If you are running your own business, when was the last time you updated your cv? Probably not since you went self-employed I am guessing. Well, why would you? You run your own business and are not looking for a job so there is no need.
But just stop a moment. This could be a really useful exercise to determine if you are the right person for the job. And I can’t take credit for this idea. It came from my husband.
He was made redundant recently, quite out of the blue. He had been employed for many years so his cv was wholly out of date. We sat down together and I helped him update all his information. Some of this was work related but there was also a host of transferrable skill he had picked up from hobbies such as work with the local football team.
He was so nervous when we started but when he read it back, he was a little taken aback. He couldn’t believe this was him. He thought the cv sounded too good to be true. But every word WAS true. He had just failed over the years to realise how many talents he had and what assets he had that other people wanted.
It was then that he turned to me and said he thought everyone should have to re-do their c.v. every six months to give themselves the confidence boost that he had gained.
And it got me thinking. What a good idea.
How about you go write a job description for the perfect person to run your business. Remember to list all the essential skills required and the additional desirable skills. Ask the question as to why the applicant would like to work for the company and why they feel they are better suited than anyone else.
Now go apply for this job. And be honest with yourself.
One of two things may happen.
Firstly, you realise how bloody wonderful you are and what skills you have to offer to the world. This can be a huge confidence boost as in the case of my other half.
Or, you may realise you are lacking a skill or desirable asset. And if that is the case, as you have now identified this, you can go find out how to fill that gap in your skill set. This will only make you better and more effective at your work which in turn, will help your business grow.
Have a go and let me know in the comments how you found this exercise.
Recently, I posted a challenge in my Facebook group and in my newsletter to find a hero.
The post went:
Who do you admire? Who would you love to be like? Go print off a picture of them and pin by your desk. When you are feeling out of sorts and de-motivated, take a look at their picture and ask yourself what they would do. Put yourself in their shoes and model yourself on their behaviour. They wouldn’t have got to where they did by not putting in the effort so think about the action they would take in your position and go do it. This simple trick can really help you keep motivated when working from home.
And inevitably, after posting this, I was asked who my hero was and I am going to share that with you now.
Love her or loathe her, my hero is Victoria Beckham. I admire her for her complete determination to build a brand around herself and for winning awards for her work despite the immense criticism she is constantly under. No, she can’t sing, but that didn’t stop her finding something she was really good at with her clothes and perfume range.
I also believe she is the driving force behind her husband’s career and he wouldn’t have gone as far as he did without her. I have huge respect for her in the way she handled the news about her husband’s alleged affair. She conducted herself with dignity and held her head high even though she must have been torn apart inside. Her family means everything to her and she does everything she can to protect them.
Finally, I love her sense of humour. Yes, she looks serious all the time in photos and is criticised for this, but this is part of her branding and her career. The critics just don’t realise this. However, in interviews and on other occasions, she is regularly seen letting herself go and having fun at her own expense.
Here’s a pic of her on my vision board.
I know that when I am feeling sluggish and feel like just moping around in my lounge pants with no makeup, if I take a look at her picture, I instantly get a boost as I know for Victoria to be successful, she didn’t have such slovenly standards. I soon get in the right frame of mind again.
This is such a simple trick that really does work. So, tell me who is your hero? Who inspires you? Leave a comment below and let me know.
Related post 10 top tips to stay motivated when working from home
A few years ago I was in a really bad way. Severe illness had decimated my health and career. A disastrous relationship had gutted me emotionally. My life had gone up in flames (literally, my ex set the house on fire). I was living in my mum’s box room, flat broke, in tens of thousands of pounds worth of debt, and utterly devoid of hope.
Starting my own business was a revelation for me. Working on my terms, to my timetable. I could focus on what I love (writing), earn a living, and still have time to work on my health.
Entrepreneurship was a gift from the gods, truly, but it wasn’t half a lot of work…
How I Escaped The Eternal Hamster Wheel…
For the first couple of years I did okay. I paid down my debt. Everything ticked over. But I was nowhere near the income level needed to bust me out of the rut in which I was myred. I craved independence, freedom, an escape from the eternal hamster wheel of marketing (not to mention my mother’s box room). I’d done all the courses, watched all the vlogs, read all the blogs; I’d devoured everything I could find on digital marketing but something wasn’t quite clicking.
It was kind of working.
I had clients, money was coming in, I was steadily raising my profile, it just wasn’t enough…
Enter Angie Taffs: The Woman Who Changed My Business (And Life)…
Hustling my butt off for a couple of years had one tangible benefit: I had a lot of friends and contacts in the entrepreneurial world. One of those was Angie. I was a member of her Facebook group, and had been following her for a while, so when a webinar she was running popped up in my newsfeed, I jumped right on it.
