By Yaro Starak
Barbara Turley serves as inspiration to anyone who is currently working a job they like, yet want to quit because of a desire for the kind of freedom that comes from being your own boss.
Barbara had a solid career in the world of finance. The only problem was the incompatibility with the way she likes to work and the way the corporate world expected her to work.
Like many people I know, Barbara tends to work in bursts. However for a burst to happen, she needs time to not work, to recharge and do other things for days at a time (recovery is just as important as performance – look up the Ultradian Rhythm for more on why this is).
A chance trip on a Virgin flight in Australia introduced her to my EJ blog (I was featured in Virgin inflight magazine many years ago), which opened the door to the world of making money from blogs. She read a lot of the articles here on EJ, and later joined my Blog Mastermind program.
Barbara decided to take the leap, quit her job, and began implementing her strategy to become a “women and wealth” coach, helping other women with their financial security.
At the moment Barbara focuses on one-to-one coaching, charging $2,000 a month to help woman with the subject she has the most experience with – financial management. By the time you listen to this interview her first digital training program may also be available as she expands her business.
As Barbara explains during the interview, she finds many of her coaching clients at networking events, however most of the “selling” of her services happens automatically online.
Her potential clients study her blog, go through her seven part free video training, and listen to her podcast. This content acts like a “background check”, so Barbara doesn’t need to convince people that she’s worth the $2,000 a month coaching investment.
This is another case study that demonstrates how powerful a platform built on a blog can be for almost any kind of business. It’s especially effective for coaches, or any person who teaches and uses their personal brand to sell.
Enjoy the interview, and when you are ready to build your own platform, consider enrolling in the next round of my Blog Mastermind program, just as Barbara did.
Please share this interview with anyone you think will benefit.
Talk to you soon,
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Hello this is Yaro and you’re listening to the Entrepreneur’s Journey podcast. Today’s guest is Barbara Turley.
YARO: Hello this is Yaro Starak and welcome to an Entrepreneur’s Journey podcast. Today my guest is Barbara Turley, and I’m going to let you guess where she’s from by listening to her accent. We’ll reveal where she’s from later on in the [laughs] interview. Barbara, thank you for joining me.
BARBARA: Thanks Yaro for having me on the call. I’m excited to be on your podcast today.
YARO: I’m glad you’re here for several reasons. Primarily we’re here to listen to Barbara tell her story how she’s left the traditional corporate career of fifteen years, which is what she just told me. She worked for fifteen years, transitioned to building an online brand through blogging and podcasting and various other online tools, and now makes a living from that doing coaching and is also moving towards digital training products. Pretty much everything that I also do and teach in the world of blogging and information marketing, and we got in touch because Barbara actually went through my, I think it was Blog Mastermind? I don’t know if you did Membership Mastermind as well.
YARO: Was it Blog Mastermind?
BARBARA: Yes it’s blog at Blog Mastermind, yes.
YARO: Okay, obviously I’d love to hear where that slot in the story, but let’s begin the story from the beginning. It sounds like you had, what would you’d call a traditional, normal life that led to a corporate job, but was there anything entrepreneurial in your earlier teenage years or high school, university, any time did you do your own thing? Or did you go from school, to college, to job?
BARBARA: Look, I very much went the traditional route. I went to school, straight into university and then straight into a corporate job, and I even think in my childhood you know, my dad was very entrepreneurial and he ran his own business. So, I grew up with watching my father do that and a lot of my uncles in the family was like that.
But my dad is real academic as well, and I’m quite academic myself, so I think he always kind of pushed me to go more the career route. So the only thing I can think of though, my younger brother is quite entrepreneurial, and I remember when we were teenagers. He, one Christmas decided that he wanted to, and we lived beside a forest and he wanted to create these Christmas logs. You know those things with the candles in them and the holly that go around on Christmas tables?
YARO: You eat them, yes?
BARBARA: No, no, no.
YARO: No, you don’t.
BARBARA: It’s actually a wooden log.
YARO: [Laughs] Okay.
BARBARA: We’d put the candles in them and it’s got like holly and stuff around it. It’s like a centerpiece for tables for Christmas time. So, my brother decided to make these logs and I just, was so inspired by him. I thought, okay, so I helped him and my only sort of part in the whole thing was, he was deaf actually, so my brother’s deaf. I drove him around to all the local hotels, so that he could go in and pitch his idea and he actually sold ninety logs to one of the local hotels, and I was just blown away by this. I thought it was amazing. So other than that no, I had no entrepreneurial experience myself through my career.
YARO: Now we should put everyone out of their misery. I did mention your accent, where were you originally born, and where is your brother and your father?
BARBARA: Yes, so I’m Irish and I’m living in Australia now, where we’re doomed as cold, but I’m living in Australia for twelve years, but I was born in a town called Portarlington in County Laois in Ireland, and that’s where my dad is, my mom, and my family are there, and my brother, the entrepreneurial one is actually in London still launching businesses and doing really well over there in his entrepreneurial pursuits.
