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What You’re Worth: In Dollars and Sense

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Are you a freelancer or entrepreneur struggling to make ends meet?

Do you often find yourself undervaluing your services and sacrificing your self-worth for the sake of a paycheck?

As a freelancer or entrepreneur, it can be easy to fall into the trap of undervaluing your services and sacrificing your self-worth for a paycheck. But the truth is, having a solid sense of self-worth is crucial for the success of any freelancer or entrepreneur.

Boss Your Business - What You're Worth_ In Dollars and Sense-story

When you believe in the value of your work and the worth of your time and expertise, you’re more likely to set fair and reasonable rates for your services. This not only helps to ensure that you’re compensated fairly for your work, but it also establishes you as a professional who is confident in the value you provide.

Furthermore, having a strong sense of self-worth can help you to build and maintain healthy professional relationships. When you value yourself, you’re more likely to stand up for yourself and your boundaries, which can help prevent resentment and burnout in your business.

In short, having self-worth as a freelancer or entrepreneur is more than just dollars and cents. It’s about recognizing the value of your work and the worth of your time and expertise.

So if you’re ready to start prioritizing your self-worth (and still be able to bring in revenue), take the first step today and learn from my interview with Andrea Liebross of Andrea Liebross Coaching.

Read the full transcript below for more.

📄 Video Transcription:

Yvonne: Hey. Hey everybody. We are back for another episode of Boss Your Business, and today I have amazing Andrea with me and we are going to talk about worth, self worth, money worth, all the funny things that we struggle with so often. Now, let me introduce you to Andrea. Andrea is known for helping bold, ambitious women create their own custom secret sauce for success in both life and business.

You know me. I love this whole combination because we went into business for our passion always should come together. And she combines two, just two ingredients, keeping it simple, the right mindset and solid systems. Now, you know why I invited Andrea. Andrea believes you can move, um, from believing what you want is impossible to possible just by simplifying and making it doable and fun.

Even, yes, even systems. You don’t have to be as system nerdy as I am or she is. Yes, you can build systems without being that nerdy. And anyway, your clients say that they’ve learned how to make what seems to be complex and daunting. Ease and easy. Just easy using your signature program. So I am really excited to chat with you today.

First of all, because your system’s not like me, but you also understand just as much that systems need to be easy and human centered and just usable for everybody. So welcome to the show today.

Andrea: Thanks for having me. I’m, I’m happy to be here.

Yvonne: So you guys already know the framework of Boss Your Business. So you know the first question that’s coming.

 

Andrea’s story

We kind get an idea of what you do now, but how did Andrea get here? It’s always my favorite question. There’s always these funny stories. Usually it’s a great question.

Andrea: So my son is like, I’m just gonna say it’s sunny here at my house today, which, not always the case, but we’re gonna move this little desk around, see if I can play with it.

Okay. So how did I get here? I, um, well, way back in the day, way back in the day when I didn’t know what I wanted to do with who I wanted to be when I grew up. I graduated with a degree in history in psychology, kind of liberal artsy. I worked in advertising. I worked in public relations. I got, I went and got a Master’s in Speech Pathology, which has nothing to do with, it doesn’t, I mean, it sort of does.

Yvonne: Interesting.

Andrea: Yeah. It’s all really communication oriented. I think if I looked for like the common thread, I really liked helping people communicate. I really liked, um, kinda sharing messages in ways that people could understand them. Like kind of comes back to like, let’s make this simple. Like we don’t have to get super complicated cause we want everybody to really just understand what we’re getting after.

So that’s really the common thread through all of it. But how did I start the business I’m in now? That really stems back to a job I had working for a company for about 10 years. I worked for them recruiting and hiring and training new entrepreneurs. It was almost like I was opening new franchises for them.

I wasn’t not, I mean, on paper they weren’t franchises, but that’s basically what was going on. And I kind of got tired of all the corporate mumbo jumbo. The joke was, if they tell me one more time that, that’s a great idea, but then don’t put anything to action. You know, I was out, so I was out. Eventually I was out.

But I stayed there for 10 years, so there must have been something like, why did I stay there that long? So when I really reflected on that, the part of that job that I loved the most was what they called training. But now, when I really look at it, what I really, what it really was was coaching and it was coaching entrepreneurs who, when the going got rough, they kind of wanted to quit.

You know, like the fun had worn out. What had driven them to, to do this in the first place was now in the back of their minds instead of in the front of their minds. And it’s things started to feel super complicated to them. And they also felt like they were sacrificing things like, and most of these people were women.

