Podcast

8: How to flippin’ focus when you’re bursting with ideas

 

The voice for little voices. A podcast for solopreneurs to make you stop dithering and start making it happen. A weekly podcast for solopreneurs, jam packed with support and strategy to help you beat the business blues.

Today we are going to talk about how to focus when you are multi passionate. For those of you who haven’t heard that term before it basically means that you like a lot of things and your interested in all kinds of topics and projects and you simply cant focus on one single thing.

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I don’t know if you have read a book by Malcolm Gladwell called “Outliers.” He argues that 10,000 hours is the key number of hours that someone needs to spend working on something in order to become super successful. Forget about that number because some people don’t agree with him. Some people may say its 20,000 hours. It doesn’t matter about the number the sentiment is right. If you focus your efforts on one thing and you really work hard on that one thing then you are more likely to be successful at it.

However, it’s not always that simple. The idea for some people of dedicating your time to one thing and going in one single direction seems a bit boring and is simply something they don’t feel comfortable doing. So what should you do if you’ve got lots of interest and ideas? There are so many things you could be doing. What should you do then? Should you focus on one thing and maybe put some things to one side or is there a way of combining your interest?

I know what its like to be in this situation. A couple of years ago I found myself without a business. I had closed down my PR agency. It was an unexpected decision caused by I think I’ll tell you that story in another episode actually. There were some interesting circumstances surrounding the demise. So suddenly I found myself without a business and without a plan. I was wondering what I was going to do next and I was considering my options.

One thing I was sure about was when I set up my next business it was going to be something that I really enjoyed. The first thing I did was launch a website for fans of French Cinema. How random is that? But I have always loved French films and I had studied French at University. I really fancied myself as an intellectual film critic.

But you know what; a few months down the line the thought of watching another bloody French film made me role my eyes. I was completely over it. The passion was dead for me which is ironic because it is the most passionate culture in the world, but it was a mistake to turn that hobby into a business. That passion should have stayed a passion and was not destined to become my business.

My first suggestion for a multi passionate entrepreneur is to ask yourself “All though I love this do I want to do it everyday?” If you don’t think your passion extends to something you want to do every day it is okay for that passion to remain a hobby.

I think well rounded interesting humans have a range of interests and not every single one of those interests needs to be turned into a business. If you have a lot of passion and interest how do you go about choosing?

I am not going to tell you to follow your heart because this is a business decision. When I work with clients who are multi passionate we work through the options in a systematic fashion and we measure them against a series of criteria.

I am not a fan of boring spreadsheets and charts so it is possible to do this analysis doing some highly sophisticated techniques involving smiley faces and sad faces or hearts. I think it is perfectly acceptable to rate this criteria whichever way you like.

flippin focus worksheetI’ve made you a little worksheet to help you rate your ideas. Click here to download your copy.


 

The key is when you are accessing a business idea you’ve thought about it from a business perspective side. These are the things to consider.

  1. How big is the market opportunity?
  2. How much money could you actually make?
  3. How serious is the pain your people are experiencing?
  4. How easy are your people to reach?
  5. How much do you love this kind of work?
  6. How well established or expert are you in this field.

I suggest that you answer each of those questions for each business possibility. When you look at them and start rating them you will start to see which ones have the biggest potential. You will also see which ones should be kept as a hobby.

COMBINE YOUR PASSIONS

Another method to consider is a bit like basket weaving. If you’ve got more than one business of passion it may be possible to combine things.  Maybe there is a way of bringing your interests together.

When I used to work in innovation that was one of the techniques we used where we would take 2 random links and force them together and see what emerged was a good idea.

PARK IT

But what if the ideas just keep coming? You need some kind of strategy to keep them under control. I so relate to this. Ideas are my thing. I used to get paid to have ideas for big companies. My mum is actually an inventor. I think I have inherited some of that stuff!

Just to give you and idea every time I am in the shower or on a train ride or going to sleep ideas are popping into my head. Often it is useful if I am being paid to have ideas. But it is an infliction in some ways. It is quite exhausting so I used to leap into action whenever I had a new idea. It was knackering and I was all over the place. You end up looking like a headless chicken.

Now I park my ideas and this was another technique I learned. Essentially what you’re doing is writing your ideas down in a safe place for a rainy day. If I ever need to come back to them then I know where they are and they are off my chest.

Don’t underestimate how exhausting it is having these ideas floating around in your head. Not only is it taking up part of your brain power but they cloud your judgement so next time you are thinking of a solution or you’re focusing on growing your business that little idea will just be wiggling around in your brain and it influences what you are doing and its not always the best so I think parking those ideas where they are safe you can get on with growing your business.

TEST YOUR IDEAS

The next thing I suggest that you do is actually test your idea. We can now assume that the ideas you selected theoretically we know that there is an opportunity in the market. We know that there is money to be made. That there is some kind of problem that needs resolving and the people that need you are easy enough to reach and that there is enough of them.

