Rising Star: Ruth Thirtle’s When quitting is the best business model.

ruththirtle web (100x150)We are very proud to feature our Wonderful Web Radio Rising Star interview. In this segment, we speak with Ruth Thirtle. Ruth from Business Results Catalyst is a business development specialist who loves helping business owners to design and implement key business, marketing and sales strategies. She has taught thousands of people around the world the tactics and benefits of effective business and networking strategy. Ruth has individual business clients both in Australia and the UK. She is involved with the Professional Coaches Network, was a facilitator for marketing expert Kerwin Rae, has been a mentor for the Women Moving Forwards program and has received certification in Customer Value Optimisation (a fancy way of saying Funnel). She is also a contributing author in a number of books and blogs including The Law of Attraction in Action, The Power of 100 and Winning in Life and Work, the Business Blogging Network and Women’s Network Australia.


Transcript of the Interview

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Announcement: Welcome to Rising Stars Radio, where we share the stories of ordinary people taking action to create extraordinary changes in their businesses. They are the true rising stars to watch, so get ready to take notes for our no-fluff, cutting to the chase, twenty-minute interview.

Janet:               Hello and welcome everybody. It’s so great to welcome you here to Rising Stars Radio. I have a lovely woman with us today, Ruth Thirtle, who has been a member of the wonderful web community. Right from the very, very beginning, when we started off doing interviews of successful women online, that’s how Wonderful Web Women started, and my gold membership, which was sharing all of those different stories, and Ruth was right there from the very, very beginning and has stayed as part of the Wonderful Web community all that time since then, so she’s definitely always there. Definitely haven’t lost contact with Ruth. Ruth has got a really, really interesting story to share with you today. Ruth Thirtle from businessresultscatalyst.com, wonderful to welcome you here, Ruth. How are you?

Ruth:                I’m very well, Janet. Thank you so much for that introduction. You say it has been a while. I don’t know about you, that makes me feel a bit old.

Janet:               It’s funny, because I think I started Wonderful Web Women about seven years ago, and we’ve had a few, I wouldn’t call them reincarnations or incarnations, it’s been adapting and growth to what people have been wanting, so it started off as a search for role models and interviewing other people, and so people said, “Look, it’s great you’ve got all these people that want to learn from you, Janet, your technique,” and then that has evolved as I’ve got clearer on it. The nice thing is people like you, Ruth, who started there wanting to learn from case studies from inspirations has stayed all that way through, and it seems longer than it is. Seven years, it doesn’t make us that old, does it?

Ruth:                No, no.

Janet:               Our intention today is to be able to give as much value to everybody who’s joined us in about twenty minutes, so we’re going to get stuck straight into it. Our intention is to be able to give you some inspiration and also some actionable steps, everyone, that you can go ahead this week and start making some changes in your business, and start making decisions that feel right for you. Get your pen and paper out and keep in mind that you’re looking for a couple of gold nuggets that you can implement this week. To get started, Ruth, would you mind sharing with everybody who it is that you serve, and how do you do that?

Ruth:                Absolutely. In a nutshell, I help small business owners to design out their effective sales and marketing funnel, if you like, their system and processes. Then I get involved with a few key clients and help them to actually to implement those things into their own business. Business owning people are really, really great at the skills that they have and what they do and sometimes just miss some of that, the systems and the processes, to allow them to move people to being a customer. That’s where I step in and help.

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Janet:               Your model is working very closely as a supporter, almost as a partnership, with a few select people, not actually implementing.

Ruth:                Yeah, that’s correct. That’s where we’re at now. Now I’m going to talk a little bit about the journey. I probably tried a number of different models in terms of leverage and products and things that, for me, it is that very close relationship with a couple of key businesses that allows me to help them to grow and be that support for that business. Having said that, one of the partnerships is with a firm of accountants, and within that role I’m working with their clients, so I’m working a little bit more amassing and a bit more of a coaching, consulting capacity there, but from within an organization.

Janet:               That’s interesting. We’re going to go into a lot more detail very soon in this call here about the changes that Ruth has made into her business and her business model, and the reasons that she’s done it. I think you’re going to find it really insightful. Before we do that, we should let people know how we know each other. Would you mind sharing what programs of mine that you’ve done and what you’ve been involved in?

