In today’s episode, Finance Coach, Sarah Vanhoose shares her journey around how speaking helped her find her messaging, voice and confidence as a new coach in the online space. Tune in for six specific transformations that you can apply into your business.
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0:00 Sarah VanHoose: As we work through, Speak Up to Level Up, that's something that you spoke to and in probably each of those modules or components, and it took me a while to really understand what that looked like in the online space. But showing up just to serve without having any expectation of what that looks like in return was a great gift and helped me manage my expectations around what it looked like to show up in this online space. You don't just go out and make 100 friends, or followers or whatever, right? And they all of a sudden want to buy all of your services, you have to go and serve in a really valuable way. That was probably that really first kind of initial insight for me. It took a little while before I was able to stop looking at the numbers as much because I was in business to make some money and make a difference. So serving without making any money for a longer period of time, and that's what it looked like, right? When I started my business, there were some crickets. I heard a lot of crickets. It gave me a lot of good opportunities to be like okay, well this is just my time to serve. I'm just going to go practice. I'm going to go out there, and give, and share to others and know that I'm here for the long game, not the short game.
01:22 Heather Sager: Well, hey friend, welcome to another episode of The Heather Sager show. It's me, Heather Sager, and I'm honored to be your speaking coach here today in this episode. I've spent the last 15 years studying and building my communication skills to inspire and teach business owners and their teams from stages around the world. I've had the honor of speaking on more than 1000 stages on topics of leadership, premium brand positioning, sales, and of course communication. And now my focus is helping fellow online entrepreneurs become magnetic speakers, so they can make a bigger impact in the world while growing their income. This show right here was designed to give you a dedicated space each and every week to grow your skills and keep your big goals front and center. And if you liked today's episode, be sure to grab a screenshot and share it on Instagram and tag me @theheathersager so I can give you a shout out and celebrate the work you're doing. All right, let's dive in friend. It's gonna be a good one.
02:25 Heather Sager: Hey, friends, welcome back to another episode of The Heather Sager Show. I hope your new year is off to an incredible start. We are hitting the ground running, talking about getting more eyeballs on your business because I mean, we're not going to outright say this is your year because we all saw what happened when we called our shot last year. But let's just commit to this being the year where we get uncomfortable, we get a little bit more courageous and we take some big bold action towards our bigger dreams and goals. This episode I hope will give you a little a little kick in the booty to start doing just that because it doesn't matter if you have a thriving multiple six-figure business or if you have a baby nugget of a business where you're just getting started trying to figure out what this whole landscape of the online world looks like. I don't care where you are. Getting more confident with your messaging, getting more confident in articulating your thoughts, it is for you. I'll tell you this when I started using my voice a lot more when I started talking about my ideas in my business when I started talking with my audience, I started building my confidence. And yes, it's scary. It's shaky. Your confidence grows as you take action.
03:39 Heather Sager: My guest today, Sarah VanHoose, she's going to share with you her journey with just that. She's a newer business owner. She calls herself a self-proclaimed baby nugget business. Her business called Journey to Influence. Sarah is a Ramsey Preferred Finance Coach. She helps people with their personal finance. She makes the money stuff simple and easy to understand, kind of pulling things back to the basics. Now Sarah, fascinating background, she's a leader in a top healthcare organization here in the Portland area, and her husband, James, their two daughters, they live here and I actually know her family quite well. Her husband was actually my wedding photographer. He's so phenomenal. I loved him so much in his work. I actually hired him to record a ton of videos in my old company and all of my life events. Actually, right now, if you're on a desktop device and go to my page on my website, my work with me page, the video that you see right in the background of me on stages, all of those were shot by Sarah's husband, James. He's a phenomenal photographer, a phenomenal video producer. He brought Sarah and I together where James and I were friends for years. But when his wife sort of thinking about having an online business, he knew that she needed to talk to me, so fun fact. Thanks James for the shout-out. Sarah, I might like her a heck of a lot better than you. I'm just saying.
05:02 Heather Sager: Sarah, I brought her on today because she was one of my first clients who joined my program, Speak Up to Level Up. We're not here today to actually talk about finance. Sarah wanted to share with you a little bit about her experience around how speaking helped her find her messaging, helped her find her voice, and help her find her confidence as a new coach in the online space. She had a couple of big insights that she learned going through the program and applying it over the last 12 to 14 months. And so she's going to share six specific transformations that she brought into her business, from learning how to speak on different platforms. I hope that you love Sara's message today. I hope you learn from it regardless of what phase of business you're in. And hey, if you're thinking about getting more visible this next year, if you're thinking about speaking on podcasts, or stages, or doing some of the things Sarah talks about, I just rolled out a brand new free training where you can learn how to use guest speaking to fill your programs this year, even if you don't have a large following. If you want to grab that free training now. It's also the only way that you'll find out the details about my newly enhanced revamped version of Speak Up to Level Up which is now a 12-month program for coaches, course creators, and online entrepreneurs. You can check it out right now at heathersager.com/speak. Alright, go check it out and let's jump to today's interview.
06:57 Heather Sager: Hey friends, welcome back to another episode of the Heather Sager Show. I am joined here today with my good friend Sarah VanHoose. Welcome to the show, girl. So good to have you here.