You know you love doing this kind of work and you also know that you have some kind of credentials in this field. So we have whittled down those options and next it is actually up to you to put your ideas out there. I would recommend doing something called and MVP (Minimal Viable Product). I really like using this method because it means you don’t have to commit 100% until you are sure something is going to work. So you can test 2 or 3 options and put them out there to see what works without having to invest to much time or money or heartache into these ideas.

Things you could do to test your idea might be running a webinar on the topic, setting up a waiting list to start gathering people who are interested. You could also run some Facebook ads and access peoples reaction to the ads. You don’t have build anything or sell anything right away but you can start to see which one is going to have the most success.

You could have a very rough prototype for example to start seeing what people think. I think that is a great way to see which one will actually work cause you know in your heart which one you want to work. If you chose one of the 3 to pursue it doesn’t mean the other 2 are put to bed forever it just means you park them and come back to them at a later date.

GIVE IT 100%

When you have chosen the one you want to pursue I want you to give it 100%. No going back on your decisions for at least 6 months. Give it a proper go and the ideas you have waiting should you need them but because you have done the proper assessment and sent out your MVP you should have a much higher rate of success and you should be able to relax knowing that your other ideas are not going anywhere.

ONE LAST OPTION

If all of this sounds great in theory but you still cant focus and you realize you just don’t want to what should you do then? I have actually gone down the route of being a consultant which means I never really need to focus on one thing. It suits me brilliantly because I get to work with clients in their businesses. I work with people for a few months at a time. I am not so entrenched in their business I get to have a birds eye view and get to see what’s going on from the outside. I am able to see what they need to grow their business.

It really gives me a lot of satisfaction and I can get paid to have many ideas because people want to see what I have to say and I get to use my ideas to help other people.

If you feel you cant focus on one thing and you’ve got all these ideas the perhaps a consulting model would be for you. I hope these ideas and suggestions have been useful and there is plenty food for thought. Head over to my Facebook group where you can chat to me and I can give you a hand.

GET SOME HELP!

If you are really struggling to focus and you feel it would be very helpful to have someone to be accountable to then check out the Actionista Academy. Hopefully if you are having problems making decisions I can help you do that.

 

7: The must have productivity hacks for busy solopreneurs to help you get more done, without burning out

Ever felt like you’ve got so much on, you might just spontaneously combust? You’re not alone! According to my recent survey, your biggest concern is how to find the time to get everything done. And, as someone who has a 7 year old and seemingly never ending mountains of laundry, I know how you feel.

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Which brings me on to my next question, from the lovely Nadine.

Nadine: “Hi Nadia. This is Nadine calling and I have a question for you. I was wondering if you have a formula that you follow for your productivity with our pushing to hard or burning out or getting to overwhelmed. Anything you can share about productivity would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!”

Hey Nadine. Thanks very much for you question. I totally get from where you are coming from. Many of us run the risk of pushing too hard and getting overwhelmed. We get ourselves into a situation where we feel like a deer in the headlights because there is so much to do in order to grow our business and we are not really sure of what to do first.

I don’t have a specific formula although maybe I will craft one and trade mark it! But I do have a number of tips that are going to help you.

Many of the entrepreneurs who join my Actionista Academy come to me in a similar situation. They feel overwhelmed, like they’re not getting enough done and they’re starting to panic slightly because their business isn’t growing in the way that they would like.

My first piece of overwhelm-busting-advice is to…. make a plan.

GET A PLAN

I know it sounds rather boring, but having a plan on how you are going to grow your business is really simple. And if you do it in a right brain way, can be a fun way to start thinking about where you want to take your business and how you are actually going to get there.

Obviously like everything I do I like to make it look nice. It may sound superficial but it does make the planning process more enjoyable.

Without a strategic plan you just send up making endless to do lists. I have fallen foul of this before. You just keep on adding things to the list and never get to the end. You just feel like you are never going to get where you want to go. What’s missing is a goal.

It’s tough. You’ve got limited time available and you’ve got so many things you could be doing.

A few years ago I had a job working for The Body Shop Global in Product Development. It was a great job – I got to create skin care products!

But, every day my diary was filled with all these meetings and conference calls I was supposed to have with all the different regions. My diary was completely filled. I freaked out! There was no time to actually do the work. The important stuff.

When you run your own business, there are so many things you could be doing. Doing everything is impossible. So it comes down to what’s most important. And to work that out, you need a plan.

HOW TO MAKE A PLAN

Start off with your one big hairy goal. For example, How much money do you want to bring in or how much profit do you want to make? Or how many clients do you want reach? Be specific and big and audacious.

Then you work out the key things that are going to get you to that point. What big things do you need to achieve your goal? Think of it like a family tree. At the top the big goal and then the 3 things underneath.

Not a list of 100 things but just 3-4 things that you need to help you achieve that goal. For example does that mean creating a new product? Building a new website? Growing your lists? Forming joint ventures? Getting your products distributed? A certain number of guest blogs?

