You recently celebrated an anniversary in your business. Congratulations! How have you seen your business evolve from that very beginning to where you are now?
I feel like you could probably ask me that question every month and it would shift every month. But I do feel like the 1 year milestone was the point for me, where one minute I hated the coaching industry and was going to quit, and the next I was loving it.
I love that, because I think there are those times where we are super polished, where we’ve honed our message. But there are those moments of vulnerability in our own businesses where, I think that the world needs to see us at those places, too. Because it’s not always focused, shiny strategy. So what does being in that season look like and how does it feel?
Two Fridays ago, what it felt like was: I saw two things in the online coaching space that I was like, “I can’t believe I just saw that!” – it really frustrated me! Then, I had this realization of like, “OK, Anna, every industry you’ve been in – as a therapist, before that I worked in higher education where I oversaw a resident life department – I’ve been pissed at something and wanted to change it. I think that’s why we become entrepreneurs, right?
And so, I think I was like, “Oh, Anna, this has nothing to do with my industry. This has everything to do with my seeing things that just remind me of my core values and that are pressing me further into how I want to show up.”
That’s been the pattern for me, and hopefully a pattern for everyone in their life, questioning from a respectful place. Why is it that I do what I do? How am I different? What do I stand for? What do I believe in? And what are the core values that I am preaching, am I living those out behind the scenes? So that is what it has looked like more recently for me.
So, what are your core values?
I feel like the strongest of my core values is integrity, doing things in a way that I am proud of. Like, how I am selling, how I am serving, how I am serving my current clients, everything I am doing – if someone were to follow me around – that my life is very congruent. I think that is what that means.
Obviously, I am not always perfect at that. There are parts of my life that fall out of being congruent, but I think that what’s most important is that I correct it. Something comes up for me and I’m like, “Oh, that’s not how I want to do things, “ or, “That didn’t feel right,” or, “That felt weird,” right? And I think that that’s normal.
What isn’t normal is those of us that make sure to correct it. Like when something is not right, thinking: how do I bring my business, my life, my mamahood, how I’m a wife... how do I bring that back to integrity?
So, in terms of showing up, how are you intentionally trying to show up now, in your business?
In this season, it has looked like sharing a little more intimately with my 1:1 and mastermind women. Just sharing more transparently where I am at. Which is harder. It’s easier to say, “Well, last month I learned blah blah blah.” It’s harder to say this is what I am learning right now, and if there is anything for you to take from it, great.
What are the ways you see people doing authenticity “wrong”? Does that make sense? I don’t want it to be judgy, but there are ways that we go wrong in this.
I think the biggest way I see people go wrong – especially heart-centered women that really want to serve good, authentic, integrated women – is they have lived their whole lives as good, solid women. And their friends and family they have in real life and their in-real-person clients, they already know that they’re human beings. And they get into the online space and they assume everyone knows that. Right?
People know I’m a good person, so why should I have to tell these people? Or, what I have to offer is super valuable, like, I know lives are transformed by what I do, but I don’t quite know how to communicate what I do, I feel nervous about communicating it, I feel pushy or salesy or sleazy about that, so I think we actually don’t show up authentically in that we are underselling ourselves.
For someone who’s like scammy, they are presenting this false front of, “Here’s this thing I do!” But, they really don’t. Heart-centered women have the opposite problem, and they are putting up a false front too. But, their external marketing, their selling, their content is worse than their actual service. Women don’t see that selling assertively and honestly is actually more authentic than doing what a lot of women do when they come in the space, which is like shrinking back and not owning their service.
Being in the online space, what do you think that audiences are begging for in terms of content, messaging, or value?
More authenticity, more intimacy. Just looking at the trends, in general, several of the people in our online space that had large, million dollar signature courses, and their sales didn’t do as well this year. And, I think that’s just indicative of, like, the trend that people are wanting less cookie cutter stuff and more intimacy.
So, as we scale our businesses, the question is, well, how do we scale with intimacy? My coach just told me the other day that not everything has to be scaleable, which is true! But, I think that, in general people are – rightly so – wanting more intimacy in the services we offer and authenticity.
When you look into the future, what kind of impact do you want to make?
One of my strengths is I always ask myself what impact can I make now, you know? Like, I don’t wait for the someday. I really work to be in the present and – in my personal and professional life – how can I really make an impact? I feel like we really can make an impact through relationships. Sometimes to a bigger scale, but I feel like my impact will always come through relationships. So, in the relationships I’m already in, not waiting for the someday, how can I show up more fully, how can I be more present? So, I don’t know what that looks like. I love what I’m doing right now, so hopefully I can keep doing that.
I think that the ability to show up and be present, one, is for many creative, soulful, heart-centered entrepreneurs is a strength that is not leveraged to the degree that it could be. Selling doesn’t have to be as complicated as we think that it needs to be. Strategy can actually make thing simple and allow for us to have deeper, genuine, more impactful relationships, and I think that is what it all comes down to. And for me, any success I have seen in my business has all been birthed through connection and relationship.
Oh my gosh, yes! It’s true! And, you’re right! I think that we forget that! Most heart-centered entrepreneurs, that’s natural to them: being real, forming relationships, helping other people in their industry, connecting, caring, serving, right? And that, exactly, I feel like when most women come to me and I’m giving them more strategies on how to sell in their business, usually what I’m doing is I’m helping them actually return to their heart and return to what probably came naturally to them before they got this idea that it had to be weird and complicated and something else. When I say, “Oh, try this!” They are like, “What? That can sell?” Which is usually connecting. Which is usually being honest. Which is usually sharing. These things that come innately to us are what help us be successful in business.
This has been so fun, Anna! Thank you so much for being here. Where can we find you online?
The best place to find me is over in my Facebook Group, The Heart-Centered Entrepreneur, at www.heartcenteredcommunity.com. If you’d like to learn more about me and my services, head over to my website, AnnaFrandsen.com.
**Stay tuned for the full interview on Amplify: A Podcast for Creative and Courageous Entrepreneurs, coming to airwaves near you in Fall 2017!**