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Episode #29 – Hitting an Upper Limit Problem

Hitting an Upper Limit Problem

Hi guys, it’s Jo Gifford here, welcome to episode 29 of Work Smarter, Dream Bigger, Live Brighter.

In this episode I’m taking a little look at the old favourite, upper limit problems.

If you haven’t heard of an upper limit problem or a ULP, I’m going to be diving into what it is, and if you have, I know that you’re probably going to understand where I’m coming from.

So, What IS it?

An upper limit problem is something that’s defined by the author Gay Hendricks in his book, The Big Leap, which I absolutely urge you guys to read, it’s amazing. The Big Leap is all about conquering your hidden fear and taking life to the next level.

The work of Gay Hendricks is absolutely amazing, he’s a New York Times bestselling author, and in this particular book he talks about a problem that occurs when you reach the upper limit, obviously, of your ability to experience happiness and success.

This is specifically when you’ve perhaps just reached a new level in your business or perhaps when you’ve reached a new level in your health or your wealth. If you’ve just managed to expand your life and your experience of life to a certain level, you will often hit an upper limit problem.

How It Can Show Up

The way that that manifests itself for different people will show up in different ways, so I want to talk to you about a few of mine, because I think it’s really good to be honest about these things and it’s really good to share our experiences.

The First One

For me, upper limit problems showed up in their droves about this time last year. Back in September, October 2014 was really when I made a big leap of faith in my business. I’d started to invest more in coaches, I could feel my confidence rising, my reach and authority and visibility were starting to gain momentum, and it was round about that time that I started to see a big increase in my finances.

Lo and behold after I’d signed a few great contracts and been hired left, right and centre, suddenly I was hit with illnesses.

For me, becoming unwell is not unusual. As you guys know, I’ve talked through my health stuff, my chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia and endometriosis, so that’s all stuff that I manage day to day and it goes through cycles, but I hit a massive, massive wall.

I started getting really busy, things were going really well, I was investing and seeing some great results, then I was hit by a massive round of ‘flu bugs, exhaustion and I couldn’t get out of it.

At the time I was aware enough of The Big Leap and the upper limit problem and could probably recognise what it was, and it took me a while to work through it. I’ll talk in a moment how I worked through these, but I set about getting myself back on track.

And Then Again

Another big one appeared in February, March time earlier this year and again it was because I’d been experiencing success, I had a great run of being hired, of getting lovely one to one clients, of my programmes doing really well. I was living the dream, I was seeing some great things occurring, and again I hit such a big upper limit problem that it lasted for about two months.

For the space of those two months, I couldn’t sell anything for love or money. It was almost as if suddenly having gone from everybody wanting me and stuff hitting critical mass, it was as if it was crickets out there and nobody wanted my stuff. Again I’m going to talk about that in hindsight as to what I can now see was going on, and as you can probably hear from my voice, I’m just recovering from a big sinus infection, so I hit another one just in the last couple of weeks.

Let’s Look Into This Last One, What’s Been Going On?

Well, as you guys can see as you look back through the podcasts and my blog, I’ve been really on form, I’ve been in a really good space.

I’ve had a huge increase in my podcast listens, in my client base, in my recognition. I’ve been feeling great, I’ve created my miracle morning routine, I’ve been on such a good vibe for ages, I’ve been in such a happy place.

When you’re in that kind of energy and in that vibrancy and that state, then stuff automatically happens because you’re attracting it to you so I’ve been meditating, focusing on my goals and I’ve been asked to take part in loads of amazing partnerships, summits, talks and experiences. I’ve had some amazing stuff happen, and I’ve put plans in place for amazing, exciting stuff in the New Year.

At the same time as going through that, I’ve been looking at revising my Blogging Business Bootcamp and we’re just running the live round now and everyone’s really enjoying it. I realised that we need to position that in a slightly different way for it to really resonate with people, so I’ve had a few things going on, I’ve had some great success, I’ve had the mini re-launch of a live round of a programme, and that is prime conditions for upper limits to appear.

Lo and behold, the last couple of weeks I’ve had a really killer sinus infection, the kind that you have to reluctantly take antibiotics for, and they made me hallucinate because they were so strong, and then my health was wiped out because my immune system was really low. Because I was off kilter, I wasn’t able to do my miracle morning practice which really earths me. Everything just felt out of whack, and it’s taken me some time to get back into the swing of things.

Let’s look at how I’ve been doing that.

First of all I was able to recognise that this was an upper limit problem. I could see that things had been going well for ages, so how strange then to be suddenly hit by illness. Yes, of course there’s a physical reason behind this stuff, but it’s always good to be in tune with things as they happen and to be able to realise when you can see that this might be a kind of upper limit problem.

It’s almost like a form of self-sabotage, really, that my body and my energy, somewhere in my subconscious had said,

hey, hang on a minute, it’s going too well, Jo, let’s just slow it all down!

The way that I’ve been working through that is to bring back in some practices to help work through this upper limit.

How I Bust Through It (and you can too)

I’ve brought in some EFT which I do on a regular basis anyway, but I’ve made sure that on a daily basis I’m tapping out some affirmations to get rid of some limiting self-beliefs. A great place to start with Emotional Freedom Technique is Brad Yates on YouTube.

I love Brad Yates, he’s an amazing guy. He does all these videos for free on YouTube, and one of the best ones to start with is Brad Yates’s Amazing Day EFT tapping routine. It’s a lovely one to do in the morning to set yourself up for the day, so I’ve been bringing EFT back into my daily practice.

I’m making sure that I meditate, even when, during this last upper limit problem and illness time I’ve had all sorts of emotions coming up, anger, negativity, loads of stuff coming out to play. Even when I’ve felt really out of sorts, I’ve tried to sit down, make myself sit with that feeling, meditate on it and work through it.

The other thing that I’ve done that I think is also super important is just to roll with it. I’ve really leant into this one, and last week I literally had to write off about two or three days to just sleep, I was so floored by this. I just went back to bed and slept, and we had to reschedule my calls and all my appointments, and I just got back under the duvet and rode it out.

Sometimes it’s what you have to do, just lean into it. This was a physical response to my body saying, right, it’s time out, Jo.

Yes of course, on a rational level we’ll look at it and say, well, you had a really bad sinus infection and antibiotics and of course bed’s the right thing, but when we know that we’re going through a personal development upper limit problem, because you’ve read about it, it resonates with you, experience tells me that this is what’s happening.

I was kind of able to lean into it with some insight and some knowledge that I was going to come through the other side, which is happening now.

But Don’t Worry – I’m Back!

I’m feeling back in the room, I’m still a bit tired, but I’m looking after myself and I can feel my clarity coming back, I can feel excitement back, I can feel that I’m back in tune with my own intuition and with what’s needed of me and my work. That’s a place where I want to stay for as long as possible whilst I carry on building stuff, but I know as I hit the next level of stuff it’s likely that I might encounter another upper limit problem.

This is something that I would urge you guys to be aware of. I would of course urge you to get The Big Leap and read about the work of the amazing Gay Hendricks, and I would urge you to be aware of whenever bad something happens straightaway after something good, just question whether it might be your version of an upper limit problem.

No-one Is Invincible

Just to put another example onto this one, I know that the infamous Marie Forleo has spoken in one of her videos about one of her upper limit problem experiences as well.

It was just after one of her biggest launches of B School ever, and she spoke about being in a yoga class and suddenly being overcome with feeling really ill, really sick, really dizzy, and this illness lasted for some time. She talked about how the doctors couldn’t find out what was wrong with her and everyone said it was a virus, and then one of her friends pointed out that it was an upper limit problem, and she recognised that.

She’d hit such a massive stage with B School that it was almost as if her energy vibration just couldn’t handle that level of success and it threw her out.

To give you another example, my lovely friend Laura Husson, who’s an incredible designer and expert of looking awesome online, she talks about one of her most memorable ULP experiences being that she was driving home from a big flashy photoshoot in London, and she had to pull over because she thought to herself, I’m going to throw up. Who does she think she is? What if I look ridiculous?

