My clients are making money, standing out in their niche or industry, and are genuinely happier in their lives, by doing the bare minimum number of things in their business, but they’re doing each of those few things really, really well.
I want to share a glimpse of how we work with our clients in order to make that happen. I’ll talk about how I’m structuring our upcoming curriculum for our clients, which basically means a private client portal filled with brand new video training, workbooks, live workshops, and so on.
These are the exact objectives of my coaching: During our six months together inside our 1:1 program, I want clients to work on mastering a few key skill sets and mindsets that will help them sign clients and ultimately do it in a way that lets them actually go do other things with their life, which could be their career, spending time with loved ones and friends, traveling, sleep, fitness, anything.
Basically, I want them to create a super simple business so they can actually have a happy life outside their business.
In the brand new curriculum, Module 1 is called “Knowing what to do”.
Specifically, I want to teach our clients to make decisions on their bare minimum business plan for the next six months, and make sure that their plan is something that they will actually stick to and want to commit to.
Because the best strategy for your business is truly one that you’ll actually follow through on.
Someone can look at my business and try to replicate the exact things I’m doing, but it won’t work because they spend time spinning out not knowing what to even talk about for a weekly podcast episode.
And hence my own strategy, which has created six figures in my business, will work for me, but it just won’t work for that person.
In this module, I’ll be teaching about how to manage your mind, your energy, and your time. Because once we have a decision made on your bare minimum six month game plan, you have to actually go implement it and keep working on it, week after week. Repetition. Over and over again.
More often than not, people cannot even stick to their plan for more than a few months, or sometimes even a few weeks. Because they’ll start feeling stressed, overwhelmed, self doubt, comparison, jealousy over other coaches who are further ahead, doubting whether people even want to work with them or if they like them, and so on.
A lot of unnecessary thoughts and stories that our brains tell us are simply not helping you stick to your bare minimum game plan. That’s why Module 2 is solely dedicated to managing your mind.
Back to Module 1. In addition to managing your mind, we also talk about managing your energy.
Here’s the thing. Sometimes, you can definitely sit down and work your way out of a thought spiral. 100% that can be a tool that is helpful. But at times, you might just want do something to energetically change how you’re feeling
I want to also make a note here that I find that energy is a really elusive word. My own interpretation of energy is like physical levels of energy. How my body is feeling. The physical sensations inside my body.
I know emotions can also be felt in the body, but for simplicity’s sake, I’m more so referring to energy in terms of how my body is feeling.
I’ve been increasingly observing how sometimes, I just don’t wanna sit down and self coach.
Instead, I’ll chug a glass of iced water instead of drinking my usual room temperature water.
Or I might go for a walk outside for one hour, literally walking in circles at a park.
These are some examples of energy tools that I might use to help me feel better and get myself out of a thought spiral.
Oftentimes, I simply need to use an energy tool more than a thought work type of tool like coaching myself out of my mind drama. This is now part of the new curriculum as well.
And also, managing your time. This one.
Our clients who have created the most results from our program, not only are they continuously managing their mind, emotions and body so they keep working on their action plan, but they also rarely complain about time to me.
I find that those who tend to create more results because:
1) they continuously manage their brain and body so they don’t slow down and are able to keep chipping away at their action plan, week after week but also
2) I very, very rarely hear them say I don’t have enough time to do my bare minimum game plan.
Which is different from saying “I need to do more” or “I feel like I’m not doing enough”, which is an entirely different conversation.
But these clients never complain about not having enough time.
The reason for this, from what I’ve observed, is not because they have a much more relaxed schedule than my clients who are saying they don’t have time.
But rather, it’s because we focus on doing the bare minimum number of things and do each of those few things really, really well.
And we continue doing those things without letting our brain tell us, “Oh, that’s ALL you’re doing? There’s no way you’ll see results from just doing that.”
Or maybe, your brain will tell you, “Oh you don’t even have time for those bare minimum things.”
