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Alastair McDermott, Voiceover, Belinda Weaver
Belinda Weaver 00:00
So this idea of becoming choosable is making sure you’re hitting on those elements in your marketing. And there’s some really easy stuff you can do that makes you the most choosable option for your ideal clients.
Welcome to The Recognized Authority, a podcast that helps specialized consultants and domain experts on your journey to become known as an authority in your field. So you can increase your reach, have more impact and work with great clients. Here’s your host, Alastair McDermott.
Alastair McDermott 00:32
Hey, if you are a regular listener, then you know that I’ve made a decision not to look for sponsorship for the podcast in a major part, because I don’t want you to have to listen to ads before during the podcast. But I do want to ask you a favor in return. If you’re enjoying the podcast and listen on a regular basis, can I ask you to take a minute to leave a review, it’s really easy to do this, you can go to therecognizedauthority.com/review. And it’ll give you options that are appropriate for your device and your listening app. So that’s at therecognizedauthority.com/review and that link is in the show notes. So thank you, I really appreciate it. Now on to the episode. So today, my guest is Belinda Weaver. Belinda is a copy coach and she helps aspiring and working copywriters to supercharge their income, create financial stability and avoid career burnout. She is an Aussie living in California. She is obsessed with Doctor Who English murder mysteries, which we’ll talk about later, making the perfect lemon curd. Belinda, thank you for being with us today.
Belinda Weaver 01:33
Oh, thanks for having me, Alastair.
Alastair McDermott 01:34
So the thing that well, there’s lots of things that interests me, and I know you’re a fellow podcaster, we might get to talk about that a bit later. But the thing that I want to talk to you about first is why you don’t need to be unique to stand out and be booked solid. So can you talk about why people feel that they need to be unique, and why you don’t need to be unique?
Belinda Weaver 01:54
Yes, this is actually a bit of a drum that I am championing because there’s so many parts of marketing, marketing 101, you need your USP, your unique selling proposition, you need to understand your key differentiator, when you do your elevator pitch, you need to say who you are, who you do it for, and why you’re different than anyone else. And I’ve been learning these marketing mechanics since I first went to uni and did marketing. But what I found over the years is they can cause a kind of almost a near state of panic for freelancers and small business owners, and any other size of business who was starting out. Because when you realize that you’re not actually different, you’re not actually that special. You don’t do anything that is particularly unique, you begin to question your self worth and your value as a service provider. And you start to wonder how you’re ever going to get customers. But what I have found not only as a freelance copywriter, and a business owner and as a coach to copywriters is that instead of trying to make yourself appear different to everyone else in your market, embrace the aspects of your business that can make you more choosable, than your competitors. Because when we’re making a purchasing decision, when we are buying something, what we want to know is that the business we’re looking at can actually solve the problem that we have, or get us to where we want to go. We want to know that the business we’re looking at has done this before for other people, and it’s worked. And we want to know that the experience of working with them is going to be one that we’re going to enjoy in some capacity. And that can come down to how much we like the business owner or feel an affinity with the brand. And so this idea of becoming choosable is making sure you’re hitting on those elements in your marketing, and there’s some really easy stuff you can do that makes you the most choosable option for your ideal clients.
Alastair McDermott 04:07
Okay, so so they want to know that you’ve done it before, that it was successful, that the experience will be will be enjoyable. Was it something else I’m missing there?
Belinda Weaver 04:17
No, there was the three ones that you can actually solve the problem that you have done it for other people, and that the experience is going to be a good one. And that can either come from having a strong process or just feeling an affinity with the person.
Alastair McDermott 04:30
Yeah, absolutely. And also, I think that’s one of the areas where things like podcasts can help because people can experience or imagine what it’s like to work with you because they get to know your personality a bit.
Belinda Weaver 04:41
Yes, that is absolutely the core of that last element. And it’s the area that we often shy away from because it’s much easier to talk about our business. And it’s much easier to talk about our work and our customers and we think oh no one wants to know about the fact that I have a park or that I like English murder mysteries. But the point of that last bid is to create some, some velcro hooks that your ideal clients and customers will go. Me to We have something in common. And that puts you ahead of another business that offers the same thing. It’s that personal connection.
