In today’s blog, I want to talk about something which I personally found helped me back when I was starting out. I want to show you why you don’t have to have a crazy story to be able to help people and start a business with it.
YOU DON’T NEED A DRAMATIC STORY
You don’t need to have this really dramatic, massive, life-threatening story. We see that all the time - it’s a marketing technique. I’ve been a student of marketing for quite a long time so I can see what is happening. But there is a common before/after marketing technique where you want the audience to realise that you were way below their level of capability, and yet you still 'made it'. And therefore if you can do it with such a handicap, they are guaranteed to do it too.
Which leads to this over dramatisation: "I was 7,000 kilos and then I became size zero”.
Or, "I was homeless living on the streets and then I became a multi-millionaire”.
Or, "I was nearly dying…”
This over dramatisation can make normal people feel like they don’t have big enough story or cool enough or dramatic enough story to actually be worth listening to. And that is not the case at all!
For everyone, throughout your life, you’ve had problems and you’ve overcome obstacles. You’ve had trials and tribulations. You’ve learned you’ve developed. You pushed through and you have a really valuable story to tell.
You may not have a life-threatening illness or been massively overweight, and that’s okay. You still have something of value and you can still help other people. That’s really the core of it: you don’t need to have a full on, life-ending drama before you actually help other people.
MY OWN STORY IS “NORMAL”
My own life story is pretty normal, and yet I have an information-based business as you guys know - I help people to learn how to actually start a business for themselves. I have programs on starting a business: that is the service that I offer. That is the information and knowledge that I impart.
You’re going to have knowledge as well that you can use. It may be a health problem that you overcame or maybe a professional skill or transferable skill that you’ve learned. Maybe something like parenting or another life experience. There are so many life experiences or professional experiences that you could have, that you could make into a business like this but you don’t need to be like the best in the world and total top of everything.
So just to give you some background on my story: I am so normal, I’m boring! I started off my life in a super small town in Scotland. It is actually a village, my uncle laughs at us and says we’re the Hobbits because it’s on a hill with the houses all dotted over it - you can almost see the little round doors - that’s actually where I live.
My dad was in the airforce and my mum was a primary school teacher. We lived the most normal life. We were two kids, we lived in the countryside. They went to work 9-5 every day - not more than 9-5, they weren’t overworking. You know, just this completely normal life. I went to the local school, I then went to the local University and my big dream when I was a kid or when I became eighteen and headed off to the university was that I wanted to become a country lawyer. I wanted to marry a farmer because farmers have land and I could have a horse and that was basically my ambition for my life - that’s what I wanted. Just stay in my local area and just live this nice country lifestyle.
And then, of course, life starts to throw curveballs. I went my local university - St. Andrews University - which in this tiny town of St. Andrews. Basically it has three main streets and it’s an extremely small and very provincial town. But for very some strange reason, there’s a bunch of International students who love to come - we have Americans, Canadians, Germans, Swedish, Chinese now as well. And so for some reason, it’s this kind of international hub, literally in the middle of nowhere like an hour from any city in Scotland, and it is freezing cold all the time. I have no idea why these people show up at this University, but for some reason they do!
I went to this University not realising that and then I started meeting really cool people who came from different places and I really opened up my world as well. So that was my first realisation that there was something more to life than I had experienced so far.
I ended up spending four years with these people and I decided I didn’t want to be just in the countryside in the Scotland. I want to go to London, so I got a job in a big corporation in London. But then I lived a really normal graduate life in London! I was working 12 hours a day, I was on the tube 2 hours a day, going to the pub on Friday night - again, a totally normal life. At no point was I homeless, I had a wonderful childhood growing up, you know like, no crazy stories, my parents were very loving - they gave me what I needed - I had a completely normal, even boring, life.
THEN MY LIFE SHIFTED
And then the only reason that things got a little bit interesting is that when I was in my job, I got really, really unhappy. So having made it to London and into this big corporation, I realised that actually the corporate lifestyle was really awful and it was not what I wanted at all.
