Talking Brilliance with Adrienne Dorison

Hey guys,

This week it’s my turn to be the guest! The lovely Adrienne Dorison invited me to her fabulous podcast.

We talked about some topics which are so close to my heart like:

  • Content creation & re-purposing content
  • Working smarter as a solopreneur Mum
  • Working with chronic illnesses
  • Using tech to build a business with a chronic illness and family
  • How to set up smart working to make more of your time

You can check it out here:

Adrienne & Jo podcast

Are you ready to ignite your Brilliance, darling?

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Adrienne Dorison

Adrienne Dorison is the host of The School of Self-Mastery podcast, a no-nonsense business coach to entrepreneurs who are ready to make bigger impacts & profits with their work AND a passionate dog-mom.

Adrienne teaches her clients how to overcome the blocks that hold them back, helps them identify what they REALLY want in life, and shows them how to leverage their strengths & develop personalized success habits so that their success and freedom becomes inevitable.

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, 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,, 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.

Episode #26 – Talking Wealth And Finances With Jen Turrell

Episode 26

Hi guys, it’s Jo Gifford here, welcome to episode #26 of Work Smarter, Dream Bigger, Live Brighter.

Today I’ve got a lovely friend, colleague and just general all round amazing person here to host the show for me, and it’s the amazing Jen Turrell of

Jen does an awesome intro as to who we are to each other and how we met and she’s super sweet in the way that she does that, so I just want to tell you a little bit about this lovely lady which she doesn’t tell you herself.

About Jen

Jen is a financial personal trainer and she’ll tell you all about that in her guest microphone holding spot, but she also runs a ranch as a business in Arizona, which I think is pretty cool.

Not only that, but she’s an actual pop star, as in, in the nineties she and her husband were kind of indie rock stars and they were travelling and doing gigs and just super cool people. She’s a pilot, she’s a mum and she has two children with autism who she’s amazing at nurturing and taking good care of.

She’s just so interesting as well as being a lovely, lovely friend and client.

So Jen will tell you all about how we met and the work we’re doing together, but I really wanted her on the show today, because Jen has so many tips on finances and running a business and feeling wealthy, but in a really sensible way. I think she’s going to be really influential, really helpful for so many of you, and me, I’m always learning from Jen.

This woman runs multiple successful businesses and she has a family. She’s amazing with what she’s doing with it all, so I would urge you to really listen to Jen, to take on board some of her tips and check her out at She also has a Facebook group, Mastering Money Mindset Labs, which you can access for a super affordable rate.

Without further ado, over to Jen Turrell.

Welcome to Work Smarter, Dream Bigger, Live Brighter. This is your guest host today, Jen Turrell, financial personal trainer, and I am standing in for the gorgeous Jo Gifford, the Dexterous Diva herself today, and I am so honoured to have a chance to guest host this show.

Jo Gifford is one of my favourite people on the entire planet and she has drastically changed my life over the course of the last nine months.

Just to introduce you to my experience of Jo, I met her last October when I was working with a coach that she’s worked with too, named Rebecca Dickson. If you’re interested in hearing more about Rebecca Dickson, Episode #17 of Work Smarter, Dream Bigger, Live Brighter is an interview with Becky Dickson where she and Jo discuss how they met and her influence on Jo’s life as well.

Becky Dickson introduced me to Jo, first as someone who could make a book cover for me, because I needed a new book cover, and that was the start, and then I hired Jo to do my logo, and then some blog boosts for me as I struggle sometimes to write my own blogs.

I have no trouble having conversations with people, talking about things, even this, talking to a microphone, I find much easier than sitting down sometimes and writing a blog, which is funny, because I did go to college as a creative writing major, but still, the blog has some barriers for those of us who run our own businesses sometimes, so I really appreciated Jo’s help with the blog boost first.

I then also hired her to do some bespoke images for me, and little by little over the course of the last nine months, I finally got to this summer, learned all about her Web Smart work plans and realised that that was what I needed in my life, so this summer I’ve been working with Jo one on one in her team, and they have been helping me to streamline and systematise my work, and my world has changed!

It’s getting better and better, I am working smarter, I am dreaming bigger and I am living brighter, so I am a testament to the success of Jo Gifford.

One of the reasons that I love what Jo does so much is that I help women set up financial systems and I particularly like to automate them so that it takes the daily decision out of as many financial tasks as possible, and I feel that Jo does that for content creation and work flow and all kinds of things. While I’ve been able to do that with this one small area of my life in finances, Jo’s sort of spreading it out to the work life. What I want to share with you today are some of my financial productivity tips that help me do that with finances.

My Two Tips

The two tips that I would like to share with you are:

  • Batching your financial tasks and;
  • Scheduling financial days.

These are two things that have made a huge difference in my life. The reason that I think it’s so important to do is that a lot of people end up thinking about their finances every day. You think about major financial decisions, can I afford this, can I not, what’s coming up, what’s left in my account, checking bank balance, doing bank balance accounting as opposed to bottom line accounting.

What I mean by that is you check your balance, see, oh, there’s a lot of money in there because I just got a payment, let me pay all these bills without necessarily thinking of what else needs to come out of that first.

Here in the US as small business owners we all have to think about setting aside quarterly estimated taxes which can be a real problem with bank balance accounting. If you look at your bank balance and see that you have enough money to start a new project or do something that you’ve been thinking about, but you haven’t yet set aside your taxes, you can get into trouble.

What I think batching and scheduling could do for you in terms of your finances is relieve all of that thought and worry on a daily basis so that you can focus more on what you want to be focusing on, which is probably your work, your family, your life, the rest of it. If we can batch our financial tasks and schedule in days to take care of those tasks, it can relieve you all of that worry the rest of the month.

Here is how we do it!


First, for batching I like to use my rewards credit card as much as I can to corral in lots of different little bills, like my cell phone bill and other things that recur like that. Anything you can put on it, I put on it and then set the credit card on auto pay, full balance, every month.

I’m not talking about running up crazy balances that you can’t pay, I’m just talking about using it to get points and also to be able to batch the payment date. All of those little payments like my credit card and little things you can put on there, maybe your internet company, whatever bills you can put on there, it gives you a single payment date when your credit card payment is due.

For anything you can’t do that with, you can go online or call the companies you pay, electric, heating, car payments, different things like that, and ask them to move the due date.

