Um, do you know that I’ve coached hundreds of women since I started offering dream career guidance in 2008? And that these women are freakin’ rock stars, leaving soul-sucking jobs and traveling the world and launching creative, grown-up businesses and simply doing work that fits their lifestyle goals? Well ya do now – and you’ll hear their stories firsthand in my Client Case Studies series! Ashley Hopwood Farrar of Meldrum Design is A FORCE and you are gonna want to know her STAT. She knew that 2019 was the year to level up and step out big time in her business, and she hired me in September to make sure she would greet the new year with a bang! In the 4 months we worked together at the end of last year, she *totally* redid her site (to stellar results), honed in on her offers (hello, saying “no” to the stuff she *could* do but doesn’t serve her), got a whooooooole bunch of press, landed on her rates (that finally match her value), set up spreadsheets to get her finances in order, and moved into her dream home! She told me recently that “I can’t believe how many leads I have coming in!”, but that didn’t surprise me at all. Read on to learn more from this smart Woman of the World on what it looks like to put the pedal to the metal and get out of your comfort zone.
Why did you decide to work with me?
I needed a temporary business partner. A short-term CEO you might say. Running a one-person business can be isolating. I was making some big decisions about growth and needed someone to help steer the ship. Before deciding on your program, I interviewed five other business coaches.
I didn’t think I could afford you but after we met “face-to-face”, I knew I had to find the funds to work with you. You have a stellar reputation and our rapport was amazing. It felt like we were friends from the get-go. I also love the customized program rather than a “standard” process like other coaches mentioned.
What were you doing work-wise when we started working together – and what are you doing now?
My architecture business was four years old and had just relocated to the other side of the country. The past four years had been about using my business to maximize flexibility and allow me to travel. But this year we found a place to settle and I earned my architecture license. It was time to refocus and grow my business.
Now I’m working with better clients on longer projects. Projects that allow me a lot of flexibility but still require a site visit every couple of weeks. I now use my flexibility to to get involved in the community and to get outside with my husband and dog.
What was your biggest takeaway from our work together?
We built a new, kickass website! No more website shame. Hoorah! I hadn’t realized how much that was holding me back from promoting myself. I also have a basic marketing plan and financial projections and feel less anxious about the future.
More importantly, I’m more confident in myself as a business owner and designer. At one point, I was struggling with a rude client and I asked you about it. Your advice really stuck with me, you said, “Conduct yourself in a way that makes you feel proud when you walk away.” I’ve whispered that to myself so many times in the last few months and it makes me feel better in every situation. You helped me doubt myself less.
Think of someone who is currently in the shoes you wore when we first started working together. What advice do you have for her?
Step back and think about what you really want to do with your life. Work takes SO much time and energy, you might as well spend it doing something you’re passionate about.
Figure out the first few obstacles to reach your ideal lifestyle and then consult your “people” and inevitably Google. (Hopefully Michelle is one of your “people” because she helps make things less scary.) Don’t give up on what you want. In the end, only you can make it happen.
Is there anything that’s been a game-changer for you when it comes to your business that you can share? We’d love a good resource or a mindset/productivity tip!
Software decisions were really tough for me. There are so many choices! I research the heck out of it but still ended up switching platforms and software several times in the first couple years. When I land on the right product, it just feels easy. You suggested a combo platform like Dubsado but I have a hard time putting all my eggs in one basket. I’m too scared of price hikes or declining customer service. My favorite (reasonably priced) software platforms are: Freshbooks (accounting), SignNow (e-signatures), Capsule (CRM), Zoom (video chat), Dropbox (file sharing & backup). Google Sheets, Apple Text Edit, iCal, and iPhone Notes are my life.
I figured out my processes then found the best software to make my work more efficient.
What’s on the horizon for your business? We’d love to hear about any upcoming offerings or goals!
Cooler projects with cooler clients! I’m working with intelligent people on fun, creative projects. And they’re small enough projects that I still get to help with all the little details. So if any of your brilliant, lovely clients are looking for a new office space or house. Send them my way… I work on projects all over the country (but I think you knew that). 🙂
Where can we find you and your work?
Want to work with me in a customized one-on-one way, just like Ashley? Sign up here and you’ll get first dibs on my no-obligation applications on March 6th!