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Business coaching for self-employed writer = fresh mindset = more profit!

Illustration of a happy, multi-tasking woman who looks relaxed and in in control
Fresh mindset = more profit!

Annette has been successfully as a self-employed copywriter since 1995 but had never considered that she was a ‘business owner’ or invested in developing her business. After attending one of Lorna’s free workshops about becoming a better business owner, she found that the idea of business coaching appealed to her.

“I felt ready to do better, to make my business stronger and make the next 10 years count. I decided to work with Lorna because, even though I didn’t know what the outcome would be, I liked and respected her. I felt I could talk to and trust her, and I had faith in her and the process.”

When Annette looks back over the last few months, the coaching has resulted in a significant change in her mindset.

“There’s been a paradigm shift in thinking for me between being self-employed and running a business. This has influenced everything I do, from applying my personal values to my business, putting structures and processes in place, to who I work with, to how I charge for my time and valuing the work I do more. And I measure all of this now in terms of productivity and cost.”

There were many ‘Aha!’ moments or ‘gems’, as Annette calls them, and one gem in particular was around niching, which she initially resisted. After all, she had been pretty successful for this long without it, so why was it necessary now?

“Niching for me was a surprise because it seemed counter-intuitive, but during one of several conversations on the subject, Lorna said, ‘The more specialist you are, the more desirable you become’ and this was interesting.
Previously, I would have gratefully done anything that came my way, and it would have given me the heebie-jeebies to say ‘no’. Now I’m thinking about my business strategically and I feel much more in control. I know what I want to work on, and I’m able to prioritise those projects over anything that detracts from my business focus.”

Even as a sole trader, Annette has seen the benefits of implementing structure and process in what she does.

“With this greater sense of purpose and focus, I am more specific in what I am doing: I don’t drift. For example, I proactively get dates in the diary with clients and have introduced a structured quote process. I feel like I am doing things properly, which shows my commitment to the client and increases their confidence in me.”

This combination of niching and structure has helped Annette to implement more boundaries between her work, life outside of her business and distractions.

“I have introduced clearer boundaries and expectations because I feel stronger about doing so. For example, I would frequently check emails and feel like I ought to respond instantly. Now I think about the metaphor of closing my inbox as being like closing my office door so I can concentrate. It has given me more time, and I’ve been able to cut back evening and weekend work – fantastic!”

Annette has been able to externalise the business and think about it as an entity in its own right, separating the business from the personal.

“When you give yourself permission to take yourself more seriously, others do, too. I am putting more of myself into what I do, but instead of trying to be all things to all people, I now feel a sense of responsibility to my business as well as my clients. It’s mine and I want to run it well, and that’s empowering! Decision-making is easier because parameters have been set, rather than constantly trying to do what I think I ‘ought’ to be doing.
While I’ve always had confidence in what I can do (and an opinion to match!), I’m now applying it in a more focussed and professional way. And no one’s walked away!”

Overall, Annette says that it was the combination of techniques used during her business coaching that made the difference to her mindset – they all interlinked to drive change.

“For the first time in nearly three decades, I now have a vision, goals and a plan to achieve them! I know what makes a good decision for me and my business. I am playing to my strengths. I am working on projects that I love. I am more confident about the specific value that I deliver. And I am winning more business.”

When it comes to whether the investment in business coaching was worth it, Annette has no doubts.

“Yes, it has been worth the investment: in terms of how I feel, my confidence in doing the right thing, and the satisfaction. From a financial perspective it will more than pay for itself.”

So, what is Annette’s advice for others considering business coaching with Lorna?

“I encourage every self-employed person to do this! You always need someone else to draw this level of thinking out of you - you will only ever get halfway there by yourself. Some stages on your journey might feel easy and comfortable, and other things are a little harder, but it has to be done. The most challenging bits will be the most rewarding.”

To find out more about how Lorna Thomas / Be The Best You In Business coaching and mentoring could support you to increase your confidence and grow your business with clarity, focus and control, book a call...


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