freedom.
It used to be fairness until I realised that was keeping me trapped. The very thing I cared most about was actually putting me and my family at a disadvantage and that in and of itself seemed quite unfair.
So now its freedom.
Freedom to choose.
I have always been a bit of a maverick, never liked being told what to do. At school, I was seen as a trouble maker when in fact I could just see through the absolute bullshit of the school system.
I was a smart kid and did Ok academically, despite my parents and teachers despairing of me.
I think I just knew deep down that I wouldn’t need to learn to conform in the ways they wanted me to, because I would never need to follow the rules anyway.
But back to productivity.
People are often saying to me, “Julie, how do you do it all?”
I am a single parent, I run 2 businesses serving thousands of clients each year, I have published 8 books, number 9 is on it’s way, I love to travel and I am often training for endurance events….59 days and counting until the London Marathon btw.
The truth is…I am just super efficient…super productive.
And in truth that is because deep down I am a bit lazy, and don’t play by other peoples rules. I have long worked out what works for me and I play to those strengths….well most of the time that is.
I have been helping other people with their productivity for many years too. When I was a freelance trainer and facilitator I used to work with homeless young people to help them get more structured with their lives, and I used to run training days for creative freelancers to help them make more money working fewer hours.
It was often under the guise of time management…but who are we kidding, time can not be managed, only our efforts within the given constraints of time can be.
Over the past two weeks I have been taking about productivity because I am about to run a 31 day challenge called Do More Bits. It is an experiment really to see if I can help small business owners on masse to get more of the important stuff done in their business.
Some of my social media posts however have received a bit of a pushback.
With comments like “Oooohhhh make sure you take care of yourself” and “sounds like you are busy, don’t burn out”
I know me talking about productivity and getting a lot of shit done can be super triggering to people who have other priorities right now, health issues, mental health issues, caring responsibilities…factors which are out of their control to some extent.
But let me get one thing straight.
Productivity is not about doing more and more at the risk of burning out, in fact, it’s actually about doing less and less but just with better results. And not so you can then fill that time with more work….but so you can spend that time actually living life….doing the stuff that matters.
A big part of the productivity puzzle is learning to say NO.
I love that I have designed a business that means I can go to the gym 3 times a week. I love that I often take Fridays off to visit friends, or go to events I just fancy. I love that I can take school holidays off (this has been a new thing I might add) and have shorter days so that my daughter can do sports clubs 3 evenings a week (OMG I have become one of those parents ha ha)
We must stop judging ourselves and other people negatively for what we do or do not do in our lives, and instead decide on and be OK with what we personally want for our lives and businesses. Go back to our values and work out what feels aligned. Part of my Do More Bits challenge will be about getting rid of all the stuff from your working week that is just complete bullshit…that makes no difference to your life, or to the wider world.
And that is what freedom looks like.
Anyway, we start on Sunday…well, when I say start…we are going to ease into the programme and maybe say hello to each other in the closed Facebook community, the real fun will start on Monday.
Please note this is not another online programme, this is an implementation and accountability group where we actually do the work. For sure I am going to be teaching you a few things, but on the whole, I will be facilitating a new approach rather than bombarding you with yet more shit to do.
What’s the most you ever earned in an hour? And what’s the least? And do you have an average? I know many of us have day rates these days, but some folks still do charge by the hour. Do you?
Do you know those numbers by heart?
I used to work for £1.50 per hour waiting tables in my local Wimpy restaurant at aged 13, yes it was probably illegal, yes I was underpaid…but boy oh oy did it feel good taking anywhere between £35 and £60 home per week.
The most I’ve ever earned for an hours work was £1,500 for a one hour keynote…but then there was this time I was doing a flash sale on one of my programmes and I made around £6000 in an hour…I remember because I was in Benidorm with some friends celebrating my birthday and my phone started going nuts with notifications.
I don’t really have an hourly rate anymore, as I do mainly group programmes, and when I do 121 work I do tend to offer packages anyway. I guess it would work out at about £150 per hour for coaching if I had to be pushed.
Now I don’t want this post to turn into some willy wagging competition about who earns the most per hour, per speaking gig, per launch…but I did want you to think about all those hours you are not earning.
The dead time.
All those hours you are,
Fart arsing around on social media
Going for coffees with people who pick your brain
Doing discovery calls where nobody really discovers anything
Spending days on Canva, Final Cut Pro or WordPress…or any other bit of tech that takes you down some kind of time vortex
Sorting through emails
Responding to bullshit enquiries unrelated to your work
Watching pointless and boring webinars
And I am sure you can add a whole heap of other things to this list, things which you literally did not go into business to do.
