Today I’m interviewing Helen Pritchard. I came across Helen’s work back in 2019 when I took part in her infamous 5 day LinkedIn challenge. Helen launched a business in 2017 to help train entrepreneurs, coaches, and businesses in LinkedIn lead generation. Just a year later, sales for her LinkedIn mastermind alone totalled nearly £218,000, and in 2019, she hit the £1 million turnover mark.
In two short years in business Helen has reached hundreds of thousands of business owners with her training and won an enterprise vision award in the internet industry category. And she’s helped tens of thousands of people through her five day challenge.
What I love about her is she really does drop the BS, and she just talks about simple methods, focusing on one key thing. Helen is going to share three things that she believes are contributory to her success as an entrepreneur.
Welcome Helen. I’d love to hear about your journey specifically in being a single mum and creating a very successful business for yourself and some of the lessons you’ve learnt along the way. What strikes me about your business Helen is you’re so just yourself and it’s so wonderfully nice to see somebody growing their business based on them and just being themselves.
Who knew?! I still think this to myself like, “Whoa, that’s weird, isn’t it?” I had a business before – I had an agency – but three years doing this side of the business and it’s been a mad ride really. It’s been great fun though. I’ve enjoyed every minute of it. Well, maybe not every minute! But it’s been fun.
I saw such huge visibility very quickly, and strategically that’s what I wanted to do, but it’s kind of like going from no one knows you online to what feels like everyone knows you. And all the good and the bad things that came with that and then monetising that in various different ways. There’s been a few things along the way along the way. It’s definitely been a ride.
Was that the original intention then? Did you sit there and say, right, I’m going to create this amazing brand for myself?
I looked out of the window and I thought, “I need to raise £2000 for my patio.” My husband was a builder, and anyone who’s ever been married to a builder will know what your house and garden looks like. So we’d split up 8 or 9 years before and it had never been done. I just remember looking out the window thinking, I need to raise £2000 to get it done. And I couldn’t take out the business that I had then, it wasn’t that profitable.
I just thought I should be able to get leads from LinkedIn because that’s where I get all my leads from. And that was it. That was the actual thought process. Then I used to do 1:1 phone calls at £99 that I talk about a lot now, which I don’t do anymore. That’s how I started. I went and did hundreds and hundreds of hours of 1:1 calls and then just converted that into a group programme that I sold before I’d written it.
I literally filmed it every day. There’s 40 videos in that mastermind, and I just filmed one every morning. And that became the mastermind using those exact same videos I was making as we went. That formed the mastermind for over 2 years, and we only re-recorded them last year. So I’ve winged it every step of the way.
I love that. I love that honesty and we need more of that, right. Because we don’t always have a step by step plan of everything that’s going to happen every step of the way. And I know a lot of entrepreneurs really struggle with that because they’re planners or they like to have all their ducks in a row before they start. But from just following your journey Helen, you’re somebody who has just taken action and got out there.
Yeah. And made lots of mistakes. Like creating The Virtual Networking club, just think how that would do now in the middle of the pandemic. Everyone’s doing this visual networking. I was doing that 2 years ago, and that was a business that was fun and easy and profitable, but it was just taking me away from the core to really scale the rest of my business.
I started off membership group because that’s what everyone was doing. I was actually getting asked for it, it wasn’t like a marketing tactic. People were saying they wanted to talk about other stuff, so I started What Would Helen Do and I ran that for a bit. But it just wasn’t the right time. So I cancelled that and refunded everybody.
I’ve done loads of things like that that were probably potentially profitable and I could do them, but last year when we did the million pound in sales, I made a conscious decision to get rid of everything else in the business. That was a big lesson there. I cut off everything else that wasn’t focusing on the mastermind and we really doubled down on that. That’s when we had that big success over a short period of time. And Iwe’re bringing in new products, new courses.
A lot of entrepreneurs do that – you try and do everything first and then see what works instead of making something work first and then do something else. And I’ve done that myself. So my advice is get something really, really successful and be totally known for that one thing. And then you can expand into other things. A lot of people want to do all these things now.
