Nas Echeverria is the Founder of Next Level Up CEO and the Easy Yes Method. Over the last 12 years, she’s worked with over 400 coaches, consultants and healers to 2-5x their revenue, while turning strangers and lurkers into premium clients in just 7 days. She also happens to be my business strategist and Business BFF. Hiring a Business Coach
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On this podcast, I’ll be discussing the business side of sleep consulting. You’ll have an insider’s view on launching, growing, and even scaling a sleep consulting business. This is not a podcast about sleep training. This is a podcast about business building and entrepreneurship.
Nas is the Founder of Next Level Up CEO and the Easy Yes Method. Over the last 12 years, she’s worked with over 400 coaches, consultants, and healers to 2-5x their revenue, while turning strangers and lurkers into premium clients in just 7 days. She also happens to be my business strategist and Business BFF.
If you’re new here, scroll way back into the vault to listen to our last conversation on Episode 32 of the Becoming a Sleep Consultant Podcast, where we discussed the value of strong friendships in business.
Jayne Havens: Nas, welcome back to the Becoming a Sleep Consultant Podcast. I’m so happy to be chatting with you today.
Nas Echeverria: Same same. It’s always a pleasure, and I always love when I get another invite on here.
Jayne Havens: Anytime. I wanted to bring you onto the podcast today to break down some of the differences between a business coach and a business strategist. Because I think sometimes people don’t realize that there’s a difference. Can you help break this down for us? What does a coach do, and what is the role of a strategist? How do you know which is the best fit for you?
Nas Echeverria: First of all, I love that you’re asking this question. Because I say this to you all the time but I also say it to everyone, where I wish there was more education or understanding between the difference. One of the big things I will share as a caveat here is, I can only speak for myself and what I do as a strategist. So I’m going to give you a little bit of a brief overview. But also, just take note that everything I’m saying is really my specific way of how I work as a strategist.
You’ll see me talk a lot about ‘coach versus strategist.’ It’s never trying to downplay what coaches bring to the table, because I really do think there’s so much value behind coaches and what they bring to the table in the business realm.
But the really important thing to understand is that, as a coach, oftentimes what they bring to the table and what they’re meant to support businesses in doing is, one, really understanding the daily difficulties of running a business. Like, what’s missing? What’s not there for them to maximize their potential? So it’s really supporting the ‘you’ in your business. It’s the way I look at it. They’re helping you take more meaningful action, giving you accountability, really just supporting you in becoming the best that you can.
A lot of the difference in the process is, is that the approach they take versus a strategist. As a coach, typically, what happens is they’re going to guide you through asking really powerful questions. They’re going to support you in helping you improve your mindset, and behaviors, and decision making. Their goal really is to ask questions so that you come to the conclusion on your own. So that’s really freaking powerful for some people.
But there are some people who are like, “I have no clue where I need to go. I don’t know where the problem is. I don’t know what’s coming up.” It’s not to say like, I know. I hear a lot of people say, “The answers are inside of you.” In a way, I get that. I understand. But the reality of it is, we didn’t all start businesses as marketing experts or as business experts. We started a business for the passions that we have and the things we bring to the table.
And so, for myself, as a strategist, one of the most important things is that I help immediately diagnose problems for my clients. Everyone has constraints. You and I did this when we worked together. I immediately could tell you, “Hey, here’s your constraint.” The problem is if you go into a coaching relationship or a strategy relationship, whatever it is, mentorship, and you don’t actually know the constraints in your business, then you’re just kind of willy nilly solving for what you think needs to be fixed. You and I even have that conversation.
So many people come to me and they’re like, “Oh, I just need more leads in my business,” and come to find out they have a decent amount of leads. The problem is, those leads aren’t converting to booked calls or whatever the next step is, or it could be that those calls aren’t converting at a high enough rate into clients, or it could be that their clients on the back end aren’t actually getting as good enough as results as they should be, and they’re not retaining them. Those are the four main constraints in any business.
