Case Study: How Small Business Coaching Can Help Your Business Grow – Episode 69

Small Business Coaching

Are you curious to know what happens during my coaching sessions with clients? Well today, I am super excited to interview one of my one-on-one coaching clients, Michelle Miles from Sweetheart Creative to know more about how she transformed her business, the benefits that coaching has given her and her business, and so much more. I will also be coaching her in this interview to give you an insight as to what it actually looks like to be coached. If you’re looking to get a business consultant/coach… You wouldn’t want to miss this episode.

Important Links Mentioned in the Show:

Sweetheart Creative

Business Masterclass – The Ultimate 4-Step Framework for Creating a Sustainable and Profitable Business

Australian Business Collaborative Facebook Group

Angela Henderson Website

Angela Henderson Active Business Facebook Group

Angela Henderson Facebook Business Page

Angela Henderson Instagram

Prefer to read Case Study: How Small Business Coaching Can Help Your Business Grow? Here’s the transcript:

ANGELA:

You’re listening to the Business and Life Conversations Podcast with Angela Henderson Episode 69.

Hey there, you’re listening to the Business and Life Conversations Podcast. My name is Angela Henderson and on this show, we talk about improving your business, life or both. By having amazing and rich conversations with brilliant guests who will inspire you and who will give you tips and tricks to help you grow both in life and in business.

Well, hey there amazing people and welcome back to another episode of the Business and Life Conversations Podcast. I am your host, Angela, from Angela Henderson Consulting where I am Business Consultant helping women in business to develop the foundational framework and strategy they need to grow sustainable and profitable businesses.

Now, over the last year of having my podcast, I’ve had numerous requests to bring on some of my one-on-one coaching clients and also clients from my group coaching program, Profit Pillars, because people have told me they’re curious to know what coaching actually entails, what it looks like and how it could help to grow their business? So I’ve taken your feedback on board and today is going to be my first case study ever to, I guess, show you a little bit about behind the scenes about what it actually entails to coach clients. So, to say, “I’m excited,” would be an understatement. To say, “I’m a little bit nervous,” yes, because it’s something new. It’s a little bit out of my comfort zone. This isn’t how I normally run podcasts. 

So I am super excited today to bring on one of my one-on-one coaching clients, the beautiful Michelle Miles from Sweetheart Creative where we’re going to explore what made Michelle take the jump to invest in herself but also her business. I’m also going to actually coach Michelle on this podcast. It’s going to be; I just want to have her give you a struggle that she’s currently having from between our last sessions and we’re just going to work it through here on the actual episode to actually give you an insight to what it actually looks like to be coached. I’m also going to talk about what has worked with having a coach and so much more. So get ready for an exciting and new wave of episode here today.

But before we jump into this episode, I just want to let you know that this episode is sponsored by my new business on-demand Masterclass, The Ultimate 4-Step Framework for Creating a Sustainable and Profitable Business. In my 60-minute jam-packed Masterclass, you’ll learn my signature four-step framework for creating a sustainable and profitable business without sacrificing time with your kids, without the overwhelm or without wasting any more cash. I also dived deep into the four big business mistakes that everyone in business makes and why they’re keeping you from growing your sustainable and profitable business. And I also briefly touched upon what is working for businesses now and why most of what you’re being taught about growing your business is outdated and wrong. 

To sign up for my on-demand Masterclass, you can simply head to bit.ly/masterclasswithangelahenderson. Again, that link is bit.ly/masterclasswithangelahenderson. And if you’ve missed that link, we’ll make sure to have that in the show notes. 

Alright. Get ready for an exciting episode. Welcome to the show, Michelle.

MICHELLE:

Hi.

ANGELA:

How are you today?

MICHELLE:

Not bad. It’s freezing down in Melbourne.

ANGELA:

Yes. Gosh, we’re supposed to be going to spring but I keep hearing; my in-laws are down in Tassie, I think they talk about the weather all the time on the podcast. And yes, you guys in Melbourne have been hit again with this cold kind of front.

MICHELLE:

Yeah. And today’s the first day of it to start the rain this afternoon and go until the end of the weekend, so yay.

ANGELA:

Yay. Not fun. Not fun at all because I know again, you like to get outside, do a few things on the weekends. So hopefully, it will pass before then. 

