Every month I spend a whole day talking individually with business owners on Voxer (a walkie talkie app) inside of our comprehensive business training program, EXPAND. And every single month, I think to myself: goodness, these conversations would be supportive for SO MANY business owners (including and beyond the one I’m actually going back and forth with!).

Which is why this month, I decided to pull together five questions that were asked and share my responses with you on The Sustainable Success Podcast. Yep, I’m essentially taking you behind the scenes and answering the questions as if YOU had asked them.

Here’s the questions I’ve answered in todays episode (episode 021):

➡️ How do I set up a 1:1 offer, when my health is somewhat unpredictable and I can’t guarantee I’ll be available or ready for client sessions?

➡️ I’m feeling a lot of pressure to make my marketing work, because I need to get clients, and it’s making it hard to actually show up in my marketing because of all of the pressure. What can I do?

➡️ I’m building a course. How do I know if something is a necessary component of the curriculum, a bonus, or not something to include at all?

➡️ I had a prospective client book a call with me, and they filled out their application with really short answers that didn’t really help me understand how I could help them. Do I need to shift my application questions? Are they a wrong fit?

➡️ I have bursts of energy and clarity where things are really working, I have momentum, and I’m super inspired. But inevitably a week later I fall into a hole and seem to forget everything. How can I proceed more sustainably?

Tune in today to basically get some free business coach-sulting, and of course, come and join us inside of EXPAND when you’re ready to have these types of conversations (& so much more) in-depth with me, each and every month.

This transcript has been automatically created and minimally edited/formatted. As such, there may be some errors in the text.

[Episode preview]

If we look beyond the individual clients experience here and we more look at this broader experience of client delivery and what our role as business owners is. One of the things that I really talk a lot about with clients is that we have to as business owners build up capacity to be the leader in our business and to trust ourselves at each and every point of the journey, even the low points. In order to truly be the leader in your business, you need to be able to support yourself to get out of the hole, you need to be able to lose momentum. Notice that you’ve lost that momentum and pick your momentum back up.


[Podcast Intro]
Hey, welcome to the Sustainable Success podcast. This is your home for honest conversations about building and running an online business that brings you as much joy as it does revenue. I’m Carly Jo Bell, the Sustainable Success mentor and your guide on this journey with self trust as your North Star and foundations under your feet, you’ll be able to look external for ideas, internal, for answers and build your business your way. Let’s dive in.

[Episode begins]

