So, my beautiful friend, you want to start a blog or/and have an online business?
There's no mistake, I want to build a coaching business that gives me the freedom, earn my worth and be the thought leader in my industry by being a purposeful servant.
Here, I pour my soul (as embarrassing it may be) I'm sharing my first year of business and why I fail so badly.
Complication kills ease and grace.
1. I was not honest with the time I was willing to give into this business.
At first, I thought I could:
- work in my high demanding job during the day,
- be a mama to Nina whenever she needs me and
- work on my coaching business between 10 pm - 1 am every freaking day.
Of course, I became exhausted, overwhelmed, frustrated and guilty. Not forgetting feeling like a complete loser!!
I repelled any chance of being successful at my business because sub- consciously I was fucking tired and I didn't want play.
So what I did was, I mapped out my whole life on Goggle Calendar with the help of one of my amazing mentor Debbie Spellman. I was more aware of how my day was suppose to look like and so I felt less guilty about not spending time with myself, with Nina or in my business.
My month looks like this:
As you might be able to see, I blocked out time for when I'm doing gratitude journaling, meditation or when it's my turn drive to Nina to daycare.
TIP: Enter Everything!
The schedule above, I work 2 or 3 days a week with limited hours blocked out for only either working with clients or content creation. (My Acuity is link to Google Calendar of course)
Every month changes and sometimes, I can only work with clients 1 day a week as you can see on the 3rd week of March.
Poor time management leads to poor coaching offering which brings me to:
2. I had too many offers because I was doing what everybody else's was doing.
In the beginning, I was offering everything. This is what we call "shiny things sydrome'.
I wanted to provide personal styling sessions, membership site, 1 hour power hour, 3 month coaching series, 6 month coaching series, 12 month coaching series., group coaching, Ecourses, facebook groups, youtube channel, podcast, a digital magazine(!)...
And guess what, everything was either a launch failure or un-nurtured. I was trying to focus and do too many things that I fail to create valuable contents and connect with my ideal clients.
Now, I just have one offering which will serve me and my clients well.
My Alignment Mentoring is 3 sessions and I have incorporated Mind Detox technique which I am not yet qualified.
However, with the fundamentals of Mind Detox, my life experiences, my learnings from my mentors, endless Ecourses I've dived into and my training from The Beautiful You Coaching Academy, I've developed a structured offering that is meaningful to me. And therefore, meaningful to my clients.
3. I was overthinking about how my website should look like.
I think I may have fiddled and changed my website over 10 times now. I've purchased perhaps 3-4 different wordpress themes and have changed the layout of my website many times.
I wasn't prepared to invest on a web developer but I would purchase plugins thinking it will be a great investment to make my site 'look pretty' only having to find it all to hard and time consuming to figure out how it all works.
Today, I've moved over to Squarespace and kept my design simple.
[I will most probably blog about why I moved to Squarespace later. But just quickly, moving over to SQSP has made my life easier.]
4. I didn't invest in professional photography sooner.
I believe if you want to be "pro", you will need to find a professional photographer.
And the best tip I can give you right now is to take lifestyle shots not headshots on a white background.
What stopped me from finding one sooner? Well, I wanted to use the same photographer that a lot of my peers in the life coaching industry here was using. Of course she was a big investment.
What I eventually did was I found a local photographer, Emma from Emma Wand Photography. One thing that gravitated me towards Emma, was that she had similars values which is so much more important. Her a beautiful photography work was an icing on the cake.
What can I say, it was pure alignment.
When you become clear and open, pure alignment happens.
5. Comparing myself to others all the time.
I would be stuck in so call 'research' mode until I become discouraged.
Or I would be analysing someone's business to a point that I would almost sound like her.
["Oh crap! I'm copying her" - I would think]
I don't mean too but when you are in awe of someone's business, you'll start to sound like her or embodying her business even when that was not your intention.
I had to find myself again. I would stop following and start journaling my WHY, essentially finding my voice again.
6. I was too quick to spend money on things (aka platforms, plug-ins, facebook ads. etc) that I didn't understand.
Consequences? - I was wasting so much money.
I would even invest in the wrong coach. I'll jumped at the chance to work with anyone whom I thought had a fancy way of calling into my success. [I'm not ready to confess how much money I've wasted but yeah it's in the thousands]
Now, I would think before I spend my money on FB ads because to me FB ads are not easy if you are not an expert.
7. I overcomplicated my systems.
I had no flow to how I would connect with my readers automatically to become paying clients.
I would have different platforms or processes from how to book clients, gather their questionnaires and how I was going to get paid.
I also wasted lots of time signing up for trials here and there to figure out what was worth of my investment.
This is where Squarespace is amazing. When you sign up with SQSP, you are than automatically link to Acuity Scheduling [which will help me with my billing system as well.]
I did use Calendly at one point but found the free version restrictive as my fortnights are never the same.
If I didn't made the switch to SQSP, I would have strongly considered Satori.
Another point, I stopped thinking about investing in large automation email providers like GetResponse, Leadpages, Convertkit, etc.
Mailchimp is great and simple to use. Its free and cheaper if you want to use it's automatic functions and it's already integrated into SQSP.
[In saying this, if /when Convertkit has a seamless integration with SQSP and when, ONLY when I am ready, I might actually invest in Convertkit.]
8. I was not clear on who I am and so my branding was non-existing.
When I first started my personal styling website, I wanted to attract women into my space and thought I should have PINK everywhere. Now, I not a 'pink' sort of person. So my site did not felt like home.
Again, I was complicating things like what fonts I should use, my logo, my colours and the name of my business.
Below are images of what I could find in the past. Not very appealing huh?
Today, since moving over to Squarespace, my CTA (call to action) is above the fold and I have no logo or fancy fonts.
All said and done,
- stop comparing yourself,
- be clear
- know what you want to invest (time + money or systems)
- and just keep everything simple!
Ok my friend, if you want to start something different like a blog, business or career change but don't feel like you are worthy enough because of years of believing that you are not smart enough then lets chat.
I, myself am not smart. I didn't go to business school nor did I have major financial backup. I however have a major calling to be an epic role model to my daughter. Getting her to believe she can be anything she wants to be because her mama embodied her worth.