AMY PORTERFIELD: Hey there, welcome back to another episode of The Online Marketing Made Easy Podcast. I’m Amy and I know I say this with every show, but I am absolutely thrilled , I truly am, that you have shown up here today. So thanks, so much, for tuning in.
Today’s guest is Marie Forleo, which creates a huge dilemma for me. Let me explain. Marie has been on my show multiple times, in fact more than any guest I’ve ever had. The dilemma with that is I’ve got to bring something new to the table when I interview Marie. It’s got to be different than all the other episodes and it had better be good.
My goal for each episode is that you walk away thinking, “That was so good, I need to apply those strategies or take action right now,” or that you are going to start thinking about your business differently. Those are all the things I want you to think about when you walk away from one of my episodes.
To bring Marie on for the fourth time, it had better be good. Because of that I have been a little bit stressed. Let me back up just a little bit and then I’ll tell you why I keep bringing her on the show. First of all, I met Marie when I was still working with Tony Robbins. I was at a Frank Kern event learning some new online marketing strategies. I sat next to Marie and we became fast friends. I then joined her live mastermind for two years.
Even before I left corporate I had joined this mastermind, quickly left corporate after that and she pretty much coached me into my first two years of business. She completely shaped the foundation of my business: Why I do what I do, how I do it, and I attribute much of my success to everything I learned from Marie.
I’m indebted to her, to say the least. Then she went on to create this program called B-School and I went through B-School multiple times and that rocked my business as well. So I am a fan, to say the least. I’m also an affiliate of her B-School program. Every year I promote it to my audience and create this amazing, my favorite bonus package ever, and offer these incredible bonuses if you sign up for Marie’s B-School with my affiliate link.
That’s my connection with Marie. But that’s not actually why she’s here today. She’s here today because every year she launches a three-part video series that’s totally free and completely value packed. She talks about building a gorgeous website and the 13 keys to killing it online. She gets into the emerging online marketing trends like what is working now and where the opportunities are.
She talks about strategies and tips and insights to get more focus and clarity inside your business and her goal is to help you create an online business that you absolutely love. This video series is free and she offers it every year. She just rerecorded the entire thing. It is excellent.
We’re going to talk a little bit about that three-part video series in this interview today and you can get it at http://www.amyporterfield.com/marie. I definitely encourage you to sign up for it because it’s only available for two weeks. So if you’re listening to this later on in the year you have likely missed it. But it will come back next. If you’re catching this when I just went live, definitely grab it before it’s too late. It’s totally free and worth every minute of that video series, I promise you that.
Back to the fact that I’ve had Marie on the show multiple times and that creates a major dilemma for me because I need this show to be unique and valuable for you. Let me tell you what I recently did. A few weeks back I had Rachel Luna on the show and she was talking about affiliate promotions. She mentioned she created a closed Facebook group during an affiliate launch.
She built this community before the product she was promoting even went on sale. I had mentioned that I was thinking about doing something like that for B-School. Then, just last week I interviewed Jill and Josh Stanton about how they have used a free Facebook group to build their community, build their email list, and grow their sales and they have impacted 100s of lives through this free Facebook group.
After I talked to Jill and Josh and Rachel Luna, I thought, “Wait a second, I’ve really got to do this.” So, just yesterday I sent out an email to my list and I told them about a special closed group that I created all around B-School. Remember, B-School is not for sale just yet. I called it the 30-Day B-School Business Building Think Tank. I promised my list that for the next 30 days I would jump in the group and we would go through Marie’s three-part video series together. We are going to watch the videos, talk about them, share insights, and ah-ha moments, answer questions that people may have, and then talk about how we are going to take action with those lessons.
I wanted to be a part of the conversation around the free really valuable content before Marie actually started to sell B-School. So that’s what I did. I had hoped for 1,000 people in the group. That’s what I really wanted. Well, it’s been 24 hours and we have almost 5,000 people in the group. Crazy, right?
That’s an amazing thing. It’s already fully engaged, really exciting, but I’m nervous about it as well. I’m nervous because I’ve never done this before. It’s interesting because when you’re just starting out in business and you try something new it’s kind of out of desperation sometimes (at least it was for me). You think, “I am going to throw something on the wall and hope that it sticks. If it doesn’t, oh well, I didn’t risk that much, but I’ve got to keep trying new things to see what works.”
