Start with one thing and keep it really simple, and get good at it, and learn from that. So again, clarity comes from taking action. You’re going to do a thing and you’re going to learn something from doing that thing.
I can’t tell you what you’re going to learn, but each person’s business unfolding is so unique because these are businesses that spring from our hearts and souls. They’re not this cookie cutter thing that we’re picking up and running. We are creating something new.
– Jenny Shih
Darla LeDoux: Hello and welcome to today’s episode of Retreat and Grow Rich, The Podcast. This is Darla LeDoux, and I’m really excited to be here with our Transform The Leader series where we’re talking about what it is to lead retreats and groups of people from a space of creating their transformation, but because we’ve done the work ourselves, because we’re continually growing and learning as a leader and in the space of doing that, inviting others into their own transformation.
And I’m here today with someone who I personally really love and recommend her work because she leads in that way, really bringing transparency into the way she markets and the way she shares. And I can’t wait for you to meet her. So welcome, Jenny.
Jenny: Hi, thank you so much for having me. I’m so glad to be here.
Darla LeDoux: I’m so glad you’re here too. I’m so excited because I made a decision not too long ago that I wanted to know who was really doing a great job at teaching people how to market online, and people recommended you. And then recently I said, “Hey, what are the best retreats you’ve been to?” And you were again recommended. And I know you don’t even market your retreats. It’s kind of something you do behind the scenes. So I’m so excited to share you with people and I just want to give people a little bit of where you’re coming from. So guys, this is Jenny, and she is an uncompromising business coach who has taught more than 35,000 women how to earn a full time income working 30 hours per week or less as online service-based entrepreneurs. And I love that you really walk your talk, and you’re not working crazy hours in order to do this, which is amazing.
So for most of her time in business, Jenny was debilitatingly sick and at some points was only able to work a few hours each week. As the household breadwinner, Jenny found strategic ways to ensure her business remained highly profitable while also giving her the much needed time to heal. Drawing on both her decade of experience in high tech and her training with Martha Beck and spiritual teacher, Byron Katie, Jenny guides her clients through a no fluff, step-by-step approach to creating thriving businesses they love without having to work long hours or make huge sacrifices.
So Jenny, I know people are resonating with this already and a lot of people have set the intention of working part time hours and making a full time living, yet there’s this predominant culture out there of hustle and get up an hour earlier and just do more. Can you share a little bit about your journey, obviously to being an online entrepreneur but also to really setting that boundary and working in the way you love?
Jenny: Oh, my goodness. We could spend hours talking about just that. So I’ll give you the highlights and if you want to know more, please ask. But I will say right before our interview, I was laying down on my bed just hanging out for a little while because I just was feeling kind of spent, and I know better than to sit down and try to accomplish tasks when there is zero inspiration flowing and the key to that. So, I really do live this talk. It doesn’t mean I lay down and watch Netflix all day long. Then I would never get it all done, but you really do have to balance it.
So in terms of my journey, this whole process of not working crazy hours, it started when I was 19. So I won’t paint that whole story because that’s a long… I’m 41 so that’s a lot of years to talk through. I won’t do the whole thing. But I was basically in college working a job, working at a volunteer position to keep my scholarship, had a position in my sorority working. I was at an engineering school at an Ivy League school going crazy, and I was miserable, depressed, bulimic. Everything was just wrong. And I met a friend who slept eight hours a night, and I was baffled. She was an engineer, too. And I was just, okay. She seems happy and she seems well rested, so I’m going to try this sleep thing.
And so I went back to school the following year, my junior year, and I just started with sleep, and then the next year came going to the gym every day. And then it came saying no to a lot of things. And I started to see that the more I set boundaries around my time and where I put my energy, that it was really important. It started to get better. So I was less depressed, I was taking better care of myself, my grades went up. All those things that really mattered were starting to get better and all the rest of the stuff didn’t.
