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محتوای ارائه شده توسط By WordPress LMS Elearning Expert Chris Badgett and Entrepreneur & Online Marketing Business Strategy Expert Chris Badgett on Teaching, Education, WordPress Development & Online Business., By WordPress LMS Elearning Expert Chris Badgett, Online Marketing Business Strategy Expert Chris Badgett on Teaching, WordPress Development, and Online Business.. تمام محتوای پادکست شامل قسمت‌ها، گرافیک‌ها و توضیحات پادکست مستقیماً توسط By WordPress LMS Elearning Expert Chris Badgett and Entrepreneur & Online Marketing Business Strategy Expert Chris Badgett on Teaching, Education, WordPress Development & Online Business., By WordPress LMS Elearning Expert Chris Badgett, Online Marketing Business Strategy Expert Chris Badgett on Teaching, WordPress Development, and Online Business. یا شریک پلتفرم پادکست آن‌ها آپلود و ارائه می‌شوند. اگر فکر می‌کنید شخصی بدون اجازه شما از اثر دارای حق نسخه‌برداری شما استفاده می‌کند، می‌توانید روندی که در اینجا شرح داده شده است را دنبال کنید.https://fa.player.fm/legal
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How to Scale a Solopreneur Education Business with Sarah Duran

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محتوای ارائه شده توسط By WordPress LMS Elearning Expert Chris Badgett and Entrepreneur & Online Marketing Business Strategy Expert Chris Badgett on Teaching, Education, WordPress Development & Online Business., By WordPress LMS Elearning Expert Chris Badgett, Online Marketing Business Strategy Expert Chris Badgett on Teaching, WordPress Development, and Online Business.. تمام محتوای پادکست شامل قسمت‌ها، گرافیک‌ها و توضیحات پادکست مستقیماً توسط By WordPress LMS Elearning Expert Chris Badgett and Entrepreneur & Online Marketing Business Strategy Expert Chris Badgett on Teaching, Education, WordPress Development & Online Business., By WordPress LMS Elearning Expert Chris Badgett, Online Marketing Business Strategy Expert Chris Badgett on Teaching, WordPress Development, and Online Business. یا شریک پلتفرم پادکست آن‌ها آپلود و ارائه می‌شوند. اگر فکر می‌کنید شخصی بدون اجازه شما از اثر دارای حق نسخه‌برداری شما استفاده می‌کند، می‌توانید روندی که در اینجا شرح داده شده است را دنبال کنید.https://fa.player.fm/legal

In this LMScast episode, Sarah Duran discusses her viewpoint on independent employment, establishing goals, and her podcast and newsletter.

Sarah assists individuals in developing meaningful, independent job that supports their preferred lifestyle. She’s on the Hustler’s Manifesto podcast, if you’re interested. She may be found at fruitioninitiatives.com as well.

She highlights the advantages of working for oneself, like having more control over one’s time and finances. Sarah also emphasizes the value of self-awareness and accountability when working independently.

Sarah suggests starting with self-reflection to comprehend one’s aspirations, what they want to accomplish, and why they perform their work. She emphasizes the need of defining flexible, short-term goals, often within a six-month time period. To react to life’s volatility, these goals must be often reviewed and modified.

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Browse more recent episodes of the LMScast podcast here or explore the entire back catalog since 2014.

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Episode Transcript

Chris Badgett: You’ve come to the right place if you’re looking to create, launch, and scale a high value online training program. I’m your guide, Chris Badgett. I’m the co-founder of LifterLMS, the most powerful learning management system for WordPress State of the end, I’ve got something special for you. Enjoy the show.

Hello and welcome back to another episode of LMS cast. I’m joined by a special guest. Her name is Sarah Duran. You can find her on the Hustlers Manifesto podcast. You can also find her at fruitioninitiatives. com. Welcome to the show, Sarah.

Sarah Duran: Thanks so much for having me.

Chris Badgett: Let’s get into independent work. Why should people work for themselves?

So there’s course creators out there, coaches, people who are running WordPress agency, businesses, marketing agencies out there. What is independent work in your view? And let’s get folks excited about it. Really those who are like just starting to dabble as Hey, maybe I can do this on the side.

Sarah Duran: So I fundamentally believe that working for yourself is better than working for other people. I’ve worked for myself for going on 10 years now. And before I did that, I felt. Everything that I did in my work life was controlled by someone else. My time was controlled by other people. My money was controlled by other people.

What I had to do basically eight hours of my day was controlled by other people. And back in the day, I think pre COVID where I had to do it was also controlled by other people. And that just felt like a given. It just felt like that’s the way things are. You just get a job, you work your way up the ladder, et cetera, et cetera.

I, fell into independent work by accident and was incredibly surprised that I could make a lot more money than what I was making before as basically an independent consultant is how I started my business. I was making a lot more money, I was working a lot less time wise and I was able to structure it exactly how I wanted.

Now, I think the flip side of that is. With control and with freedom comes responsibility, right? So I also had to make, I was forced to make a lot of decisions for myself that other people had been making for me how to spend my time, how to decide what I charge people how to decide what kind of work I wanted to do.

And so it takes a, really high level of personal awareness and personal responsibility to make it work. You have to be able to get super clear with yourself about what you want to get out of your work, whether that’s a business of one solo printers or the primarily the folks that I work with or whether you’re thinking about starting a company.

But fundamentally, I think that it leads to, humans that have more self agency and are, which I think makes us a little bit better able to function in the world because we’re better able to take care of ourselves and subsequently better able to help take care of each other.

Chris Badgett: Tell us a little bit about your podcast and newsletter before we go more into goals and ideas and stuff.

Sarah Duran: Sure. The podcast is really me having conversations with anyone who. works independently. And that can look a bunch of different ways. Let’s for instance, I had you on the podcast a while back. So that can be anyone from, I would say like freelancers, solopreneurs small business owners, coaches consultants.

Course creators, I think content creators is this like other category of solopreneurs, where you’re not necessarily providing like direct service based business for your clients but you’re providing a way to access that information on your own. Among the various hats that I wear also have a whole series of courses and content that I use with the freelancers that I work with.

And so the podcast is really just talking to people about what it’s like to work independently and. a lot of those themes bleed into the newsletter, my sub stack.

So the articles that I write on my sub stack are more like macro level perspectives on all of the topics that are associated with that, whether it’s worth, whether it’s work, whether it’s capitalism, whether it’s money, whether it’s to rest or not to rest all those things that sort of factor into that.

And then I also put out Roundup at the end of the month where I’m just giving people a bunch of resources that can help them work independently from across all of the different people that I’m connected to that also operate in this space.

Chris Badgett: Awesome. So if you’re listening to the podcast right now, add the hustlers manifesto for a listen.

You can find the one that Sarah did with me. She’s got a lot of other great ones on there as well. Let’s go back to goal setting and goals. Like it’s. It’s really liberating to like work for yourself and open the doors to your business, but you quickly learn you, you gotta survive. You gotta not have this end in a failure or without traction or just fizzling out.

What is, what’s your approach to goals? As a solopreneur and an independent worker.

Sarah Duran: So I trace, I start whenever I’m working on goals with people or working on their business in general, I always start with having people reflect on who they are, what they want to get out of their work and why they do their work.