That’s what happens in the early stages of business. When you’ve been at it for a while like me, trying new risks feels really scary in a different way. People are watching and they are going to see if you crash and burn or if you actually succeed. They have high expectations as well, at least I have high expectations for myself.
I really want to hit this one out of the park but it’s a total experimentation. I have never done something like this before. I was up all night worried about it wondering how I would add value and how would I keep people engaged and what questions would I ask. It is a very big deal to me in my head. If you want to be a part of the conversation you can go to http://www.amyporterfield.com/thinktank go along on this journey with me.
Here’s why I mentioned the special group I just launched, I went into the group this morning and asked, “What do you want to hear from Marie?” I wanted to know what you wanted to know if you could sit down with her and pick her brain about building an online business and the mindset of an entrepreneur and how she built her list and how she builds her team and how she launches. What do you want to know about from somebody that has created a multi-million dollar empire online…and she started as a bartender? True story.
How does that happen and what are her philosophies and strategies and insights along the way? I got some amazing questions from this group. I chose the best of the best and that’s how I’m going to make this interview with Marie unique from all the other ones I’ve done with her. They’re really insightful questions I get to ask and I didn’t even create them. They came from this really cool brand new group I created where I will be live for the next 30 days going through all of the free content Marie puts out. It’s going to be a lot of fun and I am excited about it.
Before we dive into the interview with Marie, I want to encourage you to go to http:// www.amyporterfield.com/marie and sign up for her three-part video series. Remember, it’s not going to be around for long, it’s only going to be here for about two weeks. So if you’re listening to this after it went live and you missed it, it will come back next year so no worries. But, if you’re listening with me as I go live with this podcast episode, sign up right away so you can be part of the conversation. The free three-part video series is at http://www.amyporterfield.com/marie and you can join the private, special Facebook group I created at http://www.amyporterfield.com/ thinktank and we will go through the experiment of something like that together.
I won’t make you wait any longer. Let’s go ahead and dive in to the Q&A session with Marie Forleo. Before we dive in, a quick word about our sponsor. I want to thank our sponsor today, 99Designs. I am such a huge fan of this company because they can take care of all of your graphic needs. We are talking logos, social media cover images, website graphics, and so much more. So visit www.99Designs.com/amy and get a $99 upgrade for free.
Amy: Marie Forleo, thank you so very much for being on the show yet again!
Marie: Amy, I adore you! Literally. I miss you so much and would love to hang out with you as much as humanly possible so this is a treat for me.
Amy: I know, I always love when we get on these interviews. What they don’t hear is we catch up forever because it’s been too long. So it’s always fun chatting for sure. I’ve got a rapid fire list of questions that, as I mentioned in the intro, my special 30-day B- School Business Builder Think Tank came up with these questions and I just want to dive into them. What do you think?
Marie: Let’s do it.
Amy: First question. When did you finally get your big break?
Marie: So…I don’t know if you guys will be shocked by this answer but this is the truth, I honestly don’t think I have ever had a big break, per se. My career and my business has been built by a series of small, tiny steps taken every single day that, honestly, when I look back it’s 17 years now. Those small steps every day have really gotten me to here.
Have there been highlights? Absolutely. Going on Oprah, highlight!
Amy: Kind of!
Marie: Kind of, right? Being interviewed by Tony Robbins, highlight. Being with Richard Branson, getting to meet some incredible folks that I consider mentors from far away, people that I’ve admired or looked up to, seeing our B-Schoolers have so much success. Meeting them on the streets in a restaurant, I meet people every day and I’m in my messy bun with no make up and they are like, “Marie!” And I’m like, “Hi!”
Those are all really beautiful things but I think there is a myth about this idea of a big break and I certainly used to have it. I remember when I started out. I would sit in my studio apartment. I was staring at my computer completely overwhelmed, completely terrified, alone, not knowing exactly what to do to build my business, and I remember having fantasies wishing there was this kind of fairy business godmother who would swoop in and discover me or give me that big break, you know what I mean, “Hey, here’s what you need to do to get catapulted to this next level.”