Just sort of took that trajectory into my corporate career where I wasn’t the kind of person who brought my laptop home at night. And I sort of snuck out early for acupuncture appointments or to go to the chiropractor or whatever, and I realized that when I contained the things that were really important and I had my full energy and attention on them, that they could get done in a lot less time. And then there was all this space for my life. So taking care of myself and then I actually excelled at what I was doing. So when I started my business in 2009 originally as a career coach, this was just who I was already. I was at this point where this is just who Jenny was. She was somebody with good boundaries and good focus, who took care of herself, and when she did that, she was able to put it to her business.
And so over time, this has just become how I operate in life. And what I’ve realized is, as I work about 25 hours a week, sometimes more when we’re launching, but sometimes significantly less. And truly when I work, I’m on. There’s no kind of half-assed working like a lot of people do. And so it means when I work, I’m on, and I get stuff done and then there’s plenty of time for the rest of what I do. So I started as a career coach. I started working as a VA and a project manager, and slowly worked myself into what I do now, which is teach primarily women how to run online service based businesses without working crazy hours. Because when you have a plan and you know what your priorities are, and you’re taking care of the rest of your life, and you know what’s important, it’s totally possible, full-time income without crazy hours. So, that’s 22 years in a nutshell.
Darla LeDoux: I love it. Well, I’m curious since I’m also an engineer, and when I was working in corporate, I definitely had the I’m going to stay later than you badge. So opposite, I always took my computer. I would go to meetings and make lists of the things I was going to do at home that night. So I’m curious, how was it to hold those boundaries when others probably weren’t I’m guessing?
Jenny: Yeah, the second two years of college for me was this new way of showing up that it just became ingrained that life is so much better this way. So when I started working my corporate job, honestly Darla, I felt like a game. And I secretly felt like, “I’m going to work less than you and I’m going to get a better performance evaluation.” I had felt the opposite kind of thing like, “I’m going to prove to you that you’re a sucker for working so hard.”
Darla LeDoux: Does that still feel true a little bit?
Jenny: No. Well, no. I don’t care. It’s been so long. Anybody can do whatever they want. You want to work 80 hours a week? Knock yourself out. I think you’re silly. I think you’re ridiculous for doing that, but no, whatever. You do you.
Darla LeDoux: Awesome. So, you teach people how to make it work online and I know you also lead retreats. And so first talk a little bit about, just to kind of position your expertise here and I know people will take value from this, because a lot of people that I work with who want to host retreats, they want to fill them through online marketing. That maybe they live in a small town, and there’s not the people locally, or they’re already known in their town for one thing and they’re making a career transition and they want to take it out online where they’re meeting new people who can see them and value them in a different way. So share a little bit about your philosophy about making it work online, and why that’s so valuable for people and kind of some of the mistakes they make.
Jenny: Yeah. For me, transitioning online gives us this flexibility and freedom that you can’t have when you have a physical office space. And so for me, I didn’t set out to be like, “I want to be this online person.” It just happened to be that when I realized that I didn’t want to be an engineer or an engineering manager or work in high tech for the rest of my life, “Oh, I think I want to be a career coach. Oh, I think I like this business coaching thing. Oh, and they happen to do it online.” And then I end up here and I’m like, “Oh my gosh. This world is magic. I can work from here and my office, I can work… ” We typically spend two months out of the year in Southern California. I can work from Southern California. We were in Florida a couple weeks ago. I can work from Florida.
So to have this ability to flex is incredible. And it allows us also to reach people so much farther than our small communities. And how cool is it that I know people all over the world? You and I’ve got to know each other and we’ve never even met in person, and to just create these magical relationships is… These are bonuses, bonus benefits.
But it also allows you to do things very your way, and I think that’s one of the things that’s so great. Whether you live in a small town or a big town, there’s still, if you market locally, you have to morph your services to the local market. But when you market online, you get to say, “What do I bring to the table? What makes needs so unique and how can I do that?” I get to do that. I get to do me because I now have this audience of seven some billion people that I can market my services to.
