Smart Gets Paid Podcast Transcript
You're listening to the smart gets paid podcast with me, Leah Neaderthal. I help women land higher paying clients in their B2B consulting and coaching businesses, but I've never been a sales person. My background is in Corporate Marketing and when I started my first consulting business, I learned pretty quickly that it's about a thousand times harder to sell your own stuff than it is to sell someone else's. So I taught myself how to do it. And I created a sales approach that feels comfortable, makes you feel confident, and it works consistently. And now I teach women how to land higher paying clients in their B2B consulting and coaching businesses. So whether your client contracts are $2,000 or $200,000, if you want to work with more of the clients you love, do more of the work you love and get paid more than you ever imagined. Then you're in the right place. Let's do it together. Welcome to Smart Gets Paid.
Hey, there, Leah here and welcome to this episode. How are you, how are you doing this week? I hope wherever you are, you're having a great week over here. We're finishing up with some birthday celebrations. I mentioned in the last episode that my son just turned two and we had two celebrations for his birthday, one in the middle of the week with my parents who came into town for his birthday that day and the other on the weekend with some aunts and uncles who could come out for the weekend and he had a blast, it was great. And this week I'm going to Chicago for a wedding, and it's actually going to be my first time flying since COVID, since like late February 2020, which is wild because I used to travel all the time. And in fact, traveling is a big topic of the call that you're going to listen in on today, but I'm super excited to go back to Chicago.
You might've heard me mention that I lived there for nine years after college. So 22 to 31, and I have such a soft spot in my heart for Chicago because I mean, those years are some formative years. That's like my twenties. I started my career there. I came out there, I started my first business. So I can't wait to go back for the weekend. And actually, as I was putting this episode together and thinking about Chicago, I remembered that this podcast is actually not the first time I've ever been on air, so to speak. It's something I had totally forgotten about, but it popped into my head as I was putting this episode together. So back in 2008, 2009, somewhere in there, I actually did an interstitial ad for Chicago public radio. It's one of those things they play on public radio to encourage you to donate.
And they played it in the mornings, I think a few times and I actually found it. I went into the Wayback machine, also known as my computer's hard drive and I found it and actually want to play it for you. Alright, ready? Here it goes. My name is Leah Neaderthal and I'm a member of WDEZ. I like listening to WDEZ and I like learning that other people do too. Like if I meet somebody who is a big WDEZ fan or Chicago local radio or this American life, I feel a sense of kinship at that person. They might not have the same views as I do, but we seek information and kind of understand the world in a certain way. And I think that's important. I kind of wish that there would be one day where all WDEZ listeners can wear a yellow shirt or something so that we can walk on the street and just wave and nod.
WDEZ Radio Host (03:27):
Join us by becoming a member triple 8, 9-1-5 WDEZ or Chicago, public radio.org.
So that was it. So listening to it now, it makes me feel, I don't know, it's like a little uncomfortable sort of hearing what I said then, but through the lens of what's going on now. You know, kind of like do you ever look back or watch a movie that you used to love, and then you watch it again. And you're like, wait a minute, that was super racist or misogynistic or whatever. Like when I listened to what I said, then it's like, was I really saying that people who listen to public radio, like we should all show ourselves, I guess like what they call tribalism now? Was I being like tribalistic? I know it was back in 2008, 2009 ish, and things weren't as like, violently polarized as they are now. Where like, you know, if you read the New York Times a good temper in the country thinks you're like a slave to mainstream media or whatever, but I don't know.
I mean, I need to sort of sit with this for a second because it definitely makes me feel a way hearing myself in that clip. So anyway, that was my first on-air thing in Chicago. And Chicago is also where I jumped from when I went into sort of this location, independent lifestyle. I left there in 2010 and I started this year-long trip around the world, backpacking from city to city. And, you know, somewhere between Panama and Colombia, I realized that I actually didn't want a backpack for the whole year, that I loved traveling. And so instead my partner and I slowed down and we started the business, which would allow us to live anywhere. And that's how that first consulting business was born. And we traveled, you know, and ran our businesses for the next few years, which meant that we could do like two months in Buenos Aires.
