We’ve all been there. We set a big revenue goal, we make a plan, and we’re feeling good UNTIL we hit our first roadblock. We try not to panic and we come up with a plan to remove the obstacle – but, that doesn’t work. So, we try something else and that doesn’t work either.
Then it hits us like a ton of bricks – we are trying to do something and we have NO CLUE how to do it…yet.
Today, I’m getting up close and personal about “The Messy Middle” of growing my online course business – and what I’m doing to break through it!
Let’s get started….
My name is Caitlin Bacher, 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. I’m sharing revealing insights about what it really takes to scale an online course business to millions of dollars per year. Join me here to discover the tough decisions I’ve had to make, the biggest failures I’ve had to bounce back from, and the learnings that emerged every step of the way. I’m so grateful that I have the chance to tell you everything right here on Scale With Success®: The Podcast. Let’s get started.
In summer of 2022 we started making some pretty big changes in my business.
These changes were major – like reorganizing our staff to streamline our staff and increase profitability so that we can continue to grow and revamping our messaging to better describe the value of what we were selling.
As the CEO I had to jump back in – especially with marketing – and be more involved with the messaging than I had in a very long time.
It was thrilling, challenging, and even a little scary…but, most importantly – it was necessary.
For the first time in a long time, I found myself in a place where I didn’t know what to do. Every night I poured over org charts for my team and dove into our marketing data to see what had shifted.
That feeling of “not knowing” can trigger different things for different people, depending on what you make “not knowing” mean to you. It can make you excited because it signals an opportunity for you to LEARN, get better, and come back stronger…and sometimes it can feel a little scary because we start thinking, “if this doesn’t work NOW – it never will”.
Is it really true that just because something isn’t working NOW means it will never work? No, of course not. That’s a massive generalization – not a fact at all. But, if we’re not able to manage our emotions, we have a hard time knowing the difference between what’s real and what isn’t real because when our emotions are flooded – the logical side of our brain – the side that’s capable of reason and solving big problems turns right off.
And when that happens, we typically respond in one of three different ways.
- Flight response – run away from discomfort of working through the obstacle at hand and onto something new where the whole cycle begins again
- Fight response – look for someone or something to blame (a coach, a team member, the algorithm, literally anything). This does nothing to help you but temporarily makes your feelings of vulnerability go away because you’re in attack mode – taking attention away from “what you don’t know” and onto someone else
- Freeze – do nothing. And when you do nothing, then nothing gets done.
So, what do all three of those responses have in common? Avoidance. If we feel flooded, the only thing we care about is “making the discomfort stop” and we will do whatever it takes to make that happen. But running away, blaming others, or freezing don’t actually SOLVE anything.
The only thing it does is reinforce the belief that what we’re doing isn’t working.
I’m not gonna lie, summer of 2022 there were a number of times I felt flooded…I found myself on tiktok scrolling through ways to manage my anxiety and I actually found some really good tips!
If you want to learn more about what those were, go listen to Ep. 90 and I’ll share the one about plunging my face into a giant bowl of ice water.
I did manage to navigate my “big feelings” and tap into the “problem-solving” part of my brain before the summer was over – which led to a complete restructuring of our team and our messaging.
Part of the problem solving involved radical acceptance – no more avoiding, no more pretending things are ok when you know they aren’t. Radical acceptance means taking a long hard look at the problem you’re facing and getting clear on what it is (a problem you need to solve) and what it isn’t (a sign from the universe that you should throw in the towel). I was so afraid to look at the problem, but when I actually did – and removed all the false meaning I was assigning to it – then I was able to work through it.
Radical acceptance isn’t about “settling” for less than your vision, it’s about accepting that you are NOT where you want to be and having the courage to face your problems head on.
The reason I’m sharing this with all of you today is because “The Messy Middle” of solving a problem is completely unavoidable – even for me – someone who’s spent probably around $500,000 on coaches and courses over the years.
Every big problem has a Messy Middle and for those of you who are growing fast, it happens a lot. But, like I always tell my clients, “things don’t get easier, but you just keep getting better”.
If I hadn’t faced any of those obstacles last year, I wouldn’t be here where I am now – with an incredible team, a stellar messaging strategy, and an offer that I 100% stand behind.
So, the next time you start thinking to yourself that all those problems you’re experiencing are a sign that you aren’t cut out to be a CEO – remind yourself that problems are a normal part of growth. They certainly don’t just disappear on their own, but intentionally working through them – and getting the support you need to do it – will only make you stronger.
I appreciate you being here and tune in next week for another episode of Scale With Success® The Podcast.
Are you sick and tired of launching and looking for a proven method to generate consistent revenue from your online course on auto-pilot?
Sign up for my free masterclass, “How To Generate Launch-Sized Revenue Without Launching” and I’ll show you how our clients are making MORE money in LESS time than they ever did while launching.
If making sales everyday in a way that is completely automated and doesn’t require paid advertising sounds good to you, then click the link around this episode and sign up for my free masterclass today.
Today’s episode is brought to you by Scale With Success® Accelerator — an online course designed to help you generate launch-sized revenue without lanching. If you want to learn MORE about our proven method for success, click here to watch my free masterclass. See you in there!