Meredith was particularly delighted to welcome Therese Skelly of happyinbusiness.com because Therese has been Meredith’s coach for a couple of years. Therese is an expert in helping people overcome their mental blocks, like fear of selling, for instance, or not valuing their worth in their business. Therese does a lot of things but what we are particularly focusing on in this interview is selling – because if you can’t sell then you don’t have a business.
How I got started – its kind of a crazy story really – I was a psychotherapist, I was married at the time, I had a husband that made good money and i literally had no dreams, no big goals, no driving passions, because i was taking care of my kids.
But then I thought why don’t I go to life coaching school and I got my certification, and I was doing therapy and coaching at the same time.
One day i saw an ad that said “Business Coaches Wanted” – now you have to understand my background, I have an undergraduate degree in criminal justice, I have worked in a prison, and I have a masters degree in counselling – there’s no part of me that should have been think ‘Heck, yeah, I could be a business coach!’
I had never seen a spreadsheet, I’d never read a business book, I had never been to a network meeting – but something about that ad just spoke to me.
But one thing they teach you today is to follow the energy, and your soul kind of guides you to places that seemingly are insane, but they are just the next steps.
So I applied and ‘Boom’ – within a day I was a business coach. Quickly followed by the “Oh crap, what do I do now?!” So then I really immersed myself in all the training, and it was fine, but it was not an intentional thing. But I literally say that with that one decision the whole trajectory of my life changed.
When I first started I was working for a coaching company. At the same time I was going through a divorce and with all that going on it was just easier for me to work for someone else rather than figure all the pieces i needed to set up for myself, and I got an offer from a friend to come and work from her company, and so I did.
Working there I really saw how a coaching company runs. But I got pretty sick of it because there were things happening that were not in my integrity, things I didn’t like, I couldn’t be me in the company because I was under her brand. And its funny how these things work because no sooner had I decided that I didn’t want to work there anymore, three months later she decided that she didn’t want any other coaches working with her. I also had a big client who I was doing all the marketing for and I thought, well if I did as much marketing for me as I do for him I would be making much more money and I’d be way happier.
I was certainly making the money, but I thought , at what cost? One the one hand I was working with someone who was doing things I didn’t like, and on the other I was putting all my energy and all my creativity into someone else’s business. I was burned out, I was unhappy. As it happened the coaching contract ended and the guy I was marketing for decided he didn’t have the money anymore – so it was sort of decided for me, though I had really made the decision already. So now I thought, okay, its done – from now on you are no longer working for anyone else.
But – there is no shame in working for someone else in order to learn the ropes when you are embarking on something new. I worked for three different coaching companies and got the best mentoring, and I was so well networked from working with all these people. And it was great for seeing two things: how to do it; and knowing what I didn’t want to do.
So when you first decide on starting your own business, how do you go out and get yourself that first sale?
When I get clients who are either new in their industry or doing something new, I say to them “I don’t care what you sell, I don’t care what it costs, just go out and sell something.” Because we get all wonky about ‘its got to be perfect’ and ‘I should charge a lot’ – but not necessarily. In the beginning I am a huge fan of beta testing.
To me it doesn’t matter what it is or how much you are going to sell it for so much as you putting something together and saying “this is what I do” – and then finding people who want to buy it.
But people get all nuts about it – “but I don’t have a good enough website … I have to have 7000 friends on social media …” and I go like “Shhhhh – not you don’t”.
You just need to know that if you were, say, sitting next to someone on a plane and they said “Oh I love what you do” – could you sell to that?
Number one – you have to have something to sell
“A coaching package” is not enough – you need to sell a solution eg. a 90 day weight loss program.
Beyond that, you have to be convinced in your being that you are worth the work.
I remember in that first coaching company, I didn’t believe I was worth the $585 a month, or whatever the fee was at the time, I didn’t believe I was worth that so I couldn’t sell it. So I would think if I got some more training, and some more training, and some more training … but the reality was I didn’t believe in myself – I had this story that I wasn’t good enough because I didn’t know anything about business. By that time I knew a heck of lot about how to coach, but I had this chip on my shoulder about “I’m not enough because …”
Just know, when you are new, you are going to have that. You going to be like “You ? Why would they buy from you?” You have to get around that. You have to say, “Okay, its not about me – what’s the result that I can get from that person?”
I like the idea of charging a small amount, just to get the first ten people in the door, so that you know that what you are doing is working. Then you can charge more – then you’ll become more confident.
When you very first start out – to get those first customers – write a letter to all your friends and family – even rank them – the A’s, the B’s, the C’s – the A’s are your evangelists, the people who know you and love you. The B’s are people who know you and like you – they may not know your work as much. A ‘C’ person is like the barista at your regular coffee shop, or the dry cleaner you see every month.
So you start with your A-list and you get very specific – “This is my new business and this is the problem I solve – and I would like you to think of three people who have this problem and I’d like you to introduce me.” Or better yet, I want to offer them my free session (or whatever it is). You want people to have an experience of you. Think “who knows me, and who would be willing to make a call for me?”
Once you get over that initial hurdle of getting your first clients or customers you’ll find it gets easier the more you do it.
Favorite Books: Secrets of the Millionaire Mind by T Harv Ecker; The 4 Spiritual Laws of Prosperity by Edcene Gaines
Favorite Resources: Basecamp; Danielle Laporte – Facebook Post Planner
Want to get a free audiobook version of the book recommended by this week’s guest? Click here to download it.
Guest: Therese Skelly – Happy In Business
As a money mindset mentor and business coach, Therese works with heart centered entrepreneurs who love what they do and are ready to grow their business in a much easier and more authentic way.
She blends her background as a psychotherapist, strategist, and business consultant and masterfully works both the inner game challenges and the outer game tactics.
From newer business owners who want to design a business that serves their life, to the already successful entrepreneurs who want to leverage their time and grow their income, Therese works with individuals like you who have a big desire to make a difference in the world.
You can learn more about Therese and get her free five part video series entitled: Eliminating Money Blocks by visiting www.HappyinBusiness.com
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