Marie: Hey, it’s Marie Forleo, and you are watching MarieTV, the place to be to create a business and life you love. This is my dear friend, Gregory Patterson. Today we’re here to take your questions, and we’re going to do our very best to help give you some insight, some perspective that can help you move ahead. So let’s get started.
Marie: Hi Salma. How are you?
Salma: Oh my God. I’m very well, thank you.
Marie: It’s so good to talk to you, Salma. Where are you today?
Salma: I’m in Pakistan.
Marie: Oh, beautiful. Well, we’re sending you lots of love from New York City. Tell us your question and we will do our very best to help you out.
Salma: Okay. So here’s my question. Marie, to what extent do you believe your environment can or should impact your success? Factors such as where you live geographically, and what facilities you have access to, how convenient it is to work there, et cetera, are obviously really important for any business. But what do you do when you find that external factors are holding you back? How do you either ignore them or overcome them without feeling just utterly hopeless about things you just simply can’t control?
Marie: Really, really good question.
Greg: Good question, yeah.
Marie: I don’t think there is anyone right now and I’m raising my hand… you can’t see me, but I am, who hasn’t faced this at some point in their life. So I want you to know you are not alone. One of the things that I try and focus on in my own life is keeping my attention on the things that I can control, which is my attitude, my energy, my work ethic, my ability to be honest with myself when things aren’t working, my ability to really let myself feel what I’m feeling when things are difficult so those emotions go through me.
Here’s the deal. As human beings, we can’t just pretend that our environments don’t impact us, right? So we have these things in our brains called mirror neurons. That’s just a part of the way that we operate in the world, which means that we can detect what’s happening. We can detect other people’s emotions, and they do impact us whether or not we want to realize that. Same thing with environment. Right now we’re in New York City where we’re shooting the show, and I also spend time, a lot of time actually, outside of New York City. Because I find that my nervous system is able to relax a little bit easier when I’m around a lot of trees versus when I’m allowed to around a lot of other people or concrete.
So I’m saying all that to give context, so that for you and for anyone watching, it’s inevitable that our environments are going to impact us. However, in your case, let me ask you a question.
Marie: Do you have a dream of moving, whether it’s to a new town, a new city, or even a new country?
Marie: Great. Do you mind if I ask, are you in, are you in college, are you adult stage?
Salma: No, no. So I’m in my forties already. I actually have lived in New York City when was around 10 years old, and I have a lot of work in the US so I travel frequently to the US. I just came back from San Francisco and Seattle, so I have a lot of clients in the US and I do a lot of traveling and all of that. But ultimately my family is here, and I do live here, and it is hard right now to plan that move because there are just a lot of limitations at this point. The dream is absolutely there, but there are challenges right now.
Marie: Okay, great. Thank you for sharing all of that because it helps us all understand more about your situation, and how we can help you set up structures that you can thrive. And that’s really where I would tell you to go next. So for example, since you have traveled to a bunch of other places, you have that direct experience of knowing how you feel in different parts of the world, how you feel working in different parts of the world.
I would ask you right now, where you are, given the fact that it sounds like you must be there for at least a certain amount of time. What are some things that you feel that when you do them, you find yourself more relaxed? Or ways that you setup your environment, whether it’s in your home, your office, even taking a weekend away. What are some things that you could do to support yourself in having as much good energy as possible?
Salma: Yeah. That’s such a great question. I would like to say that I think one of the places I find flow is when I’m with people who are just as ambitious. I wouldn’t say necessarily like-minded, but we’re on the same wavelength. When I have the same kind of energy conversations with people, and it’s exciting and it’s fun, and even though I do need to retreat back to my introverted space, but when I am with people who inspire me, I think I just really like that and really want to open up even more.
Marie: Great. So if you were to be honest, between you and you, do you feel like that may be something that up until this conversation may not have been as consistent as perhaps you would like it to be?
Salma: Oh, absolutely. It’s not that consistent.