She told me she hid from launching her new brand for six months, and it took her some time to work through that upper limit problem, and when she put herself out there, the results were amazing and she’s completely smashed all of her goals. So Laura Husson, thank you so much for letting me shout out to you. Do go and find Laura on laurahusson.com, where you can see her new photos and her brand. She’s just incredible!

This happens to a lot of us and I’m sure it’s probably happening to you. If you’ve ever felt out of sorts either just before you’re doing something that’s stretching you or just after something amazing has been happening, just look into it and consider that this might be an upper limit problem. I would certainly use EFT to work through stuff.

Get in Touch With Your Peeps

Other tools that I use are going to my circle of friends and my mastermind. I speak to my coach and my mentors, I speak to my team about it and Team Diva are excellent experts at realising when I’m hitting an upper limit problem. We all speak this language in the team and it’s not unusual for me to hop in there and say, hey guys, I feel terrible, is it chronic fatigue or is it a ULP? Often it’s both!

We work through it and they can also be great at seeing it if I’m not able to be tuned in that day because I’m feeling out of kilter. Using your mastermind and circle of entrepreneur friends who understand this can be really helpful, because actually, if you talk to your friends in the real world and say, hey, I’m having an upper limit problem, I feel terrible, they might look at you as if you’re a little bit crazy.

Speak to people who get it, who’ve been there, who understand it and have that support around you and make sure that you have some tools to tap through it, to meditate through it, to speak about it and to lean into whatever emotion you’re feeling.

What About You?

Have you had upper limit problems? I would love to hear! Leave a comment below or you can hit me up on Twitter, @dexdiva, or on Facebook,.

If you are going through an upper limit problem right now, I totally understand and hope that you’re working your way through it. If you’ve never had one before, perhaps you’ll recognise one now if and when it rocks up, and just know that it means that you’re moving onto more amazing things.

Once again, check out The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks, and you can find me on social media and of course on email, hello@dexterousdiva.co.uk, so let me know what you’re going through.

Alright guys, I’ll see you soon in the next episode, but hopefully my sinuses will have all completely cleared up and I will be way past the ULP and onto the next round of brilliance.

50 Things I’ve Done In The Last 12 Months To Ramp Up My Life And Biz

50 things to ramp up your bizYou know how when you take a step back you get better perspective? Like your Dad moving the Sunday papers further away to be able to read them 😉 ?

I’m on holiday at the moment (ahhhhhh, lush) and it’s having this little bit of distance from the every day which has helped me see the huge strides that I’ve made both in my personal and business life.

Here’s my list of FIFTY things, some big some small, that have helped to make the difference. Enjoy!

  1. Found a great NLP and CBT specialist and made a date with her every month.
  2. Stopped eating wheat and dairy. My body loves me.
  3. Started to walk as much as I can, every day. Podcasts on, trainers on, go.
  4. Began my Miracle Morning routine, and found it is super sacred me time before the day begins. I feel grounded, inspired, powerful.
  5. Indulged in 1:1 yoga every few weeks. Major body and energy happiness. I am now breathing properly too, which is pretty fundamental.
  6. Ploughed through and devoured book after book after book after podcast after podcast after book. Learning goes deep when it’s all around you.
  7. Made a choice to watch TV less. There is DEFINITELY a time for mindless and fun 90’s films and TV dramas, but my brain cells need a little more documentaries, amazingly directed films, comedy, and, actually, silence.
  8. Started believing in myself more. Wow, I am capable of so much.
  9. Let go of the “shoulds”- shoulds are in the realm of other people’s expectations of you. No, no, no.
  10. Dreamed bigger, and bigger again.
  11. Invested in myself.
  12. Invested in myself again.
  13. Sought out coaches and mentors who added more value to my life in so many ways than an hourly rate can even describe.
  14. Sorted out my money blocks.
  15. Hit a new level. Sorted out money blocks again.
  16. Re-discovered that play leads to brilliance.
  17. Remembered that I am enough.
  18. Discovered that actions are just just choices made over and over, and they make a profound difference.
  19. Hired, incrementally, an amazing team. Team Diva inspire me support me, challenge me and provide office banter daily. I adore them.
  20. Started checking in with a mastermind/accountability buddy. There is HUGE power in combined thoughts, skills, energies, and knowing someone has your back through the highs and lows.
  21. Looked at my vision board every day, always smiling when things begin to happen.
  22. Got super active in Facebook groups, but in small chunks of time. Facebook is awake 24/7, I am most definitely not.
  23. Moved to checking emails once a day. Sanity, ahoy.
  24. Tried, failed, tried again.
  25. Cried. Learned from each mistake. Moved on (amazingly it gets easier each time).
  26. Booked girl time with my friends – spa days, weekends away. My soul needs girl time.
  27. Said no to projects and clients that weren’t a good fit. They need to come to life somewhere else.
  28. Re-discovered the power and joy of creating content daily, whether purposeful or just putting pen to paper (or keyboard to 750words.com).
  29. Reached out to people I really admire. Turns out they admire me too.
  30. Gave my time and knowledge freely to projects and people I am passionate about.
  31. Raised my rates.
  32. Changed the ratio of dreaming to action to suit me better (and to make more room for dreaming).
  33. Enjoy every second of being with my amazing daughters. They are teaching me so much about wonder, innocence, and play.
  34. Upgraded my wardrobe, skincare, and haircare. When I feel awesome, I believe in myself.
  35. Invested in the skills of others when I need them. I am not here to do everything, and I my brilliance is not in everything.
  36. Kept a note of every heartfelt email, thank you note and testimonial.
  37. Had the coil removed. Hello natural cycles and connection with myself.
  38. Hung out online (and off) with ladies who show me what’s possible.
  39. Went more visible without being perfect. Periscopes are perfect for jumping on, whenever and wherever, to connect and be available. No lights and make up. Just me.
  40. Started my podcast. Loved it.
  41. Had intuitive readings, and got blown away each time.
  42. Discovered the power of mandalas.
  43. Built in regular cleanses to love my body right back.
  44. Connected with my inner mentor. She is a pretty amazing woman and I am becoming her every day.
  45. Decluttered often to make energetic space for new opportunities.
  46. Hired a cleaner. Oh my goodness, sanity saver.
  47. Told the truth about myself – to myself, to my clients and audience. Realness and rawness connects people.
  48. Started going to bed super early and before my second, third or fourth wind powers me through.
  49. Had a make-up update. Surprisingly powerful in so many ways.
  50. Started believing in myself again.

I’m not telling you these things to be a show off (except the new make up, that rocks – seriously. Do it.) but so you can see that all the small things really do add up.So which of the list do you do? Or would you recommend any extras for me?

Let me know.

Jo.x

Episode #23: What To Do When You Feel Useless As A Solopreneur

When you feel useless as a solopreneur

Hi everyone, it’s Jo Gifford here, and this is episode 23 of Work Smarter, Dream Bigger, Live Brighter.

Today we’re going to be talking all about what to do when it all feels useless as a solopreneur.

I’m sure this is something that many of you will have been through and will have experienced, I know I certainly have.

It’s part of the entrepreneurial journey which I wanted to dive into this morning, and this is my first ever time of recording the podcast as a Google Hangout.

I’m doing a live Google Hangout On Air to record the podcast and so this morning I’m sharing that broadcast to welcome comments and feedback and just as a kind of experiment! You can find the recording at the bottom of this blog too – if you prefer to watch than read!

What to do when it all feels a bit useless?

Not so long ago, probably about a year ago, just before my business kind of exploded to the next level, I really had this feeling an awful lot, that feeling where everything’s useless, it feels like everyone is doing so much better than you and you feel like you’ll never get there. It’s something I know lots of my community feel and I’m sure lots of you guys out there on your entrepreneurial journey will either have felt or might be feeling right now.

