9 RULES that grew my online course from 0 to millions
Hello, and welcome back to my channel. And if you're new here, welcome, so happy you're here. I was reflecting recently and having a conversation about my journey as an entrepreneur and it, still to this day, blows my mind that my business is what it is. I still very much so sometimes feel like a total imposter, and I can't believe that I've been able to grow my business to where it is today and generate over eight figures in revenue and impact people all over the world. And it's just really hard to wrap my head around. And I think that's not a bad thing. I think
it's something that I hope I never lose because it keeps me humble and hungry. I thought it would be really helpful because as I was reflecting on these things to share with you some of the rules that I now live by, that I never would've known in the early days, and I didn't know in the early days. And it led to a lot of wasted time, a lot of mistakes, and there are very clearly nine rules that have grown my online course business from zero, struggling, solo-preneur, didn't know what I was doing to now millions and millions in revenue and clients all over the world. So if that's exciting to you, it's exciting to me in my little nerd heart, give this video a like, and be sure to subscribe for new videos every week. And if you don't know, this is actually what I do. So I help people who have a skill set, expertise and help them go from this invisible expert to being able to scale and monetize using online courses and YouTube. And if you want to learn more about that, you can go to workwithsunny.com. Okay. So let's dig in to the nine rules,
the dos and the do nots. This should save you a lot of time, energy and money. So number one is do not go wide. What do I mean by that? So in the early stages of building my business, I really thought the bigger audience you had, the more you were able to monetize and grow a business. What I actually learned is that the more focused and intentional your audience is, the more impactful it can be. Trying to reach the masses keeps you at a very surface level business, whereas focusing on depth and focusing on the right people and reaching the right people, allows you to really create very deep and meaningful, one, relationships and long term relationships with the people that you work with. I'm grateful and lucky that
there are people who have been working with me for years and I continue to work with them. And I'm so happy that we have this commitment now, after learning a lot, to legacy and everything that we do. So I look at every client who potentially is going to enroll in our program as a marriage and I am married now so I know a little thing about it. But I know that every client, every team member, every lead who comes across our radar, we are looking at these people in terms of could we work with them for the rest of our lives? And do we believe in what they're doing? And do we believe in a long term relationship with them? And I'll talk more about that later. But so often we're told to grow, grow, grow, grow, grow, and there's such a focus on vanity metrics and there's such a focus on getting more and more and more. And I definitely made that mistake in the early
days. And now my focus and my intention is really on serving the right people. And that has, I know this sounds strange, but going deeper and focusing on depth versus width with my audience has 10 X'ed my business and 10 X'ed the impact that we've been able to create. And part of that is focusing on what I like to refer to as human marketing. I'm not sure if you're familiar with Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, but we always work with our clients on this and say if your business can satisfy one of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, you have a business that's built to last. And if you look at any business in the world, it generally satisfies at least one of those needs. Knowing that allows you to create marketing and to reach people in a way that touches them on a deeper level than just trying to learn a tactic and touching them on a level where they intrinsically and internally know that you're the right person for them to work with and to trust and to go on this journey with, as opposed to sort of meeting you at the surface and being like, eh, take it or leave it.
