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Joanna Lindenbaum

Your Sacred Message

July 18th, 2014 by Joanna Lindenbaum

No matter what business you’re in, and no matter what your business model is, you need a compelling message to be able to successfully attract ideal clients to buy your offerings and products.

I call it your Sacred Message.

Your Sacred Message is a core and essential part of all your marketing strategies – your message should permeate & inspire any home pages, sales pages, articles, Facebook posts, brochures, enrollment conversations, etc. (my message is all over THIS newsletter edition!).

Without your Sacred Message, your marketing will have a hard time enrolling new clients.

And even more important than that – when you’ve crafted a Sacred Message that is really aligned for you and your business, it becomes the central tenet of your offerings, your business philosophy and attitude. In other words, it’s at the core of everything you do and are in your business.

I believe that your Sacred Message is so important that the women I teach receive hand-held guidance and self-assessing worksheets with provocative inner wisdom questions to be able to craft the perfect message that is fully authentic to you. That’s because in order to be as effective and magnetic as possible – your Sacred Message needs to come from your soul and from the depths of who you are.

Your Sacred Message isn’t simply a business tool. It’s a marker of who you are as a person and how you show up to serve those you’re meant to serve.

I also teach that your Sacred Message can change as you change (but not too, too often for branding’s sake!). My own sacred message has evolved over the years – it has been a beautiful, living entity that has reflected my own passions, priorities and intuition at each stage of my business & personal growth.

But, I remember the first few years of my business when I didn’t really understand that a strong, clear and authentic message was required to be able to build a loyal community and attract ideal clients.

My marketing fell pretty flat – for example: I would write beautiful, inspirational newsletters and web copy (I love to write), and I would get the feedback that it was actually inspiring my readers…and yet they weren’t really buying my services. Or if they did, they weren’t really 100% clear on why they wanted me to help them and with what (which was not a good thing, because it made them much harder to coach!).

Since then, I’ve learned quite a bit about how to create a Soul-Centered message and how to use it strategically to inspire AND sign on ideal clients.

Here are the 3 Essential Components you want your Sacred Message to contain:

  1. A Vision You’re Passionate About:
  2. I call this your Soul-Centered Vision. It’s an idea or concept you are so passionate about that you are willing to scream it from the mountaintops for everyone to hear. It’s a big dream you want realized in the world.

    It’s the "why" behind your business and your business’s offerings and services. For example: Your Soul-Centered Vision may be that all the world’s girls know how to eat healthy, or that animals are important beings that have feelings, or that all women love and value themselves, no matter what.

    Your Soul-Centered Vision is the inspirational component of your Sacred Message.

  3. Your Unique Brilliance
  4. Your Unique Brilliance is the unique combination of talents, skills, gifts, quirks, and personal learnings you bring to your work in order to bring about your Soul-Centered Vision.

    It’s the "how" behind your business and your business’s offerings and services. It can include anything from your love of cooking, to your history as the survivor of abuse, to your storytelling skills, to your sense of humor, to your passion for editing and correct grammar.

    Your Unique Brilliance is the component of your Sacred Message that alerts prospects to the tools you’ll use to help them.

  5. Who You’re Meant to Serve
  6. This is your Ideal Client. I recently wrote about a very important perspective on the Ideal Client, that you can find here.

    Your Ideal Client is the "who" you’re meant to serve in your business. It’s essential that you are fully clear on who your Ideal Client is in order to have an effective Sacred Message. If you don’t know who you’re serving, it’s really hard to outreach to them effectively and create supportive programming for that person.

    Your Ideal Client is the component of your Sacred Message that lets your prospect know you "get" her and are here to serve someone just like her.

Now that you’ve got the 3 Core Components of your Sacred Message, get to work!

Where can your marketing materials be tweaked to accurately communicate the "why", "how" and "who" of your business so that aligned prospects will focus in on you and your services?

One Of My Favorite “Growth” Tools

July 3rd, 2014 by Joanna Lindenbaum

I’ve kept a journal since I’ve been 6 years old.