Marie: Okay. Awesome. So given what you shared with us, my suggestion would be for you to step up in your own life and be the leader of creating those conversations. So maybe it’s about once every two weeks you make an invite to invite folks to a restaurant or your house or some other meeting center. Where you kind of start to gather a little bit of a creative collective, where people have ambitions that you all feed off each other’s energy. It’s not something that necessarily is for profit. It’s just more of something that’s for your soul. Does that make sense?
Salma: Yeah, yeah. That absolutely does. Can I ask a follow-up question with that?
Marie: Of course. Of course.
Salma: If I wanted to do you do this in online space, because I just find that I work better globally rather than locally. So do you think that forming a mastermind group or something would be the way to go?
Marie: First of all, I love that you’re bringing this up because the science supports that people being together in person is one of the most nourishing things. But I’ve always of the mindset that all of us are so different. And I’ll tell you that I have connections… I’ll tell you this, recently in my life, things have been really busy for me. I have some friends that live in New York, but they just live about a half hour away, that we still Skype.
Because at the end of our work days we’re so tired. Neither one of us is like, “Oh, I can’t get on a subway,” or “I can’t get up there.” To your point, absolutely. I’ve found online connections to be so incredibly nourishing. They can fill your heart, they can give you that sense of energy and connection that so many of us are craving these days. So if that’s the route that you want to go, I’d say a 100 percent.
I’ll just tell you a little story from our B-School program. I think one of the greatest benefits of it, we have over, I think it’s 44,000 graduates so far. People make friends and they make friends across the globe. They hop on Zoom calls, or Skype calls, or telephone calls or FaceTime. They wind up connecting and sharing ideas, and often they find people that they would have never found in their geographical location.
They find business soulmates, and work wives and work husbands. People that they can connect with, that really help them take their ideas and their business to the next level. So I would strongly encourage you to form that mastermind or whatever those digital connections could look like for you.
Salma: Okay. That’s really awesome. I think one of the other things that I often think about is, how do I change challenges into advantages? So, okay, there’s a limitation and all of that. But can I have a different mindset towards this? How can I think about it differently, I suppose is what I’m…
Marie: Oh yeah. So here’s the thing. All of your strengths in your life, Salma, come from things that were difficult initially. I can guarantee you, if you took out a journal and started to write down all the things that you’re really good at now, or things that you have found to be strengths in your own life. If you trace back those threads, I can pretty much guarantee that at least the vast majority of them have come from some sort of challenge, or difficulty, or sometimes even pain.
So that gives you a new frame on how you look at challenges moving forward. Because what you know it really is, is a growth opportunity. You are going to grow stronger by walking straight into this challenge and finding out what you’re really made of. Focusing on, “Oh, what is this new trait, or this new strength, or this new capability that I’m about to develop?” Understanding that when things are uncomfortable, that means you’re growing. You’re in that beautiful… You know how you were mentioned, “When I’m in flow,” right? There’s that flow zone.
If things are easy in life, we actually atrophy. What we do is we lose our edge when we’re in our comfort zone too long things start to actually wither away and die. Now, if we push ourselves too hard in the other direction, so we’re not in places that are really difficult, but it’s just we’ve put the difficult level’s so high that we fall down; that’s not good either.
But finding that sweet spot where you’re uncomfortable and you’re willing to stay in that, that’s where your strengths come from, and that’s how I would recommend you start to frame these challenges coming up.
Salma: Yeah. That’s awesome. Thank you so much.
Marie: Well, this is a great question.
Greg: Yeah, thank you for asking the question.
Marie: We’re excited for you, we’re excited for you to get your group going and we really hope that you keep us posted on how it goes.
Salma: I will. Thank you. It’s been such an amazing honor to talk with you. I’ve been following you for ages, and you were my inspiration to start a YouTube channel and do weekly content. And yeah, I mean I just love everything that you have put out there in the world.
Marie: Thank you. Thank you so much and we’ll talk to you again soon.
