How to Run Your Own Business Staycation

My secret’s out. There’s a practice from my corporate days that I stole. I think it’s so good, you should try it too!

Companies hold retreats for their employees all the time. It’s a thing, right? Yet as entrepreneurs, it’s easy to think it’s too expensive, it’s a waste of time or it’s too indulgent.

But what happens when you change your environment, focus on treating yourself and give you and your business the time and love it deserves?

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I’ve just wrapped up my own business staycation, and the response from my community was so strong. I knew I had to devote an episode to sharing what exactly I was up to in my hotel room with my multi colored poster boards and markers!

You’ll hear why it’s integral for every level of entrepreneur, when and where it should happen and who should be involved.

I also outline what exactly went down in mine, right down to the four poster boards I created:

  • Dreams 2019 and beyond

  • What’s working and what’s not

  • Revenue goals

  • Content plan

After this brainstorming session and a good night’s sleep, I woke up refreshed and ready to create my implementation plan. Out came my calendar and I plugged in how to best make my plans come to life.

It’s normal to have a little voice in the back of your mind telling you this is a waste of time, that you don’t really need to have a business staycation. But that voice wants you to play safe. It knows that this is a chance to be bold and dream big and create a solid action plan to make it all come true.

This is a chance to combine self-care with business strategy. If that’s not balancing the head and the heart of business, I don’t know what is!

How to Find Satisfaction as an Entrepreneur (Hint: More Money Won’t Do It)

When you’re starting a business from scratch, it’s easy to look ahead to the next milestone or achievement and think “once I get there, then I’ll be happy”.

  • Once I have 10,000 followers… my business will feel important and legit.

  • After I start making over six figures… all my money worries will go away.

  • If I can build my business to the size of needing staff… then I’ll have really made it!

Today’s guests, Emylee Williams and Abagail Pumphrey from Think Creative Collective have surpassed all of those milestones and then some.  They’re back for a second time on Courage and Clarity with a heavy dose of reality of what it’s like to run an incredibly successful online biz.

Think it’s all rainbows and unicorns once you’ve “made it”? Think again.

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In this episode we explore how to feel satisfied as an entrepreneur.  Because depending on outside vanity metrics or monetary milestones just doesn’t cut it.

Emylee and Abagail had reached a point to where every hopeful entrepreneur wants to be. They had solid products, a large and engaged audience and steady income. Yet even though they were successful, they were both still unhappy and stressed.  They just weren’t excited about what they were doing anymore.

Something else was out there that they needed to be doing.  They knew they needed to listen to their guts, follow their instincts and do something that felt fun and fresh again.

Enter the Boss Project Summit.

These ladies were so in tune with this new idea, that within two weeks of even thinking of it, doors were open for registration.  

What exactly is the Boss Project Summit? Over the course of 4 days, 40+ speakers (myself included!) are going to shake things up in the attendees’ businesses. Whether it’s branding help, messaging tweaks, funnels set up, social media strategy in place, financial planning, mindset shifts, or more, they’ve got you covered.

And if you’re reading this before November 6 2018 - you can still snag your free ticket here.

This summit is such a great example of doing what feels right in your business vs doing what you think you should be doing.  

This episode has something for all of my listeners, those just starting out and the more seasoned of the bunch.  Have a listen and then head over the Courage and Clarity Community on Facebook and tell me what your biggest takeaway was!

How to Get Out of a Funk, Rut or Creative Standstill

Feast or famine, it’s the classic entrepreneurial challenge. 

As a business owner you’ll have times when your physical and creative energy is low, and you start to question it all.  You’ll be scared that if you spend a day in your flannel pj’s watching This is Us on Netflix surrounded by crumpled up tissues – that somehow your business won’t survive.

You built a business to have more time and freedom, but now taking a break is scary and it feels like you’ll never regain your momentum. 

How do I know all of this?  Because I’ve been there.  Not just last week – but this exact same time last year as well!