If you listened to episode 19 of this podcast. Just a couple episodes back about what to do if clients aren’t using the supports available to them. Then you know that for a while here at Holdco, we had real difficulty with getting our expand clients to actually utilize boxer office hours. So much, so like so much difficulty that we actually stopped offering boxed office hours cause we were like, maybe just nobody wants these. I mean, they seem really valuable to me. Like you get to, you know, have a one on one conversation with me, have that one on one coaching and consulting throughout the day. I don’t know why people aren’t using them but they’re not using them. So we stopped offering them and then we did eventually decide to bring them back a few months ago. Now I think and we in bringing them back kind of use some tweaks that I talk about in episode 19 about how we’ve helped our clients to actually take advantage of them. Now, I’m not going to go into all the details on what those tweaks were. You can go and listen to that, but we have now consistently had clients showing up to boxer office hours every month. It’s a blast and I wanted to bring you behind the scenes of some of the conversations that we had at this month’s boxer office hours for our clients inside of expand. Now in transparency, I am sharing these conversations, I’m gonna share I think I have like five questions or something. I have these questions. I’m gonna share my answers. I’m sharing these for two reasons. Number one, because the conversations that I have and I get the pleasure of having the honor of having with individual business owners on Vox or every month at these office hours are just frankly full of so much value and what our expanders are facing in their businesses. I know from just other conversations that I’ve had with some of you even here in our community, I know are things that so many of you are facing as well. And I kind of like, you know, when I’m having these conversations with her expanders, I just am always maybe it’s just who I am, but I’m always thinking about content. I’m like, oh my gosh, like these are such important conversations. I want to bring them to more people. But to another reason that I’m sharing this kind of behind the scenes or I’m bringing you some of their questions and I’m sharing my answers with you is frankly for a business purpose. I want you to get a small glimpse of the type of support that you would receive if you were to join me inside of expand. And of course, my hope is that if you are an online coach or a service provider or any other type of online practitioner who wants to build a business that brings you as much joy as it does revenue and who is truly ready to begin sustainably calling in a steady stream of clients stabilizing your cash flow. My hope is is that you’ll consider joining us inside of expand the link to expand is always in the show notes below. You can always also head to Whole co media.com. That’s Wholeco Media ne dia.com/expand that gives you all the information on expand, that you know, you can sign up right then and there you can get started literally as early as tomorrow and we can have these Boxer office hour conversations, we can, you know, get all sorts of different support to really set you up to begin sustainably calling in that study of clients stabilize the revenue and of course, really build a business where you get paid really freaking well to do the work you most love doing in the way you most love doing it with the people that you most love working with a few caveats before I begin actually like diving into our questions and our answers here today from our expand Boxer office hours. Number one, in most cases here in this episode, I am not actually sharing the exact questions that our Expanders asked me mostly because the exact question that they ask is obviously going to be ultra specific to themselves, to their business, to their present reality and answering that exact question or even just sharing that exact question would not be as relevant to a broader audience. But also in some cases, it might reveal their identity or aspects of their situation and experience that they maybe don’t want to be revealed. So I really am trying to walk a line here of bringing in real questions that they are asking. But also doing so in a way that really honors the, the sanctity, I guess of the one on one conversation that we got to have inside of Vox for office hours. The second caveat that I want to bring here is that I have never done something like this before. I have never kind of like done one piece of content where I am trying to talk about a bunch of different topics. So I’m, you know, a little intrigued here to see how I’m going to transition between questions, what this is all going to look like where there are going to be kinks. So I just ask you to bear with me and I just ask you to, you know, like come along on this journey with me as we figure out how I could bring again these really valuable conversations that I get the honor and pleasure of having to a medium like this podcast episode. And finally, our third caveat here. If this format of me sharing these questions and answers from expand Boxer office hours is something that you like, then I would absolutely love and be so grateful for you letting me know. You can let me know that you like this type of episode by leaving us a review wherever you listen to this podcast and specifically name. Yes, Carly. I like the Boxer office hours or you can head over to our big hearted entrepreneurs, Facebook group and let us know there, I ask this because again, I’ve never done something like this. I am envisioning that it’s going to be valuable for you the members of our podcast community. But I also don’t know. And in a medium like podcasting, gosh, it’s hard sometimes to figure out are things valuable. Do people like this? Is it helpful? Because really the only way we can get any sort of intel on answers to those questions is how many downloads an episode gets and that’s helpful, but it’s also not the most reliable. So again, I would just be so grateful if you could if you listen to this and you’re like, yes, Carly, this is helpful or even if you’re like, Carly, actually, you don’t need to ever do that again. That was horrible. Which that’s OK. Please let me know. So that way we can continue to show up here on the podcast in a way that is truly in service of you. OK. So with that, I want to give you an overview of the questions we’re going to answer in today’s episode and then we’ll dive in and I’m going to just give you the question and then I’m going to talk through the answer right then and there. So our questions are, how do I set up a one on one offer when my health is somewhat unpredictable and I can’t guarantee that I’ll be available or ready for client sessions when they’re scheduled. Next question. I’m feeling a lot of pressure to make my marketing work because I need to get clients and that pressure is making it really hard to actually shelf in my marketing because it’s so pressure filled. What can I do? Next question, I’m building a course. How do I know if something is a necessary component of the course curriculum? A bonus or just not something that I include at all? Next question, I had a prospective client book a call with me and they filled out their application with really short answers that didn’t really help me understand how I could actually help them. Is that something wrong with my application? Questions? Is this person a wrong fit? How do I tell? And then final question, I have bursts of energy and clarity where things are really working. I have all this momentum. I’m super inspired. But inevitably, it always seems like a week later I fall into a hole and I kind of just forget everything. How can I proceed more sustainably? All right, let’s dive in with our very first question here. How do I set up a one on one offer when my health is somewhat unpredictable? And I can’t guarantee that I’ll be available or ready for client sessions when they’re scheduled. OK. Any time that we come to talking about building any type of offer, our very first step is we want to look at the actual foundations of a powerful offer that reliably facilitates transformations. There are five foundations of offers, we have offer alignment, the proprietary process offer inclusions, offer structure and finally price point. And it’s really only once we’ve actually begun looking at and building out each of these foundations that we can then start to get clear on how do we set the offer up for unreliable health, right, or unpredictable health. So I’m gonna just kind of look through shortly here, these foundations and then I will kind of bring in the specific, here’s how we now adapt. The very first foundation is offer alignment. Really? What offer alignment means is, do you actually want to sell this offer and or deliver on this transformation or result a conversation I’ve been having with? It feels like so many clients right now. Is that so often in this business world, we are taught to build offers based off of what we think will work, what will sell, what will be successful. And so we kind of get into our head like, oh, I need to, you know, people wouldn’t buy that kind of offer like I need to create this kind of offer or I need to do this thing instead of this even though, you know, I I need to make it a three month offer instead of a six month offer, even though I know that actually in order for my client to get the result, they need to work with me for longer