I have some things I need to get off my chest. If you follow me on Instagram, you haven’t seen any new posts from me in a while. Last week, there wasn’t a new podcast episode.
In March, the universe forced me to dive fully into my coaching business as my photography business effectively shut down with the pandemic. I’ve been reading and listening and engaging on all things related to running a success online business and to be frank, I am not happy with what I’ve learned.
The making of an entrepreneur
When I moved from Pennsylvania to Portland five years ago, I knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur. My dream was to own my own business and dictate my own freedom. I was really surprised that I wasn't met with any kind of real, authentic community when I arrived.
I went to many networking events that felt very transactional, with business cards being passed around and referral program promotions. These events were so unfulfilling because I was looking for real human connections. While I have some sense of my own personal strength and willpower, the lack of support, particularly for women in business, was disheartening.
I began to think about how the traditional networking system could be different. What would it be like to create a community space or networking events where being of service came before trying to sell something? A space where what you can give is more important than what you can get.
Can you give too much away for free?
Starting ‘She’s Hungry’ allowed me to explore my own personal curiosities, to interview people that inspired and challenged me. Over time, it started to morph into what was marketable or easily digestible or even what was going to make me money.
I have had this internal battle with myself even before the pandemic hit, but it only heightened when my photography business came to a screeching halt with COVID. As I shifted gears to focus on my coaching business, I started learning more about the fundamentals of online businesses. What I found, though, was that I didn’t align with a lot of the common practices.
A common concern service providers have is giving away too much free. The fear being if you offer up too much advice or strategy free, no one will opt in for the paid offer. I completely disagree with this logic, though, because it comes from a scarcity mindset and encourages shaming sales tactics.
Removing the shame
We regularly see quotes on social media about needing to invest in your business to be successful and that if you don’t, you aren’t serious about success. When starting a business, money can be tight. Especially now as people are having to decide between investing in tools for their business or buying groceries this week. Battling through fear and shame is real for many business owners and I’m not here for that.
That doesn’t mean I don’t think you need to invest in yourself and your business. There just doesn’t need to be shame around what you may or may not be able to afford right now for your business.
The anti-freebie culture
One of the things I learned with my research into building an online business is that funnels run everything. Funnels that direct you to this freebie or that freebie, many of which are completely worthless and won’t have any significant impact for your business. The online coaching industry has become known for these free 30-minute breakthrough sessions that provide no real guidance or value at the end of the call. More worthless freebies.
If I have a skill set and you want to work with me, I want you to be so excited about what we accomplished in a free 30-minute call that you can’t wait to start working together. My goal is that every person I have a call with, whether paid or not, walks away with something valuable and actionable for their business.
If you ever find yourself asking, how do I not give all of it away? How do I make sure I'm not giving too much away? I encourage you to sit with that conversation and figure out why you're so scared about giving it all away. I think everybody deserves to get paid, so you can't give all of your time away. However, when people are asking for help and they sign up for your free call, they should be given real value.
Shifting to something deeper
I’m going to be really honest with you. We need to do better. We don’t need to reinvent the wheel, as long as the wheel’s principle aligns with our goal, which is to help people. I think we forget this goal sometimes because we are living inside a system that’s designed to keep us in a scarcity mindset. So that we don’t succeed and that’s a real problem.
I think the only way we get to have what we want is if we show up and come together. We aren’t able to abolish the system because it’s so deep-seeded at this point, but we can out number it. We can stand together, with the communities that are never heard. We can serve each other and stop all of the fear mongering that is pervasive on social media.
The future of the show
I've been so focused on trying to fit myself and my gifts inside of boxes that are easily acceptable to other people for too long. That’s going to be changing now. Instead of focusing on other people’s perspective of me, I’m going to focus on aligning my business and online presence with my beliefs.
Going forward, you can expect really rad interviews with incredibly inspiring people that believe in the possibility of a better, inclusive future for all of us. They're visionaries. They're impact makers. Those are the people that I will have on the show. I might talk about politics. I might talk about perspective. I'll definitely still be talking about time management and productivity
We don’t need any more selfless women. I’m taking this opportunity to be full of myself. To be liberated and not constantly trying to fit inside of any more boxes. To take back the system and do things my way.