I’ve had two tricky Octobers in a row. And since I’ve just experienced one, I’m sharing how to lean into a funk.  Because as much as we always want to get “out” of it as quickly as possible, the only way out is through.

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The good news is if you take a step back and acknowledge your patterns, you can handle a much-needed break or a surprise funk with skill and ease. You know, instead of thinking your world and business is crashing and burning to an end.

Seriously, my greatest idea from last year, the 15 Minute Planner, even came from the tail end of a “funk”! 

The Clarity half of this episode includes four tips to navigate a break or funk:

  1. Strategic Pause - How to plan out a break on your calendar that makes sure you gain confidence in stepping away from your business knowing it will be there when you come back.

  2. Ownership- A necessary break in the flow of your business isn’t an excuse for a “woe is me” crisis.  You’ve got to trust that you’ve got the creativity and skills to figure it out!

  3. Trust- Trust that “future you” can handle it and course correct.  In order to give yourself and your business the space you need, you’ve got to believe this!

  4. Cramming vs Resting - Doubling your work so you can take a bit of time off isn’t a rest.  It’s cramming.  Instead, change the questions to – how do I work less? What can I Say no to? What ball can I drop? 

How We Sold Out a Live Event (Bizdom Retreat Recap)

The first ever Bizdom Retreat is a wrap!  But before parting ways, Steph and Megan couldn’t resist getting together one more time. Rather than their usual Skype calls, they’re in the same room to record how it all went down.  

You’ll hear the backstory of how the first ten episodes “Bizdom” came to be.  Nope, it wasn’t a long thought out strategic plan. It was born from the simple idea that your work should feel fun.  

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As they look back on the path leading up to the retreat you’ll hear:

  • Steph’s initial reaction to Megan’s idea of leading this retreat (the story may surprise you!)

  • How they sold out every spot, without fancy funnels or advanced marketing techniques

  • A particularly magical story of how one of the retreat members made it there

  • What it was like to take the leap and book the non-refundable house

The success of the Bizdom Retreat is proof that one of the best sales techniques is when you show up sincerely and with real value for your customers.

From No Idea to Sold Out Group Program in Two Months

Meet Kalissa Scopes, an incredible student of mine with an inspiring entrepreneurial story to share. In this episode we discuss how her hard work she dedicated in Crickets to Customers has paid off. She went from unsure if she even had a business idea to filling ten spots in her first small group program in under two months!

Kalissa specializes in race equity and her new business can be found at www.unlearningeverydayracism.com She is committed to supporting fellow white people in their anti-racism work.

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In her Courage episode you'll hear:

  • The challenges she faced after being laid off from her government job of 15 years

  • The long path of self-doubt she faced in her desire to build her own business

  • Why she based her business on this incredibly important topic

In her Clarity episode she shares:

  • Why she chose Crickets to Customers even after being disappointed with other business courses

  • How she followed the steps of the course like a recipe and refused to deviate from the lessons

  • Her transformation from uncertainty to running her first small group program with confidence

Kalissa's story will really hit home for anyone hoping to build an online business but worried that their topic doesn't fit the mold. It’s also more proof that you don’t need an audience of thousands (or even hundreds!) to make real money in your business.

One Easy Secret for Creating Content on Multiple Platforms

Do you struggle with coming up for content for multiple platforms week after week in your business?

There’s some marketing gurus out there who insist you need to show up on every possible platform.  Instagram. Facebook. Pinterest. Twitter. And don’t forget about your email list!

When we spread ourselves too far and thin, the quality of work is diluted and it’s too easy to end up feeling drained and uninspired.

Today’s solo episode will help with the common challenge of “what the heck should I create for them this week?”

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I’m going to let you in on a super simple secret so you can create engaging content for your audience, easily and across multiple platforms.

After listening to this episode, I want you to sit and take a good look at the different corners of the Internet where you offer content and ask yourself these questions:

  • Why are you there?

  • What is each platform’s purpose?

