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28 Jan 15

Here’s what I hear from coaches, yoga teachers, massage therapists and accountants.

“Urgh, do I really have to package what I do? Can’t I just do what I do and clients just show up for one-off sessions as and when they want?”

Here’s what I hear from friends who are looking for coaching, yoga, massage or accountancy.

“Urgh, I’m fed up that everyone’s trying to sell me a package. I just want what I want, when I want it.”

So hang on. If both business owner and clients don’t like the idea of packages, preferring the ad-hoc/pay as you go approach, why do so many business and marketing teachers suggest we package our offerings?

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21 Jan 15

Taking the leap: Bree FarmerMany self-employed people have tried the “conventional” employment path, and then struck out on their own. But this week we’re discovering the perspective of someone who made the courageous choice to go straight into self-employment from school. Bree is the CEO and Founder of Precious Stars. She’s 17 years old and has been using reusable menstrual products since she was 15; she originally set up Precious Stars to sell the cloth pads she was making herself. This is her story of taking the leap.

I’d always heard people moaning about their jobs and thought I would have to endure the same. I’m very determined to avoid that. I know what I want and I’m not afraid to go after it, and now I genuinely enjoy and love what I do. I can be working on something for hours, and forget that I’m even working because I’m enjoying myself so much! That’s the best part of my working day, along with the fact that I can take a break whenever I need to.

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14 Jan 15

How well did networking work for you last year?

Perhaps you paid for membership, trekked along with your business cards, put energy into chatting with as many people as you could, tried to remember names, tried to understand where people were coming from… and yet walked away each time feeling overwhelmed or sucked dry.

Many self-employed people give up on networking because it doesn’t feel worth our time. There’s a pressure to perform, a mismatch with the others in the room, a sense of being misunderstood or not truly “seen”.

In today’s video blog, Siobhan Costello, hypnotherapist and NLP Master Practitioner, is sharing how to make networking work for you – both in terms of being enjoyable and also effective at leading to paying clients.

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07 Jan 15

John is nervous.

Big Ben strikes midnightWhen Big Ben chimed at midnight, he’d felt a surge of excitement – the possibilities, the fresh new year ahead, the blank slate upon which he could finally write his business success.

But since then, he’s become anxious. Mildly despairing, even. What if this year turns out to be just the same as last year? What if he can’t change enough, what if he doesn’t crack the getting-clients code, what if he can’t get his business off the ground?

All his dreams of self-employment – who he aspires to be, what he wants to achieve – he can’t bear the thought of getting to 31st December without having found the clients and established the income he yearns for.

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17 Dec 14

Hiding - when it feels impossible to show upHave you ever found it nearly impossible to show up?

The yoga teacher who finds herself deep in depression, cancelling a workshop the day before it’s due to take place because she can’t bear to face a room full of expectant faces.

The acupuncturist who leaves networking events early because the anxiety builds up with each new person he meets.

The coach who avoids replying to a client enquiry because she’s not confident she can make it through the conversation without her eyes welling up.

Whether you call it depression, the blues or being on a downer, the daily task of showing up to market yourself and deliver your services can be extremely tough when we’re feeling low.

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