“What are your favourite books and authors?”

20343649 - old books on a wooden shelf. no labels, blank spine.

This is a simple question that I’ve asked more times than I can count of clients to help them clarify their point of view on an issue: “What are your favourite books and authors?”

Now, when I ask this question, I’m not asking generically. I’m asking it in the context of the work they do. I’m asking them, “Look, you help _____ kinds of people get ______ kinds of results. Who are the authors, what are the books you’ve read, that have most formed your opinions around this all? What are the books that you wish your clients would read because they best express your take on things?”

What I’m trying to get at with this question is a more clear understanding of how they see things.

I’ve had so many clients tell me that their ideal clients would be ‘spiritual’. And I have no idea what they mean by that. I could ask them to tell me their entire cosmology but that’s often a convoluted and nebulous affair. So, instead, I ask them,

“What are your favourite books or authors on this spirituality?”

And you can tell a lot about how a person sees and defines spirituality by their answers:

  • “The Celestine Prophecy, Conversations With God and The Four Agreements.”
  • “Loving What Is, Feeding Your Demons and Debbie Ford.”
  • “The Course in Miracles, Marianne Williamson and The Disappearance of the Universe.”
  • “Doreen Virtue and Louise Hay.”
  • “Iyanla Van Zandt, Oprah Winfrey and Rev. Michael Beckwith.”
  • “The Secret, Greg Braden and Deepak Chopra”
  • “Black Elk Speaks, Vine Deloria and Leanne Simpson.”
  • “The Bible, Thomas Merton and Jim Rohr.”
  • “The Tao the Ching.”
  • “Rudolph Steiner, White Eagle and books on Theosophy.”

Each of these compilations gives us a very different picture of what they mean by ‘spirituality’.

My colleague Kel Wil of Showgirl Awakening gives a wonderful example of this on her homepage when she says:

I have a special place in my heart for women who yearn to trust & express themselves with confidence & radiance, who light up whenever they see the intersection of art, psyche and spirit, are drawn to Hafiz & mystic poetry, into typing systems & self-knowledge systems like Enneagram, Archetypes, Astrology, Oracles & Tarot and whose attention is rapt when they read or listen to Ane Axford, Angeles Arrien, Caroline Casey, Sarah Peyton, Cynthia Winton-Henry, Phil Porter, Hafiz, Khalil Gibran, Carl Buchheit, Andrew Harvey and Francois Delsarte and who have well-worn copy of Women Who Run With the Wolves.

What can you do with this list?:

  • Put Them In Your Homepage or Bio: This list of influences (and, of course, we could ask the same question and have it be about documentaries, websites, blogs, podcasts etc.) could be shared on the About Me page of your website to help people get a sense of where you’re coming from (this is surprisingly effective at helping people figure out if you’re a fit or not). This gives people a sort of mosaic, at-a-glance view of your perspective. They can connect the dots. And, if they’re also into those particular influences, they will be leaning towards working with you.
  • Use Them To Find Hubs: You could also look at each and ask yourself, “Where might I find people who share my interests in these kinds of books?” This could reveal some hubs you’d not thought of before. Perhaps there are book clubs, MeetUp groups, or bookstores that focus on those particular themes.
  • Reach out to them directly: You might be surprised at how accessible certain influencers are. You might be able to foster a relationship with them. Perhaps you could interview them or they might interview you.
  • Use This List to Hone Your Point of View: Sit with this list and ask yourself, “What’s the perspective that these all share? What are the points of overlap? How do all of these authors see _____ issue that I agree with?”

Additional Resources:

Point of View Marketing – Tad Hargrave

The Marketing Mistake The Spice Store Made

Row of spice jars

A few weeks ago, I went to a spice store.

I didn’t need more spices. I needed a spice rack. I figured they might have one. Or know where to find one.

I walked in and asked a woman who worked there. 

She apologetically shook her head and told me they didn’t carry any racks and had no idea where I might find one in town beyond a local Home Depot. 

I was struck by the loss of the marketing opportunity.

Consider this: if you find a spice store and fall in love with it, you’ll be a customer for life. You don’t want to have to go through the work of finding a new one, you enjoy how knowledgable and passionate they are and you love that they know you by name. You trust these people when it comes to spices.

So, what if they did their research and found their ten favourite spice racks and made a little, in store catalogue to show people, or had those pages book marked on their computer or even stocked some and sold them directly to you for a small profit. And maybe they could tell you where in town to find them or where to order them online. Or they could order them for you.

I would have loved it if they’d said to me, “So you want on that hangs over the door? Okay. So there are ten basic models of these on the market. Five of them are worthless and fall apart instantly or their hooks don’t actually fit over regular size doors. Three of the remaining ones are pretty good but we’ve found two that everyone seems to be thrilled with. Why don’t I show you those?

They could make a video about this and put it on youtube and then, when customers asked about it, they could email them the link to look at.

And what if they found those places that sold them locally and befriended the staff so that, when people were looking for spice racks, they might be inclined to mention their store.

I recall a doula in Canmore, Angie Evans (who’s now in Regina), who got a surprising amount of business from referrals from the people who worked in the supplement section of Nutters (the organic grocery store in Canmore). She befriended them, told them what she did and then, when the staff would see people looking at prenatal vitamins or other products that indicated they were preparing for a child, the staff would often ask them if they were considering hiring a doula or midwife and if so who. If they were considering one but hadn’t decided yet, they would often suggest reach out to Angie.

My friend Ron Pearson is a magician in Edmonton who does corporate magic shows. But corporate event planners call him all the time to ask his opinion of other performers.

My dear friend Monika runs Reset Wellness in Edmonton which has a very science based approach to wellness. It’s more osteopathy than energy work. But you’d better believe that people will come to trust Monika and ask for her opinion on, “Who’s a good reiki practitioner in town?” A few weeks ago, Monika and I had a conversation about how she could create a referral list of people she trusts so that she would be ready for these questions.

Consider what people keep asking you for that you don’t offer. Consider what kinds of recommendations they ask you for that you don’t have answers to. Consider building yourself up a referral resource list of people you trust.

