Done for You is NOT dead!

Can we please stop poo-pooing on offering done for you (DFY) 1-1 services?
I’ve seen a few too many posts and ads lately talking about how DFY and working 1-1 with clients is such a terrible thing. About being at the mercy of your clients, getting paid so little and it’s no better than having a job.
First of all, those problems stem from how things are being run and not the DFY model itself. All of those problems can be solved with an aligned offer, clear expectations and strong boundaries (but that’s a convo for another day.)
And second, there are MANY benefits to doing DFY work:
#1 – It will ALWAYS be in high demand. Folks always need to hire people to “get things done” or to work directly with them in the business. Whether it’s tech, marketing, ops, admin, design, copywriting, bookkeeping, etc… the need for these services doesn’t go away. I daresay that some coaches and consultants could benefit from adding DFY services into the mix. 🤔
#2 – It is the fastest path to cash. All it takes is one conversation and BAM – you could have a client. No fancy launches, marketing funnels or social media strategies are required… those things all take time and are a lot of work to create. Not to mention some of us don’t like all the fancy marketing stuff (sheepishly raises my own hand) 😬
#3 – It is the best way to develop and test your own stuff! If you do have a desire to offer training, create a membership or a coaching/consulting program, one of the best ways to prepare yourself and develop your own stuff is through 1-1 work. I worked 1-1 with clients for nearly 10 years before I launched my own training programs. (Not to say it has to take that long! But the experience of working directly with clients is invaluable when it comes to developing your own IP).
#4 – You can make a great personal income by offering 1-1 services! As my friend Keldie Jamieson said so beautifully in a recent interview – retainers are the ultimate form of recurring revenue. Long-term clients who pay you reliably month after month is a pretty dreamy thing. And all the money you make essentially lands in your pocket… you don’t need to pay for team, tools and all the fancy marketing stuff that other models require. (There are times I miss those days when most of the money I made landed in my pocket. )
The bottom line is this – there is nothing wrong with offering DFY 1-1 services so don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. You can create an amazing business, work with great clients and make good money. And you can do it for many, many years successfully.
And yes, if you want to evolve into offering other things such as training, memberships, consulting and the like then great! That’s been my own journey over the years and I totally get it… BUT don’t do it just because someone is telling you that “you should because DFY is dead” or is dangling a carrot of “everything is so much better when you offer trainings /memberships /coaching /consulting instead.” I can tell you from experience – the challenges when you offer these things are different but they are still very much there.
There are so many ways to build a successful business. The world needs DFY and if that’s up your alley then bring it on. 🙌

My neighbor’s rose bush (business lessons from nature)

My neighbor has a couple of rose bushes in the front of their house. They planted them a few years back and I’ve watched them grow bigger and bigger each year.

The second year I noticed them trim the branches and prune the rose bushes down to almost nothing and I was confused. “Why would they cut off all those branches? Don’t they want the rose bushes to keep growing?”

As you can tell I’m not a gardener…

Then a friend explained to me that pruning is what encourages growth! It removes the old, dead wood and rejuvenates the plant so that it can bloom and grow even more. When we remove the old stuff, the plant no longer has to work hard to try to keep it alive and it can instead focus on new growth.

Sure enough – that spring the roses were blooming in full force. My pups and I would stop to ‘smell the roses’ on our walks each morning.

I couldn’t help but wonder – how does this apply to our businesses?

A common approach when up-leveling is to look at what we need to ADD. More offers. More products. More team.

Which all equals more work. More to manage. More responsibility. More more more.

Phew! No wonder growth feels tiring.

What if – instead of looking at what we need to ADD we first look at what we need to PRUNE? What do we need to trim away to free up our business for more growth?

This is the second stage of my True Work process and it is one that my clients at first may resist… but that they come to appreciate.

When we are working together on their true work and we land on what they want to create, their inclination is to jump right in and start working on it!

But I will make them pause first and consider… what needs to be pruned away so that we have space and energy to bring your true work to life?