First and foremost, it’s about really being able to diagnose the real constraint in your business. So we’re solving for the right problem and eliminating all this extra heartache and hard work around things that aren’t really broken. Then the second thing is, I always say that a coach will oftentimes tell you the what but not the how. For myself, as a strategist — again, I’m only speaking for myself — I actually give my clients a step-by-step approach. It’s like me giving you an entire roadmap, but also telling you here are the steps to take.
I always make the difference really being that like a coach will tell you, go grow your Facebook group. You’re left sitting there saying, “Well, what am I going to do to do that? How do I grow my Facebook group?” You’re left figuring out those pieces. As a strategist, as a consultant, it’s what I do. I come in and I actually say, “We’re going to grow your Facebook group. Here are the exact steps we’re going to take based on your personality, based on how you show up best, and based on your audience and what’s going to work best for them. Here’s how we’re going to set this up, and here’s how we’re going to track it.” I’m going to go through all of those detailed steps.
When I’m working with my clients, I’m diagnosing. We’re developing strategies and systems and having all of that based on them, so my clients don’t look like many versions of me. Whereas oftentimes, with coaches, they are teaching a tried-and-true strategy that they’ve used, but not necessarily can they diagnose and develop strategies and systems based on you, your personality, what your lifestyle is, what your clients are doing. There’s kind of that line in the sand of understanding.
First, it’s that part, and then knowing when to hire who. I always tell people, if you have a tried-and-true strategy set up, you know how to go get clients, you know that I’m going to do x, y, and z, and this is working famously, then that’s a good time to bring on a coach who can support you with holding yourself accountable, showing up every day at the best of your capability, being the best leader you can be. That’s a really opportune time for a coach. But if you go into a coaching relationship without the strategy, you’re going to feel like you’re not getting the most out of it.
Jayne Havens: Yeah, I love that. All of it. That was a lot, but it was really, really good.
Nas Echeverria: That was a lot.
Jayne Havens: I knew it was going to be word vomit coming from you, but it was good. I’m thinking back to when you and I worked together. When I first reached out to you, I don’t even really fully think that I had a solid understanding of how you were going to help me. I just felt so confident that you were, and that was good enough for me.
What I love about what you and I did was that you were able to pick through my business and see all of my blind spots. I didn’t even know I had all of these blind spots, and you showed them to me one by one. Then we took each blind spot, and we filled in the hole. We filled the gaps. It was amazing. I feel like as a result, my product, my sleep consultant certification program, is stronger.
Also, the way that I speak about it is more articulate. I have a better handle on my value on why students should enroll in Center for Pediatric Sleep Management versus other programs on the market, which is something that I don’t think I had a clear understanding of before we worked together. So I’m super grateful for that.
Nas Echeverria: Yeah, I love that. I loved working with you, because I don’t even think you knew why you wanted to bring on a strategist or a coach. You were just like, I know I need the next step.
Jayne Havens: I was just ready to make a big move in my business. For me, every single year — it usually happens around December, which is I think when you and I started working together — at the end of the year, I make a big purchase for my business. It’s either one year, it was working with you; one year, it was hiring a Google Ads expert. I make a big investment in my business every single year.
You were my pick for whatever year that was. 2021 maybe. I don’t know. I had no idea really what was going to come of it, but it was pretty magical. I still really use all of the principles that you taught me day to day. I mean, I live it. I breathe it.
Nas Echeverria: I love that. That’s exactly what my work as a strategist is. It’s not something that’s tactical. It’s not like, “Let’s fix this algorithm problem or this.” It’s really understanding those blind spots, understanding where our innovation and articulation is, and really building out the strategy that’s going to last us for a long term. Because that’s ultimately what we want in our business. It’s something that we’re not constantly shifting and evolving and rebuilding all the time. It’s having something that’s methodical and lasts us through in sustainability in our business.
Jayne Havens: One thing that I see often with sleep consultants is that they have trouble separating themselves from their competitors. If I’m just going to use CPSM grads as examples, they go through my program. They learn my business model. They read my sample sleep plans. Then sometimes, they struggle to adopt their own unique perspective or angle on how to best support families in a way that’s truly authentic to them. Is this where you come in as a strategist? What sorts of things should new sleep consultants be thinking about in order to create their own unique special sauce that ultimately will set them apart from others who are supporting a similar client base?
Nas Echeverria: It’s such a good conversation to have. I think it’s such a real conversation. Because anytime we come into business, it can be really scary. You’re essentially bringing this new wave of entrepreneurs or business owners. Maybe they’ve been doing this in some capacity, but they’re coming in here and they’re like, “How do I do something that gives me competitive advantage, lets me stand out from the rest of the crowd?”
It can be really scary. Because really, creating that shift where you do create your own market space and create something where you aren’t competing against the crowd requires you to go a little bit deep and really look at things. I’ll even use you as an example. When we went through this, there were times you hated me, right?
You hated me because I made you really understand and go deep to what it is that you really bring to the table. It’s so much easier sometimes just to go and copy paste what someone else is doing. Because then, you don’t have to think about it. You don’t have to try. You don’t have to go deep into what you’re doing. But it really is making the shift to saying, “Listen. I want my own space.” I want to be able to stand proud and say, “Listen. This is what I do.”
What ends up happening is, a lot of people come in and they try to niche. Because that’s how the market has been taught up into this point. It’s like, “Just niche, and that’ll help you do that.” Ultimately, the goal of a niche is that you’re creating specificity and a message, which you and I have talked about, like articulating your message and all of that. But when you niche, you’re not really necessarily being any different than anyone else. You’re just speaking to a select crowd of people and hoping that because of that, there’s less people to compete against. So it’s not differentiation. It’s really just trying to give yourself a leg up.
Where I come in is, I actually help my clients identify what is their unique special sauce. I think it’s what was missing in the market. I’ll tell you this right now. I talk all the time about innovation and revolutionizing businesses. But it takes people almost a lifetime to try and really identify what makes them amazing and what makes them great. Either they are amazing and they’re great at getting their clients amazing results, but they can’t put their finger on what makes them unique. They’re just like, “I don’t know. I just do it. It’s instinctual. It’s inherent.” Like, “I don’t know.” Or, they are questioning, “Do I have anything?” They haven’t really quite identified it, and they’re going through a copy and paste like formula.
It’s really identifying where that innovation is, where is it that you’re doing something that the market isn’t? Where is it that you’re bringing something to the table that isn’t already there? And being able to first understand it but then being able to communicate it. I think those are the two biggest things. That is exactly what my clients and I work together to do. It’s identify and articulate those things.
Jayne Havens: Yeah, I think it’s so hard. You really have to dig deep.
Nas Echeverria: It’s so hard.
Jayne Havens: It’s so hard. Gosh, just about it thinking. I’m thinking back to when you and I worked together. I was physically ill thinking about how I really needed to develop this own identity that was entirely different from what other programs were doing. The interesting thing is, I was doing something different than what other programs were doing. I just didn’t have the language to communicate it. And so a lot of where your value came in for me is, you taught me how to speak about my business in a way that clearly articulated the value, in a way that it wasn’t just me comparing myself to other sleep consultant certification programs. It was like, “This is why this program is the one that—”
Nas Echeverria: The league of its own.
Jayne Havens: The league of its own. Yeah, exactly.
Nas Echeverria: It’s its own thing. Exactly.
Jayne Havens: And it works because it’s true. Because the things that we were talking about, every single little bit of it, if it wasn’t there, you told me. You were like, “Nope, that’s not there. You’re saying it’s there, and it’s not at it.” And so every single bit of language that we created to market my program in a way that was highly effective, anything that I was saying that you felt like you were like, “You think you’re doing this, but you’re not. So let’s actually do this so that you’re doing it.” And we did. So we took all of that language, and we put it into action. It was magic, but it was hard work. I never want to go through that again.
Nas Echeverria: Not to scare people or anything. I think one of the things you mentioned that I really appreciate you saying is that when I talk about differentiation, when I talk about innovation and really carving out your own space, it’s not a marketing ploy. It’s not a marketing strategy or tactic. I know it sounds like it is. That’s because that’s what’s being taught all over the internet. It’s about actual innovation. It’s about actually having something different and unique, and not simply trying to market differently than others.
I think that’s a huge thing that you can proudly now say. It’s that, “I’m not just choosing to market differently. I’m choosing to actually have something truly innovative, different, unique,” that can now be marketed and articulated that way.
What you mentioned which I loved was, you were already doing it. You didn’t recognize it. You didn’t know what was innovative and unique about what you were doing. And so many people of my clients who come to me, that’s where they’re at. They’re like, “I don’t know. I don’t know what I’m doing.” It’s not being able to distill what I call innovative genius.
When you can distill it and understand it, when I showed it to you, you were like, “Damn, I am good. I am very good at what I do.” Then it was a matter of articulating it from there. I think that’s the huge powerful, like, I want to give props to you, that you are doing something amazing and incredible even if you didn’t fully understand the innovation and uniqueness behind it.
Jayne Havens: Well, thank you for that. One of the major benefits of enrolling in Center for Pediatric Sleep Management versus other sleep consultant certification programs is that we really are placing a very heavy emphasis on business building and entrepreneurship. I really, truly believe that CPSM is setting our students up to competently and successfully launch, grow, and even scale their sleep consulting businesses.
That being said, even the most successful entrepreneurs seek support from business coaches and strategists. I’m wondering, when do you think the right time is to seek that type of support? Should small business owners take a stab at going at it solo before enlisting the help from others?
Nas Echeverria: Great question. Before I hop into that, if you don’t mind, I do want to say, as someone who has literally been in the back end of her business and literally pushed her to identify those things, I will tell you that Jayne has created something in CPSM that is truly innovative. You will not find this somewhere else. I just want to be clear about that. Because I know sometimes it can be scary when someone comes in to invest in something and they’re just like, “Well, she’s marketing it great.” I want to tell you I’ve seen the back end. I know what she does in there, and you will not find anything like this anywhere else. I just want to be clear on that. Now, I’m going to you.
Jayne Havens: You are too kind. My response to that is, you made sure that that was the case.
Nas Echeverria: I did make sure. So I can promise you. I can put my stamp on approval for everyone listening. Just know that. Back to the question of when should someone bring on support, I think the really important thing to know is for what I do with my clients, I tell them that they should have brought on some form of clients. Meaning, if someone were to come into their world right now, would they be able to say yes, I can sign you up right now?
The reason being is, I think a lot of times we jump the gun and get support before we’ve even attempted in some way, shape, or form. It doesn’t even mean that you’ve gotten paid for the things you’ve been doing. It just means that you’ve experienced. Okay. I’ve taken a client through this. I know what it feels like to go through that. Because you can’t develop a message. You can’t create client acquisition. You can’t develop any strategy around how you’re going to get clients until you’ve actually gotten a client or worked with somebody.
Again, thinking of it from a standpoint of you’ve helped a friend. Because that’s going to be what’s going to actually be the foundation of a strategy and of systems of messaging. I really tell people, make it a point to even if you go offer your services for free, even if you’re working with friends or family or whoever it might be, do that first because that’s going to give you the information necessary in order to actually develop strategy.
Jayne Havens: Let’s talk about the investment. Because I think that investing in yourself as a small business owner is really scary. Sometimes for those just getting started, there’s this mindset or belief that they can’t spend on themselves or their businesses before they start really bringing in consistent income. Do you subscribe to that thought, or are you more in the camp that you have to spend a little money to make a little money?
Nas Echeverria: I think it’s the same matter of: do you have to spend money to make a little money? No. It’s either do you want to spend time, or do you want to spend money? We all have a choice, right? It’s either that I can go learn a trade from a trade school, or I can spend the next six years trying to learn a trade. I make that decision. One way or another, you’re paying. You’re just paying with money, or you’re paying with time.
I’m the type of person who’s impatient. When I visualize something, I know you’ll back me up because we’re both the same way. When I want something and when I have a goal, I’m going to do whatever in my power in order to get to that goal. So I don’t subscribe to the idea of you can’t do it on your own. 100% you can. I subscribe to the fact that my time is way more valuable than dollars that I could make every single day. So I choose to invest money because I know that.
