The MindFuel Entrepreneur Podcast

Episode 183. Samantha Hearne: Problem Solving, Organic Business Growth, And Community Building


Samantha Hearne is a business coach who is rocking her business. Samantha has built a global community, runs a successful membership, published a best-selling book, serves hundreds of women across the globe in building their online businesses and running 5 star events in the UK and US.

On this episode, we chat about things like organic business growth, resilience and mindset, and so much more. It’s gonna be an explosive episode.

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We have to recognize that we choose to stay in a pattern of challenge or we choose to go into a pattern of solution. I think my mindset is always no matter how difficult things are, how could I just make this better? What possible solution is there? And I'm not saying it's easy, but I am saying that it's a choice that we can make.

How did you go from being a teacher to becoming a coach, and then becoming a published author?

I think the most important thing, and this is the top tip I always give as well... so I was a teacher. I loved being a teacher and I still. That's still such a huge part of my passion.

I didn't have this kind of moment of everything went wrong and I thought let's try and do something else. My life was going really well. I loved my job. I was doing a really, really great role in a really successful school. I just thought maybe there's more for me.

It was just this inkling, you know, let's just see. So I put together my passion for photos and traveling and being online and just started an Instagram account. And I think sometimes entrepreneurs and people that starts out in business, we over-complicate things.

I just started an account. I started posting my first business and it was all around anxiety coaching because that's what I had experienced. That's what I'd kind of overcome and conquered and really worked hard on. So I focused on mental health anxiety.

My book was on anxiety and I made that a really, really big focus, and I just started sharing. I created motivational content. I started networking with people. I started building a community.

So yeah, I went from teaching into starting an Instagram. I carried on teaching at the same time, so I was still working, building my business, building my community. I didn't even start selling anything for the first six months. I just focused on growing a community and learning, and people seeing who I was, learning my name, knowing what my brand was about.

And then obviously it starts to ripple from there. And of course now it's a bit different. I have a team and I've got all of these different strategies. But at the start, I just spoke to people. That was it. I just started to build connections and got my name out there.

On your website, it says, "entrepreneurship is about growth and trying new things". What's something new that you've recently tried in your business and did it work?

Yeah, and I do stand by that. I think entrepreneurship is all about innovation, and any business or person that has a business, innovation is such an important part. We have to be able to innovate, and we have to be able to try new things, and almost put ourselves in this creative space that people can be constantly excited by.

So something new that I've been trying, I've actually recently started to learn more about the new app Clubhouse. It wasn't part of my business model or my marketing model, but I've just started to again, go back to basics, make connections, meet people, talk to people and just see how I feel about it. And that's where I'm at.

So it's not impacting my business. The one thing I would say is when you are trying new things, you don't want it to be to the detriment of the things that you're doing and doing well. So I'm trying this, seeing what happens, but it's not at the detriment of everything else that I'm doing in my business. And that that's really important.

What about something new for your own personal development? So outside of your business, what have you been trying something new to grow?

Boxing. Whilst we're recording this in the UK, we're still in the situation of lockdown and I'm not being able to do too much. My husband and I really love exercise and being active, and we normally travel a lot and do a lot of adventurous things.

We've just bought our own big boxing thing. So this morning, and every Thursday morning, we do our own little boxing circuit. So yeah, that's something new and I really enjoy it because it's different.

I also really enjoy it because you're using your body in a different way. I think when, even with exercise, you get used to how you work out, you get used to what you're doing. So, yeah, boxing is the one thing that I've been doing.

So 2020, 2021 - super challenging years for entrepreneurs, big or small. What has been the biggest challenge or a couple of the big challenges that you face as an entrepreneur or in your business that you can share of us, and what have you done to overcome those challenges?

I think the biggest thing in entrepreneurship that we need to recognize is mindset is the reason that we find ourselves stuck in certain situations. So in 2020, COVID, the Corona virus, it started to come out. I was actually in LA at the time for an event, and funnily enough, I was there for a day and had to fly home because the flight home got canceled.

And I remember coming home and feeling nervous and I sat down with my husband and I was like, I don't know what this is going to mean. I don't know what's going to happen. I cannot believe this, what on earth?

But then I thought to myself, there's two options. You innovate, you try new things, you put yourself out there, you give everything a go. Or you fall victim to the circumstances around you.

So I think some of the biggest challenges for the last 18 months has been navigating my own emotions and not being able to see my family and my loved ones, but also navigating my client's emotions and managing, because predominantly I focused on business strategy success, but ultimately my clients are people just like I am.

And there's been so many more challenges than ever before. I think that's been something I've had to manage my own, but also my clients. But ultimately the biggest thing we have to take away from any challenge in business, health, relationships, lifestyle, pandemics, whatever it is, is we need to recognize that no matter what's happening, we have a choice as to how we show up for ourselves.

If you're listening to that thinking, yeah, I choose but is not as easy as that, that is a choice. We have to recognize that we choose to stay in a pattern of challenge or we choose to go into a pattern of solution.

I think my mindset is always no matter how difficult things are, how could I just make this better? What possible solution is there? And I'm not saying it's easy, but I am saying that it's a choice that we can make.

You mentioned the word solution. I'm wondering if you can share your problem solving process when you face a problem?

I think the thing I always try and do is questioning. I always say the quality of your question promotes the quality of the response. Even today, for example, one of my clients had a question and I said, what do you want to achieve from this? What are you looking for? And they were like, oh, I haven't really thought about that.