You can just sell what you sell.

But you can also become a trusted advisor. You can become a hub. You can become the go to person on a certain issue.

Jay Abraham makes the distinction between customers and clients. In his worldview, a customer was just someone you sold things to. A client was someone who was under the care of a fiduciary. A client is someone you were there to guide and protect on the matters surrounding what you do.

If everything you recommend is gold, people’s trust in you will deepen and they’ll spend more money with you and refer more people to you.

Guest Post: What Your Business Isn’t Telling You – The Eightfold Path of Tracking

by Tim Emerson of KwanYinHealing.com

gI_135471_tim-emersonA few months back, Tad asked me, along with other Niching for Hippies alumni, for feedback on “The Niching Spiral,” and what other suggestions we might have.

I shared that I liked the spiral imagery. 

In my experience at least, a niche isn’t a one time decision, but rather, a process of continually self-discovery and how that relates to your Big Circle (assuming you’ve given up trying to help absolutely everyone as an unworkable fantasy). Part of this journey is uncovering who shows up—for Tad, this was holistic practitioners in his workshops and then, later, permaculture practitioners;  for me, it was recognizing that alternative/socially-conscious entrepreneurs were my primary clients, even though I’m not a business coach (and don’t want to be).  Part of this was trying things to see how they worked—my early “Healing for Healers” program was met with great enthusiasm . . . and little investment.  It’s why we “date” niches instead of asking them to marry us immediately.   Some relationship we repair and heal.  Some we end, moving on.

Along these lines, I suggested Tad include tracking as a niching tool.  Tad is always curious and searchingly pointed about new ideas, and after an interesting conversation, asked me to share.   So here I am, but beyond niching, I’m here to make this key point:

If you aren’t tracking, you don’t know your own business. 


And this is true of even the smallest businesses, the ones where of course you know. 

I get that this reads like a bold statement.  Let me share my experience. 

Kwan Yin Healing is a boutique business.   I work with spiritually-conscious people, open to the idea of energy healing, who are struggling with healing needs in a broad context, from physical pain to life path confusion, and who are ready to move forward on a comprehensive map to peace.   For me, that means programs that really delve into working together to successfully resolve problems.  And that means higher end offers with fewer clients than a high-volume/low-cost model.   So in my first few years in business, that added up to a few hundred clients from half a dozen countries.   Not too difficult to keep straight in my head, right?

Still . . . the tax man likes to see numbers, and prefers these numbers based on reality.   So, I sat down to list my clients, what they bought, who was coming back for additional programs, who was referring people, and what everybody spent (including the free sessions I gave away), just to see (since I had to do it to get an accurate income figure anyway).  And, I thought maybe I could see going into the future something helpful in regard to the 80/20 rule.   Just being proactive, I thought. 

What I learned is that I had been clueless.   And I wish I’d known what I learned months earlier.  It really would have helped. 

1) I had no idea who my real clients were.

Turns out, the 80/20 rule was a joke.  Try 95/5.  Yup—95% of my income (vs. my business time) came from just 5% of my clients.   Those 5% were also 100% of my referral sources.    Nearly 100% of my repeat business too. And incidentally, these 5% continually showed up on my free teleseminars, called in when I did radio interviews, participated in surveys and on social media.  

These people are my Tribe.   They like me.  They follow me.  They talk about me to friends.  But all my marketing and outreach efforts were geared to the 95% that was showing me little love.  No wonder building my business was so excruciatingly slow!

I kicked myself.  Then changed course immediately. 

2) I didn’t know what my real work was.

Very early in my business, I went after this idea that “some people get healing, some don’t.”  The standard “maybe they weren’t ready” wasn’t enough for me—it begs the question.  WHY aren’t they ready?  What would they need to get ready?  Why don’t they have it now?

Tracking brought the first answers.  I looked at the many rows of free sessions—and I didn’t mind doing those sessions, and had no high expectations they would lead anywhere.  But I noticed something interesting – these people weren’t getting the results other clients were getting.   I was intrigued by this because other clients were sometimes getting spectacular results from the first session—one client who had been seeing a chiropractor weekly for a year after an auto accident was told that he didn’t know why, but her C1 vertebrae had moved back into place, that her high blood pressure had dropped to normal, and she didn’t need to come anymore.   I noticed, though, that these first session successes were almost all from clients who had signed on for a longer commitment (working through other issues beyond physical symptoms). 

Another client found relief from his tortured back and from the nerve damage in his foot—and went on to deeper work, and had significant realizations about where he was in life and why.  Yet he never followed up and made changes . . . and after a time, the pain returned.   Meanwhile another client, who kept going to the chiropractor for tightness in his back that kept him from practicing martial arts, felt it tightening again on his way home after each visit, until we worked together and brought lasting relief.  

It was following through with each client’s commitment that I discovered the Four Pillars of healing:  Clarity, Connection, Coherence, and Change.  With all four, clients got results.  If one or more was missing, results suffered or vanished.    I never would have seen this (or would have taken much longer to uncover it) had I not been tracking.  These Four Pillars are now the cornerstone of all my work.

3) I got an unquestionable lesson on the quality of my systems.

If you’ve never read Sam Carpenter’s book, “Work the System,” you should. Systems are the difference between struggling and succeeding, between the feast or famine cycle and sustainability.  

Fortunately, evaluating my systems didn’t take long at all—my tracking experience revealed that I clearly didn’t have any.  I only thought I did. 

So how would I track my systems?  First I’d have to decide what I needed to measure, and then, I’d have to set up the systems for achieve those things reliably. 

In short, I realized just what a mess my business model really was.  And how to fix it.

4) I had no idea I was so fiscally irresponsible.

I’ve always held some criticism for those “bean counters” in organizations looking at the bottom line, those perceived as myopic, heartless, soul-less vision-killers.   And now I openly apologize to them, and recommend every organization run out and get some.

The second year, I had promised myself not to let tracking go so long again.  And—once again, found myself doing it the week before my accountant needed the information (see #3 regarding no systems—those systems were clearly going to need some system for accountability). 