And so, you know, I need to spend more time with my family. I can’t put it towards this business. Yeah. And I’m feeling guilty and all that. So I actually kind of liked helping them through that stage and seeing what happened when they got to the other side and the success they had. So after working for someone else for 10 years doing that for someone else, I was like, you know what?

I think it’s time just to do this for me and who work with who I wanna work with. So, in 2018, I said sayonara and I started my own, my own thing doing that. So really helping people make things simpler. Right? And it’s, it’s systems like you just said, but it’s, and it’s also the way you think about it. Like, I like to say, what are the thought options?

Let’s think of a new thought because that one’s not working for you.

Yvonne: And it’s like, I’m, I’m just sitting here nodding my head, so everybody that’s listening to the podcast, I’ve literally just been sitting here smirking and nodding my head where I’m like, it’s the same progression that I see all the time.

We have that initial drive, that initial fire, the passion. And then at some point you realize there’s a business behind this, and then this person tells you you need to do that and you need to do this. And Click Funnels and Lead Funnels and email and accounting and the admin stuff and, and market yourself here and post.

Not why we went into business for, so it’s it, that’s why I’m literally just sitting here smoking because I’m like, yep. Mm-hmm. . Mm-hmm. .

Andrea: And it starts to feel like, I think like a, it, it gets to be a job. Yep. More than a business.

Yvonne: Yep. So, and then you get into what I call just reactive mode. Yeah, you are, you are just doing, you, you got your drive, you got the clients in the door, you are making money, and now suddenly you, you forget why you started doing this.

You pay attention to paying the bills and getting money in the door, getting new clients in the door and I’m like, hold on, step back. What are your core values? Why are you doing this? Because if you forget about those, you are just gonna be sitting on the couch at some point and be like, heck, I’m just gonna get a job again.

Exactly. So it’s, yeah. And we don’t have to do everything. So we did in, in your, in your work. Um, because our, our focus big today was value and and worth. Yes. And I know. As you guys know, I have a system, so I already have a couple of talking points for Andrea.

 

Self-worth / What you’re worth

I know where she’s taking it, which is why I’m sitting here smoking again because we are talking the same language and I’m pretty sure we have a similar experience where it’s like, especially you working with female entrepreneurs, what have you seen out there when it comes to, um, the, the self worth?

So not even just, you already mentioned not just the on paper and the things that are going on and the growth and the scaling, but also the mindset piece of things. So what has your experience been working with a lot of female entrepreneurs when it comes to that worth?

Andrea: So I think there gets to be a place where that the word worth or the concept of worth gets very confusing and fuzzy and they start to, um, human nature.

Like all this is like your normal, this is what you’re thinking. Um, They start to intertwine too tightly their self worth as like a human being and the the worth, or really more importantly, the value that they’re putting forth in their business. So I always love to say, you know, you were born on day, minute one, second one, day one, you were a hundred percent worthy.

Like the day you were born, you were a hundred percent worthy. No one can take that away from you and it doesn’t get any better cuz you are already a hundred percent worthy way then like as a human. Your business worth or your value that you’re putting out there is a whole other story. It’s a whole other, we have to separate it because once we start to intertwine it, we, we get ourselves into a whole curfuffle and start to really devalue the business and, and, and the service that we’re providing.

Unfortunately, all of fortunately, or unfortunately, a lot of entrepreneurs are not selling pens, they’re selling services. They could be selling pens, but even, even if they are selling pens, this pen like holding up a pen for you, those of you who can’t see us, this pen helps us do something just like the service helps us do something.

It’s easier to see the value when it’s a tangible thing. Then the worth is a tangible thing, then it is intangible. But kind of how I, how I think about this is applies to no matter what it is, tangible or intangible. And business value or business worth, what it really comes down to, in my perspective, is a combination of three beliefs, three beliefs, just, and one of only one of them is your belief in yourself as a human.

That’s only one. The other two are your belief in the service you are providing. Like what are you doing to help someone? Even this pen is providing a service. Okay, so we got what’s your belief in the service you’re providing? And then the third belief is really your belief in the emotional and financial maturity of your clients or the customer. Mm. I know this is kind of the kicker.

The other two, you’re like, okay, okay, Andrea. Great. I’ve heard that. But when it really comes down to it, when you think about it, you have to believe that the person on the other side of the table that is, that is paying you is emotionally mature and financially mature enough to recognize what they’re getting.

 

Cognitive dissonance

Yvonne: And one of the things where you, you mentioned that the same as I always mention, is, we need to start putting our own limiting money beliefs onto our clients, and how often do we do that where it’s like, but I wouldn’t spend, it does not matter. No, it doesn’t matter.

Andrea: It doesn’t matter, and it just doesn’t.

