Hint of Hustle with Heather Sager

From Service Provider to Six Figure Group Coaching Program - Speaking Success Story with Serena Shoup

March 14, 2022 Heather Sager Episode 140
Hint of Hustle with Heather Sager
From Service Provider to Six Figure Group Coaching Program - Speaking Success Story with Serena Shoup
Show Notes Transcript

Even if you have no dreams of speaking on a stage— there are fundamental skills you must master as a business owner to effectively communicate with your audience. Especially if you have a desire to reach more people and create scalable programs.

In today’s episode, you’ll hear from Speak Up to Level Up member, Serena Shoup, a CPA running a virtual bookkeeping business dedicated to helping course creators. She’s someone who would not classify herself as a speaker and hated the idea of being in front of people, but had a heart to be a mentor, a desire to serve and an idea for a new offer in her business.

If leveling up in your business, reaching for bigger things, making a bigger impact with your voice and your heart is something that you're sitting with right now, I want you to listen to this interview as Serena shares her story of transformation and how she embraces her fear on stage and use it as fuel to accomplish her goals for her business.


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Well, hey, friends, welcome back to another episode. You are going to have today's discussion. We're in a two part series around sharing the real stories of what it takes to become a magnetic speaker on stages. What's the real behind the scenes the journey of how people got there? Are they just showing up and just effortlessly getting words out of their mouth or what was the real struggle? I like to share the real raw realities of what the messy middle looks like in business. I think, honestly, this curated world of Instagram and all the other fun stuff online, it's really easy to edit out the crap. Like very specific example, I see posts all the time at podcast groups. Here's a great example of it. Where people intentionally edit out the word flubs, the in between the fillers to improve the experience of the audience, which I'm sure all of that is true. You would probably have a better audio experience, if I actually cut some of those crappy things out. However, it would give you the false belief that I am perfect when I speak making you feel everything less than perfect. And in my opinion, that's not helpful. 

So what I do on this show is I give you all the real raw, I do have really great, amazing presentation skills to inspire you around what's possible with this instrument that is your voice but also I'm going to share with you the real raw journey. Over the last two weeks, If you missed it last week, I had Krystal Proffitt. On today, my friend, Serena Shoup who also happens to be my bookkeeper and one of my clients inside of Speak up to Level up, I had both of them come on and share their actual stories of what using their voice in a more intentional, effective way, what it's done for their business because even though you might love coming to listen to me every single week and you get expired, expired? You don't get expired. You get inspired, you get wound up and you get excited about what's possible, I bet in your mind is this little thought thinking but Heather's just so good. Heather's just got the personality, she's got the story, she's got the charm. And sure I can tell you all day long that speaking is a skill and I have worked my ass off to get to the point where I am right now. But sometimes that feels unachievable if you do not have natural charm, or charisma, or storytelling, or have any level of comfort standing in front of a group of people. I get it. So instead of trying to prove to you how far I've come, I rather just share stories of people who are in similar spots to where you are and show you their stories of transformation. You know, in these interviews, I was actually surprised by some of their answers because I didn't think it would be the answer. I mean, I had some ideas of what they were going to say but I wanted the real raw middle of what it looks like to not only have a dream to grow a brand online, but to put some backing behind it and actually start working on the skills to get there. 

So if you miss last week, go back and listen to episode 139 with Krystal Proffitt where we talk about her comfort on a stage but when becoming more intentional what that did for her chasing her dream stage list in 2021. Today you're going to hear from Serena, who would not classify herself as a speaker. She would not classify herself as somebody who's going to be up in front of the room, getting all the laughs and all the spotlights, but she did have a heart to be a mentor to other bookkeepers. Serena left the corporate world in corporate finance to have her second baby and decided to start her own bookkeeping business. And after seen so many other struggling budding bookkeepers, trying to figure it all out, she's like, I can answer these questions. So for her, she created a second leg in her business with the desire to serve, but it required her to get uncomfortable and start stepping into the role of a leader, a leader of a new movement, training bookkeepers to have the courage to step into their role. And she discovered that oh, alright, it's not just about telling them what to do, I have to inspire them along the way. So I'm excited for you to hear Serena's story. We're gonna go ahead and jump to the episode. 

