In this episode, I share how to create your own “Business by Design” and breakdown James Wedmore’s signature online business program.
If you’ve ever wanted to build an online business around your expertise, there is no better time than now. But wanting to build an online business isn’t enough – there’s a lot that happens behind the scenes to make it happen.
For years, I struggled to sell online courses and coaching. While my writing business was thriving, I always wanted to help others as online courses literally changed my life. Not to mention, the e-learning space is BOOMING.
It wasn’t until my coach Jim Fortin told me to check out his friend’s program, Business by Design by James Wedmore. After doing a 2-day workshop with James, I knew I had found my online business mentor.
In this episode, I go in-depth explaining what it takes to sell online courses and what it’s like inside the most epic online business program ever created — Business by Design aka “BBD.”
Speaker 1 (00:00):
You are listening to episode number 94 of inspire your success podcast. On today’s episode, I go in depth about the number one program I’ve ever invested in to help grow my online business and give you some tangible takeaways from a seven figure mentor to help you crush it with online business coming up.
Speaker 2 (00:24):
Hi, I’m Michael Leonard and I built a full time online writing business that offers me the freedom to never go back to a cubicle and a nine to five if you’re like most people, you want to make more money to pay off debt, have more freedom, travel, and actually enjoy your life. Whether you want to earn $500 per month as a side hustle or scale writing business to five figures per month and quit your job. Making money as a writer has never been easier in this podcast. I want to inspire your success as a freelancer and show you how I 10 X my income in one year and made $20,000 in one month as a freelance writer. If I can do it, I know you can too. Thanks so much for being here.
Speaker 1 (01:08):
All right. Welcome back to inspire your success podcast. This is your host, Michael Leonard. And thank you again for being here. We are just getting started in June. Uh, it’s really just hard to believe, man, we’re almost halfway through the year and you know, hopefully for a lot of you, the world’s opening up again and uh, you’re starting to get back to normal life a little bit. And, uh, I know in Arizona here, uh, we, we did pretty well with it. We, we kind of started opening back up, uh, about two, three weeks ago and it’s been nice to go back to the gym and, uh, just have restaurants and bars open and uh, just get a little more socializing going. That was quite a bit of isolation there for a while. So hopefully you guys are feeling that as well and stayed safe and use that time, uh, to kind of move your life forward because I don’t know about you, but I mean, I hope that doesn’t ever happen again, but, uh, you know, if it does, hopefully you can learn from this last experience and try and make the best out of the maximum because, um, you know, for a lot of people, uh, it really was a time to reflect and to get quiet and to really learn about, uh, what they want out of life.
Speaker 1 (02:16):
You know, I talked to a lot of people that are like, uh, working at home for the first time ever, and they’re like, I don’t want to commute ever again. I don’t want to go back to a traditional job. I don’t, I don’t want to spend time away from my kids and, and people are kind of experiencing and thinking about life a little bit differently. So, you know, a lot of people are going to go right back to the same thing as they always have. Um, but I think a lot of people will kind of change it up and really make some quantum shifts in their life. So maybe you’re experiencing that right now. Um, you know, for me, I kind of had that shift about five years ago when I, when I really was like, man, I can’t keep doing this online or this, I’m working at a nine to five thing.
Speaker 1 (02:54):
I really wanted to start an online business. And that’s kind of when the seed got planted for. And so really this episode, um, know I want to talk about what it really takes to start an online business. Not so much even just with writing, but, um, you know, a lot of people have been coming to me lately and, and have an ideas and doing some consulting calls and just trying to figure out how you can actually make some money online. And so, um, you know, I’ve been in this space for, uh, three years, just as a full timer and then I probably been in it about two more years, so about five years since I really started messing around with online businesses and trying out different forms like e-commerce, drop shipping, blogging, podcasting, writing, uh, coaching, uh, all kinds of different ones. So I, I wanted to kind of go into that because I think that this is such a cool time right now and that it really has never been a better time to start an online business.