That feeling can really hold you back, but it’s also one to embrace and to learn how to move forward with and learn what to do so that next time that rocks up, you can deal with it!

 

The Why

First of all, let’s look at reasons why you might be feeling useless as an entrepreneur.
One of the first things is the comparison trap. I mentioned earlier that we look at other people and we’re thinking, “oh, it’s fine for them, they’re doing so well, or how come she can do it and I haven’t done it yet?”

That comparison trap is negative for a couple of reasons.

    • It’s negative because you’re projecting a vision of what the person, that company, that brand is experiencing when you don’t know the full details of what they’ve done to build their business, of how they’ve got there and all that sort of stuff.
    • It also reflects on you, in that you don’t believe that you can get there, and mindset is just so much a part of our journey as an entrepreneur.

 

To try and keep yourself believing that you can do it is part of the battle, and it’s a really huge part of it.

I’m not saying that every day you’re going to wake up full of zing and knowing that you’ve got it in the bag and it’s all going to be awesome and you can totally do this because we’re human, and it’s important to remember that part of the human experience is that sometimes we can just feel a bit crap about stuff, especially as a solopreneur.

Rejection

If you’re being really visible all the time and if you’re putting yourself out there, you’re hustling, you’re creating products, you’re putting yourself on the line in a really public way, if you feel or perceive rejection or failure, that can be really tough and it can be such a personal feeling. It’s something that you can really take to heart.

 

The Comparison Trap

So the comparison trap is one thing that can make you feel useless, so try and stay out of that mindset where you’re comparing yourself to other people.

 

Sleepytime

Another reason is tiredness, pure and simple.

As entrepreneurs we’re running our own businesses and often our brains don’t switch off and we’re in it all the time, aren’t we?

We’re brainstorming, we’re thinking about things, we’re doing all the stuff behind the scenes, we’re doing the podcasts, the blogs, the content creation, the marketing, the admin and emails.

Until you build your team, you’re doing a lot of it yourself, so tiredness is really common. Not only are you doing the actual work, client work or building your stuff behind the scenes, but you’re doing the rest of it as well.

Tiredness can really make you feel as if everything’s going a bit wrong, and I am terrible for this one.

Quite often I’ll reach a stage, and I’ll be honest, guys, it happened at the weekend, where I was crying and thinking, what’s going on? I have a real pity party for one and I’m really kind of wondering what’s going on, what shall I do, shall I go back to having a proper job, all this kind of stuff, and actually it’s usually just tiredness.

If I go and have a little chill for a while, I’m fine, so you need to take yourself out of that zone of feeling really ground down and feeling like you’re grinding in your business, like you haven’t got enough time for anything else.

You need to have a balanced life, a space away from your business in order to be as awesome in it as you need to, and also most of us have become solopreneurs and entrepreneurs because we want to have a better work/life balance, and I’m sure lots of you guys have as well.

Keeping the balance

We want to have a better relationship between life away from work and life at work, because actually usually, if it’s our own business, it’s something that we love to do, we just can’t get enough of, and especially if you’re doing it right, you’re sharing your personal gifts with the world, and that’s something you love doing.

We want to keep that balance, we want to keep that mindfulness going on about having enough space away from the screen, having enough space with other human beings, and this is something that we’ve been talking about a lot in the Brilliance Ignition Mastermind, which is a free mastermind.

There’s an option to upgrade to get all the printables and to get more bonus audios and videos, but it’s a free four week mastermind all about igniting your brilliance and using creative thinking in business.

A huge part of the creative process in business is to enable the space to happen, so you need to have space for your ideas, you need to step away from the noise to be able to let your genius shine through. Sometimes if you’re feeling overwhelm and tiredness it’s because you’re in it too much and need to get out, and that can mean an hour away from the noise.

Be brave and maybe take a couple of days away from social media, see how you feel about that. Maybe you could even outsource if you’re at the stage where you have a VA or someone to help you. Maybe you could outsource your inbox for a few days and get used to not having your emails flowing in to you, get used to stepping away from social media just a bit, and I promise you, guys, the world will not fall in! It will all be fine!

Finding Space

Just to find that space really helps you to tune into yourself and what you really want to be doing and it keeps you back on track. It also works as part of the creative thinking process, so we have that space for what we call illumination, those Eureka moments.

I’m sure you guys have noticed if you’re ever in the shower or out having a run and you’re switched off from everything, that’s when your best moments happen and your ideas often rock up. You can actually help that process by building in space, and part of that is to listen to your body and listen to your mindset.

If your negative talk is occurring a lot more often, if you feel like you can’t cope and it’s all feeling too much, step back a little bit. It often doesn’t take as long as you think, because usually when you’re in that zone you feel as if you’re so busy and you can’t possibly step away because what’s going to happen, well, actually, you’re not working effectively if you are in that zone.

I’m telling myself as well as you guys, because I used to reach that stage, and as my business grows and grows there’ll be more learning curves to have, and I know people above me who have been doing this longer than me who still have that stage and it’s something that you just have to learn.

Say a year ago, I was having this feeling, this zone, probably every week I’d feel completely useless, everything’s rubbish, I’m never going to get there, then as I learnt to work with that feeling and to know that things are getting better, to know that I’ve been working really hard and I’ve just got to take a break, I know now that that is part of the journey, so now when it happens, I can usually turn it around fairly quickly.

Here’s what I do

I usually step away, I’ll grab a rest, I’ll watch a film, I’ll go and have a walk, I’ll do some artwork, I’ll just chill and perhaps watch something awful on Netflix.

Often if I’m feeling really in that negative mindset or comparison trap I’ll use EFT which is Emotional Freedom Technique.

For those of you who don’t know it, it’s a great one to look up, and I know that Denise Duffield Thomas is a great fan of this. I’m part of her Lucky Bitch Bootcamp and you can check that out on my affiliate link.
She goes through a lot of the benefits of using EFT to get rid of your mindset and money blocks around success, because a lot of the reasons why we have mindset and money blocks is because often we’re reaching a new level of success and visibility.

Upper Limits

I know myself whenever I’ve reached a new level, perhaps I’ve gained a whole new audience, perhaps I’m launching a new product, perhaps I’ve become even more visible and it’s feeling a little bit more uncomfortable, that next level can bring with it what we call the upper limit problems. I would urge you to read The Big Leap by the amazing Gay Hendricks where he talks about the upper limit problem.

It’s almost as if energetically your system has been programmed you to allow a certain level of success, and when you reach that, you’re really stretching yourself and you perhaps don’t believe the next level is possible. It’s almost like you’ve reached your own glass ceiling, so to move beyond that you have to change your mindset and allow yourself to believe that you can go further.

Upper limit problems can manifest as all sorts of things, as tiredness, as overwhelm, as illness, all sorts of things, so often this kind of feeling that you’re completely useless can really just be part of growth. It’s all part of reaching your next level of success, and so often it’s an indicator that you’re doing really well, so it’s worth bringing that into the mix.

What YOU Can Do

Let’s also think about what we can do when it all feels completely useless. As you would imagine, I wrote a blog post on it a while ago, and this one I think really hit some chords with lots of people.

So we’ve talked about finding some space, stepping away from the noise, finding space to be creative and brilliant and to just step back. A lot of it is just not having judgements, so I say find some space to be brilliant, but that can immediately make you feel like, aargh, I need to go away and be amazing. You don’t, you just need to be, you just need to hide away from the screen, from social media, from expectations, from your own mind for a little while and just let yourself be you.

This is one thing that I talk about in my blog post – which I’ll leave in the show notes below – is that sometimes you just need to reconnect with people who have no idea what you do in this online business world, people who don’t care what you do, who don’t care whether your launch has been successful or whether you’ve had x amount of open rates or whether your funnel was working properly, just people who love you for who you are.

