UNcomplicating Business for Teachers, Helpers, and Givers

The 4 Best Business Decisions I've Made (that you can make too!)

July 18, 2023 Sara Torpey Season 2 Episode 35
The 4 Best Business Decisions I've Made (that you can make too!)
UNcomplicating Business for Teachers, Helpers, and Givers
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UNcomplicating Business for Teachers, Helpers, and Givers
The 4 Best Business Decisions I've Made (that you can make too!)
Jul 18, 2023 Season 2 Episode 35
Sara Torpey

Four 'official' years into business, and now making well into 6 figures a year, what are the 4 things that have helped the MOST? I've been thinking a LOT about this (I always do in the summer!) - and in this episode, I'm going to share the 4 best business decisions I've made in my four years. Even I was surprised by how simple they are - you might be too. Want to make some simple business decisions that will make a HUGE difference in your business too? Maybe try these on...

Join the free FB group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/uncomplicatingbusiness/

Book a free 1:1 conversation about coaching: https://www.torpeycoaching.com/book-online

Join the Simple Way to Make 3+ Offers a Day 15 Day Challenge here: https://www.torpeycoaching.com/3-offers-a-day

Show Notes Transcript

Four 'official' years into business, and now making well into 6 figures a year, what are the 4 things that have helped the MOST? I've been thinking a LOT about this (I always do in the summer!) - and in this episode, I'm going to share the 4 best business decisions I've made in my four years. Even I was surprised by how simple they are - you might be too. Want to make some simple business decisions that will make a HUGE difference in your business too? Maybe try these on...

Join the free FB group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/uncomplicatingbusiness/

Book a free 1:1 conversation about coaching: https://www.torpeycoaching.com/book-online

Join the Simple Way to Make 3+ Offers a Day 15 Day Challenge here: https://www.torpeycoaching.com/3-offers-a-day

Welcome, welcome to the podcast. I'm so happy to be with you guys. I hope summer is treating you well, so far, it's July here it is a billion degrees. It's my time of year, I don't like to be cold. So I'm really happy to be talking to you in a tank top. So today, really this time of year is a time I reflect a lot. This is four years of being officially in my coaching business at this point. And for years, and I've been you know, and it's been longer than that it's really five. But this is the official start point that I go with, you know, the paperwork point. 

Four years in, I've been thinking about, like, what creates success, because at this point, I am well into six figures year, which I think is still, like, such a fancy treat. Like it's so fascinating to me that I get to do work I love with people I adore, and, you know, make far more than I ever did as a teacher doing really good things with other people helping them do good out in the world. Like it's magic. So I was thinking about what are you know, four years four things like what are the four things that I've done that may have made the most difference. And I started making a list about a week ago, it's taken me a while to get a quiet enough house to record this episode. 

That's what summer's like, I think you guys can probably relate. And as I made the list, what I found was, you know, keeping in, in in line with all the things I find it's a pretty darn simple list. If I look at the four things, they are 123456789 hole words. So they're really straightforward. I actually was surprised at how straightforward I don't know what I was expecting when I made the list, but it was like, oh, right, what I find is that simple things applied consistently make the most difference. These are going to be the four specific things that I think have made the most difference applied consistently. But truly, I mean, I think it is that's the key message here. If you walk away with nothing else, if you turn it off right now, which I would hope you don't do. But please, if you gotta go get the screaming good, you gotta go get the screaming kid, right. 

What I would want you to walk away with is that it's the simple stuff done over and over again, that makes the most difference, right? So here's my list. And we're going to talk through them a little bit. And then you know, as always, if you have questions, or you're like, Oh, really that God, you know, send me emails, send me an email, send me love email, send me messages on Facebook, whatever, however you want to connect. And as we're talking about connection before I jump in, if you're not in my Facebook group, come play with us. 

