There are a lot of people, maybe even you, that have worked hard building their speaking, training, consulting, coaching business. You’re at a point where you’re making good money. Better yet, you start your day off energized looking forward to all you have to do.
After years establishing the business, you are the recognized expert. You are satisfied that you have transformed your expertise into what is now a REAL business.
What is your problem now?
It’s that you’ve done too good a job filling your role as the highly-valued face of the business. Removing you from the business is like removing someone’s liver. Your business dies. You’re the one people request. You’re the one people see. You’re the brand people want.
You have to plan a way to detach yourself from this critical role. Otherwise, your business, which is doing fine now, leads to a dead end. You can’t ever take paid time off. You can’t sell the business. It’s worthless. Paid retirement is not an option.
You’ve considered the obvious option which is to recruit, hire, train and groom a successor. You know it’s more than just finding someone who’s qualified. It’s the time-consuming training. It’s the re-branding work so everyone looks to them instead of you. It’s introducing them as the new front person of your business. I’m sure you can see how risky an option this becomes.
Here’s an option to consider. What if instead of looking for someone to replace you, you replace yourself with an Online You. What if you deliver your in-person presentations, your training, and your coaching via an online e-learning, coaching, consulting platform.
- You continue in your role as face of the business.
- Your business offers the same expert service you offer now.
- You extend your business with online offerings that eventually replace you.
A HUGE benefit of this approach is you do NOT change how you attract customers and sell. You are selling them the same thing that makes you valuable today. What changes is the medium
That medium is a membership website. It’s a website, but it can only be accessed by members with login credentials. You control who’s allowed or not allowed in.
Let’s go over what this Online You site contains. Let’s cover what content you can publish so you consider the possibilities.
#1 – Online Courses
If what you do is educate, train and coach, your membership site publishes your programs as an e-learning course. You make learning materials available there.
It can be a course covering any of your current speaking, coaching or training topics. There are best practices for converting in-person presentations into an online course. It’s too long to cover here, but I do cover it in my www.ThePerfectOnlineYou.com e-course if you’re interested. The point is, this Online You is another way for your audience to get to the information you deliver in person.
#2 – Publishing Timely Industry Updates
Many people make a living sharing information updates with their audience. They are the expert and their clients pay them for these updates on a specific topic. Think of someone that updates stock traders on trends in a specific area of the market.
Before membership sites, you might have sent these out as email updates or email newsletters. A membership site is a better option. Not only is it harder for members to share your content with others, but it enables you to easily update content and quickly correct mistakes.
#3 – Offering Office Hours
Courses and updates like I just describe work well. You can enhance those by packaging “Office Hours” along with them. Remember when your college professors made themselves available set times of the week. You do the same.
You publish the times and use a private conference line that only members can get access. You show up at the announced times and allow members to ask you questions. It requires very little prep time and all your members see you as accessible.
I highly recommend recording these calls. Then you publish them on the membership site in an archive. That makes them available for those that could not attend live and provide them as searchable content for all your members.
#4 – Building an Online Community
Building an online community provides members with lots of benefits. A big one people over look offers benefits that complement office hours. If a member has issues, they can certainly wait for your next office hours’ session. Alternatively, they can pose the question to you via a community forum. You can of course answer the question, but what often happens is others chime in and answer for you. The Entrepreneurial You Facebook Group provides a great example.
Many membership site owners that provide forums have members stick around longer (paying monthly membership fees longer) because they want to stay connected with their peers in the group. They see the relationships with other members as a benefit you provided to them.
#5 – Providing a Connector Service
If members are coming to you as the expert, they will likely come to you for guidance in the general area where you practice. Why not provide a resource section with recommendations and assets your members want?
For example, my team and I build membership sites. Many people ask us to recommend copywriters, search engine experts, etc. Providing these resources for your members on the site can be a real benefit.
There are so many other things you can add to your membership site. It’s all a matter of making what you offer today available to your followers and replace what you do today in-person with an alternative – the Online You.
Hope this helps!
Long ago, I came to the realization that my gifts, talents and abilities were never given to me simply for my benefit alone. Ever since, it became abundantly clear that I must live my life to its fullest potential in a way that others may be uplifted and empowered through me and the actions I take from day to day. I must set my intentions carefully and clearly.