Ruth:                I think we mentioned that I was a gold member of Wonderful Web Women all those years ago, and that’s been regular, monthly input from yourself and from your partners. One of the earliest things that I got involved with that probably had the biggest impact on me and the business is to get involved in the collaborative book that you did when we did The Power of a Hundred. That was my first foray into being an author. Then I was looking around my office as I was preparing for out time together today and realized that I’ve got quite a few of the information sheets. Your video marketing sheets and your profitable advertised sheets are all pinned up around my office, so I think I’ve done quite a bit with you, Janet.

Janet:               Oh, really? Isn’t that interesting, because actually the gold membership, we were saying at the beginning that it evolved, that initially it was interviews with other people, and my focus was very, very much on shining the light on people who had created success. Then, over time, it evolved into being monthly classes, so things like the video sheets and the avatar, all of those sorts of things. I was doing those monthly, which as an insight into the reasons why I did that was I wanted to create a comprehensive program, which became my Shine Online program. Through the process of actually creating that program, people paid me to create all those different modules by being members of that membership. As soon as everything was created, then that membership closed and people could get it all through the Shine Online. Just a bit of an insight there on how do you create something so comprehensive that can take a long time to create and still make it profitable for you as you go, …

Ruth:                Absolutely.

Janet:               … and give good value, because as you’re saying, it’s great to know that I’m stuck upon your wall. The Power of One Hundred book, you said that was your first experience as an author.

Ruth:                It was.

Janet:               Does that mean that you’ve since become an author again?

Ruth:                I have. I’m now a multiple best-selling author, New York Times, and Amazon, and various other places. They’ve actually all been contributions to collaborative books, because through that Power of One Hundred and looking at things that was definitely for me opened my eyes to those kind of opportunities, if you like, and taken a number of those opportunities to be involved in other collaborations, one called Ready, Aim, Captivate, which was all about putting magic in your message and a fortune in your future. We got to go to the book launch, which was an author’s extravaganza at the very exclusive magic castle in Hollywood, which was an incredible experience. There’s been a number of collaborations coming out of that formula. I said five when I thought the question, but I’ve actually realized that I actually missed a couple which I’ve done online that were Amazon best sellers anything else, so there’s actually seven.

Janet:               There you go. What do you think has been the benefits of taking part in those books?

Ruth:                For me, it’s been, I guess, threefold. On a personal level, it’s been very much about being able to claim a space and to realize in myself that I don’t have to know everything about a subject in order to be able to share and help other people, which has given me a lot of confidence in what I was doing, so that’s been really fantastic. From a business point of view, having that book, that authorship, has enabled me to do some speaking, has given me some credibility when speaking to potential clients, and so it’s really taken, I guess, that business reputation up a notch as well. The third thing has been that collaboration, and the community, and the realization that yes, we’re in business, but we don’t have to do business on our own. That community feel is, which I know that you’re passionate about, because Wonderful Web Women has been built on, but even through these collaborating with other experts to create a book and then being able to meet up with those guys at these events and build partnerships out of that has been a really great, that community spirit, if you like.

Janet:               As you said, you might be in business on your own, but it doesn’t mean you’re alone. There’s a whole community that you can tap into. Even though the programs that you’re talking about, the gold membership and the Power of One Hundred book, those things that have been in a year or so ago, you’re still an active part of our community, you’re still very much on my radar. That’s the strength of community, that you’re not alone. It doesn’t mean that if you haven’t had a transaction in twelve months, that you’re on the outer. That’s where that strength comes. Let’s have a look at the way that your business has changed. Before we got on the call here, Ruth and I were talking about what she’s doing in her business and the changes. This is a really, really different interview than I’ve done previously in that we’re going to be talking about things that some other people might see as a fail, but then can actually be seen as a win depending on where you put your values. It’ll be really interesting to talk to you about the changes that you’ve recently made in your business and the reasons that you did that. Are you happy to talk about that now?

Ruth:                Absolutely. Bit of a soul cleansing going on here.

Janet:               Soul cleansing, I love it, I love it. We were talking about business models before we got on the call, and you were saying that you reckon that you’ve tried just about every business model.

Ruth:                I think so. I was doing the speak to sell model, I’ve done a membership site and online programs, one-on-one coaching and consulting, quite a lot.

