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Joanna Lindenbaum

The Good, the Bad & the Ugly of the Coaching Industry

July 24th, 2015 by Joanna Lindenbaum

More and more women who come to me start by saying they don’t really trust the coaching industry.

They share that the marketing they see feels really glitzy and sales-y, as if celebrity coaches are inflating what’s possible as well as what’s really happening in their own business.

They tell me they’re scared of needing to have “Hell Yeah” attitudes in order to succeed, or being inauthentic in order to attract clients. They also admit that they feel pressure to spend what feels like a bazillion dollars in order to receive “formulas” that they sense aren’t really for them.

Hearing all this saddens me greatly.

Because I know that there are some not-so-pretty things happening in this industry that I love so dearly. And I also know that those not-so-pretty things are damaging women more than supporting them.

The coaching “noise” is everywhere — over social media, in your inbox, spoken from colleagues. It’s hard to know what’s Truth and what’s not.

If you’ve been part of my community, you know that over the last few years, I’ve spoken out more and more about what I call “glamour coaching” and why it is dangerous.

Because you shouldn’t have to spend hundreds of thousands to receive stellar support in your business.

And you shouldn’t have to feel like your sacred & unique business needs to fit into a “formula” in order to be successful.

And you shouldn’t get down on yourself because you haven’t earned 6 figures overnight.

Here are some guidelines so that you can navigate the coaching industry in an empowered way — with wisdom, confidence, intuition, and a strong sense of your ethics, integrity and authenticity.

I’ve created them because I believe so strongly & deeply in coaching as a tool and in the power of the coaching industry, and I want you to be able to love this field as much as I do:

Don’t believe everything you read

Unfortunately, not everything you read on social media is the “Truth”. There may be some facts that got “left out” from the marketing.

Use your best judgment when you read things about people who create 6 figures in 3 months or people who work only 4 hours a week but earn 7 figures. Or people who have added 10,000 to their list in 10 days. All of those facts may (or may not) be true, but I guarantee there is more to the story than is being revealed.

I am often told by clients that I am very real and authentic. I believe this is one of the reasons why my clients are so happy and successful — they don’t have a false sense of expectation and therefore they are pressure-free and judgement-free, which opens up so much more space and energy for persistent & aligned action that leads to results.

Understand that the best kind of business is one that is grown sustainably

Speed and “Now! Now! Now!” are big themes in many coaching circles. While I do love and appreciate when things can more forward at the speed of lightening (& sometimes they absolutely do), I can tell you without a doubt that a successful business is a sustainable one.

I’ve seen way too many entrepreneurs crash and burn because they haven’t created strong foundations in their business. Foundation and persistence is a HUGE part of an entrepreneur’s work, and I believe that anyone that tells you that you don’t have to work to create what you want is wrong. Now, that doesn’t mean you have to work hard, or that you have to suffer. Quite the opposite — the point is to enjoy the work. But it does take effort and energy to create something real.

Earning 100K but spending $80K doesn’t equal business abundance

There has been a trend in the coaching industry towards spending a ton of money on more and more team members, more and more un-necessary programs, more and more applications & technology, more and more bells and whistles.

My husband likes to call me frugal, and he’s right: I just don’t like to waste money!

I grew my multiple 6-figure business without breaking the bank, and I teach my clients to do the same. Here is a tip to get you started: You shouldn’t be spending more than 40% – 45% of your gross income (unless you are earning less than $20K and you are investing in business support). I am proud to share that I average about a 65% margin.

Price Yourself and Invest in Yourself at rates that feel in alignment with you

Nothing makes me angrier than experts telling new practitioners and entrepreneurs, straight out of the gate, to charge exorbitant rates.

This is usually a surefire way to create disappointment, despair and frustration.

I’m all about charging rates that feel GOOD to you and that help you really step into your value, but jacking up prices that feel out of touch doesn’t actually do that.

If you want to learn more about how to price your offerings with integrity, alignment AND your value intact, read this article about it.

Don’t Lose Yourself

I have hired a number of coaches over the years, and have received a ton of value from them. I would not have been able to create the business I’ve created without their love and support.

At the same time, there have been many instances where coaches made suggestions that just truly didn’t resonate with me. The suggestions were perhaps the “norm” or the “formula” in the industry, but I knew in my heart that it wouldn’t serve me or my business.

YOU know and understand yourself and your business better than anyone else. Trust yourself before you trust any formulas.

Know that there are MANY, many amazing coaches out there

This is the most important guideline in this article. Despite some of the not-so-great things happening in the coaching industry right now, overall it is a wonderful and magical industry that has broken stereotypes and boundaries, given hope and inspiration to millions, and truly transformed the world. I believe deep down to my toes that the world is a better place thanks to the coaching industry. And I believe it will do much, much, much more good in the decades to come.