Now underneath each of those 3 goals you’ll have a list. The tasks you need to do to get to that point.

This method ensures that everything on your to-do list is taking you towards your goal. Not a bunch of random stuff. It’s got focus and it is actually going to help your business and achieve things that are important to you.

KEEP IT SIMPLE

I don’t think running a business needs to be as complicated as we are often lead to believe. I think there’s a conspiracy going on! We’re told by business gurus to use all kinds of technology and tools before you can make it work.

And all this tech gets really overwhelming, particularly if it’s not your area of genius. Things don’t quite work. You need help, but you can’t find someone to help you. So you kind of grind to a halt.

But, do things need to be so complicated?

One of my clients is creating an online course. But she was stuck, because she couldn’t get the tech to work.

Instead of getting her idea out there and seeing if people were interested, she was in full on fiddling mode.

She could have just delivered the course in a series of emails. She could charge an introductory price just to get it off the ground and send a series of emails. Those emails don’t even need to be automated. If she started on a particular day she could run it say for 21 days and even if she sent an email herself on a list every morning that would be fine – to get the ball rolling.

I know there are platforms to run courses on and I know there is stuff to make them really wizzy. But, I would much rather you got something out there then did nothing at all.

If there is a way of simplifying things then I would suggest getting started and doing things rather than feeling overwhelmed.

DELEGATION

Part of your big plan could involve a list of things that you can delegate to someone else.

If you are terrible at anything technical get someone to help you.

I have skills in some areas and zero skills in other areas so that is where I really try to bring people in to help me rather than doing a really crappy job and spending 5 times as long.

I bring people in to help me and I suggest that you do the same. You will have to pay them but there is not point in getting yourself into a hole and feeling unable to cope in say some tech or finance stuff or admin if you can get someone who is an expert someone to do it.

Think about how much your time is worth. If you are able to work on selling one product or getting new clients or serving your clients that will be bringing in a lot more than you will be spending,

80/20

I would like to also mention the 80/20 rule because I think this is really important. The theory says that only 20% of the work you do leads to 80% of the results. Lets just ponder on that for a moment.

Oh my goodness 20% of our work leads to 80% of the results! I think we all know in our heart of hearts this is true.

There are things which we do that will work like a charm and then there are others things which we do all the time which doesn’t really have to much impact but which we may feel we need to be doing because people tell us we should.

I think its fair to say that successful people focus their time and effort on the important stuff not the distractions and on the things which don’t really have an impact on our business even if they wish they did.

If Twitter is not working for your business and it takes up lots of time don’t do it.

Focus on the stuff that actually brings results.

SMART STICKIES

I think there is a lot to be said for streamlining and how you approach each day. You’ve got your 90 day plan now and you’ve got this list of things that are going to drive your business forward but you are not going to attack everything all at once.

I use a highly scientific method called “Smart Stickies” which helps me focus.

I take a small sticky note and I write down the 3 or 4 things I am doing that day. I put them in my dairy and that is it. Don’t cheat by writing a really long list in tiny writing. Just keep it to the top 3 or 4.

At the end of day you’ll actually have got those things done rather than having this endless rolling list which you never complete – which is just a source of frustration.

 

NIGHT TIME REVIEW

Only try this next trick if you are a good sleeper!

I do a little review at night before I go to bed using my sticky note or a notebook and I write down the priorities for the next day. It really helps me to focus and let it go before I go to sleep.

However some people this may have them thinking about work all night. You may want to give that a miss is sleeping is a thing for you.

 

EAT THE FROG

Another technique I use is call eat the frog.

I think it must be called that because people don’t tend to want to eat frogs!

The frog is the thing that you really don’t want to do. It the thing you’re forever putting off. The thing the always gets pushed to next week’s list. Over and over again.

But these are the things that come around and bite us in the butt later. Things like taking care of your insurance, or accounts, or dealing with a complain. That kind of thing.

Eat the Frog encourages us to spend a few minutes each day doing that thing you really don’t want to do getting it done and then you can focus on the really important stuff.

 

POMODORO TECHNIQUE

Pomodoro techniqueI also use something called the pomodoro technique. Before you ask, yes it is named after the tomato shaped kitchen timer.

The idea is you set a timer, you blitz it and then you have a rest.

It really stops you from spending hours on one task. It is a great way to get things done.

I like a deadline because it helps me to get on with it. And then I get to have a nice rest and a cup of tea when I’m done.

OPTIMISE YOUR DAY
I like to think of my time as if I an athlete (!).

If I was training for the Olympics I would like at how I divide up my day and look at when I train best.

I am a really good morning person. Generally before lunch is my great productive and creative time. I save the admin for the end of the day when I am winding down.

When does your brain work best? When is your productivity at its peak?

Once you know that you can design your day around it.

 

TALK TO THE HAND

Are you a people pleaser? Lots of us are.

Being a people pleaser means you end up saying yes to things because you want to help people or you want them to like you.

