I Can’t Be A Good Coach and a Good Business Woman at the Same Time

We’ve been facing lies and labels here since before there was an actual big blue couch. It’s just what my besties and I do. Recently I discovered an interesting lie rumbling around in my head: I Can’t Be A Good Coach and a Good Business Woman at the Same Time. Hear me out on this. Anytime we start a sentence with “I can’t,” we should pay attention. We should pay attention because what follows is almost always a big. Fat. Lie.

We can do way more than we give ourselves credit for. You can do way more than you give yourself credit for! And so can I.

This lie that we can’t be good at more than one thing has got to go. For me, it’s the lie of “I Can’t Be A Good Coach and a Good Business Woman at the Same Time.” That’s a load of crap because the truth is that I AM good at both AND I’m getting better at both, too!

Here’s the TRUTH that I will start telling myself when that lie tries to stop me from growing:

  • I have a decade of experience of being a business woman, and nearly two decades of experience in the working world.
  • I’ve learned a LOT on this journey AND I’m not done learning! I’m willing to share what I’ve learned along the way, too.
  • I have six years of experience as a Coach and I’ve helped thousands of people get results!
  • What makes me a good Coach is how I encourage and believe in the people I get to work with. I am also not afraid to ask hard questions.
  • My own journey in life and business is what makes me a better Coach, too. I am always pushing myself to grow and level up in both areas.

Since I just discovered this lie, I’m going to give myself some grace to grow, but I’m also going to journal on where the root of this silly belief or thought might have come from. For now, the truth I shared above has already encouraged my soul more than I realized I needed!

So what about you? What lie do you need to face today so you can stop beating yourself up and encourage yourself? It’s more important than you realize to face the lies. You are worth it. This one life that you get to live, and what you choose to do with it, matters.

Find the lie today, my friend, and then encourage yourself with some truth.

Much love,

~Coach Mandy

4 SOP’s Every Business Needs

The year was 2011. I found myself working part-time for a multi-millionaire as a virtual assistant and I was stoked. It was during this experience that I learned the term SOP. Now, I’ve got to admit something to you – I’m not always the first one to get these acronyms for business terms. In fact, a former boss once referred to me as her MVP and I had absolutely no clue what that meant! (It means “Most Valuable Player” for my fellow acronym & sports illiterate friends.) Anyway, I share this nugget of information with you because it’s quite possible you’ve been scratching your head and wondering to yourself, “what on earth is an SOP?” Allow me to shed some light on this for you. An SOP is simply a system of process. Or, a Standard Operating Procedure. Whatever you choose to call it doesn’t matter. What DOES matter is that your SOP is your go-to plan for how you will operate your business and how you expect your team to operate as well. It is a vital piece of information for your internal operations. Every business needs one. In fact, in our nearly five years of business, we’ve discovered a total of four SOP’s that every business should have.

Customer Service SOP

Right off the bat, every business needs a customer service SOP. You need to know what your system will be to communicate with your customers. Things to put on this SOP include:

  • Answers to frequently asked questions, including links to helpful website pages or blogposts. (This is important so your team knows how to answer these without having to interrupt you all the time. It also helps create a stable brand because customers will witness everyone on your team sharing the same message.)
  • Basic details such as hours of operation and when customers can expect to hear back from you.
  • Refund and return policy.
  • A list of department managers might be helpful too so your team knows who to direct customers to.

Event Planning SOP

Planning an event for your business can be fun and exciting, yet it can also steal your focus from the day-to-day tasks that make your business run smoothly. Your Event Planning SOP will help everyone stay focused on the right things. It will also help you remember what needs to be implemented for every event. Things to put on this SOP include:

  • Marketing plan for your event complete with deadline dates
  • Setup and decorating details for your event
  • Email correspondence plan for attendees
  • Day of event assignments for volunteers and staff

Marketing/Social Media SOP

When momentum starts building in your business, one of the first tasks that can get dropped in consistency is your marketing and social media. You get busy and then find yourself scratching your head wondering what you’re forgetting. A Marketing/Social Media SOP will help you stay on track and delegate tasks to team members when needed. Things to put on this SOP include:

  • How often you will post on social media each day.
  • What events, products, or services you will be marketing each week or month and where to find up to date details.
  • Who will be posting what.
  • Updated login details for accounts such as Buffer or Hootsuite to schedule our posts ahead of time!

Blog Content SOP

Blogs are not dead. In fact, they are coming back in style! The content on your blog is where newbie’s and Champion clients find value and connection. The last few months, we have challenged ourselves with writing new content five times a week. This means we have a creative content meeting once a month to brainstorm new ideas and assign days to each writer. A Blog Content SOP is in the works in our company and it includes things such as:

  • How often you will write.
  • Blog categories
  • Scheduled breaks in your blog so you can rest and recharge.
  • When the next content meeting is! *wink*

So there you have it, full list of ideas on 4 SOP’s Every Business Needs. Here’s the thing: don’t get legalistic about this. Creativity gets stifled when there’s no flow and freedom to it. Use these SOP ideas as guidelines and build upon them/tweak them when needed. Just be sure to keep everyone on your team up to date on any changes!

