Soulpreneur Scaling Stories Podcast: 16. How to get out of common service provider scaling traps

In this special solo episode of Soulful Scaling Stories, our host Andrea Elibero dives deep into the common traps that service providers, especially virtual assistants, encounter on their entrepreneurial journey. She candidly unpacks the paradox of being ‘booked out’ while facing burnout, spotlighting the limitations of the one-on-one retainer model and the subsequent income ceiling it creates.

Andrea takes a critical look at the influence of internet gurus, cautioning against blindly following a prescribed ‘success’ path. She emphasizes that while multiple methods exist, not every approach aligns with individual needs and strengths, stressing the importance of finding alignment with one’s business strategy.

Sharing personal experiences, Andrea underscores the power of intuition as a compass for growth. She recounts how trusting her intuition led her to a transformative realization about her business direction, highlighting the pivotal role intuition plays in navigating entrepreneurship.

The episode navigates through three crucial elements: intuition, identifying one’s unique strengths or ‘magic,’ and crafting a vision for a dream life. Andrea passionately emphasizes aligning business growth with personal fulfillment and values, guiding listeners to tap into their intuition to make business decisions.

As the episode concludes, Andrea unveils ‘Ascension,’ a six-month accelerator program designed to help service providers shift their business models intentionally and holistically. With a blend of group and personalized coaching, the program aims to break the cycle of burnout, elevate alignment, and scale businesses sustainably.

For those eager to explore a purpose-driven approach to business scaling, Andrea invites listeners to join the waitlist for Ascension, promising exclusive bonuses until January 9th, 2024. With a focus on holistic growth and genuine alignment, this program aims to revolutionize business strategies while ensuring a lighter, more fulfilling entrepreneurial journey.

Join Andrea on this transformative journey of aligning intuition, strengths, and vision, paving the way for a more soulful and successful business evolution.

Ascension: The Soulful Scaling Accelerator
Scale Your Business Intentionally With Ascension!


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[00:00:00] Andrea Elibero: ​Andrea here, your host and passionate business coach and scaling strategist for Soulful Service Providers and Coaches. Welcome. to another episode of Soulpreneur Scaling Stories. Have you ever wanted to look behind the curtain of your fellow entrepreneur’s business to see what actually went into scaling it?

Well, you are in for a treat because that’s exactly what we are doing here. In each episode, we will be uncovering the truth the lessons and the stories behind what it truly takes for solepreneurs to scale their businesses intentionally. I’m hoping that their stories will help you to unlock the true potential of your business so you can create your own soulful, abundant, and aligned laptop lifestyle through intentional scaling.

So whether you’re just starting out on your scaling journey, or you’re a seasoned entrepreneur seeking inspiration, this episode has something incredible in store for you. Are you ready to rise, grow, and create? Create a business that fully supports your dream life. Well, let’s dive in before we begin, make sure to hit that subscribe buttons.

You never miss an empowering episode filled with real stories and soulful insights. 

[00:01:16] Welcome Welcome to another episode of Soulpreneur Scaling Stories. Today we’re going to do something a little bit different. Today, I want to talk to you about some traps that I see service providers fall into way too often. So let’s get into it just right away. Service providers, this is what happens, right?

And I’m especially talking about like virtual assistants and people who provide these one on one services. Some traps that happen are that either you go one way where you are like, Okay, I’m going to start my business. I’m doing my business. And then all of a sudden it seems like it’s two seconds later and you have So, 1, 000 clients, you are working from day to night, you’re saying yes to everything, and you are getting burnt out.

And it changed, right? Because this was your goal. When you started your business, your goal was to be Booked out, right? That’s everybody’s goal, but what if booked out is not what you thought it was going to be? Right? Like, what if being booked out is terrible? Because you’re burnt out, you’re working so much, and let’s face it, you have an income that you’re trying to And what happens when you work with clients just in a one on one capacity is that this income, there’s a ceiling, because there’s only so many hours in the day, there are only so many clients that you can work with, only so many hours you can work, and when you’re working one on one, There’s a, there’s a natural cap there.