Which I think are three questions that we don’t. Most of us don’t spend a lot of intentional time thinking about and so the first thing for goals is just making sure that you understand the answers to those three questions because I think the first mistake that a lot of us make with goals is that we’re setting goals based on what other people want and not what we want.

And so I think getting super clear about what you actually want is a skill that most of us don’t have for a variety of reasons. We get tricked into doing things that other people want us to want or whatever society wants us to want. And so I think that’s the first step is like figuring out what you want so that you’re setting goals based on what you want, what’s relevant to you right now.

And then the other key thing that I think is important for goals is making sure that you’re setting short term. Flexible short cycle goals, and so I think we get a lot of advice from business gurus or self help folks out there that are like think long term and make your five year plan and all those kinds of things.

I think we’ve learned over the last few years that life is unpredictable which has always been true, but it has really been driven home for everyone more recently, and so I’m a big proponent of short cycle goals, which means you’re really not setting goals any farther than six months in advance. You need to go, you need, you can have a longer term vision based on what I said in the beginning about what you want.

But you’re taking like these not baby steps, but these incremental steps to be able to get there. And the key with goals like that is it only works if you have some sort of system for yourself to. check in with them and revisit them really regularly. Because I think the other thing that happens with goals is that we set some sort of year goal and on New Year’s Day or we set some sort of five year plan and then we never look at it again.

And then we come back to it. I think this is really common when you work for other people and you like have performance reviews. You set some sort of goal in the beginning of the year, you come back to it a year later. No one’s ever looked at it since then, and most of the time it’s completely irrelevant.

Or you’ve blown it out of the water, or it doesn’t matter anymore. Like everything around that goal has shifted. And I think the key with goals is short term, short to medium term, and then making sure that you’re revisiting them super regularly and adjusting as needed.

Chris Badgett: What’s your approach with goals that Are aspirational versus ones that like with 100 percent certainty you can achieve.

So for example I want to get to whatever, six figures in revenue. That’s an aspirational goal. Whereas I’m going to write six pages of my new book every day or, I’m going to create, I’m going to work on my course business four hours a day. That’s something I can do. No matter what, but it’s on me to do it, but I can’t necessarily guarantee I’m going to hit the six figure outcome.

How do you think about that kind of

Sarah Duran: thing? So the first thing I would say there is I usually coach people not to set numerical goals. So quantitative goals with numbers and deadlines are not really, the way that I have people think about their future. I think my first answer to that is if you were to tell me you wanted to make six figures by the end of the year, my question would be, what is making six figures by the end of the year?

Give you so what does it look like and feel like? What does that number give your life? And that’s your goal. So your goal is the qualitative goal. What is the quality of what that amount of money gives you? Because you might be able to hit that goal in a way that you’re not making six figures, but you’ve checked off the boxes about what it looks like and feels like to get there.

I think it also makes it a little bit it makes it more concrete. Isn’t the word. It makes it more relevant and it makes it resonate with you. You’re with yourself a little bit differently when you’re setting goals like that. But the other thing I would say is. When I have people do an exercise around what they want which is directly then connected to these, their goal setting conversations is, I have people think about 10 things.

And I think people in the audience would be surprised about how difficult it is to actually come up with a list of 10 things that you want. And so three of those things should be easy, no brainers, gonna achieve them no matter what. Three of those things should be a stretch. Three of those things should be This may or may not happen.

Like it’s a big stretch and then one of them should be a miracle. And so what that does is it gives you this range. Because I think the other thing we do is we limit us, limit ourselves in our thinking to what’s possible in the moment. So just going back to the idea that. We and the world around us is incredibly flexible and constantly changing.

Things that we thought were never possible could be possible. And I think it’s important to, I think the goal setting the like smart goal setting language is about feasibility. And I actually encourage people to think big. Think big, but think qualitatively. And then make sure you’re having those in, those interim strategies.

So I think writing six pages of your book or doing 10 minutes of content every day or something like that’s a strategy. And so if your big picture goal is like, by the end of the year, I want to finish this course. Then the, what you ultimately have to do is break that down into the tiny pieces that have to happen in order to do that.

So that’s where like the goal has to and That is where you get into getting more clear with yourself about what is actually feasible short term because long term lots of things could be feasible that you never thought were possible. I, like to say that, which is completely true. The most of the best things that happened in my life, I never saw coming.

Like you’re like a year ago, would I have said X, Y, and Z? No, absolutely not. Almost every year I look back and I’m like a year ago, what I’ve thought that I’d be here? No, absolutely not. And if I had set a goal, I would have actually been limiting myself instead of giving myself the opportunity to grow.

Chris Badgett: A question around mindset.

I’m a pretty, I’m like super optimistic, actually. But sometimes I come across folks and I, have my moments too, where I’m like, I don’t really know what I want, but I just don’t want X. I can want it. I don’t, I want to quit my job or I want to get in a better living situation or I want to get out of this situation.

But I, how do you help people focus on and crystallize that, goal, particularly if it’s like less quantitative and how. How you want to feel or be in the world or can you give us some examples of what that might look like and, how to help somebody who’s in a more negative mindset pivot to the positive view or the opportunity view?

Sarah Duran: Yeah. So I think having having that juxtaposition is really helpful. So if you can’t think about what you want, thinking about what you don’t want can be a really helpful step to get there. And. So the first answer is like not very concrete and, but I think it’s important and it is that it takes like the more you do it, the easier it gets.

Like I said, I don’t think that a lot of us actually, I think understanding what you truly want is a skillset that most of us don’t have and it takes time to develop that skillset. So yeah, that’s what it takes. That’s, so that’s one answer and that’s not like concrete examples. But I would say I’m trying to think of a good example.

So for the solo printers that I work with I’ll give you an example of maybe like the type of work that they want to be doing versus the type of work that they’re doing now. And so that’s one example where I think the negative. example is actually pretty helpful where it’s okay, what kind of clients are you working with right now?

What kind of projects are you doing? What are the ways that you’re spending your time? And let’s just look at them across the board and see what do you like? What do you don’t like? Another way that I like to do that is have people look back across the year and say, what are the things that you said you were going to do and what happened and what didn’t happen?

And then look at those two lists and pull out what are the similarities across the things that did happen and the things that didn’t happen? And in the things that did happen camp, there’s also things that You never said you were going to do, but you did anyway. So they weren’t on your like goal list or to do list, but there’s like this bucket of things that happened and this bucket of things that didn’t happen.

What are the commonalities between those two things? And then I see people pull it’s different for everyone, but I see people pull things out for the things that did happen, I wasn’t doing them alone. So I had a partner. I had external accountability. Maybe that’s one of the things. For the things that didn’t happen.

It could be that they didn’t actually plan them out. So that’s where like the goal feeds into the plan. So I think some of those types of exercises can be really helpful, which is just, again, like starting to really know yourself and how. your patterns manifest themselves across the things that you do.

Because if we’re not taking a conscious step back to look at that stuff, then it just becomes, we get to the end of the year and I’m like, I said, I was going to go do 15 things. I didn’t do any of those things. And oftentimes you, when you examine those things the things that you said you wanted to do, but you didn’t do.

You didn’t really want to do them. So when I get to a lot of times I get to that list and I’m like, what would happen if you just stopped wanting to do those things? Like just take them off your list. Like the things that roll over your list year after year, your new year’s resolutions that you never get to, maybe let’s just get rid of them and see how that feels next year.

