I hate having my photo taken.
I’m not one of those girls who says, “I’ll take the picture, I don’t want to be in it,” but I certainly think it. My image is never something I’ve been comfortable with.
There are a lot of coaches out there, and not every one is right for you.
I’ve had many conversations with prospective and new clients about the process of choosing a coach. Lots of my clients have spoken to coaches who don’t have credentials, and who charge a ton of money without giving prospective clients an understanding of how they will benefit.
A few months ago, a friend asked me for advice. Before I could open my mouth, she quickly said, “I want Harper my friend, not Harper the coach.”I knew what she meant. Since becoming a coach, I’ve encountered fellow entrepreneurs who never turn off; those who always wear their professional hat and find it hard to level with you.
I understand why that happens. In many entrepreneurial professions, but especially coaching, you learn skills that help you communicate and problem solve. You rely on your expertise and training to help you navigate and solve problems. Sometimes, you’re so programmed to offer advice you don’t even ask if the other person wants it.
Most business owners know that determining their niche and identifying their target audience is an essential part of a business plan. They realize that targeting everyone doesn’t work and that you have to be strategic.
At the same time, determining a niche and target audience is one of the trickiest tasks for any new biz owner. It’s something that comes up over and over again with my clients. They wonder if their niche is specific enough, how to hone in on their ideal client, and how to create content that resonates with their target audience.
Lately, I’ve noticed that I’m really tired at the end of the day. Not normal tired, but exhausted. I feel like I’ve given all my energy away to my clients and my friends, and saved none for myself.
I’m someone who loves connecting. It’s in my DNA. It’s part of why I became a coach and why I love helping clients jumpstart their own careers. I can’t turn this part of myself off, and I wouldn’t want to. I also love connecting with colleagues, friends, and people who come to me for advice.
A few years ago, a friend who is a talented makeup artist shared a surprising reflection with me: about 90 percent of her time wasn’t spent doing makeup.
As an independent professional, she had so many other things on her plate. And even though her love for makeup artistry was what got her into the biz in the first place, it often had to take the back seat. Especially during those first few years of starting and growing her business.
When you run a business, staying organized is imperative. You can’t function without some kind of organizational systems in place, and many business owners realize this early on and take steps to get organized. And yet, for many new entrepreneurs, it’s still a struggle to make progress over the long term, even if they’re accomplishing everything on their daily to-do list.
When I work with clients to restructure their organizational habits, my goal is to make it easier for them to focus on their day-to-day needs without neglecting the things that need to be done in the future or over an extended period time.
A pitch or sponsorship deck has countless uses in business, but creating a great one is often a challenge. And it’s not just hard for novices; even people who have created dozens of decks can fall into the trap of a pitch deck that’s boring, crammed with information, or simply not effective.
Before I became an independent professional, I held a number of roles in event production and marketing. As a result, I have extensive experience writing decks and responding to RFPs, so I have insight from both sides of the equation. I’ve seen decks that are incredibly memorable, and I’ve also read decks that are forgettable or aren’t successful in getting their message across.
When I first launched my business, I agonized over my website’s copy. Before I went live, my copy went through iteration after iteration. I was determined to get it exactly right. I wanted to speak to the right people, sound professional, and seem relatable. Finally, I launched my site — and what do you know? I’ve updated and changed my copy many times since then. Over time, I defined my niche, established who my ideal client is, and crystallized my business’s core focus.
Everyone has a slightly different approach to launching their business. I’ve worked with clients who fall across the spectrum, from those who want to be perfectly polished before even thinking about launching, to those who are willing to dive in and see what happens.