So when you focus on legacy, long term thinking, when you focus on depth and not width, and when you focus on tried and true in your business and bullet proof tactics and strategies as opposed to the next shiny thing, and just trying to focus on getting new people in the door at all times and growing your audience at all times, it really does change the game and makes your business easier and more joyful and more peaceful and more purposeful because you're not caught up in... I find it to be a losing battle of just trying to get more eyeballs on you. And you're more focused on taking those eyeballs and turning them into meaningful, long term relationships where you can really serve at the highest level. Rule number two, do not assume everyone is your ideal client. They just simply are not. And the more you are aware of who exactly your ideal client is and how we determine it, I've talked about this a lot in recent videos, is one ideal client, one specific place on their journey, and one specific transformation. Those three factors need to be detailed for us and they are in our business so that we know exactly who we should be working with and want to work with and can best serve to create the transformation they're seeking, as opposed to trying to help everybody, which unfortunately ultimately dilutes your impact. Because if you're trying to help all these different people at
all different places on their journey, you're then scattered and diversifying your attention, energy, and resources at a surface level, as opposed to really being able to hit the ground running as soon as somebody starts engaging you in a client relationship, and being able to really fast track and accelerate the process for them to get the results that they need and the transformation and outcome that they are seeking. So part of how we did this on a tactical level is we implemented an application system so that people need to apply in order to actually be vetted by us to make sure that we are doing you a service and you are doing us to service to make sure that we're actually the right fit. And we do say no more than we say yes or we say not yet, but that doesn't mean you're not going to be a great fit for us maybe at another date. We know it's about trust. We know it's about timing. And so
we put an application in place to make that change years ago and it's been, hands down, I think one of the best things that ever done in my business. And the other thing I will say too, is that when you're not clear on who you want to serve, you do end up accepting everyone. And when you do that, you often will paint red flags white. And I just think I've done this in dating, and it's not helpful to anybody. So you want to be really clear if there's a red flag that comes up for you when you're speaking to somebody and you think they could be a good fit for your program, but there's just something in you that goes, I don't know, listen to it, because you're not everyone's cup of tea and your program is not everybody's cup of tea and that's okay. It's better to cut ties before they get in the program before getting them in the program and going, oh gosh, you're not my ideal client rule.
Number three, don't rely on a warm audience. Woo. Okay. So early on in my business, my audience blew up a little bit by accident. Never intended to have a brand, a YouTube channel, a business like I do today. I've talked about this in many videos on my channel, but it happens. And my growth happened actually abnormally quickly in the early days of my business. And I just assumed, okay, well, these people are all asking me to create something and so I'll create something. And so I created a
program and sold it just to my warm audience. And I was like, oh my gosh, that's amazing. People bought, people bought in drove, that's unreal. And at that time, we didn't have an application process and it was like anybody could buy, and I learned a lot through that. And it was a really good program, but a warm audience is like a false positive because you get this false sense of confidence that you could sell anything to anybody, and everybody wants your stuff. No. A warm audience wants your stuff because they know I can trust you, and you've built that relationship, but warm audiences can fizzle out. And it's why a lot of launches can have this huge impact in the beginning, but then the launches that you do after for a product or a service fizzle and fade because your warm audience does get burnt out. And they're like, well, you've pitched me the same
thing nine million times. I'm not interested. So the true test of a business is knowing how to bring in new ideal clients on every single day. And I talked about this in depth in last week's video about YouTube and why YouTube is such a key factor in my business and bringing in new leads on autopilot and the right leads on autopilot. But if I could go back and tell my younger self that, major difference maker. And relying on a warm audience also sets
you up for failure because you don't actually know how to create consistency in what I've learned and what I work with. My clients on is understanding that there are really two modes to bringing in leads. You either have on demand, which is an immediate reaction. So it's things like emails, it's things like direct conversations with people. It's things like relationship building, it's things like Instagram, it's things like Facebook, it's things like LinkedIn. It's
all these on demand platforms. Not all of them, you don't have to do all of them. But you need to have some sort of lever you can pull that you immediately get a response from. Whereas YouTube is more of this evergreen, consistent, long game. And when you have both of them working in tandem, it really is this perfect alignment of being able to bring in new people and also convert people into being great clients for you, because you have proven ways to do that consistently. And that's really what business is. It's repeatable problems, repeatable solutions. You shouldn't be reinventing the wheel all the time. Rule number four, repeat yourself, often. So I have this huge insecurity and feeling like
