If you’ve ever had a dream of growing a business but you’re scared to start, this episode is for you. I know that feeling all too well, and today I am sharing how I moved past it and the incredible growth that I’ve experienced in doing so.
200 Simple Pin Podcast Episodes!
I can hardly believe we have hit the 200th episode of the Simple Pin podcast! I am so blessed by you and by all the amazing guests I’ve had on this show since it started, way back in May of 2016.
I am also really about the guest I have on today’s episode. Leslie Samuel was my very first business coach and the one who convinced me to start this podcast. I was so scared! But it has turned out to be one of my favorite things I do.
Leslie and I chat about a lot in this episode, including what business coaching looks like, how to grow a business, what it means to push through when you’re scared, and how we wrestle through the challenges of being an entrepreneur.
I just have to share a direct quote from Leslie here because it perfectly sums up who he is and what he does:
I love to take people from, ‘Do you really think I can do that?’, to ‘Oh my word! 200 episodes!!
You Can Do It!
Leslie loves working with people because he sees the potential in each person.
We are all full of potential. Unfortunately, we tend to get in our own heads and we convince ourselves that we can’t really do the things we want to do.
We tell ourselves that we actually don’t have what it takes to accomplish our goals and reach our dreams.
In his previous life, Leslie spent time as a biology professor. As he studied the human brain, he was amazed to observe what we are able to accomplish if we simply allow ourselves to move forward.
You truly can do whatever you set your mind to do.
Can You Make Money Online?
I started coaching with Leslie at the end of 2014. As I look back on that time, I remember feeling a ton of fear. I was even afraid to hire a business coach. But a friend of mine had been coached by Leslie and she told me I simply had to do it.
I asked Leslie to think back to that time and he remembers seeing the potential in me.
I already had a small business. I had clients who were paying me every month. It wasn’t huge and I wasn’t making much money, planted the seed to grow something that was viable.
Leslie firmly believes that:
if you’re already making money online, you’re miles ahead of people who are trying to make money online.
So, I had demonstrated that I had the ability to make money online, even though my business was still relatively small.
If you have people who are willing to pay you for something you provide online — whether it’s a service like I was selling or a product — then other people will also be willing to pay you for it.
Reaching Beyond My Comfort Zone
When I first began working with Leslie, I had around seven clients. And I was confused.
I had this group of clients who were paying me but, I had zero idea how to move forward or what to do next. And I had no systems in my business. I was basically flying by the seat of my pants every single day.
And so, the first six months were spent laying some necessary foundations in my business. We worked on systems. And then we worked on growth.
I remember reaching 20 clients, and I decided that was good enough for me and we could stop there. (Oh my goodness, I laugh about this now.) But Leslie wouldn’t let me stop. He kept pushing me to grow.
And when I reached 50 clients, I was really scared and unsure about growing past that.
And again, Leslie challenged me.
If you really want to build your business, you’ve got to go beyond where you are comfortable. — Leslie Samuel
Stay in Your Own Lane
One of the things I really struggled with as Leslie and I worked together was to stop paying attention to other peoples’ businesses. There were others in the Pinterest space who were growing their own businesses as I was growing Simple Pin, but they were using a different business model.
Whereas I was focused on clients, these other people were implementing a teaching model to build their business. And as I watched them launch courses and programs to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars, I started to swerve a little.
I wanted a piece of that action. Or so I thought I did.
But Leslie always steered me back to my own business model. I had a client model and I needed to continue to walk down the path of growth that I was building. I had to stay in my own lane and not look over at what those other folks were doing. Time to put my blinders on!
More Leslie Samuel wisdom:
When we compare ourselves to other people, and we do it too often, we set ourselves up to be disappointed.
What Are Your Goals?
Instead of comparing yourself to others, you have to figure out what your goals are.
When Leslie is coaching someone, he dives into their goals and fleshing out what is behind those goals. Next, he moves onto the thing that’s behind the thing that’s behind those goals!
He often finds that what we are really hoping to accomplish is far beyond the often superficial goals we set for ourselves.
One of my “the things that are behind the things” was my ultimate goal of service. I truly live to serve others. It’s the most important thing in my business and life.
I wasn’t interested in building this business just so I could make a certain amount of money; I wanted to serve more people and help more people who needed my help.
When you really focus on, ultimately, what you are trying to accomplish, then you are able to fully live into what you were created to do.
Why Coaching Is So Important
I get that hiring a business coach is a big decision and one that comes with a cost.
But here’s why I advise most people to do it and why I have continued to work with business coaches, even though I have grown Simple Pin into a much larger business than what it was when I initially hired Leslie:
A coach can see the other side of your business when you can’t.
Leslie could see the potential in, not only my business but in me. After working together for some time, we came to a mutual decision to stop our coaching relationship.
My family was in the middle of our fostering journey and Leslie was also in the middle of some personal stuff, so it made sense for both of us to step back.
And I’ll be honest, I spent the next year floundering, unsure of how to move forward.
