5 Tips to Boost the Bottom Line in your Conscious Business

Conscious Business | Money Energy

As a conscious entrepreneur driven by passion and purpose, I know you don’t do the work for the money. You do the work for The Work. The end is the reward and you are strong in your purpose and clear that what you are doing is the correct professional (and life) path. You love what you do!

But as the old adage goes, love don’t pay the bills. And loving your work doesn’t always result in healthy financial flow in your business. Money (and profit, specifically) is an essential energy to longevity in business. If your business is not earning money (and profit), it becomes a costly, time-intensive hobby and a serious energy drain.

If you love what you do, but the money situation is leaving something to be desired, read on for my best tips for establishing a healthy cash flow in your conscious business.

1) Get focused

Focus is practical magic in business. Scattered services will scatter focus, and scattered focus means less (or slower) growth in business. 80% of your income is the direct result of 20% of your actions —identify those 20% actions and optimize, strategize and repeat. Here is a quick tip for laser focus that boosts the bottom line in your conscious business.

  • Aim for a cohesive results-oriented service and / product designed for a specific person, with a specific problem. Simplicity is sexy. Your potential clients get overwhelmed with too many options, confused by technical language and indecisive when faced with a hodge podge of services and products. Narrowing your focus to one, two or three cohesive offers (packages or results-oriented products) will provide a clear “pathway” for the potential client to follow —and that results in happy clients, more income, loads of referrals and repeat business.

Struggling with your business focus? Remember: you can do it all, just not at the same time! Get a simple strategy for generating laser focus right here and and a guide to planning right here.

2) Solve the right problems, for the right people

Cashflow in your business is a signifier that you are in alignment. If your business is solving the right problems, for the right people, and you are doing so in alignment with your soul’s purpose and sacred gifts  —then you will thrive. When you know who your potential client is, what problems they have, the problems they’re motivated to solve, and how you provide a unique and irresistible solution…well, that’s the business (and cash flow) sweet spot.

  • Figure out who exactly you serve / your business serves, what they need (the problem they have) and how you provide them a unique and irresistible solution (see #2).  Then, ask: what methods can my solution take? Where do I want the customer / client to end up? What other problems do they have / will they have that I can also solve?

If you’re stuck on any aspect of the above, your business (and cash flow) will suffer. Read more on this topic here and here and here.

3) Make it easy, fun, and aligned

One of the easiest ways to increase your income is to fold the BEST of what you offer into a package or series of services that your dream client needs (and will value) that is FUN for you to offer. If you are currently focused on selling one-to-one services, is that what you love? If not, what would be easier, more fun and more aligned? Can you envision a “next level” for the client in your one-on-one services?

  • Craft your fun and aligned “next-level” offers for more income and more ease in your business. Explore folding together everything you offer into one high value package (or service, or program) that a small percentage of your dream clients will easily say YES to. Not sure how to do that? Answer the questions below to get started:

:: What do they enjoy about working with you?

:: What benefits are they gaining from your work together?

:: What else do they need (or want) that you can provide?

:: What format can this work take?

4) Make peace with receiving

Are you a Giver? Chances are, the answer to that question is YES! Many of my clients are also Givers (like me) and have trouble receiving. Unconscious beliefs limit their ability to receive and the essence of those beliefs is scarcity. Keeping the money energy flowing in the right way is part of your responsibility as the leader of your business —and being a Giver, or being motivated by service, or being committed to the deeper Why behind your business is exactly why you need to make peace with receiving!

  • Eradicate scarcity-thinking and open to abundance. The world needs more business owners committed to prosperity that profits the world. Your work is meaningful, helpful, sacred and necessary. Your work changes people’s lives. Receiving compensation for your work is how you will continue to share it.

Some of the tools I share with clients to overcome blockages to receiving include the below:

Heal your money wounds here, upgrade your money mindset here and read up on women and money right here.

5) Take (focused) action

You must be clear on the actions necessary to meet your financial goals for business sustainability, otherwise, your business will not grow. Once you decide on your growth metrics and definition of financial “success,” the natural next step is to ask: how do I earn that? Meeting your income goals and remaining in Financial Ease™ is as easy (and as challenging) as setting a clear financial target, working backwards from that number and committing to taking the actions necessary to reach those goals.

  • Clarify your goals then take focused action every day. The practical magic of turning your goals into actual, tangible income involves an understanding of your market and a commitment to a marketing strategy that works for you.

Once you are clear on your financial goals, it is easier to reach those goals. Break your financial goals into service goals, then take focused action every day to meet your daily, weekly and monthly targets.

Ready for the next step? Download the (free) Path to Prosperity for Conscious Entrepreneurs right here.

 

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3 powerful questions for radical focus + mission expansion

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If you’re ready (or nearly ready) for a big business shift of your own (one that results in more impact), then…

I have a few questions for you. 

But, first! A quick background on the questions….

In the spiritual traditions that guide my life (and business) there is a simple truth recited in manifold forms: As within, so without. Extrapolating this truth to the daily rhythms of living is part of my spiritual practice —and is the core of my business. You’ll see even more of this artful living approach to life and business over the next few months (and I hope you’ll join the “artful living” movement, too!).

The questions below are a sneak peek.

These questions hold the potential to radically shift your business, your mission and your focus. Why? Because they bring your mission and your deeper motivation to the surface and offer incremental steps to align you back with your intentions in business. By moving you away from your usual distractions, answering these questions creates the space for you to be more mindful, incredibly intentional and radically focused.

Focus is practical magic for business expansion (and life-shifting realizations).

Dive into the questions below, then share your insights in the Kula or in the comments below.

1. What are you committed to putting your TIME / ENERGY / RESOURCES over the next year?

General or specific —get focused.

  • An annual intention?
  • Expanding your audience?
  • Presenting at a conference?
  • Writing a book?
  • Strategic business growth?
  • Online marketing?
  • Program / Product development?
  • Balancing work and family / work and life?