Not only did that day never come but it was a delusional way for me to be thinking at that time. What I’ve been able to see now in hindsight is there is no single opportunity that anyone else can give you that is more important for your success than the small daily actions that you have to take everyday.
Amy: Say it one more time, say it one more time.
Marie: There is no big break or opportunity that anyone else is going to come and put in your lap that is going to catapult you further or take you farther or raise you up higher than the small actions, the quiet actions, that you must take each and every day in your own service (in service of your own creativity), those kind of gritty details that we do in the background that are not so sexy.
I think, especially for anyone that’s familiar with Marie TV, sometimes they can see we’ve got great production values and I have a blow out and I have cute clothes on. By the way, this is not how I started out. The second thing I want to say about that is the only reason we have all those is so I can put the majority of my attention on the content.
What my point is, all of the work that happens before we get on set, that’s not glamorous at all. It’s really hard and it takes a lot of time and I think the thing I wish I could tell my 22-year-old self when I was just starting out was, “Girl, don’t worry about the big break, just take the small steps every day and you will get there.”
Amy: Oh, so good. I love that answer. It’s so perfect. I secretly put that in there first because I kind of knew you weren’t going to be believing in those big breaks for most people. Also, I just thought of something. Do you remember…When I first got into your world one of the first videos I saw was you in the kitchen. You were direct to camera and talking about some kind of freebie you just created; Josh is in the background making a smoothie.
Marie: Yes! That was actually my opt in for my site. You know what’s so funny, Amy, I need to go find that video and put it up.
Amy: You do, and show people.
Marie: So many people loved that video. Essentially, I was looking into my webcam right from my laptop and I tried to shoot this video, if anyone has done video then you know this, you can try five or six or ten different times and you either make a fumble, the lighting is just horrible, something goes off kilter. Anyway, I moved the camera to my table and started talking and everything was actually sounding coherent and in comes Josh and he just starts making a smoothie and I think Zane, my step son is in there.
I just turned around and I just had to keep going. That was our main opt in on MarieForleo.com for quite some time and it was for an audio, Eight Biggest Mistakes Even Smart Women Make in Business and How to Avoid Them.
Amy: I can’t even believe you remember that, first of all. And second of all, that’s the good stuff because where you are now you didn’t get there instantly or overnight. Things looked a whole lot different while you were still successful in those early years. I think people need to remember that.
Marie: Yeah. On my Facebook Page, actually, just last week I did my first live broadcast through Facebook’s mobile portal and I didn’t realize I couldn’t do it through my laptop which I thought I would be able to. I was awkwardly holding my cell phone without a tripod. I apologize for anyone getting seasick. I was like, “Honey, I’m so sorry but I’ve just got to do this because I’ve got to do what I’ve got to do and keep my word.”
My point is, you can see the same me all across the board. Again, sometimes I’ve got a little more lip gloss on. Most of the time I do not. But it’s more important, your message, your honesty, your genuineness, the intention with which you want to serve than any of the glamor or glitz or any of that stuff. None of that is really important.
We get to do that now because we can and it’s a little more fun and it’s just a different facet of who we are. But it’s not necessary.
Amy: Totally agree. I love that. We are moving on to Question #2, what do you think is the best way to narrow down your target audience when you struggle with so many ideas and are afraid to lose any opportunity?
Marie: Oh, this is a good one.
Amy: It’s a good one.
Marie: As you know Amy, if you’re talking to everybody you’re talking to nobody. That’s one of our mantras both in B-School and as marketers and for life.
Marie: If you don’t truly understand the folks you want to serve through your business and speak directly to them, your marketing is likely going to be bland, it’s going to be forgettable, it’s going to lack the emotional depth and complexity that it needs in order for you to have a sustainable profitable business.
You have to get really clear on who exactly your ideal customers are. That’s a process that, sadly, you and I both know most business owners and entrepreneurs fail to go deep enough on.
Marie: They say, “Oh, I know my target market,” or “I know five facts about them and that’s enough.” I will say, if you’re trying to serve everyone you will not serve anyone. The truth is, no product or service really is for everyone. In the beginning stages of your business I completely get it. I was terrified to miss out on any opportunity because I had to make money any way I could. I needed to put food on the table so I understand that.
