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How to Organically Grow Your Business Through Relationship Building with Shannon Mattern

Episode 25: How to Organically Grow Your Business Through Relationship Building with Shannon Mattern

How can relationship building help you organically grow your business? 

I can confidently say that the relationships that I have built over my five years of entrepreneurship have single handedly taken my business to the next level, but I think that relationship building is so often overlooked!

As online business owners, we are stuck behind our computers a lot of the time, and we don’t really think about the importance of this. My guest, Shannon Mattern, is joining me in this episode to talk all about why relationships are so important for growth.

Shannon Mattern teaches non-techie DIYers how to build a website and get found online, and she teaches web designers how to create profitable, sustainable, scalable web design businesses. Shannon is also the host of Pep Talks for Side Hustlers, a podcast that shares side-hustle success stories and advice to help listeners go from side-hustle to self-employed (without taking a pay cut)!

Shannon took her own side hustle and turned it into self-employment through consistency, persistence, and you guessed it – relationship building, so she is sharing so much value and advice in this episode for anyone who underestimates the power of these things!

In Today’s Episode We Discuss:

  • The importance and value of relationships
  • Transitioning out of a corporate job and into self-employment
  • What hard work looks like in an online business
  • Valuable tips and advice for relationship building
  • Why persistence and consistency is crucial
  • How to stop being a workaholic
  • Finding adjacent audiences
  • Putting trust into a team and new employees

If you are not already making relationship building a top priority, I highly suggest that you start to! This episode with Shannon is such a great reminder of the opportunities that will present themselves when you do that.

I encourage you to connect with her, check out her courses and also listen in to her podcast episode where she interviewed me! All of these are linked below for you to find and soak in!

Don’t forget that I started a brand new Facebook group for digital product creators called Digital Product Insiders. Whether you are new to digital products or you’re an existing digital product creator, this is for you! 

Resources Mentioned:

 

Speaker1: [00:00:00] Today, we’re talking about the power of relationships when building a business, it’s something that I think sometimes is overlooked because when you think of running an online business, you kind of think of yourself behind a computer. And a lot of times, too, we think, oh, we’ll just put up some like Facebook ads and we’ll get a bunch of people on our email list and we’ll grow a business. But really, one thing I can tell you, looking back over my five years of entrepreneurship, is relationships that I have built along the way have single handedly been the biggest catalyst in getting me to the next level. And today my guest is going to be talking to us all about that. Her name is Shannon Mattern, and she teaches non techie DIY buyers how to build a website and get found online. And she teaches web designers how to create profitable, sustainable, scalable Web design businesses. She’s the host of Pep Talks For Side Hustler’s, a podcast that shares side hustle, success stories and advice to help listeners go from side hustle to

Speaker1: [00:01:00] self-employed without taking a pay cut. So let’s jump right in and hear about Shannon’s entrepreneurial journey. You are listening to the Empowered Business podcast. I’m your host, Monica Froese, a mom of two and your secret weapon to creating a six figure digital product business. I’m on a mission to help 1000 women make 100000 dollars a year. That’s right. One hundred million dollars towards financial independence for women. As an online business expert, I am teaching you everything I know right here week after week so you can join us on the journey to one hundred million dollars. Sound good? Then let’s jump in. Shannon, welcome to the podcast. I’m so excited to have you.

Speaker3: [00:01:57] Thank you so much for having me.

Speaker1: [00:01:59] Yeah. So we have not talked for like two years, but it feels like it’s been like two months doesn’t it?

Speaker2: [00:02:05] I know. It’s crazy. Yeah, it really is.

Speaker1: [00:02:07] I was on your podcast at the end of twenty eighteen so before COVID and you were like, wait was that before or after covid. Because it’s like a blur the last issue of life and so much has changed. So I’m really excited to catch up and hear about where your business is at now and what’s going on. So I always like to start with your entrepreneurial journey, why you’re an entrepreneur, how it got started and where you are today.

Speaker3: [00:02:31] Yes, I think I was back in twenty fourteen, which seems like a lifetime ago now. I was just working my day job, hating my life, miserable. I mean, I really was just in a bad place just with my mindset. And I was sitting in my office one day and I was just like, I cannot do this for the rest of my life. I literally cannot do this. Groundhog Day. I made four more. There’s got to be something more out there for me. And I felt really guilty because I had an amazing job and full benefits.

