1 Small Change Can Make the Difference: How Kathryn Brown Went Part-Time at Her Job & Full-Time at Her Business

What creates a business breakthrough? Is it getting mentioned in a national magazine? (Not a chance.) Is it staying on top of every social media platform? (No way.) Is it building a giant course and getting all your friends to blog about it? (Highly unlikely.)

Often, a breakthrough occurs not because you’ve willed it so through blood, sweat, or tears but because something clicks into place.

Quite often, that thing clicking into place is positioning.

It’s the adjustment of your message, your brand, and your way of connecting with people that helps them understand how you can help them and helps them feel comfortable and confident in working with you. This small (or sometimes not so small) tweak is at the heart of what I do with Quiet Power Strategy clients.

But really, how big a difference can precise positioning make? The right positioning can inspire you to innovate on the service you’ve always offered. It can lead to a new product. It can turn around a failed launch or give you the perfect messaging for the podcast you’ve been wanting to start.

That’s what Kathryn Brown’s case study is all about.

When Kathryn came to us, she had a functional side business supporting clients 1:1 with project management and productivity help. She was successful but she didn’t see how she could grow what she had into a business that would replace her excellent day job.

Something needed to change. Was it a new product? A different marketing tactic? A new set of clientele? She just didn’t know. Here’s what happened:

Kathryn Brown, founder of Creating Your Plan

profile_round_large-470x470Before joining Quiet Power Strategy, I was working 50+ hours in my day job while building my coaching business nights and weekends.  Clients were coming in, but I didn’t feel like I had a handle on the bigger picture—including how I could transition from 1:1 client work to something more sustainable long term. I was worried that it was going to take another whole year before I could even consider reducing my hours in my day job.

Fast forward about halfway into Quiet Power Strategy, I knew without a doubt that I would be able to transition from full time to part time in my day job.  Making this decision was one of the most freeing moments in my business-building to date.  I had spent about 9 months trying to make the “right decision,” but it wasn’t until I went through Quiet Power Strategy that I knew it was do-able. The result of this decision was two-fold — I gained 2 full days a week (not including weekends) to build my business, and I confidently let go of 40% of my day job salary knowing I could absolutely bring in more than enough income to cover the difference.

I was able to hone in on my messaging about what makes my business different than others who offer systems and productivity coaching. My tag line, “Productivity is a CREATIVE practice” came out of this process, and that slight shift in messaging opened up the opportunity to create and beta test a “done with you” systems design and implementation service, my most expensive service to date, raise my price of my small group program, create a few smaller offers around work life balance, and offer an “add-on” service for clients as they transition from more intensive 1:1 coaching.


Often the difference between where you’re at now and where you want to be isn’t some big sexy change, idea, or formula, it’s something small–quiet, even–and unassuming. I’ve seen this happen in my own business where a small change in positioning (and the subsequent changes it led to) was directly tied to 130% revenue growth in 2014.

I love how Kathryn used a single insight to not just create a new tagline but as the basis of new offers, new pricing, and new organization. That made all the difference for her in revenue, time, and confidence.

What could it do for you?

If you’d like to learn more about Kathryn and how productivity is a creative practice, hop on over to her website, Creating Your Plan.

If you’d like to learn more about Quiet Power Strategy and find your next business breakthrough, click here.

13 Steps for Creating a Product That Resonates

There are few things more frustrating than pouring your heart into an idea only to see it fail to sell. Because this is a problem that so many of my clients have faced in the past, I’ve spent a lot of time and effort figuring out a step-by-step system for them to use to create products that naturally resonate (and sell) with their audiences.

What follows is that process, as clearly as I can articulate it.

While it is 13 steps long, it doesn’t have to take a long time (click here to download a worksheet to get started). Rapid product creation, testing, and sales is an important part of growth. Long development cycles are product killers, not indicators of success or effectiveness. In fact, you maybe able to complete this 13 step process in a couple of days. I find that a couple of weeks or months is a great time frame. Any more than 8-10 weeks and you’re likely investing too heavily in untested assumptions. Tighten it up, take a deep breath, and leap.

step-by-step guide to creating a product that resonates The Observation Engine

First, let’s start by defining resonance. In my book, The Observation Engine, I say that resonance is “when something just feels right. When an idea echoes what you’re already feeling, a circumstance you find yourself in, or something you see coming on your personal horizon, that idea resonates with you. You’re tied to it. You give it weight and meaning.”