Much love,

~Coach Mandy

3 Tips to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking

Confession: I never took speech class in high school and I HATED the thought of having to speak in public. Period. I’m the girl that was comfortable singing in front of thousands of people, but the thought of giving a speech in front of ten people gave me so much anxiety that I wanted to cry. My words would get jumbled, I would sweat like a pig, and I was scared to death. I know I’m not the only one who has had this fear because public speaking is ranked as the number one fear most people have! So, my friend, if you can relate to this fear at all, take a deep breath because you’re about to discover three tips to overcome the fear of public speaking!

1. Write a first draft of every word you want to say, and then…PRACTICE.

When I first started public speaking, I wrote down every single word that I was going to say and I didn’t go off script EVER. It was a bit silly, really. But what I discovered during that season was valuable information that set me up for success as a speaker later on. For instance, I now know that filling up eight pages of word-for-word notes fills about an hour of time. I also know that most speakers talk faster when they present for real than they do when they practice. And the last bit of information I discovered from doing this tip is that over time, it’s easier to scale down your notes into 3-5 bullet points when you have already written down all the possible words you have to say on the subject. It helps clarify things in your mind and it works.

2. Record yourself. Watch it. Take notes. Repeat.

This is a tip that I have learned from many top inspirational speakers. It works! And it is one of my biggest secrets to honing my craft. After nearly every speaking engagement, whether it is a small coaching video or a keynote to thousands, I take the time to watch or listen to myself. And then I take notes and figure out what I did well, what I could have done better, and what needs to change for next time. This simple task has also made me appreciate my speaking voice. I used to HATE the sound of my own voice when I listened to a recording! Now, it doesn’t even bother me anymore.

3. Work with a Coach to get training and grow your skill.

One of the best things I did to get over my fear of public speaking was to put myself in an environment to learn from other speakers. I have done this by listening to podcasts, reading books on better communication, and going to conferences such as She Speaks. When I went to She Speaks, I also signed up to be in a Speaker Critique Group where I had to present a five minute speech to the group and then I was able to get coached from a professional speaker. It was the best thing I’ve ever done! I continue to do this from time to time and I’m always grateful for the feedback and tips on how to keep growing.

My old fear of public speaking is funny to me now. Especially when I remember that as a kid, my best friend and I recorded ourselves and pretended we had a radio show! Sometimes the things we are born to do get tripped up because of one silly little fear. That doesn’t have to be the case anymore – for either of us! Are you ready to overcome your fear of public speaking? If so, take action today and tell me which tip you are going to apply this week! The world needs to hear the message that’s burning inside of you. You can do it! (And if you’re ready for major accountability, feedback, and ideas for speaking topics, I invite you to join us at the next Business Mastermind! It will be an easy way to put action step #3 into action right away.) 

Much love,

~Coach Mandy

3 Tips for Planning Your First Event (from a former professional event planner)

Let’s talk about…events. They are one of the secrets to how we have grown our company since the very beginning. When done right, events can be a beautiful extension of services in your business; when done wrong, they can be detrimental to your growth and your motivation. As a former Event Planner – in a full-service hotel setting, an independent wedding planner, and a volunteer leading events in ministry – I’ve got over a decade and a half of experience in planning events of all sizes. I’ve learned some tips along the way, and I want to share them with you today. Here are 3 Tips for Planning Your First Event…

1. Quality Over Quantity!

The biggest mistake you can make when planning your first event is this: expecting a sold-out crowd. For real, it’s the biggest mistake I see newbie businesses and event planners making. And it’s one I have made often, myself.

Nothing kills your enthusiasm and invites stress into your life more than trying to fill 200 people into a brand new event. Something beautiful happens when you shift your focus from quantity to quality – you release the pressure and you also begin to focus on creating the best experience for your attendees, instead of trying to just pack them all in to reach your bottom line.

My advice is this: if you are planning your first event, aim for 50 people but plan for the possibility of double just in case. Most rooms can be set up in two different ways so have a few options in your mind of how you can fit more should you sell out unexpectedly. A smaller crowd also gives you the chance to workout the kinks in your content if this is your first time facilitating an all-day event, mastermind, or workshop experience. Never underestimate the power of small beginnings!

2. Keep Expenses Low!

Events are a great way for small businesses to bring in new clients. They are also a great way to bring in extra cash flow during slower seasons. Here’s where things can go wrong though: food, decorations, and swag bags.

Don’t get me wrong, women’s events are known for awesome table decorations, yummy food, and fun swag bags. However, not every event needs these things for it to be successful. If you’ve never planned an event before, food costs can sideswipe you really quick! And swag bags? Well, if you’re a new small business or a first time event it most likely won’t be in the budget to get swag bags so you’ll have to spend your precious time asking for sponsors. That’s not necessarily a bad thing to do, however so many times we see people going in that direction and then completely neglecting the other parts of their business that need tending to because they’ve stressed themselves out with high expenses for a first time event!