But hey, just to give you a quick reminder, if you've been thinking about really taking a leap and saying this is going to be the year that I seriously uplevel my skills, regardless of the type of business model, you have a membership, you want to do a podcast, you want to do live streams. However you plan on building your personal brand, you know what requires your voice. And if you know this is the year you want to reach more people, make a bigger impact and start showing yourself as an authority, if you've been eyeing my program Speak up to Level up, the doors are opening on March 21. So make sure that you have that date on the calendar, make sure that you are on my email list so you get the notifications. We are overhauling some parts of the program and I'm very excited about the new Speak up to Level up that we are launching. So if you want to get all the details, be sure you're on my list. You can just shoot me a direct message on Instagram @theheathersager tell me you're excited about the doors opening so I can put you on the list to get this special secret insider information. Okay, I have said too much. Let's jump straight to the episode here's my friend, Serena Shoup.

Hey there welcome back to another episode of the Heather Sager Show, I am joined by my dear friend, one of my business colleagues and a client of mine, Serena Shoup. Welcome to the show. How are you my dear?

Serena Shoup  7:50  

I am doing great. Thank you so much for having me. 

Heather Sager  7:54  

I'm up in my head. Did I say your name right? I never say your last name outright? Shoup. 

Serena Shoup  7:58  


Heather Sager  7:59  

Do you do that thing too with people that you know on the internet where you have a freakout moment and realize that you never say their names out loud in its entirety? It's a thing. I was talking to a couple podcast hosts over the last couple weeks about it. I name anxiety, name out loud anxiety. That's the thing. What a hell of a way to welcome you to the show.

Serena Shoup  8:16  

Yeah, well, thank you and good job getting it right. Sometimes I get Shoup. And that's really how it's spelled so I can't blame people. But yeah, so I'm Serena and I am a CPA. I have kids at home, I run a virtual bookkeeping business and I also mentor and coach other bookkeepers and accountants on leaving their nine to five to start their own virtual businesses.

Heather Sager  8:41  

Yes, and I love that. Correct me if I'm wrong here but you were not doing that latter part with coaching other bookkeepers and such when we met so let's take it back two years ago, early 2020, when you and I first crossed paths, what did your business look like back then?

Serena Shoup  8:59  

So back then was right around the time that I was wanting to coach other bookkeepers and accountants. I was a couple years into my business. I was definitely feeling like all the imposter syndrome about, I see these people struggling, I know I can help them but I haven't really been at it in my own business long enough. Never mind you, I already had 15 years of corporate experience, right? Doing finances, doing bookkeeping, accounting, and all of that, leading teams. But I still was really unsure of myself and afraid of putting myself out there to start this other arm of my business of coaching and mentoring other bookkeepers and accountants. So that's pretty much where I was at. Yeah.

Heather Sager  9:46  

And with your bookkeeping business, how long have you been at that? How long have you been away from corporate? I know you have little kids like me, too little time. How long have you been in your bookkeeping business?

Serena Shoup  9:57  

So I left corporate in 2016 to have my second baby. And I started my bookkeeping business. It's kind of like, it's kind of vague, because I started it. What was that?

Heather Sager  10:11  

It's like a gray. There's like a gray period of questionable period.

Serena Shoup  10:15  

There's a questionable period of like, am I going to be serious with this or am I just freelancing? And basically, I was taking on job, like freelance bookkeeping jobs on Upwork, just to stay fresh with my accounting knowledge about a year after my daughter was born. I would say, I started in 2017 as like a side hustle to motherhood. Yeah, and so I met you in 2020. So I was about three years into this online business world.

Heather Sager  10:43  

Yeah. And so what was kind of the kicker here. You mentioned a little bit, but you were doing the bookkeeping thing. You were getting clients, things were working well, what was it that made you go, huh, I want to do I want to add more to my plate. I want to do coaching, like that second arm of the business. I think so many people resonate with that we all are like, how do we focus on one thing? What was that pull for you? 

Serena Shoup  11:06  

For me, it was I was in a lot of bookkeeping, communities online, like Facebook groups, let's be real. That's what they were. They were Facebook groups for bookkeepers. And I kept seeing people have the same questions that I had when I started out that I had already been through, struggled through and figured out on my own because I wasn't finding the information out there. And I was finding myself spending a lot of time helping these other people with their questions, just answering in the Facebook groups. And I was like, I could probably put something together to help people that's going to answer all these questions. And that way, I don't have to feel the need to basically coach people in the Facebook comments. And so that's what I did, I started kind of compiling everything, and putting it into a structure of like, a PDF, and I started selling that for $27. Just to like, make myself like, Okay, this will satisfy that need to help other people, because I just can't help myself. I'll make a little bit of money. 