We have so much fun in there. It's a community full of people who want to change the world by giving a lot, who want to serve who want to teach, you want to help who want to give, and you belong with us. If you're listening to this, and you're like, Oh, I get her COMM The same name of this podcast, you really should come play. And if you're somebody that listens to me, or you're like, Oh, she might be able to help me, please, let's talk about it. The next round of group coaching kicks off in September, I want to say Oh, I do I know what it is it is the week of September 25. It will be full before then I already have someone in a spot. Groups are capped at four. 

So please, please, if it's something that's interesting to you, let's talk about it. And if you're interested really specifically, in learning how to sell more effectively, but not hate yourself, I have a course for that. And it is called selling by giving. So that again, that also starts again in September, it will open the week of 911 and it'll be accessible all through the fall. So come play in one on one coaching is always here. I only have one spot right now. Because in the summer, we're all doing a little less, but you know, come grab it. So here are the four things and they are in a very specific order for a very specific reason. So this one I don't know I feel funny actually telling you this one because of the business I'm in as a coach. But the number one thing that I did that has made the most tremendous differences My business is getting help. 

Early on in I want to say 2019 in the fall of 2019. I've been a business owner room I want to remind you I have a business that came before my coaching practice. It started in 2016. It has always sort of you know, not lived up to expectations. I learned a ton in it. It still lives. It does is what it does. But it's never been like, you know exactly what I thought it would be. And when I really decided to go full on into this coaching business, I realized how many things I didn't know, and how many things I needed help with. And that was the decision that made the most difference right out of the gate is the decision to get help, to get coached to get someone else's brain inside my business. And as a coach, I knew the value, but I had not had it for myself, I had all the reasons you have, I didn't have the money.

 I hadn't made any money yet I hadn't. I didn't know who to pick, I didn't know how to do it. I didn't know how to find someone, oh, my God, I had all I had all the thoughts. But what I realized, and I can remember standing in this office that fall in thinking, but I'm never gonna get out of my own way otherwise, like, it'll all just be the same over and over again. And I'll be frustrated by the same things over and over again, unless I asked for help. And that was a game changing decision for me. It was not one that I could afford. Like I spent money on coaching I didn't have I don't necessarily suggest that for people. I don't love it.

 I know people that do I know people that don't at that point that was 2019 was a year we did a kitchen and a new roof and a new heating system. And we had a long planned trip to Disney that year, god, oh my god, it's such anxiety about money. But I learned so much from that coach. And I spent six months with her, I left I joined a group program after her. And then I had a period of time where I was not getting coached. And I found myself in the same freakin place where I was in my own way in particular things. And I went back to coaching after a couple of different group programs, because I wanted to try some different things.

 I went back to weekly coaching one on one with someone in 20, late 21, I think. And you know, with some group programs in between there, and I've stayed with her for almost two years. So there is really something magical about getting help. And she's the first one to be like, Okay, are you making it harder than you need to be? Which I don't like when she asks me, but at the same time, you know, it's always like, Oh, right. 

If only it's to have someone else, looking at all the things I'm doing, who knows me? Who knows my business? Who believes in me who believes in my business, to say like, Oh, hey, have you thought about it this way? That changes everything. And maybe you join a group program, maybe you buy a course maybe you get some colleagues that you collaborate with? Maybe you hire a coach, maybe you whatever, listen, that help is irreplaceable. It makes so much difference. 

It has made so much difference for me. It is the first decision that I will never regret even though I remember halfway through working with that first coach, like Oh, my God, did I do the wrong thing? Am I spending money that I don't have any business spending. But you know, it worked. It continues to work, because I put in the work not because of her. She helped me with a lot of things. She helped me with things that I love Now show me with things that I wouldn't do again, she taught me some stuff that I want and some things that I don't. But I did the work with her, I showed up. And that makes all the difference. 

