I talk to customers every day who run their own businesses and rely on Emma to share their story and connect with their customers. I recently had the opportunity to connect with Christy Farr, a life coach here in Nashville, and I learned how she used Emma to take her one-woman company, Seeds & Weeds Coaching, from maintenance mode into a period of high growth.
With a little planning and a lot of heart, Christy created a community of clients with a 30-day Sick of Being Stuck email series and breathed new life into her own business. Read on to hear Christy's story, in her own words.
1. Tell us a little bit about a day-in-the-life of a life coach.
My day is an ever-evolving balance between empowering others and managing "the business" of empowering others. Every day starts with writing – blogs, class materials and newsletters – then it's to the phone for coaching sessions with clients, group coaching with students or a book study. Throw in networking over vegetarian Indian food; collaborating with other coaches, healers and teachers on new projects; and looking for more powerful ways to serve my community, and you can piece together any given day in my world.
2. How has Emma helped you grow?
Emma helps me grow by meeting me wherever I am, no matter what. And every single time I get stuck, Emma has what I need to keep moving forward. When I needed to maintain my contact list and mail a monthly newsletter (aka, lick my wounds from the violent experience I accidentally had with the dark side of virtual marketing for life coaches ... only a touch of exaggeration here), Emma was there. And believe it or not, last summer when I faced the possibility of closing Seeds & Weeds Coaching (essentially for lack of engagement from the community I was trying to serve), it was Emma that helped me bring the business back to life.
I know how that sounds, but it's actually true. After two and a half years, the business still wasn't sustainable. Even more disheartening than the poverty (literally), was knowing that I wasn't doing what I was born to do. If I was reaching "enough" people, I'd be making "enough" money. If working for someone else could could solve both of those problems, it was time to consider the possibility. The decision felt impossible, and every time I would meditate or write or talk about it with someone else, I heard the same lesson in my head again and again. Maddeningly, it's something I always use to cultivate ideas in other people: You already have everything you need to take the next perfect step in this journey.
Rather begrudgingly, I agreed, "Fine, I have everything I need." A quick inventory revealed that I had only three things I could use to give this business one more chance: Me, Emma and the idea that when any of the gardens of our lives are unwell – body, relationships, money, creativity, spirituality, etc. – we can radically transform the situation by releasing that which no longer serves us from our physical environment. That was all I had, so I went for it, and "Sick of Being Stuck September" (SOBSS) changed, well, everything.
3. Creating a 30-day email series requires a lot of planning and content. What's your secret to success?
The program included daily clutter-clearing challenges, articles, group calls and community support, and I managed the entire thing through Emma. Now, I wish I could tell you that it was premeditated and smooth, but that would be a lie. This was, after all, my Hail Mary pass, and it took everything in me to get those emails crafted and sent every day with everything else that SOBSS stirred up.
There were times that I was writing emails at 1 a.m., climbing up the stairs and crashing for a few hours before I was up again getting the children off to school. Toward the end of the month, some of them were even written the morning they went out. It wasn't pretty, but it worked. Six hundred people signed up for that program, more than doubling the size of my newsletter list. And when I say everything changed, I mean the "now I have coaching clients, a monthly class with students actually paying to come, and the book is on the editor's desk" kind of everything changed.
I suppose that the secret to my success really boils down to integrity. I did everything in my power to keep promises that I made to myself (pursuing my dream), my family and the wild and wonderful people who said and continue to say yes to the Sick of Being Stuck invitation (crafting and sending the emails). To be clear, it's not perfect, but it's my best, and my students can affirm that my perfectly imperfect is enough to rock their collective worlds.
4. Where do you draw inspiration?
That one is easy. I'm inspired by what's not working. I believe that our struggles and challenges are a direct result of living out of alignment with the truth of who we are as individuals. The coaching, writing and teaching allow me to address the needs that my clients, readers and students bring to the table. When something stinks, they bring it to Seeds & Weeds, and we work together to craft a new way of being for them, a shift into thoughts and actions that will cultivate better results. I've found that when we are willing to accept lessons from the natural world, our lives can begin to bloom.
5. You can invite any four people to happy hour. Who'd be there?
Oriah Mountain Dreamer, Anne Lamott, Dolly Parton and Ellen DeGeneres.