Be The Queen With Knees Knocking, And Still Take Action! (Fear Is Okay!)

In this blog post, I will share to be the Queen with knees knocking, and still take action.

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So you’ve decided to step up as a Queen. Hooray!

Now comes the tough bit!

Are your knees knocking underneath that beautiful Queen’s dress you’re wearing?! I get it, I feel like that too, a lot of the time actually.

BUT, you cannot let fear hold you back.

When you’re a Queen you will naturally have obstacles to overcome, it’s kind of one of the things that comes as part of the whole package of being a business owner.

If you want to grow your Queendom though, you’ve got to figure out how to overcome those obstacles, fear or not.

You’re a Queen – you don’t let obstacles get in your way. You know you have the power to work through your challenges, and any fears that might be holding you back.

There is always more than one way to achieve the success you desire as a Queen. I can bet there have been many, many obstacles you’ve overcome over the years. You can draw on that strength to overcome challenges you’re facing right now and in the future.

You can shatter any limiting beliefs with your sceptre, and get that crown of yours shining again in no time!

Yes, you may have to get help to get creative to come up with a plan, but it’s all possible. I believe that when things are meant to be then everything will feel like it’s in alignment. If you’re hitting obstacle after obstacle, then it might be time to reflect on whether you need a different battle plan.

Sometimes those challenges and detours can be the best thing ever in your business, as they help you to think creatively.

Being a Queen means learning from repeated ‘failures’, disappointments and lessons, but often that’s when the magic happens! You reflect, learn and find other fabulous ways to grow your business.

Very often, the biggest fear in your business is the one around bringing in money. You worry that you don’t have the sales skills to help convert clients, you worry that you won’t be able to pay your bills, you worry that you don’t have the services people want to pay for, the list goes on.

One of the skills that really helped me work through my money blocks, and still does, is EDT, Emotional Dowsing Technique. It doesn’t matter what level of business you’re at, we all have more money blocks that can come up from time to time that need clearing. With money blocks, often fear is attached.

I recently ran some EDT Money Block sessions, and it was amazing what came up for clients. Blocks that were hidden that they didn’t even know they had. Once they were cleared, the clients and money started to flow.

Sometimes I know it can feel like you’re pushing water uphill, and nobody is listening to you. Keep singing your song, keep telling people about what you do, keep pushing through that fear. The consistency pays off. And remember to always bring a bit of fun into your biz, it’s the best way to save your sanity!

Here’s three simple strategies to help you work through your fear:

  1. Write down what you’re feeling fearful about

    Let’s work through some of the stories you might be telling yourself about your biz right now. Here’s a few common statements my clients share with me:

    • “I have to work really hard to be successful.”
    • “It’s challenging getting new clients.”
    • “I find technology really frustrating.”
    • “Sales conversations are awkward.”
    • “I never have enough time to do what I want, or need to do.”
    • “I take two steps forward and one back.”
    On their own, these statements don’t seem that powerful, but when you attach them to a story that’s fearful, which might lead to things like:

    • “I won’t be able to pay my mortgage.”
    • “I won’t have time to spend with my family.”
    • “People will judge me”,
    you can see how it can make you feel fearful.

    Just saying these statements out loud can remove some of the power the fear has over you, and you can then start to explore ways of moving through it.

  2. Challenge Your Fear With Some Questions

    Taking this a step further, ask yourself a few questions around what you’ve put down. Challenge your thinking.

    • Is it true?
    • What evidence do you have around that fear?
    • What could you learn that might make this all seem easier?
    • Who could support you?
    • What would be a better way of thinking about this, that would empower you rather than hold you back?
  3. Use the Circle of Control/Influence

    Consider using Stephen Covey’s Circle of Control or Influence. If you haven’t heard of it, think of an archery target with three circles. The central circle – the bullseye, and the two outer circles.

    In circle one, the bullseye, you list all of the things that are within your control.

    In circle two, you list all of the things that you can influence.

    In circle three, the outer circle, you list all of the things that you can’t control.