If you know you need support in your business and life, don’t approach coaching from a jaded perspective. Know there are so many brilliant coaches out there who can change your life. The trick is to approach it all with some of the tips and pieces of wisdom I’ve given you in this article, and above all else — trust your intuition and love yourself.

And, if you feel like it’s time for you to receive the gift of support in your business, like it’s time to learn how to find the best next steps to create more visibility and income, like you want a wise, genuine and trusted partner who has been where you are…then please get in touch!

Fill out a Get Clients for Your Sacred Work application today, and we’ll get in touch with you for a call — my gift to you — to see how we can help.

With much love,
Joanna

The most profound biz assessment you’ll ever take

July 10th, 2015 by Joanna Lindenbaum

This is a short newsletter, because I want you to access the life and business changing assessment that I’ve created for you right away!

In it, you’ll get to take a quick but very poignant assessment that will uncover the core strength that has been waiting inside of you to emerge and make massive shifts in your business and personal life.

This assessment goes DEEP — you will receive information about yourself, your history, your patterns, your fears, your self-sabotage and your limiting beliefs that will transform you upon reading it.

You’ll also receive specific action steps about your specific hidden strengths that can be put into effective action immediately to grow your business, grow your income, expand your reach, heal your relationships, and overall be a much happier person.

The information I share in this assessment is the exact information I use to assess my clients when we work together (& then help them create the results they want).

It’s the culmination of supporting many, many women over the years and showing them how to use their unique fears & strengths as opportunities for massive growth.

Cannot wait for you to experience this! It won’t take more than a few minutes.

You can access the assessment here.

With much love,
Joanna

Are you a Victimized Vicki?

June 26th, 2015 by Joanna Lindenbaum

A couple of weeks ago I had a personal training session at the gym scheduled for 10am.

I was really looking forward to getting there early, doing some cardio and then my strength training.

Jon left for Whole Foods with the kids, and I got my workout clothing on. When I couldn’t find my car keys, I realized…they were in the diaper bag with Jon!!! This meant not being able to get to the gym, not working out, but still having to pay for my session.

My first impulse was to get angry and blame Jon — “How could he have taken the diaper bag without looking inside first!”

My second impulse was to go straight into the familiar cloak of victimhood: “Everything goes wrong for me…I never get the time I need for myself…”

Over the last decade, I’ve become very aware of my tendency to allow myself to go down the rabbit hole of dejection and defeat when something doesn’t go my way or when I get scared. Victimhood is the pattern of feeling like you can’t win, like a force (or that God) is against you, like no matter how hard you try or what actions you take, you’ll always get burned.

The Victim can’t see facts for facts, can’t really and truly be positive, and doesn’t know how to take responsibility for him or herself. The Victim also isn’t interested in solutions. She’s more interested in rolling around in her misery and hopelessness. When your Victim is out to play, she rejects any solutions or problem-solving ideas.

If you’ve got an active “Victim” lurking inside of you, she is probably running the show of your life a lot of the time.

I’ve come to call the “Victim” part of myself “Victimized Vicki”. Victimized Vicki has been with me a long time. She was activated through a lot of modeling that my mother and father did from the time I was very young, as well as my “family story” of being Victims of the Holocaust (as opposed to “Survivors”).

Victimized Vicki is always ready, at the drop of a hat, to have me feel bad for myself, to feel like nothing will ever go my way, to have me compare myself with others, and to feel as if I’m fighting a losing battle. When Vicki takes over, I don’t recognize myself at all. I’m at the mercy of her energy and fear.

It has been incredibly helpful for me to name my Victim self – naming her and giving her a persona has allowed me to take her out of my blindspot where she feels totally integrated into who I am…and into a separate space for me to be able to see her and recognize her fully. The more I can see Victimized Vicki for who she is, the more I can separate myself from her and stop myself from falling down the Victimized Rabbit Hole.

For example — In the scenario where my keys were in the diaper bag and I couldn’t get to the gym — I was able to not give in to my impulses to blame Jon or feel bad about myself and instead, was just able to see that the situation was sucky & annoying…but not really such a big deal in the scheme of things. From there, I decided to make the most of the morning and go for a run in my neighborhood, which turned out to be great because I got to be outside.

Because I wasn’t letting Victimized Vicki get in my way, I even saw opportunity when I passed some picnic tables — I used them as a makeshift gym and did arm and leg exercises and stretches with them.