And we would do three months in Berlin and two months in Southeast Asia. And that was awesome. It's like a great amount of time to just sort of get to know a place. You know, it's like enough time to have a favorite coffee shop or, see a familiar face behind a bar. It was awesome. And the best actually was in Berlin because well, first Berlin is an amazing city. And second, because the time change really worked with our US based clients who are mostly on the west coast. So we would wake up in the morning, have the whole morning to do whatever we wanted, explore the city, just relax, whatever. And then when the west coast started working, which would be around 5:00 PM our time, that's when we'd sit down to our computers. Right. It was great. You know, see why I'm missing travel so much.
So I was thinking about all of this when I was prepping this episode because the woman I'm talking to today, well, let's just say she's making a pretty big change in her life. She is an organizational development consultant and facilitator who's typically worked with large companies and government organizations. And the change that she's about to make, well, I'm not even going to tell you what the life changes because you'll find out in just a minute and I want you to hear her say it, but let's just say it's a big departure from the life that she was living. And she's wondering if it's okay to sort of share that with her clients and talk about it on LinkedIn. And so what you're going to hear is on the surface, it's about what do we say on LinkedIn. But really at its heart, it's about what can we share about ourselves?
So I want to send a special thank you to this client for allowing me to share this conversation with you. Take a listen, and at the end, I'll share a lesson that you can apply to your business. This episode is sponsored by “The One-Hour LinkedIn Profile Power-Up”, my free guide to help you turn your LinkedIn profile into a powerful tool, to get your ideal clients, finding you on LinkedIn, you can get your copy at smartgetspaid.com/profile. So when you're running a B2B consulting coaching or service-based business, your clients are on LinkedIn, but the challenge is how do you actually get them to find you? Well, it starts with your LinkedIn profile, but most business owners, LinkedIn profiles just sort of sit there, not doing anything for their business. Fortunately, there are seven simple steps that you can take to turn your profile into a powerful tool, to get you in front of your ideal clients on LinkedIn and get them coming to you for your expertise. And they only take about an hour. So grab your copy of the One-Hour LinkedIn Profile Power-Up today and start turning your LinkedIn profile into a powerful tool to get your ideal clients coming to you using LinkedIn. Get yours today at smartgetspaid.com/profile.
So I guess my first question is how's it going?
Well? Okay, the answer to that question has got a backstory that I wanted to talk to you about because when I did your webinar for Signed, and you talked about a time where you were traveling and wanting to put your whole business online. The reason I bring that up is I have sold my house and I am going to Barbados on their working remotely visa. So I'm super excited, but I feel like I'm in this space now where I don't know if those are the sort of things that I start sharing. Will that scare clients away, even though we're all working virtually. So I guess I'm in a really confused space right now about where to take the LinkedIn thing, because I'm in such a transition.
Yeah. Well, tell me what prompted this.
Number 1, I'm in Ottawa and I think you can probably relate to this being in New York. The thought of being here in varying degrees of lockdown through the winter months, terrifies me. So first and foremost, I don't want to be here in the winter, I live alone and it's just not an option. Second of all, I'd heard about these visas and the market’s really hot right now in real estate. And so I knew this was like the best time I've ever had to sell a house.
Thirdly, I'd heard of these visas before, but they were originally at the beginning, they were pitched to digital nomads. And I didn't consider myself to be one of those people, but I've done facilitation of groups online. I haven't met a client except to socially go for a walk and talk for seven months. So I am a digital nomad.
Well, it's funny you mentioned that because having been a digital nomad for a few years there, you just have to be location independent, which you are and we all are. But you really hadn't thought about this before COVID.
No, no, honestly like this is going to sound impulsive. I decided literally a month ago to sell my house and move.
Shut the front door. I love it.
I meet Sunday nights for dinner with girlfriends, and they're like, what are you going to do this winter? And I'm like, oh God, I'm gonna die. And they started talking about these visas, the next day I applied. And then I contacted my realtor because I'm not going to go to a country and pay to live somewhere for seven, eight months and maintain a home here. In February, I did think about selling my house, but I would have had to buy one and it's insane to do both. So now they don't need to buy a house, I'm like, yeah, I'm gonna, I'm going to pull the trigger.