The second thing is right in line with this. And this is going to sound really squishy and I'm sorry on some level, but also it's the only way I can think to describe it. The second best decision I made was to be okay with being uncomfortable. I know that sounds like super logically, like great. I decided really early on that I was going to be okay being uncomfortable because I knew it would help other people. So I have said uncomfortable things. I have done uncomfortable things.
I continue to do uncomfortable things. 

I have done things where like I posted on the internet and I run and hide in the bathroom and think really hard about taking it down. I share things that make me uncomfortable to share. And I'm not saying like I don't share like all the dirty details of everything. I don't share things that are super, super personal, but I do share. You know what I'm learning in business and how I share why I come to things I share. You know who I am and what I do pretty openly now I've really had to work at that. But it's uncomfortable. 

It's uncomfortable to know the moms in the neighborhood. watch what I'm doing. It is uncomfortable, to have people I went to elementary school, watch what I'm doing it is uncomfortable to get things wrong. I have been ad post removed and Facebook groups I have been removed from Facebook groups. Because early on, I didn't know what the hell I was doing. I have had people send me messages that tell me and say that I'm, you know, targeting a market that I don't have any business targeting that I don't know what I'm doing that I don't belong. I've had the people say the things, it's really uncomfortable. I have people tell me they want their money back. I have had people disappear. Like I've had all the things that people say no. But all of those things are uncomfortable in a productive direction. And this decision to be uncomfortable, is maybe the hardest, right? It is really difficult to maintain that level of discomfort sometimes. And sometimes I can't. 

Sometimes I have to, like go hide for a little bit and be like, You know what, I'm just gonna do what I do and not be super uncomfortable this week, because I can't take anymore. That's okay. But one of the things I write down in my journal constantly is I am willing to be uncomfortable for the growth of others. I am willing to be uncomfortable for the growth of others. That is true. I am willing to be wrong. If it helps someone, I am willing to have somebody not like what I said if it helps someone, I am willing to show up and share if it helps someone. That's it, period. And so I get uncomfortable. 

There are you know, so you're like, Okay, what does that actually mean? Well, so for me, it is oftentimes where I like have an idea. And I think ooh, I don't think I want to share that, then I won't share it because that's that's discomfort. If somebody says, you know, you'd be great if you tried this thing. And I think like oh, no, I don't know if I want to do that I go do it. I put in the applications to speak at the things that I don't think I belong at. I show up on the internet and say, Hi, this is who I am. And this is what I do. I walk into the networking events. I still sometimes walk into the networking events, and I'm like, Oh, awkward wallflower. How may I help you? Oh, I have to really think about those things. 

Even still, y'all think I'm an extrovert, but really, I'm like a weirdo. 10 year old that can't carry a conversation a lot of the time. So, you know, I constantly if I run into something, and I'm like, ooh, that makes me really like, what if people see it, then I go do it. Because that's the whole point. Right? I put in the TEDx application two weeks ago, made me really uncomfortable. But I did it. And I'm going to do it again.

 There's another one that I'm looking at this week. Because what's the worst thing that happens? They say no. Okay. They say no, they don't like it. Great. I'm not going to die from that. I might die if they say yes, actually, that'll be really uncomfortable, too. So I can't decide which one I want, honestly. But you know, what's uncomfortable? What's the thing that you're like? Ooh, no, thank you. Is it video? Is it meeting strangers? Is it telling your friends and family what you do? Is it saying it more than you feel comfortable saying it? Is it being loud? Is it having people think the say no to you? What is it and then let's go, let's go find some of that. Because that's how we learn. That's how we grow. That's how we stretch. And that is how business grows.

 As you grow, your business grows. So if you're not stretching, it's not either. Number three, is kind of in line with discomfort, but it is a little different. It is get visible and vulnerable. So for me, I think the thing that made the most difference in the last two years, where my growth has really taken off, I think the first two years were pretty stable. There were a great first two years. And then things have really changed in the last two in terms of income in terms of reach, and I'm continuing to grow that because I really want to make a difference to as many people as I possibly can. But like in a sane way that feels good to both of us.

