I received a complex question from a follower on Instagram and thought there were several things to unpack. The follower gave me permission to create a podcast episode to respond to the question. So, let’s begin by reading the message verbatim.
Hello Cheryl, may I have your advice? I got interested in entrepreneurship about a year ago when I read Russell Brunson’s Dotcom Secrets. The strategy and funnel concept made me feel amazed.
But after wasting thousands in courses, I found myself becoming a funnel designer but not strategist, and I don’t have experience to become a funnel coach. And I don’t enjoy being a funnel designer. I designed some funnels for 6,7-figure earners, making only $500. One even took my design and ghosted me.
Then I thought if I don’t have a killer offer, I shall develop a high income skill to help sell other’s killer offers. But not sure if it’s the right path, and which skill to pick.
I just don’t want to waste any more time because I’m stuck in my current position and really hate myself for that. I have a stable job, but absolutely hate myself with it and want to get rid of it, do something giving freedom and impact to myself and others, just exactly like what you’re doing. Thank you for reading.
Just a heads up, there’s going to be a lot of tough love in this post.
We’re not going to beat around the bush. I also spent some time thinking about the question and how I wanted to answer it.
To be honest, I’m not sure if what I’m about to say is what this person wants to hear, but these are truly my honest thoughts and suggestions.
Hopefully, they will find value from it regardless. So, let’s get straight into it.
The first thought I had here was: People give us hundreds or thousands of dollars because they want to change their situation.
The clients themselves want to be different or see different results.
This means the client also needs to be someone committed to their own growth and results, but they’re scared to invest because they don’t want to be disappointed by not getting the results they were hoping for.
Going back to the person who asked the question… I’m really curious to know the next thing, which is:
Why do you feel like you wasted thousands of dollars on courses? What does that mean?
What were you expecting the course to do? Were you expecting it to change your situation for you or provide you with a complete step-by-step roadmap to results?
There’s no right or wrong answer to this question, but what I do want to say is that it’s the client’s or student’s responsibility to implement the information and the process taught inside the program or course to the fullest extent.
Ultimately, the course, coach, or whoever or whatever you invested in is not responsible for you taking action. That’s the overarching message I wanted to convey.
Now, this leads to my next point, which is how often I hear people say they invested in a course or program before but found the information to be too basic.
They feel like they already know everything. But here’s the thing: why do you think it’s considered basic in the first place?
The way I see it, the basics are the fundamentals. They are the foundation of your business.
You always need to master the basics and do them really well. If you haven’t yet mastered the basics and gotten results from them alone, I would challenge you to focus on the basics and get results from them before moving on to something newer, cooler, more complicated, or advanced.
And even if someone is supposedly more advanced, it doesn’t guarantee bigger and better results.
For anyone who feels like you’ve wasted money on business or marketing courses or programs before, I want you to take full responsibility by doing the following:
1) Take advantage of the live support or any other features of the investment. Show up for the live support and maximize the program’s resources.
2) Implement the entire course or program to the best of your ability. Even if it seems basic, do it anyways. Basics are the foundation of your business, and you need to master them to get results. Take full ownership of doing the basics. Don’t neglect the basics.
3) Go back to the course or program and be curious about the thought process behind the strategies or information you learned. Don’t just do what they tell you to do, but understand why they’re suggesting it. When you’re able to use your critical thinking and understand the thinking behind certain strategies, that will help shape you into a decision making CEO in the long term.
I don’t believe that everyone is meant to start a coaching business. It really depends on your intentions for becoming a coach and whether coaching is the right vehicle for you to help others.
If you are dedicated to the service or helping industry and enjoy working with people in a one-on-one or group setting, then coaching may be the right fit for you.
Regarding the DM message I received, I cannot provide personalized feedback or thoughts. This is something I work on with my clients who are starting from scratch.
However, most of my clients come to me with some ideas about how they want to help people, even if it’s not 100% clear at that point in time.We work together to clarify their goals.