Alastair McDermott 05:17
Yeah, I like that. And I think, you know, it’s showing that personality, I think that’s where this this new media, that’s where video and audio come into their own. So okay, so the question then I’d have is, if we don’t need to be unique, or if the argument is, let’s say, let’s say somebody is finding it difficult to, to understand how they are unique. You’re talking to them about how they can differentiate themselves a little bit anyway, even if they don’t consider themselves to be entirely unique. And I don’t think that there’s anything new under the sun anymore, because everything is just a variation of everything else.
Belinda Weaver 05:55
Alastair McDermott 05:55
Points are so. So if somebody is finding it difficult, I mean, do we actually need to be unique? Or can we be just just as good as everybody else doing the same things as everybody else? I mean, surely we need to stand out in some way, right?
Belinda Weaver 06:10
Yes, but the the ways that we can stand out is by doing things like for example, I break this down into three main areas of focus, shining a spotlight on your business. So you can stand out by things like your branding, and your tone of voice, which you can have your own personality in, it doesn’t mean you need to be quirky, or swear or anything like that. But you can offer a consistent experience between your marketing, and how the experience of talking to you on the phone and working with you. So your tone of voice and your branding can be a way you differentiate yourself without it being particularly unique. But there’s also areas like explaining how you work and why you work. These are little moments of connection. And when you explain your process, what you give is a roadmap that your clients will follow during the work with you. And if I have to choose between a business that will tell me exactly what happens next. And I have a very clear sense of how the project flow will go. And a business that tells me none of that, I’m going to choose the business that gives me the roadmap because it makes me feel safer, and more certain. And that’s a very powerful trigger that you can evoke in your potential clients.
Alastair McDermott 07:29
Yeah. I just had Marcus Sheridan, the author of the ask you answer on the podcast, and he was talking about this as well, where the relationship starts before the handshake when they have consumed your content. And they get insights into your business. And, in fact, he was talking, there’s an example he gives of where he brought a video camera into one of the manufacturers of the swimming pools that he sold. And he was documenting their process to show the buyers and the owner of the of the company manufacturing says oh, you know, you can’t do this. It’s all proprietary. And he says this isn’t proprietary. The other three places I’ve visited all have exactly the same processes show this and this will, what what we’re showing, the showing of it is the part that we need to do to create that relationship. I think that’s really important.
Belinda Weaver 08:14
And that did, that can be the differentiator where someone goes, Oh, this business is transparent. And transparency is trustworthy. So I know exactly what’s going to happen, when it’s going to happen, how it’s going to happen. And when no one else is sharing that information, you become the one people trust more, and that’s being more choosable.
Alastair McDermott 08:35
Yeah. So I think that maybe, I hate to say it’s, it’s it’s semantics, because so many things seem you can say that so many things are semantics. But it seems to be a little bit semantics, when I think about this, because I think that you are actually being unique if you’re doing that, because you are doing things different from a lot of other people. Because a lot of people are just too scared or, you know, they don’t want to put themselves out there in that way.
Belinda Weaver 08:59
Yes. I mean, you’re absolutely right, when you are the only one doing something that is being unique. But often what we what we think of when we’re told we have to be unique is maybe a quality or an aspect of our process, or our service, or what we actually deliver has to be different to everyone else. But when like with the swimming pool example, everyone’s following the same process. The uniqueness came in the communication.
Alastair McDermott 09:29
Yeah, yeah, absolutely. I’m just thinking back to when, because my background is in software engineering, that that’s what I do in college when I did my first jobs. I remember actually feeling… You too?
Belinda Weaver 09:41
Yeah, 10 years in IT.
Alastair McDermott 09:42
There you go. So well, I was thinking back back then, before I made a career choice of career decisions, go work for myself. I was a software engineer. I didn’t really enjoy it didn’t enjoy what I was doing. And I was made for a terrible employee because of that. And it’s not the I didn’t like the coding part. I just don’t make for a good employee. I’m better as a business owner, for sure. But I remember thinking at the time, you know, I’m not very unique in my skill set here. And when I went to start my own business, I didn’t really have a transferable skill set. I think part of me not being unique was the fact that I just didn’t enjoy what I was doing. And that once I found something that I did enjoy doing was much easier to become unique. Is that something that you’ve experienced?
