And it’s been five months of ups and downs and wild rides.
For those of you just coming to the party, allow me to recap a few of the highlights:
1. Kim and I worked tirelessly to recruit the right Guest Mentors — folks we believed in, who had some status as experts or authorities, and who we felt could be beneficial to our contestants and to the overall marketing efforts.
Asking an A-lister to join your party is no small task. And there were many days we wondered if we’d ever be able to assemble the right “cast” of people.
2. Kim decided after much reflection to step down as co-producer. There just wasn’t enough time left in her schedule between family and pre-existing commitments. For her, it was the right decision.
3. I then decided — after a mini-meltdown and some reflection of my own — that I would continue this adventure. Thankfully, a team of volunteers stepped up to help me spread the word far and wide.
4. When we got to Round Two of applicant eliminations, it looked like we might not get enough video submissions to make a quality selection for Season One. Again, I contemplated throwing in the towel. Thankfully, more than 50% of those who made it to Round Two submitted their videos. Nothing like a nail biter at the 11th hour!
What most of you don’t know (or may have only guessed at), is that in the last month or so, I’ve also endured a bit of an identity crisis.
As with most crises, when you come through the other side, you see things in a totally new way.
For me, this meant changes in how I viewed my industry (marketing consultants, coaches and mentors) as a whole.
When I left the corporate marketing world many years ago, I thought I was done with deceptive practices, scare tactics and PR spin. After all, I’d drawn a line in the sand and told all prospective clients that I would only use my marketing powers for good.
Unfortunately, my perspective didn’t keep out bad clients, and a few years into my entrepreneurial adventure, I found myself taken advantage of to the tune of about $20,000. It hit me hard — probably more so mentally and spiritually than financially — and I thought I was done with self-employment for good.
But time heals all wounds and after a little over a year as an employee, I came to the realization that I made a much better business owner. I reconnected with what I loved about marketing and reinvented how I would deliver my services.
This time around, I began to build a location-independent operation (e.g. an online business). And that meant creating joint ventures and innovative programs with people I met on the interwebz.
This is part of how and why I decided to build Prosperity’s Kitchen — I knew that we needed a different way to deliver quality online business education and keep it accessible to as many people as possible. What’s not to love, right?
But anytime you involve other people in your project, you MUST be careful that you choose them for the right reasons. It’s not just about their reputation or how many Twitter followers they have. An Influencer (or an A-lister) can sometimes do more harm than good.
I began to understand why Erika Napoletano refused to be identified as one of our “experts.”
And the more I looked at everyone’s sales pages, the more I saw language and ideas repeated ad nauseum.
These were some of the things that sparked some ranty blog posts on Internet Marketing (i.e., The Un-Sexy Side of Internet Marketing; In Favor of Slow Marketing; The Elephant in the Online Training Room; and Warning! May be Hazardous to Your Business).
Don’t get me wrong, there are millions of fabulous people doing business on the internet. I know that not everyone who’s selling online courses falls into the “douche bag” category.
Unfortunately, for awhile, all I could see were the douche bags.
And THAT? Made me want to quit marketing for good.
I questioned myself and my purpose. I questioned whether I had anything new to add to what’s become a real echo chamber in the small biz online world.
I questioned the curriculum I’d already developed for Prosperity’s Kitchen.
I thought seriously (again) about throwing in the towel.
After all, I couldn’t change things NOW.
Time for an Alignment
I could see clearly that it was time to get the wheels on this bus all pointing in the right direction. I just wasn’t sure I could pull it off.
Epiphanies can mess with your head sometimes. They can make you doubt yourself and your intended destination.
That was certainly the case with me.
But after spilling my guts to my mastermind group (and answering a gazillion questions), clarity arrived in a simple realization: I’m the only one driving this particular bus.
I can decide who rides and who doesn’t. And I can make sure the destination is one that I really believe in.
My Promise to You
The Prosperity’s Kitchen program will happen. We’ve all come too far and worked too hard to give up now.
But there will have to be some changes. To the curriculum. And to the line-up.
What you learn here will NOT be something that helps you build 10,000 fans or create an effortless six-figure success.
There will be no insider secrets revealed. No tips on how to “game the system” or turn your website into a “cash machine.”
You also won’t be asked to do anything that isn’t in alignment with who YOU are.
Your business success will remain firmly in your own hands — where it’s always been anyway.
You will have to make changes and take action — not just download PDFs and watch videos.
You will have to push beyond your comfort zone and challenge your own expectations and ideas about what’s possible for you.
You will have to focus on what matters and spend the time and do the work.
And I will be here to guide you and help you find your way. Myself and the mentors will be here to encourage you and ask you the right questions.
And if you stick with it — if you follow through on your commitments and the advice — you will see results.
Until We Meet in January
Take a close look at your personal values. If you’re not feeling enthusiastic about something in your business, that’s a pretty good indicator that your wheels are out of alignment.
Take some time and just set it all down for a day or two. Create some space in your head to consider the coming year.
What parts of what you’re doing feel crappy? What do you wish you could give up? What would you like to quit doing?
You CAN give that stuff up. How do I know? Because you’re the one driving your business.
You have the power, so own it.
Let’s all recommit to building a business that fits our ideals and not someone else’s, okay?
I’m ready and willing. Are you?