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I want to preface this article by saying that there really is no magical, all-encompassing quick fix when you’re looking at building and growing a sustainable business. It’s just not a thing. You can’t buy a winning packet mix and come out with a shit-hot business sauce.

But there IS stuff that you can do to set yourself up for growing in the right way – for growing with integrity, and strategy, and sense. The “how” may not always be obvious to, but that’s why you hunt out the experts that know this stuff. That’s what I did. I found a mentor and a coach whose values aligned with mine AND who created an offer that perfectly meshed with my goals and desires for my little biz.

About a year and half ago now, I joined the fabulous Gemma Went’s mastermind, and it really did change everything for me. Not just the way I behaved, but the way I thought, the way I dreamed and the way I believed. She truly goes that deep, while also being supremely logical and focusing on the action-taking.

But enough of the gushing. I’ve got a point here. Ten, actually. Ten things (all included in her brilliant mastermind experience) that can help elevate your business today.

Finding the balance between mindset, strategy and action

If you spend a lot of time in the online business world, you come across three key types of person:

  • The ones that go full woo, that put a load of focus on self-care and inner work but not so much on practical WORK work.
  • The ones who plan everything to death. To DEATH. But then don’t really do much with aforementioned glorious plans.
  • The ones who buzz around doing all the things, but without a clear purpose.

Success happens when you finally grasp that there needs to be a bit of a balance between mindset (self-belief), strategy (colour-coded plans of attack) and action (implementing the shiz). Gemma’s whole mastermind is built around straddling these three essential elements so there’s a big old tick in that box.

Tip: read this for a bit more help with any (or all) of these areas.

Connecting with the humans that get you

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – running your own business, especially if you run it from home, can be an isolating affair. It’s easy to distance yourself from the “real life” friends who don’t really get what you do every day, and it’s really hard to connect with new peers that do.

Being placed in a small, safe group of like-minded businesswomen is a true wonder – especially when those women are handpicked to compliment you and your needs. A mastermind is not about silently following what a coach says, it’s about relying on the hive mind and working together as you all build your businesses side-by-side.

Tip: try to open yourself to the humans. I know it doesn’t always come naturally, but that’s the only way you’ll feel truly anchored.

Creating a rock-solid belief in yourself and in your business

I have to admit, this has always been a tricky one for me and if I’m being completely honest, it’s something I still have to work on from time to time. You’ll have heard it said many a time – if you don’t believe in yourself nobody else will. And that is pure, solid gold TRUTH.

If this is something you struggle with, Gemma is the coach for you. She’s put together The Belief Matrix, which is essentially a stash of exercises designed to help you create a bulletproof belief in what you’re doing. Once you’ve got that down, the rest is easy.

Tip: open up a fresh notebook and write a list of 100 things that make you excellent. If you’re anything like me, getting past number 12 is tricky, but trust me. Push through it… and then get that page up somewhere you can see it whenever the self-doubt creeps in.

Taking a breath to understand and outline exactly what you want… and how to get it

I’m about to utter the word that strikes fear in the hearts of creatives across the land… STRATEGY. Putting together a killer strategy for business sounds daunting, I know, but it doesn’t have to be.

I’ll hold my hands up and admit that I avoided getting strategic for quite a while – coasting merrily along seemed like it would be easier… turns out I was wrong. Coasting gave me permission to spend all my time dabbling with things that didn’t really move my business forward. Spending an hour or two working on my strategy nipped that in the bud for good.

Also, it’s not even that hard. Gemma’s got this strategy workbook that lays it all out in simple terms, asking all the right questions in all the right ways. Fill in those worksheets and before you know it you’ll have a clear blueprint for your next year in business… AND all the tactics in place to make it happen.

Tip: stop telling yourself you don’t have time to think about the future of your business. There will always be clients to serve, and dogs to walk and washing to do. The excuses will never disappear but your momentum might.

