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Even if you have no dreams of speaking on a stage— there are fundamental skills you must master as a business owner to effectively communicate with your audience. Especially if you have a desire to reach more people and create scalable programs.
In today’s episode, you’ll hear from Speak Up to Level Up member, Serena Shoup, a CPA running a virtual bookkeeping business dedicated to helping course creators. She’s someone who would not classify herself as a speaker and hated the idea of being in front of people, but had a heart to be a mentor, a desire to serve and an idea for a new offer in her business.
If leveling up in your business, reaching for bigger things, making a bigger impact with your voice and your heart is something that you’re sitting with right now, I want you to listen to this interview as Serena shares her story of transformation and how she embraces her fear on stage and use it as fuel to accomplish her goals for her business.
A few of my favorite episode Highlights
Let’s take it back to two years ago when you and I first crossed paths, what did your business look like back then?
“It was right around the time that I was wanting to coach other bookkeepers and accountants. I was a couple years into my business. I was definitely feeling like all the imposter syndrome. I see these people struggling and I know I can help them but I haven’t really been at it in my own business long enough.
I already had 15 years of corporate experience doing finances, bookkeeping, accounting, and all of that, leading teams. But I still was really unsure of myself and afraid of putting myself out there to start this other arm of my business of coaching and mentoring other bookkeepers and accountants.”
When and how did you discover that you wanted to start thinking about getting better at communication and exploring speaking skills?
“I’ve always had major extreme stage fright with performances and getting in front of and talking in front of people. I would get like the shakes, getting in front of the room of just like 10 people that I knew really well.
And I was like if I’m going to start building a personal brand with my bookkeeping business and this other coaching aspect, I probably need to get better at speaking. I need to get better at articulating my thoughts. I am not so great at speaking.”
What was coming to mind for you when you were considering this idea of, do I need a speaking coach?
“Part of what you talk about is that speaking is happening in any communication, whether it’s with your family, business colleagues, on discovery calls, and I was doing a lot of discovery calls at that point.
So I was like, ‘okay, so even if I don’t end up building a personal brand and coaching other bookkeepers and putting myself out there online, I can still benefit from this purely just by my discovery calls and communicating with my one on one clients.’ That’s where I convinced myself that I needed one because I can use this in every area of my life.”
What and where did you start noticing about your own communication when you started learning and raising your awareness around what effective speaking was?
“I obviously started noticing how awkward I was. One of the other really big ones, and I’m still sort of bad at it. I know I’ve improved a little bit, but my filler words were super bad because I feel when there’s a moment of silence, that’s when my nerves really kick in.”
I started noticing the improvement by just showing up every day on stories and being very highly aware of how much I was using filler words, so that was step one. Then as I was starting to go through your program, I was also building a course and so I was creating slides, creating lessons, and talking on video. I definitely stepped out of my comfort zone with that by actually putting a face to the camera in addition to the slides because I felt that was kind of important. It was a really good learning experience in getting better on camera.”
What does your business look like today compared to two years ago?
“We’re creeping up on 200,000 in total revenue. So I think in the first year we actually did hit 100,000 in revenue on just the course mentoring side. This year, I’m hoping to hit at least that, probably more.
Could you imagine two years ago, you’re running boot camps like that and doing live series and being able to sell so fluidly?
“Not at all. If you had told me two years ago or three years ago that I would be teaching 200 people, I wouldn’t have believed you. I would have been like, yeah, right. Stage fright, Serena, no way.”
What have you learned over the last two years that has allowed you to grow your programs in this way?
“Two things – one of them is really working on my money mindset and detaching myself. Just that personal development side of really getting more comfortable with myself as a person, loving myself, not caring what other people think, so that has helped tremendously.
And in turn with that learning that it’s okay to have my own communication style. I don’t need to be this polished buttoned up accountant that some people expect out of our industry. I think that’s my edge. And I like to show other bookkeepers and accountants that they get to be awkward, too, because we all are, to some extent.”
About Serena Shoup:
Serena is a mom of three and CPA running a virtual bookkeeping business dedicated to helping course creators and online experts manage their cash and make informed decisions based on their numbers when it comes to launching, growing, and scaling.
Serena’s also a course creator herself so she’s familiar with the various strategies that are working in the industry and offers that insight to her clients. She and her team are Certified Profit First Professionals and Xero Certified Advisors, using the latest cloud technology with their clients, enabling them to work with anyone in the US with ease.
If you’re a course creator, book a free discovery call: ofcoursebookkeeping.as.me/discovery
Enter coupon: FREEDISCOVERY
Previous Episodes mentioned:
To know more about the paid launch strategy -> check out Josh & Jill Stanton
Did you enjoy this episode? Here is some related content that you may be interested in:
- 3 Cues That Tell You It’s Time to Level Up – Ep #129
- My 5 Best On Camera Speaking Tips – Ep #121
- Creating Powerful Presence – Ep #119
- 4 Confidence Boosting Secrets for Live Streaming – Ep #51
- From Stage Fright to the Spotlight with Natalie Workman – Ep #40
- Conquer Camera Fear & Create Engaging Videos – Ep #38
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