Do you ever feel like you are white-knuckled, gripping the steering wheel of life, desperate to grow your business?
This isn't the way to move forward.
Actually, you're setting yourself up for a lot of struggle.
What if you stopped for a moment? Took a breath? Envisioned where you want to be in 3 years?
Can you see your life? Your bank account? That new house or that vacation?
Growing your business by putting Faith in the drivers' seat of your life is not only more effective, it's fun!
The strategy I talk about in this week's video (watch it below) is by using a Post-it Note. I simply write the number of students (or clients) that I want on that Post-it Note and hang it where I see it every day. When I focus on where I want to BE (not where I am) then I make decisions in the moment on HOW I will get there. It filters out the unimportant things.
It gives me focus.
It keeps be believing that things can get better and change.
You are in control of your future. You are in control of your choices.
You can choose right now to make a better life for you, your family, your kids.
But you have to see it and believe it, first.
Faith is simply believing in what you can't see. Believing it will (and can!) happen.
"Faith means being sure of the things we hope for and knowing that something is real even if we do not see it." Hebrews 11:1.
Watch the video. Then tell me your thoughts.
Can't wait to hear from you.
Shareable Quote of the Week
We had a fun family day last Friday. The kids had been asking to go rock climbing, so we finally made it happen. They got their equipment, went through orientation, and started climbing.
As Abigail reached the top of her climb (several stories high), I grabbed my camera to document the moment and suppressed the urge to yell, "Be careful! Get down! What if you fall?!?" It took everything in me to trust her, trust her gear, and trust her training.
It made me think of business. How often do we hear, "Be careful! Why are you doing this? What if you fail??"
Well-meaning people (often our closest friends and families) will warn us of danger, when the fact is, they have absolutely no right to be giving advice.
Have they ever started a business? Have they ever succeeded? Have they been in your industry? Do they really know the best advice to give you?
Or are they reflecting their own fear on you?
Out of love, are they concerned for your safety and well-being? Are they holding you back because they are scared you will get hurt?
Be careful who you listen to.
Be careful whose voice you fill your mind with.
Surround yourself with people who encourage you and lift you up. And with those who have traveled the road before you.
Be sure you are listening to (and reading books written by) those who have actually succeeded in business.
There are a lot of well-meaning friends, family members, and even "business coaches" who have never grown a business to profitability.
They mean well. But they are not the voices you should listen to.
Listen to those who will cheer you on.
Those who will say, "You can do it! Keep going! You're almost there!"
Listen to those who have proven strategies and systems. Those who have gone before you.
You don't have to do this alone.
You don't have to kill your dream.
Just be wise with who fills your head and who speaks into your life.
I've listened to the wrong people before. And when I've listened to the right ones, my business has exploded in growth and health.
I want the same for you.
Last Saturday, Lydia competed in a state-wide piano completion and rocked it!! I listened outside of the door and she nailed her piece!
I had soooo many memories of when I used to compete.
The nerves, the adrenaline, the judges.
The measures marked in pencil. The unfamiliar piano and the squeaky bench.
I am SO grateful for the world of music.
It taught me to work hard and persevere. It taught me to push through fear and remain composed.
It taught me to feel fear and do it anyway.
I remember this world oh-so-well.
It’s where I came from.
In many ways, it’s still who I am.
Never forget the road that got you to where you are. ❤️❤️❤️
When I was eager to do ANYTHING to grow my business and I did NOT have enough money for the expensive marketing that I wanted to do, I tried everything possible to get new clients.
I have created a training with real, proven strategies that WORK for local businesses. If you're selling appointments or services, this is for YOU!
Sign up HERE.
The LIVE training is Monday, January 28 at 2:30pm Central Time.
Why watch it live? So you can ask your questions and get the most value!
Need the recording? I'll email it out to those who sign up!
Sign up HERE!
See you there!
"I keep fighting voices in my mind that say I’m not enough
Every single lie that tells me I will never measure up
Am I more than just the sum of every high and every low?
Remind me once again just who I am, because I need to know."
These lyrics from Lauren Daigle's song, "You say" is incredibly powerful and is sweeping radio stations all over the United States.
As a business owner (and musician, writer, and creative person, and. . . um. . .super sensitive?) this song has hit my core.
Why are the voices in my head so harsh and cruel?
