Why rejection is a good thing when you are growing a small business

As business owner or creative freelancer, you are trying to attract clients, all the time. Some months that happens easily. Other months it’s like pulling teeth. I know it all too well! And sometimes, you are over the moon about attracting a client, only to feel utterly disappointed when they change their mind – or worse, you end up in a conflict. This morning a new copywriting client I recently booked, changed her mind. That doesn’t happen often. In fact, this was a first in a very long time. But this too, is part of running a business. And sometimes, these things are actually not a bad thing at all. Why? I will tell you in this story.

I have always been a coach, without even knowing it

I have only launched my business The Creative Business Coach late 2020. I never thought I would go into coaching, and even thought I couldn’t possibly call myself a coach without qualifications. I knew of other people being coaches, and thought that was a total different world than my own. But looking back at my career, I have always coached people. Helped them start their businesses, apply for grants, grow their audiences. In many of my jobs I have been taking on the role of coach, without being called a coach. Does 20 years of coaching without knowing it, qualify me as a coach?

The journey of entrepreneurship and what to do first when you start a new business

I have just finished a 12-week programme with a lovely client, working 1-to-1 with her on her business goals. She recently set herself up as a life coach for teachers. And although she went through a major transformation, in clarity, mindset and skills, she sign any new clients yet during our work together. So was this a failed coaching programme? No, it wasn’t. Because, although getting more clients and increasing their income is ultimately what my clients want, you cannot expect this to happen when the building blocks are not in place. What did she get out of working with me, then?

How do you create content that gets engagement AND sales?

This is the holy grail, peeps. This is a question I get asks ALL the time. “Nina, I am starting to hate my Facebook group/Instagram account/etc, because I hardly get any engagement and nobody buys from me.” I know, it sometimes feels like pulling teeth, doesn’t it? Hellooooo! Anybody out there? Constantly changing algorithms don’t help. But we cannot always blame the algorithms. There actually is a formula for creating content that will get you results. Not overnight, but using this ‘recipe’, you will see a change in your audience’s behaviour. Let me show you how.

How do you choose the right business coach?

Investing in yourself is never a bad idea. Training, workshops, a retreat, or investing in a coach. And I just did exactly that. I hired a business coach. Wait, what, a coach, hiring…a coach? What is that all about? Shouldn’t I know what I’m doing?! Oh, I definitely know what I’m doing, and I know how to help my clients get results, but… I also have my own business goals and dreams. And I know what working with a coach can do for me. But how do you know which coach to hire? And what should you look out for?

What is the ROI after working with me? Why spend money on a business coach?

Yes, I get it. Spending a few grand on a business coach is not something you do everyday. Most likely, it’s something you’ve never done, or even thought of doing. Because, how do you know what you will get in return? What results will you get after working with a coach for 90 days, or even 6 months? Is it all worth it? Although I can tell you now that no investment is ever a guarantee that you will win the lottery (or double your income), I will explain a little in this post about the ROI, or Return on Investment, my clients have told me they got from working with me.

You were never meant to be normal. So stop keeping yourself small.

What will my ex-colleagues think of me when I post this on LinkedIn? What will my family say when they see me talk about my business on Facebook? What will my friends think of me when I do a Live video? Will they think I am showing off? “Who does she think she is?” Will they laugh at me? Will they talk behind my back? Do you recognise these feelings? Have you ever felt exposed, vulnerable, or not brave enough to post something, because you had the image of your sarcastic uncle John in your head, laughing at your business attempts? You are extraordinary. Start behaving like it.

People who inspired me to become who I am today

We all get influenced by people in our lives, whether family, teachers, colleagues, writers, or even famous people. They may have taught us things, inspired us, were a great example, or made you realise what you wanted to become in life. I was very close to my Dutch grandma, or ‘super oma’ Fenny. On the 4th of July 2021, she would have been 100 years old. If there is anyone who taught me how to be resilient, positive and not take life too serious, it is her. She died 14 years ago. She was a natural at enjoying the little things and making the most of it, no matter what life throws at you.

How do I help people like you in my coaching programmes?

What does it look like to work with me? I work with creative and soulful entrepreneurs in their first few years of business, who are ambitious and want to attract more clients. Previous clients have been artists, life coaches, therapists, photographers, graphic designers, language teachers and musicians. Each client is different, so I always adapt my coaching programme to their individual needs and situation. Weekly 1-hour coaching calls and action lists are standard. What else can you expect?

Some days are hard. Running a business is a marathon.

Running a business is not easy. Whether you are offering online services and programmes, or you are a photographer or designer looking for clients, the competition is fierce, and it is not easy to constantly be seen by your ideal audience. Some days you wonder whether it is all worth it! I go through these wobbles too at times, like every self-employed person. I love my work, and I feel very driven to help other entrepreneurs succeed. But building a business takes time, practice and patience, and when you are a parent as well, life is full on. Today I am going to talk about the importance of doing the inner work.