So I think the first thing is to really embrace that part. What is it that you bring to the table that’s so unique to you that doesn’t matter if the people around you in your physical area, local area, resonate with, but what makes you unique? Who are you here to help? What lights you up and gets you all excited? And that becomes what I always encourage my clients to do. The focus of the service that you offer is to start right there with the thing that fires you up, because this business game is not easy. It’s hard. It requires a lot of work. It can be stressful at times. So why not focus on the thing that lights that fire up inside of you so that it can pull you through even the hardest times?
Darla LeDoux: Yeah. And I’m curious, when you started training with Martha Beck and Byron Katie, did you have people in your immediate community who knew what you were passionate about?
Jenny: I’m not sure I knew what I was passionate about. When I first started and said, I took my training with Byron Katie and then shortly after I started my training with Martha Beck, and this was still, I was working my full time job. And I started coaching people for free, and I started coaching people, women. They’re mostly women who kind of done what I did, follow all the rules, got a good degree, got a really good job, doing the whole thing and there soul was kind of dying, and they wanted to do something different. And so there are plenty of people like that, and that was my start. I just started practice coaching for free to lots of people to see what is here. Do people really need this? Do I like it? What do I have to offer? And that’s sometimes the best thing you can do.
So a lot of times I’ll hear people say, “I don’t really know what I’m excited about. I don’t really know what I’m good at. I don’t know what my thing is.” Just take your best guess right now and start there. That’s as much as you’re going to know. Clarity comes from taking action. So take your best guess right now and start playing with that, because I couldn’t have gotten to what I do now if I hadn’t started there. I had to start by being a career coach. I had to then get curious about what it’s like to be a VA and then to try project management, and then to move into systems, and then to move into this and then to move into that.
And so I hit my sweet spot helping other people build online businesses. I couldn’t have gone from my job to here. I had to follow that whole route to get to this point. So take the best guess you have, whatever that is, and just start moving, playing, talking to people, coaching for free, whatever it happens to be.
Darla LeDoux: Love it.
Jenny: That’s all you can know, is that one step that’s right in front of you.
Darla LeDoux: That’s awesome. So one mistake I’m guessing that you see people make is waiting until they have it all figured out, which doesn’t ever really happen. What are some of the other mistakes people make? If they say, “Our people want to lead retreats.” They say, “I want to lead retreats and I want to market online.” And we could go into marketing a retreat versus a course or coaching or whatever, but the big picture of, “I want to help people transform and I want to go online.” What are they getting wrong? I know you just simplify things so easily.
Jenny: Yeah, your first point is great, waiting until you have it all figured out. You’re never going to have it all figured out. I think one of the things that we can embrace is knowing that it’s always changing. What lights me up is always changing, even though to the outside world, a lot of what my business has been offering for the last several years has been the same. What I’m doing inside and what’s lighting me up about what we’re doing is always shifting, and so I’m embracing that shift. Don’t wait until it’s perfect.
The next thing is don’t wait until it’s all figured out. So a lot of times people will say, “Well, I think I want to do this but I don’t want to do this.” So that they’re in that, “I’m not sure what I want to do.” And then they say, “Well, I think the way,” and I made this mistake, so I’m calling myself out as much as anybody else, “I think the best way for me to replace my six figure salary is to have 10 coaching clients at $500 a month plus we want a retreat with 10 people, and I charge a thousand.” But they do this math game and it’s completely arbitrary.
“I totally get this. I though this will be easy. This is going to be a piece of cake.” It never works out that way. So the antidote to that is start with one thing, and keep it really simple, and get good at it and learn from that. So again, clarity comes from taking action. You’re going to do a thing and you’re going to learn something from doing that thing. I can’t tell you what you’re going to learn, but each person’s business unfolding is so unique because these are businesses that spring from our hearts and souls. They’re not this cookie cutter thing that we’re picking up and running. We are creating something new. So allowing that to unfold, and it can be really scary.
As a very big planner to not know how it’s all going to unfold is very unnerving. But the more I embrace that, the more magic starts to show up. So don’t wait until it’s perfect. Don’t try to plan it all out. Just do that one little step in front of you and be willing to have it surprise you in terms of where it leads you. And when you do that, it could lead you to places so much better than you ever imagined.