Well, I knew my clients and their situations better now.  What I didn’t realize was how much money I had made.  I stared in amazement, and reran the figures, thinking I must have made a mistake.   Then I wondered—if I made that much, what did I do with it???

Then I ran expenses.  I knew I had spent more than I’d have liked, and had hung on too long with a campaign.   But when I had the figures in front of me, I wished I’d had them months earlier, because I would have pulled the plug 2/3 sooner than I did.   And there were a number of categories that totaled much more than I would have guessed.

Just as the bean counters warned – you can increase your profits just by paying attention to income and expenses.   I wish I had started doing this sooner.

5) I didn’t even know what I knew.

My most successful marketing to date has been teleseminars.  They always have generated new clients, and they’ve generated nearly all of my high end clients.  

I promoted these primarily through Facebook (a third of my email list found me there).  But Facebook keeps changing the rules of the game, and a series of these changes turned a lucrative strategy into a worthless one.  Now what?

Enter tracking.   My teleseminar strategy isn’t necessarily dead—only one part of it.  I have good data on how many people will sign up, how many of those will be on the call, how many of those will convert.  I can go back and add the missing data—how many people did I need to reach to get those sign ups.   Since the rest of this is solid, all that’s missing are new paths to the teleseminar sign-up.    The rest I already know—and know well—from tracking.

6) I didn’t know which were the weak links in my marketing.

Once I finally got the message that tracking was important, I started to pay attention to other things as well.  

A lot of activities and options sound cool, but are they helping the bottom line (See my new-found kinship with the bean counters?  I’m already learning the lingo)?

I have a press release package – do clients find me that way?  Do they click over from social media?  Do they click the links from guest blog posts?  

Not that the bottom line has to rule everything – but now I can make the choice.  Am I investing wisely in paid marketing?   What’s the return?  Are my activities worth the time and trouble (and if I just flat out enjoy them, that counts too)?  To what degree? 

Point is, I don’t have to guess.  I *know* what’s working and what’s not, and can move to deciding what to fix, what to adjust, and what to abandon.

7) I didn’t have any way to know how to make my business sustainable.

Without tracking, I had no way to plan.   That left me with no strategies for getting there.

But once I know here’s the financial goal, here’s how many clients that would take under different options, here’s what I have to do to meet that many clients, here’s how many people I need to engage to meet that many clients, here’s how I’ll need to do that, here’s what those activities would take in terms of planning and time, and suddenly, I have a calendar and business plan. 

Just like that.  And I can track it to see how it’s working.

8) I didn’t realize I was mistaken about my niche—or why. 

Tracking keeps me honest about who I think I help.  Because if I’m going to track this, I need something to track.

Remember my Big Circle?  I help spiritually-conscious people who are nonetheless struggling with life path or health.   They’ve taken the yoga and T’ai Chi classes, they mediate, they attend the right seminars, read the right books, eat the right granola – and yet things are coming together for them.  

Great!  So where do these people hang out?  And to address what particular need?

Hmmm…see the problem?  This is too vague to name—and hence track.  But I *can* start naming sub-sets within that Big Circle.  All of these are possible Little Circles, and potential niches, complete with people looking for that help, places to find them:

  • people who suffer chronic pain, are open to energy healing, and want to find relief 
  • small business owners who want to authentically walk with their divine selves in daily life
  • people making the transition from corporate jobs to more spiritual entrepreneurship
  • people working through emotional challenges—stress, overwhelm, trauma, divorce…
  • people in an awkward time in their lives, not really knowing what they want to do 
  • people looking to deepen their connection to and awareness of their spiritual selves 

Now, what’s trackable here?   Notice some of these are clearer than others.   And to find hubs, clarity will be essential.

The clearest of these is the first one – suffering chronic pain, looking for relief.  It’s simple, it’s straight-forward, it’s something people actually say about themselves and actually seek. 

So let’s test it (Wow!  Now I have an R&D department, all from tracking!).   

Do you (or someone you know) suffer from chronic pain?  How would you describe that pain, on a scale of 1-10, ten being unbearable, 1 being barely noticeable?  See how we’re going to track that progress?

If you’re open to the idea of energy healing, and are ready to find relief without medication, then visit to http://kwanyinhealing.com , drop me a note, and we’ll set up a free phone consult to discuss it.   In this consult, you’ll (1) gain clarity about your health and what’s possible for you, (2) identify key milestones and key obstacles to a pain-free life, and (3) leave the session feeling renewed, inspired, and re-energized.   

I’ll be tracking the results.

Tim Emerson
Kwan Yin Healing

Two Minute Video Case Study on Identifying Your Hubs

hubsIf you’ve followed my work at all you’ll know that the core of what I teach is about ‘warm marketing’ where, instead of trying to reach people through a cold approach as a stranger, you, instead, triangulate and work to identify hubs who your ideal clients already trust, and have them introduce you. And, beyond that, instead of having a scattershot approach about where you market, really getting clear about the best places. There are three levels of marketing in my mind – cold, warm and hot. You can read about those here. And there are seven generic types of hubs which you can read about here.

The following quick video is from a piece of flip chart paper from a weekend workshop I ran in the Bow Valley of Alberta  a while ago that I thought might give you some ideas and inspiration around finding your hubs.


Guest Post: How I Got 11,000 Likes on My Facebook Page in Six Months

One World Likes

“I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world.”   ~ E. B. White

tim emersonWhat do Trinidad and Tobago, Namibia, Saint Lucia, Sierra Leone, the Solomon Islands, Uganda, Singapore, the Federated States of Micronesia, Nigeria, the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Seychelles, Sudan, Vanuatu, Barbados, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines have in common?  

I’ll give you a few moments to ponder. 

A month ago I wrote a guest blog post for Tad, “How I added 8,000 Facebook fans in 5 months,” outlining how I went from a static 623 fans at the beginning of February to 8,921 in July.  

In that piece, I explained how I got clear about my page’s purpose and message, paid attention to what got positive response and adjusted, worked out a simple system for keeping the page active while spending very little time on it, and resisted selling, except for limited free offers.  To this last part, as it seems counterintuitive, I added how Facebook generates 1/3 of my email list subscribers and fills my free teleseminars, from which I enroll new clients, particularly in my higher end offerings. 