Janet:               Now, your business model is very much working with a couple of people consulting, in some cases having an employer-employee relationship, where you’re actually underneath their brand and representing them. What made you change …

Ruth:                That’s pretty much totally where it is. My business model is to actually let my own business name and business identity go and to completely operate as someone within other businesses that’s not building my own brand, but being that supporter person who is building another person’s brands or two or three people’s brands.

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Janet:               What made you change that? What made you not want to be focusing on your own business brand and your own personal brand and move over into that different role of working with other people’s businesses?

Ruth:                I guess the nutshell of that, actually, comes down to a gentleman and a system that you know incredibly well, Janet, which is Roger Hamilton’s Wealth Dynamics. I took my Wealth Dynamics profile, and anybody on the call who has not done their Wealth Dynamics profile, they really need to get over there and do that.

Janet:               It’s a powerful one, isn’t it?

Ruth:                It’s amazing. It’s really good. I had first done my Wealth Dynamics profile a few years ago and and discovered that I was a supporter profile, which is very much the people person, it is that being there as the supporter. One of the role models that Roger talks about in the reports from it is of Jack Welch from GE, who never owned the business but he is incredibly well-known and incredibly successful as that two IC. I knew this, and I knew the profile of that, but it was talking about coaching businesses and consulting and things as ideal businesses for my personality type. That’s where I was working for the four or five years, in a coaching business, trying a number of things. To be perfectly honest, not seeing the rewards in terms of the finances or freedom or time or whatever that I think I should have done, if you like, from the effort that I was putting in.

Last year I was working with another one of your partners, Joanna Martin, in a mentoring program, and she literally sat me down on a group coaching call and said, “Right, what’s going on? What would happen if you didn’t have your business and if you weren’t a business owner? Where is the emotional attachment around that?” My first instinct was I’d be a failure. Everything I had done in the last four or five years, I would be admitting defeat, and that I’d failed in all of that. Then I sat with it a little bit more and went through a process of waking up the next morning and pretend that I had made the decision not to have my business and seeing what the emotions actually were, and to be honest I couldn’t wipe the grin off my face for that day and a big feeling of relief for me, which was quite interesting, and then looked at it from a value point of view.

I’ve got the emotional side, the personality side, and then looking at it from a value point of view, and one of the main reasons for me being in business is my number one value is freedom. I thought that having my own business was what was going to feed that value for me, that freedom. When I looked at it, I went, “When’s the last time that you actually turned your computer off for more than about three days without having to check an email? Where’s your actual time freedom in that, and where’s your financial freedom?” I was so up and down on a financial level that I actually went, “If I’m working closely with someone else,” and the contract that I was talking about with the guys that had the accountants, that’s two days a week, guaranteed income, guaranteed work, skill variety in working with their clients and still that bit of flexibility. That, even just the two days, gives me so much more freedom of time and of money than I was having previously in my own business.

I reassessed to really serve my personality type and to cling onto that Wealth Dynamics profile, if you like. Maybe I don’t have to be the number one in business. Maybe if I’m somebody’s right-hand woman, I’m working with them, and they have got all the creative energy, and that entrepreneurial spirit, that that’s going to be better for both me and them. Everything that I’ve learned, the training that I’ve with yourself, the training that I’ve done with Ryan, and Franklin on sales funnels, the training that I’ve done with Steve Brossman on video market, all of these other things that I have done all brings me to this place now where I’m a fabulous number two for a business owner rather than needing to be out there creating new products, having new ideas, and doing it all myself.

Janet:               You know what? The interesting thing is, you know how your first response was, “That’s a failure, I’ve wasted my time.” Interestingly, I know a few people who have made that tough decision and they’ve almost kept it to themselves, where, “Right, I’m not going to let people know on Facebook that I’m not running my company now, or that I’ve changed my model so that I’m more the behinds the scene person, whether it’s as an employee or whether it’s as a contractor or as a consultant, it’s still quietly behind the scenes.” There’s the people who I know who’ve done it almost felt a sense of shame, as if they had to hide, whereas interestingly, I actually see that as there are so many different business models that you can choose that there’s nothing that is wrong or right about any of them.

