You're listening to the life friendly business podcast. I'm your host, Erin Thomas Wong, business coach and mentor, author and founder of the cocoon VIP membership, empowering women around the world to build businesses on their terms. If you want to grow and scale, a business that works in harmony with your family and your life, this podcast is for you.
Hello, this is Erin, and welcome to another episode of The Life friendly business podcast. If you're enjoying these episodes, I would love you to hit subscribe and leave a review on the platform that you are listening on. So today I'm going to be sharing a little bit about behind the scenes of life friendly business. And I'm going to be talking about how I've scaled my business during the pandemic.
Let's be clear here, we are not talking about a story of overnight success. I've been in business for 13 years. And this particular business has really been running for about six years now, though it started off quite slowly. So there's been a lot of groundwork, but I'm still super proud of my recent achievements. And that's what I'm going to share with you today. When completing my annual tax return with my accountant. The other week, we worked out that between April 2020 and April 21, I'd actually increase my turnover by 31%. Now, this is pretty good anyway, but that year was absolutely the height of the pandemic. But not only that, the real milestone that hit me was that my turnover has now exceeded my previous full time TV salary. And I'm only working 25 hours a week.
This feels like a really tangible achievement. And I'm honestly bursting with pride. Because I've been able to reach that figure with this business completely on my own terms, I've created my own products and services, and I'm having a dramatically less stressful lifestyle than I would have done if I'd stayed in television. It's also a huge mindset boost to because when I left TV to start my own business, I kind of knew that because I'd be working so many less hours, I'd always assumed that I'd be earning a lot less money and that I'd kind of given up that idea of earning a good salary. But over the years, I've been able to untangle this money mindset obstacle. And I now know that how much money you make is not actually dictated by how many hours you work. But money mindset is a huge issue for so many of us. And it's it's not something that I've nailed. It's something that I still realise is playing into my thoughts. But this was huge. And it's true that you don't have to be a slave to your desk to earn good money. And my results in the past financial year have proven that. Remember, this was the year that we had the kids off school for months on end. So my work hours were even more dramatically reduced. Probably I didn't know, I was probably working around 10 hours a week. But I was still able to increase my turnover by 31%.
So how did I do it? I've been reflecting on this. And I'm going to share some of that with you now. So firstly, when the pandemic struck, my first response was, how can I help? I knew that the women in my community were perhaps feeling panicked and overwhelmed at the end forced homeschooling. And also that feeling of what on earth is this going to mean for their business, a lot of their businesses had to close, because they were doing face to face things or you know, had to go on hold and they didn't know what was going to happen. So my first priority was my cocoon members and my mentoring clients. So within the cocoon, I put it out there and I said if anyone wants a free strategy session, we can talk through how you're going to manage over the next few months, I ended up doing over 30 hours of free mentoring that April. And I just want to put in a caveat there that the reason I could manage that while the kids were at home is because my husband worked as a marketing consultant in the tourism and travel industry. And you can imagine that he lost most of his work during that time. So I had this period where he wasn't really working very much. So I was able to do these calls, and he was kind of overseeing the homeschooling.
I also created a bundle of free resources on my website for my wider community. Things like you know how to how to manage your time better how how to work around the kids those kinds of things. So that first thought that I had was, how can I help the people that I've already got in my community, my paid members, and also my free community.
The second thing is, is that I never stopped selling. And this is something that I tried to put out there as much as I could during that time, because so many of us went into this kind of moment of like freezing and not knowing what to do. And obviously, people around the world were really suffering during this time. And I know that a lot of women felt really uncomfortable with the idea of being salesy. But the point is, is that if you genuinely think that you can help people, you need to keep getting your message out there. And I knew that I could help people during this time. And so I kept putting those messages out there, and I encouraged everyone in my community to do the same. I think that one of the worst things you can do in a time like that is disappear off the grid. Now, I know that, you know, for some people, they had illness in their family, they found it incredibly difficult for their mental health, and they needed to step back, and I'm not criticising that at all. But what I'm talking about is keeping visible as much as you can with your business, even if you're not trading at that time.
The third thing is, is that I adapted to the climate. So I knew that I wouldn't be able to run my in person momentum days, you know, 90% of my business is online anyway. So I was quite fortunate with that. But normally I run to in person, conference type events a year. And I knew that I wouldn't be able to run those. But I also knew that it's exactly what people needed, they needed something uplifting, they needed to feel part of a community and have that support around them. So it was during the pandemic, that I devise the impact interactive online workshops, which are three hour workshop events on Zoom, where we do training, we do mini mastermind groups, and we do workbook exercises. And they really do have such an uplifting feeling about them. And they are transformational. People have lightbulb moments that change the way that they are running their business, lightbulb moments that help them feel like everything is suddenly in flow, and that the barriers are breaking down. And the great thing with these online interactive workshops is that location is not an issue and much more scalable than doing in person events. So I wanted to see whether it was possible to create that amazing vibe online. And I proved that it was and they had such a great response. And since then, I've already run four of them. And now I'm going to be running three every year. And I have the same people coming back because they just love the opportunity to spend that time working on their business and thinking about what their focus is for the next few months, and making a plan to put that into action. I also kept innovating.