The more you can eliminate the Victim from your life and your business, the happier you’ll be. I see the Victim show up when I support my clients sometimes, and she is often a force to be reckoned with, threatening to keep entrepreneurs from moving forward, attracting more clients and wealth, and staying small.

Here are some journaling questions to help you with this:

–When was the last time your Victim Self showed up? How often does your Victim show up in your life? In your business?

–How does your Victim Self act? Who is your Victim Self modeled on?

–What are the beliefs that your Victim self tells you?

–How can you spot/identify the Victim the next time she wants to come out?

With love,
Joanna

Some Of My Favorite Questions (& Answers!) About How to Create Powerful Referrals

June 12th, 2015 by Joanna Lindenbaum

I get a lot of questions about how to generate quality referrals — it’s because a large part of my own business has been built through referrals.

In this world of constant online chatter, I find it so valuable to know how to create powerful referrals — they are almost always the most ideal prospects.

Here are some of my favorite questions (& answers) to help you create amazing referrals for your business!

Q: Do you need a huge community of followers in order to be able to generate referrals in your business?

A: Absolutely not! While it’s wonderful to have a huge community of followers, it’s definitely not necessary. What’s most important to be able to begin to generate powerful referrals is to have relationships with people who know and appreciate you – those people can be your clients, your colleagues, your friends, your old schoolmates, your family, or anyone else you know. You start your first round of referral campaigns there, and through that the contacts and followers grow.

Q: What is the proper etiquette when asking for a referral?

A: Asking for referrals is an art unto itself, with many factors and possibilities.

But for now, I’ll share that one of the most IMPORTANT pieces of etiquette when asking for a referral is that you keep it personal and intimate. Don’t use formal business language when asking for a referral and don’t email hundreds of people at a time. The more personal and intimate you can be when inviting folks to refer you, the more effective your invitation will be.

Q: Whenever I think about asking clients for referrals, I get a stomach ache – it feels icky and sales-y and desperate to ask for business. What do you think about that?

A: I cannot tell you how many times I have heard that exact fear come up (in fact, years ago, I used to feel it myself!). And it’s true – if you feel icky about asking for referrals, one of two things will happen: 1) You will never ask for them or 2) You’ll force yourself to ask, but it will feel misaligned and it won’t come off as powerful or inviting to the person you’re asking…and they probably won’t make the referral.

That’s why it’s vital to shift into a Referral Mindset and to really learn how to claim your value. When you do both of these things, everything changes: you feel confident about your services & products, you feel excited to ask connections for referrals, and the people you ask join in your excitement about your work and communicate it to others.

Q: I’ve heard that if someone sends you a referral and they buy from you, you need to then send the referrer a cash kick-back. Is that true?

A: So glad you asked, and the answer is a definitive: NOPE! What is important is that you always, always, always thank your referrer in a personal way, but the thank you does not need to be cash at all!

With love,
Joanna

What Are You Addicted To?

June 5th, 2015 by Joanna Lindenbaum

When I was one year into being an entrepreneur, I found myself working 70-hour weeks. It was grueling and kind of crazy, but I told myself that I needed to work hard in order to get my business off the ground.

Three years after that, when my business was solid and established, I was still working 70-hour weeks, if not 80 or sometimes 90! It ate away at my personal time, my self-care time, my spiritual time, and my social time. But I told myself that I needed to work hard in order to maintain my business and keep it going.

I believed this with all my heart and soul.

I believed it so much that nothing could stop me from working from early morning until late at night. I worked through social engagements. I worked through evenings when I could have been spending time with my husband. I worked through the times I promised myself I’d go to yoga class.

I was addicted to over-working.

It sounds dramatic, but it was 100% true: It was an addiction. I couldn’t stop working, no matter how much I wanted to.

Here is the definition of addiction from the Merriam-Webster dictionary:

a strong and harmful need to regularly have something (such as a drug) or do something (such as gamble)

My habit of over-working was definitely strong — I was nearly powerless over it — and it was definitely harmful: for as much as I loved my work, it was standing in the way of my life.

As I came to realize this, I began to realize something else — there was a reason why I had allowed over-working to become so powerful. Just like any other addict, my habit began as a distraction mechanism, a way to detach myself from a fear or problem in my life, a way to avert my attention from an anxiety.

In my case, it was my mother’s illness. It was just way too painful to be tuned in non-stop to the nightmare of my mother’s deteriorating health and constant hospitalizations, so I turned to work as my drug. And WOW — what a good drug it was.

The more I was willing to see exactly how much I was using over-working as a distraction mechanism from my emotions, the more I was slowly able to take control back over it and make sane and aligned decisions about my work schedule.