For other clients who have been in the game for a while, they may need my support to reach the next level, such as achieving 5k or 10k months.
It’s ultimately up to you whether you think coaching is the mechanism through which you want to help people.
If you want to become a coach, then start to identify the thoughts you need to think and the action steps to take to get there.
What I will also say is this:
1) There are many other businesses you can start besides a coaching business, if you are currently unsure whether you want to start a coaching business; and
2) You can always work with people for free first to gain experience. That’s always an option available to you. That’s something I personally did two years ago when I first started my business. I coached people for free before I ever started charging for my coaching.
First of all, what does a “killer” offer even mean?
That’s something I’d like you to think about if you’re currently having doubts about whether your offer is good enough or not.
Secondly, I’d argue that it’s not about the offer itself. I mean, an offer could have tremendous perceived value to someone but zero perceived value to someone else.
For example, someone might be willing to dish out thousands of dollars for a Chanel handbag, but another person would never do so.
How I like to look at this is that it’s not about the offer per se, but it’s about how you’re communicating the relevance of your offer to the right client.
Even for my coaching program, for example, the question is: why should someone join my program? It’s not a basic living necessity, so it’s my responsibility to communicate to my audience the relevance of my coaching program to them.
People have the misconception that just because someone is a business coach, it’ll automatically make it easier for them to sign clients. However, I’d argue that there’s a solid amount of evidence that goes against this assumption.
There are a lot of people becoming business coaches because they are under the false impression that that’s how they can make money.
I’d like to counter that by saying that I’ve worked with clients who are not business coaches, in fact, 95% of my clients are not business coaches, yet they‘ve still been able to sign high ticket clients.
Likewise, if you go on the Internet or go on Instagram, there are so many examples of people with highly profitable businesses in a non-business related niche.
Also, even if you are in a business related niche, that doesn’t guarantee you’ll sign clients. There are so many business or marketing or sales or branding or other similar coaches who are struggling to sign clients.
It all comes down to whether you’re clearly articulating the relevance of your offer.
More likely than not, it’s not the offer that’s the problem, but it’s the way someone is marketing and selling the offer.
Rather than obsessing over the structure or features of your offer, focus on selling it really well to the people who will benefit from it.
People care more about whether you can help them achieve their goals than about how many calls they’ll get with you or what bonuses you include.
Creating the offer is easy; selling it is the bigger piece of the puzzle.
The more time you spend perfecting the offer, the less time you’ll have to talk about how you can help people in your content.
Once you work with real paying clients, you’ll know exactly how to improve your offer and sell it better.
For now, stop worrying about your offer and start focusing on becoming great at selling it.
This person is thinking about learning how to help others sell their offers because it’s a “high income skill”, but he’s not sure if this is the right path to take.
My immediate question is, “If you’re thinking about how to sell other people’s offer, why can’t you sell your own offer? If you’re going to spend the time learning to sell, why not sell something for your own business?”.
Another question that came to mind is: how do you define a high-income skill?
I would be curious to know how someone defines this. When it comes to creating an online business, I personally believe that anything can be turned into a highly profitable business.
This is because if we look online, there are businesses in every niche imaginable. There are courses and services for anything you could possibly think of, and there are people who are excelling and thriving in all kinds of niches.
Contrary to popular belief, it’s not only business, marketing, or social media coaches, consultants, or courses that make money.
I have clients who are not business coaches but are still making money.
Moreover, if you go online, you’ll find examples of people from all areas or niches making a considerable amount of money. Therefore, classifying certain skill sets as “high income” is not a very strong argument.
The difference between a beginner entrepreneur and someone who’s more established often boils down to their ability to make decisions quickly, take action swiftly, and not give up easily.
Mastery takes time and achieving the so-called 5k or 10k per month requires mastery. You cannot give up, be indecisive, or unfocused.
You must remain committed to mastering your craft.
Firstly, I would like to share my personal opinion on this matter. It is okay if someone disagrees with me.