I never feel like I'm doing enough.
That I am good enough.
That I'll ever measure up.
I honestly add up my successes and all I see (more often than not) is my short-comings. Where I lack. Where I'm stuck.
I'll tell you something super painful and real. We thought we were 5 students away from hitting the 600 student mark at our music school.
And then we found an accounting error.
Chutes and Ladders. Back down to 550 students. Because a stupid spreadsheet was wrong.
It hit me hard.
Guess what?? We are so full that it is basically mathematically impossible to hit 600 now. We only have 30 primetime slots open.
But instead of being HAPPY about how full we are. . .yep, you guessed it. I was so upset that we won't hit the magical 600 number. I was bummed. I was feeling pretty depressed.
And then I gave my own shoulders the proverbial little shake.
"JEN! Your business is so full that more students can hardly sign up. That is a GOOD THING." Reframe!
I don't know why my inner critic is so harsh.
Maybe it's just how I'm wired (Ahem, Enneagram 1). Or, maybe you hear it too?
Maybe as leaders, achievers, dreamers, do-ers. . .we just have high standards for ourselves?
Maybe you can't relate.
Maybe you can.
But if my story helps *one* person, it will be worth sharing.
I'm still sad that I can't say "we have 600 students." But I can proudly say that we have 550 and that they LOVE their music teachers. And that our front desk staff ROCKS and has my back and is passionate about our mission. I can focus on the GOOD.
And, as Lauren Daigle says,
"Taking all I have and now I'm laying it at Your feet
You have every failure God, and You'll have every victory,
You say I am loved when I can’t feel a thing
You say I am strong when I think I am weak
You say I am held when I am falling short
When I don’t belong, oh You say that I am Yours
And I believe, oh I believe
What You say of me. . .
I hope you believe in yourself, too.
Focus, Strategy, Support
Running a business can be so lonely.
Being a leader is isolating sometimes.
You don't have to do this life alone.
Come join us in the Never Alone Inner Circle. You'll get so much more than business strategy. You'll get personalized support for your business. Plus a group of amazing, encouraging friends who get what you're going through.
I'd love to have you join.
I'm praying you will.
>>Join here: https://www.neveralonebusinessservices.com/join.html
I was supposed to be walking out the door. Instead, I slumped to the ground, my back against the door of the bathroom. The door was firmly locked and I could hear my kids scrambling to find their shoes and backpacks and lunches. Tears dripped down my face.
I was at a breaking point. How could I go on like this?
So much swirling in my brain. So many different areas of life to juggle and now it felt like all those balls had fallen the floor. I had dropped them all.
How on earth was I supposed to do everything? How could I keep up with the intensity of raising 4 little kids and also grow my little company? My whole life felt like one step forward, two steps back. I could never get ahead.
On the bathroom floor, I cried out desperately to God for help. "You have to help me figure this out!" Choking out a sob, I let the tears flow. I had to release all the emotions that threatened to strangle me. After a few minutes on my knees, I wiped away my tears, checked my makeup in the mirror, and bravely walked out into the chaos of the entryway. "Time to go!" my voice sang in a false bravado. As I drove, I gripped the steering wheel and continued to pray for answers. "I can't keep living like this," I muttered under my breath. "You have to help me."
Change doesn't come immediately. It's like the changing of the fall colors--you see glimpses, but it's a slow process. Little by little, I started to turn the ship around. I got a steady babysitter to come once a week so I could work ON my business, and not just IN it. I focused on marketing and advertising--so I could get more clients in the door. I spent hours and hours selecting the right staff members that I could trust and train to take tasks off my plate. I put firm boundaries in place and gently said "no" to activities and phone calls so I could focus what I should be doing. (I even emailed my family and closest friends and let them know my schedule--so they could help me stick to it!) I assigned tasks to specific days. Monday was clean the house day and spend time with the kids. Tuesday was staff meeting and client work. Wednesday was dedicated to working on marketing and my website. Thursday was meetings and getting big tasks done to move my business forward. Friday was family day.
Slowly my life transformed. I saw glimmers of hope. I didn't feel so stressed. I made a choice to be fully present with my children and fully engaged in work when the allotted time for work came around. As a result, my company grew. My children were happier. I was more at peace. (And when work ideas popped into my head while I was with my kids, I just jotted them down and saved it for later.)