MICHELLE:

Exactly.

ANGELA:

Now listen, this is a new episode today. It’s the first one I’ve done so I’m super excited to have you on board. You’ve been a client of mine for a little while; my one-to-one coaching client. And yes, it’s going to be fun because I get a lot of emails from people saying; when we surveyed the audience around, “What would you like to hear? Or what would you like to know more about on the podcast?” And so many requests I’ve been getting about, “What does it look like to actually work with you and coach with you and what is a case study? Could you do some?” So, yes, super excited to have you on today, Michelle because you’re my first case study. So again, we’re going to be kind of fumbling through this particular episode because it’s our first time doing it. So yes, we’ll rock and roll and see how we go.

MICHELLE:

That sounds pretty much what I’m doing in business; fumbling.

ANGELA:

And also, this is your first podcast, too, which is exciting. 

MICHELLE:

It is. It is.

ANGELA:

So, yes. So, again, we’ll just make it work is what I say, again. And if you don’t do it, you’ll never learn is what I say. So, now, listen, before I get into this particular podcast and we get into the case study about you working with me, I’d love to know; I always ask my guest, I should say, so that my audience gets to know you a little bit better is I know you like chocolate just as much, well, probably, no. You probably don’t like it as much as I do, let’s be honest. But I’d like to know, what is your all-time favourite chocolate because it is one thing we have in common?

MICHELLE:

That’s really hard. I think it would nearly have to go down to the good, old; oh no. It’s not even a silly question; Haigh’s. 

ANGELA

Okay. Haigh’s is your all-time favourite?

MICHELLE:

Haigh’s freckles; has to be…

ANGELA:

You get those at Easter time, I think, too, don’t you?

MICHELLE:

Yes. Yes, you can get them all year-round. When I was pregnant with Alex, which is what, 11 and a half years ago now, I was on fortnightly, and we’re talking these bags of freckles like gold; your 250-gram bags and $10-bag.

ANGELA:

Yes.

MICHELLE:

They are just to die for.

ANGELA:

And that’s your all-time favourite?

MICHELLE:

All-time.

ANGELA:

Well, chocolate, yes. As you know, as everyone pretty much know is I love Nutella. I love a good chocolate. I love everything chocolate. So that’s our fun question. So Haigh’s is your all-time chocolate.

Now, tell the audience a little bit about your business because I think it’s important so that they understand where we’re coming from when I talk a little bit more about coaching and what’s worked and what hasn’t for us. Talk to us a little bit about your business; how you first had; you kind of transitioned to where you currently are. So walk us through a little bit about your business journey.

MICHELLE:

So my business now is called Sweetheart Creative and it started out as Sweetheart Party Extras. And I played around with printables and party extras and it was a bit of a case of I’ve been a primary school teacher before I had my daughter, Alex, 11 years ago, nearly 12. I mean, I didn’t go back to teaching but she started Kinder so I just wanted to do something. And it was around planning her birthday. And I just went, “Oh, this is fun. I’m only having one child, I only get to plan one party.” So then, I started helping around and did invites and the likes and I was playing around with the paper cutter. And I just really wasn’t getting cake toppers or wasn’t cutting how I wanted.

And my husband could see the frustration and so for my birthday about three years ago, he bought a small laser, which is, one when you think of a laser from James Bond. It has the red light and it cuts things. 

ANGELA:

Very cool.

MICHELLE:

Yes. I don’t think he was as excited about it as me, probably. 

ANGELA:

Yes.

MICHELLE:

And so, we started, and he basically said, “Let’s see how it goes.” Have a place, see if it works, see if it’s going to be viable, if you’re going to be able to do anything with it, what not; because all I do is completely self-taught; all my designs, skills, everything is just self-taught. It’s Google, it’s YouTube, it’s trial and error. So we started with that and we got to Christmas and it was crazy. It worked.

ANGELA:

It worked.

MICHELLE:

It worked and the laser died, the tube died just before the Christmas orders were due. “Oh, what do we do.” And so we found one, [Inaudible 07:37] rang my husband and said, “Just show me the bigger laser.” Of course, the answer is always, “Yes, we’re going to buy one.” 

So we went and bought the laser we have now, which is much bigger and that was when I decided, I think I contacted you in the January when we’re away and said, “We’re going to do it, we’re going to change from the party printables. We’re going to go to lasering, we’re going to start with the cake toppers. See the website. What do we do?”