What’s really important, when you’re thinking about the best way to narrow down, you have to think about the commonalities that unite your ideal customers. Is it the ideas, the values, the aspirations, the frustrations? What are the things that unite the people that you’re trying to reach? When you start to get that picture in your mind that’s what’s going to help you narrow down and start speaking more specifically to them.
We talk a lot about this in B-School. I take you through a lot of different processes to get them there. But those are the kind of things that anyone listening to this call should be able to start to think about and give yourselves the chance to narrow it down.
Amy: Once you narrow down your target market, tell me this, how did you intentionally communicate or engage with this target market when you first started? You were just getting things going but you wanted to start building trust and getting a lot of value. What did that look like?
Marie: For me, when I started it was really about two modes of communication. It was about my email newsletter which was where, at that time, I delivered all of my content. You have to get that this was pre blog and pre social media.
Amy: That is kind of crazy. Let’s just put this in perspective. You were building a list almost like from Day One. My story is you told me to build a list for almost two years in our mastermind together and I finally got my act together after two years. I remember you asked me all the time, “What’s your list size? What’s your list size?”
It never changed. But for you it was always a thing. How did you know that was so important?
Marie: I will tell you, thank the sweet heavens above, my coach training was through a place called Coach University which, at the time was the first and largest coach training institute that was in existence. It was at the baby, baby, infantile stages of the coaching industry.
Amy: To be a life coach?
Marie: Because that’s where I started. One of the things they stress, and you have to get I was fresh out of college, fresh out of college. I was so in the mode that if my teacher tells me to do something I will do it. That was just who I was. One of the things stressed to me in my coaching training was about building an email newsletter list. Again, because it was pre blog and pre social media it was the only means I had of communicating consistently with people to try to build my coaching practice and to start honing my ability to get out content.
For me it was email and then it was in person. I was a bartender. I was going to Toastmasters to learn and try and become somewhat of a better public speaker and I was also teaching fitness classes. I had these opportunities in real life to communicate with people to start building trust and showing value.
For me, and these are the things that are applicable no matter how technology shifts and no matter how the landscape of social media continues to evolve no matter what tools you are using, it was about being as honest and transparent and to the point as I could be with my audience. In my case, because it was a life coaching business, it was about sharing ideas and concepts and tools and strategies that I genuinely found valuable myself.
Therefore, I genuinely wanted to pass them on to other people. It wasn’t about trying to come up with ideas of what would be the best content. It was asking how I was going to make a difference to other people and how was I going to do that in a way that was genuinely aligned with me. I think in terms of trust, trust is built when you do what you say you will do. That comes from being consistent, by being honest, and by honoring your word.
It’s not about being perfect, by any stretch of the imagination. It is about having alignment between what you say you are going to do and what you do. And if you falter, if you stumble, which again, all of us do as humans, you own up to that, you take responsibility, and you get right back on the train. That’s how trust is built.
The third piece that I would mention is my desire, especially in the beginning, was always to serve others. I was terribly insecure because of my young age. I know, and I know more now looking back (20/20 is always hindsight), I was insane to think I could be a life coach! Who in the heck would hire a 23-year-old life coach? I was clearly out of my freaking mind.
Thankfully, I just followed my instinct by asking how I could help and serve others and put the spotlight on them and the ideas and concepts that I genuinely found value in.
Amy: That makes perfect sense. And it kind of leads me to this next question. When you were bartending and you were becoming a life coach and you said you were doing the fitness stuff, tell people what you did…
Marie: I was a dancer, hip-hop instructor, fitness personality. I created four fitness dance videos and I was a Nike Elite Athlete so I taught hip-hop and different forms of dance to instructors and individuals around the world.
Amy: So you have had a lot going on. That’s perfect for this next question. What is your advice on how to confidently choose a direction for your business? The person who wrote in said, “I have so many ideas and interests and ideas that light me up. Are all of these real or just a masterful trick my mind is playing on me to stay where I am?”
Marie: This is such a big hurdle for people.
Amy: A big one.
Marie: Amy, especially for anyone listening who may find yourself like me and like the asker of this question who I consider multi passionate, it’s a huge stumbling block for many entrepreneurs. We actually created an entire program about it, which is included in B-School. It’s called Start the Right Business. I was in so much pain about this and I understand and can empathize with people who feel like they don’t want to choose and are having a really hard time figuring out which idea to follow. We show them how to methodically and intelligently work through each of their ideas so they can start testing one or two that will be the most viable for their business.