    This is such a simple, yet amazing little tool for helping you to work through your fear. When you place your different areas of concern in the circles, you will be able to release some of the fear as you will realise there are only certain things within your control that you can actually manage or influence.

    So, let’s get that crown shining again. Clear the fear in your business, so that you can run your Queendom with confidence.

    Be the Queen with knees knocking, and still take action, knowing that fear is absolutely okay. On a side note, I have been in the place where I’ve literally had my knees knocking in a presentation when I was doing my HR degree, so when I talk about knees knocking I mean literally and figuratively.

    Before I go, let’s do a quick recap to shift that fear: 

    1. Write down what you’re feeling fearful about
    2. Challenge your fear with some questions
    3. Use the circle of control/influence to guide you

PS. If you want to clear your fear, and other limiting beliefs around your business, while having some fun obviously, book a Dolly Magic Session (which is an EDT Session) with me. My clients are getting some amazing results and feeling on top of the world, just like the Queens they were born to be.

Until next time, ciao for now!

If you’d like to do some money clearing, check out my Dolly Magic Sessions

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You Need To Change How You Do Business When You’re A Queen

When you step into the role of Queen you need to change how you do business.

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You can no longer be all things to all people.

You can’t constantly give away your time, without being paid. You’re running a business dahlinks.

You need to set clear boundaries around what you will and won’t do.

Having a really solid business model will serve you well, so you are really clear about what you will and won’t take on.

The other thing that will help you as a Queen is learning how and when to use the word, ‘No’!

When you run a service-based business, you want to be of service, and that’s great. But at what cost? In order to master your business as a Queen, you need to make sure that you’re smart with your time, strategic with your action, and focused when you do work.

Sometimes you need to set boundaries for yourself, as it’s not others who are the problem, it’s you! You’re a Queen, but you’re also trying to do every single job in your business, and all that leads to is burnout.

So, if you’re sitting at your desk or on your sofa answering emails at 11pm at night , you’re training your clients to expect you to be available 24/7 (figuratively, not literally). If you don’t want to work at 11pm at night, then something has to change. It starts with not replying to emails at 11pm at night (unless you’re a night owl and that’s when you want to work).

Another example that a lot of my Queenies (clients) love is that I only work Monday to Thursday as a general rule. No evenings, no weekends. It’s something I chose to do a few years ago. It means that when I do work, my time is very focused, and it means I get a life outside of my business too. Boundaries.

Now you might be thinking that if you set boundaries with your clients you’ll lose them, or they’ll fall out of love with you. The reality is some of them might, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t set them. Some people actually like boundaries – and people respect you when you have defined lines that cannot be crossed.

Sometimes it can help to have a few phrases to hand, whether it’s a reply to an invite to work with someone else, or a client approaching you with a problem. Here’s a few ways you can set simple boundaries:

  1.  “I no longer do free work, but you can check out my free resources here…” [add link]
  2.  “I only do paid speaking gigs. If you want to know the kind of topics I deliver, here’s a link to my Speaker page…” [add link]
  3.  “I only work Monday to Thursday, and don’t work evenings or weekends. I’m happy to work with you during any of those times. Here’s my diary link …” [add link]
  4.  “I no longer have time to do free trainings in other people’s groups, but here’s a link to some training I delivered for my own tribe. Feel free to share it with your group …” [add link]
  5.  “I no longer have time to do coffee meet ups. If you’re looking for some support though, here’s how you can work with me … “[add link]
  6.  “It’s really kind of you to think of me. I like to give projects my 100% commitment and right now my priority is ‘x’, so I wouldn’t have the time to dedicate to it and give it the full attention it deserves.”
  7.  It’s not something that feels like a good fit for me but I could put you in touch with ….”

Here’s a few reasons why you want to consider setting boundaries:

You are a Queen, you need to retain control of your kingdom (not in a ruthless way, but so you feel like you’re mastering your business instead of others ruling it)

You will be nicer to know! (Grumpy Queens aren’t great to be around. Working too hard is no good for anyone)

You will get time to do things you love (ooh, what could you do with that extra time?)

