You are listening to My Freedom Grove podcast with Gretchen Hernandez, episode 160.
Welcome to My Freedom Grove Podcast, your calm space for practical help to get your dream business up and running while being authentically you and taking care of your mental health. I'm your host, Gretchen Hernandez. I'm so glad you're here!
Hi My Strong Friends. I hope some sunshine has shown up where you live. We finally have a little break in the rain out here on the Mendocino Coast. It gave our neighborhood a chance to do a fun Adult Easter Egg hunt this last weekend. I know it was a week after Easter, but we all loved having fun together. The Adult Easter Egg hunt involved searching for miniature alcohol bottles and a few eggs with candy. It was so much fun! It was followed up with a potluck. It felt so good to just relax for a few hours and swap random stories. I especially loved hearing about one of my neighbor’s college job working at the Playboy Bunny mansion making tiny statues of the guests. Everybody you meet will have a fascinating story to tell. We just have to allow ourselves the time to pause and give them a chance to share.
That’s part of why I love offering 2 hour sessions to my 1:1 clients. Not only do we get a ton of stuff done in their business, it gives me time to listen to their stories. Afterall, we’re creating unique products and services. What makes them unique is each entrepreneur’s personal lived experience. They bring together everything that worked for them and their clients to achieve a desired outcome. When we have time to really listen, we discover all of those beautiful details to bring to life.
Plus, during those 2 hours sessions we are actively building things in their software systems of choice. I love Kajabi for building out products. But, I’ve also helped clients using Wix, Funnel Gorgeous, Clickfunnels, EasyWebinar, Facebook Ads, Zapier, Try Interact, and a variety of email, calendar and payment processor apps. And sometimes were creating marketing materials or editing video/audio together with Canva, Screencastify, Filmora, Audacity and Headliner. I like to help my clients get their businesses running Their Way. Luckily, my systems background gives me the advantage to help them with any software combination they want.
Today I received a wonderful testimonial from one of my clients, Maureen. One thing that was very important to her was to do Business Her Way. That’s incredibly important to me too. That’s why I don’t give anyone a specific step by step instruction manual for how to create their business. I don’t insist on just 1 type of product, funnel, software combination or schedule. I believe in Freedom. This is a place where you get to be authentically you and free to design your business in harmony with your mental health.
I’d like to take a moment to ready Maureen’s testimonial -
“I really enjoyed working with Gretchen Hernandez! I love that she is focused on mental health as a priority and that she has so much experience with business processes. But what I love the most, is that she did not try to make me do anything I did not want to do. It is super important to me that I do my business my way! Gretchen was willing to listen to me and adapt her approach to make it work for me. She not only helped me get focus, clarity and direction for the course I was creating, she created an atmosphere where I actually enjoyed the whole experience! I highly recommend her if you are looking for a business process coach.”
Thank you so much Maureen. I absolutely love working with you! And I applaud you for how well you self advocate. And, I can’t wait until the world gets to experience your course!
So, let me ask you…Why is it important to you to do Business Your Way?
If you have a journal handy, you might want to pause the podcast to write down your answer.
If you’re feeling stumped by the question, let’s try it a different way.
When was a time you tried doing Business Their Way?
1. Who was the Business Advisor?
2. What specifically did they advise you to do? List all the different aspects.
3. How did you feel as you took action on their advice?
4. What thoughts kept running through your mind?
5. Did their way work 100% for you? Why or why not?
I’ll share one of my examples. Before I get into the details, I’ll share the #1 reason why their way didn’t work for me. It was timing. The ideas presented were pretty genius. It definitely would have stretched me out of my comfort zone. So, the growth would be phenomenal. But, the timing for something this big was not right for me at the time I started the training.
1. The Business Advisor was Mark Lack from Shorten the Gap
2. I wanted to learn how to fund & fill large scale retreats of 150-300 people. I have a long term goal of hosting 2 of these retreats per year with 8-15 co-facilitators. His specific advice was to get sponsorship from other businesses and use those funds to pay for a celebrity to be part of my marketing events and materials.
3. I didn’t take action on his advice, yet. Honestly, I felt sick to my stomach. It was a combination of fear and stress. Part of it was from his strategy. But a bigger part was because I hadn’t done a large retreat like this before.
I remember he suggested anyone could do this, including absolute beginners. I felt incredibly inspired. But I also felt like I was jumping into the deep end of a lake without knowing how to swim first.
Since I have a history of a work stress related mini-stroke and intense IBS attacks, I regulate how much stress I take on. No amount of money or success is worth my Mental & Physical Health.