Heather Sager  12:08  

Famous last words, for every entrepreneur, I just can't help myself. I'm just gonna make a little PDF.

Serena Shoup  12:14  

I'm gonna make a little PDF, but I actually pre sold it. Like before I actually created the PDF. A few people that had started following me on Instagram and stuff. They were like, they had all these questions. So I was like, Hey, I'm going to put together this PDF that will answer all of this. It's going to be $27. Are you in? I made a PayPal link, and that's what I did. I think at that point I had started a little email list. It took Amy Porterfield List Builder Society course. I had started my little email list. I had maybe like 50 people on it and I pre sold it to that email list. And once the first person bought, then I got to work actually creating it.

Heather Sager  12:16  

Oh, I love, I love, I didn't know this part about your story. I think that's pretty awesome. Starting pre selling a PDF. That's pretty epic.

Serena Shoup  13:07  

That was crappy. 

Heather Sager  13:08  

Okay. So take us to early 2020, you have this idea. You start pre selling a PDF, you have this goal to I don't know, start serving these people. I'm curious about the cross section because this is where we met. I was doing a launch of Speak up to Level up. Again, it's my program all around helping business owners become more effective speakers and attract leads in their business. But I'm curious, the cross section there, right, because we think you already were doing bookkeeping, you were now getting scrappy adding this PDF piece, when and how did you discover that you wanted to start thinking about getting better at communication and explore speaking skills?

Serena Shoup  13:43  

So that was back when Amy's group was List Builder Society and her members only group for DCA so it was a combined group. And I had been kind of lurking in that group and watching people's comments and someone else had asked about a speaking coach. And then I think maybe you were tagged and I was like a speaking coach? That's interesting. Do I need that? Yeah, probably because, this is one of those things that I've always had major extreme stage fright with performances and getting in front of and talking in front of people even in front of my own team in corporate. 

I would get like the shakes, getting in front of the room of just like 10 people that I knew really well. And I was like if I'm going to start building a personal brand with my bookkeeping business and this other coaching aspect, I probably need to get better at speaking. I need to get better at articulating my thoughts which I'm really great at writing them out then this is where you and I are totally opposite. I was laughing the other day about your message but I am really good at writing my thoughts out. I am not so great at speaking. So that is where I had like, oh, there's a thing called a speaking coach. And to me that seemed a little safer and not so scary as like a Toastmasters Club because I have explored that as well. And it just, it wasn't right for me. So I was like, maybe I should just hire a private speaking coach. 

So I stalked you for a while, I stalked your podcast, I stalked you on Instagram. And then, you know, I got to really know you from your podcast where I felt like I really knew you. So I was like, okay, when she opens a program or starts, you know, whatever she's doing, because I figured you're doing some sort of course if you're in Amy Porterfield's group. I was like, that's the one I'm saving for.

Heather Sager  15:55  

And there we go. Okay. I am curious. So I want to go back and say, when you saw that thing, like, what speaking coach, maybe I need a speaking coach? How many times do we all see somebody post about and we're like,  do I need to do that? Do I need to think about that. But I am curious, the term speaking coach, or even the idea of speaking, everybody has a different picture in their mind when they hear that word? What was coming to mind for you when you were considering this idea of do I need a speaking coach? Do I need to work on that? I know you have the nerves piece. But what in your mind, what were you seeing yourself like where were you speaking? Like, what came to your mind?

Serena Shoup  16:30  

Yeah. And this may have been something that you touched on in one of your earlier podcasts, I'm sure it is. Part of what you talk about is that speaking is happening in any communication, whether it's with your family, it's with your business colleagues, it's on discovery calls, and I was doing a lot of discovery calls at that point. So I was like, okay, so even if I don't end up building a personal brand, and coaching other bookkeepers, and putting myself like way out there online, I can still benefit from this in purely just my discovery calls and communicating with my one on one clients. And so that's where I convinced myself that I needed because I can use this in every area of my life. 

Heather Sager  17:18  

Okay. So it wasn't necessarily this whole idea of like, oh, big goal of speaking on stages, but you started seeing those little moments around how you use your voice all the time. 