My first journal had a cover with a red and white floral design, and it had a lock and key. The pages were lined, and I wrote (with lots of miss-spellings and really bad grammar) about my first day of school, the girls I was friends with, the bully in the class, my parents’ refusal to give me an allowance, my beloved grandfather who passed away that year and how I felt about all these things.

I remember so clearly the absolute delight I took in sharing my secrets and myself in those pages. The book – which was small in size – felt to me like a sacred and magical tool. My 6-year-old self believed it had the power to make my life better.

I still have that journal, and the 45+ others that I’ve filled since then.

The writing in those journals has evolved from small words written in print letters to more sophisticated thoughts written in cursive or sometimes drawn with pastels.

The stories told in those journals have seen me get my period for the first time, fall in love with (& get heartbroken by) my first crush, realize my parents weren’t perfect, get rejected from my college of choice, graduate college and grad school, deal with my mother’s illness, travel across the world, get and recover from Bell’s palsy, quit my job to start my own business, get married, birth two children, and everything in between.

And my 38-year-old-self can say without a doubt that journaling does have the power to make your life better, richer, and happier.

Throughout the years, my journal has helped me:

  • connect deeply to myself and my desires
  • tap into my inner wisdom and uncover my intuition
  • create clarity out of confusion
  • express my anger in safe and really productive ways
  • release pain and frustration and disappointment
  • connect to Spirit
  • make better decisions
  • cultivate hope
  • cultivate self-love and confidence
  • and so much more

Over the last decade, I have also used my journal to support me in every single aspect of my business, from my confidence level & ability to value myself, to my marketing and operations plans.

Journaling has helped me grow into a successful, soul-centered entrepreneur who (for the most part) knows herself and her desires really well, has the insight and clarity to make good decisions about offerings, marketing, rates, team and systems, and has the courage to take risks and make out-the-box moves.

Here are some of my "best practices" for successful journaling:

  • Be consistent: There are periods of time when I journal every day, and then periods of time where I journal only every other week. Of course, when I am more consistent, I receive so much more from my journaling practice – each journal entry builds on the next and deep, deep insights are revealed over time. But even when I just check in for a few minutes, writing just for me has the power to transform my mood, provide me with hope and trust, and give me insight on next steps.
  • Write fast: I have found that the faster I write when I journal, the easier it is to get past all of my mental gobbelty-gook and obstacles and go to a much deeper place inside of myself that holds the real wisdom. There’s something about writing as fast as you can that eliminates your filter and gets you to your truth.
  • Write for yourself: In order to really allow your truth and wisdom to flow, it’s vital that you journal for yourself only, and not with the thought that someone else may read your writing. When you write with the knowledge that it’s just for you, you have permission to express any emotion that wants to be expressed, any idea no matter how silly it seems, and any big goal without being judged.
  • Mix it Up: I personally get a little bored with writing from the same voice in every journal entry. I get stale that way. What has really helped me continually find deeper and deeper places inside myself is to mix it up – write from different points of view, sometimes draw, sometimes write in silence and other times with music playing, write letters, make charts, make lists, etc.

Not only have I used my journal for over three decades for my own self-growth and learning, but I regularly give my clients and students journaling assignments to support them and their businesses. It has been utterly amazing to watch my clients grow on the inner and outer levels through their self-discovery and through their journaling.

And this is what I want for you, too.

That is why I am thrilled beyond thrilled to share with you the Deep Insights Business Journaling Intensive:

Next week (starting Monday, July 7th), I will send you a journaling assignment each morning. For five days in a row, you’ll receive a specially-designed journaling assignment from me to help you gain clarity, wisdom and confidence about your business. Each assignment can take as long as a half-hour, but in order for it to be effective, you don’t need to write for more than 5 minutes. You are going to get so much from your writing, and then even more by participating in our Facebook group where I’ll be doing additional teaching and coaching each day.

You don’t need to register for the Journaling Intensive – as a member of the Soulful Coaching community, you’ll get it in your inbox automatically each day-my gift to you.

What you should do right away is join our Journaling Intensive Facebook group so that you can introduce yourself to the other women in the community and get ready to share your insights from the journaling assignments. I’ll be on the Facebook group a LOT next week to share my own insights with you and coach you! Here’s the link to join:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/801350099917050/

Can’t wait!

