Podcast

159 Put a Date on your Dream with Sigrun

Sigrun is on a mission to accelerate gender equality through female entrepreneurship.
She is the leading business mentor for female online entrepreneurs in Europe, a TEDx speaker, and host of the Sigrun Show podcast.

In 2014, Sigrun started her online business and within 5 years she has built a 7 figure business helping women from all over the world.

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    Love this podcast! The lifeblood of any business is sales and Christine does an amazing job of making sales something you'll fall in love with instead of dread. These podcasts are short and get staright to the point, filling you with both the knowledge and motivation to go out and bring in lots more money to your business by selling from your heart. If you want to bury the notion that sales is sleazy or avoid "gurus" who make sales sleazy and instead learn to how to sell in a way that is heart-centered, easy, win-win, and non-pushy, then look no further... you have found the right podcast!

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    by Stu Schaefer from United States

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3 Key Points:

  • I think the coaching business is changing. I think we’re seeing some trends. A lot of coaches are not as qualified as we would want. So there are less qualified coaches and more qualified coaches. And it’s hard for the person out there to pick to know, you know, there is maybe some indication if someone has written a book or someone is speaking, maybe that helps them.
  • In this time and age, and the only way we’re going to change it and this is my firm belief is when women, older women like us stand up and say, “This is what I have done. If I can do it, you can do it.”
  • Sometimes we need to hear it from someone else, like having a coach or a nice client that comes back to you and tells you that your services are much more valuable than you think they are.

Show Notes:

[06:20] Being raised in the belief that women can do anything. It doesn’t mean that every single woman believes it. And you know, society takes a long time to change.

[07:16] For me, feminism is about gender equality is not about more rights for women is just equal rights, you know, equal pay equal rights, equal opportunities. And at the end of the day, I’m also for equal wealth, no, doesn’t mean we take money away from men. Women just need to step up and start to really think about their financial independence.

[08:07] It’s being a role model. That is the way because when women see more women following their dreams and doing whatever they want to do, more women will believe it’s possible for them too.

[08:23] We can talk as much as we want. But we watch the action. We want to see the actual results of someone saying they’re going to do something and them actually doing it. And that’s the best way we can lead with example.

[10:19] Not thinking of it as selling. Because selling somehow has a bad reputation. And if you’re constantly thinking I have to sell, then that’s gonna feel so forced, and it’s not going to work out.

[10:58] If we can do anything different for our children, teach them early enough how to sell. I think that’s a super important skill.

[12:00] That’s how you sell. You just ask questions and you listen. And if you are the right person, or you have the right product or service for them, you’re going to say so, but if you don’t, you’re also honest. And that honesty also brings you such a long way that when people rave about, even if you say I’m not a good fit for you, people will rave about that. Because they feel Wow, this is finally a decent person.

[20:08] Sometimes we need to hear it from someone else, like having a coach or or a nice client that comes back to you and tells you that your services are much more valuable than you think they are.

[21:04] I think the coaching business is changing. I think we’re seeing some trends. A lot of coaches are not as qualified as we would want. So there are less qualified coaches and more qualified coaches. And it’s hard for the person out there to pick to know, you know, there is maybe some indication if someone has written a book or someone is speaking, maybe that helps them.

[24:35] So bringing all these stories together, started to become a passion project. And I was very scared of putting a date on my dream.

[26:54] In this time and age, and the only way we’re going to change it and this is my firm belief is when women, older women like us stand up and say, “This is what I have done. If I can do it, you can do it.”

Transcript:

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Christine Schlonski [0:02]
Hi Gorgeous. This is episode number 159 with the wonderful Sigrun.

Sigrun [0:08]
Hi, my name is Sigrun and you’re listening to Heart Sells! Podcast with Christine Schlonski, enjoy.

