How Maria Golding, Founder of Intuitive Motherhood, Has Embraced the World of Virtual Teams to Achieve Her Business Goals
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In this episode, Intuitive Motherhood & Embodied Parenting Coach & Speaker Maria Golding, talks us through how she has built a team of virtual specialists to assist her in achieving her business, and personal, goals.
This episode is full of insights from Maria on how she has played to her strengths and the things she loves doing, whilst surrounding herself with amazing virtual teams, to essentially do the rest.
Some of the areas covered include:
- The importance of not waiting too long to seek help
- Listening and implementing sound advice can definitely work in your favour
- Expanding, rather than contracting, your business when things seem tough
- Identifying your genius, and letting go of the rest
- Why having the right business tools is important to the overall success of your business
Let us know what your key takeout has been from this episode and join the continuing conversation over in the Virtual Success Facebook Group.
In this episode:
01:47 – About Maria
04:26 – Why Maria sought help
06:41 – Accepting sound advice
07:16 – The importance of having specialists on your team
09:45 – Expanding, rather than contracting, your business
10:46 – Business automation
11:27 – Having a VA with the correct training and support
13:04 – Identifying your genius…and letting go
14:15 – Transitioning to a new VA
17:20 – Following the success formula
20:30 – Facing your fears
23:08 – Maria’s advice for overcoming your fears
25:43 – Wrapping things up
Barbara: Hey everyone, and welcome to yet another episode of the Virtual Success Show, where I’m joined by my co-host Matt. Hey Matt, how’s it going?
Matt: I’m well Barb, and yourself?
Barbara: Very well, thank you. Sweating in this constant heat that we’re having. We’re still having this heat in Sydney as we record today.
Matt: Yes, it’s brilliant though. It’s better than wet, freezing, or any other type of weather there could be. I love it.
Barbara: Well, you know though, I’m just back … I had the joy of spending Christmas in Europe this year and I spent six weeks in Europe, and some of that was spent in the French Alps. It was minus 20, but blue skies and snowing. And it was amazing. It was a beautiful … like red wine, big fires, cold outside, very very nice. So there is joy in cold weather too.
Matt: Beautiful. I’m looking forward to today’s episode Barb.
Barbara: Yeah. Me too, me too. I mean look, for listeners out there, hands up. I know so many people want to launch online programmes, and it can be… Product Launch Formula by Jeff Walker is probably the most overwhelming thing that you will ever do. I know I’ve done it. Lots of people try and pull it off, and it’s a huge job to do. Particularly when you’ve got no real experience with technology, systems, VAs, strategists, or any of this sort of thing.
So today’s show, we’re going to talk to a Virtual Angel Hub member, Maria. And Maria runs a beautiful programme called Intuitive Motherhood. And she was someone who came to us looking for a VA, and I think she was just about to throw the towel in on all this online stuff, because it’s so difficult. And we actually spoke on the phone. She very kindly sent in this support ticket asking for some help around platforms, and I spoke to her and I gave her some advice around the things that she needed to do if she wanted to launch her programme. She needed a strategist, a VA, and a system like Ontraport, which is what she ended up taking on.
But the beauty of this story that we’re going to share with you today is that then she told me her timeline for her launch, and she had announced that her launch was supposed to be the beginning of November. And this was the end of September that we were talking. So Maria, welcome to the show.
Maria: Thank you Barb. It’s fascinating just to listen to my journey through someone else’s eyes.
Barbara: Yes. So let’s start at the end. I’m going to start at the end of the story.
Barbara: I know what happened, but tell the listeners. Your programme launched, pretty much on time, and you didn’t have a nervous breakdown. But how many weeks was it from when we spoke to a successful launch? So you sold programmes in this thing as well, and people came in and bought it. And you had a very successful programme. Roughly how long was the time period?
Maria: Well, by the time we started and then we ran the programme which was six weeks, it was like I said, beginning of October right through … only until the middle of December, was the whole phase. So it was only weeks. Yeah, it was pretty intense.