07:05 Sarah VanHoose: Hey, I'm so excited to be here. I've been waiting for this moment.
07:08 Heather Sager: I know you have. I think a year ago you made me a bet that you would be on the show within the next 12 months, and here we are so cheers to your tenacity. We are here today to talk about so many good things. But selfishly speaking, I love today's topic because I think you're a newer business owner, relatively new. Although I don't know if you can say that anymore. You've been in business now for a year and a half?
07:31 Sarah VanHoose: Just a year, January 1st. Yeah, so just over a year. Well, I still call it new, new-ish.
07:37 Heather Sager: Yeah, I still think a new so we'll do it that. The topic we're covering today is around how the role of speaking can still play a critical part for a newer business owner because I think a lot of people think oh, guest speaking on stages doesn't come until later in the journey. But you prove that to be a total myth, which I love a good trendsetter so we're going to talk about all those things today. But before we get ahead of ourselves, Sarah, why don't you introduce yourself to our audience today? Just tell them a little bit about yourself and your business.
08:07 Sarah VanHoose: Sure, thank you. As you said, my name is Sarah VanHoose and my business is called Journey to Influence. It's a coaching practice. I am a Ramsey Preferred Coach. I help people get intentional with their money by making a plan and then walking through it with encouraging accountability, all things personal finance and money management over here.
08:29 Heather Sager: Okay, I love this. So you help people with money. Your background though is, your background is not from the finance world. Share a little bit about how you came to this idea of wanting to help people with their money and their personal lives into their business.
08:42 Sarah VanHoose: Yeah, it's a really great story. My husband and I travel often for our anniversary. We like to spend some time in East Loma Harris, Mexico, look it up beautiful destination. One year when we were visiting, it's about two years ago, and we were leaving the island, just getting ready to board the airplane and had a bloody mary or two. I tell my husband, I said, why do we have to wait until we retire to come down here? We had planned to stay for a few years, for several years, or at least part-time when we were older. So what benefit is that to our kids? Why can't we come down here and enjoy the community, and the culture, and the language and just like experience this full time while we have young kids at home? And he kind of joked around and he says will you make a plan for that and you know, we'll talk about it later. Napkin in hands like on my little tiny airplane tray in front of me, I'm like, alright, I'm gonna make a plan so I busted it out. I figured out the finances of what that would look like, for me quitting my job and him taking on some different kind of work and still kind of managing our finances or our household. I showed my napkin. Again, he kind of chuckled and kind of hoped that I would go away or that the idea would fade over the next few weeks at least. It didn't. It kept just like gnawing at me that I really wanted to be more present and do something different. My background is working in a nine to five large healthcare organization in operations and strategy. I had to be there during those hours and it didn't allow me to be as present with my kids as I really wanted to be. We have two daughters, and I wanted to spend more time with them as they were getting older and growing up and needing their Mama, whether they needed, whether they wanted to admit it or not. A few months later, still, this idea is gnawing at me. And so I told my husband, I'm just going to start a blog, that'll be fun. I'll just chronicle our journey to really influence him, convince him that this was a great move to Mexico. I started blogging about it.
10:46 Heather Sager: Hold on. We have to say, but the funny part about this is you were very open around I am started this journey to convince my husband that this is a real idea that I have. So I love the fact, what about journey to influence like leaders, it was journey to influence my husband that this is a good idea.
11:02 Sarah VanHoose: Yes, yeah, absolutely. It was very pointed at him for sure. A few blog posts and like I did a blog post on like, transportation, like, how are we going to get around? We know when we were on the island there. I shared about how we had paid cash for our vehicles. I got so many comments on that, like, wow, that's kind of crazy. How did you do that? That's so not normal. I realized in that moment that my financial journey as a Dave Ramsey fan or follower was not something that people were acclimated to or really aware of. My love and passion for that personal finance piece led my desire to help other people with that. And that when the light bulb sort of went off, like I could coach people through personal finance, and I could do it from a beach if needed. That's when those things started to come together. It was around that time that my husband says to me, Hey, this plan of you like quitting altogether is like not really my favorite. And it would be great if you could have a little bit of a side income or something like happening at the same time. I was like, alright, let's marry these two together. I will coach some people through personal finances, while still you know, living the island life. That's the same time that I got introduced to your program. You're launching, Speak Up to Level Up. My husband knows you. You guys know each other from working together in the past. He says, Heather's doing this thing, I don't know, maybe you should look into it. I'm double-dipping in my courses at that point in that fall, so fall of 2019. I'm taking both some financial coach master training through Dave Ramsey's company, and Speak Up to Level Up at the same time because I have decided I'm not a person that can go halfway into things. I'm like, I'm going all-in if I'm going to build a business, then I'm building a business.
12:49 Heather Sager: There was a moment of hesitation. I remember when we were talking about it, you're going alright, I have a certain amount, I'm a budgeter. I have a certain amount of money. I'm trying to figure out, should I do this certification first then explore your program or should I do your, like which one, and I'm fairly confident maybe I'm remembering wrong. I'm fairly confident I told you that if you were hesitating, do the Ramsey onw first and then the next day you registered for the program. I was like, alright, she's an all in kind of girl. Let's do this.