It doesn’t. So we, we have these, um, we have a conflict. There’s like some cognitive dissonance between these two beliefs. So on one hand we’re like, yeah, yeah, I’m this, this what I’m giving this person is amazing, like it’s worth millions of dollars. And then on the other hand, like, yeah, but I don’t think they’re gonna see it as a million dollars.

So there’s this conflict and that’s what causes the drama. That’s what causes the pain. Cause in isolation, if you ask someone or a business owner these questions like what is, what’s the value of your service? What you know, how, what is the client getting? Like they have great answers to that, but when we put ’em all together, there’s like a conflict or this cognitive dissonance that’s creating drama really, which then creates pain.

So there’s ways we can change this. One is to get out of their wallet, as I like to say, get out of their wallet. We don’t know what’s in their wallet and we don’t know how they spend their money, and that’s kind of none of our business actually, too.

Yvonne: Yeah, I’m like that. I think that’s, that’s one of the biggest, when it comes to, to client worth where it’s like, it’s our perception, but our perception is only our perception. Nobody else has the same perception. So stop deciding beforehand what a client can or cannot afford. I’m like, with me and my business, I don’t, I don’t make a big deal out of it. My pricing is on my website. So if a client from beginning on is like, oh hell no.

Don’t even, don’t even call me. I don’t, I don’t need to. I have resources on, on my YouTube channel and everywhere where they can self-serve, but if they wanna work with me, I know where the pricing is because I have been through this process of, what kind of commitment does a client have to bring, and what kind of energy in the sense of getting my bills paid, do I need to show up my best way possible to serve the client the best way possible, to get the best results for the client possible?

All of these three pieces that you talked about kind of funnel into each other also for us to deliver the best service possible.

Andrea: Yes. So it’s true. So I love to picture, um, picture some, like maybe the entrance to a hotel. Some like big, huge doors, big heavy doors, big handles on them.

You as the provider are opening those doors for your clients, for them to change, evolve, transform, have, do something easier, better, whatever it is. If you are, if you are selling yourself short, if you like, if you, you know your prices on your website. If you all of a sudden went on there and this and cut them in half, sometimes people think, oh, I’m doing the perspective client a favor, cuz now it’s gonna be half the cost. But really what’s happening is you are only opening those doors half as wide. You are not allowing them to fully embrace like the, the amazingness of what you’re gonna do for them. Like you’re selling the, you’re selling yourself short, but you’re also selling them short.

It’s almost like you’re, you’re doing them a disservice, not trusting that they understand what’s happening. So I like to say the, the more or the higher your worth literally and figuratively, the bigger the transformation you’re giving your client.

Yvonne: And I think it’s a, it’s a double-edged sword because if we don’t charge enough where we feel comfortable, our core values are covered.

And meaning having a roof over your head and food on your table, as I think a core value to everybody. We are gonna be stressed and not deliver the right experience and the right transformation to our client. But on the other hand, it’s also a client perspective of, if I cut this down to a 297 course that nobody ever finishes, courses work, don’t give me wrong, but with a small price tag, the commitment of the client is also different, which then totally true swings different results.

Andrea: Totally true. So they’re not gonna get the result they want if they’re not fully invested so to speak. And I think the, the bigger the investment, the more they are invested literally and figuratively.

 

Putting your clients on fast-track

And, and so you’re almost doing them a disservice by not allowing them to invest to the level at which to, to the level equal to the transformation they’re gonna get or how they’re going to evolve or what’s gonna change. So I think kind of like number one is get out of their wallet. You can’t decide what they’re gonna think is valuable or not. And number two is, you know, really consider how, how wide you are going to allow that door to open. And I think the third piece of this, kind of when I think about it, is you really have to think about, as the service provider, you really have to think about what are you saving them? So we, I always say we have three, our three most valuable resources are time, money, and brain power. Yeah. Okay. Time, money and brain, power and energy. It takes energy to have that brain power. So by working with you or by buying your product. What are you saving them in terms of time?

You’re probably putting them on a fast track. Like they’re probably tried to do it, you’re gonna help them do it on, on their own before.

Yvonne: And I’m like, how? How often have we experienced that? Oh my God, I’ve tried this so often and you fixed it in five minutes. Or you have a client that might be challenging you and be like, especially back in the web design days, right?

When I was designing websites of my brother, of a cousin, of an uncle of a son knows how to build websites. I’m like, have fun with that. I’ll see you back again in two months. And they came back around every single time where it’s like…

Andrea: Right, right. So you’re saving them such time and aggravation almost.

The website is a great example. My wife designs websites, she’s gonna do it for me. I’m like, oh, what? Right after your turkey on Thanksgiving?

Like, when is that happening?