Belinda Weaver 10:29
Well, I think it’s something I’ve experienced, not in terms of the uniqueness, but I have the same experience with copywriting. So I started in IT as a programmer. And then I was like, You know what the marketing team, they look like they’re having a lot of fun. I’m going to go back to school, and I’m going to learn marketing. And then I worked in marketing for a few years. And then I discovered copywriting. And discovering copywriting changed everything for me, because I went from an employee who just live for the weekend, to someone who is now obsessed with their work, joyfully obsessed. I am also unemployable. So when I fell into copywriting, I did a course so that I could set a strong foundation for the skills of my craft. But I also started learning about processes and systems and things like that. Now everything I was doing was not different to any other copywriters. And now I’m a copy coach. I’m actually teaching copywriters, the systems and the processes, I’m giving them templates and documents. I have a copywriting course. So what I’m teaching is not unique in the industry. But the joyful obsession with the work will make the difference between me as a copywriter because I will always over deliver and do my best to be the best, and someone who doesn’t really care about their work. It doesn’t necessarily make me unique, but it does make me better. And it certainly makes me more choosable. Because I’m more interested in the finer points of my craft than someone who is not.
Alastair McDermott 12:01
Yeah, yeah, I agree. 100% with you there. Okay, so let’s talk about shining the spotlight on your business, your customers and yourself, you say those three, the three areas? Can you talk about that a little bit?
Belinda Weaver 12:15
Yeah. So the first one was the business. And we find this easiest, because we can talk about our work. And we can talk about how we do it. But it was like, as I said, your tone of voice and your branding can help someone feel an affinity for you over someone else. Talking about your process can help someone feel safer with you than someone else. Talking about why you got started, your purpose can help someone feel like you’re aligned in terms of values. So a lot of the, you know, I was doing a little very scientific Facebook poll the other day about which toilet paper people choose, because I’m writing a book. And I found that a lot of…
Alastair McDermott 12:57
All of them apparently.
Belinda Weaver 13:00
Well, yes, yes. And it’s very topical with the with the pandemic. But a lot of people who in my circle chose a brand called Who Gives A Crap not only because of the quality and the convenience, but because of them, donating 50% of all their profits to help sanitation and water quality in developing countries. So that is a very strong purpose. That could be the difference between someone choosing another brand and their brand. In fact, it was for every one of those instances. So there is aspects of how you work your business, your branding, your pack, like your purpose, your process, that are really strong points of connection that can help someone feel safer and more aligned with the way you work as opposed to someone else. And this is really important stuff. Because it’s really easy to just put that stuff in your marketing. Because when you’re thinking about someone choosing between options, I don’t know about you, but I always have like 100 tabs open. And I’m always comparing and I’m looking to close tabs so that my shortlist is much shorter. And my decision is easier. So if someone explains their process, I’m like, cool, they’re in the number one spot. If I align with their values, they stay in the number one spot, if I like their tone of voice, and it doesn’t put me off, they’re staying in the number one spot. So when we talk about our business in that way, and we’d stop hiding things, because they might not be interesting, or we’re worried about people stealing them, then we actually become a more choosable option because of that safety factor that alignment and that point of connection. Now the next part is shining a spotlight on your customers. And this is very important because we want to talk to our customers in our marketing, not at them and not about them. And this is as a copywriter. This is where I really come into it. Because I think it’s very important to make sure your marketing is is a conversation has a conversational feel to it. And I love the way a lot of businesses like SAS businesses are just relaxing their tone of voice in their copy in in their marketing. Because when someone’s reading your website or your brochure, that’s a conversation, but you’re not there for it. So the more open and accessible it can feel, the more someone will be drawn into it. And that’s what you want. That’s those moments of connection will help someone choose you over someone else. But it’s also sharing customer stories, speaking to their frustrations and their challenges, so that they know that you get them and that you’re genuinely trying to help with them. And stories are a huge part of strong marketing. And there is something that a lot of people hide away, because they feel like they’re bragging, like, oh, I don’t want to keep sharing testimonials. Because it’s all about me. It’s like no, no customers are looking to see themselves in your marketing and in the stories that you’re sharing. So when you have a conversational tone of voice in the copy that you publish, and that you’re constantly sharing stories of customers you’ve worked with, that is a stronger connection point with people who are looking at your marketing and wondering if you’re the one that they should choose. And then the last part of it is the spotlight on yourself. And this is where people start to feel a bit achy, because they’re like, oh, I don’t want to talk about myself. Why are people going to be interested in my hobbies, or whether I have tea over coffee. But as I mentioned in the beginning, these are the velcro hooks, you want to provide opportunities for potential customers to go: We have something in common, we are aligned, we are the same kind of person. And I think we might have some fun together. I mean, it might it’s not all about fun. But the more someone will connect with you on a personal level that will often trump the choosability of your features and your pricing and any other differentiators.