Darla LeDoux: I love it. Well first of all, I did the spreadsheet thing. I sometimes talk about how I spent more time rearranging my spreadsheet then actually talking to people, which it didn’t work. Also did not work.
So you talked about liking to be a planner, and we talked a little bit about this before about how retreats, sometimes we don’t always have a plan because we don’t know how it’s going to go. So I want to dive a little bit into what you’ve learned about retreats, but first can you just kind of give people an overview of how your business model works and how retreats work in your system?
Jenny: Yeah. Well, I started out as just offering one-on-one services and that’s what I teach people to do. It’s the fastest, easiest way that I’ve found. I know it’s not the only way, but it’s the fastest, easiest way I’ve found to help people get to replace their full-time income and to not work crazy hours, and it’s very sustainable. Despite what a lot of people like to say, it’s an extremely sustainable model, and I have countless clients of examples to prove it. And so that was my model for a while.
And then I got to the point where I was teaching clients how to make it work online, and I found myself predicting before every coaching call what the client was going to ask and what we needed to cover. And I thought, “I now know what they’re going to say before they’re even going to say it. I think it’s time for me to put this together and serve more people at the same time.” Because it was fine. I was fine to do that with one-on-one clients, but I’m always personally looking for a challenge. And it was no longer a challenge to coach one-on-one clients because I knew what they were going to say before they even said it. So the next level for me was to put this together and offer the same kind of coaching, but in a group setting.
And that was the first Make It Work program, which was back in January of 2014. And it was 12 clients and it was an experiment. It was, let’s see. And my goal was to make a really small amount of money for how much work we were putting into it. And I still had my one-on-one clients to really keep the rest of the business going and I, all right, let’s just see if I can do this in a group. And it started with a little bit of training and then we had our first retreat, and it was a three day retreat for those 12 clients. And we worked through a lot of the curriculum together and it was magic. And I thought, “Okay, okay. Magic happens when people come together. Noted.” And I finished off the program-
Darla LeDoux: Say what magic means to you.
Jenny: Oh, my friend Bev Barnes, she said it so great. This happened after that event and it happened after our next Make It Work retreat, which didn’t happen until 2018. And I said to her, “Bev, the clients do all the work. I just show up. I don’t even know what I did. And by the end they’re like, ‘Oh my goodness, this was the most amazing’… What just happened? I’m such a different person, all these things.” And I said, “I don’t get it. I don’t understand.” She said, “That’s the magic of in-person.” So it is this collective energy that creates this massive sweeping transformation for everybody who was in the room that cannot happen to the same degree, virtually or one-on-one. I mean, it can maybe one off, but the volume of shift and transformation and energy movement, I don’t really even have words. That’s the best I can do.
Darla LeDoux: Yeah, I love it. Had you already taught them the curriculum virtually?
Jenny: Yeah. So the very first group, they had the core two or three core parts. They needed to have decided this and work this out, and decided this and work this out before we could come together. And so I taught the two things virtually and then I taught the rest of the stuff in person, and then the final two months of the program we’re helping them continue to implement everything we talked about. And I was sick then but I got even sicker, and I just couldn’t do the in-person stuff and it’s really expensive. So I thought, “Well, okay. I’m just going to do this just virtually.”
So as second half of 2014, all of 2015, all of 2016, ’17, the program was just virtual online. And I worked on growing my marketing, increasing our ability to serve our clients, growing the coaching team, so it wasn’t just me doing the coaching, and as I did that I stopped doing one-on-one. So the focus of my business became pretty much this group program and that was the most of what we did.
And in 2018 versus 2017 as we were getting ready for our Make It Work Online 2018 program, I just got this call. I got this loud and clear call, “You need to do a retreat.” So I had tried to market a one off retreat in 2015 and it didn’t go, and I lost $5,000 plus a lot of stress and additional lawyer fees because there was a problem with the contract. And so I was left terrified to do another event, but I could not not hear the call to do this event.