Top Mortgage Tip

For your mortgage, if you’re able to, I recommend that people pay every two weeks instead of monthly, and there are a couple of reasons for this. One, it lets you balance it out across the month rather than having one day when you have a much bigger payment. The other reason is if you pay every two weeks instead of monthly, by the end of the year you get an extra payment in. While there are only 12 months in the year, there are 52 weeks, so if you’re paying it every two weeks, you get an extra payment in over the course of the year which helps you get ahead of that mortgage interest just a little bit.

For other invoices and bills that come in irregularly from random places, things you get in the mail, things you get in your email inbox, I would recommend having both a physical inbox and an email inbox for those bills that you put them into it and then address them on your scheduled days.


Now we will get to scheduling those days. It takes a little bit of work upfront, like calling the companies and asking them to change your due date. In order to schedule these days I like to work on this system which is that if you have a regular pay cheque, most people get paid on the 1st and the 15th of the month or thereabouts.

If you work for yourself, I still recommend giving yourself your own salary on the 1st and the 15th, just so you have a regular system that you can work with. If the income comes in on the 1st and the 15th, I auto transfer to savings and a bill pay account on the 2nd and the 16th, so the day after the pay cheque hits your account, you transfer out the spend into your savings account or retirement, which is set up however you want to set it up.

I definitely work on that with people one on one and in my Mastering Money Matters membership group, but for now, let’s just say it goes into a savings account and then you have a separate bill pay account that’s a chequing account where all your other bills get paid out of.

That includes the credit card, the rewards point card that you’ve put little bills on, and then your mortgage, your utilities, whatever else you couldn’t put on that credit card, all get paid out of that bill pay account. That gets set to pay on the 5th and the 20th, so when you called the companies or went online to batch your bills, you batch them for the 5th and the 20th, and you try to make it roughly even.

If you aren’t able to change your mortgage and if it happens once a month, see if you can have that on the 5th and then balance out your other bills so it’s roughly an equal amount on the 20th as well.

Now that you have the electronic automatic pays happening on the 5th and the 20th, you can also go to your inboxes, both online and physical, and pay those on the 5th and the 20th as well.

Keeping Track

You schedule in the 5th and the 20th if that’s the day you take care of all those things. You check that all the online payments have happened correctly, that there was plenty of money in there, and you check that there’s enough money for the cheques you’re about to write or the online bill pays that you’re about to do, the invoices that have come into your inbox.

Make sure everything’s working okay and then what’s left in your spend account, the account that you transferred out of, that original chequing account, that is what you get to spend for the rest of the month, guilt-free, your bills are paid, your savings are done and that is what you have to work with, so now you can do real big balance accounting for that account and it feels pretty good.

Good Housekeeping

The other day that I like to schedule is the last day of the month, so on the last day of the month, as someone who runs small businesses, that’s the day that I look at the income that came in for that month and make a transfer to my tax account.

If you don’t run a small business and don’t pay quarterly estimated tax you don’t have to worry about that, but I still think the last day of the month is a great day to just look back through the month. That’s when I do my expense reports for my credit cards and just make sure everything’s tidy. Look into everything, check the accounts and it doesn’t have to be a long time. Sometimes it’s just 20 minutes or half an hour that I check over everything on that last day of the month, and feel confident going into the next month that everything’s working the way it should.

How You Can Work With Me

So that is my financial productivity tip. If you’re interested in finding out more about what I do, my website is, and you can find my new Mastering Money Matters membership group where I walk women through a lab a month.

We focus on debt reduction, on automating your accounts and expenses, it’s just a slow month by month progression through all of these different things to get your money set up into a system that you love and that will give you peace of mind, knowing that your savings are done, your bills are paid and everything is working toward the goals that you want.

That’s what I have to offer, thank you so much for joining me. I can’t wait to listen to next week when Jo Gifford is back!

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Episode #25 Stellar Email Marketing Tips with Jenn Scalia

Episode 25 Stellar Email Marketing Tips with Jenn Scalia

Hi everyone, and welcome to episode 25 of Work Smarter, Dream Bigger, Live Brighter, it’s Jo Gifford here.

Today I have a super special guest who’s going to be holding the mic for me.

I’ve invited some of my colleagues and co-workers and collaborators and biz friends to contribute to the podcast on occasion, and this is a really great way to allow them to share their amazing tips with you, for you guys to really benefit from some people whose journeys I’ve been part of and whose work I really admire.

Jenn Scalia is one such lady.

We met in April 2014 when we were both part of a group – and I’m going to shout out the awesome Becca Tracey of – the Uncage Your Biz group. This is a month long group with Becca and it really helps you to get your biz to the next level.

On the Same Path

Jenn Scalia was someone who really stood out from the crowd of amazing ladies in that group and since then she and I have been on a path of growth. We joined Denise Duffield Thomas’s Lucky Bitch Bootcamp {affiliate link} at the same time. We were both also working with the amazing Rebecca T Dickson so we’re both now experts on Becca’s Clients, Clarity and Cash programme, which is just amazing for female coaches, it’s a brilliant programme, and Jenn has had an explosive business growth over the last six months to a year.

She works really hard, she hustles really hard, she invests in herself and in her business and she has such an ethic for self-improvement and learning, to really getting herself to the next level. It’s just amazing to have been on even part of that journey by experiencing the same things she has, but also to be just standing here watching her stuff go crazy.

Jenn has some amazing tips for you guys today on email marketing and she’s someone you should definitely check out. She’s going to share ten tips for email marketing and of course you can check her out on her site.

Without further ado, here is the amazing Jenn.

Hello everyone, this is Jenn from and I am excited to be here as Jo’s guest for today. I am a bestselling author, visibility coach and business strategist. I work with coaches and other online entrepreneurs to help them get in front of their ideal clients by showing up and standing out in a crowded industry.

  • I have coached hundreds of women entrepreneurs to get more clients, make more money and achieve success online. I grew my list organically from 300 to over five thousand in less than a year without spending a dime on advertising. I also booked over 100 thousand dollars in new clients in the first three months of 2015.
  • I have over ten years’ experience in marketing and social media, including starting and growing my own clothing line to an internationally recognised brand that was featured on reality TV shows and MTV.
  • I have been published in the Huffington Post, MindBodyGreen, Elite Daily, Tiny Buddha and more. I also co-authored the book, Against the Grain, with Brian Tracy, and have been featured on countless podcasts and telesummits.