You will feel more confident (knowing that you are honouring yourself, your family/friends and also teaching your clients/others how to be strict with their own boundaries)

So give boundary setting a go! If you work on your boundaries, you’re going to have to re-train your clients so they understand what is/isn’t acceptable to you. It’s tough, not for the faint hearted, but it’s oh so liberating! And hey, you’re a Queen, you CAN do this!

Action This Week: Spend some time thinking about the boundaries you need to set in your business. Where are you giving your time away? Where are you overworking? What needs to change? Make the changes and then you’ll have time to do your royal duties.

Want to work more on boundaries? Check out this little PDF.

3 Ways To Say No To People Who Want To Pick Your Brains For Free

In this blog post, I will share what you can say to people when you’re done with people picking your brains for free.

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Read Full Transcript below...

As your business grows, so do the requests from people. The problem we can have as service-based business owners, is that we genuinely want to help, and sometimes that can mean we give away waaaaaaay too much of our free time.

At first it might be giving away lots of free sessions of one type or another. Over time, because of your generosity you can become the go-to-person for free support and guidance – as one of my business coach friends would put it – free consultancy.

Now, I personally get this A LOT. This past week alone I’ve had 8 requests for ‘free’ help in one form or another. The thing is, it makes us feel good, doesn’t it? Someone’s thought of little ole you on this area. “Ooh, maybe I do know what I’m talking about. After all, if people are asking for my help, that must mean I know stuff, right?“. It’s fine in the early days, but when it starts to become a problem it gets to the point that you have to set clear boundaries and say enough is enough.

Side Note: If you’re being asked a lot about the same things, you might find it’s a good area for you to focus on in your business. You’re obviously already becoming known for it!

I digress.

Let’s explore 3 ways of how this might be showing up for you and how you can deal with it.

  1. Can you just share a few gems of wisdom with me on… or If I send this over to you, would you just look at it for me.

In some cases, I’ve even had people talking about other coaches they’re working with. Quite clearly that’s not working out so well then, or they’d be asking them and not me!

Here’s what to say:

I’m more than happy to share a couple of gems of wisdom, but if you want to get real gems then let’s talk about how we can work together. You’ll only get a teeny tiny bit of my support by doing it this way. We can get transformational results when we work together 1:1.

On the ”Can you just look at this one” message you could say…

Sure, just send it over. From what you’re telling me, it shouldn’t take too long to work through. I’ll invoice you for an hour of time. If we need more, I’ll let you know before taking it any further. What’s the best email address to send the invoice to?

Don’t do what I’ve done in the past, where I’ve set the boundary at the beginning of the call and then ended up being caught out later down the line! If you have to, write the word ‘Boundaries’ on a post-it note as a reminder not to go back on the boundary you’ve set for yourself. New boundaries take time to establish, we can go back to our old ways without even thinking, so be kind to yourself if you slip up! 

  1. I wonder if you can spare 20 mins or so for a chat with me to talk about ways to… ?

(In my case the common one is to attract clients)

Here’s what to say:

Of course, I’m more than happy to have a chat with you. My fee is £200 per hour for this type of thing. How much time would you like to book with me? Let me know and I’ll send you over some possible dates.

If it’s a coaching client then I’ll say this… “I do have a self-study programme, Discovery Call Magic, that teaches all about how to book/use discovery calls to attract clients (£197). Let me know which option you prefer and I can send you more details 

  1. I wondered if I could pick your brains about something when you have 5 minutes. (Maybe this is from a business colleague, or maybe you’re being asked for ‘mates rates’.)

If it’s someone that could really do with your help, a great way to reply is this:

That’s a great question, pop it in my Rock Your Fabulous Biz Group on Facebook and I’ll reply when I have a spare moment. There’s loads of free support in the group, and often answers can benefit everyone else too, but if you prefer 1:1 let’s book a Pick My Brains Session. It’s 20-minutes for £67 or £97 for a 30-minute session. You can ask me whatever you like. I can guarantee you’ll go away with loads of ideas and a mini-action plan to get you started.