The scariest part is when you’re not making money. My first investment was like $2,000, and I was making no money. It was really scary. I literally was like, “What the hell am I doing? How do I know?” But it’s having the conviction, having the faith knowing that your success is not optional, and saying what I’m doing to achieve that is my actions are going to back up that idea and that knowledge.
Jayne Havens: Yeah, totally agree. I’m all about investing. Personally, I always find that spending money on myself or on my business lights the fire under me to take myself more seriously. It sort of holds me. The investment holds me accountable. So I really like that. I also agree with you that time is money. You can either spend a bunch of time figuring something out on your own, or you can hire an expert to help you navigate a situation that feels outside of your wheelhouse, and save a bunch of time and get further faster.
Nas Echeverria: Yeah, and I think that that’s what people should really sit down. When they think, “Oh, I don’t know if I can invest,” no matter what, you’re investing. It’s either time, or you’re investing money. You’d make the choice.
Jayne Havens: Yeah, I love that. That’s very, very true. If you think of your client profile, I imagine some people are really, really successful, and others aren’t, right? We have winners and losers in everything fortunately or unfortunately. What do you see as sort of like the main characteristics of someone who gets their business off the ground relatively quickly?
Nas Echeverria: I think it’s conviction. Honestly, your conviction in yourself, your conviction in what you’re doing, the mission you have and where you’re going really is probably the biggest leading factor. Because you can have conviction and not have the things to back it up, like we talked about, and still be successful. But when you mix conviction with actual drive and passion, those two things are truly what sets one business apart from the other.
You’ll see business owners who come in with a lot of drive but no conviction. What ends up happening is that’s going to teeter out. After a certain period of time, you’re going to be like, “Oh, it’s been so hard for three months. It’s just not working the way I want it.” They’re going to tap out and move on, versus someone with conviction who sees this as a life-long solution, something that they truly, truly believe in, then they’re going to stick with it and understand it. To me, no matter what — I’ve been in marketing for 20 years in business for 12. I’ll tell you; I see it again and again. It’s conviction and passion. Those are the two things that are going to get you cross the finish line.
Jayne Havens: For those who are not in a position to hire you and work with you one on one, do you have other resources or perhaps group coaching programs that may be a great fit for sleep consultants, or postpartum professionals that are still in more of the beginning stages of getting traction in their business?
Nas Echeverria: Love this question. Absolutely. You and I even talked about it. One of the group programs I actually created was almost with your people in mind. So I do have a group program where we take what’s my easiest method, but we take the client acquisition portion of it. So we’re not necessarily developing the methodology and going into all of that, which actually is more for people who are a little bit further along anyhow. But we develop the growth bridge to help you develop the message, the positioning, and the client acquisition all the way through to DM strategies, and how you use your social media, and all those pieces in between.
We’ve developed an entire system and strategy that works for you that we’ve taken from the Easy Yes Method. It’s either eight weeks or for a 90-day period of time where we work together with you. It’s not a course; it’s an actual us sitting down and working together. We have some amazing past CPSM grads who are actually in the program, and have been loving it. So that’s the best way.
Then also, for those who just want to get to know who is she and what is she all about, I definitely recommend going and checking out my bingeable mini-series. I’m over at easyyesleads.com where you can find my podcast, the Business Real Talk, where I share just straightforward advice, strategies, and systems in what we do to really create sustainable growth. You can find that as well, which I’m sure we can link up into the show notes.
Jayne Havens: We will do that. Thank you as always, Nas. It’s always fun chatting with you and learning from you. I can’t wait to do it again soon.
Nas Echeverria: My pleasure. Thank you so much.
Outro: Thank you so much for listening to this episode of the Becoming a Sleep Consultant Podcast. If you enjoyed today’s episode, it would mean so much to me if you would rate, review, and subscribe. When you rate, review, and subscribe, this helps the podcast reach a greater audience. I am so grateful for your support.
If you would like to learn more about how you can become a certified sleep consultant, head over to my Facebook Group, Becoming a Sleep Consultant or to my website thecpsm.com. Thanks so much, and I hope you will tune in for the next episode.Hiring a Business Coach