When things aren’t quite working, it’s so tempting to just start something new. And I do it myself. Even this week, I said to Phil (Operations Director) I want to do this thing where we have a hundred people in a group, they all pay $100, then at the end of the month if they’ve not made the $100 back I’ll refund them. Yeah. It’d be easy, it’s an easy £10k in the bank, I’m confident enough that I could help people do that. And Phil just said to me “Helen, but we’re working on X, Y, Z. You’ve got this, this, and this and big things coming out.” So it helps to have somebody as a sounding board definitely to say “Helen, remember when you made me make you promise that you were going to focus on something?”
It probably from the outside looks quite slick and glam. Now it looks quite slick, but for a long time it was just absolute chaos.
You’ve mentioned somebody supporting you in your business, how long have you had someone supporting you?
So we’ve got Phil Harrison. We met through a Facebook group. I’d already done 5 day challenges myself but I’d just made it up as I was going along, and he’d been doing them in different niches I’d never seen. So we met and he was like, “If you did this, this, and this, it would really help.” So what we did is combined his strategy with my enthusiasm. He gave me the structure.
He said do a live, and I was like, Oh, I’m going to do a live in the evenings in my pyjamas with my glasses on and a big glass of wine. That’s how I’m going to do my lives, and Phil said the first few lives you watch now, the kids are coming in and out, and he had his head in his hands just thinking this is business suicide, what is she doing? And then everyone just loved it so much!
So we’ve added our own elements into that process as we’ve gone. But bringing in Phil not only helped me for the 5 day challenge, which is our main sales driver by an absolute mile – probably 90% of our sales come from the challenge. But he’s the Operations Director. So he helps across the board with finance stuff, team store strategy stuff. We have a really good dynamic because I’m super emotional, I’ve got really bad temper, I’m overdramatic, and super entrepreneurial, and he’s super, super calm and collected and strategic. I mean, he’s the best strategic brain I’ve ever met. So it makes a really good combo. I’m really lucky.
I said to him over dinner that he’d given me the life of my dreams. And of course people say you can’t give him all the credit. But I was doing £200k on my own and then within a year we did a hundred million in sales. So a lot of people can get to £200k on their own, but to go to that next level, I think it’s good to have somebody in the business who gets it and who can support you, because it’s emotional. I’m emotional anyway, and I make a lot of decisions based on emotions and it’s done me well, but when the going gets tough, sometimes you do need somebody to be there for you.
Having had an investor before, it was a complete disaster. So I was really wary. And Phil’s not an investor, he’s not on the board or anything, but just to bring someone in, and particularly a man. I’m a single woman, so now I’ve got to be vulnerable and be honest with this guy about what’s actually going on and let him help me which just goes against my nature to ask for help. So it’s been a journey, but I’ve helped him too. He said he bought an Aston Martin last year, his dream car, and my business paid for it basically, and he said to me thanks for making my dreams come true. So, you know, we do make a good team. And it’s just lovely to see him doing his own version of what we’ve done as well.
I can hear in there a bit of a mindset shift was important for you.
I planned to get from £2k into £200k in turnover on my own. I did that myself over a couple of years, but to really build the business into legacy businesses, as I would call it: to build a multi-million pound business, which it will be over the next few years, a very wise woman said to me, “You’ve got to behave like a multi-million pound business owner.”
So there’s been loads of huge mindset shifts about things like finance and cash flow and strategic stuff. I mean, look at my books. We’re not going to show a massive profit because we’ve invested so heavily in scaling the business. I mean really heavily into teams and systems. I think we only made about 60k profit. I pay myself £10k a month, so I’m like, I’m doing fine. But from a business point of view it’s an online business. Are they super profitable? There’s stuff you have to do to scale. I mean, it should get more profitable now, but we’re in that point in the business where there’s times where it’s close. We don’t have any loans or funding or overdrafts, but there are some months where you look at the cash flow and you’re like, Oh…
And it’s a hard one, isn’t it? You’ve done this very quickly. So sometimes when we look at the ‘perfect entrepreneur’ we have expectations, but in reality, the fact that you’ve grown to that size in just 3 years.