For some folks this means pruning clients. Old offers. Outdated messaging.

It will also often mean pruning old expectations and ideas about themselves – letting go of who they were and how they used to think.

As we prune away the dead wood it naturally allows our energy to be freed up for what is next. Vs. trying to ‘fit it into’ everything that is already going on.

I invite you to consider today – what in your business is ready to be pruned? And how would it feel to be able to lovingly let go of those things?

It’s hard to grow a business when you are bored

There was a common thread in the conversations I’ve been having this week:

“I’m no longer jazzed about what I’m doing”

“I really want to feel excited about my business again”

“It’s just so hard to get motivated these days because frankly I’m bored”

These conversations were all with experienced business owners – they have established brands and have been in business for many years now.

They have clients and programs that they are running and things are going good, but they are feeling “meh” about it all.

They know that they could be doing more to grow their business, but they don’t want to… because there is no more juice left in what they are doing.

There is no more excitement. In the words of one of my clients “everything feels like I’ve been there, done that at this point. And as much as a part of me really feels like I should be working to take my business to the next level, I just can’t seem to get myself to do it”

Now it’s easy to look at this situation and think that it’s just a matter of pushing through. It’s time to hustle and make it happen! And yes, I suppose that’s one way to approach it… but in my experience that is just temporary fix because it’s not addressing the core problem.

Boredom.

It’s really hard to grow a business when we are bored. For the simple fact that we are no longer feeling challenged or inspired!

When boredom shows up in your business it’s an invitation to take a deeper look. To dig deep and consider the evolution of your business, and your role in it. What would be fulfilling for you? What would feel challenging and light your fire again?

In the words of an amazing leader I spoke with today – who is looking to shift from a mastermind to a certification model – “I need to find my purpose again in my business. And what I’m doing right now just isn’t it anymore.”

Now I can’t say this is true for every business owner out there, but I know it’s true for me and my clients…

If we are bored we aren’t doing the work we are meant to do in the world – our true work.

We might try to run from it or gloss over the boredom with “everything is fine” or “I should just be happy with what I have”. But it doesn’t go away.

Sooner or later we need to heed the call behind the boredom, because we know we are meant for so much more.

A contrary view on business growth

“You mean I don’t have to keep growing my business?” 
I just got off a call with an amazing business owner who reached out to me looking for support around what’s next in her business.
This is someone whose business is in the mid 6-figure range, she takes home half of that personally as her CEO pay and is working only 10ish hours per week.
She started the call thinking that she wanted to keep growing the business and was looking for ways to do so. It came clear through our conversation that she’d already worked with other coaches and had some great strategies around how to keep growing her business…. but she didn’t feel motivated to do any of those things. So she wasn’t taking action on them.
And my response to her was “You don’t have to keep growing your business if you don’t want to”.
<< Silence >> I could see it in her eyes that this had literally never even occurred to her before.
“You mean I don’t have to keep growing my business if I don’t want to? I thought I had to keep grow grow growing and it’s never even occurred to me before that not growing is an option!”  Her eyes lit up at this prospect.
I get it. So much of our world is about growing our business. We are supposed to hit 6-figures, then 7, then 8 and so on. And if we aren’t growing then something must be wrong.
Yes, growth can be a good thing! BUT it’s not the only thing.
When we hit a place where our clients love us, we are making money, and we aren’t working ourselves to the bone…. the default question we are told to ask ourselves is:
“How can I keep growing?”
Whereas I would challenge you instead to ask yourself:
“What is the business I really want now?”
There is nothing wrong with wanting to keep things stable and sturdy – to enjoy the space you are already in without the additional pressure to “keep growing”.
It’s your business. You get to decide what success is (and isn’t!). Even if that means not growing…

It’s OK to be a personal brand

I posted something recently on Facebook looking for referrals for a good branding person. Someone who specializes in personal branding for online professionals.