Yvonne: Oh yeah. I’m, I’m literally, it’s like, especially with website and social media are the common one. We got youngsters in the family running around that know how to run Facebook. Right?

And it’s like I never fought my clients back in the agency days where I’m like, I don’t, I don’t need to tell you how much you’re gonna screw up. You’re gonna be back.

Andrea: Another, another good one. Another good one is, um, finances. Like, oh my God, my sister is a financial analyst at wherever.

She’s gonna do all my books. Okay.

Let’s tell me how that works.

Yvonne: Let’s, let’s mix, let’s mix friends and family with money. That is a great idea.

Andrea: Great idea. So, alright, so you’re saving them tons of time. Tons of time by working with you. The other thing is you’re saving them money, which is so ironic, especially given the examples we just had cuz they think that they could either figure this out on their own, have the uncle do it right, it might be free or less expensive, but in the end, what’s happening is they’re delaying their own success. So they’re delaying their own money-making opportunities here by not having the mindset and systems they need to have a business.

So it’s really kind of costing them money to if you’re not charging them enough to create the transformation they need, right? It’s like a, it’s such a cyclical thing. So time, money and I think the last thing which kinda combines everything is, is brain power, energy. Like, hello, do you really want to read through the ClickFunnels?

I mean, they, that probably has lots of good YouTube videos. I’m just saying.

 

VIP days

Yvonne: I literally had a VIP day this morning for upcoming ads because I, I don’t wanna go through a course. I don’t wanna go through a how to booklet. Yeah. It’s Jamie Miguel. She knows her ads. I know she is available. It’s like the brain power of just trying to find my way around Facebook Ads Manager gives me hives, right?

So it’s like, there’s people out there that are so great in their area of expertise and they have spent the last 5, 10, 15 years of just being in that. Yeah. It’s just like us with systems and, and automations and all the things. It’s like we love the stuff. We are in it.

We live it every single day. Why would I spend any brain power any time? Don’t get me wrong. It’s like I love playing around with things. I love testing out things just enough to get myself in trouble. Right? And then I’m like, cool. I have a good understanding of this. Who can do this for me?

Andrea: Or I have an understanding of what I don’t wanna understand, you know?

Yvonne: Exactly. That’s a good one. Yep. Yep.

Andrea: I do a lot of VIP days with my clients and, and lately we’ve been doing a lot of, um, business planning, creating an annual plan, VIP days, and again, this is something that, okay, you could create a business plan on your own or you could not.

Cuz it’s like easy to do and easy not to do.

Yvonne: The easy not to do is the big piece because how often is it that we have an idea of what we need to do yet it still does never, ever get done.

Andrea: Right? It doesn’t get done. And I, so like a business plan is such a great example cuz it’s something like you think you should do and you kind of wanna do and you really need to do, but doing it?

Uh, right?

Yvonne: Andrea, before we dive in, we have James actually in the audience and seems like James is just getting exposed to the idea of VIP day. So let’s dive a little bit because we get the questions, you know, questions are coming up either way of our processes and the tools we are using.

So, Process of service delivery is a VIP day. Mm-hmm. Let’s talk about what a v P day actually means.

Andrea: Okay. Well, in my book, I don’t know cuz you could have a different book, but in, this is how I do my VIP days. My VIP days, we, um, even before the VIP day, I kind of send my client, um, a couple questions. Not like anything, you know, over the top, but just to get them thinking, just to get them kind of a little more dialed in about what we wanna accomplish that day.

Um, I always like to say it’s just to get, get the brain stirring, and then when we get to the day, you know, I always set out like what are the three most important things we wanna accomplish today? And we get to work. So I am really there. I always say I’m the scribe, I’m the question person. You’re there to, um, I’m here to help access your brain cuz some of this information has to come outta your brain cuz it’s your business.

And then you are here to access all the things in my brain and we’re gonna combine them. And at the end, you are gonna come out with something amazing that’s pretty actionable. So in the VIP day, doesn’t just end when the VIP day ends. Mm-hmm. Right, because then we kind of keep going.

Yvonne: Yeah, follow follow up and stuff like that.

So, yeah. So James, the, the general idea behind the VIP day is an intensive. So rather than working with somebody for 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 weeks, whatever it is, and you got a half an hour there and an hour there, and a couple calls there, and all of that BS, you really take out a chunk of time. So, um, a lot of the process that I see with VIP days, it’s either way a like two or three hour, half-day intensive.

Yep. Or it’s more of a full day intensive where it can be anywhere from four to six hours with a lunch break in between, things like that. Me, personally, because my VIP days are more technology-based because we are talking automations and all the things. I joke with my clients of, you get a coffee.