Barbara: Middle of December. Just for the listeners, middle of December was the end of the six-week programme. So you launched basically beginning of November. So that’s no easy feat. Even for someone with lots of experience. And I sort of had told you, “Look, you know this is going to be tight, but if you want to do this, here’s what you need to do.” And the beauty of what we’re about to share today is first of all, the steps that Maria took, but also the fact that she let go and she actually listened to the advice that she got and she implemented absolutely everything that she was told to do. And because of that, she had a successful launch. Maybe a bit stressful along the way. What do you think, Maria? Little bit of stress?
Maria: Yeah, very much so. It was one of those things that I absolutely needed to do. It was important for me to do that for the sake of the essence of the programme. I already made that commitment to myself.
Barbara: So tell me when we spoke, what stage were you at? Where was your thinking? You had a VA at this point.
Barbara: You had a great VA, but what were the problems? Where were the challenges really occurring for you at this point?
Why Maria sought help
Maria: Well the problem was really that I’d gone off track. I really didn’t have a clear plan of what I was doing. I wanted to launch my programme in the year and it was all new to me, the whole business thing really. I’m a clinician, and I’m very good at that, and a creative as well, and very much an intuitive. But as far as systems and processes, and all the left-brained approach to things, and IT was very much something I was completely unskilled at. So yes.
Barbara: So your VA.
Maria: Where were we at? Sorry Barb.
Barbara: You had a great VA, right?
Barbara: At this point you had a great VA. You got a great VA from us. And how did you guys work together?
Maria: Yeah. So I came to you, and so what happened is we were working well together as far as introducing me really to business, and getting social media up and running. She was doing some great work. I had a website that came together during that time. We also did some webinars and things like that, but I really didn’t have a plan as to how I was going to sequentially roll out my programme, which I’d beta-tested the year before. And so, I’d come to a point where I was being side-tracked, I was doing some collaborative work. I wanted to do two things at once, and it really wasn’t okay to do that. I really needed to focus and to deliver this programme first. And so I came to you at that point where I was like, “Okay I’m not getting anywhere, I’m coaching but I’m not getting enough financial return for this to be viable. And I don’t feel confident in how to actually roll out the programme in a way … You know, using all the systems and processes in the online virtual world. That’s quite unknown to me.”
Matt: And so, at that point Maria, what was the decision that you made?
Accepting sound advice
Maria: Well the decision was to listen to what Barb’s advice was and get the Ontraport platform. And employ a strategist to actually help me focus and to help actually direct my VA as well as to what needed to happen for the programme to roll out. A launch funnel and the programme.
Matt: Okay. So you put together, I’m guessing a plan? A comprehensive plan of what needed to happen?
The importance of having specialists on your team
Maria: Well actually, there wasn’t any time for a comprehensive plan. It really just rolled from week to week, with the strategist, and I just trusted that I was being taken for this ride and I knew that she’d had a lot of experience. And so we would meet every week and she would tell us what to do next, and I think that was less overwhelming than actually … At that point, there was such a limited timeframe, so to actually just be taken by the hand week by week was probably the best approach for me.
Matt: And was that you and your VA meeting with the strategist?
Maria: So we would meet—
Matt: Sorry, you go.
Maria: So we would meet quite often and she would give us the plan of what we needed to do next. So she was also helping my VA and explaining things to her and she video-recorded everything so she could look back on that. And some of it was totally above my head, but at least I knew that that was happening between those two. And then there was some things that was between me and her. So it worked out beautifully having this triad.
Matt: I think that’s such an interesting point because too often, and I see this happening with coaching a lot, like I’ll work with the business owner and then the business owner tries to relay things to their team and the like, and it gets a little bit lost in translation. Being able to have your VA or relevant team members on a call with a strategist or a coach is invaluable, because that way everybody can hear it firsthand, everyone can ask questions direct to the person giving the advice. I think that’s really well-played.
Barbara: And a strategist as well, if I could just comment. A really good strategist, for anybody out there looking to get one, is someone who is actually going to obviously create the strategy, but then there’s all the steps involved. So like Heather Porter, who I will say was the digital strategist who worked with Maria, a fantastic woman, you can find her online. She was very good also, had worked with a lot of our VAs, so she works with a lot of our clients who have VAs. And she’s very good at creating the task list that that VA needs to execute and knowing how to leave it within their skill sets without overwhelming your VA and making sure that this thing all comes together really really well.