Darla LeDoux: People are getting it right now who are listening. They’re like, “Yep.”
Jenny: So, my first event I did in Portland. I live in Corvallis, which is 90 minutes south of Portland, Oregon, and it was expensive to do it in Portland. It was easier for everybody else, but it was more stressful for me, and it was in Portland. It was great. I don’t regret it. It was an amazing event. And then the event they lost the $5,500 on plus the lawyer fees. What’s a event I wanted to do in Mexico, to a hotel I’d been, I had a great experience. I thought, “I would love to do this again.” And so I felt this I’ve got to do an event, but a brand new courtyard Marriott opened up in downtown Corvallis right on the waterfront and I thought, “That’s it. I’m going to do it here.” I get to stay at home, I get to plan locally. It can be so much easier.
And my goal for the event was, did I sell tickets? I might’ve sold tickets, but my goal for the event was to just give it free to all the clients going into the program and have it cost sort of minimal cost, and it was a bonus for everybody who joined the program, and that was it. And just like, “Okay, fine. I’m going to do this event. I feel called to this event. I don’t know. I’m kind of skeptical, but I’ll do it.” And it blew my mind. It blew everybody’s mind. I was like, “Okay, I guess we’re doing these yearly now.” So we had one again in 2019. We sell tickets to our alumni, and then folks who go through the Make It Work Online program that year get a ticket to come, and we’re already planning our 2020 event right now actually.
Darla LeDoux: Awesome. And you call it an event, but I know people experience it as a retreat, which to me, a retreat is multi-day with the intention of creating new awareness that causes a permanent shift. That’s how I think about a retreat, so I know it’s retreaty. How many people did you have at that first one and how many people do you think you’ll have in 2020?
Jenny: Yeah. We had 35 people at the first one, we had 50 to 60 in 2019, and we estimate between 70 and 120 in 2020. It totally depends on program enrollment and just factors of do the week, the days, work with people’s lives and stuff like that. So we kind of don’t really know, but I always trust the magic. The number will work out exactly as it’s supposed to.
Darla LeDoux: I love it. I think I told you before, I’ve actually been to Corvallis. I love that you’re bringing people there. That’s awesome. The riverfront is great.
Jenny: Yeah, it’s such a great town. And I thought the first year I did it, I thought, “Oh, nobody has it on their bucket list to go to Corvallis.” But when they get here they’re like, “This is a pretty cool place.” I’ve lived here since 2000 so it’s kind of whatever to me, but it’s a great place for people to come. It’s a very walkable downtown. It’s a great hotel. The staff is amazing. People have a wonderful experience.
Darla LeDoux: Well, and you said bucket list and it’s funny, I was reading something recently about choose a place that’s on people’s bucket list, and I don’t necessarily resonate with that because if then they want to do the bucket list thing.
Darla LeDoux: They’re not there for the transformation. So nobody is going to your event in Corvallis because they can’t wait to go to Corvallis, right?
Jenny: Yes. My husband was just at a conference in Florida in Boca Raton, which is fine, but one of the nights a whole bunch of people, not my husband, but a whole bunch of people like, “Let’s go down to Miami and party.” Well, they all partied so much that they missed the morning session the next day, which my husband was like, “It was amazing.” So they’ve been talking about where else to go and they say, “Well, maybe you should go to Vegas.” And I was like, “No, that’s a bad idea because then everybody’s going to go do Vegas stuff as opposed to be there present for the point of the conference.” So I love the way you put it that way. It makes total sense, yeah.
Darla LeDoux: So you also do, and if people listen to this podcast regularly, they know what I teach as you come together in the retreat, but there’s also support people need when they go home. So do you also offer retreats in your mastermind, your high level?
Jenny: We don’t, no. It’s just virtual because-
Darla LeDoux: So, this is the one?
Jenny: It’s the one.
Darla LeDoux: One live chance to get in the room with you per year.
Jenny: Yeah, it is. It is.