  • Do you feel pulled in too many directions? If so, it’s time to let one go

When you follow the tip I share today, you’ll know what to post and where each week - without reinventing the wheel!

How to Get Your First Three Clients

You believe in your dream and you’re ready to put in the work.  But the fact remains - if you’re ever going to take your business full-time or leave your current job, you’re going to have to land paying customers!

Today’s episode is the perfect follow up to last week’s “Is Your Dream Really Possible?” and another solo show where I answer a question that was posted in The Courage and Clarity Facebook Group.

This question resonated with so many in our community.  Amanda believes in herself and her talent, but what’s her next step when it comes to finding her first three clients?

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What a great chance for me to look back on my career and share five actionable steps that I’ve used myself that will lead to real paying clients.

No fancy funnels or marketing here.  These are tips that everyone can do - you don’t need a lot of money for ads or any special circumstances.  And while I believe it’s the simplest path to paying clients, don’t mistake simple for easy!

In this Clarity episode you’ll hear:

  1. Why I recommend going one-on-one with your services as your first step

  2. How crafting one core and simple offer will make business easier on you and your future clients

  3. The benefits of leveraging IRL opportunities (even if they make you uncomfortable at first!)

  4. The power of your very own personal Rolodex

  5. My recommendation of going paid or offering free services when you’re brand new in your business

Some of these tips will put you out of your comfort zone, but this is where your unshakable belief in your dream is necessary.  To see your vision through, you’ll need to risk rejection, put the work in, cold call and do things that scare yourself.

When you’re faced with uncomfortable challenges in your business, you’ve got to have the courage to see your vision come true. And if you stick with it, you'll be rewarded for your conviction and your steady action towards your dreams.

Is Your Dream Really Possible?

Do you ever feel terrified of your big dreams?  Scared because if they don’t come true you’ll be devastated?

I think we’ve all been there.  And lately I’ve heard a common theme around this develop in the C&C community, my Instagram and even with my 1:1 coaching clients.  

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When we’re scared our dreams might not come true, we place conditions on them. “I’ll give this ten years to work, or I’ll go back to that career I didn’t really love”. We create backup plans and time constraints on our businesses. This energy of not being “all-in” is like telling your business you don’t believe in it 100%

I know with Courage & Clarity that once I committed fully, let go of the “how” and came to terms with the fact that it would be messy and uncomfortable at times - my business transformed!

So when you’ve got big dreams, you’ve got to let go of the conditions you put on your dreams and replace them with some faith and trust.

Like I’ve talked about so many times on this show before, if you keep showing up, you’ll get whatever you’re dreaming of.

I promise, when you’re all in, focus your energy and move forward with steady actions, The Universe will conspire on your behalf. You don’t get to choose the “how” - you just need to show up and believe.

I get pretty deep into mindset and energy talk, but don’t worry, I didn’t leave the brass tacks out of this episode.  I’ve also included:

  • 8 key points for you to consider when going after your dreams.

  • An easy and fun tactic that helped me fill the pre-sale of my first course launch

I loved recording this episode for you all, as I reflect on my journey to building C&C into what it is today and dreaming of all it will become.

By the end of listening to this I want you to not only realize that your dream is possible, but that it’s already on its way to you!

What To Do With Your Dream When You’re Dealing with Crisis

On this Bizdom episode, Steph and Megan answer a question that will apply to every entrepreneur at one point in their business building journey.  

Courage & Clarity Community member Brigitte has recently discovered that her father has Alzheimers and she will be traveling more to be with her parents, all while raising her children and running her business.

Her question is:

“How can she work and stay focused on her mission while she has family slow but irreversible crisis to focus on?”

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Many listeners of this podcast can relate.  Business builders are do-ers, go-getters and used to being in control and “making things happen”.  The knee-jerk reaction is to make space and carry on like the crisis isn’t happening.