I committed to dating my spouse regularly. We made it a priority to have a meal together and hang out and laugh and talk one-on-one at least once a week. Joy crept back into my life.
That breaking point was 5 years ago. I'll never forget that day in the bathroom. Something shifted inside of me and I brought my business to God like never before. He was faithful to give me ideas and tools and wisdom and guidance. Every day I still have to come to Him for help. There's no way I can do this on my own. I need coaches and friends and books, and I never stop learning.
If you're feeling completely alone and overwhelmed, reach out for help.
We can help you with your marketing and systems and time management. You can join our Inner Circle coaching program and finally move forward out of this mess. Simply making the decision that something has to change can shift your life in a way you never knew was possible. Just reply to this or click here (https://www.neveralonebusinessservices.com/get-to-know-you.html) to set up a time to talk. Together, we'll figure out a plan. You don't have to travel this road alone--there are others who want to encourage and help you.
You really don't have to do it all alone. Let's talk soon. ((hugs))
Shareable Quote of the Week:
This month in the Inner Circle, we are learning the dos and don'ts of Facebook and also focusing on advanced concepts, like using Facebook groups, Facebook Live videos, and how to get more engagement (comments, likes, and shares)! I'm sharing my own personal success and how Facebook is working for me. (YOU can have the same results!)
Here are a couple action steps YOU can take for your business. For more support, jump into our Inner Circle!
Do not use Facebook only for advertising!
If you never, ever get likes, do not keep doing what you are doing (it’s not working)
Don’t be super salesy in the comments.
Go live and talk about 1 topic you know a lot about.
Show “behind the scenes” photos of your business.
Share a business story of how you got here!
I am closing the doors of the Inner Circle on January 31st. The doors will be closed until Spring. Now is your chance to get focus, strategy, and support with people who GET you and GET what it's like to run a business.
If you've been on the fence, jump in now. . .you don't have to walk this road alone. xoxox
This week's video is a heartfelt message from my heart to yours.
Take some time to watch it.
I'm rooting for you.
You can still jump into The Journal Challenge! We have a great group of people who are streteching themselves to grow their business in a different way-- by processing through journaling. Even if you're slightly resistant to journaling, just try it! It doesn't take much time each day and it's totally fine to jump in. You're not "behind" at all.
Join us HERE.
Today is our 2019 Planning Day! Take a guided tour through goal-setting and centering yourself to make a plan for the year. Let's focus on what really matters and where your focus should be. FREE for members of the Inner Circle and for anyone in the Journal Challenge!
(Check your email for instructions on how to join us.)
Not sure if Facebook is working? Need a better strategy? Want to use Instagram--but not sure how? The Never Alone Inner Circle is the place to be for all your questions about online marketing. Get the newest information and strategy in our monthly trainings. Ask all your pressing questions on our monthly Strategy Zoom calls.
NEW: Refer a business friend and get one month free! Just tell them to mention your name when they enroll, and after 30 days, YOU will get a free month credited to your account!
For more information about The Never Alone Inner Circle, go HERE.
I'm sitting in a quiet, dark house, and I'm reflecting on the last year. On the last several years. My kids are still sleeping (thank you, Lord, that teens and pre-teens love to sleep!) and the tree is still decorated and is the only light in the room. The fireplace is on, because it's only 30 degrees outside. We just got fresh snow last night, so occasionally I hear the snowplows driving by, clearing the roads so life can continue today.
This year was a big one for our family. We bought our dream home, out of the cities, on a cul-de-sac and surrounded by trees and walking paths. It's been a long, long journey to get here, and I'm so grateful that we finally own the home we live in (we've been renting for the last 5 years while our business was growing). We put a lot of money and sweat into this home, to make it our own, and I'm so grateful to celebrate our first Christmas here, surrounded by my kids and extended family.
In just a couple years, our business has doubled. I've always had big dreams, but when they come true, it's a little stunning. The building years are so hard and long and tiring. But when the fruit of the harvest comes, it's exhilarating.
Maybe you're still building. Pushing. Dreaming. Believing. Efforting.
Don't give up.
