You know what it’s like when things go a bit stale, the longer you go without the buzz and excitement, the passion the fun, the more you learn to live without it or start to look for (or maybe just dream about the prospect of it) from elsewhere perhaps.
Nope, I am not talking about romantic relationships, I am talking about your business.
I know we have all been through a bit of a rocky patch lately and for many of us, we may have even been questioning if it’s what we want anymore anyway. But we owe it to ourselves to give things a final shot, to see if it is possible to fall back in love with it again.
So I have been internet dating recently.
I know, a bit of an overshare, but bear with me…I am going somewhere with this.
For context I have been single for 6+ years…so this is kind of a big thing.
Last week I was having a lovely exchange with a bloke who made me laugh until I cry, and got me let’s just say a bit excited via Whatsapp as I made my way through a busy day of coaching calls and admin.
I came onto a call in my Grand in Your Hand challenge in a strange playful mood, and at one point started talking about the similarities of online dating and online selling…I may write a separate blog about that at some point.
But when I asked in the group, “How turned on are you by your business right now” after they had laughed it out a bit, many agreed they were not that excited by their stuff sometimes, that they have somehow managed to lose the fun, the playfulness, the excitement of the early days.
I mean it’s easily done, right?
We go through ups and downs, and dry spots.
So how do we spice things up? Here are my top 10 tips
Bring something (or someone) new into the relationship
See things from a different perspective
Buy some new playthings
Let someone else take the lead for a while (work with a coach)
Look for the adventure
Notice where you are excited and do more of that
Create routines, habits and rituals that are about enjoyment
Celebrate your successes
Practice gratitude (yep I said that one twice…It’s kinda important)
There is no such thing as a perfect business.
It is easy to think we are doing it wrong, that everyone else seems to have it sussed. I think the truth is though, we are all just muddling through, with moments of glorious sexiness, and then moments of the mundane.
What I do know, is when I am tired and bored and a little disconnected, my business suffers. Everything becomes labored, I miss opportunities, make mistakes, and find it hard to make progress.
When I am in a state of excitement about my business, opportunities come to me easier, I enjoy my work, and the influence, impact, and income I desire for my business increase tenfold.
My summer challenge for example is a great example of this.
April-June have been super challenging for me. I was in burn out. I was questioning if I even wanted to do this work. I was spending more time on admin and development stuff, than the stuff I actually enjoy, like coaching and creating new things.
And because of this, it became hard to make sales, it became hard to work out what to priorotise…and it became hard to see things clearly.
Stepping back and focussing on my life outside of my business (including a bit of internet dating) gave me the perspective I needed, and a big fat juicy idea came to me.
Veni Vidi Vici…The ULTIMATE visibility challenge
And then BOOM, an explosion of ideas and creative energy hit me, and my peeps started responding to it, with more than 40 small business owners registering in the 4 days that I have been talking about it, making me more new money in July than I made the whole of June.
I want to help folks to get turned on by their business.
To find their playful side. To help them fall back in love with their business.
I always say its not about the size of your audience but the depth of engagement, and thats what Veni, Vidi, Vici is all about.
Julie Creffield is a community engagement strategist and creative business coach who in 2020 worked with more than 3000 clients, while homeschooling her 8-year-old, and writing her book Leading from the Back, a book about how to build a successful online business without burning out, selling out or behaving like a dick.
With a 25 year career in community engagement offline in the real world on projects such as the London 2012 Olympics, and 11 years running her plus-size fitness business, Julie specialises in working with hard to reach groups and designing and delivering interventions that help folks have a transformative experience starting from where they are.
Her signature programme Tribe Builder will be opening its doors in September, but for now why not sign up for Veni, Vidi, Vici and warm up your audience (plus find some new peeps) over the summer months first.
The online space can feel incredibly scary at times.
People you may never meet in real life, can have an incredibly damaging effect on your wellbeing.
One minute you are having a great day cracking on with your work, the next minute you happen across a social media post or an email that completely throws you, and you end up spiraling into deep and dark thoughts which have you running towards your cave.