Speaker 1 (03:43):
So I want to share with you some of those, uh, biggest tips that I really have learned along the way. And I also wanted to give you really the best resource I can. Um, because again, I’m all about, uh, the Tony Robbins quote that success always leaves clues. And so, you know, and for me, I, I’ve tried to do it all on my own. I was just taking, uh, endless free content in buying, um, you know, cheap little courses and things like that and I was trying to figure it out and you know, for all a very long time, I really did not find very much success in the online business world. And it wasn’t really until 2018 that I actually was making consistent money online and have been ever since. But you know, I want to help you again, speed up success. That’s why you’re tuning in today wherever you’re at.
Speaker 1 (04:24):
And uh, I always want to provide really the best tips I can and the most value. So I want to take you back a little bit just to kind of show you where, where I got started because I think so many people, uh, kind of see, see someone already in it or maybe they feel like they’re, they’re really far ahead of them. Um, and I know I used to do that, right? I used to listen to podcasts and back, Oh gosh, I could never be there. I could never be doing this, or they’re so far ahead of me, or they’re, they already have an online business, but, um, you know, everyone had to start somewhere, right? So everyone started in a place where they were scared. They were nervous, they didn’t know what to do. They were feeling that imposter syndrome. Um, but they had a dream, right?
Speaker 1 (05:00):
And they had some sort of goal. And that’s exactly where I was. And, uh, again, like I said, for me, it really started like 2015, 2016, but in the beginning I was just a blogger. I was just trying to figure out this blogging thing. I wanted to make money with affiliates. Um, you know, I really didn’t have any of the foundations and systems that I have now, but I was really, I was working all the time and, uh, it really just didn’t work. And I, and I openly talk about how at the beginning of 2018, I really hit a low point and I was like, man, I have to uh, keep, you know, I have to try something different because if I keep going on the same path, I’m not going to be able to make it. And so that’s really when I pivoted to freelance writing, um, and was able to find a lot of success in that area.
Speaker 1 (05:43):
But one thing is that I never wanted to just be a freelance writer. My goal was always to have this brand that inspired the world. And while I absolutely love freelance writing, I think it’s the number one way to make money online. Um, I always wanted to have a brand like this. I always wanted to have a podcast, maybe a YouTube show, and really just a brand that, uh, helped others and hence the name inspire your success. So, you know, in 2018, 20, 19, I was having a lot of writing success. I was getting featured in big publications, making consistent money online and enjoying all that. But at the same time, I was also still working too much because I still was trying to get something going with my brand. I was trying to get this online course business set up and I was trying to get a podcast going and I was just doing all these other things.
Speaker 1 (06:28):
So the writing really helped it all come together. I mean, it literally was the glue. It funded all these other projects and side hustles and businesses. Um, but you know, at the end of the day I still struggled for years and years to really get any sort of brand going until last year. And then finally, last year we started to get some traction and uh, you know, a year ago it was just me solo preneur working a lot. Uh, half my time was spent on writing and other half of my time was spent on the, uh, the brand and trying to grow this thing and then also pursuing professional golf. I mean, it was, it was a busy time. And so, yeah, I had a lot of writing success. I still didn’t really hit anywhere near my, my goals for building a brand. So if you’re someone that you know is listening to this and you think, man, I would love to have some sort of online brand.
Speaker 1 (07:12):
Maybe you’re a yoga teacher, maybe you’re a fitness instructor, maybe just have a passion project that you want to bring to life and you want to have that online business that lets you work at home and have that freedom, you know, just know that you can do it and there’s so many ways to go about it. And so the biggest thing though for me is that I finally found a good coach. I finally found someone that could help me get there. So prior to, uh, last may, like I said, it was just me solopreneur. Fast forward a year later here, uh, I have a team of me and three other people. Um, I’m able to do the writing still as a side hustle. And now really the brand has taken off and that’s really where the most of my time is spent. So in under a year.
