Have you ever had to “fire” yourself from a job? I’m talking about it in the context of a blogger, a freelancer or creative. This is an idea I learned from my brothers, when they were deep into their digital strategy business. They were behind big brands like Fully Booked, Jericho Rosales, DMCI Homes, and such companies. Their goal after their corporate trainings and consultancies was simple: For their clients to become so competent so that they could fire their consultants (the consultants being my brothers). When I asked what he meant, he said:
“As a consultant, your job is bring ‘smarts’ to the situation. When you do that, you should be increasing your clients’ capabilities so that as you work together, it’s a learning process for them. Within a certain amount of time, they should should be able to fly without you,” says my youngest brother, Kayo Cosio of HoneyComb Communities.
Ever since they stated this years ago during a training workshop, I’ve thought about it in the context of my own work, and being “fired” on certain occasions, plus to how “fire myself” from situations. Let me explain.
See, I’ve been blog coaching for four years now. In the beginning, when I was handling a few clients at a time, it was great. I could do everything on my own, except for the graphic design elements of the websites and blogs of my clients. Down the road, more and more clients came, and I had to hire more people to make the websites and to do the work with me.
Growing a team is never easy, and I even hired some really bad people along the way. There were a handful of projects that never saw the light because of some unreliable freelancers I contracted. Of course, I learned it the hard way: All the blame went to me, as the project manager. As a result, I fumbled up projects, made clients unhappy, wasted people’s money and time, and of course, all that ruined my reputation. I had lots of great projects, but the disappointments and failures always affected me the most.
What my failures in consulting have taught me
I’ve seen through the years that I should have fired myself when I saw warning signs — like those I’m listing below. Looking back, my unhappy clients have been the ones whom I didn’t give value to. There were those who felt I wasted their money, others who didn’t jive with my style of coaching, and others who didn’t like their websites and blogs. These clients, I’ve since grouped into “the dissatisfied” for data purposes. Normally, I would let these glaring failures keep me down, but as it turns out they are the most helpful category of clients for me. Because it’s my failures with them that help me create something blissful out of a seemingly negative and career-killing situation.
What I’ve realized is:
1. There are clients who need more hand-holding than others. I’ve had clients who are more demanding of my time and supervision than others. If I’m not delivering their time expectations, I will of course fail them because they find value in constant access to me. I should fire myself before things get too detailed.
2. There will always be people who equate service price with hours rendered. I’ve had a handful of prospects who’ve said “Your Skype sessions are overpriced” without even trying them first. But I’ve had MORE clients say that my Skype sessions were vastly helpful, even more than my offline group workshops, because of the one-on-one aspect. When colleagues and I deduced what the unhappy clients found wrong with the service, we saw that these clients didn’t really care about the price, but they made price instead of time & consulting the most important aspect of their choice to work with me. I should fire myself, because I am not valued, nor is my service.
3. There will be clients you think are great for you, but they don’t really need you. It’s important to validate a particular client actually needs you. This was one mistake I made more than once. My coaching is most valuable to clients who really don’t know what they want for their blog or website. So in the times I was hired by clients who already knew a majority of what they wanted, I should have actually let them go. Why? Because if I cannot work with them or offer them value, then they will of course feel they didn’t get their money’s worth.
So, thank you, to every client I’ve had. The successful projects have affirmed that I am a great blog coach for a specific kind of client. The failed projects on my part confirmed what I was doing incorrectly, and have since helped me to “fire myself” as a blog coach.
But this doesn’t end in failure. I’m too much of a life hacker to settle in the dust.
I will always love doing social media and blogging strategy. But just because I want to work doesn’t mean I want to keep trading hours for money. For sure, I don’t want to work until I’m 60. And so, the goal is to create systems so that I still give value to those who come for brand consulting, coaching, but spend less hours being physically doing the work. This can be achieved through my new books, some webinars that we are cooking up, and limited number of consulting spots for those truly serious about growing their brands. This means letting go completely of certain services and automating current ones. These will also help filter out my non-ideal clients (those who need hand-holding and my constant presence).