Christine Schlonski [0:14]
I am so thrilled to have Sigrun on the show today. We both met in New York. Well, she is from Iceland living in Switzerland. And I am from Germany living in Germany but we met in New York, and I invited her to join Heart Sells! Podcast with her amazing mission to accelerate gender equality through female entrepreneurship. And Sigrun has a wonderful story herself, success story. We are going to share with failures, with really making something out of her life that has made a huge impact on so many women from all over the world. Sigrun is the leading business mentor for female online entrepreneurs in Europe. She’s a TEDx speaker and the host of the wonderful Sigrun Show Podcast. In 2014, she started her online business, and within only five short years, she has built a seven-figure business helping women from all over the world. So I’m so excited to have her on the show. Let’s dive right in. Why it is important to put a date on your dream. Well, I am so super excited to have you on the show today, Sigrun. Welcome.

Sigrun [1:32]
I am excited to be here too.

Christine Schlonski [1:34]
We had the opportunity to meet in New York, which was very fun at a wonderful event of someone we both admire. Marieforleo and who has done a huge impact on the world. And you as well, you have made a huge impact in so many people’s lives, especially women, all over the planet. What I love about your story is that what for other people might be an excuse you took that to really feel what you are doing because you are from Iceland, which is a pretty tiny island. And usually, you don’t hear a lot about people from that island in the world. But you step out. You travel the world. You’re like present everywhere. Everybody can recognize you because you’re the lady in red. And it’s easy to find you to see wonderful branding. And you’re doing so many good things, empowering women all over the planet, through entrepreneurship, through being their own boss. So when was it clear for you that you wanted to go out there and be your own boss?

Sigrun [2:53]
I think that’s probably instilled in me from an early age. My parents had their own business. Not such an exciting business, but still their own business. They had dry cleaning. We had about eight employees. And I grew up, while they bought it probably when I was like 10. And I started to immediately help out. And I would do very simple tasks two hours a day during my summer holiday. And from there on, I would work there every holiday I got. I would earn a little bit money on the side. I was starting to buy my own clothes when I was 13. And I think that entrepreneurial spirit came. It was not a company, they found it themselves. They bought it from someone else. So that exists too. Not everyone starts from scratch. But yeah, I think I saw myself as being my own boss, but it was not clear how, when, and it was not something I pursued right away. Like I didn’t study business as a first subject. I picked architecture but somehow I knew it would happen one day.

Christine Schlonski [4:02]
Yeah. While you do construct though, it’s now businesses in homes.

Sigrun [4:06]
Yes. That’s very true.

Christine Schlonski [4:08]
Yeah. And I see you helping so many people doing the same being totally excited to get that empowerment piece and, and I truly believe it’s so important, especially for women, because somehow still even you know, in the first world, we are more toward like to step back, to be mindful of that other person like us instead of going for what we truly desire. Be a good girl, get good grades, study something, make a career kind of thinking. And it’s really difficult for women to understand, not for all of them, but for a lot that they can create their own life.

Sigrun [4:52]
Yeah, you know, I come from Iceland. We are number one in gender equality in the world. Not because we’re so good at this because everyone else is so bad. But still, amazing things happen. I just shared recently on social media that in 1975 women worked on the streets and put down work, they would not cook, or even take care of their children for a day. So, you know, a man had to step in. Basically, the country was, you know, nothing worked, you couldn’t do anything for a day, 90% of women participated.

Christine Schlonski [5:30]
Wow.

Sigrun [5:31]
And you know, including my mother who never saw herself as a feminist, but it was such a movement. It was not about feminism or, or let’s all be equal and do the same thing. It was more like, “This is unfair. We’re paid too little. We’re paid less for the same job.” The whole child-caring is on the shoulders of the women and they just say, “I’m fed up with it”, but this is 1975. So I think several countries, not just a few years behind, but I’m talking about 50. Actually, according to the World Economic Forum, Iceland is 23 years away from gender equality, the US 200.

Christine Schlonski [6:12]
Wow. I mean, that’s huge.

