About the episode
In this episode of the Mom Owned and Operated podcast, Rita Suzanne and Allison Nelson discuss raising a family, running a business and remembering yourself.
Allison Nelson is a business coach for women who want to scale their business with effective group coaching programs. She is a mama, marketing expert, counselor. podcaster, international speaker and educator. She weaves all of her experience into her business so that her clients are taking massive action towards growing their online business and taking care of their family.
And grab her free workbook to you, From 1:1 to Group: Create a Successful Coaching Program in 3 Steps.
Listen to the episode
Allison Nelson, Rita Suzanne
Rita Suzanne 00:01
Welcome to the mom owned and operated Podcast, the podcast about moms and for moms, where we have candid conversations about running a business, raising a family, and remembering ourselves. I’m your host, Rita Suzanne, a single mom of four, digital strategist and provider of no nonsense business strategies and tactics. Hi, I’m Rita Suzanne. And today I have my guest, Allison Nelson. With me, Alison, thank you so much for joining me today. And I look forward to getting to know more about you, your business and your family. Please tell us all about all the things.
Allison Nelson 00:43
Sure. So I am a business strategist and a group coaching expert. So I help female coaches get better results for their clients in group coaching programs. Whether that means you haven’t started one because you’ve been intimidated by it, and you’ve just been doing one to one, or you did start one and didn’t love it for whatever reason, and you decided it wasn’t for you, but you still want to scale your business. That’s that’s what I do. So I am a mom of a little girl. She’s six. And we live in Connecticut. And that’s it.
Rita Suzanne 01:15
That’s it? Well, I mean, that’s enough, right? Like I always say that, you know, when you have just a single child, sometimes I feel like I have four. But when you have just one I feel like it’s a maybe sometimes a little bit harder. Some people think it’s easier. But you know, that child just relies on you for all their entertainment.
Allison Nelson 01:35
Yeah, well, that’s true. That’s true. Yeah, I do. I mean, I’m an only child myself. So I’ve been fielding that forever. Yeah, it literally feels like since the beginning of time for me. And so yeah, there’s pros and cons to having four kids in same way. There’s pros and cons to having one. And yeah, there is there is that element of like, you know, she goes to the playground after school, for example, with her friends. And they’re like, We gotta go, we can’t stay out here all the time. And I’m like, I can stay out here forever, because we’re just, I’ll just bring her home, and she’ll play outside and be by herself. Like that would be good. Right?
Rita Suzanne 02:10
Exactly. Well, and then So tell me, what was your path of becoming an entrepreneur? How did that all start?
Allison Nelson 02:18
Yeah. So when I had my daughter, I had been working in education, I was working in high school. And I ended up not going back to that job because they were, they wanted to be flexible with me before I had the baby. And then after I had the baby, that was a different story. And so at that point, my husband said, You know what, just stay home and be with her. So about a year later, he and I started a an E commerce boutique. And we sold T shirts, and mugs and all that stuff. But what I found, someone told me to start a Facebook group, because that would be a good way to get like VIP customers. And so I had so much fun with the Facebook group, like way more fun with the Facebook group and with like, actual business. And I think it showed I mean, a lot of people were interested in the products but more interested in how I had a business with a two year old and how I had a business with my husband, we were partners and what I do first and how I time manage and all that stuff. And so I started answering those questions. And I started realizing I have a counseling degree, and I was in education. And I felt like coaching was just the right next step for me. So I tried to do them both at the same time, help people with their business and run my own. But when the pandemic hit, it just did not make any sense to do both. And so we ended up just moving on with the coaching. And so that has sort of been that was sort of my step in.
Rita Suzanne 03:46
And who do you who’s like your primary? Who do you help primarily with your business?
