SG Podcast Episode 2: Putting Yourself and Your Business Out There with Darren Horne

About Darren Horne:

Darren Horne is a transformational consultant. He uses mythic story structure to deliver cutting edge strategies around social media, personal branding, and leadership. He will inspire you to be your true self, to battle fear, anxiety, and self-doubt, and embrace the modern world to fulfill your goals. 

After developing post-natal depression after the birth of his daughter, Darren realized that he had been living a life of fear. He believes that a restrictive education system and a media that profits off of our unhappiness wears us down. He strives to make the world a better place for his daughter to grow up in. Darren is a guide that can help you step out of your comfort zone, demystify social media, encourage you to own your own story, and courageously step in to the modern world. 

Key Takeaways:

1. Put Value on Your Worth

One of the hardest things for entrepreneurs to do is put value on their time. Before setting your prices, write down every single experience and qualification you have. Write down what you know and the time it took to gain that knowledge. Then think about how much that is worth, and it will be more than you think.

2. Connect Authentically with Your Audience

Darren began making connections on SnapChat. He also talks about accountability groups, and how seeing others on his social media feeds inspire him to put himself out there. Talking on SnapChat helped him learn how to communicate and think about what kind of content he wanted to put out. 

Video is the best way to build rapport. Potential clients want to buy from people they feel like they know and trust. Darren tries to be real and authentic by showing his real life and including his daughter in Facebook Lives. 

Darren’s outlook on the world is courage, compassion, and curiosity. He tries to be that person, and he wants to make the world a better place. 

Favourite Quotes:

  1. “Stop keeping what you are doing quiet, just do it, and say that it’s your plan.”

  2. “If they know you, they’ll trust you, and they’ll buy from you. People want to buy from people.”

  3. “The impact you have on the environment that you’re in is huge. If you lead with intent, you can actually have a really positive impact on the world.”

Connect with Darren Horne:

SG Podcast Episode 1: Getting Started as a Coach with Dennis Sumlin

About Dennis:

Dennis R Sumlin is the founder of Core Confidence Life (CCL), a Talent Promotion and Coaching service that helps authors, voice artists, and podcasters communicate effectively, strengthen their confidence, polish their brand, and reach a wider audience.

He works with people who have a personal development, social conscious, or educational focus to their message. Dennis has a long background in performing arts, speaking/broadcasting, talent recruitment, and other related promotional and administrative experience. He is both a certified communication and confidence coach as well as a Distinguished Toastmaster (DTM) from Toastmasters International. 

Key Takeaways:

1. How to Help People When You’re Not Sure How to Get Started

Start by really thinking about what you’re passionate about. What sets you on fire? What do you really want to do? Brainstorm and write some of that stuff down. 

What do you know the most about? What comes easy to you? Do you have some intrinsic knowledge about something that you could even get better at?

If you’re passionate about something that you need to learn more about, go out and do it! Take a course, read more, and learn more about it. 

2. Figure Out What People Want From What Your Talents Are

Don’t just throw products together without doing market research and discovering what people want. It’s not enough to think you know what people want, you have to go out there and figure out what the public wants.

Deliver to them out of your pool of talent and see what sticks!

3. Confidence is Key

If you are not confident in yourself, that is something to work on. Flesh out why you feel that way and challenge those thoughts. Look at your past, and see where you have used your skills before. Think about how successful it was because success is not always about money. 

Market research in your niche can also help your confidence. When you talk to people and see how badly they need the services you are providing, it can help you to silence your own negative voices. 

Favourite Quotes:

  1. “To be an effective communicator, you need to have a certain level of confidence in yourself and your message.”

  2. “When you talk to people and see how bad people want these services you are offering, it helps you to silence your own negative voices and to continue.”

  3. “To figure out your niche, think about what you are passionate about. What sets you on fire? Write that down. Then think about what you know the most about. What comes easy to you? Then go out there and do it!”

Connect with Dennis:

Why a Good Routine Will Help You Create Content

I’m out of my element and my routines are all in a whack.


Because I came home yesterday to spend 6 days with family and friends heading into the long weekend. Hadn’t been home in a few months and since I can work remotely, it’s easy to spend an extra few days elsewhere.

Anyway, what I quickly realized this morning is that the main reason I’ve been so consistent with my content over the last few months is that I had a rock-solid routine.

Not just for creating content, but for my whole day.

In fact, writing email/blog content and recording my daily vlog have been so engrained in my day, that they’ve become part of my routine. 

And that, my friends, is my key to creating consistent content - bake it into your routine like anything else.

Want to post more on Insta? Set it in your calendar for 10am and 3pm every day. Want to start putting out 1 youtube video per week? Set it in your calendar for Thursday at 11am every week (or whatever times you want). Want to record a daily vlog every morning? Stick it into your morning routine with everything else.

Just like anything, if you plan it and schedule it, you are more likely to get it done.

Waking up at home today I had a bad sleep in a different bed, don’t have my usual “recording spot”, don’t have my famous J-mug (if you haven’t seen my daily vlogs on Youtube, you’re missing out on me and my good ol’ J-mug) and was thrown off right away.

So I’ll be battling to get back into my routine this week and appreciating the one I’ve created even more.

Takeaway: plan where you want to create more content and stick it in your schedule/routine. Asap.

(For more on this, I go into more detail on my appreciation for routines in my daily vlog here)

From my end in terms of content, I’ve been prioritizing:

- the SG Podcast (where I interview other successful solopreneurs)

- SG Daily (my 5-7 minute vlog, Monday/Wednesday/Friday, where I discuss lessons and business tips from my solopreneur business)

- Instagram (where I post quotes from both of the above, in picture and audio format)

I’m trying to play around with different types of Insta content because it isn’t a platform I’m overly comfortable with (I’m not as much of a visual/artsy guy, more into writing and speaking) but am enjoying it so far.