By the way, I could add to that list Zimbabwe, Tuvalu, Tanzania, Swaziland, South Sudan, Somaliland, South Africa, Samoa, Rwanda, Palau, Nauru, Malta, Kiribati, Kenya, India, and Saint Kitts and Nevis.  Found the connection yet?   Be patient – it took me a while too. 

I also added to that piece that while I’m not a fan of Facebook advertising overall, I have found that a small, quirky ad, with an eye-catching image, in keeping with your point of view and strategic purpose and with a severely limited budget, just a few bucks a day, would generate around 40-60 new fans daily, combining click-throughs with new organic likes from shares.  

One nice thing about Facebook advertising is the ability to carefully target ad audiences.  So when my 50 new fans each day started to trickle down to barely 20 a day, I took a look at these targets, to see if maybe I could freshen things up a bit.  

At first, nothing much.  I had hit every related interest I could think of, and I didn’t want to expand my age demographics, as that would probably be counter-productive.  But then I looked at countries. 

Originally, I listed all the English speaking countries I could think of quickly.   You know—the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand…that’s it, right?  Well, Belize I guess, but it’s so small, what’s the point. 

But I’ve been working a lot with intuition for the past few months, and something flashed into my head about Belize.   Maybe not so fast.  So I Googled “English speaking countries” on a hunch, and found…88 of them.  88!  That’s 82 new audiences, all ready to experience Facebook.com/KwanYinHealing for the very first time!  

So I added Mauritius, the Marshall Islands, Malawi, Liberia, Lesotho, Jamaica, Guyana, Grenada, Ghana, Gambia, Eritrea, Dominica, Cameroon, Botswana, the Bahamas, and Antigua and Barbuda – Facebook limits you to 25 countries at a time.  But my likes spiked THAT DAY from 20 to 200.   And just like that, I’m at 11,250 fans.   Sure, it’s starting to slow…down to 150 a day now, though, still three times what I was seeing before, and with the same budget.

What does that mean, the same budget?  Two things:  (1) I’m getting a LOT of new organic likes from the sharing from the new traffic, and (2) my cost-per-click has dropped by more than 50%.  Seems a lot of people don’t market to countries like Fiji—so my competition is apparently quite small.   I haven’t been doing Google Ads for a while, but now I’m curious what affect targeting these markets would have on click rates there.  Next time, I’ll try it. 

What happens when my 150 daily likes finally slows again to 20?  I’ll remove the markets already exposed and substitute new ones, and I’ll be able to do that at least three more times.   This will give me a much larger market when promoting my next teleseminar—I already have clients in six countries (the US, Canada, the UK, Australia, Japan, and Saint Martens).   

Don’t overlook non-sovereign places either, like Anguilla, American Samoa, Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Christmas Island, Cocos (Keeling) Islands, Cook Islands, Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Guam, Guernsey, Hong Kong, Isle of Man, Jersey, Montserrat, Niue, Norfolk Island, Northern Mariana Islands, Pitcairn Islands, Puerto Rico, Saint Helena–Ascension and Tristan da Cunha, Sint Maarten, San Andrés y Providencia–Colombia, Tokelau, Turks and Caicos Islands. 

Kwan Yin Healing helps the spiritually-conscious who are struggling with life path or health and are ready to move forward and find peace.  The Four Pillars of healing and transformation are Clarity (life is supposed to be abundant, and now, when we get out of our own way), Connection (we are part of a continuum from earth to the divine), Coherence (physical, emotional, mental, spiritual and awareness energies need to vibrate harmoniously), and Change (if you want something you don’t have, you’ll need to do things you’ve never done).   I love the beautiful illustration this example gives – the instant results from connecting to what already exists in a coherent way with one simple change.  We live on one globe, one people, one human energy—and we can easily forget that imaginary borders are only in our nationalist mindsets. 

I’m already delighted to be helping people jump start their paths and thus accelerate how they help still more people through their work throughout the US and Canada, as well as a bit in the Caribbean, the UK, and Australia.   If you’re ready to find what’s holding you back from living your dreams fully, visit kwanyinhealing.com, look around, and sign-on for the free starting package.   I’m happy to start you along your path.  

And if you happen to be from Spain, Malayasia, Germany, Israel, the US Virgin Islands, Switzerland, Honduras, Sri Lanka, Brunei, Aruba, the Dominican Republic, British Indian Ocean Territory, Ethiopia, Russia, East Timor, or any of the many other places where first-language English speakers live, or if you are one of the many people who speak English as a second or third or fourth or fifth language, I’ll be happy to make your acquaintance.   It’s all one world, one people, on one road to peace, harmony, unity, health and happiness. 

Love and Joy,

Tim Emerson
Kwan Yin Healing

five steps to get more (and better) clients – (14 minute video)

A few weeks ago, I realized how I take almost every client I work with through the same series of five steps. If you want more (and better) clients, you will have to, at some point, engage all five of these things. The bad news is that they’re not easy. The good news is that they’re really simple.

And they all start with knowing who is a perfect fit for you – who your niche is. 

niche case study: the happy MD

I met Dike Drummond (pictured here) in 2011 at a marketing workshop and loved him warm, positive attitude. I liked him instantly. He just started a new project that is so very on point around niching and a beautiful example of how our own wounds can be doorways to our truest niches. 
What is the name of your project?
The Happy MD
What’s the story of how this came about? What was the need you saw in the community that it emerged from?
I am a doctor (Family Practice) who burned out at the age of 40 – 14 years ago now – and quit my medical practice.
I have been a life and business coach and trainer in several non-healthcare niches since then and my heart has always been looking for a time and place to reach out to the people in the same situation I faced in 1998 — those who love taking care of patients and hate “the system” and its unsustainable expectations. 
I did some research to see if the landscape of personal development for physicians had changed and found a perfect storm.

1) The research shows 1 in 3 physicians are suffering from symptomatic burnout on any given office day – worldwide — regardless of specialty. And there is no reason to think burnout is any less prevalent in nurses or hospital administrators and others in the system.

