The 4 most popular forms of business education | The Successful Creative, Madison, WI business coach

When you're ready to grow your business, it can be confusing to know how to pick the right resources for your growth. You take online courses, but were hoping for group coaching, you join masterminds, but really needed private coaching. When you're investing into your business education, choosing something that's not a great fit can feel like a big waste of time and money. But how do you pick the best thing?

If you're in business for yourself, you'll probably always be on the lookout for your next source of education. What's the next step? Here's a breakdown of the most popular self-education options right now and how to know what's for you.

DIY online courses: $

An online course targets a specific problem you’re experiencing: pinterest or instagram growth, how to book more clients, building your email list, etc. The course is usually completed in a limited amount of time and gets a specific type of result, like getting 100 new followers or subscribers in 6 weeks time.

So, if you want to learn how to monetize your blog, use facebook ads, or grow your instagram account, look to an online course.

Is an online course right for me?

If you're an independent learner, hoping to learn on your own time (hellooooooo naptime hustle!), you're fairly new in business, or you're brand new to a common marketing strategy, like growing your email list, an online course is great for you! There's usually no personal guidance from the course creator, so if you get stuck, you need to figure out how to make it work on your own. 

Group coaching: $$

A group course is the next step for someone looking to learn and uplevel their business. Like an online course, group coaching usually has a specific focus, but with group coaching, there’s live coaching calls with your group leader. Often a group coaching program has modules for you to work through and the added bonus of Q&A time with your coach. It's the solution to "what if I get stuck on my course?" It's like study buddies keeping you focused and growing while you take action on your business.

Is group coaching right for me?

This is a great option for someone who wants some support and guidance as they implement. After all, isn’t it kinda awesome to check in with someone and say “am I doing this right?” If you're in group coaching, you're okay with being able to ask one question during your Q&A time and then pay attention to all the other questions coming in.

Madison, WI business coaching

Private Coaching: $$$-$$$$

Private coaching is a completely custom approach to business growth. In this case, you’re paying a higher amount for your coach to work with you one to one to get YOUR business results. This includes a LOT of interaction between you and your coach-regular calls, support between calls, strategy, connections, and implementation. You determine together the areas you need growth in, create an action plan, and meet on a regular basis to create and implement your strategies. 

How do you choose your coach?

One of the easiest ways to find a coach is to ask your friends who they’ve worked with. Look for a person who gets her clients results and who you enjoy being around. Is the person you’re considering a good listener? Does she understand your vision and mission? Does she connect with how you feel when you hit a roadblock? Does she have experience growing businesses that are based on a big vision like yours? These are important indicators that the coach you’re considering can and will lead you to the results you want in your business.

Is private coaching right for me?

This is a great fit for you if you have a big goal, like replacing your full time job, breaking 6-figures, or launching another business. This means you're probably looking to implement a bunch of strategies at once. If you got an online course for everything you needed to do to hit your big goals, you'd probably spend loads on courses and still be stuck. 

See my private coaching results here

Masterminds: $$$$

You’re the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with. And a mastermind leverages that to get you big results in your business over a long period of time. While masterminds are known for their hefty price tag, when you find the right one, they're worth every penny and then some.

What makes a Mastermind so powerful?

When you join a mastermind, you’re harnessing the power of collective thinking for your life and business. This collective thinking unlocks new strategies, impact, and reach than you could have gotten by doing it all alone.

Not only do you have a group of entrepreneurs thinking with you for your big goals and problems, but you get to take note of solutions to other people's business problems. Often, these are problems you don't personally have, but you can take away the solutions and strategies for your business-solutions you would never have gotten if you'd just been focusing on your business. 

The Science behind a mastermind

Scientifically, our minds are made of energy. Remember learning about splitting atoms in science class? What was inside the atoms?? Nothing but energy, right?? That's us. We're made of energy. And our minds vibrate at certain frequencies, kinda like radio stations. Whatever station you tune into determines the kind of music you get back.

When your mind vibrates at a high frequency, you attract in things on that frequency, like love, abundance, creativity, money, results, confidence, etc, It's kinda like tuning into a radio station and finding that you get to listen to all the songs you really love. 

So how do you increase your mind's frequency?

How do you increase your mind's frequency? By surrounding yourself with creative, supportive people, of course! I often joke that my paid friends are my best friends. They're in the trenches with me, knowing my struggles, but supporting my vision, cheering me on, and helping me untangle problems and find amazing solutions.