Salma: Thank you, Marie. Take care. Bye.
Yolanda: Hello, this is Yolanda.
Marie: Hey Yolanda. This is Marie Forleo and you’re on the MarieTV Call-In Show.
Yolanda: Yes. Hi there, how are you?
Marie: Hi. We’re so good. You’re here with myself and Gregory and Team Forleo and we are so excited to talk with you today.
Yolanda: Yes, I’m excited to have this conversation.
Marie: So tell us your question and we’ll see if we can share some insight or ideas that can help you move forward.
Yolanda: Okay, great. Well basically as a mom and a recent graduate in the Urban Sustainability Program here in LA, I wanted to find out how can I basically balance being in business and really working on social media, generating income, but also having that balance to walk away from the screen, and be able to take care of myself and my family.
Marie: Yes. Okay, great question. So let me ask you this, what stage is your business at right now? Do you have clients or customers? Or tell me about where you’re at.
Yolanda: Yeah, that’s a good question. Basically I’ve been doing advocacy work for about eight years now. I’m pretty established from the standpoint of having clients and having followers on Facebook, but I’m not really generating any income from the social media side of it. It’s more just from the consulting part, but I do a lot of educating and sharing stories online, and I want to be able to turn that into a more lucrative effort.
Marie: Yes. Okay. So your business model, I’m hearing, if I got this right, that the consulting is the revenue stream right now. And what at least your perspective is it the moment, you want to be able to somehow monetize the information that you share on social? Did I get that right?
Yolanda: Yes. Totally. Yeah. Because I show a lot on online, but it’s more from an educational perspective.
Marie: Yeah. So I’m going to come in with a perspective that you may or may not like, my love. But because you asked this question, I am going to give you my answer.
Yolanda: Yeah, sure.
Marie: I don’t think, personally, social media is the place to monetize. I think that if you have profitable consulting clients that you should really take a step back, see what’s working and how you might want to expand that business. So a couple things that are problematic for me about social.
Number one, you don’t own those platforms. That means that you don’t own the connection with those people. And I’m sure since you’ve been sharing things on Facebook that over time, right, because you’ve been doing what you’re doing for like eight years, you’ve noticed that your organic reach has gone down. So even the people that say, “Oh my goodness, I want to hear from Yolanda.” They ain’t hearing from Yolanda, unless Yolanda is paying for that privilege. Which is really a bait and switch that Facebook pulled on everybody near a decade ago.
And guess what’s what? Facebook also owns Instagram, and that’s happening over there too. So one of the things that I am a big advocate of, speaking of advocacy. For like the past two decades now, has been growing and maintaining your own opt-in email list. An email list for a modern day business owner is one of the most important assets that you have besides you, meaning Yolanda.
Yolanda’s ideas, Yolanda’s, heart, Yolanda’s desire to make a difference. Besides you as a human being, in modern times, your email list is the single most valuable asset you have. So long-term strategy, I want to see you building that up. We talk about all this. I don’t know if you’re familiar. I have a program that’s called B-School. It’s an online business school for modern entrepreneurs.
Yolanda: Yes, I’m very familiar.
Marie: Yes. We need to get your butt in there, woman. The next time that we have…
Yolanda: I applied years ago, actually.
Marie: Yeah, so we’re going have to just get you, put money in your piggy bank or seeing what happens when next time comes around, because it’s a great, great education. And I can hear from your voice how committed you are to the work that you do. What we need to do is just have that business structure underneath you, so that the profits come in, but they’re not going to come in from social. It’s really not the place that I think you should be spending your time.
So to get to your real question, right? Which is like, “Oh, I don’t want to be spending all this time looking at this damn screen, when I’m a mom. I want to actually make change in the world and not just be screen-sucking all day.” So this is your opportunity not to do that. I think what is really going to serve you when it comes to increasing your income is actually taking a step back, looking at your revenue streams, realizing where’s the money coming from, what am I doing right in that lane, and how I do more of that?