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2. Where are you spending TIME / ENERGY / RESOURCES that is detracting from your commitment?

You and I have the same 24 hours as Oprah —and the single mom of three working two jobs to make ends meet while taking her Associate’s degree classes online. If she can do that, you can do #1 (whatever #1 is.). It just takes FOCUS (and commitment —which you already have!).

You may need to create a No More List or a Stop Doing Contract —or do some inner work on your boundaries if you’re a Yes! person….like me 🙂

Here’s the lineup of Usual Suspects when it comes to time + energy drain:

  • Ineffective planning
  • Not prioritizing your commitments (not enough No’s)
  • Placing others’ needs + commitments ahead of your own (too many Yes’s)
  • Urgent vs. Important approach to time + task managment
  • Avoidance and procrastination
  • Down the rabbit hole of social media
  • Frenetic, misdirected or inconsistent action
  • Anxiety, self-doubt and Imposter Complex
  • Worrying and whining
  • Wasting time on activities that perpetuate the cycle of ordinary —rather than making the extraordinary your priority

What is holding you back | business design | goal support | motivation

3. What would it REALLY take to achieve your goal?

Step back and evaluate what is needed for your growth goal. In so doing, essential ingredients for success often appear and the effort required to achieve the goal is less than previously thought.

  • What habits, behaviors and beliefs need to change in order to see the change you desire?
  • What lifestyle changes or business practices need to shift?
  • What strategic support is required?
  • What resources are actually required (Time / Energy / Money)?

non-negotiable | business design | goal support | motivation

 

That’s it! Answering these three powerful questions radically shifted my own business (+ kept me laser-focused on my commitments). I can’t wait to hear how these questions shift your own life + business, too!

I’m looking forward to hearing all about it!

 

KA signature 2

 

 

 

 

P.S. Sharing is a beautiful thing. Share this post, share the business-building love!

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Take Control of your expenses!

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The fastest way to have more money today (or tomorrow) is to spend less. As a business owner and entrepreneur you know the power of investing wisely for your business growth. But you’re also responsible for watching the pennies.

Last week on the blog, I shared about how to set yourself up for financial success in business. (if you missed that post, catch up right here).

Now that you know where you are in your business financially, you’re ready to move on to the next step: taking control of your expenses.

You’ve heard it before, do you really need that or do you just want it?  

When it comes to controlling your expenses you must determine what is a need and what is a want.  It’s okay to have both, you must prioritize your needs in order to comfortably achieve your wants. You also don’t want to be wasting money on things, products, services or software you no longer need.

Here are three steps you can take right now to control your expenses:

1. Organize a clean up

Practice the simple magic of tidying up in your business. Just like tidying the house, tidying your business includes removing any unused and unwanted products, programs or expenses you’ve held on to ‘just in case’ or because you simply forgot about them.  

Do you have memberships to multiple sites which all offer you the same thing? Unnecessary expense. Slash it.  

Did you sign up for something with the intent to use it but don’t? Unnecessary expense.

Cut it out.  

Multiple domain names fueled by inspiration now on auto-renewal? If you’re not using them, cancel them. Buh-bye.  

Eliminate the unnecessary expenses then save or reinvest the savings into other areas of your business to keep growing.

2. Allocate a budget for Tax, Health Insurance & 401K

I’m not an accountant so please check with yours in determining the amount required for the next step. Since you’re a solopreneur or working for yourself, ensure you are setting money aside for your business tax, health insurance and 401k retirement fund. Again: check with your accountant to determine exactly how much but a good guide to work towards is 15% of your revenue for tax, 10% for your 401k, plus your health insurance premium.

3. Reinvest the money your have saved in your financial cleanup

Now that you have cleaned up your expenses you will have some extra money that you can use to reinvest in your business. Here are a few ways you can which will help grow your business: Marketing – investing in a social media marketing campaign, facebook ads to grow your list. Coaching – to help you plan out your business, reach your next target. Business Assistant – hire a VA – whether it’s to look after your social media, help with just a few small tasks a month, this can really free you up so you can focus on income generating tasks.

I can’t wait to hear how much you were able to save per month by cleaning up your expenses, jump over to the Kula and let me know.

Kellie xx

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Do you understand your numbers?

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Do you have your head in the sand when it comes to numbers in your business? You think your business is making money but when it comes down to it, you don’t really know. As a holistic entrepreneur it is so easy to get caught up in wanting to be of service to your clients, that you often forget you need to make money. You are running a business not an expensive hobby, so you need to start taking action now. Sit down and work through the following steps.

 

 

Step 1

Work out where you are in business, right at this moment in time.

  • Ensure you have a business bank account setup – don’t use your personal one any longer!
  • Set up a income and expense tracking process – either use an excel spreadsheet, or accounting software package. Wave is a free software which is easy to use, there is also Freshbooks, Xero and many more.
  • Enter in all your transactions for this financial year – you can do them by month if easier, start this month and work backwards.
  • Work out your current financial position

 

Step 2

Now that you know where you are in your business, ask yourself: Are you where you want to be? If you are not, you need to set goals to work towards.

  • Write down your quarterly, six monthly and year 1 , 2 goals.
  • How much income do you want to receive?
  • How many hours do you want to work to achieve these goals?
  • By answering these questions you can start to put a plan in place to work towards.

 

Step 3

Create an action plan to help you achieve these goals.

  • Do you need to hire a coach or mentor to help you achieve these goals? If you’ve set goals before — without success — it’s time to invest.
  • Do you need to join a mastermind or find an accountability buddy to help keep you accountable? It is no good setting these amazing goals and not keeping yourself accountable.
  • Once you have worked out what you need to do work out a plan on how to achieve these goals.
  • Work backwards from your goal. If you want to earn $10k per month, then work backwards you need to sell ten $1k packages, or five $2k packages etc.
  • Base your package rates somewhere between what you feel comfortable charging and what makes you a little uncomfortable. Why? Because too many women entrepreneurs under-earn. Choose a rate commensurate with the time, energy and resources the client will receive that also allows you to remain in financial ease. Once you establish effective rates and commensurate value for your services, products and programs, you will convert more would-be clients into happy-to-work-with-you clients.

