Business Goddess

How To Hire Staff When You Want To Do It All Yourself

by Leonie Dawson on April 8, 2014

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 Hola love-bears and courage-beams,

I’m just love love loving all these glorious questions I’ve been able to answer lately, and this week’s question really fits in nicely with what I’m doing in the rest of my life — spending muchos time with my beautiful girls, finding our groove as a family of four while my wonderful team keeps Leonie Dawson HQ powering along.

So let’s jump in with both feet, darlings!

Here’s this week’s muchos important staffing question:

Hiring someone to be a part of my business is DEFINITELY a challenge for me! I still like thinking of it all like it’s my fairy land and it’s happening by my magic wand and it’s all on my own. (Pride alert!) But I know I need to share my baby with others. It takes a village to have a successful biz just as much as it takes a village to have a child. So, you trigger me big time with your six-figure team waving flag, yet I know it’s necessary. So, could you talk about how the heck you would take the step to be willing to share your precious creation with others and to trust them enough to do so and trust yourself not to F-it-up in your relationship with them and through the business as well?

Hooo-eeey!  Being in baby land right now, I have this deep understanding of this question on so many levels! When you become a mum for the first time, your first thought is like — Ohmygawd I have this precious, precious thing, and I have to DO IT ALL. I can’t let anyone else help me because I’m the MOTHER!

I heard somebody talk about her first weeks of being a mum as becoming a ZOMBIE LOVE SLAVE. Because you are so tired, and so in love, and still SO CONVINCED that nobody else can help you!

And then, hopefully you get over some of those whackadoodle hormones pretty quickly and learn to accept some help from your partner or your friends or your family soon because yes, you are the mother, but that doesn’t mean you have to do it all!

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I’m SO much more cognizant of that this time around in mamahood. If I do it all myself in taking care of Beth, I’m going to burn to a crisp pretty damn fast. There ain’t no pride or joy or glory in that. It’ll hurt me, and it’ll hurt Beth.

And it’s the same with your biz.

You are the owner.  You are the creator. You are the vision and the light and the purpose and the values and the driving force and the passion behind this project. Wave that pride flag a little bit, goddess! You’ve built something amazing!

But that doesn’t mean you have to do everything yourself.

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And here’s the juicy secret: I know that everybody goes through this.  (And we don’t even have any whackadoodle hormones to blame!! We’re all just a little wacky.)

But, can I just tell you now that nobody hires their first employee as though it’ll be easy. Everybody faces this cliff, this leap of faith, this, oh, shit, I’ve got to get my shit together and I’ve got to hire someone.

You never feel ready. You never, ever feel ready. But there comes a point when you have to make the leap.

I remember when I hired my first assistant. It took me so long to work up the courage to send her an email to say, “Would you possibly be interested in maybe working for me?” Because I was just terrified.

I really kind of held that pride flag of — I’ve got it all under control. I do it all myself and I know everything that happens in my business. I knew every single client’s name and email.  I felt like, because I have the membership program, it was completely necessary for me to have it memorized – hundreds of people’s names and emails memorised.

If that’s not a bit crazy, I don’t know what is!

I had to find the courage to let go.

I needed to because it was doing my head in and it wasn’t helping anyone. It was burning me out big time, and I needed to make it much more sustainable.

Yes I had to let go of control, but I knew that in doing so, I was going to be able to help more people and to help in a much better way. My business improved SO much more when I did have that professional support behind me.

And that’s kind of the big AHA moment that I want you to hold onto – that by giving up control and accepting some help, you will be better serving your peeps.

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Not all of us is really gifted at every single thing.

I was really good at being able to make sure that I answered all the emails within a certain period of time and all that sort of stuff.

I also needed to try and keep a lot of brain space available in order to grow my business and think strategically and work out the next phase ahead.

And when you’re in your inbox and when you’re at the coalface of your business 24/7, you just don’t have that brain space in order to be able to do that. You feel like you’re responding and reacting every single day.

By hiring people, what you’re doing is building yourself a sacred dreaming space so that you can think more strategically about your business and make sure that it’s being dealt with in the best, most efficient and wonderful, lovely way possible.

And that means bringing in other people.

There’s a wonderful book by Gay Hendricks called The Big Leap, and he talks about being in your “zone of genius.” Because there are things you can do, like maybe doing your books; and there are things you’re good at, say, answering emails to customers; and then there’s your ZONE OF GENIUS which is where you shine like the brilliant star you are!

And that is what people need you to be all the time, my love — your genius, shining star self.

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So, to get there, you might have to find someone who is genius at numbers, or genius at answering emails in a loving way so that YOU can do your genius thang.

And here’s the biggest, ding dang deliciousest secret:

When you hire the right people, you don’t have to worry at all, because they will expand your business and your heart.