13:16 Sarah VanHoose: Yep. Yeah, the other part of me was, you also said these keywords. This is the lowest price point that this course will be offered ever. I was like, well, I gotta save some money. I'm gonna go ahead, I'm gonna go all in right now.
13:30 Heather Sager: Okay, that's true. That's true. Okay, so at the time where you joined Speak Up to Level Up, which by the way, throughout this episode, you probably heard me before, my clients and students inside the program, call it SULU so anytime you hear the word SULU, that's what we're talking about. But this idea when you were thinking about it, like, most people don't really think of speaking as a, I need to take a speaking class to grow my business. Tell me a little bit about what was going through your mind at that moment when you were thinking, Huh, I want to build a coaching business, I'm going to get certified with Ramsey like, Oh, I should learn how to speak. What was your thinking around that? How were you planning on using speaking to grow this new business?
14:08 Sarah VanHoose: You know, I didn't know how to utilize speaking in an online world. I knew that I wanted to be in the online space because I wanted the flexibility to work from home, work from the beach, whatever that looks like and so I knew that I needed to leverage the online space. I was comfortable speaking in front of a group of, you know, real people in a conference room or in a large team format, but when it came to doing things in an online space, I've just been kind of an ostrich in the sand. I listened to some podcasts, but I was still a late bloomer when it came to that. I just, I knew that I needed some help and direction when it came to speaking in my business for online world, in the online world.
14:48 Heather Sager: You're not alone with that. I think so many of us have this picture in our mind of what we think speaking is like it's speaking on a live stage at a conference. We talked about this all the time on the show. We all know speaking is just, you do it every single day in your business. You speak to people all the time, it's just whether or not you're doing it with a strategy or with intention. One of the things, we're going to dive into this. One of the things that I love the most hearing back from my clients and students is when they surprise the hell out of me and use what I teach them in all these unexpected ways. I think lots of times as coaches and course creators, we have this perfect path that we lay out for students around, they're going to do this, and then they're going to learn this. And then they're going to go do X, Y, and Z. And so when your students do like P and Q, and O and T, like all these other letters, and you're like, what, it's actually really exciting to see the impacts that your programs or coaching can have. Sarah, she pitched me a couple months ago. She goes, Heather, I've been thinking about this and I actually have all these different ways that I've leveraged speaking and leverage what I learned inside the Speak Up to Level Up that I think other people need to hear, because it's a little bit different. It's not the standard form of speaking. We're gonna go through those insights from a baby nugget business builder. I want you to share some of these transformations. We're gonna go through six of them that you wanted to share today. Let's dive into them with transformation number one.
16:12 Sarah VanHoose: Yeah, the first one that I would say is really this attitude of service. As we work through, Speak Up to Level Up. It's something that you spoke to in probably each of those modules or components. It took me a while to really understand what that looked like in the online space. But showing up just to serve without having any expectation of what that look like in return was a great gift, and helped me manage my expectations around what it looked like to show up in this online space. You don't just go out and make that 100 friends or followers or whatever, right? And they all of a sudden want to buy all of your services, you have to go and serve in a really valuable way that was probably that really first kind of initial insight for me.
16:58 Heather Sager: How did you balance that idea of knowing service first, but also knowing one of the big things I talk about all the time is you need to speak with a strategy? So internally, how did you toggle between that knowing you wanted speaking to grow your business, but also knowing that you have to earn the right to have a voice, you earn the right to ask people to do business with you? How did you toggle those two things so you didn't get blinders on with like dollar signs or lead numbers and so forth?
17:22 Sarah VanHoose: It took a little while to pull that out, honestly. It took a little while before I was able to stop looking at the numbers as much because I was in business to make some money and make a difference. So serving without making any money for a longer period of time. And that's what it looked like, right? I when I started my business, it was there was some crickets, I heard a lot of crickets. It gave me a lot of good opportunity to be like, Okay, well, this is just my time to serve. I'm just going to go practice. I'm going to go out there and give and share to others and know that I'm here for the long game, not the short game.
18:00 Heather Sager: I love that. I love that. I think I think we all have to have that constant reminder. I think even when business is growing, we're gonna have those moments where we feel like we've stalled out and we're like, oh. It's a reminder that show up and serve, show up and serve and things will come. But I think one of the things that I noticed you early on, as you were clear around, you knew that you wanted to make money in your business, you knew that this wasn't going to be a hobby. And I think just that mental decision you made, that's when as a business owner, you can serve and know that the money will come when you have the intention to make money. I think a lot of business owners are still kind of like, I don't want to charge people or they're like holding back and fearful. But they haven't actually decided they want to have a profitable business. Was that clear for you? Am I reading that correctly, that you knew that this was going to be your thing, that you were going to do this regardless?
18:52 Sarah VanHoose: Yeah, absolutely. Like you said, you know, I'm one of those people that just is going to go all in. I'm not going to let myself be a barrier, you know, to my success. I was going to figure it out, like one way or another, you know, one avenue or another to figure out how I can make sure to be successful. So yeah, I knew that I needed to make money. But also I knew that what I was offering was a value. So I have valuable product, I have valuable insights to share as I coach clients, and I knew that I was worth getting paid for it.