Why You Can’t (& Shouldn’t) “Have It All”

June 27th, 2014 by Joanna Lindenbaum

I know – by saying that you can’t have it all, I’ve just made a big faux pas within the "positive thinking" and coaching worlds. Most positive thinking devotees would contend that as long as you envision and set the intention, you can have it all and more.

But in fact, not only can you not have it all, it goes even further: the thought that you can have it all is one of the biggest ways you sabotage your business and personal growth.

When you can let go of thinking you can have it all, that’s when real growth, real inner peace, and real positive thinking begin.

Let me explain, and let’s start with some examples I’ve heard (some I know personally) of "having it all":

  • You want a fully thriving, multiple 6-figure business AND to spend just as much time with your toddler as a stay-at-home mom does
  • You want your message to be well-known to a large platform AND for everyone who knows about you to love you (without any criticism)
  • You want a full team to support you in your business AND to not have the responsibility of leading & managing others
  • You want to quadruple your income AND to not take time or energy to market more
  • You want to stick to your session time with clients without going over AND to not address clients who are consistently late
  • You want to travel around the country as a well known speaker AND not spend time away from your family
  • You get where I’m going with this…It’s sort of like wanting to live in the heart of NYC while also wanting to live in a house. Just not possible, and the more you want both, the more frustrated and miserable you become.

    When you think you can & should have it all, you’re essentially trying to have your cake and eat it too, and no matter how "positively" you think, or how many vision boards you create (☺) that’s simply impossible.

    Instead, it just causes frustration, longing, and serious energy drain.

    I know this well in a number of ways from my own life and business. I remember so clearly wanting to really put the time and energy in to get my business off the ground, while also really wanting to be with Penina full time. But, of course, I couldn’t have it both ways. When I’d see moms on the streets or the playground who I assumed didn’t work, I was envious of them and when I saw women who seemingly had all the time in the world to grow their businesses, I was envious of those women, too.

    The result: lots of anger, victimhood and disappointment at myself that I couldn’t make it all happen.

    When I was finally able to fully embrace that being a full-time mom and having a multiple 6-figure business didn’t make sense, something incredibly important opened up for me: I was able to see that I had a very dangerous limiting belief that if I wasn’t with Penina every moment of every day, I wasn’t a good mother AND that I was missing out on the sacred experience of being a mom.

    Once I recognized that this belief had been running the show when it came to what I thought I wanted for my life and business, a new thought emerged: I could be a really great mom and thoroughly enjoy it, even while working 20 or so hours a week. From there, I was able to create a different, much more sustainable solution that provided me with both a business I love AND the exact number of working & parenting hours that was right for me…and inner peace about it all!

    But here’s what was required to get me there:

  • Acknowledging that I was trying to have my cake and eat it too, and that it wasn’t truly possible
  • Recognizing the fear or limiting belief that was standing in my way of actually creating a situation that would really work for me
  • Willingness to move towards a different belief and take action on it.
  • Here’s a recent "can’t have it all" revelation from a client of mine: Her business & client load grew to the point where she couldn’t do it all herself anymore – she needed to hire at least one team member to help her with administrative and operations pieces. And, she really wanted a team member. She recognized how this would help her work less while creating more. But at the same time, she was very clear that she didn’t want the responsibility of managing a team member.

    This was a situation where my client couldn’t have her cake and eat it too – she couldn’t receive the benefits of having a team member without the responsibility of managing a team member. The wanting to have it all here caused her to put off getting help, which caused major stress and getting stuck.

    When we were able to look into this together, we found that my client was opposed to managing a team because in her previous career, she had managed an assistant and hated it. Her assistant was irresponsible and left my client having to overwork and do damage control a lot of the time. I helped her identify that she was operating under the following limiting belief: Having an assistant means having to work even harder to keep that assistant in line.

    But that’s not necessarily true, is it?

    Once we identified that, we were able to open up a new belief for her around a team – one that helped her see that yes, there is a responsibility to taking on team members, but they don’t have to be irresponsible if you hire and lead correctly, and it doesn’t have to be stressful or taxing. And then she allowed herself to hire an aligned assistant!

