Is it necessary to spend money on coaching to hit new levels in your business? Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be a part of a high level coaching group? In this episode, I’m pulling back the curtain to share my biggest lessons from a $15,000 group coaching program I was a part of in 2020, so that you can learn the lessons without spending the money.
If you have a question about running a business, birth photography, strategy, social media, where to get started, or even getting some free on-air coaching, did you know you can ask any and all of that over at www.taviaredburn.com/ask? Just fill out that form to ask your question and we might feature it on the next episode of the podcast or bring you on an episode for coaching. Check it out at taviaredburn.com/ask.
Also, we’re opening up something brand new and really exciting but it’s for a very small exclusive group of people and not everyone will be a good fit for this. So if you’re already making $5K or more every month in your business and you’re ready to hit $10k or $20k months, grow a team, open a studio and maybe even create your own online course, I’m taking applications for a small mastermind group led by me. This investment won’t be cheap but if you’re ready to take big leaps in your business, head over to www.taviaredburn.com/mastermind to fill out the waitlist form and I will personally let you know when applications are open.
Okay, let’s get into the episode!
The end of 2019 was so full of hope and optimism, not only was a new year upon us and a new decade, but I’d just invested a scary (for me) amount of money on a high level group coaching program. $15,000 to be exact and I was ready for 2020 to be the BEST YEAR EVER. And I think we all know how that turned out, but the group coaching brought me SO many lessons, especially with how 2020 went so let’s get into my 5 biggest lessons.
I’m going to be really honest here and share exactly why I joined this coaching program. Of course there were success stories and testimonials and all that, which piqued my interest in joining. But, the real core reason was I realized that if I wanted to go to the next level in my businesses, I needed to surround myself with high level coaching and high level people. There can be value in free and low-cost Facebook groups and courses, but there comes a point where you outgrow them. And then what are you supposed to do, right? I often found, and here is the honest part, I was sharing and helping in those groups more than I was receiving. I wanted to do both, I wanted to offer help and support to those newer in business, but when it came to my growth…
I wanted to find a room where I could be the dumbest person in the room.
Maybe you’ve felt this way or maybe this sounds arrogant, but it’s the honest truth. The truth is, I was tired of feeling like I was the most experienced person in the room.
Rewinding a little bit, back to the fall of 2018. My husband had just left his 9-5 and we were living on only my income, and we have only been doing that for a couple of months. I shared this back then, but I was honestly terrified I would fail. Terrified to tell anyway that he’d quit because what if I couldn’t do it and one of us had to go back and get a “real” job? I was so scared of that happening that I didn’t even want to tell people that we just had accomplished our dreams. It took a long time for me to publicly share that we had done this and the fact that my entire podcast is based on it is crazy because I didn’t even want people to know.
Around that time, I had the opportunity to invest in an online course and it was the most money that I had ever considered spending on an online course. It was $3,000. Not only that, but also the added pressure that we’re living in my income and I felt very insecure about it. The feeling of spending that money every month (it was $3000 that I was paying for $297 monthly), I was terrified. I know that a lot of you have been there—investing in something, whether it’s one of my courses, somebody else’s courses, maybe you hired a coach, or something like that, and the financial investment feels terrifying—I totally understand because that is exactly how I felt. And it’s crazy now because spending $3,000 on a course at this point doesn’t feel crazy to me because I’ve done in and I understand the return on that investment.
Looking back at that, I see how scary it felt, how I made that decision, the amazing return I got on it—these have encouraged me to spend more money on myself and my business.
A year later after that experience, I had the opportunity to join a high-level group coaching. And that $15,000 started to feel a lot like that $3,000, where I was just like, “Oh my gosh, I cannot do this. It’s too much money. It’s crazy. What if? What if? What if?” and all these scary feelings started popping out. And so I had a conversation with God, where I’m like, “Okay, is this supposed to be what I’m doing? This is really scary, but it also feels like a huge opportunity.” And I remembered hearing so clearly from God, “2020 is going to be big and you’re going to need help.” Hearing that from Him, I started bawling instantly because I felt such peace about going forward with this. And it’s so cool to look back on that because I realized that 2020 was big!
