It’s going to be very hard for you to find a job. These were the words of my advisor when I went to the unemployment office after having been fired twice in a short period of time. I kept applying for positions I thought were a perfect fit but never got a reply. My hopes were down. In addition, I was still feeling the pain from my chronic illness. The thought of working a full-time job scared me.
When I read that the unemployment office helps people start their own business, I saw it as my chance. I quickly created a business plan for selling Icelandic design online. I did a three week start up course where I learned all the basics of setting up a business in Switzerland. However, when I ended the course, I started doubting my own idea.
Seven years have passed since then, and (spoiler!) I haven’t gone on to build an Icelandic design trading empire. I have done something better: I found my passion, entered my zone of genius and become a top female business coach.
In this episode of the Sigrun Show, I share how I finally found my calling and started scaling my online business to multiple seven figures, and the roadblocks and successes I experienced along the way. This is my story of how I went from unemployed to a selfmade millionaire.
With this episode, I want to inspire you to think bigger and take action. Make your dream come true.
What you will get out of this episode:
- How I got sick in 2010 and lost my job (3:49)
- My wake up call (13:37)
- Picking a business idea (18:16)
- Finding the right direction (27:17)
- How webinars became my thing (33:28)
- My money mindset issue (39:06)
- From my first sale to 6 figures in 12 months (41:48)
- Taking the next step: scaling my business (42:18)
- How the idea of SOMBA was born (48:32)
- My first live event (52:04)
- Big decisions: Working with a female coach and planning my own conference (55:37)
- Hiring my team (58:45)
- The next normal (1:03:37)
Do you want more inspiration for building your online business? Find out how I got from zero to six figures in 12 months and avoid making any mistakes by listening to the top 10 reasons why most online businesses fail.
How to Build an Online Business (and Scale It the Right Way)
I was making a good living doing one-on-one coaching, but I always knew that if I wanted to take my online business to the next level, I had to start scaling it. When I was a CEO, I remembered that the only way to grow a business was to hire more people. I swore to myself that if I ever started my own business, I wouldn’t want its growth to be dependent on the number of employees. I wanted the business itself to be scalable.
At the time, I had no idea that my own business would make multiple 7 figures one day. My goal had been to get to 6 figures and in March 2015, I reached that goal, exactly 12 months after my first sale. It was a huge milestone, but I knew that I had to take the next step. Constantly raising my prices or taking on more clients wasn’t going to be sustainable. What I had to do is scale. Here are the 7 stages I went through and you should too if you want to scale your business.
Stage 0: Research and testing
In stage zero, you get ideas how you could help your ideal client, who your ideal client is and what the ideal outcome of your work together is. You’re not earning any money yet in stage zero. You might do questionnaires or surveys, a focus group or test one-on-one clients. The key is to figure out what you’re eventually going to offer as a paid program.
Stage 1: Hourly and Project Stage
Take what you did in stage zero and charge for it. It’s scary to start charging for something you have done for free, so start with charging a price you feel comfortable with. The first thing I offered was one hour of business coaching for $180, and it took a while until I raised my price. Start documenting your process and get clearer on who your ideal client is.
Stage 2: First Small Groups
I was fully booked with one-on-ones and realised that I just couldn’t take on more clients. I understood that doing one-on-ones wasn’t really scalable. Group coaching had been on my mind for a while. I took what I did with my one-on-one clients and turned it into a group program, created a sales page, did some seeding in my free Facebook group and ended up selling 6 spots, 2 times. It opened my eyes: I was able to scale!
Stage 3: Entry Online Course
I launched more smaller group programs. There was no need to create tons of content. The groups were about helping people with whatever was going on in their business at the time. I focused on coaching in the moment. Launching a smaller online course like this helps you practice launching, creating a course and looking after a big group. It gives you the chance to improve your course before moving on to your big course.
Stage 4: Signature Course
When I sold out 4 group coaching programs, I told my business coach proudly that I just had my biggest launch ever. This is what he said to me: And you have nothing else to sell now? His words were a lightbulb moment for me. They made me come up with the idea for SOMBA – Sigrun’s Online MBA, a new one year program where I would teach women (and a few men) everything they need to know about online business. I’ve been running SOMBA for 3 years now. I’ve increased the price from $1000 to $3000 and my launches have grown from $50k to $575k. A signature program should be the key in your business. It’s your main revenue stream and what you are known for.
I told my business coach proudly that I sold out all my group programs and had my biggest launch ever. This is what he said to me: And you have nothing else to sell now?
Stage 5: Expand Portfolio
This is the stage in which you attract more advanced people in business because you’re becoming an authority in your niche. I advise you start doing mastermind groups. It’s a wonderful way of staying in touch with your ideal clients on a connected and deep level. I would always suggest that you have a level of group access where you’re still learning a lot about your client, and not just relying on selling online courses. This is also where you get super clear on your niche, tag line and branding.
Stage 6: Scaling Up
Now, your business should run like a machine. Automate more and more of your sales funnels and be omnipresent. Interviews, speaker engagements or virtual summits are great opportunities for you and your content to be seen. Build a great team to support you and only be involved where your input is really needed.
Are you inspired to grow and scale your own online business? If my story sparked any ideas or dreams in you, I would love to hear about them. You can follow and connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Free Live 5-Day Course: How to Succeed in the Next Normal in Online Business
On March 9, 2020 I decided to postpone my conference, the Selfmade Summit 2020, which was supposed to take place in Reykjavik, Iceland June 18-19, 2020. To make it up to ticket holders I decided to do a virtual summit this year plus add a mastermind day with the speakers to the Selfmade Summit in 2021. In the past 2 months we’ve all been flooded with virtual summits and the idea of doing yet another virtual summit sounded less and less appealing. Instead I want to do something much better – a 5 day course for FREE!
Over 5 days you’ll learn and implement strategies to succeed in the NEXT NORMAL in online business. We’ll also have all the speakers join us to share what they are doing to succeed during the crisis.
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