In the Courage episode we discuss mindset adjustments for challenging times:

  • How to adjust your energy levels and expectations of yourself during times of crisis

  • Affirmations to focus on

  • Why you absolutely need separation between yourself and your business

In the Clarity episode we discuss four tactical ways to approach your business in times of crisis:

  • A/B Weeks

  • Batching content and adjusting schedule to take full week off

  • Minimum Viable Effort

  • Minimum Viable Income

It’s a fact:, we’re all going to face a challenging time in our business and personal life.  But if we’re honest with ourselves in how much we can give and strategic in how we schedule ourselves, we can truly design our lifestyle businesses to fit our needs.

Show Notes:

Why Showing Up is Enough: From 0 to 13,000 Hits in a Day

Meet Jen Rao, new online business builder, Canadian nomad, one of my students AND my virtual assistant!

I recently asked my listeners what they wanted to hear more of on the Courage and Clarity Podcast.  Many of you requested more episodes that feature business builders who were still in their early stages.  There’s something so comforting and inspiring to hear stories from women maybe only one or two steps ahead from where you are.

Jen is right there with you, she launched her blog in April of this year.  Then in August something cool happened, one of her articles went viral.

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Guys, she literally went from blogging to crickets to having an audience.   You’re going to love to hear the before and after numbers!

In Jen’s courage episode you’ll hear:

  • Why she decided to sell her home and most of her possessions to travel full-time
  • How she finances her life and travels without putting undue pressure on her growing online business
  • Why identifying how you want to feel in life can be the catalyst to make real change
  • How she got clear on her business idea after months of “procrasti-learning” and too many ideas

In her clarity episode we dive into:

  • The lead up to one of her posts being featured on a big player in her niche’s own site
  • How she made sure she was ready for an influx of traffic even when she didn't know if it would happen
  • Why it’s so important to keep showing up, even when you’re not sure when, where or how your first or next big break is going to happen

This episode is for any listeners out there discouraged that they aren’t seeing their work gain traction.  You never know when those magic moments are going to happen, and it’s up to us to keep showing up and putting in the work!

Backstage Pass: Tools, Tech & Exact Process for a $40k Course Launch

If there’s one thing I love, it’s opening the curtain to allow a sneak peak behind the scenes of what it takes to be successful in doing something that you love.

In this backstage pass style episode, I’m giving you the real tactics I used to have a $40k course launch.

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This Clarity episode covers:

Pre-selling

  • Why I ended up having a pre-sale even when I had zero plans or desire to do so
  • How I stayed in the flow and connected with my community which built trust and eventually meant more sales
  • The exact method I used to get 37 pre-sale students in 72 hours

Challenges + Webinars

  • How I build a buzz and warm up my people with a fun and results driven 5 day challenge
  • How a massive technical issue during my first webinar actually ended up working in my favor
  • How I created a tight, no fluff and super valuable webinar that my community loved

Tech & Back-end

  • The three user-friendly platforms I used to build and market Crickets to Customers
  • Plus the new tactic I use in my email provider to gather valuable data for future course launches

Producing the Course

  • Why I’m creating each module one week at a time and what it means for future launches
  • My promise that you don’t need technical know how to create impressive video content
  • I’ll let you peek into how I have a comfortable natural delivery in my videos
  • I answer the question if you need fancy or expensive equipment

Moving Forward

  • How I keep it playful and fun
  • Why Crickets to Customers is key part of my business that will be launched again in future

Thinking of Launching a Course? 4 Ways to Know When You're Ready (ep. 104)

This is part-one of a two-part series that details how I launched my first course, Crickets to Customers! 

Now that I've officially wrapped up the launch I'm going to share my biggest takeaways from the process.

I always knew I wanted to create my own course, and after helping clients in one-on-one and group coaching scenarios, I figured out what I could base mine on.

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In this Courage episode I dig into four main points:

 

Why courses?

  • How a well built course can get your work out to a much larger amount of people vs one on one settings (we all have a dream to help the masses, right?)