 

Now that you have shined the light on your finances, come and share in the Kula your next month’s and quarter’s goals! I can’t wait to hear what they are.

Kellie xx

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Money a taboo topic?

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Have you been programmed to have  a negative mindset towards money? Maybe you grew up in a home where money was a touchy subject and there never was enough. Maybe you have or still are  struggling with money in your own personal life, and these experiences are now reflecting on your business.

Fear grows in the dark – avoiding tough conversations about money  (or anything really), escalates fear around the topic and results in more stifled feelings and —you guessed it —even more fear. It becomes a much harder, bigger, more scary conversation when it stays in the dark. Shining light on the topic is THE best way to relieve fear so today, right now, let’s shed some light on the conversation – and gently begin to talk about money.

I am here to tell you, it is okay to talk about money. It is okay to focus on your finances and it is okay to want to be financially abundant. Beginning the conversation is the hardest part. By starting, we can re-write the scripts that have been playing in your mind and start to take control of your money situation.

What is money on a spiritual level?

Money is a form of energy. Balancing this  energy opens up  paths to receive it in return. If you are holding  this energy (money) tight from a fear of losing it or not having enough, energy blocks form. These blocks then impede the inflow of money.

Often, money is associated  with success so instead of focusing on the word money, shift your focus to what  success actually means for you. Once you define “success” for you ,the positive steps to take bring you there become clear.

Where your focus goes energy flows. So here are a few questions to start focusing on “success” on your own terms (financial or otherwise!) :

  • What are your financial goals for your business?
  • What are your service goals for your business?
  • Do you set weekly / monthly / quarterly “success lists”?
  • How was your week in business?
  • Did you have productive / successful week? If so, why was it productive?
  • Was it internal energy or external energy that impacted on your goals?

Actively participate in this inner conversation. When you focus on ways to define success, and to grow your income from that place, you are on the right path.

You also need to remember that people value money very differently, but that doesn’t mean that one person’s value is better than your value. There is no right or wrong way when it comes to money and your goals.

By starting the conversation and supporting your friends, peers and family you are helping to empower them.  Focus on lifting each other up, this will help you on your own money path.

Start the conversation now, join us in the Kula and let’s get the conversation rolling.

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Are you paralyzed in your business? Rewind to your why!

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Are you getting confused and overwhelmed by the noise on the internet to ‘up level your business’, grow your client list and enticed to market to the masses – voices so loud that it’s deafening that small inner voice of yours?  The inner voice that wanted to start something wonderful.

I understand the struggle, there is so much to do —- email marketing, social media, blogging, planning, finances and more. There’s an overwhelming amount of information designed to support you in today to help in all the areas we need to focus on for our business is so overwhelming that at some point, analysis paralysis sets in and you end up feeling we can feel stuck.

Are you caught up in all of this noise about what you “should” be doing in your business?

Are you feeling overwhelmed with all the Action Plans and unsure of where to begin?

Do you sometimes forget why you started this business?

So why did you?

Breathe with me … take a really deep breath right now.

And exhale.

Let’s us sit, center be still and push the rewind button for a few minutes.

Let’s get back to the dream you had about starting your own business —- the awareness that you have something wonderful to share with the world your clients and that it was time to start a business that would allow you to do just that.

Find a tool or a few tools to help you remember why you started doing what you’re doing and create something that will help remind you about this on a daily basis because when things get hard – and they will – you’ll need something in your physical space that will signify the importance of what you’re doing.

Not every tool will work for everybody – some people love writing, listening, talking, creating new things – find the tool that will work for you. Some type of activity that you can do that will help you get back to why you started your business.

Here are a couple you can try:

1. Vision Boarding

Did you create a vision board when you started? If so, dig that out, does it still resonate with you? If it doesn’t, change it. If it does, take some time to breathe and honor the work that you put in to create that board and get back to those feelings that you felt as you were doing that work – the excitement of dreaming.

If you are creating a new one, you can put together a vision board by either cutting out images from your favorite magazines and sticking them on to a board, or you can use an online tool like fotor where you can drag and drop on to a board to create your collage.

It’s important to take action after creating the vision board – the action of placing it in an area that you’ll see every single day. Your office wall, your screen saver on your computer, etc.

2. Mantras

Using a daily mantra helps to program your brain on a subconscious level to bring abundance into your life and bring you closer to your why. Saying mantras out loud allows the universe to hear and feel your energy vibrations and start working in magical ways to bring you abundance. Remember everything that you say after “I am …” is true. Coming from a heart full of gratitude will allow you to receive abundance easily. Create your own matras or repeat the below mantras on a daily basis:

My purpose is clear, I am on the correct path.

I am open to receive abundance.

 

3. Gratitude Journaling

Think about your favorite client or that activity in your business that feels like you’re in the zone. You know that activity where it seems that time stands still, your face gets a little flushed, you can feel that you are making a difference in the universe. That space … that feeling … write about that.

This is forcing your mind to focus on the positive things and brings about positive energy.  Too often when we are feeling stuck and resistance we gravitate towards a negative mindset and by focusing on things that are working or going right in our lives and business (even small things) really helps move you into a positive and pro-active mindset. Changing our mindset which is what we are doing is going to help bring about more positivity and clarity into our lives.

 

4. Reminisce with a friend

If processing things out loud with someone helps, have tea with a friend and ask if you could talk about why you started your business. Having those words come out of your mouth about your why can help you get back to that feeling you had as you were starting out. When reminiscing about this with a friend, staying in that space – give no energy or attention to all of the outside noises and all of your to do’s. Just talk about why you’re doing what you’re doing. It may help to record this, listen to it later and pick out a few key words or phrases that you say and put use them as your screensaver, or create a picture with the words – put it someplace visible to have instant, visible reminders about your Why!