Sigrun [6:16]
That’s huge and still coming from that country, being raised in the belief that women can do anything. It doesn’t mean that every single woman believes it. And you know, society takes a long time to change. You put some structures in place and childcare and equal pay, and still, society will feel that women have to bear the burden. So when I was 16 years old, and I love making my own clothes, I was attending a course. And there were women in their 40s at the course. I was only 116 years old. And they told stories in the coffee breaks of how they were not following their dreams. And I got furious. Not at them. But like, how can it be that there are women that still believe this. And we’re talking about, I was 16. That’s all so many, many moons ago. And I was meeting this woman and I said, “This can’t be”, and I decided to become a feminist. For me, feminism is about gender equality is not about more rights for women is just equal rights, you know, equal pay equal rights, equal opportunities. And at the end of the day, I’m also for equal wealth, no, doesn’t mean we take money away from men. Women just need to step up and start to really think about their financial independence. And but I decided also not to become a politician. The 16-year old that I was aware, even if I didn’t really know so much about politics, I knew it was a bad place to be. So I said, “I have to find another way.” And now this was an internal dialogue with myself. I have to find another way to accelerate gender equality than being a politician. There must be another way. I think I kind of know it even if it was maybe not so clear, a little bit foggy. It’s being a role model. That is the way because when women see more women following their dreams and doing whatever they want to do, more women will believe it’s possible for them too. That’s the best advice I can give everyone. We can talk as much as we want. But we watch the action. We want to see the actual results of someone saying they’re going to do something and them actually doing it. And that’s the best way we can lead with example.

Christine Schlonski [8:36]
Yeah, I totally agree. And I’m such a big fan, as one of my biggest values is freedom. And I want to create my dream so that’s why I was also New York because one of my dreams was to sail along the Statue of Liberty. And I just wanted you to know, I really literally had the dream. And I saw it, “Hah! So what can I do?” And then the Murray event came along. I was like, “Okay, well, that’s what I have to do.” And that was actually the first thing after I arrived, I did my little sailing chillin and got the stream ticked off. And it just, you know, happy people make people happy. So when you are totally within your little world and you’re happy and you radiate that from within, then people can really see you as a role model. And I just love that because in such a short time you achieved, building a company. I think you hit your first million in your fifth year?

Sigrun [9:38]
Fourth-year.

Christine Schlonski [9:39]
Fourth-year. Yeah. So I mean, that’s such a huge step. So many people say well, “Oh, we would like to have that but they don’t take the action steps.” So what have you seen, like for people listening in. They usually have an idea, they have a dream. Maybe they even started their business, but selling their ideas or selling monetizing on what they think they have in store for others seems to be challenging. What is really good advice you could give for them to get on the right path and to feel good about them selling whatever they have to offer?

Sigrun [10:18]
Well, first of all, is not thinking of it as selling. Because selling somehow has a bad reputation. And if you’re constantly thinking I have to sell, then that’s gonna feel so forced, and it’s not going to work out. I never thought I was a good salesperson, you know, I studied architecture and then I started to work in a software company. And then I switched to another software company, and they suddenly told me, I have to go and present the software and sell it to customers. And I was like, “I’ve never done anything like this before in my life.” I’m in my early 30s, and I’ve never sold a single thing. If we can do anything different for our children, teach them early enough how to sell. I think that’s a super important skill. So yeah, I say selling is a bad word. It’s not a bad word. So the way I learned to sell was, okay, I would go into these meetings now they had booked a meeting with customers. And I showed them the software. And I realized, after a few meetings, like, what I was doing right and what I was doing wrong. So when I was just like, pushing, you know, here’s the software, and here’s how you can have it. And they’re like, I don’t know. And then I moved over to say, Well, what do you want? And I did not show the software anymore. I stopped showing the product. I just asked a few questions. I listened. And then, in 90% of the cases, this software was a perfect fit. And I explained to them why, and then maybe 10% I said, “I don’t think our software can solve these problems for you. So I think you should look somewhere else. And maybe I had an idea where that could go.” That’s how you sell. You just ask questions and you listen. And if you are the right person, or you have the right product or service for them, you’re going to say so, but if you don’t, you’re also honest. And that honesty also brings you such a long way that when people rave about, even if you say I’m not a good fit for you, people will rave about that. Because they feel Wow, this is finally a decent person. And most people like descent than most people who are selling something are doing it from a place of really wanting to help. It’s when you move into like, I need to sell, I have to sell, then it’s not going to work and it’s going to feel very forced and nobody wants to buy from you. Nobody wants to be sold to but people are looking for solutions to their problems. And if you have that solution, it should be an easy conversation.

