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The art of bootstrapping your Lifestyle Transformation Business. Save money while working to realise your vision.

The Art of Bootstrapping your Lifestyle Transformation Business
Baron Munchausen  pulls himself and his horse out of a swamp by his pigtail.  Bootstrapping , the term appears to have originated in the early 19th-century United States (particularly in the phrase “pull oneself over a fence by one’s bootstraps”) to mean an absurdly impossible action. (Wikipedia)

Baron Munchausen pulls himself and his horse out of a swamp by his pigtail. Bootstrapping, the term appears to have originated in the early 19th-century United States (particularly in the phrase “pull oneself over a fence by one’s bootstraps”) to mean an absurdly impossible action. (Wikipedia)

Bootstrap your Transformerpreneur Journey.

Bootstrapping means different things for different people, in different contexts. It isn’t just for tech startups. It’s for anyone trying to create something new from next-to-nothing (we always start with something) without external funding or a bottomless personal savings account.

Bootstrapping is building a company from the ground up with nothing but personal savings and, with luck, the cash coming in from the first sales. The term is also used as a noun: A bootstrap is a business launched by an entrepreneur with little or no outside cash or other support. (Investopedia)

If you aren’t full-time in your Lifestyle Transformation Business you may be managing with your existing salary if you still have a job or freelance work, or from ongoing clients, workshop, or retreat revenue that you’re already generating. And, of course, you may be pre-launch with your business or a new product or service and not yet generating any income at all.

The art of bootstrapping often applies to both your life and business. For Transformerpreneurs these are often so interconnected they feel inseparable.

Here are a few scenarios where bootstrapping is essential, if not critical:

1. You’re starting a business and don’t have any or many clients or customers.

2. You’re creating a new offering and don’t know if it’ll be successful.

3. You want to lengthen your research and launch phase runways.

4. You want to be more profitable so you can be more selective.

5. You’re struggling, spending, and losing money, faster than you can make it.

Bootstrapping is about keeping things simple, especially when it comes to personal money and business finance. I’ve included mindset and day-to-day, month-to-month behavioural changes you can adopt gradually or quickly to help you bootstrap your way through any or all of the scenarios listed above.

The art of bootstrapping a Lifestyle Transformation Business is not always about spending the least amount possible. But, it is about being extremely mindful about what you spend money on and when in your life and business to ensure you’re getting the most value over time, not just in the moment.

Energy Exchange

Perhaps the most obvious foundation of bootstrapping is to beg and borrow. Or, as Richard Branson once said, ‘borrow, rent, or lease, rather than buy’.

The essence, of course, is to minimise or cut your expenses completely by borrowing or exchanging. Doing this is a perfect opportunity for learning and honing your Transformation Craft with free practice. At the same time, you can also get some of those essential elements of your Transformation Business up and running without paying directly with money or cash.

For example, you might give a bodywork, or yoga session in exchange for someone helping you set up your website.

If you can forge connections in your online or offline community you’re uniquely positioned to explore ways to help each other move your businesses forward. Or, if you’ve hit an unexpected or prolonged difficult patch, you can create new collaborative projects that could help turn your business around and widen your skills and experience at the same time.

Exchanges, especially when business is challenging, are a solid foundation that can help you continue to do what you love doing while developing long term partnerships and relationships with your peers.

They allow you to focus the often limited financial resources you do have to solve your business problems strategically rather than just fire-fighting issues by haphazardly throwing money (away) at them.

Think Longer-term

If you can buy in bulk, or pay annually, you can save money on some of your larger regular expenses. For example, if you know you’re going to be using a particular piece of software on an ongoing basis opt for the annual payment.

I pay for all my subscription-only services including Squarespace, Dropbox, GetResponse this way and regularly save 20% — 30% against paying monthly.

This can save you $100’s of dollars a year. This is a no-brainer if you’re sure you will use the software regularly and it’s a major part of your workflow.

