Come peek with me!
I don’t know about you, but one of the things I geek out on is the behind the scenes of other peoples businesses. What do they spend their time actually doing, how many hours do they work, where do they spend their money, what are they working on? The mind boggles.
I also want to shoot down the BS in the business space around money, income-claim marketing – essentially the dick-measuring bollocks that is so pervasive, so I’m hoping these peeks behind the curtains posts will in some way dispel the smoke and mirrors and bring a bit of (disobedient) realness to the conversation.
I always love to hear what you think and how I can improve what I share so send me a message and let me know if you have any feedback or suggestions.
I’ve been working on…
Strategy & planning for 2022
Not gonna lie, 2021 was the first year in my business where I stepped back and looked at things strategically (it’s like builders whose kitchens never get built 🙄)! And quelle suprise – I had my best year ever – a huge understatement. This year is all about “what next”. Will I be one of those coaches constantly trying to extract myself from 1-2-1 work? How does the Disobedient Business Mastermind evolve in 2022? How can I build out the ecosystem of free and paid offers in my business so that it’s the most supportive for my community and also the most supportive for me too?
The answer to these questions is ever-evolving and emerging so my 2022 is planned out for Q1 and Q2 but Q3/4 are much loosier goosier – I’m liking the space to just see how things go.
Creating a cool live training – the first in a series of “Disobedient Business Bites”
Top of the agenda for Q1/2 is developing a series of free and paid Disobedient Business Bites – short offerings that go straight to the heart of The Thing. No long programmes, no materials you leave sitting on the digital shelf, just support that will help you in your business, now!
These might take the format of a live training or workshop, pre-recorded trainings, quick guides and formats I haven’t even. thought of yet. I am almost ready to push the button on the first one and it’s something I’ve wanted to do for so long – I’m seriously excited about it. It’s aimed at supporting coaches, but pretty much relevant to any service-based business (consultants, copywriters, designers etc), especially those in their first few years and not getting quite the traction they’d like. It’s cunningly titled Disobedient Business Bites – A Guide to Getting Traction in your Coaching Business.
Before you start yawning and switch off let me tell you this: financial planning, especially setting budgets and forecasts in my business has been life and business changing! In January 2021 I moved my business finances into Xero in preparation for the new financial year and I wish I’d done it long before.
I’d always viewed Xero as the finance tool that small business owners that had “made it” use, turns out if you start managing your business finances as if you’ve “made it” or to be fair, managing them at all, strange and magical things happen.
I believe that managing your finances is an ongoing task and I spend maybe 30 minutes every Friday morning reviewing, updating and tweaking, but in January I spent some time on forecasts for 2022 too. I plugged this all into Xero, using 2021’s actual figures as a starter for the “how much” and the “when” things will happen. And then each month I review, tweak and forecast based on any new information.
A final thought about financial planning is an emotional one: if you’re on this small business journey too then you’ll know that money is often not just a practical thing, it’s an emotional thing, moreover, it’s an emotional safety thing. If like me, you’re also single and therefore you are it when it comes to paying the bills, I cannot promise that managing your finances will provide you will financial (and emotional) safety, but I can share that from my experience, taking note and care of the numbers in the spreadsheet will certainly help! You can grab a copy of the exact Google Sheet I use alongside my Xero here.
Learning the (continued) lesson of moderation
My word of the year is “moderation” – exciting right? Err, nope, not at all! I am a committed member of the “all or nothing” society and for 30+ years of work I have either been ON BABY 🔥 or in some way recovering from being TOO ON (aka burnout). I have only known two settings and for the most part, the ON setting served me very well, it allowed me to climb ladders (that with hindsight I didn’t actually want to climb) and to achieve the remarkable in a short space of time. When I’m in ON BABY mode, I’m crushing it, but there’s always a cost.
But I have to learn to stop. All or nothing hasn’t served me for a lonnng time and I’m even working with a wonderful life coach this year, to support me to slow-the-fuck down, intentionally rest and find the fun and play in my life (it comes to something when you can’t answer the “what do you do for fun?” question, right?
Last summer’s 🤯 time is the gift that keeps on giving 😳
Talking of moderation, it is no secret that 2021 was a big year in my business and it took (is taking) some serious mindset and emotional adjustment for that to be “the norm”. Also not gonna lie, it took me by surprise in terms of the speed at which things ramped from April to the autumn and just for fun I helpfully moved house in May, tried to do all-the-damn-things (including prep my house for a photoshoot 🙄), hired a wonderful OBM (amazing but we both had no idea what we were doing so it’s been a vertical climb) and my youngest daughter came back from Germany to live with me.
At times I thought the stress would drag me down the burnout hole again and although it didn’t quite, my lifestyle, eating and movement habits and stress levels all went to 💩 and there’s always a price to pay down the line. I’m gradually bringing all of those things back to a place called “moderation” (🤢) but at the time of writing, the current price I’m paying is a yummy bout of Shingles – which only comes at you when your immune system ain’t great which for me is always after big stressors 🎉.
At the moment I have 4 main revenue streams in my business.
- Long-term 1-2-1 coaching clients
- VIP Business &/or Systems Days (& half-days, mini seshs/Voxer Hours)
- The Disobedient Business Mastermind
- Tech & Systems Projects/Support
My total income in January income was £5733.93 (this is a cash figure, not a sales figure). It feels super uncomfortable sharing that number – it’s a weird discomfort that sits between “I hope people don’t think I’m showing off” and also “I bet people thought I earnt more than that and I’m actually a huge failure”. And that my friends, is why honest sharing around money is important in these spaces! Here’s how that breaks down in terms of the work I do (It was a very quiet VIP month, the balance would usually be more even).