4. The thoughts running through my mind -
If I do it this way now, I’m going to stress myself out to an extreme. Everything is the first time. The first time doing a public retreat. The first time hosting a large coordinated event with 8-15 co-facilitators. My first time doing large scale PR. The first time to consider the Return on Investment to a Sponsor. The first time working with a celebrity. The first time figuring out the traffic flow and logistics for 150-300 people in our coastal town.
5. So, his advice didn’t work out for me at the time I did the training. Overall, it came down to timing. Do I think this might be a good strategy for my business some day? Sure. But, I think this is years down the line. It’s something I want to work up to.
One thing that I want to point out. When you invest thousands into your training programs, it’s a huge self love decision to not implement what doesn’t work for you. It can feel like you wasted your money or left money on the table. It’s important that you don’t shame yourself about your decision. Look at it as an investment in making the right decision. I invested my money and time to know this is not the right business strategy for me at the time. That investment saved me at least 6 months and tens of thousands of dollars.
How about you? Now that you’ve heard my example, what are some of your examples? When did a Business Advisor show you Their Way and it didn’t align with you, your phase in business or your values?
There are many business elements that you can Do Your Way. For the sake of time, I’m going to cover the 3 elements that seem to get people stuck. I help get my clients unstuck with these 3 all the time. All of a sudden, they are signing clients left and right.
1.Product/Service container, price & process
2. How you do your craft - coaching, teaching, healing
3. Sales Process
There is no 1 single way to do any of these that works for 100% of business owners nor their customers. Authenticity & personalization is key here.
This may be the first time you’ve experienced the Point of View of the Business Owner. But, you’ve had the Point of View of the Customer for most of your life. You’ve experienced all of the different combinations of these business elements. As a customer, some of the combinations were a huge turn off to you. And for other combinations, it was the perfect fit.
For your business to work, these elements need to be personalized to fit you and your specific customers. It needs to be a win-win.
Let’s talk about the different aspects of your product/service and the point of view of both You and Your Customers.
Containers - A container refers to the overall logistics. How many people are involved, what is the total duration in calendar days, what is the hands on time investment, what is the format.
Since I work primarily with coaches, healers and educators, I’ll share some of the common containers.
1:1 - single session or packages in 1, 3, 6 or 12 month increments
Workshop or Individual Class
Group Program or Class that extends 1-4 months
Mastermind - 6 to 12 month experience
Memberships - Month to Month for as long as they need it
Done for You - Specific Deliverable created from scratch or customized
Business POV on Containers - Which container works for you energetically?
B. If it energizes you, 1:1, workshops, classes, group programs, mastermind and memberships will be a good fit.
C. Prefer a hybrid? Memberships provide a hybrid experience. It can be a combination of online courses and limited time each week working with people directly. You may also consider having guest coaches/teachers in your membership for the majority of the people interaction.
Customer POV on Containers - Which containers work best for your customers?
Think about your customers specifically. What type of interaction works best for them?
Are they private? Do they prefer not to share their experiences in front of other people? Perhaps a 1:1 experience is best. Do they prefer to learn on their own? Perhaps a course is best for them.
Does hearing other people’s perspectives help get their creativity unlocked? Perhaps a group environment is best. Even if they just want to be a quiet observer. The value may be that they get to hear other people.
Do they need someone to listen to them?
Do they need brainstorming partners?
Also consider their time requirements. Some people prefer something that is very quick and focused. They have limited time. They want to get in, get out and get stuff done quickly.
For others, a rapid pace is not good for their nervous system and mental health. They may prefer a more relaxed, longer runway.
Most people I work with appreciate having more time. Part of it is because of the nature of our work. We are designing, building and optimizing all of their business pieces, including the tech.
I intentionally chose 2 hour long sessions for my 1:1 Business clients so we could get a lot done. One of my clients works a full time job, is building 2 businesses and is a mom to 2 school aged kids. She told me during our last two sessions how she really appreciates our sessions because she said it is the only time she gets to work on her 2 businesses. I help keep her focused.
I also intentionally chose a membership container. I know that 1:1 support is not financially accessible yet to many clients. A membership container gives a financially accessible option. I also chose a membership over a 6 month mastermind because I know it can take longer than 6 months to get a business where you want it to be. I wanted to remove the time stress from my clients. I want them to feel safe and allow their nervous system to be calm. That’s what works for my clients.
Your clients may be different. Your clients may prefer the fast pace so they can get their result faster. Their life, existing knowledge & business infrastructure, and nervous system may be an excellent fit for that.
Now, let’s talk Price.
The price has to work for you and your ideal clients. You have to make enough revenue for your business to stay viable and sustainable. Your clients need you to be able to stay in business.
At the same time, your clients will be more likely to purchase from you when your prices fit into their life. When they can stay viable and sustainable at meeting their monthly bills, they are probably not going to regret or second guess their investment with you.