Little did I know…
Angie’s webinar was a revelation. She shared one fairly simple tip for managing clients and it transformed my business. I honestly wouldn’t have believed how powerful it was until it actually happened.
The premise is really simple: give people a free sample of what you can do; leave them craving more.
Not a freebie, or a download, a cheat sheet, or a blog/vlog, an actual sample of your paid products or services.
I baulked at this to begin with. Badly. I’m a copywriter. Offering a free sample of my work meant a lot of work for me. Writing a whole blog post, in fact. But Angie’s explanation made a great deal of sense, and while I was going great guns building my tribe, I was really struggling to convert them.
Educating them on the benefits of hiring a copywriter to produce regular, awesome content was easy enough. Getting them to take that final leap was considerably harder.
Hiring a freelancer is scary.
What if they’re a bad fit? What if they can’t really write? What if they take your money and don’t deliver? What if, what if, what if…
Allaying Their Fears And Showing My Chops…
Much as it made me flinch, I had faith. I began offering a free blog post. No strings, no catch. An actual, bonafide, free version of a service that would usually set you back (at that time) £25.
This did two things: allayed my tribe’s fears and concerns about making that final leap; and allowed me to really show my writing chops. It’s one thing to say you’re a great copywriter, it’s quite another to hand over a shining, polished, perfect example of exactly what you can do for a person’s business, complete with all the bells and whistles (in my case, royalty free images, memes, and a week’s worth of Tweets…yes, still for free!).
The Results Of Angie’s One Super Powerful Trick…
The response was phenomenal.
In marketing, a 2% conversion rate is reasonably good. 5% is good. 10% is epic. Anything above 10% is magical wildfire of supernatural origin.
The free post I instigated using Angie’s method has…wait for it… a 75% conversion rate.
Yes, it’s a lot of work writing them, but it’s so worth it!
Here’s How You (More Than) Double Your Income…
You want serious numbers? I analysed the conversions on my free blog post, here’s what I found…
- Three out of four people who sign up for a free post become paying clients.
- Of those clients, one in three spend an average of £35 on a one-off service.
- One in three spend an average of £300 on either a one off service bundle, or repeat business in lower-ticket items.
- One in three spend an average of £3,500 on monthly blog packages (and that’s just how much they had spent in December 2016 – most are still monthly clients, so that figure gets higher every month!).
- One in three of these new clients recommend me to a friend, who sign up for their own free post, or simply buy a service outright, to the tune of £500 a piece (again, on average, again, growing each month!).
- The financial reward I receive is over £1,000 per free blog post I write (including those that don’t convert) and growing monthly.
The Bottom Line…
Since I started running this offer, my business has thrived. I soon had a gaggle of clients. I put my prices up, expecting to lose a fair few. I didn’t lose any. I kept on hustling, and before the year was out I was debt free, and living in a house of my own. I invested more in the tech needed to action Angie’s epic system, and experienced another big boom in my income.
I had more clients than I could handle.
After rebranding and refocusing entirely on copywriting, I put my prices up again.
The free posts I offer are now worth £55 a piece, and they are still available for free to all new clients. I’ve not done the maths on the offer since the end of 2016, but I can tell you that my monthly income has more than doubled since then. Angie’s offer isn’t the only thing affecting that; I launched a new vlog in January that had a massive impact. But content marketing can only get you so far. It builds you tribe, it grows your list, but you still need that ineffable magic charm that converts your audience into paying clients.
That gives them the final shove.
Of all the coaches I’ve worked with, watched, read and listened to, Angie is the only one who showed me exactly how to do this. For that reason alone, I refer to her as The Woman Who Changed My Business.
But she didn’t just change my business, she also transformed my life.
If you want your business to be the mechanism that enables you to live a happy, fulfilling life of freedom, doing what you love best, this girl can show you how…
Thanks, Angie, you’re an absolute superstar!
Many thanks to Hazel Butler from The Write Copy Girl for this wonderful guest post. Having feedback like this fills me with joy and makes all my work worthwhile.
Right then ladies. I have had a few calls for help just lately from women who are setting up their business or in the very early stages. They have come to me as they are feeling so overwhelmed when going on social media and seeing how many others there are doing the same as them and who are more experienced and more qualified.
This awful realisation is stopping them dead in their tracks and leaving them feeling deflated and like they ought to give up now.
When you do look for Facebook groups, DO NOT get put off by the more knowledgeable and qualified people than you. Take inspiration from them. If they can do it, so can you. Think how they got to where they are and be determined to get there as well. They had to start somewhere and inevitably, when they started they would have had the same issues as you. The difference is that they ploughed on regardless and remained absolutely determined to get where they are today.