There is software out there that offers an unlimited lifetime access option, especially if they’re a new business in the early product development stages.

Are you interested in self-publishing books or making your marketing lead-magnets available on Amazon, iBooks, iTunes, or other eBook retailers to reach a wider, larger audience? If you are Vellum is an easy-to-use, elegant tool which offers an unlimited licence option so you can publish as many eBook titles as you want forever more.

As an added bonus, Vellum now has some beautiful paperback templates that can easily be exported for uploading to Amazon for sale. Vellum requires minimal effort and no technical know-how to produce professional results.

This is amazing value if you’re a prolific writer and harbour an intention to publish your blog series as a growing series of Transformation Books that you could sell at your sessions, workshops, retreats, and training. Or, you could publish your blog as the proverbial calling or business card book to help build your Transformation Business profile and personal brand.

Ditch Your Subscriptions

If you haven’t noticed the world is shifting to a subscription model and mostly for good business reasons. Adobe, who create Photoshop and InDesign and Creative Cloud, have massively increased their profitability after moving to a cloud subscription vs a buy-once and upgrade later business model.

They’ve saved money and increased profits significantly by not having to waste resources supporting their legacy software. And, because customers rarely leave the Adobe ecosystem, and they now have a more predictable revenue stream, they can channel marketing and advertising funds effectively and efficiently to maintain and grow their core business.

I know Adobe is a huge enterprise, but there’s something to be learned from bigger business. By paying attention you can distil strategies that might enhance your Lifestyle Transformation Business in some small or big way.

However, being tied into a $10 or $25, or $60 a month subscription model just to produce some simple marketing material for your website, blog, or facebook page is not a great return on your investment (ROI).

Unless you’re creating artwork as your Transformation Craft and selling it, or you create and manage marketing and advertising material for many clients you’ll rarely, if ever, get the value back from this recurring expense.

I was a long-term Photoshop and InDesign user until a few years ago. I, reluctantly at first, made the change to Affinity Photo.

Affinity also creates Affinity Designer (similar to Adobe Illustrator), and now Affinity Publisher (similar to Adobe InDesign). The buy-it-once (I haven’t had to upgrade yet) price was $49. So far that works out at only $2 a month and will only get less as time goes by.

That’s over 80%+ saving versus Adobe subscription services.

On top of that, if you use services like Canva, which is easy-to-use but limited, you can change to using Affinity software with very little learning and effort and you’ll save another $13 a month in the process, that can be put to better use in some other mission-critical area of your Transformation Business.

Over a year that’s another $150 saved. You get the picture.

Money Mindset

With smaller Lifestyle Transformation Businesses, in particular, it tends to be easier, simpler, and more likely that you’ll keep track of business expenses. That’s because they can be less frequent and are normally more substantial ‘noticeable’ amounts. Think of buying a laptop, or replacing your phone, or booking a shala for a yoga retreat you’re running.

However, when it comes to personal expenditure, we can be, and usually are less than mindful, when it comes to our spending and money management.

Admittedly, in an ideal world, you don’t want to flow through life looking at the right-hand side of the menu when you’re choosing your meal while dining at your favourite restaurant, especially after a long, hard day.

But, if you’re bootstrapping this is the money mindset you must live by, maintain and refine so you can get to the point where you don’t have to price-check all the time, as quickly as you possibly can for obvious reasons.

Question Your Priorities

Bootstrapping is also a question of priorities.

What’s more important to you in the medium to long rather than the short-term instant gratification pleasure response? The creative freedoms that running a successful, profitable, sustainable, Lifestyle Transformation Business can offer may be more valuable to you than always doing and having what you want when you want it. It’s your call.

After all, what is this doing, getting, and having all about anyway? Check-in with yourself to make sure your spending habits aren’t just a mechanism to satisfy some elusive deeper-seated insatiable urge. Are you just distracting yourself from an uncomfortable feeling or thought pattern that needs to be inner-worked out of your system?

