** This is the final installment in a multi-part series on how I’ve built my coaching business. Enjoy!
2016 – my 9th year in business as a coach – has been, in a word: interesting.
I write this post at the end of a super, super intense few months.
The last quarter of 2016 was one of the most challenging I’ve ever faced.
I wanted to create something really extraordinary to wrap up this series and capture this year, but I’m at a place of surrender instead.
I thought I’d pull together all these fancy graphics and really sketch out the flow of this post before I began, but instead my inner voice is saying, “fuck it Jenny … just write.”
I’m listening to that wise counsel.
My tank has been teetering on close to empty for too long now.
So … instead of aiming for “epic,” I’m aiming for “real.”
Where shall we begin?
I suppose I’ll touch on some key themes and lessons that came up for me this year … then I’ll tell you more about the challenges and gifts of my most recent months.
Run the experiment … everything is a test
Okay, so I got schooled in this concept last year when I read “The Surrender” Experiment” by Michael A Singer. OMG. So good. That should be required reading for humans.
This year I truly started embracing this “testing” concept in business where I ran A LOT of tests under the guidance of my coach Jennifer Kem who I hired earlier this year.
I tested free challenges on Facebook (I ran 5 this year!), more than $40,000 in Facebook ads, price points for programs, different types of launches, and podcast publishing frequency.
I tested how best to offer up my awesome Tribe Building Bootcamp course, which is a perfect entry-point into my business as it gives customers a simple framework to follow to grow their tribe online.
Heads-up: we are selling this course until Wednesday, December 21 with a few amazing bonuses you’ll go wild for. Happy holidays! Get in here.
Let me tell you, I have A LOT of data. A LOT.
Some of my tests were huge successes. Happy dance! Some were bombs. Painful bombs.
And I’m grateful for the lessons … because I’ll build on what works, and sidestep what doesn’t for ME in 2017.
And my clients and students get to learn from a coach and teacher who speaks from experience and not just theory. Yes, I’m in the trenches … just like you.
Don’t be afraid to fail. Be afraid not to try.
“My whole career has been one rejection after another and then going back and back and pushing against everything and everybody. Getting ahead by small, ugly steps.” – Joan Rivers
Honor your soul during a launch (what works for “them” may not work for you)
I launched A LOT of programs this year. A lot.
Frankly, I’ve been launching programs for several years so I’m not a newbie here. I have my own style of launching for sure. It’s very organic, simple and intuitive.
In an effort to grow the business this year and take some of the load off of my so I could operate in my Zone of Genius, we grew the team (my people are amazing, smart and committed) and executed some pretty complex launches.
I wanted to see what that whole deal felt like. I kind of thought to be a big “player” you needed to have a million movable parts in a project.
What I’ve learned, I don’t have the interest or bandwidth right now to be a part of very complex launches and projects.
My mantra: KEEP IT SIMPLE.
I’m looking for the best results with least amount of effort.
And I got away from that a bit this year.
No regrets, simply powerful lessons learned about how I want to chart the course next year.
Leave the complex launches for the marketing ninjas who delight in the nitty gritty details. I’m more of a big picture gal. Less is more to me.
Knowing your numbers is mission-critical
Big shout-out to my financial strategist Carol LeBlanc for helping me LOVE + KNOW my business numbers in 2016.
Honestly knowing my numbers was something I RESISTED in the past.
“I don’t like numbers,” I would say. “They’re not my thing.”
As a creative, I wanted to immerse myself in more artistic pursuits.
But alas, the numbers must be cared for in a business … or else, you’ll go out of business.
While numbers don’t tell the WHOLE story, they don’t lie either.
So grateful I hired Carol a year ago (after she wrapped up her time in my mastermind) to help take my business to another level.
We have had a GREAT year.
Profits are up 80% compared to last year … and I feel like I have a trusted advisor in the financial piece of this work.
Know this >> what you focus on, grows.
Next year, I’m bringing an every stronger focus on expenses and cutting back what isn’t essential to our growth. Because it’s super easy to spend more when you make more. And this can get dicey.
I was willing to spend this year to run all the tests I wanted to run … but now that I have some solid data, I can make smarter decisions next year.
Fun fact: I went through and cut services that we don’t need in 2017 and have already saved the business $4,800!
Where can you cut?
And what do you need to invest in to trigger growth?
Spiritual growth = business growth
For sure. The deeper I dove into my connection with Spirit, the better I felt. My weekly podcast helps with this as I talk to fantastic guests who ALWAYS have a message that I’m meant to hear.
I followed the call of Spirit when I attended a 2-day spiritual retreat with John of God, a Brazilian medium, at Omega Institute. It was deeply healing. What was super-cool is that I planned to go with one of my clients. We did a VIP Day together here in the Berkshires, then we both enjoyed our time at John of God.
Speaking of listening to Spirit, I’m doing this big-time in January when I lead a 5-night retreat in Costa Rica for my GLOW Mastermind clients.
Here’s the story …
Earlier this year, I received a divine download in a yoga class.
The message I heard >> “Jenny, it’s time to lead a retreat in Costa Rica.”
You should know that I’ve never been to Costa Rica before.