Speaker2: [00:03:02] Like I was just like I should like this, I should be happy. And I was not very unfulfilled. And we can talk about like toxic work environments, but really it was like I had a bad attitude also. So I was not not part

Speaker2: [00:03:17] Of that whole piece of it. So I remember thinking, like, you know, I love part of my job. I was in marketing and it was like I was in charge of all of our websites. And I was like, I think I could do this on the side and get paid for it. And so I mentioned something. I think what happened was one of our vendors called and said, hey, who built your website? We’re looking for someone for WordPress. And we wanted to know who you use. And I was like, oh, I did this like, do you do sidewalk? And I’m like, yeah. So I got my first client.

Speaker1: [00:03:47] How did you learn how to build websites?

Speaker2: [00:03:50] It was really an on the job thing. I actually went to school for communications. I went to college, got a degree in communications. I had like one digital media design class and this was like in two thousand two. So we were coding back in the day. So I had that like baseline. And I remember graduating from college in December of 2002, right after September 11th happened. There were literally like no jobs. I was making lattes at the airport, which was my job in college, and I was like, I’m going to go back to school for an associate’s degree in digital media design so that I can, like, go get some kind of job doing web stuff way back then.

Speaker2: [00:04:30] And then I ended up getting an internship at the law firm my sister worked at a marketing department there, had to start a blog for the lawyers at that law firm. And so that’s when I kind of came on to WordPress and then got hooked because I was like, I can make this do anything I want, like anything I desire. Someone made a plug in for it and it just, like, hooked me. So I started solving business problems for my companies with WordPress. So I get this new job. It’s a nonprofit. I’m like, why don’t you guys have online event registration? Why don’t you guys have that? Why I started building all of this stuff for them. And that’s kind of really how that works. But that wasn’t my role. It was just the thing that they came to me to do. I had an executive role that had really nothing to do with that stuff but nonprofit you where a lot of hats.

Speaker2: [00:05:18] So, yeah, that’s kind of how that happened. And so you got your

Speaker1: [00:05:23] And so you got your first client. That was two thousand fourteen that you got your first client. Yeah. Interesting. I feel like. Do you remember this is going to be funny. Do you remember, it was probably in twenty sixteen because it was right when I was in the midst of quitting my corporate job, we got into like a pure mastermind, but it didn’t actually go anywhere. Do you remember that?

Speaker3: [00:05:43] Yeah, wasn’t it One Woman Shop?

Speaker1: [00:05:45] Oh is that where we met. OK.

Speaker2: [00:05:47]  It’s so funny and sharp and there was these weekly or not weekly but maybe monthly things. And I don’t know if I bowed out of it because I was like too overwhelmed or if it didn’t go somewhere. But yeah, we were together back in the early days because I remember going to email you to pitch you about something. I think maybe to come on my podcast and I always search my inbox. And I was like, we emailed back in twenty sixteen.

Speaker1: [00:06:11] Yeah. You know, it’s a lesson for people who are listening, in my opinion, about the people who I end up networking with now and that we helped promote each other are people I met in the beginning when we had nothing. We had no brand. We had like barely any presence, barely any email list. And now we’re collaborating years later, five years later, I’ve been on your podcast. You’ve been on mine. We’ve promoted each to things like the value of relationships. I, I actually in the beginning underestimated the importance of the value of relationships. I kind of pooh poohed corporate networking for similar reasons, probably because I was very unhappy. But my family is very much rooted in the stability of everything, you know, stability of a corporate job and get your MBA. And be a good little girl in your cubicle, and I felt similar to you, really awful about the fact that I hated it because I had a good job and a great job for the area I’m in. And I hated it. I hated everything about it. And because of that, I hated networking. So I thought that that’s how I feel in the online business. And then come to find out that when you love what you do, it’s actually much easier to network. So that was like you are doing freelance work two years before that even.

Speaker3: [00:07:20] Oh yeah. And it was a hot mess. It was a hot mess. I did not know how much to charge. I did not know how to hold boundaries. I’m working a day job. I’ve got clients calling me. I had gotten a few more clients just through saying, oh hey, funny story.