2) Researchers have also proven a number of techniques effective in preventing and treating burnout – all of which I have either incorporated into my life or coached others on. These include Mindfulness, Work-Life Balance and Appreciative Inquiry … to name a few.

3) Even though these techniques are proven in the research – no one is teaching them on the internet. 

I created TheHappyMD.com and its evolving line of trainings and coaching to put the tools that work into the front line physicians who need them most. 

I realized that the person I have become here in 2012 is the exact person I would have so loved to meet back in 1998 … and if we had met, I am pretty sure I would still be practicing medicine in some fashion today. Once I realized this and saw the amount of burnout – and suffering – out there … the purpose of these last 12 years of my life became crystal clear. 

Your recent post about figuring out your niche poses a great question and for those of us who have some water under our bridge (it’s not the age, it’s the mileage) I believe it is THE question to build your “right livelihood” around. I resisted asking this BIG question for 2 decades and have only now done so. Changed my life drastically at a time when I needed it most.

I can now see that turning point clearly:

– At the time I had no answers to what I was feeling – couldn’t even formulate the questions
– Since then my life trajectory has taught me what I most needed to know back then … in first person experience … just like Anf in the comments below !
– And … lo and behold … there are tens of thousands of other people out there who are where I was back in the day – now 14 years ago – wondering what to do when burnout has taken away the drive to keep practicing medicine. 
– And … now I can help. THIS me has some answers that THAT 14 year ago me was missing.

As I plan my business to serve my people … it is clear that it is about something MUCH bigger than me. I am in service. It is completely different than any other business I have created or worked in. I hear angels singing a LOT. Amazing.

What’s the response been so far? 

Universally positive.
I have generated about 3500 hits a month to the site – we launched in January of 2012. I have nearly 500 people on my list … almost all of them doctors … and my coaching practice has 12 physician clients at the moment. I have my first corporate client and just delivered my first all staff speaking engagement to a hospital system in Alabama (I live in Washington state). I have also been picked up by a Healthcare Industry Speaker’s Bureau.
Can you share a few examples of how your project works?
Visitors to my site can download a couple of free reports. One teaches Appreciative Inquiry – a research proven method of personal growth where instead of working on problems, you focus on doing more of what is going right in your life. This is a way of seeing the world that is totally foreign to most docs and can change your outlook in a heartbeat.

The second is a single breath release technique they can use to recenter and get present during the office day – something we all need and docs have never been taught.

Once on my mailing list they get a weekly newsletter with burnout prevention tips and an invitation to a free, one hour “Discovery Session”.

I am also nearing the final stages of my Work Life Balance and Boundaries Mastery Training for Physicians. This will be a 6 week very practical course on creating more work life balance delivered via the internet.

How did you promote this in the beginning? What were the top three most successful approaches at the start of it?
Find the biggest sites/blogs and groups on the web and LinkedIn and pitch them good content.

What are the top three most effective ways you’ve found to market this?

Guest blogging and posting my articles in Physician Groups on the internet and LinkedIn and SEO for search engine traffic. I guest blog at KevinMD.com and their facebook page. That generates a significant portion of my inbound traffic. I am also a HuffPost blogger. In healthcare this does not generate a lot of inbound traffic, but it does give a number of very high powered backlinks to my site.

There are several large MD groups on LinkedIn and on the web (Sermo.com is one) where I post my articles and generate traffic

And I am compulsive about SEO on every blog post and that pays off. I know my niche search terms by heart and use the wordpress plugin SEOPressor to optimize to 90% or more on each term. 

Now I am adding offline promotion with speaking engagements. And I am in the midst of product development and writing a Kindle book on Burnout Prevention

What are the three biggest lessons you’ve learned along the way?

Find a big problem and talk about it in a way that no one else does

Go where your people already are … the big blogs and groups in your niche. The bigger the site … the more they need your content.

Offer quick tools that work right away and a free consult to the folks who need more than that.

At its heart, what is this project/business really about for you? (beyond money, status and such).

It is about healing the healers.
In no other profession is the health and presence of the provider so important as in healthcare. If the doctor or nurse or the person drawing your blood is not getting their needs met – they can’t be there for you … can’t listen, empathize, touch or care. We have all been to doctors or hospitals where we have had this experience. And doctors are trained to ignore their own needs and the system is set up to treat them as disposable tools. It does not have to be this way. 

There are research proven tools to prevent and treat burnout.

There are ways to create organizations where the health and wellbeing of the providers is as important as that of the patient AND these things – when implemented – will result in happier, healthier doctors, nurses and patients and more profitable healthcare organizations.

What’s the next level for your project? What are you most excited about that’s coming up?

Live training – especially in an All Staff setting where we can get nurses, doctors and administrators all together to talk about stress and burnout and be more human with each other.

Internet delivered products to teach mindfulness and work-life balance to anyone anywhere in the world who could use it.

If people want to find out more about your project, support it or get involved – what should they do?

Come to www.thehappymd.com and grab the Satisfaction Mind Flip free report and get on the mailing list. 

Tell all your stressed out friends in healthcare about the site – doctors, nurses, adminstrators …. everyone.

Anything else you’d like to add?

It is easy to have a bad experience with a doctor and blame them … and they can’t give what they haven’t got. That doctor was most likely over stressed and burned out on that day. The first thing I would suggest you do is ask them how their day is going and help them take a deep breath. Doesn’t sound like much AND it would make a huge difference to them. Then give them this website address www.TheHappyMD.com 



Want Help? If you’d like some more direct guidance and hand holding on figuring out your niche then go and check out my Niching for Hippies coaching program https://marketingforhippies.com/niching-for-hippies/



is your partner addicted to this?

I never thought I’d hear the words ‘porn addiction’ on one of my coaching calls.

I just hosted a coaching call all about identifying your hubs called “Seven Places to Find Your Perfect Clients”. We had five folks gathered who I was personally working with to help them sort out where they could find people. It’s often the biggest question folks have: ‘where should I advertise? where do I find people?’

And here’s the first lesson: when it’s a struggle to find clients, don’t try harder – get clearer.