It’s really not about choosing something that makes the most financial profit. You have to consider your emotional and spiritual profit too. Every business takes a tremendous amount of work so it is about parsing out what’s going to make the most sense for your soul and for your bank account.
While I can’t take people through every single test that we walk folks through in that program, at the end of the day this is what I want you to know: I want you to know that it is important to get out there and test your ideas. This speaks to one of my mottos in life which I live by, clarity comes from engagement not thought.
Amy: One more time.
Marie: Clarity comes from engagement not thought. It is so rare that you find your truth, and I mean truth with a capital T, by thinking about it purely from an intellectual reason-based level. You have to take action and you’ve got to get a body truth. You have to get feedback from your environment. That will inform your highest and best choice.
Just a quick example, I know for me, for a very long time I questioned whether or not I would have any business at all trying to have a bit of a career in dance/fitness. You have to get Amy, I had no dance training. I never took a class as a kid. The most I did was moonwalk across my mom’s linoleum kitchen floor. No formal training. And I was about 24 or 25 at the time.
Sadly, in the dance world that is actually over the hill. People are pros. They are killing it by the time they are 16 and by the time they are 20 or 21 they are on tour with everybody. So I remember the first time I finally realized that I will never figure out if this is real for me and should pursue it until I get my butt in a class.
It sounds so obvious yet so many of us, especially when we are multi passionate, will have five different ideas in our mind of what we could do yet we don’t take action to actually feel it or test it or see if it’s a hobby, or maybe it could be a business. I think there is a lot of wisdom that can be gained and a lot of traction that can be made when you actually get out there and start doing it, just even dip your toe in the water.
Amy: I’m all about taking action, getting that momentum, and moving forward so I am on the same page with you for sure. Let’s switch gears a little bit into fear and the mindset around that. This next question is all about fear and being paralyzed. She says, “I live in a paralyzed fear of being too salesy and as a result I sell myself short.
What resources do you recommend to get into a mindset of really selling yourself so that the world knows just how awesome you are and how awesome your products are as well?”
Marie: I love this question.
Amy: Me too.
Marie: I will make a pitch for a free Marie TV episode if you Google search Marie Forleo Shameless Self Promotion.
Amy: Oooh, it’s good one.
Marie: There is a whole episode around this. But here’s what I want you to understand right now, you are on the planet for a reason. There has never been nor will there ever be another you. So your ideas, your thoughts, your creations, your products, your services matter. When you have a product or service that you genuinely believe in and you don’t do everything you possibly can to share and market and promote the heck out of that, you are stealing from those who need you most.
It’s the truth, right now there are hundreds, if not thousands, if not millions of people who want what you have to offer but it’s not their job to find you, it’s your job to get in front of them. So you have to keep that in your heart. You have to know that you are on this planet for a reason and it’s to share your gifts.
Your gifts often come through the vehicle of your business. So when you stay in that place of service and you stay in that framework of emotional connection and desire to serve all of the sudden you don’t have to be worried about being too salesy because all you’re doing is being of service.
Amy: I feel like that is a major theme running through the entire B-School program.
Marie: Yes, 100%. I think that’s one of the biggest things we hear from folks. I say it’s always such a pleasure for me to meet people on the street when I don’t expect to. One of the things they often share or let me know through social media is that I helped them find their confidence to do “this. I am so proud of what I do now and I was so scared before and I am finally living in the way I knew I could live, I just couldn’t get there and B-School helped me do it.”
Amy: I love that. I love hearing that. I hear it all the time from those that have been part of my B-School bonuses. They find that confidence. I hear that word over and over again, which is really cool.
Moving on in our rapid-fire questions, the next one is about being a perfectionist. “How do I move past the perfectionist nature, the feeling that I just don’t know enough yet because all of that takes time away from writing my content and my blog posts and promoting and all that stuff that comes with building a business?”
Marie: Yes. Again, not to get all Marie TV on you but we did another episode on this about How to Believe in Your Business When You Don’t Fully Believe in Yourself. The thing about being a perfectionist, and I can relate to this because I have really, really, really high standards, you have to train yourself to recognize that in any given moment you are either engaged in the thoughts in your mind that say, “You suck. You’re not good enough. You don’t know enough yet. Who are you to say this? Everyone else is more experienced. They’ve said it already. What do you have to add to the party?”