Speaker 1 (07:53):
Um, and really in the last six months specifically is when I started to see a lot of growth and I started to hire my first assistant and then she turned into my project manager. And now we have more people working and we have other freelancers and stuff. And so it’s pretty crazy to think what can happen in a year. And I’ve just learned so much stuff. Um, and it really all came from a guy named James Wedmore. So I wanted to talk a little bit about, uh, what I’ve learned from him. And James is a very, very successful entrepreneur. He’s been at this for 12 plus years in the online entrepreneurship. And so if you haven’t heard of him, I cannot suggest his content enough. Um, even as free content is amazing. And we’ll kind of talk about some of the other stuff that he does that I’ve been enrolled in now.
Speaker 1 (08:36):
But I can honestly say that when it comes to building an online business, there is no one that I would recommend more than James Wedmore. And he’s been just so successful. I mean he’s probably going to do a, you know, I think it was like the last launch, they did like a $5 million launch. This one, they’re coming up, it’s probably going to be double that. I mean, he has an unbelievable team of people. Uh, he really helps people create their business by design and that is exactly what his program’s called. And so, um, it was about a year ago I joined that and I was, again, I was making money as a writer, but I just could not figure out how to get all the other stuff. I didn’t know how to run webinars and build my email list and do all this other stuff.
Speaker 1 (09:15):
I was really, um, kinda all over the place. I was doing it all on myself. And, uh, you know, I kind of was hitting burnout sometimes. And so at the end of the day I would spend way more time on my writing business cause it’s actually paid off. Um, meanwhile my, uh, the other side of it, the podcast and all this other stuff is really just a hobby that costs money. And so I knew I needed some guidance. I needed a mentor to really kind of take me through it all. And so it was on my 32nd birthday actually, that I joined business by design. And, uh, it is by far the best online business program I have ever invested in. Um, I’m actually a part of his next, uh, next level of community, which is now it’s like a group coaching 12 month program.
Speaker 1 (09:55):
And, uh, I am just very, very grateful to have found such a wonderful community. And so you guys, if you want to learn how to really build an online business outside of just writing and you actually want to go out there and you have some sort of passion, you want to be a personal brand or you want to have an online course or you want to be a membership site owner and, and uh, sell your knowledge online with online courses, online coaching and stuff like that, this is the guy to help you. So James Wedmore again is the digital CEO. Um, he runs the mind your business podcast. I think they have like 7 million downloads. Um, 300 plus episodes got world-class gas, like Jim quick, Chris harder, uh, Jim Forton, so many more people. And so I really got involved with all of this stuff a year ago and it’s had a profound impact on me and my business.
Speaker 1 (10:46):
So if you are out there and you’re thinking, man, I would love to start an online business this year. Like maybe you listened to this and you’re not even into writing. I’ve had a lot of people kind of reach out and say, Hey, you’re just really inspirational. I love listening to it. Um, you, you have a great story and I love, love what you’re sharing. And so while I’m very grateful for that, I don’t want to just leave you hanging and just say, Hey, figure it out. Um, because again, there’s so much information out there. There’s a, there’s a lot of stuff. Some of it’s good, some of it’s not so good. Um, and there’s some good coaches and there’s some not so good coaches. But again, I’ve, I’ve spent probably close to $50,000 in the last three years of entrepreneurship. Just investing in myself from seminars, masterminds, courses, coaching, um, uh, personal development, all of that.
Speaker 1 (11:29):
So look, when it comes to spending money on yourself and really investing in yourself, it is going to be the best return you’ll ever going to get. But I always want to recommend people that I a hundred percent behind you. If you’ve ever really listened to the show, we’re close to a hundred episodes and I’ve never really given anyone the, uh, kudos to say, Hey, go follow them or go do this other than Jim Forton and James Wedmore. Those are really the only two that I suggest for the online business and kind of mindset stuff. Um, just because I’ve had so much personal transformation for them. And so, you know, again, if you feel like you have a skill and you’re ready to build that brand, um, this is really the time to do it. And I just would highly suggest that you look into all of their content.