than three months. Like we’re taught to really build offers around what will quote unquote work, what will sell, what will quote unquote be successful. However, if we’re actually creating offers that we are building from the ground up to reliably facilitate results and not only to reliably facilitate results, but something that we actually are committed to showing up for and consistently selling and that we will be excited to tell other people about. It’s not really about what’s going to work, what’s going to sell, what’s going to be successful. It actually does need to start from what do I want to do and then how do I make that work? Right. So it’s that offer alignment foundation of, what am I interested in doing? What am I an expert at? What is using my zone of genius? What do I want to do? What work do I want to facilitate? What do I want to do? And then from there, we look at now, how do I make that work? How do I make that sell? How do I make that successful? And when we make this shift, not only then is it actually easier for us to stay committed to selling the thing but it also becomes actually so much more in service of our clients because think about it, if you are selling something purely because you think that that’s what we’ll sell, then that’s not actually as in service of the client that it is you selling something that, you know, is what your right fit client needs in order to get the result that they’re looking for. Right? So we start with offer alignment, what do you actually want to do? And then we look at now, how do I make that work? OK. So I’m just assuming, right? With this, this question, how do I set up a one on one on offer when my health is somewhat unpredictable? I’m assuming that this person asking this question, wants to sell a one on one offer, right? If I had questions about that, then I might ask this client and I would say, hey, do you actually want to sell a one on one offer? We want to look at offer alignment first, but then second, once we know that yes, this like selling this offer actually is aligned. We want to look at the proprietary process. The proprietary process is different than a framework. OK? A lot of voices in the online business industry, talk about you need a framework, you need framework. I think frameworks are great. I don’t think you need one until later in your journey. What you do need though is a proprietary process for how you support your right fit client for a specific offer to go from where they are to where they want to be. Now, we talk a little bit more in depth about what a proprietary process is, how you build it inside of our free guide. Powerful offers that transform. I’ll link that below in the show notes. You’re welcome to go download that. It’s a great guide if I do say so myself, But really with this dietary process is again, kind of what I said, where are they now? Where do they want to be? And what steps do they need to take? Not even like it’s not like, oh they need to come work with me but on their own. If they were to take this journey, what steps would they need to take to go from where they are to where they want to be? Now, this proprietary process is probably the most commonly skipped element of building offers. Most often people say, oh, I want to sell a one on one offer, like let’s say a one on one coaching package. I want to sell a one on one coaching package. And so then they start immediately going to, ok, it’s going to have this many sessions. It’s going to be this long, it’s going to, you know, have boxer support in between. Maybe y’all include journaling prompts. I don’t know. I’m just coming up with random inclusions right now. However, when we choose those offer inclusions or we choose the offer structure before understanding the actual steps that a client needs to take in order to get their intended result. Then we’re really kind of just choosing offer inclusions blind because we don’t actually know what they need in order to take the steps that they need to take to see the result that they are looking for. So we have to have that proprietary process. And again, we walk through the proprietary process a little bit inside of powerful offers that transform naturally, we go way deeper on it inside of expand. Once we have that proprietary process, we’re now looking at offer inclusions and offer structure. And it’s within these foundations of offer building that we now get to explore. How do I set this offer up in a way that actually works with my kind of unpredictable health experiences. So we’re starting from with any amount of offer inclusions and you know, offer structure building, we are looking at what will actually create the conditions within which my right fit client can reliably take these steps, the steps of the proprietary process from there. Once we start to look at, OK. Well, they would need this length of time. They would need this resource, they would need this many sessions, they would need XYZ, whatever it is in order to be able to actually take the steps of the proprietary process and then we can start to look at OK. How do we find a blend between what the client needs and what will work with my health requirements? So this is where, I mean, I find it fascinating but this is where we get to look really specifically at. Ok. You know, maybe a client needs at least a monthly, one on one session, but maybe they don’t necessarily need uh every week session, maybe they could have a session at the beginning of the month and then have more like asynchronous support throughout the rest of the month. And again, depending on the proprietary process, you know, maybe these are the pieces that kind of blend that. Here’s what the client actually needs. Here’s how we’re creating the conditions within which they can reliably take those steps of the proprietary process. But also, here’s what I can commit to right. Here’s what I can say. Yes, I can pres schedule a single session at the beginning of every month and then have more asynchronous support for the majority of the month. So that way it helps, you know, just in case my health is doing the interesting things that it does, I can, you know, have a little bit of leeway, not have to be on all the time with a client. Now with this though, you know, let’s say that you are generally OK to have one on one sessions on Zoom and like to pres schedule them, but especially if it’s only one session per month with a client. But what if things are sometimes unpredictable and, you know, maybe last second, you let’s say wake up on the day that you’re supposed to have client sessions and you have a really splitting migraine and you literally cannot show up to a session. The question then becomes, we understand that your health is unpredictable. We’re going to, you know, kind of plan for a little bit of the best here with saying yes, maybe you can have this single session at the beginning of every month. But knowing that this might happen where there’s something unpredictable, then we want to actually look at, ok, how can we preemptively communicate here? I am a huge fan of pre emptive over communication. So what we can look at, I’m just bringing this example here, of course. But what we can look at in this example, it could be, well, maybe what you do is that you have a in your contract, something that says very explicitly, you know, the practitioner, the coach, the service provider will make every effort to give 48 hours notice of like rescheduling sessions. However, there may be some instances in the case of health occurrences or similar where late rescheduling has to happen, right? Like you obviously talk to a lawyer, but like you can bring things like that into your actual contract. You also could have like a little client pack that you give to clients at the beginning of working with you. Maybe you give that to them in like an onboarding or kickoff call or maybe you don’t even have a client pack, but in an onboarding or kickoff call, you talk more in depth about these kind of things. And you could literally say, hey, just so, you know, my health fluctuates throughout the month and for the most part, I anticipate that I will be able to keep our prescheduled beginning of the month, one on one session. However, I just need you to know that there are some moments where things happen last second and I might have to reschedule last second and you just kind of like preemptively communicate that and then you preemptively communicate what we will do if or when that happens. So you’d say, you know, I will send you an email saying that I need to reschedule. And in that email, I will include a link for you to rebook a call. I ask that you rebook that call within 48 hours of me sending that email just so that way we’re not taking too long to reschedule that call. And that doesn’t mean they have to reschedule the call to happen within 48 hours, but that they need to have it rescheduled within the 48 hours. And that’s just an example. You can find any number of things to do or boundaries to communicate expectations to set to essentially preemptively over communicate just in case something like this happens. Of course, as I have kind of been given throughout this example, is there a way to also de prioritize life support in general, life support is often the thing that is challenging when you have unpredictable health situations. And so maybe it is about seeing how you can make more of your support asynchronous. Now, that could be through pre-recorded video shows like having a curriculum of some sort. If you’re a newer business owner, maybe