So when I sent my form out, you get a coupon code, go grab your Starbucks coffee, go walk the dog, because you gonna take half an hour, 45 minutes to fill out my form. Simply because in, in my stuff, they often need to go back their websites where, what are they automated? They need to gather all the information they haven’t looked at.

So we are making it fun. But again, same process as you. There is some prep beforehand to get the client into the mindset of, okay, we are taking actions then, same like you. I have a specific framework that I, that I guide my clients through, where I make sure we have everything. Where do we need to connect things?

What kind of processes are they running right now? We go through that. Often enough ClickUp is involved, so how do we need to structure all the things. It’s an intensive, it’s, I literally just got out of a three hour Facebook ads intensive where she knows the ins and outs and where to click, in Facebook Ads Manager, which gives me hives to just thinking about it.

Whereas, I was there to give the specifics of my business. What’s my wording? What’s my brand? Where do I agree with that? Do I not agree with it? And the VIP day allows us to do this right on the spot, right there, rather than her emailing me. And do you like this and revision here? No. We were on the call, my Facebook ads manager, the content writer and me, and we just cranked it out and I have a full on set ready to go for me.

So that’s the idea behind the VIP day to cut this long term working with each other into a sprint. A lot of developer use the word sprint, where like focus. One goal and we get this done. And then yeah, the follow up of, okay, you are working now on what we work now, let’s polish that up and all good. So exactly.

Andrea: That’s, that’s exactly what, and I think what’s so, um, amazing about it, like when you were talking how you don’t like to click around in the back of Facebook manager, it’s like, I mean, I’m guessing and putting words in your words. She was just asking you questions about your business and probably your, so all you have to have to focus on as the client is me.

Talking me, right? Like talking about your yourself, your business, your client, all that. You don’t have to, you’re not watching a video saying, and now drag your mouse to the upper left hand corner and click on this, right? Like, that’s not what you wanna do. So when I’m doing these business plan VIP days, you know, people are like, well, is that a strategy?

Is that an objective? Like, how would I do that? Do I have enough time? Do I have enough money? Do I have enough? Whatever? I’m doing all of that calculation in my head and helping them organize this plan so that then things can actually happen. It’s like almost like deconstructing everything in order to put it all back together.

Like I’m piecing taking everything apart with them and then helping them put it all back together. So I think talk about time, money, and energy.

Yvonne: And especially cause I’m, I’m assuming your brain works similar to mine, where when we are, when we are the facilitator in, in a VIP day, yeah. My brain constantly jumps between big picture because I know the client where I wanna go and then to the nitty gritty implementation, back to the big picture, back to the nitty gritty. Right. And, um, it takes a lot for me, when I do VIP days, it’s like I’m getting drained afterwards and don’t talk for me for the afternoon because it takes a lot of brainpower. Yeah. But it means for the client, the client doesn’t have to use that brain power.

So even me, I love scheduling VIP days for somebody else to do that for me so I can focus on my goals, on my vision, and they do the thinking for me.

Andrea: So true. I just actually, I just scheduled the VIP day for me as the client for some SEO stuff. Like, I’m like, I don’t like thinking about this.

Yvonne: And it’s like, we, we know it.

But literally just having that sounding board, having somebody that does the thinking for us.

Andrea: So, if you think about it, there’s so much value in that, right? And, and you have to, as the facilitator, in offering a VIP day, you have to believe that that client is gonna understand the what this is all worth, or they’re willing to have, hear it out, like they’re willing to work through it to see what it’s worth and as they’re doing it.

Right. So I think that, I mean, we could have a whole conversation about VIP days, but they’re so helpful in terms of saving people time, money, and energy a hundred percent and, and allowing that transformation to happen so fast. Yeah. Right? It’s, and actually talk about going into their wallet too, you know.

Yeah. They couldn’t, we could meet nine times in the next three months, but that probably is gonna end up costing you more than just doing this in one.

Yvonne: So, and I think on, on the office before we dive into, into processes on how you are running your business to make life easier, I think there is a time and place for both offers, and I do offer both.

I have, I have my VIP, which is breakthrough session. Let’s get stuff done focused on a specific goal, but I also work with clients on an ongoing retainer basis because I literally have to be, for what we are doing in that container, in that six months container in their business day to day, where it’s like, okay, we figured out the big picture.

We know where your goals are going. We know your tech stack, we know the systems and processes, we know other stuff. It’s happening. But now for the human aspect of in me project management, I need to be there on helping your team understand and learn better and be there in support and adjust and polish. So, VIP days are amazing, but it doesn’t take away the advantages that the, that the retainer has.