And I was seeing some research or some people commenting, some service providers, and I was curious, like, what’s the average number of hours that they work in a day? And the average is five. So if you’re talking like a lawyer, that’s five billable hours in a day. Can you see, like, the math is not mathing, right?

Like on that. Because now, you’ve had your business for a minute, you’re growing your skills, like things are flowing, and. And now you’re just trapped. You have created a ceiling. You have created an income ceiling for your business and now you are trapped underneath this ceiling. So that’s one trap that I see people fall into.

That’s very common. The, and don’t worry, we’ll talk about how to get out of these traps in a moment. The other trap that I see is that I see service providers who follow these Internet gurus, these people who are, you know, like everybody listens to them and they’re telling people that there is, like, this is the way.

This is the way. Their way is the way. And you say, okay great, like they’re successful and I want to be successful, like I want to be like them, like they’re not working like, you know, or they’re saying that they’re not working crazy, like a crazy amount of hours and all of that, so I want to be like that, so their way must be the way.

Then Let me tell you that it’s not true. I’m not saying that what they’re doing is wrong, right? What I’m saying is that they’re trying to tell you that, hey, this, like, copy paste cookie cutter thing, like, I will give you the step by step whatever because it worked for me. Yes, it works for them. But guess what?

It works for them because of a reason. It works for them because Like, it aligns with them, right? Like, of course. And that doesn’t mean that it’s going to be right and aligned for everybody. So, again, they’re not doing anything wrong. I don’t think it’s anything malicious. But if you think about it, there are, and, and, like, honestly, like, if you look online, you can see, like, oh, this person says do it this way, this other person says do it that way.

And everybody’s saying do it one way or the other, right? Are they all wrong? Are they all right? Are they like, like, it’s so confusing. Well, guess what? They are all right. All of them because every way works every way. I’ve had clients. So I’ve had, um, OBM clients, actually online business manager, these people with six plus figure businesses.

I’ve had them, I’ve witnessed them join coaching programs that teach one way, right? Like the step by step method for way. And in one program in particular, I remember my client saying like, man, I paid so much money for this and it’s just not working for me. Like, what am I doing wrong? You know? And a lot of people in the program were saying, Oh, I’m not getting these results.

And the same thing, a client, a recent client that I’ve had, another OPM client at a coaching program to teach the one way like it’s not the way, like it kind of works for her, but it’s not the way that lights her up. Right? Like that method. And, but she doesn’t like it. She has a different method that brings in her clients.

So all of these things to say, so those are the two big trucks that I wanted to talk about. And all of this to say that there is one, there is no one right way to grow a business. And two is that if you are here and listening to this and you’re interested in growing and scaling your business, the one on one retainer model as the.

Only thing that you do just naturally creates a, an income ceiling and burnout. And, because there’s only so much you could, so like, you can only raise your rates so much, right? So like, when you are interested in, you know, when you’re feeling like, oh, I want to go beyond this and you’re excited, then, and you start getting these thoughts and you’re like, oh, what do I do now?

Right? Like, what do I do? And you find these people and they’re telling you like, oh, my way, my way, my way. How do you evaluate which way is the actual right way for you? That is the key. That is the key to everything. And this is what I talk about all the time. This is the alignment, right? It is really figuring out like, let me check in with myself.

Let me take a beat and say, how do I grow this and how do I do it in a way that is what I actually want and how do I even know what I want? So let’s get into that.

Now a couple of. Um, kind of first steps are one is the really the most important thing is to start developing your intuition and start being able to listen to your intuition. I know you’re like, wait, I’m listening to a business podcast. Like, why is she talking about intuition? I just want to know how to grow my business.

The reason I’m telling you this is because. I’ll give you an example. I’ll give you, this is a really good example, my own personal example. So I started my business as a VA in 2019. I got, I was so successful in getting clients, great, that was so easy for me. That part? Amazing. Fabulous. Okay. So I get clients, I get clients, I get clients.

And then all of a sudden, I also don’t want to say no, I’m like, oh, these people are amazing because I’m going to try calling in all these amazing clients. What do I do now? Well, okay, I have all these clients, I don’t want to let them down, and I know that, like, they just tell you to create an agency, so I’ll just hire more people, I’ll hire people to help me.