These are just a few tools to help you rewind to your why.

What is your favorite way to get unstuck?  Share some – others may need some help to get unstuck – your experience could help someone else!

Pop over to Facebook, join our Kula and share your tools (and maybe pick up a few more from our incredible community of Conscious Female Entrepreneurs)

Xoxo,

Kellie

Posted in Conscious Lifestyle Design, Inspire & Grow | Leave a comment

7 Reasons Women Under Earn in Business (+ Tips to Earn More)

Women Under Earn

The world sees women as world-class multi-taskers; We’re often expected to juggle family, career, health, self-care, and hobbies without ever letting one of those precious balls drop from our hands. This is not breaking news, of course. Like me, I’m sure you’ve read at least a few of the “Can Women Have It All?” articles that magazines and websites continue to crank out on a near-daily basis.

And—as some of the more helpful articles point out—there are definite advantages to mastering multi-tasking. Filling many roles can make our lives richer, and understanding life balance makes us more agile at work and at home. But some of us aren’t meant to be Jills of All Trades, and attempting to be everything to everyone just puts us at risk of being mediocre across the board.

It also makes us far more likely to fall into the wage gap.

Most people are aware that women earn about $0.79 for every $1 paid to men. But these statistics are based largely on corporations, non-profits, universities, and other large-scale businesses. Those of us who have struck out as entrepreneurs or are running small, lean companies aren’t generally included. And my guess is that the gap would widen considerably if we were.

Because when you combine the expectations that society thrusts at us with the expectations we pile onto ourselves, many women business owners become utterly overwhelmed. Which translates into struggling to charge what we’re worth and earn what we deserve.

How do I know? Because I did it myself. For years!

Here’s why, what I did to change those self-defeating habits, and what YOU can do if you’re facing similar challenges:

1) I Didn’t Know How to Earn More

For far too long, I focused on the learning instead of the doing.. I knew there were some steps I could take that could help my business bring in more income (teacher training, coaching) but that’s where my knowledge ended. The actionable steps of building a multi-six figure or million-dollar business were way outside of my knowledge base—and well outside my comfort zone. I knew I could do it, I just didn’t know how to to do it.

WHAT I CHANGED: In my case, I needed a push from an outside source, so I hired mentors and coaches who had built businesses similar to the one I wanted for myself. Every time I got stuck on the “how to” of taking my business to the next level, I invested in targeted support to keep pushing me in the right direction. Each successive mentor highlighted the steps I could take to increase my income, and gave me the confidence to take action.

WHAT YOU CAN DO: I know it’s a major cliche, but take it one step at a time. Having a five-year plan is fantastic, but you need a five-month and even a five-week plan. If, like me, you know that delegating, advertising, or finding a mentor would boost your income, pick a single action and dive in. You’ve got to start somewhere!

2) I Believed Helpers Deserved Less

Because I’m a people helper by nature and by trade, I thought I didn’t deserve to command a higher income for my work. I was convinced that what I was doing was a calling, and that the meaning trumped the money. The problem with that? My innate and duty-driven urge to help others often came at the expense of my own health and happiness. To the extent that I couldn’t afford health insurance (so bye-bye regular checkups and health screenings) for my first 6 years in business.

WHAT I CHANGED: For me, this was a simple shift in mindset. It took a long time, but I finally accepted that all hard work deserves compensation, including mine. Helping people—whether it’s your calling or just your job—is incredibly important but you will be unable to do your job well if you are in a state of continuous financial strain.

WHAT YOU CAN DO: Remember that altruistic and creative occupations are equally as valuable as their bottom line-focused counterparts. And remember to take care of YOU first. Or you won’t be in business for long (…and who can you help then?).

3) I Didn’t Want to Look Greedy

As a former Southern Baptist, I learned early on that the love of money was the root of all evil (Timothy 6:10). In my child mind I extrapolated that to “money is the root of all evil.” It’s a common mistake and I’m not the first recovering Christian to conflate the meaning of that missive.

WHAT I CHANGED: Honestly? I got bone-tired of struggling to make ends meet month after month, and forced myself to accept that money was an essential part of business. In fact, it’s the essential energy of business, the energy that fuels your actions to attain your desired lifestyle. Money is also the ticket to choice and success, however you might define success for yourself. Yes, greed can get you into trouble, but the desire to earn a comfortable living is neither unreasonable nor perilous.

WHAT YOU CAN DO: When you feel money-guilt rising up, try this mantra: “Money is energy and an indication that I am serving the right people in my business. I deserve prosperity for my hard work.”

4) I Didn’t Want to Charge More Than My Peers

When I began practicing health coaching and yoga therapy, I did what many other service providers do: I compared my fees to those of similar services and charged the same (or less). I figured, “Well, that’s what so-and-so is charging so it must be fair.”

Wrong. Pricing isn’t arbitrary—it’s a strategy. And every person or business offering a particular service may not be offering the same level of service. Most of my “colleagues” weren’t graduate-trained behavioral change coaches with more than 600 hours of dedicated training in person-centered therapeutic yoga and a research background in functional foods and science-based nutrition. They were passionate yoga teachers with considerably less training and far fewer credentials. My professional pathway was a tad more rigorous, so the comparison trap didn’t do my bank account any favors.

WHAT I CHANGED: I did more research on coaches with training commensurate to my own and I found my own financial ease amount—then reverse-engineered my pricing from my service and income goals. I determined who I truly wanted to serve and reminded myself that being exceedingly generous is part of how I want to show up in the world—so charging more for my services aligned with how I wanted to serve! Remember: a higher price point for your offers shows potential customers that you value your own expertise and services. (And, yes, I might’ve held my breath and crossed my fingers on occasion, too! Charging more can feel like a leap of faith even when it’s a conscious choice.)

WHAT YOU CAN DO: Don’t just poke around, do real research. Find colleagues or companies with your level of training, experience, or mastery and investigate their price structures. Then charge 15% more because nearly every small business undercharges.