So for everybody listening, I love VIP days, but you can’t put everything into VIP days. It doesn’t mean you just have to choose one or the other. They both work with each other.

Andrea: They do. And I think sometimes what’s so fun is that, the retainer part of it becomes so much more impactful. Mm-hmm. , if you’ve got that foundation maybe that you’ve created on the VIP day.

So a lot of times, like we do the VIP day and then just like you were with my clients, I’m like, okay, now moving forward, how are we gonna make this all happen? Or what, like, so we have an ongoing relationship. I mean that, but you’ve gotta, it’s almost like you gotta set it up somehow.

Yvonne: So interestingly enough, my growth and my business, how that has happened is my clients get the choice. Do you already know you wanna work with me for the next six months? Cool. The first month is going going to be set up similar to the VIP days, so I’m still starting the same way. Yeah, yeah. You’re not ready for me to sign up with six months? The onboarding process is the same.

So you are just doing the VIP day. Cool. You wanna come on after the VIP day, I got a special for you on the retainer. You already paid for the first month. Awesome. So I literally did the process in a way of, okay, you, you don’t, you don’t wanna commit for six months yet? Cool. VIP day. You are ready to commit for six months?

Perfect. Six months retainer. And the first month is your quote, VIP day. So yes, because it, it all works together. I’m like, you are just as much system oriented as I am. You know? You know how profit they work with each other each.

 

Processes that allow Andrea to live her life

So how do the processes in your business work that you can run your business while living a life, too?

Andrea: Excellent question. So everything’s an evolution, right? So the way I started on day one.

Yvonne: Is not how you run your business today. I already know that one.

Andrea: There’s elements. There’s elements that are the same, but it’s not all the same.

Um, I think from a very like 30,000 foot up view, I’ve really figured out that for me, it, I picture like loopdy loops. That’s the best way I can think about loopdy loops. I really do spend a lot of time figuring out what I do want, like what’s my desire? I really like, and I do this cyclically like every quarter at least. What do I want? Um, what do I need to really believe?

So I kind of like, I’m a big person about belief plans. Not just action plans, but belief plans. What do I need to believe? What decisions do I need to make to make it happen? Then it kinda gets more into the system stuff, like, what’s the plan? Let’s act on the plan and then let’s assess how the plan went, and then we kinda start all over again.

So that’s, so it’s like desire, belief, decision, plan, create, assess, and then you kind of kick.

 

How Andrea plans her year

My business has kind of gone through many, many cycles of that to get where I am today. So today, how my business runs from a like business operations perspective is I work off of, um, work off of my business plan, which has some quarterly focus. I usually have five to seven quarterly focuses for my own business. And then I, um, have a system where I kind of create, okay, what’s my weekly big three? What are the three things I’m focusing on this week? What are the three things I’m focusing on each day? And I go to work. I’ve got, I’ve really figured out too that lifestyle design is super important in this.

So I look at every month. Actually, I mean, I just went through and looked at all of 2023 and I, I actually, I’m a little geeky. I take out like colored pens and I do like an old school paper calendar. I mean, I transfer it to digital, but I do.

Yvonne: I might not be using the the paper calendar as much anymore, but you should see my calendar.

I literally, paper calendar right across from my desk, all with different colored post-it notes and the whole. And you don’t even wanna see how many pens I got sitting around and how many different colors. So we we’re talking the same language.

Andrea: So for 2023, I just did this. So I was like, right, Andrea, when do you wanna go on vacation?

So I, yep. Put in like true vacation.

Yvonne: And did you guys hear that? She started with time off.

Andrea: I did.

Yvonne: Not with a program. Not with anything else.

Time off.

Andrea: No. I started with time off. I did and I actually, this in my household, this involves coordinating a few calendars. Yeah. So I’ve looked at everybody’s, you know, who’s on working, school, vacations, all the whole thing. Okay. Vacation. Then I, um, took out my next color and I decided, all right, when is, I call it like personal focus time? So when is the time when I’m doing things for me? When am I getting my haircut? When am I doing like personal care?

We’ll call it personal care. Then I took out my, uh, next color and I called it business focus time. So this is time where days truly where I am focusing on like the back end of the business. Now, I do have people that help me run my business for this one, okay, so I’m not doing it all.

Yvonne: Can I ask how big your staff is right now?

Andrea: Yeah.

So it’s all contractors. So I’m not paying any employees, but it’s all contractors. I have five different people that are helping me really run my business. It’s a online business manager, podcast producer, someone that helps with my website, someone helps with copy. Um, who am I forgetting? And like bookkeeping, the whole finance part of it.

Yvonne: Oh God, yeah. Bookkeeping was the first thing I handed out.