Think about this marketing scenario for a moment.

Is it worth spending one hour to think of ways to reduce your spending by just $50 a month or to spend 10+ hours a month trying to get your Patreon support channel, that after a year or two may eventually reward you with only $50 a month in revenue, up and running?

An Integral Part

As a Transformerpreneur you are an integral part of your Lifestyle Transformation Business. You’re the most important employee, team member, manager, and leader. You fulfil many roles, working ‘in’ and ‘on’ your business.

It’s easy to forget, with all this hard, relentless work you’re putting in, day after day, week after week, that you’re the biggest cost to your business as well as its most valuable income-generating asset.

When you’re bootstrapping a Lifestyle Transformation Business or a new product or service you are the cost base and income generator you’ve got to manage the most closely to get where you want to go. When you master your self (the inner you) and yourself (the outer you) in relation to your Lifestyle Transformation Business and its activities you can start to realise your vision and live life more fully on your terms, more consistently.

In the first instance, this means tracking what you’re spending and minimising your costs where you can so you can maximise them, where appropriate, when you need to, within your life and business. When you do you can squeeze the most juice possible out of your money and edge closer to living what I call your Fully Featured Lifestyle without compromise.

Realise Your Vision

These are just a few examples of how to bootstrap your Lifestyle Transformation Business. I utilise many more strategies and techniques like this while building Transformerpreneur.com as efficiently as possible.

They cover time, money, space, and weight. Whatever these words mean to you right now they are, in all their contextual forms, important considerations for every Transformerpreneur, especially the nomadic variety.

Mastering them makes the process of building and growing a business less overwhelming, less stressful and much more enjoyable. They give you much more time and space to get things right more often. You don’t have to rush around chasing your tail in an attempt to beat the system or cheat the game.

You can finally stop playing catch-up and start directing and leading your business from a grounded, confident, and unbreakable position.

Building a successful Lifestyle Transformation Business is about putting the time in, working hard, patience, persistence, maintaining a sense of humour, and making your money last as long as humanly possible.

Download my Lifestyle Transformation Business Bootstrap Checklist and Field Guide to discover more ways to start and continue bootstrapping your Transformerpreneur Journey so you can save and make more money while continually enjoying the work of realising your vision.

You need to regularly repurpose your life and Lifestyle Transformation Business to be happy and fulfilled. Here’s why and how to do it.

You Need To Regularly Repurpose Your Transformation Business + Life To Be Happy

Firstly, allow me to define some essential terms that go some way to describing the overarching components necessary to the ubiquitous, yet still very personal, search for a truly purposeful, meaningful, and successful life.

Creative Core

The source of your truth. Your insights, inspiration, ideas, intuition, and intentions spring forth from your Creative Core.

Real Work

Your most important Work in life and of the moment. Work, at our edge, beyond our comfort zone, rooted in giving, to and of ourselves, aligned with the deepest truths of our Why, How and What of the moment is Real Work. The insights, inspiration, ideas, intuition, intentions of your Creative Core are manifested and realised through your Real Work.

You Outlook

Your You Outlook is your vision of a future you. A you that is made more powerful through unlimited, unrestricted access to your Creative Core and multiple, interconnected channels of Real Work. Your You Outlook sits at the centre of a real-time creative feedback loop. It is a more connected you.

Real Work Centre

Your Real Work Centre is that grounded sweet spot through which your Creative Core, your You Outlook and your Real Work align. You’re at your Real Work Centre when you feel on purpose, even though you may have doubt, uncertainty, or fear.

Planning To Get

Our attitude and state in the moment are fully loaded with a skewed intention to get, in the future, that which we already have access to now, in the present. Our Selves.

Planning To Give

Our attitude, in the moment, is fully loaded with aligned intention. Our present thoughts, behaviours and actions inform and impact our present and future as well as others, positively.