And then let’s talk about the toxic positivity that tries to counteract all of that,
“Nobody can make you feel bad unless you let them”
“Stay in your own lane”
“What other people think of you is none of your business”
Try telling that to someone who is already anxious and a bit depressed about the state of their business and their life? And is being bombarded with messages that tell them that the problem is them and their money mindset, desire, hunger, ability to heal.
The last 18 months have been incredibly tough…we are not in the same boat, and we are not even in the same ocean a lot of the time.
We still live in a world full of the haves and the have nots, and the online business world (due to the way marketing algorithms and messaging play out) have us believe there is ultimately something wrong with us.
We are the problem
I am the problem
You are the problem
“OMG she just made a million pound in an hour”
Then surely I am doing it all wrong.
But what that hyped post doesn’t tell you is
How much was spent on Facebook Ads
How much is being paid out in affiliate fees
How much their team costs them
How much the cost of delivery is
How many years of graft it’s taken to get to that point
What ethics, values or ideals that person lives to
How many folks will ask for refunds
How much of a ball ache looking after that number of people will be
What impact that programme will have
How many people will drop out due to not doing the work, or the programme not being a good fit
So what is the solution?
We have to find multiple ways of anchoring ourselves to who we are, what we stand for, and what we stand against.
It starts with our vision and our values, but it does not end there.
We need to create real tangible anchors that we literally bump into on a daily basis, in fact that others bump into. Anchors that help others to see who we are, as well us reminding ourselves of our unique and awesome existence.
And the online world is a perfect platform for this in fact because every time we create a digital or live asset in our business we have the opportunity to remind people of who we are and what we are about.
The more time we spend on working this shot out, rather than looking outside of ourselves for the answers, the closer you will get to success.
Now this doesn’t mean never working with coaches, never collaborating, never buying in support
But it starts from a place of absolute certainty of what you want, why you want it, and what you are willing to do to get it.
When we do not have an anchor, when we let imposter syndrome, comparisonitus, overwhelm and procrastination stop us in our tracks, we don’t in fact stay static, we often spiral or bounce from pillar to post…this contributes to all of the above even more…until we find something to anchor ourself again…and that process is exhausting in its repetitiveness.
Some ideas for anchors we can focus on to ground us
A mission statement
Your values and vision
The living breathing culture of your venture
Your strategy document
Your visual branding
Your business buddies
Your programme suite
Your sales process
Your marketing activities
Your unique IP able Framework
Your resources for clients
Who you collaborate with
Your social media
Your blog or articles you publish
The podcasts you appear on
What you say
What you do (publicly and privately)
Now this is not to say you have to have your shit together, much of the above list is work in progress.
But it really does start with you.
There is always going to be someone bigger, better, more successful, more ethical, less ethical, more popular, more driven, funnier, sexier, better dressed, better at managing teams, had more resources to start with, better at keeping their gob shut, better at speaking up…
But there is only one of you
Nobody can do you better than you…other than the you that leans into further alignment and fulfillment in their life and business. Other than the person who finds ways to limit the emotional triggers, that prioritises the inner work, that is committed to exploring their true identity as a business owner.
Stay grounded and connected people.
Julie Creffield is a serial entrepreneur, tribe leadership expert and community engagement strategist. She helps solopreneurs find their people online without burning out, selling out or behaving like a dick, so that ultimately they feel less alone in business, and more connected to their life’s mission.
Her signature programme The Tribe Builder® Incubator starts again in September get in touch if you’d like to have a chat about securing one of the limited places on this high-impact accelerator programme for future and existing leaders.
To find out what your most aligned style of Tribe Leadership is why not take 3 minutes to complete Julie’s Tribe Leadership Quiz which will give you a full report on your most aligned style for showing up online.
Where do you go when the world simply becomes too much? What do you do when your normal self-care strategies become harder and harder to manage?
What do you do when you need to retreat?
I go into my CAVE.
You always know when I am in my cave because I go quiet. This happens when I take a step back from social media in my business, but it also happens in my personal relationships, sometimes over a longer period of time as I slowly detach from folks, or sometimes like simply around the dinner table where I zone out of a conversation…or leave a bar to get some air.