Expanding, rather than contracting, your business
And what I want to point out here, and Maria you were ready to, maybe not throw the towel in, but what I typically see happening is somebody gets a VA, they try a product launch by themselves. It’s them and their VA. It doesn’t really work. They run out of money. They either blame the VA or don’t blame the VA but get rid of them anyway, and then they run back to doing everything themselves. And I want to commend Maria for facing that fear, and you actually went the other way and you expanded rather than contracted, which is something we talked about in a previous show that Matt and I did together about going into expansionary mode and not contracting into fear in this type of situation. Getting the right people around you and the right systems. So I know that Heather was pivotal to you and your VA getting success together, but also let’s talk about having a business automation and marketing platform like Ontraport. How pivotal was that in terms of making sure that your launch went ahead properly, and automated much as possible?
Maria: Yeah, I’m realising more and more how incredible a platform it is. And to be honest, it’s still something I haven’t had time yet to really know all the ins and outs of. I know that it’s helped segment lists, it’s been the place where we’ve been able to then create the online programme. There’s so much to it. I know that it’s brilliant and the great thing was I didn’t have to know all about it, my VA knew how to work it. And I just knew that it was the platform to use and that a lot of … it would take me to the next level in business.
Having a VA with the correct training and support
Barbara: Now, how pivotal for you was it having a VA that was already trained on Ontraport and had our Virtual Angel Hub Ontraport specialist help desk behind her, so that when she had a problem she came to us and not to you? How pivotal was that?
Maria: Absolutely. It just made all the difference to know that she could get the support that she needed as far as if she was unsure about something, because apparently it’s quite a comprehensive system, so there’s always something new to learn, particularly there’s so many aspects to launching a programme. So she was learning all the little bits and pieces even though she was already trained. But yes, it absolutely made such a big difference.
Barbara: Yeah, so just for the listeners, I want to point out that the stuff we’re talking about here today … Look, it’s very hard to get VAs online that actually can cope with this kind of strategy and the speed of a launch like that. So really, what we specialise in at Virtual Angel Hub, and this is a shameless plug because I know how difficult this is, is we do actually specialise in VAs that can cope with that because we have support teams behind them that actually can step in and give support in a situation like this, for example. But you need to have a strategist. Because a VA can’t do this by themselves. Or you need to be the strategist yourself. That’s the key point I want to make here. And Matt I know that you would’ve seen this with clients that you coach, where again, they get a VA to do all the stuff, but they still run back to doing the launch plans themselves, when maybe that’s not their genius though.
Identifying your genius…and letting go
Matt: Absolutely. Absolutely. And I think it’s identifying that genius and then letting go, which is what Maria’s done. Maria’s acknowledged what her strengths are here and the things that she loves doing, and then surrounded herself with an amazing team to bring this to life.
Barbara: So Maria, talk to me about … You went from, we spoke sort of mid-September, where you really very nervous, fearful, and you were going to throw the towel in on this thing. And then now you’ve launched. So how are you feeling today? And where is 2017 taking your business?
Maria: I’m excited. I’m really excited. I feel like I’ve broken through something that was really … As I said, on so many levels, there was a lot of fear and the unknown. And I really knew that once I did it, I would see what was on the other side and here I am. I feel like I’ve got such a great foundation to now go again. And I’ve still got the same strategist, and I’m still with VAH, so even though we’ve had a transition … our Virtual Angel had to move on, so yeah.
Transitioning to a new VA
Barbara: Interestingly, the original girl that worked with Maria is now having a baby. So actually, this has been quite interesting that she worked on this programme with you, because she learnt a lot about being an intuitive mother through your programme, and working on the programme.
And talk to me then about the transitions. So let’s talk about when your VA transitions. How has that transition gone for you? We got to the end of the programme and then your VA had to step out for a little while, because she’s pregnant and wants to cut back her hours, and we got you another VA who stepped in straight away. How has that new girl taken on the challenge, and how have you guys made sure that you get as seamless a transition as possible?