The point of me sharing all of these with you is just to say no matter you are at in your business, it can be super scary to invest an amount of money that you have never invested before and never spent on yourself or your business. I want to share 5 lessons I learned from a $15,000 group coaching program in 2020 when photographers and service businesses were hit harder than ever in hopes that you can pull some nuggets for your own business.
1 The Transformation is in the Transaction
This is kind of what I was just talking about, but when you pay, you pay attention. Here’s an example: what are you doing right now? I’m willing to bet you’re listening to this and doing something else at the same time. Are you working out, driving or listening while you’re cooking dinner? Am I right?
So here’s another question: What would you be doing if you paid for this podcast episode? What if I only released it to people who paid me $20? What would you be doing if you listened to this because you paid? Listening at a desk where you can focus? Maybe taking notes?
What if you paid $200? Would you listen over and over? Would you listen on 2x speed? Make a to-do list of action items? Wait to listen when the kids were asleep?
See, when you get something for free, even if it’s really valuable, you just don’t treat it the same way as when you pay for it. This is #1 reason I always encourage new photographers to charge SOMETHING for their first birth or their first session, because when the client pays, they pay attention and they value those photos so much more when they’ve paid for them.
This was true for the group coaching program as well. I’m showing up for those calls, I’m preparing ahead of time for them, because I know I want to prove to myself this investment was worth it and I found I was showing up differently than I had in the past for cheaper offerings or courses.
It’s just really interesting to me that if I had been given the exact same information, exact same access to the coaches and Facebook group, and everything included in this program, but I had not paid for it or I paid for it for a cheaper price, how differently would I showed up simply because I knew what I had invested.
- What if I got it for free vs $15,000?
- How would I have shown up vs showing up as someone who paid $15,000?
- And what kind of result am I getting showing up in that $15,000-level capacity?
To play a bigger game, I had to invest in myself.When I paid this kind of money, I became heavily invested in getting a big return on my investment.
2 The Positive Power of Community
I learned the power of surrounding myself with people who’ve done bigger things than me and have more experience than me. I’ll be honest, this really intimidated me at first. Our egos like it when we are the best and brightest in the room because we feel valuable, right? But there is power in feeling “not good enough to be in the room.”
Think about it like this: I’m sure you’ve heard the saying before that you’re the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with, right? Well, I want to be the average of people who are smarter and wealthier and more successful than me! I’m sure you feel the same way. What was interesting was, I rose to the level of those around me much quicker than I thought I would and I realized that it worked. The power of being around people more successful than me actually helped raise me to their level.
A rising tide lifts all boats, right? Think about if you are a boat and you are in a harbor, and you are in the same level as the other boats around you. Nobody is too upset or too excited, all of you are in the same level. But think about the rising tide and how it comes through, kind of makes the boats tousle, kind of makes the boats uncomfortable, but it raises everyone up with it. It is the exact same thing when you surround yourself with people that you might feel intimidated by, those that make you feel “I am not qualified to be in this room.” And when you are, you raise yourself to their level.
So are you relying on free or low-cost communities? Are you the smartest person in the room or in the group? There’s nothing wrong with that, nothing to be ashamed of. We are all at different levels and places in our business and that’s totally fine. But if you look around and you are the one giving the advice, you’re the one helping people and not receiving much, ask yourself: Is it time for you to level up and invest more money to be in the room of higher-level people?
3 Sometimes Learning is Procrastinating
When we are new in business, we tend to focus on learning because there is so much we don’t know. Sometimes we get stuck in this learning mode where all we’re doing is learning. I call this EDUTAINMENT or education that is being used as entertainment. Why? Because I am not taking action, just listening to them talk and pretending that it’s working.