YARO: Right, so two kids doing entrepreneurial things.
YARO: Okay now you said you’re academic. Did you do anything business related in your studies?
BARBARA: Yes, so when I went to university I studied English and Economics. I always loved to write. That was the kind of creative pursuit that I really enjoyed even at school. But, I went into Economics and from there like I was always fascinated by the world of money to be totally honest, and as a girl that’s not usually something that girls go for. But, I just thought the whole fast-moving nature of it and I just wanted to understand, how money worked and you know money makes the world go around I guess. So I was very attracted to that and, went on to study Economics, absolutely loved it and then, decided I wanted to get into the world of high finance.
So, I took a job, in an investment bank in Dublin doing a back office kind of administrative job, which I completely hated, absolutely hated it but I still was desperate to get into this whole trading thing. So eventually, to cut the long story short, I kind of fought my way into a junior position on a trading desk in Dublin, and I worked as a trader there for a couple of years, and then, to be honest the weather in Ireland really got to me, it had always gotten to me, and I had this fantasy about living in Australia. So, I basically jacked my job and I decided that’s it I’m going to go down to Australia. So, I came down here and within a few weeks, I was working on the trading floor at UBS in Sydney and living the life. That’s how it all kind of started, twelve years ago now.
YARO: Wow! Okay, was the internet a part of anything at your life at that stage?
BARBARA: No, no.
YARO: Nothing at all?
BARBARA: To be honest even at University I’m ashamed to admit that I didn’t even know, when I was in Uni, and I’m not that old, it was not that long ago. When I completed university I didn’t even know, all these people were on the internet googling stuff, or looking up, “surfing the net” as what we were calling it back then, I didn’t even know how to do that. I didn’t even know how to turn on the internet back then. I had no interest in technology or any of that sort of thing.
YARO: I’m always upset that when I through my studies Wikipedia wasn’t around becauseó
BARBARA: Yes [laughs].
YARO: Ö because that must have been the answer to every single assignment question you ever get right [laughs]?
BARBARA: I know. University was much harder when we did it.
YARO: Yes, that’s right we only had Google not Wikipedia [laughs].
YARO: Okay, so you’re a trader now?
YARO: I find this interesting obviously because it involves me. But bear with me everyone, when you got in touch with me, through our email communication, you said you were on an airplane.
YARO: And you were having a sad day?
BARBARA: I was.
YARO: We wish that you’d tell the story, where does this fit? You’re already a trader in Australia and you said you were flying from Brisbane to Sydney. Now was that part of that job or was that later on?
BARBARA: No, so that came a lot later on. So, this was back in the beginning. I was in my twenties at this stage, and being in investment banking and trading floors is a lot of fun. It’s a really fast moving dynamic environment, it’s full of young people. There’s lots of partying as you can imagine, there’s lots of client entertaining. It was brilliant for those years.
But, when I turned thirty I kind of got a bit tired of that. I got a bit jaded and I decided that I wanted to change into more of a sales role. I left my job and went hunting for something new. Unfortunately, the financial crises hit in the middle of the whole thing, and I spent about a year trying to get another job, because everything was just going down the toilet basically.
So, after about a year I got a job at the Deutsche Bank, in an Asset Management Sales role. Basically, what that means is I was going around and talking about investment, ideas. In the middle of the financial crisis this was quite hard to get anyone to believe that things would change.
But, I was talking about investment philosophies and ideas to financial advisors, people running super funds that sort of thing. So after few months of doing that, unfortunately Deutsche Bank decided to let the whole team, most of the team go and I was the one with those people. So it’s just things were kind of going from bad to worse for me at that point, and a few months later, about two months later, the CEO of Deutsche at the time, he gave me a call and he said, “Look, a few of us are thinking of getting together, and basically doing a management buy-out of the business from Deutsche Bank,” and he asked me, was I interested in coming in on that, and because I did at that stage always think, “Gosh I’d really love to run my own business,” I had started that thinking process back then.
So it’s probably seven years ago now, and I thought, well this is an opportunity to sort of have a go at being involved in the build of a business without doing my own thing. So, I basically put my hand up and said absolutely yes I want in. I want in this for as much as I can get and I guess that was my trading background kind of coming out where I knew that although the markets were on their knees and everyone was kind of running for the hills, I could see that there was a massive opportunity in this.
So I went into that business and I worked there. I was there involved in building that for five years, and I’m actually still involved very much with that company. I’m just not there day to day anymore. But, I learned a massive amount and it just fed my wish to run my own thing even more over those five years.
So, it was a wild ride but the reason I say, when I was flying around quite a lot visiting clients and, the reason I say it’s kind of a sad day, it was more that I just felt, you know I loved so much about the job, the people, you know the dynamic nature but again, I loved learning how to run a business. But for me, I’m the type of person that like to work in bursts based around my energy, and some days I could do three days’ work in one. I’m just on fire. And then, other days I’m feeling just totally, you know blaah! And I need to kind of go away, relax, regroup and then come back so I can fire again, and the structure of the corporate world just doesn’t land itself to that.
