Here’s something you can do when you’re feeling overwhelmed

Here’s something you can do when you’re feeling overwhelmed

This is a note to myself as much as it’s a note to you or anyone.

So often I find myself caught up with concerns like, “am I going to meet all of my goals by the end of the year” OR “how can I run this business the way I envision while changing diapers and running my daughter to all of her activities?”

And let me tell you: that gets daunting.

The truth of THIS moment, though, is that I'm sitting at home with my baby boy in my arms after a morning of answering emails and client calls, and literally nothing about this isn’t awesome.

I get to work from home with freedom and flexibility, and I should always choose to focus on the “I get to” moments.

There are so many awesome ‘right nows.’ This is a reminder to you and me to spend more time there.

What’s your favorite “right now” moment? Reply back and let me know. I personally respond to every email!

XOXO,
Rachel

3 Questions to ask first before investing in your business

3 Questions to ask first before investing in your business

I get it, investing in your business is hard.

One question I hear all the time from clients is, “How do I know where to invest and when?” Here are the three questions I ask in my business when it comes to investing:

(1) Will investing in this stress me, or will it just stretch me?

I ask myself — Will I still be able to put food on the table, gas in the car, and keep a roof over our heads — even if this investment goes south?

Now you may be thinking, “but wait, even though it's not a stress factor for me, it could still be a risk.”

And you're totally right.

And the truth is: every day in business is full of risk.

But don't worry – the rest of the framework will help us decide if the risk is worth it or not!

(2) What would a business owner at the next level do?

My mentor, coach, and friend James Wedmore always says “What got me here won’t get me there”, so if I want to get to the next level I’m going to need to invest to get there.

So I ask myself: Would someone at the next level make this investment?

If you continue to make decisions based on the business you have, you'll continue to have the business you currently do.

(3) Will I return my investment?

Do I need it? With where I'm currently at in my business, do I actually need this to move my business forward? Will I use it? Will I get $x (i.e. the price of the program or product’s value) of use from it?

And a course or program that teaches me something new, something I can implement in my business, something that will help me get back my time or help me increase my bottom line – it’s likely going to be worth it.

(Hint: the answer to question #3 with a course or training that I invest in is, almost always, yes — if I take action and do the work.)

By running my business investments through this framework, I’m able to make wise and strategic decisions for myself and my business, and you can too!

I’m curious — do you have a program or training you’ve been on the fence about investing in? If so, what’s been holding you back from saying “yes”?

XOXO,
Rachel

3 Strategic Steps on How to hustle for your business

3 Strategic Steps on How to hustle for your business

I was always taught that in order to be successful, I just had to out-work everyone else. But as I got wiser in business, I learned that’s just not the case.

We can all think of someone we know right now who works all the time and isn’t getting any further ahead. In fact, they’re suffering: their health is suffering, their relationships are suffering, and they’re sacrificing everything on the altar of perceived success (this used to be me, so I get it!).

We also can all think of someone who is hugely successful who takes the weekends off, who travels, who has great relationships and balance.

Why?

Because the truth is, hustling harder won’t get results.

So what will?

Plugging into a proven, strategic plan!

Now before your roll your eyes and think “goodness gracious, I’ve already downloaded 5,486 free offers and watched 387 YouTube videos, Rachel — I’m trying to plug into a proven system but it’s just not working” — I want to walk you through the exact questions I ask myself when I’m trying to decide the next steps in my own business.

(1) Identify the true area of struggle, the area that needs growth.

I see so many people who take a Pinterest course before they even have a blog. Is traffic really the issue with their offer? Or is it their sales page or something else? In order to know what to solve, you first have to understand the issue. (Hint: the DATA will always help you determine the issue.)

(2) Find a program, course, group coaching offer, mastermind, or private coach who offers the exact solution to your problem.

What is your problem? It is what you identified in question #1. For example, if you know your issue is messaging, find the best person to help with messaging — someone who knows it, teaches it, and whose students get results.

(3) Make sure the teacher has the same core values you have.

I learned this one the hard way. Because the truth is, if you know you only want to work a few hours a day, but your teacher is constantly preaching the value of the hustle, you will probably have an alignment issue. They will teach you how to hustle harder, but you've identified that your core value is family and working less.