When it comes to growing a business this is not necessarily the best way to be.

Our time is really valuable so why on earth would you agree to waste it on things you just don’t need to be doing.

When you’re an entrepreneur you can’t continue being everything to everyone. You will have to start saying no to some things.

I was talking about this in the Actionista Academy the other day because one of our members was really struggling to find time to get things done and it turned out she hadn’t had the conversation with her family about prioritizing her business and they weren’t even aware that she felt like this. It wasn’t until she actually told them, look, I need a bit more time to work on my business I don’t have time because I am constantly running around after everybody else, that things started to shift.

So, if that sounds familiar – have the discussion and tell people how you feel, so they can help and support you.

 

OUTSOURCING

And finally, just another quick word about outsourcing. Being a solopreneur doesn’t mean doing absolutely everything yourself.

There may be things you cant do because you are rubbish at them but there are other things that would free up your time where you could run a much more effective business if you weren’t doing them.

If your time is worth $100 dollars an hour then it doesn’t make sense for you to be doing the cleaning. You don’t have to employee people full time. You can bring in freelancers or can outsource using agencies. There are tons of places you can go to find help.

I think one of the reasons we feel overwhelmed is because we try to do everything ourselves and we are maybe being slightly control freakish. Think back on the 80/20 rule and focus on the 20% things that are going to help you grow. And get help with the things other people are better at than you. 

 

6: How to build a tribe on Facebook


Why build a tribe on Facebook? It’s a great way to grow your authority, raise your profile amongst your target audience, build relationships with your people, fill your sales pipeline and grow your business- that’s why!

Find out more

Today we are going to talk about Facebook tribes.

I am a big fan of Facebook as a way to grow your audience and to engage with people. Over the years I have tried different methods to build community.

I have tried different software but nothing really compares to Facebook. Since so many of us are on Facebook does it make sense as a business owner to persuade people away from Facebook and spend time somewhere else. I think trying to do that is a fools earned and is not going to work well. In fact I can say this with conviction and it doesn’t actually work.

We are going to talk about how to build up a tribe using Facebook groups. Facebook groups are powerful because they allow you to control your audience. You can control who is allowed in and who you can kick out.

However, there are some disadvantages. You don’t get the person’s email address so you are vulnerable to any changes that Facebook makes or if the group gets taken over by hackers or frozen or deleted and then you run the risk of losing everything.

This has happened to someone I know and it was not fun!

Tip number one is have people opt in or have a way they can opt in once they are in the group so you can contact them by email should the worse happen.

Next up, here are some tips on how to grow your group so it drive your business and raise your credibility and profile.

 

Getting Started 

Adding People

The number of people I speak to say is it ok to just add people to my group? The answer to that is NO. How annoying is it to have someone randomly add you to a group you didn’t give permission to be part of. Is the Facebook equivalent of spamming. It is assuming someone wants to be part of your group. Always invite people to join or email them with the link.

 

Have a Purpose

The second point is your group needs to have a clear purpose. People need to understand why they are part of it. Who its for? Who you are? That you’re the one running the group. You could write a great introduction into the group or you could post a video. The header art work that you use needs to clearly explain what the group is, give the name of the group and set the tone for the group as well.

 

Make it Pay

Next your ready to start spreading the word and inviting people to your group. You can’t charge people to be part of your group if its just the group alone. That goes against Facebook regulations. However you can form a group that can benefit in a membership program. My group has a Facebook group as part of the membership package.

That’s what I do. One of the good things about being in the Actionista Academy is you get to be in this intimate Facebook group where I am able to communicate with you and answer your questions.

 

Less is More

I always get alarmed when I see someone who is a member of 4000 groups. This gives me the clue that they may in fact be a spammer. If you join a group belonging to somebody else I suggest that you participate fully.

It is better to be involved in 3 or 4 groups where you are really involved rather than to be one of those people who link dumps. You don’t want those link dump spammers in your group because they will be breaking the rules.

 

Lay Down the Law

I think every group should have rules. I am not saying be super strict but I am saying have some rules to give people the kind of behavior you expect in your group. Be really clear about the kinds of things you expect from people. The kind of guys you attract are going to be your kind of people. Some rules I have seen are no posting links. No posting your own page. Not promoting opt ins.

 

Building Your Tribe 

How are you going to go about building this group? How will you attract people who hang on to every word you say and can’t wait to buy into your next product or service? Or read your next blog? Or listen to your next podcast episode?

How to build a tribe on Facebook

 

Know Who You’re Targeting

First of all it is important to be focused. Be really clear about the people you want to attract. Its not about having the biggest group out there. 2000 is a good number. Once it gets above that it is hard to manage. It is important to focus and be really clear who you are for.

Lets say your group is created for people who have a particular approach to parenting if you have people in the group with different methodology its not going to be such of a fun place to hang out. You are going to be battling people who disagree with you.

 

Get Them Talking

There are lots of easy tricks to us within your group to engage your audience. I think wishy washy statements about how you are feeling or what are you doing today. People don’t engage with that so much.