Masterminds in the real world

President FDR created one of the first masterminds nearly a century ago. 

Maybe you've heard of it? It's a little thing called the Cabinet! He understood that he could be a better president when surrounded by people dedicated to helping him create solutions, and chose a specific group of people to meet regularly to help him tackle our country's biggest needs.

And what kind of solutions did he create with his mastermind?

Only this little thing called The New Deal to help eradicate nationwide poverty from the Great Depression. If FDR can solve world poverty through a mastermind, what can you do?

What’s in a mastermind?

Hallmarks of a good mastermind usually include

regular group calls

look for group calls with hotseat spots for you to have the group help you on your newest plans. That's where you're harnessing some major power.

In person retreats

There's nothing quite like the connection, support, and growth of an in-person retreat. Look for a retreat in an area that feels like an escape for you. An awesome retreat will include trainings, mastermind sessions, personal growth opportunities (cooking or yoga classes, anyone?), and some fun adventures in the area. 

Special add-ons

course content, private coaching sessions, and sometimes even live events are a part of masterminds. 

I'm accepting enrollment for my mastermind, The Successful Creative Mastermind, between now and October 1, 2018. Are you interested in learning more?

Conclusion

If you're looking to grow your business, here are the most popular resource for you:

$-DIY Course

lowest cost, self-directed online course with no personal direction from a coach, usually targeting a specific skill and often a 1-2 month study committment. great for beginner-level business owners. 

$$-Group Coaching

affordable, but more than an online course. Includes an online course, plus guidance from your course creator, 6-8 week committment on average (though some are more!) medium touch point, great for beginner to intermediate entrepreneurs.

$$$-$$$$-Private Coaching

A more substantial investment. A custom plan for your business growth, with regular one-on-one calls with your coach, often 3-6 month commitment, but can be ongoing. Perfect for someone ready to take on more complex growth and implement a variety of strategies at once. Great for all levels who want to grow quickly and overcome roadblocks with direct guidance, best for intermediate to advanced entrepreneurs. 

$$$$-Masterminds

High ticket investment; perfect for someone planning big growth in their business (doubling revenue, increasing from your first into multiple 6-figures, hiring a team, creating passive income, etc.) and ready for a longer term support system, often a 6-12 month commitment; Perfect for intermediate to advanced entrepreneurs who can contribute strategies and ideas to other group members.

Sarah Porter Photography | Business Coaching Testimonial

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Before working with Stephanie, I was a hot mess. I was always worried that I was missing out on business.

I was grasping at straws to get any business I could and was always questioning myself and my value.

Stephanie helped me realize I had a lot of blocks around my success and my value.

I can honestly say that my time with Stephanie completely shifted my life and business as a whole.

The way she approaches helping you find your footing and take ownership of your business has paid off in my life in dividends.

My family can attest to the fact that I'm a much happier person because my mindset work in coaching.

Because of Stephanie, I launched a second business, and raised my wedding photography pricing by $2300/sale, but...

Even if there wasn't a tangible result, my investment in coaching would still have been worth it because it changed my life.

Mourning motherhood | What no one told me about becoming a new mama

Before having Ansel, my 12 week old son, Stephen and I were married for 5 years. We traveled all over the world, enjoyed lengthy conversations together whenever we wanted to. We cheered each other on in some significant personal growth journeys. We learned who we are, we bought and sold houses, we made and lost money. And at the end of each day, we'd snuggle up together and then fall asleep holding hands. There wasn't a day that went by that we didn't snuggle for a few minutes and fall asleep holding hands. 

We were best friends. We were lovers. And we were people we'll never be again. 

It wasn't too long after having Ansel that the realization hit me like a ton of bricks. Our life together would literally never be the same again. People often said that to me with a romanticized tone, "You're pregnant? awwwww, that just changes your whole life. You're life will never be the same!" Like it would open my eyes to so much love and goodness. 

But then I realized what they meant. My life. would NEVER. be the same. AGAIN. 

And in the early morning hours of another sleepless night, I mourned. 

I mourned the Stephanie that could exercise whenever she wanted to. I mourned the Stephanie that could hop over to a coffee shop to have a spontaneous date with her husband. I mourned the Stephanie that would spend time enjoying putting on her makeup. I mourned the Stephanie that had no one else to really think about but herself and her (completely autonomous) husband. I mourned the Stephanie that got to sleep when she wanted to and shower when she wanted to. The girl that got to go on a walk by herself anytime she cared to, could work whenever and however she wanted to. The girl completely unencumbered by nap times, childcare, and feeding schedules. And I mourned the loss of our nightly snuggle time and falling asleep holding hands. 