Christine Schlonski [12:50]
Yeah, I love it, especially the listening part. And for some people, you know, it feels forced because they don’t step in and just listening and when you ask the right questions, people will just tell you, you just you know, sometimes one question is enough for them to tell you like half an hour what exactly they need. And why you listen, you can, you know, check your little boxes or this can be done well, I’m very good at this one, but this may be not so, and then really helping them and sending them somewhere else if you can’t fully support them. I think that’s key to get a good reputation in the market.

Sigrun [13:32]
Yeah, and I think I think the key to my fast growth, you know, three and a half years to seven figures in annual revenue. Now we are on track to make 2 million this year, 5 million next year. This comes from a combination of having the right programs and the right price. You know the way to scale is. First of all, you can just work more hours. Then you can increase your price per hour. And then at some point, you say, “Okay, I’m not selling my hour anymore, I’m selling something super scalable.” But I do believe the combination of lower price programs versus higher price program is also key, you know because people still want that, you know, face to face time with you. And I think that’s something when you’re in the coaching, consulting, training, teaching business, the trend is more back to that. It’s, you know, I run an online business for three years until I did my first retreat. And then I love that so much. And it’s not because it’s so profitable. It’s because you have a different connection with your clients. And those clients who went on those retreats with me typically stay on longer, and you know, buy more programs from you. So, life events, adding that to your mix, and then just having a broad range of products, not too broad, of course, you want to be known for one thing, but I think I was bold enough to raise my prices consistently. I meet so many women that are stuck in the low price segment and they might have years and years of experience doing what they’re doing. They’re absolute experts in the field, they might even have written books and might do speaking engagement. But for some reason, they are stuck at low prices. And I think it’s a self-worth issue. And that’s probably has helped me that I didn’t think I always thought I could raise my prices. I just felt that my market or my clients had to grow with me. And that’s actually what has happened. I have still clients on board with me since 2014. And I was charging my hourly rate was hundred $80 when I started. Now, I don’t sell my hours anymore, but if I would, it would be 2000. So, but you can keep those clients that can grow with you. If you just raise your prizes step by step, and you’ll continue to give value and they see how that is also benefiting them. So they need to have a return on investment, of course.

Christine Schlonski [16:08]
Yeah, totally. So where can people look like when they are still in that field where they undercharge? Like what is maybe a bridge they can build to the new price point and feel good about it and dare to ask it as well?

Sigrun [16:24]
I think that could be a couple of things. If you are still aiming for the same client, I would just raise my prices gradually. That’s what I did myself. I would have several clients at 180 I think maybe just five and this was just selling single hours, something I never recommend anyone know to do and one of my clients came back to me and said, “You’re charging too low prices. I tested for business coaches, one of them charge 400. And you were better than that person.” And I’m like, “Oh, that’s a great one. When clients come back to you and tell you you’re too cheap.” And then I raised it to 350. And I had a few bookings for that. And then the race of 500, and I was 750, you know, so I would just test that out at the same time, I could create new programs, that event that really had a lower hourly rate because people would buy more sessions in one package. So when you’re trying not to sell something, it’s a good idea to raise the price. So I didn’t want to sell my single sessions anymore. And then that just the price went up to $2,000, but you could buy a package and safe. This was just in my first year of business. And another example a client that I work with this earlier this year, her highest price product had been 420 euros for three months of coaching. She’s not a business coach or marketing coach. It’s a completely different field. It’s a relatively low price field. That’s easy in nutrition. But still I was shocked about the price, especially I’m here experience the results or clients I had, it didn’t make any sense. But instead of trying to creep up the prices with that ideal client, the ones that the person that wants to lose weight or you know, eat better food, she moved over, based on my suggestion to actually serve doctors and health professionals who want to add nutrition to their practices. And then her price went from 420 to 4500 for a group program, not one on one and she made her first six-figure launch. It’s identifying that you might be totally serving the wrong market. If you can’t raise your price. And, and yes, people feel like “Oh, raising prices This feels may be icky.” But no, if you have proven that you can provide value, just raising the price for the sake of raising the price. No, that doesn’t work. And if you are a crappy coach and don’t deliver results, we are not going to raise your prices. I am assuming that everyone listening is an experienced person and can deliver a return on investment. Return on investment is like you know if I invest 50,000 in a mastermind, I want a $500,000 return. Yeah, that’s a return on investment, if a coach can deliver it, of course, the coaches and delivered I have to deliver it myself. But if I feel I have a return like that, well, that coach can also think about raising their prices.