Also, in your industry, people buy people. They will choose who they connect with and who they feel comfortable with rather than who has the most letters after their name. Think about what qualities you have that your competitors don’t. This could be quite something as simple as your location, your age (does a 70-year-old woman really want to be advised how to do her make up by a 20-year-old? – maybe, but quite possibly not), your positioning in the market place and a whole host of other reasons.
I once decided not to use someone purely because of her voice. Yes, it sounds crazy but her voice really grated on me and I just couldn’t listen to her. Accents can also play a part here.
And at the end of the day, think about how many people are out there who need your service. They can’t all be served by just a couple of people. There is more than enough work to go around for everyone.
So, stop being self-defeatist before you have even started. List all your qualities and start to keep a list of all the reasons that people WOULD deal with you rather than focusing on why they wouldn’t.
Come on. Start to believe in yourself because quite simply, if you don’t believe in yourself, why should anyone else?
Are you sick of being told you should be earning a six figure income to be successful?
Does your heart sink when you people on social media telling everyone they are earning six figures whilst you are earning just four figure sums each month if you are lucky?
Do you wonder what on earth they are doing that you are not?
Do you sometimes think that you can never reach those giddy heights of success so you might as well give up now?
I am saddened and fed up of women I speak to who think they are failing because they aren’t reaching these dizzying heights and being told by others that this is the figure they need to achieve to be successful.
Some of these six figure earners might be truly successful, but I can guarantee you quite a few are pulling the wool over your eyes. Whilst they may not be lying to you, they are being somewhat economical and misleading with the truth.
Whilst these people constantly talk about their 5 figure income months, what they don’t tell you about is their gross profit. Basically, what they have to spend in order to achieve these 5 figure months. (if you want to know how to work this out have a read of Turnover is vanity, profit is sanity). They also fail to tell you their personal situation and how happy they are.
I spoke to a coach a few months ago who claimed in all her marketing to be a six figure earner. And she was. But she was also spending over £20,000 each month on Facebook ads! So whilst she was earning six figures she was also spending six figures to obtain this.
I have met a business owner whose sales were just shy of £180,000 yet the costs to her of getting these sales were a staggering £171,000!!!!! Yes, I kid you not. So she only had a gross profit of £8,000.
The same day I met another businesswoman who felt she was failing. She was getting sales of £19,000 each year but once her expenses were taken out she was left with £12,500. Her business was more financially successful than the first six figure income business.
The magic income figure for happiness
Did you know that past research from Gallup found that the optimum income for Americans was $75,000? The research showed that up to the magic figure of $75,000 a year, people’s day to day happiness rose. After that, people just bought more material possessions with no real gain in happiness.
In 2015 in the UK, research by Anchor Cheddar revealed a salary of £37,000 is the ‘tipping point’ at which any more money isn’t worth the sacrifice, additional responsibilities and stress, therefore making earning extra money worthless.
What do you want in your life?
You need to stop and consider what you want in life, not what someone else tells you should have. Who has the right to tell you that you should be aiming for a six figure income. It all depends upon your personal circumstances and what you want in life and what you need to live the life you want.
I have been truly successful in life. I have earnt the levels of money that have set me up for life. I have paid outright for my beautiful home. I have absolutely zero debts. I live the lifestyle I want without having to worry where the next penny is coming from. I deem that to be having achieved success. I really don’t need someone telling me that I need to be earning six figures to be successful.
I don’t feel the need to chase the big numbers anymore because I have everything I want. I am happy and content with my life. I don’t feel the need to be the next Karen Brady or Oprah Winfrey.
I also know of a few ‘highly successful’ six figure earners who are living in rented two bedroom apartments (nothing wrong with that by the way) with mountains of debt to pay off. Good on them for going out there and earning the money to sort their lives out but stop misleading others by giving the impression they are living in castles and working from the beach all day.
Recently, I saw a self-proclaimed seven figure earner telling everyone how much money she was making on Facebook. As my wonderful friend and colleague (who is one of the most successful business women I know) pointed out, if that were truly the case would this person not want to just turn over, tan her back, pop another bottle of Cristal, dip her toes in the cool ocean off the back of her mega yacht and stop worrying about spreading the word. Good point huh?
Now, don’t get me wrong. There are some super successful and super happy genuine six figure earners out there. And for them I am happy. It is the tribe who are trying to fool others with smoke screens and telling others what to do that I have a problem with.
So stop being told what to do by others, take some of these six figure claims with a pinch of salt and you decide what you want your income level to be and what your definition of success is.