Hello, visionaries. This week, I am so excited to introduce you to Joy Bufalini, who helps CEOs take their business from five figures to six in a sustainable way. We align on so many things with our methods, and I can’t wait for you to hear her story. Let’s jump right in!
Madeleine: So, when I have guests on, I always like to start with hearing your story. Can you walk us through your journey and tell us a little bit about how you ended up here?
Joy: Well, just for a little context, I’m a former middle school math teacher. I went to college to be a teacher, I worked as a teacher for four years, and after a while, you start to wear that identity.
But then, the universe decided to bless me with twins—wonderful, beautiful twins who were born very early—and life changed very quickly. We went through a lot of life-and-death situations, brain injury diagnoses, roughly ten years of me being home almost entirely full-time, I had another baby…and you know, after ten years of that and really going through a personal journey myself, there were a lot of emotions to process and a lot of trauma that actually happened.
All of that led me to a place of wondering what my mission was. I didn’t know where my passion was or how I wanted to serve people, but I knew I wanted it to mean something. Initially, that took me down the path of life coaching, which I started in 2010 or 2011, and it was beautiful. I loved it. But in the end, I found that my gifts actually resided in the strategic side of things, being a former math teacher.
I had my coaching business for five years. By the time I reached 2016, I still had not made more than 20k in a year, and I was still taking care of my kids, especially my daughter, who needs a lot of care from me.
Because of all that, I really had these belief blocks about what I could achieve and what I could become. You see these people making seven figures and running successful businesses, and I thought, “That could never be me.” I had a huge belief block around that being possible for me, for two reasons…
The first reason was identity. I struggled with allowing myself to see myself as something different than a teacher, the identity I had worn for so long. But secondly, I also struggled with really allowing myself to focus, because at the time, I was doing all the things. Maybe some of you can relate to that situation, where you’re testing fifty different strategies and funnels and all of these systems, and it’s so overcomplicated. You’re trying to do all the things, and none of it’s working.
That was me, but it didn’t match who I actually was and what I was actually good at. I was following everybody else’s advice and trying to walk everybody else’s path.
My line in the sand moment came in the summer of 2016, where I told myself that I had to either figure my business out, or I had to go and get a job. I had a marketing job opportunity that paid fairly good money sitting right in front of me, and I just couldn’t do it. I looked at it and I knew there was no way I could do it, which meant I had to figure my business out.
So what did I do? I literally went into my office and I wrote down three things. I’ll share what three things later, but I wrote down those three things, and decided I was chucking everything else out. Any programs that I took, courses that I took, anything that was just overwhelming and not sustainable, anything that was not moving the needle forward, I got rid of it all. And everything changed after that.
I finally had my first six-figure year in 2017. It’s only continued to multiply, and here’s the funny thing: if I look at that list of three things, it hasn’t changed that much since.
Making It Simple
Madeleine: How in the world did you actually come up with those three things? Obviously we want to know the three things, but also, how did you pick them?
Joy: Intuitively, I just knew what needed to stay and what needed to go to make it simple. I’m naturally good at looking at a complicated thing and figuring out how to make it simple—math teacher, remember? I’m very good at doing that; even with all the therapies I did with my daughter and all of the things that neurosurgeons and neurologists told us to do, I could decipher it and break it down into manageable steps and make it simple to pull off. I was so good at that, but I wasn’t able to take my business and make it simple. It was a natural skill that I was simply not applying.
But when it comes down to that do-or-die moment, suddenly your mind gets rid of all the over-complications and overthinking. It was like everything cleared out of my head, and I just knew those three things that mattered. They were inside of me all along. And I was able to make it simple by taking those three things and leaving the rest behind.
Madeleine: We align in so many ways. I cracked up when we first met and you told me that your business’s name is Simplify to Multiply. That’s one of my favorite sayings, that you have to simplify before you multiply, because otherwise you end up multiplying chaos.
Instead of trying to make it simple for themselves, most entrepreneurs–especially in the online space– try to learn as much as possible about what they are trying to do with their business and how to make it flourish and thrive. They’re taking all the courses, following all the gurus’ advice, and they end up with a hodge-podge of a bunch of stuff that doesn’t feel aligned and doesn’t necessarily feel like them. That’s not a lot of fun to do.
That’s how most business owners get started, so I love that you capture people in that five-figure mark and help them make it simple ahead of time, because just like you were saying, when you do make it simple, it gets so much easier to hit six figures.
Joy: The part of making it simple that I really believe is most important is figuring out your client converting messaging. You want to figure out what you’re known for and what you’re an expert in, and it really does take some introspection.