Products that resonate with us touch something deep inside. Which is not to say that your products have to be “deep” to resonate.

Impulse buys resonate with us not because they fulfill a deep need but because they mirror a very surface desire or concern. SaaS (software as a service) products—think AirBnB or Laura Roeder’s Edgar—often resonate the same way: software that instantly alleviates a felt frustration or desire.

Of course, other products that resonate—like Randi Buckley’s Healthy Boundaries for Kind People or Shawn Fink’s Abundant Mama Project—do resonate with something deeper inside of us. Randi’s program mirrors our unexpressed desires for balance, boundaries, and space when our very natures push us to be kind at all costs. Shawn’s program connects with our desire to connect to a vision of motherhood that is intentional, mindful, and full of both giving and receiving.

Why does resonance matter? Products that resonate sell easily.

Here’s another example: Super Mario Maker is a new offering from Nintendo that leverages nostalgia for Mario and combines it with the contemporary creative culture of Minecraft. Either of these features could resonate on its own but by combining them, Nintendo has a recipe for a blockbuster. (Bonus points: This article about creating great levels for Super Mario Maker is a great corollary to creating products that resonate.)

Ultimately, using resonance as your metric of success means that your product is designed for your customers, not for you. While that might seem like an obvious imperative, designers designing for themselves is a problem in every industry, at every level (micro, small, startup, and enterprise business). If you can ensure that everything you do is designed to resonate with your customer, you can be reasonably certain you’ll have a product that will sell easily, generate word of mouth marketing, and nurture happy customers—even if you start with a mere prototype. Ready to create a product that resonates? Here we go.

Step 1: Join a conversation.

The good news is that you’ve already done this step. Markets are conversations, as the book The Cluetrain Manifesto explains.

What that means is that people who have similar problems, desires, and questions tend to talk to each other. They’ll also talk with you if you’re willing to listen. Sometimes, joining a conversation is a formal step: becoming a member at a gym, joining a forum, getting a degree.

Other times, joining a conversation just means talking about what you’re into with other people who are into it too on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or in your local community.

Don’t overthink this step. Joining conversations is something we do naturally as human beings. If you’re passionate about what you are creating, you’re already a part of the conversation—you just need to draw some attention to it and amplify your efforts.

If you’re really stuck, look for the #hashtag effect. Hashtags are visual and hyperlinked markers of conversations. Some, like Hannah Marcotti’s #ilovethislifenow, are proprietary (but you can still join in to find like-minded folks). Others, are generic, like #marketing or #smallbusiness. Both kinds are doors into conversations that then can lead to more productive engagements.

Step 2: Identify core questions, frustrations, and desires.

Once you draw attention to the fact that you’re already in a conversation with people for whom you could create something, you need to start cataloging their core questions, frustrations, and desires. You might mentally catalog them, or you might pop them into something like Evernote or a mind mapping tool so that you can start to spot patterns.

In my own business, I’ve been keeping track of core questions, frustrations, and desires for years. The questions are things like “How do I get the word out about my product?” or “How do I break through this earning plateau?” The frustrations are things like “People get excited about my product but they don’t buy it” or “No matter how many marketing formulas I follow, I can’t get something to stick.” And the desires are things like “I’d love to have a team of people to bounce ideas off of” or “I really want to take a little time off from my business every so often.”

I don’t worry that those questions might not be the “right” questions or the those frustrations might be superficial symptoms of much larger problems. What really matters is that those questions, frustrations, and desires are what is relevant to the people in my conversation right now. It’s what they’re paying the most attention to.

I might have a better question to ask or a deeper problem for them to address but it doesn’t matter if they don’t identify with it. That lesson took me a long time to learn. You have to start with what’s relevant, here and now.

Step 3: Engage those questions, frustrations, or desires.

Once you know what the questions, frustrations, and desires inherent to your conversation are, you can engage them. To engage them, you have to get curious. You want to dig deeper, pose your own questions, and find out more about what’s important to your people. Social media is an amazing tool for this.