So, hello to new things! Now that I have “fired” myself from certain roles, I can breathe easier, work more efficiently (and with better results), work with clients who are really the best fit (and I for them).
Have you ever had to “fire” yourself as a coach, a consultant or service provider? How did you look at the situation? Let’s share our experiences in the comments. (Or I invite you to start a topic in our Facebook Group, the Blissful Brands & Businesses)
Hello, hello! It’s coming to the end of the year, and with that, a wrap-up of our Workshops. This November, there will be two workshops that’ll be specifically for bloggers: The Write Blissfully Workshop on November 12, and a new SEO Simplified, for Bloggers workshop on November 19! I’m so excited for these two workshops because they can actually go hand-in-hand with each other.
Write Blissfully, on November 12
The Write Blissfully Workshop is a purely writing workshop. (We first held this workshop in March, which you are read about here: Write Blissfully Recap. On the first part of the day, we will have a talk and presentation on the 4-step writing process we can all use to write better, faster, even if we aren’t writers to begin with. The afternoon will be a writing session, with one-on-one help and coaching.
Bonuses: Participants will receive an additional free 30-minute coaching session via LINE or Skype, after the workshop so that you can implement your blog post outputs from the workshop on to your blog.
SEO, Simplified, on November 19
The SEO, Simplified Workshop is the first-ever search engine optimization workshop we’re doing, in collaboration with Romela de Leon, SEO consultant & strategist. She and I “met” inside our Blissful Brands & Businesses Facebook Group (join it, it’s fun in there!), where we exchanged ideas about doing a workshop specifically to help bloggers get better search results and traffic from their efforts.
Bonuses: Participants will receive Romela’s free SEO Starter Kit for Freelancers ebook.
Rates: Special Bundles
We have various rates for the SEO Workshop:
- P1,500 only! — For those who will sign up during Write Blissfully Workshop
- Our Early Bird Rate is P2,000, until the 9th of November.
- The Regular Rate is P2,500 – 10th to 16th of November.
The One Woman Shop is a secret resource I’ve consulted throughout the years as I’ve built up my freelance career. It’s a hub for those, like me, who have worked on their own to create small businesses and or platforms to reach women, in particular, who want to craft a life they love. This September, they are coming up with an amazing roundup of products from a variety of creators, which are specially designed for us female solo business owners! Believe me when I say this is a bundle that will change your business, if you put in the hard work.
What people are saying about the Solopreneur Success Bundle:
“The Solopreneur Success Bundle was, for me, a complete no-brainer! It contained an unmissable amount of offerings from incredible solopreneurs that have worked out how to do the things I haven’t — and then offered them out in this generous format, saving me time, money and lots of frustration! This is a wonderful idea, offered in a great spirit of collaboration, for which I am truly grateful. It has helped me fill out lots of ‘knowledge gaps’ and is contributing hugely to the new direction of my business. This bundle is well worth your investment of $99 and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to others — and as an added bonus, you get to ‘meet’ lots of new, lovely peeps too :)”
“I am so happy I purchased the bundle! It’s how I discovered One Woman Shop and became a member myself, it was absolutely worth the price!”
And ladies, the following leading ladies in solopreneur success are part of this package. Get a load of this lineup, please, and tell me this isn’t something you want:
- Bianca McKenzie – FB Ads for List Building (Value: $)
- A step-by-step, 6-module course for creating, testing and getting results from Facebook ads. No more second guessing. Grow your mailing list faster and with confidence.
Brittany Berger – The Productivity Power-Up Workbook (Retail value: $19)
- Over 50 exercises walking you through a productivity audit for your business to pinpoint what’s holding you back from getting shit done and build a plan for taking back your time.
Farideh Ceaser – Launch Playbook (Retail value: $98)
- Digital guide leading you through all the elements of a launch in an easy step-by-step manner, with checklists, budgets, calendars and more.
Indigo Colton – Hire Your VA in 1 Week (Retail value: $97)
- The only step-by-step course that walks you through the process of finding, interviewing and hiring your dreamiest virtual assistant.
Jess Freeman – Create a Year’s Worth of Social Media Graphics (Retail value: $29)
- This 26-page PDF guide is for entrepreneurs and freelancers who are frustrated by their lack of social engagement, and want to create beautiful, branded social media graphics.