Andrea: Yeah. Yeah.

Yvonne: So bookkeeping and video editing. The first thing I handed off.

Andrea: Yes, yes, yes. So all that’s happening in the background, but I still need time to focus on the business. Like for my, that’s where that whole, like what, what do I wanna do with desire, like ideation, all that.

So vacation, personal focus time, business focus time. Then I put in the green, which is the money time. So that is like, those are from, in my business, those are real client facing days or um, consult days or whatever. Like when do I want those days to be? And then the last piece you talked about launches?

If there’s something in my business that I am working towards promoting our marketing or like hitting some major goal or something that involves like a lead time, then I kind of highlight yellow over that. But that’s the order in which I do this to make sure that business and life are so integrated.

It’s like one big ball of yarn. Yeah. I think it’s like a big ball of yarn and you can’t really separate ’em. Like you can’t. It’s super hard.

Yvonne: Well, I am, oh God. The visual I just got. Did you ever, uh, it will make sense at the end. Guys, stay. Stay with me here for a second and I love how, I love, you said a ball of yarn.

There is, I don’t know if it was, if it was a pastor at a church or if it was a comedian. I don’t actually know, but there is a skit, would call it a skit out there where he talks about the female brain and the male brain. Guys, I promise you, I will come to a point with this, where the male brain is all boxes and they don’t touch.

When the female brain is a ball of yarn where everything touches, and I do believe our business is actually a combination of those both visuals, where we need to put things in boxes and silos and really focus on, okay, first let’s take care of the life box. Those get blocked out first and then the, the planning and the launching and the actual client boxes.

But the thing is, if you only look at those as silos, you’re gonna miss the big picture. So it’s a combination of really going silo by silo and business area, by business area, and again, starting with your life first, because you started this business to have the life of your dreams. You are not having the life of your dreams to run the business you want, right?

So, having those silos and being able to chunk down into those specific areas and into those “boxes”, while then chunking up again because they all touch with each other. How many of us went into business because we are passionate about what we are doing? We are passionate about the results we deliver.

We are connected to our business, but that’s also often where we lose ourselves, where we see our own self worth based on the business. And it’s like, no, you are testing something right now. You are building something new. Your own personal worth, your perception of it might be based on the business, but again, you are testing something, your business isn’t you as much as the business is you.

It’s interconnected, but it’s not. But it is.

Andrea: People talk about boundaries, right?

 

Boundary vs Mindset

I have to have better work life boundaries or business life boundaries. And I always say, you can work really hard at trying to create the boundaries, but it’s really not a boundary.

It’s just a mindset. It’s just a mindset. You’ve gotta really think about how they are integrated, especially cuz we have phones and technologies. But what, what are you going to choose to think about that particular fact? Are you going, like, how do you wanna approach it? What’s your approach? What’s your framework?

What’s your roadmap for that? And um, I even forget how I, why I was using the analogy of business and life, but they’re, they’re, they’re intertwined. Yeah. And so they’re all fair game. I mean, it’s, it’s interesting and a lot of times when I’m coaching business, coaching, you know, income, some life issue or problem , that’s, that’s affecting them as a human.

And so it’s all like, I was like, it’s all fair game. We can talk about this. Let’s, let’s talk about this.

Yvonne: That’s where, where I always say, I’m like, things go through seasons because you often experience this feeling guilty that you spend less time on your quote, personal life. If that is kids, if that is partner, there is so much guilt behind it and I’m like, it’s a season.

If you are okay with what it is, why are you feeling guilty? And then you’re gonna have seasons where your business is less of a focus and your life is more of a focus. It’s just a season. It all comes and it all goes. We just need to stop beating ourself over the head because of that.

It’s like, it’s your damn business. It gets to look how you want it to look like.

Andrea: Right? I mean, that kind of goes back to how can I make this simple, doable and fun? Yeah. Like, are you having fun? If you’re not, we have a problem.

Yvonne: Yeah. If you are, if you’re not having fun, then let’s figure out why and let’s change it.

It’s, that’s simple.

 

Andrea’s favorite tools

What are your favorite tools to make this thing called business happen?

Andrea: My favorite tools include, if we’re talking software

Yvonne: other than colored pencil and a paper planner, we have those. Right?

Andrea: I only do that. It’s so funny though, cuz I do that and then I go right into like my Google Calendar and I make all these different colors.

Yvonne: Same thing. It’s like I need the visual. It’s, it’s like I have these huge wall calendars and every calendar is a quarter and I need this big visual to have the big planning. And once that’s done, I’m going into Google Calendar and blocking out my calendar.

Andrea: Totally true. So, okay. I’m glad we cleared that up.