 

Always share something of yourself.

If there is a blank space almost and you are expecting people to comment and share their deepest thoughts with you and you don’t go first then that is actually quite tricky.

If you ask a simple question it makes it easier for people to engage.

 

Keep It Simple

Keeping it simple really works so sometimes you can say describe your day in 3 words. Make it easy for people to contribute.

 

 

The Votes Are In

You can also create a poll. You just click ask question and then it adds different question options. Give people the choice and see how people votes.

The reason I am doing this today is because I asked the guys in my Facebook group what they wanted to know about. The top answer was how to build a tribe on Facebook. You get some really great feed back about your guys.

 

Theme Days

The other things I really like to do is create theme days. For example in my group we have “Wins”day. We share the wins that we have had over the past week. It is really great that people know that they come to the group on Wednesday and celebrate their success. It is the same every week and it gives structure and a reason for people to come.

I think having themes if planned properly can boost engagements. So you have to think of some themes that will work for your people.

 

Tag People

This can happen – people are busy and they’ve got other groups they are part of and they’ve got other businesses. One option is to tag people. You can tag chatty people in the group and remind them that you are there by asking a question and asking for their feedback on there. It just nudges them and reminds them that they are part of the group on that you would like their feedback.

 

Freebies

Another thing you can do is giving people free stuff. Invite them to have a free call with you or inviting them to a webinar or doing a Google hangout.  Be of service. See what they need and then be there to help them.

Don’t just endlessly flog them your stuff. Being of service and making your self useful and helping people out is definitely the way to go. Ask what they are struggling with and then be there to answer their questions.

 

What happens if it gets ugly?

Let’s say in your group someone starts posting weird stuff or complaining.

On the plus side, having a group means that you can get in there straight away and fix it – it’s much easier than dealing with people sitting in the pub complaining to their friends.

The way you solve a problem you can really turn that into your advantage and show what a responsible and caring business owner you are!

And don’t forget if someone breaks the rules or doesn’t behave in a way that you approve of, you have every right to remove them from your group.

 

Be Present

Having a group there is a level of responsibility. You need to be in the group. You need to be in there supporting them and you’re the person who is leading the group is really important. So, don’t just create a group and leave people to it. There’s nothing worse than a group where there’s silence!

 

The Lifespan of a Group

Does a Facebook group need to exist forever?

Not necessarily. For example you could have a group which is part of a 21 day challenge you decide to run and you have a group that goes along side the challenge. So you are going to be driving people to your Facebook group and supporting them during the challenge.

But what happens after the challenge? Does this mean you have to be providing support forever? I suggest not. I think when a challenge finishes you should encourage them to sign up for another product. Beware that at some point your group may come to an end.

After all, you don’t want to be managing hundreds of groups where the momentum has diminished and people have lost interest.

 

And Remember …..it’s not about you

Yes, you are the leader of your group, but it’s not just about you. It is not a vanity project for you to showcase the marvel which is in fact you. You are creating a tribe of people who do look up to you but who are there to be supportive and to be encouraged. The group is about them not about you.

The moment the group becomes just about the leader it looses all its value and I think people will soon get board with being there. The reason people keep coming back is because of the value it delivers and the benefits of how it helps them. Be that person who is generous with advice and help and support – that’s what a true leader is.

 

 

5: How to negotiate new and noteworthy and how to handle haters John Lee Dumas style – and top tips for targeting teens

How on earth do you market to an audience you’re not part of? For example, how would you target the teen market with a digital magazine, when you’re not a teen yourself? I give you top hacks whilst answering your questions.

Plus, listen in on my fangirl moment; my rather starstruck conversation with podcast legend John Lee Dumas from Entrepreneur on Fire. He shares his tips with me on how to handle haters and offers some expert advice on how to negotiate new and noteworthy with a new podcast.

Find out more

Today we have a question from Jeanette about her digital magazine.

Jeanette: My question is how do you specifically market to the teenage market? I have very teen specific branding that I want to get out there. I have been using Facebook but I know Facebook isn’t big for teenagers….however, it is free! Now I really need to get the magazine out there. Obviously you’ve got Instagram and Snapchat and things like that, but I really need to look at how to get my brand marketed to teenagers.”

I am assuming you are not a teenager yourself and that’s going to make things pretty tricky. Teenagers are extremely elusive. They are hard to reach and hard to predict. So by creating a teen magazine you’ve really got your work cut out for you.

However, there are things you can do and there is an exciting audience. Teenagers are the earlier adopters. They are the trend setters. They are key influences. They are the ones who try things our before anyone else. Then months later we grownups we follow in their tracks. They are the ones alerting us to the latest fashions and latest technology and then we are the ones that are persuaded later on.

Marketing to a group of people who are so different from you is really not easy. But getting it wrong is really easy.

If you think about multimillion dollar companies they get it wrong too. I am sure we all remember the South African ad which came out recently, designed to celebrate Women’s Day.