And since then, I can say that I haven’t worked with a single woman who wasn’t addicted to something – I’ve witnessed the addiction to eating, to exercising, to being a Victim (another one of my personal favorites), addiction to buying more and more coaching programs. I’ve witnessed the addiction to fame, to Facebook, to whining, to making more and more money, and to being over-organized, among others.

For each woman, as soon as I’ve pointed her addiction out to her and brought it to light, it helped her see that she was using this habit as a way of distracting herself from something she didn’t want to connect with: from the fear of being seen, or the fear of failure, or the pain of not being good enough. This awareness has been the beginning of the road to recovering from the addiction and coming into right relationship with herself and her business.

We each have an addiction in one way or another.

We each glom ourselves on to a habit that helps relieve us from reality. It’s just that we’re so smart that often times the addictive habit masquerades as “productive” or “proper” or “helpful”.

But addictions ultimately hold you back from experiencing the fullness of yourself, your body and your life. For as “good” as they seem, it is valuable to call them out and untangle yourself from them.

Here’s how to begin to untangle yourself from your addictions:

1) Identify it: What’s your addiction?

What is that habit that you don’t totally have control over? The one that feels so compelling to you, so necessary to continue with, so important…but truly at the end of the day is actually eating away at your connection to self, connection to Spirit, and connection to others?

2) What is the reason you’re telling yourself that you MUST continue with this addictive behavior?

Remember mine? I kept on telling myself I needed to overwork in order to maintain my business.

Addicts always have a “good” reason behind their habit.

3) Why does that addiction hold so much power over you? What are you trying to escape or distract yourself from?

This one requires a little deeper self-inquiry, but you will be able to identify it. You most likely know intuitively — what are you so scared of experiencing or seeing in your life that your addiction has safeguarded you from?

Business building requires inner work & self-development alongside smart and savvy marketing & operations strategies. And I am committed to supporting you with both. I have just 4 spots open this summer for women who are ready to step into their fullness, their passion and build your business in ways you’ve been dreaming of. If you know you want to have a conversation with me or someone on my team about what possibilities we can offer you, fill out an application here. If we feel we can help you, we’ll get in touch for a complimentary call to assess your business and explore possibilities.

With love,
Joanna

How To Get Great Testimonials

May 22nd, 2015 by Joanna Lindenbaum

Incredible testimonials are key to being able to attract ideal clients, because there is no stronger, more effective & compelling marketing copy than the words that a happy client writes about you and the results she achieved while working with you.

Testimonials — when done right — have the power to motivate someone browsing your website to get in touch for a conversation, and also have the power to be the determining factor when someone chooses to work with you over someone else.

Over the years, I’ve learned many lessons about how to elicit fantastic testimonials from clients, and here are some of the most important ones:

  1. Be very specific:

    Don’t be open ended in your testimonial request. If you are, you won’t necessarily get the content you were looking for from your client. They may generally say that working with you was great, but forget to mention that they lost 10 pounds the first month you worked together or that their chronic headaches are completely gone.

    Instead, ask very clear and focused questions to help guide your client. For example, for that client that got rid of her headaches, you could ask questions like — “What were things like before we started working together? How often were your headaches? How bad were they? And, how do you feel now? What’s the current status of your headaches?”

  2. Give a deadline and followup:

    Chances are that your clients really want to give you testimonials, but chances are also that they’ve got a lot on their plate and responding to you may not be at the top of their priority list. If you let them know that there is a time element involved, they will be much more likely to make the testimonial a priority, and sometimes, a followup is the exact gentle nudge that’s needed, too.

  3. Ask at the right moment:

    There’s a common misconception that the best time to ask for a testimonial is when you’ve completed your work with a client. That’s not always the best time. I have found that the moment to get the most powerful testimonial is when someone has just experienced a big win or patch of forward movement, supported by you. So be on the lookout for when you are co-creating big results with your client and request the testimonial then.

  4. Explain why you’re asking:

    Whenever I send a testimonial request to a client, I explain to them why I’m asking for one. I let them know that it would be so powerful for the women in my community who are considering working with me to hear about their story and successes, and I also let them know how inspiring their story will be to others.

    Sharing with your client the why behind your request gives more incentive.

  5. What to do when you’re starting out and haven’t had any clients yet:

    If you’re reading this article and thinking — “Well this is great for someone with experience, but I’m just starting out. What do I do?!?”, not to worry, you can have great testimonials, too. If you don’t have clients to ask, ask people that know you to write about their experience of you, your qualities, what they see in you, and how you have helped them. It will yield enough material to get you started with testimonials.