How can I find more of those consulting clients or at a higher rate. Where can I make more impact in that sense. In terms of social, girl, if you want to use it for fun, that’s fine. But frankly I think it’s a waste of your time.
Yolanda: Yeah. Yeah, I hear you. I hear you. Well, I think that really answers my question from the standpoint of I don’t have to and I really shouldn’t be spending too much time on the social part of it.
Marie: That’s right.
Yolanda: But I can basically just say a word here or there, just to keep…
Marie: If you want to.
Marie: If you want to.
Yolanda: If I want to, right. That’s the other thing. And then, but to work on my email list, which I do have thousands of, in where I can go hundreds, close to thousands of followers. Then also look at it from a standpoint of business structure.
Marie: That’s right. That’s right, mama.
Yolanda: And the B-School. Yes, yes. Okay.
Marie: I’ll tell you this. I want to give you that mindset because again, you’re intelligent, you’re driven, you’re motivated, you have tons of heart. I think people spend way too much time on social, like from a business perspective, it doesn’t give them the return. But I’m also concerned with people’s humanity. There ain’t nobody I know that spends significant time of social where they walk away from their phone going like, “Wow, I feel so great about myself. I am doing so well.”
It’s a comparison machine. You just go on that thing and you walk away feeling like shit. That’s sucks, right?
Yolanda: Wow. Yeah, yeah, yeah. You tapped into it exactly. Yeah.
Marie: That’s right. You want that good energy to go towards your advocacy. You want that good energy to go towards your revenue generating consulting clients. You want that good energy to go towards your child, and towards this beautiful life that you’re living. Not that tiny screen. Yeah?
Yolanda: Yes, yes. Exactly. Okay. Thank you so much, Marie.
Marie: You’re welcome, Yolanda.
Yolanda: Keep up that awesome work that you’re doing.
Marie: Thank you. Thank you and keep us posted on how it goes. We love you.
Yolanda: I will. Okay, bye-bye.
Marie: Hello. It’s Marie and Gregory’s here. Welcome to the MarieTV Call-In Show.
Asha: Hi Marie. Hello. Welcome.
Asha: I was going to say greetings from the UK.
Marie: Great. We are so happy to talk with you. So, tell us your question. We will do our very best to give you some insight and guidance.
Asha: Okay. So I am a rollerblading and inline skating instructor. I’m a recognized global expert in my field with nearly 20 years of experience. I’ve made a bunch of video training courses over the last few years, and I’m the first person to offer online training in my industry, which is great, right? No competition.
However, I’m having difficulty breaking through the “Why should I buy when there’s free stuff on YouTube?” complaint. My paid video products are like a universe away from YouTube freebies, even my own tutorials on my YouTube channel. So my question is, how do I single-handedly educate my market? I’m now offering free trials of all my professional courses. Would you agree with this strategy and what else would you add?
Marie: Okay, so a couple things. I got a lot to talk about with this one. This is really, really fun. Your market is not everyone that wants to learn inline skating, and your market is especially not people who only want to learn inline skating from free tutorials. Who I think your market might be, and you can certainly disagree or make an adjustment here, is your market is the person who don’t have time to scour through all those free things.
Wondering about is this the right way to learn inline skating? What level am I at? I think that you should focus your marketing on people that want to learn inline skating with a dedicated professional, and want to either speed up their learning curve, or learn particular tricks or certain things to do in a very condensed time. Because here’s the thing, people don’t buy information, they buy results.
Marie: That’s the deal. So you have to get really good at understanding who exactly you’re talking to and, more importantly, what are the results that they’re trying to get? Because we’re living in an age where tons of information is free.
I mean, I’ll take myself as an example. When it comes to online business information, or marketing information, or anything about growing an email list, or a blog or creating free content, I mean you can just go online and you can google and you will find tons and tons and tons of videos. Some of them are my own about how to do this for free.