it’s not actually prerecording a bunch of videos typically because you want to wait to start to Precor things until you’ve already taken some clients through a process. So that way you can really see what their sticking points are. What maybe assumptions you made that you need to actually flesh out a little bit more, et cetera, et cetera. But it still could be asynchronous support through Vox or through messenger through email. Even it can be asynchronous support in terms of, you know, if you’re a service provider instead of you doing things live with a client, maybe it’s you sending them specific videos of what they need to do or you know, just things like that, that are more asynchronous that allow you to have a little bit more flexibility. Should your health be unpredictable as it maybe has been more recently? So wrapping up here, no matter what, you know, once you know that you do actually want to deliver this offer or this transformation or this result, you always then want to start from what does the client need in order to succeed. We look at that proprietary process, we look at the offer inclusions, the offer structure. Basically all of the offer foundations that we talk about inside of our free guide, powerful offers that transform. And when we get to actually looking at those inclusions and that structure, it’s from there that we begin to find creative ways to meet the needs of both your right fit client and what they need to take the steps so that they can reliably get their intended result, but also to meet the needs of you and your health. On to our second question here, I’m feeling a lot of pressure to make my marketing work because I need to get clients and the pressure is making it actually hard to show up in my marketing. What can I do often when I hear from a client that they’re feeling pressure on something it can be helpful to start to actually look first and foremost at what is causing the pressure. So let’s just say as an example, you’re like, I need to get clients, I need my marketing to work right now. My question to you would be why? Right? And so often like I’ll give a response here in terms of, hey, finish this sentence, give the first answer that comes to mind if my marketing doesn’t work and I don’t get any new clients this month. Then what like finish that sentence. Often the answer that comes to mind for clients here when they’re experiencing this immense pressure inside of themselves around something is a relatively big answer. It’s like if my marketing doesn’t work, I don’t get any new clients this month, then I’m going to end up without a home or without a roof over my head. And like when we kind of have that big thought, we want to always, first and foremost, look at is this categorically true? Like is it true if you got no clients this month that you would not have a home next month? And if that is true that you actually would not have a home next month, then it’s actually a little bit of a sign that maybe you want to look at like supporting yourself financially in some other way besides needing to get the client. And of course, that can look like different things, right? It could be maybe you get a, a different job so that you have some financial breathing room. Maybe you take out a loan or even get working capital support through maybe your bank or Stripe or paypal, maybe it’s reducing your expenses and your business and your personal life. I’m obviously not a financial advisor. So I’m not going to make specific recommendations on what’s right for you. But what I will say is that if you not getting a client right now would literally mean that you do not have a home. Then we really want to look at maybe getting a client right now is not the most supportive focus and maybe getting some financial stability underneath you is going to be more of a supportive focus. So we want to look at that first. Is that actually like categorically true? No client right now means don’t have a home next month or whatever, that kind of bigger outcome or fear is that’s coming up. If it’s not actually categorically true, that not getting a client right now would, you know, you would not be put into a situation where you don’t have a roof over your head next month. And yet that is still where your brain went to. Then first and foremost, I mean, it’s no wonder you’re feeling so much pressure, right? Like if that’s what we are carrying, it’s this, it’s do or die. If I don’t get a client, I might not have a home next month. And that’s not actually true, then it makes so much sense that we’re feeling so much pressure. And so we also though get to validate that pressure like, hey, I see that you’re here, but also we get to take one step back here if we can, right? So often we go to that really big kind of thought at the very end of the line, it’s, I’m gonna not have a roof over my head. But what is if there is like a halfway point between I need to get a client right now and I won’t have a place to live. Right. Like, is there actually a little bit of a halfway point between this initial present day experience and the, the kind of end of the line, I’m not gonna have a place to live maybe for you and I’m just bringing, you know, I’m bringing things in here, but maybe that halfway point is money is going to be tight three months from now, it could even be, money will be tight next month. If I don’t bring a client in right now, money is going to be tight next month. It doesn’t mean that I’m not gonna have a home, but money will actually be tight next month. So when we can find that halfway point, then we get to work with that halfway point a little bit. We want to explore it a little bit more, you know, let’s say, yeah, you don’t get a client this month and money is indeed tight next month. Let’s just say that is what actually happens if that is what actually happens. My next point of curiosity is what resources do you have that will empower you to be ok when money is tight next month and we can look at both outer and inner resources here. So some ideas of some outer resources that you might have, do you have a partner that has a stable income? And it’s, you know, I don’t have a partner so I don’t have a partner that has stable income because I don’t have a partner. It’s ok if you don’t either. But that, but that is an outer resource that a lot of people have. Do you have savings or retirement that you can draw from if you really needed to? It’s an outer resource. Do you have a friend or family member that you could ask for a bit of financial support from if you really needed to? Do you have the ability to live a little bit more simply on some, on less money next month? Do you have potential clients in the works right now that you can follow up with? Do you have past clients? That would be a great fit for a present offer that you can invite to work with you. Do you already have payments secured from present clients that will be coming in next month? I could keep going. But can you come up with at least five total outer resources that are available to you? Should you actually come to? The reality of money is tight next month? We also don’t want to forget to look at our inner resources here. We can think about things like have you met situations where money was tight in the past? And did you get through them? Which gives us an inner resource of proof that you can get through situations like this or we can look at, do you have marketing and lead generation skills, sales skills? Have you brought clients in from things that you have done online in the past we can look at, are you someone who stays committed even through hard things? Do you have a connection to a higher power or, you know, some a higher self, even that you can lean on and find sustenance from, do you have personality traits or other characteristics that will support you in a moment of maybe, yeah, having a reality of tighter finances. And even with this again, can you come up with at least five inner resources that are actually available to you? Should this reality happen? Once we get a clear picture on what resources are available to you, we wanna then move back to checking back in on that pressure to make the marketing work right now. We wanna look at, you know, how is that pressure feeling? Is it still feeling very intense inside of you even with this knowledge of these resources? If so, maybe we’ll use a somatic or body based practice to support you to engage with that pressure in a way that feels safe and that hopefully also creates a little bit of a dampening of that pressure. And if it has lessened though, let’s say, you know, we looked at your resources and you’re actually feeling way less pressure and way more prepared to actually keep moving forward in your marketing, it doesn’t have to work right now. It still would be great if it would work right now, we might wanna just do a double check and look at what else is still kind of lingering here around marketing or contributing to making it feel harder maybe than it needs to feel. And of course, that’s gonna look different for everybody. Some people might not actually have any of those things and simply looking at the resources that they have available to them is gonna just help them take the steps that they want to take. But if there are some of those more practical things still there, we might want look at those as well and we can either start to actually, you know, like strategize for them, make a plan for them or sometimes it’s more things that we’ve experienced something externally but that we’ve internalized it