In today's episode of the She's In Business podcast, I'm mixing it up. I'm not going to follow the usual format. What I've decided to do is invite a few of my Ready To Rise program graduates onto the show to talk to me and to share with you, what it's like to be in the Ready To Rise group coaching business program.
What happens in the weekly group coaching sessions, the Ready to Rise community inside the exclusive Facebook group is really like all of those kinds of things. And the reason I'm doing this is because you need to know, not just from me, but from the ladies who have been through the program, how it feels, what they've learned, how their business and lifestyle has transformed from taking action steps that are suggested throughout the program.
Because it's all well and good hearing it from me that I can help you to go from feeling overwhelmed and exhausted to thriving as a business owner. But of course, hearing it firsthand from the ladies that I've helped is how I can show you the real results. So I chat with Madison, who's joined the program, shortly after opening the doors to her VA business and how she has almost maxed out her availability with clients since going through the program.
And I chat with Jennifer. Who is a mom of two. And she joined the program with a well-established business and is exploring new revenue streams and leveling up her business and moving through her own blocks. Now, as you are listening, I want you to know that the doors to the Ready To Rise program are open.
So if you've been considering joining a program that will help you to go from feeling overwhelmed, exhausted, and on the path to burnout, to becoming a thriving business owner, if you want to shape a healthy work life blend so that you can step into your potential in your business and be in the moment with the people who mean the most to you and have time for self care, well, now is the time to join. If you are, ready to rise. You can click the link in the show notes to join the program or go to Donnahann.com/course, you can also jump on a 15 minute discovery chat with me. If you'd like to explore the program in more detail, you can just send me a DM or an email, and we can set that up doors close on the 6th of September.
And I'd love to welcome you into the program. Now let's get started with the podcast.
Donna: Madison is the owner of a virtual assistant business, Madison Ash Virtual Assistant. When she joined the Ready to Rise program, her business was very new. Maddie's future vision for her business is wrapped around creating more flexibility in her life as a mom of two, so that she can work her own hours.
So, she took her years of corporate administration experience and artistic creativity and became a virtual assistant. As a mom, she understands the struggle of trying to get all the things done and so she serves and supports other creative moms in business to alleviate the workload and help them in the back end of their business.
Since joining the Ready to Rise program, Madison has seen huge growth in her client base. She has leveled up and is embracing her personal brand and she is charging her worth and systemizing as she goes to build a business that is sustainable for her current season of life as a mom in business with a young family.
So joining me first up is Madison, who is the founder and owner of Madison Ash Virtual Assistant, so welcome to the podcast.
Madison : Thank you, I'm so excited.
Donna: So, Maddie for the listeners, why don't you tell me a little bit about you and your business? Tell us how long have you been in business? What services do you offer? All that kind of stuff.
Madison : Yeah. So, I haven't been in business for very long, probably about six or eight months I reckon since I officially started and it is a virtual assistant business, so basically lots of people ask what is a virtual assistant, but they can do so many different things, but I like to think of it as someone who can do administration, organization, content creation, social media, all those type of tasks for you.
But they do it virtually, so they do it online and they don't have to be in your business sitting at a desk in your office, working for you which is really convenient for a lot of people.
Donna: And so who's your ideal client like who is the person that you love to work with and that you can service to the highest level?
Madison : So, my ideal client is basically moms in business, so I like to work with other moms, being a mom, myself, I feel like we get each other we're on the same wavelength and we understand the different needs that you have in business, working around your children and being flexible and everything like that.
So, it's pretty much just moms in business. I haven't niche it down any further than that, but I probably should. I am working on that.
Donna: Yeah, we're working on that. What I really respect about you as a graduate from the Ready to Rise program is firstly, that you've completely leveled up as a new business owner within the six months that I've known you.
I've seen you really step up in your confidence and level up in everything that you do and having that intelligence to seek a business group coaching program, that's gonna guide you for that future growth of your business is really commendable.