Again, I am so glad to be here today, I am so happy that Jo invited me. Jo and I met just a little over a year ago when we took a course together and we’ve kind of been on this very eerily similar path through our businesses, through our entire journey, through entrepreneurship, so it’s been really cool to see each other kind of grow and see the huge changes that have happened over the past year.

It’s really amazing to just think back and look back at the big picture and really see how much can happen in such a short period of time. If you feel like you’re struggling right now or you feel like it’s not happening fast enough for you, I just want you to think about that. Even look back a year from where you are today and look at all you’ve accomplished.

It really can happen super fast, and with all of the knowledge and information you get from Jo and her experts and with some of the knowledge I’m going to give you today, you’ll be able to make that happen even faster for yourself.

Breaking the Rules

Today I want to talk about breaking the email marketing rules. There are all these rules and things that we’re supposed to follow in the online space. We see things all the time, there’s so much content, there’s so much noise, so it’s really hard to distinguish what you should listen to and what can go by the wayside.

It’s really about tuning in and tapping into what feels really good for you and your business, because one way of marketing or promoting may not feel good to you and another way may feel really awesome to you, so always check in with yourself and your inner guidance on which of these things feels really good to you.

#10 Tips on Email Marketing

Today I’m going to give you ten tips on your email marketing and how you can use that. For example, if you don’t resonate with all ten, then you don’t have to do these. Just take what feels good, take the little nuggets, use them for your business and leave the rest.

  1. I’m going to start off with one of the things I learned from my mentor which was sending out newsletters on a specific day.This was always something I taught my clients, I was always telling them to make sure to be very consistent. If you’re going to send out your newsletter on Tuesday, make sure that you send it out on Tuesday, every Tuesday at the same exact time, and that’s the way I did it for myself for the longest time.I found that between Tuesday number one and Tuesday number two there was definitely stuff I wanted to say and it really sucked to have to hold that back and didn’t feel good to have to wait until the following Tuesday to say what I needed to say or share what I wanted to share with my audience.This is a rule that I began breaking a few months ago and I think it’s been really, really good. Instead of only sending on specific days, I only send when I have something to say. If I have something that I’ve created, if I’m doing a podcast or an affiliate for another coach, if I am doing an event, if I come across something I feel like my audience can really benefit from, I don’t want to wait to send it.Only send something when you have something to say and likewise if you don’t have something to say, don’t just send crap. Make sure that you do have something to say, make sure that the content in your emails is very valuable because that is what’s going to keep people on your list.

    It’s one thing to get them on your list, it’s a whole other thing to keep them on your list, especially because there’s so much inbox competition and people are getting inundated with stuff, day after day, hour after hour, email after email. You want to make sure that your stuff stands out so you want to make sure you’re giving high value on every single correspondence you send out to your list.

  2. The next thing is something I love doing and it is to send love it or hate it emails.
    Much like I was saying before, there is a lot of competition, so if you’re sending the same old boring emails saying, six ways to do this and ten ways to do that and you’re really not having any type of personality or stance on anything, you’re going to get deleted pretty soon because they can get that information anywhere, and people don’t need to have that clutter in their inbox.So what I mean with a love it or hate it email is for you to get really personal and authentic with your ideal client. Now, notice I didn’t say with your entire list, I said with your ideal client. This is what you want to keep in mind when you’re writing these emails, you are speaking from the heart. You are taking a stance for something. You are speaking to one specific person. Everyone else, don’t worry about.When you do this, what you’re doing is you’re really calling in those perfect clients, you’re really calling in those people who are meant to work with you, who are going to adore you, who are going to become raving fans, and you’re going to start to see other people who aren’t exactly your ideal client or maybe who will never buy from you disappear, and you will get unsubscribes.Don’t worry about that, because unsubscribes are just a filter for you having a list that’s really quality, which brings me to my next point.
  3. The number really isn’t that important. You can have a list of five thousand people, but if those five thousand people are not engaged, then it really doesn’t matter. However, you can have a list of a thousand people and if you get 80 per cent open rates – which is crazy, by the way, but I know some people who do – then you have a better chance of selling and of calling in your tribe with that smaller number than someone who has a big number of unengaged, unresponsive people who aren’t even opening up their emails.The actual number on your list, for me is not that important. The number you want to pay attention to is that number that shows you how many people opened your email.So let’s say for example, I have about five thousand people on my list and I used to get upset because I was like, oh my gosh, only 22 per cent or 27 per cent of people are opening. I started to reframe because once I looked at that number and I saw that at least 12 to 15 to 1700 people were actually clicking and opening and reading my emails, that’s the number I started to focus on. I really started to focus on the people who were opening my emails and didn’t really worry too much about the people who didn’t.
  4. Number four is to really nurture your current list instead of just trying to grow it. Of course you’re always going to be growing your list, you’re always going to be putting things out there to try to build your list and get new people. However, don’t forget about the people who are already on your list.You want to make sure that you really nurture these people. Like I was mentioning before, high, high value, make sure that they feel like they’re getting something special from you, so don’t just build a whole list and then continue to build your list but never communicate with the people that are currently on it.Yes, we have social media, we have Facebook groups, we have Twitter, we have all these ways of getting in touch with our people, but your list is your bread and butter because this is actually your platform, these are your people whereas Twitter could go away tomorrow, Facebook groups could be banned, and then what are you going to do? You want to have a consistent communication with the people who are on your list.
  5. Next is don’t send the same emails that everyone else is sending. I kind of touched on this earlier when I said about being vanilla and bland and boring and saying, here’s the six best ways to use Twitter for your business.That’s all well and good and I’m sure it’s really great information. However, it doesn’t move someone, there’s no emotional factor there. When you’re sending your emails, are you sending something that has been said before? Are you sending something that your competitor is probably going to send next week? If that answer is even a slight yes, re-think and re-frame what you’re going to send out there.Make sure that you put your personality, your own unique spin, make sure that you are flipping it or creating some kind of controversy or even just looking at it from a different angle. This is a tip that I give to my membership site members.We had a content challenge and this is something that I actually had them do. Whatever your industry is saying right now, whatever everyone is on the bandwagon about, you come in from a completely different angle and people are going to want to read it.Say for example you’re a health coach, and everyone is talking about creamed smoothies and kale and all of these things that are so great for you. What if you were the health coach that was like, hey, you can eat ice cream and cookies and lose ten pounds next week? Of course that might seem a little bit like a stretch, but people are going to wonder, they’re going to say, oh my gosh, I want to know how to do that, so you want to really get people to get excited about your emails, you really want to know what you’re going to say next.
  6. Number six is to get crafty with your email subject line. Similar to sending the same emails, if you’re sending a subject line that’s tired, that’s overused, that everyone in the industry uses, people just become blind to it, they don’t even look at it, they’re just going to delete, so make sure that you get really creative with these things and make sure that you’re putting some personality in here.Like I mentioned before, it’s kind of flipping the script on what your people are going to expect from you. Make it so enticing that they’ll want to open the email.
  7. Next is to have one call to action at the end of every email. I see this all the time! I get people’s newsletters and there’s all this stuff on there, read my latest blog post, check out my latest YouTube video, follow me on Twitter, follow me on Periscope, join my Facebook group and oh, by the way, I have this course for sale!It’s not going to work! You need to give people JUST ONE call to action at the end of all your emails which will pull them to take that action as opposed to giving them five different things to do and having them choose, because they’ll never do any of them.
  8. Next is to leave them hungry for more. At the end of your emails you want to entice them with what’s coming next, so say if you did an email post or a newsletter about the five ways that you can get a flat tummy by next week, then at the end of your email you want to give them a nudge that you have more!You could say something like, watch out for next week’s email where I’m going to be talking about how you can get buns of steel within three days, so give them that little hint that something even better is coming, and what this is going to do is actually make them want to open your next email.
  9. The next thing I do a lot. I always encourage my people to reply, so this would be my call to action on a specific email. If I’m talking about something that I went through or some kind of struggle or something I’ve learned that I shared with my audience, I often encourage replies.If I really want to hear an opinion on a certain email, I’ll ask my audience and say, hey, have you ever gone through this? If so, hit reply. If you’re giving them a call to action, maybe have them hit reply, maybe you’re telling them how to use Periscope for the first time for their business, so tell them, hey, if you want me to follow you, click reply and give me your username and I’ll follow you on Periscope.That’s going to be something that people are really going to want to reply to so it’s not just a one way street with you broadcasting to those people, you’re actually going to interact with them by asking them questions and showing them that you actually care. I have got anywhere from 12 to 20 and even up to 40 people that emailed me back on a specific email that I sent out, so that is pretty darn good, because I’m now creating and opening this line of communication with my audience that’s not just one way.
  10. Finally, do not be afraid to sell on your emails. I know that as coaches and online service providers a lot of time we think that we just want to send out really great information, that we don’t want to bother our list, but here’s the thing. You have a business to run, so in order for you to have a viable business, you need clients, you need to sell products, you need to sell stuff, so do not be afraid to sell on your email.As long as you are giving valuable information and it’s not always sell, sell, sell, it’s absolutely okay to sell on your email, and this is a big mistake I made in the beginning of my business because I really thought the same thing. I didn’t want to bother them, I didn’t want them to think that I was salesy or sleazy so I never gave them the call to action to actually buy something.If I knew I was launching something and I wanted to send out an email I was always nervous and felt like they were going to hate me and unsubscribe. I’ve got over that and I’ve realised that I’ve given my audience and continue to give my audience such great value that when I have something to offer, I’m going to offer it, especially when I know that it is going to benefit them.