Using the core questions, frustrations, and desires of the conversation as your starting point, you can craft content that encourages others to talk back to you, validate your understanding, and enhance your awareness. Ramit Sethi is a master of this. In this super simple recent Facebook post, he poses a straightforward question about what people really want to buy:

Ramit Sethi engages his audience

Knowing what people want to buy gives him details he can use to better create and position the products he is developing. He can use his community’s words as sample goals and he can direct the development of his products to gear them toward those kind of goals.

Step 4: Respond with something different.

Product designers often forget that their prospective users have already tried a lot of different ways to answer their questions, alleviate their frustrations, and achieve their desires. If it’s out there, they’ve given it a whirl. That means you, as a designer, need to understand what all those options might be so that you can respond with something different.

Take Ramit’s example above. One thing Ramit says over and over again is that he’ll never suggest you give up your daily latte habit to save money. Instead, he’d like you to live the life you want and learn how to make enough money to support it (for the record, I completely agree). He might not be the only person suggesting this course of action but it’s certainly very different from most financial advice people have heard throughout the years.

By taking a relevant idea (“I want to save money”), examining what the past options have been (“I really should give up that daily [whatever]”), and proposing something different (“What if you learned how to make an extra $1k a month?”), Ramit is able to command people’s attention without shouting, being sleazy, or contributing to the noise. He’s earned trust and attention before he’s even started building a product.

Step 5: Understand and articulate the Before & After.

Steps 5-8 are about nailing your sales message before you build the product. This is one of the biggest changes I ask all of my clients to make and it comes from many failed products in my own experience. Being able to understand and articulate the Before & After is the easiest way to describe value.

Value is transformation.

If you describe someone’s situation now (Before) and their goals (After), you’ve described the transformation they’re after. You’ve framed the value of what you have to offer in a way that immediately resonates with them. Here’s the Before that Randi Buckley describes on the sales page for Healthy Boundaries for Kind People:

“…the folks whose hearts are so very big, who give unlimited second chances, who carry the bad behavior or others on their shoulders, all while wanting to do the right thing. The folks who might even think they don’t deserve boundaries, or that boundaries might even be selfish. Or they don’t know what to do or what to say to make things different.”

And here’s how she describes the After:

“It’s a journey to feeling like you have, tend, and maintain healthy boundaries with ease and without all of the hang ups, guilt, not-knowing-what-to-do, fear of repercussions, feeling like a jerk.”

The transformation she describes is an easy way for prospective users to understand the value they’re considering purchasing. That simple description can be the difference between people “getting it” and not getting it—and it’s so often exactly what’s left out of sales copy. Before you do anything else in the process of developing a product, make sure you can clearly define the Before & After for your customer.

Step 6: Offer your Key Insight.

Everything to this point has focused on the people you’re talking to, what they’re experiencing, and how you’re understanding it. Now, we begin to flip the script.

I like to think of the space between the Before & After as being a doorway. Your customers have been trying to get through but they continue to find the door closed and locked. You, as an expert, someone with experience, or a curious soul who is in the problem-solving business, have the key.

You have a piece of knowledge, know-how, or understanding that acts to unlock the door. Your Key Insight isn’t the product—it’s the Why It Works. Your product works for a reason, which is also likely its differentiating factor, and that reason provides much needed hope and understanding to your prospective user.

Let’s look at Randi’s example again. Randi’s Key Insight for Healthy Boundaries for Kind People is “Kindness can be a tool to take a stand for yourself.” Dr. Michelle Mazur uses the Key Insight ‘The audience should be at the epicenter of your presentation,’ to demonstrate how she helps her clients get better results and why her Speak for Impact package is different than other services they’ve looked at.

Put yourself in the shoes of their prospective users (that’s probably not too hard for you!). That statement could be the source of extreme relief and a giant a ha! moment. If you can provide that kind of feeling and exhilaration before you even ask for a sale let alone deliver a product, how much more open to buying will your prospective user be?

Step 7: Test your Before & After and Key Insight.

Now the first 6 steps set you up to be reasonably certain that your Before & After and Key Insight will resonate with your audience. But you can’t be completely certain until you test it.

Testing it is as simple as mirroring the message through social media, your blog, or email marketing. It could also be embedded into a workshop, webinar, or community event. You need to get comfortable communicating it in many different forms and seeing what the response to that communication is. The more people respond positively (“Wow, you read my mind!” or “That completely changed the way I look at that.”) the more you know you’re on the right track.