Speaker 1 (12:13):
I’m going to link to a full review that I did of James, his business by design program. Uh, it’s a really in depth blog posts I just published last week. So I wanted to give people kind of an inside look as to how I grew a team, how I started creating a brand and, and really niche down and became a freelance writing expert in the process. So that actually kind of leads me to one of the biggest things is that if you want to build an online business, guys, I’m all for it. I think it’s the best and safest thing you could do. Um, the pandemic has definitely shown that we really don’t have anything safe anymore. The traditional nine to five is not a safe route. Um, the online business route is going to be probably a much safer one because even though the pandemic hit really not much change for me and a lot of other digital entrepreneurs that I know, but it all started because I niched down and I really became a freelance writer.
Speaker 1 (13:04):
And then I really became a freelance writing coach. So that’s the first thing I want to talk about is whatever you want to do when any niche, trust me there is a market for it, but I will say is all about having a niche. Because if you’re just starting out, maybe you’re brand new to online business and they’ve never done anything like this. The worst thing you can do is start off broad. And I am the biggest example of this because when I started this brand a few years ago, I chose the broadest name ever inspire your success. I mean, it’s just this blanket statement. Uh, it came from a good place, but again, it really wasn’t a niche. And so I struggled for a long time. I realized because I didn’t have a niche. And that’s why I see a lot of digital entrepreneurs suffer.
Speaker 1 (13:47):
And I see a lot of writers struggle with this as well. So one of the biggest things I’ve, I’ve learned from James and so many other successful people is to have a niche. So, you know, if you’re out there right now and you’re listening, um, get clear about what your niche is, you know, are you going to be the new, uh, leading a tennis coach, uh, and creating online programs around that? Are you going to be someone that teaches people how to speak on stage? Or are you going to teach someone how to be the best bookkeeper? I mean, literally whatever it is, there’s absolutely a niche from it. And I know that because I’ve been in this community with James and the business by design, um, alumni and I’ve seen people literally launch businesses that I never thought were possible. I mean, people literally helping others develop their inner psychic to people that are helping individuals.
Speaker 1 (14:37):
Um, grow a garden at home. If you live in an apartment, I mean, it’s literally the coolest thing to see people take their passion and turn it into a real online business and building a community around it. But the biggest thing I would say though is if you are, if this sounds like really something you’d love to do, you got to find a niche. If you try and be brought and please everyone, you’re going to please no one. And so the biggest thing is I, I think in what I’ve learned from James and so many other seven figure CEOs is that you gotta figure out why, where your zone of genius is and just stick with it and just keep going at that. So I would say that’s really one of the first things. And then, um, next Monday I’m actually gonna share a lot more lessons that I’ve learned from James because it’s been a, been a pretty crazy year of growth personally, financially, and business wise.
Speaker 1 (15:24):
But I think that’s one of the biggest things is, is first just choosing a niche. The second thing that I think is so, so important if you’re ready to start an online business is to stick with one thing. Now, when I got started, I think the first two years of entrepreneurship, I had anywhere from two to five online businesses going at once. I would have a YouTube channel. I would be flea market flipping, I’d have an eCommerce store, I would be blogging, I would be writing a, you know, I did a Shopify store. I mean I just did so much stuff and I never really found a ton of success because I was so scattered. So I just want to be honest with you guys running an online business, it takes work. I’m not going to say it’s just this magical thing where your computer and laptop is going to print money.
Speaker 1 (16:09):
That’s not the case. And you know what? If it was everyone would do it and it wouldn’t be special. But if you really want to succeed, you need to pick a niche and then you need to just stay consistent in that niche for three to six months. Let’s see it through, give it a chance to succeed. And it’s not to say, you know, if you don’t have 10,000 a month income by month six, you give it up. But it’s all about figuring out how you can grow and really become an expert in your market. And so many people just quit too early or they try and do everything, you know, they’re trying to do every side hustle they read about. And again, I’m guilty of this guys, I am speaking from experience so I would just want to help you always speed up success and I don’t want you wasting your precious time, um, trying all these things and then maybe failing and getting discouraged and just giving up entirely because there is a ton of opportunity out there.