When you can’t find any clients it’s usually a chance to step back and get even more clear about who is it you’re trying to reach. Doesn’t it always come back to the niche thing?

On the call there was a woman from France named Rosine Caplot who shared that she wanted to work with “Men, 20-40, computer type of guys: programmers, computer scientists, physicists, left-brained technical geeks, and more generally guys who are into computers, who work on the computer, socialize online, even spend their free time in front of the computer.”

Their problem: Porn addiction or related sexual issues: excessive mental focus on sex, compulsive unwanted fantasies or fetishes that turn them on but also make them feel bad and that they don’t really want to have, sexual dysfunctions, sex drive and/or erection problems, or just plain never getting laid. They are ashamed of it and want to stop, but can’t.

Her offer: healing sessions to help them heal these issues and create the kind of sex life they really want to have.

I’ll let Rosine (pictured here)  tell you what happened from here with my commentary interspersed.


My problem: I didn’t know where to find those people nor how to reach them. I know they hang out on technical blogs, in technical forums, or in MMORPG’s, but I don’t hang out in these places, and doing so just to promote my business is out of question because it’s insincere. Plus, it’s not the appropriate place to talk about sexual issues. “I bought a cool ethernet shield for my bf’s microprocessor. Btw, are you addicted to porn?”  . . . that would be just weird.

My perfect clients are rather introverted. Relationships don’t come to them that easily and they tend to not open up quickly. Plus, there is a lot of shame and guilt attached to these sexual issues. They are not likely to talk about it with strangers nor to join support groups. Science guys also usually aren’t into spiritual healing. So I really had no clue where and how I could meet them. Google is already flooded with stuff about overcoming porn addiction, I thought I’d have no chance of ranking high enough there. Finding enough clients seemed impossible.

You get the idea.

Sometimes the core, underlying problem you see in the people you want to serve is not something they want to look at yet.  There’s too much shame attached to it.

You think that men want to look at their addiction to porn? You think they want to go to a public workshop about it and out themselves? You think they want to ‘share’ it on social media?


So, what do you do if you are passionate about reaching people in this kind of boat?

My experience on the Call:

I signed up for the call partly because I was clueless about where to find clients, and partly simply because my intuition was telling me Tad was the right person for me to engage with at this time.

I liked the call very much. So much great input! I liked the nice atmosphere and friendly sharing with others. It was interesting to listen to Tad working with the other participants. I got a lot out of it even though they were working with completely different niches.

I especially like his structured, strategic, precise and clear way of thinking. I hate the guts of marketing but he made it look really simple and easy and explained everything exactly. I so appreciate that. :-)

We clarified my niche and refined it a bit, which was helpful. I also decided for myself that the long list of symptoms including erection problems, lack of sex drive or never getting laid was too broad. Although my sessions definitely can help with that, I silently decided to focus just on porn addiction, excessive mental focus on sex and unwanted, compulsive fantasies or fetishes.

It’s easy to think of narrowing one’s focus as limiting – but the truth is that it’s liberating. Once you make a decision of a target market to focus on (even if you have more than one) all sorts of ideas for hubs and offers and events etc. start to appear.

Toward the end of the call, I started to feel anxious. I now knew how to manage and approach hubs and how to build relationships with them, but I still had no idea which hubs to approach and how to reach my perfect clients.

Fortunately I said it, and that’s when another participant on the call suggested I find them through their wives or girlfriends.

Porn addiction and shameful fantasies usually put a strain on the relationship, so I could find unhappy partners through support groups for partners of porn addicts.


This realization is kind of the key point in this blog.

Sometimes you can’t sell to the person directly. Sometimes to reach them you need to reach out the people most affected.

You think a heroine addict is going to sponsor their own intervention? Think again. But – his friends and family would.

You think a stressed out bride is going to buy a relaxation CD for ‘bridezillas’? Unlikely. But her bridesmaids and mom might love having something to give to her to help her relax.

And, in fact, then the affected party might just become a new target market.

In this case, the headline: “are you addicted to porn?” might or might not be more successful than, “is your boyfriend addicted to porn?”.

It’s worth testing. My gut says there would be a strong response from women on this.

Also, consider the word of mouth marketing implications. Do you think men talk to other men about their porn addictions?

Hell no.

Perhaps women share this with their friends a bit more readily? Worth exploring and I’d guess that, while there’s still shame, it’s more likely.

What if Rosine developed materials for the partners like videos or ebooks on . . .

– 5 ways to know if your man is addicted to porn and what to do about it.
– three phrases to never say when talking to you partner about their addiction
– how to get your partner to seek help and face his porn addiction
– when to end the relationship and walk away


If she did this she might just become a hub for women around the world who are passionate about having their men back and seeing men living more fulfilling lives. This also speaks to the whole theme I’ve been exploring lately about exploring the deeper cause of your business.

There are a lot of possibilities here.

There was a short brainstorming session and within just a couple minutes Tad and the ladies on the call came up with more ideas. Relationship coaches! Couple therapy counselors! And for the single guys, online dating websites or pick up and dating coaches, sexual health counsellors, women’s groups.

It was so awesome! So many ideas suddenly coming in! Genius. I would never have thought of these myself. I was so thankful.

The Impact it Had on Me:

Before the call, I thought it would be impossible to find clients in that niche.

This is just one project out of six, so I thought it didn’t matter that much whether it was successful or not. I thought it would simply be the smallest and least successful of my endeavours. I love computer type of guys very much and I really want to help them, so I was planning on going for it anyway regardless of the money, but I was counting on, like, one session a month in that project. I thought even if I help just one person in that area, it would already be worth it.

Now after the call, I think it could actually work! Even pretty well! Which also means I could actually help lots of people to heal their sex life! How wonderful is that?! I’m soooo excited about it now. :-)

It’s like a whole bunch of doors suddenly burst wide open.

Feeling very happy.