It’s been such a joy to have my team. They each bring something so precious. And you don’t have to worry about the trusting when you hire well. If you use the Six Figure Team system that is part of the Academy, you are going to find somebody who resonates with you and who gets you and who believes in you.

I’ve been so thoroughly, extraordinarily blessed that I have a team who loves my business as much as I do.

It’s still my baby and yet it just gets lovingly tended to by even extra care so that it can flourish and thrive and grow in an even bigger way.

So don’t worry; everybody has the freak out. And you will get over it. It is a leap of faith; but in one year’s time, you will feel completely different about this experience and you’ll be so grateful that you took the leap to hire.

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Your business needs even bigger wings to take on the world.

I know you can do it, love.

So much love to you!

To your dreams and vision,

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G’day gorgeous ones,

Can I just say:

I am feeling so so so damn good lately.

It’s a revelation to not be a tsunami of spew and nausea after nine months.

Yesterday me + my kinfolk went to the beach. Sat by the sea, made sandcastles, fed a sleepy sunset-haired baby, talked, but mostly just grinned.

Grinned because our “normal” life is returning to us. One where we can go out! And do things! And I can be vertical!

Guys, normal life is just so dang underrated… but so damn wonderful.

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I am just rolling in my life lately.  I’m like a puppy dog rolling around in the dirt just for the joy of rolling around in the dirt! I am so, so blessed to have my little family growing, my little stardust baby growing, my bigger mermaid girl growing, my life growing before my eyes. It’s incredibly empowering and humbling at the same time!

And it’s been making me think a bit about this amazing biz that I’ve been able to grow here, and this stupendous community that has grown up around me and supported me and allowed me to build this life that I just adore and couldn’t be more grateful for!

It’s all very woo-woo and spiritual and Land of Hippy around here!  And yet.

AND YET.

There’s a big old elephant in this space that those of us who reside in the Land of Hippy don’t love to talk about, and that’s Money.  With a capital M.

And that’s where our question for this week’s Q + A comes in:

I started a nonprofit organization which exposes at risk youth to better choices for their life.

It was not created to make money, but to help the community while I earn a basic income.

Helping youth is my calling I know.

However, I am at a point of growth in my money mindset. I have three wonderful boys to raise and I know more abundance empowers my family to provide academic and social enrichment for their lives.

My question is about aligning money with my intentions for work and personal good so I can be a great custodian of money.

Ooooh I just LOOOOVE this question!  So, in other words:

How do I align my intentions for work and personal good with my money mindset so I can be a great custodian of money?

Let’s play a little what if-sies here:

  • WHAT IF… you made a million dollars this year, free and clear?
  • WHAT IF… someone handed you a gift/grant/paycheck that would cover every foreseeable expense for the next 10 years, and everything you earned yourself was gravy?
  • WHAT IF… you created a business that supported your every physical and spiritual need and desire?

Basically, what would you do if all your money cares and worries were GONE tomorrow?

How does that feel?  Does it feel warm and fuzzy—or big and scary?

Would you run out and invest in a huge, soulless corporation that exploited the workers, used child labor, and ruined the environment? Would you buy a gigantic house that was totally out of line with your needs, just because you could, and a huge gas-guzzling vehicle to roam around aimlessly in? Would you suddenly decide that you could only eat endangered bird eggs and field greens from clear-cut rainforests in the Amazon????

Handy hint: I don’t think you would. I don’t think you would because that doesn’t actually align with who you are.

Money isn’t going to make you evil, or stupid.

Instead, if you had more money:

Would you continue to make choices in line with your beliefs? Would you support more local artisans and producers because you could afford to? Would you give more of your income to charity because you weren’t worried about paying the bills? Would you invest back into your business so you could reach and help more gorgeous souls with your brilliance?

I know exactly what you would do. You would use your moolah for good. You would use having more to become more.

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Here’s the thing, darlinghearts: I don’t believe that money is the root of all evil.

Money just is.

The same way that the Earth is

or the sky is

or the sea is.

The same way that love is.

What we do with money is what colors it, what makes it good or bad.

I think our lovely questioner is worried that if she has money, it will change her.

And it will.

But only for the better. It will allow her to align all of her actions with her intentions.

Money is a tool; no more, no less.

“Money is only a tool. It will take you wherever you wish, but it will not replace you as the driver.” – Ayn Rand

Darling hearts, money is like a spade.  It can be used to cultivate a wonderful environment where good things grow, or it can be used to bonk somebody else over the head and take his wonderful things.

Either way, it’s not the spade’s fault.

I think a lot of my beautiful hippy dippy tribe worry that money will change them.

But what you don’t realize is:

You can change money into something that reflects your values and beliefs.