That to me means connecting with my kids, particularly, with the mini divas. They don’t care whether my launch has worked or not, they just care that I’m mummy and that I’m hanging out with them. I can connect with my friends, friends who don’t know anything about my business, or kind of know about it, but don’t really mind and have known me for years and years and know who Jo really is. That is really important to me, it’s really grounding.

Who can you be with and connect with and hang out with who loves you unconditionally for who you are, whether or not you’ve made six figures in a month?
Who can you hang out with that can just boost you for being you? Help you re-find your flow, find some space, reconnect with your brilliance, look back and see how far you’ve come!

This is a really important point. Often we’re looking forward all the time which is great because we’re manifesting, we’re visualising, we’re working towards something, but look back and see how far you’ve come.

When I did this just the other week, I was having a moment and I spoke to my mastermind buddy and good friend, Tara Newman – and you guys must check her out – we were talking and she was like, Jo, you’ve increased your business ten times in a year. I was like, oh yeah, that’s actually really good. Tara really had to show me that this time last year I would have been really envious of myself right now. My audience has grown ten times, my sales have grown ten times, literally everything has grown ten times, and because I’m still looking to the future, I kind of couldn’t see that.

It’s important to look back and see how far you’ve come

Go through your notebooks from last year and maybe look at your goals from the years before and realise that you’ve actually come such a long way!

Remember that experience is vital and you just can’t hack it. This is a post that I wrote as well about how experience can’t be hacked. You can’t hack all those feelings, all those growth spurts personally and in business that you have as an entrepreneur. You can’t fast forward. You can learn from others, you can have coaching, you can have mentors. You can fast forward by taking on board learning and investing in yourself, but part of the journey is that your journey is bespoke to you, it’s unique, and you just can’t fast forward it.

Remember that everyone else starts from somewhere as well. All the people that you admire, Marie Forleo, Danielle LaPorte, Jonathan Fields and Denise DT, anybody who is an awesome entrepreneur who you really love, they’ve started off from somewhere, they’ve started off with a rubbish website, with no audience, not knowing how to do this stuff as well.

Everybody starts from somewhere Check out this post that shows you how awful their websites were when they started out. Actually, everyone really has to start from somewhere, so you are on your part of the journey and you can’t compare your middle to someone else’s end or someone who is further down the line, it just doesn’t work.

We talked about EFT as being something that can really help move along those feelings of failure, and another great person to turn to for EFT is Brad Yates. If you Google him or look him up on YouTube he has got so many scripts about tapping and clearing and unblocking negative thoughts around money, around success, around business, so have a look at Brad Yates and he will provide you with some scripts.

We’ve grounded ourselves with people who love us unconditionally, we’ve taken some time out, we’ve tapped it out, we’ve gone to be creative and we’ve made some space.

Build a Gang

Do also connect with people who do get it, who really understand, who really know what you’re working on, so build a little posse around you, which we talk in the Brilliance Ignition Mastermind as being your cluster of people who totally understand what you’re up to.

This might look like a mastermind buddy or two, it might be in your Facebook communities, it might be in offline networking events or it might be people who you talk to online. Whatever it is, people who know who you do, it should probably be your coach or your mentor, having these people are part of your team who really know what you’re about and can help you move on, is really, really important. They can be the ones to kick you up the butt and make things work a bit faster.

Feel the Love

Another really handy thing to do is to store your love letters and testimonials from clients and your audience, and I have a couple of ways of doing this.

I tend to paste any lovely comments and words of appreciation and thanks, either when people hit reply from a newsletter or they thank me for a programme or for a one to one session or something, I store those emails in Evernote which makes it really easy to dive in if I’m feeling really crappy and I feel completely useless and nothing’s working. I can pop in and see that so-and-so said last week that my hour session with them helped them unbelievably and they’re moving forward in their business, and I can really feel that, okay, that’s great, I do know my stuff.
Or maybe somebody from Blogging for Business Bootcamp has been writing about how their audience has doubled and their sales are coming in and they’ve actually built a whole business using their blog, and I’ll know that I’ve made a difference.

I also have a jar of awesome in which I write down things which I’m really proud of, really pleased with, any quotes that people have sent to me, and I fold it up in the jar and I can dip into it if I feel really, really rubbish.

Over To You

I would love to hear how you guys feel. I would love to hear how you have dealt with feeling useless as an entrepreneur.
Have you got any strategies to get over that awful feeling, have you discovered ways of coping with it? There are all sorts of ways that you can get your comments to me.

You can either email me, hello@dexterousdiva.co.uk you can tweet me @dexdiva using hashtag #episode23, you can leave me a comment below this podcast or you can find me on Facebook, facebook.com/dexdiva.

On the website, you will see a little icon on the right hand side which says ‘leave me a voicemail’ and you can go ahead and do just that and I will give you a shout out next week on the podcast with some comments.

I would love to hear how you get on when you feel useless as an entrepreneur. What do you do? Have you applied any of the strategies that I’ve been talking about here? How do you make it work for you in your business?
I record a podcast every Monday and it drops every Friday on iTunes, on Stitcher radio and on my site, so you’ll be able to listen to that then, but if you’ve been part of the hangout right now, you’ve seen it already! Until next week, have an awesome day and stay brilliant!

As promised here’s the video for those of you who like to watch!

 

Find the podcast on:
iTunes
Stitcher Radio
Podbean RSS feed (non iTunes)

Episode #21: Periscope For Solopreneurs + Growing Brilliant Facebook Communities

Periscope

In this episode, I talk about how Periscope and facebook groups can help you grow your biz.

Well, hello, gorgeous podcast people, it’s Jo Gifford here, the Dexterous Diva, and this is episode 21 of Work Smarter, Dream Bigger, Live Brighter.

Today I have a couple of subjects for you. The first I want to talk about is scoping, and for those of you who haven’t yet discovered Periscope, you are in for a treat. I’m sure most of you have, it’s the app that’s taking the web by storm at the moment, and Periscope is available both on Android and iPhone.

What it’s all about essentially is viewing the world through somebody else’s eyes.

You use your phone to show people what you’re seeing in front of you to have live interaction with people, and equally you can join in other people’s broadcasts, which is what we’re calling these live streams.
I’m hooked, guys, I’m not going to lie, it’s amazing!

Periscope is owned by Twitter, so when you join you log in with your Twitter ID and it’s super easy to set up. You enable your microphone and camera and just jump in and do your first broadcast.

Ready Made Audience

Admittedly at first it feels kind of weird, but the great thing is because it’s native to Twitter, it shows all your followers that you’re broadcasting live, so if you already have an audience on Twitter you can use that native audience to show people that you are broadcasting and that you’re online and available to be talking or doing stuff.

What’s interesting about it at the moment is watching how the early adopters are using it, and there are some really interesting things starting to shape up that are particularly of note for solopreneurs, so let’s just walk you through ways that you could use this tech for your business.

How it Works

The way it works is that essentially this:

  • choose whether to tweet out your live broadcast as well, (basically saying what you’re seeing)
  • call your broadcast the title of whatever you want to talk about or whatever you can see
  • jump on and get going!

What happens is that people can interact with you in real time, so you will see text updates and comments from people and if they like what you’re saying, you will see loads of hearts. This is a screenshot of me this morning:
Dexdiva Scoping

People can click the screen, a little bit like Instagram, and every time they press the screen it sends you out a love heart which gives you some feedback as to whether people are enjoying what you’re showing them.

Re-use, Recycle, Repurpose!

After a broadcast has finished, Periscope only keeps it online for 24 hours, but you do have the option to save it to your camera roll on your iPod or iPad and you then have a video that you can use.

You could upload it to YouTube, you could have it transcribed and made into a blog post or you could even extract the audio and use it for a podcast.

It’s kind of exciting what you can do with this content creation, and what I particularly have been using it for has been to jump on and do some live Q&As with people about blogging for business and about Brilliance Ignition, my current programme. You KNOW how I love to repurpose!