We continue to manage those pesky thoughts so that we are able to maximize the time blocks you do have every week, and make sure that you are effectively and creatively working during those blocks of time.
If I’m gonna be honest, a lot of what I coach my clients on are related to helping them manage their thoughts and energy.
Because once we have a game plan that you’re happy with and you are able to repeat over and over again, week after week, then the only thing that usually holds you back from continuing to do that plan is the internal feelings of self doubt. Stress. Frustration. Feeling like you’re moving too slow. Feeling like other coaches are better than you. Feeling like you’re not doing enough. Your content isn’t clear enough. And so on.
For a lot of my clients who are at the earlier stages of their business, they have a hard time believing that doing the bare minimum or just simply working on the basics alone can get them to their first 5k or 10k month. And to create another 5k or 10k month.
Here’s what I would like to share: The basics. The “bare minimum”. It is exactly what got me to my first 10k month in December 2020, and it is exactly what laid down the foundation for my six figure year in 2021.
Here’s what happened.
In March 2020, when I first restarted my business after being off of the grid for like seven months, I was really low in self confidence.
I was also experimenting with new niches and offers. Long story short, I made barely 8000 dollars from March 2020 to August 2020. But that period of time helped me rebuild my confidence and realign with the way I want to help people and hence it led me to finally feel ready again to charge high ticket again for my coaching program.
But between August 2020 to November 2020, I signed zero clients. I made zero dollars. And at that point in time, I was still side hustling, but I also had this new burning fire inside of me, which was this sort of I got nothing to lose energy. Seriously.
I thought, ok well, if I’m not even signing clients anyways, I’m just gonna create the most amazing free content on Instagram ever. So that’s what I did.
Up until October 2020, I was only posting on Instagram. But during August and September 2020, I think because I was so fired up with the content I was creating, even though I was not making a single dollar. I had no sales calls or new clients.
I felt so compelled to create even more amazingness. So much so, The Side Hustle Club podcast was born. We published the first episode in October 2020.
And since then, I would post on Instagram stories and Instagram feed, and publish a new podcast episode every week.
Then after four months of zero sales calls and zero dollars made, we created a 10k month in December 2020. And another in January 2021. And onwards into our first six figure year in the business.
So what does this story have to do with doing the bare minimum?
Well, that was literally all I did in 2020. On the surface, I was doing very few things.
For most of 2020, I was only posting on Instagram, working with clients, and building my belief and confidence back up.
And because I was only either creating content on Instagram or on Zoom calls with clients.
I also started becoming highly aware of the stories I was telling myself and I was increasingly aware of what were simply unhelpful and untrue stories my brain was telling me.
Because I spent March till September 2020 doing literally just those things, by October 2020, I started a podcast. I spent months prior to that developing my voice via my Instagram content.
I spent months literally doing Instagram content week after week, but I was very intentional about doing it better every time. For example, I started sharing personal stories and experiences more honestly, vulnerably and genuinely.
I started expressing more of my personality and personal interests that have nothing to do with business coaching.
I started thinking of my own opinions about business, life, marketing and content, rather than looking around at what other business coaches are talking about and trying to model after them. So basically, I literally started using my own brain.
Because I spent months just repeating the same thing over and over again. The only thing on my to do list was literally Instagram stories and Instagram posts. And working with clients here and there. And also becoming more and more aware of what I’m thinking and being able to identify that that’s just my brain freaking out even though nothing is wrong.
By the end of the year, I hit my first 10k months, even though for the months prior to December, I had no clients. Not even sales calls. But I kept going.
I kept going because I worked on validating myself, and not relying on sales numbers to validate me. I didn’t even look at my analytics to validate me. Or whether I was getting direct messages (DMs).
I validated myself because I believe my content, my message, my story, my opinions. I believed that I had something to say and that what I had to say mattered and that it could help someone. So I simply focused on that.
This is why I believe in doing the basics , or doing the bare minimum really, really, really well. It has created 10k months in my business, and it was what helped set the foundation for my business as we’re now scaling into multiple six figures.
