Deep Dive Podcast - Ali Abdaal

Deep Dive Podcast - Ali Abdaal

Join Robin Waite & Ali Abdaal on the Deep Dive Podcast simulating a business coaching session, offering insights and a roadmap for budding entrepreners.

In this insightful 2.5-hour conversation on the Deep Dive Podcast, Robin Waite and Ali Abdaal role-play what a session with a business coach can be like and how a business coach can help you develop a road map for starting a business. They also discuss topics like how to price your services, how to find and convert clients, how to scale your business, and — most importantly — how to overcome the biggest barrier to running a successful business: fear.

Robin Waite is a renowned public speaker, author, and international business coach with over two decades of entrepreneurial and coaching experience. As The Fearless Business Coach, Robin has helped over 700 businesses unlock their superpower, reach their goals, and deliver results.

Ali Abdaal is a former doctor turned YouTuber, Podcaster, entrepreneur, and author. He creates content about productivity, books, tech, and evidence-based strategies and tools to help us be more productive and build a life we love.

Key Takeaways From the Interview

We recommend watching the full episode on Ali’s YouTube channel or listening to the full episode on Apple. If you prefer to read along or just grab the highlights, keep reading for some of the biggest takeaways from the episode with Robin.

What Does a Business Coach Do?

People often confuse mentoring and coaching.

In business, mentoring typically involves finding someone who is several years into running a similar business to the one you want to create. They will tell you what you should do and pass their learnings to you.

A business coach is more of a guide. They don’t necessarily tell you what to do. Instead, they ask you guiding questions to help you figure out what to do and build the framework to get there.

Robin’s business, Fearless Business, takes a hybrid approach.

Key Questions for People Thinking of Starting Their Own Business

Ali points out that in today’s world, people are realising the path of going to a good school, securing a good job, and working a conventional career is no longer the default. Instead, more people are looking to entrepreneurship to build a more fulfilling life.

But where do you get started?

In the episode, Robin and Ali approach this challenge from a business coaching mindset, using a hypothetical situation to break it down into a few key questions.

Why do you want to start a business?

Start by asking yourself why you want to start a business.

Perhaps your day job is unfulfilling, you work too many hours per week, you want to spend more time with loved ones, and you want freedom to do more with your days.

Those are all good reasons.

Now let’s get more specific. Why do you want to start a particular business? Let’s say you want to start a website design business.

Does your business satisfy the Three F’s of Business?

  • Freedom: Will this business enable you to live life on your own terms and do more of what you want to do?
  • Fulfilment: Have you found something you’re deeply passionate about? Does it make you want to jump out of bed in the morning? Do you love it so much you’d do it even without pay?
  • Finance: Will this business be able to make money to pay your finances? Are there customers who would value your product/services and who can afford it?

You want your business to rank relatively high in all three categories.

For example, don’t start a business just because it is trendy online because it can make a lot of money. That would be a 10/10 in Finance but a 0/10 in Freedom and Fulfilment. This won’t work in the long run because you won’t have enough drive to keep it going when things are challenging. Your heart won’t be in it.

Alternatively, maybe a web design business ranks as a 7/10 for Freedom because you can have a flexible schedule, a 9/10 for Fulfilment because you really enjoy it, and a 6/10 for Finances because you can probably make some money at the start but nothing huge. However, you can gradually build it to a 10/10 as you build your business. This scenario is strong.

I need to thank Matt Essam, Founder of Creative Life for introducing me to the 3 F’s Principle too. Thank you!

Are You Held Back by Fear?

Fear is the biggest obstacle that prevents people from starting businesses.

For example, imagine you enjoy web design and are considering starting a business. You know that you could probably make £2–3K per month with this business. Your business coach tells you that you should go for it.

This is where your subconscious kicks in and you get a bad feeling, putting up a mental wall between you and this idea.

You’ve always enjoyed web design, but you have just tinkered around on your personal website. You probably aren’t good enough and don’t have the right skills. Why would anyone pay you for web design instead of someone more qualified? How would you even find clients? You enjoy web design as a hobby, but you might not enjoy it as a business, you tell yourself.

A coach like Robin would ask, “What evidence do you have of that?”

Likely, you don’t have any evidence. It is just fear.

Starting your own business requires you to be a self-starter who can figure it out and forge a path forward, even when there is no clear path. When you’re driving at night, you can’t see the path far in front of you, but you keep driving, certain there is more road ahead of you.

Comparison and imposter syndrome also hold many people back. They see many successful people already in an industry and assume no room exists for them.

But imagine if Lewis Hamilton looked at the great drivers 30 years ago and said, “Oh, I can never do that.”

Instead, Robin urges you to take the approach that if other people have done it, so can you. Maybe you can even do it better.  

The key is to get started. Don’t worry about these mental barriers or hypotheticals. Take a small step today for your future self, he says.

Start small if you have to. Write a list on a piece of paper. Create a social media account. Build one project. Just get started.

How Should You Price Your Products or Services?

Rather than using an hourly pricing model, Robin recommends using capacity-based pricing.

Determine how much money you want to make annually and divide that by the price you want to charge your clients. This will give you the number of clients you need annually to cover your finances.

If your price requires 20 clients to meet your financial goal, but you only have the capacity for five clients, you will fall short of your goal. Therefore, you need to increase your price to a number that allows you to meet your annual goals with just five clients.

If the higher price doesn’t sit well with you, consider what is the value of the service you’re providing to your clients? Don’t think about how much you feel you are worth. Instead, think about what your clients value your work at.

For example, imagine you are providing a relationship coaching program to help people meet their soulmates. You might be insecure about the value you provide, but for your clients, meeting their soulmate is priceless.

Furthermore, if you price your services at the high end, you’ll get clients who are more invested in your service. If you charge £200 for your six-month program, there is a low bar for entry and your clients might not engage much with the program. However, if you charge £5–10K for your six-month program, your clients will only be people who are very invested and value your service.

How to Find Clients for Your Business

In the conversation with Ali, Robin recommends four steps to help you find clients for your new business.

Step 1: Who is your ideal client?

First, define your ideal client.

For a relationship coaching business, you might ask: Who has disposable income? Who is looking for love? Who is already in my network that might be interested?

Once you’ve defined your target audience and determined a price point, the next step is getting out there and pitching. Find 10–20 people in your target group and shoot your shot.

Step 2: Where does your ideal client hang out?

You’re ready to pitch clients but must find them first. Ask yourself, Where does your audience hang out?

 You can break it down on a few levels:

  • Demographics: Age, gender, location, profession, income level
  • Psychographics: Behaviours, what apps/social platforms do they use, what do they read, what groups are they in online
  • Identity: Find clients that share your identity and values, identify where you would hang out and what your behaviours are, and use that to connect with other people

Step 3: Go to them

Once you’ve identified where your ideal client hangs out, figure out creative ways to get in front of them. Eliminate any extra steps they need to take to get to you. Make it easy, put things in front of them, and develop your brand awareness.

Step 4: Be tenacious

It is not enough to show up once. After you’ve found your audience, find ways to show up regularly and often with the same consistent message. People typically buy something after seeing an ad dozens of times, not the first time.

Keep Learning

Getting out there is just the beginning. Robin believes in lifelong learning and wants to help you succeed. Get more insights from the full episode with Robin, check out other podcasts Robin has guested on, and learn more about Robin Waite and his business coaching services.

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