So I just realized that you know I was facing a kind of, I needed to change something because I wasn’t getting one of my most basic needs met which is this need for flexibility I guess, and a lot of women are suffering from that these days especially women who want to have children. They’re finding that the corporate world is not flexible enough. So, I was on a plane coming back from a conference in Brisbane, and I was just, I didn’t even know what I was looking for, and I was flicking through the magazine on the plane. I think I was on a Virgin flight so it must have been the “Virgin Magazine” and I just saw this ad in the back of this magazine for Entrepreneurs’ Journey. I had no idea what it was about. I had no idea why I was attracted to it or drawn to it. But I jotted down the name of your website and I later on that week, I looked it up and I have to be honest, I just devoured information on your website and it opened up a whole world to me of people doing things differently, and everything was resonating with me massively. So it’s a joy to be on this podcast with you today and to actually be able to say thank you for that moment that really resonate.
YARO: Oh you’re welcome. I should clarify it wasn’t an ad actually, I’ve never done one.
BARBARA: I can’t remember what it was. Was it an article? I can’t remember.
YARO: No, it was an article. It’s funny. It was one of those off hand things where I say yes to every interview, almost every interview that comes my way and that was just another one. I didn’t realize it was going into a print version of the “Virgin Magazine.” I didn’t.. Someone sent me a copy. And they said, “Hey, did you know you’re in this magazine?” I was like, “No, I didn’t,” and I was like, “Oh, that’s cool.[laughs]”
But, it’s really amazing to hear, like this story because you don’t really know who you’re touching, who you’re connecting with and you know, years down the line that it opens doors to things you didn’t see coming so, I’m glad you shared that story.
BARBARA: Yes, I mean that’s three years ago now as well. So I want all the listeners like us to understand that, especially anybody who’s at that moment now where I was then you know, that it takes time, like anything I would say, like you know I didn’t go from, “Oh wow! I found the site,” and then all of a sudden, Ilaunched my business. I mean it’s just, I did a lot of just soul searching and reading and you know thinking, “Wow! Look at all these other people out there doing theses amazing things.” I got very inspired for a long time before I took any action. I guess it’s what I would say.
YARO: Right, well it sounds like your job wasn’t that bad, it just was missing the flexibility.
BARBARA: Absolutely. I loved the guys I was working with. It wasn’t like I was in this dead end job, or I wasn’t going anywhere. I mean my career was going to new heights, I was on a path where new opportunities were being given to me by the CEO. I could have been head of something. I really could’ve gone on a big journey there. But, my soul was just saying, “No, this is not the path for me right now.”
So I had to make that decision in the end to exit but, yes it was a journey, it was an entrepreneurial journey to get there [laughs].
YARO: [Laughs] If anything, you had potentially a lot more to risk in this case because you were saying no to a job you liked.
YARO: So that must have been a difficult decision to make. It’s like you know, there’s only a part of this that I don’t like and I’m giving all of it up including the parts that I do enjoy for a chance, for something potentially better, that’s pretty scary.
BARBARA: Yes and I think, well look, you know, and to be transparent, I mean one of the things I did do I think deep down I knew instinctively and intuitively years ago when I got this opportunity to go into the asset management business, I knew that my reasoning for doing it was, I thought look, I know deep down I want do something new in time, but if I go into this business first it does two things for meó It gives me huge amount of experience that would be very valuable later and it gives me an asset. So I own a piece of that business and it’s very successful.
Today, that business has three billion dollars of funds under management so, it kind of set me up in a way that it gave me a lot of, it’s even given me freedom now to build something without a lot of pressure and stress. I know that for some people listening, it’s hard to make the jump from a great job into nothing you know and I didn’t necessarily had that situation.
YARO: No I don’t think, and I never recommend anyone does the jump into nothing, especially without a buffer or a plan B [laughs] or something like that.
BARBARA: You need a plan, you need a strategy, and you need a plan. I think that’s something that help people I coach today. I help them to sort of think more strategically about what they’re doing in business really, it’s a main area that I’m coaching people in now. But I only left that job last August, so we’re now in, I mean that was 2013. We’re now in 2014 in May so not even a year in yet and I’ve got a great platform already built on podcasting. I’ve got an online TV show called Feminine Wealth TV. I’ve got some clients and I’m basically self-sufficient in my business anyways so it can be done.
YARO: Well yes. Let’s talk about that, so you decide to reduce your role at the company you were part founder of?
YARO: What were you thinking? Like okay, you went to my website and you must have learned about all the people that I was in touch with and my materials. Are you thinking well I want to create an online like a blog, a business, what was your plan when you left?
BARBARA: I think, well when I left, I already had the plan fully laid out you know, I knew exactly the name of the business. I knew how I was going to monitor it.