Step 8: Form your Hypothesis.

Your Hypothesis brings it all together. You connect your Key Insight to the results and goals (After) that your prospective users are after so that they start to see the product you’re eventually going to sell them as the answer they’ve been looking for. Here’s Randi’s Hypothesis:

“Kindness can be a tool to take a stand for yourself. What we tolerate, we perpetuate, and with your new tools, beliefs, and rewiring, you will use boundaries to AMPLIFY your kindness into the world. I’m totally serious.”

And here’s the beautiful Hypothesis Danielle LaPorte uses to talk about The Desire Map:The Desire Map

“What if, first, we got clear on how we actually wanted to feel in our life, and then we laid out our intentions? What if your most desired feelings consciously informed how you plan your day, your year, your career, your holidays — your life? You know what will happen with that kind of inner clarity and outer action? You’ll feel the way you want to feel more often than not. Decisions will be easier to make: You’ll know what to say no, thank you to and what to say hell yes! to. I bet you’ll complain less. You’ll be more optimistic, more open-hearted. It will be easier for you to return to your center in the midst of a challenge — I promise.”

Here’s the Hypothesis I use on the Quiet Power Strategy™ sales page:

“Running your business your way doesn’t mean making it up as you go. You can create a strategic plan that allows you to maximize your effectiveness and lead yourself to the wealth, peace, and ease you crave.”

The Hypothesis is your opportunity to join what you know to what your prospective users want. Your Hypothesis is the ultimate way to ensure that your audience is connecting the dots between their experience and what you have to offer.

Step 9: Build your product using the Before & After, Key Insight, and Hypothesis as guidelines. (i.e. Build to sell.)

Build your products to sell—not to impress yourself.

To do that, you need to build them with the sales message in mind. You build in the features that support the benefits and end results you’ve outlined in the sales message—that and nothing else. When you do things in this order, building the product becomes so much easier. You see what you can edit out because you have a clear framework for what’s important. You see where you can cut corners and where you can’t because you have guidelines for what matters.

For every choice that presents itself as part of the product development process, come back to your Before & After, Key Insight, and Hypothesis as your strategic guide. If you’ve already built a product but without the sales message in mind first, you’ve no doubt experienced the pain of sitting in front of a blank page unable to come up with a compelling way to sell what you’ve just poured blood, sweat, and tears into.

Step 10: Make your offer.

This is your big moment. Make your offer to the people you’ve been paying attention to, observing, and engaging throughout the process. They’ll feel like you’ve made it just for them (because you have) and they’ll feel like they contributed to its creation (because they have).

This should be the easiest sale you’ve ever made.

If you want to make sure your audience is going to be ready to receive your offer, create a guided conversation beforehand. Start with what they already know, challenge any underlying misconceptions or assumptions, expand their vision of what’s possible, analyze where they’re at right now (the core questions, frustrations, and desires they have), and then provide a clear result related to the product you’ve just created. You can do that via email marketing, a 1:1 sales conversation, a series of videos… the possibilities are endless.

It’s all about connecting what’s relevant and important to your prospective users right now with the insight you have and the product you have to offer them.

Step 11: Deliver the value.

This should be the easiest step. Give the people what they bought. Except… building a product that resonates doesn’t end here.

Step 12: Gather feedback both direct and indirect.

Once you’ve delivered the product the first time (and every time after that), you need to gather feedback. Sometimes that feedback is direct; your customers tell you how they feel about it. But often, the best feedback is indirect. That comes from seeing where your customers get stuck, looking for unexpected ways they use your product, and answering questions that arise during the normal course of business.

Every time you release a product there’s a wealth of information at your fingertips. A few weeks ago, Danielle LaPorte posted this about her Desire Map Planner on her Facebook page:

“I say this every year: I LOVE my day planner. I’m so proud of this planner system. And every year, I totally overhaul the design and make it even better. And then I say, No, THIS year, it’s the best edition yet. Well… THIS YEAR IS THE BEST PLANNER COLLECTION EVER. It’s radically newer, smarter, wiser, funner, and sexier. It’s taken Team D and me 3 years and a bunch of surveys and feedback to really truly hit it out of the park with this edition. I feel like I’ve finally landed on the organization and design that will work for a vast amount of people and stand the test of time.”