It’s been great just to be able to jump into the Facebook groups and say,

hi guys, I’m going to be on Periscope in ten minutes

and I will literally just broadcast from wherever I am.

I can reach hundreds of people at one time and it’s really nice, because it feels like I’m adding value by being able to be there live for people. They’re getting real interaction with me, they’re able to ask questions that I can answer on the spot, and it’s been a lovely vibe so far.

The downside is that there are a lot of strange people online, so because people can have live interaction with you in real time you get people asking questions that really are not appropriate!

I love the fact that we don’t have to plan this, it’s not like a funnel of, here’s my opt in, here’s my webinar which is on such and such a date, so I’m not using it as a list building thing. I’m using it to interact with people and have a chance to get to know some of you guys some more. It’s really exciting!

So please come and check me out on Periscope @dexdiva, and my plan is that I’m jumping on daily to have a chat with you guys about something. If you’re not on the programme, by the way, you can find it here, where we’re talking about igniting your brilliance and creative thinking as a solopreneur, and how to inject some real brilliance into your work.

Still Not Sure How to Use Periscope?

Stick with me! It’s interesting and it’s really one to watch, and for those of you who are interested in how you can use it for your business, I happened to write a blog post on it, don’t you know, so head over to The Guide to Periscope – Everything Solopreneurs need to know to read all about it.

I go through everything from what Periscope is, how to use it, getting started, the interface, how to broadcast and interact, how big brands are using Periscope, ideas for marketing with it, how you can use it for your business, what it means for your business, tips for using Periscope and future predictions for it.

I’d be really excited for you guys to hop on over and join in the Periscope conversation, and also of course to jump onto Periscope and follow me @dexdiva. It’s a really exciting platform and I think that we’re going to see a lot of brand interaction on it.

Who Else is Scoping?

As solopreneurs we are our brands, aren’t we? so by showcasing our brilliance, our quirks and our behind the scenes, you guys get to know us and your audience can get to know you. I’ve seen some estate agents locally who are using it to show people virtual tours of the house they’re trying to sell, so it will be interesting to see if it changes the way that the estate agent industry is working. I’ve seen the beauty industry being really on it by doing live demos and things like that.

It’ll be really interesting to see how other big brands jump on board with this technology and use Periscope. It’s amazing, we’ve gone from visual content being really important to video being really important to live streaming video being really important, and it works really well for me.

Those of you who follow me and who know my work know that I juggle a few chronic illnesses as well as my family and running my biz, and so for me, if I plan a whole webinar, live call chat thing, I don’t always know that I’m going to be alright to do it, but I can just jump onto Periscope and be there live when I feel fine, and it’s a great way to add value and to meet you all.

Do check out my post, The Guide to Periscope for Solopreneurs.

Facebook Groups

I had a couple of questions I wanted to jump on in today’s episode, and I’m now recording these every Monday to go out on a Friday and am open to your questions. You can leave me questions by tweeting me @dexdiva or by leaving a message on my Facebook page, www.facebook.com/dexdiva. You could also leave me a voicemail if you want to, so head to dexterousdiva.co.uk and on the right hand side there you’ll see a little widget that says ‘send voicemail’. If you just click on that tab you can send me a voicemail with your question or with some feedback and I can jump on it in a future episode.

The one I wanted to respond to today was a question from Daire who says,

“How do you create such brilliant Facebook groups?”

A brilliant question to dive into!

I’m really proud of my Facebook groups, I have to say. For some time we’ve had The Dexterous Divas and Dudes Facebook group which has been my main tribe, but we’re now moving everybody over to the Brilliance Ignition group because that’s really my signature work.

In the 18 months or so that I’ve had The Dexterous Divas and Dudes group it’s grown to such an amazing community of people, it’s so exciting to see. I have the main tribe group and I also have The Blogging for Business Bootcamp group, which is everyone working through the Blogging for Business Bootcamp programme. Obviously I’m also growing the Brilliance Ignition one and I also use Facebook groups for the pop up Pinterest courses I’ve done.

So let’s start with Divas and Dudes. That grew up to about a thousand people in just over a year and there are a lot more people than that on my list, but I think the main user base of the Facebook group are people who love to be in there.

The How

The way that I grew that first and the way I tried to develop an open culture of sharing and support was to give prompts on certain days of the weeks. On a Monday we have a kind of, hey guys, what are you planning for the week shout out, on a Wednesday we have the ‘pimp your post and your products’ thread, so people can jump straight in and let us know what they’re doing, and on a Friday we have a round-up of the week, what’s been good for you, what’s been bad, let’s share it. I think having those daily prompts to work around gives a framework for people to have discussion.

What’s also been really important is to lead with the ethos of the group, so I was quite clear that I didn’t want the group to be one in which people are just pitching all the time, even disguised pitching. What I mean by that is quite often people in a Facebook group might have a status update or a thread in there that’s kind of like, hi, could you have a look at my sales page, and yet there’s no real reason to have a look at the sales page, just literally, please go to my sales page, but in a really cloaked way. Urghhhh, no thanks!

So we’ve been clear when growing the Divas and Dudes group that we just want it to be somewhere that’s really supportive and a safe place to be. As solopreneurs and entrepreneurs we need somewhere we can go and rant and rave and share our wins and ask questions. There are people with different skills in there and it’s place to ask for support, advice and feedback and to share what you’re up to. It’s really grown into such an amazing place!

The Challenges

The challenges with it have been spammers joining the group and people not adhering to the group rules, and as that’s got much bigger, the challenges have been in moderating that and making sure that people are still having a happy experience.

What I did with that was I got some people on board to help me and I asked key members of the group if they’d like to moderate for me because I’m not online all the time, you just can’t be. I’ve had my trusty team of peeps helping to moderate the group and I’m super grateful for them.

They know my work really well so they’ve been able to shape discussions around what I’m up to and they know the vibe of the group as they’ve been there since the beginning. If anyone is jumping in spamming or in there asking for sign-ups to their webinar on a day that’s not a ‘pimp your post’ day, then we just deal it with that way using the team.

Meanwhile Over In The Other Groups

Over in the bootcamp group there are far fewer people and at the moment, as of June 2015, there are just over 100 people who are doing the Blogging for Business Bootcamp. It’s a smaller group of people and I’ve found as that reached a critical mass of just over 50 or so, the group started more to look after itself. I’m in there with advice, with leading questions, with challenges and stuff, but the group has also begun to kind of splinter off and do its own little challenges.

A while ago someone started a 21 day blogging challenge to go through the stuff again and stay accountable to people. A lot of it has been creating a framework again to talk around, so I’ll schedule prompts and images in the group to get people inspired and talking, and then they go from there. It’s almost like giving enough material for people to know the ethos and the culture of the group and to be there myself, but to then allow people to take it on themselves and shape the group a little bit.

The Pop Up Pinterest Facebook groups I’ve used for my five day Pinterest courses have been a similar thing. Again that’s a more intense thing that’s only there for five days and only exists for that course, and so as people work through the materials they again have prompts scheduled in there and then me jumping in, in real time.

What has made the groups really exciting, certainly in the Dexterous Divas and Dudes, has been having a weekly workshop. I invite somebody from the community or even go in myself to run a workshop every Monday, so there’s a free thread in there where someone’s sharing their skills.

It feels like a really supportive, encouraging place, and it takes a bit of work to keep it like that, but building a team around you, when the time is right to help moderate that, be it a VA or some Facebook moderators or whoever you need, is really key.

Be Crystal Clear

Be clear about what you want from your Facebook group. Is it somewhere where you want people to be able to pitch? Do you want it to be pitch free? Do you want to have a certain day where people can go crazy and share what they’re up to? How do you want the vibe to be? If you’re clear from the outset how you want it to be, you can kind of shape the group discussions around that and make sure people are aware of how you roll.

Other challenges I’ve discovered from running large Facebook groups are that people message you a lot via Facebook Messenger. I’ve built some boundaries around that and let people know to email me because I can deal with email and file it better and make sure that things don’t get missed, whereas if I’m receiving some private Facebook messages I can’t keep up with all the messages and things get lost.

