Could you use some (gentle) business advice?
Being small business owners and self-employed people, we have the autonomy and freedom our independent spirits relish. We create our own paths and do our own way-finding. And, for all its risk, the rewards – when they come – are glorious.
But, sometimes (and often), it would be really nice to be able to just straight out ask someone trustworthy, “Hey, if you were me, what would you do here? Does what I’m doing make sense? Am I missing anything? What, specifically, can I change so that I can make more money to support myself and my family? Just tell me what to do.” It would be really nice to take a break from figuring it all out.
Rest your business worries and wonderings on my shoulders.
I have worked professionally in nearly every field of marketing – from internal communications to advertising to analytics to branding to public relations to content marketing and creative services. I’ve worked in corporate environments and non-profits, international advertising agencies and a closet I converted into my first office for Pink Elephant. I’ve won awards. I’ve been invited to judge marketing competitions. I really, really know my stuff.
But my greatest claim to credibility with you, I think, is that I’ve grown my own kind and profitable business. Quietly. Gently.
You’ve found your way to Pink Elephant Academy for Entrepreneurs (and our design and writing boutique, Pink Elephant Creative) because you want to believe you can market and promote your good business without pressuring people or imposing, without pressing wounds or inflating fears. I think I can help you do that, because it’s how I go about things around here, and I make a comfortable living.
Almost always, if I’m presented with a small business, I have an immediate “download” of how they should structure, price and present themselves. I only recently discovered not everyone has this. It’s one of my neat quirks!
I think good-hearted small business owners and sole proprietors who are doing all of the business planning work on their own deserve some affordable, timely, specific-to-them feedback, advice and encouragement. Given gently.
I don’t think you need a big, comprehensive, intimidating business plan to be successful. I just think you need to know what you should keep doing, what you should stop doing, and what you should start doing (from someone cheering for you who knows her stuff and wants to see you with more money in the bank).
“Getting gentle business advice from Carrie was like taking my business to the spa. I adore my business but it can at times get overwhelming or tiring. Working with Carrie was an experience of renewal, revival, and improvement all within a nurturing context. She helped me rebuild my strength, refocus my energy and reflect on what is truly important in my business. I have read many of the business books out there and have worked directly with a few of the big name business coaches around the world and none of this came close to the immediate effects of working with Carrie. It was a wonderful investment in the work that is so important to me.”-Heather Krauss, idatassist.com
“Who is this service designed for?”
Not very long ago, I surveyed my community, asking what they wished I offered and a number of people said they wanted more holistic business advice from me. They wanted me to look over their businesses and offer an assessment. They wanted an objective, thoughtful take on what they were doing well and what they could be doing better in order to help more people, have more time for themselves, and make a comfortable living (without following creepy marketing formulas). My gentle business advice is for those people.
You want insight, and then you’ll run with it. You’re a self-starter who just needs to be pointed in a direction. You want some good ideas (and some help focusing your own good ideas). And your business is service-based. (My specialty is not retail product sales.)
“Who is this service NOT designed for?”
I want to be very clear that I am not a coach. If you need someone to keep you accountable on a longer term basis, that’s not me.
I am also not a phone person. This is written correspondence. I like to consider things and being able to schedule thinking and writing time is a must for me, and is the way I’ll give your important work my best care. If you prefer to phone or Skype, this service won’t give you what you need.
“I’m interested,” you say. “How is this gentle business advice dispensed?”
You have two options, depending on what you need:
- Gentle Business Advice ~ The Love Letter & Post-Script ($997): When you make your purchase, you will be immediately emailed a link to the Gentle Business Advice questionnaire. When you’re ready, you’ll pour yourself a tea or lemonade or champagne and settle in to answer the questions, sharing with me your business wishes and worries, including specific questions you’d like me to answer. Based on what you tell me about your hopes and challenges, I will write a love note that tells you what I think you’re doing exactly right and what additional ideas I have to get you in the direction you’d like to go, more quickly. It may well be a business plan, but it’ll look like a friendly letter (delivered through the speedy magic of email, within ten business days of receiving your answers). After you’ve read the letter, you may write me back with any follow-up questions, and I’ll respond with your Post-Script to make sure we’re both on the same page.
Contact us to schedule your Gentle Business Advice ~ The Love Letter.
- Gentle Business Advice ~ The Pen Pal package ($1875): You will receive a Love Letter and Post-Script, plus you will have private email access to me for one month (from the day I email your Letter), so you may ask more follow-up questions and get feedback as you implement changes. During our month together, anytime you’re feeling unsure about a next step, send me a note and I’ll let you know what I think. I’ll respond within two business days. Clients have used this package to have me review their website content as they’ve updated it, their new offerings, their pricing. You don’t have to go it alone.
Contact us to schedule your Gentle Business Advice ~ The Pen Pal package.
“This ‘love letter/pen pal’ process is so thoughtful, on both ends, with time to really consider words and intent. It is very peaceful but also requires a commitment from this side, which is a nice gauge for me. I’ve gotten so many things out of working with you; clarity, support, challenge, understanding, new ideas, and fun. You do nice things for us small business folk!” -Patti Phillips, Explore Life Coaching
Take note, kind reader: there are no refunds.
I guarantee I will give you my very best insight and advice, based on my experience and expertise but I can’t guarantee the results, since that depends on you and other things I wouldn’t want to control. There are no refunds. (Save your receipt for tax time, though, as it’s likely a file-able business expense.) I don’t often quote Dr. Phil but he asks guests never to substitute his judgement for their own, and that feels fitting here too. You know best. Take what inspires from what I suggest and leave the rest.
If you are open to learning in small circles, The Pink Elephant School of Kind Business™ takes you through all the steps to devising your own Kind Business Plan™ and gives you weekly access to me (Carrie) in a private Facebook forum, where you can ask any question about your business, and benefit from the questions and camaraderie of others, too.
“Thank you so much for the wonderful love letter! I really value your opinions and so appreciate getting the eye of a professional (with good taste!) to have a look at my business and what I am putting out there. And your tips are right on. I will be reading and re-reading your letter. You have re-inspired me to take some clear action steps in the next few months and your advice gives me a lot more confidence.” – Natalie Rousseau, Living Yoga Pacific Elements Yoga School Ltd