There's so much beauty in motherhood, there really is. But no one told me that I might mourn the loss of who I was before having a baby. That I'd never be that girl again. Never have the same marriage again. I just had no clue I'd feel that way and the weight of that loss made me feel so confused and guilty. 

"But...isn't motherhood what I've been yearning for?"

"I lost 2 babies. Shouldn't I just be grateful to have this perfect little baby in my arms finally?"

"shouldn't I feel happy?"
"isn't it bad that I feel this grief?"

"Is it wrong that I miss being able to work and wish I could do that more than be with my screaming newborn?"

The guilt of becoming a new mom can be incredibly overwhelming. I literally felt this paralyzing guilt for every move I made. As my business mentor once illustrated for me, it was like carrying around a handful of balloons. I had to shower with them, get in the car with them, go to Target with them, and go to bed holding onto them. 

Holding a handful of balloons is hard. It's awkward. It's cumbersome. I mean, have you tried to get into a car wrangling a bunch of balloons? That's what momguilt feels like. 

And honestly, the solution is so simple, I walked right over it a thousand times. 

Let the balloons go. Let them go. Release it. Watch it float away. 

And as I released the guilt, I decided a few things: 

I wasn't going to let anyone else's voices create questions or guilt in my mind. I felt loss. So I decided to first grieve.

I felt confused and hormonal. So I decided to give myself space to figure it out and not have the answers. I kept tissues close at all times and didn't wear mascara because there was a high liklihood that I'd be crying soon.

I felt disconnected. So I cried, I talked with Stephen, we shared, and we began finding new ways to reconnect in this new, completely tumultuous time. And I allowed myself to be okay with learning how to love a new human-despite what I thought, it wasn't this magical instant connection. It was intuitive, yeah. But wasn't instant. I had to learn how we relate to each other and learn how to fall in love with him too. And I did. 

I missed my work, so I grieved and journaled when I could, dreaming of a time when I was doing the sacred work that ignites my soul. I allowed myself to relax into the reality that there was enough time and would be enough time for me to do what I was called to do in my work.

I mean, I missed wearing clothes that didn't have spit up on them. So I bought new shirts, and did laundry a little more often.

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I mourned becoming a mother. No one told me I might feel that way. And if you do, know that it's okay. It's a massive life change. And you'll never be the same again. And as I said goodbye to that girl, terrified as to what life would look like moving forward, struggling with a sense of regret, and feeling so overwhelmed by all the life changes I was experiencing, I started seeing something beautiful. 

Because of this new identity, I was becoming someone more beautiful. I started seeing in myself a strength I never knew i had. I started believing in myself, caring for and loving this sacred body I have, trusting, and resting. I started letting go of resistance, trusting my intuition, and reveling in gratitude. 

And as I did, some incredible things started to happen. I started seeing clients and money flow into my life with ease. I started being present-looking my son in the eyes as I fed him instead of frantically creating a social media post. And I started seeing magic everywhere. 

Just like my son lays in his crib and cries, knowing that he'll be fed but doing nothing to bring that food to himself, I started to say what I wanted and let it come to me in childlike trust. And I started celebrating a life that felt good. 

If you're approaching motherhood, hear me when I say this: Motherhood is so different for everyone. But if you feel grief, it's okay. lean into it for a bit and ask for help. And look for the magic. You'll start seeing it everywhere. 

 

My three secrets to getting a lot of stuff done

Chances are, you're your own boss (even if this is a side gig). You're the engine that grinds this whole business thing forward and you're where the buck stops. I've gotta be real with you-sometimes that terrifies me. Anyone else feel that pressure sometimes? It used to look like these thoughts swarming around in my mind: 

  • "What if I have an off day?" 
  • "What if I'm sick?"
  • "What if what I'm doing doesn't work and I have NO clue?"

So, for a while, I wouldn't do ANYTHING. Obviously, that didn't get me too far...at least not FORWARD! It took me a year of mindset work and creating routines and habits to see how to create a week filled with intention and success. 

Here’s my secret sauce that create a work week that allows for coffee with a friend, taking care of my baby,  and still driving profits to my business.