Friend, you DON’T have to hustle harder to get the results you want for your business! But you do have to have a plan. Plug into a proven system, and find the balance you desire for your life.

I’d love to hear from you — what’s been the biggest issue for you when it comes to growing and scaling your business?

XOXO,
Rachel

3 questions to ask when creating the perfect opt-in

3 questions to ask when creating the perfect opt-in

I was speaking at a workshop recently about all things ads and I was shocked to hear that most of the women in the room had been given bad advice when it came to their opt-ins.

Now as you probably already know, an opt-in has more nicknames than I do for baby brother (ha!), but to make sure we’re on the same page, you might have heard it called a lead generator, a freemium, an early stage offer, or a lead magnet.

Whatever you want to call it, your opt-in serves one purpose: To attract the right people to you and to repel the wrong ones.

Now I don’t think the marketer who was teaching this wrong strategy was trying to lead their students astray. But nonetheless, the advice they were giving would be detrimental to any business owner.

They were teaching their students that your opt-in can be about ANYTHING, whether or not it relates to your business. So even if you're promoting your fitness business, your opt-in could be about organizing the house.

Here's why that makes ZERO sense: Your opt-in should be like the chips at the Tex-Mex restaurant down the street — they wet your appetite for more. Do you see Tex-Mex restaurants handing out personal development books? No. Why? Just because you read Brendon Burchard's new book doesn't mean you love Tex-Mex.

The same is true for your business. Your opt-in should always give people a quick sample of what it is your product or program can do for them.

How can you be sure you’re doing this? In Pillar 3 of Automate & Grow, we ask a series of questions to help identify the best opt-in. Here’s a few of the questions we work through:

(1) What is the PROBLEM this free offer will solve? (i.e. What is the transformation this free offer will create for them? What “quick” problem will it solve?)

(2) What is the GAP this free offer will create? (How will my ideal client use this as a tool to know what's next and to help them make a decision on whether or not they need my support?)

(3) How does the free offer DIRECTLY relate to my core offer? (Or does it?)

BONUS question: What is the BEST method to deliver this so that my audience will be able to quickly consume it and get their quick transformation?

Your opt-in should help make sure that you're attracting more of the people who need what you offer, and less of the people who don't.

And when it comes to your offer, your best customers know that they need what you have!

I want to hear from you! What is your free offer and how does it relate to your core offer?

XOXO,
Rachel

My four tips on what to do when attending a live event

My four tips on what to do when attending a live event

I’m on my way right now to Stacy Tuschl's She’s Building Her Empire – Live and I’m so, so honored and absolutely thrilled to be included as one of her guest experts during the event!

There is something incredibly special about live, in-person events! The excitement of being surrounded by people just like you who are motivated and inspired to go after their dreams is an amazing feeling. In fact, some of my best ideas and greatest moments of learning have happened at live events — there's something about the energy and community that creates the perfect environment for BIG breakthroughs.

And I've also met some of my best biz friends at live events — these are the women who are now a part of my inner circle, and we are there to support one another, uplift one another, and share with one another what's working in our businesses and what's not working in our businesses. The connections I’ve made at these live events will forever be near and dear to my heart.

Are you heading to a live event soon? Here are a few of my best tips for attending a live event:

1. Bring a brand new notebook and be prepared to take tons of notes!

There’s nothing worse than running out of paper in your half-used-up notebook just as the speaker is getting to the really good stuff. I love buying a brand new notebook solely dedicated for each live event I attend. I write the name and date of the event on the cover, that way I can refer to all of the amazing ideas I had at that event anytime I want!

2. Do NOT plan anything else or agree to outside commitments. Invest all of your time and energy in the event.

It may be tempting when you attend a live event in a fun, new city to try and meet up with everyone you’ve ever known who now lives there, hold a VIP day with your clients, and sneak out for a quick sightseeing tour or head to a new restaurant, but trust me… you’re better served saving those things for BEFORE or AFTER the event. During the event, you need to focus all of your energy on the reason you’re in that new city in the first place — the event! Remember why you went and focus on your time and connections there. If you MUST hit up the sights in the city, plan an extra day there, solely for that purpose!