Darla LeDoux: Yeah. Awesome. Love it. So we talked about how you like to have a plan and have some structure, and so this is the series where we kind of get real about what goes on internally when we’re holding space for this transformation. So you had the one retreat, it was magic. You tried to launch another one. It didn’t go, you lost money so you kind of had that small trauma stored in your system and now you get the call to do a retreat. What are the ways you’ve grown in stepping into that leadership in that way? How has spirit called you to transform?
Jenny: I think that the biggest thing that retreats have done for me is show me truly the power of being in the present moment. I know that sounds so cliche, but it’s exactly the case when it comes to these events. So the first one we did here in town in 2018, I had a really clear agenda of what I was going to teach and cover during each segment and how it was going to go. And I remember going home after because I would go home for lunch. That’s one of the great things about doing it in my hometown. I’m an introvert. I don’t have to go to a restaurant. I can go home and have lunch that I already made for myself. It was amazing.
So I come home and I was just thinking, “I don’t think this afternoon’s plans the right plan.” And so sitting there in the quiet of my home eating home cooked food, I get to just sort of check-in. What do these people need? What needs to happen this afternoon? How does this need to be different? And the first time it was just a two day event and there was a lot to cover. So, there was a little room for me to deviate, and I could just feel what would happen when I trusted that part that wanted to deviate the plan and do something different.
So this last year with 2019, and I had to tell you, I kind of get scared to confess this, but I had two bullets for the afternoon and two bullets for the next morning, and it was like, that was all I had. That was all that I was given and I went, “All right. All right. These people paid a lot of money to travel here.” And I just showed up fully present feeling each person in the room and knowing what my intention was for each segment of the event, and it unfolded better than I could have ever planned. The conversations that happen, the places that we were led, the shifts that the clients had was not something I could have ever scripted, and it really showed me the power of allowing us to be present with it.
And this goes into 2020, so we’re planning our 2020 event. We have a brand new copywriter on our team and she’s working on the sales page copy, and she had some questions like, “What’s the outlined specific agenda?” And, “Who are the speakers will be?” And I said, “We don’t know.” I said, “I know this makes your job harder but we don’t know what this speakers are, and we don’t know when it will be because I need to see how the program is going. I need to see where everybody is next spring before we come together because something might happen or have shifted, and we can’t make that decision in October for an event that’s in June. And I know that that’s what we need to do.” And so resting into, surrendering into the moment is terrifying, and I have evidence that that’s what really creates transformation for people.
Darla LeDoux: Yeah. Well you’ve got to see the difference between when you had a full agenda and when you didn’t.
Darla LeDoux: You could actually see the contrast. I love that. I really relate. And my first retreat, I had 182 PowerPoint slides and a little binder with all the worksheet, because that’s what I had seen modeled. I had been to events with the binder, and then you go to page 12, and you fill this in in your worksheet, and so that’s what I was modeling. And then once I realized that that was a lot of work that didn’t really add value, getting all that printed and all of that, I kind of took that out. But I still had an agenda and then I would be mad at myself because I would be traveling to wherever I was going, I usually go somewhere, and I would get there and I didn’t have a real agenda. I had one, but I knew it wasn’t the real agenda.
I had something to give my team because I felt like I needed to give them something. But I knew it was going to change and I knew it hadn’t come through yet, and I would get to the hotel and it would come through. And then there was a point where I stopped worrying that it hadn’t come through because I knew that that’s what was going to happen. And then I got to the point where it’s, why am I even giving my team an agenda? We’re going to do some things and then it’s going to go like this, and really getting the team comfortable with that, too.
Darla LeDoux: I love it. Thank you for sharing that. So I know you don’t necessarily teach this because what I get from your work, what I really admire is that it’s down and dirty. It’s like, “Look, this is what you really have to do to have paying clients.” It’s not some airy fairy, in a perfect world, someday you’re going to have this beautiful funnel that will do… It’s here’s what to go do. So I know you don’t necessarily teach people how to fill their retreats, but if you were to help people get a sense of, okay, I know I’ve been called to lead a retreat and I’m just starting, or maybe I got my coaching certification. I did the few free clients. I’ve maybe taken a few hundred dollars from people. What would you advise them?