It’s where I need to shut out the influences and stimuli of other people, and be with myself.
The Cave can be a magical healing place, where the quiet and stillness, the darkness allow you to truly see what is important in life and in business. It is a place of retreat, a place of healing, a place for thinking, and visioning….without the pressure of doing.
The idea of The Cave has been written about in many cultural contexts, my Cave stories and meanings will be different to theirs, and to yours, but I am sure you will recognise the cave nonetheless. Your cave might be staying in bed, or not getting washed or dressed, or it might be self-medicating with food or drink or drugs…or even shit TV (no judgement). It might be packing your bags and heading to the mountains for a few days, or it might be booking yourself into a spa or on a yoga retreat.
Some people go to the cave to switch off and some go to switch on.
You might go to the cave to hide, for protection from perceived danger, or you might go there simply as part of a self-care ritual. As a creative, I know I need that space to let new ideas and concepts be birthed. I think as online business owners it’s super important that we go…what with all the noise.
We can’t hide from our true selves in The Cave…without the distractions, there is simply nowhere to go. We have to face up to who we are and what we stand for.
Perhaps that’s why we resist it for so long.
I have been in “My Cave” for a few weeks.
I have been their for my own safety and sanity.
Last week I wrote a blog about being in burnout…and so the cave for me was a no brainer move. I switched off social media, I deleted my email app from my phone, I only did the bare minimum of client work, and I put a stop to all development projects and simple slept, ate good food, spent time in nature, and hugs with my daughter and cat.
I wasn’t ready to talk. I didn’t want to talk.
I am lucky that I have a good circle of friends that were able to support me while in the Cave, checking in on me, making sure I wasn’t allowing the solitude or the darkness to extinguish my light…because thats the thing with the cave, stay in for too long, or go too deep and it can make you see shit thats not there, shadows, dark thoughts.
For me I have to know there is light…I need to know I can creep out when needed…I need to be OK with allowing certain folks to the entrance, to be with me while I work some stuff out…but its not a bloody party, it’s not a free for all for everyone to witness.
There are all manner of reasons in business you might go into your cave
A failed launch
Working too hard
Being out of alignment
A global fucking pandemic
There were times I should have retreated into My Cave last year, my regular holidays, weekends off, music festivals, adventures, have in the past allowed me to let out some of the pressure, given me time to think, or time to not think.
Instead last year I soldiered on…I kept putting out fires…kept holding space for others as they went in and out of their own caves, and it was only a matter of time until my body said NO MORE.
So my invitation to you this week, this month, for the rest of the year, is to not be afraid of The Cave, in fact book in specific appointments in there. We may not have had freedom of movement in the way we have wanted to, but we do still have many freedoms where the Cave can be enjoyed.
The world doesn’t stop spinning when you go into The Cave, but you do.
You might not make the sales, the traction, the progress you want in your business while you are in there, but when you come out you will have clarity and confidence in your next steps. You will see things with fresh eyes…and your audience will still be there.
You can pick things up again.
And things will feel different. Lighter. More palatable.
Sending love, and metaphorical batteries for your torch oh brave ones…head on into that Cave and go get what you need, but don’t stay in there forever. The world needs you.
Julie Creffield is a Tribe Leadership Expert, Community Engagement Strategist, And Creative Business Coach. She has also been speaking candidly about mental health and the fear of judgement for more than a decade.
Julie helps small business owners to build impactful businesses in alignment with who theyare, not who the world wants them to be. Take the Tribe Leadership Quiz to find out your most aligned style so you can start doing business on your terms.
Join her on Thursday for New Clients, New Confidence a 60-minute workshop on how to bounce back after a failed launch, break from business, or just a general slow phase in sales. Where Julie will be sharing insights from the past 18 months when it comes to growing an aligned mission-led business.
This is a long one, so you might want to grab a cuppa.
I have always believed in the concept of working hard, trying your hardest, and giving everything your best shot. You don’t need to be perfect or be the best in your field, but you do your best with the resources you have available and respect the principles of “nothing ever worth having comes easy”
The online spiritual coaching world will tell you however…
“It’s all available to you, you just need to manifest your desires…it gets to be easy”
Sometimes I believe in that and sometimes I simply do not. The online world can be full of oxymorons…as well as quite frankly…you guessed it…just plain old morons.