Christine Schlonski [19:31]
Yeah, I totally agree. And especially when you are new in the business world, you kind of have to try it a little bit like what works, what doesn’t work, and I feel and just had that earlier, the self-worth. So what I see a lot of my clients also they don’t see their own brilliance. They don’t, what they teach comes with such ease that it’s hard for them to put a price tag on it because they enjoy it so much.

Sigrun [20:01]
Yeah, I think your zone of genius is what comes easy to you. And that’s exactly what we need to price. So sometimes we need to hear it from someone else, like having a coach or a nice client that comes back to you and tells you that your services are much more valuable than you think they are.

Christine Schlonski [20:18]
Yeah. Which is really happening that clients come back. So I recommend you guys go for a coach, go for somebody who sees the bigger picture and can guide you into maybe programs you can create like going away from charging per hour and you know, packaging so that your life becomes easier. And what I love you have something really exciting coming up. So I really want to share this with the audience as well. But first of all, you have your own wonderful podcast called, The Sigrun Show, which I just love. And then you have a very exciting summit coming up like a life event in the amazing I had a look. So can you tell us about it?

Sigrun [21:04]
Yes, as I said before, I think the coaching business is changing. I think we’re seeing some trends. A lot of coaches are not as qualified as we would want. So there are less qualified coaches and more qualified coaches. And it’s hard for the person out there to pick to know, you know, there is maybe some indication if someone has written a book or someone is speaking, maybe that helps them. I haven’t published my book yet. So that’s not helpful for me. There is maybe an indication if they look up their CV that they actually run a business before if they’re looking for a business coach. There’s like things like that or their education or the testimonials but I think we are going to see more of let’s say, some people failing in this industry and others coming to the top and I think there are two things going to happen. And this is what I’m seeing already with my clients, the one that I said before that wanted to help the health professionals and doctors at nutrition. She caught it and Academy. You know, I’m seeing Academy schools, MBAs, whatever you want to call it, you can call it very different names, but where possible, you’re going to have a lot more teachers than that one coach. You’re going to have more like a board of teachers. So that’s one trend that I’m seeing. The other one is back to analog-like, you know, face to face meetings. So I add it to my signature program, a life event in September 2017. I saw the trend, you know, starting to come up. Few people, very few people were doing it like there was a life in bed. Especially in Europe, there was nothing like it. I think it was probably the first So I did this was my fourth life event that I just recently did we have up to 230 people in the room. And it’s, it’s truly amazing. And you know, it’s going to be hard to compete with that. So you’re going to see who is actually more successful versus those who are having less success in being able to put on events like this. But I thought to myself, “How am I gonna accelerate gender equality with 230 people in the room?”, that’s not going to happen, that’s not big enough, it’s not fast enough for me. I need to do something much bigger to have a bigger impact. And again, women need to work together. When I’m just working in my silo, and you and your silo, and then other my mastermind buddies and other silos and we’re all serving our clients, which is great. But together, we’re not having the impact we could have. When a lot of women come together that have achieved a lot and they stand on stage. We’re going to there’s going to be a ripple effect of so many other women seeing what’s possible. Let’s say for instance, some of my clients say, well, synchronizer far away, she’s not inspiring for anymore, she maybe need to see another person with a never background, then maybe that person needs to have three kids and, you know, be married to 20 years and they are more inspired by that person than by me, and then there’s another person that says, “Oh, I come from a little village in Germany.” That is like coming from Iceland. You know, I never had the chance of thinking I could build a business here in my tiny village in Germany. And I’m saying, “Well, if I could do it coming from Iceland, living in Switzerland, then building an international business, and you can do it too.” So bringing all these stories together started to become a passion project. And I was very scared of putting a date on my dream. This is my new mantra, put a date on your dream. The rest is logistics. That’s my new quote. So I was driving past this conference centers you have to imagine like Sydney Opera House, but Much more modern glass facade that can change colors. Beautiful. And inside this fiercely red Concert Hall, which they also use for conferences. And October last year, I put a date on my dream. I just wrote an email I said, I am these two dates available? And they said yes. And I said I’m booking it. And now it’s happening and it feels. Now it’s logistics like now I have to have meetings and book the speakers and write contracts, like the scary part is almost over of doing a conference in Europe for over 1000 female entrepreneurs, you know, yes, I am aiming for women. I know there are men coming as well. We have already started to sell tickets, and they’re going to be speakers from all over the world. We have speakers coming from Australia, New Zealand, Europe, the US, Canada. And this is all about inspiring women to think bigger. The five That at the age of five girls no longer believe that they can make their dreams come true. This brings me back to my why when I was 16-year-olds and met those 40-year-old women that didn’t think they could make their dreams come true. I am more shocked to hear that this is still the case with five-year-olds. And I’m talking about the first world as you said this is not even talking about the third world countries where we know that some girls cannot even go to school. No, I’m talking about even a country like Iceland, number one in gender equality. Still, girls will at the age of five not necessarily believe that they can make their dreams come true. Now we believe we can be President and Prime Minister because we have the examples. But currently, on the Icelandic Stock Exchange, there’s not a single female CEO. So that’s shocking. In this time and age, and the only way we’re going to change it and this is my firm belief is when women, older women like us stand up and say, “This is what I have done. If I can do it, you can do it.” So the conference is about that. Now, obviously, because my speakers are all female online entrepreneurs, you’re not just going to hear their stories and secondly, how they did it. Obviously, you got to learn money mindset and personal branding and all that, you know, juicy stuff, but my mission is really, that all of this will inspire women to think bigger and actually put a date on their dream.