    “Having it all” is very different from creating a life and business that truly work for you and that operate from a place of real possibility instead of lack.

    So, instead of trying to have it all, embrace that "all" doesn’t exist, uncover the beliefs that are creating tension for you, and then move towards a "having what I want" that will work for you.

    Here’s how:

    1. Identify where in your business you’ve been trying to have it all (hint: this is a place that you currently feel you’re having an inner struggle and is really stressing you out).
    2. Identify the two opposing desires that are at war with each other and causing strife (ex: wanting to be a national speaker, but not really wanting to travel, wanting to raise your rates, but not wanting to have conversations about it with clients, etc.).
    3. Uncover the fear or limiting belief that these opposing desires are operating under.
    4. Create a new belief that will actually allow for much more to happen for you, without the stress, and with a sense of inner peace.
    5. Take one action around it in the next 7 days!

    The Difference Between Niche and Ideal Client (& Why This Is So Important)

    June 13th, 2014 by Joanna Lindenbaum

    If you’re an entrepreneur, chances are you’ve either heard a little bit or a lot about how to identify your Niche or Target Audience.

    A lot of the tips that are being given on how to identify your Niche generally focus on some of the following questions – What is this person’s age? Gender? Career? Interests? What problems does this person have? Where does this person suffer? What is it they really want and how can you help them achieve it?

    I teach these components of Niche as well. They’re important and you definitely don’t want to overlook them.

    But getting clear on your Niche or Target Audience is only part of the equation when it comes to attracting clients that you’re really meant to serve.

    If you want your business to feel easeful and satisfying, then you want to go further than identifying your Niche – you want to identify your Ideal Client.

    Let me explain -

    Let’s say you’re a Pilates Instructor, and you’ve identified your Niche as post-partum women who are looking to feel better in & about their bodies, fit into their pre-pregnancy clothes, and feel more energized throughout their day.

    This is a great start to being able to attract and magnetize clients to your business. But there are other factors you need to consider if you want to be happy as you serve your clients and build your business…

    Let’s say you start working with this post-partum woman who wants to wear her pre-pregnancy jeans. You progress 3 sessions into your work together, and she starts showing up late, or cancels last minute, or makes excuses for not doing the homework you assigned her, or complains that she’s not getting any results. Or maybe her credit card gets declined every month.

    She fits your description of your Niche…but she’s definitely NOT an Ideal Client!

    Your Ideal Client needs to fit into your Niche, but you also want her to have certain qualities and characteristics that make her a total fit for having an easeful and pleasurable business. Or else-you may have tons of clients and you may even be making a good living…but you’re not happy. Less-than-ideal clients drain your time and energy and can make you feel like you’re not good at what you do.

    For myself, I’ve come to learn that in addition to fitting into my Niche, for someone to be an ideal client, they need to possess a number of characteristics. Here are some of them:

    1. You’re fully, 110% committed to your goals and to your work with me
    2. You take responsibility for your actions and choices, and don’t play the victim or the blame game
    3. You know how to follow through on your commitments to yourself and take action in between sessions
    4. You value my time and your own time – you show for sessions prepared and on time
    5. You value my support, guidance, feedback and leadership

    I know that for myself, without these components – every single one of them present – no matter how well the client fits my "niche" and no matter how much money they pay me, I will end up feeling drained or undervalued. Once I got clear on this and then really set up structures for it in my marketing, things began to shift radically for me.

    So now it’s your turn – Identify your Ideal Client:

    Step 1) What is your Niche?
    Step 2) What are the Vital Personal Characteristics this client needs to possess to be the perfect client for you?

    I recommend taking time to get really clear on this for yourself and then take a no-nonsense stand to draw in only Ideal Clients to your business.

    Do You Feel Like You Suck?

    June 2nd, 2014 by Joanna Lindenbaum

    Last week’s article is an absolute MUST read for everyone — whether you’ve been in business for 20 years or 20 days…or not a business owner at all.

    Feeling like you’re not good enough at what you do is something that folks rarely talk about in public, but it’s a topic that needs to be addressed in big ways because so many women have confessed to me that they sometimes feel this way, and it can literally stop you in your tracks.