Serena Shoup  17:28  

Yeah. I did have that big goal of speaking on a stage, but it was like, it's one of those things that's like, maybe in like 10 years. It's an ultimate thing, right?

Heather Sager  17:38  

And I'm curious what, what was making you think like, oh, way down the road?

Serena Shoup  17:44  

I felt like I needed lots of practice in smaller settings. And honestly, that's probably the best approach anyway to get the momentum and the confidence. And so I was like, I'm going to start with just trying to improve my communication with my clients, trying to improve my communication with my family, and other people in my life. And then I'm going to, you know, start going on Instagram stories and little things like that. So I just started dipping my toe and I'm huge on just taking tiny actions and building the momentum that way because I've now seen the results of that. And yes, it takes time. But you can't really get to where you want to be and get to those big stages if you're like me, and you already have like, I already know, I have stage fright. I know that's later down the road. But these little tiny actions of showing up on video, showing up with a different demeanor toward my clients, and all that has given me more and more confidence to keep going toward that goal, whether I get there or not whatever.

Heather Sager  18:52  

Well, I think you touched on something really important to hear is I think we're sold this idea in online marketing, right? These big dreams, these big goals, these big results, but people tend to skip over the work that it takes the awkwardness it takes to actually get momentum going. So let's actually go back to either, you can tell me where you want to go. But when you discovered, right, it'd be in a Facebook group, how funny is that? And you start listening to the podcast and you were like you joined the program wherever in that time. I would imagine that when you started learning and raising your awareness around what effective speaking was like, what was that like? And what did you start noticing about your own communication?

Serena Shoup  19:35  

I obviously I started noticing how awkward I was. It's really funny. I may even still have some like archive Facebook or not Facebook but Instagram stories because that was literally the first step I took because I think you said in one of your podcasts like just do a story and leave it up. It's going to be cringy and I was like okay, I guess.

Heather Sager  20:00  

Good news for the 24 hour expiration period on stories.

Serena Shoup  20:05  

But I actually what I did is I started saving those in my highlights, and I sometimes go back and look at them. And I'm like, dang, I've come so far. Those are super cringy. But I also like to leave them up so that I can share those with my students because they are where I was a few years ago. They want to show up online and they're super afraid of it. And they think that I, you know, am special and unlike I'm kind of not. So go back in my highlights and look how awkward AF I was. I mean, I'm still awkward, but

Heather Sager  20:39  

Okay, so you notice the awkwardness, what else did you notice as you started raising your awareness around just communication in general, or you started learning some techniques to help you with your communication?

Serena Shoup  20:49  

So one of the other really big ones, and I'm still sort of bad at it. I know I've improved a little bit, but my filler words, and I almost just said. My filler words have improved, but those were super bad. Because I feel when there's a moment of silence, that's when my nerves really kick in. If I don't feel, like I'm even doing it right now, like talking slower to fill up the space. If that isn't there, and there's just silence. I'm like, everyone's looking at me and I have to figure out something to say and now I don't know what to say. So that one's a big one for me is the filler words, and that's something that I'm constantly working on and trying to figure out how to let there be silence.

Heather Sager  21:36  

Yeah, and it's hard. It's super hard. And just like the moment to acknowledge how hard it is being on this show, right? When we talk about speaking in a month, we start talking about the skill of speaking, we get up in our head be like, oh, now we got to be perfect. Y'all like, it's not, it's not easy, right? It's not easy. Even for me, I use filler words and y'all know, I ramble all the freaking time. So it's just, it's a constant work in progress. So I'm curious, where did you start putting your newfound skills as you started working on them? You have an idea in your head around how you thought you could use it? Where did you start noticing the improvement in your speaking?

Serena Shoup  22:17  

I started noticing the improvement by just showing up every day on stories, and back then you couldn't just click on the caption button and have it auto generate captions. And one of the things that I really appreciate because I don't often have my sound on when I'm watching people's stories is if there is a summary of what they're saying, or now there's captions, back then there, there wasn't the ability to put in captions. So it forced me to rewatch my story, type pretty much a caption or a summary of it and be very highly aware of how much I was using filler words, so that was that was step one. And then as I was starting to become in your world and go through your program and whatnot, I was also building a course based on that little PDF, but going more into detail. And so I was creating slides, creating lessons, and talking on video. And I definitely stepped out of my comfort zone with that by actually putting a doing face to camera in addition to the slides because I felt that was kind of important. I don't do that on all lessons anymore. I do like an intro face to camera, and then I, you know, sometimes just do slides, but it was a really good learning experience in getting better on camera, and all that and so. 

