Your weekly dose of no-BS straight talk for female solopreneurs who are ready to close the gap between where they are and where they want to be  

 

Caution: Listening to this podcast will be detrimental to your limiting beliefs and may result in enlargement of your possibilities for success.

 

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134 - Playing the Long Game in Business with Sandra Scaiano

 

Sandra Scaiano is a web designer and brand strategist for female entrepreneurs. After a 20-year corporate career, she created a business that brings her joy and allows her to be present for her family and partner with clients who become raving fans and long-time friends.  While many business strategists try to sell you on their "proven system", Sandra brings out the brilliance in each of her clients and helps them create and amplify their unique brand voice so they stand out and shine.  When it comes to client attraction, it’s not about doing things better, it’s about being the singular choice for your just right clients.  To do that, you need to lean into what makes you special, and that’s where Sandra comes in. 

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Playing the Long Game in Business with Sandra Scaiano

Sandra Scaiano is a web designer and brand strategist for female entrepreneurs. After a 20-year corporate career, she created a business that brings her joy and allows her to be present for her family and partner with clients who become raving fans and long-time friends.  While many business strategists try to sell you on their "proven system", Sandra brings out the brilliance in each of her clients and helps them create and amplify their unique brand voice so they stand out and shine.  When it comes to client attraction, it’s not about doing things better, it’s about being the singular choice for your just right clients.  To do that, you need to lean into what makes you special, and that’s where Sandra comes in. 

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How to Start Now to Grow Your Business in 2023

It's mid-November and the holidays are right around the corner. As a solopreneur, you can go all-in on a Black Friday Sale, take time off or just hunker down and wait out the rest of the year because "nobody buys coaching or consulting services in Q4."

Well, I don't believe that, for the record, and I will still be selling in December, along with enjoying friends and family time. But, there's one more thing I am doing to insure I start 2023 strong, and prepared for growth. In fact, I'm doing it right now, so I decided to record this episode and share it with you.

I am referring to my business audit, or "clean sweep." In episode #131 I talked about the need to manage our boundaries with time, energy, effort, money, and relationships. 

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Why Women Think They Suck at Making Money with Tara Newman

Tara Newman is an organizational psychologist, certified Profit First consultant, host of the Bold Money Revolution Podcast, and leader of The Bold Profit Academy.  Tara is exactly the kind of woman I want in my inner circle because she knows firsthand that being an expert, serving with purpose, and working your ass off doesn’t add up to a profitable business for most women and she’s on a bold mission to change that.

We also chat about what Tara calls an Owners Statement and how she differentiates between personal values and business values. This was an eye-opener: Most women want a fully remote business but that does not mean they want an online business.

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The 5 Types of Boundaries You Need in Business

One of the areas of business strategy I find most of my clients need help with is business boundaries, and often times they don't even realize it. Boundary problems may be the root cause when you find yourself working too much, making too little, and dealing with needy, demanding, or never-satisfied clients. Boundary problems are often to blame for working really hard but not moving forward, investing a ton in learning for your business but never having enough time to implement what you have learned. If any of this sounds familiar, this episode is for you. 

When we struggle with boundaries, we tend to feel resentful, frustrated and overwhelmed. We may think it's a time management issue or that we simply have too much to do and not enough support from others. The tendency to blame, whether ourselves or others is very tempting (I do it too, from time to time...) but nothing moves the needle like self-awareness and personal responsibility. 

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The No-BS Business Coach with Neena Perez

Women who have the audacity to speak their truth without guilt or apology are absolutely some of my favorite people and today’s guest, Neena Perez and I became instant friends. As soon as I saw the name of her podcast,  “Straight Talk, No Sugar Added”, and the title of her book, “Hit Me With Your Best Shot, How I Overcame a Hard Hitting Life”, I knew I was going to connect with business and performance coach, author, podcaster, and total baddie, Neena Perez.   Neena is also a chef and director of culinary operations, so believe me when I say this woman is a powerhouse and I am excited to introduce you to her.  