ANGELA:

And then, yes, and Sweetheart Creative went from printables where it was low-cost products but you’re actually having to spend a lot of time trying to get all that ready versus now being able to make your own products. Things are a lot quicker. You had more profit margin in the products that you’re currently utilizing. It also gave you; things went quicker, the way you pack things. So again, it was; it seemed to me and seemed to you the best way forward when you made that call in January.

MICHELLE:

Definitely. And it was also a big change; shift as you say because the printables was a low cost and I’d started out that I wanted it accessible for parents. I mean, it was a bit of a transition with the pricing and even just getting pricing right when you’re changing products and sorting materials and finding new materials and getting the best. And it’s not the cheapest. You’ve got to find what’s the most consistent as well. That was having someone to bounce off all these pros and cons, that was the really big turning point in needing to have a business coach.

ANGELA:

And one of the things I know we first explored at the very beginning was how your ideal client also shifted from the Mom who was buying the party supplies to the Mom who had a bit more disposable income was looking for something quite upmarket, a bit unique, it was personalized. So we needed to make sure that that ideal client that you were serving also had things like disposable income, they were mindful about that it was made in Australia, designed in Australia. So your ideal client also shifted and we had to really explore that and we also had to dig deep in regards to your messaging so that it resonated when people hit your website in order for us to have these conversions.

MICHELLE:

Yes, we did. And I had, I was lucky that I had a reasonable following and I was pretty lucky that most follow-through, but it was a real mindset-changing looking for that different ideal client instead of going with the one that was are no longer the ideal.

ANGELA:

Exactly. Now, for the listeners out there, can you tell them a little bit about how you became one of my coaching clients? How did you hear about me and what were some of the challenges you were facing at the time before you brought me on as a coach? Because I think it’s important for; because there’s a lot of business owners out there that are probably going to be shaking their head when they hear about some of the struggles that you had. So walk us through a little bit about how did you hear about me and what were some of the struggles you were facing?

MICHELLE:

Yes. Well, I think you and I first met when you was with Finlee and Me and I was in the Party Printables and we were together, which, for anyone listening, that’s been around the Facebook communities for some time now. The good, old days of the Thermomix giveaways. 

ANGELA:

Thermomix giveaways; yes.

MICHELLE:

And they were huge and they gained you lots of followers. But you have to work hard to keep them because there was a big shakeup with Facebook and we lost a lot of followers. So I think I’d always been on, I’d always been fangirling probably, that’s the way it went. So I’ve seen you in other business groups, watched what you were doing and just following the development. And then, I knew that you were rebranding and you were changing to a coaching and I think that’s what, I thought, “Oh, yes.” 

I’ve always; just always resonated the way you and I could talk and we did the 30-minute call and it just clicked and I just knew I needed someone to help me with the website because I was changing to the website and getting that functional. And I didn’t know WordPress, and I didn’t know the back ends, I didn’t know about SEO and all of those sorts of things. And I needed someone who had that knowledge, not just someone who had read a book or with a course, I needed someone that had actually in it, in the back end, so to speak; who had a business, had built it up but is also working with others who could say to me, “Yes, we need to do this. That’s not my special area. Let’s go somewhere else.” 

And it was just again, when you’re working in small business and you’re working on your own, you don’t have that someone else to bounce the ideas off to give you the other perspective because you can get very not narrow-minded, but you get your blinkers on and see what you’re looking at. 

ANGELA:

And totally. And I think for a lot of people; it’s that juggle again. And I talk about the juggle a lot like, “How do I do this?” And a lot of times, because we are in our homes away from people and our only interaction sometimes is our children, maybe our partner that we start like second-guessing what we’re doing. “Is this right? Is this right? What should I do you?” So I think again, the importance of having someone to hold you accountable I think is super beneficial. 

I also wanted to talk a little bit about the kind of difference between; because you’ve got your business mentors, you’ve got your business coaches and you’ve got your business consultants. And so, I also think it’s important for those that are out there listening that a business mentor is more someone who, yes, they may have been in business, not necessarily e-commerce if that’s what you are or service-based. But they’ve been in business, they got some stories to tell, they can kind of guide you, but they’re more of there for like a cup of coffee and a little bit of a chat.