Yeah. I’ve got no business acumen whatsoever. I did business studies at school and that’s about it. I don’t know, finances and all that kind of stuff. I literally just really know loads about this one thing, and I’m gonna show all these people how to do it. And to be able to create a business like that and then have to learn how to run a business like that. It’s kind of two different jobs. I always call it front end and back end. So the front end is what people see and the back end is what’s going on and the the machine of it.
It’s a multimillion pound business, or it will be next year it will be. It’s kind of like wow, this is serious.
So you got this £2k in your account, presumably fairly quickly?
Yeah, I did 10 or 20 calls, then I had 100 waiting. So I thought “Oh, I might be on something here!”
So how did you go from what you were earning and drawing from the business that you had prior to paying yourself £10k? From a mindset perspective, how did you feel about having that amount of wealth in your life quite quickly?
I was drawing about £1k a month, £2k if I was lucky. I’d pay everyone else first and then I’d be like, Oh, I can’t afford to pay myself. It’s amazing. And the excitement never wears off.
I always say it could be gone tomorrow. That’s how I run my business. I think I am super lucky and all my stars have aligned. Obviously there’s a lot of hard work involved and graft. I’m making amazing money, but every time that money lands in my bank, I’m like that’s so much money!
At first I was kind of just giving it away. Every kid I saw that had their bike stolen, donating to charities, everywhere I could see where I could help. It’s almost that I was so not used to having money that I was kind of getting rid of it and I was getting myself back to nothing because that feels more comfortable.
So I’ve had to really get this whole shift of do I deserve the kind of money? You know, I have a great business. I love it. I enjoy it. Everyone else does all the hard work and I just do the fun bits. But now I’m kind of like, this really could all be gone tomorrow Helen.
When I first started to pay myself £10k, in my bank, it’s crazy. The most I’ve ever earned in a salary is £20k. So it’s breathtaking. For the first year I’d just spend it because I never had any money. I’ve always been very poor, really. I’m from a middle class family, and I was never going to be homeless. So when I was like £90k in debt when I split up with my husband, I had some family support over that and my uncle bought the house and rented it back to me. So I wasn’t eating out of bins or anything. But I never had any money. I was living on benefits. I used to work in a warehouse, and when I started the businesses I was ambitious, but I was just doing the wrong things. Not taking my own advice.
This is why everything I do is for me 10 years ago, so I can help people. There was never any money. So when I became debt free, I felt like a millionaire and that felt incredible because you can open your post again! When I was able to get credit again I bought my own car. I’ve only just sold it, and I felt sad to see Barbara go because she was a big part of my journey because I just thought my credit would never recover. But it does.
It’s an emotional connection with money, isn’t it? Because it’s the association underneath it. What meaning we attach to it. What was interesting about what you were saying – and I found this when I was in debt in my twenties. I literally lived in my overdraft and was in £30,000 worth of debt. When I received money, I just had to get rid of it. That’s what I find interesting for you, Helen, is that you went through that period of just doing what you would always do because that was your relationship with money.
Nothing changes whether you’re getting paid £1000 a month or £10,000 a month until you actually shift your mindset around it. Nothing changes. You just have nicer things. And you sleep better at night because you’re not in a constant state of anxiety. I think I was moving away from that for so long. That was my driver. And then when that stopped being a driver, I was like, Oh. What’s going to motivate me now?
I was crying on the phone to Phil about this the other week. It just feels like I just get a salary and it doesn’t matter how well we do. And he said “This is what you wanted, remember?” So there’s loads of psychology around worthiness. Do we deserve this money? Does my impact match up? So I’ve done loads and loads of work on that.
And you’ll see loads more content from me on it because I think it’s the main issue. A lot of people are terrified of success almost as much as they are of failure. So it’s much safer to stay where you are. And so to break out of it causes problems as well as solutions. I definitely experienced that. The way people react to you sometimes changes, or family and friends who you used to talk to about not being able to afford things and now you can afford to do anything, so you haven’t really got that thing to have a conversation about.
Now I have a totally different relationship with it. All the work that you do, and Denise Duffield-Thomas, and the money mindset thing. Although I don’t go in there very much, I think the work stuck. “I serve, I deserve,” and “I love money and money loves me.” All that kind of stuff and having a very healthy relationship with it.