Instead of giving into the mindset and way of life she saw growing up, Neena was determined to not only survive but to succeed.   She knew that the key to overcoming her challenges was by changing her thinking, doing the work, and finding people to surround herself with who did not accept limits. Neena and I had such a great convo because she is just as direct and straightforward as I am.

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There is No Magic Pill

Of all the things we need to learn how to master as a coach or consultant is expectation management.  It is more important than your niche, your offers, your marketing, price point, packaging our expertise or what social media platforms to spend our time on.   You can’t fully rely on your potential client to know what they expect from hiring you, either.  You have to get ahead of the conversation by asking questions that reveal their unconscious beliefs and desires because those are the ones they will judge you by. 

Something I have come to understand is how often clients are looking for a Magic Pill and have zero self awareness that this is even the case.  A Magic Pill is the belief that there will be a perfect solution to whatever we are struggling with, and they just keep trying different things until they find it.   Sometimes we unwittingly participate in this search for a Magic Pill by the way we market our services and sell our programs by over stating the benefits.

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Writing Emails They'll Want to Open with Meera Kothand

Today’s guest, Meera Kothand began her online business journey as a blogger and began writing books for other bloggers, several of which became Amazon best sellers.  She now focuses on helping digital marketers write emails that convert subscribers to customers in a way that is both strategic and sustainable by making them more simple and fun, which was music to my ears.  

Even though I have purchased several of her books over the past few years,  there were a couple of moments during this interview where some really critical strategies finally made complete sense to me.   It was a really good reminder to be compassionate with myself about how long it really takes to learn to be successful as a solopreneur because of all the different skills we juggle on a daily basis with or without a team.

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Are You Quiet Quitting in Your Business?

The world of work has experienced some pretty seismic changes in the past couple of years, leading up to three interrelated trends: the great resignation, the rise of solopreneurship, and quiet quitting. Productivity and employee engagement are down, way down and companies of all sizes can’t fill open positions or get the best out of the employees they have now. 

I first heard about quiet quitting on TikTok, and it really made me think about my own work history, and the challenges being faced by the five different generations that currently make up the workforce. If you are not familiar with the term, quiet quitting refers to doing only what is necessary at work, something my generation called “coasting.”   

A quiet quitter is not necessarily on their way out the door, but they are maintaining firm boundaries around their work hours and effort in order to maintain a better work-life balance. 

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Creating Confidence Through Personal Styling with Scarlett De Bease

Today’s guest, Scarlett De Bease is a personal wardrobe stylist who shows female entrepreneurs what clothes to wear so they'll make more money and attract better clients. She guides her clients to create their own unique signature style, feel fearless and confident about being seen and heard, and excited to put themselves out to the world in a way that is game-changing.

As the founder of Scarlett Image Consulting and author of “Stop Stressing About Dressing,” her one-of-a-kind in-person and worldwide online workshops reveal how a more powerful presence leads to more opportunities and more profit for solopreneurs and business owners. 

Scarlett and I are both members of a couple of different groups for female solopreneurs and even before I got to know her, she always stood out in a positive way through personal branding and image styling.  

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Lessons From a Failed Launch

Why am I pulling back the curtain on my own failed launch (while marketing myself as a business strategist, coach, and consultant?)  And, why do it immediately after it happened?  I must admit I had a lot of reservations about both the content and the timing, but one of my core values is integrity and for me, that means telling the whole truth about solopreneurship, the cringe-worthy as well as the brag-worthy. I also knew if I didn’t share it now, I would miss the true value of sharing our failures- giving shame the middle finger. 

If you are a solopreneur, you have to become comfortable with risk and failure. You need to try things without knowing how they will turn out, ask people to hire you even if you have imposter issues, make offers before you feel ready to do so and some of your programs, products, and services will fail.  You are literally where the buck starts and stops, so getting better at dealing with failure is truly unavoidable.

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Fearless Negotiation for Solopreneurs with Joanne Zuk

I recently connected with leadership coach and consultant, Joanne Zuk, and liked her immediately.  We both came to solopreneurship after long and successful careers in another sector.  Joanne was in public service and I worked in nonprofits. In her current role, Joanne is on a mission to help female solopreneurs overcome their fears of negotiation so they can go after and get what they deserve and desire. 