Feedback gives you the information you need to make your product even better. Feedback is the fuel for a collaborative, co-creative experience with your customers. You don’t have to use all the feedback. You don’t have to listen to everyone. But you do need to create a system through which you can gather feedback and keep the stuff you want to work with.

Step 13: Iterate, reposition, or differentiate.

Great products aren’t born in a breakthrough; they evolve over time. Even something as industry-changing as the iPhone started small. Marie Forleo’s B-School wasn’t a juggernaut in its first iteration. WordPress has been through dozens of versions.

If you set out to make a perfect product, you will fail.

Set out to make a product that resonates and then make your goal to increase the resonance each time you offer it for sale. Add features that improve the resonance; create messages that improve the resonance; pivot the purpose to improve the resonance. To iterate—create a new version—you start way back at Step 2 and you work your way through the cycle again.

At this stage, you may also need to reposition your product. If people love it but it does something different for them than you were originally anticipating (this happens all the time even though it sounds weird), reposition the product to reflect the way people really use it and the results they really achieve. If you thought the product would resonate with one audience and it really resonates with another audience, reposition it to better reflect that new audience.

Finally, differentiate. As my mentor Sally Hogshead says, “Different is better than better.” Once you have a better handle on how the product resonates and how people use it, you can amplify the features that separate it from the rest of the competition so that it really stands out. While differentiation should be a goal from the beginning, it’s in future iterations that differentiation can more thoroughly be achieved.


That’s it (ha!): 13 steps to creating a product that resonates. You can apply these steps to anything: an information product, a piece of jewelry, a coaching program, a podcast, etc… Once you know what you want to create and how its going to resonate, I assure you there are any number of free tutorials out there on creating and selling the exact thing you want to create.

The beauty of having a strategic framework like this is that you have so much less to sift through when you’re ready to build. You’ll get your product to market faster, you’ll sell more, and create a bigger impact by virtue of the focus you had on the strategic objectives you uncovered step-by-step through this guide. Get out there and create something that resonates. 13 Steps to Creating a Product that Resonates - Worksheet

How Quiet Power Strategy Works

I don’t want to be a cheerleader. I want to have the best business-building tools available. Why? You (and your business) deserve them.

So, I thought, why not show you exactly how we build personalized strategic plans for helping entrepreneurs double their revenue with less heartache and hassle?

Over 3 years ago, I created step-by-step system directly from the work I did with 1:1 clients. I was have the same conversations with clients (about how their customers think, about how to translate passion into effective content marketing, about creating business assets from high touch services, etc…). Those conversations turned into the Quiet Power Strategy™ Tool Architecture.

Each tool is a conversation between you and me. The questions I ask are all there. The lessons are all there. The insights are all there.

Each of our Quiet Power Strategy clients complete the tools for themselves and then bring them to their strategist and to me for individual feedback. We can dramatically shorten the process of 1:1 business coaching and planning–while maintaining or improving the results.

Making a powerhouse business is complex–there’s no getting around that. But there is a clear system for all the moving parts. We specialize in helping our clients navigate it with clarity and ease.

Here’s what it looks like. Click on the picture to download it.

Quiet Power Strategy™ Tool Architecture

You might be trying to do all of this on your own. We’re here to help.

Here’s the gist:

We start by figuring out what’s worked and what hasn’t. Sometimes that’s uncomfortable because we get real about numbers, energetic investment, and how much time it’s taken to get where you are. We help you see both past failure and success as information you can use to grow your business.

Then we determine your personal assets: your Quiet Power. That includes the messages you’re really passionate about, the questions you have unique answers to, and the skills you’re bringing to the table. You feel the wealth of everything you have at hand.

Next, we examine your customer. Not just who s/he is (you probably already know that!) but how they think. I help you read their minds like you never have before. You feel powerful.

Then we turn that into a smart-for-you business model. We look at how all the pieces fit together so that you get more results out of every action. You experience the relief of seeing–finally–how it will all add up.

Next, you focus. One of our clients’ favorite modules is choosing their Chief Initiative and putting a plan in place to achieve their 1 big goal (supported, of course, by many other projects and subgoals).