Speaker2: [00:07:35] Got this client. They’re like, oh, you do websites. I need some help. My dad needs help. And so tell people your web designer and you don’t have to market. You just it’s literally word of mouth but had no boundaries. I was so burnt out I was working twenty four, seven. I mean, truly. And I was working on my clients while I was at work, so I was like double stressed. It was nice because I was distracted from a job that I hated, but also it was just not a healthy place to be. And so I was like, WordPress is so easy. I do not want you calling me while I’m in a meeting so that I can change color for you. That shouldn’t be changed anyway.

Speaker2: [00:08:13] But that’s beside the point. I’m going to show you how to do this yourself. And that’s kind of where the idea of my five day website challenge came from. The DIY web design training was that I just wanted to show people how to do it themselves. There were no good resources online. Everything I had learned was from like lurking in forums, trial and error, afraid to ask questions because dudes on the Internet would just be like, you’re stupid. You should not ask that. How dare you ask a question like that and say that you’re building a website? I was just like,

Speaker1: [00:08:43] Oh, so you’re saying it was male dominated?

Speaker2: [00:08:46] It was male dominated. So I was like, I need to create a space for the rest of us who actually do want to help the other succeed and not cut them down when they ask a question.

Speaker1: [00:08:57] You’re very accurate in the sense that there was not much out there. I remember when I wanted to put Redefining Mom online in 2013, there was nothing about WordPress and WordPress. I mean, now I’ve been in there enough and I still actually don’t do much in there. That’s what I have a team for. But, you know, I’ve been in there enough that I can be like semi dangerous with figuring some things out. It is not intuitive when you first get in there and there was nothing online to make it like. Even so, and I am a I’m a pretty techie person and there was just nothing in twenty thirteen. I ended up hiring someone out of this is probably bad. Like what she charged me but I think it was like still like you said you didn’t know how to, what to charge. People search me for hundred dollars. And in hindsight now that I’ve been doing this long enough I’m like that’s why I was charging, my gosh, it was a steal for what she provided for me.

Speaker1: [00:09:45] But again, you, you and ger probably had no baseline for what you should be charging for it.

Speaker2: [00:09:51] I had no idea. I charged based on like here’s how much I make at my day job. Let me make sure that I’m covering taxes or whatever, and I’ll like up that hourly rate a little bit. I had no concept of like how many hours I had spent learning everything that I learned over eight years before of because my day job was paying me. I was just doing my job and no concept of all the time that I put in to build the expertise. I had no concept that it wasn’t easy for other people. I was like, this is easy. It’s so easy for me because I’ve been doing it for so long. And then also I had no concept of the fact that,

Speaker2: [00:10:26] Like, I am like this hybrid technical person so I can dove in and figure out the tech. But then I don’t think about it the way techie people think about it. I think about it and like the way I’m not going to explain to you how the engine is built to teach you how to drive the car. I’m just going to show you how to drive the car. And every other tutorial out there was like, well, you need to learn the difference between a plug in a widget. And I’m like, no, you really just point and click here and let’s get this done so you can move on to the business that you want to run and not become a web developer.

Speaker1: [00:10:58] This is very similar to how I am with ads, I think on ads on a different plane. You know what it is?

Speaker1: [00:11:02] We’re able to take a lot of information and regurgitate it in a user friendly way. That’s how I would describe because I remember following some of your WordPress tutorials back in the day, like before I could really hire people to do anything, to change anything. And they were very straightforward.

Speaker1: [00:11:17] I actually I think I learned Mailchimp from you. This is so funny, the things I’m remembering. And it was for it was the only job I took after corporate. It was like very short lived when I was like I couldn’t come to terms with the fact that I was not going to have a W2 paycheck anymore because it just seemed like really scary, of course. And that business used MailChimp. And I remember taking your course to learn MailChimp. OK, so that had been twenty sixteen.

Speaker1: [00:11:43] So you did get started pretty early with digital products, but the majority of your income for a long time because I used to read, I still really. Reports they’re great, by the way, we’ll link to them because, I mean, I think people love income reports and you do a monthly still, right? Yeah, yeah, you do a monthly for years. So I’ve read them for so long that I remember still a majority of your income was coming from being a service provider, having clients and not the digital product side. So I’d love to understand why. Why did you rely on clients for as long as you did versus moving more into pushing your digital products?