So I wanna say that straight up and I also am interested to know if we go back to the beginning, how did you hear about the Ready to Rise program? Can you remember?
Madison : Yeah, so it was through Instagram, I think probably one of the previous graduates, Haley. I follow her on Instagram and know her through some friends and she had been posting about what she'd been doing with the program and everything like that.
And I started following you that way and then I did a couple of the free downloads and one of the free courses and then yeah, got in touch with you that way.
Donna: Yeah and so you joined the program on March 22 and then I think it was may that you completed it and then you've since extended your access, which means through everyone listing, it means that Maddie's still in the community, jumping on calls every week, all of that kind of stuff.
If you cast your mind back to when you first joined, do you remember what your goals were in joining the program?
Madison : Um, I think my goals were to get a little bit more confident, definitely confidence but I also felt like I just needed some support, like I needed someone to be there for me that I can ask all those silly questions to and feel like I a hundred percent had that support.
I also wanted to make sure that I was creating a business that I had a work life blend in because I do have two small children, so they're two and four going on five and they're still very needy. They still need a lot of attention and I do have a part-time job as well.
So, working the business in with the part-time job and making it grow, but still making sure I was committed to my family was really important and I just didn't know how to do that and I just wanted the help to do that.
And I think as well, if I reflect back, I was probably feeling a little bit lost, like I'd set everything up and I was already to go and I thought I had it already, but I still didn't really know how to grow it or what to do next, so I just wanted someone to help me with that really.
Donna: And so when you joined the program, how many clients did you have? Do you remember?
Madison : I had one, one lonely client, no.
Donna: And so tell us about what your availability is like now, have you got more clients?
Madison : Oh, my gosh. I'm currently trying to figure out if I can take anyone else on.
So, I'm pretty busy at the moment. I think I will still have a little bit of availability possibly to take someone on, but at the moment, I'm pretty happy with where I am because I was obviously still wanna get that work life blend and I don't wanna overwork myself and I I'm all for slow growth at the moment because I really wanna make sure that I've got the foundations behind me before I level up, really level up.
But yeah, I definitely am a lot busier than I was when I started and I think that has a lot to do with the program, the confidence that I've gained and the steps that I've put into place to really grow the business, which I learned all from you.
Donna: And I love that you've already got it in your mind. That business is a long game.
Sometimes people jump in and they're like, it's gonna be an overnight success, but rarely is it ever an overnight success? There are moments of like really big growth periods and things like that, which is fabulous and yes, of course we always wanna be growing our business, but we need to do it in a way that suits our lifestyle for the current season of life.
And, you know, I talk about the seasons of life all the time, which is that you've got two really small children at the moment and when they get to school age, you might find that you're in a different season where you can really open up the amount of hours that you offer within your VA services and that kind of stuff, but...
We just have to be real about what our ideal work life blend looks like for us now or what the ideal would be for us, so that we're working towards and then to do that for those people who are listening and they're like, wow, how did you get those extra clients, like what are some of the action steps that you remember that you did for that?
Madison : I remember just before I even started the course, I think it was the day I signed up. We spoke and we talked about how I am my own brand and I need to put myself out there. I'm basically selling myself because I'm the one that does the services and so I went on and I got on my stories and I was like, oh, I'm just gonna do whatever on my stories that day.
And I got a client straight away, which I mean is amazing. I... it doesn't always happen that way. Yeah, but because I put myself out there and I gained that confidence to advertise myself and show who I am as a person, because you are going to be working with me. I think that's really helped also with personal branding, like, because like I said, I am the face of my business since implementing a bit more personal branding and getting my branding photos done recently.
I've seen a huge increase in the people coming to my page, liking my page, engaging with me and even inquiring with my services and I don't think, I would've thought that things like that would've been that important at the start until I got into that whole branding section of the workbook and then I really realized that's how I can level up my business.