So those are my top ten tips for breaking the email marketing rules. I’m just going to go over them really quickly one more time.

  • Don’t worry so much about sending out your emails on specific days, but send something out when you have something to say.
  • Send the love it or hate it email and don’t worry about unsubscribes, because you will get them.
  • The actual list number isn’t that important. Make sure you’re looking at the number of people that are opening your emails and focus on that number and those people.
  • While you’re growing your list, make sure that you are nurturing your current list and make sure they know that you really care about them and that you want to continue to give them valuable information even as you are adding to your current list.
  • Don’t send the same emails that everyone else is sending because you will get ignored!
  • Get crafty with your email subject lines and be really creative and unique. Make sure that it’s something that people are going to be dying to find out what’s inside.
  • One call to action at the end of every post. If you’re giving people too much, they won’t do anything.
  • Leave them hungry for more by giving them a little teaser of what’s to come in your future emails.
  • Encourage them to reply by asking a question, asking if they’ve ever struggled with something, offer them help and ask them to reply to you personally to open up a communication that is two way.
  • Don’t be afraid to sell on your emails.

That is it, my friends. I want to thank Jo again for having me on, I really hope that you’ve found this helpful, I really hope that you can take some or all of this and apply it to your business in a way that feels really good and authentic. ‘Bye!


Make sure you check out Jenn and her work right here.

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How tracking your successes can help you stay focused and achieve more

Tracking your successes

Hey guys – this week we’re super lucky to have the lovely Chloe Adlington guest posting and telling us how to track for success! Enjoy!

If there’s one thing the corporate world does well it’s ‘review stuff’;

  • weekly “one-to-ones” with your manager;
  • team meetings;
  • project reviews;
  • appraisals;

sometimes it felt like my entire life back then was about evaluating ‘our situation’.

However a few months after going self-employed and I found myself doing it again (and willingly)!

I felt like I’d lost my sense of direction and needed to find my business ‘mojo’ again so I sat down with a pen and paper to review my goals. I reflected on ‘why’ I had wanted to start my business and the progress I’d made so far.

Ask yourself whether what you’re doing today is getting you closer to where you want to be tomorrow.

I realised that asking questions of myself (as a manager would have done back in corporate land) helped me to clarify what to focus on, move past things that my mind was ‘stuck on’ and make me feel more in control.

A meeting with myself!

To keep myself on track I decided to set time aside for a weekly review – essentially a little business meeting with myself! As well as keeping an eye on my online statistics I started logging my successes (no matter how small), identifying things that were slowing me down and prioritising my to-do list. That’s when something clicked!

Rather than going round in circles when I don’t know what to do I now use my weekly review time to brainstorm solutions then move forward. I can now see the progress I am making and feel much more motivated and focused! And that’s what it’s all about; we should feel excited and passionate about our businesses!

Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and how you do it
– Maya Angelou

How to track your successes:

The ‘weekly review meeting’ has been a game-changer for me. It’s probably the most important half an hour of the week as it reminds me to actually take care of myself, celebrate my progress and enjoy what I’m doing.

I like to make a big cup of tea in my favourite mug, shut the laptop (and get rid of any other distractions), light a few scented candles and sit down for 30mins with a pen and paper and go back to my big picture.