Alastair McDermott 17:03
Yeah, I think that’s a bit like the way that we have small talk before the start of a meeting where you know, we’re talking about family, we’re talking about social, social life, we’re talking about sports, all of these things that don’t seem to be important. And yet we still spend significant amounts of time talking about the more I think that we should do at the start of of meetings, like if you’re meeting a new client or things like that, to try and make some of those, those connections, those velcro hooks. I love that image.
Belinda Weaver 17:30
Yeah, exactly. It’s very powerful. I’m reading a book called “Influence” by Robert Caldini. And he’s just talking about the power of that personal connection. And it might be as simple as what you like to do in your spare time, or what kind of pet you have. Because that kind of information doesn’t impact how professional you look. It doesn’t sway me on whether or not I think you can do your job. But it gives us something to talk about. And when I realized that you’re a dog person, we’re a bit more alike than we were a couple of minutes ago.
Alastair McDermott 18:02
Yeah, absolutely. And I love I love that, you know, thinking about that as more than just, you know, something that we need to do because of social obligation, but actually thinking about that as something that’s contributing to the relationship.
Belinda Weaver 18:16
Yeah, absolutely. So all those three spotlights together, really simple, actionable things that I call it the low hanging fruit of your marketing. But when you put them all together, and you do them consistently, then you become very choosable, as opposed to struggling to find out how you’re different everyone else that being choosable does make you different.
Alastair McDermott 18:38
So what what are people doing wrong then? What like, what mistakes do you see people making when they when they tried to do this?
Belinda Weaver 18:45
I think it’s firstly, not prioritizing the power of personal connection. It’s kind of saying no, no, I don’t I don’t really want to talk about myself, I wanted to be all about my work. So they don’t understand how powerful those velcro hooks can be. And a lot of the times, we don’t even really appreciate that we’re making decisions based on how much we like someone. These are just instinctive genetic triggers that we have within us. So it’s not, it’s feeling uncomfortable about that. That’s, that’s probably one big area. And you don’t have to share pictures of your kids or your address or, or information that you are uncomfortable sharing. It’s picking and choosing the facets of how you work and why you work and what kind of person you are, that you can publish in a way that we’ll have people say, yeah, yeah, yeah, me too. I think I think we might get on.
Alastair McDermott 19:43
I think I’m hoping to have Mark Schaefer on the show pretty soon. I think one of the things that I think he describes this as strategic authenticity, where he’s being very strategic about what parts that he shows, and, and that sounds sounds clever. I mean, you don’t want to be seen too. Be don’t seem to be kind of, you know, approaching it in a dispassionate way, or you don’t really care about people, but being strategic and saying, okay, these these things I’m willing to share, and talk about putting those out there. I think that makes sense.
Belinda Weaver 20:13
Yeah. I mean, from my own experience, I’m a mum, I’ve got two young kids, I love my park. You know, it’s the shows that I’m interested in. It’s the struggles that I have each day, when I talk about those, the people in my coaching group, or the people who are looking at my courses and coaching group are going, Oh, thank god, she’s a mom, too. I’m not alone, in trying to figure out how all this fits together. And that is a very powerful connection point. But there’s also some of the more trivial stuff I have had so many conversations start about my dog, about my TV habits, about the fact that I used to perform in the Brisbane City Mall at lunchtime because I used to tap dance as a kid. And they just sometimes they’re funny, sometimes they’re meaningful, but they’re just they’re the velcro hooks that can start conversations. And what you need to think about is someone that you felt a connection with, versus a business that you have no connection with, which one are you got to choose? And sometimes you don’t know, which is the detail that someone will really connect with.
Alastair McDermott 21:18
Yeah, so it’s about it’s about creating that kind of rich, rich picture.
Belinda Weaver 21:22
Yeah, that’s right. And the other area is that, that shining a spotlight on your customers, it’s feeling like sharing testimonials, and sharing stories and sharing case studies is bragging. And it’s bad. It’s just marketing. And it’s important to remember that customers want to see themselves in the stories that you share people like them. And it’s also boosting your credibility, because you’re offering proof that you can do the work. So a lot of this is mindset stuff, how we see ourselves and the negative talk, we sometimes go, Oh, don’t be so braggy just get on and do your work. It’s like no, if you don’t tell people about it, they’re not going to know.