My brother is a plumber (or heating engineer I think he likes to be called these days) He spends 80% of his working day doing plumber type activities.
I would imagine there are some things he has to do that do not involve plumbing, maybe ordering parts, or writing invoices, or meeting with the big boss (I really should ask my brother more about his job)
But it would be a bit weird that if as a trained plumber, he spent less than 10% of his working day doing that work.
Do you know by percentage how much of your day (or week if that’s easier) you spend doing your thing, the thing you went into business to do?
Here’s another example that perhaps isn’t so clear cut.
Maybe you are an expert of some sort. You get paid for your expertise. Maybe as a speaker, or a trainer, a consultant or maybe you package your expertise up into books or online programmes.
You have this expertise because you are passionate about and interested in that topic. You want people to better understand it, you want to share your knowledge and be paid handsomely for it.
I ask the same question?
How much of your day, or your week do you spend actually in your field. Or is the majority of your working week tied up wth email management, client acquisition, networking, fart arsing about on social media, checking in with your competitors?
Imagine spending even 3 hours a week doing more of the stuff that matters?
Some might argue that you can’t have a successful business as an expert without doing all of that stuff, and to some extent, I agree.
My point is sometimes these distractions don’t make the biggest difference in our business and sadly become the thing that we prioritise over and above the stuff that does…and often we do this by complete accident.
We do this because we take our eye off the ball.
Sometimes the things that would take us closer to our BIG strategic goal becomes the stuff (I really should stop using that word) that week after week after week gets dropped from our to-do list, because we are so busy, tired and overwhelmed with everything else.
So now when you look at the hour you have before the kids need to be picked up from school, or that afternoon next Wednesday that you thought about meeting a “maybe client” halfway across town, or that proposal that took you all day rather than an hour…you might consider what could be achieved if your focus was on the right thing, done in a slightly better way.
One thing I know for sure is…
As business owners, we choose self-employment over being in a more traditional work environment because we want freedom, we want more choice, more opportunities, less work.
So let’s choose to see the time we have as the most valuable asset we have and use it wisely.
We don’t have a boss clocking us in and out, we don’t have a supervisor checking our productivity and output, we don’t have a HR team checking in on our health and wellbeing (hours worked, working conditions, culture etc)
We may be our own boss, we don’t have to do this stuff by ourselves.
Starting on the 1st March I am starting a brand new thing called The Do More Bits Club, it is an experiment to see if by using my productivity hacks I can help 50 small business owners to increase their output.
This is not a course.
I will be teaching 4 key principles and facilitating a process that focusses your mind back onto what is important in your business.
There is accountability, and support…but also there is implementation. Every week there will be 3 hours (which we all block out) that you spend 100% on the important stuff…the stuff that could transform your business and your life.
Julie Creffield is a transformational business and life coach with more than 20 years experience as a trainer and consultant. Despite being a single parent she is CEO of two coaching businesses, runs marathons, trains for Triathlons, is the author of 8 books, and is an award-winning blogger.
Described by her clients as the No Bullshit Business Coach, last year Julie helped 250+ small business owners to take more action with her no nonsense strategies and support
Do you remember when you were a teenager and the thought of making anything more than £100 blew your mind?
My first paid job (aside from babysitting or car washing) was working in my local Wimpy Restaurant, where I got paid a whopping £1.50 per hour….sometimes dressing up as Mr Wimpy on a Saturday and running up and down Forest Gate high street dressed as a burger.
I’d work 3 nights a week for a couple of hours after school in year 11, and all weekend…I mean it wasn’t like I had anything else going on.
I got paid around £40 a week…but £40 when you are 15 is
bloody amazing right?
That meant I could buy my own toiletries, black tights (cos school tights disappear in a house of 4 female siblings) and still have money left over to save up for a pair of Reebok Classics or the occasional new outfit.
Things got a bit better once I headed off to uni.
I upgraded to bar work and cashier in a supermarket kinda roles, to be fair the pay was still pretty poor, but student loans made me feel more abundant than I’d ever been…debt pah…what debt?
I even had a bout of working 16 hour shifts in a salad factory.
It only took a few years after university to progress through my first few full time jobs in the arts sector to get what seemed like my proper salary that gave me choices.
In 2004 I started work as volunteer manager for the London Borough of Newham, starting salary of £24,000 which went up to just short of £27,00 during the time I was there…that felt like loads.
I learned to drive, bought a second hand car, I went on holidays (OK..just 18-30s clubbing holidays) but I had relative freedom for the first time.
However, I remember looking through the job pages one day, a habit I have always had, and I spotted a job for £100K…yep one hundred thousand pounds, and it had the exact same job title as what I was currently doing.