If I could go back 5 years and have a little chat with myself, I would pour a cup of coffee and lean in and tell myself, "It's going to be hard. You're going to want to quit. Don't. Do not give up. Keep pressing in and learning and researching and growing. Keep the faith. Keep believing. Keep hiring the right people. Keep putting one foot in front of the other. And when it gets dark, keep going. It's just a tunnel. You can't even believe what is on the other side."
5 years ago Chris quit his job to come work with me on our company full time. It was probably a little premature, but we were used to things being tight. We were fluent in clipping coupons and freezing the spending. And with two of us working on the marketing and hiring and systems, we got a lot done in a very short period of time! We started Never Alone Business Services, alongside our music school, and both grew little by little. Our secret sauce is definitely a combination of marketing, systems, and hiring the right people. It's the fertile soil that allows everything to grow.
And here we are, 5 years later, and even though we have doubled, everything is actually so much easier. We have a rock star team in place, our systems are solid and predictable, and Chris and I have grown so much as a couple and as business owners.
As we look ahead to 2019 and all the lives we want to influence, we have a new perspective. We've been on this road long enough that we know it won't be easy. But we definitely know it will be worth it. We are chatting and praying and dreaming about what is next. And I'm so excited for what is to come.
Mark Your Calendar!
January 7th is our Never Alone planning day! If you are a member of the Inner Circle or on managed services, clear your calendar and join us for a 2019 planning day! Clear your day and clear your head. Come on a guided tour of writing down your goals and plans for the New Year
The Journal Challenge is Coming!
For 30 years I have been faithfully journaling. It's been a huge source of clarity and success for me. If you're ready to take your leadership and business success to the next level, then join us for the Journal Challenge. Sign up here. You'll get daily writing prompts, subject starters and a how-to guide. It's a fabulous way to start your new year out right. Every time you post in the FB group and participate in the challenges, you'll be entered into a drawing for 3 months free in the Inner Circle! $300 value! Woot!
Need a new website or to super-charge your marketing?
My January calendar is open and we are ready for you! Schedule a call to discuss a website refresh or to set up Google Ads, Facebook Ads, or Successful SEO. Our team is ready to help your business grow! We are simply obsessed with your success.
Book a call here:
No matter what is happening this time of year, there's one thing more important than anything else: family.
This month has been hard for my extended family. (You'll have to watch this week's video for the whole story.) But one message I've gotten through it all is how much family matters.
You are probably up to your eyeballs in Christmas prep, end-of-the-year business stuff, wrapping up 2018, and getting ready to start 2019. I get it. But can you pause for a bit? Can you take a break? Can you shut down the computer and make some cookies? Make some memories? Be really present for your kids, spouse, and friends? Because, really, isn't that what matters?
Coming up on Monday, January 7th, I'm doing something new. I'm hosting a Planning and Strategy day via Zoom. For 3 hours, we are going to clear space to make plans for the New Year. I'll give out handouts and direct the time to help you map out what you are going to accomplish and how you're going to get there. This is free for all Inner Circle Members and anyone on Managed Services (SEO, Google Ads management and FB ads management). Check your email for the invitation to join us!
Here's the thing: knowing that this planning day is coming will help you release all the stress and tension in your brain right now. Just file it away. We'll take some focused time (doesn't that sound lovely?) to make a plan for the New Year. So let's focus on the Christmas season, shall we? Work will always be there. Our family needs us now.
Simple ways to make more time for family during this season:
1. Buy a new puzzle. Set it up on a table and let people work on it throughout the day.
2. Watch old movies that bring back fond memories of years past.
3. Decorate sugar cookies (it's okay to buy the refrigerated dough!)
4. Turn on the "Christmas Traditional Radio" on Pandora. Another favorite of mine is "Michael W. Smith (Holiday) Radio"--wonderful orchestral arrangements!
5. Turn off all the lights and just gaze at your Christmas tree.
6. Eat pizza on a quilt in the family room.
7. Go on a walk after the sun sets. Listen to the stillness.
8. Make Chex Mix. Add M&M's.
9. Diffuse "Christmas Spirit" by Young Living oils. Let the scent become part of your traditions. Whenever you smell it, let the memories come floodig back.
10. Enjoy the Christmas mess. The years fly by so quickly and soon it will all be gone.
More ideas? Send them to me. I'd love to hear!
Congratulations, James Zeck on publishing your website! We’re excited for you!!