Mates Rates – Just don’t do them! Keep the lines clear between mates and business. Good friends won’t expect it for free. I know. I work with a few friends and because they pay me for my services, it doesn’t get all icky when we’re just out and about being friends. Say something like this:

I like to keep my business completely separate from personal. I don’t do mates rates. I’m happy to book you in for a paid session. I’ve found it works so much better when the lines between friends and business don’t get blurred“.

You’ll still be sharing all of your expertise, and that’s not just since you’ve been in business, that’s all of your life experiences, the trainings you’ve done, the things you’ve learned along the way, the books you’ve read, etc. There is one question to ask yourself on this though….

Is there something in it for you?

I mean this in the best way possible. If it’s a two-way thing, and you’re going to help that person, and they’re going to offer you something in return, i.e. a session, free ticket to an event you’re excited about, a coffee/lunch or whatever you like, then that’s okay. This is about you honouring your worth. I’ve had loads of pick your brains conversations and they haven’t even offered to buy me a coffee! And you know how much I like caffeine!

Maybe they are going to give you a glowing testimonial which is just what you’re looking for to add to your website. Then that’s all good. Usually though, the reply is something along the lines of, ‘Oh, I wasn’t expecting to pay”! A good reply to that is, “Oh, really?”

Enter sarcastic Ruby: “Ummm, yeah, I’m a business owner.”

The Big Sub Message That Makes You Feel ‘Ouch’: I value what you do but not enough to pay you (or even save to pay) to work with you.

Now, I’m not saying don’t help. We all know how that one will work out, we can’t help ourselves. We’re hard-wired to help!

What I am saying is there is a line.

If you’re putting lots of useful content out there, and being of service in lots of different ways, then you don’t need to worry. Send them to that free content and invite them to join your community. You’re still serving, you’re still helping, you’re just not being taken for granted.

For me, I know I have SO much content out there for people. I am constantly sharing heaps of valuable stuff for free, so that way I don’t have to feel guilty about charging. People can either do the work to find what they’re looking for (searching keywords on my blog about a specific area for example) or they can pay me for giving them fantastic mentoring guidance bespoke to them and their business.

Remember: You’re running a business. 

Call to Action: Think about where you’re giving away your time, and get some wording/systems in place to support the people who want your guidance for free.

Are You Being Wishy Washy With Your Boundaries?

In this blog post, I’m going to be talking about how boundaries are vital when running your own business, for your sanity, and often for the sanity of people around you too.

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Click the play button below to listen, or scroll down and click ‘Read full transcript’ if you prefer to read the post.

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Read Full Transcript below...

Are you being wishy-washy with your boundaries?

Boundaries are something I have to personally work on all of the time. I have people in my life that push them and I’m probably my worst enemy as I also push my own, all to the neglect of my health.

When we are in a job there are set times for when we should work, we can’t burn the midnight oil in the office as the caretaker will kick us out, that or the alarms will go off when we sneak down to make yet another coffee to get through the work we’re doing.

Yet, it’s ok for us to do that to ourselves when we work from home, isn’t it? No, it’s not. It can be very challenging finding the cut off point for when not to work when you’re a business owner. The paperwork sits there looking at you, or you hear the ping of your email account and have the urge to check ‘just this one message’. It’s so tough knowing how to stop sometimes.

How Know When To Set A BoundaryIf you’re not careful you can end up with yet another job, rather than that business where you get to be your own boss, set your own hours and come and go as you please. You know, that one you dreamed of when you started out?! How’s that working out for you?

It can be all you want it to be but you have to stop people pleasing, or feeling the need to be at everyone’s beck and call 24/7. You wouldn’t be able to speak to someone in your local department store in the middle of the night, so why would little old you running your business need to be there all day and all night working?

You need to set very clear boundaries in place so that people will know when you are/aren’t working, and if you’re like me, sometimes that other person is actually you! You’re the one pushing and pushing and not taking a break.