This ad was clearly not created by women! It featured a picture of a business woman with her arms folded across her chest and there was a message that said, “Look like a girl, act like a lady, think like a man, work like a boss. #happywomensday”

Who knew it was possible to get it so wrong. I mean, think like a man. Seriously!

Jeanette your magazine is aimed at teenagers and you are finding it hard to reach them. Teenagers are very decerning. I think the only way to understand what your audience wants and how to reach them is to ask them what they actually want and listen to them.

I’ve got a question. Are you targeting teens in your local area or a wider audience? I think local is great because there isn’t a whole lot going on in the area. It gives teenagers in the local area something that appeals directly to them. If you focus on local areas, perhaps one at a time, then you are already relevant.

Rather than try to be like teenagers I think your magazine could potential be by teenagers for teenagers. If you steer the boat and make sure things get done properly there is no reason why you cant bring those guys on board to run the magazine.

There does seem to be some things from the teenagers in the magazine but I do think the balance could be improved. Get them writing for you, doing your marketing, and reaching out to their peers. It will come across a lot more authentic and a lot cooler.

Teenagers don’t like to be told what to do. (Some of us still don’t!) If you are wanting to educate through your magazine it might not get spread around because it may come across a bit like your mum telling you what to do.

Which is why I think you need to get more teens involved. You could consider crowdsourcing content and using some kind of committee or board where kids can come in and feel part of it. They need to take responsibility for reaching our to their peers.

I’m sure a lot of young people would love the opportunity to work in journalism. Use that to your advantage where they can get some experience.

These young people know what’s cool and they know what’s not cool. So, there’s less pressure on you to know!

You asked which social media platform you should use. You need to got to them and ask them. Get them in charge of the social media accounts because they know what works for their audience. You give the guidance. We know teenagers are ditching Facebook and heading to instagram and tumblr. Ask them what they are in to. Get them to show you and run it for you. It will be a lot more authentic.

What should you do when your ideal customer is not exactly like you?

How do you reach out to them? How do you know where they hang out?

It can be tough at times and it can be unauthentic when you are communicating to people.

It’s not always possible to work with a target audience who are just like you. I understand that we do attract people who are similar to us, and it may be for many of us that our clients are similar to us. Like I’m sure you’re a lot like me in many ways!

When you are creating a product or service with a broad reach you don’t want clients who are exactly like you – or you’re limiting your reach. But resist the temptation to press on and not talk to or understand your target audience.

I used to work for an innovation company where we helped companies have ideas. One of the best things we did was called customer shoes. The idea was we got into our customers shoes. We went into their homes with them. We watched how they shopped and how they used the computer we spent time chatting with them over cups of tea. We went on journeys with them in their cars. We learnt a ton of information. We didn’t just listen to what they told us in a focus group. We watched them and saw what they are doing.

Whatever business you are in hanging out with your people is so important. What can you do today to get close to your customers tomorrow? It could be as simple as inviting a couple of people for a cup of tea and chatting about their lives. Really ask them what’s going on for them. Why do they do what they do? What’s troubling them? And truly get to know them. It can mean the difference between and mediocre business and a super successful one.

I hope we all get into our customers shoes and really involving them.

In episode 4 we talked about haters. A few days later I got to chat with podcast legend John Lee Dumas of Entrepreneur on Fire. I told him what had happened and he had some great advice. You’ll have to listen to the podcast to hear it!

 

LVBB Episode 4: How to handle ‘Haters’.. and what happened when I encountered my first one

A weekly podcast for solopreneurs, jam packed with support and strategy to help you beat the business blues

 

LVBB Episode 3: Perfect Pricing – The simple hacks you need to ensure you’re charging your worth

 

LVBB Episode 2: Grow your business in just 15 hours per week? Yes it is possible!

I am here to help you with your business and to hopefully help provide you with strategy and support to help you turn your little ventures into a big business.

In case you have a burning business question or you have a bad case of the business blues – why not ask me a question. All you need to do is click on the pink button to your right which says be on the podcast. It’s like a voicemail and you can leave a message for me asking me your business question.

We are going to be kicking off today with a question from Hilda. Hilda is a Norwegian Life Coach and she has left me a message….

Hilda: I am so grateful you are giving me the opportunity to ask these business questions. My other this is I am still working in a corporate job and I kinda love that too but I love coaching more so I want to transition into coaching full time.

I have good stamina. I know how to use a lot of time getting things done. I prioritize my corporate job and my family in front of my coaching and my life doesn’t have more than 24 hours a day and more that 7 days a week.

I don’t want to overwhelm and drain myself again. I do want to live a life I can be happy with but at the same time I do want to get my business up and running. To get out and to let people know that I am there and that I can coach these women.

Little Voice Big Business Ep 2

If you had 15 hours a week  or something like that how would you prioritize those hours? What would be the most important things to focus on?

Now 15 hours does not sound like a lot of time but it is totally doable.