Speaker2: [00:12:20] So interesting that you ask that, because in the very beginning I was like, I’m done with clients, cut it off, build the free five day website challenge. Had no idea that it was a digital product. I was like, all I’m doing is affiliate marketing. I listen to Popline, I am doing affiliate marketing. The whole point of this training is to meet so that I can make commissions on hosting plugins, whatever, and I’m going to give it away for free and I’m going to make commissions on all of this. And that’s all I’m going to do. I’m not going to ever have a digital product. I’m never going to work with any other client ever again because that sucked and I’m burnt out and I can’t do it. And so what happened was people would take the free five day website challenge and then they get to like that, too, and be like, I don’t want to do this. Can I pay you to do this for me?

Speaker2: [00:13:04] And I’m like, no, you cannot. I don’t want to do it for anybody. I kept saying no. And then I had a business coach say,] Hey, Shannon, you’re leaving so much money on the table, you want to quit your day job, right? You could take on a few one on one clients and replace your paycheck and do that and build up the digital products side on the side of your one on one service business.

Speaker2: [00:13:28] And I was like, you’re right.

Speaker2: [00:13:30] So I went on a mission to fix my broken processes and figure out the boundaries and learn how to stand up for myself and learn how to tell the client what I was going to do for them instead of letting them tell me what they wanted me to do for them. So I flipped the whole power balance on it and became a consultant instead of a pixel pusher, which is what I was being before I was the order taking pixel pusher. So now I’m like, oh no, I’m the expert consultant and my prices are going up. They still were not anywhere where they needed to be, but it felt so scary for me.

Speaker2: [00:14:01] And this is how this is going to roll. And then for I mean, I still struggled, I still struggled with keeping clients on track and everything, but I refined and refined and refined. And then when I quit my day job, I knew, like, ok, I’ve got these big chunks of money coming in here. But then I’ve got like the affiliate revenue coming in over here. And those two things made up my business when I quit my day job.

Speaker1: [00:14:26] And when did you quit your day job?

Speaker2: [00:14:28] January second. Twenty eighteen.

Speaker1: [00:14:30] So you held out for a while?

 

Speaker2: [00:14:32] I did, yeah. 

Speaker1: [00:14:36]I think I remember I’m pretty sure it was you, didn’t used to do Facebook lives very early in the morning before you went into your corporate job.

Speaker2: [00:14:44] I’m sure for instance I was not consistent with that but yeah I did.

Speaker1: [00:14:47] You were a hustler I have to say. You hustled.

Speaker2: [00:14:52] I hated that job. I wanted out.

Speaker1: [00:14:55] I mean, you held on way longer than I did, which is…

Speaker2: [00:14:57] I did that out of fear, truly, and a commitment that I made to my husband. Like, we won’t see a dip in my income. I promise if I make this move that it will be seamless for us financially asset a really big goal for myself. I kept getting raises at my job right. So I turned my attitude around once I started kind of into this world of entrepreneurship and getting coaching. And I was like, oh, you know what? If I don’t hate my life all day, I’ll have actually energy for this job when I get home or so. As I started growing as an entrepreneur, I started getting promotions and raises. So they kept raising the bar for me at work.

Speaker2: [00:15:36] And that’s one of the reasons why I held out so long. I’m like now making six figures. Now I’ve got to make more in my business.

Speaker1: [00:15:43] So they know about your side job.

Speaker2: [00:15:45] The boss that I had when I quit knew about it. And I told her because she called me and I was like, this is it. This is the day I’m getting fired. I got called into the conference room. Right. And I walk in and I sit down and she was brand new. She had just taken over the CEO position like a month ago. And I’m like, yep, this is she’s calling like, I’m out. And she was like, hey, we want to give you a promotion. We want you to be in charge of like these departments in these teams. And I was like, I don’t know if I want to do that. I don’t know if I have this whole business on the side. And she was like, I’m also an entrepreneur. I own three other businesses.I feel like that’s such a great way for you to do your personal development. You’re doing all this great stuff and we want to benefit from it.

Speaker2: [00:16:25] And I was like, you are like the boss I’ve been searching for my whole life. I want to be when I grow up. And that’s also one of the reasons why I stayed. I have such a supportive boss who’s just like, go for it.

Speaker1: [00:16:39] Wow. Now, OK, that makes a lot more sense because I was in a corporate machine and there was so they could have cared less. Yeah. I had the entrepreneurial spirit or not. It was about the bottom line. I mean they were publicly traded to which, at the end of the day, you’re just you’re not even really a human.