Yet we have a program called B-School, an online business school for modern entrepreneurs. We’ve had over 44,000 people pay to go through that program. So, when people are committed to getting a particular result, they are happy to invest in someone who can not only cut through all the clutter, right? And tell you, hey, there’s a million things you could pay attention to if you’re going for all the free stuff, but all you really need are these four if you really want the results. I’d raise my hand and pay for that every single day of the week.
Then we think about sequencing, right? So if you think about, I could tell you all the digits to my phone number. But if you didn’t have them in the right order, you would never be able to call me. It doesn’t work, if you know the sequence. I’m sure there are similar analogies with learning inline skating, right? You can’t just start off trying some real advanced trick, because you’re going to fall on your face and probably break your nose.
Marie: You have to do things in the right sequence. So part of your job as a marketer, my friend, is you have to start to be able to articulate why signing up for one of your courses is actually going to get people the result that they want much faster, much safer, and in a way that they can really pay attention. So know that no matter who you are, and I’m saying this to you because we’re talking to you right now, but I’m also speaking to everyone else who’s watching who is also had this question like, why would anyone buy my information if there’s all this stuff out there for free?
You have to know this. There’s always a portion of the market, and they’re great customers, who even though there’s the free stuff, there’s something about you as a teacher that resonates and they want to invest in a deeper, better, more entrenched experience that they can count on. I do think that there is some skepticism, at least I’ve had it, when going through free information online. I don’t know if I could trust this person. I have no one to ask questions of. I don’t know how old this video is. I don’t know their results.
But when I take the time to investigate a paid program, whatever it is, I get to learn more about that teacher. I get to learn more about who they are. Nine times out of 10 I can write someone in support and get a question answered. So there are a million reasons why people will be happy to pay for something for you, but your job as a marketer is to do a better job of understanding who exactly your market is, what the problems they want solved are, and then becoming the best marketer you possibly can be in marketing your ass off to get them in.
Asha: Great. Fantastic. Can I ask a follow-on?
Asha: So one of the… I’ve watched enough of your material and many other people’s to know that, you know, niching, or knowing very specifically who your ideal customer is, is super important. Because I don’t have any competition, and because in my real day job of teaching skating, I teach all levels. I teach complete beginners, I teach intermediate, I teach advanced, I teach instructors. So I teach the whole range, and my video courses are also the whole range.
I have classes for beginners, classes for intermediate, classes for advanced. So there’s a whole sequencing of my products, if one was going to go through those stages. But it’s quite hard. I’m finding it hard to market to multiple clients, essentially.
Marie: Yep, sure. Yeah. You got to pick one to start with. The other thing too, I just want to give you another perspective. You do have competition. The competition is free. So just because there might not be a ton of other online skating instructors out there, first of all, that’s not going to last for long. Second of all, free is your competition. Because you even said it yourself. It’s like, well, why is somebody going to want to pay for this? That is your competition.
I would encourage you to look at which segment of the market, whether it’s beginners, intermediate, advanced, or whether there’s another category that I don’t know about. Which is the one that you feel that you can help the most and/or is the most motivated to solve their problem. Whether it’s about learning the beginning of the online skating, or it’s people that, they have the money and they’re like, “God, I want to learn these 15 tricks,” and again, “I don’t want to break my ass while I do it. I want to sign up for this course with Asha.”
So that’s going to be about you choosing one. It may or may not work, but what I know is that when people try and focus on too many things at once, they get nowhere.
Asha: Yes. Mmhmm. Okay. That’s super important. That’s super useful. And offering free trials of my actual work. Do you think this is a good idea as a way…
Asha: I’m trying to show people that this is, look at the difference. This is what you would get a on a paid course as opposed to a free one.
Marie: Here’s the thing. Let me just, I’m opening up your site right now on my computer. I know that you can’t see me, but I think… Generally speaking free trials, like it’s all about context, right? So whether or not someone should offer a free trial, sometimes the answer is yes to that question. Sometimes the answer is no. But it’s also less about the free trial, and it’s more about, well, what’s the promise? What’s everything surrounding it?