19:19 Heather Sager: Yeah, I love that. I love that. Okay, so the insight of service that was a through line for you in your first year of business. What's insight number two?
19:27 Sarah VanHoose: Insight number two is the outline. Oh my goodness, like making sure that you've got a plan for what you're speaking to is so important. Can we have a little side note here for a minute?
19:40 Heather Sager: Let's do it.
19:42 Sarah VanHoose: I can talk for hours. You know, I'm used to like talking in front of groups. But in order to have like an organized path for doing that the outline really helped. And it didn't have to be long or fancy and to be honest, I didn't have time for that. Like I'm working that full time nine to five while hustling and creating my business. I needed bullet points. And you gave me the algorithm for creating an outline that you could follow that's easy without being stuffy. I love to write so that blogging is part of my business as well. And I could write out what I wanted to say. But again, it didn't sound as authentic as just me speaking what I needed to say so bullet points and outline really helped me become a little bit more conversational while still getting my message across.
20:29 Heather Sager: Yeah, okay, I'm having flashbacks of some of our calls, where you, we will be going through some of your copy. I'd be like, Sarah, this is not how you speak, like, and I think that is a big thing. When we talk about outlining, we're just talking about framing out your thoughts in an order, that's going to make sense to your audience. But making sure it's an outline and not an essay. But that idea, it allows us to speak, to build confidence with our own voice with our own ability to articulate what we want to say. I think a lot of times we use writing as a crutch, because we think if we can get it perfect, then the message will sing for an audience. But really, the connection is more about the delivery, with good content. It leads with delivery, not with the words, if that makes sense.
21:10 Sarah VanHoose: Yeah, absolutely. I think you talk about it often on the podcast, but people are looking to connect with people. So having a real human voice and face and movement, you know, talking about doing video, those kinds of things. Again, we just segue way, way away from the outline. But you know, having that whole human touch is really important.
21:31 Heather Sager: Yeah, I agree. I agree with that. So Okay, perfect. I love this. So being of service, create an outline so you stay on point. What's the transformation number three?
21:41 Sarah VanHoose: It's the sales call. I don't like to call them sales calls, right?
21:45 Heather Sager: Wait, I don't teach sales calls.
21:50 Sarah VanHoose: The discovery call, the consultation, right? I don't know what we call it these days. But it's the art of having a conversation and being able to share your services and what you offer in a meaningful way that helps connect the buyer and the seller. Having this conversation. Thinking of retrospectively, I was like, Oh, yeah, Heather totally use this tool on me right when i when i purchased the program, but it didn't seem, it wasn't sleazy. It wasn't weird or uncomfortable. But learning how to do that, when I hadn't sold anything ever was really important piece for me to launch my business. I needed to know how to pitch my services in a way that brought the customer or the client into the conversation. I've had several clients talk to me and I will ask them, like, why did you choose to book with me over another coach? And they said, you asked about me and my goals and how we were actually interested in what I had to say. I was like, well, of course, like, how am I going to be able to learn to serve you, but so many people are just like, here's what I have to offer. Here's the signup price, when do you, you know, let's do it, right? But your program really helped me just learn how to have that conversation. It's a conversation, right? Not a consultation, but it's just a conversation.
23:16 Heather Sager: Yeah, I love that. I think so often, we think of speaking as this one sided thing, where we are the experts, we have to push our information on people. But really, truly effective speakers, the ones that we remember for the right reasons. They're ones that honor the conversation with their audience, even when the audience is unable to speak. So if you're talking to a crowd of 1000, like you can't actually have a conversation with your audience. But you can research them, you can know them, you can ad lib of what they might be thinking so it feels like a conversation. And I think us being able to translate that into sales calls, whatever you call them. It's a bonus, by the way inside of Speak Up to Level Up is how to lead those discovery calls. I think people don't think about them. They think about it's my job to convince or sell. No, your job is to have a conversation and to show up with the right energy to lead someone to a decision. I'm really glad that you got this insight out of that one because not a lot of people really think about the sale as an opportunity to speak with influence.
24:12 Sarah VanHoose: And if we don't make sales we don't have a business. I mean, it is a critical component of the whole conversation, right? The whole speaking it's important part.
24:19 Heather Sager: Yeah. Okay, I love that. Okay, so we've talked about service, we talked about outlining, we talked about sales, transformation number four.
24:27 Sarah VanHoose: Pitching. Windup and the pitch. Being in the online space and wanting to have to truly like be able to influence people around money management, really anything, anything in our businesses. We have to get the word out. Podcasts are such a great and really kind of fun way in order to share our message. And the again I think it was maybe it was another bonus but inside SULU, but pitching yourself to podcasts and to getting on other stages was really important for me in order to spread that message. I was a little tiny, tiny person on Instagram, like my baby nugget of a business. I needed to grow my audience in a variety of different ways so learning how to pitch was really important. And again, it's one of those pieces where you find the magic in the person that you're pitching to. There's lots of good little components there where you're stroking their ego a little bit, you're telling them how awesome they are, and how you can again serve them while you're still able to utilize their stage to, again, serve their audience, but also get your message across at the same time.