YARO: You sound like a planner yourself.
BARBARA: Yes I know. I mean I have that kind of strategic, I’m a very strategic thinker, but when I first came across your website though, I have to say I had no clue what I was going to do. I knew I kind of wanted to work for myself one day. I had never thought about being a blogger. I mean, bloggers to me back then were like, to be honest, I thought they were wasters. You people just blogging online about what? And how could you make money out of it?
I didn’t realize that you couldÖ I didn’t understand the beauty of the front end blog and the back end business that can be created out of it and that was the eye opener for me, and I guess when I started following you. So and from that, from following your newsletter and your blog I started to follow lots of other people, lots of internet marketers out there and realize you know, you can imagine the world that opened up to me going, “Wow! People actually can sit by a pool with their laptop and make quite a lot of money,” and that just lit me up inside.
I was like right I’ve got to find a way to use what I know and turn it into this business. I did start off blogging just to kind of get a creative pursuit to see where it would lead me and I started off with a blog first called Energisedme.com which is no longer, it’s not up at the moment. I’ve taken that site down at the moment but it was just, I guess it was a way for me to start experimenting with writing and blogging and thinking about stuff.
But very quickly, I realized that if I was really going to make this a descent business I have to use what was my own expertise. I’m not saying everybody else has to do that but I had very strong expertise in building wealth and now, in business and entrepreneurship as well, I guess from the asset management business and I realized that there can be quite a lot of money in that in bringing that expertise to the table.
YARO: And before we talk about this brand that you did build online, I just want to clarify when you say building wealth because this coming from where I’m coming from and a lot of the listeners, we tend to think of well, that’s creating websites and making money. But then, there’s the traditional building wealth in the real world which is often investment portfolios, putting money into superannuationÖ these sorts of buying property. What exactly were you managing and what exactly are you good at? What do you know about?
BARBARA: Well, what I would say is originally, I obviously spent the initial part of my career more in theÖ I was in a very specific area of wealth management where I was in the stock market which is all shares basically. So trading shares and dealing with fund managers and stuff like that and then when I branched out of that and went into the asset management side of things, I learned more theirÖ all the different… Now I’m going to use a word “asset classes” here and I’ll explain that in a second. But, I went into learning and managing more of the whole sweet of things that you can do in wealth outside of business and entrepreneurship.
So, an asset class basically is for example property. It’s just a type of asset so that’s an asset class. Shares are an asset class, bonds are an asset class. Cash is even an asset class, and then you know in going into the being a part owner in that asset management business, I sort of added on that entrepreneurship building business, building wealth through business. That was kind of the final piece of the puzzle for me.
So now, what I’d do is that I can go across the entire spectrum. I like to deal with business owners as my main clients because I’m just more excited by that end of wealth, building wealth through business. But where I think I bring in a sort of a different angle as they say, well not only, can we look at your business and make sure that we’re turning your business into a true asset and not just a glorified job. But also then, once we do that, how do we diversify some of that into other assets? For example, how do we start investing in other companies, in other start-ups, in other assets along the way and how do we make sure that we’ve build a fortress around our own wealth which is all the protection strategies and things like that and risk management and etcetera? So, I do the whole gamut of things now.
YARO: Okay so, going back to this realization, you’ve done Energisedme.com as a way to experience what it means to have a blog and be creative and write, then you decide, “Well, the area where I’m strongest at and I could see where there’s a money making niche is in wealth creation, wealth protection,” those things you just talked about. Were you thinking, I’m going to teach people how to invest in all these different asset classes in a blog? Is that part of the strategy? Or maybe you can map it out. What were you planning on becoming on the internet?
BARBARA: I think one of the things that I again, learned through this whole experience is there’s more to, you know, you could have all the strategies and tactics that you like for building wealth, but there’s a little bit more to it than that and then it gets into this whole thing of, “What do you actually want?”
So I’m fascinated by the whole concept of lifestyle design and also you know, what you believe is possible for you. So from Energised Me, I kind of got into that whole lifestyle design stuff and subconscious beliefs and emotions and the effect in your life and I wasn’t thinking about it in terms of money or wealth or any of these things. Then, I started thinking well my expertise is over here and it was actually my dad, to be honest, I have to thank him for this because he was the one who said to me, “Is there no way that you can take your expertise and then sort of pair it with this new stuff you’re doing and try and bring it together?” That was how Energised Wealth, which is my actual business now, that’s how Energised Wealth was really born.
I actually brought all the stuff I was talking about from Energised Me and paired it with the wealth management stuff and I developed a seven step process which is basically, I call it the Wealth Success Map and it brings all of these elements together and shows people like, “What are the actual steps and in what order to make sure that you do become truly wealthy but, also sustainably wealthy in a stress-free way?”