Or you are actually creating content, you are actually writing the blog post, you are formatting it and editing it, you’re promoting it on social media, you’re reaching out to others to see if they’ll share it for you. You have to really come down in a very micro manner moment to moment and start to train yourself to be engaged in production rather than the thoughts in your head about how awful you are.
I know that might sound simplistic, but if you really slow down and start to check in with yourself over the course of 30 minutes, how much of these 30 minutes are you comparing yourself to other people and coming short versus how many of the 30 minutes did you actually put words on the page? When you start to become aware of how much time you are wasting in that perfectionist, not-getting-shit-done mode, you will start to unwire that mechanism and stay engaged rather than beating yourself up.
I always talk about the fact you should create before you consume. That consumption includes your own crappy thoughts.
Amy: Okay, so you should always create before you consume. What do you mean? Tell me more about that.
Marie: A lot of times people start out their day totally consuming social media, looking through their Instagram feed, and taking shots of compare schlagger where you see what everyone else is doing, what they are launching, how great their pictures are, and how great their lives are.
Amy: It is the worst place to go. I have lived there before, so yes.
Marie: Or you start reading other people’s blogs or you start reading the news. There are so many different things you can consume from an informational standpoint and you haven’t done any of your own creation yet. You haven’t written anything for the day. You haven’t given yourself time to think or to pray or to meditate or to exercise. You haven’t created or generated any of your own things so creating before you consume is a really great practice to get in.
You can’t do it all the time because we do have to be out into the world and receive things to get inspiration as well. That’s fine. But if you really take a look at your habits you may find that what you do is consume so much and you go into a really dark perfectionistic place and start having internal dialogues with yourself, “Everything’s been done already. I’m not good enough. I’m not qualified.” That’s why things never get done.
Amy: The quality of your work just goes down the drain so quickly when you’re in that space.
Amy: Okay, I love that. I had never heard you say that before and I absolutely love it. That’s a new motto, for me at least.
Amy: Here we go, what is the #1 thing that made a difference in your business if you had to choose just one thing?
Marie: This, without a doubt, hands down, is the thing that runs my life and it has made the biggest difference in my business…trusting my intuition and following my heart, especially when it comes to taking big leaps. For me, in the beginning, dial it all the way back, trusting my intuition that I had to sign up for that life coach training despite how crazy it sounded to become a 23-year-old life coach, that sounded nuts. I had another job. I couldn’t afford it. There were all of these reasons why I shouldn’t
have signed up for that coach training yet something in my heart and my intuition said I had to do it.
I remember another time when I was really looking to kind of upgrade my abilities as a coach and my integrity. I had just written an eBook and it was out there and selling and I was so proud of it. Yet it was about women in relationships. It was called Make Every Man Want You. It was my first eBook ever. I wound up breaking off my engagement with the guy I was engaged to at the time.
I had to trust my heart that I would lose out on that revenue yet there was something higher that I would get to if I retooled. I remember so many times, Amy, trusting my heart and my intuition further along in my business and eliminating revenue streams that were like in the millions of dollars.
There was nothing wrong with them. They were beautiful. I enjoyed them, other people enjoyed them. But it was time for me to move on because I felt something else was coming. I didn’t have proof of it but I could feel it in my bones and I think that for each of us it’s less about following someone else’s blueprint or taking fill-in- the-blank templates and the one thing that will make a difference in your business and in your life is the wisdom that is already in you if you have the courage to listen. It’s always there.
That’s one of the things that I really love about B-School. We may not be the program that says, “Look, we’re going to give you a business in a box,” as you know, Amy, that’s never been me, I’m kind of a hard ass like that.
Amy: Yes you are.
Marie: I will teach you principles, I will teach you ideas, I will teach you things that will work over time, but I am going to be honest with you and I want to train you to think and feel for yourself so that you never need me again.
Amy: That’s so true. That is throughout the entire B-School program.
Marie: Yes. I’m not going to tell you what you want to hear but I’m going to tell you what you need to know. What you need to know is how to listen to your intuition so that you can take all of the incredible ideas and strategies and possibilities and you can start to feel out for yourself what’s going to be your next best step.