My key insights with regards to solopreneur content creation:

1) Just document your life/journey if you don’t know what to post. This is a big tip from Gary Vee and is so helpful because it’s tough to come up with fresh content every day, and because people are interested in the behind the scenes part as well.

2) Stop overthinking and just post stuff. From what I’m seeing with my podcast, instagram, and anything in life really… if you take more action, you’ll see more results. This applies to creating content too. Keep creating and posting content because you’ll learn, you’ll get feedback, you’ll grow and you’ll see what’s working and what isn’t.

Hope this helps on your quest for solopreneur success!

How to Create a New Service Offering for your Solopreneur Business

I’ve talked about service offerings as a solopreneur before, but I want to go a little deeper because of how important they are to any company, but especially as a new solopreneur creating your first one.

The funny thing about offering a new service is that as much as you plan and prepare for it, until you get a few clients and take them through it, you’ll never truly know what issues may come up, what questions they’ll have, how long the process will take, etc.

But don’t let that get you down… just treat is as a phase in the process. 

Almost like a testing or diagnosis phase, which is exactly why people do alpha or beta launches, early releases for movies, etc.

Because I’ve been through the process of testing and implementing new service offerings a few times now, I’m going to go over the exact steps I took to get my new service offering off the ground.

How I strategically added a new service offering to my current solopreneur business:

1) looked at the market/opportunities to see whether my idea made sense (note: this was not a fresh industry - it is semi-related to my current service offering and a bit of a “low hanging fruit”). ((Note 2: always look for low hanging fruit for your business!))

2) determined whether it was viable and worth my time/energy/money to test the new service

3) researched the process from start to finish so I could brainstorm how to structure the service, how to price it, and how to ultimately offer it

4) built a modern looking landing page outlining the service, price, offer, etc.

5) tested the landing page by sending traffic at it (by using some previous clients, some warm outreach and I will also be using FB groups, warm email and LinkedIn strategies to ramp up. Note: the channels you use will depend on your industry, business, etc. Checkout this SG Daily vlog where I discuss how to choose your channels in more detail).

6) adjust landing page/service offering as needed after getting some feedback.

Those are the steps I took folks… so far, it’s gone quite well and I will be ramping up traffic to the landing page starting tomorrow for further testing now that I’ve heard feedback and seen some numbers.

If you have questions on any of the above, feel free to reach out through my email list where I talk about all other sorts of solopreneur business and life stuff.

How to Approach Sales as a Solopreneur

Sales can suck.

There, I said it.

But sales are pretty darn important for solopreneurs (and any business for that matter - without them, we’re in big trouble).

One of the biggest misconceptions I see about sales, especially for newer solopreneurs who are struggling with them, is that they don’t realize there are zero shortcuts in sales like there are in some other areas of business.

Let me give you a quick example to further explain:

I was browsing Facebook last night in one of the business groups I’m apart of (I highly suggest joining at least a few FB groups related to your business/industry, you can gain a ton of insight and even make some good connections), and saw the following post and comment:

“Post: Hey all, I’m looking for someone who can help me with digital photos

Comment: Hey (person)! I can help with that, shoot me a PM”

I facepalmed so hard when I read it…


Because the commenter had a chance to start the conversation with a client right then and there by taking action and sending them a personal message! Instead, by asking them to send a PM, you’re delaying the conversation, hoping that the person even messages you to begin with, and giving other people a chance to message them first.

I know this is a bit of a nuanced situation, but sales is hard enough already for most (all?) solopreneurs.

Don’t wait for customers to knock on your door or message you.

Don’t sit back and expect customers to fall in your lap.

Take that extra step (in this case, the extra 20 seconds) and send them a message (directly) to get the conversation going, telling them how you can help them and how to get started working together.

Especially in sales, you need to give yourself every possible advantage possible (yes I said possible twice!) because of how hard it can be and how important it is for solopreneur businesses especially.

Okay… rant over :P It just bugs me to see people leaving opportunities out there because as you know, my goal with Solopreneur Grind is to help others grow their own businesses.

Anyway, let me give you a more actionable example…

Let’s say you’re a business coach - you do direct sales outreach, and you post blog content, and IG stories, and do your own accounting, and other admin work (billing, website management, etc.).

If you take shortcuts in other areas (maybe you skip a blog post/IG live stream for a week or two, push back your accounting for a few months, or don’t update your website for a while), your business will still operate. You may see a decrease in business success in the long term, but likely nothing you would even notice.

If you take shortcuts in your sales outreach or processes, your sales will stop completely…

If you don’t do any cold outreach

If you don’t followup with hot leads

If you don’t send proposals/invoices/bills

If you don’t do whatever it takes to move a potential customer along your sales process and get their money in your bank account, your sales will drop off (unless you have a super successful company already and/or tons of inbound traffic).

What am I trying to say here?

Shift your mindset for your sales processes and realize there are no shortcuts (other than hiring someone to do it for you, which isn’t a bad idea if you can afford it and they’re good at it).

It’s hard, trust me I know (it took me 4 months to sign my own first client for my legal practice). But the sooner you accept the fact that sales is hard and you have to do everything in your power at every step of the process until the money is in the bank, the sooner you’ll see the bank start to grow.

And if you want more tips and insight, I talk about sales a lot on my email list - join in on the fun here.