I spent two years of hustling in business asking for sales from people who didn’t know me well. Whether I was promoting a course (like my mastermind course) or I sell my coaching as a “leadership and podcast” expert, I tried too hard to chase money.
There are a few problems with this mentality.
1) You can never have enough money.
I pursued the almighty dollar before my relationships when I started.
In my first year of business, I made an extra $5,000. Which sounds like a nice side-income, however, it quickly became not enough for me. I wanted more and the thrill of making money only pushed me down the path of desiring more income.
I suspect I could have made more over time if I pursued relationships first.
2) You see people as an avenue for your success
I know a fellow who started in the online world about the same time I did. If you just take the image he presents online, you would think he has it going on. He is doing well with his business. I’m happy for him.
But here’s what I know about him after receiving emails and talking with him.
He would rather have money than a relationship with people.
If you become an affiliate for him, you may find yourself uncomfortable opening his email promotions. He uses the sleazy internet marketing tactics that cause cringing.
I appreciate his boldness, but you can tell he cares only about one thing: money.
A Different Path
I was reminded today of the right path by a friend and fellow mastermind member Azul Terronez.
His business has been all about giving first. He started his “business” by making connections with the right people at conferences like Tropical Think Tank. He put relationships above closing deals. He genuinely cared for the attendees.
His approach lead to get a great client: Pat Flynn.
As a millennial, I know that I’m addicted to microwave solutions.
I become disappointed when people tell me “No” to my coaching. But Azul taught me that if I keep serving others first as a friend, it will return to me.
The Lesson Comes Full Circle
A friend and fellow side-hustler joined my mastermind over 12 months ago. He wanted to continue coaching with me after the mastermind ended, but he decided that it wasn’t a good time.
I was disappointed at first, but I kept in touch. I served him by helping him through a few challenges, and I didn’t ask to start a coaching relationship with him.
Fast forward to a few weeks ago, he contacted me asking for another coaching experience. That’s when I finally asked for a sale with him.
The real solution:
Be patient. Put people first.
You have to play the long game when playing business.
If you’re a coach, consultant, or freelancer, the best strategy is patience and valuing relationships over money.
Could you imagine taking movie recommendations from a complete stranger?
Anytime I feel iffy about seeing the movie in the theaters, I’ll reach out to my personal network for their recommendation. I trust my friends. Okay, I’ll admit it I trust my acquaintances on Facebook too.
Testimonies are a must for any coach. Potential clients want to know that you have helped other people succeed. Something interesting I noticed about testimonies on my website is that it is a one-way conversation. Most testimonies talk about how amazing the coach was and what the coached help with. You miss out on what the coach thinks about the client.
A reverse testimony is the coach’s opinion of how the client performed.
Here’s why I think all coaches should consider writing a reverse testimony.
1) New insights into your ideal client
When a contract ends with a client, one of the first things I set up with them is a time to record a testimonial. I have a list of questions for the client to answer over the phone. I began to see patterns emerging from my clients. After some reflection, I found common themes about the people I was coaching.
So I let my observations simmer for a while. Eventually, I asked myself this question, “What did I love about my clients?”
This created all sorts of new information about who I love to coach and why. It created this story about my ideal client that I hadn’t seen before. Whenever I’m talking with someone who’s interested in coaching I can see them at the beginning of my ideal client story, and I’m better able to connect with them or rule them out based on my ideal client criteria.
My ideal client characteristics began to form, and now I meticulously look for them in any prospect. By creating a reversed testimonial about how great a client is, you are able to discover qualities that you since research out in every prospect.
2) Gratitude is happiness
I experimented with the five-minute journal for six months and loved it because one of the questions is asked is “what are you grateful for today?” But focusing on the things that I am thankful for in my life I can change my mindset from scarcity to abundance.
Creating a reverse testimonial for your client shows them how much you meant to them. It demonstrates to them that if the relationship that you created isn’t all about money. I think coaches get a bad rap especially new coaches because they seem her act desperate to get new clients. And that scarcity mindset leads to actions that show and desperation for money.
3) A gracious word is more than a gift
The testimony is beautiful to receive. You feel validation, satisfaction, and fulfillment. Gratitude is not common, even if you feel like the gratitude message is everywhere online (which is how I felt). I show my genuine thankfulness via a video recording from my phone, people remember me and are thankful.
Someone once told me that they didn’t like Star Wars: Rogue One because it took the realism out of Star Wars.
I responded with, “Well, I think audiences thought the same thing about the Hobbit trilogy. I mean, who believes that dragons still exist?”
Unrealistic opinions are everywhere about popular culture, politics, and movies; and now it’s time to tell you about my opinions about gurus’ advice on starting a coaching business.