Kathie Wiehanne – BluChic WordPress theme (Retail value: $79)
- Feminine WordPress themes that give you confidence that your website is attracting and converting the right customers for your business.
Kerstin Auer + Danielle Bertoia – tools for better RETREAT (Retail value: $79)
- Virtual, self-paced retreat combining coaching and yoga that gives you the essential tools for self care. Consisting of 8 lessons, including podcasts, videos, transcripts and worksheets.
Lauren Bowling – The Grow Your Money Tree Toolkit (Retail value: $7)
- 20+ page ebook on ways to grow your income both in your 9-5 or via a side hustle, with income goals worksheets and spreadsheets to track your income and spending.
Leah Kalamakis – Set It & Forget It (Retail value: $247)
- An online course to teach you advanced email marketing strategies and funnels to automate your newsletter and sales.
Marianne Manthey – Blog Beautiful (Retail value: $24)
- A 178-page ebook is more than just a book with a list of tips: It’s a self-paced course for creating a professional looking blog without spending thousands.
Matt Giovanisci – Asana for Bloggers (Retail value: $25)
- Matt walks you his live Asana setup for managing his own (super successful) blogs so you can get organized and better at managing yours.
Melissa Bolton – Get Famous (Retail value: $37)
- Great publicity is for everyone, not just huge brands. Get Famous teaches you the same strategies Melissa used to get into O Magazine, Working Mother, Entrepreneur, and more.
Rebecca Tracey – Get Paid – How to Price Your Packages and Services (Retail value: $35)
- The mother of all how-tos for determining your prices, whether you’re just getting started or have been in biz for a while.
Sara Funduk – CourseCraft Pro Upgrade, x2 (Retail value: $98)
- CourseCraft’s Pro upgrade gets you unlimited participants, unlimited uploads, a customized URL, the ability to bundle your courses, and free custom branding.
Sarah Eggers – HTML and CSS Crash Course for Creative Bloggers (Retail value: $129)
- Learn the basics of web design through 25 online lectures with in-depth cheat sheets, so you can make simple and engaging design changes in your posts, pages, and overall web design.
Sarah Morgan – Create. Profit. Party! (Retail value: $29)
- A start-from-scratch guide to creating passive income, so you can build products and programs that will not only be valuable to your audience, but also allow you to work less.
- Shannon Mattern – 5 Day Website Challenge + Using Data to Grow Your Biz (Retail value: $54)
- Learn how to build a WordPress site with 5 step-by-step tutorials, then learn how to use Google Analytics to get more people to your site and convert them to subscribers.
Shay Cochrane – SC Stockshop Credit (Retail value: $49)
- The premier shop for the highest caliber of styled stock images by professional commercial stylist and product photographer Shay Cochrane.
Val Geisler – Growing With Groups (Retail value: $97)
- A 10-module, DIY course designed to help you navigate marketing your business in Facebook Groups without feeling sleazy, salesy, or silly.
Some of my recommended resources would be:
Building Your Online Community – Cristina Roman + Sara Frandina of One Woman Shop (Value: $49)
What it is: This is a 14-week, step-by-step, action-packed guide you need to kick off and strengthen your online community as a solopreneur. It’s a product of the One Woman Shop is a resource hub and membership community co-run by Cristina and Sara, who believe that business isn’t one-size-fits-all, and going it alone shouldn’t be lonely.
Kickstart Your Content – Sara Frandina of Sara Frandina Strategies (Value: $29)
What it is: This workbook lets you set actionable goals, learn how to use your audience, competitors, and keyword research to brainstorm, create an epic content plan, and start writing! It’s crafted by Sara, who is a copywriter and the other 1/2 of the One Woman Shop team.
So, bloggers and biz owners, take advantage of this. Limited time availability: The Solopreneur Success Bundle will only be available for purchase from September 12-16 and is ONLY $99. After that, it’s GONE. Remember you will receive a variety of digitally-delivered products, services, and subscriptions so that you can level up your blogs, your businesses.