Speaker3: [00:16:56] You’re not a human, you’re just a point on their payroll that goes to the bottom line for aline on the spreadsheet.

Speaker1: [00:17:02] Yeah.

Speaker2: [00:17:02] Which is which is actually

Speaker1: [00:17:04] Said, wait a few people. I will say that the way I run my business now and because I have employees is everything that I couldn’t stand about how I was treated in corporate. I like refused to do that to my employees. It’s actually a really great lesson in how not to treat people.

Speaker1: [00:17:20] Yep. OK, we talked about this before we started recording and one of the things that we were talking about was our backgrounds in having corporate type jobs, how that benefited us in entrepreneurship, like understanding how businesses work and the bottom line. Do you think you would be doing what you were doing if you hadn’t been in a corporate position?

Speaker2: [00:17:43] That is so interesting. I feel like one of the things that I brought with me was just like when you get to a certain level in corporate, you are fully responsible for yourself and your results. And you’re also responsible a lot of times for deciding what those results are going to be and then executing them. So, I mean, that just slid right on over. It’s my business. I was in charge of a five million dollar budget, going to the board of directors and arguing for why this five million dollar budget needs to be five million dollars, selecting our software and making the case for why we need to pay a million dollars to this company over the next five years to use our software. So I had this really big role and I don’t know if I would have kind of stayed in that lower level admin like Shalan. Here’s some work to do, get it done by whatever that I would have really had the full scope of what it takes to move from like solar service provider to CEO of my company.

Speaker2: [00:18:44] But also a lot of that stuff, like I didn’t learn on the job. I was just now like taking those skills and applying. I had to get like business coaching to bridge that

Speaker2: [00:18:54] Gap. You sort that out like you were.

Speaker2: [00:18:56] I started out because I was like, I am taking all the courses. I am copying all the successful people that I’m watching doing and I am not getting results.

Speaker2: [00:19:05] So I am missing something here.

Speaker2: [00:19:09] And the what I was missing was like, oh, here’s how you actually take a product to market. You don’t just make it because you think it’s a good idea and then get frustrated when it doesn’t sell. There is a process for that.

Speaker1: [00:19:21] This is very interesting. The last job I had in corporate was in marketing. I owned a multimillion dollar marketing budget responsible for taking in the money and spending it. And I had lots of pressure because they actually set it up. Genius marketing in that company was like the profit center because was distribution, tech distribution and margin super

Speaker1: [00:19:40] Low on the core side of the business. So they made it up in marketing funds.

Speaker1: [00:19:44] But the core

Speaker1: [00:19:45] Side of the business wanted to spend the

Speaker1: [00:19:46] Marketing funds and I

Speaker1: [00:19:48] Probably the one of the best things my last manager and corporate ever told me, as she said, treat your budget like you would your checking account.

Speaker1: [00:19:55] So I had

Speaker1: [00:19:56] Vps and directors breathing down my neck all the time to spend my money. And I was like,

Speaker2: [00:20:02] I have a profit

Speaker1: [00:20:03] Margin to hit and I have to

Speaker1: [00:20:04] Report the return on all

Speaker1: [00:20:06] This spend back to our vendors and I’m not going to be on the hook for looking bad. I had to get good at saying no to people in boardrooms like that job got me into boardrooms. I never expect it to be it. I would look around and be like, why am I sitting here? It was very weird, but it taught me how to basically run. It was like running a micro business inside of a really large corporation.

Speaker1: [00:20:27] And the thing

Speaker1: [00:20:28] You mentioned, something that really stuck out about when you get to a point in your career, you are accountable for your goals and for hitting

Speaker1: [00:20:36] Them. And that’s the

Speaker1: [00:20:37] Same thing for me. Like our managers were there to guide us, but if we weren’t going to perform, we weren’t going to perform. And there is a lot of people I see come into the online world this dream of like flexible schedules and stuff. And I’ve honestly never taken a flexible schedule to this year. So I’ve been doing this. I quit my corporate job in early 2016

Speaker1: [00:20:54] And

Speaker1: [00:20:55] I took off a couple of days ago impromptu.