 In this lively convo, we talk about the 5 blindspots that cause women to settle for less than they want in negotiations, and how to get comfortable going from the minimum level to the dignified level to the generous level.  We talk about feminine conditioning, why negotiating like a man just won’t work for most women, and how we can use empathy to create better outcomes for both sides, instead of allowing empathy to be used against us.  

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Does Your Business Need You to Boss Up?

Have you ever heard the term “boss up?”  I started using it with my one-to-one coaching clients about a year ago, at times when they needed and wanted to change their mindset and take new actions.  Usually, this happened because they had plateaued, believed they were stagnating, or just felt stuck and were ready to do whatever it took to move beyond it.  

I had been trying to decide on a name for the signature framework I spent months creating (with the help of a consultant I’ve mentioned on this podcast, Claudia Schalkx.)  I looked up the term “boss up” and recognized instantly that it was the perfect name for my framework.  Here’s the Urban Dictionary definition of boss up:  “take ownership of one's life, by directing the full capacity of time, resources, and attention toward a specific direction, goal, or intent. In other words: step up, raise your standard, up your game, and take responsibility for the direction of your life and the full maturity of your dreams.”

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Leading With Your Values with Laura Eigel, PhD

I recently connected with today’s guest through our common belief that high-achieving women are most fulfilled when they are working in alignment with their core values, setting boundaries that honor them, and mentoring other women to do the same. Laura has a Ph.D. in Organizational Psychology and is a college professor, author, podcaster, advocate, and coach.  She is also a wife and mom to two young sons.  

Laura’s company, The Catch Group,  was founded on the principle of living a life guided by your values. They believe that leaders should bring their authentic leadership to the workplace to build inclusive teams and that leaders should be able to have big career goals AND career fulfillment. Laura believes that top leadership at companies should be diverse and that women, people of color, and LGBTQ+ leaders need to hold more top jobs at companies. 

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The Cure for Imposter Syndrome

Human beings have a need to understand themselves and others.  We label behavior and decide what is normal and what is not.  Our culture is particularly fond of pathologizing behavior and especially the behavior of women.  The way we speak to and about ourselves matters a lot.  We have all literally learned to think of ourselves in a certain way from an early age and it is a lot harder to change those beliefs than it is to question them before they stick. 

We have all used labels to refer to ourselves and others in ways that are harmful, inaccurate, and lasting.  Referring to ourselves as having imposter syndrome may be spot on, or not.  When we lack the confidence to start a business, ask to be paid for our services, are afraid to raise our rates, set boundaries with clients, or hold our team members to a higher standard, is it imposter syndrome, or could it be something else?  

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Marketing Your Genius: A Client Success Story with Meredith Ferguson

I love helping female solopreneurs find their Zone of Genius, so they can create a satisfying and sustainable business doing what they do best. Today’s guest is client Meredith Ferguson, who decided to work with me because she had two fledging businesses and neither of them was profitable.  She had a lot of natural talent but no systems and no boundaries.  She wanted a legitimate business but was literally giving her work away and because she wasn’t taking herself seriously as a business owner, no one else did either. 

Getting rid of the “freeples” (people who want what you’ve got and expect to get it for nothing) and learning to value her time and skill were some of Meredith’s biggest Boss Up moves during our work together. 

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Right-Size Your Business to Fit Your Life

If you are like most of us, you jumped into your online business with nothing more than the intense desire to BYOB ( Be Your Own Boss, that is…) and put your faith in the celebrity coaches and online gurus to show you the way.  Now you are a few years into it, working too many hours,  making too little money, and feeling super stressed about how to get anything else done in your so-called life.  

It’s time to do a reality check, climb out from under our sunk cost and shame shit and forgive ourselves, so we can get busy right-sizing our business. None of those gurus is living your life, paying your bills, or coping with your problems so you are the expert on how your business should actually look and how to make it fit your life, instead of taking over your life.  You can right-size your business, no matter how long you have been in it, by asking yourself some important questions and making the changes that align with your honest answers.