We share experience, we share our hearts…
Amy: Tons of examples.
Marie: Exactly. And you have to then come in and match all of that with your own heart and your own sense of what’s right for you and what feels right. I think for all of us, if we can hone that, that’s what’s going to take us the furthest the fastest.
Amy: Speaking of B-School, tell me this, what do you think is a common trait or habit or action you’ve seen in your most successful B-School graduates?
Marie: There are two things that come to mind, One, a bigger “why” that the person is committed to. They are building their business for a reason that is beyond just money or attention or their ego or to prove their worth or to prove they are capable to someone. The people that are building a business because they genuinely want to make a difference to others, they want to change their industry, they want to bring people joy or delight or a solution to a problem, I think that when you’re motivated beyond something as empty (and it is empty) as self gain, you will give yourself an edge in terms of creativity and stamina that simply cannot be accessed when you’re creating for self gain alone.
The second thing, you and I both know this because it’s how we live our lives, the habit of taking consistent action and also having patience.
Amy: Oh, good one.
Marie: In our environment one of the things that seems to be prevalent is the idea of either overnight success or instant gratification and there are unicorns out there that seem to do things very, very quickly. But I will tell you, after 17 years in this industry, the people I respect the most and the businesses that I see across every vertical, across every industry, they are rarely the ones that do it fast.
They are the people that when you really unpack their stories, they have been building it slowly over time. They have made their mistakes. They do things organically. I will tell you, again, this is like 17 years for me, Amy. People want to know where I came from. No, it’s been happening for a long time. I think that willingness to take action and to have patience and the bigger “why” they are committed to in their heart, again, this doesn’t have to be that you want to solve world hunger, although I would love that because that’s a big thing for me, you don’t have to feel you have to change the whole world but there’s got to be something beyond your own wallet for this business.
One of the things we share, don’t just start a business to make money, start a business to make a difference and that will make all the difference for you in the world.
Amy: That whole theme really is through your three-part video series that went live today. So talk to me about your three-part video series and what people can learn for absolutely free.
Marie: Really, the three-part video series does a couple of things. I remember when I was starting my business I felt so incredibly overwhelmed. I had so many ideas and so many things I could do but I often found myself paralyzed because there was so much to do. I didn’t know what to tackle first and hours would go by with nothing getting done.
I tried to take a look back and tell where you have to focus your attention first then where you have to focus your attention second and then here is where you focus your attention third. There really are six pillars of building an online business. While building a business is not linear, this gives you a nice path to follow so that you can connect all of the dots and things start to make sense.
It helps you narrow things down in such a way that you see you can focus on this and then you can move on to that. It’s really, really practical and it helps people like us who are massively creative and a little ADD get the structure and the tools that we need so we can move things ahead.
In the three-part video series we also kind of unmask some of the myths and the things that hold people back, especially we got some questions today, if you have any resistance or hesitation around marketing and selling because you don’t feel you can do it genuinely, you are afraid of being too aggressive or slimy or having people resist you, Video #2, for the love of all things holy, please watch that video if you are a business owner, even if you never buy B-School and never do anything with us again. It is really important and it will shift your mindset about who you are and how you show up in the world, especially when you’re marketing more than anything else.
In the third video in the series we tackle the common excuses that hold all of us back. All of us have patterns and ways of thinking that can keep us stuck from sharing our gifts in a way that really reaches the most people as we are meant to reach. We unpack each of those quite directly, as you know that I am, and then we also get to meet some B-Schoolers.
You meet a very diverse group of B-Schoolers who have actually gone through the program. Some just went through the program last year and then others went through years ago and we start to see some of their progress and who they have become and how they have shifted and what’s happened for their business over the years.
Amy: You guys, you can grab this free three-part video series if you go to http:// www.amyporterfield.com/marie. But Marie, since you’re here now and when the doors open to B-School, which they aren’t open at the very time of this recording, but when they do open some people are going to be saying, “Who is perfect for this program? Who’s the ideal person to actually invest in B-School?”
Would you mind telling us that because we’re going to get there eventually?