I was just being so annoying in the early days of my business, but what I've learned, and there's actually been studies done on this that people need to hear your message at least seven times, it's called the rule of seven, before they actually make a buying decision. I've learned this over and over and over again. I've had people watch my master classes like 20 times, and every time they learn something new and every time it's as if it's a new training. And so I now know that because there's so much out there
and there's so much messaging coming at people, it's okay to just hammer home, who you are, what you do and you're messaging regularly because people need to hear it often in order for them to actually make a decision and go, oh right. That's what you do. You're the one I need to go to and work with on this. And truly, this is something I had to learn as well, if people don't want to hear it, let them go. You don't need people in your audience who don't care about what you do at all. Why would you want to keep people there who don't want to be there? It's like having people in your home who don't want to be there, get out. It's okay. We don't need to be friends. All good. I'm not for you. You're not for me. I actively remove people who are followers or email subscribers, etcetera, who are not engaged because it does more harm than good. It doesn't make sense to have people following you or in your
realm that aren't engaged in your content because it actually does a disservice to your marketing and does a disservice to your metrics at the end of the day. So knowing that it's okay to repeat yourself and it's not annoying, and it's actually really helpful for people is a complete shift that made a massive difference in my business. Rule number five is do create consistency. And this goes hand in hand with what I mentioned earlier in terms of there used to be a really big emphasis, and there still is in some ways, on creating a level of scarcity and urgency in marketing and in growing a business. It can lead to not having any
consistency month over month. And I have always looked at a business as a vehicle to create the life that you want to have and the impact that you want to have, and in order to do that, you can't constantly be stressed about where your next client is coming from. And so I made it my mission to make my business very consistent, and to know my numbers say, no, I've harped on this a lot, but knowing your numbers is what leads to consistency so that you know how many leads you need to have on a monthly basis, what does your traffic mean to look like? How many opt-ins do you need to have? What volume do you need? What are your necessary numbers? And I've created another video on this. So you can check out the description and also up here, but consistency creates a true business, and it creates an opportunity for you as the founder of the business, to elevate out of doing everything and being a solo-preneur, to being able to actually grow a team and being able to pay a team consistently and to move into a leadership position. So relying on the fundamentals and relying on my numbers to create that consistency and not relying on big pushes or surges at any time of the year has allowed me to create this business that feels very peaceful, and that I've been able to build a really solid team around without having to worry about what's going to happen next month, or what's going to happen next quarter. Because I am able to project it with a very wild amount of accuracy at this point with as much data as we have. So trust that when you're growing your business, paying attention to your data
actually allows you to create projections moving forward so that you know exactly what you're going to do on a monthly yearly basis. And you know how to grow on a monthly, yearly basis as well because you know your baseline of metrics that you have to work from. Create consistency as much as you can. It gets you off that hamster wheel of constantly trying to find the next client or the treadmills, I like to call it where you're just constantly sprinting, which led me to burnout in a big way, ended up in the hospital. I have a video on that too, and that's why I was so adamant about it. And a big part of that level of consistency is knowing the activities in my business that generate leads and not trying to do everything and not throwing spaghetti at the wall, but actually having proof and data to back up what works and what doesn't, which has allowed me to only focus on very few things in my business and very few platforms to generate that consistency as opposed to trying to do everything and spreading myself really thin. And I did really tackle that in last week's video, if you want to check it out.
Do focus on social proof, do not focus on vanity metrics. That's the next rule. Again, fell into this trap in the beginning of the business, thinking that the more followers I had, the more significant I was and the more that people would want to work with me. The reality is that I've learned the more results you have, the less selling you have to do. And the more proof you have, the more people will want to work with you. And it really doesn't matter how many followers you have. And if people are making a buying decision based on how many followers you have, they're probably not the people you want to work with anyways, because that's a surface level qualifier and an external qualifier, as opposed to that person going, oh, this person can actually get me the results I need. This business can get me the results I need.
