I want to do this all day, express myself, the universe. There you go. Big bang.
Hey, it's Marie Forleo and you are watching Marie TV, the place to be to create a business and life you love. This is Q and A Tuesday. And today's question comes from Leah and she writes, "Hi, Marie. I love your show. It offers tons of motivation and inspiration. My Q is this, say my friend, cough, cough, friend, wants to become a business consultant. The problem is this friend has no experience running her own business, except through reading, watching, listening to everything she can get her hands on about the subject. She's passionate about helping business owners and she believes she has the know-how. But so what, does that really count for anything when she wants to offer business advice and get paid for it? With no business credentials to her name, will people really take her seriously? My friend is 20 years old and doesn't have a lot of cash on hand, if that puts things into perspective. Thanks."
Leah, I love you for asking this question for your friend and here's an answer for your friend.
So many people share your dilemma about the integrity factor of teaching something that you have no real world experience in. And you got to know this, no matter what field you're in, whether you're starting off a business or the arts or even being a parent, we all start out at the same place, at square one with no credentials and no experience. It doesn't matter whether you're self-taught or you've got a formal degree, until you get out there and start getting real results for people, I agree. You haven't earned the right to be taken seriously, at least not yet. As for your know-how, it absolutely counts for something but does it qualify you to charge money? Not until you take that know-how and turn it into results for real clients, those are your real credentials.
What earns you the right to be taken seriously and to charge for your expertise is getting people results. You've got to get your hands dirty and actually do the work. As Einstein said and yes, it's a tweetable, "The only source of knowledge is experience." Now you may wonder how am I supposed to get people results when I haven't had any clients yet? The answer, consult for free. So I started my coaching business when I was 23 years old, just a few years older than you and I coached everybody that would let me for free because I wanted to get experience. I knew that the only way that I was going to figure out what worked and what didn't, and by the way I had a formal education in this stuff, was to actually have clients and test things out and also build a list of people who said, "You know what? Marie Forleo changed my life."
I so passionate about life coaching and figuring out how to be the best coach that I could be, that I would work with anybody who would agree to work with me and meet with me on the phone a couple of times a month. "So what do you want to talk about this month? You're going to have to open up if you want me to help you. No, really, I understand."
So if I were you, I would take the next 12 months and work with at least 12 business owners for free and help them achieve results. You said you're 20 years old and you don't have a lot of cash. Well, this is really good news because being 20 is the one time in your life that you probably don't need a lot of cash. So you got to be resourceful and get a job or three. And you can coach business owners in the mornings, in the evenings and even on weekends. At the end of 12 months, you should have at least six solid case studies of businesses that you've worked with that you've helped achieve results.
So here's the thing, when you start working with these business owners, make sure that you track everything. Really get a clear painted picture of where they are when you guys first start out working together, and then what tangible, specific results you help them achieve over the time that you've been coaching them. By the time you're 21, you'll have more than enough real-world experience to have a consulting business that you can be proud of. Plus, if you get any business owner results, they'll happily pay you to keep going. When it comes to having credentials as a coach or consultant, there are no shortcuts. Learning is great, but getting real results for real people is where it's at. So Leah's friend, that's my A to you're Q. Now get out there and do the work and pretty soon you will have credentials out the wazoo.
Now I'd love to hear from you. So tell me, what's your take on people going out in the world and getting paid for advice on something they have no real-world experience in? Conversely, if you're a coach or consultant, what did you do to take your learning and turn it into credentials? As always the best stuff happens after the episode, over at marieforleo.com, so go there and leave a comment now.
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He has to poo? Does he have to do number two? I can do this.
I'm a professional.
Okay, we have to get through this one. It's the bane of my existence.