Allison Nelson 03:51
Yeah. So at first, when I stepped in I was I really wanted to help women who were starting their business, who were, who had been kind of like working on it on their own, but really needed some, we’re really starting to get frustrated with not getting results. So maybe they were in business for 123 years, coaches, service providers. And I noticed that a lot of people were so obsessed with this 10k month, the 10k month, the 10k month and I was like, you know, if you can make $300 a month, that could that’s something that can duplicate it to, you know, six or $900 a month. And then we can talk about the 10k once you get to one or 2k So I created this group program called fast track to four figures and it was all about just getting to four figure monthly income. Because the 10k just felt like it was holding people back it was just like, no one can really start to see the result of 10k when they haven’t when they don’t even know if they can do 1k
Rita Suzanne 04:46
Right because it’s so so far away, right? Yeah, exactly. Yeah. So
Allison Nelson 04:49
that was my that was my thing for a couple of years. And you know, I a lot of people that I worked with wanted to create their own group programs while they were with me or after they were with me. And I just felt like I really was called to helping them with the group program aspects like literally the inside of what happens in a group program, because nobody really talks about that group coaching is actually a discipline. And it my certification is pending in group coaching next month. And so and I remember doing it in grad school for counseling and doing it in high schools with kids, different kinds of kids and stuff. And I was like, man, it really is an art that a lot of people are not really tapping into, we could get our clients better results, and then therefore make more money. And it just so happened that with the pandemic, I think a lot of people are looking to get real results, and not just kind of like throw money at every course and program and workbook that they can. And so I just, I really felt that call to like, go inside people’s groups, and help them with that. So my ideal client has shifted a bit, I still work with female coaches, really just just people who want to coach though.
Rita Suzanne 06:05
Yeah, but how does that work? So you say you go inside of the group are you going in and like kind of helping them with? How things are working? Or how does it like tell me more. And yet,
Allison Nelson 06:18
there’s about three things that I focus on. So the first one is facilitation style. So how you’re running your group calls in particular, a lot of times we run calls based on a q&a session, that’s actually very ineffective for adults. And we’re typically serving adults in this case. And they, it’s pretty ineffective. So looking at how you can facilitate versus how you can be in control of the call, because it’s really about the clients being in control of the call, and you facilitating their growth. And then the second thing I like to look at is, the modules are learning or whatever the education side of your program is, and making sure that it’s pointed towards adult learning. It’s really helping them grow as adults, a lot of times we don’t consider adult learning theory, when we’re creating modules, we just, we know what we know. And we want to put it out there and we have a whole plan for it. And that’s great. But a lot of times, it’s just doesn’t, an adult will watch a module and then not know what to do after. So trying to try to help make that a little bit, you know, more effective. And then the third thing, really making sure that the community is there, that the clients are really talking to each other, they’re helping each other and their psychological safety there. So that they can grow. And again, taking less time and effort from you. Because you really are just the facilitator, you’ve done all of the vetting and onboarding and all of that. So now it’s time to make sure that they have the they can, you know, kind of help control their own growth a little bit.
Rita Suzanne 07:48
I love all of that, that sounds so helpful, because a lot of my clients, they would start out with, you know, in the past, when I was working as a web designer, they would start out with just, you know, doing one to one coaching and then they would want to scale up. And so they would always want to do group coaches, but group coaching, but it always seemed to kind of flounder, some with some people. And do you think that’s just based on how they’re running the group? Or maybe how they’re offering their programs?
Allison Nelson 08:18
Yeah, yeah. I mean, there’s, there’s a couple reasons it could be onboarding or vetting, right. Like, there’s, there’s definitely some people that just that just don’t, you know, that just doesn’t work for in terms of the clients. But I do think that it’s mostly Okay, how are we making sure that the calls are valuable? I mean, a lot of times, you’ll see people drop off, halfway through, right, they’re like, all in, they’re so excited, everything’s on their calendar, they printed everything out. And then third call, they’ve dropped. And that’s it, you can’t get them back. And, and that has a lot to do with the fact that they’re not valuing the call. And it could also be that they’re overwhelmed. So it really depends on what’s going on. And is there kind of a Hail Mary, like, is there a space for them to say, you know, what, I’m struggling or I’m stuck, or I got the stomach flu this week, because that happened to me this week. And I need to, you know, I need to get back. But I don’t know how, like, is there? Is that built in for them?
Rita Suzanne 09:13
So if someone wants to hire you, what is the process? Like what does onboarding look like when they hire you?
Allison Nelson 09:20
So the first thing we’ll do is sort of an audit of their group program. I like to make sure that that that’s in place. So when anybody starts to work with me, we just we make sure we do an audit, whether the group program is not even going anymore, and it was or it was just an idea. Or you’ve just done one to one, any, you know, any length of time. So I’ve got like, some pre work so that people can I can audit, I can audit what’s going on. And then and then we dive into those three aspects. I have a method called the inside out method. And we can do that in a VIP day setting depending on what the goals are of the client. Or we can do that In a 90 day period, so obviously the goal would have to be woodshop. Yeah.
Rita Suzanne 10:06
So why do you think that your clients love working with you so much?
Allison Nelson 10:09
You know, I’ve always been the kind of person in general and I bring it into my, into my business that I’m very honest. And I think that people really respect that obviously has to be the right kind of person. But I think the clients who have done well with me respect my honesty, they can take it. They also know that I’m just as compassionate as I am honest. So it’s not for you know, it’s not just because I’m, I’m hurting, and I need to hurt someone. It’s because like, I really truly don’t I want the best for you. And I want you to get there faster.
Rita Suzanne 10:41
Below. Yeah, yeah. Because I always call myself like I say that I’m like, no nonsense, or like, no sugarcoating. And I think that a lot of times people need to hear those type of things. And often, they’re too close to the problem. And so if you aren’t willing to be really, totally honest with them, then they’re not going to be able to move forward. And that’s why I say like, for me, when I hire coaches, I want someone that’s kind of very much not going to let me get by, right, you know, right with my excuses, right with excuses of why I can’t or won’t do something. And so I think that it takes somebody strong willed to, like, really get in there and tell me, like, you know, stop, stop your shit, and basically do what you’re supposed to do.
Allison Nelson 11:27
Right? Yeah. 100% Yeah, I totally agree.
Rita Suzanne 11:30
So what is your favorite thing about what you do?
Allison Nelson 11:33
Oh, my God. I think my favorite thing is that, especially with group coaching, I can I it’s just the impact, like the fact that someone can be helped and make money because of something that I helped them discover. And it’s really just the, it’s really just they had the, they had the answer the whole time. It’s like, like Glinda and the Good Witch in The Wizard of Oz, like you were there the whole time you had the answer, the whole time kind of thing. I think that’s probably the best thing about what I do is when people can discover that, and then they can help their clients discover that too.
Rita Suzanne 12:11
Yeah, I love that. Because, you know, empowering other women just like makes us all, you know, grow and be better. Yeah. So we’re gonna go back a little bit off topic. But I want to know, what are you currently reading or listening to?
Allison Nelson 12:26
Right now I’m reading while I’m listening to it and reading it profit first. I’ve gotten to the point in the book where you have to like do things and I’m just I’m better with like pen and paper when I have to do things like I want to write in the book. But at first I listened to it. So I technically on two copies of this book.
Rita Suzanne 12:42
So there’s a there’s a course that they had, and it was like $25. Let me I’ll see if I can find it for you. But it helped me to like, listen to him, and like follow the course more. So I mean, you may like it better like audio, but listening and watching him like go through the concepts of it was really super helpful. But I love that I love the concept of it and the book itself. So I’m with you on that one. It’s a great, yeah, it was one of my favorites. So if another mom was going to start her business, and she came to you, and she asked you for some advice, what would you tell her?