So that is a little bit of a roundabout answer. So I hope I, hopefully that was like an answer. I

Chris Badgett: like what you’re saying. How I think there’s. A misnomer that vision, you’re either born with it or not, but you can actually develop it. And some people are just trying to survive and make it through the day.

And that’s a starting point but then you can have, I’ve seen people like that transition to having these broad, big visions and making huge impact. How about achieving goals? It’s one thing to have them like business ideas. A lot of people have business ideas, but don’t achieve them.

Or don’t even work in them at all. They just have a lot of ideas. And I think goals and vision are the same. Like I would love for this to exist in the world, or I have this vision for my life. Which is cool, but how do we get it done? How do we get there?

Sarah Duran: So I think there’s a couple answers to that question.

The first one is really centered around something that I refer to as boss mindset, and this is something that is specific, I think, to people that work for themselves. I think a lot of us are not either natural visionaries or natural. planners and doers and executors. Some of us fall a little bit in between.

But you can’t, there’s no way that if, especially if you’re a business of one, and I think even most entrepreneurs start off with an idea and they’re like a business of one, or at least when they’re in that ideation phase. You have to recognize for yourself where your strengths lie in that spectrum of vision versus executor.

And you have to be able to do both to a certain extent. So you have to be able to push yourself in whatever direction you’re least comfortable in. Because so many, like you said, so many visionaries have the, don’t have the… planning capability or the execution capability to be able to make their dreams happen.

And so so many amazing things get lost. I work with, I work as a project manager by trade. I work with tons of people who are like, I see this thing, but I don’t actually know how to get there. And so I’m very much a person that like balances, like I’m like a balancing in both of those sides.

Maybe I’m in the middle of that spectrum to a certain extent. The other thing I would say, which is, just goes back to what I was saying before, is that fundamentally, I think a lot of us When you set goals out on paper and then you’re not achieving them, it just goes back to what I said before about that might not be the right goal.

So I also think there needs to be a little bit of introspection there about, is that really, the thing you, that you want? So maybe you’re sending out to say I want to create this huge company and you get down to what it actually takes to do that. And you. And you never find yourself doing it or I want to grow my audience, but I can’t bring myself to beat to show up on Instagram or LinkedIn.

This is a big one for me where I’m like, I feel like what I’m supposed to have is this like huge audience and I can’t like, I, it is like pulling teeth to show up on social media in that way, in the way that I see other people showing up on social media. And so I had to adjust. The goal. I had to adjust the way that I was approaching that to make sure that it was reflective of my strengths and who I am and what I actually want to be doing with my time.

So I think a big piece of that is just like, whether it’s the overarching goal or the tactics and strategies that you’re using, to accomplish it are they actually aligned with what you like and what you’re good at? That’s like a big one. And then I think the other one is just you got to make a plan.

So like a goal isn’t going to go anywhere without a plan. And if you’re not good at planning, then you should find someone who is. I think a lot of business owners underestimate the power of high level operational expertise. And so you spend a lot of time bringing other people into your company who are visionaries, just like you, but you’re, and then you’re hiring people possibly at a lower level who are quote unquote doers or executors.

You need to have someone on your leadership team, on your, in your inner circle who is an. A doer who is a planner who has an operational brain if you don’t

How to Scale a Solopreneur Education Business with Sarah Duran: have

Chris Badgett: one. Awesome. You mentioned you had a course in your method, and also just as a coach and helper yourself, you’ve developed like a system and a technique.

So let’s get a little meta as I, as I call it instructional design as an instructional designer of creating your methods and techniques, tell us about what it is. Like, how do you help solopreneurs unlock scale and growth and all that? What’s the method.

Sarah Duran: Great question. So I actually have a background in current, I have a master’s in curriculum and instruction.

So I have an, I have a background in instructional design, which helps me think about this a little bit more systematically, I think. But The way that sorry, a little bit of a twofold question. The way that I approach, I design like a ton of courses for the people that I coach. I have an overarching method and then I have a whole series of, courses that sort of support the skill sets that people need to be solopreneurs.

And the way that I approach that work is really just watching my own journey and then paying attention to the patterns that I’m seeing in other solo printers and freelancers. That I work with. So I don’t think anyone is an expert at being an entrepreneur, a solo printer, a freelancer. I think I, what I have that said, that is a strength of mine that helps me do that is I’m just a student of.

Process and patterns. I just watch for pattern. And then in terms of the method, it really does center around the first thing I always do with people is those three big questions in the beginning. So people come to a business coach, or they buy a course, and they’re trying to fix. pieces of their business.

So they’re trying to fix their systems or they’re trying to fix their services or they’re trying to fix their marketing. And I always take them back to the very beginning where I’m like, why are you doing this? What is your business about? How does it connect, especially for solo printers? does it connected directly to who you are?

How does it compliment who you are, does it lean on your strengths? And What do you want to get out of your work and how is your business model structured to support that? So if you want to be making a million dollars in the next year, your business is going to look pretty different from someone who wants to work 10 hours a week.

You could totally do both. I think that’s 100 percent possible, but getting clear on the reasons that you do what you do and what your life needs to get out of it is that very first part. And then we’re building your business on top of a foundation. of who you are and what you want out of your work instead of just coming in with banded measures.

So here’s how you talk differently to your audience. Here’s how you adjust your sales cycle. All of that stuff is great and important and comes next, but none of that, none of those things are going to work unless you fix the foundation.

Chris Badgett: That’s awesome. Tell us about. Getting more clarity on that vision.

Cause I we’ve, been there, we’ve talked about a little bit, but I think it holds a lot of people back. Yeah. So just help us even more crystallize our goals and not just borrow one or the, Oh, we heard it’s all about making a lot of money or it’s. Or maybe just give some more examples or scenarios that of healthy visions that work for people that have worked for people.

Sarah Duran: Okay, so maybe I’ll give you my example. So when I started my business, it was about, like I said, in the beginning, it was about control. Like I was like, I’m done with other people controlling what I do. And then it was

Chris Badgett: also going away from something. Like it was like, I went away from

Sarah Duran: that. Yes, exactly.

And I was moving away from something. It wasn’t until I was able to step outside of that struggle that I was able to see a new possibility. So sometimes we’re, like, really stuck in these struggle, whatever our current struggle is. Sometimes it’s money, sometimes it’s time, sometimes it’s systems, sometimes it’s relationships, whatever it is.

And so I’m a big proponent of you have to get out. Of that current struggle, or you’re not going to be able to see a different way. You’re just going to be stuck. When you’re struggling, all you can see is the struggle. Just turn off the pain.

Chris Badgett: Turn off the pain.

Sarah Duran: Exactly. And there’s a bunch of different ways you can do that.

So getting, so like getting, stepping outside of your current situation, I think is helpful. And that’s not, maybe that’s not true for everyone. Maybe you’re not like, not struggling. I just need to like, get to my vision. So for me, I. Quit my job, I started doing contract work, and then I was, again, I think it all goes back to just being self reflective and paying attention.

You just really need to pay attention to yourself and listen to the signs that the universe is giving you for, I know that sounds, Woo. But like you have, a lot of us just aren’t paying attention. Like we’re getting the signals of I should or should not be doing this. Or this is my work to do in the world.