Now, you know I adore and support micro lending in developing nations through Kiva.  It’s just the most amazing thing to be able to see how an amount that you and I would consider relatively small can RADICALLY, magically, and fundamentally change the life of someone who has nothing!

(Our amazing Kiva team has actually lent more than $22 000! Incredible!!!!)

I believe in entrepreneurship changing ourselves, our families, our communities, our world.

I believe in Earth Angels helping each other out and teaching each other what they know.

I can change money into something that supports my values.  And I can do it over and over and over again.

The more money I have, the more change I can make.

(And I don’t mean coins!!)

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Maybe it sounds crass, but it’s the absolute truth.  With money, I can affect my world.

  • It might mean choosing to buy organic
  • or sending your children to a better school
  • or giving money to the neighborhood school to make it better
  • or choosing to power your home with wind and solar instead of oil and nuclear power
  • or empowering others to affect change in their world.

I get uber excited about money now.

Being financially free means:

  • I can live anywhere I want
  • I can choose any kind of housing I want
  • I can give my kids the best education without being limited by money
  • I can donate as much as I want

And I can do it all without fear or lack… just abundance. I know that I can make more money anytime! Money always comes to me. I know this now.

Money is just going to make you more of what you already are.

I believe you will make the right choices with your money.

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Our questioner asked specifically how to be a good custodian of money.  And that can get a little—oooh, icky, SCARY!—investments and stocks and what should I do with it do I need an accountant sort of uncomfortable questions.

And yes, you may need to get yo’self some education (you KNOW how I feel about education!!) or hire an expert person whose soul lights up around numbers to help you figure out the details.

But the big picture is clear:

If you know your heart, everything else will follow.

  • Don’t be afraid of earning money.
  • Don’t be afraid of charging what you’re worth.
  • Don’t be afraid that the people who need you won’t be able to afford you.
  • Don’t be afraid that money will change you.

If you are blessed to be the custodian of money, then you will also be given the opportunities you need to handle it with grace.

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Much love and abundance, my darlings!

You’ve got this!

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How To Stop Under Charging!

by Leonie Dawson on March 26, 2014

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Hello gorgeous hearts!

It’s all family-family-family time for me right now, with pockets of work, writing, creating, aligning, slotted in here and there. I love being a mama. I love what I do. I don’t want to ever have to choose between the two.

I’m so so so infinitely grateful that I don’t have to. That I’ve crafted a life + a business where the two can work together.

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{This is me + my little loves having a GIRLZ PARTAY in my studio/office/turquoise thinktank yesterday afternoon. I’d been doing a bit of work when Chris brought the girls in to visit so he could start cooking dinner. Beth promptly fell asleep on my lap, and Starry drew pictures of butterflies. The sacred balancing act of life, mamahood + business!}

So, since we are getting ready to launch my new Double Your Biz Course for Academy Members, I thought we’d talk about another icky-sticky, itchy, uncomfortable problem that loads and LOADS of entrepreneurs come up against:

How do I overcome undervaluing my services as a coach?

I’m in training to find out how to pitch myself within a professional price bracket. The little voice of “you are only training and how can you justify your fee” always pops up and undermines my confidence.

It’s to do with confidence and self-worth, and I can rationalize and think about it logically, but I do keep tripping myself up. Any advice will be gladly welcomed.

Oklydoklywho! Let’s get to it.

So, whenever you’re just getting started, or you’re offering something TOTALLY new, we all can be supsceptible to hearing that shitty voice inside our head.

The one that says crappy, unhelpful things like:

  • Why would anyone pay you?
  • Who are you to charge so much?
  • You’re still in training / just getting started / don’t have a track record yet.

And all those other negative nasties.

Our lovely Q here knows in her big ‘ole brain that this is her self-confidence (or lack thereof) talking. That these are her little demons on her shoulder telling her things to knock her right off her soul’s path.

But just because her brain knows it ain’t true, doesn’t mean her heart can’t hear it.

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Oof.  Tough cookies here.  But guess what, goddesses?

There is a SURE FIRE way to make those self-doubt demons give us a bit of hush-hush time + piss off + do something useful.

The best way to build confidence is to get results.

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To get results, you’ve got to have a client, right?  Right.

If you’ve already had some clients, FABULOUSO! You are good to go.

If you haven’t had any clients yet, then you need to consider how to get your first one.

That’s really the hardest thing in business: getting your first client.  Every one after that gets easier and easier!

If you’re looking to get your first client(s), you can do a couple of different things.

  • You can just get out there and hustle and get your first client.  Pick a price! ANY price will do for your first one, lovebug!
  • You can ask people to be a part of a “beta” program — which means you’re still working out the bugs. Usually people get a discounted price in exchange for their feedback. Sometimes I think people feel like it’s easier to give a “discount” at first and feel out what people are willing to pay.
  • You can also give away a free session or two, but DON’T do too many of these (you will get stuck in the free zone which is WAY worse than the friend zone!), and be aware that people are GENERALLY more invested in something they invest in. Some biz experts will say no freebies, but you have to listen to your soul here, goddess.