As you’re growing your business and using Facebook for biz, if you don’t want to receive things via Messenger, just let people know that and build it in as part of your culture. People will come to respect that.

I love the Facebook groups I’m in as a member, I love mine because I just adore the vibe people have in there and it’s such a supportive culture. Just figure out what you want from it.

Running a Facebook group does take time, it takes vision, it takes some effort, but while a Facebook page is fantastic for finding new people and for marketing and all that sort of stuff, a community group that’s run really well and is a great place to be reaps so many rewards. People become loyal to you, they know your work, they know each other’s work, they’ll support each other, and I’ve found it to be a fantastic tool for my business.

Over to you

So over to you guys, I’d love to hear what Facebook groups you’re in that you love, which ones have you found great, what problems have you found yourself in running a Facebook group? Are there any problems that you discover when trying to create and run one? I’d love to hear, so you can tweet me @dexdiva and use #episode21 for the chat, or you can follow me on Facebook, www.facebook.com/dexdiva, or you can leave a comment below this podcast on the blog.

If you have any queries or questions or things that you want to add in for next week’s podcast recording, then drop me a line. I can’t wait to hear your questions and get your feedback. That’s it for today’s episode, thank you so much for listening. If you have enjoyed the show, please head over to iTunes and leave a review, and also do send me either a voicemail through the website or you can find me on my Facebook page. I can’t wait to hear from you. Alright guys, be brilliant, have a brilliant week and I’ll speak to you soon.

Guide to Periscope: Everything Solopreneurs Need to Know

As a solopreneur, you need to be on the cutting edge of all that is new with social media and online marketing.

Periscope is just that; the hottest, newest app in the online world. Big name companies are already jumping on the Periscope band wagon, and for good reason.
This guide will fill you in on exactly what Periscope is, how it works and how you can use it as a tool to propel your business forward.periscope

 

What is Periscope?

Periscope is a live video streaming app which was developed by Joe Bernstein and Kayvon Beykpour, and purchased in March of this year for $100 million bucks by Twitter.

Services

Due to the fact that Periscope was purchased by Twitter, the services of the app are available through Twitter, along with the app itself.

Users of the app are able to control the privacy settings by setting a video to be public, or limiting it to viewers such as families or friends. Like Instagram, viewers of videos can also send “hearts” to the broadcaster by tapping on the video. On the app, under the people tab, there is a “Most Loved” list that shows users who have received the most hearts during a real-live broadcast.

 

How to use it

Periscope’s primary purpose is to watch other’s broadcasts, or broadcast your own videos.

Here is how to use the app:

periscope

Get started

To start using this app, you’ll first need to download it from the iOS App Store or the Google App Store and open the app.

If you are new to the app, you will be asked to sign in with your Twitter username and password.

Keep in mind that you’ll be able to choose a different name than your Twitter username.

When you have logged in, you’ll be invited to join users or people that you may know. Then, you’ll have the option to enable notifications to keep up with those that you follow.

After that, Periscope will direct you to the main screen that displays a menu bar on the bottom.

 

Interface

The interface of the app is easy to use, with the main focus being the menu bar at the bottom of the app. There are three tabs.

  • Watch (titled as the first tab) shows broadcasts from those you follow and featured broadcasts.
  • Broadcast (second tab) lets you broadcast live
  • People (third tab) is where you search for people you may want to follow.

Underneath the People tab, you can touch the top-right corner to access your profile. You’ll be able to add a description about yourself, view followers and access settings.

 

Broadcasting

To start broadcasting, tap the Broadcast tab in the middle. Keep your broadcast titles descriptive, but short and clickable. When you start broadcasting, you will have the option of sharing your location and choosing if you would like the broadcast private or public. You’ll also have the option of controlling who can comment.

If you want even more viewers, share the broadcast on Twitter. With Periscope, you’ll also have the option to save the broadcast for later. To end the broadcast, swipe downward and click “Stop Broadcasting.”

 Interactions

Want to see what your friends are streaming? Start by clicking on a live video broadcast. Give others feedback on the video by tapping “Say Something” on the bottom to send a message. Double tapping the screen will send the user a “heart.” If you want to exit the chat, tap the person icon on the bottom. This will also show you the location of the broadcaster. You’ll have the option to share the broadcast and see who else is viewing it.

Now you have the basics of how to use Periscope, let’s look at who is using it already and in what ways.

 

via http://thecreativelynx.com/

via http://thecreativelynx.com/

Big Brands Using Periscope

Periscope has already piqued the attention of big names in several industries. These brands are testing out the app’s possibilities for boosting sales and engaging customers. So what companies are hopping on the Periscope bandwagon and how are they using the app? Take a look:

Mountain Dew

Mountain Dew started using the app to create short videos, such as one titled “Stop by to say what’s up.” It is a short clip that shows the girl spelling “Swag” on a chalkboard next to a table loaded with branded hats and t-shirts.

Spotify

Spotify uses the app to post behind-the-scenes videos with members of various bands, such as Conor O’Briend from the Villagers. Even though Periscope is relatively new, this live stream racked up 382 viewers. After it was broadcast, it was replayed 99 times and earned 255 hearts.

DKNY

DKNY social account gives viewers the chance to look into their fashion closet. Since other fashion brands use Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, it’s likely that they will start using Periscope as well.

Red Bull

Red Bull is known for being one of the first companies to start using social media platforms and they were quick to jump on the Periscope bandwagon. The company uses the app to live stream events and push out social media content via the app.

JCPenney

JCPenney has become one of the latest retailers to join the world of Periscope. Recently, they hosted a live Q&A session with Eva Longoria.

So why are these are companies using the Periscope app and how it can it benefit your business?

 

Ideas for Marketing with Periscope

If you are still scratching your head on how to use Periscope for your business, here are a few marketing opportunities and how they can benefit your biz.

 

Tell Live Stories

Smart brands realise that they want customers to be part of their story. They want to engage in customers to be included, asked and consulted to help grow their business.
Use the live streaming available on Periscope to tell these stories.

Q and A Sessions

Many brands know that customers are hungry for interactions. Successful companies are embracing live streaming to run Q & A sessions on a regular basis to grow their audience – you may have caught some of my recent Q&S’ this week, which have been great fun and really popular.

Support

If you have a new product, update or even service launching, then use Periscope to broadcast this new change. This will help with the support questions and gives customers more faith in your brand.

New Product Demos

When you launch a new product, you’re bound to get bombarded with questions. Get ahead of the game by showing your customers the new product and how it works.

Press Releases

Think of Periscope as the most efficient way to release a press release. What’s better than getting news right when it is happening?

Expand Reach

Not only can customers watch your video as it streams live, they can watch it again later. This gives the opportunity for the video to go viral. Twitter gives your followers the opportunity to retweet the videos to expand your audience.

Crowdsource

When you live stream, you’re giving your customers the opportunity to give you live feedback. When you consider that your audience is worldwide, this is invaluable. Listen to what people are saying and give people what they want.

These are actions solopreneurs can take to market using Periscope, but what about other people broadcasting about your business?

 

What Periscope Means for Business

The ability for anyone in the world to instantly stream videos, allows for a new level of transparency in regards to customer experiences. Consider the following points about what Periscope might mean for your business.

Live feeds of customer experiences

One peek into the app and you’ll notice that users are streaming videos of attractions, hot spots and service-oriented shops. This kind of streaming can make your business one of the busiest spots in town. Chances are, customers will soon be streaming live visits of your business. What if you’re a stylist and someone broadcasts their service with you in the salon? Think of the value that holds, especially if she leaves looking better than ever.

Free advertising

Since your customers are doing all the work for you, this is essentially free advertising. Not only does it get the word out about your business, but it gives you the opportunity to wow your guest and make an impression to hundreds of people. You won’t pay a penny for it, either.