The last thing, for now, that I’ll share about testimonials is this: the process of writing a testimonial can be a very powerful and productive activity for the client herself. Why? It’s an opportunity for your client to sit down, really focus on all her accomplishments and how far she’s come, and totally own her progress and results in a big way. So valuable to do this!

If you’re looking for more support and direction in growing your business, we’d love to speak to you! Fill out an application for a private, complimentary call, and if we feel we can make an impact for you and your business, we’ll get in touch.

With love,
Joanna

Too Many Coaches In The Industry? (My Feminist Rant!)

May 8th, 2015 by Joanna Lindenbaum

There are a lot of coaches out there.

And most of them are women.

When I first started noticing this about 6 years ago, I got a little down on it.

“This is the newest, latest fad…How many coaches does the world really need?…Everyone is copying everyone else…It’s a big Ponzi scheme…a coaching fishbowl…and there’s not going to be enough business because the market is so saturated…”. On and on my thoughts would go.

I was judgmental of other women who were coaching, and I was judgmental of myself, too.

Luckily, I realized that all the judgment was my fear speaking to me, and the more I meditated on why there were so many coaches — particularly women coaches — rising up, it became so clear to me:

For centuries, women were considered the priestesses, the sacred holders of wisdom and of connection to the Divine, the leaders, those who passed the wisdom down from generation to generation. Women would gather together in circles and teach the young maidens how to value themselves and how to honor their bodies. They would know deep in their hearts that they were connected to Spirit and that their lives had purpose. They understood that their purpose was to help make their families and communities a better place.

Through patriarchy, these rich traditions, rituals and Truths got lost.

And for centuries, women’s wisdom and empowerment fell behind the veils. We didn’t lose it, but we just weren’t able to flaunt it, let alone always recognize it.

Thankfully, we’re now living in a time where women are beginning to honor themselves in more ways again. We’re living in a time — at least in some parts of the world — where more and more people are coming to understand how vital the Feminine is to the sustainability of the planet, and how important it is to support women leaders in rising up to have their wise voices heard.

It’s a slow process, but the wave toward holding women and the feminine sacred again is happening.

The coaching industry is 100% a reflection of this wave of feminine empowerment and leadership.

The coaching industry is a place where women’s wisdom in business, health, leadership, relationships and beyond can come forward fully. And it’s a place where one can break free of patriarchal “facts”, traditional ways of doing things, systems, and habits, a place where deeper wisdom can be transmitted and learned.

I see coaches as modern day Priestesses — each woman bringing her own unique brilliance, history, experience and talents to her business and community, each woman tending the sacred flames of motivation and inspiration to pass on to others, each woman teaching NOT from a textbook or set of rules, but from her own experience and intuition and guidance and inner knowing.

In so many ways, the coaching industry has helped us return to ways women helped other women become their most sacred selves in Matriarchal culture: through a network of mentors — with and without “degrees” — who are passing down wisdom and knowledge and deep internal learning person by person by person.

I am so proud to be a leader in this movement.

And all of this is why it is so incredibly important that those of us who are in the coaching industry remain conscious and honor the sacred environment for women, women’s empowerment, and the healing of the world that has been collectively created.

That means we must be careful that the coaching industry does not fall into the traps of traditional Patriarchy.

Instead of jealousy or anxiety about all the coaches out there, may we keep in our hearts every moment of every day that the MORE of us who operate in integrity and from our hearts, the more a reflection it is on the ways women’s wisdom is gaining credibility and respect in the world.

May we be excited that this is an environment where we can bring ALL of ourselves to the table.

May we be uplifted by the fact that we are part of a wave, a tide, a turning, that is way bigger than any one of us individually.

May we rest peacefully with the knowing that there is an entire network, a massive sisterhood of like-minded women who are working with us to heal the world.

With love,
Joanna

How Motherhood Has Revolutionized My Business

April 24th, 2015 by Joanna Lindenbaum

Last week, Yael turned one year old, and I spent a few days reflecting on how motherhood has changed me, supported my evolution…and totally revolutionized my business.

When I first became pregnant with Penina 7 years ago, my business had just begun to take off, and I was scared that having a baby and becoming a mother would stop me in my tracks. I was scared the business would just not be there after my maternity leave. Alternately, I was worried that if I did retain the business, I’d be working even crazier hours than the already crazy 60-hour workweeks I was working, because I’d be taking care of a baby in between!

Looking back, I have to chuckle at myself, because Motherhood has actually helped me grow my business exponentially and become a much more sane entrepreneur.