25:37 Heather Sager: Yeah, okay. I love that. I remember specifically, I did a Facebook Live early in the program where I gave you guys all a, it was like a mini script of like, Hey, you want to pitch somebody to DM today which, by the way, that's now a swipe I offer in my free trainings, but it's like, hey, try this. I remember, you're an action taker, and you're like, I'm gonna do this now.You started pitching people like immediately before your talk was even done. I was like, I love it. I love the action taking. So can you just share a little bit around what you were thinking like, what was going through when you first started pitching were you like, Yeah, I got this, or were you freaking out a little bit? Like, let's do the honest stuff. How are you feeling on your first couple pitches and your first few interviews?
26:19 Sarah VanHoose: Yeah, I think that I was just going to kind of spread out the number of pitches knowing that not all of them were maybe going to land. Well, in order to you know, like, make the math work on that I need to kind of get few things out. And, you know, lucky for me like it, they worked more often than not, but I was able to choose who I wanted to work with. So that was another component too. I didn't just want to pitch myself to everybody out there, I needed to make sure that their platform aligned with you know, with my audience and theirs as well so that was one of those components that helped. But sure, I was scared. I am swift behind the DM or swift behind the email. But when it comes to a phone conversation or video, like I was still building those muscles to be more comfortable with that moving forward. But if I can get somebody on the phone now, or you know, just like book a quick call, we can usually be sure to land a speaking gig again, like in selling like what's in it for them? Obviously, that has to lead firs,t what's in it for them, but also, again, give you the opportunity to speak on their stage.
27:22 Heather Sager: Yeah. Were you scared of pitching right out of the gate? Was that something that made you you were like good with or were you totally uncomfortable with the idea of pitching someone?
27:30 Sarah VanHoose: I think pitching I was more comfortable with the piece that still you know, like makes me a little sweaty, you know, is the actual interview part itself?
27:38 Heather Sager: Hold on, are you nervous right now?
27:40 Sarah VanHoose: like, I think I'm okay. Like,
27:45 Heather Sager: I still get nervous to interviews. Yes. It's a good thing. It's totally normal.
27:51 Sarah VanHoose: Yes, so pitching I was okay with but then when it comes down to actually doing it, you know, there's just like an extra layer of deodorant that was applied.
27:58 Heather Sager: This is the realness that we can get, ladies and gentlemen. Okay, I love it. All right, we've talked about being of service outlining, sales, pitching. What's transformation number five? Gosh, there's so many I love this.
28:12 Sarah VanHoose: It's showing up. You really encouraged us to show up on video, whether we wanted to or not, whether anybody was watching or not, and continue to again practice and build that experience and build that muscle. I see so many of my peers, both in coaching platforms or just in other small businesses that are quick to post a photo, or use great copy, but very rarely are utilizing a video or introducing themselves that way. I was lucky enough to you know, be a part of SULU and just kind of bust through that awkwardness. I mean, it's still awkward, you know, like occasionally, but I've gotten over myself, to be honest. You know, like, that's what my face looks like, you know, there are days that it's a complete messy bun but here's the deal, like, that's who I am and that's also who I am as a coach. I'm going to be totally authentic and real and so that's what I look like. So you know, there you go, like like it or not, if that's something that resonates with you, great if not, then maybe there's somebody else that's a better fit for you.
29:16 Heather Sager: Yeah, okay. I love this by giving people the opportunity to know who you truly are so they can connect. That's that attraction, that magnetism we talk so much about. I think people are afraid that they're like, what if people don't see me as as polished, whatever curated thing. Well, you're not that. You're a human. So I love you do a really good job showing up on it lives really consistently. I remember a few months back when you have your mom and your sister join you for one of your Live Q&A like I love those moments. I love seeing it and I think your consistency with it has really served you well. But in the beginning, when you started doing your lives, did people show up? Well, I know when you first got started, share a little bit about that.
30:01 Sarah VanHoose: Oh, man, there was definitely extra deodorant applied there. Just again showing up. And I had this, like, I had a tough time transitioning from sounds strange, but like, from being professional, to being authentic, and having my own business, you know, being a solopreneur, being a coach has allowed me to be my authentic self 100% of the time, but I had to transition away from being what was expected of me, or what was appropriate in a professional setting, to this other self, really my true self, but being able to kind of hang that up and and move forward with it. So it took me a little while to kind of get less stiff and be able to use words that maybe I wouldn't use in that brick building that I work in the other times.
30:49 Heather Sager: And probably the same is true of not using words that you use when you walk into that brick building, that would be in like a professional style email versus you would never say that in real life, right?
31:00 Sarah VanHoose: Exactly. I never ever use the word colleagues.
31:03 Heather Sager: Yeah, Dear colleagues. That transition in verbiage is something that none of us catch, until we start saying our emails out loud or copy out loud. Once we train yourself, you sense this, like, whenever I ever said that out loud outside of X Y&Z setting. I think a lot of people who come from corporate, they don't realize that you no longer have that like expectation of somebody else's brand to live under. And then there's this moment, it's like a crab losing a shell. I heard this analogy recently, where it's like, oh, my gosh, I'm naked now and expose, like, what is my persona? What is my brand, and we have to kind of fumble and figure it out. When we're doing that, while also becoming more visible, it can feel really, really scary, because we don't necessarily entirely know our own brand voice. But you honestly don't figure it out until you start using it. And I saw you do that beautifully over the last year.