Broadcasting both good and bad experiences

Keep in mind that this type of advertising can be good or bad. Have an upset customer waiting in line for too long? This can be trouble if he starts streaming to Periscope to broadcast his unpleasant experience. On the other hand, it could turn into a positive experience if you do what you can to make the customer happy and they broadcast that experience.

Tips to Using Periscope

The release of video streaming apps such as Periscope has created a huge surge in live streaming. Since this is new technology, chances are you are new to using and streaming Periscope. When getting started using the app, here are a few helpful things to know…

Timing

While it is hard to know the best time for streaming to get you the most views, there are ways to get your audience engaged. Since you can use Twitter to advertise a live stream, take the time to pay attention to when your Twitter audience is most engaged. Even though it is a live streaming, the app will also store your video for 24 hours so those that missed the initial stream, will be able to view it afterward. Keep the length of the streams short as well.

Attention Grabbing Title

When your video is stacked up against the others, it’s often your title that will help set you apart. Keep the title straightforward, yet add exclusive elements that will entice the viewers. If you really want to reel people in, use something unique or even weird.

Reach a Wide Audience

To reach the biggest audience possible, share the broadcast and location on Twitter. You’ll reach more people this way and having the video on Twitter gives it a longer tail strategy.

Respond To Comments Live

One of the best things about Periscope is that users are able to ask those streaming questions and get real time answers. If you see questions, take the time to respond and acknowledge these comments out loud during the broadcast. This engages conversation and makes your customers feel like they are having a two-way conversation.

Future Predictions for Periscope

So what does using Periscope mean for the future of businesses and even social media in general? While this technology is relatively new, it is having a huge impact in people’s everyday lives. It is definitely the future of social media marketing and here are my predictions:

Social Media Marketing Will Be Transformed

As Instagram became popular, companies began to learn just how valuable sharing images can be for a business. Marketers jumped on this trend as a new way to interact with their customers. Now, this will evolve into live video.

Brands Will Get Closer To Their customers

Because live streaming puts businesses in direct contact with their customers, this will help to develop a stronger relationship between the two. Live streaming creates a sense of emergency, as customers know that they only have a short amount of time to view a video.

Richer Customer Insights

Comments coming from customers are unedited. This gives you the chance to ask customers about their experience and views on a product or service, allowing for greater insights.

Cultivate Brand Identity

Using Periscope to live stream marketing videos takes the stress from cultivating your brand identity. Because Periscope was purchased by Twitter, you are able to stream directly to those followers instead of trying to build a new following through Periscope.

Improved Gamification

You now have a way to engage live stream videos that contain props, humour and even unique characters to engage with your customers.

Are you convinced of the importance of using Periscope yet? If not, here are a few things to consider:

  • The Twitter analytics tool called Topsy estimated that Periscope created 51,000 tweets the day it was launched and collected nearly 111,000 mentions the following month it was created.
  • When Spotify jumped on the trend and broadcasted a live interview with the Irish indie folk band the Villagers, they amassed 382 real time viewers and received 1,534 hearts.

The amount of Periscope users may not be comparable to Instagram or Facebook users yet, but there are more users signing up every day.

Get on the bandwagon and start broadcasting to grow your business.

Just hanging out at the office or the shop all day? Doesn’t matter.

Put a face on your brand and let people get to know you.

Live streaming video is the next big thing.

Have you started ‘scoping yet?

Whose broadcasts are you enjoying? Don’t forget, you can jump on for my live broadcasts and Q&A’s – follow me @dexdiva.

For those of you on my free Brilliance Ignition Power Moves Mastermind, this counts as your daily content creation too – boom!

Stay super!

josignature

 

Episode #18: Interview with Fab Giovanetti

wsdblb18

In this episode, I chat with the lovely Fab of www.beapassionjunkie.com about her advice on working smarter, dreaming bigger, living brighter.

We talk about outsourcing, business growth, facing challenges as an entrepreneur and lots, lots more.

Resources from the show:

Fab’s website
Health Bloggers Community

Blogging for Business Bootcamp
Danielle LaPorte
The Big Leap

Find the podcast on:
iTunes
Stitcher Radio
Podbean RSS feed (non iTunes)

Why Blog Comments Are Essential For Business

blog comments

Blog comments are SUCH an important part of your business (and probably not for the reasons you think).

Over in Bootcamp and my free Blog Challenge, I teach some tips and tricks about rockin’ the blog comment love.

So, aside from showings signs of life in your own site and community, why are blog comments important?

Clue: it’s not just YOUR blog we are talking about here.

 

1) Reading the signposts

Blog comments (both on your posts and the posts of people you admire/stalk/read) are like little breadcrumbs trails of clues.
Within the words you can see what people are struggling with, what their needs are, and how your work can address that need.

 

2) Language

Again, as if by magic, blog comments provide you with so much information on how your ideal clients communicate.

Look out for language that you can use in your own posts to communicate effectively and to have extra impact with your ideal audience.

**tip – keep a swipe file in Evernote of words/phrases that you can use in your posts that relate to what your peeps need **

 

3) Finding new peeps

I love to hang out in blog comments to add value in a discussion, and also to discover some fabulous new folks who are also commenting. I have stumbled upon some amazing people who I have ended up hiring and working with in this way (oh and guess what, it works both ways!).

Pin this post for later.

So do you want to test drive this theory for your own biz?

I have some work for you to do!

Task 1:

Visit your last few comments, and take note of key questions that have arisen.

Could you answer any queries in a blog post on your own site?

Which key phrases will you re-use in your post from the comments to resonate with your audience?

Task 2:
Hop on over to one of your favourite business blogs (or, of course stay here!).

Can you add value to a discussion and show us your expertise? (in a non-cheesy, non spammy way, of course).

Task 3:
Again, over on a site that you luuurve, delve into the blog comments and check out some of the websites of one or two people hanging out there.

Have you found someone new to learn from/read/jam with?

Task 4:
Let me know below how you got on in the comments below!

I am digging the blog comments for biz with @dexdiva

Stay Super,

 

josignature

Oh the Stress! Five Tips to Reduce Anxiety While Running Your New Business

Today I have a guest post from the lovely Martita Robinson, AKA the Luminescent Diva (I know, match made in heaven, right?). Martita’s work is all about managing anxiety, something that us entrepreneurs can often face (and something I know a lot about first hand). So, over to Martita to give us some handy tops on how to reduce anxiety while running your new business.

 

reduce anxiety

Wouldn’t it be amazing if starting and running a business wasn’t so fucking stressful and full of anxiety?

Then that tally you created on Evernote wouldn’t feel like a monstrosity of a mountain sitting on your beautifully rounded shoulders—rather, a fun frisky puppy pulling you towards your destination.

Life would be so simple then. All you’d need is some puppy treats and you’d be well on your way into six-figures and writing amazing guest posts like these.

Ah. The good life.

But honestly, starting and running your business doesn’t have to be so hard. One of the things I learned about starting my own business (with three kids under the age of 4 and ahusband to take care of (don’t tell him I said that)), is that creating a foundation for your business really can be fun and anxiety free.

It simply takes incorporating a few things into your daily life to help relieve some of that tension.

Here are five things that I do on the daily to stay focused, peaceful, and most of all, anxiety free:

1. Give up the timeline!

Listen. You’re not running a marathon here. Your business isn’t going anywhere. I get it. You’re dying to get to the finish line. You want your business up and running. But is it really worth all the anxiety you’re feeling in the end? And the bigger question—is that anxiety getting you anywhere?

Relax.

Take your time. Your business is going to start when it’s going to start—and no sooner. There’s just no point in getting anxious over dates. The universe knows what you need. Let it give it to you. Take it day by day. Surrender.

2. Use Lists.

Lists are the business owner’s gateway to peace.

If you learn nothing else from this article, learn that there is power in creating a list. Something about getting everything down on paper that is just so calming. When it’s running around in your head it feels heavy and cluttered, and massive. But if you write everything down it really doesn’t seem so bad.