Finally, we turn things outward and create a plan for creating awareness about the offers you have in your business model and getting your message into the media–both large and small. You see your path to impact.

If this is the kind of in-depth business planning you need to do and you’d like to do it with the guidance of the Quiet Power Strategy team and me, this is the time to register. The next cohort (starts September 28) is already over half sold out.

Learn more and join us today!

P.S. Don’t forget! Everyone in the Fall 2015 cohort of Quiet Power Strategy gets a ticket to the first ever Quiet Power Strategy Summit in Portland, OR April 30-May 1, 2016.

P.P.S. Want to incorporate these tools and this training into your own business? Maybe you’re a life coach, a copywriter, a web designer, or other business-to-business professional looking to add strategic services to your offers? We have a few spots open in our Quiet Power Strategy Business Strategist Training program. It starts next Monday–so check it out now!

What’s Gotten You Here Won’t Get You There: The Tutor House Case Study

It doesn’t matter how much time, energy, blood, sweat, or tears you put into marketing and selling what you’ve already created if it isn’t designed to get you where you want to go.

The beauty of starting a business today is that it can be rough & tumble, fast as lightening, and fly by the seat of your pants. You don’t need to know what you’re doing and you don’t need to plan ahead. But I often see business owners stay stuck in this cycle of unintentional creation.

They keep creating products or programs. They keep creating marketing campaigns. They keep creating content.

But they don’t create a true system for growth.

They end up frustrated–sometimes at the edge of burnout–and tell me, “I’ve realized that what’s gotten me here won’t get me where I want to go.” Yes, exactly.

You can make money, change lives, and create great stuff without a plan. But if you want to take a break, realize a big goal, create a legacy, and level up your earnings in a big way, you need more.

When Adrianne Meldrum, founder of The Tutor House, came to Quiet Power Strategy, she was ready to make some changes and try things she hadn’t done before in the name of creating an intentional, cohesive strategic plan. Here’s her story:

Adrianne Meldrum, Quiet Power Strategy alumna

Adrianne Meldrum, The Tutor House

324 hours lost.  Hours I couldn’t get back no matter how much I wanted to.  These hours were not lost watching television or browsing social media.  They were not on account of making mistakes and fixing them.  The hours were the victim of worry. Worry was starting to take the joy out of running a small business for me.  At night when my entire home was quiet, I was awake worrying if I had made some serious mistakes in my business.  It had to be something serious because I did a lot of things right in my business.  

I had  opt-ins, products, a podcast, a new app, and a tribe of dedicated followers.  I often would feel hopeful that the launch of my newest idea would be the ticket that would finally set me on the path to profit.  It just had to be some huge mistake that I was overlooking.  It had to be!  The question that always ended this barrage of thoughts was, “Why was I spending so much time working without much in profit?  Is this really worth it?

Just when I was ready to throw in the towel with my business so I could claim my life (and my sleep) back, I got an email from Tara inviting me to her free webinar about doing business your way.  This caught my eye.   I attended the webinar and then devoured her eBook.  So much of what Tara was saying made sense to me.  The way I was doing business is what other people were advising and in fact may not work at all for my own business.  For the first time, I felt the weight of what Tara was saying.  My unique talents were the key to my business success and she could show me how to harness them.

During my time in the Quiet Power Strategy program, I felt empowered after each lesson.  I understood myself better as a person and why my tribe is attracted to what I have to offer.  Tara taught us about personal archetypes, or how the world perceives you.  When I saw my results, I couldn’t believe how well they fit me.  I found a lot of value in understanding how to use this knowledge to make decisions in my business.  It made writing sales copy easier and also allowed me to embrace some of my limitations so that I would look to add other team members that had different strengths than mine in the future.  

Quiet Power Strategy taught me to start with the end in mind when creating a product first.  This was a game changer for me!  My flagship product resonates with my audience because I was able to make the benefits clear.  Before I would slave away at the new product and then write my sales page when I was exhausted and just ready to be done.  By swapping those actions, I was able to use some of those key phrases that connect my audience and I, directly into my product bringing it full circle.  