Speaker1: [00:20:58] And it was the

Speaker1: [00:20:59] First time I’ve ever taken off a day impromptu like that wasn’t scheduled on the calendar that everyone was aware that I was taking it off. I’ve never taken those potential benefits of entrepreneurship because to me, I got where I am because I showed up and held myself accountable day after day. And this whole idea that you can just work in the fringe hours and I’m not saying no one does that like there are exceptions

Speaker1: [00:21:20] To every rule, but it’s

Speaker1: [00:21:21] Unfortunate. I feel like the advice that is put out there, this dream that’s put out there without the practicality of how to actually get there.

Speaker2: [00:21:30] Yeah, I worked my butt off to get here. And I also I mean,

Speaker2: [00:21:35] I

Speaker2: [00:21:36] Work a flexible schedule in that I can work from anywhere,

Speaker2: [00:21:40] Like,

Speaker2: [00:21:40] That’s the thing. And I know I crossed over into, like,

Speaker2: [00:21:43] Workaholic workaholism

Speaker2: [00:21:45] Or whatever you want to talk about. But I was like so passionate about what I was doing. I didn’t want to stop a lot of the time.

Speaker2: [00:21:51] But at the.

Speaker2: [00:21:52] Same time, it’s like, no, I actually like have a like an eight to five, nine to five schedule now that I’m self-employed because I want to be not working when my husband’s not working. And I want to be doing like nobody else in my life has this kind of arrangement where they can just do what they want when they want. So I model my business hours around when I can spend time with the people, but I show up for it every day. I’m like you saying that you just took a random Friday off that was unplanned.

Speaker2: [00:22:20] I’m like, but how

Speaker2: [00:22:22] Do I think that’s kind of where I’m like working towards? Right. I’m working towards building the structure underneath

Speaker2: [00:22:28] Of me so that I am doing all

Speaker2: [00:22:31] The things

Speaker2: [00:22:31] That I can do. Well, actually.

Speaker1: [00:22:33] So let’s talk about how this Friday was possible, because I don’t know actually where you stand right now on supporting your business. But I have two employees. We have tons of contractors that do various things. But I have like basically a right hand person, Hayley. She’s my operations manager and we’ve hired her an assistant operations assistant. And honestly, until and I’ve even had Hayley on payroll for two years. And yet it just  we’re at to a point now where when I said I’m not working today, she could take care of anything that came. And that’s why we have control issues and stuff and like that took two years of working with her to get to the point where we could get there. So what does it look like for you?

Speaker1: [00:23:10] Do you have help? I do.

Speaker2: [00:23:12] I have all contractors right now, online business manager who’s a

Speaker2: [00:23:16] Contractor, tech VA

Speaker2: [00:23:19] Contractor marketing the and then someone who’s a community manager. And I think at the time of this recording, we’re kind of looking for that like executive assistant right hand person. I don’t have any

Speaker2: [00:23:30] Employees I could I just haven’t,

Speaker2: [00:23:33] Like, kind of figured I have people that are I’m hiring that have their own businesses, that have other clients. And so I’m like not to the point where I’m like, OK, I need full time, but I’m working on the trust issues. Right. That’s my big piece of this is like I have been doing it for so long, the way that I do it and have like

Speaker2: [00:23:54] My own ways of doing

Speaker2: [00:23:56] Things. And I’m working on delegating in such a way that it’s not like that you’re disempowered to make decisions if you don’t ask me how to do it. That’s the piece that I’m working on right now. It’s just being like, I’m going to let go and empower

Speaker2: [00:24:11] You to do what you

Speaker2: [00:24:13] Do best, going to empower you to make I don’t even want to call it and mess it up or make a different decision than Iowa. And then we’ll talk about it after it’s done and I’ll reset my expectations.