The message I think is that you can have it all. You can have tons and tons of money and have a huge amount of impact and have fulfilling relationships and friendships. I wrote a post about this ages ago when I bought my watch. So I bought Rolex, which I had wanted since I started my massage business and somebody passed me one to put in the dish, and I looked at it and I’d never seen one. I just thought that’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen, I’ll never be able to afford it. So when I actually went to buy one outright, it was about much more for me than I really want that. It had to be a particular watch.
So I wrote a post; you can have a Rolex and be a good person. You can spend £100 on lunch and donate to the food bank. You can take photos of your business class travel and sunsets in your five star resort and be present with your children. You can stay in the rooftop garden and be a good friend. I get a lot of pushback and people saying I’m shallow because I’m wealthy. At what point did that become that you can’t be both things?
This is it, isn’t it? For a woman to be successful and then actually being visibly successful and enjoying it triggers something in their belief systems about what wealth means to them. And that’s the really interesting part for me is that you’re absolutely right.
The best work I believe that any woman can do for themselves is to work on their relationship with money. If you’re in that scarcity mindset and you don’t believe that you’ll ever be deserving to build a successful business, then you would never have got to where you’ve got to in your business.
It’s well-worn patterns, isn’t it, you’re just repeating the same story. And you have to change the story. It’s a really cheesy line, but I love it:
Success is a Decision.Helen Pritchard
And I literally made a decision of I am going to do whatever it takes to get what I want and I’m going to do it in a way that’s fun and enjoyable. And I made that decision and then everything that came my way I was like, is this moving towards these goals or not? What am I doing today to get to those goals? And you become really, really resilient and really focused. And I think I probably don’t give myself enough credit for that.
I mean, there was definitely a whole year of my life when I was doing Facebook lives every single day. I went through a really bad breakup with a boyfriend and I didn’t want to show up every day, but I did because I was so focused on the goal. I travelled the world and it affected my family. I remember my daughter crying on the phone when I was in Columbia, asking why are you off around the world? I need you. And I said because I’m doing things other people don’t do to give us a lifestyle that other people don’t have.
So everything’s fun and easy, but you’ve still got to be relentlessly boringly consistent all times. And I think that was a real shift just generally of non-negotiable putting myself through it.
So now when I get people giving me grief, and I do – I was on a podcast and one of his listeners said “I like her but she’s a liar.” She sent the link to company’s house and said, “You said you did a million in sales on your podcast. Where is it? Where does it say that?” And he was like, do you know how accounts work?
I’ve got a million pounds in sales orders. Most people pay over 12 months and it’s not going to show as turnover and that’s not profit that’s turnover. But people don’t see that and they don’t want to hear that. They just go Helen Pritchard said she’s done a million in sales, but she’s not a millionaire. She’s not this. She’s not that.
And they’re missing the point. I’m not interviewing you because of your wealth success. What most people will get from listening to you talk is your journey and what you’ve learned and how you could inspire other people who may be in a similar position.
I just love the fact that you are a real action taker. Certainly from what I observe, you are someone who wants to just get stuff done. Make it up as you go along if necessary, certainly in the early days before you got really strategic.
If I said to you “I need to raise some cashflow,” or “I want to start building a business for myself,” what 3 things would you say would make the biggest difference that you’ve learned through your journey to help?
I’ve now worked with tens of thousands of people in my challenges, and trust me, it’s not about LinkedIn. LinkedIn is just the vehicle. The biggest thing that you need to think about is selling one thing to one person at one time. And that sounds so simple, but people really struggle with it. And it’s the one thing that I think would make a huge difference. When people say, “Oh, I want to sell loads of things to loads of people,” all I hear is “I’m f***ing terrified.” Because I don’t know if I’m ever going to make any money. The bold move is the focus.
Second thing is knowing who your ideal client is: it always comes back to this. I’ve worked with tens of thousands of different entrepreneurs, small business people, but also big corporates and we’d ask who their ideal client is and they didn’t know. So it’s massive. Understand who your audience is.