That's what I'm buying into. I'm not buying into the brand or the person or the vanity metrics or the influence, I'm buying into the results. The reality is the more trust you have and the more authority that you build, which doesn't mean an audience, it simply means proving that you actually know what you're talking about, what you do, which you can do so easily using social media platforms, the less you have to market and sell. You just don't have to market so hard. And part of my whole business model is how can I do the absolute least while still making a really big impact and a really consistent income? And part of that has been knowing that it's not about the numbers in terms of audience size, it is about showing up for the people who are our ideal people, providing value, being generous, building relationships, really listening and being super intentional about everything that we do so that we are bringing the right people into our realm, who honestly, people are selfish, as we all are. I get it. And people want to buy into knowing that there's a benefit to them. So the more proof you have, the more trust you build, the more authority
you build, the more people are going to go, oh, you can help me? Okay. I want to work with you. Rule number seven, don't blame marketing. This is often the first thing that people blame in their business when things aren't working. And I, again, went very deep on this recently in a video,
which I will link below. Why this is so important is because if you have a very clear idea of things that lead up to marketing in a business, which as a reminder, you have to know what you're selling, so your offer. And then you need to know your ideal client, who you're actually serving, inside and out. And then your messaging becomes really clear, which is essentially your marketing. So it makes it very easy to convert people with a lot less effort in trying to reach too many people. From there, you know how to generate leads, because your messaging actually works, leads turn into sales, you know how to convert them. And then from there, once you have those five fundamental sorted, then you can build out a team in ops, our operations.
So marketing is generally not the problem. Generally, the problem is your offer may not be totally clear. And your ideal client most likely is the real issue, and you don't actually have the level of specificity of who you're trying to reach to make your marketing land. So whenever that comes up, that's the first thing that you really want to look at and tackle is do I really have that ideal client dialed in with those three specific factors that I always talk about? So one ideal client, one specific place on their journey seeking one specific transformation.
If those things aren't 1000% clear to you, and generally they always come back to your own story, so those three factors generally a mirror for your own story, it means that your messaging and marketing isn't going to land. So that's the first place to go. And prior to that is making sure is your offer really clear? Are you able to easily articulate what your offer does? And if you're not, how is your messaging ever going to reach the right people or land with the right people? So don't blame marketing, look at the factors before that to make your marketing work, if that makes sense. Rule number eight, do focus on relationships more than you focus on revenue. And it is very easy. I totally understand it when you are trying to get your business off the ground to only focus on the money, but if that is going to be your main focus and you're innately focused on that from the beginning, you're setting yourself up for a lot of stress. I
very naively, and this is almost embarrassing to admit, when I started my business, I really didn't think that much about the money. And I still don't really think that much about the money. I got into this for creating an impact and for creating a life on my own terms. Those are my two biggest factors. That I wanted to help people and serve people. And I wanted to build a
life the way that I wanted to build it. In doing that, it allowed me to really take my time with making sure that I understood the people that I wanted to help and how I wanted to help them. And yes, there were many bumps on the road and many mistakes made, but what I've learned today is that our business and something I'm really proud of in our business is that we really do take the time to try to build relationships with people. We are not trying to go
one to one. It's like one conversation or one email sent out and you got to buy right away. That's not how it works. Like I said, we approach everything with this long term mentality and this legacy mentality. And so if I'm getting into a marriage with you and I'm working with you as
a client of mine, an ideal client of mine, I want to be sure it's the right fit. And so our business is set up to actually speak to people and ensure that we are a good match. And if we're not, that's okay. But I would rather know that upfront before committing to,
quote unquote, marriage. Because of that as well, we follow up with people. If somebody isn't ready to work with us, we don't just forget about them. We follow up, we touch base. We nurture, we continue to provide free value because just because somebody isn't ready right now doesn't mean that they're not going to be ready in the future. And it doesn't mean we can't help them and support them in being in a place where they are ready, and helping them build out a game plan or helping them if they have an unsupported partner or spouse helping them tackle that as well. So it goes far beyond just trying to create a conversion. And it's really about creating conversation and relationships to build a lot of that trust. Because like I said, when people trust
you become the one that they want to work with. You're competing, not only for people's attention, you're competing with everything they have going on in their life, and you're competing with other companies out there. That's just the inevitability of being in a business. The best way to compete, I don't really like the word competition. I don't really seek people's competition, but the best way to compete is to out care and out value everybody else. It's pretty simple. Takes time, but that's also why you don't need a huge audience. Imagine you have an audience of millions of people that you're trying to convert,
no way you can really go deep with those people. So having an audience where you are super targeted, super intentional, you go really, really deep with people, and it makes a massive difference to the joy you can have in working with people and working with the right people and changing their lives, changing their businesses. Rule number nine, and hands down the most important rule, and the thing that I still am very much so trying to work on, and it's more of an emotional rule than it is a logistical analytical rule like a lot of what I talked about in this video and it's don't take it personally.