Also, something to consider, when your product/service is incredibly valuable to them, they will make adjustments to fit in the expense.
For example, as I caught up on my bookkeeping so I could do my taxes, I noticed a lot of subscription payments for things I’m not using. Originally those services seemed great, but reality was, I just wasn’t using them. When I add up each of them, I realize it’s the same amount as an “expensive” program that interests me. I can cancel the things I’m not using and reallocate that money to a program I believe I will use.
I also shared before that a $4k workshop motivated me to go out and sell more of my services. I made $16k in the process of trying to create money to pay for that workshop.
When your product/service is incredibly valuable to them, they will figure it out.
Now, of course, there are lots of variations of income and bills in our world. You can adjust who your target market is so you can find the win-win situation.
If your target market, who really has your heart & passion, has lower available supplemental income, you may want to revisit the container. A 1:many may be the better choice for your business and your customers.
Process here refers to the steps you take to help your clients get results. I’ve witnessed many people coming out of Coach Certification programs with a lot of tools. They know they can help anybody with the tools they learned. And that is very true.
They start off excited, and within a week or two start to panic. The self doubt and imposter syndrome set in. And they default to offering single sessions. They know when someone shows up with a problem, that in 1 session they can provide some relief with their tool bag.
First, this is not a bad thing. Helping 1 person with 1 session is a value.
However, it makes it hard to have a sustainable business. How many customers would you need to sell single sessions to in order to make a sustainable living?
Now, if you are an excellent sales person and have a huge pool of people that want single sessions, this may not be a problem for you.
However, that will not be the case for most business owners.
Another option some people turn to is a “Turn Key” program. They purchase a program from someone else. Then they deliver it. Again, this is not a bad choice. Where I’ve seen people get hung up is the “Why Me” phenomenon. If the same exact program is offered by 50 different businesses, why would customers want to buy from you?
This is a mindset thing. There are a 1000 reasons why someone would want to buy that program from you instead of your neighbor.
The next hangup is “But I don’t know if I can get people results with this”. My first question is, “Was this the exact program you did to get results?” The answer is usually no. It’s really hard to sell something if you don’t have at least one success story you were directly involved with.
This is where creating your own signature process comes in. It solves both of the hangups I mentioned. First, when it is a unique process, you have no competition. Even better, people like to try things they have never tried before. When you create your process on the exact process you used to achieve a result, your confidence level is high. You have evidence that it worked. And you have the intimate experience of knowing what they are going through. Because you went through it too.
Your Business, Your Process, Your Way.
It’s all aligned. It will feel natural. You’ll feel confident. It will fit with your values and lifestyle.
I’m really passionate about this part. Have you ever done your craft your way, gotten results, and then had someone tell you that you were doing it wrong?
I’ve experienced this more than once. It sucks.
First off, let me tell you…just because somebody said you are doing it wrong does not mean they are correct.
There is more than one way to get a result. Often times it takes different approaches with different people so they can get their results.
I’ll use my daughter as an example. She is autistic. Her brain is wired differently. When her teacher taught math 1 way it didn’t work for my daughter. I remember she got really frustrated, angry and then cried with sadness. She started to spiral down with self criticism. It was heartbreaking.
So, I stepped in to help her approach the same math concepts using different techniques. I often do math differently too. In the end, as long as you get the right answer, that’s all that matters, right? And that you show your work.
My daughter ended up developing her own math approaches. She showed her work and she got the right answer. As a bonus, she got to the correct answer faster doing it her way than doing it with the original method.
Luckily, we have some of the best teachers out here on the Mendocino Coast. Instead of telling my daughter she was wrong for her method, her teacher asked my daughter to teach the method to her. The teacher wanted to understand it.
The teacher invited my daughter to come up to the board to show the rest of the class her method. It turned out her method clicked with 2 other students that were also struggling. On the flip side, it confused other students.
I personally think this is ok. Do you?
You see, every person needs an approach that works for them. I’ve had some clients where my approach didn’t work for them. We are still great friends. They just need a different approach. It doesn’t mean my approach is wrong. In fact it works great for all of the rest of my clients.
I’d like you to embrace your approach. Allow it to be unique to you. There are people out there struggling because all of the other approaches do not work for them.
That’s the beauty of being an entrepreneur. You have the Freedom to do it your way.
Don’t hide your approach. Don’t listen to others when they say your approach is wrong. Don’t listen to your inner critic who says your approach is wrong because other people are doing it differently.
Every brain is different. We need the diversity of approaches.
Sales process is a huge obstacle many new entrepreneurs face. I know, I did too. Although my hang up was mainly about allowing people to pay me for the help I offer.