Secret #1: Create your morning and evening routines

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Think of a garden-if you're planting vegetables, you first make the container or bed to plant your vegetables in. Your morning and evening routines are your containers! Now, what you put inside them is where you'll start seeing some magic! Because once you have the container, you can plant seeds and see growth!

 When you've got a killer morning and evening routine, all that mindset and energy work you're doing will start to take hold in your life. 

While I'm a mama and my morning and evening routines are flexible right now, here's what I'm doing for my growth:

My morning routine

I get up before my son's first morning feeding (he's sleeping through the night now) and go for a walk. During this time, I listen to nature, focus on breathing, and begin practicing gratitude.

When I get back, I make or enjoy my coffee and read for a few minutes. Honestly, my reading time is pretty brief right now-I don't have a ton of stamina here but reading stamina is like muscle-you can increase it over time. Right now, I'm happy if I stay awake to read for 5 minutes, but I look forward to when it's 6 minutes...then 7...you get it!

After reading, I take time for prayer and meditation and follow up with journaling. And of course, journaling leads to brainstorming, which is when I have my best ideas!

My Evening Routine

Why make an evening routine? Your subconscious mind controls 95% of your actions...WHOA. And it's most active while you sleep. So...if you want to shift your subconscious thinking, the best time to do it is right before it's most active! Give it some fuel! During this time, I do some specific reading, affirmations, and meditation. Then, as Stephen and I fall asleep, we share what we're grateful for.


Secret #2: Make space for your best ideas

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Even if I only do this on Monday mornings (which totally happens), I take time to journal. I write prayers, get burdens and stressors off my chest, make mind maps, lists, and write out dreams. Then I breathe for a minute. 
I know I’ve talked about journaling...like so much forever but what about the breath before the journaling? 
That’s the magic!
During that time, ideas flood my brain. Why? (tell me you already know why!) Because there's ROOM for them now!! Making SPACE is seriously when the magic happens. I've drafted numerous course outlines, coaching content ideas, and marketing plans during this deeply powerful time! That's some mega brainstorming!


Secret #3: Focus on your top 2-3 goals for the week and day

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I ask this in our private facebook group often because I ask myself every monday: "If I only got 2-3 things done this week, what are my big goals?" I focus on tasks that first serve my core purpose, second connect me to the people who need my message, and third that drive my bottom line. 

You can get a million tiny tasks done, but what if you could do 2-3 BIG things that resonated with your tribe and really shifted your business? Wouldn’t you rather have that?

How about you? What's the secret sauce to creating your intentional week?

Are blogs dead? The 3 real reasons people aren't reading your blog

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Are blogs dead?

There's a big question swirling on social media right now asking "are blogs dead?" and you may totally be feeling the pain of putting words out there and having no one read them. I mean, a few years ago, blogging was such an essential part of every online business! But now people are talking about email lists, and instagram lives and facebook groups. It's hard to even remember blogging with all the pressure to build those other platforms!

So clearly, blogs are dead, right? 

Nope. They're not at all! But, there may be a few shifts you want to make in your approach if you want your words to be read out there! Blogs are a foundational tool-like your resume for a job interview.

When people come to your site, one of the most common things people do is go from your landing page to your about page, to your contact form, and then to your blog-believe me, I've tested this nearly one hundred times! One hundred perfect strangers came to my website over the past 2 years and they all did nearly the exact same thing every time! Why? Your blog is what your audience checks out to see if you're legit-if you deliver value, and if they vibe with what you're teaching or creating.  

So, if you want more paying clients, a blog is super important...but..what if people aren't reading it? 

Here are 3 reasons people are probably not reading your blog

You didn't tell your audience about your post

One of the biggest misconceptions I see in blogging is that people believe that hitting publish means their post will step out onto a stage and stand in a spotlight in front of throngs of people, ready to analyze their every last word.

Here's the reality though: Unless you tell your audience your post exists, they're not reading it. You can hit publish and let it sit there-there's a very high chance that NO ONE will know it is there for a bit.

You want people to read your blog? Tell them when you've got fresh content and I bet you'll start seeing an increase in readership!

You aren't helping your audience

Think back to the last time you saw an article that caught your attention on Facebook. Why did you click through to read that piece on the fashion transformations of the Kardashian klan, or the 5 things every successful entrepreneur does every morning, or the 3 ways you should be using your money RIGHT NOW? What do all of those articles have in common??

