Kathleen Gage is on a mission. She wants to inspire you to live fully, play full out, generate great revenue and leave a lasting legacy.
Kathleen is the “no-nonsense, common sense” online marketing strategist, speaker, author, product creation specialist, and owner of Power Up For Profits. She helps entrepreneurs make money online. Her clients are driven by making a difference through their own unique voice.
As an early adopter of online marketing, Kathleen is known for cutting through the fluff. She speaks and teaches about what she believes are the core elements of a successful life: accountability, integrity, honesty, and living with passion and hope.
Kathleen believes the best way to become well known in your market is to let go of the need to be well known and simply serve and create an incredible experience for all you come in contact with. Her mission includes animal rescue, respect of diversity, and contribution to community.
Kathleen: I actually started my business in 1994 and started out as a corporate trainer. It was a natural evolution because I was in a corporate environment and went into corporate training. As I evolved in my own life and my own business, what I found is my greatest passion and my sweet spot is working with small businesses and solo entrepreneurs who really have an important message and are aware of that, and they want to get it out to market. So it’s been through many re-creations based on personal experiences, market changes, emerging markets, and the ups and downs of the economy.
Meredith: What do you think is the biggest thing that stops people from really breaking through with their businesses? Someone can have an amazing idea and and it just never makes it. What do you think it is that’s stopping people from really making money from their businesses?
Kathleen: One is not treating their business like a business. It’s amazing how many people say that they’re business owners, but they treat it more like a hobby than they do a business. For example, they don’t get a business license, they’re not paying taxes, and they wonder why things are not working. Or they’re not investing in their business and they’re not hiring the right business coaches. That would be one aspect.
The other aspect is fear. They are afraid of failure, so they don’t really try anything. In order to have a successful business, (1) you have to treat it like a business, and (2) you have to be willing to take risks that normally you wouldn’t be real comfortable in taking. In order to get to the next level, you have to have that willingness to fail.
I heard somebody say it recently that you have to “fail forward”. Keep moving in a forward direction, yet know that not everything you try is going to be spot on and is going to work. If you hire the right coaches, if you surround yourself with the right people, if you listen to the right podcast with the right host, you will get great information that helps you to move along quicker.
Meredith: How do you discern whether or not an investment is going to be worth it to you? I know that in my practice as an online business manager, I did that for several years before starting the podcast and moving into a coaching practice of my own. I had clients who would spend tens of thousands of dollars on coaching and it wasn’t the right fit for them, so they basically invested for nothing. What are some steps that people can take to make sure that they’re hiring the right person and that they’ll get a good return on their investment?
Kathleen: That is such a great question, Meredith. The first thing to do is really look at who you are. What’s important to you? What are your values? What is it you want to accomplish in your business? Then, based on that, look for people who are in alignment with your particular direction.
For example, one of the coaches I recently had for a couple of years was a great coach for me. She’s a “take no prisoners” kind of coach and she worked really well for me. For other people, she wouldn’t have been the best coach for them because she was a little too direct. She wasn’t a touchy-feely kind of person, and somebody might need that more of the “comfort” kind of coach.
You have to find somebody that is going to be a good match for who you are. Talk to people who have coached with that particular coach and then do your due diligence, do your research, do your homework, and don’t make decisions based on emotions and impulse. That’s really difficult, because a lot of selling is about emotion. Take what I call a “cooling down” period. I recently signed a client who we actually took about three or four weeks of having conversations, with me trying to talk her out of hiring me. I wanted to make sure she was really clear on the kind of coach I am and what the whole process would entail.
Also, you’ll want to determine if you are willing to do the work. A lot of people hire coaches, or they’ll buy information products, or they’ll go to seminars, and they think that they’re doing something productive, but they never implement the information. You have to be willing to put the time and effort into what your coach or consultant is helping you to do.
Meredith: I think that’s really important, because many times people hire coaches at events. There’s a lot of emotion and the whole event has been very carefully orchestrated to lead you to this shining moment where you step across the threshold and into your new life. That’s awesome, but I ask today’s listeners to listen to what Kathleen just said. The coaching program will still be there — next time.
Kathleen: Absolutely. And if somebody says it’s not, then they’re probably not the best coach to hire. I host my own three-day events and small mastermind groups, and I make offers where it can be as much as $30,000 for somebody to enroll. With some people I can tell right away they’re not going to be a good fit.
I had a woman recently who had bought a program from me called “A Deep Dive”. It was about an $8,000 program. Then she wanted to go into my year-long program, but I knew she wouldn’t be well served by the year-long program. That was a pretty substantial investment for her to make and a pretty substantial sale for me to make. But I told her no. I said, “I’m not going to sign you up. You’re not ready for it.” She said, “But I’m willing to pay the money.” I said, “No, that’s not the issue. The issue is, it’s not going to be a good fit for you. You’re not going to get a result, and then you’re just going to feel like it was a waste of your investment.” So it’s also a matter of the consultant, the coach, the mentor, being willing to say “no” when somebody is not a good fit.
Jasper: The last thing you want is a whole bunch of people who feel like they’ve wasted their money, because that’s not going to do your reputation any good whatsoever, is it?
Kathleen: You’re so right, Jasper, because it really is a matter of finding the right personalities who gel with each other. For example, I have a high level coaching program where I limit it to 10 people. There’s one spot where I’m waiting for the right person to come along. I’ve had a few people who have wanted to fill that spot, but I won’t let them because I want to be fair to the other people who have invested in that program. We do three masterminds a year, so there has to be a good fit for everybody when we all get together.
If you would like to read my whole story – its a long one – you can do that here. One of my pet peeves is when people don’t have much at all to complain about and yet, they do. They say, “I don’t have time, money, knowledge, connections, etc. so I can’t succeed.”
Or those who try to get something for nothing and then wonder why their business is not working.
I know people who have incredible obstacles and yet, make things work.
I know, to the core of my being, one of my greatest purposes in business is to lift people up who are willing to answer their life calling regardless of what challenges lay ahead. I also know I am to call people on their crap when all I hear is excuse after excuse. I’m here to help push them to points they didn’t think they could go and when they succeed, to enable them to experience a great sense of accomplishment.
It is a philosophy that I use for myself to be successful, and what you can expect of me for your own business.
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