The business was what I had to master before I could be where I am today.
And the same applies to my clients as well.
Most recently, not even a week ago, one of my 1:1 clients signed her 9th high ticket client since we started working together.
I recently asked her to reverse engineer exactly how she created the results of clients in her coaching business. Which, side note, is not business coaching. She is not a business coach.
I’ll go on another tangent another time about how too often people feel like they have to pivot into business coaching in order to sign clients. Not true.
Anyway, my client created this super specific standard operating procedure (SOP) which basically listed out how she was able to sign her first eight clients. All she was doing up until that point was Instagram.
She only recently ventured into a new platform and signed her 9th client almost instantly.
But for the purpose of this conversation, just keep in mind that all she did was Instagram and she was able to create her first eight high ticket coaching clients.
On our most recent coaching call, we talked about how she’s literally been repeating the same thing over and over again. Because she spent months honing her voice, her belief in her message and telling stories that allowed her target audience to see themselves in her story.
Not only was she able to sign her first right clients just by doing that, but also very shortly after she launched her podcast, she literally had someone reach out and book a sales call and became a client.
And bear in mind that this new client was someone who wasn’t part of her Instagram audience prior to discovering her podcast.
The reason why there was such a quick conversion, where the person just found her podcast and booked a call and became a client, was because our client had done the work for months prior to this.
She got better and better at her Instagram content. Her ability to resonate. Her ability to talk and communicate the relevance, importance and life changing value of what it’s like if you work with her.
She literally spent months just doing the basics, which for her, was Instagram. That’s it.
By the time she launched a podcast last month, she was able to see results faster than ever, because she has mastered certain skills through only doing Instagram. Now she’s able to carry those skills over to her podcast.
And guess what? All my client has to do now is Keep. Doing. The. Same. Thing. Over and over and over again.
Keep creating value through those two platforms. Keep making offers. Keep helping people for free in her content and keep coaching the hell out of her existing clients.
And the best part is? She is literally just getting started.
Module 2 is called “Knowing to think”.
I’ll be teaching what mindset and identity work looks like for me, and encourage my clients to develop their own approach to mindset and identity work.
I’ll be showing how I do my own self coaching and what it looks like when I’m working on my identity and this mindset thing.
Managing your thoughts, it’s ongoing. It’s a daily practice.
I hope that the curriculum for Module 2 will provide our clients with a foundation for how they want to start to think about their business moving forward, and then through our coaching, we’ll continue laying down more bricks to solidify this mindset foundation every single week.
The truth is, working on your mindset or identity, is not a one time thing. It’s not even a one week or one month thing. It’s an ongoing skill that needs to be constantly worked on.
Repetition is extremely helpful for our brains.
That’s why I often find myself having to coach our clients on the same thing week after week for a while.
To think like an entrepreneur takes time. That’s why learning how to think is such a core part of our work together.
How this translates into your business results is pretty simple.
The more you’re feeling shit about your business, the slower your progress and growth will be. The reason is because your brain literally has no cognitive capacity to think creatively to create new concepts and ideas to showcase in your content. So the quality or potency of your marketing struggles as a result.
You also have no energy to do anything. Literally. No energy to show up confidently or excited, and probably no energy to even type on your keyboard. And that means you’re basically not taking action.
If I were to take it a step further, throughout the past few years since starting my business, I’ve seen too many coaches quit.
It’s not because they don’t have anything to offer or that they can’t help people. But it’s because of the mind drama that builds and builds, which eventually leads them to quit because they haven’t learned to manage these thoughts and emotions.
Even I’ve quit before. Between August 2019 to March 2022, I literally stopped my business entirely because I burnt out in 2019.
Yes, I was exhausted and doing way too much. But it was because I didn’t manage my thoughts and emotions. I kept thinking I had to do more in order to grow my business.
And that ONE thought that I believed at the time, was the exact reason why I quit for a good seven months.
That’s why thought work is a huge part of my coaching. I do not want any of you to quit prematurely.