And when I say it, I mean everything. Because when you're doing any work that's important to you, you care a lot, probably way more than people think you do and things keep you up at night, small comments keep you up at night, small comments get to you. They can ruin your whole day. And it is a total journey for me to recognize and know that it has nothing to do with me. It is always a projection of whatever that individual is going through, but it doesn't mean that it doesn't affect me. So really knowing that nothing is personal, it's business, but you're human still so honor that and give yourself the grace to feel the way you need to feel and then move on. And don't let other people who don't know you
and their assumptions and their criticisms or whatever it is affect the truth of who you are, what you stand for and what you know your intentions and your purpose are. The more mature I've gotten and the older I've gotten and the longer I've been in this game, I've been an entrepreneur now for 14 years, which is fricking insane. Makes me feel very old. I started when I was 20 so do the math. But the older I've gotten, the more that I recognize that
the more I know who I am and the more confident I am in myself, the more self-awareness I have, which I do believe entrepreneurship is one of the best practices in self-awareness because it tells you a lot about who you are and what your weaknesses and your strengths are, the more you can handle and the more you can just be resilient and let things sort of bounce off of you. So other people's opinions really have nothing to do with me. And that is something that has become a golden rule for me and for my business, but I'd be lying if I said I was perfect at It. But the book that I recommend, if you need help with this is called The Four Agreements. It's a book that I read all the time. I've read it so many times over the years. And one of the rules is don't take it personally. So that would be the final rule that took my course from zero to millions, because at the end of the day, if I allowed my insecurity and myself doubt, and I allowed other people's opinions and their thoughts and the people who have never even done this or built a business or built an online course, get to me, I never would be where I am today. So I take everything with a grain of salt and I
trust my own experience. I trust my own mistakes. I trust my failures to learn from them. And it's allowed me to fail forward and to embrace mistakes and embrace failures to keep going. Whereas I think for some people it can break you and it can halt your entrepreneurial journey because it's way safer to not do this. It's way safer to just stay in your comfort zone and everything about being an entrepreneur and everything about building a business is wildly uncomfortable.
So that's why this is a golden rule for me. I need to know that I don't need to take things personally, because if I did, I would hide in a ball, in the fetal position and never do anything. And we wouldn't be doing this right now. So that would be sad. I know that was running the gamut of all of my nine rules, but all of these really are vitally important to how I've been able to take my business and my online course from zero all the way up to well past eight figures at this point, which again is still hard for me to wrap my head around. But I think it's also because I treat each day like it's the beginning. And I treat each day like I'm starting from zero because that's what keeps me excited. And I will still forever be that 20 year old
version of myself who is writing in my big black binder of dreams and being like, I just want to impact people. I want to teach people how to help people. Didn't know how I was going to do it or what I was going to do, and it's been quite the journey to get here, but staying the course and embracing the roller coaster has allowed me to be here today. So I hope that something from today's video was helpful to you. And if you're trying to figure out how do you actually take your skills or what you're good at and how do you make the impact that you want to make in the world, like I said, go to workwithsunny.com. All lowercase, type it into your browser. There's a link in the description below,
and I walk you through exactly how we're able to support people in doing that. And hopefully we can support you and actually talk to you, have a real conversation. So if you enjoyed this, give it a like, be sure to subscribe for new videos every single week.
And I've set up an entire playlist right here all about online course creation, marketing, selling, et cetera. So I hope you check it out and I will see you in the next one. Bye.