Quiet Power Strategy has also completely changed my mindset.  Tara taught us about valuing ourselves and our unique craft whatever it may be.  During one of our group phone calls, she was able to help me bust through some assumptions I had about my audience and make a plan to succeed.  I’ll be honest, there were tears when I realized that the pricing I chose was one of those big mistakes that I didn’t see and lost sleep over.  Pricing based on value affects so many pieces of your business.  Now I have the confidence to take my business and navigate it back onto the right path.

Tara and her team taught me how to re-work what was already working in my business for maximum impact right away.  After completing Quiet Power Strategy, I have earned ⅔ of what I originally invested within three weeks of finishing and I am on track to earn the rest back within a month.  This was some of the best money I’ve ever invested in myself.  

I sleep really, really well these days because I know how to confidently move my business forward with tools like the Business Model Review, the Quiet Power Inventory, the Customer Perspective Process, and the Chief Initiative.  With the help of QPS, I’ve had my first ever successful launch!

To echo other QPS-ers, “This process is freaking changing my life!”  I am excited to work through the lessons again and uncover new insights.  Thanks Tara and Team!


One of the biggest realizations Adrianne made was that she was actually underselling her products. By not connecting them to outcomes that her customers already knew they wanted, she was convinced they wouldn’t pay more than $10 or $20. We tied real, urgent results to what she was already selling, put it into a complete package, and raised the price by a factor of 10.

Now she’s selling more than she’s ever sold before.

If you’d like to learn more about Adrianne and her Tutor Business Framework program, click here.

This session of Quiet Power Strategy is half sold out. Join us for the Fall Session (we start September 28) and create your personalized strategic plan with our hands-on support. Click here to learn more.

Like a Machine: How Randi Buckley Created a Cohesive & Effective Business Model

You’re a passionate pro. Customers and clients love your work. You help people achieve their goals. But… your business seems stuck in a rut.

Mind you: it’s not a bad rut. You’re bringing in pretty consistent revenue. You know you can create new offers and sell them. You feel like people are listening.

But getting to your next big milestone? No clue.

Well, you have a clue. And that clue seems unpleasant: way more work, way more sleaze, way more money. So what do you do?

I’d been watching Randi Buckley for a long time before she came to us. Oh, how I longed to get my hands on her business. The situation I described above is the situation Randi found herself in. The answer to me was clear: Randi needed a machine.

Randi’s business model was nonexistent. Sure, there were offers (great ones!) and marketing (effective!) but there was no system.

Your business model is the way your business creates, delivers, and exchanges value. But what’s more, it’s a system by which you create exponentially more results from less work. You put effort (say, marketing for an entry level product) in at one end of the machine and lots of little cogs (say, revenue from your high-end program) spill out the other end.

When you have a complete business model, you understand how all of your offers work together to create something better than the sum of those parts.

That leads to profit. More than how much you take home, more than how much you’re charging, you can finally start to see how your business is going to generate the profit you need to grow, feel comfortable, and get excited about the future of what you’re creating.

Here’s Randi’s own words:

Randi Buckley, Truth, Depth, and Beauty School

Randi Buckley, Quiet Power Strategy alumnaI’m pretty dang pleased with how my business is evolving, or dare I say growing up, after interpreting and applying my learning and insights in Quiet Power Strategy™. It’s been a shift from a feeling of scramble, to a feeling of grace. So what’s new?

The concept of profit. 

The idea of “charge what you’re worth” has always been hallow and empty to me.  Not only is it impossible for me to try to put a price on someone’s, much less my own, talents and gifts, it doesn’t provide a framework for what to charge.  It’s nebulous.

Looking at my offerings through a profit lens woke me up to the realities of why my business was never feeling like it was getting ahead, despite solid offerings, reputation and an exquisite tribe. Without considering profit, I always felt like I was in hustle mode.  And that didn’t jive, because I’m not a hustler.

Note:  if something doesn’t jive, it’s not going to happen.

What does jive is the creation of a new business model that houses my various offerings and provides structure and continuity for my clients to deepen their work with me. With the new structure of Truth, Depth, and Beauty School, I no longer feel like I am scrambling to care for the diversity of my offerings. Now, everything is under one roof:  Healthy Boundaries for Kind People alumna can now become trained facilitators of the work; Viking Woman Workshop alumna can graduate to the Wise Women of the North Retreat in Norway, and my Maybe Baby, workshop, and my-one on-one clients can find their next step with me, in my school. It’s a structure I love, and supports my next step, writing my book.