Affiliate disclaimer: Some of the links above are affiliate links, which means we will receive a commission on products purchased. The products + services I’ve mentioned are those that I believe will benefit you in this Make it Blissful community.
The first time I heard the term “life coach” was in the forums of a women’s entrepreneur group I joined made up of American bloggers. At the time, I didn’t think it was something I needed. “Why should I talk to a perfect stranger about my life?” I’d wonder.
It wasn’t until I realized I needed some direction in my life that I first reached out for some coaching. So in early 2013, I connected with Jess Lively (who is an intention coach, a branch of life coaching). She really helped me to realize how I wanted to live my life and do my work, and I’ll always look up to her as the first person to really whisper possibilities into my soul.
Fast forward to 2016, and I found myself again with a life coach, this time here in Manila. When I met Kimi Lu a few months ago, it was the first time I encountered a life coach here in Manila. We had common friends (my cousins, actually! Small world!), so we decided to meet up over coffee one afternoon and get to know each other. She specializes in coaching people towards their potential and loving who they are, using her techniques in Neuro Linguisitic Programming, Reiki Healing and Hypnotherapy. (I’m a believer in these powerful tools, especially since they all worked wonderfully for me when I had my gentle birth experience when Krista was born.)
As a life coach, Kimi has coaching packages you can choose from. She does one-on-one sessions, corporate training, soft skills training, and also group workshops. And guess what? She and I are also going to do a workshop together. We’d been wanting to do this for some time
after stalking each other on social media for like two years.
This September 3, 2016, get to work with certified life coach, Kimi Lu, in a unique workshop that combines mindset training, actionable goals and personal branding. (I’ll be doing the personal branding component in this collab, which will help you bring your passion project either to market or to the public so that you can grow it.)
This workshop is called Get BLISStified, and Kimi has actually been teaching this technique even before my blog was named Make it Blissful! Boom. So you can imagine how amazing it was for us to meet and connect on the real concept of bliss. (Yes, it is a real state of awareness, as you will see in professional Reiki sessions with Kimi.)
What this workshop will do: What’s the special thing about this workshop? It’s this: We will be with you for one year to help you make sure you get your passion project launched. ONE YEAR of our time, guys. That’s the first time we’ve made this sort of commitment. That means that each month, we’ll help meet you where you are in your plan for that project and be your support. (How shall we do this? Well, you’ll find out during the workshop.)
When you attend, there are goodies. Everyone will get an inspired, personalized journal. We’ll teach you how to use this for the best results as you begin that passion project that you’ve only been dreaming about. Along with this, you’ll be receiving a special care package to remind you that you have a nurturing support group with you: bodycare products from Origins and from Pure Beaute (VCO-based beauty products), and a copy of Belong Magazine. You will also enjoy a sumptuous afternoon meal by our friends and loyal workshop host, La Creperie. So join us for an afternoon of life COACHING & PERSONAL BRANDING activities that will give you ACTIONABLE STEPS towards creating work that you love. The moment right now is already the beginning of your Passion Project! It’s happening!
Ready to #GetBlisstified? Sign up today by texting or contacting 09174930722
1. Deposit or Transfer to KIMBERLY LU, Savings Account BPI 1629132461
2. Photo/screen capture of the transaction/deposit slip
3. Send back to the number above as iMessage or Viber.
I’m sure if you’ve followed me and my friends Frances and Ginger on our blogs and social media, you’ll have learned about our new project (it’s a company, actually) called “Beauty Biz Bliss.” You’ll be reading some other articles about our launch, such as the blog on Beauty Biz Bliss, but here’s my take on our new company, why I think it’s the perfect time to start it and what our hopes and dreams are for this new community.
To start off, here’s a definition of what we mean by our name, taken from our About page on our new website:
Beauty, Biz, Bliss. Together they make up the best of you, the truth of who you are as a woman. Never be afraid to embrace all three for yourself. You deserve to enjoy your life!
We envision a community of working women who will uplift, encourage and collaborate with each other. Through this website, we will provide tools, like photos, articles, discounts to certain service and product providers. As a community, Beauty Biz Bliss is a network of working women: entrepreneurs, freelancers, managers, office girls, students or moms who have sidelines or businesses. We will connect with each other through an online database so we can work with each other.