And we’re just not listening. We’re not watching it. And so for me, the first five to six years of my business was just about making money. and serving my clients. And I got to a place where I was like, okay, I’ve built this business. I’ve been doing well over six figures for a few years. And I was like, something about this is working.

I figured something out here and I like to, and. I realized, again this level of freedom that I have, I think most people don’t even realize that’s possible. If you’re working a 9 to 5 job, you don’t even realize it had never occurred to me that freelancing was even an option. It was just something that I inadvertently started doing.

And then… As I did that, I started recognizing that I could help other people achieve, that same level of freedom. And so I was like, and again it’s not, I was being self reflective about it. I did not have a coach at the time. I think having an outside perspective, having a thought partner is really important.

helpful for these kind of things. I’m not actually sure that I actually had someone like that at that moment in my life. I definitely did later on. And so I think that’s a, that’s actually a really good strategy is like just having someone that you can have an open conversation with, not who’s going to tell you what to do, but who’s just going to ask you like a bunch of really good questions.

And yeah. I, at that point, it was also about passive income for me, so I was like, I’m going to create a course, I’m going to do some things so I can just start having like other income streams where it’s not just my time. And from there, it all just it became more and more clear as I continued to do it.

So I also think the other thing is we wait for clarity before we act, and I think that you have to act your way towards clarity. So you actually aren’t going to know what your vision is until you start moving towards it. And the more you start moving towards it, the more you’re gonna realize, and again, it’s both those positive and negative examples.

You’re gonna see things, you’re gonna read things, you’re gonna interact with people where you’re like, okay, this is, I’m getting closer when I’m doing this, I’m getting farther away when I’m doing or this idea resonates and that idea is does not resonate.

So it really is about just like you need, I sometimes I refer to it as like breadcrumbs, like you like see things or you hear things or you interact with people or you get opportunities and you’re like, okay, I can see the path forward as I’m doing this.

And then you follow it. Which is another reason why I advocate for flexible goals, because if you have. Hard goals is really hard to follow those breadcrumbs and listen to those signals as you’re moving toward it.

Chris Badgett: How often should we be checking in or like reevaluating our goals? I know constantly is a good idea, but if there’s a cadence to it over the course of a year, what do you recommend?

You mentioned don’t plan more than six months in advance. So there’s that, but yeah.

Sarah Duran: And I think you can tip what I refer to as milestones a little bit further out, maybe up to a year. I would say you’re reflecting on your goals at least quarterly. So I advocate for a quarterly review and then definitely an annual review.

At that annual review, you’re really going a lot deeper. You’re revisiting some of those foundational pieces about Who am I? What do I want out of this? Because all that stuff changes, right? What I wanted 15 years ago is not what I want now. What I wanted before I had a kid is not what I want after I had a kid.

The way my time is going to be structured, the amount of money I need, all that stuff changes. So I think it’s not just your goals, but it’s also those foundational pieces. You have to make sure that you’re revisiting them at least quarterly and then doing a much deeper dive annually.

And then there will also be moments where just like paying attention, like watching yourself, there’ll be moments where I’m like. Oh, something’s off track here somehow this direction that I started going this is not.

Then I will just be like, okay, now I need to sit down and rethink this having those checkpoints. At least quarterly and annual, I think is important. But make sure that you’re also just paying attention to what you’re noticing about the direction that you’re moving.

Chris Badgett: You mentioned for you. You got to a point where you were freelancing and making good money and you want to do some passive income projects. And what was in your vision? What was changing? Was it. Was it like who you were working for the type of work you were doing? It was more about diversifying income.

Like basically at first you want to control, you got the control, you got the freedom and then what opened up for you next? What, how did your, what was that pivot like?

Sarah Duran: Yeah. So I think. Like on a meta perspective, something that I’ve been reflecting on a lot is like the more freedom you get, it just opens doors to higher levels of freedom.

And as you realize the amount of freedom that you’re able to have, your own, it’s like a hierarchy, it’s like a Maslow’s hierarchy, like you’re only going higher there’s, no top. And freedom doesn’t necessarily mean money. I think money is correlated to freedom, but in a lot of respects because of the society that we live in, but it’s not necessarily a one to one thing.

So for that, it was about two things. I think it was first about that as an independent consultant, I was. You are, you begin to become constrained by the amount of time that you have to give and the amount that you can raise your rates with people.

So I was hitting a glass ceiling and the amount of money that I could make the amount of clients that I could take on because it was only me.

And there are different ways to address that could have been outsourcing, could have been hiring other people. Then the other thing was I wanted to have a business that was more resilient and had. more different types of income streams than just the client work that I was doing.

Chris Badgett: Nice. Sarah, this has been awesome.

Tell us about what you offer. You have a 15 minute call. You’ve got your podcast, you’ve got the newsletter. Tell us about your suite of offerings

Sarah Duran: there. Sure. Part of my journey over the last year has been getting a lot more focused on my offerings. And so I have a bunch of content and free stuff that I do that anyone can consume from the podcast to my sub stack, to my blog.

Then the coaching that I offer now is more specifically focused on, I would say maybe veterans for sure, but I would say at least solopreneurs who have been in business for a couple of years.

I’m not focusing my services as much on people who are aspiring solopreneurs. Or brand new solopreneurs, but more people who have been in it for a little while and are coming to what I refer to as a crossroads in their business.

So something’s not working. You need a little bit of help of figuring out where you’re going to take your business and your life next. And that’s where I offer a. Coaching program that is a combination of individual and group coaching backed up by, like I said, the suite of courses that helps people get the actual skills that they need in order to take their business to their next phase.

Chris Badgett: Nice. And what are the set of skills like, yeah, could you go? Yeah.

Sarah Duran: Great question. Yeah some of the courses in, the what I refer to as the academy, I have a course on time, management, productivity organizing your time, rituals, time blocking. I have a course on money, a course on client acquisition.

So how are you getting the right clients in the door? How are you structuring your services? A course on design. So how are you using design principles to design offers, to design client experiences a course on business planning. So basically take giving solo printers a structure to create a business plan that reflects who they serve, the problems that they solve for them and condenses down their messaging about here’s what I do and here’s who I do it for.

I think those are, that might not be all of them, but I think that’s like the highlights.

Chris Badgett: You brought it up. So I have to ask what are some client acquisition tips? A lot of course creators and agencies out there want more clients. What’s your method for getting in there and give some people some tips, some counterintuitive insights.

Sarah Duran: My counter, my counterintuitive insights may not apply to course creators because my biggest counterintuitive insight for freelancers is to not use funnels of any type. As a course creator, I do use funnels. So for my coaching program, I think that kind of methodology actually does work. But I would say the thing that bridges both of those is Just getting super clear about who You serve and with the problem that you solve for them, which I think is an ongoing journey.

It’s something that is a journey that I’ve been on for the almost 10 years that I’ve been in business for the various pieces of my business. The answer is slightly different, but I wasn’t for a long time. I, for a long time, I did not have a succinct answer to that question. And I think the clearer you are about who you serve and the problem you solve for them, the more that the, your message is going to resonate with your audience.

The other thing I would say there is back to some of those design principles. You need to be, whatever the answer is to that question, you have to be saying it in the terms of your audience. And so what, the way you might answer that question, while it is not wrong, may not be the same words that your audience is using to answer that question.