Now, you go to a business coach who will do more like question-based, more exploratory-based; and that’s okay if that’s what you need. But there’s also where I think I kind of come in from that consultant point is that I’ve been there and I’ve done it and I’ve worked collaboratively and educate myself around SEO and different websites and what they mean to be conversional and messaging and things like that that I become more; I take more of a consultant role and add some coaching components to it by asking a whole variety of questions and empowering women to make the decisions, etc. 

But sometimes, business owners that come to me such as yourself; you knew exactly what you needed. You were quite clever, you were quite honest. You knew exactly what you needed; it was just those how-tos. And sometimes, you don’t need a business coach to go, “Go Google this or go do this.” Sometimes you just want to go, “Just tell me how it is. What, based on your history, how is it?” 

So I just want, for those that are out there that kind of going and you’ve heard those words kind of, I guess sort of around business coach, business consultant, the role I take with the women in business that I work either one-to-one or on my group coaching is more of a consultancy role mixed in with a coaching role. Because like I said, sometimes you just want an answer. You don’t need eight hours of exploring what does that mean? How does that comfort you? Etc. You just want an answer to move forward.

MICHELLE:

Yes. And it’s also having someone that you’re very good at picking my expertise and what I can do and you’re also very good at calling me out on it and go, “Michelle, yes you could do that and it will take you five hours to do it. We’ll outsource it to someone for $20.” And that’s totally a number out of my and it will be done in 15 minutes.

ANGELA:

Yes, because again, it’s important that sometimes we need to look at our time and what are we exchanging our time in dollar value and things like…

MICHELLE:

And it was. And it was shifting my mindset, too, which is a lot of business owners I think find; shifting my mindset to value my time.

ANGELA:

And your self-worth.

MICHELLE:

Yes. And the product. And it wasn’t just about charging a product, it was learning to value the time you’re putting in it. And putting on that and charging for that, not just charging for the actual cost of the product but building it all in. And again, that’s part of the working with you to build up that entire process rather than just step-by-step or, “Hang on, I’m struggling with this.” You were sort of; I think, too, because you were there from the beginning of it, it was really a step-by-step process that we could work through.

ANGELA:

Totally. And so, for those listeners out there, what made you take the jump or make the shift to investing in yourself but also investing in your family? Because I think again, it’s not just yourself; it’s your family and your business by hiring me as your coach. What was kind of like that final straw that you’re like, “I’m either all in or I’m not.”

MICHELLE:

I’ve always had a motto and a really close girlfriend said it to me when I first went to the printables and it was late in the [Inaudible 16:32]. And her and I often bounced that we’ve both done lots of things over the last years and we often see on our Facebook feeds, we’ll just pop that line in and both of us know instantly that the other one is about to do something that they’re just not quite sure of. But they know that we’re alright. 

And I think I always admired the way you conduct yourself having been in the business groups over the years. You’re one of the very few businesswomen I’ve seen that take time to help people [Inaudible 16:58]. You have a genuine passion and it’s like, “Yes, I’m going to invest in myself and my business.” I wanted to know that the person I’m going to trust into is someone that I can trust and that trust is being built up over the time. I mean, it was just effective as you say, it was putting the trust or it was investing in my business that was saying, “Yes, it’s not a hobby anymore. This is a business. We’re going to make something of it. We’re going to do something about it.”

ANGELA:

And I think, too, I heard a saying once and I don’t know who said it so I, unfortunately, can’t give credit. But it’s about the true; it is hard for business owners to experience the full transformation of their business journey until a transaction has taken place. 

MICHELLE:

Yes.

ANGELA:

And that, it’s that transaction, that exchange of, that commitment, that investment, that time, that whatever it is that you’ve bought whether or not it’s a course or a coaching program or a retreat, whatever; is that transformation will come. 

Now, you might not like all of it because it might feel uncomfortable at times, whatever. But I genuinely believe, even in my own experience over the time; at the time of recording, I’m due to head to The Maldives at the beginning of September. And it’s a big investment but the transformation that comes from that because of the transactional occurrence that has happened is phenomenal.

MICHELLE:

It is, yes, putting; you’re making yourself accountable.

ANGELA:

Yes, you can’t hide, really. 