Each post title promises you some kind of transformation!

If you're creating content that's meant to be looked at or just savored and enjoyed, like a blogpost of photos, you're missin' it, sister. 

People don't leave social media to consume a blog post for the sake of admiring what you've created. 

If you want people to read your blog, show them how they can better their lives somehow. They're leaving social media to read articles that promise them this one thing.

So, if you're, say, a photographer and you share posts filled with pretty photos, you're likely wearing yourself out creating work that a teeeeeeeny tiny audience sees for a teeeeeny tiny window of time (aka: the people you photographed look at your post until they've got the gallery of images and then they could care less about a blog post because they've got their product!)

You don't know who you're talking to

I don't mean this in the "find your ideal client" kind of way. That's such a big topic that I'm going to skip that for now. What I mean is this:

Are you creating blog content that Google wants to rank higher?

One of the biggest reasons I advise my clients to begin their first blog is to help attract clients through SEO ranking. Yeah, I think one of your most important audience members needs to be google! But, it's the way you create your posts that helps you build SEO. 

While there's a LOT to be said about just getting out there and doing it, creating the post, putting it out there, and not overthinking it, when you do add in strategy to your posts, Google starts to pay attention and send people your way! So, take a minute to learn what Google likes and how you can add that into your blog posts. 

And if you want help doing that, I've got some awesome resources for you at the end of this post.

Don't quit blogging yet!

So, if you have given up on your blog, I'm jumping out on the trail in front of you to say "wait! Don't give up!" These three mistakes and shifts can easily be fixed and get you out in front of your target audience. 

Want help doing that? 

Don't give up on your daydream| a letter to the dreamers

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Dear Dreamer,

I'm sitting at my desk, with a million dreams in my head, a heart on fire to help creative business owners build a business they love, and a fussy, clingy infant strapped to my chest. I'm typing, recording, journaling, and building while taking breaks to feed, burp, and sooth my crying babe. 

I've gotta be honest-motherhood is the most difficult journey I've been on! I've found my purpose and work I absolutely love. I found my baby after a long journey to each other. And now, I feel divided. I want to do so many things in my business. I have so many dreams for my family too. And figuring out how to divide my time is not easy. 

Do you ever feel like that? Like you're taking 2 steps forward and 1 step back and you split your time between your daydream and your Maybe your creative business is a side hustle and your time is limited. Maybe you're also a mamapreneur and doing the naptime hustle. 

Whatever your situation, if you feel like you're taking 2 steps forward and one step back...don't give up on your daydream! You're still moving forward and that's what counts. Keep taking the 2 steps forward. Keep running toward your dream. Because you have a sacred call on your life and a purpose to live out. That purpose will be found in both your business and your personal life. The resistance might feel overwhelming at first, but keep going. It will ease up. 

So today, I'm taking my 2 steps forward. I know just how I want my schedule to look, how I want to serve my family, clients, and audience and what it will take to get there. And in 5 years, I won't be whining about the 1 step back, I'll be celebrating the forward motion, the grit, and the alignment that brought me into my dreams.

What does your life look like in 5 years? And what will it take you to get there? Keep stepping, sweet friend. You were meant for this. 

Love, 

A fellow day-dreamer on a mission

How to Brainstorm Your Way to Original Content

How to Brainstorm Your Way to Original Content

When you have great content, it attracts in new leads, it establishes your expertise, it helps qualify potential clients, and it increases your perceived value. Here are my 4 favorite ways to create fresh, original content!

Don't have a yearly business plan? You're missing out in these 5 big ways

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Every year since 2012, we've taken a weekend in late January to plan our business for the year. Sometimes we get away for the weekend, other times, we make hardcore reservations on our couch...you feel me? But each year, we create a plan that drives our business for the entire year.

But what if I don't have time for a weekend of planning?

It's been a complete game-changer for us, but it can be tough to find that time. Whether you have a family to take care of, a busy business you can't step back from, or just a crazy pace of life, taking a weekend away does mean hitting the pause button on a few things that can feel too important to pause. 

But you really can't afford not to! Here's what you're missing out on if you're not creating a yearly plan for your business.

You have nothing to aim for

In the "go" and "do," it's natural to start going through the motions! In fact, it can be so easy to "book-shoot-deliver" that you don't pull yourself up for a breath. It's in that frantic pace, in that focus on the minutia that you lose your point of view. When YOU lose your point of view, CLIENTS will be repelled from you because they don't really see and hear what you're all about.