But double standards like…
Hustle like your dreams depend on it Vs just be open and what you deserve will come your way
Take time off have good boundaries Vs maybe you just don’t want it enough
Fortune favors the brave Vs focus on slow, sustainable growth
Mess with your head.
The point is there are just sooooo many different voices and messages when it comes to scaling or sustaining your business, and sometimes you just need to tap out and say NO MORE!!!
So in case you didn’t already know…
I have been in burnout.
Not the burnout you feel from working long hours or trying to fit in too much. But the deep and raw emotional burnout you experience from feeling constantly disappointed by people and things, where those things or incidents in isolation are manageable and even quite menial under normal circumstances, but collectively and with increased volume it becomes impossible to carry the load.
Now I am not for a minute suggesting I am alone in this.
Things have been quite shitty the last year or so for obvious reasons, and I have heard of lots of folks in the online world the last couple of months having to take extended breaks to re-centre, re-evaluate, re-align…questioning if it’s even worth it.
I wonder if this is almost a hangover from 2020…a shift in expectations, or just the eventual “I can’t do this shit anymore” realisation.
The last time I felt like this…to this extent, I had to take 3 months off work all together.
It was 2008 and I was working for a government agency in a bullshit job full of politics and people with little vision. Ironic seeing as we were responsible for one of the most visionary mega events the UK would ever see.
I had recently decided to end my 5-year relationship as it wasn’t really going anywhere, I moved out of our shared flat and had just bought my first home solo…and then my Grandad (who always saw and said things exactly as they were) passed away.
Initially I thought I was just tired and a bit sad.
Turned out I was depressed and left undiagnosed or treated, that had turned into chronic fatigue syndrome….which left me unable to even do the commute into work, or do simple tasks like stand up to prepare dinner.
When you work for someone else it is relatively easy to take 3 months off though, you just go to your doctors and get yourself signed off, even if you do feel slightly bad that you are letting the company down. Its a hard pill to swallow but the safety net is there.
When you work for yourself though….a sick note is hardly going to cut it.
And this is the kicker for small business owners, the reason we don’t take the time off we often need before we desperately need it…is because when we don’t work it can have catastrophic repercussions to the health of our business….or at least that’s how it feels.
Last year was a corker of a year for me from a business growth/revenue perspective even given the challenges of homeschooling and being confided to my 2 bed apartment for most of it…2021 however has been eventful for a lot of other reasons. There has been rapid audience growth for sure, and an increase in sales for the first quarter of the year, but the scaling up of my team and systems to cope with that growth has been tricky than I had imagined.
There is something else though. I feel really disappointed in a number of individuals this year. Some who I still can not really get my head around their choices.
People who have (in my view) behaved in ways that do not fit with my values or ethics. People who present one way of being, publicly, but behave in a very different and alarming way behind the scenes. People who trigger my core wounds of not being able to trust people and it not being safe for me to express how I truly feel…and the belief that everyone leaves in the end (oooh juicy stuff hey?)
See thats the thing with burnout.
The phrase is used to describe so many different variations on a theme
Lack of motivation
Burning the candle at both ends
Taking on too much
Not having great boundaries
Forgetting self care
For me, I think what I have been experiencing probably if I am being honest with myself for the last 6 weeks has been Asthenia…also known as effort syndrome.
You see where Fatigue is often related to physical and psychological symptoms and can be a direct result of an action you take, Asthenia is instead fatigue without or before effort….and it seems to come out of nowhere.
Of course it doesn’t…there was for me a very easy to spot (for everyone else) build up.
It leaves you feeling weak, tearful, anxious, and unable to make decisions.
I believe what contributed to this was doing 17 weeks of my Clubhouse Breakfast show, “Breakfast Minus the Bullshit” getting up at 7am religiously, and being “on” 5 days a week. It was producing, and hosting a 2 hour chat show before most people had even had their 2nd cup of coffee, and then cracking on with the running of my own 2 businesses, and the bonus job of co-parenting my 8 year old.
