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how to book your first client

When you’re first starting out, it can be super scary trying to figure out how to get your first paying client, right?

I mean, do you just randomly email some friends and let them know you have a business? Do you hang up flyer around town and wait at home hoping someone will call?

When I first started Your Super Awesome Life, I knew I wanted to be a coach, but I had no idea how to actually get someone to pay me.

But over the past two years, through trial-and-error, I figured it out that it’s actually a pretty simple process. And since I don’t want to keep you in the dark, here are 5 steps to make it happen, easy as pie.

How to Get Your First Client

1. Find your sweet spot

Your sweet spot is the intersection of your passions, your natural talents, and what people will pay you to do.

When you find your sweet spot helps set you apart from the competition and everything else begins to fall into place. Yesssss.

So, what makes you so excited you can’t stand it? What comes so easily to you that it doesn’t feel like work at all? What would your dream client absolutely love to pay you for?

2. Meet your dream client

Once you know who your dream client is, you’ll be able to cook up the perfect offer to match your their needs. To figure out who this lucky person is, answer these questions:

  • How old is she?
  • Is she married or single?
  • Where does she live?
  • What does she do for a living?
  • What does she do on Saturday afternoon?
  • What does she do on Monday morning?
  • What story is she constantly telling herself about her life, her struggles, her fears?

3. Do your homework

Once you know who you want to work with, it’s time to figure out how you can help them. Make a list of 10 potential dream clients you know and ask them these questions:

  • What are your biggest fears in terms of __________?
  • What are your biggest goals?
  • What are your biggest frustrations?
  • What kind of solution would you pull out your credit card for right now?
  • What would prevent you from buying right now?

4. Create your offer

Now that you’ve chatted with your potential dream clients, you’ll have a clear idea of what they’re looking for and how you can help. It’s time to put together an irresistible offer.

Here are three steps to make this super simple:

  • The most urgent problem my dream client has is ________________.
  • I can solve this problem in [X days/weeks/months].
  • The main steps I will take my dream client through are…

5. Put it out there

So far you’ve figured out your sweet spot, identified your dream client, did your homework, and created your offer. Now let’s get that baby out into the world!

Think of a few places where your dream client is already hanging out and get your booty out there.

You could book speaking gigs, lock in a few guest blogging opportunities, or host a free call or webinar. The possibilities are almost endless. Think about what your dream client would like the best and then make it happen.

The most important thing is to be yourself + deliver an awesome value. If you’re generous with what you share from the get-go, your dream clients will be hooked and begging to work with you.

You’ll book your first client and then you’ll be unstoppable. Huzzah!

P.S. If you loved this post and want to more about how to grow you business, I’m hosting a free training on Thursday, 4/24, and I’d love for you come!

You can grab your place here

Plus, 1 lucky person on the call will win a 30 minute Business Breakthrough Session with me  ($100 value), so you don’t wanna miss it!

[photo credit: hownowdesign]


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3 ways to move through fear

I’ve got a question for you.

If you were to meet the 5 year old version of yourself (assuming time travel has been invented) and they were telling you how scared they were to go to recess with the “big kids”, what would you say?

“Yeah, that is really scary. Those kids could be super mean and pick on you. Or they could ignore you and you’d look like such a loser. That’d be so embarrassing. You probably shouldn’t go to recess at all!”

Or would you say something like this?: “Oh honey, I know how scared you feel right now. I remember when I was in kindergarten and the older kids seemed so big. But you know what, you’re super fun and really funny. They’d be lucky to have a friend like you! Let’s go out there and see what’s it’s like. I’ll be right here if anything happens.”

Probably the second one, right?

Now, you’re probably wondering what this has to do with YOUR business.

Well, it’s a great example of what to remember when you’re feeling insecure, scared, or like you’re “not good enough”.

Instead of continuing to listen to those negative voices in our heads, we can train ourselves to stop believing everything they say as the truth. (I know you’ve done this!  And to be completely honest, I have too!)

The problem is, most of the time, when we’re feeling scared, we talk to ourselves with such a harsh and critical tone, just like the first example.

But if we can imagine that scared part of ourselves as the 5 year old version of ourselves, we automatically switch into a kinder, gentler tone. We allow space for mistakes to happen and we’re coming from a place of love.

Once I made this switch in my own life, the results were amazing.

I was able to move through my fear, take more risks, and finally get my business off the ground.

So, I’d love to share what I’ve learned with you so you can benefit too. Sound good? Here are my top tips for moving through your fear so you can go after your dreams!

My Top 3 Tips to Move Through Fear

1. Get crystal clear on what you’re actually afraid of.

Sometimes we don’t even know what’s holding us back. Is it the fear of failure? Not feeling like we’re good enough? Not knowing the next step to take? Once you know what you’re afraid of, you can create a plan to move forward.

2. Uncover the core of your fear.

Where is it coming from? Most of our fears are rooted in a deeper experience, usually from our childhood. Can you figure out where and when this fear began?

3. Personify your fear. (This one is my favorite!)

If your fear was a person, animal, or creature, what would they look like? Mine looks like Voldemort! Giving our fear a face helps to externalize it, so that voice is no longer coming from inside of us.