There is no timeline in your business except the arbitrary one you created because you saw all these other business coaches talking about how they created six figures in their first year of business. Or 10k in 90 days.
All these arbitrary timelines that the industry has painted, are not the standard.
It’s literally a timeline that people on Instagram made up if you really think about it.
All that to say, do not underestimate the power of your thoughts. Your thoughts can make or break your business, so learn to be a badass with your brain. Literally.
Learn to be a ninja at being super aware of your thoughts.
This is an essential skill for your business for years to come.
Now Module 3 is “Becoming a leader”
The main components of Module 3 are
1) Your Money Making Theory, which, in simple terms, is my approach to creating your own content strategy. Your Money-Making Theory is the idea that your unique thought leadership, ideas, opinions, thoughts, and everything else inside your brain is not only of value to your ideal clients, but can also make you money.
2) Creating your 1 in 7 billion brand, aka how to really stand out in your niche so that when people hop on a sales call with you, they’re not saying ,”Thanks for the call but I’m still having more sales calls with other coaches.”
In other words, prospective clients are interviewing you and seeing which coach has the lowest price, and choosing to go with that coach. No, none of that anymore.
We will build a highly authentic yet sharply differentiated brand that attracts clients to your sales calls who already know that you’re the coach for them.
But now they just have a few lingering questions that they want to check again with you.
What I’ve also found is that with these clients is that they very rarely have a price objection.
3) Building a community and being a leader for your people. Because guess what? Now, more than ever, people are tired of buying courses or programs that promise quick solutions and step-by-step blueprints, but didn’t help them.
Instead, they’re more wary of coaches. In order for people to trust you as their coach, they need to see that you actually care about what you do and that you have something to say.
They are looking for leaders who they can trust and be an example of what’s possible for them.
The concepts I’ll be covering in Module 3 are some of my favorite things to talk about with clients because it is so much fun to see the amazing things that clients will create afterwards.
We spend quite a bit of time coaching on these topics, and I’ve seen that over time, these ideas and concepts become naturally entrenched in our client’s content.
This module isn’t about how to create more quantity of content, but rather, it’s about how to turn up the notch on the quality, impact, and potency of your content.
Because if we can turn up the impact of each piece of your content, then you can turn down the frequency of posting or amount of work you’re doing.
And that, my friends, is the embodiment of what it means to do the bare minimum, but do it really, really well.
Module 3 is combined with Module 4, which is about signing clients.
More specifically, I’ll be teaching clients three skills:
1) how to talk about your coaching program and make an offer
2) how to make soft launching really fun and really creative
3) how to do simple sales calls
While Module 3 is focused on content and brand, Module 4 is about telling people how you can help them and inviting them to come join your program.
My intention for Module 4 is to stimulate our clients’ brains so they can start turning up the creativity and the impact of their selling. So that it’s no longer a question of how many different platforms do you need to sell on, but rather, it’s a matter of how you’re selling on one or maybe two platforms.
Again, the goal isn’t to increase the amount of hours you’re clocking into your Google Calendar and doing more manual labor.
But rather, we will coach a lot on how you’re thinking about your content, marketing, and selling so that each touchpoint you create on the Internet is done in a way that makes people think, is actually helpful to people, and/or piques people interest about working with you.
Again, my friends, doing less number of things, but doing each of those things really, really well.
That’s an overview of my approach when it comes to working with clients. We coach a lot on the quality of your thoughts and the quality of the action you’re taking, so that you can go do other things.
You could go take more naps. You can go workout more, spend more time with family, friends or people you genuinely like.
Heck. Some of you might even want to go work at your job more. It’s up to you.
But I would really encourage all of us to shift away from the mindset of correlating the number of hours with the amount of results. That’s not the case in entrepreneurship.
If anything, overworking yourself in your business and over hustling can probably wear you out and lead to sloppy work. Meaning, content that is half assed and doesn’t resonate with your people, and even low quality coaching for your existing clients.