If you know of anybody I could talk to, like relationship coaches, couple therapists, support groups for partners of porn addicts, ‘pick up’ teachers, David Deida style manliness coaches for men or online dating website owners, would you please let me know? That would be so cool. <3 You can email me at rosine (at) rosinecaplot (dot) com or check out my website here: www.rosinecaplot.com


If you’d like get cool posts like this in your inbox every few days CLICK HERE to subscribe to my blog and you’ll also get a free copy of my fancy new ebook “Marketing for Hippies” when it’s done.


Want Help? If you’d like some more direct guidance and hand holding on figuring out your niche then go and check out my Niching for Hippies coaching program https://marketingforhippies.com/niching-for-hippies/




dan blank opines on how authors should build their platform

Dan Blank (pictured here) has become one of my favourite bloggers. His posts always seem to just nail it on the themes of authenticity and effectiveness.

And, recently, I’ve been seeing so many marketing workshops for authors and so I thought I’d do a little interview with Dan to get his take on it all.

Dan, what do you do?

I work with writers to help them build their brands and platforms, and with publishers to help them engage their communities. I do this via online courses, consulting, and I try to share as much as I can for free on my blog at WeGrowMedia.com

What are the top three blunders you see writers making with their marketing?

The top three mistakes I see most often are: not having a clear vision of what someone wants to accomplish with their CAREER. Writers need to look beyond just marketing one book, and beyond quantitative sales numbers that are not indicative of the effect they have on the world.

Now some people might say, ‘but having an impact won’t pay the bills. that sounds very warm and fuzzy but how do I make money!” how do you respond to that?

This speaks to another mistake I see people making very often: pursuing marketing tactic after marketing tactic, without a clear understanding of how it relates to their goals, the value to their business or financial needs, and the benefit to their audience or customers. So they run around like a hamster on a wheel, following the latest trends, or buying into the latest article they read on how to convert customers, but it doesn’t align to a core strategy – it doesn’t speak to their customer needs – and isn’t measured and implemented in a way that brings revenue. It’s easy to feel busy, but it’s better to feel successful. When you understand your specific goals, how that aligns to the specific needs of your audience, and take a long term approach. If there is one thing the recession should have taught all of us, it’s that quarter-by-quarter profit is tempting, but in the end, it doesn’t build a solid foundation for true success.

Second is having a clear sense of who their audience is. Oftentimes you find people are extremely general as to who their work might appeal to, in hopes that it appeals to everyone. But how can you build an audience and serve a community if you don’t know who you align to?

I talk about this a lot. how do you suggest people go about this? how does a writer go about defining their audience? can you give me three examples of writers and their audiences?

It can differ based on the type of writing or book – nonfiction, fiction, memoir, etc. For nonfiction, you can target industry organizations, societies, academic programs and leaders, conferences and events, online forums/blogs/etc – all laser focused on a very specific audience with very specific needs.

This is where books such as Malcolm Gladwell’s work (which I enjoy) do a disservice to other writers. Everyone now things that their book on sociology, or sports analogies, or observations on any specific niche, should have a broad mass market appeal. They may shy away from “just” building connections with a smaller niche because they have a grander vision for their work. But in the end, as the saying goes, if you try to please everyone, you end up pleasing no one.

Fiction and memoir can sometimes be different. You have to consider deeper themes that relate to segments of your audience, and consider how those people organize, where they are affiliated, and how they express those passions and desires. For instance, something about Eat, Pray, Love tapped into deeper things that a wide range of people already had within them. Harry Potter is not just a book about wizards, it deals with identity, hope, adventure, family, etc. These are all avenues to find and expand your audience.
Likewise – you have to dig through your book to find any way that it connects with an already-organized community. Is your main character a knitter? Reach out to knitting clubs and media. Does it take place in Oklahoma – reach out to bookstores and reading groups in that state.

Third is that they don’t know what to share. So they mean to connect with their audience in authentic ways, but often share too little, and go too quickly to overt publicity and marketing tactics, hoping to see quick results in terms of sales and audience size.

That’s interesting. i don’t think i’ve ever heard anyone talk about the dangers of marketing too soon. why do you see this as a mistake? what’s the worst case scenario here?

I think their is a difference between building connections to a community – building trust – learning about their passions and needs, and overt publicity and marketing. So it is definitely ideal to begin building connections to a community as early as possible. But if you jump right in with something to sell, you forfeit the opportunity to build real relationships that can last a lifetime. You are just someone selling something to them – a one sided relationship.

What are the top three hopes they need to let go of?

Romanticism seems to pervade many writers’ view of the publishing process. Publishing is a business. It is extremely hard work, whether you go the traditional route with an agent and publishing house, or out on your own self-publishing.

Yes, writers do get lucky – their work spreads like wildfire and magic happens. But for most, it is work – hard work – where every thing you gain is something you earned one small step at a time.

There are sooooo many ‘get your book on the best seller list’ seminars these days. what’s your take on them?

I like to consider what someone is building with their writing CAREER, not the performance of a single book.

You mentioned this before. can you give an example of how these two things might be different? it sounds like you work on the strategic level where as most of the marketing i see works on a very tactical level. can you share your thoughts on how their tactics might shift when they really consider their long term vision and strategy?

This comes back to goals and audience need. All tactics sound good in a vacuum, just as all stock tips sound good in a vacuum. But when you are balancing your own short and long term goals, when your audience has specific passions and needs, their own community practices, tactics alone may not give you the results you hope to find. This is where people can come across as “other” or insensitive.

How do you want your work to affect the world, how do you want to connect with readers. These things are not described in quantitative measures of sales. We get caught up in them though because they are easy benchmarks, and because we ASSUME that with that type of “success” other opportunities follow. But if you start off on your journey on the wrong path, seeking the wrong goals, then you can’t expect to find what you are looking for.

What are most authors really looking for? or what do you think they’d be best served to look for?
That is a complicated answer, and often different for each writer. I think that, in general, when we create and share, we are looking for validation, identity, connection, and a legacy. Sometimes this can be reflected in sales figures, number of books sold, Twitter followers, etc. But not always, and I think an writer or creative person should careful consider their real goals, and how they can be best achieved, regardless of the standard measures of success in the overall publishing industry.

What are the top three foundational marketing approaches you would offer to a writer?