And the only way you can know that is to ask them. So having as many conversations with possible as possible with people who are your ideal client and just asking them, not selling them anything, not. Trying to get them to join your program, just literally listening to the problems they’re dealing with, the things they’ve tried before how they think about fixing them, all those kinds of things.

I would say that is also like a really good strategy.

Chris Badgett: That’s awesome. That’s Sarah Duran. She’s at fruition initiatives. com. You can find her on the hustlers manifesto. Any other ways for people to connect with you and find you online? Nope.

Sarah Duran: I think that’s right. The those are the two places where you can basically find everything that I do, or you can find me on Instagram at hustlers underscore manifesto.

And feel free to say hi on LinkedIn at Sarah Duran. And if a quick link just to get to my podcast and my sub stack is just the hustlers manifesto. com. All one word.

Chris Badgett: Awesome. Thank you for coming on the show, Sarah. We really appreciate all the knowledge, bonds, and insight.

Sarah Duran: Thanks so much for having me.

Chris Badgett: And that’s a wrap for this episode of LMS cast. Did you enjoy that episode? Tell your friends and be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss the next episode. And I’ve got a gift for you over at LifterLMS. Go to Lifterlms. com forward slash gift.

Keep learning, keep taking action, and I’ll see you in the next episode.

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In this LMScast episode, Sarah Duran discusses her viewpoint on independent employment, establishing goals, and her podcast and newsletter.

Sarah assists individuals in developing meaningful, independent job that supports their preferred lifestyle. She’s on the Hustler’s Manifesto podcast, if you’re interested. She may be found at fruitioninitiatives.com as well.

She highlights the advantages of working for oneself, like having more control over one’s time and finances. Sarah also emphasizes the value of self-awareness and accountability when working independently.

Sarah suggests starting with self-reflection to comprehend one’s aspirations, what they want to accomplish, and why they perform their work. She emphasizes the need of defining flexible, short-term goals, often within a six-month time period. To react to life’s volatility, these goals must be often reviewed and modified.

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Browse more recent episodes of the LMScast podcast here or explore the entire back catalog since 2014.

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Episode Transcript

Chris Badgett: You’ve come to the right place if you’re looking to create, launch, and scale a high value online training program. I’m your guide, Chris Badgett. I’m the co-founder of LifterLMS, the most powerful learning management system for WordPress State of the end, I’ve got something special for you. Enjoy the show.

Hello and welcome back to another episode of LMS cast. I’m joined by a special guest. Her name is Sarah Duran. You can find her on the Hustlers Manifesto podcast. You can also find her at fruitioninitiatives. com. Welcome to the show, Sarah.

Sarah Duran: Thanks so much for having me.

Chris Badgett: Let’s get into independent work. Why should people work for themselves?

So there’s course creators out there, coaches, people who are running WordPress agency, businesses, marketing agencies out there. What is independent work in your view? And let’s get folks excited about it. Really those who are like just starting to dabble as Hey, maybe I can do this on the side.

Sarah Duran: So I fundamentally believe that working for yourself is better than working for other people. I’ve worked for myself for going on 10 years now. And before I did that, I felt. Everything that I did in my work life was controlled by someone else. My time was controlled by other people. My money was controlled by other people.

What I had to do basically eight hours of my day was controlled by other people. And back in the day, I think pre COVID where I had to do it was also controlled by other people. And that just felt like a given. It just felt like that’s the way things are. You just get a job, you work your way up the ladder, et cetera, et cetera.

I, fell into independent work by accident and was incredibly surprised that I could make a lot more money than what I was making before as basically an independent consultant is how I started my business. I was making a lot more money, I was working a lot less time wise and I was able to structure it exactly how I wanted.

Now, I think the flip side of that is. With control and with freedom comes responsibility, right? So I also had to make, I was forced to make a lot of decisions for myself that other people had been making for me how to spend my time, how to decide what I charge people how to decide what kind of work I wanted to do.

And so it takes a, really high level of personal awareness and personal responsibility to make it work. You have to be able to get super clear with yourself about what you want to get out of your work, whether that’s a business of one solo printers or the primarily the folks that I work with or whether you’re thinking about starting a company.

But fundamentally, I think that it leads to, humans that have more self agency and are, which I think makes us a little bit better able to function in the world because we’re better able to take care of ourselves and subsequently better able to help take care of each other.

Chris Badgett: Tell us a little bit about your podcast and newsletter before we go more into goals and ideas and stuff.

Sarah Duran: Sure. The podcast is really me having conversations with anyone who. works independently. And that can look a bunch of different ways. Let’s for instance, I had you on the podcast a while back. So that can be anyone from, I would say like freelancers, solopreneurs small business owners, coaches consultants.

Course creators, I think content creators is this like other category of solopreneurs, where you’re not necessarily providing like direct service based business for your clients but you’re providing a way to access that information on your own. Among the various hats that I wear also have a whole series of courses and content that I use with the freelancers that I work with.

And so the podcast is really just talking to people about what it’s like to work independently and. a lot of those themes bleed into the newsletter, my sub stack.

So the articles that I write on my sub stack are more like macro level perspectives on all of the topics that are associated with that, whether it’s worth, whether it’s work, whether it’s capitalism, whether it’s money, whether it’s to rest or not to rest all those things that sort of factor into that.

And then I also put out Roundup at the end of the month where I’m just giving people a bunch of resources that can help them work independently from across all of the different people that I’m connected to that also operate in this space.

Chris Badgett: Awesome. So if you’re listening to the podcast right now, add the hustlers manifesto for a listen.

You can find the one that Sarah did with me. She’s got a lot of other great ones on there as well. Let’s go back to goal setting and goals. Like it’s. It’s really liberating to like work for yourself and open the doors to your business, but you quickly learn you, you gotta survive. You gotta not have this end in a failure or without traction or just fizzling out.

What is, what’s your approach to goals? As a solopreneur and an independent worker.

Sarah Duran: So I trace, I start whenever I’m working on goals with people or working on their business in general, I always start with having people reflect on who they are, what they want to get out of their work and why they do their work.

Which I think are three questions that we don’t. Most of us don’t spend a lot of intentional time thinking about and so the first thing for goals is just making sure that you understand the answers to those three questions because I think the first mistake that a lot of us make with goals is that we’re setting goals based on what other people want and not what we want.

And so I think getting super clear about what you actually want is a skill that most of us don’t have for a variety of reasons. We get tricked into doing things that other people want us to want or whatever society wants us to want. And so I think that’s the first step is like figuring out what you want so that you’re setting goals based on what you want, what’s relevant to you right now.

And then the other key thing that I think is important for goals is making sure that you’re setting short term. Flexible short cycle goals, and so I think we get a lot of advice from business gurus or self help folks out there that are like think long term and make your five year plan and all those kinds of things.

I think we’ve learned over the last few years that life is unpredictable which has always been true, but it has really been driven home for everyone more recently, and so I’m a big proponent of short cycle goals, which means you’re really not setting goals any farther than six months in advance. You need to go, you need, you can have a longer term vision based on what I said in the beginning about what you want.

But you’re taking like these not baby steps, but these incremental steps to be able to get there. And the key with goals like that is it only works if you have some sort of system for yourself to. check in with them and revisit them really regularly. Because I think the other thing that happens with goals is that we set some sort of year goal and on New Year’s Day or we set some sort of five year plan and then we never look at it again.