And that’s something that, I guess really appeals to women in particular because they don’t want to feel the stress and the confusion and overwhelm involved in the whole money world. So I coach people now and everything with my program to my whole website is geared towards saying to people, you know what, I can teach you and coach you to become the leader of your own wealth journey and to make it actually quite a lot of fun, rather than something that’s stressful. I don’t do financial advice which is personal financial advice but, I do have people on my team that I bring in if we need to do specific you know, stuff around, “Which managed fund do you want to buy? I mean I don’t go to that ground or level, but I have people who can.
YARO: Okay, so it sounds like you were quite clear on that. Was that before you even started the website?
YARO: So you mapped all that out?
YARO: Now the next step would be to actually do the classic thing; set up a blog, have a place where people can join your newsletter, set up your follow-up sequence, write your first articles, you know build a presence, get traffic and then convince people to hire you for coaching. So how did all that come about because it sounds like you knew what you wanted to be but then, you had to make it happen, right?
BARBARA: Yes and I think, the technology, as I said I’m not really a tech person, and that stuff doesn’t appeal to me at all. So I made the decision and again I actually planned for this. I had the good fortune to meet such a great girl who has become a really close friend of mine. At about two years ago, I met her, a girl I call Heather Porter.
Heather is a Californian girl who lives here in Sydney and her business is called Autopilot Your Business and she has the kind of a done-for-you offer and I basically hired her.
I hired her as a coach for me, and she does all my back ends stuff so, she fixed all the podcast and everything. I just produce the material and she was really the brains behind the rest of it.
The branding and all the sort of front end stuff is all me. But, I did make a decision to hire somebody to do the rest of the stuff because I just felt I wanted to hit the ground running really fast and I knew if I got bumped down in the technology end of how to create autorespondersÖ I mean, it’s not hard but I just knew it would slow me down and frustrate me.
YARO: I should ask where did you even, well was it, I know you studied my materials but you also took part in my Blog Mastermind training program.
YARO: You talk now with very obvious knowledge about autoresponders and podcasting and all the tools you used when coming from a background before where you didn’t even surf the web as you said in University [laughs], where did that learning process take part?
BARBARA: Well look, the start really was Entrepreneurs’ Journey and then the Blog Mastermind and I think one of the biggest things that got out of the Blog Mastermind was the idea of an evergreen content. Then, I moved onto this idea of evergreen courses and one of the thing is, I did get an email from you once actually, way back in the beginning, where you had said something like “Hey guys I’ve got ten free tickets to this internet marketing seminar in Sydney,” and I was like, “Oh okay, well I don’t know if that’s my thing but, I’m going to go and I actually got one of those tickets and I went along to this seminar which was four days long and you weren’t even there and that was kind of another step. It was another piece of the puzzle for me where they went through the whole internet marketing model and I justó
YARO: Right, so Andrew and Daryl Grant, I think that would haveó
BARBARA: Yes and that blew my mind and I just thought, “Wow! I’ve got to do this, somehow.”
YARO: Okay, so it’s all interconnected and you’d find my blog through a magazine, you read my blog, you joined my coaching program, and you got an email about another event. You go to the other person’s event, but then you put the pieces together. You know what you have to build but you’re thinking I don’t want to build this, so you hire your friend Heather.
BARBARA: Yes, and I met her like serendipity. A friend introduced me to her, and I just was like, “Wow! Oh my God, you do all this?” I’m a firm believer in manifestation because honestly, I just put it out there going, “Okay, I know what I want to build. I know the business model. I don’t really know how to do it. I just know what and why,” and then the how showed up, and Heather showed up and she has kind of been the machine behind it.
YARO: And I think that’s always the right path. I’ve always been paired with a “tech” person as well. It’s, I mean I did initially do a lot of tech myself very, very, earlier on, but I think it’s important to put the creative person with the technical person and then you can do a lot. Can you explain how this all rolled out? Did you basically register the EnergisedWealth.com domain name, install WordPress, start writing, is that what you did?
BARBARA: Yes I pretty much did. Well actually, sorry, I did start writing but the first thing I wrote was, I mean Heather had told me to do this and I had learned this along the way, I needed to create an opt-in. So, I started working on that first and I actually created with seven steps, I created that and then, I created a video training series behind that.
So, I have seven videos. My opt-in is seven short videos they’re like three to five minutes long and it basically teaches people the steps and what they need to do in the whole video series. So, I did that first and then I immediately started blogging straight away.
YARO: And did it take off straight away or where didÖ like did people show up?
BARBARA: Yes, people did show up actually. And then, I started podcasting straight away. Actually, I find that the hardest thing, podcasting. I don’t know why. I think it’s just, again technology and you know all these things. But, I also started my TV show pretty quickly and people have asked me, “Oh my God. How did you do that so quickly? You need all this equipmentÖ”
The truth honestly is I just do it from my iPhone. I did buy lights which made itÖ but I just use my iPhone and I would say to people, you just got to start. You just got to start wherever you are and not get too caught up in the future stuff. You know, if its blogging then just start blogging. Just start writing your articles and get it up there and people will start to come.