Alastair McDermott 22:02
Yeah, sometimes I think that people who are marketing for somebody else, or in a in a in a in a better position, or an easier position to do this, because it’s so hard to do it for yourself when you’re independent. It’s mean, the phrase, you know, blowing your own trumpet, I think you’ve got a good in Australia was that the tall, Poppy,
Belinda Weaver 22:19
Tall poppy syndrome?
Alastair McDermott 22:21
Belinda Weaver 22:21
Yes. Don’t talk about yourself too much. Don’t get too successful, don’t get too big for your boots. And it’s a really interesting cultural difference in America, Americans don’t really have a problem with that. It’s celebrated, which is interesting. But you’re right, getting someone else to do this and help you with it takes the emotion out of it. And across the board, it’s making sure it’s consistent, that you don’t just get one great testimonial share at once, and then let it collect digital dust. This is stuff that’s just a regular part of how you do your marketing. And it’s the consistency that really pays off.
Alastair McDermott 22:54
Yeah. And so I think this is one area where having somebody external to your business, it could be somebody who’s helping you with, you know, copywriting or marketing, or it could be a business coach, it could be some sort of peer support group, but having somebody external to help you and to give you like kind of indicators or pointers saying, hey, you know, you need to, you need to, you need to brag a little bit more, to show what you’re doing. You’re doing really great work, and he’s talked about it more. Sometimes you need that.
Belinda Weaver 23:22
Alastair McDermott 23:23
Okay, so one thing I think that you have used really effectively, and it’s how I know you is podcasting. So I just want to ask you about that a little bit. Have you approached podcasting in a strategic way?
Belinda Weaver 23:33
Yes, absolutely. So I co-hosted the Hot Copy Podcast with Kate Toon. And it was one of the first copywriting podcasts that was available. And we don’t we’re not publishing new regular episodes anymore, but copywriters are still finding that podcast. And it’s helping them take their business a lot further, a lot farther, faster. And we were very strategic about starting that because we knew the power of putting someone in your ear holes, you feel very intimately close with the people you listen to on podcast, even though you’ve never met, and video does the same. And so we wanted to have conversations that were fun and interesting and educational. And we wanted to tap into that power of people listening to us very, very regularly. It was a way to not only flex our credibility and our authority and our knowledge, but it was a way to get people to know us, who’s Kate and I, quite different people we get on really, really well. But we’re different people. So on the podcast, we got to show how we’re the same and how we’re different. And we recognize the fact that we would have listeners who would prefer one of us over the other, and that’s been choosable and it wasn’t based on one person being better than the other. It was the power of connection.
Alastair McDermott 24:59
Yeah, absolutely. And you guys did 122 episodes with that, which is huge amount. For context this, this is now hitting about probably about episode 60 when I released this, so still got still got quite a long way to go. I feel like I’ve been doing this for a very long time.
Belinda Weaver 25:17
Yeah, we did, we did an episode every two weeks nonstop. And it was funny that it was only in, say 2020 that it occurred to us that we could do seasons, we could actually have breaks. But until then, we never missed a, you know, a fortnightly release of a podcast. But that store of content is hugely beneficial for us both and our listeners.
Alastair McDermott 25:46
I just want to ask you about that because I’m interested both for myself as a podcaster. And for people listening to this, who were thinking about doing podcasts. You have a podcast that’s on a break right now, how much, how important is that kind of back catalogue? Is it bringing in new leads? Is it something that you use in your business? Do you direct clients to episodes? How do you use it?
Belinda Weaver 26:07
Well, we still sharing the episodes on social media. So we’re just constant. And this is what I’m doing with my all my content, actually always sharing old posts because people who weren’t there when it went live for the first time can still tap into that. But the podcast content is also great fodder for future blogs for Facebook Lives for YouTube videos, for course content. You know, we ran Kate and I ran a mastermind using it. It’s just you can never waste the content that you’ve put the effort into creating. And so I am still getting people who go, Oh, I found you via the Hot Copy Podcast. And I had someone email me the other day saying, I’ve actually gone back to the very first episode. And I’m listening from the beginning. And there’s such a goldmine. So it’s through the constantly still talking about it and sharing it. And when I have copywriters approached me and say, I’m struggling to get clients, I’m like, we did a Hot Copy Podcast on this, you might want to have a listen. So there are lots of episodes that I still send out to people. Because it says everything that I want them to say, you know, I want them to hear.