 The thing that really changed is I really committed to being seen, like I I have to be visible to help people people can't buy from me, they can't be helped by me if they can't find me. So I decided I would share a lot more. A lot more often. If you have heard me talk about this. If you listen at all to this is about making more offers. Sharing more if I have an idea, I post it like it is what it is I just let it flow out of me. At the rate it's going to I don't worry about the algorithm. I don't really worry if I'm made five posts in a row, I don't care, I decided none of that mattered. If I have like a, Hey, I had this thing. And here's what I learned from it, I made that mistake, I have been struggling with this thing. I am learning to be nice to myself, I am learning to be find joy and contentment in my business I right now I'm learning to do less, and it is hard. Because I always wants to do more. You know, I share all of that it is vulnerable. 

There are times where I'm like, Oh, my God, people are gonna hate me so much. And yet, I still do it. Because it makes a difference. So I'm willing to be uncomfortable, but I'm also willing to be seen, and maybe those feel like the same decision to you. For me, they were separate decisions. The discomfort decision happened a long time ago, like I was just going to do what I got to do. The visibility took a little longer for me. And so saying, like, I'm willing to be seen as exactly who I am with typos and spelling mistakes and charts where I don't spell the things right, and things that don't make sense to everybody. I gotta be I have to have people see me in order to help them. So you know, that's where we that's what I've done. And the last one is going to seem again, really simple. Number four is to be very focused. 

So I am ruthless. I am increasingly the ruthless with my focus. And it is be not. It's not in terms of, you know, sitting at my desk eight hours a day, but it is very much like do I need to be doing this? Is it making a difference? You know, I don't mess with ads. I don't it's not making a difference. Like it's not I'm not there yet. Maybe I will be I'm not right now. Either, all these things. So like on my list of things to do this week, I have 1234567 categories of things. They are really straightforward. These are the core things I do week in and week out, and there is nothing else. 

There's nothing beyond the things on this list for me. They are lives on Facebook, generally in my Facebook group. I email my list at least once I do some things on tic tac because I think it's fun. I record this podcast, I make offers and write posts. That's like one line item for me and I journal. And then right now there's an email series I'm writing so it's to finish some of those emails. That's it. That's my week besides talking to people, right? Like that's all of the doing things in the creating thing. That's it. That's all of it. So I you know, I've subtracted so many things over the years, like I don't Instagram, y'all know that. I take a lot of things that I post on Facebook and I move it right over to LinkedIn. I don't mess with extra tools. I don't you know, there's a whole lot of shoulds right now, they just released threads on Instagram. And I like laugh if I have an account before 2024 has no interest in it. Like I don't add things. And so for me, the focus is being grounded, knowing what I'm good at knowing who I am keeping in touch with me and why I'm here.

 Connecting really talking to people finding time to connect and network and reach people. And then making offers and telling inviting people to work with me. That's it. That's all of it. And if things are not in line with that, I'm not doing that. And so for me, that's the fourth thing, it's been being really ruthless. And I'm not on every platform, I'm not doing everything for everyone. I'm not joining every event, not taking every course, I'm just not. I don't have that kind of time and energy and I don't need you in some ways.

 For me, that was the blessing of COVID because this business has officially started in 2019. And y'all know what 2020 was, like, my kids at the time were five and seven. And they were doing their schoolwork from my desk and my kitchen counter. So you know what was only I was pretty ruthless, because there was only so much time to grow and time to work on the things I needed to work on. And so, you know, if I didn't need them, then I don't need them now. I track connection. I track, you know, outreach I track offers. That's it. I don't make it more than that. It doesn't need to be and because I'm willing to do the uncomfortable and the visible.