We always focus on the problem. First, if it's with my team or in my business, I always think, what do I actually want to get from this?

So it's all well and good that I'm feeling this way or this isn't working or that's not working, or we've had this challenge, but where do I want to go with this?

So I think that the number one thing that I always try and do when it comes to a solution is gain clarity on - where you want to go with the problem that you're experiencing in your business? What can I do or where do I want to be to stop this being a problem? What do I want the outcome to be?

That's what I try and focus on.

Do you do things like journaling or meditation to help you through the problem solving process?

Yeah, for sure. That's such an important point. And I think that how everyone's processing is different. So if you use journaling or meditation which is so important for me, that is how my brain works.

And I think definitely from being in teaching and everything's fast paced and you're constantly reacting, my brain is almost wired that way. So I do journal sometimes, but not consistently. The one thing I do if I am in a situation where I just can't find the solution is, I either have a bath - that's my favorite thing, or I sit down with my husband and we sit at the dining room table and we just talk about it.

I don't know what I want yet, but talking about it will help me. So sometimes my processing is actually a conversation.

Do you guys work together?

No. He's a director of a company. So he does a very different business, very different jobs to me.

I think sometimes if you only talk to people that are in your line of work, it can get really restricting. So absolutely having conversations with him and with people outside of business, that sometimes where I get the best ideas.

Let's talk about organic business growth. You mentioned how you grew up business early in the days with Instagram. Once you went past that and you actually started your actual business, what did you do in terms of organic business growth that really worked for your business?

One of the first things I did was start a Facebook group because I wanted to have a safe space and a safe community, and because I was focusing on anxiety, mental health, mindset. I wanted to save space.

My Instagram was then drawing everyone possible and promoting this group. And then in my group, I did two lives a week. The group grew to 2,500 and then I actually closed in January 2019, just because my business had moved in different directions.

I started focusing on different things, but I focused on a space where people could be in a community with me. So if you're thinking not of a Facebook group, it could be a close friends list on Instagram. It could be your own LinkedIn room, it could be on your email list.

What can you do to draw people into having more of a connection with you and a belonging in your community?

And once I did that, all of my organic growth then came from this group. I would get everyone in the group. I would constantly add value. I was always visible. I was super consistent and I was really focused on adding value and also learning what they needed.

So when I did come to selling or creating something or bringing out a coaching, I already knew they needed it because I connected with my people.

And I think that's something we've start as entrepreneurs. We can spend months and months and months creating the perfect program or perfect product, but we haven't actually found the people that need that yet.

So it's almost, we're almost second guessing what they would need. Whereas for me, I'd done so much on building my community. I was super clear on what they needed and then I was able to offer it to them, and they were almost grateful that I listened to them and created solutions that they need.

Facebook group has changed so much since when you first started it, versus now where a lot of people are saying it's pointless to start a Facebook group to build a community. Do you think it's still worth diving into Facebook groups for organic business growth?

I think it depends on who your ideal client is. With some of my clients, if they were focusing on mums as their ideal client, as a demographic, mums love to feel like they're not alone. It's a really difficult journey. A lot of the time you can feel judged. And Facebook groups is a really great place for them to feel supported and have a community.

But if you're focusing on entrepreneurs, groups might be something that is almost... there's just too many of them. If you're focusing on people that are really corporate, they might not be on Facebook. So I think it depends on who your ideal client is.

But if you have an ideal client that craves belonging and will use Facebook and is in that space - 100%, because the problems that people face now are still there. When I started my group, people were not seeing the notifications, so it's your job because you are the leader of the group to tag people, be in there, make sure people do see it, start conversations, innovate the space.

But definitely I think they still have their place in the online market.

Since you've closed down your Facebook group, which was a huge engagement driver, what are you doing right now? What's what has been your main marketing focus in terms of traffic driving and awareness?

So Instagram is my main platform now and where I spend the majority of my time. Also my Facebook business page, I've got a podcast as well, but we also do a lot of repurposing.

So I will record a training video, which once a week goes onto my Facebook page, the audio then goes onto my podcast. All of the information from that then goes out to my email list once a week in the inside scoop.

And then my Instagram is where it's a lot more daily interaction. Plus we have lots of freebies. So my website's got lots of different free support, free trainings, masterclasses. And then from all of that free value, the majority of the time people funnel back to follow me, usually on Instagram, learn more, consume from me, ask me questions, get in the DMS, that kind of stuff.

What is one question that you wish that entrepreneurs will ask you about organic business growth? That it's so important, but they're just not asking you about

I think the biggest misconception is that it's quick and easy, and as soon as you get online and say that you've got a product or a program, people will buy it.

So I think a question that supported long-term growth and patience when you're building. I think that's the confusion. People focus on building social media versus building a business.

When you're building a business, it's not quick. There's so many things you have to learn - tax accounts, the legal side, having a team, systems, processes, marketing. There's so many things, but we just say, well, I've got a thousand followers, so surely people want to buy my services, which is amazing.

And I definitely didn't really understand what about when I started. So I think the question that's focused on, how do I make sure that I don't miss the mark and get too caught up in quick results and quick wins? How can I focus more on building a sustainable business for the long term?

5k versus six figures. What is the difference in terms of strategies to focus for a 5K business versus a six-figure business?

5K is a lot more about visibility, content, consistency community. For six figures, it's a lot more about systems, automations processes, next steps, planning strategy. Yeah. That would be the biggest differences.

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