Donna: Yeah, branding is so important and a lot of people think it's just the visual stuff, but as we talk about in the program, we do all the baseline stuff first, all the really deep foundational work, around your mission and values and why you do what you do and your ideal customer that we talk about. All of those things are there and done.
And then everything else that we put visually onto our business, in what we are projecting out into the world is where then you see the magic happen, which is what you did and I loved that you a real action taker in I'm like, try this and you're like, okay, because that was our discovery call.
So, you hadn't booked into the program yet you were interested, but you were a little on the fence. You were unsure whether you wanted to jump in, I'm like, look, let's just have a 15 minute chat, which we did and that was one of the suggestions. Just the tip I gave you, like put a face to the name, put a post out there and introduce yourself and a photo of you and let's see what happens and you kind of did that in your way.
And next thing you messaged me and said, oh my god, I just got a client who was like, wow! So, what has been the biggest breakthrough for you as a business owner, now that you've completed the program?
Madison : My biggest takeaways would be well planning. I love to plan, but I'm never good at implementing my plans, but I have since learned that it's very important to implement your plan and I think sitting back and planning out my social media for the next two months. Like that's a game changer having that all scheduled in, they've so much time for me and so I think about planning and also really understanding how I'm using my time and where I can use my time more effectively.
Were the... probably the biggest things along with building my confidence that I've taken away from the course, but also just having the community support.
Like the girls who are in the program are just amazing and bouncing ideas back and forth off everyone in, in every call and even just sitting there, listening to all of the different things that everyone's going through in their business. Everyone has different issues, but we can all learn from each other.
And I think that even if I don't have anything that I need to talk about, I still wanna come because I still wanna learn about what everyone else is doing and I might be able to take something away from that, so the community definitely is why I wanna continue going on along with the weekly call that we get, because I just love being on there and listening to the advice and taking away learnings from everyone else's businesses really.
Donna: It's so important, isn't it? And I think that's why originally, when I was looking at creating the Ready to Rise program, it was like, yes, we need to have the online course components, which is the lessons and the video tutorials and all the downloads and the workbook, but we also need to have a community.
And so, for those people listening that maybe aren't aware, we have a Facebook group, which is just for the ladies who are enrolled in the program or have chosen to extend their access where you can bounce ideas and throw up. I know that Madi, a few times you've thrown up some different examples of documents that you wanna send out to clients and be like, what do you guys think of this?
And we celebrate each other in there, which I think is really important. It's kind of community where we all get behind each other and celebrate one another. There's definitely, or I don't know whether you've sensed it, but I certainly don't think that there's any bitchiness or anything like that in the group.
Like it's a beautiful group of women and then we have our weekly group coaching sessions where everyone jumps in and we share our, again, we share our wins. We open up the floor to be like, where's everybody at this week? Where did you land your goals that you are working on? Are you stuck anywhere? That kind of stuff.
And as you said, it's a great space to be able to express how you're feeling, bounce some ideas, get some advice but it's also great to listen to what's going on in other people's worlds and yeah, I love it. That we're cheerleaders for each other.
Madison : Yeah. It's so good. It's such a great community to be part of and you just feel supported every week like that. You go on, no questions, a silly question and you might have some great advice that you could give someone else or there's just endless reasons why it's fabulous.
Donna: So, and the other thing that I love and I just wanna mention is that the beautiful thing about creating your own business is that you can do it however you like and currently you mentioned you're working a few days a week as in a part-time job whilst you're building your business.
And I think that's really smart and when you are ready, when you know it's the right time for you to go full time with your VA business, you're doing that in a way that's creating such beautiful flexibility for your future and I really commend you for that for doing life the way that you want to and that's the magic of really being a business owner.
So, just wanna highlight that for anyone that's listening, that there's different ways to do it. It may not be that you can fully throw yourself into working full-time in your business straight away.
You might have a different approach, like what Maddie's doing or you might be like, yep. I'm only in, I'm jumping in straight away and quitting the part-time job or maybe at the moment, your focus is being a mom at home, but you're ready for something new and you're like, yeah, I'm just gonna do that.
