Saying no even when they want to hire you

I upset a woman I spoke with a while back who reached out to inquire about my Certification Accelerator… I told her she wasn’t ready to create a certification.

She had just started her business and a previous coach told her that she should start a certification program. She spent months working with this coach laying out a training that she wanted to turn into a certification program.

When I asked her about her experience in the area that she wanted to certify folks in her response was “I haven’t actually worked in this area before – I just thought it would make a great certification program.” Because she didn’t have experience with what she wanted to train folks, my suggestion was to hit pause on the certification and instead focus on working in this area so she could test and prove her methodology first. She was disappointed when I recommended this to her, as she wanted to jump straight into creating the certification.

She was ready to hire me and I told her no.

It is SOOOO important to know when a client is ready to work with you – and when they are NOT ready yet.

We talk about this a lot in our Certified OBM® community too. There are often business owners who show up saying “I want to hire an OBM” but once we dig into where their business is at they aren’t ready for an OBM. What they really need is a good VA or a business coach.

When we say yes to a client that really isn’t ready for us, we are setting ourselves up for failure (and unhappy clients!) We are putting ourselves in a position where we can’t do our best work, and might even feel obligated to do work that we don’t really enjoy or know how to do.

And we are setting our clients up to expect things that their business isn’t really ready for.

It’s a guarantee that things will fall apart and it’s usually not a fun experience. I’ve been there.

I get it! It’s really hard to say no when someone is saying “I want to hire you”. It’s hard to say no to the money (especially if it’s money you need!) It’s hard to say no to being wanted.

But it’s also a huge gift to say to someone “I’m not what you need right now, given what you’ve shared with me I recommend X as your next step”. Folks often don’t understand what they really need and will appreciate your honesty and guidance.

Are you clear on what needs to be true in order to do your best work with a client? What are the criteria that make them a good fit for what you offer? (or not!)

This is one of the things we are going to be working on in my upcoming Build Your Framework workshop. Your framework is the clearly laid out path for how you create results for your clients. It’s the key to getting yourself out of delivery (as per my last newsletter) and is also the key to being able to guarantee results for your clients who then become raving fans.

Getting yourself out of delivery

So here’s the thing – if you want to get yourself out of delivery you need to have a framework.

A clearly laid out path for how you create results for your clients. Your own methodology. Your process. Your “way to make it all happen.”

Without a framework one of two things will happen as you try to grow:

#1 – Delivery stays all on your shoulders. I know many a business owner who has an awesome team around them taking care of admin, tech, ops, sales, marketing and all the day-to-day running of the business BUT the delivery is still on them. They are the main ones leading their coaching groups, delivering their training or working directly with clients. If they don’t show up their clients aren’t getting full value.

#2 – You try to hire folks to “do what you do” in the business – team members for your agency or associate coaches for your programs – but it doesn’t work out. They aren’t able to deliver to your expectations OR they are delivering based on their own process & methodology (which may not match with yours!)

Your framework is the key to freedom – and a business that doesn’t rest solely on your shoulders.

It’s the key to creating a certification program. To training effective associate coaches for your programs. To building the team for your agency. Or to offering a combination of all of the above! (I had a call this week with a woman who is upleveling her agency to work with a certain type of business owner, and she is now looking to add a certification based on her framework so she has folks to refer the clients that she no longer wants to work with. )

It’s a way to have your work go beyond ‘just you’ and have it reach so many more folks than you could ever reach on your own.

It’s a beautiful expression of who you are and what you are meant to bring to the world through your work. <3

Planning for the end

Not to be morose about it… but your business will come to an end at some point. Or at the least, your role in your business will come to an end at some point.
This is inevitable but it’s not something we talk about often… and I think we are doing ourselves – and our businesses! – a disservice when we don’t talk about and consider this.
There are essentially two ways for things to come to an end:
The business could be shut down (either by choice or circumstance).
Or we look for ways for the business – and our body of work – to continue without us.
Either option can be an aligned and empowered choice when we are willing to consider all the aspects and plan ahead.
It’s easy to think “I’ll just sell my business!”… and yes, there are many things that make this an appealing option. But this is also something you have to plan for and work towards many years in advance to make it sellable. (I have a local friend who is a business broker and one of her biggest challenges is telling someone who wants to sell the business they’ve built for years that’s it’s not ready to be sold… 😬)
Or you might decide that when you are done with it you shut the business down. For some folks this might feel like a failure (because we should all be able to sell our business right?!) but I actually think it can be a beautiful thing to end a business when we plan accordingly for it. Not all businesses are meant to last forever.
We want to consider our own needs and goals in all of this. What do we want from our business – financially and otherwise – to be able to retire or move onto other things?
But there is also another aspect of this to consider – have you created something bigger than yourself that should continue beyond your working years?
I always hesitate to use the word ‘should’ but in some cases it really does apply. When you have created something that changes lives – your own framework and way of working with folks – it SHOULD continue on.
I have clients who are very purposeful about this – they KNOW that what they have created is much bigger than themselves and should live on. And part of our work together is exploring the ways to make sure that the torch can be passed onto whoever is meant to carry it next. They are many ways to do this but it does have to be planned ahead and purposeful.
What is your plan for ‘the end’? I know this is an easy thing to put off, but I encourage you to spend some time here in contemplation and consideration.
Let’s honor our businesses – and ourselves! – by planning as much for the end as we do for the upcoming quarter or year. 💜

Change your Role, Not your Offer

When you are tired of doing what you are doing – change your role, not your offer.
I see so many folks reach the space where they are ready to do something new – so they start looking to create a brand new offer.
Now it’s not to say that creating something new is never the answer – it very well could be! But there are some considerations…
First and foremost, creating something new is a lot of work. It takes a lot more work to start something from scratch than it does to ‘tweak’ something you are doing already.
Likewise, starting something new might put a damper – or even a halt! – on what you are doing already. I’ve seen people drop a successful offer out of boredom to focus on creating something new… and then later find themselves in a bind because the new thing is taking longer to gear up or isn’t what they thought it would be.
New can be overrated. 😉
Instead, what if you look first to change your role in what you are currently offering?
For some of you this might mean hiring folks who can take on some of your current workload and free you up to focus on other things.
Or this might mean looking at your current offer and seeing where/how you might be able to tweak some things to make it more exciting and joyful again.
This is one of the drivers for the leaders who work with me on creating their certification program… they have reached a point in their business where they are tired of being the practitioner. A part of them wishes they didn’t have to ‘keep doing what they are doing’ and they dream of doing something different BUT they are also very aware that they don’t want to burn down what they have already created.
Training and certifying folks to ‘do what you do’ can be a beautiful way to shift yourself into a leadership role and bring excitement back into your business. Not to mention that it can be an awesome way to expand your vision and your income.
Here’s to finding joy and excitement in our businesses again!

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?