Speaker1: [00:24:23] That is super

Speaker1: [00:24:24] Hard. I think we’re very much alike. I tell you what I actually think was the biggest turning point for me. Yes, I made a mistake higher in twenty twenty. I hired too high

Speaker1: [00:24:35] For what I was ready for. A big piece

Speaker1: [00:24:37] Of advice that goes around about hiring is that you as a leader, you come up with the solution and you hire for someone to execute on it. I did that wrong. I basically knew we had to pivot

Speaker1: [00:24:47] Last year, but was too

Speaker1: [00:24:49] Stuck in the daily grind of making sure that we were afloat with the revenue. And so she kind of got assigned to dream for my business and it was backwards. And then there got to a point where I was like, why did she always get to work on the stuff I want to work on? And it just got it was on me. It was completely on me. It was just I hired wrong and I came out of it with a little bit of PTSD because I always said when I was in corporate, I never wanted to manage people. I was an individual contributor there. I never wanted to be in middle management. Basically, I used to say, oh, I’m never going to follow the rules. I’m going to tell people if they’re dumb so I can’t manage people. And so I never did in corporate after that

Speaker1: [00:25:24] Experience, I didn’t

Speaker1: [00:25:27] Know why I was fighting myself in the fact that I like and I have a great relationship. It’s kind of like the visionary integrator. I’ve talked about traction a few

Speaker1: [00:25:34] Times in the book

Speaker1: [00:25:36] Direction, and I want to be very close with my integrator, be able to bounce anything off of them. But I don’t want to manage a big team. I do not. So when we hired our, her

Speaker1: [00:25:47] Assistant, she bought it.

Speaker1: [00:25:48] She did everything. The only

Speaker2: [00:25:50] Thing I did was the legal

Speaker1: [00:25:52] Side of things, working with the CPA and payroll and all of that. And it has changed my life because now we have

Speaker1: [00:25:59] Double the work

Speaker1: [00:26:00] Power going on and I am not

Speaker1: [00:26:01] Managing it. When I went to Jamaica

Speaker1: [00:26:03] Last week was the first time since twenty seventeen. I didn’t open my

Speaker1: [00:26:07] Computer for a week. Emails went

Speaker1: [00:26:08] Out, money

Speaker1: [00:26:09] Was made.

Speaker1: [00:26:09] I wasn’t involved in any of it. And if you had asked me that a year

Speaker1: [00:26:13] Ago, I would have told

Speaker1: [00:26:14] You you’re crazy. I’m never going to get to that point. I’m always going to be stressed out my business. I’m never going to get to take real time off.

Speaker1: [00:26:19] So for me,

Speaker1: [00:26:20] That was the turning point. If it gives you any hope that it’s possible for control freaks like us.

Speaker2: [00:26:25] It does. It does. And that’s like kind of the structure that I have with my OBM

Speaker2: [00:26:30] Now is like we meet, we come up

Speaker2: [00:26:32] With the projects and then she is accountable for making sure that the marketing VA executes. And and I put my brain into our processes and we work through that. And so I’ve known her for many, many years. And I was at this point of burnout after I did my summit back in February and I was talking to her and I was

Speaker2: [00:26:51] Like, we’re in a massive.

Speaker2: [00:26:52] Together and I like I’m just going to shut down half my business, like I’m literally going to go all in on the Web Designer Academy, I’m shutting down the podcast and shutting down the website marketing, shutting down the five day website challenge, which was like nothing

Speaker2: [00:27:05] I was like, and this

Speaker2: [00:27:06] Is all I’m going to do. And she’s like, you just need help, my love. And I would love to help you. And I’m like, What? Because I was like, it’s

Speaker2: [00:27:14] Perfect because she’s made

Speaker2: [00:27:16] For this for, like, all of that. So I was like,

Speaker2: [00:27:19] Ok, let’s talk.

Speaker2: [00:27:20] And we figured it out. And it’s like it’s somebody that I trust that I have seen do this work. And that was massive for me because I am working on my trust issues and my control issues. I was just in a three day

Speaker2: [00:27:34] Training, working on my

Speaker2: [00:27:36] Trust and control issues and business so that I can like I don’t want to be like a burnt out

Speaker2: [00:27:42] Millionaire. I want to be like

Speaker2: [00:27:43] A I’m

Speaker2: [00:27:44] Still going to work, don’t get me wrong. But I want to be

Speaker2: [00:27:47] Joyful and peaceful and calm and trust that everything’s going to happen the way that it needs to happen and develop people and grow people like my boss did for me and not be

Speaker2: [00:27:59] Like stressed all the

Speaker2: [00:28:01] Time. So that’s really what I’m working on because I’m like, what is this all for? If I’m going to hate my life again, am I going to recreate the same situation that I had before? Oh, wait, I’m the common denominator here.