Maria: So what we’ve done is that the original VA Joanne, she was amazing. So she put together some of the systems and processes that we used through the launch, and has documented those for the new VA to pick up. And that’s made all the difference. And she’s also been available for her to check in with, ask questions about my business, because she became so familiar with everything. And that was a big fear for me, having to move to a new person after I’d already had such a … You know, my business was so well-known by Joanne. So having also the VAH help desk as well, as a support, has been incredibly important and I’ve felt more confident knowing that that’s there. So it’s been really seamless, in a way. Of course it’s getting to know someone new, and getting that familiarity, so there’s some little bit of extra time that’s required, but I just … Yeah, it’s been seamless. And I’m now able to continue with my plan to launch three times this year. So we’re on track at the moment with that.
Barbara: Now you mentioned processes. Now at the beginning of this call, you openly admitted that technology, platforms, and processes and systems were not your thing at all. How do you feel now about that? And how do you feel about the fact that you took it on, and how has it changed your life by embracing this, and sort of just bringing it into your business?
Maria: I just really believe in it, and I just let myself be the student. And I’m still the student, and there’s still a long way for me to go with getting the processes all down pat and it’s been such a whirlwind time, just to … And I know the processes are there, and so that’s why it’s working. So for me and my VA to get more familiar and learn a little bit more about that as well. But it’s happening without me doing that. I just know that we’ve got them there, and we’re following them. So yeah, I think it’s imperative. I know it’s this whole new learning curve for me, and I trust it, and it’s working.
Barbara: Matt, I’m so keen to hear your questions here, because your genius is systems and processes and coaching people through this, so …
Following the success formula
Matt: You know what I’m loving, just in this conversation is, Maria, your openness to accepting that this is the best way to do it and just following it. It’s just so refreshing to hear, and I think to all the listeners listening, understanding that what Maria’s doing is following a success formula. Everything that she’s following, others have done before her, and she’s plugging into this success system, and putting the right people around her in order to achieve the goals that she wants to achieve. It’s just outstanding. I can’t stop smiling, it’s just so good to hear. It’s brilliant. It’s brilliant.
Maria: Aw, I’m so grateful. I’m just so grateful. Because I know I couldn’t do this myself. It just shows the power of collaboration, and as I said, staying with your strengths and utilising expertise.
Barbara: And yes it costs money to do it. You had to hire a strategist, but in terms of the dividends it’s going to pay back, I know you made money in the last launch, but you’re going to launch three times this year with the same strategy. So what kind of dividends is it paying for you? Financially, emotionally, mentally, it was so worth the money, I’m sure, to hire all these people.
Maria: Yeah, absolutely. It feels to me like an investment, and because it’s my sole purpose work I have a commitment to that, so I’m really committed to following through with my life purpose and my passion. And so in that way, the dividends are immeasurable. And as far as my lifestyle and financially, I know that it will pay off. Well at the moment, I’ve got a lifestyle that I desire, because I’m not tied to a 9-5 job, and I’m feeling so much more alive because my creativity … I’m able to really access that and really create valuable contentthat’s making a huge difference to the mothers that are doing the programme. I feel so personally satisfied. As far as financially, I just believe that it will reward me, because I can see that so far I’ve trusted the strategies and it’s all worked. And once again, I’m going into the unknown, but I know it’s great work, I know it’s changing lives, and so I know that there’s a formula to the financial reward as well.
Barbara: Yeah, that’s fabulous. I’m actually just brimming. I’m brimming. I’m feeling very warm and fuzzy about your experience because we were so involved in it. And it makes me … You know, I’ve just become a mother myself, so I know that your programme … I had just had Ruby at the time and I said to you, “This programme needs to get out there. You have to go for it. And you just got to get it out there.” So I’m just really, really glad that this all happened and that you trusted that what we said was true.
Facing your fears
Matt: Maria, I’ve got one last question, just to wrap this whole thing up. Which is, what fears did you have to overcome through this process, as you went through? Putting these people on, trusting the strategies. What fears came up for you and how did you deal with that?
