“Everyone should join this course!” Find out how Double Your Profits helped calligrapher Alejandra Gonaldi
Ever wondered what it’s like on our Double Your Profits programme? Find out how it changed Alejandra Gonaldi’s entire approach to business.
In September 2019 calligrapher Alejandra Gonaldi made a big decision: she invested in Double Your Profits, a 12-week transformational online business programme run by Hannah Martin, the founder of Talented Ladies Club.
Almost a year on, we caught up with Alejandra who runs Calligrabilty, a creative space for calligraphy, lettering and crafts enthusiasts, to find out how the course has changed her business – and her life.
What made you decide that you needed help with your business?
Before I watched the webinar about Double Your Profits last year, I didn’t realise that I needed help!
I was just focused on trying to make my business more profitable. All day, every day my focus was on doing better, doing more work and getting more products to sell.
I had been subscribed to the Talented Ladies Club newsletter for a long time when I saw details of the webinar about profit, I was worried that we weren’t earning enough profit so I signed up for the free webinar. And it blew my mind.
In the webinar Hannah talked about pricing, and different ways to sell your products, about the different types of customer who will buy from you, and I had never thought about these things in that way.
I had always thought that if you worked hard you’d get results. But I realised that wasn’t the case. There are a lot of things you need to get right in order to make money, things that were all interconnected, and just working harder and harder wouldn’t help you to earn more.
So after the webinar I booked a call with Hannah.
What would have happened, do you think, if you hadn’t booked the call?
I would still be working harder and harder, feeling increasingly disappointed.
I had no idea I was doing the wrong thing – I just thought I wasn’t doing enough; that I had to do more of the same thing if I wanted to succeed.
So I think, really, if I haven’t done Double Your Profits I would have ultimately given up. Especially once COVID-19 hit.
Had you tried to get help before?
I had done what lots of people do – I read blogs and magazines, signed up for short, free courses, for example at the British Library. But all of these only tackled one point each time, so I was only working on one part of my business.
When I did Double Your Profits, I realised that you need to look at your business holistically, because everything is connected. You can’t just ‘fix’ one thing and hope that your business will suddenly work. In fact, I found that when I focused on one part of my business, another would crumble!
I now know that doing just one or two things is not enough to change everything. Instead, making small, incremental changes every day, and working on EVERYTHING will build up to the big result you want.
What worries did you have before signing up to Double Your Profits?
The one thing was the price. At that moment I was not earning a lot, but I really believed that it would help me so I found a way I could afford it.
I didn’t see any other course that was focused exactly on profit, like this one was, so I decided to invest.
It was a big decision, but I easily made back all the money in just one workshop that I ran because of the course, so that was brilliant.
I also knew that not only could I earn back the money I spent on the programme, but that what I learned would help me make more money forever. It was an investment in my entire future, and that made it excellent value for money.
How did you find the course?
I absolutely loved it. I liked that the modules were weekly, so you had plenty of time to do your work, but you also made regular progress.
Some weeks were more difficult than others for me if I was working or had commitments, but you could always catch up easily.
I also loved that there were other people going through the same programme as you. Everyone had a different business, with different problems, and Hannah always found a way of helping each of us individually.
I learned a lot from the problems that others were dealing with too. I knew if I ever came across those problems I already had answers for them. Hannah was very supportive in the Facebook group, and always ready to answer any questions.
It was also surprising to see some of the people on the course. From the outside it looked like they had very successful businesses; I could never have guessed that they were struggling behind the scenes.
So that changed my point of view as well, and stopped me from worrying why my business wasn’t as successful as other people’s. I just focus on my business now and don’t worry about others’ perceived successes.
Was there any particular learning that really changed how you approach your business?
One thing that I really took from the course was, I was always worried about not earning enough money. And one of the lessons was about how much money we SPEND.
I realised then that it wasn’t that we didn’t earn money, but that we were spending too much of it. We never recorded how much money we earned and spent; there was no investment plan.
So if we saw something that we liked or was cheap, we’d buy it for our business. It was like play shopping when you’re a kid. If I had £5 I’d spend £4 on things for my business because I had cash, and just keep £1.
I realised that how you spent money was as important as how you earned it. And you have to be in control of your money.