Try these

Here are the kind of questions I recommend thinking through to help you overcome overwhelm, regain direction and clear your mind from that ‘stuck’ feeling:

  • How are you feeling about your business? Are your goals still taking you where you ultimately want to go?
  • Are you taking care of yourself? Do you need to make more of an effort to eat better or exercise for example?
  • What successes can you celebrate and how will you reward yourself for all your hard work?
  • Where are you getting stuck and is it really a roadblock or can you plan your way through / around these frustrations?

You can see exactly what I do here, including the key questions I ask myself regularly and the numbers I keep logged to monitor my progress.

Want to give it a try?

Here’s a quick breakdown to help you get started (although it looks a lot, it only actually takes 5mins per day plus your 30min ‘weekly review’):


Write down at least 3 things you’ve achieved towards your goals. They can be teeny tiny or really significant but by logging them (I use a paper diary) it will help you feel a sense of accomplishment at the end of each day, or be more honest with yourself if you’ve slipped off track!


Set a reminder in your calendar (I use my iPhone) to spend 30 minutes reflecting on the previous week. For some, this might be best done at the end of each week so you can switch off and enjoy the weekend but I like to do it every Monday morning. I note down successes from the week before, rewards to look forward to and priorities for the week ahead to help motivate me to stay focused and remind me why I do what I do!


Once a month, use your weekly review session to take a step back and evaluate how you’re doing overall. Are you making progress towards your goals for the year? Are there things you can simplify, celebrate or need to work on to achieve your ultimate ‘why’?

Oh, and very importantly – have you got a holiday in the diary? Taking regular breaks helps to avoid burnt out and keep your motivation going – it’s good to always have something to look forward to!


Take a look back through your weekly and monthly review notes to see just how far you’ve come!

Give yourself a couple of days to really reflect on the last 12 months and put a plan together for the year ahead. Consider questions like; What are you most proud of achieving this year? What activities resulted in your biggest successes? What did you learn this year? What do you want to achieve over the next 12 months?

Since I started doing this my productivity has tripled. Just this month alone I’m celebrating launching my new website, planning our wedding in under 3 weeks, working on collaborations with entrepreneurs I really admire (like Jo!) and my email list successfully passing a big milestone!

How about you?

I’d love to hear how you currently take time to reflect on your business? What are the key areas you could track to help you stay focused and achieve more this year?

Chloe x

PS. Don’t forget to download the weekly and month review templates here!

Chloe AdlingtonChloe Adlington is a marketing mentor, a small business advocate and tea lover. She specialises in helping small + home-based businesses get set up to flourish online.
Chloe runs online courses for women in business as well as working one-on-one with clients to help them market their businesses more effectively and ultimately get more fans, clicks and sales.

When she’s not working with lovely entrepreneurs you’ll find Chloe baking, hoarding pretty notebooks, cuddling her two pugs, winning national blogging awards or planning her Spring wedding!

Episode #24 How To Create an Opt-in for Your Biz

Episode 24 How to create an Opt In

Hi everyone, it’s episode 24 of Work Smarter, Dream Bigger, Live Brighter, and it’s me, your host, Jo Gifford, the Dexterous Diva.

Today I’m taking a little peep at how to create an opt-in for your biz.

What the hell is an opt-in?

If any of you out there are not familiar with an opt-in, what I’m talking about – and I know that you guys will have all seen this – is something that you opt into when you visit a site.

Often times you’ll land on a site and there’ll be what we call a lead page or an opt-in bar saying,

hey, grab my e-book, my free book on five ways to grow your business

or here’s my 25 top tips on losing weight in three months, or whatever it is! The opt-in is always free, it’s a generous free gift of information which, as a potential customer and lead for these peeps, we are really keen to jump on and take advantage of.

What happens is we get added to that person’s list. Because the offer is attractive to us and really resonates, it’s likely that we will buy from that person later on and so we’re signed up to receive their updates as and when they have something to launch and sell to us.

But I Don’t Know What to Offer…

Creating an opt-in for your business is often something that we can push to the back of our to-do list because it’s one of those things, it’s like, oh, what shall I offer, what will people want from me, how can I create this thing?

It’s such a crucial part of growing business, of finding your audience, of getting new clients and growing that list and all that really good stuff, so it’s something that is not to be ignored.

So let’s jump in and take a look at what kind of opt-ins you could create for your business, and they come in all different shapes and sizes. What you might want to create depends on the way that you love to work, on what your audience responds to and what they need, and how you like to create content.

Some Ideas

An opt-in could be an e-book, and this is a really popular way to have a quick win, so something that people can download instantly and read on their smartphone or on their tablet, and they can get access to your information really quickly.

It might be a mini e-course, and as you guys know I’ve done lots of these in the past, so my blog challenge is a mini e-course, Five Days to Raving Fans was a mini e-course, and also the Brilliance Ignition free masterclass is a full week e-course. In that instance you might want to create a series of emails which hit people’s inboxes and they can act on them every day, and in a moment we’ll be coming to why you might want to do an e-book over an e-course.

An opt-in could also be an audio or video series and often times you’ll see entrepreneurs do a three video series opt-in, so you’ll sign up to receive a certain number of videos that will teach you certain strategies and that will then lead on to being able to upgrade to the bigger product.

They could also be a webinar, so you sign up to a webinar on something and later on you can upgrade to whatever offer was made to you in the webinar.

That’s all good, but why are we thinking about doing opt-ins?

First of all, it offers real value to your audience, you’re being shown to be super generous, you’re sharing your skills and knowledge and you get to showcase your expertise.

Know Like Trust

When people read your stuff or listen to your webinars or watch your videos or take your e-course, they have a real flavour for you and your brand and how you work, and they get to kind of have a mini experience of working with you for nothing. What that does is really ramps up the know, like and trust factor.

Anybody opting into your stuff really has a sense of what it’s like to work with you, how your language is used, whether you resonate with them and whether what you’re teaching and showing is of relevance. Also providing an opt-in is a fantastic way to allow your future and potential clients to have a quick win with you.

Quick Win

What that means is if you show them something that they can apply really quickly using your e-book or using some of your strategies in your mini e-courses or your webinars or your videos, and it makes an impact in their business, then they’re going to really trust you and want to buy from you in the future.

It really helps to create a raving fan loyalty relationship, and creating a quick win might look like showing somebody how to do a blog post in less time, for example, or on my blog challenge opt-in, which is a ten day mini blog challenge, I give a little step each day to really improve your blog for business.