So I use, um, you know, I’ve got so much, so many systems, but I use Trello a lot as a, kind of like a project management tool, and I, it’s a good one to help me communicate with, um, the people on my team. Um, I use Dubsado to do workflow kind of stuff. Um, I use, uh, you need a budget to manage cash flow.

I use QuickBooks that’s like accountant friendly, but to make decisions about money in terms of how much money I wanna spend on certain things or how to allocate money, which is totally different and people don’t get this, I use something called You Need a Budget, which I love. I actually became like that certified You Need a Budget person. Um, I use a lot of the thinking, uh, behind the full focus system and Michael Hyatt to help me manage day to day. What am I doing? Um, I use Acuity to help on my calendar. I use Buzz Sprout for my podcast. I use, um, here’s a good one that I use. I don’t know, maybe you know about it already, but I use something called Focus Mate.

Have you heard of this Focus Mate?

Yvonne: No, I have not heard about Focus Mate. I have an idea of what it probably is, but haven’t heard about it.

Andrea: So Focus Mate is, um, a website company where for $5 a month, so it’s super cheap, talk about like the software budget, super cheap. You create an account where you can go in at any time to their calendar and click on a time where you can set up either a 25-minute or a 50-minute Focus Mate session.

So that means they’re gonna match you with some other person out there in the world. And you can put, you know, I only wanna work with females, or I only wanna do whatever. You can put all those notifications. They match you, and then they give you kind of a common log, uh, Zoom login. And at the beginning of the session, you get on, you kind of make a new friend and like in like, kinda like 90 seconds or less, you say to the person, hey, what are you working on?

They say, oh, I’m writing three emails. Oh, what are you working on? Oh, I’m, and some people are like, on their peloton, like I’m doing an hour of peloton class. And then you get back to, okay, put it on mute. But you can still see each other and you get back together at the end of the time and say, how’d it go? What’d you get done?

There’s something about it that is amazing. I’m just gonna tell you.

Yvonne: It’s this, it’s this coworking idea. I’m like, we already have a show in Canada and on YouTube that’s popping in with the comments right now. And I’m like, I’m taking notes here too, because it’s this, it’s this external accountability where we might be going to, to co-working spaces or staff and they’re like, you can’t just sit at home. And they just, they just match you up. Jump on a Zoom call. There’s something about it of having somebody there with you that’s working with you that just keeps you accountable.

Andrea: It’s so good and it’s really interesting to see what other people are doing too, right?

Yvonne: I would not necessarily use it for going on the peloton ride because nobody wants to see me on the peloton and sweating my butt off.

Andrea: The other day was, was, um, strumming, like they were creating lyrics to a song. Now we had was on mute, but I can see. But it was kind of fun to like see her. Coming out. She’d like take her pen. Oh, that’s, I could see like, she was so funny.

Yvonne: It’s this accountability. There’s just something about that energy when there’s somebody else there.

Andrea: Yep, yep. So I, I figured out, like I created a quiz actually. Um, that’s like, what’s your productivity archetype? Um, or you can access that on my website. If you go to Andreas with an S, links with an s.com, andreas links.com, like what’s your productivity archetype and why are you not feeling like you’re getting done what you wanna get done?

Is it really the software or is it you?

Yvonne: Usually me, let’s be honest, right?

Andrea: So something like Focus Mate is so intriguing because it’s combining like a system in a sense with really what’s going on, which is like focusing or procrastinating or whatever. So anyway, that’s one of my favorites.

Remarkable. Do you have a Remarkable? This is another one.

Yvonne: I’m, no, actually I’m using my iPad with good smoking, so, and I have, I have a screen protector that makes it paperlike, too. Okay. Um, but yeah, same idea,

Andrea: Yep. Same idea.

Yvonne: Total. Total, same idea. I’ll be definitely digging deeper into Focus Mate.

And guys, as always, you gonna be, YouTube is going to get updated if you are listening to the podcast. It’s already there in the show descriptions. It’s all gonna be there. Um, all the social links to, for you to connect with Andrea as well as the links and all the fun stuff. Yeah. Thank you for exposing me to Focus Mate.

I just learned something new and I know where I’m gonna be nerding out. And thanks so much for joining me today and I’ll see you soon again on LinkedIn because that’s how we met, guys. So if you’re not on LinkedIn yet, if you are just wasting time on Facebook and watching Instagram Reels, I’m all for it.

I do that too, but again, it’s like business wise, we connected on LinkedIn, I literally just messaged her. I’m like, hey, you sound fun. We need to talk. Go head on over there. You’ll find all the links to connect with Andrea in the descriptions, and I’ll see everybody soon. Bye.

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