 It really serves me. I will say there are a couple of keys and all of this that I think have really helped me as I was thinking about these four things, I kept coming to these core ideas. The first is service for me. And I've said it 10 times, probably today, the end goal is service, I am here to be useful to people, period. It may be as I could be, I'm helpful to you, maybe you never pay me for anything. I am fine with that. There are people who do there are people who don't, I don't care. I really don't. I want you to get what you need. That's what matters at the end of the day. Some people will get more of what they need by paying me that's fine. Some people will not and that's okay. I don't mind that. I am willing to give and serve in that way. 

The second thing that I think is really helped is openness. And I constantly work on this because I would like to be a turtle. I would like to just like, hide and type and do my thing. But this openness to new experiences to new people, I think is a key for me. I really had to learn to like meeting new people. It is a thing you can learn to like, I like networking. Those are four words. Three words. I like networking. Three, that four years ago, I would have been like you're you're cute. That's funny. That's never gonna happen. I like networking. I like new people. I like meeting strangers. I like old stuff. I prefer it over zoom from the comfort of my house not wearing shoes. But if I have to go do it in public great. But there is this openness to trying new things, to meeting new people to just be with being willing to let the things work the way they work. That I think really makes a difference. 

I am not increasingly I am not trying to steer the whole thing. That's hard for me. I'm a little I'm a former classroom teacher, man of classroom teachers. Y'all know, if you're a classroom teacher, you know you're queen of your castle, you want to control all the things I am just trying to ride the ride instead of drive it. The third thing is flexibility. That is why I have a business it is my like highest order magnitude reason I am here besides helping people, I need flexibility have kids have dogs have a husband have a house, I have aging parents and in laws, I have all the things you name a thing I got one of them are three. So having the flexibility to work when I need to work do not work when I need to work. Like I didn't work a ton last weeks, my kids were off of Camp is magic. But it's also flexibility and like things change, I can change with them. It's hard for me, sometimes it's hard for all of us. But you really float focus on this idea that I have flexibility and I'm willing to use it. It's like life changing. Right? And then the fourth one is, and this is people are gonna be like, well, boundaries.

 Y'all I got boundaries. I don't talk to people on Monday mornings. I don't talk to people on Friday afternoons. I don't talk to people before 9am I take my kids to school or camp or wherever. If the day needs to end at three o'clock the day needs to end at three o'clock or four o'clock. I you know, sometimes I answer emails and messages and things at night. Sometimes I don't. Sometimes I answered them over the weekend. But if I can't, I can't write like I don't do things that I don't want to do. My husband laughs that I am now basically unemployable, because I don't do things that I don't want to do. But I have found how to turn it off. I keep my boundaries tight. Doesn't mean that I won't help people when they reach out. It doesn't mean any of that. It means that I know that I can take the time I need I say thank you for your patience. I respond people my people know I'm gonna respond always. But if I haven't, there's a reason.

 So I really try to hold that and keep that in mind. And and know that I get grace and give grace in both directions. If there's a meeting, that is in my calendar, and I need to move I asked for it to be moved. If I need help with something I asked for help if I can't do something I say so. I use those boundaries and my voice to express what I need and how you can do the same works the same for all of us even though we're only somehow okay with other people doing it. And we can't do it ourselves. So for me for you, here are the things. The things that make success are really straightforward. Simple things applied consistently. Asking for help. 

Being uncomfortable, being willing to be uncomfortable, being visible, being focused on really the things that move you forward and that's different for everybody but I know mine and then keeping service in your heart being open to the new things, being flexible and knowing your boundaries. They make all the difference in the world. These are the things so that if somebody said, what are the things that you would do again? 10 times over every single time these are them. And maybe they're useful for you today. Hopefully they are. If you have questions, you can always reach out. If you're looking for coaching, you can always reach out. If you're like, 

This is stupid, fine, reach out and say, so I'm down with that too. I'm not afraid. And if I can be of use to you, in some way other than this, if there's something you want me to talk about, that I'm not talking about, if you aren't in my Facebook group, and you should be calm, come hang out. Ask for what you need, use your voice. We're here. We're here to hear you. And I'll see you in the next episode.