It was dealing with the inevitable fall out of ramped-up collaborations, expectations, new relationships, new clients, new staff, new contracts, new systems.
It was having no escape.
Working during the week, and then parenting and trying to have an a semblance of a normal life at the weekend….to just rinse and repeat the following week.
But it was OK…I was going to take a break, I even had one booked in the diary for the end of May…I just had to get my launch out of the way, and make enough money to take a bit of a breather…as despite having 3 of my best ever months in business financially, I was investing heavily in staff and systems…and getting all my ducks in a row.
And then half way through my launch it all went tits up.
It started out as literally not being able to get my words out on my live calls.
I was tripping up, my heart was racing, and I just didn’t believe in the things I was saying.
It felt like the almost 300 people in my challenge were not really feeling me, or the things I was saying. |They were fatigued with all of the bullshit. And I didn’t feel aligned to it either. And so, I went off-script, I used my live calls to speak from the heart, and to share how I was feeling about the online world.
It felt incredible to forget the sales targets and tactics to get people across the line into my Audience Builder Bootcamp, and to simply share my truth instead.
And my peeps responded. They were in agreement with much of what I was talking about, and they found my Nail Your Niche Challenge transformational in terms of getting clear on their messaging and how they wanted to show up in the world….even if I was having an existential crisis behind the scenes…lol.
But…for the first time ever in one of these launches…I only made 1 sale.
One £800 sale.
For context I would normally sell between 16-22 places of a £1499+VAT programme with relative ease of the back of a challenge launch. That income giving me the freedom to not have to launch anything else for a few months….even though sometimes I would, because I am always testing new ideas, and creating things my audience say they want.
And here in lies the problem.
This past year I wasn’t listening enough to what I think, what I intuitively know about what entrepreneurs in my audience really need, and where the trends seem to be going. I was getting caught up in what was being said in Clubhouse rooms, what new coaches and influences, including new clients were saying.
I had lost my mission, my vision, my values.
Let me break this down even further for you.
Here I was a community engagement strategist and creative business coach who teaches people how to monetise and leverage their expertise by growing and activating their audience, doing it their own unique way…and I was unable to activate my own audience.
I’d welcomed more than 10,000 new people into my world in just shy of 4 months…but my launch had resulted in just one single person (as lovely as she is) saying yes to my current offer as it was laid out…it was shocking.
Now I must declare, that I had also upsold some other programmes, gained some 121 clients etc and closed the month on £15K of revenue…but the launch was a flop…the target for the month was £50K+ in sales, I was and that’s a hard pill to swallow for anyone.
And I was exhausted.
The time, effort, resources and focus that goes into launching is unlike anything else you will do in business…and when it doesn’t work it is fucking hard to recover from emotionally….and financially.
All of those financial models I’d been working on with my team, the SOPs (standard operating procedures) for delivery…oh and the plans to finally be able to afford to move out of my 2 bedroom apartment that feels more and more like a prison every day.
It fucking hurts.
So what did I do? What could I do? I had to put my hands up be honest about what had gone down, and crack on with delivering to my existing clients…and continue doing the behind the scenes stuff with my team…I mean I couldn’t just give up.
What I really wanted to do was fly to Barbados and take 3 weeks off.
But neither my bank balance, child care arrangements, or the state of the world would allow for that, so instead I settled for 2 nights in Leigh on Sea in Essex…where I switched off (a bit) took long walks, and sat and watched TV and read a novel in a stylish, clutter-free Air B&B.
Did it have me bouncing back to East London full of beans to get back into growing my empire, did it heck…all it did was make me feel slightly depressed that that isn’t already my life…and if anything I was more exhausted than ever.
I could feel in my body I needed to switch off.
So for the last week or so I have been on a go slow…only doing client work, not going on social media if I could help it, not being tempted back onto Clubhouse, and doing all the self-care things I could manage. Day time naps, homeopathic remedies, lots of fresh fruit and veg, taking apps off my phones, snuggles with my daughter and our cat (who lost his balls last week and is feeling equally tender), decluttering…and trying not to have to think my way out of this mess.