Alastair McDermott 27:20
Yeah, yeah, absolutely. I think there’s a couple of really important things in there. One thing that I’m I need to improve on is sharing my old posts, and old episodes and things like that I need to set up a better system for that. We share them out enough at the time that they go live. But we need to go back and find a way to kind of keep promoting that and putting that into some sort of automation. So that’s one thing. The other thing is just about having content because I think that there’s a lot of people out there who find it difficult to create content that find it difficult to figure out what am I going to write a blog post or an email about. And if you if you have a back catalogue of podcast episodes, you will never run out of content because there’s so much there that you can promote that you can. There’s so many ideas in there that you can go back to an old episode and do summaries or I just think it’s brilliant for content
Belinda Weaver 28:12
And repurposing. I’m all about repurposing. I did this a lot with my blog, and my blog content turned into podcasts episodes as well. So whichever way you choose to do it, once you have the idea and create the thing, then you can pick out like for each podcast, there could be 10 to 20 tweets, there could be five to 10, Facebook or LinkedIn posts about it, it can turn into a blog post, you can do lives and videos on it. So it’s about making the content you create work as hard as possible by slicing and dicing it into many new ways.
Alastair McDermott 28:47
Yeah, and I think the other thing to note there is if anybody out there listening is interested in doing that, get external editors, because if you’re trying to do all of that repurposing yourself, it’s just so much work, you’ll be spending more time editing, then you will be creating the content, so.
Belinda Weaver 29:02
That’s true. And another tip is to think about how you’re going to store all the content. For me. I have a mega spreadsheet. And so every blog is the title. There’s the URL, there’s all the tweets, there’s all the Facebook posts, there’s all the LinkedIn updates. There’s the YouTube it got turned into. And what it means now is when my social media manager is going right, I’m looking for content. I’m like, there it is. I got from 2011 It’s all massive repository. And it’s just there for easy pickings.
Alastair McDermott 29:35
Yeah, and you can see the CBIT background coming across there. Yeah, people ask me what my favorite marketing tool is. And I tell them it’s it’s Google Spreadsheets.
Belinda Weaver 29:48
Yeah, there isn’t anything that can’t be improved with a spreadsheet.
Alastair McDermott 29:51
So yeah, I think I think a good spreadsheet is is such a great way to organize information. But anyway, let’s let’s not rely on spreadsheets because it’s not what people are listening for. Okay, so one thing that I, I wonder about, you know, when I talk to people your business, what did you wish that you knew before you started before you got into this? Is there anything race like God that really would have been handy to do this?
Belinda Weaver 30:17
I one thing I look back on and I talk to copywriters a lot about now is the stages of your business I, I always looked at people who were more successful. And I was unaware of two things, firstly, that how you show up on social media is not your front of house can be very different to how things look behind the scenes. So just knowing that is a good thing to know. But secondly, the stages of your business and the stages of your life are important to know. So when you’re in the beginning stages, you cannot compare yourself to someone who is 10 years in, because there’ll be a lot of how you talk to yourself that will want to do that. And, and part of the stages is also the stages of your life. So me as a copy coach with two young children is very different to someone with no kids or older kids. And sometimes we need to adjust what our expectations are of ourself quite drastically, because our stage of life means that we have to make different choices. And so just that is something I talk about a lot in my membership and on my course, because we need to hear it because it’s comparing ourselves to other people is quite natural, but it can be very destructive.
Alastair McDermott 31:42
Yeah, absolutely. I think I mean, I think it’s one of the reasons why a lot of us choose to get into to running our own business and to go independent is to have more control and to be able to adapt so that we can change our business in order to suit our life more.