I have found that coaching is a necessity for me. I have trouble seeing past the fog that is sometimes right in front of me to view the bigger picture on the other side. I believe that’s the true value of a good business coach.
Leslie has recently hired his own business coach (after quite a long search). What’s the rationale for a business coach to hire a business coach:
I know that if I don’t have someone pushing me, I’ll be just fine staying where I am. But because of the kind of person I am, I want to continue growing. If you’re not growing, you’re dying. And that’s not for me. — Leslie Samuel
Why I Started the Simple Pin Podcast
Let me be clear, I never had any intention of starting a podcast. Not when I started it, or ever. It was literally never on my radar.
What happened was that another Pinterest podcaster was shutting her podcast down and Leslie saw an opening in the space. He knew that because I had been working with clients for quite some time at that point that I had learned a lot about Pinterest.
Leslie was also involved in some high-level social media companies, and he could see that what was being taught about Pinterest wasn’t all there was.
Because of my ultimate desire to serve people, Leslie thought that sharing my expertise through a podcast was a great way for me to begin to give back, which was so important to me.
The podcast also offered me a way to connect with more people, and in a deeper way.
So, there was a prime opportunity wide open, and Leslie felt like I needed to jump on it. Was I convinced?
I went into the podcast kicking and screaming. As a high Fact-Finder on the Kolbe test, I felt the need to know “all the things” about starting a podcast.
I also discovered that building a business is a lot like raising kids: it brings out your greatest gifts and your biggest insecurities all at the same time. And that collision is uncomfortable.
I vividly recall pushing the launch date back multiple times. My husband hated the intro I recorded. I ended up getting Influenza B. And I was so, so worried about “getting it right.”
To be totally honest, I have never gone back and listened to that first SPM episode I recorded. I am slightly horrified at the thought that my writer is going to include a link to that first episode here, but if we can’t laugh at our first podcast episode, what’s the point? 😉
Building Intimacy Through Podcasting
There have been so many amazing benefits from creating this podcast, both for me personally and for my business:
• People hear my voice and connect with me.
• That connection builds trust and has grown our client base.
• Our community has grown.
• I have honed my teaching skills.
• Even in my solo episodes, I feel an intimate connection to my listener.
It’s interesting because I’m not talking to someone face-to-face when I record a podcast, nor am I looking at myself in a screen like I do when I do video, I find myself much more apt to think about the person on the other end than I do when I’m creating a video.
This unique aspect of podcast creation has built what I would call a true “heart connection” between me and my audience.
Sharing with Listeners
A podcast is not only a teaching tool; it’s a way for us to share our lives with others.
You all have walked with my family through our foster parent journey, and you have reached out to share with me your own experiences. That has meant the world to me and to my family. We feel heard, and realize others understand what we have been through.
Leslie shared with me how, so often, when he meets people at conferences, they ask about his kids or his wife. They ask specific questions because they feel as though they know his family through his podcast.
And yet, nobody comes up to him and comments on a post he has written or how much one of his articles helped them.
Podcasts allow you to share yourself with your audience in a way that other mediums don’t.
Is Anybody Listening?
So, here I am at 200 episodes in. And Leslie has recorded nearly 400 episodes of his podcast, Blogging with Leslie.
We must have it all figured out, right? We must be completely secure in our efforts, knowing how many lives we’re impacting, right?
That would be a hard no.
Even at this point, sometimes we still wonder, “Is anybody listening?”
And then, an email will come through and someone will thank us for helping them to relax about whatever they were stressing over that our latest episode addressed.
Or somebody will leave a review on iTunes telling others how helpful our podcast has been for them.
Podcasting doesn’t lend itself to immediate feedback. There is no way to leave a comment on a podcast. (You can leave a comment below though!)
Leslie believes that whoever is listening to this podcast right now has the ability to change the world. And you do that by serving, by helping people. You do that by creating content that can have an impact on someone’s life. It’s amazing what we are able to do when we have focus, and we go for it.
I could not have accomplished what I have accomplished here at Simple Pin without the help of Leslie Samuel. I am so grateful that he could see the other side of my business when I couldn’t, and that he pushed me to keep moving forward.
I’m going to continue to show up and provide value for you, my audience.
And if you’ve listened to this podcast and you think you’re ready for business coaching, go to Become a Blogger and fill out the form. Be sure to mention that you heard Leslie on my podcast!
If Leslie thinks you’re a good candidate for his coaching, he’ll give you a FREE 90-minute coaching session. In this 90 minutes, he’ll do a deep dive into your goals and dreams. Deeper than you can imagine. (Warning: you might cry.)
I hope you’ll take advantage of this amazing offer. I can promise you, you’ll get more out of that 90 minutes with Leslie than you might expect.
And one last thing, if you’ve listened to every single one of these 200 episodes, please email me and let me know! I appreciate you all so much and I hope you’ll continue to stick around for more episodes of the Simple Pin podcast.
For Further Listening/Reading: