Andrea Liebross believes every woman entrepreneur or CEO has her own secret sauce to success. Whether they are fledgling entrepreneurs or seven-figure business owners, she coaches them to face the unique challenges of each stage in their growth and to reach the next level in their businesses and lives.
Let’s take a look at Liebross’ story of building her coaching practice and the mindset, systems, and tools that helped her along the way. Don’t forget to check out Liebross’ Productivity Stack Checklist and Read-Listen list at the end of the article.
Table of Contents
- Scaling & Success
- Other Recommended Tools/Systems
- Hindsight: What Liebross would have done differently
- Liebross’s Read-Listen List
- Liebross’ Productivity Stack Quick Reference
- More About Andrea Liebross
Challenge 1: Building self-belief
Liebross got frustrated in her last corporate job where she did coaching, recruitment, and training for over ten years. Management would say she had great ideas, but never implemented them. When a colleague told her, “You know what, you’re really good at the coaching aspect of this job. You should start your own business,” she dismissed the idea and tried to find another job. But when she realized that wasn’t working out either, she finally decided to set up her own business.
She knew that she could set up various systems to get things going, but also knew that the more important component was getting her mindset right. “How was I going to grow this business? Now I could have a system to grow, like a marketing kind of system. But really what fuels the system are my thoughts and belief in myself. If you’ve got the right thinking, the [right] actions kind of come along.”
Solution: Liebross invested in a business coach to help her navigate the self-doubt and confusion. And then she took action. She got certified as a life coach, registered her business, built her website, and even took out a zero-interest credit card as a source of capital.
The credit card interest rate was due to kick in by the 12th month, but she earned enough to pay off the entire balance in six months. The very well-defined period to achieve her short-term goals was very motivating and helped her build the confidence she needed.
Today, Liebross still counts the right mindset as an indispensable half of the secret sauce to success. Her framework hones in on both mindset and systems as the two key ingredients for her clients to build the business and life that they want.
People: Liebross, her business coach
Systems: Working with a business coach, taking action, setting time-bound goals, performance pressure
Tools: Google Calendar, zero-interest credit card
Challenge 2: Help with the backend of the business
Through networking, referrals, and actively pitching offers, it wasn’t long before Liebross was fully booked with one-on-one clients. She found herself feeling overwhelmed as she updated her calendar with never-ending appointments.
“I kind of remember I was on a plane. It was probably April, and I booked myself out till the end of June. I thought, ‘Okay, I need to put in all my clients’ recurring appointments for July and beyond.’ And I realized, ‘This is craziness!’ It didn’t feel right.”
She knew it wasn’t good for her (nor her clients) that she be overextended this way. Apart from the actual coaching sessions, she was juggling several other aspects of the business: her social media presence, email newsletter, bookkeeping, podcasting, the calendar and administrative side of things, and more! She felt burnout was on the horizon. “I realized that in order to do the best work on the frontend (her client-facing or coaching role), I needed help on the backend.”
Solution: With that realization, she quickly hired people to help. “I was a pretty early adopter of contractors to help me. I wanted to leverage their expertise in what they did. And I wanted to free up time to do what I wanted to do, which was to coach, but also to give me space to think and explore different concepts, like what I wanted to change in my business.”
She hired contractors who were experts on Dubsado, QuickBooks, graphics, copywriting, podcast management, web design, photography, and eventually publishing (for her book currently in the works).
She admits she needed another mindset shift in getting comfortable with outsourcing work. Liebross’s insight was, “I had to consciously decide that B- work that’s turned in is better than A+ work that’s never turned in. Sometimes, when we let go, or we let someone else help us, we fear that what they’re going to do for us is not A+ work, or it’s not how we would have done it. And you know what, if it’s B- work and it’s done, it’s okay. I’m always striving for hiring people who will do A+ work, but that was really a good thing for me to think about.”
In addition to hiring, she also started using more tools like Project Broadcast, which is a text messaging system, Hello Audio, which records audio from Zoom coaching sessions, and the Full Focus Planner by Michael Hyatt. The Full Focus Planner is a paper planner that has questions and prompts to help you organize your time. Liebross found this tool so impactful that she got a Full Focus Planner certification to coach others on how to maximize the tool.
People: Liebross, her team
Systems: Outsourcing or hiring for non-core tasks, using tools/technology
Tools: Google Calendar, Full Focus Planner, Quickbooks, Dubsado, Canva, Project Broadcast, Hello Audio, Zoom
Challenge 3: Can I afford it? Forecasting cash flow and timely decision-making
Liebross used QuickBooks for her bookkeeping and accounting needs. But she needed a tool to study her cash flow, help her forecast, and provide a systematic way to look at her finances. Ultimately, she wanted something to help her quickly decide what she could and should spend on or invest in. This was a challenge not just for Liebross but for many of her clients who needed help with financial planning and financial management.
“QuickBooks and a bookkeeper – that’s all after the fact. You need a tool or a system to help you project, forecast, and make decisions on where you want your money to go.”
Solution: Liebross hired a You Need a Budget (YNAB) expert to help her start with the tool. YNAB uses a ‘zero-based budgeting’ approach which means the user has to assign every dollar to a category of spending. This helps them be more intentional and forward-looking with their finances.
Liebross found that the YNAB approach helped eliminate the lag in decision-making about business spending. It was so effective that she got certified as a coach for YNAB herself. She even added it as one of her coaching offers. She shares, “I did hire You Need A Budget coaches to work under me because a lot of my clients need that piece of the puzzle as they are growing their businesses.”
People: Liebross, YNAB expert
Systems: Investing in the ‘best tool’ for your purpose and maximizing the use of it
Scaling & Success
Challenge 4: How to hit higher revenue goals and serve more people when you’re fully booked
From the very beginning, Liebross set very specific goals on revenue and the number of clients she wanted to serve. But she found herself fully booked with one-on-one clients and not quite hitting her revenue goal.
She tells us, “At that point, I was serving the maximum number of people I could serve in that format. I realized that there were only so many hours in a day. So to get to my revenue goal, I had to switch something up. I always say there are three things you can switch: You can either charge more, you can serve more or have more clients, or you can offer something different.”
But more than the revenue goal, she also knew there was an unmet demand for her services. She got to thinking about how she could better serve her clients. She says, “I love to work with people one-on-one. But I also think there’s huge value to working with people in a group setting because you start to learn from others.”
Solution: Liebross decided to change her pricing and coaching offers. She remembers, “Again, it was a lot of changing the way I was thinking about things and then putting systems into place to support that thinking.”
She segmented her client base into three subgroups: 1) Starter entrepreneurs, who may be confused and overwhelmed and can benefit greatly from group coaching and a community; 2) Stable or profitable entrepreneurs who need help with systems and crave ideas from others, so she offers a mastermind approach with one-on-one coaching and 3) Seven-figure entrepreneurs, for whom the offer is strategic one-on-one coaching.
Systems: Changing pricing and adding more offers to scale the business, using group coaching format, segmenting client base to make offers and pricing appropriate for each
Tools: Google Calendar, Full Focus Planner, Quickbooks, YNAB
Challenge 5: Distribution: Podcast guesting and learning to say “No”
Liebross thinks of her marketing efforts in terms of three phases. Phase one was networking and referrals, which she used in the first couple of years of her coaching practice. Phase two was marketing through her own podcast entitled “Time to Level Up,” which she launched in November 2020. She is currently in the third phase, where she actively seeks out podcast guesting opportunities.
“I’m at a place where I want to help even more people. And I think this next challenge is growing my audience and reaching [even more] potential clients.”
How could she maximize podcast guesting, and how does she choose what speaking engagements to agree to?
Solution: Liebross tells us, “Podcast guesting definitely grows the reach. And I’ve created a whole system on how to do that, how to reach out to potential guest opportunities. The second thing that I’ve done in this phase is to figure out how to say no to things.”
She has learned to examine what opportunities align with her business goals and serve her target market. She knows she has to be strategic about the use of her time and brain power. For example, she was recently approached to speak to a group of retirees. She was pretty sure she could help them, but because this wasn’t her target audience and the opportunity didn’t fit with her marketing strategy to grow her business, she declined.
People: Liebross, her team
Systems: Focusing on her ideal client
Tools: Google Calendar, Full Focus Planner
Challenge 6: How to create more time?
As a busy entrepreneur, carving out time for herself or working on the business is always a challenge. She says, “We can all put down appointments with other people, and 99% of the time, we’re going to show up. But the appointments with ourselves, that’s a commitment that you can easily break.”
Solution: Liebross goes back to a tool she mentioned earlier that has helped her sort out her days. “I max out on my calendar system of using both Google Calendar and this Full Focus Planner to leverage my time.” She has mastered combining the digital calendar and her paper planner.
Her daily activities all stem from her quarterly goals. She breaks them down into weekly and daily to-dos. Every Sunday, she would think about the big three things she needs to accomplish within the week. After that, she would break those down further into the big three things she wants to accomplish in a day. This has been very effective for her to stay on track with her goals and manage work so it doesn’t get overwhelming. She also coaches her clients to find their systems to get around the busyness of everyday and create time to move closer to their goals.
Systems: Time blocking, focusing on daily or weekly three things to accomplish, breaking down goals into smaller tasks
Tools: Google Calendar, Full Focus Planner
Other Recommended Tools/Systems
Liebross mentioned Trello as one of her team’s indispensable tools. They use it to communicate by tagging each other on relevant cards to ask a question, and it also serves as a form of storage and organizer for various projects.
She also adopted some of the theories behind Gino Wickman’s Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS) to guide her in scaling her business. The EOS talks about getting an organization to pull together in one direction with a clear vision, buy-in across the board, and systematized processes.
Hindsight: What Liebross would have done differently
When asked what she would have done differently in her entrepreneurial journey, Liebross says, “I wish I had thought bigger beyond tomorrow, sooner.” She believes being more ambitious from the outset would have helped her achieve more. The mindset that comes with bigger goals dictates choices and actions supporting the bigger vision.
Liebross tells us, “Being an entrepreneur is a journey in personal development disguised as an entrepreneurial adventure.” In her journey, she has continuously invested in leveling up her mindset or learning new tools and systems to break through to the next stages. Her framework and methods have helped her scale up to a six-figure business in less than five years. And this is the same secret sauce she helps her clients figure out for themselves. Her emphasis on goal-setting, making sure your actions align with your vision, and taking a forward-looking approach (especially on finances!) undoubtedly were big contributors to her success, as well.
This year, she aims to not just take steps forward in her business, but to leap! She has started on a new adventure writing a book, and we wish her the best as she takes her business to new heights.
Liebross’s Read-Listen List
- Focus on This Podcast by Michael Hyatt and Company
- Mind Your Mindset by Michael Hyatt and Meghan Hyatt Miller
- You Need a Budget Podcast
Liebross’ Productivity Stack Quick Reference
- Google Calendar
- Zero-interest credit card
Scaling & Success Stack
More About Andrea Liebross
Andrea Liebross is an author, certified business and life coach, and host of the Time to Level Up podcast. She’s known for helping high-achieving women entrepreneurs make the shift from overwhelm to freedom, so they stop thinking small and start thinking big. Through her work, she guides bold, ambitious women to create their own secret sauce for success by combining two ingredients: the right mindset and solid systems.
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