They all work in so many different ways, and this is what confuses people that they go, “I should be doing membership sites,” or, “I should be selling only high-end,” or I shoulds, should, should, should, whereas the interesting thing is it’s actually, I think, something rather than something to be seen to be hiding and ashamed, because that’s what entrepreneurs are meant to do, is to be out there and creating, creating, and building a new brand, is it’s actually, “You know what, this is actually looking at where my strengths lay, and the business model that I have chosen actually supports my strengths is as the supporter.” The way that you structure that financially will be worked out with every single client. For some, they want to put you on a regular retainer which might be the same as being an employee. For other people, they want you to invoice them. It’s still a different business model. I think what you’ve done is actually a really insightful thing, and you’re being able to see that in how you feel.

Ruth:                How I feel and the result. That conversation that I had with John, that was about six months ago, and the opportunities that have opened up for me that I haven’t had for the previous four years, the financial situation that I’m in now is better than it has been for the last few years. I’ve met up with a few people that haven’t seen me for a while and they’ve said, “What’s going on with you,” and they’re not necessarily business people, so they’re not meaning it for a business, but, “You look younger, you look fresher.” I actually think even from a physical point of view, it is completely embracing the right thing for me, and the results of that are absolutely speaking for themselves.

Janet:               Isn’t that brilliant? I think this is a really interesting insight. If you’re listening to this and you think, “You know what? My personality is very much as a supporter, and that’s where I feel stronger,” there’s a few different ways that you can structure your business that work in that way. One may be where you’re choosing to work just with one, two, or three different people, and you’re the person that’s actually the implementer within their business. That may be the model you choose. As a supporter, you may decide that what you’re going to be doing is really working out … Exactly how I started, actually, with Wonderful Web Women, is not shining the light on myself, but focusing on finding and promoting and sharing the stories of other people.

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Ruth:                Which I’ve done a lot of over the last couple of years. Again, that was something from yourself. I did a telesummit, and then even with the accountants that I’ve been talking about that I’m working with, we’ve just done a series of expert interviews over the last twelve months, one a month for the last twelve months. I love it.

Janet:               Isn’t that interesting? You’ve actually been combining two models there …

Ruth:                Absolutely.

Janet:               … with that one client where you’re really focusing on then. It’s a particularly nice way for a supporter to be able to do what comes naturally, which is shining the light on other people. Because they can recognize that you are that supporter, you develop a very high level of trust with the people who are following you. That’s another model that works really, really well for supporters, and it’s interesting that you’ve actually combined your two there. Another one that works really well for supporters is, depending on what it is that you do, but just focusing on having a handful of higher-end clients that you’re working closely with and doing a lot with them, which is very similar to what you were doing in that setting with your model there. If you’re listening to this as somebody who resonates with that supporter type personality and you’re thinking about business models that work for you, I’m sure you’re going to get some great insights here from Ruth. Think about those different models that can work really well for you. Let’s do a little bit of a wrap-up so that we can give some people some action steps, or things that they can be focusing on as the core messages to finish off. What would be the main things that you want people to take away today?

Ruth:                Out of all of that, and I was trying to focus this as well, because again, there’s a little bit of theory here. I’m a very practical person, but I think one of the biggest things for me has been to say yes to opportunities. When something comes up, even if you’re not quite sure how that fits in or what is going to work, then trust your guts to an extent, but say yes to those opportunities. At the time that I said yes to The Power of a Hundred, I had no idea that I had even a chapter in me of a book to write. The doors that that has opened up for me have been amazing, so certainly be open and say yes to opportunities. The second thing that I was thinking is with regards to your attitude. We all have good days and bad days. In business there are some times that there are some times that we’re dancing on the ceiling and it’s amazing.

Your attitude is what goes through with you. Your focus might change, your programs might change and everything else, but people will be attracted to you because of your attitude, so be mindful of keeping your attitude quite positive, certainly publicly with social media and everything else. It won’t matter if things do change for you, if your focus changes, if your business model changes, it might feel like you’re doing a complete back flip, you’ll still have that strong community based on your attitude as much as anything else. I think that again, surrounding yourself with great people. Having a look at the people that you’ve got around you at your life and make sure that you’ve got that core group of people that are there to encourage you, build you up, and that are smarter than you. It is great to be the least smart person in the room sometimes and surround yourself with brilliant people, so that sense of community. They’re probably the three real key things.

Janet:               That’s brilliant. That’s very wise, Ruth. Very good wisdom. I think one thing that you did mention earlier is about doing that personality profiling. There’s a few different profiling tools you can use. If you’re doing our Shine Online program we’ve got, in the module called Profit in You, we have a whole thing there on understanding your core values and your personality types. We link over to Roger’s there. I still reckon it’s the most powerful personality profiling tool I’ve seen for entrepreneurs, because it helps you to understand what type of entrepreneur you are, what type of business model you should be using. Just to know the insights, for example, with you Ruth, that you’re a supporter and having examples of other supports who have really successful, so you can see who to model, is incredibly strong.