as some sort of story and we can kind of work with that story as well. So wrapping up on this question, it is really hard to do anything even if we know or that we want or need to do that thing when we are experiencing immense pressure within ourselves to go and do that thing and really to need a specific outcome from doing that thing. And often when we explore the source of that pressure, it often not always but often that pressure is connected to some sort of leap that we are taking in our thinking. And so we want to get clear in what that leap is, if there is indeed one and then support ourselves to see the reality of the situation, which can help to alleviate some of that pressure because we recognize we’re actually more well resourced to meet that feared reality than we initially may have thought. And once we work again on those initial layers of pressure that often opens us up to being able to talk through more practical strategies more like what do we actually do? Especially in the case of marketing, what do we want to do now to utilize your marketing effectively, to market your business in a way that is alignment with your goals with your priorities with bringing a new client in? All right, on to the next question, I’m building a course. How do I know if something is a necessary component of the curriculum, a bonus or not something to include at all? This goes a little bit back to our very first question where we talked about the five foundations of offer building, we have offer alignment, the proprietary process, offer inclusions, offer structure and price point and how we really want to anytime we are building any type of offer, course one on one coaching service, you know, any type of offer, a freebie, even we want to move that offer through these five foundations and make sure we have each of the five foundations so that we can make informed decisions about what actually to include when it comes to courses. It is about looking at that proprietary process and then looking at what curriculum do I need to make here to support our clients in moving through the proprietary process beyond curriculum and courses. We also typically want to think about, you know, how do we support the client to take the steps? How do we support the client to implement? Like there’s a bunch of other things to think about specifically in terms of curriculum and course building. But it is kind of that initial piece anyway, how we’re telling what to include in curriculum is based on what does the client actually need? Like what is truly necessary to support the clients in taking the steps of the proprietary process? I’ll give you an example here because I think this might be helpful. So we have a course called Right fit filter that equips you to craft specific and tailored questions for your application to work with you that make it clear whether a lead is a right fit for your work right from the start. So the steps in the proprietary process of right fit filter, the steps that our clients need to take in order to effectively craft those questions that tell them whether someone is a right fit to work with them or not, are number one, they need to define who their right fit client actually is. Number two, they need to come up with questions that will elicit responses that do clearly show whether someone is or isn’t a right fit. Number three, they need to set up their application to work with them actually using the questions they have come up with. And number four, they need to test and iterate because as they receive applications, they’re going to continue learning from the responses that they are receiving. So right foot filter is a course. It’s not something that has live support, it’s like curriculum and it’s right there in the training library like you do it on your own. We’ve created a course that takes people through this proprietary process. It has trainings on who the right fit client is, which was that first step. It has trainings on question development, which is that second step, it has trainings on, you know, the different types of applications, which is that third step, it has trainings on what to look, look out for and what different types of answers will tell you about a prospective client, which is that fourth step. So we’ve created literal trainings that are taking people through these steps. We also of course, have some kind of supplemental resources like some sample starter questions as well as indications on what types of answers. Those questions typically will elicit from a prospect. We have an application template, we have tech recommendations, we’ve included things that the right fit client for this offer is going to need in order to take the steps in the proprietary process. Let’s just think about this for a moment. If we removed one of these inclusions, let’s say we removed the conversation or the training on what to look out for in answers and what different types of answers tell you if we removed that, we wouldn’t actually be taking our clients on the journey that they need to go on the steps through the proprietary process in order to craft these specific and tailored questions that make it clear whether a lead is a right fit for their work right from the start. If we remove that training, we are now no longer fulfilling our role, which is to create the conditions within which our right fit clients can and do reliably and succeed. So everything that we’ve included in right fit filter again, just as an example here. But this is true of all of our offers. Everything that we’ve included is based entirely off of the proprietary process. But let’s say that we were to decide to add in some additional training. So we were like, well, let’s add some trainings on how to build a one on one coaching package or let’s add trainings about onboarding clients or let’s add trainings about how to conduct a sales conversation with someone who applied and was the right fit. None of those topics are in the proprietary process, which means that none of those topics, even though they’re kind of tangential to what we are supporting the client to do. None of them are actually necessary for our right fit client to take the steps of the proprietary process. And so we are not going to include it in the course. Now, one of those ideas that I just gave actually could be a bonus for right fit filter. And actually, as I was thinking through this episode, I was like, oh, maybe I wanna make that as a bonus, but that’s a different thing. And I’m in a phase right now of not creating new things. So hoping to not do that at the moment, but maybe in the future, that one was how to conduct a sales conversation with someone who applied and was a right fit. I could take that and I could turn that into a bonus because it is relevant. It is connected, but it isn’t actually a core inclusion because it’s not helping them take the steps of the proprietary process. It’s connected, it’s tangential. It is kind of the next step, which is where I find bonuses are really strong, using them as a. Here’s a next step that you would need to take after whatever the proprietary process is of the course. But I wouldn’t ever include training on how to conduct a sales conversation with someone who applied and was a right fit in right fit filter as a core piece of curriculum because it’s not something that our client actually needs in order to get the result they are looking to get from the course. A little side note here, we also don’t want to include something even as a bonus that our right fit client needs prior to being able to do the steps in the proprietary process. I’m going to say that again. This is so, so, so important, we don’t want to include something in our offer as a bonus that our right fit client actually means prior to being able to do the steps in the proprietary process. The reason for this is we need to really like and not enough business owners do this. We need to really know who is best positioned to succeed in our work and knowing who is best positioned to succeed, which is one of our audience foundations, the first element of the sustainable Success system. Knowing that then needs to inform offer building because offer building is the second element of the sustainable success system. So let me give you an example of this to really showcase what I mean. I wouldn’t sell a course on how to create a lead generation event with a bonus on how to build effective offers. Reason being someone who is learning how to generate leads already needs to have offers that are effective at facilitating results. It would be relatively irresponsible of me to intentionally sell a offer about lead generation to somebody who doesn’t already know how to build offers. I have offers the offers are working that is an element of a right fit client for a course, let’s say, or a program or whatever on how to generate leads. So this is something you know where we’re not always like filtering like individually who’s stepping into offers. Let’s say it is a course on lead generation. If I’m selling a course on lead generation, I am going to have probably somewhere in my copy kind of a recognition of you already have offers that are facilitating amazing results for your clients. Now, you want to know how to bring more clients into your amazing work. And that’s what this course on lead generation will help you do. So I would be making the assumption and then occasionally referencing it throughout copy throughout content that you need to already have XYZ things in order to be best positioned to succeed in the