3. Network! Every live event is filled with amazing people and incredible connections!

Take it from one introvert to another, this is NOT easy — but it’s SO worth it! You never know if the person you’re shaking hands with could be your next business partner, collaboration, or person to help take your business to the next level. And just a friendly reminder (because I have to remind myself of this all the time!): Make eye contact and smile when you meet new people.

4. Talk to the people around you.

Again, introvert speaking here, but this is important! Each live event usually has a dedicated time for networking with other business owners, but so much relationship building can happen with the person sitting right next to you! Make the most of those opportunities. Who knows? One of them could be your future biz bestie!

So, what about you, friend? What do you do at live events? Have I left off any really important ones? I’d love to know your thoughts, experiences, and tips!

XOXO,
Rachel

My 5 favorite and most effective tools to use in your business

My 5 favorite and most effective tools to use in your business

When I first launched my business, I knew that some of my biggest core values included prioritizing my faith, my family, and my time-freedom. Which means that if I want to be a successful mom/wife and a successful business owner, I have to have automated systems in place.

One of the most frequently asked questions I get in my inbox is “How, Rachel?” — How do I get it all done? — How am I able to stay home with baby brother, run a successful business, and have my house in order? Is that even really possible?

Y’all, first let’s be totally clear that my life is NOT Pinterest-perfect… but in order to keep my priorities in place, I had to create systems and automations that work in the background. I had to implement structures and guidelines. Because let’s be honest – if there’s nothing guiding you each day, then how will you ever know if you’re truly making any progress?

Whether you’ve been in business for years or you’re just getting started, I want to share five of my favorite resources — the tools that we use every single day in our business — to automate and run the business so that I have enough time to serve you well AND spend time with my family!

1. ActiveCampaign

ActiveCampaign is my e-mail marketing system of choice. Why? Because they make automation easy (and affordable)! With plans that start as low as $9/month (the lite option is truly all you need) they are Louis Vuitton quality with a Target price-tag! They do so much for my (and your!) business: Integrated email marketing, marketing automation, and they can be used as a total small business CRM. I know I couldn’t run my business without automation, and I love all that I can do with ActiveCampaign!

2. LeadPages

LeadPages is the only landing page software that I recommend — and honestly, I’ve seen people build entire websites in LeadPages! Why? LeadPages give you ALL the stats on who’s visiting your landing page, which % of people are opting in, and more. (And you know I always say “don’t trust your intuition — trust the data!) In fact, their entire business is created around making the BEST and highest-converting landing pages — and the best part is, you don’t have to be a coding expert to get started! It’s easy to use and super effective! For just $37/month, LeadPages allows me to create amazing pages that truly convert clicks to customers!

3. EasyWebinar

When it comes to running Masterclasses or hosting live (or automated) training events, EasyWebinar makes my business so easy! EasyWebinar is a webinar platform where users can select between live and automated/evergreen webinars, and it’s super easy to use. The only downside of EasyWebinar is that it comes with a price-tag… so I typically recommend waiting until you’ve got a proven system in place before implementing this platform!

4. Asana

Asana is the work management platform our team uses to stay focused on the goals, projects, and daily tasks that grow our business. It helps us to get organized, stay on track, and hit deadlines. What we love about it: we can set priorities and deadlines, share details, and assign tasks to all of our team members. This allows us to follow every project and task through every stage, so we know where work stands and we can keep everyone aligned on the goals. And the best part — the basic version of Asana is totally FREE!

5. The 90x Goal Planner

I don’t know how I ever got anything done before I started using this planner! Seriously — if I don’t set real, tangible goals in my business, then everything else I do is void. Running a business without a plan is like sailing a ship and just letting the wind take you wherever it may… It doesn’t make sense! And I love my 90x Goal Planner, which serves as my daily goal planner, self-journal, & life goal setting plan.

Want an even deeper sneak-peek into the tools and resources we use every day? Head over to our new “resources” page at rachelmcmichael.com/resources to find the exact tools and systems we use and recommend to our clients daily!

XOXO,
Rachel