Battling Imposter Syndrome Brought Me to This Moment

I did something yesterday that absolutely terrifies the heck out of me. It’s something that’s well outside of my comfort zone and brought out feelings of imposter syndrome. I made a decision and pulled the trigger.

For all the new consulting offers my attorney and I were negotiating (and in the future), we sent counter offers back informing the companies that my new standard fee is $75,000 per three-hour training on each of my consulting topics.

I started my lifestyle business in the online space and it conditioned me to charge lower prices. $97 to $497 courses, $100 to $300 an hour coaching, and anything above $1,000 is considered “high-end.” The online space rates would be considered super low in the consulting at companies space. A company would think that a consultant doesn’t know their value charging those kinds of prices.

A History of Imposter Syndrome

I owned a service business in the vendor industry that had me delivering bread for 12 years. I didn’t touch computers and knew nothing about making money online. Discovering podcasts turned me on to this new world of opportunity. Coming from that kind of background, I constantly battled imposter syndrome. I felt like, as a bread dude, I had no place writing and teaching people anything. It took a lot of work to beat that mindset.

It took a lot of mental work to get my mindset to the point of being comfortable charging for my services. It took more work to get to the standard prices online. It took a major shift to pivot at the beginning of this year into mainly consulting and charging $45,000 per three-hour consulting training at corporations. Read more ›

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One Simple Strategy to Book Consulting Gigs at Companies

When you’re starting out in consulting, you’ll pitch all kinds of companies. Finding the right types of companies is a challenge that prevents too many consultants from booking gigs. The story I hear often is that entrepreneurs pitch companies and they hear crickets.

These days, I have two to four companies a week approaching me with consulting offers. But, it wasn’t always that way. When I started, pitched 10 companies a week for three months before I started getting a response. To date, I’ve done consulting gigs at companies in 66 countries and it’s been a mix of pitching, prospecting, referrals, and organic opportunities through exposure.

One way to pitch smarter is to target companies that are hiring for an employee position. Basically, you find companies that are looking to hire an employee to do what you consult on. You can use large job sites such as Indeed, Monster, and so on to find companies worldwide that would make great targets. Since they are trying to hire, you know there is a need.

Here are a few examples:

If you are a health & fitness consultant. Mars Inc (Chicago location) is a great company to target. They have 80,000 employees, they do about $33 billion dollars a year in business, they have offices in over 60 countries. Despite being a huge company, they are still privately owned by the Mars family. Right now, they are trying to hire a “Health and Wellness Strategy and Innovation Director” (job posted on Indeed). They want someone to teach their employees how to be healthy. Do a gig at their Chicago location and it will open doors to consult at some of their other offices in 60 countries. If you do wellness consulting, this is a company that you know has a need for you. The person to pitch would be the vice president of People and Organization, Tracey Wood.

If you are a digital marketing/podcast/social media/website/funnels/Facebooks ads consultant. Best Buy based of out Richfield, MN is a great company to target. They have 125,000 employees, they do about $39 billion dollars a year in business, they have 1,500 locations in four countries. Their size offers multiple opportunities. Right now, they are trying to hire a “Director of Audience Strategy” (job posted on Indeed). They want someone to teach their marketing team how to use all forms of new media to grow their audience. If you consult on anything digital, this is what you do already. Why not do it for a big company? The person to pitch is the vice president of marketing, Jennie Weber. Read more ›

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7 Strategies for Growing Your Lifestyle Business

In case you haven’t noticed, there are more than a few entrepreneurs online daily talking and marketing the same kind of business, and offering the same services. You log onto social media and you see many of your entrepreneur friends that sell podcast services, build funnels, run ads, can teach you how to use live video, teach you how to create a profitable blog, and the list goes on. Building an online business isn’t easy, and there are some hard realities that you need to realize, CopyBlogger tells us.

I know I’m not telling you anything new. Having said that, I love the freedom an online business can provide. As you’re reading this, I’m writing this article from a cafe in Nairobi, Kenya. I’m here in Africa as part of a six-country consulting tour. While I’m writing this, people are buying my books and other products on my website. I’m making money passively while enjoying the amazingness of Africa. If this is one of your goals, there are seven things you can do to get better results from building an online business or increasing your business’ presence online.

1. Stop copying other entrepreneurs. 

Customers buy from someone they know, like and trust. They don’t buy from strangers. If you are the clone of some other and/or famous entrepreneur, they’ll never get to know the real you. When they want to buy, they will buy from the entrepreneur you are copying. Use frameworks that work, but don’t be a clone. Model success but don’t copy it. Let your voice come through, and build a business that’s yours.