    I know I’ve had moments where I feel less-than-valuable, moments where I’ve doubted myself completely, and I’ve learned how crucial it is to not get stuck in it. In this week’s article I’ve included 5 action steps to take right away if you get stuck there often.

    And before I forget: on June 19th I’m hosting a very rare bonus coaching Q/A call for folks who bought the Soulful Coaching Coach Training Home Study Program during its launch. I’m re-opening the opportunity to participate in this powerful bonus coaching call. When you purchase the Home Study Program, you’ll immediately be invited to this call with direct access to me for Q/A on any coaching skills or problems! Check it out!

    With love,
    Joanna

    What To Do When You Feel Like You Suck

    May 30th, 2014 by Joanna Lindenbaum

    I have not yet met a single entrepreneur – myself included – who hasn’t at one moment or another felt like their work isn’t valuable, they’re not as effective as others in their field, or that they plain-old aren’t really that good at what they do.

    Even the most seasoned practitioner can feel this way every now and again – and that’s because most of us were trained to see every single one of our flaws instead of seeing all of our brilliance and talent.

    The “I suck” energy can get triggered by a less-than-happy client, or a presentation you think you blew, or a non-response from a prospect, or even a tough conversation with your mother that throws you back into your teenage self. And when you’re in the “I suck” energy, it feels super-like you want to crawl under a rock and hide forever. (For myself, when I go to this place, my first thought is — “Let me quit everything right now and become a supermarket clerk! That’s one job I’m pretty sure I can master and do well!”)

    When you get stuck in the “I suck” energy, not only do you doubt your talents and skills, but you also run the risk of undercharging for your services (because you say to yourself “Who would ever pay for my services?”), or hiding yourself by not doing outreach and marketing (because you say to yourself “I don’t want to let other people know how much I suck.”)

    When you’re stuck in “I suck”, you also run the risk of panicking about your sucky-ness when you are working with your clients, which leads to not being fully in your intuition and your brilliance – a self-fulfilling prophecy.

    So, what can you do to pull yourself out of this dangerous mind-set?

    1. Catch yourself in your negative thought vortex

    One of the most effective strategies for leaping out of “I suck” energy is to first actually recognize that you’ve slipped into it! When you slip into feeling like you’re not good enough, it’s almost as if you’re in a swirling vortex of negativity, you become seized by negative thoughts that are so strong that you may not even realize your mind has been taken over by them…and that those thoughts are only a story!

    Getting perspective on the situation, and recognizing that the thoughts you’re having are only thoughts, can help you mentally & emotionally separate yourself from the “I suck” energy and begin to move out of it.

    2. Remind yourself that it’s normal to feel this way

    When you remind yourself that you’re not the only one who experiences the “I suck” energy, and that even the major superstars in your field and others can experience this too (I promise they do, even if they won’t admit it!), it will allow you to be easier on yourself and not hate on yourself for feeling the way you do.

    It may even allow you to have compassion for yourself – and when you step on the road of compassion, it’s much easier to step out of feeling like you’re not good enough.

    3. Focus on your brilliance & pow-wow with your “True Mirrors”

    An incredible antidote to seeing and magnifying your flaws is to make time and space to focus on all the ways you are incredible at what you do. The more you’re connected with your brilliance and talents, the less room your brain has to tell you that you suck.

    I highly recommend making a list of everything you know in your heart you’re really good at, all of your skills and talents.

    I also highly recommend making a list of all of your clients’ positive results as well as reading their testimonials…and really taking it all in.

    Another strategy for connecting with your brilliance is to “pow-wow with your True Mirrors” – what this means is to call a friend or close colleague who knows you and your work well and ask them to remind you of all the ways you are good at what you do. It can be absolutely healing to have someone you know and trust mirror to you what is wonderful about you and your work.

    4. Stop comparing yourself to others

    I’ll address this one more thoroughly in another article – because in my opinion, comparing yourselves to others is one of the absolutely worst things you can do for your confidence and for a healthy business…yet so many folks do this! For now, if you have fallen into the “I suck” energy, I highly, highly recommend getting off Facebook and other people’s newsletters if you’re doing it just to “see” what others out there are doing…and then feeling bad about it!