Okay, great. So I did that for a few months, and guess what? It was terrible. For me. For me. It might be amazing for you. But it wasn’t, I wasn’t doing things that I wanted to be doing. I was not at the level of serving that I wanted to be at. And I was doing, you know, a lot of training and oversight and XYZ and a lot of tasks and this and that, and it just wasn’t for me, right?

So, what is a cautionary tale here is that I just jumped into it. I just jumped into it. I said, okay, well, this is what I’m supposed to do. I’m serving these clients. Okay, great. Like, I was making great money, and I wasn’t enjoying my day. I didn’t get up and feel excited, right? Like, to go into my day. And.

And then what happens, what’s the remedy to this, is that it’s actually taking a step back and doing the inner work. Going. Do the journaling. Go to the beach. Like, do the embodiment practices. So whatever your thing is, go out in nature. Take some time away. Step away. Whatever your thing is, to, uh, So, get in touch with yourself and really trust yourself and your body, that’s what to do.

So, why do I say trust yourself and your body? Because the intuition is a feeling within your body, somewhere, and it’s different for everybody. So, it’s a thing to recognize within yourself. And when you start, like, noticing it, when you start seeing like, oh. Oh, is that what that is? Is that what that feeling?

You know, it’s something that a lot of people say like it’s their gut feeling or something like that So it’s similar to that and when you start listening to it and trusting it That will guide you to what you are supposed to do and I will give you a personal example of that


this was gosh this was earlier in 2023 I was on a networking call. I was on a coffee chat with another business coach who actually had on this podcast as a guest, Jennifer Lyle, and we were chatting and, you know, she’s this intuitive business mentor and I was like, okay, this is what I do. And she said to me, she said, you know, and, and so at this point, you know, I’m a certified online business manager and coaching, this is not that long ago.

And I was telling her about my OBM business, and she was saying to me that, you know, I kind of see you, and this is me with my one on one OBM clients, and she’s saying, I kind of see you as somebody more in the leadership role and not necessarily doing this. And that hit me, and I could have just said, Oh, okay, and kept going and ignored that feeling.

But I said, Oh, and I took note of this. And I sat with it for, I think, the weekend.

And I thought about it and I really got in touch with, you know, with this feeling and I was like, okay, what comes up for me when I think about this? And then I said, okay, this is the right path. And then from there, I contacted another fellow OBM and we offer now systems builds together and I have a specific role that fits.

It’s my own unique magic and she has a role that fits hers and we have built something together that is so much more aligned and so much scale, more scalable than what I was doing before. So that is an example of letting your intuition guide you and trusting you and knowing that it is the right path, knowing that it will take you on the right path for you.

Okay, so beyond the intuition, so we have these traps that we don’t want to fall into, so to get out of them, we listen to our intuition. Step one. Step two is that we have to know what our magic is. What is the thing that we excel at? What are we great at? And this is an interesting thing too, because if you’re anything like me, I think when I’m good at something, I often think, well, yeah, because it’s easy.

Or like, I don’t give myself oftentimes enough credit for the thing that comes easy to me. I think it comes naturally to everybody, but it doesn’t. It doesn’t. And everybody has their own strengths and their own things. You know, when, um, another way to think about is what is your zone of genius, but not just your zone of genius, your zone of genius that you actually love.

That you’re like, Like we do all day long and how do we then bring that into our business and create something around that? Create something around that where that’s the star because that’s your magic and that’s what you want to pull to the forefront and that is the thing that you need to be doing all day long to not only have a scalable business but a sustainable one.

Because I know you’ve done things that you have been, that you’ve procrastinated on. I know that you’ve had tasks that you’re like, oh, I don’t want to do this. And you’re dreading it all day long and then you, you know, it takes 10 minutes, but you’ve been dreading it for hours. Like, that’s not the life that we’re living, right?