There will come a point where you have to stop learning because chances are you already know a lot of stuff. You may still be in the early phases where you still have to learn and that’s fine. Just don’t let yourself get in this habit of learning and not doing anything. Because action in your business brings clarity. So maybe you need to stop learning and actually do something.
I’ll admit, I definitely used to feel like I’d get a prize if I finished a course or a book. Meaning, I wanted to complete it and move on to the next thing. Now I take bits and pieces of what I need to TAKE ACTION sometimes without fully completing the course or the book. I got what I needed from it and move on.
The coaching in this group helped me realize this and it’s so powerful when someone from the outside can look on without judgement and call out what they see is happening. Once I was open to receiving that it was really eye opening for me and my business to discover that learning new things isn’t always productive. Sometimes it’s a form of procrastination.
Think about yourself and your business, do you need someone in your life to point out your blind spots? Are you consuming edutainment, meaning doing things that kind of feel like work but are really keeping you from doing the valuable action items that can be hard but need to happen?
4 How to Make a Client Feel Valued
This group managed to set really high expectations and exceeded those expectations. Since working this this group, I’ve learned that in order for my services and courses to be a no-brainer, I need to offer 5-10x the VALUE. So if my course is $1,000, how can I make it worth $10,000 but only charge $1,000? If my portrait package at the studio is $2,000 how can I make it worth $10,000-$20,000? I want people to say, wow I can’t believe this was only $50 or $500. That is my goal with every service and product we offer.
Another point about making people feel valued is saying their name and remembering things about them can go really far in making your clients feel valued. How we do this at the studio is by keeping notes of every single one of our clients, especially repeat clients, we make notes of things that happened with them, their kids’ names, things that might have happened in their birth, who their birth team was. Because when I see them again, I want to bring things up that happened in the past because that makes the client feel unique and special.
On a personal not, for me, when people remember not only my name but how to say it correctly, it makes me feel unique, valued, and special. Consider for yourself: how can you go above and beyond for your clients is not only the value you’re giving, but also the experience in what you remember about them and their family and other details?
5 I can go further with a team than I can by myself / I might need to slow down to speed up
This group has taught me so much about how I can serve better, more frequently, and deeply when I have a team. And what that means is I might need to slow down in order to speed up. This is true with systems and team—building out systems take time and effort and will really slow you down, but ultimately it will speed you up to go further for a longer period of time. It takes longer to train someone to do something you’re used to doing but long term it will help me go farther.
What is your next step with this? Where do you need to slow down in your business to speed up ?
Bonus Lesson: We are pioneers
Birth photographers and women who want to go full time with their photography business is very uncommon, It might feel common because you’re here and you hear it from people frequently but this goal is uncommon. You’re a pioneer in your industry and in your community. And so when you start to think of yourself in that way, really look at what does that look like. “How can I continue to be a pioneer and a leader in my industry and community?” Whether or not you realize it, you absolutely are.
Those are the lessons that I took away from a $15,000 Coaching Program, I hope that you gleamed some insights as well. Just like what we talked about in the beginning, how would you show up in this episode if you are paying for it? What would you do with this information? Would you go back and listen to it, stop what you are doing and take notes? I hope that you will take the time to write down some action steps for yourself as a result of this episode
If you’re already making $5K or more every month in your business and you’re ready to hit $10k or $20k months, grow a team, open a studio and maybe even create your own online course, I am are taking applications for a small mastermind group lead by me. This investment won’t be cheap but if you’re ready to take big leaps in your business, head over to www.taviaredburn.com/mastermind to fill out the waitlist form and we will let you know when applications are open.
If you’re enjoying this podcast, please hit SUBSCRIBE wherever you’re listening and thank you so much for leaving the show a review on iTunes! I read each and every one and it helps this podcast reach more people so thank you!
My friend, if you have a passion, it’s not an accident. Not everyone loves the thing that you love. So whatever your passion is, it’s there for a REASON. I hope that you get out there and make it happen! Have a great week and we’ll talk soon.