5) I Didn’t Know What to Do With More Money

I’ll be honest: for much of my life I ran from the responsibility associated with wealth. I was so triggered by my own income status that basic financial wellness sent me into mild panic attacks. Yes, I read blogs about personal finance and yes, my daddy taught me early on that I needed to have an emergency fund. And personal savings. And that credit cards were a slippery slope. (True story: I got my first credit card at age 33 when I realized that they could also be handy safety nets.) Short of that, my financial planning strategy was summarized in five words: spend less and save more.

WHAT I CHANGED: I met with a financial planner who told me how to use my profits to my best advantage. Then I actually did what she told me to do. Since her advice was specific to my income, needs, and goals, it was far easier to digest and implement than any book or blog post.

WHAT YOU CAN DO: While this is not financial or legal advice, consider meeting with a financial planner yourself, if you can. The initial consult is free and if you like a planner’s style and want to continue the relationship, she/he won’t generally charge you direct fees, but will instead take a small percentage from your investment earnings. Financial planners can also help with budgeting, retirement planning, and wills – all deeply boring but incredibly important things.

6) I Didn’t Want to Alienate Anyone

I don’t come from a wealthy family and most of my closest friends are in the blue-collar- to-mostly-comfortable income bracket. Earning more than friends or family felt like a betrayal of basic human connection and a disservice to my community. I didn’t want to make anyone I cared about feel “less than,” so I didn’t challenge or address my own under-earning habits.

WHAT I CHANGED: I reminded myself that personal wealth and conspicuous consumerism don’t always go hand-in-hand. I could earn more and be wealthier without parading that fact around town and making my loved-ones uneasy, jealous, or aggravated. And, through some delicate but essential conversations, was reminded that the people who love me genuinely want me to succeed. And that includes increasing my earnings —because, really? My ultimate dream is to be a philanthropist and invest in businesses that solve some of the world’s biggest problems…and money is a big part of making that dream a reality.

WHAT YOU CAN DO: Remember that how much you make doesn’t (or shouldn’t) change your fundamental values. Whether you’re making $30,000 or $300,000 each year, you’re still you.

7) I Didn’t Ask for More

I’ll be the first to admit that I learned some hard life lessons, well, the hard way. Including, “You don’t get what you deserve—you get what you ask for.” Since I shied away from asking for higher fees or better pay structures, I walked away with less money and had no one to blame but myself.

WHAT I CHANGED: I read “Lean In.” The book certainly isn’t perfect, but dang, it’s a great reminder that women are paid less simply because we don’t ask for more. I also began preparing myself mentally before every payment negotiation. Walking in knowing that I might be making some uncomfortable demands made it easier to tackle those tough topics when they arose.

WHAT YOU CAN DO: Acknowledge that “If you don’t ask, the answer is always, ‘no.’” And then force yourself to ask. Role play before negotiating, and arrive prepared to be bold. Remember that, as an entrepreneur, you are the only person who determines how much money you deserve for your work.

Does all this mean that I’m earning the absolute maximum I possibly could and constantly negotiating for more? Heck no. I still chicken out or make a bad call once in awhile, and I am totally fine with that. Running a business isn’t about perfection, it’s about progress. I’m smarter, savvier, and braver in my money-related decision-making now, and that’s an accomplishment in and of itself.

I hope that hearing my story has reminded you that everyone struggles, and that small changes can make a huge difference. Don’t walk away today with an income-focused to-do list the length of your arm. If you can tweak even one action or habit to increase your earning potential, you are making important, measureable, brag-worthy progress.

Progress that can keep you from falling into that pesky wage gap.

Speaking of progress —if you’re ready to mindfully earn more in your business, then you will love the upcoming Conscious Cash Flow Challenge. We’re kicking off on April 18 with 7 days of powerful and practical conscious cash flow love —and you can join us for FREE. Head right over here to sign up!

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Shit Happens before Shifts Happen

shift happens 2

Dearest —this post fits squarely in the “what I’ve learned and am now sharing in the hopes that you can avoid some of my mistakes” category. I do hope you find this glimpse into my journey helpful. 

The thing about rock bottom is that there is nowhere to go but up.

I began my yoga teaching career full of passion, enthusiasm and purpose. Four years later I was burned out, $40,000 in debt and disillusioned.

At that time, I was a graduate-trained nutritionist and health coach, a 1000-hour certified professional yoga therapist, a yoga teacher trainer and a studio owner. I was working 60+ hours a week, nearly every week. Vacation? What’s that? Healthcare? Nope. Luxuries? Absolutely not.

I’ve made a few mistakes in business and one of them was NOT paying myself early on and DIY’ing everything in my first business (as a Yoga Studio owner). Because I reinvested everything the business, I brought home less than $10,000 a year in wages which meant my husband and I were living on his unemployment check (that’s a longer story), the kindness of our family, meager savings and —when all else failed —credit cards.

I was ashamed.

I was resentful.

I was overworked and overwhelmed.

I was overqualified and underpaid.

Mostly? I was so exhausted from doing all the right things and seeing zero results. You see, I followed all the rules. I worked hard in high school so I could get a scholarship to college —then I worked 2-3 jobs during college so I’d stay out of debt. Then, when I realized my liberal arts B.A. was worth next to nothing in the competitive job market, I went to grad school —and just to be safe — I earned a yoga therapy certificate at the same time.

And when I still couldn’t find “gainful employment” (because no one knew what the heck a “Yoga Therapist and Health Coach” was 10 years ago), I started a business. I opened a Yoga Studio and Ecoboutique in a town where yoga was new, revolutionary —and completely foreign. So I hustled, I networked, I educated. I brought yoga to schools and businesses. I marketed my quiet-loving-INFJ-socks off. I was patient, persistent, pragmatic AND gritty.

And —four years later — I was so tired. I was a new mommy on an emotional roller coaster with no end in sight.

The shit hit the fan when I found myself in a severe depression —that I recognized was a very bad sign.

