Book Review – Achieve and Align by Kamila Gornia

Align and AchieveA practical book by Kamila who first got her idea about starting a business from a psychic. Divided into two parts this book deals with starting and growing a business. The first part of the book is titled, Starting Your Business, and the second part as expected is titled, Growing Your Business. Following is a top level review of all the chapters. 

 

CHAPTER 1 – LAUNCHING AN ALIGNED BUSINESS

The chapter opens with some information we all want to hear, what are the easiest businesses to start. Businesses which create products are off the table and those that are too expensive to start but Kamila’s preferred businesses are the ones where you sell services or solutions that people need, businesses you can start with little or no money. And about the business being aligned, what Kamila means is the business must feel right for you to do. It’s not just jumping into anything because it makes money. To help us discover an aligned business Kamila takes us through a four step process to our aligned niche. She also discusses the four core markets where you can find your niche and the three types of service businesses.

CHAPTER 2 – UNDERSTANDING YOUR IDEAL CLIENTS

This chapter is a direct follow-on from the previous one as Kamila goes into great detail on how to find your ideal client. She delves more into how to create a profile for your ideal client that aligns with who you want to sell too but she also warns us about not making our client too general because of the fear or missing out. The danger of that is that you end up speaking to no one. You also shouldn’t get so specific in defining your ideal client that it becomes difficult to target the client. There is also some information on communicating with the ideal client. You will have to tailor your communication so the people you are targeting can connect to you. In other words you must speak in their language and that requires you to go where they are and learning about them. Kamila discussed three ways to do that which are :

  • Cyber stalking – yes it does sound scary but it’s simply going to sites where your ideal clients are and researching about them
  • Conducting surveys
  • Talking to real people

CHAPTER 3 – YOUR ALIGNED POSITIONING

As  I read this chapter, I was practically using the lessons here to work on crafting a message for a side hustle I’m working on. Kamila does a brilliant job here teaching us in three simple steps how to craft an elevation pitch that clearly communicates what our businesses offers. The three steps are:

  1. Broad positioning
  2. Specific positioning statement
  3. Specific positioning statement with an amplifier

The beginning of the chapter deals with three worries we may have if we want to set up an online business. These issues are:

  • The market is oversaturated
  • People are getting burnt buying coaching/services online
  • It’s harder to stand out online than ever before.

CHAPTER 4 – BECOMING THE CLEAR CHOICE

If you don’t believe in yourself and what you are selling, it’s hard to expect others to believe in you. The way you see yourself is the way others will see you. Kamila’s challenge for us in this chapter is for us to invest in ourselves, build up our self confidence because it will reflect in the way we engage with clients. If we don’t have total belief in our products, we shouldn’t expect others to believe in it either.

Kamila discusses a number of ways we can invest in ourselves which include:

  • Invest in yourself by paying financially for development.
  • Ask yourself honest questions about what is really going on so you are aware of where you need to change.
  • Practice consistent self-care
  • Celebrate small and big wins
  • Learn to accept praise and help, don’t be afraid or too proud to ask for help too.

Kamila discusses some results of what happens when we don’t believe in ourselves or our products. For instance we can find ourselves being too scared to ask for a sale or over-offering things for free that we should be getting paid for. And what about competition? That’s an area that Kamila also discusses here. She has a rather healthy view of competition which is worth emulating. To start with she writes that:

I have “competition” in quotes here because I don’t actually believe in competition in the way people think of competition. That’s because, honestly, I think that there is always more than enough for everyone to go around.”

According to Kamila we should check out the competition but for research purposes only so we can learn from them in a positive way to know what is happening in our industry. She does warn us against comparing ourselves with others and getting into the trap of what she calls “comparisonitis” which is about letting the success of others put us down. She concludes the chapter by teaching us how to overcome and deal with objections.

CHAPTER 5 – ALIGNED “HOT SELLING” OFFERS

A chapter with very valuable information on how to create offers of your product or service. One piece of advice I do like given here is to name your offers in a way that people will understand what you are offering. Don’t be too clever with naming your offers so people don’t know what you are offering for sale.

Karina discusses three things you need to present and sell your offers and they are:

  1. Your offer has to be congruent to the clients you are offering them to. Your offer must be a fit for the client. Don’t try and force them to fit the client.
  2. Have a mix of offers available for a variety of clients. The mix may be based on different price points.
  3. You need five things to sell an offer which are, name, price, problem, outcome delivery outline and package for offer.