Forced Feedback

If we pay attention and intervene the continual cycle (micro to macro) of cause and effect in time to break its cycle we can use the effects, which may be perceived as negative, neutral, or positive, as Forced Feedback. This helps us change the patterns of perception and behaviour that keep leading us to events that we experience as negative.

Limited You

Your You Outlook held back by limiting beliefs. The version of you that is limited only in a specific area or at a certain time of your life. Today I am unlimited. Tomorrow I’ll be limited and will have a limit to free myself from.

Unlimited You

Your You Outlook is unhindered by limiting beliefs. The version of you that is unlimited in a specific area or time of your life. Today I am limited. Tomorrow I’ll be unlimited until I recognise and overcome my next limit.

Secondly, I’ll explain how these parameters influence our unique life driven purpose, without which we’ll continue to struggle to live a consistently happy and content life individually and collectively.

Why Repurpose

In life, we have ‘loves’ and ‘interests’.

Our loves represent the past, whether that was last week, last year or only a few moments ago. Our memories, experiences, and attachments anchor us in the familiar, and for the most part, allow us to feel safe and secure.

Interests, on the other hand, reflect our ideas and excitement about the future. They draw us forward, to learn and experience more of life both in the bigger picture and the detail.

We might say that we ‘feel’ our loves and that they are to some degree inexplainable. They relate very much to positive emotional experience.

Conversely, we ‘think’ our interests. They are intellectual, more understandable and explainable. We often engage with our interests somewhat wantonly. We can become attached to the promise of multiple positive outcomes that maintaining a broad range of interests purports to offer.

The degree to which these internal and external factors overlap we have, feel and express passion.

However, experience tells us that even strongly held passions do not automatically inspire corresponding creative action. Instead, without meaningful Whys our passion would have us continually trying to understand and make sense of the past.

We’d be relentlessly chasing our tail in a never-ending attempt to prepare for or take advantage of an unpredictable future. One coloured by our limited past and that will most likely never see the light of day.

When we become conscious on a feeling and a thinking level of the reasons we love something, or someone, whether they are internally (we feel better) or externally referenced (someone else feels better, so we feel better), we have a purpose or many purposes.

Similarly, when we interrogate the Whys behind our interests, we determine our potentials.

Why Exercise Template

Take a moment to note down some of your loves and interests adding a priority score out of 1–10 (1 being the highest priority) in brackets and adding the most meaningful Why to each.

You can have multiple loves, interests, Whys, purposes, passions, and potentials. Prioritising each possible combination is key to arriving at a shortlist of potential Real Work Whats.

Use the Why Repurpose example below to get you started.

Love / Cooking (1)

Why = To help family and friends stay happy and healthy.

LOVES + WHYS = PURPOSES

Interest / Longevity Science (2)

Why = I want to go on giving for a long time to come!

INTERESTS + WHYS = POTENTIALS

Cooking + Longevity Science (1)

Why = To help people live longer healthier lives so they can enjoy their life while happily giving their gifts.

LOVES + INTERESTS = PASSIONS

Ideal Outcome

PURPOSE + POTENTIAL + PASSION = REAL WORK

Presence Balance

If we focus our time, energy and attention on where our passions, purposes and potentials overlap in our lives, we will find presence, balance, direction, integrity, growth and the candidate What’s of our Real Work.

Our Real Work Centre aligned, we are Planning To Give, and through positive Forced Feedback, we are creating and amplifying an Unlimited You Outlook.

Presence / Balance

Presence / Balance

Unstable Non-Presence

The less aware and connected we are to our present moment Whys and the more disconnected our loves are from our interests, the more we remain ignorant of our passions, purposes and potentials.

There is little, if anything, holding the different aspects of our life together. We become unstuck, unstable, out of balance, directionless and purposeless.

Instead of being lifted by our loves and interests we are weighed down by them, conflicted and unable to discern that which is important to us and that which isn’t.