offer. So wrapping up here, you make decisions about what to include in any offer, including courses based off of what the client actually needs. In order to take the steps in the proprietary process for the offer. We introduced you as I’ve said a few times to building a proprietary process inside of our free guide, powerful offers that transform and again, we go way deeper on this inside of expand our next question. I had a prospective client book a call with me and they filled out their application with really short answers that didn’t really help me understand if they were a right fit or if I could help them, do I need to shift my application questions? Is there something wrong with the way I’m asking them that are not getting the responses that I need or is this person a wrong fit? Now, I should have thought more about this when I was planning this but here we are, it’s fine. This question goes a little bit into what we were actually talking about with right fit filter. The course that I was mentioning before as an example. And obviously we go more in depth on this in right fit filter. But if someone fills out an application to work with you and gives you really short relatively unhelpful answers to your questions that to me will always be a bit of an orange flag, a little bit of a flag of, hey, this might not be a right fit client reason being someone giving really short answers to questions that realistically would need longer answers in order to be fully answered typically is an indication that they’re rushing and when someone is rushing through an application, they’re also much more likely to rush through your work and kind of wanna just get to the end already. And as you very likely already know rushing through your work, does it really contribute to real lasting transformations and results a client trying to just get to the end is much less likely to truly be able to transform, you have a process for your work because it works and your right foot client will want to do whatever they need to do in order to get the results that they intend to. Now, of course, it’s not like they want to wait years to get that result. And that’s actually probably part of why they’re working with you, but they are ready to put in the work that is required and they typically want to do that work, right? The first time they’re not trying to rush to the end already, they’re in it for the real transformation or the real result. So I say that these short answers on an application to work with you are an orange flag but not a red flag. And I say this because it’s not really enough to automatically assume that a person is a wrong fit if they give you short answers on an application, unless of course, there’s some other glaring issues with their application. And so in this case where you kind of have that more orange flag, you’d likely want to have a sales conversation with this prospect and get a sense of whether they actually are someone who’s like, I just want to rush to the end. I don’t want to actually put the work in. I want to just get there already or if maybe there actually was something else going on in their experience of filling out the application. Like maybe the application, just filling it out, felt cumber to them. Maybe they’re not very good at typing, maybe they truly are dedicated to doing the work and seeing the process all the way through. But just some experience or some aspect of the experience with the application just wasn’t right for them. So we can see orange flags and still kind of like suss it out a bit before just saying, oh yeah, they gave short answers on their application, they’re a wrong fit. But with that kind of on that note, actually, you actually want to consider is your application truly set up for a right fit person. Now, this would be an entirely like much bigger conversation you can go into right fit filter for this or of course even expand because again, we go even deeper on some of these things there. But there are two different types of right fit ready to buy clients and the questions that you would ask on an application for one of them are going to be a little bit differently framed than for the other. So I’ll just give you a brief overview of the two different types of clients. There are solution oriented clients, people who are looking for a single solution to what they perceive as being a single problem. And there are transformation ready clients. People who are looking for a holistic solution to what they understand is a more core or central or deeper problem. Now, when someone is looking for a single solution to what they perceive as being a single problem. If we were creating an application for an offer for that type of person, we would want to think about asking questions that speak more to their vision of things, being single problems, right? Whereas if we’re talking to someone who understands that actually all of the single problems that they have experienced really are just surface manifestations of a deeper or more core or central problem. Then we would want to ask questions to that person. Our transformation ready person that speak a little bit more to their understanding of something, being much more holistic, something being much more core or central rather than to try to make them choose a single problem. A really simple example of this would be maybe on an application to speak to a more solution oriented person. The person who is looking for a single solution to what they perceive as being a single problem. We might ask a question like what is your biggest challenge in relation to whatever the work is that you do? But for a transformation ready person, someone who’s looking for a holistic solution to what they understand is a core problem. We might ask a similar question but not quite the same. We might ask instead, what are your challenges when it comes to the, whatever the work is that you do, biggest challenge versus challenge is just in the different phrasing of a very similar question. We’re speaking to a different person and we will elicit different responses. And the type of response that we get based on that question is going to actually start to help. Best to see is this person truly a right fit for this offer? For example, if you’re selling a more a larger full transformation offer, you’re wanting to attract that transformation ready client in. And you ask the question, what are your challenges when it comes to again, whatever work is that you do and they respond with, oh, it’s, it’s this one thing if they respond with, it’s this one thing that’s a little bit of an orange flag that this person might not be transformation ready, they might be solution oriented. Now, of course, we want to again look at the full context of all of their answers and maybe even of having a sales conversation with them. But we are at least kind of acknowledging, hey, they answered this question more in the form of a solution oriented client. So I’m going to just be mindful. Are they potentially not actually ready for this full transformation offer yet? If your application is being used for a specific offer rather than being just like a, you know, general kind of questions that they have to answer when they book a general discovery call with you, then you really want to ensure that you are asking questions that are actually aligned for the type of client that you are wanting to bring in so that you can really much more clearly see, is this person answering the questions in the way that this type of client that the right fit for this offer client would be answering them? Finally, I just want to bring this piece in. Too many people ask questions on their applications to work with them that are based off of what they see other business owners asking on other applications. But the application questions that are right for you are naturally going to be different to what are right for other people and for their businesses. And sometimes by asking the questions that we see other people asking, we end up asking questions that we don’t actually need to ask that end up eliciting redundant answers that generally add unnecessary friction to our prospective clients experiences. So we do want to also again, be very intentional about the questions that we are asking because we don’t want to add extra friction that might be contributing to, let’s say a client or a prospective client. I mean, giving us really short answers because maybe they feel I’ve already answered this. So kind of wrapping up here if your application to work with you isn’t actually eliciting answers that are genuinely helpful for you in being able to see. Yes, this person is a right fit. No, they’re not. Or maybe, but I want to talk to them and or most applicants aren’t actually engaging with one or several of your questions, then you’ll want to really look at what you are doing and possibly strengthen the application. But also you want to be really curious about how are people engaging with the application process? And if someone maybe isn’t actually engaging with the application process, for example, by giving very short answers, then I would use what you know about who your right foot client is and deduce whether their lack of engagement is an orange or more of a red flag. Our next question here, I have bursts of energy and clarity where things are really working. I have momentum. I’m super inspired. But inevitably a week later, I fall into a hole and I just seem to forget everything. How can I proceed more sustainably? OK, I wanted to bring this question to you here