Oh my god!
The whole idea of working remotely, I resisted for a long time because I'm a facilitator that usually works in physical space with groups.
But here you are. I mean that, that world is so different now. And oh my gosh, I love that you are doing this. This is going to be so great. You will never regret it. Back in like 2010, you heard I left Chicago, I left my condo. We traveled for what was going to be a year and a half and oh my gosh. And then we kept traveling even after we sort of came back and got a little bit of a home base, but it's going to be the best experience.
I'm a world traveler. I lived in England, I lived in Ireland and I've been to all the continents, except for Antarctica. This is part of who I am. And I've always had to fit it, when I was in the corporate world, I had to fit it into my vacation schedule.
Which is really challenging.
Which is horrible. You count your vacation days every year and you're like, how can I make this work? And the jigsaw puzzle. And then being self-employed, my envision was to more and more, be gone more and more of the winter, but I would leave at like Christmas time, come back at the end of January and just set up all my clients to be like, okay, I'm back in February, let's hit the ground running. But I want to be gone for longer, I don't want to be here in February.
And you certainly don't want to be, you know, in Ottawa and stuck inside.
No, no like this is like the worst case scenario coming up for me.
Well, congratulations on this move. I'm going to want to see lots of pictures. And talk to me about your question, Is this the kind of stuff I can share? Tell me what's behind that question.
So what's behind that question. I have a couple of clients in force right now that I need to, this is a separate issue. I need to figure out how to tell them, or if I need to tell them or what that looks like. We're working virtually, so it's not like they planned for me to come in. And so I guess I don't want it to just pop up in LinkedIn and they're like, oh, you didn't mention that in our meeting last week. But the bigger picture is, I buy into what you've been teaching about people wanting to do business with you. And so show them who you are. This is actually a huge part of who I am, but I don't know how to approach it because it's not it's, it's like some of the things people have been bringing up on the call. It's like, it's kind of related to my business, but it's not really related to my business. Like I literally sold my house the Friday before our Thanksgiving, which is 9th of October. So we're only a week in. And I only had my house up for sale a week. And I only got the realtor a week before I sold, like before I put it on for sale.
Well, so are you worried that talking about it is going to make your clients feel a certain way?
I'm worried that people haven't completely bought into the virtual space and it's going to scare them away.
Okay. There are a couple of ways to sort of think about this. So one of them is, clients that, or companies that haven't bought into the virtual space, I feel like that to me doesn't sound like an option. How can you not buy into the virtual space right now? The vast majority of the world is under some kind of lockdown because of this virus. It is very real, so unless you think it's not real, which some people do, there is no sort of burying your head in the sand about the fact that this is how people work now. The other thing is that even if you don't sort of buy in that this is a long-term thing. I imagine that your clients have sort of been working with you like this for the past, I don't know, seven, eight months at this point, right? How does that look? You're doing zoom, or?
I'll be honest with you on that. I went into the pandemic with a very large contract with an organization who gets the revenues from the airlines. So we know how that ends. And so I would say, I predominantly haven't had work for the last seven months and that's a cross between losing this large contract, and to be honest, not filling my pipeline. I'm just going to rely on this because it is like a government related agency that seemed as stable a contract as doing work for the government. Like, so it's part of the insanity of what happened. Like this is, you know, part of it.
Right, like who could have predicted.
Who could have predicted, right? Like it's crazy. And, part of me going, I'm just, I don't want to work with the government anymore. And because I'm in Ottawa, a lot of my work has been with the government. And so I didn't make the same push to reconnect and I've actually had a couple of government contracts come over my desk and I'm like, I can't do it. When you're talking about the virtual space, I'm describing government clients that I don't even want to work with anymore. I've had a couple of smaller contracts that we entered into in the virtual space saying, Hey, like, we're not going back to the office anytime soon, can you do these facilitations online? And I'm like, yeah. And they were awesome. So there was a common understanding going into it that it was short term and we wouldn't be meeting in person no matter what.