32:02 Sarah VanHoose: Thank you, I had had such good teaching.
32:07 Heather Sager: Alright, let's talk about transformation number six.
32:11 Sarah VanHoose: This is a biggie for me, it's the framework. Outlining your talk, your signature story, your talk into a framework is has translated to not just the my signature story that I utilize on podcasts are different opportunities. But it transformed the framework that I use in my business. So it helped, again, organize my thoughts and the transformation that I was going to take my clients through into a way that I could easily and visually explain to my clients and walk them through it through, you know, several different coaching sessions. So the framework that I built in SULU is the framework that I use today with my clients.
32:50 Heather Sager: I love that. And I love that. And you know, one of the things that's, I think it's actually more common than I anticipated. I anticipated with the program that people would have frameworks or processes they follow and then we would just amplify that or describe it on a stage. But what I actually found is, most business owners don't have a solid, strong framework that's in the language of their audience. So it's been really fascinating over the last year and a half inside of the program, helping business owners shake out existing frameworks and strengthen them, but also come up with brand new ones that now have become pillars in the business. I saw that to be true with you. You use it everywhere, in your websites, in your sales calls. I think it's pretty cool. How has the framework impacted the experience with your coaching clients?
33:37 Sarah VanHoose: It gives the, honestly, it just takes my coaching up a notch from my peers. It gives an organized kind of, again, an organized outline of how we're going to work together. So the framework that I use for my clients, it's a simple five step process. We dream, we prep, we plan, we flex, and we thrive. And it's honestly it's a framework that you can use in all kinds of goals that you're chasing in your life, but one that I like to apply to financial goals specifically. And because if you miss some components along the way, you can fall off the wagon and not get back on. And I want people to see it, see their goals all the way through to the point that they can celebrate and then get back on the circle or the cycle and continue to pursue what their passion is, and especially as it comes to managing their money.
34:28 Heather Sager: I love that. I love that we repeat your framework, the five steps again, because I want to make sure we don't lose insight or here around how simple they are. But there is such power in simplicity. So I want you to go through this five again.
34:42 Sarah VanHoose: Yep. The first is to dream. So this is the step where you actually sit back and it doesn't have to take a lot of time but you need to think about what you really want. Like what do you really want what are your goals? Sit and dream about it. If you are married, you know this is a great opportunity to sit with your partner over a glass of wine like what do you guys want together? Like, what are your goals for the future? So dream number one, number two is prep. And that's a little bit of the woowoo. There's a little bit of head work and a little bit of hard work. So is your head and your heart ready for a little bit of change? Usually people like oh, yeah, like I can, you know, take the time to do this. But like, have you really thought about what change looks like in your behaviors or what it looks like, from a more emotional standpoint. And the third is plan, you got to make a plan, in order to see, see your goals through. And we're talking about money management, it very much looks like a financial plan or a budget in order to keep your money on task. So lots of planning that takes place. And step number three. And then step number four is honestly one of my favorite steps. And it's the flexing step, life's going to happen, somebody's going to break their arm, the dog is going to need to go to the vet, like life is going to happen. And you have to learn how to be flexible within your overall goal or within your plan. So often people something happens, and then they fall, they're like, ah, screw it, I can't do it, you know, I just can't do it. It's not meant for me, well, you have to learn how to be flexible within your plan. So that's step number four. And then the fifth step is is thriving. It's taking a minute, maybe a weekend and celebrating what you just did, and taking a deep breath, and then starting all over again. What's the next dream? And how are you going to go about tackling it?
36:25 Heather Sager: Yes. Okay. I love this. I think so often, we're used to following our own processes, but we wouldn't even name them as processes. We're used to how we think and how we would guide people in a series of questions to work out a solution to their problem, and how to like live on. That sounds so grand. But I think what we lack is an ability to articulate a phased process, or a step by step process around our thought process. And I think when we do that, ie a framework, like you just described here, it builds trust with our audience, that, okay, there's actually a path, it's not just going to be this fluid conversation. There's a path we're following, but also it shows that it's well thought out. And I think people respect and appreciate simplicity, I think there's always going to be a segment of your audience who rolls their eyes and be like, Oh, that's so simple. I already know that. But also, they're most likely not getting the results. So they're unwilling to be helped. They're not your audience. So I think they're I always think about that sometimes when I look at my frameworks, I'm like, this is so simple. But also, if it were really simple and easy, more people would be doing it, but they're not. So I really encourage anyone listening, think about, do you have a framework? Do you have a process that you follow? Have you overcomplicated or how can you simplify it? it'm gonna say dumb it down. I hate that phrase. So simplify it so that your audience can follow with it. But it's something that you can keep going back to over and over again. But, Sarah, I love your framework. I'm very, very proud of you. Okay, so we know frameworks, stellar move, smart move, as a business owner, it helps you not only get organized, but also communicate your message to your audience. And okay, so going through those, again, the six were serve, outline, bring it into sales, pitching, showing up, particularly on lives and social and having a framework for your business. So I love these takeaways. Tell us a little bit Sara, around how these insights and transformations have actually led to your transformation in your business, like what is your business look like now 12 months, 14 months after kind of learning these things?