You don’t know what’s broken when something isn’t working

One year, I was running on autopilot and stopped to look around in September of that year. No one was booking us and all of a sudden I felt a cold, hard panic! I had NO CLUE why! Why didn't I have a clue? Because I was just going through the motions, doing the next thing and not tending to my big picture. When I realized that there was a problem, not only was I clueless about WHAT the problem really was, but I was so frantic to change something, that I tried to change everything and still didn't see results! I spent time choosing new website templates and platforms. I curated my portfolio, asked for reviews, posted on social media each day, etc. But still...no one was finding us, so I churned harder! 

What I hadn't yet learned was that a good yearly plan includes ways to test and troubleshoot to know how to get your desired responses. When I learned and began implementing this skill, I was in control. I knew how to chart, test, and change things in my business!

You’re just going through the motions

There's something to be said for automating your business. But automating and going through the motions without emotional investment are two different things! Why is this a problem? When you're going through the motions, potential clients and booked clients start to feel it. You'll start hearing people complain that you are "checked out" or "don't seem to care" about them. Creating that yearly plan allows you to stay focused on those dear clients and give them your best because the REST is running like a machine. 

You feel burnout and anxiety

I've mentioned above how you can miss problems, go through the motions, and run a business with nothing to aim for. Those things can happen, yes. But how do they impact you, dear entrepreneur? That precious creativity you'd like to foster, that energy you want to have in reserves, that vision and focus you envision yourself having...you trade that all in for anxiety and burnout. Why? You're spending your time grinding, keeping your head down, facing problems you don't know how to fix. It wears you out. And you deserve better.

There’s never a feeling of “enoughness” in your business

When you don't have the focus that a yearly business plan can give you, how do you ever know when you have enough? When you can reward yourself? When you can be proud of your accomplishments? You can't because there's always one more thing. Don't do that to yourself!

So, what do you you really want from this next year? Go ahead, comment below and share in the conversation: What do you want from your business in 2018?

Ready to learn what types of goals to make in your business? Attend my FREE live training by signing up HERE

 

4 Business Investments I Made In 2017 That Totally Paid Off!

I run a seasonal business and we’re headed into our slow season. Sometimes slow season can bring on the financial scaries. It used to make me want to hibernate until busy season again and keep all that money I have stored up to make it through.

I used to struggle a lot with a very scarcity-driven mindset surrounding my slow season income. You feel me, don’t you? I mean, sometimes it’s hard to see the forest through the trees! All I know is that giving up this money in front of me means I have to shortchange something else, right?

WRONG! I learned this huge lesson over the past year about money in business:

There’s a difference between spending and investing!

When I spend, the money leaves. When I invest, I should see myself get paid back somehow. So, I made some of my biggest investments yet, and I got to see firsthand how they paid off in big ways! Let’s take a look at them and see just how big the payoff was!

(head's up, if you're unfamiliar with the term ROI, it means "return on investment.")

My biggest business investments in 2017 and their ROI

Seeing a counselor

January brought me the painful loss of my second baby. Add in some additional trauma a month later and I quickly realized I was struggling with depression (more like my caring husband realized it and encouraged me to seek help). I probably owe this dear woman about 17 boxes of tissues...but with her help, I began healing and finding hope again. If you take nothing else away from this, I just want you to know this: Sometimes life is hard. Get help when you need it. We were never meant to do life alone. 

My ROI: hope, realigned priorities, healthy relationship with God, community in my church

Finding the right accountant

This one was a massive ROI for me. My previous arrangement caused me to suffer some severe fiscal losses, so you can imagine my relief when I immediately saw an ROI on this investment and change!

My ROI: 10x my investment. I cried in my accountant’s office. So grateful!

Hiring a business coach

Want to know which investment I spent the most on? And which one KEEPS paying off in dividends? It's business coaching-easily my strongest investment of my year. I was so embarrassed and terrified to hire a coach-I didn’t want ANYONE to know I needed help! But I quickly realized that we ALL need help! 

I had some intense mindset issues to work through. But I worked hard and quickly started seeing breakthroughs. Within 2 months of the end of my coaching, I had created 2 new businesses (Stephanie Booth Photography and The Successful Creative), monetized both, and repaid my coaching investment...but check out that ROI!