I will find a solution.
I always do.
But for now my priority is finding my centre again. Getting my confidence back. Finding my voice. Writing this blog is part of that journey.
Over the past 5 months, I have had a few public (and not so public) fallings outs with people online. And I hate all the “he said, she said” bullshit. But I also hate not being able to express myself. And that leaves me feeling stuck. There is so much toxic positivity out there followed by DMs of “Share the drama???” and it does so much damage.
I don’t want to be talking about ethics and authenticity…I just want to teach people how to grow their audience, and to do it without burning out or selling out (oh the irony)…so the last 6 weeks have been a great learning for me…cos even I get it wrong sometimes.
So what’s next?
The show must go on right? Well yes and no. I don’t have any major plans right now as I continue to work with my team and focus on serving my existing clients…but there will be something, there has to be. But for now I have a few things which my people can jump into if they’d like.
Tuesday 25th – The Gathering Away Day (Save the Date) – 9.30am – 12pm
And then I get to go away for a few days break with my besties
And then who knows lol.
But I want to leave you with this.
When we put ourselves out there as experts, when we talk about our successes, and our experience and our expertise as social proof by way of convincing folks to work with us, we also have to be willing for the other stuff to be OK to share too.
We are not just the good things that happen to us…sometimes we fail, sometimes things don’t work out, sometimes shit happens.
It’s hard…but it’s OK.
I can tell you to get more sleep, limit your screen time, up the self care…or I can encourage you to listen more to your intuition, give yourself space to really think about who you are and how you want to work…because I truly believe that it is that alignment stuff what fucks us up more than pulling too many late nights.
I just want to send an unlimited amount of love back out there to you if you need a bit of it.
Things will get easier. Or we will get stronger.
Either way…it will be OK…and if it’s not, reach out for help.
Julie Creffield is a community engagement strategist, creative business mentor and serial entrepreneur from East London.
The 10 times self published author, international keynote speaker, and 5 times marathon runner has worked on some of the biggest arts, cultural and sporting projects in the UK, and her work has impacted millions of people around the globe. She helps small business owners to increase their influence, impact and income by helping them find their people online.
The Audience Builder Bootcamp is open and actively recruiting for new participants, find out more here Julie also has a range of other programmes, VIP Masterminds, and 121 coaching packages available. Email email@example.com for more info.
She will be opening up to new VIP clients from June.
Look, I am a business coach who absolutely get’s my clients to think about their motivations, their mission, their values, to create movements that matter, but there is one thing over and above the big WHY…and that’s your little whys.
Bare with me.
Why do you need to fill your programme or get new 121 clients this month?
To pay your mortgage
To get a return on investment for the time, energy and money you have spent so far on your business
To buy a new computer
To employ a VA
To pay for the kids new school uniform
To get a new kitchen refurb
To pay for the wedding
To feel like you are valuable
To prove your neigh sayers wrong (love this one)
When you have a mission that other people can relate to, it helps to show people who you are, it creates bonds, it creates good will, and you find your peeps.
But if you neglect your own needs, or disproportionately focus on the long term goals rather than how you are going to put food in the fridge this week, or afford to take a week off work to avoid burn out…then guess what?
You are going to lose the love you have for the cause….and that doesn’t help anyone.
When I set up my plus size fitness business I genuinely did care about my mission. I wanted to get a million overweight and inactive women running, I wanted to address the inequality I saw in the sports world, I wanted to talk about the fear of judgement that puts so many women off running.
I still care about all of that stuff.
But sometimes I put the cause ahead of my own needs. I launched programmes that were far too cheap. I overdelivered. I underpaid myself. I did things for major organisations for peanuts in the hope that one day they’d offer me a proper seat at the table.
I remember a bloke who ran his own successful fitness empire say to me
“Don’t be a crusader Julie…Remember the crusaders all died”
Now there is nothing wrong with a bit of crusader energy when growing a business, it’s one of the archetypes in my Tribe Leadership Archetype System...but he was right, you can burn out, get angry and lose the energy needed to keep going.
Your needs matter too.