That wasn't the only thing that I introduced. During this time, I also launched the Evolve mastermind, which is a small intimate group of people that I work really closely with over a period of months to help them grow and scale the business and they get to benefit from the hive mind and the collective of being in this really small, intimate group. And yes, you know, we were in the middle of a pandemic. And, you know, perhaps we felt like, are we going to be able to grow our businesses in the same way, but everyone was able to grow and improve their offering and add to that offering. And also the support that we were able to give each other was second to none during such a difficult time.
I also created the reignite your business Mojo five day challenge, which went down a storm. It was absolutely what people needed at that point. So I kept listening to my audience during the pandemic and hearing about the challenges and you know, understanding what might help them during this time and I've been able to create products and services that are the answer to those problems. So definitely listening to my audience is key. But also I have kept investing during this time. I have a fantastic online business manager who helps keep me organised and she helps me to get stuff out there. And during the pandemic, we kept working together. I kept investing in that support because it really helped me to grow the business and as we now know, to increase my turnover, I also invested in consulting, to help me with my membership in coaching, and copywriting. And also, I'm a member of a membership site for membership site owners. So all these things, I kept investing in my own growth, but also investing in the business support in areas of my business, which I know aren't my zone of genius, and, and giving that to someone else to help me. And that has undoubtedly, had an impact on the success that I have achieved over the last year and a half.
And I think one of the main reasons that I've been able to achieve this during the last period is that I have really worked hard at keeping a positive mental attitude throughout the pandemic, don't get me wrong, I have been anxious, I get health anxiety. And you know, during a pandemic, that is not very helpful. I know that I'm not alone with that. So I've had my own inner battles, I've also been super aware of my energy. And that's one really positive thing that's come out of the pandemic for me is that when everything slowed down, and we were at home, it made me really understand the way that my energy works, and how it peaks and flows. And I've been able to work around that. And I'm still doing that now. And it has made such a huge difference to the way that I work and my productivity. But you know, I just feel like with during the pandemic, we do have a choice of how we react to things. And it's understandable to feel scared and uncertain and all those things. But keeping a positive mental attitude throughout, is something that's really kept me going. And I really feel like as community leaders, as business owners, we have an opportunity to be a beacon of light for those around us. And so I wanted to work really hard on genuinely feeling like that beacon of light from within, so that I could then help other people. And that meant giving myself a lot of grace as well.
So for me, the last 18 months has been a huge period of growth. And I'm already on course, to beat that 31% In my next tax return. Already in the last quarter, I have taken half of what I took last year, in total. So the point is, is that I've been working really hard even though I'm several years into this particular business, I've been working really hard at the foundations of the business. And I keep coming back to the foundations of the business, clarifying my offer, strengthening my position, working on visibility. Obviously, during this time, I also rebranded and launched a podcast just after the the the annual tax year that we're talking about, that's when I launched the life friendly business podcast. I also published a book during that time as well. So it's all been working on visibility, and all these things to get my message out there.
So I want you to know that it can be done, it's possible to match and beat your previous full time salary on a part time basis, without the stress. But I don't think it's likely to happen overnight for all of us. I know that we hear these success stories. And sadly, I don't know how many of them are truly genuine. But what that means is that, you know, a lot of people see these messages out online about how quickly their business should be growing. and when they don't match that they feel like they are failing but I'm being very genuine here with you, you know, I am six years into this particular business, I'd say for the first 18 months, two years, I didn't really make any money with the business but now it's all paying off. And I really put that down to constantly growing and learning myself. And also investing in help. And just keep putting myself out there. Keep up the visibility, keeping up getting my message out to people and building those relationships.
You really can save so much time if you actually reach out and get the right help for your business because we don't know what we don't know. And I know that it can feel really overwhelming when there's so many different directions that you could be taking your business in. There's so many different things that you could be learning about your business. So that's why we have to really break it down for ourselves and take small steps every day and you will get there If I can help at all, please do reach out. And I'd love to speak to you.
I hope that it's been interesting to hear a bit about behind the scenes of my own business. And I hope that it's given you some inspiration to know that you really can earn good money, working on your own terms, building something on your own terms and carving your own path. See you next week.
Honestly, it can feel like there is a lot you need to learn when building a thriving business. And it's easy to feel like you'll never know everything you need to be successful. But it is possible just so long as you stay focused on building the right knowledge and skills. When you join the cocoon VIP membership, you'll have the opportunity to book a one to one orientation call with me and I'll help you to prioritise the activities that will have the biggest impact on your business and direct you to the materials and the library that you need. There's no need to learn it all. We'll just focus on the things that will make the biggest difference to you. We have everything you need to build a life friendly business. So check out the cocoon now at lifefriendly business.com/cocoon
Transcribed by https://otter.ai