Where I found courage

An extract from the book Does it really need to be this hard? By Abbie Broad 

Where I found courage – Build your tribe

Nowadays I make sure to charge for my services, and if I’m ever in any doubt about a person’s ability or willingness to pay, I do one of two things. I’m either courageous enough to let them go, or I go all out to demonstrate the true value of my offer and the transformation that is possible from working with me. By defining my niche and aligning my financial goals and behaviours with my values, I’m able to work confidently and purposefully towards financial rewards. This has not been a quick fix for me. Reframing my beliefs around money and learning to use it as a tool or steppingstone towards my actual goal has been a useful and enlightening exercise. Money was controlling me. I thought money was the goal and because that felt icky, I avoided it. I was wrong.

So here’s the thing, money is not the goal. The goal is what you get to have, do, see, and experience when you have money. Its why we often go to work in jobs we hate, because the ends justify the means and we need money to put food on the table and support our family. Our money pays for holidays, uniforms, treats, and it can also pay the mortgage, top up our pension pot, and build a solid financial foundation for us and our family. I had the privilege of achieving this in a job I loved … so WTF was wrong with me?

The money conversation is one I regularly facilitate in group coaching sessions, and it came up time and time again during COVID19. “Everyone is struggling, how can I charge for my stuff when the world is in pain, Abbie? I can’t charge for an online Zoom session; it’s not the same is it? If I charge, people will think I am ruthless and greedy, Abbie”. Now to be clear a lot of people suffered financially during the pandemic, and I believe those ripples will still be felt for many years.

The fact is though that not everyone was suffering, and when we begin to break down the word “everyone”, we start to see where polarised thinking and low self-esteem are popping up.

I encouraged my clients to look at the facts. Who are your clients? What do they need right now? How can you adapt your offer to give them what they need and still feel confident to charge for it?

People still need to eat, and I have yet to see a supermarket giving food away. A person’s values don’t change when money is tight, their priorities do.

What about you? Where do your clients benefit if you can’t pay your bills? What happens when this is over, and they call you up for an appointment and you’re no longer in business? When we feel vulnerable, or lack confidence in our offer, we can easily allow these excuses and limiting beliefs to trigger hesitation and procrastination. Justifying why we can’t do something and avoiding the discomfort.

Working a process to focus attention, build confidence, and shape behaviours requires accountability. We are unlikely to be able to reconcile these beliefs without at least a modicum of input from others. This is just one of the many reasons coaching works – these are the struggle my clients experience.

I found the courage to sell, to compete, and to be me, when I found my tribe. Tribe is a word that kind of made me twitch at first. “Tribe”? Are we even allowed to say that? I soon discovered that tribe is a term used in business to describe social groups linked by a leader that share a purpose or goal, common culture, or organisational boundary. Tribes can be super powerful, and when they act together for a united purpose, they can be unstoppable. “Ok, so I need to get me one of them sharpish”, I thought. Good news is, being a tribe builder is actually my superpower and something I do quite naturally. Getting other people to join in is what I’d been doing for the first 3 years of my business. Linking people together, sharing experiences, and building friendships that were strong and purposeful. I already had “my people”, so rallying them up to form a tribe would be no problem.

For once, something that was going to be easy. And it was. While it took time to get the numbers up, it felt effortless and natural to be joining these women together. Safety and support. Accountability and connection. Friendships and fun. Who knew getting together with my mates would be how my business would finally start to work?

A Facebook group with a dedicated purpose. Marketing strategies that meant I was speaking to the right customers with the right message. Trusting that my own skills and unique selling points would get me in front of the right people. Finally, things started to shift, and it felt great.

The great thing about a tribe is that you care a lot less about trying to fit in and please other people when you have friends around you. Like school, I guess we do migrate to those who share our taste in clothes or sports or hobbies, and later in life, our values. I’ve been lucky enough to have received excellent tribe-building training from the very brilliant Lauryn Bradley. Her book Grow Your Tribe: How to skyrocket your business by loving your audience (2019) is amazing. Simple, no frills, full of facts and top-class advice, this book is a must read for anyone in the business of building a business. If you need an audience or client base to sell your product or service to, then I recommend you get a copy right away. This is just one of the many books I recommend that contain all the facts and advice you need to be a success. Once you have gotten out of your own way, that is. And you’re already well on your way to doing that.

Once I began to focus on who my business was for and what problems they needed help with, my tribe began to grow and so did my audience. Other coaches were noticing me, in a good way, and congratulating me on my skills and expertise. Offers of collaborations started to happen, and I accepted them with the appropriate mindset. I even stopped to ask myself a few times – “What do I get out of this”? If it wasn’t right, I moved on. Operating inside of an audience that I could relate to felt amazing. It also allowed me to truly lean into me. To be myself. To stay curious and willing to grow, but with the confidence that I called the shots. Trusting your authenticity is a message that has been sent to me loud and clear for as long as I’ve been on this ride. You have to be authentic to build a strong foundation for yourself and your business.

There is a reason we focus so much on building: building a business, building a tribe, building your confidence, and building a life. Building these things, like building a house, takes time; it won’t happen overnight, but if you do it right and focus on building your tribe first, you can have so much fun in the process. Whatever kind of day I’m having, I’m certain to be surrounded by people I love and who love me back. I’ve been building tribes since I was at school. While I was avoiding work at all costs and just hanging out with my friends keeping everyone together and organised and entertained, I was developing what would become the core principles of my business – too bad my teachers and parents didn’t realise that then!

A final word on building your tribe. Tribes are an amazing, safe space when you invite the right people in. There are rules, especially for a business tribe, such as boundaries and acceptable behaviours, common goals, and values. And the golden rule of building a tribe is you absolutely must be the truest version of yourself within that tribe to really make it work. False tribes don’t work, and your tribe members will find you out in an instant.

So, before embarking upon this activity to help in your business, be sure to embrace your authenticity. Ask yourself what you want from the group and what they will want to see in return. If you don’t compromise your values, tribe building should feel comfortable and easy. Your tribe won’t always agree with you, which is great because healthy debate and conversation are helpful to all involved. But the key is always to keep the communication flowing two ways. My tribe see me, just as I see them. They understand my needs just as I understand theirs. They help me as much as I help them, and it is my relentless pursuit of this two-way interaction that has enabled me to grow as a coach and as a business owner. We must accept help in order to offer it, and I am so incredibly grateful for the help and support I receive from my tribe.

Are you thinking about starting a tribe of your own? Maybe you feel you want to join one. If you are a women in business looking for support to build your mental resilience for business and just get it done. Drop me a comment or better still click here and join The Abbie Broad Mindset Tribe today. We cant wait to welcome you in  

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