So, I just wanted to acknowledge that because I think it's really, really smart in the way that you're doing it. So I wanna give you a business, a big shout out. What are your social handles? If people want to check out your services or book a discovery call to see how you can elevate some of their workload as a virtual assistant.
Madison : Yeah. So on Instagram it's @madisonashe_va. So, if you go on there and you go into my bio, you can download my pricing and services guide, which has all the information in there or you can just send me a message and I will get back to you.
Donna: Jennifer Day-Sully is the beautiful, calm and centered mom of two, an owner of Cloud Nine HYP. Jen's well-established business offers services such as hypnobirthing and other hypnotic techniques, mindfulness and coaching, which assist in almost all areas of life be it a lifestyle change letting go of old habits, improving performance at work or in sport and sharing the healing and transformative benefits of hypnosis is Jen's passion.
Now like many women who have been through the Ready to Rise program, Jen's business was well established when she joined, but she felt stuck. She needed some direction, some accountability. She knew she wanted to level up, but was kind of unsure of how to do that and as you're here in our chat.
It actually took Jen a fairly long time to get out of her own way and actually join the program and then commit to doing all of those things, but now she's halfway through the program and she's now doing all of those things and so much more.
So, joining us from the headquarters of Cloud Nine Hypnosis. Welcome to the podcast, Jen.
Jennifer: Hello, good morning.
Donna: So, your business Cloud Nine Hypnosis has been around for a few years now, but for the ladies who are listening, why don't you tell me a little bit about your business? How long have you been in business? Are you a solo printer? Do you have a team? Like, just give us a little bit of insight to you and, and what you.
Jennifer: Yeah, sure. So I am Jennifer of Cloud Nine Hypnosis and hypnobirthing. I cannot believe it, yeah but my business is coming up on our five year anniversary, never in a million years would I ever have thought that I would be a practicing hypnotist. It was a bit of an unexpected turn in my life, but I did benefit from a childbirth education program, um, that uses hypnosis as part of its programming.
And so it changed my life and exposed me to the incredible benefits of hypnosis and as soon as I had my hypno birthing experience, it just really opened my eyes to this potential new career and so with two children, under two, I embarked on this new career path and so, yeah, it was amazing.
And over the couple of years, I became certified to facilitate the hypnobirthing Australia, positive birth program. Also have another side to my business, which is I have a general hypnosis practice as well. So kind of juggling two different, um, revenue streams.
Donna: Yeah and do you do that all by yourself or do you have a team that helps you?
Jennifer: Yep. It's just me at this point.
Donna: Beautiful And I love that it started with hypno birthing, because I also went through a hypno birthing program in preparation for having my kids and it was just, it was such a beautiful program so, I can see.
Jennifer: It is amazing and, and like I said, it was very unexpected for me. I had a difficult first birth and accidentally found myself pregnant quite quickly after that difficult experience and I was desperate for a better way.
And so I was willing to try anything, found my way to the hypnobirthing Australia program and it did, it just, it made such a difference in my life that it inspired me that wow, hypnosis, I had never really considered a potential career, but it is amazing and so now with my general practice, I have a special focus for sleep and anxiety.
And then I also facilitate hypnobirthing training for local families as well.
Donna: Yeah, so having had an established business that you've it's five years, what sparked your interest to join the Ready to Rise program and working with me? What, how did that come about?
Jennifer: Yeah. I think, um, for these past four and a half years, I had been fine by the seat of my pants, maybe a bit, I do resist structure, I think in some ways I'd like to think of just this free spirit, but becoming a mom and running a business, I've embraced slowly the idea that I do need to have a routine and bring some structure into my life and so...
Yeah, I'd been trying to do things on my own for these last couple of years, which I think in some ways was important for me to explore and flounder in some ways, but now coming up to that five year point, I was ready to yeah, bring some more focus to my business. I was ready to level up and I knew deep down that the structure and routine that I've been resisting was exactly what I was needing.