Many experts claim you need to do things such as…
attend a coaching university
receive a coaching certification
obtain coaching from the certified “best” coaches in our industry
I totally disagree.
While I think those ideas above are helpful, I believe they slow down becoming a coach.
The fastest way to learn how to be a coach, is to coach.
Winston Churchill once said, “I love to learn, but I hate being taught.” Humans were built to learn trial by fire rather than in the lecture hall.
Could you imagine if schools tried to teach how to ride a bicycle?
They would start off with identification of bicycle parts. Then move to memorization of the history of bicycles. Afterword, you would need to write a dissertation on bicycle theories. And only after you completed your final paper, could you then ride a bicycle.
I would give up on that system.
That’s why I recommend all side-hustlers start coaching for free at first. Why? Experience, gain testimonials, and learn what you love and hate about clients.
A coach in essence helps a person achieve their dream or goal. If you have a goal, then you’re human, a coach can help you achieve it. All clients care about are the results you can bring to them. Clients don’t care about your certifications. No clients ever ask me for my certifications (which I don’t have). Rather, anyone can experience my service in a complimentary session, then decide if my service is valuable to them. My slogan is “Build your successful side-hustle on the fast track,” because I know that I help my clients get to where they want to go faster.
Observing my clients results showed me that I can help people get what they want. I don’t need a certification to start coaching. I saw over the years my clients were achieving their goals quicker than they ever had achieve goals before.
Coach until you can’t handle the amount of people banging down your doors. I always am coaching new and interesting people, but I have a limit of how many clients I can handle (8). Never stop sharpening your skills.
“Ooh, that sounds like a great idea.”
How many times have you been distracted buy a new shiny idea? Too many to count, right?
I found myself constantly distracted when I started my entrepreneur journal. I loved new ideas. They became my cocaine.
Online gurus enticed me onto their lists, and further distracted me with offers for their course. And the funny thing is I felt like I was accomplishing a lot by buying a course or pursuing new ideas. I felt like I was going to learn so much and intern this would make me a lot of money.
The truth is that all of it was distractions.
As a side hustle entrepreneur, you’re working for yourself. No one has expectations from you other than your clients. It is easy to allow yourself the free time to work on things that are new and shiny and fun.
Ways people use shiny objects
Shiny object syndrome is a symptom of the real problem. We use distractions as an escape from the stress of doing work. Here’s why people avoid doing work and chase shiny objects:
Avoid fear of completing a project
Avoid the fear of failure
Avoid the fear of success
Avoid the fear of rejection
These fears create stress and anxiety and lives in our lives. When we have this stress we look for a way to distract ourselves to relieve the stress. One of the best ways of distractions is the shiny object syndrome.
Risks involved with a shiny object syndrome
Chasing new ideas feels good. There’s a thrill of learning a new way to grow a business. It’s like opening a new toy on Christmas day. If you played with many Christmas presents, then you’ll know that the magic fades.
When you’re working on a new project, or watching a new course, or reading yet another blog post, you trade momentum for short-term pleasure. The beginning of any project has the most resistance to the flow state (a place where work is finished easily and without distractions). A significant amount of time is required to learn new things. And it isn’t until about halfway through a project that you realize how to accomplish things faster. That’s when momemtum kicks in.
If you’re always starting new projects, new courses, new blog posts, then you lose out on any momentum gained.
It’s like if you were to invest a thousand dollars every month into the stock market for one year. Then after five years you decided to stop and invest in the real estate market and stop investing in the stock market. Overtime you may make money in real estate, but you lost all your momentum in the stock market, Because the real return doesn’t come until decades later when the compound effect takes over.
Shiny object syndrome kills the compound effect
Here’s how to overcome your shiny object syndrome.
Make the commitment right now to deny the pleasure of looking for another new idea. Deny yourself the immediate gratification of buying a new website domain. Deny yourself the pleasure in order to put in the time to work.
Every week I create new ideas that sound so fun to me, but if I immediately work on them, they will distract me from my important work. New ideas distract me from accomplishing my goals. So, I created a simple system that keeps me from pursuing shiny objections.
I write any new idea immediately on a sticky note and place it on my “new idea white board.” Then on Fridays, I’ll review all my new ideas and think them through. I may even seek away to validate if it’s a good idea. But Friday is the only day that I’ll review my new ideas
I wait till Friday because Friday is when my resistance to my difficult work is at it’s highest. But I don’t have any resistance to work on my new projects because they’re fun to think about. It’s fun to spend time thinking about how to try new Business idea.