38:28 Sarah VanHoose: It went from, you know, what I call an infancy of a business or even you know, like, in the womb, my business was in the womb, just kind of this like thought process that I was trying to kind of grow as I started SULU. So many of my, the community members or the other students in the program are seasoned, the seasoned veterans are what looked like really seasoned veterans to me. I guess that's another like, if we could have a bonus seventh insight, it would be the community in SULU. Being able to learn from one another. You know, while we're getting individual coaching and group coaching, you get to like, borrow other people's ideas, and insights, and growth, and strategy, throughout that piece, too. It helped me become this like infancy of a business to a legit coaching practice. I went from coaching nobody and just like thinking about coaching people to having a very full schedule right now. I've got active one on one clients that I'm meeting with while balancing my nine to five right now and then, and my family. I still have those two young children and the husband right there requires some of my time as well. And this year, so 2021 is the year that I will transition from my full time nine to five job and quit and start coaching full time. So super excited about all that's happened over the last year.
39:45 Heather Sager: I'm so proud of you and I'm so excited. We're gonna have a little like a virtual party in the community when you leave your job. We're gonna we're gonna have to throw the confetti and all the things. Used to toast some champagne. I'll open up a nice bottle for you. Okay, Sarah, one of the questions I did want to ask you is thinking about anyone who's listening, who's either newer in business or newer to the concept of visibility, right? There comes this moment, I feel like, it's like running on a treadmill, where you feel like you're doing the work, you're sending out the pitches, you're showing up on lives. But you feel like you're not getting anywhere, you feel like you're not making progress. And I know, because we've talked about it, you've had a little bit of that experience last year. Can you talk to the business owners who might be listening today feeling like a lot of work and it's not a lot of pay off? Can you talk a little bit to that around where they are and any recommendations you have for them?
40:44 Sarah VanHoose: Yes, it was kind of dark, that little moment there for me for a bit. You know, it was this, like, you know, early on in COVID, where everything was a little bit up in the air and what was happening. I was still putting the work in, I was still doing the pitching, I was still serving and showing up but my my client, I still have lots of opportunity for clients on my calendar. What I found was again, my why had to be big enough. My why for why I was doing it both personally and professionally. Yes, I wanted to serve. I wanted to help people stress out about their finances for sure. That was a big enough mission for me to keep pursuing. But also my why about wanting to leave the corporate nine to five was big enough. My my daughters are big enough for me to continue that pursuit. And it was you know, it's darkest before the dawn. Is that the right saying?
41:34 Heather Sager: I don't know. I don't know, we're gonna go with it.
41:37 Sarah VanHoose: Let's do it. There was this point where I was, you know, I talked to my husband, I talked to you, I talked to my mom. And I was like, hey, like, I don't know, I don't know if I'm gonna be able to do this. I don't know if I'm going to be able to truly quit this six figure job when I just don't have enough clients right now. It's not making a lot of sense right now. And my husband is a little bit more pragmatic. And he's like, let's give it another three months. And we were still funding my part of my business as well, right. I had fees that I needed to pay for out of our personal finances at that point. And so he's like, let's give it a little bit more time like timeline. And my mom, you know, gave me this little vision board piece with these fun quotes on it about not giving up and found your calling, right? All the good things and some. Heather gives me some like positive encouragement as well. She gives me some strategy.
42:28 Heather Sager: I think you had to kick you in the butt a little bit.
42:30 Sarah VanHoose: You did. You did. Yeah. It was it was dark there for a minute but and then it totally revealed itself for you. The sun came up, it was a beautiful new day, and coaching clients started to roll in. And again, like when you start doing the work, practicing the work, your confidence builds, the results are seen, the testimonials are rolling in. And there's validation for all those pieces. So for new businesses, keep on keeping on, make sure that your why is big enough, both why you're serving people, and you know why it's important for you to continue to do the business of your own.
43:07 Heather Sager: Oh I love that. It's I think you hit it on the head, we talk about it dark. I think even for a non-infancy business, we all go through those moments where things get a little dark and we start questioning and we have a moment. And I think allowing ourselves to take that moment, but allowing it to just be a moment, don't live in it. But sit in it for a minute, but then choose to see something different. Make a vision board. I love that for your mom. We talk about this a lot. Leveling up requires that constant turnover. Every time you level up to this next level in your business, next level of speaking, next level visibility, whatever that next level is, it's going to require a little bit of that discomfort of like, what am I doing? It's not going fast enough. just expect it's going to come. And even though we expect it, we still might need a community to remind us like oh, yeah, oh, yes, this is normal. This is supposed to happen. And so I love that you didn't sit in that by yourself that you actually reached out. And I think if I were to encourage one thing for anyone listening is make sure you have someone to reach out to or at least be open with, whether it's your partner, whether it's family, whether it's business besties, whoever that is, tell them how you're feeling so they can help lovingly kick you in the ass and remind you this is totally normal. Keep pushing, you're here for a reason. I love that. I love that. I am curious, let's hear the whole idea on the airplane with a napkin. We're moving to Isla Mujeres which by the way, my husband loves that island too. He's gone multiple times before we got married. We've never been. He keeps saying he's gonna take me well, maybe this will be a reminder that someday we could travel again, we'll do it. But how is that journey going? It was the whole journey to influence your husband to move. You have a plan to leave your job but like what happened to the island?