Christine Schlonski [27:33]
Yeah, take action and I always say stop just dreaming, act now. Because you know, the pizza guy is not going to deliver your dream while you sit on the couch and wait. So you have to take action. I just love it. Well, thank you so so much for this wonderful interview. Where can we send people to check out your amazing event

Sigrun [27:55]
https://www.sigrun.com/selfmadesummit

Christine Schlonski [27:59]
Love it. So people hop on over there. All the links are also in the show notes as well as the wonderful link to Sigrun’s show, her own podcast. Yeah, I’m looking forward to our next interview. Thank you so much.

Sigrun [28:13]
Thank you for having me.

Christine Schlonski [28:15]
Wow, what a show. I mean, can you imagine that a five-year-old girl does not believe she can make her dreams come true. I can’t. And I don’t think I belong to those five-year-old girls who thought that some stuff wasn’t possible. So I’m so excited that we can help you to be inspired to bring your business to the next level, that you can make that impact in other people’s lives and especially helping all the girls and women around you to really step up and to fulfill their own purpose and dreams. So what you can do now is you can hop on over to https://christineschlonski.com/ and find the podcast tab has all the resources we talked about. All the links to Sigrun are right there. But also what I figured out is that oftentimes, there are just not enough people you can talk to because you don’t really know how to go out, how to make yourself visible in a way that’s aligned, that’s not salesy or pushy, but you’re also showing up for people to support them and help them. So we would say like finding your next client might be a pretty big issue that a lot of my clients come to me with. And therefore I have created the heart-centered lead generation summit. And when you hop on over tohttps://christineschlonski.com/, or you Google heart-centered lead generation summit, you will have the opportunity to sign up right now and reserve your seat. The summit is going to go live in January, but if you reserve your seat right now, we will keep you up to date and have some really really goodies on the way for you. So you make sure you hop on over to https://christineschlonski.com/ and get the resources you need to get your business to the next level. Make sure you check out the next episode with Sigrun where we are talking about that self-confidence is basically key and how you can get it. Thank you so much for joining. Have a wonderful day wherever you are in this beautiful world. Bye for now.

 

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