Remember… you’ve got this and you are meant to do BIG things!

If you loved these tips for moving through your fear and you want to…

  • Gain the confidence you need to get your business off the ground

  • Own your expertise so you can attract more dream clients

  • Double your income, help more people, and live your own version of a super awesome life…

… then you’re invited to my brand new training! It’ll be a fun, interactive, live-streamed video chat next Thursday and I’d LOVE for you to be there.

Backstage Pass

Backstage Pass: How to Double Your Income in 6 Months
Thursday April 24th
5pm PT // 7pm CT // 8pm ET

Plus, 1 lucky person on the call will win a 30 minute Business Breakthrough Session with me!  ($100 value).

You can grab your place here. You know you wanna come!

Now it’s YOUR turn to live a super awesome life! Join us a week from today and finally learn what it takes to double your income in a way that really works for you.

I’ll “see” you soon! 

[photo credit: roseannadana]



Does your internal monologue sound like this?

I can’t start my business right now because my job takes up all my free time.

Or, “I can’t raise my rates because I’m just starting out. There’s no way anyone would pay me more.

Or (my favorite), “I can’t create my dream business because there are already so many people doing the same thing!”

I know the feeling because it’s exactly what I felt when I was starting Your Super Awesome Life two years ago.

Did you know that most people have a well-written story about why they can’t start their own business, why they can’t take it to the next level, and why they can’t double their income doing what they want?

It’s true. I hear it in my clients all the time. But deep down, what they’re really saying is, they’re scared.

They’re afraid that if they take this leap, they might fail.

They’re thinking, “What if I go after this big dream and find out that I’m not good enough?”

When I was first starting out, I was almost paralyzed by fear. I was terrified of pouring my heart and soul into Your Super Awesome Life and having it fall apart before my eyes.

But then I realized that my biggest fear wasn’t that I might fail.

My biggest fear was not following my dream, not starting this business, and not living my life on my own terms.

Creating a business I loved that supported the lifestyle and freedom I wanted was my #1 priority.

Isn’t that what you want too? Isn’t that more important that your fear?

You know, people have been asking when I’m going to create a business coaching group because they want to know how I created this freedom-based lifestyle…  So this year I decided to make it happen.

I am opening the doors to The Freedom Factory and personally investing 6 months of my life with a fierce group of women entrepreneurs who want THIS to be the year they finally create a business that allows them the freedom they’ve been craving.

This will be 6 months of business strategies, group accountability, and life-changing business growth.

If you’ve been wanting my help to move past your fears, get your business off the ground, double your income, and finally start living your freedom-based lifestyle, then stay tuned to hear more.

Even though there’s only space for a small group inside The Freedom Factory, I obviously want to share my tips and strategies with as many people as possible.

So I’m going to share my BEST secrets on how to create your own successful freedom-based business in a free video training on April 24th!

Backstage Pass: How to Double Your Income in 6 Months
Thursday, April 24th
5pm PT // 7pm CT // 8pm ET

This will be a super fun video training where you’ll get to connect with me in real time AND chat with other super awesome ladies from around the world. How fun!.

Plus, 1 lucky person on the call will win a 30 minute Business Breakthrough Session with me!  ($100 value).

You can sign up to receive the call details here:

Be sure to mark your calendars, lovelies, because I know doubling your income could make 2014 the year where everything changes, for sure.

PS: Want to know exactly what I’ll be covering on this call? Here’s what you’ll learn…

  • The 3 biggest roadblocks that held me back + how I overcame them

  • The unexpected reason why your successful business is still just a dream and NOT your reality

  • A powerful exercise to help you transform that negative voice that tells you you’re not good enough

  • The #1 thing you need to know to double your income, help more people, and live your own version of a super awesome life

  • PLUS… Hear about Ashley’s game-changing 6-month VIP program, The Freedom Factory

Go here to sign up TODAY!




Hello, lovelies! If you’ve ever dealt with criticism from some older peeps, this post is for you. My friend, Kayla Matthews, from Productivity Theory has some super helpful tips to share with you on how to navigate that negativity and skepticism, so keep reading!

how to handle criticism

Hooray! You landed a sweet job and you’re super excited about being one of the up-and-coming professionals in your career field! Your superiors, however, might be a bit skeptical of you. You use all those fancy tech gadgets and know the exact definition of a #hashtag. They do not. Don’t sweat their less-than warm welcome of you, though.

If you’re dealing with a tough crowd at work, you can at least take comfort in knowing you’re not alone. Almost everyone, at some point in time, has to deal with criticism from others. And while you can never control how other people are going to act around you, you can control how you react to their behavior.

Here are a few tips to help you manage skeptical opinions and criticism from your older coworkers:

1. Accept it For What It’s Worth

So your coworkers think you’re nothing more than a fresh-out-of-college kid. So what? Use this as an opportunity to prove just how professional you really are. Take it as a chance to reflect on what you’re doing well and what could be improved. Spend some time conducting an honest assessment of yourself and your work. We should always be trying to better ourselves and if you can channel criticism into an opportunity to improve, then at least some good will come out of it.