Belinda Weaver 31:57
Alastair McDermott 31:58
Where’s the ride those of us who are just simply unemployable, so… But,
Belinda Weaver 32:02
You know, the thing is that we say we want more time choice and freedom, the top three reasons why people start their own business. And then what we often do is we just create a job, that’s worse than the one we left because we’re usual terribly. We’re terrible bosses to ourselves, we make ourselves work weekends and evenings. And part of it is because hopefully, we’re joyfully obsessed with our work. But the other part is, we want to, we want to get to the good part as quickly as possible. And we just want to, we work as hard as we possibly can. But what we have to recognize is that we also need to feel our career is only one bucket of success, we need to look after our health, we need to have fun, we need to make time for the things that we wanted to do when we started our own business rather than just working all the time. And it’s taken me a long time, and maybe the pandemic to go: Hang on, this is not sustainable. I am, I am working through the best bits. And I need to stop and have more balance. Yeah, I actually had that. In the first year of the pandemic, from March when things went into lockdown pretty much globally. From March to about October, where I was working, I went back and I exported out my calls because my my call booking system allows me to export. And I had 404 calls sheduled in 2020 and have 404 which is crazy number to start out with. Most of those are actually between March and October. And so it was compressed into this crazy time period. And… Yeah, me too.
Alastair McDermott 33:42
And so I made I made big changes back then I said I can’t continue to do this. Because, you know, it was just, it was just crazy, crazy times. I felt so much pressure. I was working all the time. It was starting to impact even my relationship, things like that. So…
Belinda Weaver 33:56
Alastair McDermott 33:57
I couldn’t allow you to do that. So I had to so I said, Okay, October, we’re stopping. So from November on, I kind of took a break. Now the good thing was I was doing so much work that I kind of built up a nest egg that led me to do other things and to experiment a bit with the business, but I also just needed a break. And I think that you need to allow yourself, you know, you need to, to look out for yourself physically, mentally, emotionally, when you’re working for yourself, because you you know, there’s no boss is going to is going to tell you, Hey, you can take a mental health break here, you know?
Belinda Weaver 34:27
Yeah, exactly. And I think the other part of that big lesson for me was being the hardest worker in the room, actually isn’t the smartest strategy. And I tapped into that, due to some mindset coaching work that I did. And that was an old belief that if I just worked harder, and I just worked longer, then it would pay off. And I’m really embracing that. You know, we hear work smarter, not harder. But I’m really seeing that for the wisdom that it is post pandemic.
Alastair McDermott 34:58
Yeah, yeah, absolutely. Let me ask you some other questions because I know we’re coming up on time. One question I’d like to ask is, is there a business value that you can tell us about? Maybe a failure or mistake that you made? And what did you learn from it? How did you get through it.
Belinda Weaver 35:11
The process of removing limiting beliefs and actually going down to how they were formed, was, you know, I was a bit emotional, and it was a bit tricky. And the process, when I came through it, after working with a mindset coach, I felt so much lighter, and I have so much more energy and passion for my work. But I kind of I’m annoyed that I let those limiting beliefs define the first 10 years of my work as a as a business owner, I’m annoyed that I didn’t realize that was what was happening. And I was sabotaging myself, kind of every time I got to a certain limit, I would, I would sabotage myself just a little bit and pull myself down into a safety zone. And so once I knew I couldn’t turn back from that knowledge, and it’s still a journey that I’m on right now. But, but I would say that is is kind of the self limiting beliefs and the self sabotage that I did more regularly than I’d like to admit. It wasn’t, it’s not a moment, it’s actually goes back to that kind of I mentioned doing some mindset work. And in kind of 2019, I started to realize that I had some pretty strong limiting beliefs that were holding me back pretty destructive as well, that I thought I would never be I’m never be truly successful because of x, y, and Zed. And it put me into a bit of a pit going into the pandemic, and through the end of through to 2020. And I don’t consider it a failure, because I started really working on my beliefs, and my mindset. But it was almost a bit of a dark time, where I started to, once I started to see them, figuring out how to change them was, was quite hard.
Alastair McDermott 37:05
Yeah, I hear you on that. I think it’s amazing how much mindset impacts what we do. I think it’s, it’s something really, really important to work on.
Belinda Weaver 37:14
And it’s not just going think positively and good thing. It’s, it’s a lot deeper than that. But it’s important work.
Alastair McDermott 37:21
Yeah, yeah, absolutely. And I know that there are people who are probably listening to this, and they absolutely don’t need that at all. But there are also people out there who really, really need to hear this. So if you’re one of those listening to this, yeah, just have, you know, just just look, look into limiting beliefs, the kind of limiting beliefs that you that people have tend to have, and what you can do about them, I think it’s really important to get help with that if you do have it.
Belinda Weaver 37:45
And the triggering question is, why aren’t I further along? I never seem to get anywhere. That was what I felt like, I was just like, Why? Why do I keep bumping back? What Why can’t I be further along? And that’s what triggered going into mindset work. So if you’re asking yourself that, that’s a good thing to start looking into.