She also introduces us to the essentials of hot selling packages which she says are:

  • Momentum
  • Services
  • Bonuses
  • Content

The great thing about this section is that Karima shares a number of examples showing how to use the four things to create packages. At the later end of the book you will also read about how to create the right program portfolio and how to price your products in a way that works for your clients and your goals. Be mindful that since Karima runs a coaching-related business, a lot of her illustrations and examples are related to that industry.

CHAPTER 6 – MESSAGING THAT CONVERTS

Karima communicates some great lessons in this chapter as she focuses on teaching us how to craft a message about our product to sell. She writes about selling with integrity whereby we are focused on trying to sell to people that truly need what we are offering. She advises against forceful selling and making people feel guilty enough to buy from you. She also advises against trying to get people to take on debt to buy from you.

She introduces us to two things that motivate people to buy which are:

  • Moving away from pain
  • Moving towards pleasure

Karima gives examples of how to craft messages using these two motivations.

For example:

  • I will help you lose weight is a messaging for moving away from pain.
  • I will help you feel more confident is a messaging for moving towards pleasure.

Depending on the client the pain or pleasure messages will work. Someone feeling the pain of financial debt will react more positively to messaging that will help them get out of debt while someone who has no debt and a good level of saving will respond more favourably to a message that promises them investment strategies to increase their financial worth. In the latter part of the chapter Karima teaches us about a framework she learnt from one of her mentors that helps her to create more effective messaging. It’s called BAB which stands for BEFORE-AFTER-BRIDGE.

  • BEFORE is about illustrating a person’s current situation. Their pain points.
  • AFTER deals with the result they want to have if they’ve found an ideal solution. What they want their life to look like.
  • BRIDGE is where you share the solution that takes them from BEFORE to the AFTER they desire.

CHAPTER 7 – ACCELERATE YOUR CLIENT CREATION 

This is the last chapter in the first part of the book and it focuses on how to get customers once your business is set up which will feature a combination of online and offline strategies. If you are moving into a new niche then communicate to your current network about what you are doing. You may gain some clients and if that doesn’t work look for other networks that you can join to tell them about what you are doing. If you are new to the business, you can start with free offers and low price points but don’t stay there.

CHAPTER 8 – THE ALIGNED SALES FLOW

For me this chapter is a departure from all the previous ones. Maybe that’s because it’s the first chapter in the second part of the book and it’s meant to introduce us to what Kamila wants to discuss. This chapter is merely a promotion of the sales procedure Kamila believes will work for any entrepreneur irrespective of their niche or industry. She calls it the ‘Aligned Enrollment Framework’.  According to Kamila it has helped her generate millions in revenue and she’s used it to coach other entrepreneurs to generate six figure incomes. She does make it clear that it took her investing a lot of money in a coach to learn, having tried lots of methods she previously learned through reading books and going to conferences that were ineffective. 

CHAPTER 9 – WHY ENTREPRENEURS STRUGGLE WITH SALES.

Kamila does not tell us about the aligned framework here just yet but she does go into why we may struggle with sales. There are a number of reasons for this which include:

  1. You may be the reason because your mindset and demeanor does not show that you believe in yourself or what you sell.
  2. What got you here won’t get you to the next level. You may already have a degree of success but to get to the next level you will need to do something different.
  3. You may be overcomplicating your marketing. Yes, there are so many ideas about marketing out there but are they working for you?
  4. Your alignment is off. Basically you are producing things your audience don’t want.
  5. Your congruence is off. You are offering things which are not congruent to your clients.

CHAPTER 10 – ADOPTING THE MINDSET FOR ALIGNED SALES

Here we are introduced to the effective enrollment mindset which she says has five elements. Kamila goes into great details about each element but here’s a quick summary of each of them:

  1. Unshakable confidence: You must believe in yourself and your work and that what you’re offering will help your customers.
  2. Aligned leadership: When having conversations with potential customers you must be ready to lead the call and have a proper sales conversation. Don’t be caught in the trap of where all you do is just answer questions.
  3. Standing for your client: Act as if the person you are trying to sell to is your client already so they are clear about your offer and what they will gain from you.
  4. Detachment: Your goal is to get your client to make an empowered decision regarding your offer and not expect them to say ‘yes’ to you by all means. You must practice detachment from whether the client says ‘yes’ or ‘no’.
  5. There is always more: Approach this with a mindset of abundance. If you’ve been hearing lots of nos, always know that there are always more clients, more leads and more opportunities that you will come across.