Firstly most of us start out business as a side project. Then once you get to a certain point thats when you can decide to ease out of the day job. It is very unusual to quite a full time job and plunge into a new business venture. You need to be able to pay the bills and your day job is what is doing that.Little Voice Big Business Ep 2

Actually when you don’t have a lot of time that is when you can be more productive and more focused. I don’t know about you but I find when I have a bit of pressure that is when I really crack on and get loads done.

Here are some tips to help get you started but the way you choose to spend your time will vary as the business grows.

There are 3 main areas that you need to focus on

  1. Serving your clients.
  2. Finding new clients.
  3. Doing admin

Automation and Systems

My tip #1 would be to automate where possible. I use something called avaza.com. It helps me manage my finance, invoicing and clients. It also helps with invoicing your clients on time and getting paid on time.

Another thing you can automate is scheduling. That way you are not to and froing with your clients.

You can automate your social media. It is important to get your foundations in place so as you grow your business you’re not overwhelmed.

For the things you don’t like doing or are not your strengths you just need to bring somebody in that can help you. Like Hilda if you are in a paying job and you are looking to save some time outsource some tasks to somebody who costs less that what you make at work. That way you are only focusing on the key tasks. You can hire virtual assistant.

Strategic Foundations:

You would be surprised how many people do not have their fundamentals in place. It is hard to find clients if you do not get clear on this stuff. Before you rush off and get clients you’ve got understand why someone is going to hire you. Things like….

  • Who are you targeting?
  • Why would someone hire you?
  • Why are you different?
  • What are you hoping to deliver for your people?
  • Why would someone pay you their hard earned cash?
  • What is it you are delivering to them and how are you going to change their life?

Basically I am saying get your house in order before you start. It will save you a lot of time down the road.

Hard working website 

Make sure your package is exactly what people need and that you communicate effectively to your people. That is persuasive.

Make sure you website is up to scratch before you crack on growing your business. Your branding and photography needs to look professional. And your booking system needs to work.

You don’t what to spend hours talking to people on the phone. You want your website to do the work for you.

Have a sales process

When I first started I didn’t understand the importance of a sales process. All it is is having a list of people you have come in contact with. Don’t forget about them. Follow up. People like the fact you have not forgotten them. You’re not hounding them.

Use your software to keep track of your leads.

Don’t harass them on a daily basis but if you just show them they are on your radar and your interested in having them and when it comes time for them to need you. You will be front of line. It also helps you close a deal. Having these things planned out will help you run things smoothly.

Build a Sales Funnel

There are a lot of other things you can automate to save time. You can create freebie for potential leads. It helps build the know, like and trust. People opt in and you send them something of value. Follow the list and then you follow up with your people. This helps build your list. You can send out automated emails to build a relationship with people, automatically.

 

Focus on the things that you enjoy

There are so many possible things you could do to grow but do the thing you enjoy and it will come across. Don’t feel you have to do everything. Focus on the platforms that your people are going to see. Be where they are. It’s ok not to do everything and we can beat ourselves up and feel like we cant do what everyone else does.

Have a clear authentic message

If you talk from the heart about issues you feel strongly about that will come across in your work and the right people with resonate with that. They will come to you when they want you to help them with something.

Avoid Distractions

You can waste so much time thinking that people are more successful than you. Only do what you want to do. Stop signing up for courses and programs.

Crack on with growing your business

Your main goal is to get some clients. You don’t need a constant stream of information that burying you alive.

Let go of being perfect

You don’t have to do everything perfectly. Good enough, is good enough.

 

 

LVBB Episode 1: Explaining my little voice. And no I don’t want to be in the Simpsons.

Nadia Finer Business Coach

Hi there and welcome to my podcast; Little Voice, Big Business. I’m Nadia Finer and I’m really happy you’ve tuned in!

This podcast has been a while in the making mainly because I didn’t actually have the balls to do it for many months, actually… make that years. The idea of just being a voice and putting myself out there gave me the heebie jeebies

I’ll be honest with you and the idea of embracing the fact that I have a small voice and I sound like I’m about 8 years old was even scarier.

Up until very recently in my business I actually hid. I hid behind a brand. I wrote rather than put myself visible out there.

A little bit about me.
I am a business coach, author and now podcaster! I work with my clients to help them grow their businesses. Most of my clients are female solopreneurs. I help them with their strategy, I help them come up with ideas that drive their businesses forward and I help them to get unstuck and take action!

How’s it going to work?
Over the coming months I am going to be answering questions in this podcast. In each episode I will be answering a specific question. Just like I do with my clients and with the members of my mastermind group, The Actionista Academy.

My Story
Before we kick off I want to tell you a little bit about myself. Just in the spirit of being open and honest and putting it all out there. So that you can see that actually connecting with what makes you special or different or slightly weird can be the thing that makes you stand out from everyone else in a good way.