YARO: I’m impressed. You basically did the exact morale I teach at Blog Mastermind, and you did it in the order that strategically make so much sense but it’s often very difficult for people to have clarity about, like you built the newsletter sequence, the free video series first, so that you had something for people to opt in to.
YARO: Then you went and built the different ways to get traffic by giving concept.
BARBARA: Well because there is traffic. I think the mistake people make is they go out and look for you, and you would say this in your thing people go out and look for traffic but, like then when the traffic comes, there’s no point if you’re not converting the traffic into some sort of lead, and then again, there’s no point if you’re not converting that lead down the track into a customer.
YARO: Well said, well said [laughs]. Okay, so how well did this all work though? Because I’d hate to give people the impression that, “Wow, you start producing content and then, suddenly you got thousands of visitors and then, people were willing to give you money.”
Can you maybe talk about, what are the key things that worked well for you and where are the customers coming from?
BARBARA: Yes, okay so to be, again, to be totally transparent, I have good traffic on my site. I’m getting good conversions into my opt-in. I’d like them to be higher but we’re looking to tweak some things at the moment. So you have to constantly kind of tweak and watch and analyze.
In terms of my clients that I’m working with, I have gotten those by going out myself and networking and being at functions. However, I haven’t sold people on the coaching there and then or even afterwards.
What has happened interestingly and this is the benefit of having a good platform, I’ve had people come to me and actually phone me and say, “I’ve been looking at your website. I’ve been following you for ages. I really want to work with you.” So, it’s been an easy sell into the coaching, the one-on-one coaching because I’ve gotten people to kind of go through.
I say to them, “Look, I’ve got my Seven Steps on my website. Go through those videos. Have a look and then, have a look at what I’m about, and then they phone me up and they go, “Yes, I’m done. I want to work.”
From that perspective, I’m not saying that having a website and a blog is all of a sudden going to have you have this flood of people wanting to work with you. You have to go out and actually hunt some business as well, but it definitely helps to expand your business cart that’s what I would say, your profile.
YARO: Now, you decided to sell coaching first. Is there a reason why?
BARBARA: [Laughs] You’ll laugh at this like actually. Coaching is the fastest path to cash I think, that’s just from my experience but, the reason I started coaching and I actually resisted it for quite a long time because I was like no, I want to do the digital thing. I’m launching my first digital training program this September, and I was just gung ho that that’s how I wanted it to go.
But the reason I started coaching is because I had a girl who, I did kind of know this girl but she said to me, I met her on three separate occasions, I met her at functions we were at and she kept saying to me, “Do you have a business card?” And then, the third time she said to me, “I want to work with you, are you going to give me a business card or not?” [Both laughs]
She literally like pushed me to coach her. So,I took her on and then I thought actually I quite like it. So then, I started going out and thinking well maybe I’ll just float the idea with some other people at networking functions I’m going to. I think though to be fair as well, I have a very strong background in wealth management and in this whole space and I think it helps me a lot. People seem to think I’m credible, put it that way so.
YARO: [Laughs] Well you are.
BARBARA: I think they think I have this secret but, my website definitely helps. It helps a lot because they can check me out before they come to me.
YARO: Yes, there’s a whole synergy there isn’t it and it’s likeó
BARBARA: Yes, the website is a sales machine, put it that way.
YARO: You’re right, yes it is that. It’s the background check as well, it’s what people need to see in order to believe you after the initial impression.
BARBARA: I put out a lot of content every week. So every week I have a TV show that goes out online. I’ve got a podcast, and I do at least one blog. So, that’s three pieces of content that go out. So, my website actually only really launched in February or March this year really because I spent a long time fiddling with it. But since then I mean I’ve got tons of content up there already so it looks like I’m in business a lot longer than I have been.
YARO: That’s really a database of past content. Now I’m curious how much did you decide to charge for coaching? Did you have a guide for that, or you just pulled a number out of your hat? [Laughs]
BARBARA: I started off in my head very low and then, I went to another seminar and I happened to one that was specifically about high end coaching and again, that just opened my mind a lot more to what the possibilities were for what I could charge and I decided toÖ I met some coaches that were charging ten grand a month which is massive and again blew my mind. I was thinking, “Wow! You get ten clients with ten grand a month there’s a million dollars right there.” So that’s you know, and I’m not saying it’s easy to charge that.
I decided that that was way too high for me so I started out charging $2000 a month and, my aim would be in a years’ time to double that fee, for one-on-one coaching and I’ve been getting it so [laughs].
YARO: So that was that, “Wow, I’ve been getting it and actually people are paying me this, and they’re still paying me [laughs].”
BARBARA: It also weeds out, and I think this is a key point, it weeds out the ones that are not, I want to work with people who are very serious about taking their business to the next level. The ones who are not are not going to pay the fee and they’re not my client and that’s okay.