Want to see more shares around money like expenses and where the money goes? Let me know as I will get braver and braver with each post and let’s lay this shit bare!
Instagram – 1252 (up frorm 1245)
Active email subscribers – 153 (down from 168 but actually up by c.15 as I deleted inactive subscribers)
Stuff I’ve Bought
Course Creation Revolution
Now it’s too early in the year to make such a huge proclamation but I’m willing to bet that Vix Meldrew’s Course Creation Revolution ends up in the top 5 of learning I do this year (and I secretly believe it’ll end up at number 1). It’s a little know non-secret but back in the early noughties, I spent my time as a teacher (16+ and adults) and ended up in a senior management role in a further education college, before moving away from public sector education around 2012.
One of the things that has bugged me and I hadn’t put my finger on it until Vix and I started chatting early in January, is the online learning, the courses, the group programmes and so many things that we consume in this online biz space are focussed 90% on the launch and the skills to sell the damn thing and 10% on the transformation and the learning itself. That. Is. Not. OK.
Not only is it not OK, but it also perpetuates this bro-marketingy BS space which is income-driven blah blah blah. Anyway, when Vix announced she was doing this week-long challenge I jumped at the chance to brush up on the skills from my teaching background and bring all the integrity and learning-focused emphasis to any short courses or programmes that I develop in 2022. And wow did it deliver – I have said to Vix that this work she is just birthing is THE missing piece in learning in the online space and I’m so glad I joined in this first week.
Lizzy’s Profitable Playground
I was very lucky to win a 3-month space in Lizzy Goddard’s Profitable Playground late last year and I took this up in January. Lizzy is the queen of multi-offer businesses, moving imperfectly and is renowned for her Profitable Live Trainings which is the course I have dug into during January (as well as all the live coaching and other opportunities, all of Lizzy’s courses are included in the Playground while you’re a member). So this wasn’t a purchase as such, but it’s a huge programme and I’m approaching it as if I invested hard cash.
Annualising my damn subscriptions
Oh friends, my OBM and I can both attest to the fact that if you can, get the annual subscription to the damn thing! In the earlier days of my business past Pippa signed up for monthly everything, let’s face it she had to, the annual purchases were just too spenny. But every month for the first 6/7 months of 2022 I am upgrading to the annual version of all the tools I use. Not only will I save ££s, but wow the hours that will be saved reconciling all the itty bitty payments a month will be heaven (well it will be to Lucy my OBM as they took on that job a few months back 🎉).
Dama Jue’s Thrivecart Templates
The wonderful Dama Jue had a pre-sale on her Thrivecart templates and I was straight in there. Just think, no need to create an elaborate sales page on your website, just create it straight in your cart software – seamless right? Yeah, I thought so – you can see an example of one that I made for my Year of VIP. And you can grab Dama Jue’s long-form Thrivecart sales page templates here and the shorter ones here (there’s a range in each offer and they’re all great).
Tech I use
Flodesk (for sending my Sunday emails)
Teachery (the course platform that I use to host the Disobedient Business Mastermind and for future courses)
Thrivecart (for taking all payments in my business – I’ve ditched everything else)
Dama Jue’s Thrivecart Templates (just THE BEST for creating a sales page that lives in Thrivecart)
Convertbox (this whizzy tool is blowing my mind – so far I’ve used it for fab “pop-outs” on my website)
Zapier (for linking literally all the tech in my business)
ClickUp (my biz hub – everything lives here)
Voxer (for chatting with clients)
Google (I’m a Googs fan so I use all the Google Workspace tools)
Xero (for doing my accounts – I flippin love it!)
Acuity Scheduling (for any kind of online scheduling)
Showit (what this webpage you are reading is hosted on)
Life & other fun
I started working with a wonderful personal trainer in January. We’re taking things slow and I’m coaching her and she’s coaching me (which is fab) so it’s an amazing arrangement. Dani is a trainer who is very anti “beasting yourself” in the gym and fat positive so I am loving working with her.
I booked a holiday
We’ve all cancelled so many of them, haven’t we? I bloody love to travel and the sea is my home but didn’t feel it was safe to do so in 2021 (to each their own), but I’ve cautiously booked a week in Malta in April during our rest week in the Disobedient Business Mastermind and I can’t tell you how excited I am! There’s a frickin hot tub on my terrace!!!
Pottery and Crochet
Apparently, I am that age where one considers signing up for pottery lessons, learns to crochet and takes “drives out” into the countryside for no purpose other than driving. At least I live in Bristol where pottery and crochet are the domain of the yoof and I can pretend to be trendy for a while 🤔😂.
Heading into Feb
We have three main focuses for February at Parfait Ventures (that’s what Lucy and I refer to the business as), some are more me and some are more Lucy’s domain:
- Delivering Disobedient Business Bites – A Guide to Getting Traction in Your Coaching Business and creating an amazing learning experience for the folks that sign up (it’s going to take an exciting new blended learning format and I can’t wait to deliver this).
- Properly establishing my “credit” offer which I set up last year for folks buying things through affiliate links etc, but want to make sure this is all in place and the systems needed to back it up are 👌🏼.
- Launching my “client only” group – name so far unconfirmed but loosely titled The Disobedient Business Lounge where past and present clients can hang out, get peer support and generally bring a bit of focus to their business disobedience.