But that rock-bottom moment was a universal wake-up call.

I WOKE UP to how I had been mis-managing my own energy: financial, emotional and physical.

Then, I took responsibility —and I played the “What if?” game with myself.

What if: I scrap everything and start over. (I did)

What if: I challenge myself to create FOR the clients I want to work with rather than complaining that I couldn’t find the right clients. (I did..and, with a little conscious marketing, they found ME)

What if: I make jewelry on the side to bring in a little money while I write a high-value program. (I did. And it worked)

What if: my husband and I take a hard look at our finances and see where we can cut corners. (We did. And we hustled. We gave up dinners out, cable, shopping sprees, health screenings for a year, and a new car. We cut everything that was not an absolute necessity in order to fund our dream. We had endless garage sales and sold stuff that was sitting in our closets collecting dust.)

What if: I stop doing the things that are draining me and focus on what is important. (I did. I focused on creating a business that honors my values and commitments to family, to service and to making a difference while living intentionally. I let go of the bullshit that was keeping me stuck: like compare-despair, feeling not-good-enough, not-ready-enough, not-yogi-enough.)

What if: I TRUST that the dots in my life will connect…when I honestly take action every day. (I did. I still do.)

What if: I make a stretch goal THEN INVEST in myself to make it happen. (I stretched myself to double my profit every year for 5 years. I invested –yes, I paid out money I DIDN’T HAVE – on the best business coaches I could NOT afford [see above as to how I paid for that coaching]. Then –with their support — I moved mountains to meet those goals. It happened. It’s still happening.)

The other thing about rock bottom is that you get really motivated: I knew I wanted change and I was willing to do the work –for the better. I was no longer willing to hide from myself and the truth of how my own thinking patterns (samskaras) were creating my own suffering (samsara).

What really happened was that I SHIFTED. I made the decision that something had to shift- then I made the decision that that something was me.

I didn’t wait until I had permission (or the money).

I didn’t wait until my husband was on board (we trusted each other and I knew it was the right thing for me. I lept —he got on board. End of story).

I didn’t wait for anyone’s approval.

I didn’t wait for the “right time.” (Darling, if you’re waiting for the “right time,” well, I hate to be the bearer or bad news, but there is NEVER a right time to push your edge and invest in your own growth. There is only right now.)

I didn’t have the luxury of waiting: it was thrive to survive.

I made so many mistakes in my journey as a conscious entrepreneur and and I had to learn so much the hard way. And absofuckinglutely that shit was hard.

Every single choice I’ve made FOR THE BETTER over the lifetime of my business has been HARD, BOLD and TERRIFYING.

But I’m getting used to the discomfort: because that’s what growth feels like. Or, as we say in the Wisdom Method, get used to the discomfort of therapeutic change.

What I actually did (steal these strategies!):

#1 // I raised my rates and asked for more

I ran the numbers in my business and finally made friends with my finances. Then, I raised my rates so I could focus on what EVERY business needs: profit. Even though my voice shook and “friends” and colleagues judged me or accused me of being “in it for the money,” I did it anyway.

#2 // I got clear on my Dream Clients

I honed in on the people I could BEST serve —the ones that really needed (and wanted) what I had. Then, I created high-value programs FOR  those Dream Clients: even though I didn’t know where to find them, or how those programs would fill.

#3 // I stopped doing the things that drained me

I took a hard look at what paid me the least (group yoga classes) and shifted focus to the high value services that I actually loved to do :: like coaching and working with small groups of dedicated practitioners who wanted to see BIG changes in their lives – via my yoga teacher training institute and day-long retreats.

#4 // I stopped complaining and blaming

Dearest, you will never have a happy life (or business) with a toxic, negative mind. Purging complaining was one of the hardest spiritual practices thus far —but so necessary. Complaining is toxic to your mind, body and spirit. And blame? That only feeds the cycle of irresponsibility and fuels victim-mode. Take charge of your thoughts and you will take charge of your life. Then focus on taking action. When I got to a point where I felt stuck or frustrated, I got the right support.

#5 // I invested in the “best” coaches

I’ll be completely transparent here —my first coaching experience was a huge learning lesson (and I talk more about how to find the right coach for you over here). But I continued investing after that experience —mostly with coaches who knew where I was, knew how to lovingly challenge me, and had direct insight on where I wanted to go.

#6 // I gave up everything superfluous

If I didn’t need it or it didn’t offer an ROI (actual or energetic), I let it go. That included some of the ‘comforts’ of daily living like dinners out, new clothes and cable. I did it for a purpose so it didn’t feel like a sacrifice —it was what needed to happen to achieve my dream of making a difference AND making a living. In practice that looked like no more indiscriminate spending and only budgeted expenses that aligned with my values and gave me a healthy ROI.

#7 // I kept my promises to myself

I kept every single promise. That meant showing up to my yoga mat and meditation cushion every day. That meant doing my coaching “homework.” That meant moving mountains to meet my goals. I built self-efficacy and self-trust this way and that gave me the strength to keep going. I trusted that the dots in my life would connect.

#8 // I hustled, prayed, cried, failed, fell down, picked myself back up

The most successful people in the world know that the pathway to success is paved in failures. Fall down seven times, get up eight times. The magic is in the action that comes AFTER you fall down (hint: get up and keep going).

Three years after that critical point, I had a thriving Yoga Therapy Education Institute, my family was on track to financial independence (almost completely debt free), and I was working with clients I LOVE. All while creating beautiful programs that help other Yoga Teachers re-invent their teaching, challenge their own thinking and find financial security doing what they love.

Five years post-rock-bottom, I’ve now licensed my Teacher Training curriculum, developed passive revenue products, am earning more in 3 months than I used to in an entire year, and working FAR less than I ever expected I could, all while living in my dream location and loving every part of my business —including my amazing clients!

Here’s the thing, dear one. I’m no different than you —I just did the hard thing.