Heather Sager  23:49  

Okay, I remember correctly, I can't remember where you were on that journey. But I remember you showing up one to one of our coaching calls and you were sharing how you had this idea for this program. You had everything ready yet you still have not launched. Am I remembering that correctly?

Serena Shoup  24:04  

I mean, I kind of had it ready. It was kind of the same situation as the PDF. I knew people were ready to buy it. I had not yet created it and not yet launched it and I was totally up in my head about launching it and it wasn't even about, for me, it's never really about like, am I going to get enough people to buy? It's more about am I going to give anyone who buys it to the value that they're looking for? That's always been my biggest concern in anything I do. Like, I honestly don't understand why people are like, I only had one person buy. Should I refund them and scrap the whole thing? And I'm like, no, just do it. And so I wasn't concerned about nobody buying because I knew people, I knew there was a handful of people that were ready to buy and they were just literally waiting for me to put something out there. But for some reason I was really caught up in like how am I supposed to learn this . I ended up signing up for Kajabi. In Kajabi, I don't know if it's still in there, but there used to be, I'm pretty sure it is. It's like, it's called a pipeline and it has a template in there based on Brendon Burchard, three part video series. And it even gives you like, not a script, but ideas of what you should be talking about in every video. And so I was like, okay, I'm just going to rip off the band aid. I'm going to follow this process and I'm going to send it out to my email list, and so that's what I did. And I created that while I was in your program. I don't remember, I think I may have shared some of the videos in the Facebook group.

Heather Sager  25:39  

I remember very clear, this is the memory have in my mind of us being on the call and having a conversation. It's like, but why haven't you done it yet? And they were like, no. And I remember we issued a challenge like you're gonna rip off the band aid. You're gonna announce it, like you're gonna announce it, you're gonna do it. And I remember when you launched, how many people came through your first?

Serena Shoup  25:57  


Heather Sager  25:58  


Serena Shoup  25:59  

Yeah, I had 100 people on my email list at that point, which is also another thing that a lot of the gurus talk about, you shouldn't launch until you have like 250. And I was like, I have a really engaged audience. I'm just gonna try it. 

Heather Sager  26:12  

Yeah, I feel you. I'm in that one y'all. I had 136 people on my email list. The first time I launched my program. Just do it. Like, I think people spend too far like waiting and the longer that we wait, the more perfectionism we allow in our brains that it keeps us stuck. So I love your tiny action comment earlier. I think the faster we can get into action screw up, mess up, get all the awkwardness out. In SULU we celebrate losing your virginity on certain things like launching or doing your first podcast interview, like just get it over with so you can move on to the fun part.

Serena Shoup  26:45  

Yeah, that was another thing that I did while I was in SULU is I managed to get myself on to another podcast in the accounting industry. That was way before I started my own podcast. And I was so nervous for that first podcast, I was shaking in my boots, but I did it.

Heather Sager  27:03  

And you've done other ones, too. Now you've launched your own podcast. So tell us a little bit, right. We talked about the early days, you started launching, you've now taken that program that you have that first kind of rough launch on and now you're I mean, you have a well oiled engine and your launch process. But talk a little bit about what your business looks like today compared to two years ago.

Serena Shoup  27:22  

So compared to two years ago, I think we've done about we're creeping up on 200,000 In total revenue. So I think in the first year we did, we actually did hit 100,000 in revenue on just the course mentoring side. 

Heather Sager  27:38  

So his is specifically on your that second arm you're talking about? 