How to know when the timing is right

  • How I knew it was time + the right expectations to have before you begin
  • Why it’s best to wait until you have some traction

The pros & cons of launching a course

  • Why it’s harder to hold people accountable + how I’ve managed to have incredible results with student participation
  • How to incentivize your students to do the work
  • Why more content isn’t  always a good thing when developing your course materials

Developing the materials

  • How to decide the steps to teach
  • What I did when I hit a brick wall with the overwhelming pile of content I had in front of me 

Next week I’ll be back to cover the second part and more tactical side of launching Crickets to Customers!

How to Grow When No One is Paying Attention to You (Business Wisdom, ep 103)

In this episode, Steph and Megan are back to answer a listener question from Courage and Clarity Community member Vicki.  Vicki has started her own podcast, and after feeling gutted from her low early listener counts she asks:

“How are her people ever going to find her?

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We know there are a lot of new entrepreneurs out there thinking the same thing as Vicki.  So, how do you keep going while you’re kind of talking to nobody?

In this episode, you'll learn:

  • The # 1 predictor of success that all entrepreneurs have in common
  • Why you need to build a business that you love right now, not only when you have the audience you dream of
  • How to be OK with it taking a while (because it most likely will)
  • The upside of not having a large audience while you’re just getting started

We finish with a Bizdom style blend of mindset advice for when you’re feeling bummed about your small or non-existent audience and three practical strategies that anyone can use to get more people in front of their content.

And as always, Steph is here to remind everyone to have fun with their business and to ask themselves “what would this look like if it was easy?”

We loved answering Vicki’s question and just know that you’ll take away something for your own journey.

How To Sell Out a Group Program with Zero Audience with Kristine Newman (ep 102)

Meet Kristine Newman, one of my students and new online business owner at DrKristineNewman.com.  In this episode, she shares how she went from a practically non-existent following to running her own group coaching program in two weeks. 

Yep, you read that right, two weeks!

This episode brings relief to any newbie entrepreneurs who worry they won’t make any money until they have 10,000 or more followers.

Courage and Clari

In the Courage half we discuss:

  • The terrifying rock-climbing accident that halted Kristine's ability to work on her feet
  • The sad decision to sell her family practice three years after the injury
  • Why she decided to take her passion for health care online 

Then, in the Clarity part we get deep into her group program success:

  • My answer when she asked to copy my group coaching program outline
  • How she created excitement and interest in her tiny Facebook group through a week long challenge
  • How quickly she filled six spots in her group coaching program
  • Why it feels “easy and effortless”

If you've ever felt discouraged about finding a large enough audience to make money from your passion, this episode is for you!

Productivity Your Way: 3 Ways Megan Seeley Customizes the 15 Minute Planner Method

This week I'm so excited to welcome my friend and coaching student, Megan Seeley -- The Goal Designer!

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Megan is an anti-productivity coach for moms. She challenges them to live a life of radical non-guilt, and teaches them to strategically carve out time for themselves. 

Megan is very much in the middle of her own Courage story, and she shares her entrepreneurial journey vulnerably. After re-arranging her entire life to be a stay at home mom only to realize it wasn't for her, Megan knew she had to discover her purpose. 

In the Clarity part of the episode, Megan shares her 3 tips for combining traditional paper planners with the 15 Minute Planner Method. 

If you love the 15 Minute Planner Method but are seeking a way to customize it and truly make it your own, you'll love this episode with Megan! 

Show Notes:

5 Game-Changing Strategies for Hosting Wildly Profitable Webinars with Amy Porterfield

I’m beyond excited to introduce Episode 100’s super special guest, Amy Porterfield!  

Amy's voice is one of the few mainstays I'd hear coming through my car speakers during my commute to my corporate job every day in 2014, when what I do today was only a dream. So to say that this interview was a surreal experience would be a huge understatement. 

Besides hosting her own top-rated podcast, Amy teaches entrepreneurs and business owners how to use online marketing strategies so they can sell with ease.