on the podcast specifically because this question actually speaks to something that is so important when we think about effective client delivery and taking our responsibility as the business owner to create the conditions within which our right fit clients can and do reliably succeed. When one of our expanders asked this question or kind of a variation of this question to me at Boxer office hours. They did. So from the perspective of, you know, these Boxer office hours are so helpful, they leave me so inspired and I built of all of this momentum from them. But then a week later I lose that momentum and I feel like I get stuck. And I just want to say, first and foremost, before I even go into sharing anything else here, I did reach out to this business owner and get permission to share these details specific to their story. So my initial response to myself when this business owner asked this question and they kind of talked about, you know, this feeling of this is so inspiring, but then I get stuck. My initial response inside of myself was maybe we should do boxer office hours more than once per month or, you know, we do have the live Q and A on Zoom. That’s at the end of the month. So we do already have kind of fortnightly opportunities for individual support, but maybe we should do more. However, as I sat on this for a moment, I realized, hang on a second, this is a pattern that this particular client is experiencing and they, it sounds like from what they’ve said here that they’ve experienced it a few times. So I wonder what is happening for them within that pattern. So I asked them, this is happening consistently over the last couple of months since you joined expand. What are you noticing about that hole that you seem to fall into a week or so after these box office hours? And their response was, it’s getting shallower. I notice that I’m in it sooner and I move out of it easier. Think about that power. I could have stepped in here and said, oh, you know, like I need to do more. I need to make sure that my clients don’t fall into a hole or lose momentum or whatever it is. And yet think about their response here. It’s getting shallower. I notice that I’m in it sooner and I move out of it easier if we look beyond the individual clients experience here. And we more look at this broader experience of client delivery and what our role as business owners is. One of the things that I really talk a lot about with clients is that we have to, as business owners build up capacity to be the leader in our business and to trust ourselves at each and every point of the journey, even the low points. So, yeah, I absolutely could have thought, you know, oh, I don’t want my clients falling into a hole or I don’t want my clients to lose momentum. What do I need to do so that they don’t lose momentum and yet losing momentum is actually a very normal part of business falling into holes on occasion is a very normal part of business. And so if I completely removed that somehow, maybe we did box office hours every week or something like that, that actually wouldn’t be doing anything good for my clients in the moment. Sure, it might feel better. But over the long term I want them to be able to continue building their business on their own and only to continue working with us if that’s something that they want to do, not, because they feel like they need to do it in order to truly be the leader in your business, you need to be able to support yourself to get out of the hole. You need to be able to lose momentum. Notice that you’ve lost that momentum and pick your momentum back up. You need to be able to pre empt the holes to see them before they happen and to support yourself to fall into them less frequently, you need to be able to fall into the hole. Recognize that doing so is a natural part of the business journey and get curious with self compassion about what it is that brought you into this one. Now, the practicalities of course, of doing so will be different for everybody. But the concept is the same. You have to build the capacity to face the difficult moments in your business. If you want to really build true, lasting sustainable success in a business that goes to the heights and the depths that you want it to. In the case of expand our clients occasionally feel like they lose momentum. Absolutely. They feel like they get stuck. Absolutely. Sometimes things feel particularly sticky or challenging our clients though losing momentum, getting stuck, having these sticky, challenging moments isn’t actually a problem. It is actually a great thing that our clients have these experiences because they are experiencing those things while they are in a space that has dedicated support with routine touch points to ensure that they aren’t stuck in that hole for too long, they kind of can get that top up. And if they do for some reason, find it really extra challenging to get out of the hole, we are there and ready to support them. But still we have again built in the space for them to experience the difficult things on their own and build up some capacity to face those things, build up some self trust that they are actually equipped to face the difficulties. No, yes, I say all this with nuance because also a part of our responsibility as business owners is to really consistently watch. Am I creating the conditions within which our right fit clients can and do reliably succeed? And there is a line between, yes, we do want clients to have some challenges and some difficulties because that’s part of creating conditions within which they can reliably succeed. But we don’t want clients to fully get stuck forever and never be able to get their way out. Or we don’t want to know if let’s say the majority of our clients are getting stuck in the exact same place then we want to look at. Ok, like is there something that we actually need to do to provide a little bit earlier intervention in a way that obviously is still empowering because it’s letting them still experience the difficult things and still kind of maintain their responsibility for their success. We cannot not let our clients experience the difficult things. We cannot just like shield them from the difficult things because that ends up creating a culture of codependency. And that is not how we create conditions within which our right fit clients can and do reliably succeed. So coming back now to kind of fully answer the actual question here beyond just the the things that it brings up in terms of client delivery, when you find yourself in a pattern of kind of like start stop. I really invite you to get curious about how that pattern is serving you or what role it is playing. Typically a pattern of start stop is there to in some way, keep us safe from something in business. It’s often keeping us safe from success or failure or various manifestations or side effects of success or failure. But also if you do notice yourself in a pattern like this where you start stopping, I wanna also invite you to look at Yeah, there is a maybe a quote unquote problem here. You’re starting and stopping. But look at the other thing that’s happening here. You are always starting again, even if you did stop again. If I was working with you individually inside of expand, maybe in boxer office hours or at our monthly Q and A in a private feedback video that I have sent in response to module check ins or even inside of our HCO community in between all of the other sports. And you were expressing to me, yeah, I keep finding the stop start pattern. We would probably look a little bit more deeply together at what is contributing to the start stop pattern. And we would really start to explore, you know, is this something that does actually need additional excavation work? Like, do we need to look at what’s really going on here even more? Or is this something that simply by the act of you experiencing it and being aware of yourself experiencing it, something that’s actually kind of resolving itself on its own kind of as you actually build the capacity to experience it. There were so many more questions that were asked and conversations that were had at this month’s boxer office hours, but these are the ones that I felt would be most widely relevant to you are amazing and like just absolutely wonderful podcast community. And again, you know, this is our first time doing an episode structured in this way where I’m bringing you these questions, trying to adapt them to be more broadly applicable to anyone who might be listening to this. And also then obviously answering the questions that our expanders asked during box office hours all in one podcast episode. So because of that again, I would just be so grateful if you could let me know whether this type of episode is actually valuable to you. If we get more than a few responses from people affirming. Yes, Carly, these are valuable, then I will absolutely keep doing them or you know, do them in whatever way that I can. And you’re welcome to let us know by leaving us a review specifically naming this episode or you can just let us know inside of the big hearted entrepreneurs, Facebook community that this is indeed something that you found valuable and that you actually would love me to continue doing. And then of course, if you’re an online service provider, coach guide or other practitioner, I invite you to come join us inside of our comprehensive business training program. Expand. Who knows? Maybe one day it’ll be your anonymized question that I am answering here on the podcast. All right. Talk soon.