I meet and coach a lot of women who are pregnant or contemplating becoming pregnant and hold the same fears and anxieties about it all that I did. I’m always so excited to have the conversation with these women, because there is so much amazing-ness that can happen for your business when you step into motherhood.

Here are some of the ways Motherhood revolutionized my Business –

  1. I have much better boundaries: Having children made it necessary for me to cut back on work, finish at a reasonable time, put technology away when I’m parenting, and stop working every day of the week. Better boundaries have resulted in doing my work more efficiently, letting go of tasks that don’t actually need to get done, and having more time leftover for myself and my family.
  2. I am much more clear on my priorities: Becoming a Mother put so much into perspective for me. While my career and sacred work are still super-important and meaningful to me, being with my children helps me remember that family, friends, and time for self are usually highest on my list. This allows me to work just the right amount for me, enjoy more of my life…and most importantly, not feel tension around it all.
  3. I am more confident and intuitive than I’ve ever been before: The process of stepping into motherhood was very complex for me. At first, it was really hard. In all honesty, I was a sleep-deprived mess, and I started doubting myself and my decisions left and right – did I feed the baby the right way? Did I use the word “no” when I shouldn’t have? Was it ok for the baby to nap at that time? Not to mention there are so many opinions out there on the “right” way to mother – all of the information was scaring me and putting me into a tizzy!

    I got to a place of such deep anxiety that I realized it was time to listen to myself in a new way, and to learn the next level of self-trust so that I could feel good about my parenting decisions and also act from a place of intuition instead of fear. This deeper sense of confidence and intuition has completely made its way into my business, so that I make better decisions, feel more at ease, don’t waste energy doubting myself, and show up even better for my clients.

  4. My mission has deepened and I am more passionate: Something about becoming a mother has made me more passionate about everything that’s important to me. I’m no scientist, but I do feel my hormones  – and almost my DNA – got re-arranged by the whole experience. Nonetheless, along with now crying at silly cereal commercials, I also feel even more strongly about my mission and my sacred message and the ways that I was put on this planet to help others. I also think to become a mother, my heart had to get bigger. And all the care and love that I pour toward my children now spills over into the ways I take care of my clients and the sincerity of my desire to help heal others in the world. With this deeper mission and passion, my teaching is stronger, my marketing is more effective, I am more magnetic, and I feel more energized.
  5. Self-care has become tantamount: In the first few years with Penina, all the nursing and sleepless nights highlighted my tendencies toward not taking great care of myself, overworking and overstressing. (She was a colicky baby and toddler who almost never slept and nursed 24-7). Luckily, I chose to learn the lesson after that first year or two around how vital self-care is – not just for myself, but so that I’m fully present and happy for my daughters…and also to model for my daughters how to be a woman who takes good care of herself.

    Learning how to take care of myself has revolutionized my business, because the better care I take of myself, the less I am a slave to my business and the more I’ve been able to put better and better systems in place. It’s also taught me how to receive support in a much deeper way, and as a result, I’m proud to say I have what I consider to be the BEST team in the coaching industry.

  6. Limiting family stories have washed away: Becoming a mother to my own children, for me, has meant that I’ve developed even more into my own woman, consciously separate from my own parents, and have been able to put down lots of old family stories and beliefs. For example, I no longer buy into the hold of my family of origin’s Money Story, which is deeply embedded in a narrative of lack, scarcity and the need to overwork. I’ve also been able to put down (mostly) a particularly persistent story about how our family members are perpetual Victims in life. Being able to release the old Scarcity and Victimhood stories has allowed me to earn a greater income than I ever thought would be possible for myself, and create satisfying success and happiness in so many areas.

So, whether you’re a mother or not, or becoming a mother or not, the bottom line is this: embrace all of the life events that come your way. They are given to you to not only become more of who you’re meant to be, but to strengthen your business in one way or another…if you let them!

With love,
Joanna

Freedom

April 10th, 2015 by Joanna Lindenbaum

I’m out of the office this week, spending the Jewish holiday of Passover with my family.

Passover is based on the ancient story of the Jewish slaves in Egypt who created freedom from bondage. Similar to Easter and other holidays this time of year, Passover represents the energy of Spring — the energy of renewal and rebirth, of cleaning out the cobwebs of Winter, and particularly the importance of creating freedom in your life (& business).

I use the holiday as a sacred yearly reminder to take stock of where I’m feeling in bondage and to do some “Spring Cleaning” so that I can feel lighter, more open, and more free and abundant in all areas of my life and business.

It’s such an important ritual because no matter who you are or how successful your business is, things can get heavy, stifling and congested if they go unchecked.