In BBB, we want to stress on the value of community. Beauty Biz Bliss at its core is a community of like-minded women who believe that collaboration is the new economy. From startups to apps, from organizations to online hubs, people the world over understand that collaboration can create new opportunities for growth.
We also want to deliberately be out-of-the-box. One of the reasons why I love working with Ginger and Frances is that we are all OK being a bit rebellious — haha! We’re unapologetic about our personal convictions and the way we’ve designed our lives, respectively. We’re all working women, full-time moms, wives to amazing spouses, and as “happy rebels”, we have this innate need to challenge the template of traditional success, whether in the blogging world or the biz world. If you look at our individual blogs and social media channels, you’ll see we’ve designed our lives around the things we love and believe in.
And this is what we want to do with other women in the Beauty Biz Bliss community. Through our online membership site, we’ll be offering premium resources to help women design their lives, from the way they carry themselves (inner and outer beauty), their work ethic (business & career), to changing their mindset from template-living to intentional living (living their bliss).
Related post: Beauty Biz Bliss: Collaboration Over Competition
Our launch brought together around 30 women from various niches in beauty, business and bliss: Bloggers, career women, techiepreneurs, startup founders, coaches, creative entrepreneurs, crafters & makers, working mothers. It was such a diverse group, even our guests wondered, “Why are well all here?” And that reaction is what we really want our community to be known for.
We want to bring women together to make new possibilities happen.
The women we invited have one way or the other built their own successful communities in their niches (those mentioned above). So what if we could fuse one or two communities or businesses together and create something new? What if collaborations could give birth to new businesses and organizations we never thought possible?
And —and this is at the heart of what Frances, Ginger and I want to do— what if we could begin impacting the lives of women who were less fortunate, abused or displaced? What if by helping women connect with one another, we could create new social enterprises that improve the lives of other women?
Related post: Beauty Biz Bliss launched to celebrate working women
What Each Component Means for Beauty Biz Bliss
Beauty:While the co-founders are not beauty experts, we believe we are successful women, and we know that inner beauty expresses itself outwardly. So for us, the “beauty” component of BBB includes building confidence in the women we work with. We’re going to go deeper than just doing makeup workshops and styling. We intend to offer activations on the whole package ofself-esteem, true identity and confidence.
Biz: The co-founders of BBB believe that work has be meaningful so that we can give our best effort to it, whether we run our own businesses or are super employees. We advocate the art of working excellently, as careerwomen or businesswomen. Our offerings in this category will be around business and career development.
Bliss: We define “following one’s bliss” as “thinking about the big picture of life and creating a lifestyle that you love.” “Bliss” means opening the doors that were once shut to you, and saying “YES” to the things you’ve always wanted to do but never had the confidence to do: travel, projects, a business, an advocacy — whatever it is. Expect life coach offerings, practical life-business retreats, that sort of thing.
So that, in a nutshell, is what we shared during the launch. We also had activities, which you can read more about on the Beauty Biz Bliss blog. And I hope you can also read some of these blog posts by our guests (thanks, ladies!)
3 Things I Like About Beauty Biz Bliss by Beauty & Sparkle
Beauty Biz Bliss empowers moms by the Manila Times
Building a community of empowered women by Project Vanity
The Beauty Biz Bliss Community: Be a #BossBella by Mommy Ginger
Thank you to our lovely sponsors who made our launch event so awesome!
A Vanilla Story, Alfox Printing Services, Aloe Cure and Aloe Derma, Bayani Brew, Biogenic Alcohol, Brownroots Creatives, Carlos and Veronica, Co.Lab Xchange, Cusina Home, Design Hatch, Girlstuff Forever, Gourdo’s, Hey Holiday, Fly Ace (Jolly, Biscoff, Doña Elena Al Dente Pasta), La Dolce Vita, Moleskine, Oleia, Physiogel, Spring Manila, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, The Cuisinero and The Little Whisk
Be part of our BBB community! Here’s the sign up page: http://beautybizbliss.com/register/
By the way: This is us in Beauty Biz Bliss!