And then we come back to it. I think this is really common when you work for other people and you like have performance reviews. You set some sort of goal in the beginning of the year, you come back to it a year later. No one’s ever looked at it since then, and most of the time it’s completely irrelevant.

Or you’ve blown it out of the water, or it doesn’t matter anymore. Like everything around that goal has shifted. And I think the key with goals is short term, short to medium term, and then making sure that you’re revisiting them super regularly and adjusting as needed.

Chris Badgett: What’s your approach with goals that Are aspirational versus ones that like with 100 percent certainty you can achieve.

So for example I want to get to whatever, six figures in revenue. That’s an aspirational goal. Whereas I’m going to write six pages of my new book every day or, I’m going to create, I’m going to work on my course business four hours a day. That’s something I can do. No matter what, but it’s on me to do it, but I can’t necessarily guarantee I’m going to hit the six figure outcome.

How do you think about that kind of

Sarah Duran: thing? So the first thing I would say there is I usually coach people not to set numerical goals. So quantitative goals with numbers and deadlines are not really, the way that I have people think about their future. I think my first answer to that is if you were to tell me you wanted to make six figures by the end of the year, my question would be, what is making six figures by the end of the year?

Give you so what does it look like and feel like? What does that number give your life? And that’s your goal. So your goal is the qualitative goal. What is the quality of what that amount of money gives you? Because you might be able to hit that goal in a way that you’re not making six figures, but you’ve checked off the boxes about what it looks like and feels like to get there.

I think it also makes it a little bit it makes it more concrete. Isn’t the word. It makes it more relevant and it makes it resonate with you. You’re with yourself a little bit differently when you’re setting goals like that. But the other thing I would say is. When I have people do an exercise around what they want which is directly then connected to these, their goal setting conversations is, I have people think about 10 things.

And I think people in the audience would be surprised about how difficult it is to actually come up with a list of 10 things that you want. And so three of those things should be easy, no brainers, gonna achieve them no matter what. Three of those things should be a stretch. Three of those things should be This may or may not happen.

Like it’s a big stretch and then one of them should be a miracle. And so what that does is it gives you this range. Because I think the other thing we do is we limit us, limit ourselves in our thinking to what’s possible in the moment. So just going back to the idea that. We and the world around us is incredibly flexible and constantly changing.

Things that we thought were never possible could be possible. And I think it’s important to, I think the goal setting the like smart goal setting language is about feasibility. And I actually encourage people to think big. Think big, but think qualitatively. And then make sure you’re having those in, those interim strategies.

So I think writing six pages of your book or doing 10 minutes of content every day or something like that’s a strategy. And so if your big picture goal is like, by the end of the year, I want to finish this course. Then the, what you ultimately have to do is break that down into the tiny pieces that have to happen in order to do that.

So that’s where like the goal has to and That is where you get into getting more clear with yourself about what is actually feasible short term because long term lots of things could be feasible that you never thought were possible. I, like to say that, which is completely true. The most of the best things that happened in my life, I never saw coming.

Like you’re like a year ago, would I have said X, Y, and Z? No, absolutely not. Almost every year I look back and I’m like a year ago, what I’ve thought that I’d be here? No, absolutely not. And if I had set a goal, I would have actually been limiting myself instead of giving myself the opportunity to grow.

Chris Badgett: A question around mindset.

I’m a pretty, I’m like super optimistic, actually. But sometimes I come across folks and I, have my moments too, where I’m like, I don’t really know what I want, but I just don’t want X. I can want it. I don’t, I want to quit my job or I want to get in a better living situation or I want to get out of this situation.

But I, how do you help people focus on and crystallize that, goal, particularly if it’s like less quantitative and how. How you want to feel or be in the world or can you give us some examples of what that might look like and, how to help somebody who’s in a more negative mindset pivot to the positive view or the opportunity view?

Sarah Duran: Yeah. So I think having having that juxtaposition is really helpful. So if you can’t think about what you want, thinking about what you don’t want can be a really helpful step to get there. And. So the first answer is like not very concrete and, but I think it’s important and it is that it takes like the more you do it, the easier it gets.

Like I said, I don’t think that a lot of us actually, I think understanding what you truly want is a skillset that most of us don’t have and it takes time to develop that skillset. So yeah, that’s what it takes. That’s, so that’s one answer and that’s not like concrete examples. But I would say I’m trying to think of a good example.

So for the solo printers that I work with I’ll give you an example of maybe like the type of work that they want to be doing versus the type of work that they’re doing now. And so that’s one example where I think the negative. example is actually pretty helpful where it’s okay, what kind of clients are you working with right now?

What kind of projects are you doing? What are the ways that you’re spending your time? And let’s just look at them across the board and see what do you like? What do you don’t like? Another way that I like to do that is have people look back across the year and say, what are the things that you said you were going to do and what happened and what didn’t happen?

And then look at those two lists and pull out what are the similarities across the things that did happen and the things that didn’t happen? And in the things that did happen camp, there’s also things that You never said you were going to do, but you did anyway. So they weren’t on your like goal list or to do list, but there’s like this bucket of things that happened and this bucket of things that didn’t happen.

What are the commonalities between those two things? And then I see people pull it’s different for everyone, but I see people pull things out for the things that did happen, I wasn’t doing them alone. So I had a partner. I had external accountability. Maybe that’s one of the things. For the things that didn’t happen.

It could be that they didn’t actually plan them out. So that’s where like the goal feeds into the plan. So I think some of those types of exercises can be really helpful, which is just, again, like starting to really know yourself and how. your patterns manifest themselves across the things that you do.

Because if we’re not taking a conscious step back to look at that stuff, then it just becomes, we get to the end of the year and I’m like, I said, I was going to go do 15 things. I didn’t do any of those things. And oftentimes you, when you examine those things the things that you said you wanted to do, but you didn’t do.

You didn’t really want to do them. So when I get to a lot of times I get to that list and I’m like, what would happen if you just stopped wanting to do those things? Like just take them off your list. Like the things that roll over your list year after year, your new year’s resolutions that you never get to, maybe let’s just get rid of them and see how that feels next year.

So that is a little bit of a roundabout answer. So I hope I, hopefully that was like an answer. I

Chris Badgett: like what you’re saying. How I think there’s. A misnomer that vision, you’re either born with it or not, but you can actually develop it. And some people are just trying to survive and make it through the day.

And that’s a starting point but then you can have, I’ve seen people like that transition to having these broad, big visions and making huge impact. How about achieving goals? It’s one thing to have them like business ideas. A lot of people have business ideas, but don’t achieve them.

Or don’t even work in them at all. They just have a lot of ideas. And I think goals and vision are the same. Like I would love for this to exist in the world, or I have this vision for my life. Which is cool, but how do we get it done? How do we get there?

Sarah Duran: So I think there’s a couple answers to that question.

The first one is really centered around something that I refer to as boss mindset, and this is something that is specific, I think, to people that work for themselves. I think a lot of us are not either natural visionaries or natural. planners and doers and executors. Some of us fall a little bit in between.

But you can’t, there’s no way that if, especially if you’re a business of one, and I think even most entrepreneurs start off with an idea and they’re like a business of one, or at least when they’re in that ideation phase. You have to recognize for yourself where your strengths lie in that spectrum of vision versus executor.