This is not our dream life. And knowing what your unique magic is, is another key piece to this. to this puzzle of how do we scale our business in a sustainable way and how do we get out of these traps that service providers often find themselves in. And the third piece of the puzzle is actually knowing what your dream life is.

So, Um, and I know people say this all the time, but people don’t go into depth in it and why. And your dream life is not just, well, you know, I want to take a lot of vacations. Yeah, sure. That’s part of it. But it’s also what your values are. It’s also, What do you love doing? And your dream life doesn’t even necessarily have to be that, Oh, I only work 10 hours a week and make a million dollars, or whatever, you know?

Like, I’m obsessed with my business, and I get excited to do some more, like, creative things, and like, experiment with it, and do this and that, because I have the time and the space and the capacity and the abundance to do all of that. You know, and so that’s what I want to be doing. My dream life was moving abroad.

I did that in 2022. I took everybody, the giant dogs, we all moved to Spain. And that was a dream that I had and my business allowed me to do that. But I set up my life purposefully to So when the opportunity came up, because when the opportunity came, I didn’t know that it was there, like it wasn’t something I was, I had been planning, but when the opportunity arose, I was able to do it because I knew that that’s what had come true.

So that is the third piece of the puzzle. So it’s really getting in touch with your, your true and deep and purposeful and dreamlike vision, and it’s figuring out what your magic is. And also the road to get to, well, so this gets a little bit more into, okay, I figured it out, now how do I get there? So, we’ll come, we’ll talk about that a different day, but, how do I get to, you know, like, what are the, not just the offers, but the marketing strategies and things like that, that I actually want to do and that I will show up for, you know?

So all of these things is, is doing everything in alignment. And the, so the magic, the dream life. And I forgot the third one that I told you earlier, but it’ll come back to me, so it’s fine, you heard it already, we’re good. Um, to really bring your, oh, your intuition! How could I forget about your intuition?

So to, to really hone in this, these inner work skills, cause really bring this to life, to get out of this trap that you are in right now with this, when you’re burnt out. Um, with an income ceiling, trying to figure out, like, wait, this person says I need to scale this way, this person says I need to do it that way, what do I do?

This is how you break through that confusion and get on the path that is most aligned with you. So, if this sounds exciting to you, I would love to tell you about Ascension. This is a six month, soulful, business scaling accelerator for service providers. And it’s for you who want to specifically do something else, add it on.

Shift your business model, scale it, do so intentionally and in alignment. So that way you’re not in this income ceiling anymore. You are inspired and we do this holistically. So we do this, it is six months. It is group and it is one on one so it’s a hybrid model because I really want to work with you to pull these things out of you to really create something that is not cookie cut or copy paste business coach Betty icky tactics like this thing that is in alignment with you because now is the time to make your dream a reality and I’m telling you this now because you still have time if you listen to this soon you still have time a little bit of time to hop on the wait list because there are crazy bonuses.

And that expires January 9th, 2024. Don’t worry because I’m going to, if you’re listening to this like six months from now, hop on anyways because, uh, this obviously is not the only time that I am running this program. But if you are listening to it now, you want to get on this wait list, um, because you get an extended payment plan.

A lot of money off, additional one on one coaching, and some other secret things that you’ll have to join the waitlist to find out. And to do that, dancingleafsolutions. com slash waitlist. So I am so excited for this program. It is for you if you really want to do something purposeful and deeper to bring in 2024 with your business and really live a lighter, happy, fun life.

year and do so holistically and with somebody who really cares about the, both the inner work and the strategy because we do it all. We do it all and we do it together. So I will see you there and please feel free to reach out to me in, I like to hang out on Instagram, uh, you’ll see my links in the show notes.

And yeah, so I’m super excited and thank you for listening to my first solo episode.

[00:19:15] Andrea Elibero: Thank you so much for joining us today. I really hope you found inspiration and insights from today’s episode.

You know, scaling your business intentionally and from the inside out is a transformational process, but I’m here to support you every step of the way. Head on over to dancingleafsolutions. com slash resources for free tools to help you do just that.

And thank you again for being a part of the Soulpreneur Scaling Stories community. Your presence and dedication to growth inspire me every day.