Speaker 1 (16:59):
I have never seen cooler success stories come from being a digital entrepreneur, but it all starts from getting clear about who you’re serving and what your niche is and just staying consistent and not trying to do 16 things really good. Um, because especially if you’re working by yourself, if you’re a solopreneur, which everyone usually starts out that way, you can only do so much. You only have so much time and energy if you have a family, if you have a nine to five, you have all this other stuff, it’s going to be even harder. So again, get really good at one thing like master one social media platform, master one message, one thing that you’re really just harping on over and over again, and that’s how you’re going to start to stand out and really become an expert. So that way you can sell products and courses and coaching and all these other services.
Speaker 1 (17:45):
Um, but again, it doesn’t really happen instantly. It’s about getting clear, doing this. Really the kind of the third step to me is getting clear about what it is and doing some research and understanding this digital marketing space. There’s so much cool stuff out there. I mean, you can literally create a course tomorrow, um, in a day if you want it to and sell it the next day. I’m using a software or using PayPal. I mean, 10 years ago, if you tried to start an online business, that would have been so hard. I mean, you would have had to have all this, uh, just different software and try and sync it together. It would have just been a nightmare. But now, I mean, it’s amazing with lead pages and teachable and ClickFunnels and all these other software programs out there, you can literally get started quick, but you need to kind of figure out how it works a little bit.
Speaker 1 (18:33):
Start to test, you know, build an email list and start to, you know, create some contents or some social media. Just kind of figuring it out and not being afraid to fail. That’s really one of the biggest things I’ve found is that, you know, a lot of people have unbelievable skills and knowledge and they can share it with others and could really help other people, but they’re so scared of what people are going to think and that they really worry about the judgment and the fear of what people are going to say and they never really get started. So, um, you know, having that ability to just be like, Hey, you know what? This could fail, but I’m going to learn from it. Like if you start your online business with that philosophy, I’m not just say, Hey, failure doesn’t exist, then you’re going to have so much success because you’re going to use every quote unquote failure as a learning opportunity.
Speaker 1 (19:21):
So please do not go into it and say, I failed or this failed. No, everything is a learning opportunity. And that’s really what I started to learn from James, is that you’re just testing. Everything’s a big test. You’re testing videos, you’re testing ads, you’re testing podcast topics, testing, writing. You’re testing everything. And as long as you have the right growth mindset for all of this, you can absolutely succeed. Because with a growth mindset, you’re just going to say, Hey, you know, I learned from this. Here’s how I’m going to do it next time. Or here’s how I’m going to pivot. Here’s how I’m going to adapt. And that’s really where the greatness comes. So it doesn’t happen overnight. But man, if you see it through guys, I mean, I’m at three years now of being my own boss and finding the success that I’ve had is truly the most fulfilling thing I can ever really talk about.
Speaker 1 (20:08):
And I want you and everyone listening to have that kind of success. I mean, there’s no reason that you cannot succeed as an online digital CEO. Um, one of my favorite quotes that kind of guides me always is a quote by Jack Canfield and it’s, you were not given a dream without the capacity to fulfill it. So if you have a dream of running your own online business, it’s within you. Now, it’s not going to say it’s going to happen easy and it’s going to come right out. You’re going to have to learn and fail your way to success, but it can happen. So if you have that dream in there, just know that you can absolutely do this. So it turned into a little bit of a motivational Monday episode. But you know, I, I just get so fired up with this stuff guys, cause I know what it’s done for my life and I want you to have that whatever your goal is, I don’t want you to have my goals and then you know, everyone’s gonna have their own.