Planning for success

You will know by now that I love a planner. I talk about it as often as I can. However, not all planners are created equal. Some planners are simply pretty – style over substance – templates there to fool you into thinking you’re getting more organised. Others, like Gemma’s 90 Day Planner are there to take those big lofty goals from your business strategy and transform it into a definitely doable daily plan of attack.

So. Far. Beyond. Winning.

Tip: Set up your Asana account today. IT’S JUST MAGICAL.

Finding someone to hold your hand when you need it

I genuinely can’t remember what life was like before I started working with a coach. Like I said before, being the leader of your own business can be isolating, it can also be pretty high-pressure if the roof over your head is dependent on your income. Having someone there to support you as you muddle through is such a necessary thing.

Sometimes you need a second opinion. Sometimes you need a new perspective. Sometimes you need some tough love. Whatever it is you feel you’re lacking, the right coach can help.

As part of Gemma’s mastermind, not only do you get coaching from the woman herself, but you also get support from one of her Elevate Coaches – someone whose speciality exactly matches your needs.

Tip: take note of those people in your virtual network who really seem to “get” you. Those messages that resonate are big fat signs that you might just have found someone who can change your life.

Picking a specific income focus

Money matters. In fact, for most of us, money is the thing we’re most focused in our businesses… and that’s the way it *should* be. We should be focused on making sales and making profit… and yet so many of us avoid the topic. We feel bad for asking to be paid for doing something we love, or something that comes so easily to us. We get uncomfortable putting together quotes or chasing payments.

But to design a sustainable business it can’t continue like that.

That’s why in this mastermind, Gemma has designed two tracks for you to pick from every 90 days. Either you focus on launching a thing, or you focus on creating consistent monthly income. The choice is yours… just know that you’ll have all the tools, all the training and all the support you need as you go.

Tip: have a proper look at your numbers and then have a proper look at your goals. Do the two mesh or do you need to rethink how you’re approaching the income-generating side of your business?

Marketing your business the smart way (it will help massively with your sales, trust me)

Marketing overwhelm is a very real thing. I know this better than most – I’m immersed in the world of digital content (often without a breathing tube) and it can be really hard to figure out exactly what you should do in order to get the results your after. I mean… it’s so bloody noisy out there. Everyone has an opinion.

MY opinion is that Gemma’s Smart Marketing System is a winner. It simplifies every single aspect of your marketing, and once you’ve worked through it once you know *exactly* what you’re doing for the next 90 days. (And SPOILER ALERT it will help you grow your list and boost your sales with minimal input from you.)

Tip: read this to prime yourself for some gorgeous marketing simplicity.

Learning from real live experts

No one coach or mentor can give you everything you need, as much as they might want to. That’s why Gemma brings in experts from her (pretty fab) network to provide training on the some of the topics that hold us all up.

Tip: get honest about where your knowledge gaps lie… and then find the brilliant brains to fill them. (Start here.)

Getting real, get raw, get ready

Being honest with yourself about what you want, what you’re going through and what’s holding you up is an important piece of this puzzle. A mastermind is not an experience where you can float along ticking boxes without getting deep (trust me, I tried).

You have to be willing to work on yourself and have difficult (yet transformative) conversations. The monthly coaching calls and one-on-one hot seats are brilliant for peeling back those layers and arming you with the tools to take the next step.

Tip: start with a journal. Open your head and your heart into a notebook before you share those things with a human. It’s a safe first move.

And yes, I know this post is uncharacteristically complimentary, but I mean every word. Working through Gemma’s mastermind was massive for me in every way – if you think you might fancy it, you can apply here until September 21st.

Also, if you do sign up (and you use this link to do so) I’ll write a 90-day nurture sequence for you. That’s 12 emails designed to turn casual readers into happy customers. What are you waiting for?

Apply for Elevate (the mastermind) today.

Hey! I’m Daire – writer, editor, all-round content weaver. I help business owners stand out online by channelling their personalities into everything they do. My dream is to show you that you can have an inspiring, insightful, INTERESTING online presence (and that you can use that to attract the best and brightest buyers into your orbit).