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.
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.
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.
“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.
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?
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.
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?