Alastair McDermott 38:04
Right? Okay. That’s, that’s really cool. Yeah, I love I love that because I think this is something it’s certainly not something I’ve talked to people much about on the podcast, but I think it is something that’s really, really important. Okay, I’m going to ask you two easy ones to finish, just about books. So we’ll save the murder mystery for a minute. What about business books? Do you read business books at all?
Belinda Weaver 38:24
Oh, all the time. My husband’s constantly teasing me about the stack of books on my bedside table being old business books. That yeah, my my favorite is I’ve got it right here, “The Power of Moments” by Chip Heath and Dan Heath. And what I love about this book, is it goes into all the title says it all the power of moments, but it’s how we how we can create exceptional experiences in small and big moments and how we can craft those moments to become very compelling and engaging and connecting as well. So when I read this book, I really dialed into things like not only my course, and membership, onboarding, and my offboarding and how things end, but also, how do I treat the middle of a project. How do I treat the middle of the course. And how do I keep people moving between these peaks of moments in a way that is engaging and interesting and enjoyable. So I loved that book for that reason.
Alastair McDermott 39:27
That is brilliant. And that’s “The Power of Moments” by Chip Heath and Dan Heath, and we’ll link that in the show notes.
Belinda Weaver 39:34
Alastair McDermott 39:34
Very interesting. Okay, so so tell me about murder mysteries. Who- is that your favorite fiction?
Belinda Weaver 39:40
Yes, well, I would say it’s my favorite telly. My favorite fiction to read is fantasy. I am currently working through “The Wheel of Time” for the third time. I know it’s only about 16 books, so it’s fine. “The Wheel of Time”. I’m laughing because I’m currently reading that as well because the TV show Is it your first time through it?
Alastair McDermott 40:01
No, it’s probably about a third or fourth which is, which is bad because I shouldn’t read a 14 book series, because that’s how long the version I have is 14 books. I really shouldn’t read that four or five times in my lifetime because there’s other books out there. But yes, I did.
Belinda Weaver 40:15
I love it. I love it. Beautiful. Well, buildings so yeah, that’s that’s probably my favorite fiction. But the murder mystery is my favorite telly. It’s my I call it my comfy blanket TV. You know, when I want to watch something, but I don’t know what I want to watch. So Midsomer Murders, Pyro,
Alastair McDermott 40:33
Belinda Weaver 40:33
Miss Marple. And I’m currently watching a lot of Father Brown. So I wasn’t joking when I said English Miss mystery.
Alastair McDermott 40:40
Okay. Okay. Very cool.
Belinda Weaver 40:42
Not gritty. I don’t want gritty and realism. I want mansions. And,
Alastair McDermott 40:48
No, I don’t think we want a whole lot of realism right now.
Belinda Weaver 40:51
Alastair McDermott 40:52
The people, remember seeing somebody saying, you know, when when everything is great with the world, we love to see dystopia. But when everything is well as screwed up as it seems to be right now then then no, we want the utopia. So…
Belinda Weaver 41:04
Yes, yes. English mansions and scones. Thank you very much.
Alastair McDermott 41:09
Excellent. Belinda, where can people find you if they’re interested in learning more?
Belinda Weaver 41:12
Well, I would love to chat with people about what they found interesting about the things that we’ve talked about today. My website is my home base. And that’s copyrightmatters.com. And of course, it’s copyright spelled C-O-P-Y-W-R-I-T-E matters.com. But I’m also on social media. So if you search for Belinda Weaver or Copyright Matters on Facebook and Instagram, you’ll find me. I’m on LinkedIn a little bit. But you know, I probably have more fun on Instagram and Facebook than anywhere else.
Alastair McDermott 41:44
Cool. And we will link to all of those in the show notes. So Belinda, we were thank you so much for being with us today.
Belinda Weaver 41:50
Thank you Alastair, this was a great chat.
Alastair McDermott 41:55
Thanks for listening. I hope you found that interesting and useful. If you’re enjoying the podcast, can I ask you to take a moment to review it, it really helps us out. And it keeps it free from sponsor ads. You can review it by visiting the recognizedauthority.com/review. And that will give you appropriate options for your device and for your listening app. That’s TheRecognizedAuthority.com/review. Thank you. I really appreciate it.
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