And yet, I knew the message was meant for me.
And so I committed.
Found the epic venue.
Signed the contract.
Rallied the troops to join me.
Filled my GLOW mastermind with the most exquisite traveling companions.
You should know something about me.
When I get a clear signal, I act on it. This is how I’ve grown my business since the beginning. That’s how I’m still standing when most small businesses don’t survive past the 5-year mark.
“I am not a woman. I am not a man. I am not a person. I am not myself. I am a teacher.”
I LOVE to teach. LOVE IT.
I actually entered college wanting to be a high school English teacher. Realized early on that wasn’t the exact right path for me, but I never lost my love of teaching.
That’s why I love my coaching school so much (heads-up enrollment for our January 2017 class closes on Monday, December 19!).
Because I get to teach lightworker leaders how to cash in on their calling with their gifts. It’s so much fun.
As a teacher and head of my business, an affirmation that has stretched me to make important and big decisions is the Kundalini teacher’s oath >>
“I am not a woman. I am not a man. I am not a person. I am not myself. I am a teacher.”
Strips away all of the “shoulds” and “guilt” and “Oh my, I don’t know if I can do what needs to be done here” bullshit and simply allows you to stand strong in your wise teacher energy to offer your student / client / tribe member the lesson you are meant to teach them.
And you’re both better for it.
Stop disqualifying yourself
I’ve let a lot of opportunities pass me by because I felt like I wasn’t “ready” or “good enough.”
The shitty script that many of us operate from is “you’re not good enough.” It’s brutal.
And while I’ve done A TON of work on myself to flip the script, the low-vibe message still gets the best of me at times.
But I’m proud that instead of disqualifying myself again for a prestigious award called The Stevie Awards for Women in Business, I WENT FOR IT (thanks to Elaine Wellman on my team not letting me ignore the opp!) and WON a Silver Stevie for COACH OF THE YEAR.
It has been a hard slog to get here, but worth every step.
Challenges are gifts in disguise
This final piece focuses on the curveball my family was hit with in October. In a nutshell, my 2nd grade son Sean stopped going to school.
(This was also the exact time that we were in the midst of our Get Gutsy Coach Training School launch. Plus I have 2 other children to raise! One something happens to one, it tends to throw off the entire group – yikes.)
Something happened at his school one day that totally freaked him out.
And he was unable to return to the classroom (despite many, many attempts).
After 2 months of talking to and working with experts, healers, guides … and even visiting different schools … my husband and I came to the realization that the best thing for Sean at this time is to homeschool him for the rest of the school year and then see where we go from there.
It’s the right move for Sean, and for our family, right now.
I was totally freaked out at first (how will I ever pull this off?) but I am now totally at peace and so excited.
So is my boy!
My husband and I are sharing the teaching and working around our work schedules. His schedule is flex like mine and we are seeing this as one giant gift.
We have several friends who homeschool and I’ve been consulting with those who have been walking this path.
I’ve redesigned my schedule for 2017 and am ready to give my son what he needs to be all he can be.
I am a mother, hear me roar.
I know I’m going to be so much more focused and efficient next year in my business – I’ll have to be!
High-value projects only.
Uber-committed clients and students only.
Best results from smartest amount of effort.
I’ll be batching my content creation (podcasts, videos and blog posts) to ensure my creativity is unleashed in a way that is sustainable and intelligent.
No more leaking energy! No more wasting resources.
2017 is already unfolding in magical ways and I am continuing to surrender and trust.
Been a long road to get here. I feel good + free.
Truth time …
I’ve sacrificed A LOT to build my business.
There’s been pressure on my shoulders to grow, grow, grow (my own doing).
This curveball we were thrown was a gorgeous (and painful) reminder to slow the eff down and enjoy my children.
Truly be with them.
Not rush to get shit done all the time.
Enjoy the mess.
Grow amidst the chaos … and do it at my own pace (knowing I can slow or quicken my pace at any time).
Our 2 new tortoises Goldilocks and Checkers are reminding me of the idea … “slow and steady wins the race.”
They combine well with our 2 cats Cricket and Michael who have mastered the art of relaxing (admittedly, a struggle for me!).
In 2017, I’m embracing slow, steady, relaxing EXPANSION that nourishes me and my family.
I was reminded of the fragility of life a few weeks ago when my friend Shannon died of cancer.
She has the same number of kids as me – 3 – all in the same pattern …
2 boys close in age … then #3 is our girl.
This quote carried me through the days after her death …
“Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything – all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important.” – Steve Jobs
What I know is this: you are here for a reason.
You are here to touch people’s lives.
You are here to expand.
You are here.
Do something that matters.
Do not wait another day.
Thanks for being a part of my year.
Wishing you so much love, light + faith as you GET GUTSY in 2017 + beyond.
If you feel you’re being called to the COACHING industry as your career or a supplement to what you’re doing now, but aren’t sure how to actually BE a COACH …
(You’ve got questions like:
How do you hold the space during your client sessions?
How do you onboard clients?
What do you charge?
How do you work with clients?
What technology do you need?
What policies and procedures will keep you in business?
How do you actually get clients?)
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