One of the challenges I think that’s happening for you, my love, is that you’re focused too much on tactics up top and you haven’t gone deep enough into the empathy and understanding of your ideal customers. You don’t know the pain points enough yet. You don’t know actually what they want. And if you do, you’re not doing a good job communicating it.
Because some of the results that I’ve seen on your pages, just like, “Wow, I really learned something.” “Asha is a great teacher.” It’s more about, some of it is about you rather than about, “Oh my gosh, I took this course and within three days I had these three tricks down. Before that it took me 10 years to learn even how to get one skate in front of the other.”
You’re not a B-Schooler are you?
Marie: You should be. I’m just going to tell you straight up, I think that what you have is amazing. Whether you learn from me or you learned from someone else, you got to learn there’s a whole depth to marketing that sits underneath the tactics that I feel is going to help your business explode. Again, I’m biased to my own shit because it’s real good and I’ve seen the results I help people create.
But you may not want to do B-School and that’s totally fine. But you’ve got to find a place where you can entrench yourself in the emotional aspect of marketing, because that’s what’s going to turn everything around for you.
Asha: Yes, I’d very much like to be a B-Schooler. Well Marie, thank you so much.
Marie: You’re so welcome. And Hey, what you teach is awesome. I want to tell you every time that I see people doing inline skating and I’ve seen… Greg is right next to me and we’re both like shaking our heads, because seeing people do inline skating with their headphones on, their headphones off, and they’re kind of dancing and moving around…
Greg: It’s so cool.
Marie: It is so inspiring. What you do is so, so cool. And I’m so happy that you teach people how to do it, and be badasses.
Asha: Well, it’s the funnest thing in the world, literally. I always tell people that, although I’m selling technique, I’m actually selling that feeling that we all have when we’re on skates. As long as you’re not terrified and stressed out…
Marie: See. I’m telling you, girl…
Asha: … you’re having a fantastic time.
Marie: Yes. So, what you just mentioned is actually a bigger piece of your marketing, that I don’t know if I really see in your marketing right now. The people that want that feeling of freedom and badassness, there is a whole lot of magic that could happen. Again, there’s a lot possible here. You’re doing a great job. I just think that there’s a whole level of depth that you can bring to your testimonials, to your level of focus, to your level of empathy that’s going to take it to the whole next level.
Asha: Okay, fantastic. Well, Marie, I’m about to embark on a world tour which leaves in a few days and I will be on the road for eight months and I finish up in New York in June. So, you might just be seeing me in Central Park in June.
Marie: Awesome. All right. We look forward to that. Good luck on your tour and thank you so much for sharing your story with us. It’s fantastic.
Asha: Thank you so much, Marie. Have a great day.
Marie: Bye, darling.
Marie: Okay. Forgot to say something because I got so excited. This is for Asha and for anyone else, if you’re wondering, why would people buy your stuff when they can just learn it online for free. You have to google search my name, Marie Forleo, and what if people can learn everything I teach for free. We actually did an entire MarieTV episode on this. We’re going to put it somewhere around here. Watch that episode. It is damn good.
Greg, what’d you think of those?
Greg: Loved them, loved them, loved them.
Marie: Did you have a favorite question, or favorite insight on your notes?
Greg: Yeah, my notes. Yolanda. Yolanda really brought me through it. And Salma, I love her little creative collective and also where to go to find your flow. Like something resonated. I’m like, I don’t have a place to go to find my damn flow. I gotta find a flow group. Any flow groupers out there?
Marie: You know they’re going to be hitting you up real fast. That was really fun. With that, we’re going to wrap up today’s episode. Thank you so much for watching. Now I’m really curious, which of today’s questions or any insights that came out most resonated for you, and why? Go leave a comment at the magical land of marieforleo.com and let us know.
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Stay on your game and keep going for your dreams because the world needs that very special gift that only you have. Thank you so much for watching and we’ll catch you next time on MarieTV. Bye.