So if it's possible to have gotten these contracts that were virtual to begin with, and it was fine. Is there any reason to believe that there wouldn't be more clients out there that are like that? I mean, especially considering that this seems like it's going to be this way for a while. But even without that, there are so many companies that are fine working with providers, with consultants, with vendors of all types that they never meet. I mean, there are people who've never met their accountant, ever. And so just because this might be sort of new to you in the way you've worked with clients in the past and especially coming out of corporate, it doesn't mean that this isn't already out there even before COVID.
Okay, well. See, this is the other thing that I've come to know the last few months and what I've really kind of faced in Ottawa, it is like super conservative and super old school. And I don't even know, like I love the idea of the pandemic forcing me to find clients. I was tired of this environment.
And so, as I'm speaking out loud and as you're kind of calling back some of the things I'm saying, I'm realizing that this might be the opportunity to be aligned because it's going to reach people outside of the clients I've been trying to avoid.
Exactly. Let's say that you and I had had this conversation, I don't know, a year ago. And you're like, I don't want to work with Ottawa clients, they're so conservative. And I would have said, well go find clients somewhere else. Right. Figure out how to get clients that are in different locations. But that would have probably sounded really defeating, had you not had the system to do that. But now you do have a system to do that. You have the Packer Pipeline System and you have this platform, which can put you in front of anybody. And so then my question to you becomes, well, it's kind of a two part question. How many clients do you think that you could take on at a time?
Oh, well, it depends on the size, but you know, it wouldn't be uncommon for me to have three clients at a time.
Okay. But it's not like a thousand clients.
Oh God, no, no, a lot of my client work is 15, 20, 30 day contracts.
Okay. So three clients at a time, 30 day contracts, let's just sort of play with some numbers. So 3 x 12, 36 clients in a whole year. And let's just say that, you know, because of the work you do with financials, let's just say that your work is only, well, I guess I should ask you, is that more tuned to like Canadian rules? Or can you do your work for people who are doing business at any country?
For people in any country? Cause I'm not getting heavy into their financial risk. And so I don't need to know the tax laws and accounting structures of other countries.
So let's just say in the English speaking world.
Yes, that's my only language.
Okay. So just follow me here on this little exercise. So do you think that there are 36 companies in the entire English speaking world?
Yeah, know that you put it that way. Yes. I, I would imagine there probably is.
Right. So, when you say, you know the companies in Ottawa are super conservative and you feel like, sort of doing the virtual thing will be an uphill battle. I say those aren't your clients, which you have sort of come to as well. But then you have the right and the ability now to get clients that are fine working like this. And if they're not fine working like this, then they're not your client also because you're really only trying to get 36. Right? Is this all sort of marinating?
This is good because being in Ottawa, I have realized I have gone into a mindset because we're so surrounded by government workers. And the thought of possibilities is not an ongoing conversation outside of myself and my close friends. And so I think I need to think more about possibilities and the fact that when you put it that way, I only need 36 clients a year. And I have the entire English speaking world, you know, as my target population, that kind of puts it into perspective.
Right, right. So I think that you have a tremendous opportunity. And the other thing that I think you have the opportunity to do is attract clients, start these conversations really on a place around value. Like what is the value I deliver to your business, irrespective of how I do that? Do I come in and do a two day thing? Do I do it all virtually? It almost doesn't matter.
Right. Because the other thing is the facilitation world is really struggling with this. There is a large part of facilitators that are like virtual just doesn't create the same bonds as face-to-face does in that, and I still believe that, but it's irrelevant for the next year probably whether it does or doesn't.
Right. This is reality.
So back to your original question of, is this something I can talk about this move because is it going to scare off potential clients? How does that question hit you right now?
Well, after the conversation we just had, I realized that my potential clients are virtual. So there's nothing to scare off. I mean the clients I want to work with don't mind working virtually and are in different spaces and times, regardless of where I am.
Exactly. So really to sort of restate the question that you originally had in light of the conversation, the thing we've just gone through, it's like, is this going to scare off the wrong clients? Absolutely. And that's what we want.