There is a very successful Sales Coach I turned to. In fact, close to 5,000 people have turned to her program to learn her sales process. It works for a lot of people. And it doesn’t work for a lot of people.
There are several bigger process steps, and then the final process step which is a Consultation. The consultation is that final step where you present your product/service, the price and ask if they want to buy.
Every entrepreneur has some form of this. It doesn’t have to be a Consultation.
At some point you will present your product/service, the price and ask if they want to buy.
This Sales Coach provided all of the detailed steps of the consultation. It has a script and an assessment tool. Like I said, it works really well for some people. And it doesn’t work well for other people.
The heartbreaking thing is that some of my clients had a sales process that worked for them before they got into the Sales Coach’s program. They thought they had to follow her process, so they abandoned their own. In the end, they were not able to close sales anymore.
This is why it is so important to do Business Your Way. If you already had something that worked, don’t throw it out just because somebody else does it a different way. They could have been making sales the whole time.
One of the things I do with my clients is help them map out their sales process. This includes everything leading up to the final question of “Do you want to buy?”. It also includes their specific wording for that question. It has to be what works for them.
Once we map it out and look at it, we evaluate which micro process steps are working. We keep those. Then we identify which micro process steps are not working. We may also discover that some micro steps were not present.
For example, if a client has an objection to saying yes, was there a micro step already built into the process that addressed their concern before they even had to voice it?
If you resolve all of the objections, there is no reason a client would say No to you.
This was an important lesson I learned when I worked in Corporate. I had to pitch so many Process Improvement and software projects. Many would take money and resources. So, of course you know the initial answer will be No. Using the book “Influencer - The New Science of Leading Change”, I discovered all of the ways to resolve the No’s before they happened.
It took a lot of trial and error. I had to collect all the reasons people would say No. Then I had to figure out how I would resolve those.
So, in the early days, my project pitches would always start with a No. Then I’d go back to the drawing board, tweak my presentation and pitch again. I’d usually go through 3 rounds of pitches. If on the 3rd one I still had a No, I’d let that project go. However, many of the projects got a Yes on the 3rd try because I had finally resolved all their reasons for saying No. They completely understood the value of the project, the investment was right-sized for them to get a big return on that investment. I just had to present all of the numbers in a way that they could see it and understand it. For some of it, I did need to make adjustments to the scope, deliverables and resources of the project so it would fit their needs.
Eventually, I really understood my customer base. I was able to make project pitches that would get approved with the very first presentation.
The same can be true of your sales pitches. You have to collect the reasons for the No’s. Then figure out how to resolve the No. Then insert those micro steps into your presentation.
You resolve the No’s before they even voice them.
None of this is about manipulating your clients. I want to be clear on that. I’ve heard people in other groups express their concern about that. And yes, I’ve seen some gurus presenting ways of manipulating clients to say yes.
That’s not in alignment with my values. I know it’s not in alignment with yours either.
This is about finding the win-win situations.
When you know for a fact that your product/service can help someone, you’re just making sure you are presenting it in such a way that they get it.
And if they have concerns, take care of them.
I used to present 3 options when I did project proposals in corporate. I know that speed, cost and deliverables were variables. Each option would present a different combination so they could figure out what was the best choice for them.
I was being respectful of their needs.
In your business, you can find different combinations that will be respectful of your clients needs and respectful of your business needs.
There is a win-win combination for everyone. But, you have to be willing to do Business Your Way to discover that exact winning combination.
It would be my pleasure to support you in this Business Journey. I have 2 options for how we can start working together right away.
In the Unshakable Business Co-Lab membership you have access to me twice a week in coaching calls and 24/7 in our private Facebook group.
I also have 2 spots open for 1:1 Business Clients. You get 2 hours a week with me privately, plus between call support through email and FB messenger. I also include you in the private Facebook group with my membership clients so you have social support too.
With both options you also have access to my online courses for creating more Consultations, Designing/building your Products/Services, Sales Funnels, Schedules, Processes and taking care of your Mental Health.
If you already know the membership is a great fit for you, you can enroll directly on my website.
I’d like to invite you to schedule a free consultation with me to discuss the 1:1 option or to answer any of your questions about the membership. Go to the Contact Me menu option on my website to schedule your appointment.
Let’s get your Business running smoothly and profitably while doing it your way!
Have a great week. I’ll talk with you soon. Bye - Bye.
Thank you for listening to My Freedom Grove Podcast. When you are ready to make your dream business a reality and take care of your mental health, I invite you to join the Unshakable Business Co-Lab. This is the mastermind membership you've been waiting for. There's no limits on your imagination, nor your timeline. We're with you every step of the way. To learn more, please visit www.myfreedomgrove.com/join. I'll see you there!
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