But then, I’ve structured my group training program and I’m still trying to work out the pricing for that at the moment, but my idea is that those that are not ready yet to take that big jump into one-on-one coaching, they can come into my three months’ training program and I will be live on there. I’ll be coaching them in groups through what they need to do and all the steps and getting them built that way and that will be a lot cheaper to do it that way for the people who are not ready yet to take the big jump.
YARO: Yes exactly and it’s important to have the different tiered levels of products too and you’re still a very early stage with this online business. I think coaching is a great first choice and even if you’re not in the world of money, like people will often hear someone like yourself talk or myself talk and say well, I’m charging $2000 a month, they’ll say, “Well, that’s because you’re working in an area of making moneyÖ”
BARBARA: Yes exactly.
YARO: I think there’s a lot of opportunity in health, in wellness, in other niches outside of making money and okay maybe we’ll have a $10,000 a month client, but you certainly could have $1000 a month client and so on.
BARBARA: Yes. I think well, another thing I learned and actually I’d like to give this little tip away, I learned this sort of along the way, another coach actually said this to me. He said, “Don’t make the decision for your client about how much you’re worth.”
So often what we do is we kind of apologize about our pricing or we discount and things like that and feel bad and feel guilty about it, but you don’t really know what your client is thinking and you got to figure out, it’s the result, it’s not about saying, “Well, I only spend two hours a month or four hours a month with this client and I’m charging them two thousand dollars a month.” You got to look at it in terms of well, what is the result that I’m giving them and what is the opportunity cost of them not getting that result, like what’s the cost if they don’t get that result? It’s massive actually and even in health, it’s massive.
YARO: Exactly, it’s a value exchange and if you’re charging $2000 then, you should be delivering more than that in value to the client. Obviously in some areas it’s hard to quantify but if it’s for example weight loss or depression or things like that, then what’s the price of dealing with an issue like that, you know $2000 and never feel depressed again, that’s a pretty good value. So, there’s a lot of opportunities.
YARO: Okay so it sounds to me at the moment you’re in a situation where, well maybe I’ll ask you the question. What is the day in the life right now of Barbara? How do you live right now?
BARARA: Actually it’s great I mean at the moment I’m inÖI’m at a friend’s wedding. So, the beauty of what I’m doing now is that I have the flexibility first of all to work from wherever I want, which is what I really wanted. I want to be able to work from anywhere whenever I want and I’m slowly getting to the point now where I was in the beginning.
In the first six months it’s hard work, like I was working seven days a week twenty-four-seven, because you’re trying to get this thing up and running. Now I’m at a point where I’m probably working about three-and-a-half days, maybe four a week and my goal is to get that down to three. I’d like to work three days a week.
So a day in the life is I get up, I don’t start work until about 10 even though I’m an early riser. I like to kind of do my own thing in the morning and just go and have coffee and you know meet up with friends. Then, I usually come back and I like to work straight through. So I’m not a person who takes breaks in the middle. I’d probably work until about four or five and then I pretty much shut down at about four or five o’clock in the evening. So I don’t work in the night time and then I just go at it again the next day, but I’m very structured about how I work. So in the beginning, I found I was doing little bits of everything every day and things were very scattered and because of that I became very scattered.
So now, I have for example, Tuesday is a big day for me and Tuesday is content creation day, and I do all of my content for the week on Tuesdays. Wednesday morning is product creation day. Monday is kind of lead generation and clients and then, Thursday is client’s you know, Thursday, Friday is for clients, that’s how I kind of spread it out.
YARO: And you find that worked well for you?
BARBARA: Yes I do. Yes I think I’d like to get to a point where maybe I do a few days a month of content creation and actually narrow it down even more. Maybe the one time but, I’m just playing with that at the moment. Again the beauty is that I can make those decisions for myself for whatever works for me.
YARO: And where do you want to take this business? You’re making a full-time income from coaching and you’re working on a digital training program so obviously the income is going to start spreading across different products. Where are we going?
BARBARA: So eventually, my big plan is that, I mean I love to write so eventually, I would just like to be speaking on this topic. My topic really is Women And Wealth and I like to focus on women because I think having come from a very male dominating industry myself, women are not naturally attracted to the whole wealth and you know, making lots of money when they want to make lots of money but, they feel uncomfortable about it.
So I’d like to be a speaker on that topic, writing books on that topic, and running my digital training programs all over the world and eventually, I would like to have coaches who are trained in my system and my steps, not working for me but working with me where they run their ownó
BARBARA: Franchise business yes, but I’ll sort of lead the charge where I’m like the leader of that whole philosophy and they’re on my philosophy.
YARO: The Tony Robbins of Women’s Wealth?
BARBARA: [Laughs] Yes. Oh that doesn’t, that’s not resonating right.
YARO: Okay. Not a Tony Robin’s fan.
BARBARA: That’s a model I’d like to run but, at the moment, I can’t get too caught up in that because that’s the big vision and you can get swallowed in the big vision sometimes. You’ve got to focus on what do I need to do today to get one step closer to that picture.