Every day that you’re able to work on your business, write out your tasks. And as you finish them, scratch them off. This way you can see there is movement taking place and you’re not standing still at the water table while every other runner (or entrepreneur) passes you by.

 

3. Meditation time

Whether you’re launching or in the beginning stages of your business where you’re trying to get it together, fit in some meditation time. Being able to relax when you need to is the ultimate anxiety killer.

Meditation is going to teach you how to chill even when your brains trying to go the other route. Like working overtime with thoughts like “You’re never going to get launched. You’re a fraud. No one is going to buy your services.”

It takes some practice to tune yourself into meditation, but you’ll be glad you did.

 

4. Enjoy the moment.

It’s tough to imagine, but this is the only time where you’re going to look at this process in this light again. You’re creating a baby here! Well, a baby business. And the creation stage is just as fun, exciting and fulfilling as rockin’ out your business as you’re dying to do.

You’re not going to find yourself starting this business for the very first time again, so embrace it. Love it.

Enjoy it. This stage will not last.

 

5. Finally, keep your eyes focused on the goal.

It’s easy as hell to get into the funk. You know that funk I’m talking about. That nasty negative frame of mind that keeps you feeling like a loser.

Don’t let it happen.

The second you start thinking gloomy thoughts, change your focus to where you’re headed. Picture yourself after the business has started and you’re successful. Really see yourself in the role that you’ll be playing. This will keep you in the frame of mind you need to be in to succeed.

Print this resource out, Evernote it, or pin it. Do whatever you need to do to remember to implement these. Because although they sound great on paper, they ain’t worth a lick unless you remember to practice.

To your peace and your business,

Oxox,

Martita

martita

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

P.S Taking a minute to enjoy a piece of chocolate can help too.

Spiritual leader and author, Martita Robinson is fiercely committed to guiding strong, amazing women towards inner transformation, peace, and connection to the constant state of awareness that lies within, using her method, The Flow™. She specializes in anxiety coaching and teaches her program, the Anxiety Detox in the process. You can learn more about her here.

How to invest in yourself and your business (and where the heck to start)

investself_biz

 

When you first start off in business, it can be so tempting to live from your earnings, revel in those first invoices being paid and very little else.

Believe me, I have been there.

Continually investing in your business means investing in yourself.

It’s an investment in your future, your skill set, your development personally and professionally, and it pushes your possibilities to the next level.

Fear is often the driver behind hesitation to invest, usually in the form of “what if I can’t afford it” and “I don’t have the time”; so let’s deal with those two bad boys right now and look at how to begin investing in yourself for awesome success.

1. Start small

It is highly unlikely you will make a huge leap from no investments to a 10k coaching plan or an all singing all dancing website (although stranger things have happened…).

Start with something that feels comfortable. Buy yourself a book that will stretch you, then progress to an e-course, maybe a membership programme, a coaching session, and move up from there. When you first start out in business cash flow might not necessarily be in abundance at the beginning, so take incremental steps that are doable without breaking the bank.

If you use and implement what you learn, your skills will evolve, your knowledge will progress, and your income will take a step up accordingly. When that happens, take the next step up, in what the awesome Denise DT of Get Rich Lucky Bitch calls “incremental upgrades”.

Reaching too high too soon can overstretch your budget and comfort zone too much. Feel the stretch, feel the burn enough to really use what you are taking in, but don’t run before you can walk in terms of taking on committments and investments.

 

2. Know what you need next

I keep an Evernote of “training porn“; essentially, a running list of awesome courses with information to plug current knowledge gaps from people whose work I admire and whose products I feel would be a great fit for my needs. Being aware of your needs for the next level is key to making a good move in investment for your business.

Find out who and what your mentors are investing it, watch how they are growing. Far from being a copycat, it will give you a list of people and resources to check out, and to “feel” your way into a fit with them, their products or services.

 

3. Surround yourself with the right people

Surrounding yourself with people who are not only on the same level as you, but working on a higher level too is essential for so many reasons.

Firstly, you see what is possible in the next level of success, and that stops those confidence gremlins from taking hold.

Secondly, people one or two rungs up the ladder from you have recently been where you are right now, and are ideally places to give you some hints and tips to succeed through their experience.

Thirdly, you have a close up view of HOW they are making waves in their businesses, who their coaches are, what they are investing in.

You don’t need to do a carbon copy journey (impossible anyway, since all our journeys and skills are individual), but you can glean key names and contacts from others.

I mainly “hang out” with likeminded people in Facebook, and in particular the groups run by Denise Duffield Thomas and Rebecca Dickson are jam packed full of women who inspire me daily. They pick me up when I feel like a useless entrepreneur.

They coach me, hire me, set goals with me, and keep my sights set high.

Of course, we also need human interaction, so as often as possible I spend time offline with people who are inspiring, ambitious, and who see the value in investing in themselves. Whether that is a Skype call, coffee meeting, Hangout or lunch, all are amazing, valid, and will rally you to higher heights of awesomeness.  

4. Read, learn and absorb daily

Investment and development need not always be a financial outlay. Time and energy are equally as important, and development can happen in the “forgotten” corners of life. I stick on my podcasts to go for a walk or to potter around the house; I watch tutorials when getting ready to go out; I read books before bed and when on journeys.

Absorbing info from many sources means that your learning is constant, your knowledge continues to grow, and your skills (and value) do too. Whether it’s a blog post, a podcast, an ebook, a video, a webinar, a book or a course, they all add up to help propel you forward.

 

 

5. Take action

Of course, none of these investments are worth anything if you don’t apply yourself and give time to your development.

How many times have you paid for an ebook or e-course and not done it, or not shown up for the office hours or coaching?

When you truly invest in yourself financially, in a high quality product, course or coaching, you are more likely to show up, take action and make it work for you. After all, you need to show a return on your investment when you pay a premium price!

When I invested in my website, I made a promise to my partner that I would keep at it, that when I felt like everything was going wrong that I wouldn’t give up. Guess what – I know earn the cost of the website over and over again in any month.

Result.

 

6. Know when to learn and when to outsource

This is key in learning to invest. You don’t need to learn to do everything yourself.

Nope.

You can begin to invest in yourself by outsourcing (and here is a handy guide on what to outsource and what not to).

Getting this balance right will be an individual process – things that I outsource may or may not be things that you wish to  – but start to invest in leveraging other people’s time as soon as you can, and watch the difference it makes to your productivity and overall work happiness.

 

7. Enjoy buying from others and upgrade the experience

This is something I love, love love.

Spending money on yourself and your business is a privilege. It is also so lovely to be a client – to be treated to the lovely customer service and premium treatment you would expect from making a real investment.

When I invested in my website I adored getting the emails and proofs from Marta, and felt like a VIP customer. When I get coaching (helloooo Ellen, Becca and Beckster), I love the whole process of getting the materials, the time one on one, the whole deal.

Why?

Because I know that everytime I make that leap, my business moves forward too.


What barriers around investing in yourself and your business have you found? What steps are you taking next?

I would love to hear in the comments.

Stay super,

 

jo gifford

Episode 16: Interview with Jen Smith of the Freedom Leap

wsdblb16

 

In this Episode, I chat with the lovely Jen Smith of the Freedom Leap.

Jen runs an amazing business helping women through the process of making their leap into self employment, and I only wish she was around when I was making that leap!
Find Jen on her website www.thefreadomleap.co.uk
Links  mentioned in the interview:
Find the podcast on:
iTunes
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Podbean RSS feed (non iTunes)
Jo Gifford

My work is about helping people work in smarter, creative ways + getting their message out to the world via killer content—blogs, copy, images + social. I am a designer, writer, blogger, mentor, author, creativity addict + prolific geek. You could call it a portfolio career of multi-potential multi-passions. I call it being me.
Work with me, Shop with me, and Chat with me!

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