Serena Shoup  27:42  

Yeah. Yeah. So this year, I'm hoping to hit at least that probably more. And we launch the course that I created, I've actually revamped it since that first initial launch because hello, I've improved my skills and I've learned a lot through continuing to work with clients and continuing to work with students about what they're really struggling with. And so I've revamped the program but the basic structure is the same, I've added some higher level stuff, but I totally changed my launch method. So my strategy to actually be in a live format, because I've, funny enough, I've discovered that I do way better when I get to actually interact with everybody in the live setting. And it just feels better for me. So it's not as passive, I get people into a pop up Facebook group. It's a paid launch strategy. So they're paying to be there and so they're showing up more for themselves and it's just so much fun. So that's what I do now and we launched two to three times a year. I think, right now we're currently in one of those launches. And I want to say this is maybe my six launch, I should probably know this. I should probably know that number. But like I said, I'm never really attached to the outcome of the launches in monetary world like which is funny because I'm a finance professional, but more about how much impact I can have. Like it's more about how many people I can get to take action, even just through those workshops. Yes, at the end, I pitch my main program, but I'm always very like, and this is just how I operate. I'm always very transparent. At the very beginning of those workshops, I warn people I'm like I will be opening my program at the end of this. I don't want you to feel like this is a bait and switch you can come to these workshops and still get enough value and information to be able to run with it on your own or if you want to work with me on a deeper level, that option will be available and so for me, that just feels a lot better and so that's how I run them. And then I'm not as nervous when it comes to pitch day because I'm like, it is what it is. People have still gotten the value that they wanted, so yeah, 

Heather Sager  30:12  

Yeah. Okay, I love, I love that. So you have that, happy you're doing live launch. Could you imagine two years ago, you running boot camps like that, like doing the live series and being able to sell so fluidly?

Serena Shoup  30:25  

Not at all. And that's actually that's even one of the things that I talk about during those workshops is like, two years ago, or three years ago, if you had told me that I would be in front of 200 plus bookkeepers, because that's now how many people come through my workshops, 200 people. First of all, I could not really even see myself in front of a room of 200 people, but that's okay. That's besides the point we'll get there. But I tell them, like if you had told me two years ago, or three years ago that I would be teaching 200 people, these workshops, I wouldn't have believed you. I would have been like, yeah, right. Stage fright, Serena, no way.

Heather Sager  31:10  

Oh, my gosh, that's like, it's funny, because it's true, right. And I'm curious, something that came to mind for me, I'm gonna go off track here for a moment. But I'm thinking back to you figuring out your launch strategy, you kind of building this arm of your business. I know, a lot of entrepreneurs have this goal of being able to run launches, like you're talking about to be able to have the oh my gosh, the program can make six figures. That's incredible. And they start focusing on all these tactics and trying to figure out should I do the low ticket offer? Should I do the paid launch? Should I do a group coach? Like they start asking all these questions, and following people who they think the strategy is going to be the thing that works? What have you learned over the last two years around, like, where to focus in your business that has allowed you to grow your programs in this way?

Serena Shoup  31:58  

So two things which I'm gonna take a left turn here, one of them is really working on my money mindset, and detaching myself like just that personal development side of like really getting more comfortable with myself as a person, loving myself not caring what other people think, that has been a difficult thing for me in my life. And I finally feel like I have really detached from that identity of caring what people think and so that has helped tremendously. And in turn with that, like learning, it's okay to have my own communication style. I don't need to be this polished buttoned up accountant that some people expect out of our industry. I think that's my edge. And I like to show other bookkeepers and accountants that they get to be awkward, too, because we all are, to some extent. 

Heather Sager  32:56  

Oh, my gosh, I love that. Yeah, you don't I think we all have our weird quirks and awkwardness. And I think that piece, right, I think we're sold this idea that being an influencer or being a personal brand, you have to act or like a certain way. But the people who really rise are the ones who just show up as themselves, which sounds a little fluffy. But I don't know. I think communication is a huge piece of that being able to speak in your own in perfect and authentic way.

Serena Shoup  33:24  

Yeah. Yeah. Sometimes that can be like that being your authentic self that can be kind of over done, but it's really true.

Heather Sager  33:35  

It totally is. Okay, so what else have you done your business? You said you launched a podcast. Any other things that come to mind around how you have leveraged your newfound communication skills in your business?

Serena Shoup  33:46  

Yeah, so I have also been building out my team inside of my bookkeeping business and just getting really clear on what I value inside of my business with my team that has helped tremendously. I constantly am meeting with my team and doing meetings and presentations for them as well, and so it's trickled into that. It really has trickled out into every aspect of my business and life. So I'm not trying to be like, SULU changed my life, but it did.

Heather Sager  34:23  

Okay. You could say it, we'll put that on a quote card. Ah, okay. I do want to ask because you brought it up earlier, one of the places that you were already showing up was sales calls. I am curious, have you noticed a difference in your, obviously there's the repetition of you do a lot of them. But what have you noticed around the selling experience? How has that evolved for you?