[Podcast Outro]
Thanks for listening to the Sustainable Success podcast. You’re home for honest conversations about building and running an online business that brings you as much joy as it does revenue. I truly believe that these are the conversations we need to be having more of in our online business community. If you know too, would you leave me a review and/or share this episode with the friends?
While the review or share would absolutely be a cherry on top, I am already so beyond grateful for you tuning into these episodes, which is why I would love to gift you 25 self trust bucks. These are a dollar to dollar discount to all things WholeCo. All you need to do to claim them is head over to wholeco.media/podcast and drop your name and email in the form. You can see our terms for more details.
I know that so many of you are ready to take your next step in your journey of sustainable success, and I’d love to invite you to work with us using self trust as your North Star and foundations as your path. Me and my team are here ready to support you in getting paid really freaking well to do the work that you most love doing in the way you most love doing it, with the people you most love working with. We have freebies courses, group programs and even occasionally private coaching all set up to meet you where you’re at in business and with what you’re looking for. Head over to wholeco.media/everything to take your next step on this journey of sustainable success.

Episode Links:

Carly Jo Bell of WholeCo Media - Headshot@2x

hey!

I’m Carly Jo Bell.

(Though you can just call me Carly.)

Carly Jo Bell is a business strategist and mentor, and fonder of Whole Co media. Through her courses and programs, podcast, and one on one coaching, Carly helps pulled-in-every-direction entrepreneurs create a business that brings in as much joy as it does revenue — by cultivating deep self trust, and solid foundations as the first step.

For more from Carly, and to learn about her signature “looking external for inspiration, and internal for answers” approach, join the conversation by signing up for her weekly email series, Carly's Couch.

Therapeutic-Coach-in-the-UK-case-study

Client Spotlight: Therapeutic Coach in the UK

Photo of Pam, who has light blond hair and a warm smile.

Client Spotlight: Pam Bowman

Photo of Michelle, who has black curly hair, glasses, and a big smile standing against a backdrop of phenomenal art.

Client Spotlight: Michelle Crowder-Soellner

SSP Ep026 art

“I know I need to raise my price points, but…” (common fears around increasing your rates and what to do about them)