I used that for a while as my mini info opt-in which led into Blogging for Business Bootcamp which, as of June 2015, is currently undergoing a massive upgrade to something super exciting, so you guys want to stay tuned for that.

So it’s all about giving quick wins, so for example in my blog challenge I was showing people how to make quick changes to their Pinterest boards to get more traffic to their blog and I was showing people how to quickly make amends to an old blog post to have new content.

I was giving loads of tips where people then learned so much about their business and their blogging in little bite-sized chunks, and they saw tangible results and that leads to trust.

Lemme Give You An Example

In fact one of the greatest examples I’ve had of an opt-in leading to a sale really quickly was ages ago when I first signed up to Leonie Dawson’s list – I signed up and I got a really cool designed book by her like a little e-book that she designed which had some strategies and videos in there for growing your business.

It spoke to me so much at that time in my business that I signed straight up to her Amazing Biz and Life Academy. I was struggling with the things that she was offering at that time, and for those of you who know Leonie’s work, she really speaks to women who are starting off in their biz and they’re really struggling with knowing where on earth to get started, which was where I was a while ago now. I signed up for her list, I got the opt-in, it made total sense to me, I really resonated with it and I signed up on the spot.

That is a great example of trust, so from that offer of the free thing, the free high value generous offer, I signed up, and as you can imagine, the bigger the offer at the end – whether it’s a 90 day coaching package or a massive product like B School or something like that – the free opt-in offers are likely to be in proportion to that.

Another great example is Marie Forleo. Marie gives us free weekly content via her Marie TV every single week, and she sells a massive product once a year, so we have all year to get to know her and how she works, her language and her style and all the impact that she can add to our businesses, and then once a year she goes, hey guys, here’s what I’m doing and you can join in.

Jab, Jab, Right Hook

This is what the amazing Gary Vaynerchuk talks about in his book, Jab, Jab, Right Hook. For those of you who haven’t read it, it’s a great one. It talks about the jab, jab, which is the free stuff, so you’re giving free stuff, free stuff, free stuff, oh, right hook, here’s an offer. If you’re constantly pitching with buy my stuff, buy my stuff, people are going to be, well, why? I haven’t really gained any trust for you, I don’t know what it’s like to work with you, so by giving away an insight to work with you, it can really help to build that trust.

You might say,

but I’m doing that already on my blog, Jo. I’m already providing content on my podcasts and on my blog

Yes, you are, and what people love to have, even more than all the free content that you’re already doing to content market for your biz, which is super important, what people love to have even more than that is convenience.

Even if you don’t want to create something new, you could collate together some of your popular blog posts, audios or videos that you already have and put them into an e-book, and that’s a great way to get started with this stuff.

Keeping It Together

People love to have things in one place, so maybe you’ve got some themed posts on your blog, so I could do a blogging tips one or a solopreneur working mum theme, pull together all the posts I have on that, put it into an e-book and that could be my opt-in.

To do that is really, really simple. You can either get your VA or somebody on Fiverr or Elance to pull together your posts in one Google document and you can have those designed super cheaply and effectively. Obviously it’s worth paying for good design, but you could have them laid out effectively for not much money.

Try asking around in your communities for who’s great at doing layouts for e-books, and when you’re just starting, just to get it done is better than not at all. Put your information into a package that makes it easy for people to know, like and trust you.

Be thinking about how you can add to people’s lives and their businesses by giving them a quick win. This is the key factor when people will think, right, I’m going to buy from you, you’ve just shown me something so cool really quickly that I now want to buy your product.

When you’re thinking about your opt-in, it can be really handy to have a look around, see what people are doing for their opt-ins, but not to copy, not at all, I’m not a fan of doing what other people are doing, but by looking around it might spark some ideas. What I would always, always recommend is to go through the Brilliance Ignition process on this, and for those of you who don’t know about the Brilliance Ignition process, you can grab my free mastermind on it here.

YOU Are Unique, Yes You Are

Go through that whole process of brainstorming your unique difference, thinking about what you can teach your clients, and finding space to allow that magic to come in your working day while you’re seeking answers of how to provide value to people.

You can use the content daily approach which I talk about in Brilliance Ignition to start chunking the stuff up and do a little bit every day, because by taking action every single day you get real clarity for chunking away at stuff and for also getting really original and inventive, which is what you want to do. You want to stand out from the others and really be you in your brand and in your offer.

Really think about a way to be original in what you’re offering. Obviously there are blueprints out there for people have already done, and you can certainly use that to get yourself started, but really think about what you can offer that’s completely different. How can you nail your brand and your awesome expertise in an offer that’s really going to help people to know, like and trust you.

Opt-In Unpacked

At the moment I’ve just started offering a package to do just that, and it’s called Opt-in Unpacked, and you can find it here. I developed this really because I’ve had so many people from my community and VIP clients not knowing where to get started with a mini info opt-in. A mini info opt-in simply means it’s a mini version of information for your business.

I’m really excited about Opt-in Unpacked because I’ve already had so many people sign up for it that we’ve got a waiting list, it’s fantastic! It includes:

  • five powerful mini info opt-in titles that will entice your clients and leave them wanting more, so if you’re really wondering what to do for your opt-in, you get this in your package, and I give you loads of ideas.
  • You also get ten compelling content titles to support your persuasive promo, so while you’re promoting your opt-in, I’ve given you ten titles for either your guest post, your vlogs, your podcasts or your blog posts, whatever,
  • I also write your opt-in page copy, written and ready to roll,
  • along with ten social media slammers to share the love and showcase your expertise.

Opt-in Unpacked gives you the concepts, it gives you the content titles to support it, it gives you a sales page for your opt-in that’s ready to go alongside the social media slammers to really help spread that love. At the moment that’s available on my website, so if you want to join the waiting list and hop onto that I would love to help you out.

If you are doing that yourself, then really get to grips with how you can help people, what language you can use that will resonate with your audience, and think about how you can put together something that is super simple, really easy to use and get a quick win from, that will help people to trust you and spend their hard earned money with you.

Over To You

Guys, I’d love to hear from you about what opt-ins you have created, what’s worked, what hasn’t, what you’re planning to do for your future opt-ins, and you can leave me a comment either below this post on the blog or you can tweet me @dexdiva and you can find me on Facebook I can’t wait to hear how you’ve been getting on with your mini info opt-ins. Until next time, ‘bye!