Do your research – know who you are writing for.
Share what you write, get it out of the drawer.
Connect with people – build relationships, not marketing channels.

To learn more about Dan and his fine work just go to:



If you’d like get cool posts like this in your inbox every few days CLICK HERE to subscribe to my blog and you’ll also get a free copy of my fancy new ebook “Marketing for Hippies” when it’s done.


six marketing lessons from a recent facebook note

I just wrote a facebook note that got a school two new perfect (and much needed) teachers in less than two weeks.

And it reminded me about some important marketing principles.

A couple of months ago, I got to reconnect over drinks with two old school mates Rachael and Netta (pictured right).

We went to a Waldorf  School together.

Waldorf is an alternative school that based on the idea of educating the whole child. It was a beautiful thing for me.

And then a few weeks later Netta emailed me asking if I knew anyone who might be a good candidate to be a Waldorf teacher. No one immediately came to mind but I thought I might if I really sat down and thought about it. I looked through my calendar a began to feel that stress you feel when you really want to help someone but can’t find the time. She needed a teacher in two weeks.

“Could you come by the school while we do work on the new building and we could talk about it then?” Netta asked.

That worked. Anything that combines things is usually a win for me. I get to hang out with an old friend, see the school I’ve meant to visit for the past three years and felt immensely guilty for not checking out and help her out.

The next week she came and picked me up and as she painted walls I busted out my laptop and started plowing through my facebook friends list looking for potential candidates. In the end, I came across 15 potentials and one I was ridiculously excited about.

So I created a facebook note (see below), posted it and tagged the people in question.

Within two weeks they had their teachers (including the one I was most excited about).

Here are the six marketing lessons I want you to get from this:

1) Social Media: Word of mouth works best when things are easy to share. That can mean everything from a simple URL, to tickets people can pass on, to a simple story that can be easily repeated. Or it can be a facebook note that’s easy to share. Social media has made sharing things so easy. One of the teachers who got the job was my friend who I tagged. The other was someone with whom this note was shared. Someone I’ve never met.

2) Hubs: If you want the word spread about something important, it’s worth it to do whatever it takes to get hubs to help you. They are already well connected to and well respected by people in the communities you’re trying to reach. Netta might never have reached these two teachers by herself. And they might have been more suspicious and unsure if the endorsement hadn’t come from me. If you’re struggling to reach people, stop struggling – take a hub out for coffee. You might know know how to reach the people you need to reach, but there are people who are. And it’s worth treating them to dinner, paying for their time for their contacts. It will save you so much time and money.

3) Headline: Notice this headline is not “can you help out my friend?” or even, “teaching job”. I am speaking right to the person reading it. The headline’s ONLY purpose is to get their attention and establish relevance. Period. So, first, I name WHERE it’s relevant to since it’s on facebook. Then I name that it’s a teaching job at an alternative school and that the money is good (important!).

4) Is it a fit?: I think any kind of sales letter or notice or homepage should have a piece about ‘this could be a good fit if . . .’ where you list the criteria. I did this recently on my new workbook on how you can get more people on your email list. Carrie Klassen talks about doing this on your homepage in her new workbook about creating a homepage your ideal clients would love.

5) Tell a story: I told a story to give people the feeling of the school. Most people don’t use stories enough in their marketing.

6) Ask for the action: At the end, I explicitly ask them to take an action. I ask them to spread the word. I give them the email of the person to reach. Als0 – here’s a subtle bonus distinction: don’t always write your promo pieces asking the reader to sign up. Sometimes I think it’s even more effective to say, ‘do you know anyone who wants _______?’. I think there’s less pressure in that approach and less assumption – but anyone reading it for whom it is a fit will still resonate with it.


Here’s the note:

EDMONTON: Want to teach at an amazing alternative school for good money?

by Tad Hargrave on Tuesday, June 14, 2011 at 7:46pm

Do you know someone who’d like to teach at a progressive, alternative, whole child focused kind of school?

Maybe you?

I grew up going to a Waldorf school from Kindergarten (which I took for two years because I was special) until grade 6. It was amazing. It’s the school I’d want to send my children to.

If you’re reading this – you’re the kind of person I would have loved to have as a teacher.

The Edmonton Waldorf school is figuring out who will be their teachers for next year, right now. They’ve moved into a new building and it’s all very exciting.

This could be a wonderful opportunity for you if:

– you have a bachelors of education

– $60,000/year for the full time positions sounds great

– you have a pioneering spirit and are excited to be a part of a wonderful, growing community

– you’re excited to familiarize yourself with what Waldorf is all about (I think you’ll kind of love it). That might mean traveling to go to various workshops and intensives where you’ll meet amazing people and learn a lot about yourself, teaching and childhood

The teaching positions available:

– Kindergarten (half time, four mornings per week)

– Grade 1-2 (full time)

What was Waldorf life for me?

In kindergarten we would sit carting wool, then spinning it and then knitting our own recorder cases. I was, possibly, the only child at my school who never really learned how to play.

We learned Greek, Roman and Norse myths in elementary school, having Homer’s Osyssey told to us by the teacher from the front of the room. We would bake our own bread in class, play capture the flag in Mill Creek ravine and somehow consistently persuade our french teacher to let us play soccer during french class (“Okay! But you guys need to speak in french while we play!”).

My best memories are the Summer Solstice bonfires at Hawrelack Park where are the families and children would get together for a big end of the year picnic and celebrate. Then, when it was dark, we would gather around the fire for stories. So many happy memories from those times. The school, to my immense heartbreak, collapsed when I was in grade 6 due to politics I have never fully understood.

In short, a part of my life I wouldn’t trade for anything.

Do you know anyone?

If you know someone like this – can you let them know today? They’re making final decisions in the next ten days. I just found out.

And share this with anyone you can think of. Post it on your wall. Hire skywriters. That kind of thing.

For more info email Netta: netta (at) wese (dot) ca


If you’d like get cool posts like this in your inbox every few days CLICK HERE to subscribe to my blog and you’ll also get a free copy of my fancy new ebook “Marketing for Hippies” when it’s done.