Here’s what bondage might look like for you right now:

  • Holding on to certain clients who upset you are and such a mismatch that you hate working with them
  • Having a schedule that is so busy you don’t feel you have enough breathing room
  • Feeling stuck with a team member who sucks your energy instead of supports you
  • Feeling intense pressure to show up on Facebook every single day
  • Teaching or coaching on something that isn’t really in your brilliance or excites you, but you have a reputation for it so you continue on
  • Being tied to a certain office or work space that is no longer aligned for you
  • Feeling repressed in your mind — frequently feeling anxious, scared or resentful in your business.

Here’s how bondage often shows up for me. I am prone to making things feel more crowded and heavy than they need to be. Why? Because, for as much as I don’t want to feel “busy”, I love to feel busy. I love the feeling that there’s a lot of action happening in my business, that I serve lots and lots of clients and community members, that I get to support a lot of team members, that I’ve got lots of JV partners, that a ton is going on for me in Facebook. In my personal life, I also like to feel like I have a lot of friends, we have a lot of social plans, we’re doing a ton of cultural, educational and spiritual/nature things with the kids, etc.

These desires are in direct tension with my desire for peace, simplicity, and space.

Here’s what I’ve come to observe about myself and many others, no matter what your brand of bondage is. For all that we say we want freedom, there is a strange addiction to bondage.

I’m not talking S & M here. ☺

There is, often times, more of a comfort with feeling cramped and stifled than with feeling open and spacious. It’s almost as if somewhere along the line we were taught that it’s safer to feel over-worked, over-scheduled, over-tired, over-worried. That this is the way to keep things together, to keep things running smoothly, to ensure that all is effective and well. That allowing yourself to experience freedom and spaciousness could result in laziness, ineffectiveness, and everything basically falling apart.

And because of this, we tell ourselves that we can’t let go of unsavory clients, or that we need to keep very busy schedules, or that we need to send a newsletter each and every week.

But of course, that is simply not true.
It’s just one of the ways we keep ourselves stuck.
And it’s a way to avoid one of the things you want most: spaciousness.
Because sometimes it’s harder to take in goodness and good feelings than it is to feel stifled.

So, this Spring, how do you want to feel?
Do you want to feel in bondage?
Or do you want to feel free?

You get to choose!

With love,
Joanna

The Struggle About What To Charge

March 27th, 2015 by Joanna Lindenbaum

In this moment, I can’t actually think of any client I’ve ever worked with that hasn’t at some point wondered or (most likely) agonized over what to charge. And I confess, I certainly have grappled with this many times in the past as well.

The question about where to set your rates brings up a whole slew of internal questions and judgments:

How valuable is my work?

What will people think when they hear my rates?

What are other people in my industry charging?

Will anyone buy from me at all?

Am I undercharging?

Am I overcharging?

Can I make a living with those rates?

Will it be worth it?

…just to name a few!

The reason knowing what to charge can create so much tension or confusion is because what you charge relates directly to your ideas around your own self-worth, around the worth of your services, around the worth of your potential clients, around your ability to receive, around how much you deserve, and around how much you are meant to have. Likewise, your rates are also a reflection of your beliefs around money — sometimes they are fueled by a sense of justice, and other times they are fueled by fear.

For myself, I can share that I spent a great deal of time in internal struggle around my rates from waffling on rates when I was actually speaking to a client, to undercharging (when I started, I charged $15/hour!), to getting angry at others who charged much more and beyond.

I’d get super annoyed when coaches and mentors would tell me simply to raise my rates, because it felt much more complex than that on an internal level.

After years of focused commitment to understanding where my rates should land, asking the hard questions about my struggles around rates, and also after years of experimenting with different things, I’ve developed a way to set aligned rates for myself and for my clients that eliminates a good deal of the anxiety, confusion and tension.

Because here’s the thing: Your rates are completely unique to YOU. They should not be a reflection of anyone else’s standards or industry standards or anyone else’s money story. Rates that are going to work for you need to come from a clean and clear place inside of you.

Here is the way I set my rates. It’s not a “perfect formula”, but rather, a set of guiding questions that will lead you toward what’s most aligned for you:

  1. What’s the intersection between my time and my desired income?

    This is the most practical question that will inform your rates, and it’s a really important one. Find your ballpark rates based on the intersection between the total amount you want to earn and the amount of time you have available. For example, let’s say you would like to earn $5,000/month, and you have time available for 10 clients/month. That would put your rate at $500 per client per month.

    Of course, depending on your business and business model (for example, if you’re leveraging your time through group programs) there are other factors that would come into play here. That’s why my team and I devote so much attention to our clients’ business models. Once you’ve got your business model down, you want to then ask this very basic question about income and time to find a starting point for defining your rates.