Serena Shoup  34:48  

Sort of the same way as how I approach the workshops, like the selling at the end of those and it's really like changing your mindset around it for one tremendously and being like, it's just an invitation. I'm not like literally trying to just sell you on something you don't need. Anyone who gets on a call with me for bookkeeping knows they already need it, so it's like that pieces out of the equation. It's just a matter of, are they a fit for us? Are we a fit for them? And commit, being able to really communicate the process that we take clients through on discovery calls has helped a lot too. So it trickled into that as well. I wouldn't say that I had a hard time closing clients before SULU, but now it's easier for me to articulate why we're different. So,

Heather Sager  35:44  

Yeah, that's great. I think that's great. And I think a lot of times people think communication skills are like, oh, filler words, oh, speaking louder, clearer. But there's this whole other side is the content around what you're talking about, the structure of your ideas, articulating the value as you said. Can you just share a little bit on your experience on not just the delivery side of things, but on the, what you're talking about and how that's really made an impact in your business or in your life?

Serena Shoup  36:13  

Can you clarify a little bit on like, the content that I talked about?

Heather Sager  36:18  

Yeah. So it's less on the delivery skill side, like the body language, the verbal skills, those kinds of things and more on the message of what you're talking about?

Serena Shoup  36:27  

Okay. Yeah, my message. So I used to, I think everyone kind of falls into this at the beginning of just doing a lot of how to content and I still do a lot of that. But I also have leaned more heavily into being more inspirational, as awkward as it is for me, like I don't know, I get I have this weird, well, I'm an accountant. So I have this, like, masculine structured way of doing things. And so sometimes it's really hard for me to be like a cheerleader, and like, really encouraging and inspirational. And so I've really been working on that as well, because it does make a huge difference because when I do offer, like, some tough love or inspiration toward people, they're like, yes, I needed this today and it's like, okay, so I guess I should do more of that.

Heather Sager  37:21  

I love that. You mentioned that because kind of pairing that back to what you said earlier around how you discovered your own authentic communication style and we joked about that. But I think a lot of people miss this concept that there are different ways in which we have to communicate and different types of messages we have to bring your audiences because they don't think, act, they don't receive things the same way that we do. So you acknowledging that, oh, I have to bring more of that inspirational side because audiences need it. I think that's something that's really interesting as we all have to figure out what our strengths are for communication, but it doesn't give us the ability to skip out on other communication styles that our audience actually needs in order for them to hear it and make decisions with our content.

Serena Shoup  38:05  

Yeah, a big one too recently, and it even came up on this week during the workshops, is at the end of them, I always open it up for Q&A. And I tell them, you can literally ask me anything. And I don't know if that's anyone else's style but I like to just answer random questions. It can be about my life, it could be about stuff inside my business, things that we're not technically covering on the workshops, I still answer questions around. So someone asked me like, what my morning ritual was, and I was like, oh, okay. I wasn't expecting that. But it also got me thinking of not everybody has been in this personal development journey as long as I have and I haven't even been in it that long. So it's not like I know everything about it but I know how much my life has changed since I started my business and going on, like, entrepreneurship is just personal development on steroids, let's be honest. But if they're still in corporate, they haven't been exposed to a lot of this most likely. And so I was like, okay, I need to incorporate a little more of like, where I've gotten my, you know, personal development stuff from and resources that I've found helpful. So yeah, I told him I was like, well, I'm a mom so I don't have like a long ass morning routine in this season of my life, it's literally five minutes and sometimes it's just, I tried to listen to this brain priming audio, you've probably, I don't know if you've heard of her, Dr. Shannon Irvine. Irvine, Irvin. I don't know how to say the last name.

Heather Sager  39:47  

There's the name thing again.

Serena Shoup  39:49  

Yeah, exactly, but she is a neuroscientist, basically. She has her doctorate in neuroscience, and she kind of teaches, basically, I mean, manifestation is actually like a neuroscience thing. You're rewiring your brain when you follow a lot of the manifestation stuff. So anyway, part of what she has is a brain priming audio and it's almost like an affirmations type thing, so I listened to that it's five minutes long, I listened to that every morning while I'm brushing my teeth. And I told them that and they were like, this is amazing. Thank you so much. And I'm like, okay, so

Heather Sager  40:32  

Where they can get that, so you're gonna have to share that so I can include the link in the show notes because I'm writing down like, okay, prime my brain while I brush my teeth.