Non-Presence / Unstable

Non-Presence / Unstable

Future Hope

If we overemphasise our interests and in the process neglect our loves, we lean more heavily toward the future.

We become detached, preoccupied and distracted trying to pre-empt everything we can so that our expectations are met.

We live in the hope that we’ve done enough so that nothing ‘bad’ will happen, that we won’t miss out, and that everything works out for the best.

We are detached and Planning To Get free of our emotional and creative reality in the moment.

Future / Hope

Future / Hope

Past Regret

If we overemphasise our loves and in the process neglect our interests, we lean more heavily toward the past.

We become needy and limited, trying to control everything and ensure it stays the same and conforms to our old and outdated attachments.

We live in regret because change is inevitable and to the extent, we avoid it nothing ‘good’ can happen to us.

We are attached to the status quo, limited, always Planning To Get or keep hold of comfort and security by living in the past.

Past / Regret

In both these states, our Real Work Centre is out of alignment. Through Forced Feedback our You Outlook is diminished and compounded negatively to become Limited.

Creative Pains

In any creative process, there is a level of pain, struggle and momentary or long suffered limitation. Perhaps it goes without saying that I love the struggle more when I like what I’m creating and less when I don’t.

I have to be vigilant and pay close attention to my emotions during my creative process, no matter how short or drawn out it is. I must ascertain whether there is really something wrong with me and my life that I need to change or I just don’t like what I’m creating on a particular project. Are these one and the same problem, co-existing at the same time?

I love architecture and feel that love in my process. However, on reflection, outside of that I don’t think I was very interested, or interested enough in it.

I am feeling resistance as I write this.

When I compare this to writing, I see similarities, but in my current Ideal Context, I can decide what I write about and Why. I am in control of the content as it were.

Rare Overlap

There were only a few Real Work moments during my architectural career where my loves and interests overlapped. On the rare occasion they did, I was in a position to decide both what I design and Why. When my love and interest do overlap, I feel passionate about what I’m doing.

In these moments it’s as if the Why is self-generating and the creative process takes on a life of its own, untethered.

I am present. I become excited about what the future may hold. I feel purposeful and happy. I start to imagine how my ideas and creativity can grow, expand, spread and positively impact more people.

Opportunities open for me to continue doing what I love, and that which interests me the most on a much grander scale.

Work Your Why, your You Outlook will become unlimited, and you’ll live a happier, more fulfilling, and enjoyable life.

This post is an edited extract from the ‘Work Your Why’ chapter of ‘Master The Seven Works — Repurpose Your Life : The Holistically Simple Way to Create Conscious Change and Work Your Why’ by Richard Conner (Combination Coach CEO @ Transformerpreneur.com).

How to price your sessions, classes, workshops, retreats, and teacher training holistically and profitably.

Holistic Session Class Retreat Workshop Training Pricing

It’s not unusual for Transformerpreneurs to start pricing their sessions, classes, workshops, retreats, and teacher trainings after researching what their nearest competitor is charging for the same or similar transformative offerings. 

If the likely costs associated with giving, hosting, facilitating or delivering your Product Service is less than what you’re intending to charge for a minimum number of sales it’s easy to fall into the trap of assuming you will or are making a profit.

This approach isn’t a bad start but it is only part of the Profitable Pricing story and doesn’t guarantee that your business will make a profit over the course of a year, i.e. a timeframe that is longer than the duration of your specific Product Service offering.

Beware of modelling your products, services, and business on your competitors without knowing their specific financial goals, cost base, advertising budget, and number of clients, enrolments or attendees. To do so can be misleading and risky.

By setting a price you are attempting to convey value. Your intended market will tell you if it values what you’re offering by paying the price you’re charging, or not, regardless of how much it costs you to create, offer, and transfer that value.

So, if you want and need to know that what you are offering and working hard to deliver will make a healthy profit your pricing must work holistically, I.e. at a Product Service level and at an overall business level.