I’ve can remember having these weird butterflies in my
The thing is I couldn’t really imagine what making that kind
of money would look or feel like, I just knew it would be exciting.
What makes me laugh looking back is how fearless and maybe naïve I was…I was like, “I’m gonna give it a go, and apply” “what have I got to lose?” and so I set about filling in the application form, going through the job description and bigging up my experience.
I knew I didn’t really match all of the criteria in terms of my experience and knowledge of the sector, but I figured they could be having an off day, they cloud be impressed with my first class degree, and my ambition. They might be specifically looking for a 24 year old…ha ha…oh the ridiculousness of it.
Of course I didn’t get the job…but I might have done.
You just don’t know with these things. It’s just money
right? And every job we ever go into we never 100 % know how to do everything
A few weeks later I applied for a job that was a whole £10K
more than what I was on, a job in central government doing policy on games time
volunteering across London…I can remember people saying, “you’ll never get it”
“It’s too much of an income leap”
Never be told what you can achieve by people who do not have
the same vision or belief in your capabilities as you.
It’s like all those times in the last few years that my mum
“When you going to get a proper job”
Yeah, cos running two global online coaching businesses is not proper is it? Impacting on the lives of tens of thousands of people each year, that’s not proper…making more money than I ever have, while working less hours than ever, and not having a bloke in a suit bossing me about.
None of that is proper.
Here’s the thing guys. We get to decide on our worth. We get to up-level our earning capacity. We get to change the money stories and our money realities.
I can’t believe I have gone from working for £1.50 an hour to £1500 per hour (my average keynote fee)…that’s just nuts…but maybe I always knew I would one day.
If you are reading this blog thinking “why is she so obsessed with money?” “why is she always talking about it?” let me explain…I talk about money because so few women do. So many of us have far too many negative money stories that ultimately keep us stuck in our businesses and in our lives.
We have competing energies around it…oh I want to make more money, but its icky and show offy (yep that’s a real word) to talk about money, or admit to wanting more of the stuff….so I will just fart arse about in this grey area of undercharging and overdelivering and feeling undervalued.
I know that how much I earn is in direct correlation to the positive impact I have in this world…so I’m all good about sharing my numbers. I am good about wanting more. That sits fine on my conscious. I’ve done my grafting. I’ve paid my dues. I am on a mission now to change the patterns of under-earning in my family. I am on a mission to help other people to make peace with money and start being compensated properly for their skills and talents.
So go for that higher paid job
Put your prices up
Increase the number on that proposal (do it now and press send)
Feel comfortable setting higher income goals
It’s just money.
Julie Creffield is the no bullshit business coach, using her straight talking business opinion, strategies and transformational coaching skills to help small business owners scale their business and their lives without burning out.
If you are a coach, therapist, consultant or small business owner who is currently serving clients one to one or who predominantly has to leave their home to deliver their expertise in person to market money, check out Julies latest online programme One to Many which starts on the 24th February.
It’s what we are always told is important if people are ever going to buy from us, as coaches, experts, speakers or any other kind of small business owner…unless you have a product that is so shit hot people don’t care if you are complete dick or totally anonymous they just want to get their hands on it.
I have been thinking a lot about how I show up…and where.
For my paying clients? I am there in their faces daily. With blogs, in my Facebook communities, doing FB lives and prerecorded edited videos.
But for the rest of the world?
Hmmm…not so much. I wouldn’t go as far as saying I am shy and retiring and have no video presence online…but I could be more consistent, and I could 100% be more focussed in sharing my expertise around community building and scaling businesses.
I have had some video success…but often off the back of a collaboration, or when I’ve given it some special effort.
My daughter Rose smashes all of these with her “Bike is not just for Christmas” advert she did for Decathlon last Christmas…which has 10K views…well I guess she does have the cuteness factor.
The thing is it isn’t about the numbers, I find most of my clients on Facebook and Linked in, so my YouTube numbers are not all that important when it comes to sales at the moment…but turning up more consistently in video absolutely is.
One of my current clients from Tribe Builder…saw my spoken-word piece and within days had invested £2000 with me.
Another client who has just paid £999 to work with me on my latest programme One to Many, watched a webinar and said that the way I spoke was the thing which made her commit.
Well, at least it does when we work with video.
So I have committed to doing a video a day in February, to get more into more of a swing of sharing my content more widely, and getting in front of people.
Making videos to monetise your expertise and lead your clients through a group programme is covered as part of my new programme One to Many, which helps coaches, experts and speakers to design, create, fill and deliver, the best online group programme EVER.