Allison Nelson 13:23
Oh, my gosh, there are so many things that I could tell her I think, I think I would tell her that she anything that she does, she needs to make sure she’s, you know, good with it. She’s making decisions. I just wrote an email this morning about how you could be, you could be making $1 in your business or less like you’re still the CEO, and you still have to start making decisions and being decisive right away. Because that’s honing that and building that muscle of making decisions. And being that CEO is only going to get harder if you don’t start doing it now. So
Rita Suzanne 13:58
yeah, I felt like when I first started, there was a lot of people pleasing, right. And then, you know, as you start to get in to your business and get more into it, that’s when you start establishing the boundaries and making the really tough decisions. But I feel like at first we’re, we’re both you know, we’re all just stuck in that little like, Okay, well, I have to do everything that they asked me to do, and I need to be happy about it, too.
Allison Nelson 14:23
Yeah, yeah, absolutely. Yeah. And there’s something to be said for, you know, kind of being in the trenches and doing the things that you you don’t know if you like it or not, you know, there’s something to be said for that for sure. But I, I think that if you you know, if you’re just doing things just to make money or what or if you’re holding back because you’re not sure you know, if someone will, you know receive it well or how will fare that we don’t know that unless you try it. So I mean, just try it, like try it but also make sure that there’s like you in it and someone else didn’t tell you do this exactly this way because It’s a plug and play is no longer like that might have worked five years ago, it just doesn’t work anymore.
Rita Suzanne 15:06
Now, things have changed so much. I think in the you know, I, especially after COVID, of course, you know, the market has just just so different. And, you know, I had taken a little bit of a break after a while during COVID, because of all my issues, and then now coming back into it and changing from being a service provider to being like doing products only is such a huge difference. And, you know, it’s a huge mindset change. Like, did you feel like that when
you switched from products to services groups?
Allison Nelson 15:37
Yes. Yeah, I really did. Yeah. I also, again, like to the point of, you know, do what you I realized, I didn’t have to sell products in order to, you know, to start servicing people, and I think it’s the other way around, right? You don’t have to be a service provider to sell products. And it’s okay, you know, I think that like, we kind of hang on to these old stories. And it’s can be really damaging. But yeah, I definitely had all the things like, Well, what will people think what will people say, you know, they just think I’m some, like some person calling myself a coach out of nowhere. And I called myself a strategist because I am more strategy based. And of course, we do work on mindset, but I am more like, Okay, this is you know, what we’re going to try, and I’m more action oriented that way. And so, I did feel like people were gonna be like, Oh, you’re, you know, you were making mugs yesterday. And today. What will you be tomorrow? Right?
Rita Suzanne 16:35
But you stuck with it, right? Like, yeah, I
Allison Nelson 16:38
stuck with it. I’m finding my way just like everybody else. I mean, I don’t think anybody has to apologize for that.
Rita Suzanne 16:44
No, I love all that. So where can everyone find you? Where are you online?
Allison Nelson 16:49
Okay, so I have a podcast. It’s called the group coaching masterclass. So, if you are interested in group coaching at all, every week, there’s a masterclass episode. So you can find that on any of the any of the platforms. And I’m on Instagram at the Allison Nelson. And I’m on Facebook to same at the Nelson Nelson.
Rita Suzanne 17:09
Perfect. And did you say you have a website or you do I do?
Allison Nelson 17:13
Yes. It’s Allison dash nelson.com. Okay, perfect. All right.
Rita Suzanne 17:17
Well, thank you so much for being a guest. It was such a pleasure getting to know more about you.
Allison Nelson 17:22
Yeah, it was good. Thank you so much. It was fun.
Rita Suzanne 17:26
And there you have it. I want to encourage you to remember that being a mom who runs her own business is not easy. We all struggle, but just keep moving forward. And don’t forget to make time for yourself. As moms we are usually the first thing to go to the bottom of the list. If your business is overwhelming you and you need real solutions, not just some sugar coated suggestions apply to work with me at ritasuzanne.com/apply