“I don’t have a helper or babysitter or nanny, so I don’t have time to blog.”
“I can’t think of things to write, so that’s why I haven’t been blogging.”
“I’m busy. Just busy. So my blog doesn’t get taken care of.”
Have you ever said these things about your blogging life? I know I have — and my business revolves around this medium!
But here’s a simple truth about this kind of platform: You will never grow your blog into a business if you don’t treat it like one.
When you take blogging seriously, you’ll understand that being a blogger is so much more than just creating blog posts.
That’s right. Look around you and see the bloggers who are using their blogs as a business platform. They are doing so much more than just writing a blog post a day, and posting a sponsored Instagram post. I know what I am talking about, because in the six years I’ve been blogging in public (because I’ve had blogs since 2001), I have done sponsored posts, offered advertising on my blog and social media channels, been a brand ambassador, and now, I offer one-on-one blog coaching and consultations.
All these services became possible because I had built a brand through my blog. Building a brand is about building your authority and expertise, about earning your readers’ trust and loyalty.
Recently, I told you that I am killing the blog — or rather, the way I have been using this blog. Why did I do it? Because I have realized one important thing:
My blog is not the end goal. I don’t want to be known just as a blogger.
I know that blogging isn’t a “be all” for me. It’s just the beginning of many possibilities, one of which being business.
I’ve said throughout the years, this one phrase in all my blog workshops:
My blog is the storefront for my skills and services.
I said this about Dainty Mom, and I still say it about Make it Blissful. In other words, I understand that my blog is more than just a platform for other businesses to book so that I can talk about their business. By utilizing the blog and creating a brand around it, I have done two things these last six years:
(1) I have established a readership (or following) for my brand, and
(2) I have created opportunities to make money from the skills I’ve learned as a blogger and social media user.
About three years ago, I knew that the sponsored post business model would not be sustainable for me. I tried to make it work, and you know this if you’ve read about my struggles as a lifestyle blogger. I’ve tried to marry the “inspiring blogger” brand with the lifestyle blog brand, and it’s just not ‘me’ at all. I’ve been ridiculed and hated on for it, too, and I don’t blame those people. Why? Because I knew — just as they did — that I wasn’t being true to myself as a blogger.
I’m not a good brand ambassador, because I struggle with being advertorial. I can do it, yes, but it’s not my core strength.
I’m not an ideal lifestyle blogger, because the pace of lifestyle blogging isn’t a pace I enjoy or thrive in.
What am I good at as a blogger?
Well, I’ve been told I’m a decent writer, a consistent content creator and content marketer, and a good mentor. So why not leverage my blogging towards these strengths, right?
And I have. It’s why this blog is still here!
If you want to start your own business; if you want to build a blog that lasts; if you want to grow your income, then you need to think about more than your blog, more than featuring products, events and services, more than sponsored posts. You need to find your purpose for the blog, nurture a following around it by having a great message that people want to listen to and eventually offer a service or product of your very own, not another brand’s. I started a service blog coaching. It’s the product of my brand. By offering a service, I keep drawing people in to my blog, not away from it.
Instead of spending my time writing and taking photos and doing features for another business, I’ve decided to invest same amount of time in creating blog posts that build up my position on personal branding. I write blog posts that have to do with blogging as a craft, and then I offer workshops, one-on-one coaching, copywriting, speaking and teaching engagements.
For me, running my blog like a business is not about blogging every day, and being on social media to complement my blog posts and doing sponsored posts. It’s about using the blog as a way to create a community, a platform, a “storefront” for my services, a launchpad for businesses beyond the blog.
Remember: Your blog can be the launchpad of your business, so make your blog a solid foundation! Take care of it; own your brand and keep it respectable; have a clear message that seeks to help your readers; make your blog a pleasure for your readers to visit by taking care of how it looks and works.
Most of all, give it the time it deserves. Commit to post regularly, at least once a week as a practice. Your desire to grow your blog into a business should give you the motivation to write regularly and put out great content!
How are you using your blog? Have you ever thought about it? Did anything in this post strike up a question you’d like to ask in the comments below? Let’s talk!