My ROI: 3x my coaching investment in two months, generated from completely new avenues. Think about that. I spent the MOST money here. Which means seeing money come into my life at that rate means...I welcomed a lot of money into my life after letting a lot go!  In addition, the most powerful ROI I gained was the strength of mindset to recognize and own my strengths and build out a diversified business. How much would those returns be worth to you? What's the pricetag? 

Hiring an assistant 

After months of struggling to find time to send out client gifts, it made sense to hire someone to assemble my client print boxes and send them out. It was a test idea-while at first I was hung up on letting go of money for something I could technically do, paying her (and paying her well!) allowed me to make 6x that amount during the time she worked for me. Ummmm...What the heck took me so long?

My ROI: 6x-because someone was doing this valuable work for me, I made time to meet with a potential freelance client and they booked me on the spot

How will you invest into your business in 2018?

It’s the time of year where a lot of people start thinking about their education for the coming year. What will you invest into that will bring you lasting value? And how much is that return worth to you? If you knew now that you could get a return of 4-10 times your money, what would you invest into? If I could give you one tip it's this: consider business coaching. You won't regret it!

Want to pick my brain about any of these investments? Let's set up a free 30 min call and chat!

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How To Become A More Decisive Person| 5 Techniques to Help You Stop Overthinking Everything

Let's face it, if you're running a business, you make a lot of decisions. And because you have so many daily decisions to make, it can be really debilitating to feel stuck!

At the beginning of this year, I noticed that, as I began choosing to take risks in our business, diversify, and try new things, I was faced with decisions that had higher stakes. And as I began taking on bigger decisions, I started becoming paralyzed with simple everyday decisions.

Raise your hand if you've ever deliberated wayyyyy too long on something small like whether you should have a breakfast burrito or a cinnamon roll. Red or white? Pants or no pants? Sometimes it feels like we have to make so many decisions that when the big ones come, we've got nothing left.

Here's how to stop overthinking EVERY. SINGLE. DECISION.. And...for the record. It's always "no pants."

5 techniques to help you become more decisive

Remember that "done is better than perfect"

If you have a habit of over analyzing, there's a chance you have gifts people need and are praying for but don't get to be blessed by. You probably have a cue of work that needs to see the light of day but you're just one step away from it being "perfect." 

If this is you, you're your own worst enemy. There are millions of people who could use your unique gifts. Just choose to do instead of perfect (Sheryl Sandber). Remember, done IS better than perfect. You can always iterate. But getting things perfect is a lie holding you immobile. It's time to break free and start running toward your gifts. People need you.

Remove unnecessary daily decisions from your life 

Things like choosing your meals, picking outfits, shoes, and determining your schedule create huge decision fatigue. Never do these things in the morning if you're struggling with indecisiveness. Instead, plan your meals and outfits at the beginning of a week or the night before. Automate the behaviors that don't matter so you are not starting your day expending decision energy on personal things.

Practice rapidfire decision making

Get a long list of either/or questions (this list is great). Set a timer for 30-60 seconds and have someone ask you as many of them as possible. Your goal is to spit out answers without overthinking. If you're really experiencing a block, you may feel like choosing between chocolate or vanilla is a life-altering decision reflecting on  your personal brand. Stop it. Turn off your thoughts, and just pick one. And note that you need to figure out how to deal with your block.

Take 10 minutes off your grocery shopping time

Seriously-the next time you do your grocery list, plan for about 10-15 minutes less than you know you need. For instance. I can do about 2 weeks of shopping in 45 minutes. I create a list for that, and then give myself 30 minutes to get the shopping done.

If you’re working on decisiveness, you’ll be amazed at how many times you hear voices in your mind creating indecision. “Do I get jasmine or basmati rice?” “a bag of apples or pick each one?” “cheddar or barbecue chips?” Your mind will start panicking and make each choice an epic decision, so know your list and route, and get things into that cart that are supposed to be there.

Eliminate “Maybe” from your vocabulary

When asked to make a decision, “maybe,” or “I’m not sure,” need to go bye-bye. Instead, your answers are “yes,” “no,” or “give me one minute to check and confirm.” And don’t be afraid to say no. It can be deeply powerful.

“The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.” ~Warren Buffet, famed investor

My dear friend, I hope this empowers you to invest your precious energy into the things that are worthy of it. You are doing great things and serving others generously. Don't let your mind hold you back from the important things you are doing. 

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