My purpose, ‘life transformation through inspiration’ motivates me to get out of bed every day with a level of exhilaration, expectation and enthusiasm to accomplish that which has been vested in me to do. It warms my heart as I see others who would otherwise be disillusioned, disheartened and disenchanted, living vicariously through my eyes.
It wasn’t long after I started my first business, Patwa Apparel, that I recognized it isn’t an end in itself rather a means to an end. Means, which provide platforms locally, regionally and internationally for me to share my story. The immeasurable value of my story provides fodder for others. I see hope in people’s eyes when I speak; I get a sense that through me, many recognize the power that lies deep within them. That gives me life.
Having released my entrepreneurial spirit to grow wings and soar, I also recognize how unstoppable I am. This great bug bundle of potentiality was never comfortable with remaining in a state of ‘potential’. That potential must be transformed into kinetic energy. But alas! Even as I am unstoppable, so too are you and the community that I serve. That is why I do the things I do such as write book, speak, blog, podcast and plan and execute uplifting events.
All my projects provide for me, a sense of accomplishment and even joy. I’m particularly heartened by The Entrepreneurial You podcast, a podcast for passionate and dedicated Caribbean entrepreneurs seeking inspiration. Each week a global high impact entrepreneur is featured to motivate and inspire our community of peak performers. This allows me to reach the entire world with my message of entrepreneurship and purpose. I’ve been blessed to have had guests such as Dr. Vernet A. Joseph, Malcolm MJ Harris, Dr. Will Moreland and many others who are doing amazing things around the world.
Having had all these amazingly talented guests on the podcast, I had to think of a way to get them back to one event where they can provide even more value to my community. That’s why The Entrepreneurial You Virtual SME Conference and Expo was created.
Over a course of four (4) days, September 25-28, 2017, eighteen (18) world renowned speakers (including digital marketers, coaches, accountants, software developers, copywriters, motivational speakers), will take you through the ins and outs of doing business successfully as we share our expertise with you over these 4 days. Our speakers include John Lee Dumas of Entrepreneurs on Fire, Malcolm MJ Harris of National Care Financial Group and Dr. Vernet A. Joseph of Live to Produce. These are Oprah, CNN, CBS, ABC, Fox News, Huffington Post, etc. featured experts who can’t wait to expose you to their wealth of knowledge to change your game.
Do you have a vision of running a successful business; to do amazing things and do great work? You know that doing this will change your life, you family, and your community. BUT you feel stuck and aren’t sure of the steps to take to have a successful launch and create profits quickly.
Register for The Entrepreneurial You Virtual Conference and Expo by going to henekawatkisporter.com. Experience a wealth of information from the comfort of home, office or wherever there is wifi.
Exhibitors are also encouraged to make contact with the organizers to display their products and services virtually.
This new game changer platform will empower all exhibitors and sponsors to:
• Showcase special promotion and deals or new product announcements through virtual booth (exhibitors)
• Engage with attendees with live chat, Google Hangout, Skype or Web Conferencing
• Capture qualified leads and marketing analytics with download hot lead spreadsheet
• Conduct online breakout room for live chat or on-demand discussion board
• Nurture customer relationship and trigger marketing automation from seamless integration with customer relationship management (CRM) and email marketing campaign.
Contact me at email@example.com or visit henekawatkisporter.com to learn to learn more.
I wish I would have started my online business sooner. I was so intrigued by the idea of having an online business that makes money while you sleep. The problem was that I didn’t know anything about it. Heck, I knew very little about computers or the Internet until 2008. I was quite late to the party. My family didn’t have a computer when I was growing up in the late 90s to early 2000s. I felt I had a disadvantage for being so behind the times. I thought, maybe I should leave that to others who are far ahead of me, and I’ll do something else. Boy, was I wrong! Now I hear people tell similar stories all the time. If you find yourself in this boat, here’s my advice to you:
Don’t procrastinate. Don’t feel like you’re not ready. It’s not ready, aim fire. It’s fire, aim, ready. Be bold and take the first action step towards your dreams.
My train of thought began to change after I joined a network marketing company that gave me an excellent book in the starter kit. That book was called The Cashflow Quadrant by Robert Kiyosaki. It took me from being a person who hated to read to someone who couldn’t wait to get my hands on the next piece of information that would change my worldview. It didn’t take long before that happened. I began reading anything I could get my hands on that would help me improve my life.