Welcome, new Facebook management clients! We are thrilled to help you get new clients from FB this coming year!
Congrats to our clients who are crushing the competition and dominating the online space on page 1 of Google!
We have more Happy Kids, Growing Biz books available! Order yours (and the acccomanying workbook) HERE.
I'm on a journey.
I'm challenging myself to feel the fear and go for it anyway.
Some of the things I'm going for are big and some aren't a big deal to other people. But I won't let fear stop me. If there is something I really want to do (or feel I am supposed to do, like a nudge from God) I'm going to do it.
This week, I recorded a video for you to tell you about the first time I've ever colored my hair. I know, for some of you, this is totally silly. But I've never ever highlighted or colored my hair, and for some reason (control freak maybe??) it was a really big deal!
The day turned out really funny (you'll have to watch the video to see why) and all is well with my hair color (you can hardly tell any difference, but I really like it!) but the bigger lesson is to feel the fear and go for it anyway.
2019 is just around the corner and I want to do some big things.
I'd love to hear about YOUR 2019 goals. What are you cooking up? What are you dreaming about? And are your goals so big they scare you? I hope so. =)
The process of being scared and doing it anyway is so incredibly exhilarating.
Let's do it together this year.
"You're so black and white."
"You're so quiet."
"You're such a procrastinator!"
Ever heard these labels spoken by friends or family?
We are all uniquely wired by the Creator and no one is like another. And yet, there are certain personality traits that stand out and motivations that certain people have in common.
Last 4th of July, my entire family was sitting on my deck, enjoying the day, and my brother Erik confessed he was obsessed with the personality typing of the Enneagram. I had never heard of it, and was still figuring out Myers Briggs, and since every description was a number, I was fairly uninterested in learning yet another typing method. However, throughout the year, more and more people have been talking about Enneagram and it's piqued my interest. I started Googling a few articles and images and then I was REALLY intrigued. This month, in our Inner Circle, we are discussing the Kolbe, which is GREAT for identifying the right people to hire in your organization. But the Enneagram is different. This is another layer of what we are motivated by.
I listened to the Storybrand podcast about Enneagram last week (super good--I highly recommend you check it out!) and decided to buy the book, "The Road Back to You." On the plane and back to Stamford this week, I've devoured the book. It's opened my eyes so much and given me fresh insight into myself, my kids, my husband, and my extended family members.
If you've ever clashed with your spouse or team members and cannot figure out WHY you feel like you're approaching things from two vastly different perspectives, maybe the Enneagram will open up some great conversation.
What does the Enneagram do for you?
1. Uncovers the uniqueness of each individual.
2. Does not hold a person back, but offers insight into the journey of life.
3. Connects us to ourselves so we can be free of old baggage and grow into a more mature version of ourselves.
As leaders, if we are always growing, then our company can grow. If we remain stuck in old patterns and old hurts, we will ultimately keep repeating our same mistakes over and over. Especially as creative business owners, the hurt can run deep and we can feel like no one understands us. Sometimes we hire very left-brained, logical team members (or marry them!) and the differences can seem unsurmountable. Dare I say that Enneagram can save marriages? It's true. When we truly understand where our spouse is coming from, it will release us from feeling like they are against us, but rather just coming from a different perspective.
Interested in learning more about Enneagram alongside me?
1. First, listen to these two podcasts (especially good for leaders!)
2. Next, check out this book:
3. For extra fun, google your Enneagram type and click "images." Explore the amazing images and graphics out there to unlock more intricacies about yourself, your spouse, and your team!
I know you're super busy this time of year, but maybe when things settle down, you have have a little time for brain candy and you can explore the Enneagram more. If you already know your type, let me know your number! I'd love to hear your insights!
A couple free tests to figure out YOUR type:
I haven't found a test I LOVE yet (let me know if you have one you recommend) but instead, I've gotten the best information while learning about each type on the podcast and through the book, "The Road Back to You."
I know, I know, all these tests can seem overwhelming or even pointless sometimes, but knowing yourself and being dedicated to self-growth and self-development is the secret sauce of every successful person. If you're serious about growing your company, then grow yourself. You'll get through obstacles much easier if you know where they are coming from!
Congrats to Colorado Music School! They published their site and they are rockin' and rollin'!
Welcome to our 23 new Inner Circle Members! We are so glad you've joined us!