MICHELLE:

Right.

ANGELA:

I’m always, like, I’ll check in on you, etc. Now, for the listeners out there, because again, they really want to know about what is the taste of business coaching? What does it actually look like in a session when you and I are together? So, I would love for you to give me an example of something you’re currently stuck with, and because we’ve obviously had a session a couple of weeks ago and we’re about to come up for our next session. And let’s kind of work through that for the next five minutes or so because I want to give them an element of what that looks like. So tell me something that you’re currently struggling with and let’s kind of dissect it. 

MICHELLE:

So I need to look at the launch, I’ve got a few new ranges coming up, which we’ve been working together right from the development of them. So when Angela are working together, actually bring me new product ideas with meaning. Anj brings me new product ideas to the meanings and then we start. So, we’ve actually got the trail for new product ranges and we’ve gone from the beginning and we just had all the images; professional product photography, which is just amazing done.

ANGELA:

So fun.

MICHELLE:

Just got it all uploaded on the back end of the website. So now is the launch and I just; I’m stuck as to how to get it out there.

ANGELA:

Alright, so these are types of questions I’d start asking Michelle in session. So, it’s okay. So Michelle; so you’re stuck in regards to launch mode but what do you think needs to happen in order for this product to get in front of people because I want to start looking at what Michelle’s ideas are versus just jumping in and going, “Michelle, you need to do this.” So I’m always eager to know what the client thinks because it’s important that again, when I’m done working with Michelle or I’m done working with a client, that they have the skills to be able to dissect these themselves and work through it. So I guess my first question, Michelle is this: What do you think needs to happen in order for the launch to go off with a kick? 

MICHELLE:

Yes. Well, and again, we’ve start; we had started moving towards that because we got the professional photos done so I have images to put out there. The next step is I’ve contacted a couple of, and I don’t like to use the word influencers.

ANGELA:

Yes.

MICHELLE:

But, people that I’ve worked in the past that had children who, as far as like my ideal client but they have their own Facebook groups, they have a presence that I will work balancing sending them samples, which actually I got a little package in the mail this week with one or two as well. So it’s a case of getting them out to different people so they can put some testimonials up for me. And then, it will just be a case of just starting to put it [Inaudible 21:14]. I know we have talked about sort of similar to the 12 Days of Christmas but during like the five-days of such and such and new launch and new name and that was where we’re up to right for me next.

ANGELA:

Perfect. So my other question is then in this particular launch, are you wanting to do an organic launch, meaning, for those listeners out there, everything we do will be through collaborations, we’ll be utilizing your own Facebook page and your own socials? Or do you want to incorporate a paid component to the launch also? So I guess we need to really hash that out. 

MICHELLE:

Yes. And again, up until now, we’ve only done organic and I’ve been very lucky that organic’s work. I’m also lucky that I ride with the flow of orders; I’ve never been overly concerned. They come in and then go, and they come and they go. We’ve also started to look that we know we need to head to the Facebook ads and that’s where we need to start exploring. And again, because it’s not my specific; I have no knowledge of Facebook ads, I can say straight upfront; it’s going to be looking through you to find someone that we could work with.

ANGELA:

Yes. Totally. So, I know we talked about if we look at the launch, for example, if we stick going organic for launch and then we look at bringing the paid in say, for October, November, December, then, again, that helps probably with the budget, etc. And yes, this is another component of, is, as a business coach, you guys are not only just getting my expertise but you’re tapping into my network and my connections, so people I’ve either paid for, or I’ve been in their programs or whatever, so that I can refer you to the people that are going to actually; it’s their zone of genius.

So Michelle is talking about Facebook ads is I’ve interviewed a couple e-commerce people; e-commerce Facebook-specific specialist that we’re looking at being able to work with Michelle in her paid approach in the lead up to Christmas because Christmas is a big time for Michelle.

MICHELLE:

So from my point of view that in having the business coach is that I could been handball of you, so to speak, and give you your task for the week and say, “Well, I need; can you find someone for me?” And by you interviewing them, you had the questions. I could interview ten different people to do my Facebook ads and I would have no idea if they told me how to run a Facebook ad or they told me how to turn my top on as I don’t have the background knowledge. So that’s just another benefit of having a coach or your consultant is that they have the knowledge to make sure that you are outsourcing to the right people. 