    5. Do an honest assessment

    A mind that is frazzled and overloaded with “I suck” energy actually welcomes the opportunity to get real and really see what’s working and what’s not working. And no matter what the situation, there are always things that are working really well and things that may not be. Doing an honest assessment truly helps chill out your self-demeaning thoughts because you can rest more calmly in seeing that some things are going well and pinpointing where some deficits are and beginning to find solutions.

    I know in my heart of hearts that you’re amazing at what you do (if you weren’t, then you wouldn’t care so much about being amazing at it!). And what I want most for you is that you know in your heart of hearts how valuable you are.

    So, please come back to these pointers often, and practice loving yourself every day!

    Creating Successful JV Partnerships

    May 23rd, 2014 by Joanna Lindenbaum

    We’ve all heard it: the importance of creating partnerships in your business. And yet, I don’t know about you, but for me, for YEARS, it was a TOTAL mystery on how to create effective, nourishing and supportive Joint Venture partnerships.

    In fact, when I think back to some of my early attempts at creating JVs, I blush a little bit – gosh, there were so many blunders!

    Thank goodness I stuck with it over the years. Now, I love connecting with like-minded colleagues and finding creative ways to promote each other. I’ve taken some of the main points I’ve learned about JVs and am sharing them in this week’s article. Enjoy!

    And – if you want a little laugh – here is a recent silly picture of my family from Mother’s Day!

    With love,
    Joanna

    A Big Week For Me!

    May 16th, 2014 by Joanna Lindenbaum

    This was a big week for me – becoming a mom for a second time has created some deep internal shifts for me, and because of it I made some major decisions about my business and future offerings.

    Don’t worry – I’ll still be here, but in some new and really awesome ways.

    I’m not fully ready to reveal it all to you, but stay tuned – I’ll share everything with you soon!

    For now, I hope you enjoy this week’s article (this one is a MUST READ) – all about how to fill your practice or next program with clients. Take notes!

    With love,
    Joanna

    Happy May!

    May 9th, 2014 by Joanna Lindenbaum

    Happy May! I hope you are enjoying the season!

    I am still on my maternity leave and really enjoying it. I had forgotten what life with a newborn is like, and it’s been so yummy to settle into the intimate moments with a little baby.

    I’m doing things a LOT differently this time around than how I did things with my older daughter, Penina. One of the biggest differences is that I’m letting other people help out, take care of Yael, and most importantly -take care of me. With Penina, I felt like I had to do everything myself, and not only that – that I needed to take care of other people, too. I remember so clearly making sure I had food in the house for guests when they came to visit, scrambling to get to the supermarket with a newborn (& not having time to brush my teeth!). This time around, I’m letting other people bring meals for me (& am just so grateful to family and friends who have been cooking and taking care of us)!

    This all relates to this week’s newsletter articleall about the damage that can happen when you take over-responsibility in your life and business. It’s a very important article and key to creating success in all areas of your life.

    Enjoy!

    With love,
    Joanna

    I Gave Birth Last Week!

    April 25th, 2014 by Joanna Lindenbaum

    The big news in my world is that I finally gave birth last week!

    Yael Shula Polsky arrived on April 16th, and she was a week late…but so well worth waiting for!

    Both “Yael” and “Shula” are family names – after my grandfather and Jon’s grandmother – and I’m so happy to honor them in this way.

    We are getting settled in and enjoying this time. It was a tough labor – 17 hours – and I was reminded that birthing something new can sometimes be very effortful as well as scary, joyful, and everything in between. There were moments during the labor that were so uncomfortable, when I just wanted it to say, “forget this, let’s not have the baby” – not uncommon for any new beginning and particularly when you’re laboring to build your business (not that business is always “labor”, but sometimes it feels like it!).

    Over the next months, I’ll be sharing more birthing wisdom with you. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy this week’s article!

    With love,

    Joanna


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    © 2011 Soulful Coach, Brooklyn, NY
    Joanna Lindenbaum is a life coach, wedding officiant, and inspirational speaker.
    She helps women in the following areas: work/life balance, career change, prosperity,
    time management, creativity, leadership, and spirituality.

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