CHAPTER 11 – YOUR ALIGNED ENROLLMENT PATH

In this chapter we finally get to read about Kamila’s aligned enrollment framework. In the previous two chapters she’s explored getting the right mindset and now she discusses how to use the right mindset to get clients. First she reminds of the journey people go through before they become paying clients as follows:

  1. Unaware phase where people are either strangers that don’t know about you and are browsing the web or lurkers who have got to know about you but you don’t know them yet.
  2. Aware phase is where a person is in the prospect or lead stage. A prospect shows interest in you and a lead takes action to know more about what you are offering.
  3. Converted phase is when a person is in the buyer, repeat buyer or referrer stage. At this stage a person has purchased your offers, some have bought more than one product and even started referring your services to others.

In the aligned enrollment framework, Karima defines three prongs or phases. These are:

  • Attracting clients which is a ‘pull’ strategy is the first prong. You put out content and information which brings people to you. You are consistently putting yourself in front of potential clients till they begin to reach out to you. Examples may include, social media visibility, video creation, podcasting, blogging and appearing on other people’s programmes.
  • Generating clients is the next prong. This is more of a ‘push’ strategy. Here you are being more proactive and not waiting for them to reach out to you but you are going out to get them. Strategies for doing this include, running paid advertising, emails with direct offers and posts with a direct pitch. Karima advises that people should not focus on cold calling people out of the blue but work with people who already know about your products. Also, don’t just send out mass emails, take the time to learn a bit more about prospects and customize messages to them.
  • Retaining clients is the final prong. This is about getting clients who have bought from you in the past to buy from you again. Two ways to do this is to, get clients to renew an offer, and resell an offer to them that is more advanced than what they bought previously. When positioning your offers, do it with a flow that shows that there are different levels which give progressively more benefits.

CHAPTER 12 – PROFITABLE PROSPECT FOLLOW UP SYSTEM

The message in this chapter is about follow up. When you have a sales conversation and you don’t get a definite outcome, what do you do? You follow up. How to follow up appropriately to give you a better chance of sales is the focus of this chapter.

CHAPTER 13 – GOING FULL TIME IN YOUR BUSINESS AND SAYING BYE TO 9-5

This is a chapter where Kamila uses her story to encourage people who really want to start their own businesses. She explains the steps and investments that helped her build a successful business. Karima believes that when her mindset changed and she started thinking more seriously about her business goals things changed. Here are some questions she suggests we answer if we are serious about building a business:

  • Why do you want to grow your business? Why is this important to you?
  • What do you want to go into business full time? What is the this important to you?
  • Why do you want to step away from a 9-5 job. What is that important to you?

These are questions that will help you to think about your business more seriously.

She outlines four steps to take which are:

  1. Clarity
  2. Pricing
  3. Commitment
  4. Getting support

Towards the end of the chapter she gives some advice on how to get the right kind of coach that can help us with our business.

CHAPTER 14 – SCALING AND AUTOMATING YOUR BUSINESS

If you’re already doing all you can to attract clients and sell your products, what can you do to scale even further? That is what Kamila discusses in this chapter. She discusses creating group programs and online courses. She then moves on to discuss paid advertising. Kamila highlights three things you need to have in place in order to use paid advertising which are:

  1. You must have a clear strategy.
  2. You need to have clear messaging.
  3. You should already have a defined funnel

CHAPTER 15 – GETTING PUBLICITY WITHOUT HIRING AN EXPENSIVE PR AGENCY

This is the last chapter and here Kamila introduces us on how to get more publicity. Whether you want be featured in a major publication or appear on a popular show she discusses some things we need to have in place to go for bigger publicity. These things are:

  • Prepare for getting seen: you must be able to describe your business in one sentence, be clear about your title, speciality, target audience and mass appeal.
  • Create your Dream Media List: this is about being clear about where you want to be featured.
  • Build your Media Appearance Portfolio: you will need a media portfolio for the places where you want to be featured but look for what you can do now and start building your portfolio. For instance you can start with blogging.
  • Come up with news-worthy pitches: create a story for yourself that makes you stand out.

Certainly an interesting book but if i’m being honest, it contains all the usual information in a lot of other similar books I’ve read. Yes, Kamila has used some user-friendly language to put her concepts across but she talks about the usual business stuff. Despite that, this is a book worth reading because Kamila has explained some of the business stuff we read about in a unique way that makes them easier to understand.

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