Episode 77: 5 Things to Quit Apologizing for in Your Online Course Business
Growing up I felt like I had a lot to apologize for.
I was too big, too small, too loud, too quiet, too aggressive, and not assertive enough.
And it wasn’t really until my late thirties that I finally felt like, screw it, I’m done apologizing, and it’s no surprise to me now that that was the time when my business finally began to see tremendous growth.
If you’re someone who has ever struggled with feeling like you’re doing it wrong, you’ll find today’s episode gives you the knowing that you are not alone and you can move past it.
Today we’re talking about five things to quit apologizing for in your online course business.
These are all the things I wish someone would’ve told me to stop apologizing for when I first started my business.
So let’s get into it.
My name is Caitlin Bacher, founder and CEO of Scale With Success®, and I’m on a mission to help course creators all over the world grow their business in a way that is profitable and scalable. We are sharing revealing conversations about what it really takes to scale an online course business to millions of dollars per year. Join us here to discover the tough decisions we’ve had to make, the biggest failures we’ve had to bounce back from, and the learnings that emerged every step of the way. We are so grateful that we have the chance to share it all with you right here on Scale With Success®, The Podcast Built for Course Creators™. Let’s get started.
Let’s get right to it.
Five things to quit apologizing for in your online course business.
Number 1: Selling.
Selling allows you to serve others.
So if you stop selling, guess what else you stop doing.
Anyone, and I mean anyone, who leaves a comment on your social media post, or sends you an email explaining to you all the reasons why you are being too salesy by advertising your products or services, says way more about them than it does about you.
If you run a for-profit business selling coaching or courses, and you are a personal brand, you are going to get emails and comments telling you that promoting your products and services is wrong.
And it’s important that you do not take it personally, because as your business grows, you won’t get less of those comments, you’ll get more.
And if you start to let all that chatter get to you, you’ll start to sell less, and your business will suffer.
You created this business to help people and the vast majority of people in your community want to hear about what you’re offering.
It’s doing them and everyone else you have the potential to serve, a disservice by holding back.
Now, it’s okay to be excited about what you sell, and if someone is bothered by that, then they can simply unfollow or unsubscribe.
They will be okay and you will be okay.
Number 2 thing to stop apologizing for: being yourself.
All of those quirks that make you feel self-conscious, people love those about you.
Not everybody, but your people.
You get up every morning and put your ideas out onto the internet in front of everyone to see.
You make offers.
You deliver content that inspires, teaches and entertains.
You put your heart and soul into everything that you do, and that takes so much courage, so much.
Being yourself online is not for the faint of heart, but it is needed.
You’d be surprised at how impactful just showing up as yourself can be for someone else.
Part of my face is paralyzed.
I’m sure you’ve seen it before on videos, and it’s been that way ever since I was born.
Nobody knows why it happened.
This is just the way I was born.
Now, this paralysis has no effect on my ability to get anything done, and 99.9% of the time, I don’t even think twice about it.
But I get messages and emails from other women who say they also have facial paralysis and they go to great lengths to not advertise their business with video marketing, because they are deeply ashamed of the way they look.
They say seeing me showing up as myself, gives them the courage to do the same.
So your greatest insecurity can actually be someone else’s biggest inspiration.
Thing number 3 to quit apologizing for in your business: making money.
My husband has a photo of me holding a $200 check that I got from my very first client years ago, and it is one of my favorite pictures.
That $200 that someone mailed to me from many states away, because I hadn’t figured out how to send an electronic invoice, was a pivotal moment in my life.
In that photo I look proud and a little scared, because I had no idea what was to come.
I’ve spoken with many newly successful women in the online course industry who feel embarrassed about their success, and there is a time when I really felt the same.
When I tell you that no matter how successful that you are right now, whether you’re making a $100K, $1M, $10M, you are just getting started.
And I mean it.
The opportunities to build financial freedom for yourself and your family by scaling your online course business, are truly limitless.
You can have a business as big or as small as you want, but you need to do the things that are required of you in order to make that happen, including selling, being yourself, and making plenty of mistakes.
So you’re going to have to be willing to make those $100 mistakes, $1000 mistakes, and eventually million-dollar mistakes, without blaming others, by taking full responsibility for your result, learning from your mistakes and moving forward without obsessing or shame spiraling about it for years to come.
There is nothing wrong with making money in your business, no matter how little or how big you think the amount is.
Thing number 4 to quit apologizing for right now in your business: working too much or too little.
Working as much or as little as possible has become somewhat of an obsession for many course creators.
Sometimes it feels like a weird competition about who can out-hustle or out-relax everyone else.
The good news is that you can absolutely refuse to participate in that competition and just do what you want.
You’re not doing it wrong just because you work more or less this month than you did last month.
Many people started a business, because they wanted to control how they spend their time, but all of that freedom leaves them feeling uncertain and longing for some kind of a magic schedule that they can cling to so they can feel like they’re doing it right.
There is no right or wrong way to plan your week, only a right for you way.
And that may change for you from time to time.
Nobody else can make you feel guilty about working too much or too little, that’s your choice.
And I don’t know about you, but nobody knows me better than me, and someone’s opinion of what I’m doing or not doing, are none of my business.
One thing I will say is to be good to yourself and allow yourself the freedom to enjoy the slowness of an afternoon spent with your loved ones just as much as you enjoy spending an afternoon brainstorming your next big offer.
The thing to quit apologizing for in your business number 5: investing in your business.
The first time I hired a one-on-one coach, it was 2016, and I spent $20,000 to work with her over a 90-day period.
That was the biggest business investment I had ever made at the time, and that was back in 2016.
A few months later, I joined a mastermind and spent another $25,000 for the entire year.
Now, I was so excited about making these investments in my business, because I had really big goals for myself, and I knew I was missing something, because I couldn’t seem to get past 6 figures in annual revenue.
Was I nervous about making those investments?
Heck yes, but I was more nervous about not making them and staying stuck at the same revenue level again, despite all the effort I made to get things moving.
I needed help and I was willing to accept it and pay for it.
However, I also experienced some kind of shame around it, and I remember thinking, who am I to make an investment like this?
Or, wow, it’s so careless for me to spend money like this, or maybe I should wait until I make progress on my own before investing.
It takes courage, not fearlessness, to invest in your business.
And as your business grows, so will the size of your investments.
So if you’re doing it right, there will always be some kind of risk involved.
That little twinge of nervous excitement is how I know that I’m on the right track.
I remember later on telling my mom about how embarrassed I felt to be investing that kind of money in myself.
My mom was always really frugal, and I thought for sure that was something that she would be against.
But to my surprise, when I told her, she said, “Caitlin, that’s just what you need to do right now. You’ve never done this before, and you need people who have done it and can help you, show you what to do.”
I was completely shocked.
That was not the answer I was expecting at all.
I never told her I was shocked.
So mom, if you’re listening to this podcast, now you know.
If you’ve ever felt ashamed or embarrassed about selling, being yourself, making money, working too much or too little, or even making big investments in your business, you’re not alone.
I’ve been there, and so have hundreds of thousands of course creators just like you.
I hope you’ll join me in setting aside the opinion of others so that we can step up and create the impact that we were born to make, this year and beyond.
Thanks for listening, and I’ll see you next week on Scale With Success®, The Podcast.
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