2. Be clear about who your core audience is. 

If you try to reach the whole world, you’ll end up reaching no one because your efforts to reach customers will be scattered. You won’t be able to help people where they are if you’re not speaking to a specific target audience. The more specific you can get with your target audience, the easier time you’ll have marketing, which is what ultimately grows your business. When you do, you will be focused on your strategies. Your branding and messaging should be very clear. Read more ›

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One Publication That Will Lead to Consulting Gigs and High-End Clients

Coaches always appreciate signing high-end clients (five-figures or more) that can afford their top-tier programs. As consultants, we want to find quality consulting gigs at companies that pay well and lead to more business plus extra opportunities such as licensing online courses at premium rates. As writers/entrepreneurs, we look for publications that will help us build our email list/audience and expose us to an audience that can afford our different premium offerings.

Today’s tip is one publication that can help all three groups accomplish their goals: ChiefExecutive.net.

ChiefExecutive.net has great traffic, a loyal following of business leaders and CEO’s of companies, and a readership that hires consultants/buys high-end coaching programs. The cool thing is that you DON’T have to be a CEO to write here. You just have to contribute content that can help CEOs.

That content can be about leadership, marketing, high performance, relationships, mindset, and much more. What applies to the everyday person can also help a CEO run their company. Never assume they already know what you will write about. You would be surprised what people don’t know.

1. Scan the website and study what they already publish (there’s a resource page that talks about what they’re looking for: chiefexecutive.net/editorial-guidelines/. Read more ›

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The Minute You Stop Chasing Trends Is When You Will Start Building a Real Business

If you’ve been paying attention to the entrepreneur space, you may have noticed something in the last three months. It’s a common trend that’s not so common in entrepreneurship. You’ve seen the same entrepreneurs chasing the newest “hot” trends. They started their business with a core topic and industry but maybe the income wasn’t there. In their desire to generate revenue, they were tempted by the allure of what’s working in entrepreneurship right now.

In a three-month span, they were Facebook ad experts until that became saturated, then they became “funnel” experts. After that, Facebook Messenger bots started to become popular, so they became Messenger bot experts. And now, everybody is talking about Bitcoin, so there’s a whole new wave of Bitcoin experts. This cycle will keep repeating itself as new trends emerge and entrepreneurs share the results they get with a new trend.

Build a foundation.

If you’re jumping from trend to trend, you might want to sit down and get clear about what your values are and what kind of business would match those values. You should know and understand your ultimate life goals. Your values, goals and a great idea make up the foundation of your business. We all know what happens to a house that’s not built on a solid foundation. To build a successful business, you need a deep foundation in an industry/topic that you could see yourself spending years in. You may not hold onto the business forever, but it will take time to build it to where it could be sold.

I understand the appeal of being first to the market on something, but that only works when you’re first to a market with a foundation to build on. First to the market only works when you start out and continue to build. You’re then seen as an industry leader in that market. Creating a foundation in a common industry or going deep with a trend isn’t sexy, but it’s how you will build something sustainable.

A lot of the reason why entrepreneurs can’t generate consistent revenue is that they have no marketing plan and aren’t generating new leads. A lack of marketing ruins businesses. Luckily, for us as entrepreneurs today, marketing is easier and more cost-effective. Facebook ads are highly effective and you can target them to your ideal prospect. Besides Facebook, you can now run ads on all social media networks. According to Gallup, 62 percent of people worldwide use social media daily. The stats are in our favor. Read more ›

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Broke, Broken, and Desperate on My Way to Maui

It may seem like someone has it all together and they’re thriving but appearances can be deceiving. We never know what someone is experiencing or how much they’re dealing with. I put on a good front last year. I was traveling and doing cool things but the truth was that I was dying inside. This is the story of going from an incredible high in life and business to an absolute low and desperate place. And how spending the last $153 I had in my bank account changed my life.

You don’t have to go through this alone… 

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I Started Saying ‘No’ to These 6 Things. My Life and My Business Got a Lot Better

I’m a people pleaser. It’s hard for me to say “no” to people who ask for something — despite a reluctance inside of me. This has gotten me into trouble more than a few times in life and especially in business. Time is precious and slips by quickly but there is also no lack of things that have to get done in an entrepreneur’s life.

For 12 years, I took life a day at a time. I had a dream but no goals for making it real. I just woke up each day hoping for something more. In 2011, I had had enough and began chasing my dream of starting a lifestyle business. This meant more work on top of a service business that took 60-80 hours of my week. It didn’t take long for me to realize that something had to give. I had to learn how to say no to open up room for the things that were important. Seeing how much time and energy was freed by saying no, I started looking at all the other areas of my life. Here are six things I said no to. Saying no helped me live a much better life and create the kind of business that I love.

1. Other people’s baggage.

Life is hard for all of us. Sometimes it’s easier to push your baggage onto someone else, maybe even without you realizing it. If you are trying to make changes in your life and someone reacts a certain way because of their baggage, it’s up to you to say “no”. You don’t need any more drama in your life. For me, this meant ignoring some people on social media and purging negative people from my life. It meant ending the business partnerships that were not in alignment with the direction I was taking my business.