Was there any part of the programme that you found particularly hard?
There was nothing I couldn’t do. If I found anything difficult I always got the help I needed in the calls. I found the Facebook group really good too, because you can get help from Hannah and other people on the course straight away, and you don’t need to wait until the next call.
I also really liked Hannah’s way of teaching. She never said, “I am an expert in everything and you have to do it my way.” Instead, she would recommend books and YouTube videos we would find helpful. And if she couldn’t answer a question on a call she would find the answer and post it in the Facebook group for us all, or share it in the next call.
Double Your Profits isn’t a one-size-fits-all programme, it’s tailored to everyone on it. We weren’t all expected to do exactly the same things and get the same results. Instead it felt like Hannah was helping us all individually, and we were learning from each other’s businesses.
A lot of the stuff you see online tells you that you need to follow their exact process to be successful, but Double Your Profits was much more flexible; it was a process that you could tailor to your exact situation.
The variety of material Hannah provided was brilliant, and the books that I bought because she recommended them to me were really helpful. I think everything helped.
How is your life different now that you have finished Double Your Profits?
I now have a vision of the business as a business. It’s not just “I like calligraphy, so I want to do it.” It’s more about the person who is in front of me. I know my clients and I can adapt my materials to give them what they need.
But the one thing I never forget is the profit. Now I always ensure that I make a good profit.
Before I did Double Your Profits I felt really guilty for not being with my kids, or at the end of the month not bringing enough money to my house, even when I worked really hard. And I was starting to feel like I was not good at my job because of that.
I was blaming my ability rather than the method I was using. But now I have a much better understanding of business, and I have more organisation in my daily work.
Importantly, I can also see when things are not right, and understand why that’s the case. And I know how to make the changes needed. I have a holistic vision of my business, rather than only seeing some parts of it in isolation.
How do you feel now about the decision you made to join Double Your Profits?
It was the right one. I absolutely feel that it was a positive step, and a needed one.
Who would you recommend do Double Your Profits?
Anyone who is really struggling with something in their business. If you think the problem is you, then this will help you.
If you can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel, you don’t have a plan to get you where you want, or you are just crossing your fingers and hoping everything will work out or that tomorrow will be better, then you need to do this course!
Yes it’s a lot of money to spend, but I got my entire investment back from one workshop that I ran because of the course.
Who would you recommend should not do the course?
Someone who is not prepared to put in the work. You can’t just watch a video and expect that your business will be perfect. You need to apply what you learn.
The course really changed my way of thinking and working, but if you don’t want to change what you are doing then you won’t get value from it.
How much time did you spend on the course?
I tried to a bit every day, but I was flexible. If I was busy one week I would do less and then catch up the next week.
And it was not difficult. In fact it was just helping us to run our businesses better. It wasn’t extra work – it was work we needed to be doing anyway. Work that solved problems and made our businesses run better and earn more money.
Not every week was the same. I found some topics easier, and some were more difficult. One topic that I needed to do more work on was the one about the avatar, because I had never thought about this before.
I also found that even when I wasn’t working on the course, I was using what I learned. For example, if I was trying to solve a problem I would realise that we had covered something two weeks ago that would fix it.
So I can’t say that “I spent two hours a week on the course” because I was applying what I learned all the time and improving my business.
And it’s absolutely possible to still do your work and do the course.
What would you say to a friend who was considering joining Double Your Profits?
I would say don’t miss out any of the topics – even if you think you already know it. Every single one of the units on the course had something that I didn’t know; even if I thought before doing it that it was obvious or easy.
Every lesson is a building block that helps you get to the end result, and has something valuable to teach you.
The thing I liked most of all is that Hannah was flexible. In the calls she covered anything we needed. Sometimes we’d go back to something from a previous week because someone didn’t understand, and we all benefited from other’s questions.
It’s not a course that has one approach for everyone. I think that was the best part.
Hannah was also really patient, kind and positive. I loved the interaction with the other women on the course as well, plus the extra material Hannah sent if we needed it.
If there was someone thinking of joining, what would you say to them?
We asked Alejandra if she had a message for anyone considering joining Double Your Profits. This is what she said:
Alejandra has worked for clients including Jo Malone, Clinique, Molton Brown and La Mer. You can find out more about her work on her website.