You have to in effect retrain people (including you) to respect your new boundaries once you set them too, because whether you want to admit it or not, if your clients are messaging you early morning or late into the evening (and you’re replying) and/or you’re thinking it’s ok to work all day and all night, then guess what, you’ve set that expectation.

The good news though is it’s such a very simple thing to change. Yes, it does feel uncomfortable to begin with, but over time it becomes your new norm. You become a much less tired, and let’s be honest, nicer business owner (and partner, friend, parent too).

So let’s do a mini audit.

  1. Are you answering emails at the crack of dawn or well into the evenings?
  2. Are you constantly checking your email notifications throughout the day?
  3. Do you see the Facebook Messenger little red icon pop up to tell you someone’s chatting with you and feel restless until you go in and find out who it is, and reply?
  4. Do you work with clients at times when you really don’t want to?
  5. Do you have set time off, whether it’s regular days each week or one particular day, but you cancel it anyway to help someone out?
  6. Do you avoid your self-care, putting everyone else first?
  7. Do you think that if you don’t work super hard you’ll have no business?

Recognise yourself in any of these? Yes? Then we need to talk boundaries! Obviously there are loads more things that will meanSay 'No' you’re not being clear with your time, these are just some of the common ones I get from my clients. Oh ok, and ones that I’m guilty of too!

What impact does all of this ‘jumping to the needs of others’ have on you – mentally, physically, emotionally? Maybe your family is starting to complain about the time you spend not being present? Maybe you know your work and personal life are constantly bleeding into each other, but you’re not sure how to fix it.

So let’s keep this really simple and start some boundary work, with these 3 steps;

  1. Notice where your time is going. You might want to keep a mental log or perhaps you will keep a journal/time log for a week so that you can be really clear on what’s working / what’s not
  1. Decide how you want things to be different and set clear boundaries. Think about how you want your working/personal life to be and then set that as your new norm. So for example, I don’t work Fridays or weekends. I also don’t answer emails after 6pm or before 10am and I let my clients know this. I rarely work evenings, unless I choose to. At first it felt awkward, but it doesn’t have to be. More importantly I thought I’d lose clients, but that didn’t happen either. Just say that you’re gifting yourself a day off, that you have set strong boundaries because you’re a workaholic. People do understand. I even encourage my clients to do the same.
  1. Stick to the boundaries you set – they are non-negotiable. Here’s a mini extract from my co-authored chapters of the book, Awaken Your True Potential;

“Now the number one problem with boundary setting is if you default back to your old ways. It’s completely normal but also frustrating. This makes it incredibly confusing for the other person as they are receiving mixed messages. You need to stand by your boundaries even if your brain is saying, ‘eek this feels really awkward’ or your stomach has butterflies as if you’re on the world’s most terrifying rollercoaster.

Once you’ve decided on your boundary you have to stick to it. No watering it down, no bending the rules, no giving in. If you’ve stated something and someone is challenging you, simply repeat the same sentence again if you need to, so that you don’t cave in. You will think you sound like a broken record but it’s an assertiveness trick that really works! Remember it’s about being assertive, not aggressive.”

There’s no room for buckling. Share your boundaries (with a smile) and stick to them!

Finally here’s a couple of tools to help you get refocused on your priorities;

  1. Close down all screens other than what you’re working on
  2. Log out of your email accounts (I know, I know – it’s like coming off drugs, but you will be thankful you did in the end)
  3. Set a ‘Do Not Disturb’ time on your phone, i.e. no notifications between 6pm and 10am
  4. Use an app to literally lock you out of programmes you don’t want to waste time on
  5. Get a Boundary Buddy, so that when you’re about to say yes to something you know you should be saying no on, they will remind you of why it’s important for you to respect your boundaries

Your call to action this week: Follow the 3 step process for boundaries and check in with me.

  1. Notice where your time is going
  2. Decide how you want things to be instead and set the boundaries
  3. Stick to your boundaries, using tools or perhaps bringing on a Boundaries Buddy to keep you in check.

I’d love to hear about your boundary setting, email me at ruby@rubymcguire.com to let me know what you’re going to do differently as a result of listening to this podcast. I reply personally to every email.

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