And so I have taken quite a few of your A La carte trainings and been listening to all of the incredible free advice that you so generously give to the business community and I was ready to take that next step. I was scared I will admit, look, didn't I sign up the LA I think it was the last hour.
Donna: I think you did and, um, there were so many because you have been part of my orbit for quite a long time. Like I can't quite remember when we first started to kind of message each other and things like that, but you would say I'm almost ready to join the program and I'm gonna join next time you open the doors and then that would roll around and you'd be like, I'm almost ready.
I just need to do this thing first and then I'll be ready. What was that for you, Jen? Like talk me through what was going on there cause I think that there's a lot of women who are also, you're not the first person that I've worked with that have been doing that, but what was the point that you are. Okay, I'm ready. I'm really ready.
Jennifer: I think it was, I think it was probably a year and a half that I have been following and gaining insights and benefits from all of the incredible things that you offer and I think that was important for me. Like I said, I resist structure. Planning is really hard for me and so that's a sticking point for me, but I also realized that I had spent that year gaining.
All of these skills and all of these seeds had been planted by attending your A La carte offerings and so I think deep down, I knew that it was time and so, yes, I think it was the last hour were open and you said, look, I, I guess one of the things that I've benefited from you is that you it's tough love, you said look.
Yeah, okay. Of course you would respect if I didn't join this round, but you really did lay out why my reasons were, I mean, they were excuses, I guess you could say. So I'm glad, I'm glad that I took that step because just like we discussed in our coaching call today. Yes. This is a comprehensive program.
It is a bootcamp and we are covering there's so much value in the program and I've gained absolute benefits in real time. There are things that I've benefited from and implemented in the moment that week that the modules are being done. I've realized that I don't have to do everything in those 12 weeks.
And so, yes, I've got tangible benefits that I've achieved in real time, but I've got my list. I've got this list of action items that I can achieve. I can attack when time will allow.
Donna: Yeah, exactly right and I think that's one of the things that sometimes stops us from taking that next step in leveling up.
If we need the support and assistance in leveling up our knowledge as well as leveling up is going well, I don't know if I have the time to, how am I gonna make time to do this? And if I don't have the time, then it's a waste of my money doing that kind of thing. So, in regards to that, what would you say to someone who was waiting for the perfect ideal time to jump in?
Jennifer: I think one of the big learnings and I think about this time and time again and, and this is, I love, this is the, like your tough love, right? You said time, the idea that there is not enough time or there's no time, that's actually an excuse. There is time and so my morning routine, you are a part of my packing lunches and preparing breakfast.
I listen to the training module every morning, like you are just that routine now where it was probably just mindless videos catching up on news. No, now I'm investing in my business. I would also say that the way that the materials are presented, you can continue this process beyond the 12 weeks, the resources are really great.
I've printed out so many ideal customer worksheets because in my business, I do have several different kind of target markets that I'm attacking. So, I would say that it's not that you have to do everything in those 12 weeks and that these are, that will travel with you and that you can revisit time and time again.
Donna: So, now that we're kind of halfway through, you're halfway through the program at the moment, what has really been a standout for you in regards to how it's helped you as a business owner?
Jennifer: Carving out time to work on the business, just constantly in the business, servicing my clients. What I'm finding is that carving out the time to work on the business has made the entire experience more enjoyable. So not only am I seeing how I'm gonna grow my revenue, which of course everybody wants to do, right? We're in business to make money.
Donna: A hundred percent, I love that you say that.
Jennifer: Making the work itself more enjoyable, so becoming my why is to help people live more intentionally. So that's to create better birthing experiences that are more intentional that the families are a part of the decision making process that they are present. They are a part of that process rather than birth, happening to us.
And then with my general hypnosis clients, helping them to make changes in their lives, live their lives more intentionally rather than being kind of at the mercy of our emotions and habits. No, we're actually taking part in making decisions and that has translated into this program for me, that I am approaching my business more intentionally that I'm thinking about what type of work do I want to do, rather than just saying yes to any customer that comes through the door?
