Sarah Leather shares her business success stories on the blog this week. Grab yourself a cuppa and settle down for a very inspiring read.
Hi Sarah! Tell us a little bit about you and your business.
I first started working for myself over 20 years ago (after working as a nurse for 10 years) as a Naturopath & Homeopath and ran successful clinics specializing in Natural Fertility and hormonal balance. During this time I studied Life and Business Coaching as well as many online courses in marketing, sales, personal growth, wealth creation, business management and advanced coaching skills. I felt a desire to move away from all of the 1:1 work which was unsustainable long term. I was in danger of getting ‘burnt out’ from seeing too many clients every week and was keen to develop products and programs so I could occasionally take some time off. I wrote my first eBook 3 years ago and got a taste for ‘making money in my sleep’ and was determined to keep learning the skills to monetize my business. But I knew in my heart that my niche of Natural Fertility was not going to be my specialty for much longer. Whilst doing many online courses in marketing and authentic sales I realized that I loved everything I was learning and that I had a natural business flare. I was also very interested in many areas around changing our mindset using behavioral changes, manifesting and personal growth.
So I began to move towards increasing my coaching client base and stop seeing many of my homeopathic clients. I started dreaming what my new business would look like and started working 1:1 with a business coach to get the support and accountability I needed to completely change my business model.
My new business is called The First Class Life Club and I set it up last September. It is a membership site for women and includes talks and seminars run locally and nationally. The topics covered are fun but transformative such as ‘Boundary Setting For Nice Girls’, ‘Supreme Self Care & Becoming Stunningly Selfish’, Plugging Your Leaky Holes’, ‘Goodbye Procrastination, Hello Productivity’ and ‘Your Life Purpose & Passions’. There are two types of membership which are 1)Online or 2)Live Attendee to meet the needs of both local and international women. Alongside this group coaching model I do 1:1 coaching programs to help women to develop the business model that works for them in a simple and beautiful way, not just ones that are prescribed by the gurus. I have also just started doing 1 Day VIP Days which are an exciting concept with incredible results.
What inspired you to start your business?
When I first started going to personal growth seminars 20 years ago I used to look at the presenters and think ‘I want to do that’. But from running a busy practice for so long that was so busy; running a busy household with 4 children and wanting to have a life outside of work I just kept doing the same thing. And it just kept getting busier. At one stage I had 5 websites, was teaching women to set up a website to make money and countless other events in my pursuit of ‘making it’ online alongside running a full-time practice.
So the inspiration for my business actually came when I stopped searching for it. I was coaching a client last year and she was telling me how busy and complicated her life was and that she didn’t have the time or energy to make real changes. So I asked her to please stop pushing and striving so hard and to change her language from ‘life is hard’ to ‘life is simple and beautiful’. And then the penny dropped, it was like I was talking to myself. I surrendered to all of the stories I had been telling myself about my business. Then I realized that it was time to do what I needed to do. I booked a room to do my first talk, picked a topic, wrote an article, chose a name and stated using just one website (my original one SarahLeather.ie) and it all started to happen. I got very clear on my message around helping women to get rid of their blocks and create a business model that suits them. My coaching sessions were booked up within a month and I started getting requests for speaking events.
How would you describe your journey and how has having your own business changed things for you?
It has changed everything in my life. I now live life totally in line with my values and feel I am living authentically in every way. To become successful in my business has meant being completely honest about what I am and am not capable of doing, had to let go of all of the ‘bright shiny objects’ online that were fun but such time wasters and work on my wealth consciousness.
What has been your biggest success so far?
Having over 50 members sign up to my membership site in less than three months. The ‘monthly fee’ membership site style is often said to be the hardest model to sell but I got in front of them in person and didn’t even feel like I had to sell to them. They love being part of the First Class Life Club community and are bring their friends.
I have had bigger financial success in the past (such as whenever I was on TV I would sell loads of eBooks and be booked out for 6 months) but when I set up the membership site I included everything that was in line with my own personal business values so that it feels like a huge success to me.
Would you share with us the biggest lesson you learned?
There are lots!
To realize that I know enough and that I am enough to do the work I feel compelled to do. Also to trust my own instincts and judgments and that I don’t have to fit into any particular business model.
To bring 100% of myself into my business and not hide any parts of me. We can get very hung up on what niche we should be in and how we can incorporate all of our desires and passions within our businesses. Like many women, I am multi-passionate. So I have brought all of me into this business.
To keep my business simple. This is linked to the first point of feeling like I didn’t know enough or wasn’t worthy of having the business I desired. I had a habit of overstuffing everything so that I would be seen as clever or knowledgeable. But by simplifying my business it has become more successful and gives women the content they need for fast and sustainable transformations.
What keeps you motivated and engaged with your business?
I have always had a strong vision of how business success looks for me and no matter what obstacles get in the way, I will get tenacious and work out a way to overcome the challenges. Because these obstacles are inevitable and not a sign that you need to stop and go back to the day job. They can be a test that you are ready for the next step. I also get in touch with my ‘Big Why’ regularly (which includes being a great role model to my kids, young women and women struggling to be successful in their business).
What one piece of advice would you give other small business owners and start-ups?
More than one!
Get support from a mentor/coach who suits your own style of doing business.
Just keep going, keep putting one foot in front of the other.
Take an entire day off each week & have fun.
Keep working on yourself, you must be continuously ‘up-leveling’ yourself so that your clients can achieve the transformations they desire.
What’s next for you and your business?
Expanding my 1:1 VIP Days so women can get crystal clear about the business (or life)model that suits them, destroy their blocks and set out a clear plan in a simple and beautiful way.
Expand my global reach to increase the accessibility and membership base of The First Class Life Club.
Inspirational talks to women in corporations, more schools and universities. Also my next book and my signature eCourse will be launched later this year.
Sarah Leather is an Inspirational Speaker, Author & Transformational Life & Business Coach. She has been working with women for 30 years, originally as a nurse and then using natural medicine as a Naturopath/Homeopath and more recently as a successful coach. Her area of specialty is coaching women who are overwhelmed trying to ‘get it right’ in business and in life and she helps them to create a model that suits their own personal work and life values in a beautiful and simple way.
Sarah runs her coaching clinic from her beautiful office in Clonakilty in Ireland, holds her talks in various hotels and does much of her online work from her home office overlooking the sea. She lives with her husband Jim & 4 teenage children.