2. Kill Them with Kindness

If you’re dealing with someone who is constantly bitter and hateful towards you, consider taking the classic approach of killing them with kindness. This will probably make them feel bad for ever being rude to you in the first place, and if not, at the very least, you can feel good knowing you did the right thing by treating them kindly. Not to mention, you’ll be the more mature one even though you’re actually younger.

3. Stay Focused on What Matters

No matter what reason your coworkers have for treating you with criticism or skepticism, don’t let it distract you from focusing on what’s important. You got hired because your boss probably likes your work ethic, past experiences, and fabulous personality, right? Then don’t let your coworkers get to you! Just be yourself and keep doing your job to the best of your ability. If you’re the manager of the integrated marketing solutions department, dealing with employees who criticize every decision you make can’t get in the way of your work. Don’t let it distract you from your main mission of delivering results for your clients. This will only make you look like a newbie and give your critics more to complain about.

4. Be Open to Feedback

You should be receptive to feedback you get from others, even if it comes off as critical or a little harsh. Take it with a grain of salt, realizing that it’s human nature to have opinions and you will never be able to make everyone happy. Rather than just getting angry, you can remain open to the feedback you’re getting from your coworkers, and acknowledge it with sincerity. This might soften their mood toward you because you’ll be treating them with respect and, at the very least, it gives you some constructive criticism to work off of.

5. Don’t Feel Threatened

The older people in your business bring their own experiences, beliefs, backgrounds and personalities to the table, meaning you will not necessarily agree on every issue that arises. Just because someone doesn’t agree with you and voices his or her disagreement doesn’t mean you should feel threatened. Be grateful for the perspective this person offers but feel free to add in your own perspective as well.

6. Realize That They Might Be the Ones Who Feel Threatened

Oftentimes, when older professionals are critical or overly skeptical of young professional in their industry, it’s because they are actually threatened by you. You graduated from college very recently and so are likely to be much more up-to-date with the latest industry protocols, especially if the company you work for hasn’t implemented all of those practices yet. You’ll look like a pro at using the latest software programs, marketing tools, and smartphone apps, while some of you coworkers may still be trying to figure out what Google Docs is all about. Realize that you have the upper hand, and let your coworkers know that you aren’t trying to steal their salary away from them.

If you’re still struggling with criticism, remember that no one can make everyone happy 100 percent of the time. If that becomes your goal, you will quickly drive yourself crazy. Instead, focus on always doing the right thing, making decisions that are fair and ethical and controlling what you can control. With a little time and practice, you’ll be handling your critics like a pro!

MeKayla Matthews is a 20-something productivity blogger and startup enthusiast. You can read more from her at or by following her on Twitter and Google+!

Image by Caden Crawford



23 resources

I know all too well what it’s like feeling lost, overwhelmed, confused, and having no idea how to move forward. You’re stuck in fear, stuck in self-doubt, stuck in desperation.

Maybe you want to feel confident again, walking down the street strutting your stuff.

Maybe you want to put all your cards on the table, walk away from that toxic day job and finally pursue your passion.

Maybe you already have a business you love, but you’re totally scattered and know things would be easier if you could just learn a few tricks.

My friend, you’re in luck.

I know how miserable that feels, and that’s why I’ve put together this list for you.

23 Resources to Take Your Life + Business to the Next Level 

For Your Soul:

The Big Leap- for expanding your love, happiness, and success

The Fierce Love Course- for an authentically joyful life

The Fire Starter Sessions- to up the ante on your dreams

The Desire Map- for figuring out what you really want

Kid President- for a daily pep talk

For  Your  Body:

Tara Stiles’ Yoga Videos- for stretching and building strength

The Ultimate Green Smoothie Formula- for delicious smoothie recipes

21- Day Meditation Experience- for quieting your mind

Stop Making Excuses and Start Running- for running your first half-marathon

Yogi Tea- for a soothing cup of tea

For Productivity:

Productivity Email Series- for strategies and tools that save you time

Pomodoro Technique- for having fun with time management

55 Apps That Can Make Your More Productive- for managing work from  your phone

For Running Your Business:

Small Business Bodyguard- for writing contracts and covering your butt legally

Freshbooks- for tracking invoices, time, and expenses

A Course About Copy- for getting more clients without feeling like a manipulative cheeseball

Paypal- for sending invoices and accepting payments

PicMonkey- for editing photos like a pro

For Starting Your Business:

Jump: Into your business, your life, your dream- for gaining the confidence to leave your job

B-School- for marketing newbies who want to play big

Brandgasm- for all your design + copywriting needs

Start With Why- for clarifying the purpose, cause, or belief that’s driving you

Laser Coaching- for one-on-one accountability

Now it’s your turn! What are you favorite books, websites, and tools? Leave them in the comments below so we can create one big, super awesome list of resources!

(Note of honesty: There are a few affiliate links sprinkled throughout this post, but I only share what I love, so you know it’s gotta be good stuff.)

[photo credit: nd-nc]