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16 Apr 14

At a recent networking event, I witnessed an impassioned conversation between a man and a woman. She was describing a training course she offers, priced at a few thousand pounds, and he was incredulous. “But it’s not fair!” he kept saying, polite yet exasperated. “It’s not right!”

Scales representing justice. Is the price fair or too expensive?Her price offended his sense of justice. It bashed up against his vision of a fair and equal society. In particular, he couldn’t stand the idea that she’d created content in advance that could be delivered without much in-the-moment input from her, yet was charging premium rates.

I’d go out on a limb and guess that at some point you’ve thought somebody was charging too much. You’ve heard their price and responded, “Ooh, that’s steep!” I’ve heard it recently from friends who baulked at me paying £10 for Rock Choir sessions, or £12 for Five Rhythms classes.

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09 Apr 14

Lifting a heavy weight - unlike word-of-mouth marketing“It’s all happening fine through word of mouth.”

I hear this often and it’s how most of us start out in business. In the early days of self-employment, I didn’t “do” marketing. I didn’t have a website. I didn’t have business cards. I didn’t use social media. I didn’t blog.

I helped one person. They liked me, they told someone else. That someone else hired me, they liked me, they told a few more people.

I was just in my usual hangouts (Five Rhythms, yoga classes, Transition Town, chanting), doing my usual things (friend’s wedding, sister’s party, local health food shop, Mum’s school trip) and got chatting with people one-to-one as I went.

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02 Apr 14

Being strategic can bring you freedomDoes the word “strategic” bring you out in a cold sweat?

If you act from your heart and love to say “YES!” and flow with life, the idea of being calculated in how you share your passion may feel icky.

If you love to show up and see what happens, or share without thought of what might come back, strategy might feel at odds with that.

Let me share a secret

People tell me things they wouldn’t say to you.

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26 Mar 14

Katy Went - taking the leap into self-employmentWhat’s it actually like once you’ve battled those initial doubts and taken the leap into working for yourself? What do successfully self-employed people wish they’d known from the start?

This week, we’re getting to know Katy Went. A self-professed label-defier, Katy’s journey of taking the leap into self-employment is a story of courage, honesty, and finding authenticity. If you’ve ever felt you’re just too distractable, too much of a perfectionist, too unconventional to run your own business, then read on:

Whilst at University, if not before, I realised I could turn every passion and hobby into a self-supporting tax-deductible income scheme to fund further interests. One of the first was photography. Getting paid to take pictures, or to sell camera gear, paid my way through university and summers abroad.

Self-belief that I could turn my hand to anything – except brain surgery – that I put my mind to, helped. Putting my mind to it was the problem as I get bored easily and need new challenges.

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19 Mar 14

Amy is organising a conference. She’s super excited about it; for ages, she’s had the dream of bringing together like-minded men and women around a common theme, and she desperately wants the venue to be full and the energy buzzing.

Money falling through hands - under-pricing?There’s just one sticking point: how to price the tickets. She’s settled on a price, but it feels a bit scratchy. She’s not alone in thinking this – when she’s mentioned the price to a few colleagues, they’ve raised their eyebrows and advised her she’s under-pricing.

But she’s terrified of raising the ticket price and putting people off. She’s still quite early on in her business journey, with a limited number of people in her orbit; she figures that choosing a price that’s virtually a no-brainer for them is a safer bet than setting higher prices that less people will want to pay. She’s decided to prioritise quantity over profit, aiming for a full room even though she’ll barely cover her costs.

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