Take a deep breath and let’s consider a few things here. Ask yourself these questions:

  • What is my budget for a meeting room?
  • How large do I need the room to be?
  • How can I add value without adding expenses?
  • Is it necessary for us to offer food at this event, or will it be better for the attendees to have a break and leave the facility for meals on their own?
  • Do I have the time to get sponsors, or is there a better option?
  • Am I trying to make this event like everything else I go to, or is it suppose to be something entirely my own, but I can’t see it because my focus is too small?

3. Maximize Volunteers!

Volunteers are a great way to create community both when planning your first event and when planning future events. In the beginning, our main volunteers were our friends and family members. As we grew, we discovered that we had some raving fans and Champion clients that were excited to help out. We absolutely LOVE our volunteers and it’s always fun to have them with us at each Beautiful Wholeness event! Their stories and their enthusiasm has done more to help us reach more people than our own efforts ever could.

So how many volunteers do you need? That’s a great question! Years ago when we were dreaming about our very first event, we had a well meaning elder leader in ministry tell us that we needed 30 volunteers for an event that was maybe going to reach 100 people. Insert eye roll here, please. That is WAY more volunteers than you would ever need for an event for 100 people!!! That’s 30% of your crowd and completely unnecessary! The typical rule for volunteers is this: 1-2 volunteers per 50 people. For real! The more people you have volunteering with small crowds, the less effective and more stressed out everyone will be. So keep it smaller and you’ll be much much happier.

Planning your first event will always be a growth experience for you. However, following these tips can help take some of the stress out of the process and make your first event a WIN no matter what happens!

Much love,

~Coach Mandy

10 Ideas to Get More Engagement on Your Facebook Page

According to a recent search on Google, an average of 1.47 billion people log onto Facebook every single day. That statistic is from June 2018 and the data is astounding. It begs the question: are you tapping into this social media platform with your Facebook Page? If not, you’re missing out!

We’ve built our company primarily through our Facebook page, word of mouth, and some traditional media such as TV and print. However, it must be said that the Big Blue Couch Coaching Facebook Page has always been our #1 spot for advertising and engaging with our Champions, as well as new clients. It’s our go-to platform for community building!

Today, I want to share with you our top ideas for building your Facebook Page. These ideas range from free to small-size advertising budget ideas. Here goes…

10 Ideas to Get More Engagement on Your Facebook Page:

1. Ask a “just for fun” question. 

It’s called social media for a reason. People LOVE to share their opinions and a great way to learn about your audience is to ASK fun questions! Get creative and ask questions about things that YOU enjoy so you can find out more about the lives and personalities of your audience. A few examples of questions to ask include…

  • RANDOM: What’s your favorite movie?
  • If you could only wear ONE for the rest of your life, what would you pick – lipstick or mascara?
  • Sunrise or Sunset? Which would you choose?

2. Post a blogpost article but use compelling words in the post, then boost the post.

Posting a blogpost without an intriguing description won’t cut it. Grab their attention to make them read more! A simple way of doing this is to copy and paste a short, compelling paragraph from the blogpost and then use that as your description in the post. Then type “read the full article below” or something similar. Once the post is published, boost it for $5 for a day or two and see how it does. If it is popular, maybe boost it longer. If not, no big deal.

3. Facebook Like Ads for $2-$5 a day. 

Never underestimate the power of steady growth. Facebook Like ads don’t have to be expensive. Use a clever tagline or an inspirational saying as your ad words and track how well it does.

4. Give encouragement.

We don’t need any more Debbie Downers. What we need is more encouragement and truth! Choose to rise up and be the encouragement that you crave. You’ll end up impacting your audience in the best way possible!

5. Do a LIVE video and schedule it ahead of time so people know to tune in (here’s how).

6. Share a real life photo from you day. 

People love to creep on Facebook, right? So let them SEE your life! Let them get to know who YOU are, not just your brand or business.

7. Tell a real life story of something you are overcoming. 

This builds connection and let’s them see that you are real and authentic. That is a powerful and attractive quality.

8. Make a quote photo on WordSwag and post it.

This is seriously our favorite app to use for quick quote photos. You can use your own photos or search for some stock photos from their free photo options. Just remember to add your website or logo to the graphic!

9. Share a useful tip. 

Make it quick and useful. Use emoji’s when appropriate. It can be serious or fun. Just give value!

10. Ask people to help you empower more people by sharing this post and getting the word out about an upcoming event. 

Never underestimate the power of the SHARE button! People love to help others out and more often than not it doesn’t happen because we forget to ASK. So be brave. Ask for help!

BONUS TIP:

Remember that people are coming to your Facebook Page because they want to connect with YOU and what you offer. Use caution when sharing posts from other pages. Be the expert that you are and use your own content more than other people’s!

You’ve got what it takes to grow your business, your movement, your dream. Don’t let the technical difficulties and social media confusion or madness stop you. Implement even just three of these tips on a consistent basis and you’ll be amazed at the growth and engagement on your Facebook page!

~Coach Mandy