Speaker 1 (20:58):
But I just want you to know that if you niche down, you stay patient, you really focus on one thing. You keep learning, you, you, you’re okay with quote unquote failing and you just keep going. You can build your own online business. And again, there’s no one I’d recommend following more for this than James Wedmore. I have learned so much from this eight figure entrepreneur, um, and ultimately one of the kindest and most intelligent human beings I’ve ever had the privilege to work with. So, um, I linked to a blog post in these show notes. And if you’re someone that’s saying, wow, I really want to build an online business, I want that freedom. I want the ability to make money from my laptop and travel and spend time with my family and get paid to do something I’m good at and help others. Then business by design is really the number one program that I could not recommend enough.
Speaker 1 (21:48):
And so I’m going to link to it there and if you have any questions about it, James is opening enrollment later in June. It’s only open once a year. Um, it is by far the best online business course anyone has ever created. Like I said, I spent $50,000. Um, so I, I’ve taken a few courses, guys I know what’s good and what needs some work and um, you know, he’s again just uh, runs live events with these so you get to travel and, and uh, you know, when the world opens up again and stuff. Um, but yeah, I mean I, he’s taught me a lot and I’ve got to see people from worldwide work with him in every niche imaginable. I’m getting paid to just really teach others their skills. And so that’s what I want to see for you. I want to see you out there building a business that gives you the exact lifestyle that you want.
Speaker 1 (22:35):
I don’t want you to be confined to a desk or to a job you don’t like or being worried about student loan debt and credit card debt and all that other stuff that we get stuck with. So again, that is the number one recommendation that I’d have. So make sure to take a look in the show notes for that. And then if you are listening to this and you want some quick wins for your writing career, if you’re still thinking about writing and your thinking, um, that you are ready to go and maybe you just have been on the sidelines a little bit and need some fast action tips. I just created a brand new checklist, um, that you’re going to want to take a look at. So if you go to inspire your success.com, forward slash quick wins, um, I actually have a, a resource that you can download there and it will give you five ways that you can actually take action and get some quick wins in your writing business today.
Speaker 1 (23:28):
So again, make sure to go to that. It’s inspired your success.com forward slash quick wins and you can get access to that and you can really just get off the sidelines and get in the game. Because again, one of the biggest things I’ve learned from James and so many successful CEOs out there is that you can’t just sit on the sidelines forever. You really got to check in, get in the game. And like I keep saying, fail your way to success. So if you guys have any questions about business by design or really just anything about running a, your own online business, please always let me know. You can always email me [email protected] Um, I get every email over there and I just want to help you, uh, create that lifestyle and that freedom that you really deserve. Because like I said, the pandemic showed us that there is no better time to launch an online business and to share your gifts with the world. So everyone that’s listening, thank you again for sticking around, um, and just constantly showing up, uh, helping the show grow and please just stay safe. Uh, stay optimistic, stay positive, um, and just be a good human, uh, to all these other people with so much going on and stay positive and be that Ray of light. You can really do amazing things out there if you believe in yourself. So thanks again for listening and as always, I hope you have an Epic day.
Speaker 2 (24:47):
Thanks for listening to this episode of inspire your success podcast. If you’re the kind of person who likes to help others, please leave a positive review on iTunes so more people can learn about the show. Also, if you have any questions about freelancing, I’m here to assist. Please email [email protected] and may even use your question for a future episode topic, and if you want more inspiration and freelance writing tips to build your business, follow me on Instagram. My username is at, I am Michael Leonard. Finally, if you’re ready to learn how to make your first thousand dollars as a freelance writer, check out my free seven day [email protected] forward slash
Speaker 3 (25:30):
thanks again for listening.
Make Your First $1,000 as a Freelance Writer!
Enter your best email and hit "Lets Go" to grab my freelance writing cheat sheet. I'll send you my step-by-step formula to teach you how to build a writing business with no experience, make $5K+/month & work part-time.
- Episode 112: 7 Lessons From My Failed Blog - July 21, 2020
- Episode 109: 5 Ways to Upgrade Your Life During This Pandemic - July 13, 2020
- Episode 108 – From Dream Job at Google to Full-Time Medium Writer - July 9, 2020