I imagined immensities for my own life. I didn’t take or make any excuses (my own or others).

And mostly? I got comfortable with being uncomfortable as I traversed the radiant expanse between where I was and where I wanted to be.

Are you ready to imagine immensities for your own life?

Allow me to be your guide. Click here if you’re ready to catalyze your own business growth.

Posted in Client Attraction, conscious business, Inspire & Grow | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Use Self Care to Grow Your Business + Prevent Burnout as a Woman Entrepreneur

Self Care Tea with Honey

If you’re in the healing, helping and wellness fields, chances are you have a deep desire to facilitate change and encourage others in their healing journey. In fact, many of us in these fields came to yoga, massage, meditation, acupuncture, therapy, coaching or integrative medicine because of personal crises. Your passion and enthusiasm for healing may have even eclipsed your own personal needs at times.  Maybe your own self-care has slipped to the extent that burnout is a common occurrence (or at least a recent memory).

My own healing journey began at age 17 with meditation, Ayurveda, healing essential oils and Buddhist studies. Over the next several years, I added yoga, pranayama and Western nutrition to the mix of self-care supports to maintain a mindful lifestyle.

I support other women healers and helpers who love to empower their own clients to embark on healing journeys because I, too, have experienced the power of integrative self-care.

Did you know that self-care is a powerful strategy for business success?

Self-care is essential for avoiding burnout and overwhelm and for maintaining healthy work-life flow. In my work with other conscious women healers and helpers, I support the discovery process for finding one’s optimum self-care supports for overall balance and ease —in life and business.

Over the years —and through much trial and error —I’ve developed a set of essential self-care tips for conscious women entrepreneurs in the healing and helping fields who are often wearing many other hats: mother, caretaker, volunteer, social activist, artist-by-night.

1) Take care of you first

Pretend I’m wearing my best flight attendent uniform right now and reminding you to put your own oxygen mask on before helping others in crisis—bring that into your business as well. YOU are the heart of your business. Take time for precious self-care, commit to your practices, emphasize appropriate nourishment and sacred rejuvenation. In the Buddhist tradition, the Oxygen Mask Law is summarized in the teaching of bodhicitta: the wish to be free of suffering so that you may support others in freeing their own bonds as well. As a healer, helper, or spiritual entrepreneur, your business exists because of your deep wish to support others, to empower others, to help others awaken. Give that gift to yourself first.

In practice: Eat something nourishing, put your feet up, greet the day with meditation, take a savasana (or a day off).

Mantra: “My business thrives when I nourish myself and tend to my own basic needs first.”

2) Treat money as energy

The sooner you accept that money is energy, the faster you are able to direct your energy appropriately. When you accept that the act of attending to your money-energy is itself an act of self-care, it is much easier to make friends with your finances. Just as you breathe into the tight areas of our body in a yoga posture, or channel your strength for the last miles of the marathon, you can learn the direct the money-energy of your business with rigorous intention.  If you are frustrated with your current financial situation, get out your last 3 bank and credit card statements and see where your money is actually going. Start treating it as any other energy source. More in, less out is a positive energy balance. Decide how much money you actually need to remain in financial ease —and if you are unsure of what that amount is or how to earn it, get the support you need right here.

In practice: Make friends with your finances. Take a look around at the places money energy is “leaking out” —in business and in life —and stop the leaks! Consider eating at home more often (because you’ll eat better that way, too! See tip #1), skipping the $5 mega-drink from the coffee shop and choosing a home-brew instead. There are many ways to honor your current financial reality without depriving yourself —and shifting the money story from one of lack to one of abundance is a supreme act of self-care.

Mantra: “Abundance expands when I direct the money-energy in my business appropriately.”

3) Treat time as the resource it is

Your time is sacred, precious and finite so use it effectively by staying focused on the services, offerings, tasks, hobbies and causes that light your heart fire. Anyone who has time to obsessively check in with their Instagram (or Facebook) feed has time to build a sustainable business.

Treating time as a resource also means you prioritize your home, work and life endeavors ensuring that the most important things get done. This is the essence of values-centric business —and probably one of the reasons you went into business for yourself, too! …so get clear on the tasks that will truly leverage your business efforts and let the others fall to the wayside (or delegate it).

In practice: Prioritize the tasks that will leverage your business —these are the tasks that pave the way for business growth and the ones that bring dollars in the doors.

Mantra: “I respect myself enough to treat time as the non-renewable resource it is.”

4) Build the right business for YOU

Building the right business for you begins by looking at your strengths, passions, and skills. If you love to learn, study and teach, then you’ll be happier in a model that allows you to share your intellectual endeavors in that arena. If you ache to connect people in larger, group experiences, a business model where you plan or attend conferences, festivals or retreats will ultimately provide you more satisfaction. If you are passionate about your hometown community, a strong local presence (opening a yoga studio, wellness center, or building a local private client base) may be a good fit.

In practice: Identify your talents, passions, skills and strengths and commit to bringing them fully into your business.

Mantra: “By aligning who I am with what I do, my business becomes an act of sacred self-realization.”

5) Create Daily Rituals that Support Long-Term Success

Our daily habits matter because every day counts in business. What you do with your most productive hours within the day may make the difference between building a profitable business or burning out. And what you do (or do not do) today may affect whether your business has working capital in six months —or whether you are closing the doors.

Internalize this truth: what you do this year will affect where your business will be in 3 years.

But which actions DO we take? What exactly IS the next best step? When is enough, enough? Most importantly, how do you keep taking baby steps forward on a Big Vision plan when our motivation flags? Or when life gets crazy? Or when the little one comes down with a fever? How do you keep going when you have just endured a life-shifting revelation?

Here’s my solution:

I call this a business dinacharya. Dinacharya is the Sanskrit term for a series of small daily practices that allow for greater ease in body, mind. Drawn from Ayurveda, dinacharya is a method of framing your time in the space of a day to align individual and universal energies.

The principle of dinacharya is that small actions, taken daily, have a cumulative and exponential effect.