There’s more to come.  DIY won’t support long-term growth or sustainability of the spirit.  Naturally, systems and the building of my team are next.  And that’s both surreal, a relief… and full of grace. (Thanks Tara!)


Thank you, Randi.

If you’ve been wondering whether there really is a “next step” available to you, I can assure you there is. But it does take strategic planning.

If you’d like to find out more about Randi and her work, check out her Healthy Boundaries for Kind People program.

If you’re ready to make the time to create your own machine and a strategic plan for reaching your “next step” and a few beyond that, join me for 5 Ways to Make Time to Work on Your Business, a free training I’m offering with Brigitte Lyons. Click here to register.

How Listening More Than Promoting Buys You More Time

How much time do you spend promoting your business? You’re on Facebook telling your friends that course you’ve been waiting for is finally ready. You’re at the local networking event hustling for a new client. You’re writing blog posts every week and hoping people click from post to buy now button.

Promoting your business can feel like a full-time job.

And even with all the time you spend on it, you still want more! More tactics for building your list, more techniques for getting seen on Facebook, more ideas for putting your business in front of your ideal clients.

As a small (or micro, or large) business owner, marketing truly is one of the most important aspects of running your business. But promotion is not.

Promotion—content or communication, paid or free, that’s express purpose is announcing your product to the right people—is the absolute smallest part of marketing.

What’s the biggest part of marketing? Listening.

Listening is powerful: why great marketers are great listeners

Listening is powerful. When you’re truly attuned to the people you want to serve, you see how what’s most important to them is actually the key to connecting them to what you’re selling.

That’s why I’ve always made listening and observing such a priority on social media and at in-person events. I’m not just listening for opportunities to pitch myself—in fact, it’s the furthest thing from my mind.

I listen for what people’s goals are, what they’re struggling with, what they might be confused about, and all the things they’re trying to accomplish (whether it’s a good idea or not).

What I know about you, for instance, is that you’re really stuck on promoting your business. You hate being self-promotional, but most of the time your promotional posts are all about you or your offer—not about your clients. You don’t like it but you don’t know what to do different.

I also know that no matter how much I suggest testing a product before you bring it to market or finding the natural sense of urgency behind what you’re offering, you’ll come back for more tips on promoting your business.

It makes sense. Promoting what you’re selling seems like the shortest route to making money.

Except it’s not.

The shortest route to making money—the one that puts tons of time back into your schedule—is listening for what’s most important to people and giving them what they want.

How? Here’s the gist:

1) You observe their present reality.

You take the time to listen and observe. You take much more into account than just the messages or updates that seem have something to do with your business.

You listen for where they’re stuck, what their values are, and how their life unfolds on a daily basis. You figure out what they really want to accomplish—big or small.

2) You respond to their need.

You come up with a product idea that helps them accomplish whatever it is that’s important to them. It could be something incredibly simple (impulse buy) or something far more complex. But your product idea is a direct response to what they want.

3) You present them with a message that resonates.

You don’t tell them that new course is ready. You don’t tell them you’ve got 3 openings this month. You don’t get all excited about your new service and humble brag your way through a few Facebook posts.

You don’t waste time shouting from the roof tops about what you’ve made and why it’s awesome.

You talk to people about what matters to them (their relationship, the way they feel when they wake up, the deadline that’s looming over their head, etc…). You get specific because you know them so well (see Step 1).

People can’t help but get sucked in. They’re sucked in not because you’re selling them something or trying to convince them to buy, buy, buy but because you know them so well and have created something just for them.

That’s marketing.

That’s what works.

And it’s also what feels good.

If you’re feeling sucked in right now, it’s because I’ve spent the last 7 years trying to master those 3 simple steps. Of course, it’s not easy. I still mess up. But I have a feeling I’ve hit the nail on the head with this one.

If you’re ready to buy yourself some time, stop promoting your business, and start creating resonance, I’ve written a new mini-book just for you.

It’s called The Observation Engine and it turns those 3 simple steps into a whole system for taking the guesswork out of marketing (and sales, and product development.)

Click here to buy the multimedia pack (it’s just $4.99) or click here to buy the Kindle version directly from Amazon (it’s just $2.99).