Maria: Oh wow. I’ve had a lot of experience dealing with fears over the last number of years. A cancer experience, a pre-cancer experience, a child that’s been really unwell. He’s actually really unwell at the moment, and so I’m actually managing that as well as relaunching. So I use a lot of personal tools to actually manage my fears, my fears of not having money to support my family, my fears of not being here to be able to live my passions, my fears of everything. These are my biggest fears. The fears of pouring money into something that’s a failure. The fears of never quite having made it when I know that I’ve got it inside me. So it’s probably the deepest core fears that I’ve been facing, and I’ve had to walk my talk and use the skills and processes, and presence and awareness skills and everything that I can bring to the mothers that I’m coaching that I’m delivering the programme. I’ve had to walk myself. And I’m about embodiment, so I’m not surprised that I have to actually go through the process of facing my biggest fears, which a lot of mothers do. They face huge fears, and it can be such a stressful world for them and such a stressful and lonely time for them with their children. They can feel so disconnected from themselves and from each other, and from support systems.
Barbara: You know Maria, as you’re talking there I’m thinking … And you’re talking about mothers, and I know that as business owners as well, when you’re on your own, and you will have felt this, all of those same things. You feel alone, you feel challenged, you feel desperately afraid, you’re awake at night. Because a business, it’s not like your baby, but the same sort of fears come up. So you’ve been feeling them double-fold. Like you’ve been feeling them in your personal life, in your delivery of your product to the mothers who have been feeling it, and then in taking on the challenge of business as well. And stepping up into what you have to do in order to deliver this business.
Maria’s advice for overcoming your fears
Barbara: So what advice would you give to somebody in business trying to get over those fears, who’s running back, who’s running away rather than … You know, they might fire the VA and just run back to kind of the smallness of what they were doing before, or getting a job. What would you say to those people who are feeling like that right now?
Maria: Keep your eye on your vision. And keep it there, keep checking in so you are able to tune into yourself and go, “What is it that I really desire, that’s really important for my mind, body, spirit connection?” And have it there, even if you need to continue your job part-time, just take steps towards what you deeply, deeply desire. What’s really going to light you up in the long run and really has your best self out there in the world. And gradually take the leap. It’s going to be a lot, there’s going to be a lot of jumping off cliffs, it seems like, trusting that you’ll fly. And take the leap to yes, hire that next person, to take that next step to put yourself in a situation where you are around hearing wisdom around business, and what can support your dream.
So that’s why I think even your podcast series is so excellent because it gives all those little bits that are free, right? Someone can listen to this free, and just be learning bits and pieces, and then to eventually train yourself up to know enough to then take the next step. And train yourself up to know enough to take the next step. Sometimes it is, you know, just free falling, and going, “Okay, now take the plunge.” And there are sometimes where you just have to go, “Look, it’s worth the leap.” And then when you do that, be really focused. And get a strategist in sooner than later, because that was my mistake. I waited too long to do that. And get your team up. I really believe having the virtual assistant, particularly with Virtual Angel Hubbecause they’ve got backup and training behind them. And that I got trained as well, so if you’re like me and you haven’t had experience, then definitely go somewhere like that because that’s where you’ll get the training yourself and you know what you’re doing as far as what systems and processes to use, and you’re not just flailing around. So I think that’s my advice.
Wrapping things up
Matt: Fantastic. Thank you so much Maria. That was brilliant.
Maria: It’s my absolute pleasure. Thank you so much.
Barbara: I know there’s going to be so many people who are trying to do this online, and I just think your story is fabulous to share. And thank you so much for coming on the podcast. And listeners, please comment on this show. Let us know if you’re feeling the things that Maria’s been talking about. Especially let us know if you’ve tried to get the people around you and also it’s failed, because sometimes you do have the people but you don’t have the right people. And we’d love to hear your thoughts on this show, so give us a rating oniTunes, give us a comment and review the show, and make sure you come back next week for more Virtual Success. Matt, have a great week. Maria, have a great week, and we’ll be back on the show next week.
Matt: You too, Barb. Thank you again, Maria.
Maria: Okay, thank you.
Matt Malouf is a passionate business coach, speaker, author and entrepreneur on a mission to help entrepreneurs around the world break the shackles of mediocrity and reach new levels of personal and business success.
Barbara Turley is the Founder & CEO of The Virtual Hub, a company that specializes in recruiting, training and managing superstar ‘Virtual Assistants’ in the social media, digital marketing and systems automation space.