Getting your needs met by your business is super important. It’s called a return on investment. And that could be money, it could be the opportunity, it could be support, profile, acknowledgment….whatever you want and desire your business to give you…it all counts.
It took me a good few years to make my fitness business financially viable, but in the mean time I secured around £100,000 worth of value…free clothes, free overseas trips, invitations to posh places, equipment, inkind support etc…and without that stuff to bring a little bit of joy into my life in the early days when things were tough, I may well have given up.
I also think there is something about sharing your smaller whys with your clients, bringing them with you on your journey. It’s why we ask people to shop local because we then get to make an informed decision about where our funds go.
Do you want to help someone buy their 3rd home, and contribute to their bitcoin empire, or do you want to help someone create real financial stability for them and their family once and for all…oh, and a puppy lol (Rose, my 8 year old wants a puppy)
Now this is never to say its about creating a sob story or even a rags to riches story, but when we let people know the true story of our business, and what we are trying to create…beyond the bigger world mission, I think it reminds us all that we are humans running businesses…not just strangers on the internet trying to flog our stuff.
We start with the value that we give as a business owner, the thing we have that others want or need, (for me it’s audience building and getting traction in your business) and you create a fair value exchange. I help you build your business using the skills and expertise I have acquired over the last 20 odd years, and the money you pay me helps me further my goals…knowing that we are creating a ripple effect far beyond that initial exchange of cash.
Doing good in the world and making money are not mutually exclusive.
Your BIG mission is no more worthy that your smaller ones.
When COVID hit the UK 12 months ago, and we all went into lock down I was scared. I was scared that the hard work of getting myself out of the financial mess that 4 redundancies and a failed relationship often creates, would have all been in vein.
I worried that I wouldn’t be able to compete with the more well known business coaches who were slashing their prices and giving away all of their stuff for free…I mean they could, many of them were self isolating in their big old houses.
I couldn’t afford to do that…and I wasn’t willing to either.
I developed a very simple strategy for moving forward…THE TRIANGLE OF NEED.
You…yes YOU…are right at the top (or at least should be)…because you matter the most…yes seriously, and then helping your clients and the world more generally are below to the left and right of you…creating a glorious win, win, win energy…neglect your own needs at your peril, I have seen so many people do that over the years.
And while I’m here on my soapbox.
Serve not sell….BOLLOCKS.
Far too often I see women in particular overgiving, undercharging, offering freebies, swapsies and discounts, because they are being told they have to serve the needs of their clients to build up trust and goodwill.
When you grow an engaged audience of people who respect your time and expertise, and understand the value you bring to the table. They will happily buy from you.
What do you need today…and focus on that.
Julie Creffield is a community engagement strategist, tribe leadership expert, and creative business mentor. She helps solopreneurs to build profitable AND impactful business using community at their heart.
In 2020 she worked with more than 3000 clients, using the Triangle of Need as her guide.
This week she is launching an exciting new programme to help folks up their audience game, and by folks she means coaches, experts, speakers, consultants, therapists and creatives…anyone who knows that not having an engaged audience is costing them money, and limiting their impact.
The earlybird “Preview Tickets” are available until Friday at midnight.
Can you remember what the hourly rate was for your first job?
Mine was £1.50…YES one pound and fifty pence an hour.
My job was waitressing in my local Wimpy restaurant at aged 13….serving clients, and clearing plates. But it wasn’t the first way I ever made money though. Oh no.
I’d already had a paper round, delivered taxi cards, washed cars, baby sat, done my neighbours ironing…and probably a few other ways too.
You see, I was one of 6 kids growing up in East London, and there wasn’t always enough money to go round. So if you wanted something that Mum didn’t have the money for, or wasn’t likely to buy even if she did, you had to get a job.
I wanted a Gameboy more than anything when I was 11 and so my Auntie hooked me up with her circle of girlfriends who needed babysitters, for while they were all at the local pub (5 minutes away) for one activity or the other, bridge, quiz night, karaoke, you get the idea.