Ruth:                Absolutely.

Janet:               I’ll make sure that we put a link to where people can go and do that. It’s a really valuable tool to do. If you go into it, share down below. Are you a supporter? Are you like me and you’re a star profile with interestingly, a bit of a mix of creator and a little bit of a mix of supporter in there, but a star profile who needs to be, “Look at me, look at me.”

Ruth:                It is star in me as well, and I said that speaking side of things is definitely from that star side of things. It gave me great peace of mind as well, because I was listening to business building tips and wealth building tips, and to some of them going, “I have no interest in that. I can sit here and I’m looking at you and you’re really successful, but you’re sending me to sleep within five minutes,” and to realize that I’m not we’re not cut out for everything. Everything works, but not everything works for everybody, and when people talk about some of the property side of things or foreign exchange trading or things like that, no interest. Is there something wrong with me? Does this mean I don’t want money, that I’m not interested in this and the whole belief thing, but just to go, “No, it’s just that’s not right for me with who I am.”

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Janet:               That’s a great insight. It’s funny, I’ve had exactly the same thought where I thought, “Okay, so Forex trading and the property,” all that stuff that’s very, very much systematic, looking at numbers that works so well for other people. To me it would be like watching paint dry.

Ruth:                Save my husband, he sits over that side, the analytical side. It’s awesome to him.

Janet:               I guess the lesson from this is we’ll put the link there to go and do that personality profile, I think it’s one of the most powerful ones that you can use, and I really recommend that you do that. Ruth, where can people go to contact you, to get in contact with you, get to know you, because interestingly, even though you’re saying that you’re not looking to promote your brand and promote your business necessarily because you’re working closely with a few people, my gut feeling is people listening to your incredible honesty and transparency today, there’s going to be people here who are listening thinking, “you know what? Geez, I wish she was supporting me in my business.” Where can people get to know you, and contact you and get to build that relationship with you a bit more?

Ruth:                Perfect. I guess two places: The business is still there and it’s still running, so businessresultscatalyst.com is the website to go check it out the videos and see how wonderful I am. The other place is Facebook. I’m pretty much on Facebook, but just as me, so do go find me, send me a friend request. If you do that, just send me a message so that you’ve heard me through Janet, through Wonderful Web Women, and I’ll certainly connect there. They’re probably the two places.

Janet:               That’s brilliant. We’ll put links to both of those in the transcript, so if you’re listening to this over and iTunes, you can go and get the transcript and see all of the links. If you go to Rising Stars Radio Show and you’ll be able to do search there for Ruth and you’ll be able to have the transcript and all those links, but importantly, there’s an area there for you to be able to comment down below. Now, one of the most rewarding things for Ruth and I is to hear from you. If you’ve taken the time to stay with us, trust us with your time today, it means an amazing amount to us to actually hear back from you. If you can leave a comment telling Ruth how much she rocks. Share. Do you consider yourself to be a supporter profile? If you do the profile test that we’ve talked about, come back and let us know. If you’ve got questions for Ruth and myself, leave them there and we’ll come back and we’ll discuss with you. That would be really, really valuable. You can leave those comments down below at the bottom of the page where you’re reading the transcript and listening to the audio. Any final messages? Any last thoughts before we go, Ruth?

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Ruth:                I want to say thank you to you for allowing me to share, because it has actually been quite cleansing, quite good for me to be able to do that and be supported by yourself. What I would like to say to people is, there are so many things that do work, but you’ve got to find the thing that is right for you. Be yourself. You can’t put on an act. It’s not going to last for very long, so be yourself and go with the things that do feel right for you. Keep getting your education, keep learning, keep being supported by the people, but at the end of it, your success is going to be down to exactly who you are and really playing to your strengths.

Janet:               Absolutely. That’s a really beautiful message to end on. Thank you so much for your time, Ruth. I’ve really enjoyed our interview, and thank you very much everybody who’s been listening. Thank you for trusting us with your time, and go out there and take some action from what Ruth has done today and do the things that make you feel right for you in your business. Bye.

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