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Then measure your results.

So with that very first client (EEEEE!) or the clients that you’ve already had, start measuring how things changed for them, and really take on board the positive feedback that they give you, even if you have to write it down to really understand and absorb it. Oh my gosh, this happened to them, and they felt differently about this!

You are growing right along with your clients.

When we first start out in coaching, it’s a real exploration for us and for our people. It can be really beautiful to see what appears for them.

Your gifts and your brilliance are starting to emerge and coaching can be such a beautiful medium for that to happen and who knows where that path is going to take you. Who knows what brilliant insights are going to come from your clients!

So make sure that you get everyone to fill out testimonial forms for you.

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How to ask for a testimonial without feeling like a schmuck.

Some people don’t like asking for feedback, but it doesn’t have to be hard at all!  All you need to do is say,

You know, in coaching with you I really, really appreciate your feedback and it would mean so much if you were able to share about it using this form, because then if people are wondering whether to use my services, they can hear your story and know what it was like for you.

P.S. A form makes life a LOT easier for your client because they don’t have to come up with what to say from scratch.  You can use Survey Monkey or Google Forms or TypeForm for freeeeeeeeee.

Ask questions that get to the root of their RESULTS.

Make sure that you ask questions that get their results.  Ask them to be specific!  Like:

“What three things changed for you after working with me?”

Then make sure you’re asking:

  • what did you feel before the experience
  • what did you feel after
  • what significant changes did you notice in your lives, or health or business

You’ve got to toot your own horn a little!

Once you’ve gathered these amazing words about how AWESOME YOU ARE, you have to share about them as well.

Make sure that you’ve got a really great testimonial page so that people can really see the results that you’ve already had.

The results you get will give you the confidence to charge what you’re worth.

Here’s a wee case study from Leonie Land!

When I first started out doing 1-on-1 business coaching, I knew that my time was pretty dang valuable already. I’d already created a successful six figure business, and created lots of programs that had done really well. And I knew there was a real want out there among my tribe to get business advice from me.

So I invited a few people who had already asked me if they’d like to try out my business coaching for half price.

Then I gathered the results, and by the time I opened my services publicly, I had evidence. I knew I could charge a premium price ($1000 an hour) because my clients were getting more than their investment out of it – they would leave their session and go on to create ten times that or more.

Having those testimonials and results there helped me feel super confident in my higher price, and it also gave a lot of confidence to to potential clients.

When I did open up some coaching spots publicly, they were snapped up super quickly.

(Nerp, sorry lovey, I’m not offering them at the moment! Have to say because I know we will get asked! I’m concentrating all my efforts on my Academy members for now!)

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It takes time to build up these coaching clients and it takes time to get those kind of testimonials.

Don’t be afraid to start with a number that feels comfortable and safe.

Just be committed to not staying there too long.

Make it a commitment to yourself: Every time you’ve gotten three new clients, you raise your prices.  Something like that.

Doing it that way makes it feel safer, but also makes it feel more real, like—I know I can do this now, because I got three clients, so I feel more comfortable raising my prices a little.

Don’t let the price tag get in the way of your vision.

Wherever you decide to set your prices, you need to stay completely focused on your vision and your purpose. So if you are in coaching because you so love those aha moments or you so love connecting deeply with another person, and being their cheerleader, then I want you to really stay in that energy of why you do that.

Make that be your besotted love, that thing that you are completely devoted to, because otherwise you’ll get so distracted by all of the other things out there and by the fears and by the oh god am I good enough.

(P.S. YOU ARE.)

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When you can stay completely focused on why you’re doing what you do, then nothing can push you away from that.

When I was first putting together the Academy, I really knew in my heart that the Academy is something that I so believe in and so love and I knew that this is what I’m meant to do. Of course challenges come up and we had to create a whole new website, there was just so much work, we were hitting a wall, and people were freaking out about what the change was going to be like — all that sort of stuff.

That could all distract me and put me into procrastination, fear and all that sort of stuff. But I can’t. I can’t let it be that because my goal and my dream and my vision is to make this the most amazing thing possible.

And so that is my love note to the universe. That is the thing that I live every single day, the essential and important workings to make that dream come to life.

It’s like being a midwife to this beautiful soul child that wants to come into the world, and loving it so deeply already.

So whatever it is that is your thing – the thing that lights you up — follow that and be obsessed by it and refuse to give into fear because you love this vision of yours much too much to let it go. 

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That’s what you were born to do.

Go out, and do it hon.

Do it today.

So much love to you buttercup,

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