And I bought the Gameboy (highlight of my childhood for sure)
But when at aged 13 I wanted a CD player, and needed a more regular income for the essentials like black school tights, deodorant, tampons, and of course the latest stationary from Woolworths, the regular weekend job at Wimpy was a godsend. I worked all day Sat and Sun, and the occasional evening after school…on occasion I also dressed up as Mr Wimpy for children’s parties…which got me out of loading the dishwasher.
My weekly wages never exceeded £40…but hey £40 a week for a 13 year old is LOADS!!!
I have never been work shy, and I have always been interested in the various ways I could make money, and so when a couple of weekends ago while helping my sister move home, my uncle who was the designated van driver (who I hadn’t seen in close to 2 years) asked, “So how do you actually make your money?”
I answered “as an online business coach”, for ease…but actually it’s not as straight forward as that and when I added up all of the different ways money comes into me, turns out I currently have more than 20 different income streams.
I thought it would be fun to list them all out.
So this is my ALL THE WAYS I MAKE MONEY blog…enjoy!!!
My Plus Size Fitness Business
I set up Too Fat to Run in September 2010 as a blog, and turned it into a business in 2013 after being made redundant from my job on the 2012 Olympics. It isn’t my main source of income right now, but I still make money from it and am currently reviewing where to go next after taking a bit of a hiatus during COVID. I grew this business to 6 figures using predominantly £25 products and services, and also as an “influencer” I received around £100K of free holidays, services, and products.
I trained as a coach 2 years ago, and life coaching was a nice bridge between what I was doing in my fitness business with women, and what I now predominantly do. I still have a few life coaching offerings though and really enjoy this work
Stop Playing Small Programme (on hold at the moment)
Dream board workshops
The Big Fat Wellbeing Experiment £90 (we are on day 47 of 90)
This makes up around 90% of my income these days, and has been my focus the last 2 years. My turnover increased by 160% in 2020, and I worked with around 3000 business owners. My model currently is mainly group programmes, challenges and masterminds, with some 121 coaching. I am simplifying my model a little bit this year, but last year I launched 15 different offerings. I have put the prices next to some of these to give you an idea of the different price points.
Tribe Leaders Lounge™ £5000+VAT (Launches in April)
Unstoppable VIP Mastermind £10,000+VAT (Opens again in December)
Speaking (Keynotes, Training, Guest Expert for other peoples programmes)
I also make money from recommending products that I use. This started in my plus-size fitness business and also recommending my fav books on Amazon, but now it’s more often tech products. These are the ones that probably make me the most money. And yes if you click on these links and go on to purchase I might get a financial kickback at no additional cost to you.
Kajabi this is the all in one platform for where I host all of my trainings (if you register for this via my link do let me know as I have a special thank you)
Leadpages I use this to build quick sales pages and opt ins
ConvertKit I use this for sending out emails. Its free for your first 100 subscribers I think
Products and Services in the Pipeline for 2021 and beyond??
ha ha…all of the ideas lol
Watch this space
I hope this has been helpful.
I am on a mission to demystify online business, and get rid of any of the embarrassment business owners sometimes feel as they grow their business. Sometimes it takes a while to find the right business model. Sometimes you have to test and pilot things to get to what the best solution is.
PLUS the mother fucking world keeps changing lol
Could my model be simpler? Should yours be? For sure. But we get to set the rules in our business and do what works for us.
I know I’m not normal. I’m a disruptor, I am a maverick, an alchemist, an ideas machine. And thats why business coaching is the perfect job for me, because as well as being able to be playful and just try a heap of different thing, I also love nothing more than gifting ideas, concepts and formats to my clients and the world more generally.
Julie Creffield is a Tribe Leadership Expert, Community Engagement Strategist and Creative Business Coach with more than 20 years experience of developing audiences, and scaling movements that matter. She is based in East London and has an 8 year old daughter, and a mischievous ginger cat called Tom.
She spent the first decade of her career working on large cultural projects such as the London 2012 Olympics, and with organisations as diverse as The Met Police, Sport England and The Royal Opera House, managing multi million pound budgets. She now supports experts, coaches and consultants to grow profitable and impactful businesses with community at their heart. If you’d like to find out about the programmes, products and services coming up for business owners and leaders get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org set up a call (chin wag) to discuss how she can help you reach your business objectives