So the question that we're answering is can I talk about this online? You know, can I talk about this move and all of this? Absolutely. It's so cool.
Yeah. I mean, it's something I've been sharing personally, right. Because I feel kind of badass.
Yeah. And you should and if something feels like it gives you energy and if something makes you feel powerful and badass, absolutely share that. It should totally come through. You know, you're not going to be like, Hey, look at me, I'm a badass and moving to Barbados. But you can talk about why you decided to do this, how you're doing it, the steps you are taking, what you're looking forward to, what you'll miss. You're essentially living a life right now that a lot of people wish they could. And does it sort of go to what we've been trying to do about positioning you with your expertise, not necessarily, but it certainly makes you memorable. And it certainly makes you somebody who people are going to follow along with and talk about. And that's what we want.
Okay. So it is as good a time as any, I guess you're saying I should get on and start talking about it.
How should I, how would you recommend I balance the home feed posts that I have that are directly related to my business and these ones about me moving and starting a new life.
I'd say for the next month, or so as you do this, I would almost turn this into a series. I would just sort of announce it, I'm doing this thing and for the next few weeks, I'm going to talk about this. But can you use this also as product placement for the type of work that you do and the type of clients you want to work with?
So I think I can. Yeah. And it's considered risk management.
Oh my gosh, there's so much that it just opens up. Like I literally just got chills. You know what, even just on the topic of how could a person whose life is steeped in risk management, take such a risk. Going from sort of that corporate more conservative environment to this being sort of location, independent living in the Caribbean. Right. Like I think it opens up a whole just canon of contents. I think this is so great. Does that help?
It totally helps. Yeah.
So I love this call because there's so much to kind of unpack here, but I want to just pull out one lesson that you can start to apply to your business. So if there is something that you love or you're excited about, or you're super into, or it's a part of your life story that empowers you. Absolutely you should share it because it's what makes you, you. You know, in this world where there's so much noise on the internet, there's so much noise on LinkedIn, just general marketing, sharing who you are really makes you memorable. And if all of business development is being top of mind when clients have a need, then being memorable, you know, being remembered is a necessary step. It's the first step. And remember that even though you have a business and you are selling to businesses that even inside the companies, you're working with, you're working with people and you're selling to people.
And those people have to know you. And like you, not just because you know what you're doing, but they want to work with people they feel comfortable with. And to be comfortable, they have to know you. So you don't have to post like every single thought or feeling on social media. I'm not saying that, but you can share yourself in the context of what you do. Or as you heard us talking about today, you can share what you do in the context of yourself. So another client of mine in her work does some really heady and academic work. And she started talking about what playing live music has taught her about the work she does. And another coach I know is really into World of Warcraft and Star Wars and stuff like that. And she drops little references here and there for me. I'm super into nineties music like nineties alternative and women led music because it is of course the best music.
And I've written about what I learned from finding a hard to find the Pearl jam CD when I was a teenager and what the Beastie Boys third album teaches us about resilience. Which, if you're not familiar with it, that album was called Paul's boutique. It was a cult favorite, but a total commercial failure. Interestingly enough, later on one of my clients told me that that email about the Beastie boys is why she decided to work with me. So if there's something that makes you, you, or shows a piece of yourself, don't hide it, share it. And when you can do that, you can start to attract the people who jive with that.
Hey, thanks for hanging out with me. If you liked this episode, take a second and click the subscribe button wherever you're listening to your podcasts and you'll be notified as soon as I release a new episode. And if you're listening on Apple podcasts I’d so appreciate it if you took two seconds and left a rating or a review. This tells Apple podcasts, hey there's good stuff in here, and they'll recommend it to other listeners who might benefit from these lessons for their business. So please take a second and add a rating or a review. Thanks. So that's it for now. I'll see you next time on this Smart Gets Paid podcast, learn more about Smart Gets Paid programs and coaching Smartgetspaid.com.
Sign up to receive email updates
Enter your name and email address below and I'll send you periodic updates about the podcast.
EP 24: Going Gray as a Business Owner