And then the third thing is just do it. Just go for it and make an agreement with yourself. One of the new courses that I’m bringing out now has an agreement in it, and you make an agreement with yourself. Like you are saying, this is what I want to achieve. And these are the things I’m going to do every day. Non-negotiable. It doesn’t matter if there’s a pandemic, doesn’t matter if you’re ill, doesn’t matter if you’re hung over, doesn’t matter if you split with your boyfriend, doesn’t matter if the kids are being a pain, I’m going to do these non-negotiable things every single day until I get what I’ve said that I desire.
And people find that difficult. I’m going to do it until it works. You know? It’s always a long term game. 3 years to get to the point where I am at is incredibly fast, yet people want it quicker. They want to know how can I game the system? And what I always say is if there’s an easy way to do this, then you’re never going to be successful because everyone’s going to do it. So the hard things, the things that other people aren’t prepared to do, will give you results that other people don’t get. And I think that’s it.
When people ask “What do you think has made you so successful?” It’s completely relentless consistency. I talk about lighthouse marketing, knowing who you are and what you stand for and being very firm in that. Just being super clear on who are you for and who you’re not for. It’s quite polarising. What are the outcomes you deliver and why should people listen to you? How much is it to work with you in whatever shape or form publicly? And then when you put your content out, like a lighthouse people are attracted to you.
People put content out and they haven’t got those core things to hand, you know? So I think there’s a lot around that. And pricing and mindset as well is a massive topic. I mean, I’m never going to be a money mindset person because it’s not my jam, it’s not my lane, but I think it’s huge. Mindset generally is the thing that I think if I could wave a magic wand for people and just get themselves out of their own way.
The biggest thing is people worry what people think, say, and do about them. I get loads of abuse and online and stuff and it does affect me, of course it does. This woman messaging at 10:30pm last night in the middle of pandemic saying “Helen’s out of order talking about money and success when we’re in the middle of a pandemic and people are struggling and she needs to be a bit more humble and she should be a bit more this and a bit more of that.” And I was like, is this really about Helen? And in the end she was like, “Oh. I think this is maybe more about me.” A lot of people who haven’t got my level of resilience or haven’t built up my level of resilience, would find that really, really hard and would let it hold them back.
Now you’ve got this successful business and you’re paying yourself a profit, and from a lifestyle perspective you’ve got what you need. How do you decide how to invest with this wealth that you’ve created?
Yeah. This is a hot topic for me at the moment, because for me I need to make this money start working for me now. I’ve had great fun with it, but I need to make it work now. The new business should generate between £5-10k a month on its own and that’s all going to get invested.
So the 10 year plan is investing in various different things. High risk stocks and shares, but also spread out a portfolio across property and other things which I do for fun things like crypto. I’ve got a bit invested in crypto, and I’ve just bought my first ever gold bar.
When I sold Barbara (the car) I made a small profit, so I thought I’m going to invest in gold. And they asked do you want to buy gold coins or gold bar? And I was like, obviously a gold bar! And not the chocolate version! And it really made me laugh because it’s tiny. It’s as small as my thumbnail! Little things like that really do tickle me because I’m like, that is perfect as a metaphor. If you want to invest, you’ve got to start small.
Eventually I want to buy a proper bar. I invest for fun now, I’ve made it into a fun game. I don’t want to lose it, but I want to have investments. When I did my will and they asked what assets have you got? And I was like, “Um, I’ve got a nice watch.” I felt then let’s start to put it in something a bit more substantial.
And that’s scary sometimes isn’t it? Particularly as a mum, it’s not very nice to think about the what if scenarios.
I’m solely financially responsible for the children as well. So obviously I’ve got insurance and all that kind of stuff, but we need to start putting money into trusts for the children, and just grown up things. Pensions, you know, you can use company money and put some into a pension.
Are you doing pensions for your kids, Helen?
Well I’ve got to sort myself out first and then they’re next on the agenda. They’ve got savings and stuff, but nothing long term like that, which I know they should be doing. Even I know about compound interest!
We’ve talked about this previously with Shaa Wasmund. When her son was born – she’s a single mum as well- she’d set up a pension for her son. And I did this for my two boys, like £20 a month when they were first born. A lot of people don’t understand that pensions are a bit like you were saying about your services. It’s just a vehicle that you use. And even just small amounts can make a big difference.
