Category Archives: self development

To Niche Or Not To Niche, That Is The Question?

You hear the advice all of the time, you must niche, you must niche in order to succeed! Now, I am no marketing expert and I do completely get why, we “should” do this, but let’s explore both sides to the argument. I can almost feel the marketing experts seething at the teeth and shaking their heads, no no no, don’t listen, it will end in failure. Maybe it will but maybe it won’t! The problem I have as a Life Coach is that I spend a lot of my time asking this question to my clients, “who says you should?” Should’ing yourself can promote an awful lot of guilt and anguish and if you find yourself telling yourself, “I should do this because they said I should”, then maybe it’s time to follow your own internal advice and believe in your own way forward.

The online dictionary defines Niche as: denoting or relating to products, services, or interests that appeal to a small, specialised selection of the population.

So, why should we niche? It’s all about knowing your ideal customer and your target market, so you can talk directly to them. Makes a lot of sense and one I don’t disagree with. Of course, you need to know who your target market is but the big piece of the puzzle we don’t often hear is, do you know where to find them? do you know what marketing arena they will be hanging out in? Once you know this you can target your product or service directly to your people. You can have different services and a different marketing strategy for each one.

The big problem I have with niche’ing is I don’t want to spend my days supporting just one type of person( no matter how much I love it). I am not passionate and knowledgeable about just one thing. I am passionate and knowledgeable about a lot of things and having to chose one area just does not sit right with me. Now again, I can hear the critics saying, but people want experts and experts they shall seek. Maybe, some potential customers will seek out an “expert” a “guru” a “leading light” but that will certainly come at a price and let me tell you, that doesn’t make them any better. Pricing, I will come onto shortly but let’s stay with the expert discussion for now. I know that I am not alone, I know that many of us are multi skilled, multi talented and can transfer skills from one situation to another. Why quash your passions, your skills, your desires because someone says you should. Why hold yourself back for a select few, when you can support and provide for the masses!

Now, back to pricing. The advice is right that the more “super niche’d” you are the more you can charge. But, I think this debate comes down to your values, your guiding principles, your mission statement. Do you feel comfortable and happy charging a small fortune to the select few? if yes, then great stuff and super niche away. If no, then what would make you happy and how can you achieve that?

The moral of this blog is that there is no right or wrong approach. There is no one size fits all and that comes down to the simple fact that we are human beings driven by love and security. Didn’t we all become business owners for those reasons? To love what we do and provide an income to feed us, to protect us, to provide shelter. I sense, Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs prompting me here 🙂

Ask yourself this:

Do I understand what my vision and values are?

Do I know my target market and where to find them?

Can I be courageous, stand up and be heard? (You may have the best product in the world, but if no one can hear you, you won’t be found).

Do I believe in myself and allow my passions to shine?

Whatever path you take or are on, I wish you well. There are 7.53 billion people in this world. That’s enough customers to go round, that’s enough to know you won’t please or appeal to everyone. That’s enough to surely allow yourself to love what you do and the way that you do it.

Daniela Stones is a Life Coach, Hypnotherapist and soon to be Counsellor. She supports and nurtures people with their business, with their health, with their family and with their soul. Contact her today for more information. info@danielastones.co.uk or 07948 685680

 

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The Importance of having Boundaries as an Independent Business Owner

Are you an independent business owner stressed and rapidly losing the love for your business? Then setting yourself boundaries is a must. So, what do I mean by boundaries I hear you say. Well, boundaries are a bit like having your own personal set of rules and regulations. For some professions such as counselling, boundaries are a fundamental part of our ethical guidelines. Put in place to protect us, the professional from burn out and also our customers from misleading services and relationships.

Let’s take some time to imagine a business owner without boundaries. This business owner is working every hour god sends and saying yes to every customer. Their customers are demanding the world and the separation between business and life is a blur. Their feeling fed up, panicked and completely overwhelmed. Now, I know what some of you are thinking, “but, I need to work this way to get enough money to survive.” I do get that, when I first started my business, I was in complete panic mode and said yes to everything and everybody. It was no surprise then, that very soon I was exhausted and actually doubting that I had done the right thing. I started searching for “real” jobs and was ready to give it all up within 4 months. My reasons for running my own business had not turned into reality. I know i’m not alone, the majority of my clients say that one of their top reason’s for going self employed was the flexibility that it was supposed to give them and their family. Another reason is that they want to be doing something that they love but they are actually resenting it already.

If you are feeling stressed, burnt out, overwhelmed and disappointed of the promised magic that working for yourself brings, then have a go at setting yourself some boundaries.

Start with being really clear about when and where you want to work. Devise yourself a working rota. Ask yourself these questions:

  • what days do I want to work?
  • What times do I want to work?
  • When am I prepared to respond to customer queries?
  • Where do I want to work?
  • When will I exercise, self care, meditate?

The other thing you may find helpful is to do this exercise alongside your business plan. That way you can account for the fact that in the beginning you may need a very quick cash injection. If money is tight, then you may need to set longer working hours in the beginning until cash flow becomes constant and perhaps you can then outsource some of your roles to others. Be realistic about how long things take to grow and if you have a family does this working rota marry up with your family vision? If not, are you willing to sacrifice that for now or do you need to make your timelines longer to achieve that vision? Remember though that if you are stressed and frazzled your customers will pick up on that and the money will stop flowing, people just wont want to work with you. What you put out, you will get back.