I went from struggling to read a single book to being addicted to learning, reading and listening to audiobooks. I knew I would write a book…one day. But I thought that day was far away. After all, I still had so much to learn. I thought I wasn’t worthy. I thought it would be something I’d do late in life. It’s actually kind of strange because that’s not really how I felt in other areas. For example, I was 18 years old when I was dressing up in my uncle’s old suits and shopping for 4-unit apartment buildings. That’s because after reading The Cashflow quadrant I started reading books about investing in real estate. I knew that four units would still qualify as residential property and therefore would be easy to obtain financing for. Anything over four units would have been considered commercial property and would have been much harder to get.
My Dad thought I was crazy because I still lived with him. He said things like, “Boy, you need to rent an apartment first. Then you can buy a house one day.” But I didn’t want that. I didn’t want to throw my money away towards rent. I didn’t even want to throw my money away on a single-family house where most of my mortgage payments went towards paying interest. I wanted to rent out three units and live for free in the fourth unit. That way I could save as much money as I could to put towards future investments. This is the type of invaluable insight I got from reading The Cashflow Quadrant.
I didn’t think I was too young to buy an apartment building either. Why I thought I couldn’t start a successful online business is beyond me. It took me three years before I reached my goal, mostly because I moved to Florida and started fresh. My first property had only two houses instead of four, but the rent from one house and additional rent from roommates covered all my expenses. A success! I got my real estate license shortly after that and became a Realtor. I was the youngest one in the office and already owned two houses while many older agents didn’t even own their own home yet. I didn’t see my youth as a weakness. I saw it as a strength.
The funny thing is, I didn’t really want to be a Realtor. I wanted to be an Author. I learned a lot from the books I had read and was excited to build up my residual cash flow. I wanted to create enough streams of passive income to support my moderate lifestyle. And I would have loved to have done it by creating information products, just like the ones that inspired me so much. However, because I felt I wasn’t ready, I postponed my dream. I tried other business ventures waiting on the day that I would become ready. And it wasn’t until all the things that I was doing came to an end that I realized I was in fact ready. But now that I look back at it, I was ready the whole time! There was nothing stopping me from sharing my message with the world except myself!
Pursued what I’m most passionate about in life
This kind of ties into the first one, but its importance can’t be understated. As the saying goes, “when all work is play, you’ll never have to work another day.” Follow your dreams. You have to do some soul searching first, before you discover what it is you’re most passionate about. And you have to find your passion before you should get started. As Stephen Covey said, “Don’t climb the ladder of success, only to get to the top and realize the ladder was up against the wrong building.”
Some people already know what they’re passionate about and what they want to do. And that’s great! But for those that don’t, here are a few questions to ask yourself:
- If you knew without a doubt that you would be successful, what’s the one thing you’d want to do with your life?
- What do you do that brings you the most joy?
- Is there something that makes you come alive when you talk about or do it?
- If money weren’t an issue, what would you like to do with your life?
Your passion can make you lose track of time because time flies when you’re having fun. When you’re doing it, you may not feel any signs of fatigue because you’re so engrossed with what you’re doing. If you notice things like this about whatever you answered to the questions above, you may have just discovered your passion!
Paid someone to create my website
I struggled to build my own website in the early days. I listened to the audiobook of Multiple Streams Of Internet Income by Robert Allen and was convinced that online businesses were the future. Not only did I want a website, I wanted to know how it was built. That way I’d have an understanding of the process so I’d be one step ahead whenever I built another one.
After a while of seemingly beating my head on a brick wall, I broke down and offered to pay someone if they agreed to let me watch them as they were in the process of building it. Basically, I wanted to watch the process so I could learn along the way. Well, that ended up being a disaster. It was a great idea, but I pretty much got burnt.
I tried to pick up where he left off by continuing to build it on weebly.com. But after putting in a lot of time in it, I just wasn’t happy with the look of the site. I built dozens of pages and was very happy with all of the content on my site, but I never did much with it because one look at it and you could tell it was built by an amateur.
It took me about four years after that to learn WordPress and get my site where I wanted it to be. Instead of being cheap and not paying anyone, I should have paid the price to get it built because I’d be 4 years ahead of where I am now.
I’m telling you all of this so you don’t make the same mistakes I did. Figure out what you want to do. Find out what the first major step is that needs to be done, and take the first step towards accomplishing it, everyday doing one more thing to get you closer to your dream.
Cheers to the first day of the rest of your life.