Marie: Of course. I would say it is ideal for someone who is committed to having a business that is sustainable, that’s modern (you are going to use digital tools, you don’t have to be on social media 24/7 but you want your website to work for you and actually convert sales and not just be a pretty brochure that doesn’t function), whether you are experienced or aspiring coach or writer or you make cupcakes, you could have a product-based business, you could have a service-based business, you could have an information-based business. Anyone who really believes the internet is a massive tool to reach more people and that you want your business to work 24/7 for you, that’s who B-School is for.
If you’re someone who is just way hyper advanced, you’ve been doing internet marketing for years, you want to learn about multivariate testing, you are going to be doing a crazy complex split test and you want to nerd out on all kinds of amazing technical details, B-School might not be for you.
This really is about the heart and soul of marketing and selling more effectively. If you want to become your most persuasive self, you want to become your most influential self, you want to have all of your customers clamoring to buy what you offer from a very genuine place, if you want to feel proud of your marketing, so proud you would send your sister and brother and parents to your website and have them see all of the marketing and go, “Oh my god, that was amazing, can I buy that?” That’s who B- School is for.
It’s for people who want to build a business with heart and soul. Amy, I will also say this, people can go through the free series. That’s the other reason we created it. I have a very unique personality that, quite frankly, is not for everybody. That’s awesome. If you go through the free series and you don’t find value in there or just my teaching style doesn’t mesh for how you like to learn then you shouldn’t sign up for it.
Otherwise, if you feel like you want to learn how to market in a modern way, ethically and honestly, and you want to join one of the most powerful global communities in the world who are interested in building their business for all of the right reasons then it is definitely something you should strongly consider and I think you should join.
Amy: Perfect wrap up. I love that you really brought in the point that you’re not for everybody and the three-part video series gives a really good taste of who you are, what you’re about, what your message is, and how you help people. You definitely want to dive into the free video series just to get a really good taste of what B-School is all about. And, worst-case scenario, you learn a few new strategies to apply to your business. Best-case scenario, you become part of the B-School community and never look back. So I feel like it’s a win-win.
Marie: It totally is a win-win. I will say this, Amy, we put out the entire curriculum when people can register and you can see everything. We don’t hold anything back.
Amy: No surprises.
Marie: Never any surprises. Also, if anyone does reach out to our team you have my word, we have been doing this, this is our seventh year, we don’t oversell. If you give us an honest question and ask if this would be right for you, we will tell you if it’s not right for you. We are in the sales prevention business because we don’t want people in the program who don’t belong there. We only want to serve people we can really make a difference to.
Amy: I really believe that. When my students ask me if they are right for B-School because they do this or that, your team encourages me to send that person to them so you can really vet them first.
Amy: I like that.
Marie: We have no interest in overselling. Again, after doing this for so many years, I only want happy customers. I only want folks in the door who are really aligned, not only with the curriculum and what they are going to take away, but really with our values, our philosophy, the fact that we’re quirky, the fact that a four-letter word might come out of my mouth every now and again.
Marie: Me? I’m so innocent. Seriously, to really make sure someone’s going to feel comfortable, they’re going to feel taken care of. If we have any doubt we will let them know. The other thing to share is that we have a very generous refund policy. If you do get in and you find that it isn’t for you, there is a way we will give you your full money back so, again, we don’t want to take money and we don’t want money from anyone that we’re not truly meant to serve.
Amy: I’ve sent a lot of people your way for B-School and I get raving reviews. So thanks for taking such good care of them and thanks for coming on the show. This has definitely been an action-packed, value-packed episode and I think so many people are going to get value from all of the nuggets you shared. So thanks again.
Marie: Thanks Amy.
Amy: Alright, talk to you soon. There you have it. What do you think? Good stuff, right? Marie has been an amazing friend to me and a mentor for many, many years. I have fallen in love with all of her strategies and tips and insights and I hope you now understand why I love her so much too! I do, I think she’s fantastic. I hope you’ll go check out her free video series at http://www.amyporterfield.com/marie and then join us inside the 30-Day B-School Business Building Think Tank to watch the videos with us, go through, ask questions, share your ah-ha moments, all that good stuff. You can get there by going to http://www.amyporterfield.com/thinktank.
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Thanks so much for tuning in, I can’t wait to connect with you again soon. Bye for now.