ANGELA:

And that they know. And so I guess I also want to say is I will interview people also looking at long term relationships for not only with Michelle but for a variety of my other clients. But the thing though is that as Michelle starts to build her confidence around Facebook ads and starts to understand the language, even though I may have interviewed at the beginning, the end goal is that Michelle will know everything she needs to know about Facebook ads so she can look at that Facebook ads campaign and go, “Actually, that’s wrong. We need to turn that off.” So that she still needs to be skilled on all of the things from SEO, to messaging, to her funnels, etc. because I’m not going to be there forever.

MICHELLE:

Yes.

ANGELA:

And so, it’s really important that as a coach/consultant, I’m constantly educating my women in business that I work with to make sure that they’re getting the tools and resources they need for post working with me.

MICHELLE:

And it’s that wonderful balance. It’s not the complete spoon feeding but it’s not the complete sink or swim. It’s a really fine line of guiding through with the help but giving us the knowledge and you just have that damn packed.

ANGELA:

Well, thank you. Yes, it’s something I’ve worked hard on. But again, it’s about building relationships and this is something that I hone in with all of you guys about is that the importance of relationships so I can draw down on these relationships quite easily. But I worked nine years in building these relationships up and it’s something that all businesses need to be doing. So yes. 

Now, if we go back to the launch side of things; so, we’ve gone great. So in a particular way, we decided on organic and part of these components would be okay, great, you want to launch, let’s just say we’re going to launch the new Christmas range to start with so we don’t overwhelm your audience and confuse them on what’s going on. 

MICHELLE:

Yes.

ANGELA:

As you’ve said, you’ve reached out to some influencers or other marketing spots that we’re going to be able to utilize, which is fantastic so we can incorporate them in the launch. You’re really great with video because video with your products is a wonderful way for people to actually see what you’re offering, how it works, how it applies to them, etc. 

So I would also be thinking that we need to roll out a particular schedule on how we’re going to show these items via video to your audience. I also think that we need to then; so we’ve got our influencers as one, we’ve got our video as two. I’d also be looking at; I know we’ve been working on growing your email list, which it isn’t massive but it’s still there. I think we need to make sure that we’re incorporating your email list as part of this particular launch. 

Obviously, also utilizing Facebook, like your own Facebook page; I think you’ve got about 22,000 fans. Just regular posts, we also need to be doing in addition to the video. You’re also just really working hard on Instagram so I would be saying we need to incorporate into the launch strategy your Instagram post, your Instagram stories. And also, then, I would be saying is whether or not we can get any guest blog posts anywhere, reaching out, so that you’ve got your influencers who may do some video for you but I also think it’s important if we look at doing some guest’s blog post not only for the launch but that’s also those backlinks will help to build from your SEO offsite strategy, too.

MICHELLE:

Perfect. And the other thing we’ll probably look at is what you’re always reminding me to do is the likes of after paid groups, Facebook groups, I mean that often ask me about products because I’m product-based. It’s something, being mindful of the upside of Facebook as well if people asking for products. And just so skimming out there every now and then saying who’s asking for Father’s Day products, who’s asking for Christmas products and just pop in the pictures up and I’ve noticed if we wouldn’t have the last sort of product image done, I’m definitely getting more interaction once people see those in feeds. It really makes a difference.

ANGELA:

Yes, and your photos again, now that they’ve been done, you’ve done some professional but this is kind of where we’re; we’re going next level with this. And your images have this beautiful, texture, and colour, and vibrancy around it that again, they’re getting noticed by the other players in this particular group. So I totally agree, Facebook, is, I guess you could say rewarding group activity. So again, I would totally agree that in our launch strategy we would be incorporating those groups. 

And what I would be doing is this; Michelle and I, all of my clients, we have a Google sheet. And in that Google sheet during each of our sessions, we write down each of the tasks that are needed in between the next session. And so, on the bottom of our Google sheet, I would open up a new tab for you, Michelle, that talks about product launch, say September 2019 and then I’ll break it down into Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday. And then, the tasks; again, video, newsletter, etc. And we will actually break down a day-by-day schedule about what needs to be done every day. When you do that, you’ll go in there and mark it as read and done and then I can be able to go in there and go, “Hey, Michelle, what’s going on here? We’ve got a hiccup here.” 