2. Situations that I knew would make me angry.

There are things in life that you know you don’t want to do. For years, I just rolled with it. I went to gatherings and hung out with people who I knew would make me angry. I got on “get-to-know-you” calls with entrepreneurs who were all talk and no action. I entered into collaborations with business owners that weren’t serious. When I said enough and stopped, it felt like a weight was lifted off of my shoulders. It freed my mind and business and helped me focus.

3. A business that I absolutely hated.

I had a service business in the vendor industry for 12 years and hated it. I felt stuck and believed that someone like me — a high school dropout — couldn’t do better. In 2011, I said “no” more and worked hard for four years to make my dream of being a global lifestyle entrepreneur a reality. I now wake up loving what I get to do for work and traveling the world. Saing no led to happier days. Read more ›

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4 Reliable Signs Someone Is About to Waste Your Time

This internet and information age that we’re living in has created some exciting opportunities. Today, we have access to information, technology, and resources like never before. We live in a hyper-connected time where it’s very easy to communicate and interact with potential customers and possible business partners. While all of this has been good for business, it’s also created challenges.

With the access has come a flood of people who could and will waste your time if you let them. As busy entrepreneurs, our time is one of our most valuable resources. We can’t afford to waste it on what seems important but isn’t. We can’t let anyone else control our schedule and invade our boundaries. It’s smart to watch for the warning signs someone is about to waste your time.

1. They lead with what they want.

You’ve gotten at least a few messages from people on social media or through email who lead with a request. They want you to talk about their business on your networks. They want you to buy from them, even though you know nothing about what they offer. They are asking for something you sell but they want it for free.

When someone’s first interaction with you is about them and something they want, run the other way as fast as you can. This is a glaring sign that your whole relationship will be based on that self-centered entrepreneur. Even if you did something for them, it wouldn’t be enough. Strong business relationships are formed when there’s value added first.

2. They tell you they want to hire you “months from now.”

This kind of interaction is designed to make you think the person will be a future customer. They lead with a statement saying they want to hire you months from now but need information or advice first. Read more ›

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One Extra Offer That Will Increase Your Consulting Income

When it comes to consulting at companies, most of what you’ll do is give a consulting training on your topic(s). You’ll either do a one-off, a two to five-hour training, or a series of training over a period of time. You can support your training with documents that have more depth, or you can license your online courses to give a company’s employees more training.

One thing that’s not done enough is setting up comprehensive training programs at companies. Today’s tip is to start off with the one-off training, but consider setting up a bigger and more comprehensive training program for a company.

Some examples of this are a healthy & fitness consultant setting up a wellness program at a company. A podcast consultant setting up the company’s podcast. A sales consultant setting up a sales program. A personal development consultant setting up a training program that covers the major areas of personal development. You get the point.

I’ve talked to several HR managers and C.O.O.’s at the companies that have hired me for consulting gigs this year. We’ve had in-depth conversations about what they paid consultants to set up programs like this.

One company that I consulted at last month in Tokyo paid $100,000 to have a health & fitness consultant set up a wellness program. A company that I consulted at in London earlier this year paid $105,000 to a consultant for a six-month digital marketing template. One of the graduates of my Get Booked program got paid $75,000 to set up a leadership program at a company in Paris. A company that I consulted at in Hong Kong paid me $45,000 to set up their company’s podcast. Again, you get the point. Read more ›

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Building a Business Shouldn’t Require You Stop Having a Life

There’s a trend that’s been growing for some time now. You see it when you log onto social media. You’ve watched YouTube videos about it. You’ve probably heard your entrepreneur friends talking about it. This interesting new business mentality is the 24/7-never-stop “hustling” no-matter-what mentality.

Spending excessively long hours working on your business has become the new badge of honor. You’re not considered a true entrepreneur unless you work until you drop. You see entrepreneurs bragging about working at 3 a.m. and working all weekend. You hear them say they have no time for anything but business-related tasks.

If you buy into this trend you will eventually hate your business. Here are a few points to consider when it comes to business-life balance.

Your business shouldn’t eclipse your life.

I don’t know about you, but I built a business to take control of my life. Most of us are building a business to give us freedom and control of our life. We want an income that allows us to do whatever we want in life without worrying about financial security. The concepts of the Four-Hour Work Week might not be exactly what we’re looking for, but it’s pretty darn close. We want to build a scalable business that gives us flexibility.

It’s important to work a little longer or harder as you build a business, but only within the proper business-life balance. There are consequences when the balance shifts too far towards business. Many relationships have ended because entrepreneurs focused on business neglected their partner. Families have fallen apart because an entrepreneur didn’t have the right balance. Read more ›

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