And you have to be able to do both to a certain extent. So you have to be able to push yourself in whatever direction you’re least comfortable in. Because so many, like you said, so many visionaries have the, don’t have the… planning capability or the execution capability to be able to make their dreams happen.

And so so many amazing things get lost. I work with, I work as a project manager by trade. I work with tons of people who are like, I see this thing, but I don’t actually know how to get there. And so I’m very much a person that like balances, like I’m like a balancing in both of those sides.

Maybe I’m in the middle of that spectrum to a certain extent. The other thing I would say, which is, just goes back to what I was saying before, is that fundamentally, I think a lot of us When you set goals out on paper and then you’re not achieving them, it just goes back to what I said before about that might not be the right goal.

So I also think there needs to be a little bit of introspection there about, is that really, the thing you, that you want? So maybe you’re sending out to say I want to create this huge company and you get down to what it actually takes to do that. And you. And you never find yourself doing it or I want to grow my audience, but I can’t bring myself to beat to show up on Instagram or LinkedIn.

This is a big one for me where I’m like, I feel like what I’m supposed to have is this like huge audience and I can’t like, I, it is like pulling teeth to show up on social media in that way, in the way that I see other people showing up on social media. And so I had to adjust. The goal. I had to adjust the way that I was approaching that to make sure that it was reflective of my strengths and who I am and what I actually want to be doing with my time.

So I think a big piece of that is just like, whether it’s the overarching goal or the tactics and strategies that you’re using, to accomplish it are they actually aligned with what you like and what you’re good at? That’s like a big one. And then I think the other one is just you got to make a plan.

So like a goal isn’t going to go anywhere without a plan. And if you’re not good at planning, then you should find someone who is. I think a lot of business owners underestimate the power of high level operational expertise. And so you spend a lot of time bringing other people into your company who are visionaries, just like you, but you’re, and then you’re hiring people possibly at a lower level who are quote unquote doers or executors.

You need to have someone on your leadership team, on your, in your inner circle who is an. A doer who is a planner who has an operational brain if you don’t

How to Scale a Solopreneur Education Business with Sarah Duran: have

Chris Badgett: one. Awesome. You mentioned you had a course in your method, and also just as a coach and helper yourself, you’ve developed like a system and a technique.

So let’s get a little meta as I, as I call it instructional design as an instructional designer of creating your methods and techniques, tell us about what it is. Like, how do you help solopreneurs unlock scale and growth and all that? What’s the method.

Sarah Duran: Great question. So I actually have a background in current, I have a master’s in curriculum and instruction.

So I have an, I have a background in instructional design, which helps me think about this a little bit more systematically, I think. But The way that sorry, a little bit of a twofold question. The way that I approach, I design like a ton of courses for the people that I coach. I have an overarching method and then I have a whole series of, courses that sort of support the skill sets that people need to be solopreneurs.

And the way that I approach that work is really just watching my own journey and then paying attention to the patterns that I’m seeing in other solo printers and freelancers. That I work with. So I don’t think anyone is an expert at being an entrepreneur, a solo printer, a freelancer. I think I, what I have that said, that is a strength of mine that helps me do that is I’m just a student of.

Process and patterns. I just watch for pattern. And then in terms of the method, it really does center around the first thing I always do with people is those three big questions in the beginning. So people come to a business coach, or they buy a course, and they’re trying to fix. pieces of their business.

So they’re trying to fix their systems or they’re trying to fix their services or they’re trying to fix their marketing. And I always take them back to the very beginning where I’m like, why are you doing this? What is your business about? How does it connect, especially for solo printers? does it connected directly to who you are?

How does it compliment who you are, does it lean on your strengths? And What do you want to get out of your work and how is your business model structured to support that? So if you want to be making a million dollars in the next year, your business is going to look pretty different from someone who wants to work 10 hours a week.

You could totally do both. I think that’s 100 percent possible, but getting clear on the reasons that you do what you do and what your life needs to get out of it is that very first part. And then we’re building your business on top of a foundation. of who you are and what you want out of your work instead of just coming in with banded measures.

So here’s how you talk differently to your audience. Here’s how you adjust your sales cycle. All of that stuff is great and important and comes next, but none of that, none of those things are going to work unless you fix the foundation.

Chris Badgett: That’s awesome. Tell us about. Getting more clarity on that vision.

Cause I we’ve, been there, we’ve talked about a little bit, but I think it holds a lot of people back. Yeah. So just help us even more crystallize our goals and not just borrow one or the, Oh, we heard it’s all about making a lot of money or it’s. Or maybe just give some more examples or scenarios that of healthy visions that work for people that have worked for people.

Sarah Duran: Okay, so maybe I’ll give you my example. So when I started my business, it was about, like I said, in the beginning, it was about control. Like I was like, I’m done with other people controlling what I do. And then it was

Chris Badgett: also going away from something. Like it was like, I went away from

Sarah Duran: that. Yes, exactly.

And I was moving away from something. It wasn’t until I was able to step outside of that struggle that I was able to see a new possibility. So sometimes we’re, like, really stuck in these struggle, whatever our current struggle is. Sometimes it’s money, sometimes it’s time, sometimes it’s systems, sometimes it’s relationships, whatever it is.

And so I’m a big proponent of you have to get out. Of that current struggle, or you’re not going to be able to see a different way. You’re just going to be stuck. When you’re struggling, all you can see is the struggle. Just turn off the pain.

Chris Badgett: Turn off the pain.

Sarah Duran: Exactly. And there’s a bunch of different ways you can do that.

So getting, so like getting, stepping outside of your current situation, I think is helpful. And that’s not, maybe that’s not true for everyone. Maybe you’re not like, not struggling. I just need to like, get to my vision. So for me, I. Quit my job, I started doing contract work, and then I was, again, I think it all goes back to just being self reflective and paying attention.

You just really need to pay attention to yourself and listen to the signs that the universe is giving you for, I know that sounds, Woo. But like you have, a lot of us just aren’t paying attention. Like we’re getting the signals of I should or should not be doing this. Or this is my work to do in the world.

And we’re just not listening. We’re not watching it. And so for me, the first five to six years of my business was just about making money. and serving my clients. And I got to a place where I was like, okay, I’ve built this business. I’ve been doing well over six figures for a few years. And I was like, something about this is working.

I figured something out here and I like to, and. I realized, again this level of freedom that I have, I think most people don’t even realize that’s possible. If you’re working a 9 to 5 job, you don’t even realize it had never occurred to me that freelancing was even an option. It was just something that I inadvertently started doing.

And then… As I did that, I started recognizing that I could help other people achieve, that same level of freedom. And so I was like, and again it’s not, I was being self reflective about it. I did not have a coach at the time. I think having an outside perspective, having a thought partner is really important.

helpful for these kind of things. I’m not actually sure that I actually had someone like that at that moment in my life. I definitely did later on. And so I think that’s a, that’s actually a really good strategy is like just having someone that you can have an open conversation with, not who’s going to tell you what to do, but who’s just going to ask you like a bunch of really good questions.

And yeah. I, at that point, it was also about passive income for me, so I was like, I’m going to create a course, I’m going to do some things so I can just start having like other income streams where it’s not just my time. And from there, it all just it became more and more clear as I continued to do it.