Serena Shoup  40:39  

Yeah, she actually has two of them. There's a morning one and an evening one. And they're most effective if you're listening, if you listen to them, like right when you're waking up and right when you're going to sleep because it kind of like bakes it into your subconscious or something. I'm really bad at explaining how it works, because I'm not the neuroscientist. But yeah,

Heather Sager  41:00  

You're doing great. I know. Other people are thinking like, how do I get that too? So will you share a link with me and I'll put in the show notes.

Serena Shoup  41:06  

Yeah, absolutely. I'm pretty sure it's a freebie of hers. But I got it like three years ago. And I've been

Heather Sager  41:12  

We'll explore. we'll figure it out. Okay, I love this, love this. I want to respect your time because I know you are right in the middle of your workshops heading into your launch, which by the way, congratulations to you. I know you'll be welcoming your 100th student inside your program, which is I think that's pretty freaking exciting. I know you said the numbers. But for you, it's more about the impact. But clearly, the impact that you're making is really incredible. And just thinking about the fact that you were wavering on taking action on this just two years ago, I think in the online space I mentioned before, we all want things to go faster, but growth, sustainable growth, and actually really building a program that can create that value for people, it does take time. I want you to speak to a moment for anyone who's listening who's maybe earlier in their online journey, right? They probably like you have either an established other leg of their business, or they're coming out of corporate with professional experience but this whole online thing is relatively new and they're feeling like, why the hell is this taking so long as you have any words of encouragement for them and any recommendations around where to focus?

Serena Shoup  42:16  

Yeah, so if you're here listening to Heather's podcast and you're new to the online space, she's said it in lots of other podcasts, but rip off the band-aid, go on your Instagram stories, start getting comfortable in front of video. But like I said before, it's the little tiny actions that build the momentum and build your confidence. And two years, I mean, two years is not that much time, but it's also a lot of time. So if you've been wavering for even a year or two years, and you're like, I have to have everything perfect. Imagine how far you could have been if you would have just jumped right in two years ago when you first have the thought, right? So try not to beat yourself up over not having already started, just do it now. Is now your time. 

Heather Sager  43:05  

Frickin do it now people rip off the band-aid. It's just, I don't know, I love what you said earlier as like I might as well be bad and get moving on it, than just wait on it even more. So. Yeah. Okay. I love this. I mentioned to you this before. Serena, I would love to have you back on the show to talk about your expertise with money. Y'all full disclaimer, Serena has also become my bookkeeping team helping me with my finances. We've been working together now for a little over a year, right? 

Serena Shoup  43:32  


Heather Sager  43:33  

I like how fun is it that I get to hire, it's happened multiple times. I've actually hired members of my program to come and work inside my business. So Serena is amazing. So we'll have her come back and talk a little bit about that money thing. You mentioned the money mindset. I want to talk a bit about that and then also help business owners understand money doesn't have to be scary, so we'll do that. But in the meantime, they can start following you online. You're very active in stories, and I have been very impressed with your reels game this last year, my dear. So where can people hang out with you online, learn more about what you do?

Serena Shoup  44:03  

Yeah, so I have two handles on Instagram. Ambitious bookkeeper is my coaching side for the bookkeepers and accountants, and that's the one I'm most active on. So if you want to get to know me as a person, that's where you should go. And my bookkeeping firm is, of coursebookkeeping and that's instant on Instagram @ofcoursebookkeeping. And, yeah, those are probably the best two places to reach me.

Heather Sager  44:27  

Cool. And if anybody just by chance to sit here, actually, I've been looking for a bookkeeper or trying to figure out whether or not I need one for my digital course business. We were joking about this a couple weeks ago. Your business name is called ofcoursebookkeeping, because it's specific to course creators. We've been working with for over a year and I sent her a Vox the other day. I'm like, hold on real quick. Am I just getting this funny little thing you did here of course like for digital courses. So if people do have questions and want to figure out do they need a bookkeeper? Is that the right that time? Where should they go specifically to find out about your bookkeeping services for you and your team?

Serena Shoup  45:02  

Of coursebookkeeping.com. Very simple. can learn all about me and my team on that website right there.

Heather Sager  45:09  

Cool. Okay, I love it. Serena, thank you so much for spending your time in the middle of your launch here on the show. I appreciate it so much, and I look forward to having you back on the show real soon.

Serena Shoup  45:18  

Yeah, thank you. I appreciate you.