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In the COURAGE half of the episode you’ll hear:

* How scary it was for Amy to leave her “dream job” with Tony Robbins to start her own business
* That she wasn’t an overnight success and didn’t have huge course launches right away
* A story she hasn’t shared before that was pivotal to her career change (I just know this one will strike a cord with so many of you)

In the CLARITY half, hear Amy’s best advice to create, present and profit from webinars!

Here’s just a little taste of what we get into:

* Why Amy's sure that webinars are the best way to launch an online course or program
* The ONE thing you must have in your webinar
* Questions to ask yourself before you start building your slides
* The teaching method Amy uses in her own webinars
* When to invite people (and what to do after the webinar is over!)
* How to get people to show up live

Friends, this episode is a truly special one for me. I can’t wait to hear what you resonates with in this episode! 

Elements of a Successful Pre-Launch (Without Trying Very Hard) Ep 99, Business Wisdom Series

What if selling courses and products could be inspired by the communities you serve and actually feel good?

In the final (for now!) episode of the Business Wisdom Series, our one and only Megan Hale asks Steph a question that entrepreneurs often wonder.

When someone else’s business looks effortless and fun, is that the whole story or is there more to it than that?

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In this podcast you’ll get a behind the scenes glimpse at Steph’s successful pre-launch and how she follows her intuition to make decisions in her business that feel good and get results.

You’ll also have proof that even the most successful business owners have to move past their own fears to get their best work out into the world.

This conversation will have you thinking differently about the smallest interactions you have with your community and is full of Bizdom ah-ha moments!

Questions Steph asks herself when making decisions for her business:

  • If I were in the audience how would I want to feel?

  • What would I like to learn and how would I like to learn it?

  • If I put my work out there, what’s the worst thing that can happen?

"Is This as Good as it Gets?" What To Do When Things Feel Stagnant (Ep 98, Business Wisdom Series)

Have you ever asked, "is this as good as it's gonna get in my business?" In this episode of the Business Wisdom Series, Steph & Megan dive deep into plateaus -- what they are, why they happen, why they're normal and how to move past them. 

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In this episode of the Business Wisdom Series, Steph & Megan dive deep into plateaus -- what they are, why they happen, why they're normal and how to move past them. 

In the clarity part of the conversation, we give listener Beth some practical tips she can use when her business hits a plateau -- and this applies to all of us, beyond our businesses too! 

Beth's question:

"What should I do when things feel stagnant? There is no growing going on. Is this just a season or is this as good as it gets?"

"If you feel like you've hit a wall, open the door and walk through." - Price Pritchett, "You Squared"

All About Balance: Clients, In-Person Vs. Online & Daily Routines (ep 97, Business Wisdom Series)

Running your own business on your own terms is awesome and everything but ... what about balance? 

It's a question we get all the time, and if we're honest, it's something we're wrestling with all the time ourselves. 

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In this episode of the Business Wisdom Series, Steph & Megan set out to answer listener Amber's three different questions about this very tricky topic: 

1. The balance between "what I really wanna be doing" and "what I need to do first"
2. The balance between in person and online business, especially when you don't have many clients in either area
3. The daily balance, and what a "balanced" schedule might even look like for an experienced entrepreneur

A Step-by-Step Guide to Getting the Word Out About Your Product (Business Wisdom Series, Ep 96)

If you want to create a strong push for getting the word out, where would you focus your energy?

This week's question comes from Marianne and in order to answer it we're digging into the two pillars of business building: audience, and product. 

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We're defining the "lie of productivity", examining the difference between working ON your business versus working IN your business, and sustainable vs. unsustainable growth. 

Megan's all about doubling down on the people she's already got, and Steph's instinct is to expand outward. Both strategies are necessary, so with our powers combined we're giving you a roadmap to building buzz and keeping the audience ball rolling while you're simultaneously building a product. 

This is a juicy, tactical tip conversation, and as listener Marianne warns, "Don't Bizdom & Drive -- you'll want to write everything down!"