I myself was definitely an unconscious competent person for a while. I didn’t know how I was actually helping my clients with making it simple and getting results.
They were definitely getting results, but I wasn’t quite sure what I was doing that was facilitating that. And in 2018, I created a course called Simplify to Multiply. And my coach at the time told me, “Wait a second, Joy. That’s your magic right there. That’s not a course, that’s your brand.” My jaw hit the floor, because she was so right. I went out and got the trademark and all of that, and it just helped me to see that I was helping everybody to focus on the essentials and make it simple.
Madeleine: I’m still curious…what were the three things that you held onto when you were focusing on taking your business and making it simple?
Joy: Making it simple started with these three things: first, put out consistent content. I know that sounds obvious, but there’s a difference between putting out random content and content for content’s sake versus doing that necessary self-reflection on what your zone of genius is and focusing in on that message.
You need to own a zone of expertise. It doesn’t have to be niched. Just make sure you know how it is that you help clients get results and start talking about that.
It doesn’t have to be salesy. It can be very natural. You can make it simple. It’s just an extension of you being you. Whatever you’re doing in your client sessions, start sharing that.
I often find out that when I work with a new client and I ask them some practical and intuitive questions about the work that they do, I wouldn’t be able to glean any of it from looking at their social media profile. They often have this really unique expertise that the world needs to hear about, but it’s not showing up anywhere on their social media.
The second part of making it simple was to talk about my offers regularly, including mentioning my program by name, in order to build awareness of my offers with my audience.
I think it’s easy to forget that people can look at you as a likable expert. I had a lot of people who liked my posts, commented on my posts, opened my emails, etcetera, but they never took the next step. That was really frustrating.
There needs to be a shift where you actually give invitations about your offers. You need to talk openly about how people can work with you. That was a big change for me. That felt like a big, bold step.
I had another program at the time called my Quantum Leap program that I started back in 2018, which is my current signature program for building to six figures. I just wasn’t talking about it. I assumed people would know to reach out to me or that they would just know how they could work with me. So that was a big game-changer.
The third thing I committed to was not selling anything under a price tag of three thousand. That was a big decision to make, too, but when I made it, that was the year I made six figures.
It was a three-thousand-dollar program, nothing under that, and to make it simple, I focused solely on selling that one program. If you do the math, it was a little over three clients on average a month.
It’s doable. When you make it simple, it’s definitely doable. And there were some months where I didn’t get one client or I got no clients, but by the end of the year I was averaging five to six because of the compound effect of showing up consistently and talking about my offers.
When to Work With Joy
Madeleine: What are the symptoms that business owners might experience that will tell them that now is the perfect time to reach out to Joy?
Joy: Well, generally speaking, it’s when you have a package or program that you’ve already put together, and it’s your first pass of presenting your signature program. You’ve had a few clients reach out, you’ve had clients go through the program, but you feel like something’s just a little bit off. You feel like you’re really close; you’re putting content out there and it’s getting some traction, but there are a few things missing.
Those things are probably somewhere in your messaging and how you’re positioning yourself in your own leadership and energy and how you show up online.
The person who is really ready to break through has done some of these things already, is already showing up, and is really excited to have somebody else reflect back to them what their signature process is and to help co-create that signature method in their unique genius before translating that into their posts and their emails.
All of the sudden, people in their audience will think, “Wait a second. She’s being more bold. She’s telling me about her program. Wow, that sounds like exactly what I need. Okay, here’s what I need to do to work with her.”
That’s the shift you really need to be ready for, to have new people in your networks that have just been following along up until now. You need to be really ready to receive new clients at that 3K+ level.
I’m so grateful Joy came on to chat with us today about making it simple to hit six figures in your business. If you’re ready to simplify before you multiply, you can connect with Joy by clicking one of the links below!
CONNECT WITH JOY:
Get Joy’s FREE Daily Needle-Movers Cheat Sheet: https://joystm.kartra.com/page/daily
Follow Joy on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/joy.bufalini/
CONNECT WITH MADELEINE:
Are you wondering if you’re ready to take the next step in your business? Curious about whether you’re a good fit for our services? Take the free business assessment quiz to find out! And if you want to learn more, you can visit my website or schedule a call with me today. I can’t wait to hear from you!
If you want to make sure you never miss an episode of my podcast, come follow the 7 Figure Freedom Podcast on Spotify, subscribe on Google, or head over to Apple Podcasts. In the meantime, I’d love to connect with you over on Instagram or in the 7 Figure Freedom Club Facebook group so we can chat about what you got out of this episode!
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