It's party time over at my place. My business is officially one year old!

[Queue confetti here ...]

As I look back over this amazing first year, my heart overflows with gratitude. This year I quit my job, got my dream business up and running and (yes, because we're being honest this year), I actually made a living wage.

Every day brings new challenges, but I'm pretty proud of what's happened so far. People ask me all the time how I've done it.

And therein lies the real secret: I didn't do it.

Well okay, at least not without some serious help.

You see, when people ask me how to replicate my results so far, I tell them to do just one thing. It's the thing I did this time around that I didn't do last time I tried to start a business. Emphasis on the tried.

So what did I do this time? Are you ready?

Drumroll, please.

I hired experts to help me.

"Oh, not that." I can almost hear you groaning. "You tricked us into reading your post, and now you want us to hear how critically important it is to hire someone like you."

Well, yes, that's true. (Learn more about my anniversary free offer here!) But this post isn't all about me. It's about the people I hired and how they supported my success.

You see, I'm a frugal girl. I really don't like spending money. When I used to read coaching websites, or meet someone who said they could support my success in business, I ran the other way or took their free offers and hit the road.

That's fine. There's no law that says you can't do that. (And there shouldn't ever be.)

But look at pros in every field and you'll see one difference that sets them apart from everyone else:

Instead of trying to do it all themselves, they hire amazing coaches who push them to train hard.

The one thing I did differently this time around that actually made my business successful was hiring experts in business startups, copyediting, sales conversations, and creative productivity to tell me what I didn't already know.

These women helped me get over my mental hangups that had been hampering me for years. They pushed me harder (in the best possible ways) when I wanted to lie down and nap. They brought their years and years of combined experience to my business. They helped me avoid a ton of pitfalls.

Every penny I spent was worth it, and a genuine bargain for the results I achieved.

So here they are -- the women who helped me create my success:

Cat LeBlanc

Cat is an amazing business strategist and venture catalyst who helps women get out of the corporate traffic jam and cruise onto the open road of entrepreneurship. (Can you tell she loves cars?) I found Cat through a random Google search, liked what she had to say, and had a consultation with her. Cat's approach actually gets your business up and running in twelve weeks (clients and all) versus just "teaching you how to start a business." After my last experience of frugality failure ("I'll build my business myself, the cheap way!") I knew she was what  I needed. We started. And yes, twelve weeks later, I have a business.

(By the way, Cat is giving two webinars tonight, by the way, on how to go from zero to paying clients. One is at 7 PM EST and 11 PM EST respectively. Use those links to sign up and learn more!) Also visit her website.


Camille Thurnherr

Camille is a relationship coach through her business, Ignite Mr. Right. (That's not why I worked with her, though!) She's also a tremendous sales person, and has a way of working with your mindset and sales skills that isn't scary or intimidating. I cam to Camille convinced I could never get anyone to hire me based on a sales pitch I'd created. Of course, I was wrong. Camille helped me get over my excruciating fear of money (especially asking for it directly) and taught me how to close a sale. Because of her, I got my first paid clients and haven't stopped since. Learn more about her work here.


Kris Emery

Kris is a copyeditor extraordinaire and world wanderer. Like Camille, Kris also worked with me as a part of Cat's coaching experience. Cat taught me how to write web copy that sells, and Kris edited all my pages, providing suggestions on how to make things clearer or more compelling for my audience. I also have a serious prowess on Kris's ability to grow her business. She now focuses on intensive edits for e-books and resources that entrepreneurs put out. And you can bet when I finally write my book about client attraction, Kris will be the one I call for the big edits. Learn more about Kris here.


Victoria Prozan

Last by certainly never least, Victoria Prozan worked with me this past year to get past my creative hangups and really start producing regular books, comic books and art. Victoria has a background in branding and marketing, as well as being a designer and maker who ran her own business for years. Now she helps women like me "conjure their creative magic" every day. Which is exactly what we did together. I wanted to make my art more part of my life and business. Victoria helped me clear my head and actually get a plan together that I can execute, to get that work out into the world. Her website is currently down but will relaunch in February. If you'd like to speak with her, please send me a message.

So there you have it: my real-life dream team.

At this one-year anniversary marker, the confetti is as much theirs as mine.

Sure, I had to do a ton of work myself. But without their expertise guiding me, keeping me in safe bounds that ensured I actually got the results I wanted, I would have wasted all that effort. Or at least misplaced a lot of it. And I probably would have given up by now.

If you're like I was for years, hoping you can read a few articles or books and DIY your way to business success . . . you're in for a long, frustrating, and probably unrewarding haul.

Don't waste years of your life muddling around and hoping for the best. Take a tip from my experience. Do the ONE thing most people who want to start a business never, ever do.

Invest in your success financially.

Hiring the right help to get things done faster, and smarter, with greater return is the smartest investment you can ever make.

Sure, it's an outlay up front. But let me be blunt: I made about five to seven real, actual American dollars last year for every one I spent on coaching. That's a 500 to 700% return on my investment.

I'd call that a pretty good investment, wouldn't you?

It's also 500 to 700 times more than I would have gotten had I tried to do it on my own.

Sure, not all coaches or partners are created equal. You have to look for the really good ones, and once you find them, you have to do what they tell you to, when and how they tell you, or you're wasting your money. 

But when you find them, and play by their rules, they're more than worth it.

365 days happily in business later . . . I'm absolutely certain.

Until next time, speak freely.

Have you hired a specialist to help you with your business? If you could hire one right now, who would it be, and why? Comment below.

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