With all that being said, I don’t want anyone walking away from this episode thinking, “Oh, so Cheryl is saying I don’t need to work hard?”
No, I’m not saying don’t work hard. I would personally argue that work ethic is required in growing your business. You’ve got to work hard, but the thing to note is that you get to choose what you work hard on.
Inside our coaching program, we work hard on managing your mind so that you can take simple, streamlined action.
As we alluded to in earlier parts of this episode, for me and a lot of our clients, our results didn’t come from doing more quantity of things. But a lot of the work was continuing to do the same thing, over and over again.
Continue to master just a few key skill sets and/or mindsets, over and over again. Even if it has been months. Even if it feels dumb and boring and what’s the point.
We manage our minds so we keep going and repeating. We keep thinking of how we can be even more creative and even more bold in our content.
Keep thinking of how we can explain the same concept or idea in a different angle or give different examples.
We work hard on our mindset, so we don’t spin out about our bare minimum game plan and quit for like four months. Which, by the way, four months is a really short time in the grand scheme of your business lifespan.
So yes, work hard on your mindset so that you can remain resilient, committed, and honestly, less stressed and discouraged.
As a result of that, we’re able to keep practicing and honing in on certain skill sets.
For a lot of you, that will probably be the skill set of developing your own thought leadership and voice in your industry, as well as making offers and telling people how you can help them.
Keep practicing and sharpening those skill sets.
This is how my clients and I are able to make money, stand out in the industry, and are genuinely happy by doing the bare minimum really, really well.
That is the core curriculum of our upcoming brand new curriculum.
There are actually a few more modules that I’ll be continuously working on, even after the core curriculum is finished.
Module 5 will be a compilation of different behind-the-scenes of my own business.
For instance, I’ve documented some of my past launches for previous cohorts of the group program in 2021. I’m also sharing my own sales calls evaluations, my own self coaching, client onboarding and off boarding SOPs, my monthly action and belief plans, my thought processes when making investments in my own business, work schedule as a side hustler and now as a full time coach, and so on.
I also plan to go through the first four modules and showcase how I’ve been doing it in my own business.
Side note: Over time, I hope to invite clients to share how they’ve implemented our curriculum and serve as case studies for each other.
Then Module 6 will be miscellaneous how-to resources, such as how to start a podcast, how to do a market research call, website hosting platforms I’ve used before, and so on.
And finally, Module 7 will be a collection of some of the past guest expert trainings.
We’ve basically just taken a deep dive into what I do inside my own business and how I scaled my business to six figures and now into multiple six figures. This is also a process that our clients follow and adapt to their own business as well.
The overall philosophy or approach to business remains the same, but each client will have their own bare minimum game plan and we all have our own unique lived experiences, expertise and skills, preferences, and also, mind drama. So we coach the heck out of everyone on our coaching calls so they can keep chipping away at their bare minimum game plan.
By the way, if my approach to building a coaching business resonates with you, and now you’re like ok well damn, this is exactly how I want to grow my business to the next level…
1:1 coaching is open. We will focus on helping you to:
1) Stand out in your niche/industry and be seen as a thought leader in your space
2) Show up as the most genuine and honest version of yourself to magnetize your ideal clients to your programs, and
3) Ultimately do the bare minimum number of things in your business (i.e. do this on part-time hours) so you can make time for other parts of your life.
If you’d like to apply to the 1:1 program, please head on over to cheryltheory.com/program.
Join Us in The Side Hustle Club Hybrid 1:1 + Community Program.
The Side Hustle Club is designed to help coaches and entrepreneurs to sign clients on just 0-2 hours a day and ultimately build a business, life, and career they’re proud of.
Our program and curriculum is centered on 3 core skills to help you do this:
1️⃣ Becoming known for your unique thought leadership
2️⃣ Soft launching to sell your coaching offer
3️⃣ Building a uniquely differentiated brand
Get all the details and apply. We’ll then book a sales call to make sure that the program is the best fit for you, and we can onboard you as early as next week.