When I was in primary school I remember being around 9 years old and my mum was talking to one of the other mums about sending me to some kind of elocutionist. Apparently there was something up with the way I spoke. I had no idea what it was. I have never heard myself on a recording. So I just ignored it.

Then I remember a few years later some kid asked me, “Why do you talk that?” “Why do sound funny?” and I really had no idea what they were talking about!

Then, a few years later at High School, we were in the language laboratory learning French. I listened back to a recording of my feeble efforts at speaking French and I couldn’t believe what I heard. It wasn’t the accent that shocked me, although it was pretty horrendous, but it was the sound of my voice. I couldn’t believe that was how I sounded. In fact at first I didn’t even recognize that it was me. It was really surprising to me and I thought ‘oh my God’ and from that moment I think made me self-conscious and aware that I sounded really young.

As I grew up sounding like you’re a kid is a bit odd. You get strange reactions!

speak to my mumI’m 37 now. When people ring up my house they sometimes ask to speak to my mum which is funny because in my house, I am the mum! I’m like “She doesn’t live here. I’m 37!” They are always kinda surprised especially if I am ringing up somewhere about something serious like my pension or someone calls to speak to you about something sensible and they think they need to speak to a grown-up when you answer the phone.

I’ve been told, particularly by men, that I am adorable; that I should do voice over work; that I could do the voice of one of the Simpsons. I kinda laugh it off but I do think, well it is a bit strange isn’t it that people you don’t know feel the need to make comments about something personal, something about your person. They feel able to comment on something so personal. It is a bit strange.

When I went to work, most companies I’ve worked for (I’ve worked in marketing and then in innovation) felt I lacked gravitas, particularly if I was going to be put in front of clients. So off I went, to elocution lessons. I thought wearing some crazy glasses would give me some gravitas but apparently not! So, I learned to breathe from my stomach. It still really didn’t make a difference but I didn’t want to have to think about 25 different things before I open my mouth each time I speak. So I sacked it off and said screw you I’m not doing it.

I started to feel that the voice I’ve got makes me me and I really didn’t want to change it.

glasses of gravitas

However I hadn’t realized that all these comments over the years had had an impact.

When I was writing my first book, with my friend Emily; “There’s More To Life Than Shoes.” I had to ring up inspirational women to try and secure interviews with them.

This was the first time I had ever done something quite so scary. Well I know its not scary as in jumping off a mountain or climbing Everest but for me the idea of ringing up people over the phone voice only, trying to persuade them to be part of our program was immensely frightening.

A weird thing happened that perhaps sounding young, perhaps sounding cute on the phone worked to my advantage. My success rate was practically 100%. I’d be ringing up people. Famous scientist or business women or human rights campaigners. Somehow I was able to secure these interviews. It was unbelievable. Firstly I thought, awesome I’m embracing this thing and secondly that wasn’t quite so scary in the end. But, when it came to running my own business, things weren’t quite as straight forward.

I always shy away from the spotlight. The idea of doing talks and really putting myself out there in my business felt deeply uncomfortable. My MO was to create an amazing brand and then hide behind it like a curtain. I wouldn’t put photos on the website. I’d hardly talk about myself let alone speak or be on film which was crazy. It seemed why would I do that? Why would I put myself out there? People might judge me. They might laugh at me. They may think I sound funny. I don’t want to become some internet sensation where people are mocking me in how I sound so I just didn’t do it.

It wasn’t until recently that I started to come out of the closet so to speak. I really put myself into my business. It started by changing my website from some random domain to my name NadiaFiner.com. That was step one. Step two I had a photoshoot and got some decent pictures. (Up until that point I was literally using the same photo which I am ashamed to say was about 10 years old, because I wasn’t that keen on having my picture taken. I would definitely recommend having a good photoshoot. It made me feel a whole lot better. I think next time I will actually give her some branding direction… aside from make me look thin!)

I had my photos taken, had my website under my name and suddenly I have people connecting with me. They wanted to find out more about me. I’m the one who helps people grow their business not some big corporate machine. Its me. Its my name. It makes sense that I would use my name rather than a random brand.

The next step was to tell my story and talk openly about the challenges I’ve faced, the lack of confidence and how I’ve held my self back. I knew I was capable of doing great things and I am proud of the work that I do with my clients. Up until that point I just really didn’t want to go there.

I went to a cafe one day and drank lots of coffee and wrote my story. And you know it was really weirdly emotional. I’m British (aka very repressed!) and I don’t talk about my feelings often. To put that stuff down on paper it felt weird. I felt emotional. I felt relieved. I felt a bit naked, I suppose.

I wrote this stuff down and put it on my website and the moment I did I was shocked how people really connected to me.

That was a big step. From there I was on a bit of a roll. I finally got around to making a video. That’s gotten easier as I’ve done it. I’ve even done some Periscoping and now I am finally here with my podcast.

This is the first time I’ve got my mic out and worked out how to turn it on. I’m sitting here in my office just talking to you. I feel like putting my little voice out there. If I can do it you can do it too.

 

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