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.


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.



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, you can tweet me @dexdiva using hashtag #episode23, you can leave me a comment below this podcast or you can find me on Facebook,

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!


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Episode #22: The Scope for re-purposing Periscope in Content Creation


The Scope For Periscope In Content Creation

In this episode, I’m talking all about how you can use Periscope for content creation.

Hi everyone, it’s episode 22 of Work Smarter, Dream Bigger, Live Brighter, and I am, of course, Jo Gifford, the Dexterous Diva.

I’m thrilled to be back with another episode of my podcast, and this week I’m going to be talking about the scope for Periscope in content creation.

For those of you who listened to last week’s podcast all about using Periscope for solopreneurs, or looked at the material on my website including the complete guide for using Periscope as a solopreneur and the trends we would expect to see and how people are using it, this is a really big thing.

I’m completely hooked on this format for so many reasons, so just to recap, Periscope is a live video streaming app which allows you to point the camera from your smartphone at anything you like, anything you’re looking at – and of course that includes yourself – and you can broadcast live to an audience.

Because Periscope is linked with Twitter you have a native inbuilt following, and as soon as you start your live broadcast it goes straight out to your Twitter feed (obviously you have the option to turn that off!) and your followers whom you’ve probably built up over time.
People can hop straight onto your broadcast, and what is amazing about these broadcasts is that
you can jump on for a few minutes and add some immense value to your audience and to your followers by just being yourself.
You’re giving people an insight in real time to your life, so I’m going to do one straight after this podcast and talk about recording the podcast and what I’ve just done. It’s great that you can show insights from behind the scenes, you can

  • answer adhoc Q&As
  • you can do behind the scenes at events
  • you can do ‘how to’s
  • you can do all sorts of stuff, and people can ask you questions in real time

You’ll see there are little text updates on the app itself while you’re broadcasting, so you can respond live.

This is going to have a huge impact on so many businesses.

I think that whilst I love the format of Google Hangouts and webinars for the really structured and more planned approach, for me to be able to jump onto Periscope any time of day and speak to people, to answer questions and be involved and be the brand of Jo Gifford behind the scenes, is just such an amazing opportunity.

But What About After?

What I want to talk about a little bit in this episode is what you can do after you’ve done your live broadcast. After all this is a great way to broadcast live, but then what? The episodes and the broadcasts disappear after 24 hours on the native app itself, so after you’ve completed your live broadcast it doesn’t stay around.

You might be aware of the other work I do running the Blogging for Business Bootcamp, and it’s all about creating content for business, getting your message out to the world and really doing it in a smart way, so using time and social media effectively, setting up loads of blog and work hacks to get stuff done in less time, because after all as solopreneurs we’re juggling a lot of stuff.

This is really important for content creators to be able to make it fun and work in a way that works for you. 

That’s one of the main products I’m known for, and the other one I’m starting up is the process which underpins everything I’ve been doing so far, and it’s called The Brilliance Ignition process. If you hop over, you’ll find a free four week mastermind course and it’s all about how to keep your creative well full as a solopreneur, how to upcycle your content, how to take action and get clarity through content creation, right the way up to flexing your hustle muscle and adding creative thinking into your business.

In both Blogging for Business Bootcamp and Brilliance Ignition, creating content regularly is a theme that I really amp up.

That’s not to say that I think you should create a blog post or podcast every day or whatever it is, because these things take time. It takes me a week from recording my podcast to get the transcript done, to get the image done, to get it all set up on the blog and make sure we’ve scheduled everything.

What I do really advocate is doing small chunks of content creation on a daily basis so you can slice up a blog post or slice up planning your next batch of vlogs. By doing something every day, it kind of keeps your brain really attuned to help you get some clarity through what you’re doing. I like to think of it as an artist who practises sketching or life drawing every day.

As most visual artists know, whatever their field of work, if you’re keeping your eye in tune, it’s kind of like the building blocks to those amazing moments of brilliance that will occur in artwork, and the same is true of content creation. If we spend ten or 15 minutes every day creating some content, be it sitting down to write 200 words for a Facebook update or part of a blog post or, as we’re going to talk about in this case, hopping onto Periscope. Whatever you do on a regular basis helps your brain keep attuned to what you’re doing. It really helps you focus on what you’re passionate about, especially if you’re an entrepreneur leading others, as I am, as many others are.

It’s a great way to make sure that your message is getting clearer every time you sit down to create content. In the same way an artist might be doing life drawing to keep their eye in, regular content creation helps us to keep clarity, helps us to ignite these lurking ideas and helps us really get to the gold dust of the stuff.

What’s that got to do with Periscope?

Well, I have been creating a Periscope broadcast on pretty much a daily basis for the last couple of weeks, and this has shown me a number of things.

It’s shown me that people really respond to live interaction and it’s shown me that people love to be able to have shout-outs, to ask me questions live, to really guide the way that a conversation might go, and to see behind the scenes and get to know me as a person.

It’s still in a one to many format, but to bond with me on a slightly different level than perhaps reading a blog post or listening to this podcast. The great thing about that is that if I broadcast for maybe five or ten minutes every day for five days a week, that’s five broadcasts of five minutes, and this is interesting, because what you can do with each of these broadcasts is super exciting.

You can save your broadcast when it’s finished to the camera roll of your smartphone. There were some third party API driven web apps where you could still view your broadcast online but I’ve noticed that they’ve been taken down, so there may be more in the future, but for the moment let’s work with saving your broadcast to your phone.

So How Can You Use Your Scope?

From here you have a video and you can do several things with that video.
You can send it off to be transcribed and there are plenty of ways that you can do that. You can send it off to somebody on Fiverr, which is the way I first dabbled in getting transcriptions done. I now have a transcriptionist who is amazing and we have a Dropbox folder set up. I ping her a note whenever we’ve got a new file in there for her to transcribe and she pings it back in a couple of days.

So you can either find someone if you might be doing stuff regularly or just use Fiverr for adhoc jobs, but you can get that thing transcribed. With a transcript you can then edit that to be a blog post, so you’ve not only created content from your broadcast, but you now have the option to turn that into a blog post.

You can either keep it as one blog post which might make sense for you, or you might split it up. Say you’ve had people asking you different questions, you might want to split it up into different posts per question, so now you have more than one post from this one broadcast.