YARO: Yes. Cash flow and then, expansion and so on… We’ll probably start towards wrapping it up now, Barbara. I do have one question. It’s a little bit of self-indulgent, but I also figure it can help the listener.
As a person who has clearly taken a lot of programs and you also took my Blog Mastermind program, for the people listening in, what’s the benefit, like do you think because there’s always the option to go and study all these yourself for free, don’t have a coach, don’t take a training program, and there’s a time and place to do that especially if you know, financially you’re constrained, you don’t want to spend your food money on hiring a coach or taking a course, but when is the time to take a course or hire a coach and why would you do that?
BARBARA: Look, I’ll tell you back when I did your course, the first one I was in a situation where I had taken everything I had and moreÖ Everything financially that I had and more and I had sunk it into the business that I was working in. So I had no money like I’m going to be honest I was kind of broke. I was sort of acid rich because I had this company but it was in the middle of the financial crisis, things were very hard in the beginning and I was totally broke.
So I kept thinking you know you sit on these things for ages and you wonder, “Am I wasting money? Should I buy this course?” So, I spent a long time doing it. I devoured everything free that I could get my hands on every video training. I did everything. So I would definitely recommend, do as much free stuff as you can get your hands on but it does get to a point where you say, “I need to learn more because when you do a course, it’s more structured and you learn the strategy.” I also think when you invest in something you invest not just financially but emotionally in it and you actually do the work.
In terms of hiring a coach, you know it took me two years to get to the point where I hired a coach. But, what I would say about hiring a coachÖ Can you get there by yourself? Some people can but it will take you an awful lot longer. A coach will get you there faster. So, if you do have the money or you’re willing to, I wouldn’t say take a gamble, but if you want to filter money from maybe frivolous spending into a coach, I think it’s probably one of the better things that you can do and maybe take the pain of not buying so many clothes and shoes and holiday wear [laughs]. You know, because it’s always money. I call it the hidden money. There is money hiding everywhere in people’s lives and if you want it badly enough you will probably find the money.
YARO: I like the idea of diverting from frivolous things to educational benefits that help you grow.
BARBARA: Yes, we all do frivolous spending even when we have no money, you know.
YARO: Oh for sure. I think I could take my chocolate allowance and probably take a few courses from that [laughs].
BARBARA: Yes, so I’m a big believer in coaching and I think, like I say, take the steps. You do a lot of free stuffs first. Get really comfortable with what you want to do and then, you know take a course, learn that course, and implement something and then do another course and implement something, and then when you’re ready to take the big time though, then you hire a coach. That’s when you want a coach.
YARO: Speaking of which, if people are interested in finding you and potentially hiring you or certainly looking at what you do, I’m guessing it’s Energisedwealth.com and that’s with an ‘s’?
BARBARA: With an ‘S’ yes. Energisedwealth.com and it’s the same on Facebook and if you want also Femininewealth.tv is my TV show where I basically interview female entrepreneurs and investors. It’s not just business owners. It’s investors as well and on the whole creating truly conscious wealth. It’s not just about money. It’s about really creating change in the world and using money as the ultimate tool to unlock your own freedom and everybody else’s freedom too. So it’s a really interesting show.
YARO: Awesome Barbara. Well I’m looking forward to seeing what you continue to get up to and seeing this vision come to life and then.
BARBARA: Yes, I better make it happen now, Yaro [laughs].
YARO: Well, you’ve stated it publicly now [laughs].
BARBARA: Yes a public declaration.
YARO: Yes accountability step one, right? Yes awesome anything else you’d like to throw in before I wrap up the show?
BARBARA: Well I just again, would like to say thank you for this opportunity to be on your podcast and when I saw the email come out about anyone who had done your course that would like to come on the podcast, I actually did think to myself, “Gosh my story for you is an interesting one because you were literally the, you opened the gate and I’ll be forever grateful for that. So here I am today to tell the story.
YARO: You’re welcome and thank you for stepping forward and being willing to share this story. I loved the airplane magazine part of it because that’s not my typical way of finding [laughs] a person to take up my program so, maybe I should just start advertising in airplanes, there you go.
BARBARA: You could get all of those corporate people who are bored of their jobs [laughs].
YARO: Yes possibly. Okay, well thank you Barbara. As I said, I’ll keep an eye on what you’re up to and good luck with your business.
For everyone else listening in, thank you for joining the Entrepreneur’s Journey podcast. My name is Yaro, you can find me by googling Y-A-R-O, that’s the easiest way to find me and, I hope you enjoyed the show and I’ll talk to you again very soon.
Thanks Barbara, thanks to everyone else. Bye.
About Yaro Starak
Yaro Starak is the author of the Blog Profits Blueprint, a report you can download instantly to learn how to make $10,000 a month, from only blogging 2 hours per day. You can find Yaro on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.