No, I'm actually thinking about who I want to work with? Oh, am I going to attract those types of people who are my ideal customer? and how do I bring them to my door?
So that's been really, like I said, enjoyable that I'm actually shaping my business rather than kind of keeping my head above water and just saying to yes, to whatever walks through the door, which I still do to a degree but yeah, there's a really high level of satisfaction that comes with becoming empowered to decide.
Donna: Yes. Ah, I love that so much, Jen. I love that and that's a huge part of what we do in the program. Isn't it is really get down to what's the why, why are we doing what we are doing? How do we do it in such a way that it's different from other people in the market?
Because we are ourselves, the person is what makes the difference into the business and then actively, intentionally as you said, really working on how we shape our business, what we say yes to ,what we say no to, what the future of our business is going to look like.
So, that then it beautifully aligns with our lifestyle choices so that we, as business owners get to enjoy the benefits of being a business owner and having those freedoms to go, you know what?
This weekend, we are gonna go and do this and I don't have to ask a boss for the time off or I'm gonna be present with in the moment right now, because I've got a child who's homesick and I need to be present with them and so therefore I can maneuver my business into the way that I want it to be.
But if you don't have that really clear understanding of why you do what you do, how that helps your clients, what kind of clients you wanna work with so that your energy levels are always maintained at a nice high frequency, so important. Yeah.
Jennifer: And I just had never really thought I had kind of dabbled a little bit with like my why, but I not taken that step to think about a mission statement, a vision statement and I'm thinking, oh, I don't really need that, but now I can see that again, it brings a cohesiveness. It brings that intentionality where yes, this is where I'm going. This is how I'm doing it and it just, yeah, it feels really, really good.
Donna: Yeah. I'm glad to hear that.
So, what's on the horizon for you now, like now that you have major way halfway through the program. I know we've still gotta dive into our, the branding side of things, which is like a huge part of the program and something that I really love and then we work into self care and also, you know, managing the nest and making sure that we are doing the things to help ourselves.
In our parenting responsibilities and that kind of stuff because that's the reality, isn't it, we're juggling all three of those things, but what are your plans that you have for the future for Cloud Nine Hypnosis?
Jennifer: Well, you've helped me to look at my customer experience and so I've got some ideas of how I'm going to improve that for my clients.
I've also identified future revenue streams and where I want to go with this business. Looking at that vision statement, um, has helped me to cast my eyes forward in time and really start building towards some new goals, which I think that was important for me being at this kind of five year mark, like I said, those early years of saying yes to everything.
I do think that it was important for me to discover what I do like, what I don't like, but moving forward into this next five year chunk. Yeah, just being more focused and chasing some of my dreams, you know, I've got a passion for sleep for improving people's, um, quality of sleep using hypnosis and so I'm starting to use your materials for my planning process of how I'm going to approach that new revenue stream, that niche that I'd like to establish myself as a leader and so, yeah, I'm really looking at the sleep, I'm looking at improving the customer experience. Work smarter, not harder.
Donna: Yeah. Oh, I love that.
So, let's give your business a huge shout out for all the work that you do and it's, you're just a beau... Your energy is just so beautiful. So people, you definitely need to go and check out Jen on her social media channels because she offers some really great, like your lives are fantastic and always putting some really interesting content up there.
So if people are wanting to find you, what's the best way that they can do that.
Jennifer: Yeah, they can find me at Cloud Nine Hypnosis on Facebook. That's also my Instagram handle. My website is cloudninehypnosis.com.
Donna: Great. Well, thank you for joining us today and sharing some insights on what the program's been like, but I have just enjoyed having you in the program, putting actions in place and just seeing you really blossom in what you're doing and having that sense of like, you can see that things are clicking into place for you.
Jennifer: Yeah. Highly recommend the program and even dabbling in the A La carte offerings.