From a highly pragmatic view, dinacharya is the foundation of your health—and, in my view, the health of your business. Healthy daily habits invite harmony, wellbeing, and longevity —in business and in life. While dinacharya for our physical health includes practices like movement, mindset, connection, spiritual practices and communication, a business dinacharya includes customer service, client work, group classes, checking email, social media, and financial elements. Your business dinacharya also needs to include preventive, supportive and goal-directed measures to ensure you are staying on course with your business vision.
(You DO have a business vision, right?)

As a conscious entrepreneur, you crave a certain lifestyle —and you want to build a business that supports that lifestyle. You want meaningful work, creative rest, time for your practices, and sacred space for the values you treasure. There’s only one way to make this happen —you have to build a business that reflects your values at all levels.

In practice: Have a clear picture of what actions are necessary to move your business forward and what actions are necessary for keeping the proverbial doors open. Usually those are two different categories.

Mantra: “Focus is practical magic —and my small focused actions have a cumulative and exponential effect”

Need some support determining the right actions to take each day? My proverbial door is wide open for you, darling.

Ok, now tell me: what did I forget? Do you have self-care tips to share? Let us know in the comments below —or head over to the Conscious Entrepreneur’s Kula and share there!

Posted in blog, conscious business, Conscious Lifestyle Design, Women in Business | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

5 Tips to Improve Your Content Marketing

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Do you want to become a leader in your industry?

Are you ready for a steady stream of perfect-fit clients to knock down your (proverbial) door?

Awesome! You are in the right place.

Becoming a known expert is easier than ever with the power of information —and you have valuable wisdom and insight to share!

The key to content marketing success is creating interesting content that your audience is going to find valuable, useful and shareable!

In our last post on the subject of content marketing, How to Create Engaging Content that Attracts Your Dream Clients, I talked to you briefly about something called VIRAS. VIRAS is an acronym that, when followed throughout the content creation process, improves our content and attracts more of the best-fit clients.

VIRAS stands for = valuable, inspiring, relevant, actionable and specific.

Let’s take a look at each of the five pieces of VIRAS —together they form a five-step process you can apply to improve your own content marketing.

1) V is for Valuable

When considering content to share, ask yourself —who values this information? Even better: ask, Is it my perfect-fit client? If the answer is no-one, then forget about using it to attract more clients.

Here’s a quick example: Although I’m a certified yoga therapist with over 10,000 teaching hours (and a 17 year practice) I don’t share content related to yoga anatomy, therapeutic yoga or the Wisdom Method on this blog. Why? Because it’s not valuable to my perfect-fit client.

2) I is for Inspiring

Keep your content inspiring and positive. Although you definitely want to employ effective psychological triggers (like loss-gain, opportunity cost and urgency), remain as positive as possible in your messaging.Walking the line between motivating and empowering is a skill in sharing content that your Dream Clients will adore. Remain as positive in your language as possible —including reframing negative calls to action in positive terms.

For example: Although I could have written the first sentence of above paragraph as follows: “Don’t use a negative tone in your content.” Do you notice how that sentence elicits a different feeling? A simple reframe using positive language has a lighter tone and an empowering after-effect.

3) R is for Relevant

Is the content you are sharing relevant to your perfect-fit client? Only share content that is of direct relevance to your potential client or customer. If you can connect an experience, story, or insight to a current lesson that interests your Dream Client, then by all means, go ahead.

For example, is it important for you to know that I cleaned houses for 5 years during high school and college? Only if I can connect it to a specific lessons learned: doing whatever it takes to reach your goals, time management, early entrepreneurial skills and developing high value services that advance your income and opportunities.

4) A is for Actionable

Your content needs to have a point. Asking yourself a simple question — “What’s the point?” — is a great place to begin to ensure your content is actionable to your client. There needs to be a clear next step for the reader / viewer. For example, the Content Topic + Title Planner is a great action-oriented next step for my own perfect-fit client. It provides the client with an immediate way to apply the insights from this article… and you can download it right here.

What do you want to the reader / viewer / listener to do after they read / watch / listen? What action-oriented tips will you leave them with? Is there a next step —either in another piece of Free content (perhaps behind an opt-in gate or application) or in a paid product or service?

5) S is for Specific

Last but not least, ensure the content you are sharing is specific to a particular person, client or customer. Your mom may read your blog, but chances are you are not trying to attract your mom into your business.

Consider what the client needs that you, or your amazing offers, can provide. In fact, be sure that each piece of content you share has a specific gain for your client. Better still, noodle over the top 5 problems you solve for your Dream Client and create content that provides those solutions!

It helps to envision your specific Dream Client when creating content. Imagine them receiving the content in great detail: how will they feel before reading / watching / listening? How will they feel after? Who will they share it with? The more specific you become with your content, the more it will resonate with your Dream Clients.

Pass each of the content pieces you create through this VIRAS litmus test and you’ll see more engagement and interaction on the content you create. This interaction will lead to you gaining more followers / fans who will want even more of what it is you are sharing. Keeping people waiting on the edge of their seat for the next thing you create is a total business sweet spot.

Screenshot 2016-03-02 10.40.47Helpful Tool: Content Topic + Title Planner

This free, downloadable PDF will help you to lay out your content ideas and sort them into helpful topics and categories as well as line-up the best call-to-action for each and the overall purpose for each piece of content you create.

There is a specific area that focuses on VIRAS and helps you to keep it top of mind when planning each of your content pieces.

Click here to download your free content topic + title planner now.

I’d Love to Hear from You

What were your biggest takeaways from today’s article? How will this help you move your business forward and attract more clients? Leave your insights in the comments below!

Did you love this article? Share the love! Click to tweet below (or use the social buttons on the side).

I’m loving these content marketing tips from @kellie_adkins. Grab the free guide at http://bit.ly/1pzm4Tg

Posted in blog, conscious business, Mindful Marketing, Strategy + Planning | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Responses
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