Jenny: Yeah. Well, when it comes to filling the first retreat, I guess this applies to every kind of situation, but this is definitely something I did with my first event, after the one where I lost money, and then the one where I did the live event here in town in 2018, is releasing your expectations of how it should be or how it should look or that it should make a certain amount of money. We really mess it up when we go in with, “This is how it’s supposed to work. In order for this to be successful, I need to have this many people and make this much money and it needs to look like this.” The moment we put our expectations like that on anything, whether it’s a set of new clients, or a retreat, or a new course or anything that we do, we get in the way of the unfolding that we can’t predict.
And so that is the biggest thing is go into it all in. Do everything you possibly can to be successful with what you’re trying and also release expectations. And it is an incredibly hard thing to do. I’m not saying that this is easy. I am constantly working on my own ability to surrender expectations about how things are going to go. And that gets harder and harder because the risks we take in my business are much bigger. The stakes we have are much bigger, and investments are much larger. All of that, and the more I can surrender the outcome and just trust that I’m giving it everything, I can give it everything I possibly can. And then there’s this thing that I’m not in charge of.
And so when we release sort of those expectations, things unfold in ways we can’t imagine. So did I want to sell that retreat in 2015 and did I have a vision for how magical it would be for the people who were there? Absolutely. I had a really clear vision and it didn’t sell. And when it didn’t sell I had to, okay. Yeah, you got to just keep in mind things aren’t always going to go the way you want. So what did you learn from this? The fact that it didn’t work.
Darla LeDoux: What did you learn from it? Because I always believed those things, the value of the lesson is always bigger than the “lost money”.
Jenny: It took me awhile to get over it because after legal fees it was like $6,500. So it took me a little while to get over that, to look over that one, but contracts. I thought I understood the contract. The thing that we ended up sort of going back and forth on was when I finally pulled out, there was the clause about pulling out was vague. I mean if you did the math the way I wanted, the way that made sense math-wise was what I wanted to pay, but if you didn’t really think about the math, which I think their end wasn’t doing it. They were just the contract executor’s.
They wanted me to pay significantly more money. And so I thought, “Okay, well I’m going to get really ridiculous about my contracts.” And anybody, any agency that I’ve hired, I will send back contracts. Nope, this clause is not okay with me. It needs to say this. You need to add this section in, or that’s not going to work. So I’ve gotten way more particular about contracts and how they’re done, and it also taught me to shoot smaller. I think that, I use this example a lot, people start out online and they look at name your business person who’s been around forever, who has a really high end fancy laundry, the really high end fancy online program, and new people think, “I have to do that in order to be successful.
And so what I thought was, “I have to go to high end hotels. I’ve got to create these big experiences. Yes, I had an incredible experience at that same hotel. It was so much about it I wanted to bring, and that was wonderful. But well Jenny, maybe you couldn’t go smaller.” And I think that if that hadn’t worked, I wouldn’t have been open to how easy and incredible and much better it is for me to do an event here in town than it is to travel and do an event. So until we max out of this hotel, which would be about 140 people at the retreat, we’ll stay here. And then it’s kind of the best place to have an event, what will we do at our retreat, and if we max out, maybe we’ll end up capping it. Maybe we’ll max it out. I don’t know. We’ll worry about that when it comes.
Darla LeDoux: Amazing. I’m really excited to support the launch of Make It Work Online in 2020. Tell people about it so they’re ready.
Jenny: Yeah. Okay. Make It Work Online is not like anything you’ve ever seen before, because I do exactly what I tell everybody to do. You create something that is so unique to what you have to offer. Don’t force it to be unique, but create the thing that you feel so called to do. And back in 2013 when I was scheming this program, it’s not just training, it’s not just coaching, it’s not just templates, it’s not just masterminding. It’s all of that and more.