So, yes, and that’s how we would manage an organic launch. I mean, I know it’s very; we’re not going to go into the deep hells but from a bird’s view eye, that’s what I think we would be able to get this off before we start the paid advertising.

MICHELLE:

Yes, definitely.

ANGELA:

So, that for you listeners out there, that’s an example of how we would brainstorm and work so that as soon as the call was done with Michelle, she’s got that launch strategy already written in her note section and she can just go and rock and roll with it. And then, if she has any questions in between session, she will then contact me, either my Facebook or my email because as a VIP coaching client, Michelle has direct access to me. They don’t need to go through my team.

Now, the other thing that I’d like to ask Michelle is, for those listeners out there, what has been your favourite part with working with me as your business consultant?

MICHELLE:

That’s difficult because there’s so many. I think it’s knowing you have my back and over the time we’ve been working together, you’ve learned my strengths and weaknesses, and you call me out on those and I love that because you don’t tell me what you think I wanted to hear, tell me that every product I produce is brilliant. You’re the first to say, “That’s not going to work.” And it’s great because you’re looking at it through clean eyes whereas pure heart sometimes. But you don’t just leave it there, you don’t just say, “No, that’s not going to work.” We work together to improve it, we bring the prime knowledge, you look at the props objectively where I don’t. But you just; it’s that inside but it’s the inside into knowing me as well. 

And then, you haven’t given up on me, which is the other side. You put me out of comfort zone when I needed to but you don’t hang me out to dry. You don’t do everything for me but you’re guiding me. It’s all what we’ve been talking about with your consultancy is that fine line that I just know you’re there and I know that sounds. And I think it also goes back to; we hadn’t been working long together when we did had a big hiccup and I lost my Dad very unexpectedly. And that was the time that it really could’ve; it was only the beginning of my business so that could’ve; I think without you, I could honestly say it probably would’ve; just gone. I would have just stopped because there was so much going on. 

So even though that’s not; now I’m getting emotional; even though that’s not a favourite time in my anything, I think it just proved the value having someone there who was able to guide me through as a coach, that was able to work out how we were going to go. We were going to go slowly, I didn’t completely pull back and stop. We just kept it simmering and then you were also able to go, “Yes, you need to [Inaudible 31:53] now.” And you were just there so that took over from being the business coach to understand about family, to understand about the whole thing. So you are able to help me navigate whatever was thrown at me and you gave me the tools to see where I need to go next and I think that was the biggest blessing was that without you at that times, it really wouldn’t have ended up where it is today.

ANGELA:

Well, listen; well, thank you for that. And listen, I think it is important that, yes, I was there to guide you and support you. But the thing with you, Michelle, and this is, again, it’s something I hone in on is your mindset. So even though you lost your Dad very unexpectedly, you still had the mindset of like, “Okay. I still have to think forward.” You still allowed yourself the time to grieve, you still allowed the time to slow down but you knew that; I mean, unfortunately, I too, have had lots of death in the last 18 months. Unfortunately, they’re not coming back. So you made a choice to go, “Okay. I can sit in bed and cry all day. Or you know what? I’ll tackle the grief when it comes but I’m still going to keep plotting along.”

And so, Carl, the web developer, me and you, we just looked at, “Okay, What can we keep doing to continue to progress every single week with Sweetheart Creative even though it’s at a slower pace?” Everything we did was still moving you closer towards that success.

MICHELLE:

Yes. That’s right. And the other, how can I forget the favourite part was the Retreat last November, which was just so much fun to be part of your all-girl Retreat and I just can’t wait to get back.

ANGELA:

Yes, another retreat. I was getting emails just today, “Oh my goodness. The countdown is on.” I’m very excited for the Retreat. We only have four tickets left, which is crazy to have a sold-out, a potential sold-out event. It’s going to be phenomenal.

Now, for those listeners also sitting on the fence, thinking like, “Listen, I either need a group coaching program or I need a one-to-one support.” Whether or not that’s with me or whoever, what words of encouragement would you give them?