And again, a massive mind shift for me to even think about that kind of stuff. I was just always just living day by day. The thing is when you’ve got no money you just don’t think about these things, they’re not even on your agenda. When my dad was taking me food shopping, when you can’t buy food, the last thing you’re thinking about is pensions. I’ve got rid of insurances and things like that before because I couldn’t afford them.
So now having things like private medical health insurance feels like such a grownup thing to do. And also I was 40 last year, and I don’t want to be the all singing or dancing show pony of social media for the rest of my life. My plan is to retire by the time I’m 50, if not before. So I’ve got a few different things coming up for that. So, you know, you just have to do these grown up things, I guess at some point.
What’s next for you Helen then?
I’ve got a new course coming out. I call it the business clarity reset, and this is a culmination of my life’s work.
Business clarity reset is getting clarity on your business in one day. So it’s got things in there like business plans and stuff like that. So it’s just about, it’s get it, buy it, print it out, fill it in, keep it going. You can see it. And that becomes your contract with yourself. I’ve got something else that I can’t talk about yet, which I’m super excited about.
And She Can 365 is the project I’ve done with a couple of friends of mine, and we’ve got big plans to turn that into a sort of lifestyle brand around female entrepreneurship, which is a vehicle that a lot of people think is dying out, but we’re going to bring it back.
So it’s just now it’s about impact, isn’t it? How can I have a bigger impact? And for me, that’s by getting famous outside of the online marketing world, that’s really important to me. There’s so many people in the world who just can’t even see the opportunity. I wasn’t entrepreneurial until I was 30 at all. If I hadn’t have done what I’ve done now, I would be working in a small steady job. I’d be going to sit in an office all day, every day with four weeks holiday.
Do you think that anybody can be an entrepreneur?
No, not at all. I take umbridge with people who say I can get anyone to £10k a month. No way can you. I’d say probably 90% of people have not got what it takes just in terms of resilience.
Anybody can have a business, but definitely not everyone can be an entrepreneur. A lot of people don’t want it. I could earn what I am now just by just doing one to ones. I could have a small mentoring business, earn £10k a month and not have any of the headaches of having a big business. But I want to get to £5 million and £10 million and build this really scale-able sell-able asset.
I think to me, entrepreneurs have just got to have an inability to say I’m done. That’s the thing. I don’t know if that’s in everybody. I think you have to have a real motivating factor and it’s usually some kind of adversity. We interviewed 365 women and every single one of them had this story of overcoming adversity. When bad things happen to good people, you’ve got a choice. You can either use it as an excuse to give up, or you can use it as the catalyst to go. And it’s such a cliche, but if all the bad things that have happened to me hadn’t happened, I definitely wouldn’t be where I am. You don’t know that when you’re in it.
You do not know the opportunity until you have hindsight. So I just think life’s a game and it’s fun. Play all in and see what happens. You come with the same chips that you leave with, so you can’t really lose.
Ho will you know when you’re done? What does success look like for you?
At the end of all of this success to me is not having to work. So having investments and assets that are generating income that mean that myself, my children, my children’s children are never going to be in a position where finances come into the decision making process. So they can do and have whatever they want without finances holding them back.
It’s a funny one with the girls because for me as a parent, I don’t want them to get a job. That’s the last thing I want. I want them to travel and I want them to start their own businesses, but that’s what I want, it doesn’t mean it’s what they want. The girls will rebel against me by getting a proper job! But I just think it’s just such a great way to live your life.
We’re going to have a stable of businesses, a stable of companies, all those businesses need people in them. So if they want to eventually work within the business, they can do, but they’re not going to just get paid for. I said to my daughter if you want to be my TikTok manager, you get me to 20,000 followers. I’ll give you £2k. She was dead excited but it wore off after five minutes! At the moment they just want to lay in their beds and just be teenagers. And they’re good kids.
And for anyone who hasn’t done Helen’s 5 day challenge, when does your next one start Helen?
One starts on Monday 27th July, but we do two a quarter, so the next one will be soon.
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