  2. How valuable is the transformation you create?

    I’ve found that most soul-centered entrepreneurs are not fully connected in to the incredible value of the results and transformation you help your clients create. If you were to ask yourself how valuable the transformation you create actually is — I’m guessing the answer would actually be in the tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands, if not the millions. Helping folks love themselves, or overcome life-long blocks, or create the life they’ve always wanted, or become fully healthy, or find the home of their dreams is no small deal.

    Think about how much money some folks will spend on a designer pair of jeans. The reason they’ll spend that much is because they believe the result they’ll receive from wearing those jeans — maybe their buttocks will look amazing, for example — is worth the $500.

    So, ask yourself this question. It may not lead you to the exact dollar amount that your rate will be, but it will help you see and understand yourself and your value in a much different way, and this will inform your rates.

  3. Where is your confidence level?

    Just because you come to a place of understanding how valuable your work is, doesn’t mean you’re ready to charge that rate. I know there’s a lot of talk out in the coaching industry around “just raise your rates” or “find high-end clients”. And some of that talk can be helpful. But the truth is that if you’re not fully confident or owning your value, even though your rates might reflect the value of your work, you will most likely struggle to SELL at those rates, and that means you need to start lower and work your way up.

    From my own life, there was a time where I decided I was going to raise my rates, because my mentor and a number of colleagues highly recommended I do so. I changed the numbers on all of my materials and spoke the new numbers in my enrollment conversations, but – I went from basically a 95% conversion rate to a 0% conversion rate fast. It wasn’t because my work wasn’t worth my new rates — it was because I wasn’t confident in those rates. I was scared they were too high, and I wasn’t myself convinced I could deliver the value. It was a big learning lesson for me. I lowered my rates, and for each new client that stepped in, I raised my rates just a little bit. Client by client. I also did some hardcore work on my enrollment skills. That helped me build my confidence in both my service as well as in my ability to sell at higher rates.

  4. Where are you vibrating?

    I know – at the outset, this question sounds a little woo-woo. But go with me here for a minute. About 2 years ago, I got really mad at the business coaching industry. I decided that the “big guru coaches” out there were completely over-charging, that they were delusional, that they had messiah complexes to charge so much, that they were criminal, on and on and on. Yup, and I felt very self-justified in all those judgments.

    Then I realized that those judgments would be true for ME if I were to charge those rates because that’s just simply not where I’m vibrating and that’s not where my ideal clients vibrate. But for those other folks out there who ARE charging those much higher rates, perhaps they were vibrating at those rates and so were their ideal clients. Now to be clear, one is not better than another, so long as where you’re vibrating isn’t being covered up by fear, limiting beliefs, or is compromising Question #1, 2 or 3 above. If you’re vibrating at lower or higher rates than others in your industry — it doesn’t mean anything about you or your value or even your money story in relation to others. It’s simply where you’re currently vibrating, and that’s that.

    I’ve come to learn that it’s really important to honor this energetic law, and that when you do, you are most likely to charge the aligned amount for you. (Again, you want to make sure it’s not being compromised by any fears or limiting beliefs).

  5. Are you at peace?

    Finally — and this is maybe the most important guiding question here — you want to ask yourself if you are at peace with your rates.

    For me, being at peace means that I am charging a rate that isn’t too low. That means that you are stretching yourself just a little bit so that your rates correctly reflect your value, and that through your rates, you are feeling supported to have enough money, time and energy. It also means that you don’t feel resentful that you are over-giving to your clients.

    Being at peace also means that my rates don’t feel too high. Feeling you are stretching to charge more than is comfortable is a good thing (because, again, most soul-centered entrepreneurs tend to under-charge), but you don’t want to feel like you are inflating your rates, or taking advantage, or making promises you can’t keep. You also don’t want to feel that you are out of integrity.

    Above all else, you want to feel at peace with your rates.

And then of course, your rates will change over time. You and your business are living, breathing entities, and so are your rates. I have found that the more developed I become as a coach, healer and teacher, the more my reputation as a stellar business grows and grows, and also the more I recognize the preciousness of my time, the higher my aligned rate becomes.

Once you do set your aligned rates, then you also need to have marketing that supports you attracting ideal prospects for those rates and really effective enrollment conversation skills. My team and I LOVE helping our clients with all this and more. If you’re interested in seeing how we can help you, I’d be honored if you set up a time for a complimentary, no-strings attached Intuition Activation call. We don’t accept everyone for this call — only women who we sense we can really help. So please fill out an application fully and we’ll be in touch!

With love,
Joanna