The use of a contract, T&C’s or agreement is another great way to set your boundaries and to help you be clear with your customers around, when they can contact you, how and when they need to pay, what they do if they have a complaint and what services they can expect from you. The best advice is to take your client through your contract, that way you know they’ve read it and any questions can be answered then and there. You will feel so much more in control and empowered knowing that all expectations have been set and agreed.

Now let’s imagine your own business, where you are working the hours you want to work. Time for other things in your life, time for you to recover, stay strong and love what you do. This will give you strength, focus, clarity and energy that is essential to allow you and your business to flourish. What boundaries do you need to install to achieve your vision?

Boundaries are just setting your expectations with yourself and your customers and also checking they align to your vision and timelines. If your feeling stressed, overworked and frazzled, give it a go, it may be just what you need.

Daniela Stones is a Life Coach, Hypnotherapist and soon to be Counsellor, specialising in supporting Independent Business Owners to overcome the pain, fears and self sabotage and emerge as thriving, happy and successful beings!

Contact me today for a free, no obligation chat, to see if I’m the support you need. Call me on 07948 685680 or email at info@danielastones.co.uk

 

5 tips to change your All or Nothing Approach

Does this sound like you?

You really really want to achieve something. But for some reason you do nothing for ages and then suddenly something takes over you(you become a person possessed) and then throw yourself in 1 billion %. You start all guns a blazing, you go from zero to hero and then, BAM! you just stop dead. You beat yourself up, call yourself a failure, lose your confidence, hate yourself even more and for some crazy reason you find yourself wanting to achieve that goal even more. This time though, it seems even further away and so that vicious cycle continues.

This self sabotaging behaviour is certainly not uncommon. I have seen it with many of my clients, especially those that want to lose weight. My clients come to me exhausted, with zero confidence and feel like complete failures. Well, they are so wrong, they are in fact winners. They have made the incredibly brave first step and gone and sought out help.

Here are some of my top tips to overcome this mindset.

  1. Think about sustainability. To achieve something in life and then maintain it, it has to be sustainable. This is going to be for life, so converting to a juice diet will just not cut the mustard. Think about making small changes to your current way of life. Slow it down and take teeny tiny steps. Anything drastic and you will be right back at square one.
  2. Set realistic goals. One thing I have learnt over the years as a coach is that we want to achieve to much to quickly. Everything seems to take much longer then we imagine, so when we set a goal and don’t achieve it we feel like we have failed and give up. Set daily or weekly goals, give yourself lots of wriggle room and who knows you may even achieve more than you bargained for. Remember our lives are super busy so things just naturally take longer and our energy levels our lower.
  3. Don’t eliminate anything from your plan that brings you JOY! It just won’t work. It will just get you craving and before you know it you are on a super binge. Allow yourself the joy but just cut it down, moderate it but do not eliminate.
  4. Keep your eyes on the prize. Keep reminding yourself WHY you are doing this. How happy will you feel when you have achieved your goal? ecstatic, i’m sure. If you’re visual do yourself a vision board. If you’re auditory listen to recordings that keep you strong. If you’re tactile have something that you can touch to remind you of your WHY.
  5. If you really really want to make this happen but keep going round in circles then get yourself some support. A life coach will help you with your vision, your goal, your plans, your mindset, your actions and be there for you. Think of it as having your own personal cheerleader cheering you on from the sidelines but also making sure you find your way to success.

Good luck on your journey to your goal x

Daniela Stones is a Life Coach and Hypnotherapist based in Farnborough, Hampshire. For more information or to work with her visit http://www.danielastones.co.uk or email info@danielastones.co.uk

What is Life Coaching?

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I’m beginning to get the feeling that a lot of people see Life Coaching as just another fad brought over from America. To be honest, the recent boom of coaches has grown in the UK due to the huge success of coaching in America, but if it wasn’t truly helping people it never would have taken off.

There is no one starting place for life coaching but self-development has been in our psyche since life began. Without it we would have become extinct a very long time ago. Imagine cave men having no desire to learn how to build a fire or how to feed themselves. Progression of ourselves is a thing of necessity and tends to stop as soon as we leave school.

So what is Life Coaching? well contrary to popular belief it’s not about being told what to do in order to achieve your goals,hopes or dreams. If you want to be told what to do, find yourself a mentor or just ask your Mum! Coaching is different , coaching gives you time to talk, time to explore what you really want in life, time to remind yourself of your strengths, time to work out how to overcome your blockers and most importantly time to take action. Your coach becomes your supporter, your confidante and your biggest fan. All your coach wants is for you to achieve success in whatever way success means to you. Through powerful questions, space to learn and reflection you will pretty quickly find your confidence growing, your enthusiasm for life or business soaring and your energy sky rocketing. who wouldn’t want that?

Life Coaching doesn’t look back at any past trauma or issues. If you have some troublesome baggage maybe go and see a counselor first. You need to be really ready for change, really ready to move out of your comfort zone. Coaching is all about moving forward, making a change and stretching yourself with your coach by your side, cheering you on.

My one word of warning is please check your coach has had training and holds a qualification. Unfortunately anyone can call themselves a coach, hence the reason you are seeing the title everywhere. My training with The Coaching Academy was superb and changed my life completely. I’ve worked for some big corporate companies in my past where coaching my employee’s was an everyday part of life, but actually I learnt so much more in how to get the best out of people and how to get people moving in a positive direction again.

If you feel stuck in your life, sick of your comfort zone or have an over whelming dream but just don’t know how to achieve it, then a Life Coach could well be your answer. What could you and your life gain from having a coach?

visit http://www.danielastones.co.uk for more information or call me on 07948 685680.