Introvert Solopreneurs Q&A: “I hate adding to the noise in the market. What should I do?”

I’ve been preoccupied lately with trying to help where I can in this crazy time, including hosting some free gatherings for caring solopreneurs.

It has felt so good to do that, and it inspires me for what else I can offer.

This morning I decided to record a Zoom conversation with a fellow introverted solopreneur about this question I am hearing a lot lately from folks like us. I’ve got the video recording for you below.

The question I’m hearing goes something like this:

The market feels so full of noise and free offers. I hate the idea of adding to the noise and it seems like nothing will work right now….”

It’s a crazy time for sure. So many unknowns and worries. Those big hearts of ours can’t help but want to keep helping, but it’s confusing too.

There is a way to navigate in these strange waters, even while steadying ourselves.

With the help of my friend and colleague, Liesel Teversham, I addressed this concern, including what’s helping me, and what I think will help our kindred spirits too.

You can watch the conversation here:

Continue reading

The Worry About Being Seen as Too “Woo Woo”

I hear about this a lot from creative women and transformational professionals: a fear of being seen as too “woo-woo.” Familiar?

On the one hand, they want to talk about spirituality or things like the power of setting intentions, or a powerful energy healing experience, but they don’t want to be dismissed. I get that. First hand.

I’ve found myself trying to walk that line. I’m starting to not care, and I notice a lot of others are not as worried. We are going for it with talking about love, intuition, prayer, bigger impact, healing the world, sending loving vibrations, alternative healing, soul’s work, life purpose, and more.

And yet that “woo woo” police still lives on in many minds. Negative comments about it are so common. I think we aren’t noticing the flaws in that wording or thinking.

This “woo woo” idea has so many layers and I want to break it apart. What is that fear actually about?

Continue reading

My View from 10 Years In as a Self-employed Coach

You know how they say you can call yourself an expert after ten years of doing something? I’m right here at the ten-year mark since I had my first paying coaching client in November 2009. I’m taking this moment to look and see what it feels like at this stage, at the end of a decade.

Val Nelson

I’m looking calmer than I used to feel. Haha.

There is certainly an interesting and different feeling at this stage than even a couple years ago, and a vast difference from the early days.

One thing for sure, ten years in feels amazing for me.

There’s a level of security, ease, and trust in my work life that I’m so appreciating. A settling in. Leaning more and more into a natural flow.

I think that ten-year mastery idea, and part of why ten years in feels so amazing, is about the concept of Flow.

When you’ve done something you enjoy for a long while, you are more likely to get to a state of delicious flow, where things “just happen,” or move through you, and you barely know how it’s happening.

It just feels.. natural.
Like I was born to do this.
Like a spiritual experience that I can’t explain in simple terms.

I call this feeling “natural flow” and when you get to know me, you’ll see that natural flow is a favorite topic. I want everyone to have this.

There’s a joy, a trust, a deeper knowing beyond what’s right in front of your eyes… if you allow this energy to move through you. It’s a mindfulness practice whose internal benefits build on itself year after year.

I don’t think it’s about “expert” or not (and I have issues with most uses of the word expert).

The ten-year mastery idea is about being able to fully rely on your wisdom and heart to lead the way, and even let yourself stake your livelihood on that! That’s a big trust. One that now feels easy. I feel so much gratitude for that ease as I write this.

It wasn’t easy at first. I had to learn to live on faith, and self-employment is a great teacher.

I’ll explain how it has evolved and continues to evolve, such as what I’m learning now. I even wrote a poem about it, in this post. It just showed up. Continue reading

How To Host a Simple Focus Group So You Can Attract Your True Clients

When I first was starting my coaching business and thinking about focusing on introverts, a colleague suggested I host a focus group for introverts to explore this idea further. Me: “Huh, focus group?”

Can you relate? My self-employed clients usually have the same quizzical response too. So I will unveil the mystery of this very simple action that can give you SO much. I’m providing a complete cheat-sheet here for hosting a focus group.

I bet you’ll even enjoy focus groups! Especially when you see what a difference it makes in your work.

My Focus Group Hosting Experience

My colleague helped me plan my first focus group. I just invited some introverts to a free discussion for about 5 people. Once there, I could see how easy and natural it was to host a meaningful conversation for a handful of people, on something that I and they cared about.

That’s all it is, really. A meaningful conversation that you and they will likely enjoy. It’s a win-win. We all enjoy the connections, and I learned a lot.

Focus group discussion - how to

A focus group is simply a meaningful conversation that you and the participants will likely enjoy.

It turned out people wanted more of these gatherings and so I hosted some more. What I learned helped me to create a solid foundation for my offerings and my marketing. I’ve since done it other times when I needed more input.

________________________
I now believe that first focus group was one of the
smartest things I ever did to get my business going.
________________________

Is It for You?

In reality, not everyone likes hosting small group discussions like I do. If you’re feeling any dread about the idea, start with reading more here about what it is and then decide if it’s for you. You can also get help to do it.

In this post, I’ll give you a cheat-sheet, with the when, why, how of focus groups. This is a simple model designed for service professionals like coaches, consultants, and healing arts professionals.

Continue reading

Self-employment Myths and Reality. It’s OK To Be Wobbly.

When the topic of self-employment comes up, I hear two common responses:

  1. “That’s too hard so I won’t even try.” or
  2. “I should be able to get something going within a few months, or else it’s a failure.”

Neither is grounded in reality. There’s such an odd mythology around self-employment, perhaps because people don’t talk about what goes on behind closed doors.

Here’s what I think is true about self-employment, in a nutshell.

Continue reading