If your primary motivation for considering the coaching industry is that you don’t like your job, yourself or your life, then I would advise you against it.
Coaching is a service-based industry that aims to help people. If you want to become a full-time coach solely to leave your job, I would suggest exploring other business models that are less service-based.
However, if your intention is genuinely to help others and be of service, then creating a coaching business may be suitable for you.
Second, if you’re currently considered a side hustler, so you’re working a 9-5 or you have some sort of full time role like graduate school, and you feel like it’s draining you and it’s interfering with your business, I want us to reframe the way you’re looking at your job.
Let me preface what I’m about to say next by first saying that I personally really did enjoy my 9-5 in 2019 and 2020, so much so that I decided NOT to quit my 9-5.
In fact, back in 2019, I actually had a conversation with my boss where I told him I was having a dilemma because I didn’t know whether I wanted to become a full time coach. His advice to me was simple: Don’t rush it.
So, I didn’t make any rash decisions and I stayed at my job.
Fast forward to today, I loved the work that I did so much in that particular 9-5, so much so that I am now pursuing a PhD because of it.
But of course, in spite of all that, I do recognize some of the limitations or restrictions because of how jobs are structured, and how often it can feel very stifling simply because of how jobs are inherently created.
Here’s how I think we can reframe the way we look at our jobs.
One very profound thing I heard from my mentor, Dielle Charon, is the following: Your job isn’t supposed to make you happy or fulfilled. It never stated that in the employment contract. All it promised was a salary in exchange for you doing the work they asked of you.
And when I heard Dielle Charon talk about this, I think it offers a very unique perspective on the angst that many people feel towards their jobs.
A lot of people blame their jobs for their stress and unhappiness, whether it’s a toxic work environment, not getting paid enough, or the stress they experience.
But if we really think about it, all that was promised in the employment contract was basically a pay check. That’s it.
So why are we making our jobs mean so much about ourselves and our lives? Why are we letting our jobs take up so much of our cognitive and emotional energy?
Although I am personally happy with my previous job and my current career path, I want to acknowledge that what Dielle said is a profound way of looking at your job, particularly if you currently hate your job.
Your job is not supposed to make you happy, as Dielle would say. That’s your own assumption or expectation.
I will never advise anyone, even my clients, to leave their jobs. It is not my place to provide my thoughts on what they should do with their life.
However, I can offer some questions for them to think about on their own.
Firstly, how much of your thinking is consumed with thoughts about how much you dislike your situation?
How much time of your day are you spending thinking about how much you don’t like yourself, your job, or your life?
Secondly, do you like thinking these thoughts? Do you like feeling these things? If not, then why are we spending so much time in the river of misery instead of proactively thinking other thoughts while still taking action towards your goals?
I’m not saying that thinking something is going to instantly change your circumstances.
However, one thing I work hard on with my clients is their mindset because if we don’t change these thoughts, it’s going to affect the way they show up for their business.
When someone is consumed with negative thoughts about their circumstances, it can be difficult for them to think creatively for their business, generate content ideas, or show up as their best selves to their audience. As a result, they may struggle to make money.
It’s important to get clean and neutral with your thoughts about yourself and your life so that you can build an amazing business.
If you’re not operating at your best, why would someone want to work with you?
If you aren’t proactively working on leveling up to become the next level version of yourself and being a person that has so much value to offer, why would someone want to work with you?
It all stems back to the thoughts we think. This is something I work extensively on with my clients. I hope this sheds some light on the importance of your mindset.
Those are the main thoughts I had in response to this question.
For anyone in a similar situation, I’m not sure if this is the response you were expecting, but I hope that this post reflects my honest thoughts and can help you view your situation differently.
Before you even think about what actions to take, I invite you to change your thoughts because they affect the way you show up in your actions.
If you’re building a coaching or service-based business, people can sense when someone is operating from a money-driven or desperate frame of mind.
Instead, let’s help you think better thoughts so that you can take better actions, make better decisions, and achieve incredible results in your life and business.
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