From that blog post you can make that into some kind of PDF slide viewing version of your broadcast, again you can have that done on Fiverr, you could do it yourself or you could ask your VA to do it if you have a team. You’ve now really condensed that information into text and into a slide, so you could upload that to SlideShare.

SlideShare is an amazing platform to really get your work seen and to drive new traffic back to your blog posts, and this has worked really well for me in the past. People love to use SlideShare as a platform to research and find new content that’s really helpful and it’s actually somewhere I dive into quite often if I’m doing research for blog posts or ebooks. To have content there is going to help people find your site, so upload it into SlideShare to find a whole new audience.

You could also use that slide presentation on LinkedIn, you can use it on Facebook and you can use it back on your blog. You can even pin it to Pinterest, so you’re spreading the same content out to different networks.

Let’s go even further!

You have a video from your Periscope and you can upload that to YouTube. The thing with Periscope is that the app format tends to have the video in the portrait setting as opposed to landscape so it’s not brilliant for YouTube, but the quick rough and ready aspect of it is fine and people accept that that’s how the app works.

You will now have a presence on one of the world’s biggest search engines a great way again to be populating your channel with video. You can also extract the audio from it and upload it to Soundcloud, so now you have an audio version of your Periscope.

And Further Still..

You can even have a collection of your audios and put them together as one long weekly podcast. You could put them together in Audacity or Garage Band, which is what I use, and suddenly you have a whole week’s worth of stuff from five minutes a day of doing your Periscopes.


Do you see how exciting this is, guys? I’m so excited about Periscope for content creation and for recycling that content, because I think you’re like me in that we’re really busy. We’ve got client work to do and lots of us have passive income products we’re creating or running AND we’ve got some VIP stuff behind the scenes.

Not Forgetting That…

We also want to get some life/work balance in here and have time off with our families and we want to be outside enjoying life. Most of us entrepreneurs do this because we want to have a better work/life balance, and content creation is something which I know really grinds people down sometimes. I get emails all the time from people who do my free blog challenge saying,

I don’t have time for this stuff, and how can I do this in a way that’s really time effective, I’m drowning in stuff to do!

By the way, if you haven’t done my blog challenge yet, it’s a ten day free resource which walks you through how to create content in really smart ways.

In the first email of the blog challenge I ask people to hit reply and tell me what they’re struggling with, and without fail all the time it’s things like, I’m struggling for time, Jo, I don’t know how to get content creation done in time! Using Periscope to re-purpose stuff is one way that we can make this new platform work really smartly for you.

Repurpose Content from PeriscopeDon’t forget that for each medium that you do, whether you’ve extracted audio from your video or you’ve turned it into YouTube, to SlideShare, you can then go even further. You can pull out quotes of stuff that you said on your Periscope, hop into Canva or PicMonkey or whatever it is that works for you and create a quote of that thing that you said, upload it to social media, use it on Instagram, use it on Twitter, use it on Facebook, use it on Pinterest and pin it. You can make that one five minute Periscope broadcast go such a long way!

If you’re creating it every day or even if you do it once a week, see how much you can get from this one thing which is already adding value to your followers, your clients and your audience by you being available live, and then you can re-purpose it and go really far with it. As we’ve already seen we’ve got a YouTube option, Soundcloud option, Pinterest, social media, SlideShare, all of this stuff, just from one five minute broadcast.

Over To You

I’d be really excited to hear how you guys have been using your Periscope broadcasts. Rather than letting them fall off the face of the planet when you’ve finished your broadcast, use them and get excited about how this can be a really clever way to create content in a really time efficient manner. Jump on for five minutes and then extract stuff and re-purpose it on your platforms.

If we look at all those possibilities I know that some people can feel really overwhelmed. This can sound like a lot to do, so just pick one thing and start off with that. Maybe the first thing you do is to get it transcribed and you have the actual text in front of you of your broadcast.

Even if you just pull some quotes out from that and turn them into imagery, that’s brilliant, you’ve made Periscope work harder for you already. Maybe next time you know you’re really confident with that so you might go ahead and pin it on Pinterest as well. Maybe you might then work on building it into a blog post, but guys, I’m so excited about how you can use Periscope.

You can even schedule some live stuff with your community work and build it in with programmes you’re doing, if that works for you.

Make it Work for You

For me, as most of you know, as someone who lives and works with a range of chronic health problems, I find the scheduled stuff really difficult. If I have a really big webinar booked or something where I need to be live, I try and keep those to a minimum, because for me, I can never be 100 per cent sure that I can be on my game and be completely with it and able to do what I know I need to do, which is why for me, podcasting really works well, blogging works well, having my courses out there working for me on a one to many format works really well.

Periscope works well because if I’m feeling good and I’m feeling fine, I can just jump on and I can serve people in that way, and then I can use that content and go further with it.

I would love to hear from you guys what you’ve seen out there of people re-purposing Periscopes. How have you been re-purposing Periscopes? What is inspiring you from this podcast and from my blog to take this content a little further? Even better than that, I would love for you to tweet me any blog posts you’ve done which have been upcycled Periscopes and I would love you either to tag me on Facebook at or tweet me @dexdiva and of course you can follow me on Periscope @dexdiva.

I’m so excited to hear about what this might ignite for you and if it’s inspired your brilliance at all. Don’t forget there are a few free resources that you can jump onto, so I mentioned my blog challenge. There’s the Brilliance Ignition masterclass and also really get involved with what’s happening and keep your ears to the ground about how people are using the stuff. I’ll be here guiding you with new developments and new trends with Periscope as they unfold, and I would love to hear back from you.

As always, if you want to get in touch with me in the ways that I mentioned before, tweet me @dexdiva or on Facebook,, and you can also leave me a voicemail. If you head on over to my website you’ll see a little tab on the right hand side, ‘send a voicemail’, and that voicemail comes directly to my inbox and I can pick up your question or feedback. I love hearing from you, so please feel free to drop me a line.

As always I’m really grateful that you’ve tuned in to my podcast. I’m recording every week and this will be dropping every Friday, so do make sure that you are subscribed on iTunes and you can also pick this up on my website, and all the show notes are there under each episode. I’m really grateful that you tuned in, have an awesome day, and if I have inspired you in any way to get scoping, do let me know.
End of transcript

Episode #18: Interview with Fab Giovanetti


In this episode, I chat with the lovely Fab of 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

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Podbean RSS feed (non iTunes)

Episode 16: Interview with Jen Smith of the Freedom Leap



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
Links  mentioned in the interview:
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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!