Ep 183 - What $1M Course Creators Don't Talk About

Aug 21, 2022

This week I’m spilling the tea, and sharing what million dollar course creators don't talk about. 

I know a lot of 7-figure course creators, and I am always surprised at what happens publicly compared with what happens privately - ie, the things that people complain about and the issues that people have that they don’t quite want their followers to see.

Now before I begin sharing this behind-the-curtain look, I want to be very clear that being in the privileged position of having a 7-figure online course business is an absolute dream come true, but you never really hear much about the downside.

And this is for two reasons. 

  • There's no complaining on the yacht. Meaning that you know, as a million dollar cost creator that you're privileged as fuck. So complaining about anything can feel plain mean, insensitive and a little ridiculous.

  • To get you online business to that level, you kind of need to maintain the facade that everything is perfect all the time, or you fear that you'll lose credibility.

Now I get it, and I’ve been in both of those places. But I know for a fact that neither of those are helpful to you on your growth journey, so I want to get real for a hot minute and tell you about the growing pains of the next level.

Levelling Up - Is It Really For You? 

A lot of things that I’ve read and heard over the years has told me that it’s impossible to get past $200K - $300K annual revenue without a team supporting you.

This might be true for many people, and it might be true for you. But for me? I got to about $700K before hiring a team. And the #1 reason for that isn’t because I’m smarter or faster than other entrepreneurs or online course creators out there - it’s because I have always had really good systems in place.

I enjoyed being solo. I never wanted to sit around chatting with people all day, and I wanted to avoid having a team for as long as possible. I would much rather get in, do my work, then go off into my life and live in my own little beautiful bubble. I also hated the idea of spending a precious hour or two every day managing people.

I put that off for as long as possible, and it worked for me - but it does raise the question of “how big do I really want to go?”.

But honestly, that's part of the fun of life. And it's part of the fun of the journey of mastering a level in business or life, and then watching in real-time as that floor becomes your new ceiling. 

As the saying goes, “New level new devil.”

We are paid as business people to solve problems. I know for certain that in my businesses, so much of my success has centred around solving people's problems. Customers and clients are paying us for a transformation, people are paying us to solve their problem.

But when you start looking at the level you’re currently at (and beyond) you quickly realise that there's going to be a new set of problems.

So, do you really want to level up?

What Exactly IS The Next Level?

As scary and exciting as it is, once you pull the lever or take the red pill, things are going to start flooding down because the possibilities of YOUR next level are limitless.

Perhaps it’s the next revenue level.
Perhaps it’s the next level of clients numbers.
Perhaps it’s a new level of team expansion.
Perhaps it’s next-level thinking.

Dealing with a $20,000 a month business is very different to dealing with a $200,000 a month business. Expenses will start flying out of our business account like never before, so you've got to really change your thinking on a lot of different aspects of your business.

Typical growth in a traditional business is below 15 to 20% each year. If you're hitting or exceeding that, you’re doing bloody well, but the online world is very different. You can exceed 50 or even 100% growth every year if you’ve nailed your product and your audience, and are delivering on your transformation promise.

How crazy is that?! And that’s why I’m telling you that your ‘next level’ is limitless (and also why I’m telling you that you need to be ready for it).

It is difficult, and it is messy.

That's the game that you signed up for, and in order for it to work for you, you've got to find the joy in that game.

The Good, The Bad And The Ugly Parts Of Your “Next Level”

A lot of people think how awesome it must be to level up for six to seven figures in your online business, but for the vast majority of people, it needs to be scaled back almost immediately because they haven't built the foundation.

And that's understandable. It's not a poor reflection on anyone, it's just that they have likely seen unpredictable growth and haven’t been setting up the systems to onboard a barrage of clients or perfect the customer experience.

Whilst I typically preach that ‘done is better than perfect’, the one big exception to the rule is when it comes to your customer experience. There is simply too much competition, and with an increase of customers you're going to have an increase of people who are impossible to please.

That’s why you need to make sure it's as good as it can possibly be.

When you're starting to grow, and you're adding new people, one of the hardest things is team and expenses. More money in also equals more money out in  most cases, depending on your strategy.  

How can you split the roles in your business to facilitate growth?
How can you get the things that you're doing and split them off?
And how do you cope when it takes 4x longer for someone else to do something that you could do in your sleep?

But the reality is, that there's only so many hours in the week. And if you want to grow, you've got to also get some help. And yes, that help is going to take time. 

Managing The Growing Pains

When making the leap from six to seven figures in your online business, it’s incredibly helpful to keep in mind what your safety net is, in terms of your revenue and your outgoings.

For me, I always try to operate on a 25% safety net, where 25% of revenue is what I allocate for team. When I do my quarterly reviews, I assess:

How am I feeling right now?
Am I teetering on the edge of burnout?
Have I got some whitespace?
Is everything's manageable?
Does everyone in my team feel supported?
Is everyone getting their work done?
Are they feeling under pressure?
Are they feeling stressed?

I'll look at the numbers, and if we're below 25% then I know I need to hire more people. Sometimes we go above it, but it will always be strategic and it will always level out again after that.

The bottom line is, that you need to be consciously and obsessively on top of the numbers in your business so that you can facilitate managed growth in the best way possible.

Aligning Your Business Growth With Your Life Goals.

“What is your goal for life?”

This is a question that I really needed to percolate on when I was deciding how big I actually want to go with this business. Because for me, it's a combination of financial, lifestyle, security, freedom and flexibility goals.

A lot of what I do is rooted in making a great living that I can invest in for later in life, for me and my whole family. 

I also love freedom and flexibility. 

And to be completely honest, I don't want to live a simple life. I like nice things. I like traveling. I go overseas lots of times a year and I want to do it for as long as humanly possible. I want to live a big, beautiful life.

I want financial freedom and security, and I want to be able to do good things with my money. 

I also know that the best way that I can achieve this is through growth and leverage, meaning that my life goals and my business growth goals are perfectly aligned for where I am right now.

Be Brave, Ridiculously Courageous And Just Fucking Do It!

Running a 7-figure online business, we're in constant pursuit of creating a more streamlined and efficient business. We get so bloody good at it that in turn, it produces more beautiful opportunities that we can follow. That’s when we get to figure out when to start saying no, because every time you say no to something, you're creating the space for the things that you want to do. 

If you're prepared, growth is so much fun. You get to use your skills, expand your mind, use your creativity, engage with your imagination, use your problem solving skills, and you get to impact so many people - both in you customer base, and your beautiful team members.

It's amazing. The ride is so exciting, and you can buy your time back as you build that infrastructure if it's managed properly.

If you get annoyed by managing people, or you don't want to work more than a few hours a week, then bigger isn't always better. Yes, you need to work more than a few hours a week to be able to build to half a million or even inching towards a million dollar business.

So what I want you to keep at the top of your mind is that when you look at other people's businesses, you're just seeing the highlight-reel.

I know that I have great capacity and generosity, and I am here for every part of this gorgeous journey.

All of it.

The growth, the experiments, to be proven right, to be proven wrong, to be surprised, to be wowed by others and myself.

To one day, reach my final day and know beyond all else that I gave life a good crack. I loved hard, played with reckless abandon, lived too big, gave generously and tried my best to be great and do good in the world.

And if I can get to my final day and say that I am one happy lady. 

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