44:54 Sarah VanHoose: Yeah, the islands still there and we were actually able to take the kids there just on vacation. A few months ago. So they've been introduced to the island, which is a beautiful thing. Still working on that influence with the husband, you know, that needs to be a little bit longer game. But when it comes down to it, you know, my why for wanting to quit my nine to five and move to an island was because I wanted more time and availability with my kids. And I wanted to be more present with my daughters, and just with my family in general. And so I'm still going to get it. I'm going to get that part of the island, whether it actually has sand on it, or it still looks like my family room. It's all good, right? We're still on that pursuit. My husband has agreed to extended vacations for now. So he's like two months at a time he's up for on the island, but he's not ready to move quite yet.
45:47 Heather Sager: You gave me chills when you said that, like we'll have that part of the island, there might not be sand. I think that idea is I think a lot of times we we grasp on to this idea of a goal. But we actually think that that's the goal, but it's just a whisper telling us the direction we should be going but there's something bigger there. I love, I love that you just described it like that. I think that's a beautiful thing. I can't wait to see where you go with all this. For anyone listening, Sarah has an incredible blog, and I love the story she shares on Instagram. She tracks and shares like crazy goals. Like last year, you guys wanted to have a tiny house. You were sharing everybody in your journey around saving to the tiny house and you're sharing the experience of your client wins. Can you share a little bit more about people who are interested in pursuing a big crazy goal, like yours or just getting a handle on their own personal finances so they can do the things they want to do on? How do you work with people? And how can they connect and follow you?
46:40 Sarah VanHoose: Yeah, I work one on one with clients. I also work with small business clients, and I'm just about to launch some group coaching as well. We're excited. Yeah, about just helping to serve more people and talk about money management. People just don't talk about it normally, like they do their health goals, or their career goals. We're just not talking about money. And it doesn't have to be stuffy. It can be super casual. So talking about money is just I want it to be very much more normal. You can find me over on Instagram @journeytoinfluence. I like Instagram. It's a little bit more fun than Facebook. But I'm also over on Facebook at journey to influence. I have a fun freebie that out really outlines my framework. It's a five step plan to thrive with your finances. And it takes you through the framework that we just talked about that I learned about in SULU, and you can get that by texting the word THRIVE to 33777
47:37 Heather Sager: Perfect. Okay, I love that also nice little plug of sneak peek at a framework. Yeah. Okay, I love that we're gonna link to all of Sara's places where she's connected here on the show notes. I highly encourage you guys to check her out. I think personal finance is one of those things. We talk a lot about business finance in the entrepreneurial world. But I think this cross section that Sarah is talking about is like setting goals with your partner, thinking about things with your family. One of the things that you do that I love I keep trying to convince my husband to do is the for Christmas, you guys don't buy your kids presents, you create a calendar of experiences and your girls love it like that. I'm like, how do children like they're like I don't get presents, like they love the experiences. So like fun, quirky ideas around that of like using money in a way that aligns with your family's values. And I love that so anybody listening if you want more ideas like that, you totally should follow Sarah.
48:32 Sarah VanHoose: Let's do it.
48:34 Heather Sager: All right, Sarah, any other thoughts you have for anyone listening today related to new business owners and speaking that you can you can leave them with?
48:42 Sarah VanHoose: I think invest in yourself, invest in again community and finding somebody to follow. I've so appreciated you Heather as a mentor and teacher and somebody that can listen to on a weekly basis at least in order to continue to gain insight. So it speaks into my business, it speaks into my life and I think continuing to invest in ourselves as well as entrepreneurs and small business owners is important as well.
49:06 Heather Sager: Beautiful! I'd love to be your coach and I very much appreciate being your friend. Alright guys, Sarah, thanks for being here today. Everyone listening thanks so much for listening to another episode of the Heather Sager show. If you like today's message, be sure to take a screenshot shirt on Instagram, tag me @heathersager. Also give a shout out to Sarah @journeytoinfluence. We'd love to hear your favorite takeaway today. And also, big, brave, bold action. We want to hear what are you going to do with what you learned today? Are you going to send a pitch? Are you gonna build a framework? What's your big scary thing that you're going to tackle next? We'd love to hear it. And I'll see you next week. Same time, same place until then. See you.
Hey, friends, thanks so much for listening to today's episode. If you liked what you had to hear and you're looking to make a bigger splash with your brand online You gotta check out my brand new free video training. You can get it over at Heathersager.com/minitraining where I'm going to teach you the three speaking strategies that every online business owner needs for this virtual world here in 2020. Hint: You don't have to be some big pro speaker to make speaking work for your business. Go grab it now. Heathersager.com/minitraining, and I'll see you on the next episode.