Not in the Inner Circle yet? Save $100 per month!
Quick, join before the price goes up for new members on January 1.
Lock in your rate of $97/month now before the price goes up to $197/month.
When my third receptionist quit on me suddenly, I was face-to-face with the possibility that I was on the wrong track.
I was supposed to be walking out the door with my kids to go to our homeschool co-op and instead, I was reading an email that said, "Sorry, but I got a better job offer. Next week is my last week." My breath caught in my throat and I eeked out, "Get your shoes on, kids" and shut and locked the bathroom door. I fell to my knees and started sobbing.
"I can't do this anymore! God...help me..."
It was a half sob, half prayer, and mostly desperation.
This was the final straw. I was SO stressed out and unsure that I was even on the right track anymore.
Was I really supposed to be growing a company while my kids still so desperately needed me?
Should I really be trying to hire staff that continually let me down and left me in a lurch?
Did I have ANY clue what I was doing?
Should I shut it all down and just start over when my kids were older?
I stopped all my thoughts and prayed. "God, you HAVE TO take over. I cannot do this. I need you."
I had a commercial lease signed, a building, students who needed me, and teachers who were counting on me. I couldn't quit. I just couldn't.
I dried my tears, put my shoulders back, and faked a calm I did not feel because I had to get my kids in the van.
How do you know if you're on the right track?
The questions swirling in your mind will terrorize you. I have been there so many times.
Running a company is easier than all of this questioning and confusion, in my opinion.
One you have absolute clarity with the direction you are headed, it's actually quite easy to soldier on.
But the doubt? The confusion? The pain? That will suck you under.
I made it through that day. And another. And soon I figured out how to hire the RIGHT people. The dream team. The staff that wouldn't give 6 weeks notice and then just not show up the next day (just to spite me). The employees that have MY back and who will do anything to keep this machine rolling along.
If you are questioning if you are on the right track...if you are really qualified to even run this business...if this is really the right time for your family, then you need focus, strategy, and support.
If you just can't figure out how to hire the RIGHT staff who will support you (and not make your life harder than it is right now), you need our Inner Circle. This month's focus is on hiring the RIGHT people. I've discovered tools and tricks for the entire interview process (I've been hiring people for 20 years!) and I'm going to lay them all out for you. It does NOT have to be guesswork and luck (in fact, that's exactly what it cannot be).
(And when you commit to yourself and your business for 1 year in our Inner Circle, you'll get a 1 hour strategy session with me. You'll end our session with clarity and direction. I promise.)
I know December is crazy. I know you have a million things to do.
But if you don't prioritize YOU, then who will? You will continue to do all the things for all the people and YOUR dreams will continue to be pushed to the bottom of the To Do list (I know because I've been there. And it actually sent me into depression. But that's a story for another day).
Turn on those Christmas tree lights. Grab a blanket and your laptop. Instead of Netflix, let's binge watch videos in the Inner Circle. I've given you all my best tools to help you get out of the spin and overwhelm.
2019 can be your best year yet.
But first you need clarity.
And that can be found in the Never Alone Inner Circle. Just come join us.
You don't have to do life alone. You don't have to keep pushing through.
Take the first step. Then keep prioritizing YOU.
If God has called you to this mission, HE will give you the next steps. HE will lead and guide. Just ask.
Afterall, this isn't about you at all. It's about the people you are leading and serving.
And they need you to fulfill your calling.
For a couple weeks, I've been trying to get up the nerve to read the first chapter of my book, "Happy Kids, Growing Biz," out loud on Facebook Live.
I knew I was supposed to do it.
But it was scaring the crap out of me.
It felt so vulnerable. To read my story from my writing out loud online? Seemed like a crazy idea.
But I knew I was supposed to do it. So I did.
The response was better than I even anticipated. Did you get a chance to watch it? You can catch the replay HERE.
And if you know someone who needs this story? This hope? This message? Would you share it with them? You can tag them or share it to your timeline or even share in Messenger.
Hope is contagious. Let's spread it.
Join us in the Inner Circle. The price is just $97 per month but it goes up to $197 on January 1. So grab your seat and let's get you on the path of clarity.
If God's called you, He will equip you. Just follow His lead.
Join here>>>>>> The Inner Circle Program
Hi, I'm Jen Hickle!
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