I received a comment on that post that said:

“I don’t believe in personal branding – if you make your brand all about you then you aren’t building a real business. A business that you can sell.”

I get what this person is saying, but I don’t agree with it. Especially in the earlier days of building a business.

The most valuable asset in your business is you. People want to buy from people – and if they don’t know who you are, they can’t connect with you and that can actually get in the way!

The first thing I do when I go to someone’s website is look to find out WHO is the person behind the business. And if I can’t find out any information about that person then they’ve lost me… I find it really hard to connect with a business that doesn’t showcase who is behind it. Curious if you feel the same?

Plus it’s really easy to get caught up in “what should my brand be?” and “what should I call my business?” I’ve seen people get stuck here for months trying to come up with a good name and fancy brand.

It’s totally OK to use your name as your business name.

YOU are the best thing you can market. Who you are. What makes you unique. What you love and don’t love.

The more you can show up as yourself online the more likely you are to connect with the right folks. The more you try to ‘hide’ behind a brand that is outside of yourself, the harder it may be to make the best connections.

This isn’t to say that you should never create a brand beyond your name – there may come a time when you want to do this AND when it makes sense to do so. Especially if you want to potentially sell your business down the road (it can be tough to sell a personal brand business.) In my experience this usually kicks in once you’ve been in business for a while and have a clear methodology/product to build the brand around. It’s an outcome of doing great work with folks first for many years.

Be you. It’s much easier that way.

PS – There are 2 ways for us to work together, as you feel called to do so:

A Half-Day Intensive where we work together on the most important next step of your True Work journey. Includes a 3 hour virtual intensive, plus an additional two 1-1 coaching calls to integrate and implement.

A 5-month, private 1:1 Coaching Experience to take you through the 5 stages of the True Work journey. Includes an initial strategy session, 10 bi-weekly hour-long coaching sessions, and Voxer messaging with me in-between calls.

Click here for details about working together.

When you don’t want to mess up what you’ve already created

You’ve worked hard to get to where you are. And even though there is a part of you that is calling you towards what is next – to your true work – you also don’t want to mess up what you’ve already created!

I get it – there are some very real considerations here.

You don’t want to mess up your income.

You don’t want to let go of clients that you adore.

You don’t want to feel like you have to ‘start all over from scratch.’

You don’t want to lose momentum from what you’ve already established.

There is a school of thought out there that encourages “throwing it all out the window and diving headfirst into what comes next”. Just fire all your current clients and stop doing what you are currently doing.

I’m NOT a huge fan of this for two reasons:

1) Talk about stressful!!

If you have a big cushion of savings and a high risk tolerance this might work for you… but for most of the folks I work with it doesn’t. And I’ve seen people put themselves into serious crisis by taking this approach – financial, emotional and otherwise. Yes, you might wish you could throw it all out the window somedays (we all have those moments! ;-), but it’s much better to have a thoughtful and purposeful transition plan in mind – one that allows you to move as quickly as you’d like without causing undue stress.

2) It may actually get in the way of shifting into your true work, because your true work is already a part of what you are doing now.

When we are stuck in the mires of “what is my true work?” and feeling dissatisfied with what we are doing now – it’s easy to think that doing something totally different is the answer. In fact, your true work is part of what you are doing already… you just may not be seeing the value of it yet, or know how to reframe your offerings around it!

For example, I am an amazing strategist. I can look at any situation with a client, help them see their options and guide them to a decision that is best for them and their vision.

I didn’t charge for this at all for YEARS, because it is just the way my mind worked and I didn’t realize it was valuable. It was one of the reasons my clients hired me even though it wasn’t the “thing” I was selling at the time… I was actually giving it away for free alongside my other services! Once I was able to own this I shifted my offerings and was able to start charging for it. And it changed the entire course of my business.

Big changes aren’t necessary when shifting into your true work. It is much more about ‘tweaking’ what you are doing already – revealing it and owning it – than it is about making huge changes that are going to be overly stressful and have you feeling like you have to start from scratch.