And so Make It Work Online, 2020 is going to be our 10th anniversary program. It will be the tenth time we’ve offered Make It Work.
Darla LeDoux: Wow.
Jenny: Double exciting, and it is a one of a kind business coaching, training, copywriting clinic, masterminding program. It’s 12 weeks long and we help primarily women, but not exclusively so, who wants to build online service based businesses, go out, and get clients online.
So our clients, they know what business they want to have. They’ve got a website, maybe they’ve worked with clients. We’ve had people who’ve been in business six months to six years and they’re just at the point where they say, “I’m ready or I need to do this. I’m ready to do the hard work. I’m somebody. I’m ready to be told what I need to do and how I need to do it because I want this business to work.” So that’s what we help them do. How do you get clients? How do you talk about what you do? How do you create the right offers? And how do you do it without working crazy hours and create that full-time income for yourself?
Darla LeDoux: Amazing.
Darla LeDoux: Yeah, and I know people can tell just even from this interview, but you’ve really put the thought and legwork into how to truly support people holistically in this program.
Jenny: Yeah. We have a team of coaches who’ve all been personally picked and trained by me that get in there with you. So you want to work on your copy, you have a coach helping you write that copy. They’re not there to write it for you because we want you on the other end to know how to write your own copy. So they’re coaching you to write copy. You’re working on getting clients, and maybe a conversation you had online wasn’t going super right or kind of ended it when you didn’t understand, you bring that conversation to your business coach and she helps you troubleshoot where you went wrong or what to try differently next time.
And it’s very, we’re going to teach you the strategies with a big strategy. We’re going to teach you the tactics. We’re going to give you tools and templates and there we’re there to help you implement it. Because at the end of the day, you can know tons of stuff, but if you’re not implementing it, you won’t build your business. And we know that that hands on support as you take action is invaluable, and that’s why our clients create great results and have a lot of fun doing it.
Darla LeDoux: Amazing. Awesome. So listeners, if you’re on my list, you will hear about this when it launches, but you can also get on Jenny’s list and you’ll be ready for it. And she has a tool for you that kind of can get you started. So if you’re resonating and you’re thinking, “Yes, I know this is my year to really make it work online.” You can go to Makeitworkonline.com/sevensteps and there’s a little toolkit there for you. Anything you want to share about that?
Jenny: It’s our overarching Make It Work Online framework, The Seven Steps To Make It Work Online. It’s going to talk about how all the pieces fit together. So usually people start with step three, five, or six but we are like, “No, no, no. Back up. You got to start with step one because step three, five and six aren’t going to work until you have step one right.” So we’re going to walk you through what the seven steps are and we’re going to help you give you a bunch of resources to start taking action on each one of those things.
And the cool thing is when you download, Makeitworkonline.com/thesevenstepstomakeitworkonline, you’re also going to be invited to join our popup Facebook group just as we lead into the Make It Work Online program to get support as you take action. So you’re going to be there alongside other folks like you who are taking action on getting clear on their client, and their offers, and how to go out and get clients and be part of a community working on the same thing. So you’ll get all that once you grab Seven Steps.
Darla LeDoux: Yay. Amazing. Thank you, Jenny. Thank you for always being so real and transparent. And I know there are people who are nodding and going, “Yes, I relate.” And the thing I have appreciated the most is really the example of being an engineer and someone who it took discipline really, and discipline and self care to the next level just from an early age. And then getting to this place of saying, “You know what, and I have to just let go of the control.” And that is a really interesting balance, so I know people are taking a lot of juice from that.
Jenny: Thank you. Yes. Hardest thing we can do, the most important thing we can do, have plans and then let them go.
Darla LeDoux: Awesome. And on that note, thank you everyone for joining us and I look forward to seeing you in the next episode. Bye, everyone.Jenny: Bye.
Have you been called to integrate retreats into the way you do business?
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If so, it might be time to start leading transformational retreats. Transformational retreats are only going to get more popular as our world gets busier, and more and more people are opting to invest in experience and transformation over stuff and information.
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