So I also think the other thing is we wait for clarity before we act, and I think that you have to act your way towards clarity. So you actually aren’t going to know what your vision is until you start moving towards it. And the more you start moving towards it, the more you’re gonna realize, and again, it’s both those positive and negative examples.

You’re gonna see things, you’re gonna read things, you’re gonna interact with people where you’re like, okay, this is, I’m getting closer when I’m doing this, I’m getting farther away when I’m doing or this idea resonates and that idea is does not resonate.

So it really is about just like you need, I sometimes I refer to it as like breadcrumbs, like you like see things or you hear things or you interact with people or you get opportunities and you’re like, okay, I can see the path forward as I’m doing this.

And then you follow it. Which is another reason why I advocate for flexible goals, because if you have. Hard goals is really hard to follow those breadcrumbs and listen to those signals as you’re moving toward it.

Chris Badgett: How often should we be checking in or like reevaluating our goals? I know constantly is a good idea, but if there’s a cadence to it over the course of a year, what do you recommend?

You mentioned don’t plan more than six months in advance. So there’s that, but yeah.

Sarah Duran: And I think you can tip what I refer to as milestones a little bit further out, maybe up to a year. I would say you’re reflecting on your goals at least quarterly. So I advocate for a quarterly review and then definitely an annual review.

At that annual review, you’re really going a lot deeper. You’re revisiting some of those foundational pieces about Who am I? What do I want out of this? Because all that stuff changes, right? What I wanted 15 years ago is not what I want now. What I wanted before I had a kid is not what I want after I had a kid.

The way my time is going to be structured, the amount of money I need, all that stuff changes. So I think it’s not just your goals, but it’s also those foundational pieces. You have to make sure that you’re revisiting them at least quarterly and then doing a much deeper dive annually.

And then there will also be moments where just like paying attention, like watching yourself, there’ll be moments where I’m like. Oh, something’s off track here somehow this direction that I started going this is not.

Then I will just be like, okay, now I need to sit down and rethink this having those checkpoints. At least quarterly and annual, I think is important. But make sure that you’re also just paying attention to what you’re noticing about the direction that you’re moving.

Chris Badgett: You mentioned for you. You got to a point where you were freelancing and making good money and you want to do some passive income projects. And what was in your vision? What was changing? Was it. Was it like who you were working for the type of work you were doing? It was more about diversifying income.

Like basically at first you want to control, you got the control, you got the freedom and then what opened up for you next? What, how did your, what was that pivot like?

Sarah Duran: Yeah. So I think. Like on a meta perspective, something that I’ve been reflecting on a lot is like the more freedom you get, it just opens doors to higher levels of freedom.

And as you realize the amount of freedom that you’re able to have, your own, it’s like a hierarchy, it’s like a Maslow’s hierarchy, like you’re only going higher there’s, no top. And freedom doesn’t necessarily mean money. I think money is correlated to freedom, but in a lot of respects because of the society that we live in, but it’s not necessarily a one to one thing.

So for that, it was about two things. I think it was first about that as an independent consultant, I was. You are, you begin to become constrained by the amount of time that you have to give and the amount that you can raise your rates with people.

So I was hitting a glass ceiling and the amount of money that I could make the amount of clients that I could take on because it was only me.

And there are different ways to address that could have been outsourcing, could have been hiring other people. Then the other thing was I wanted to have a business that was more resilient and had. more different types of income streams than just the client work that I was doing.

Chris Badgett: Nice. Sarah, this has been awesome.

Tell us about what you offer. You have a 15 minute call. You’ve got your podcast, you’ve got the newsletter. Tell us about your suite of offerings

Sarah Duran: there. Sure. Part of my journey over the last year has been getting a lot more focused on my offerings. And so I have a bunch of content and free stuff that I do that anyone can consume from the podcast to my sub stack, to my blog.

Then the coaching that I offer now is more specifically focused on, I would say maybe veterans for sure, but I would say at least solopreneurs who have been in business for a couple of years.

I’m not focusing my services as much on people who are aspiring solopreneurs. Or brand new solopreneurs, but more people who have been in it for a little while and are coming to what I refer to as a crossroads in their business.

So something’s not working. You need a little bit of help of figuring out where you’re going to take your business and your life next. And that’s where I offer a. Coaching program that is a combination of individual and group coaching backed up by, like I said, the suite of courses that helps people get the actual skills that they need in order to take their business to their next phase.

Chris Badgett: Nice. And what are the set of skills like, yeah, could you go? Yeah.

Sarah Duran: Great question. Yeah some of the courses in, the what I refer to as the academy, I have a course on time, management, productivity organizing your time, rituals, time blocking. I have a course on money, a course on client acquisition.

So how are you getting the right clients in the door? How are you structuring your services? A course on design. So how are you using design principles to design offers, to design client experiences a course on business planning. So basically take giving solo printers a structure to create a business plan that reflects who they serve, the problems that they solve for them and condenses down their messaging about here’s what I do and here’s who I do it for.

I think those are, that might not be all of them, but I think that’s like the highlights.

Chris Badgett: You brought it up. So I have to ask what are some client acquisition tips? A lot of course creators and agencies out there want more clients. What’s your method for getting in there and give some people some tips, some counterintuitive insights.

Sarah Duran: My counter, my counterintuitive insights may not apply to course creators because my biggest counterintuitive insight for freelancers is to not use funnels of any type. As a course creator, I do use funnels. So for my coaching program, I think that kind of methodology actually does work. But I would say the thing that bridges both of those is Just getting super clear about who You serve and with the problem that you solve for them, which I think is an ongoing journey.

It’s something that is a journey that I’ve been on for the almost 10 years that I’ve been in business for the various pieces of my business. The answer is slightly different, but I wasn’t for a long time. I, for a long time, I did not have a succinct answer to that question. And I think the clearer you are about who you serve and the problem you solve for them, the more that the, your message is going to resonate with your audience.

The other thing I would say there is back to some of those design principles. You need to be, whatever the answer is to that question, you have to be saying it in the terms of your audience. And so what, the way you might answer that question, while it is not wrong, may not be the same words that your audience is using to answer that question.

And the only way you can know that is to ask them. So having as many conversations with possible as possible with people who are your ideal client and just asking them, not selling them anything, not. Trying to get them to join your program, just literally listening to the problems they’re dealing with, the things they’ve tried before how they think about fixing them, all those kinds of things.

I would say that is also like a really good strategy.

Chris Badgett: That’s awesome. That’s Sarah Duran. She’s at fruition initiatives. com. You can find her on the hustlers manifesto. Any other ways for people to connect with you and find you online? Nope.

Sarah Duran: I think that’s right. The those are the two places where you can basically find everything that I do, or you can find me on Instagram at hustlers underscore manifesto.

And feel free to say hi on LinkedIn at Sarah Duran. And if a quick link just to get to my podcast and my sub stack is just the hustlers manifesto. com. All one word.

Chris Badgett: Awesome. Thank you for coming on the show, Sarah. We really appreciate all the knowledge, bonds, and insight.

Sarah Duran: Thanks so much for having me.

Chris Badgett: And that’s a wrap for this episode of LMS cast. Did you enjoy that episode? Tell your friends and be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss the next episode. And I’ve got a gift for you over at LifterLMS. Go to Lifterlms. com forward slash gift.

Keep learning, keep taking action, and I’ll see you in the next episode.

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