On top, I had taken a year between finishing University and starting the job to travel. That’s when I realised how much I loved doing that. But having had that freedom, I was then forced back into a corporate 9-5 and I wasn’t able to take more than a week or two-week holiday a year. So the unhappiness at my “normal” life drove me to find a radical solution.
Now, did I quit my job and create a trillion dollar company in three months?
Of course not!
I was absolutely terrified to quit my job. I didn’t have a massive trust fund to fall back on. I didn’t have some massively famous entrepreneur to help me. I didn’t know anyone, I didn’t know anything about entrepreneurship at all. It’s a foreign concept to my family (my dad makes me laugh, he still asks me whenever I go home, “Are you sure you’re going to make money this month? Are you sure you’ll be okay?” And I’m like, “I’ve made it every other month the last three years and yes, I’m pretty sure!”).
That’s the kind of mentality that I grew up with. This idea of entrepreneurship is just beyond them, and it was beyond me as well. But I just baby stepped my way forward.
And eventually, I found a way for me to start a company which didn’t require me to quit my job immediately. I started to blog, doing little bits here and there, on the side. Bit by bit, I found my way. I eventually found the mentors who helped me. I found the business model that was going to work for me and I developed what I needed to develop.
Back then, could I have ever started the business that I have now, which is to teach women how to start a business? Could I have ever foreseen that I could do that? Or ever foreseen that I would be able to run such a business?
Of course not.
YOU ARE ON A JOURNEY
I had to go through that journey, through that process, those little tiny baby steps, making those mistakes, not understanding what to do, and finding a solution, and also being sensible. At no point did I just run away and quit my job to become a yoga person in Thailand. I knew I had to be sensible and think about the future as well.
And so my own risk averseness actually helped me find my own niche because there are way too many business coaches out there saying: “Leap and the net will appear” or “You make your wings on your way down”.
That’s all nonsense - if you are earning $50K or $100K a year, and you’ve worked your ass off to get to that level in your career, there is no way that you are going to just ‘take a leap’; especially if you have a mortgage, or if you have kids. You are not going to give that security up on a whim.
Instead, you need to find a way of baby stepping your way out. Everything that I did, boring as it was; normal as it was; helped me fumble my way to the solution that I needed. All of that led me to my position now, where I can share that knowledge and experience with my clients, and or course with you as well.
That’s my story. There will be something in your life where you have done something similar. It’s probably not business related, but there will be something that’s happened in your life: you’ve lost weight, or you’ve learned how to handle an unruly child; or you’ve learned something in the professional world.
YOUR KNOWLEDGE IS VALUABLE TO OTHERS
It may not seem very big or exciting. You’ve likely led a really normal life. But all your experiences are worth something. You can help people.
At this point, I’ve worked with nearly a hundred clients, and if I may say so, I’ve literally changed their lives with what I do. Once they’ve got their business, once they’ve actually learned how to build the business, they got a few clients, and they’re actually replacing their salary then they can quit their job. And if you can quit your job, you’ve freed up at least 60 hours a week of your time.
On top, I help them to set up the businesses so that they’re location independent, so they don’t have to live in the same place if they don’t want to. Suddenly get this huge freedom - they can travel and move as much as they like. They could follow their husbands to a new job and let him live his dreams without impacting their career. They could earn more money than they did before, but be working way less. Many of my clients work in London or another big city. They move out to the countryside because suddenly they can work from anywhere. They can live that existence how they always wanted to live.
YOU CAN IMPACT OTHER PEOPLE’S LIVES
In my own little way, I’m changing their lives. But more exciting - they are going to help their clients as well. They’re changing their clients' lives in whatever capacity they’ve built their business in.
There’s such a broad spectrum of what you could do - we’ve had wellness coaches, stress management people, political education, fertility experts, life coaching, financial planners, yoga practitioners.
It creates a trickle-down effect: I help them unleash their knowledge, and then they help their own clients to solve problems they don’t know how to solve before.
No matter how normal you are, just remember that you have this power to help other people, and you have something which is worth money. It is worth something if you can help other people with it. You can change their lives. Your future clients would happily pay for it because you’re going to give them so much more value than you are taking in terms of your fee.
And, of course, you can create your ideal lifestyle with this business as well.
YOUR NEXT STEP
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