Saying no to yourself is possibly the most difficult thing in the battle for willpower. But unless and you are able to crush your resistance, you will be beaten every time you have a new idea. Make the commitment today to delay gratification in order that you can finish the work that’s most important right now.
The unexamined life is not worth living.
Have you woke up in the middle of the night and wondered, “What am I doing with my life?”
I have those moments time to time. What keeps me sane is to keep a mental review of where I’ve been and where I’m going.
What follows is a review of my progress growing my coaching business. I hope it helps anyone aspiring to start and grow a coaching business.
Current Clients: 6 coaching clients
I should have 7. But, one coaching client signed our contract, but a day before our first official coaching session he bailed. He said that he had other priorities that would take him away from our coaching sessions. He didn’t want to commit to our program without being focused on our tasks.
I understand his excuse, but what I said to his dilemma is that coaching would help him no matter what challenge he faced. He hired me to help launch a course for his audience, which would have been loads of fun, but he had a product development issue in his business.
You see, coaching can help you no matter the situation. Michael Gerber in his book the E-Myth, shares a story of man visiting a street lamp post every night. The man shares what happened that day, what his goals were, and what he accomplished. Gerber states that any man would benefit by doing so, because he would reflect on his actions and have a better understanding of where to go.
In the same way, a coach can help anyone set better goals, attain them faster, keep you accountable, hold you to your life’s vision, etc.
Mastermind: Wake Up and Hustle
I started a new mastermind group called Wake Up and Hustle, specifically for my coaching clients. My group couldn’t love it more!
We start on Monday’s at 5 AM central. We spend an hour planning out our week based on our month’s goals and vision.
Our second weekly meeting is on Fridays, where two people step into the hot seat. Each member shares a challenge to overcome, and the group provides feedback.
Side Hustle Course for Pharmacists
To my surprise, pharmacists are very interested in information about starting a side-business.
What started as an experiment, blew up into something bigger.
I posted in two groups on LinkedIn if there were pharmacists interested in starting a side-business. Two weeks after posting, I’ve had over 250 people say they are interested in a course.
Action Journal Alpha Version Published
If you haven’t heard, I published a journal. It’s similar to the Five-Minute Journal or the Self-Journal. However, it asks completely different questions that help you make today great and make journaling a habit.
I struggled with other journals because they didn’t help me overcome my obstacles. I created this journal after testing hundreds of questions and choosing the best ones that motivated me to accomplish as much as possible.
These journals are the alpha version, so I want feedback more than money for the product. My hope is that this will make for a great gift for clients and friends.
This month I’ll be on the Podcast Cruise, speaking, and meeting with great people.
I can’t wait because my talk for the cruise will become my keynote talk for future talks to come!
Provide 2 complimentary coaching calls
I provide a one-hour complimentary coaching call to anyone who fits my perfect coaching client criteria (which has taken years to develop!). The best way for someone to understand if they’d love to work with me is by experiencing coaching!
Add 2 Testimonials to Website
I have over 50 success stories in my arsenal, but I just don’t have them on my website! I must spend time with my current and past clients to record how I helped them.
Create Webinars for Side Hustle Course
I aim to launch a course on March 1st, but the way to find students who will succeed will be webinars. I aim to host 3-4 free webinars on how to start businesses on the side.
Invest more with Lending Club
I love “playing” with money. Investments are fun for me and I shared my beginning results with Lending Club how I made a whopping $56 from my $850 investment.
Create Survey for Action Journal Feedback
I sent out alpha versions and need feedback. The best way to gather feedback I found is using Google Forms and gathering collective data.
Investments are scary.
There’s so much unknown, and so little trustworthy information. Whenever I learn about “A new way to double your income,” I roll my eyes, but secretly wonder what would be possible if I pursued it.
I love reading about what others do to grow their investments, especially when there’s a step by step aspect to it. Which is why I’m documenting my journey with Lending Club.
I first heard of Lending Club from my friend Nick Loper as another option for passive investments from his Prosper account. Nick’s results are encouraging to a would-be investor.
What is Lending Club?
Lending Club is a peer-to-peer lending website. You can request a loan from their website or you can invest your own money into small amounts ($25 min) as loan capital.
As an investor… that’s cool.
Here’s how it works:
Now, I’m not claiming to be a financial expert. I don’t understand a lot about Lending Club, but the idea of investing money passively as a loan, and to be paid back over time and gain interest sounds like fun to me!
There’s no such thing as an investment without risks. Lending Club’s model involves investing your money in different “notes” (another confusing banking term for a loan). These notes are graded based on multiple factors like credit score, income, loan amount, and loan purpose.
Notes are graded A-F. Here’s some more helpful info from Lending Club about the notes:
I started my investment with $200 on January 8th 2016. I thought, “Why not? I have some extra cash.”