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What Does Trauma Have to Do with Your Business? with Nicole Lewis-Keeber

I am pretty sure I am not the only one who has noticed the dramatic increase in the number of coaches who refer to themselves as ‘trauma-focused”, ‘trauma-aware” or “trauma-conscious.”  There is no question that there is a tremendous need. Half of all women have experienced trauma at some time in their lives and there is a significant percentage of traumatized people who become entrepreneurs.

Nicole has spent years studying, training, and developing her expertise in this area as a licensed psychotherapist, coach, facilitator, speaker, trainer, and published author. She created her signature program “Do No Harm” because simply having a personal history of trauma and the desire to help others does not qualify anyone as “trauma-conscious.” This convo may be triggering to some, but I hope will listen all the way to the end of the episode.  This subject is far too important to not address, even if it might ruffle some feathers. 

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Getting Better at Hearing No

One of the most common scenarios I encounter with my business strategy and coaching clients the fear of hearing the word “no.  I have been interviewed on the topic of entrepreneurship and rejection sensitivity on several other podcasts, so I know this is a pretty widespread struggle. 

There are a number of ways we unconsciously resist hearing no that actually limit our income, profit and success in business.  Many of us go so far out of our way to avoid being rejected that we basically reject the chance of being found, hired and paid.  Or, we just don’t ask for the sale, avoid using a Call to Action in our marketing and “forget” to follow up with prospects.  

With everything I am learning about confidence, failure and resiliency, I have come to the conclusion that getting better at dealing with “no” is a skill that all of us need to get better at.  Think of it this way: we either need to learn how to deal more effectively with “no” or get used to settling for less than we truly want.  

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You Need a Virtual Assistant with Belinda Sandor

A business workflow and productivity expert with 25 years of experience, RocketGirl Solutions Founder Belinda Sandor has been hired by small businesses on a contract basis to act as their part-time “business manager.”  She turned her experience into founding The VA Connection, a professional online community with the goal of educating and connecting independent virtual assistants around the world.

Belinda is also a sought-after speaker on the subjects of small business growth, business technology, brand communication and development, and more. Groups who engage her as a speaker benefit from her ability to simply and clearly explain how, when and why technology and marketing can be smoothly incorporated into their daily workflow.

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What is Your Unfair Advantage?

In this value-packed solo episode,  I share my perspective on a word that is totally overutilized in the coaching industry: AUTHENTICITY;  and why I think what is being taught by many is actually manipulative AF and anything but authentic.  My definition of authenticity involves true vulnerability, courage, and risk-taking and is strategic, not tactical.  

The more authentic I have become, the more I have been learning to unmask myself and share who I am, and the more I understand that I’m not the only one who feels like a square peg in a round hole,  who has paid a high price for conforming to the norm and is learning to excavate myself from under layers of cultural conditioning that began almost in the womb.  

But, authenticity as your unfair advantage does not mean sharing everything with everybody indiscriminately, either.  

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Becoming Confident on Video with Helen Polise

Helen Polise is my inspiration and today’s guest on the podcast.  A successful producer of TV commercials for the past three decades, Helen knows her way around a camera and how to attract and engage an audience.  When the Covid pandemic put her producing career on hold, she discovered TikTok and quickly went from consumer to creator to teacher.  Helen is not only a natural teacher, she is a relentlessly positive, upbeat, and optimistic human and a grown-ass woman, not a Gen Z ‘influencer.”

If you listen all the way to the end,  you’ll see how and you’ll also see exactly why I can’t say enough about Helen Polise.  If you are trying to get yourself to start using video to share your message, promote your business or simply improve your ability to face the camera with confidence,  Helen will change your life.  I highly recommend her TikTok confidence course which some of my clients have used to get started on video, and are achieving great results.  When you hear what has been going on in Helen’s life and how this interview almost didn’t happen, you are going to become as big a fan of hers as I am. 

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