Paula Richardson did the Remarkable Business six month coaching programme in 2020. Jane de Vos caught up with Paula to chat about how it helped her to get clear on her zone of genius and put together a whole new marketing campaign for her business.
Hi Paula, tell us about your business.
I run a small company called Smart Bee Business which I recently started. And I’m a sales professional. I spent a lot of years working in corporate businesses in different sales roles. I’ve done a lot of training, and my whole career is around sales.
When I decided to start my own business, I initially thought I might help people with small businesses. I’ve been involved in a few small businesses, and help them generally with their company. However, I did have a couple of pointers from people along the way. People would say: ‘why don’t you concentrate on sales because that’s you. That’s your superpower.’
How did you get involved in Remarkable?
I’ve seen Julia on a couple of things online and joined her mailing list. She seems to be similar to me, and I can relate to her in the way that she speaks, her common sense and being down to earth.
I wanted to work with Julia in one way or another, and then I saw Remarkable coming up. I scheduled a call to see if she thought it was the right thing for me at the time. At the time, I was starting the business and felt it maybe wasn’t right yet and knew Julia would tell me if she thought this was the wrong timing.
After a long chat, Julia realised I’ve worked on businesses previously, and she felt Remarkable is the right thing for my business.
Remarkable is a small group, and that’s something I looked forward to as you get to work with a group of people who you get to know.
And how did you find Remarkable Business?
What stands out for me is that we cover things I inherently know from my experience within corporate and working with small businesses. I feel validated from Julia that I am on the right track. It’s made me realise I’m doing alright. It’s helpful because when you work on your business in isolation, doubt can creep in. And you stop believing that you’re doing the right thing.
Julia puts me back on track that I am doing the right thing. And it allows me to get her take on things. When Julia speaks about business, and we discuss things in the group, it is what I need to refine my business and get on with it. And that is really helpful.
Having a group keeps you accountable. I can easily get off track. We are put into pairs at one stage, and this helps to get to know people in a completely different business to you. This is someone who is doing different things and has their challenges, but you help each other out.
Unfortunately, we went straight into lockdown almost as soon as we started Remarkable Business. But it’s run online, and we speak to Julia every fortnight in a lesson. We are all able to get on with things and discuss what was happening, so it didn’t feel like lockdown impacted what we were doing.
What Remarkable did bring was a chance for the group to bring the issues in their businesses forward. It gives time to get on, do the job and put things into place.
How did you find working with Julia?
I feel that Julia was the right person for me; she is definitely the right choice. She is down to earth and has a great sense of humour. Julia understands where I am coming from and can keep me on the straight and narrow.
I tend to do things like write 3000 words instead of 700 and she would tell me that it’s good but too long. And now I’m in the discipline of checking my word count and editing.
While part of the Remarkable programme, I started creating a proper lead funnel to get some new clients. And I’ve created an email sequence, which is like training emails. Once I started writing them, I got into it, with a push from Julia. Then I thought, ‘yes, this is me, I can do this.’
One of the very first lessons on Remarkable talks about your zone of genius, as this is where you should be working. For me, this is obviously sales, and that is in the back of my mind. Others in the group are helpful as they can see it from a perspective that’s nothing to do with sales. These different perspectives are really helpful.
Is there anything that you’d change?
Remarkable is very good. I like that we have an hour lesson fortnightly and discuss what we learn. That is great. Nothing is given to you on a plate, it’s about the idea, and then you have to do the work. Remarkable gives us two weeks to apply what we learn, and that’s very good.
You also get to schedule a half-hour discussion with Julia on a Monday. Julia asks not to block book ahead from the start, so everyone gets a chance. I held back for a couple of weeks but then booked in my sessions. That half-hour is great because we can explore my specific business issues. The only thing I will say is that I could do with an hour because I can talk. Although I know this isn’t viable.
My other feedback is that it’s better to have lots of interaction in the group. This is dependent on who is in your group and how busy they are with their own work. There was a group of us who were very involved but a couple less so, which was a shame. Getting people to integrate is helpful. But I like being in a classroom and chatting to people.
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