What is a holistically profitable Product Service?

It’s an exchange of value that generates enough Gross Margin (Price - Costs of Sale CoS) in sufficient quantities (Sales Volume) to cover (single product business) or part-cover (multiple product business) your Business Overheads while generating a surplus (Operating Profit).


Get to know your Holistic Pricing Variables.

Successful Transformerpreneurs MUST know and work with the following Pricing Variables in order to arrive at their Minimum Viable Prices (MVPs) for their suite of Product Services.

  • Enrolments (e.g. 1 for private sessions, 10 for group classes, 15 for teacher trainings)

  • Instances (e.g. 200 private sessions, 100 group classes, 4 teacher trainings per year)

  • Variable CoS (e.g. instructor fee per student, wellness package, certificate printing)

  • Fixed CoS (e.g. advertising, space rental, specialist instructor fee, team travel expenses)

  • Business Overheads (e.g. your salary, marketing fees, subscriptions, equipment)

  • Operating Profit % (the profit your business wants to make on its product service sales)


How do I use these variables to calculate MVPs for my suite of Product Services?

If the instructions below look a little too daunting for you sign up your FREE copy of the Transformerpreneur.com ‘Profitable Product Service Holistic Pricing Tool’ at the end of this post and the hard work and calculations will be done for you!

(1) From your records (or estimates) note down your yearly Business Overheads.

(2) Decide what your Target Operating Profit % for the year will be (20% is a healthy profit).

(3) Name and list your Product Services.

(4) Add the Minimum Number of Enrolments alongside each Product Service.

(5) Add the total Variable Costs of Sale (CoS) alongside each Product Service.

(6) Add the total Fixed Costs of Sale (CoS) alongside each Product Service.

(7) Add the Minimum Number of Instances per year alongside each Product Service.

(8) Add together the Variable and Fixed CoS for ALL Product Services and note it down.

(9) Calculate Budget Income by adding (1) + (8) and dividing the answer by 100% - (2).

(10) Subtract (8) from (9) to get Gross Margin and note it down.

(11) Calculate Gross Margin % by dividing (10) by (9) and note down the answer.

(12) Calculate Operating Profit by subtracting (1) from (10) and note down the answer.

(13) Multiply (4) x (7) to calculate Enrolments per Year for each Product Service.

(14) Multiply (4) x (5), add the answer to (6) to get the Total CoS for each Product Service.

(15) Multiple (7) x (14) to calculate the Total CoS per year for each Product Service.

(16) Divide (15) by 100% - (11), divide by (13) to get the MVP for each Product Service.

Click below for a Multi-Product Service suite Transformation Business example.

Adjusting your Pricing Variables will generate updated Minimum Viable Prices for your suite of Product Services that allow you to assess how your intended audience, students, and clients will value your offerings.

For example, if your adjustments generate an enrolment price for Teacher Training that is double what your competitors are charging you’ll have to seriously consider making some more significant changes to your Pricing Variables.

Likewise if your pricing is coming out significantly lower than your competitors you may have to check that you’ve thought of and included all related Costs of Sale (CoS) and Business Overheads in your calculations.

Are you already, or intending to offer any of the following non-exhaustive transformation modalities as sessions, classes, workshops, retreats, or teacher trainings to your clients, customers, and community?

Hypnosis
Meditation
Music
NLP
Past Life Regression
Photography
Poetry
Reiki

Acupuncture
Art
Astrology
Bodywork
Breathwork
Coaching
Ecstatic Dance
Film

Satsang
Shamanic Ceremony
Tarot
Theatre
TRE
Writing
Yoga

Save your time, effort, and brain cells learning how to holistically price your sessions, classes, workshops, retreats, and teacher training by signing up above for your FREE copy of the done-for-you Transformerpreneur.com ‘Profitable Product Service Holistic Pricing Tool’ Google Sheets template (as shown in the example screenshot above).