Well, I played around with the platform. Gained some confidence. Chose my allocation for where I wanted my money to go. And I watched and waited.
I researched how “expert” investors allocated their funds and made my own version of where I wanted my money to go. Lending Club has a great automated system that will invest your money in $25 minimum amounts into your targeted locations.
My current allocations:
After investing another $650 over 6 months, here are my results as of February 1st 2017.
Essentially, I made $56.47 (Formula: $906.47 – $850). A 6.6% return on investment. Fairly comparable to our stock market, if conservatively invested.
This isn’t the whole picture. Technically, my account is worth more than $906.47; however, this value is calculated by subtracting any notes that are late.
As of this blog post, I simply re-invest my interest earned automatically back into Lending Club’s system. I could stop this and take out the $21.61 cash earned.
So, I’m not throwing a party yet.
A loan that defaults means that the person who took out the loan cannot pay it. All money invested is lost.
As of this writing, I have 2 loans that are late (between 31-120 days), so they could turn into defaults. In which case, I lose my a part of my $25 investment. However, the interest and principle from my other loan investments will keep me in the black.
Overall, a fun mini-investment to play with. I will be investing more money from my coaching business into Lending Club.
If you have a few extra hundred dollars lying around and you want to play with investments, I encourage you to give it a shot!
I love the story of Rudy.
A man against all odds becomes the hero. I believe everyone thinks themselves an unlikely hero. We have many faults, and it’s unlikely we will ever become “great.” At least, that’s the lie I tell myself.
When it comes to writing, I’m a Rudy. I have many faults that make me a poor writer. I write in the passive tone. I can’t spell to save my life. I write like I talk, which isn’t always coherent. I can’t communicate effectively in the verbal format.
I bask in wonder as I read my heroes’ blogs. I think to myself, “I could have wrote that blog. Why didn’t I?”
Like Rudy, I must practice to get to my “hero level.” Rudy would never be allowed on the field if he didn’t put in the hard work. I need to put in the time to get my chance at becoming great. One day, I want to score my touchdown.
I need to put in the time to get my chance at becoming great. One day, I want to score my touchdown.
For now, I have to settle for practicing.
I will never achieve great things with written words without this essential practice.
Like you, I know I have many books inside me. The New York Times says 81% of Americans want to write a book, but less than 1% actually finish a book.
I want to write about a Zombie who has an identity crisis.
I have a book within me about the struggles of chasing after success.
I’d love to write more on the struggles of a full-time employee working as a side-hustler while managing a family.
But for now, I’ll settle for one word at a time.
That’s why I’m committing to write daily for the 28 days of February.
I blogged recently on common myths about weight loss on Lifehack.org. Today, I wanted to share common assumptions (that I believed before reading about this!) about weight loss. These presumptions are prevalent in our healthcare community and need to be disproven or proven.
1. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day
Presumption: eating breakfast every day boosts the metabolize and protects against weight gain
Two trials studied the effect of skipping vs. eating breakfast. No effect on weight was found in either trial.
2. Teaching children early to eat and exercise influence weight throughout life
Presumption: If you teach children how to be healthy, they’ll stay healthy
One study looked for factors that influence weight gain during early childhood into adulthood. They found that maternal smoking and significant weight gain during pregnancy was associated with adult weight gain in children. They did not find any relationship between teaching children proper diet and exercise and weight. Said another way, teaching a child to eat and exercise doesn’t influence whether or not she’ll be obese as an adult.
3. Adding more fruits and veggies, without changing anything else, will cause weight loss or less weight gain
Eating fruits and veggies is great for your health. Plus they’re super tasty (I love Pink Lady Apples).
No weight loss is seen when only eating more fruit and veggies is done. In fact, weight gain can result. Bottom line: more (exercise and decreased caloric intake) needs to be done if you want to lose the extra pounds.
4. Snacking leads to gaining fat
Randomized, controlled trials don’t support this idea. There is no evidence to support eating snacks throughout the day increases weight or fat.
So am I recommending not eating breakfast, not teaching children about diet and exercise, adding more fruits and veggies, snacking more? No.
Everything in moderation.
Believing in these presumptions or “myths” could block you from losing weight. For example, there’s some evidence to suggest eating small frequent meals throughout the day may decrease your weight. So eating small healthy snacks like celery with peanut butter or apples could decrease the amount of food you eat during a meal.
Do/did you believe these presumptions? Do you think the scientists who write these trials are wackos?
write it down
Provide evidence about smilers and success/health
Wake up in the morning and laugh
Consciously remind yourself every 30 minutes
Write post it notes everywhere
Be grateful for three things