MICHELLE:

I’d say if hit a plateau or you’re just starting out, take your time to have a discovery call with you. You’re a straight talker, there’s no bells and whistles attached. There’s no [Inaudible 34:12]. You’re straight down the line and within your 30-minute discovery call, you will know whether it’s the thing you need to do or not. You have the wealth of knowledge and understanding and it’s all from first-hand experience. You started the business with Finlee and Me, juggled it, juggled family, you juggled full-time work so you have the knowledge from being in it, not from; it’s a textbook. 

So for someone that’s trying to juggle all of that, to go with someone that has the experience but can now also, as you say, you’re heading up to Maldives. You’re constantly gaining knowledge, you’re constantly making sure that you’re up-to-date with all the latest and you appropriate that with your experience. So it’s just a whole package.

ANGELA:

So for those out there, you would say kind of if you’re looking like you said this isn’t me, you’re just looking for a coach because I do believe you need to find the right coach. 

MICHELLE:

Yes.

ANGELA:

I am a very much straight shooter. I’m a no bullshit-type of person, I call it; like I’m super nurturing and I’m very kind but I’m also very practical going, “You’re paying me to move you forward. You’re not paying me to be your therapist.” 

And so, but some people don’t like the straight shooter and that’s okay. So for whoever, if you’re sitting on the fence like what Michelle is saying, connect with whoever your go-to coach is or whoever resonates with you or whoever you’re drawn to; have a discovery call with them, understand what they do, how they can add value to your business. And then, make that decision at that time.

And like I said, you need to really make sure that you find the right person. So, if there are coaches or consultants out there who aren’t willing to get on a 30-minute call with you, I do think there’s a huge red alarm bells because I always say like test driving; you don’t go into Mercedes or BMW and say, “I’m going to take the $200,000 car,” and you don’t want to test drive it. Just as much as it is important for you to test drive and understand me, it’s equally important that I can understand you to make sure I’m the right fit for your business.

MICHELLE:

Yes.

ANGELA:

So, Michelle, my last question before we wrap up is what do you know now, just in business, collectively, not even around with coaching; but what do you know now that you wish you knew when you first started out in business?

MICHELLE:

And you’ll laugh. Set your books up from day one.

ANGELA:

Yes. So Michelle and I are laughing about that because, in one of her very first sessions, I talked to her, as I do with all my clients around; I think it’s really important about financial literacy, especially for women to be able to make sound decisions about your finances, be able to look at your projection of growth, your cash flow, etc. And one of the things I’ve been planting the seed during my time with Michelle was, “You need your books. Tell me what your monthly’s are. We need to do this.”

And then, Michelle eventually took; she took it upon herself once the seed was starting to grow and she met with a male from Bean Ninjas to get her Xero in place and we officially can say, as of about two to three weeks ago, Michelle’s books are completely up-to-date. We’re on top of everything. And yes, so that is so funny that you think; you wish you knew now is when we started is yes; get your books in place. 

MICHELLE:

And the other thing I have, too, is the power of networks and connections. Like, I think the Retreat honed it in because that was the day with people but they weren’t just people on the computer anymore. You made connections and it’s taking the time to make those connections. And I’m not a big social person, one that will go off to networking and I’ve never been one that construes the element of what do you do and what not. But to spend the time to make the connections will really move your business along with your business growth and your personal growth to have that behind you.

ANGELA:

Fantastic. Well, Michelle, it has been awesome having you on the podcast today as our first-ever case study. So I appreciate you taking the time out to come on board. And before we sign off, I do want to remind everyone that my team and I will also be putting together the whole transcription for this episode at angelahenderson.com.au. And of course, I cover all sorts of related business and life topics inside my Facebook Community, The Australian Business Collaborative. I think we’ve hit over 6,000 members so make sure to head over to Facebook, search Australian Business Collaborative and be sure to join us there. 

And for the rest of you, have a fabulous day and I look forward to you joining me next week for another amazing episode of the Business and Life Conversations Podcast. Have a  great day, Michelle, and bye for all.

MICHELLE

Thanks, Anj. Bye

ANGELA:

Thanks for listening to the Business and Life Conversations Podcast with Angela Henderson, Small Business Coaching. www.angelahenderson.com.au 

Angel Henderson Consulting

I'm Ange... proud Canadian, Nutella eating lover and pink is my favorite colour with a splash of glitter. I'm a business consultant/coach who has helped hundreds of business owners get all the pieces in place to have consistent 5-figure months and multiple 6-figure years... without burning out in the process.