Speaker1: [00:28:12] Honestly, I never, when we lived paycheck to

Speaker1: [00:28:16] Paycheck, I definitely

Speaker1: [00:28:17] Thought money,

Speaker1: [00:28:18] Happiness when I was that person

Speaker1: [00:28:20] And when I was constantly in debt and had tons of student loans, which I still have tons of student loans, which really do something about that. But I would have told you I thought money bought

Speaker1: [00:28:29] Happiness and then money

Speaker1: [00:28:30] Wasn’t so stressful anymore. And I was very unhappy. I was still very unhappy.

Speaker1: [00:28:35] And I got to that point. It was last

Speaker1: [00:28:37] September. I basically had my body started shouting at me like I start having back spasms and all this crazy stuff started happening. And I thought, oh,

Speaker1: [00:28:45] Maybe it’s like the stress of covid and but really it

Speaker1: [00:28:48] Was just my body saying, you’ve pushed yourself too far. And I was so unhappy and I remember my husband looking at me in December. I mean, this is just five months ago. And he’s like, what’s the point if you’re this miserable? And I was like, you know what? What is the point if I’m this

Speaker1: [00:29:02] Miserable and I really would

Speaker1: [00:29:03] Have rather shut down the business and to continue down a

Speaker1: [00:29:05] Path that

Speaker1: [00:29:07] Made me that unhappy. And so then I just

Speaker1: [00:29:09] Blew up everything

Speaker1: [00:29:10] And said, really true. And you’re like, I’m just going to shut everything down. But for you, getting help, like you didn’t have that help. Peace. I had the help peace. And I still felt like. And so that’s when I get to the conclusion that

Speaker1: [00:29:20] Revenue goals are

Speaker1: [00:29:21] Great to have and to work towards, but not at the sake of hating my life. I don’t want to be an unhappy millionaire either. That doesn’t interest me.

Speaker1: [00:29:30] I want to be happy. I have spent more

Speaker1: [00:29:32] Time with my kids in the last

Speaker1: [00:29:33] Five months than probably

Speaker1: [00:29:35] Ever before because I just decided I was chasing the wrong

Speaker1: [00:29:38] Thing. And it’s very liberating. Yeah.

Speaker1: [00:29:41] So, OK, tell me now

Speaker1: [00:29:42] You don’t do client work now.

Speaker1: [00:29:44] Ok, so you have digital products. Tell us what they are.

Speaker2: [00:29:48] Yeah. So I have my free five day website challenge that’s still going, still generates affiliate revenue.

Speaker2: [00:29:54] The revenue

Speaker2: [00:29:54] Is just

Speaker2: [00:29:55] Increased like crazy.

Speaker1: [00:29:56] And then you put a digital products that I think you still

Speaker1: [00:30:02] Sell the

Speaker1: [00:30:03] Triple dip

Speaker1: [00:30:04] Sales funnel. Yeah.

Speaker2: [00:30:05] So I had this idea to create templates because one of the reasons people would not complete my five day website challenge is that they were like, I don’t know how to design. I don’t have the eye for design, I don’t know what to say. So we put together I collaborated with a graphic designer to

Speaker2: [00:30:19] Create the

Speaker2: [00:30:19] Graphics and I did the like the page layout and then I had my website copy strategy guide. And so I put all that

Speaker2: [00:30:26] Together and here’s everything I teach

Speaker2: [00:30:27] You and the five day website

Speaker2: [00:30:29] Challenge done

Speaker2: [00:30:30] For you plus and strategy back end. Here’s everything I would have done for you if you were my one

Speaker2: [00:30:34] On one client and then

Speaker2: [00:30:36] Packaged all that up into a digital product, we call it, and snap. And then I use your strategy

Speaker2: [00:30:42] To

Speaker2: [00:30:43] Offer that.

Speaker1: [00:30:44] Awesome. You did tell us that your tablet. Yeah, you use the templates and that they worked.

Speaker2: [00:30:50] I am a web designer. I’m a web designer. I’m like, I do not want to design this. Like, I am literally just going to like buy this

Speaker2: [00:30:57] Strategy and

Speaker2: [00:30:58] System and just follow it step by step, because I don’t want to like, try to reinvent the wheel like test and change. I’m like, this is proven like, why am

Speaker2: [00:31:05] I going to go? Yeah.

Speaker1: [00:31:06] And you design websites, but sales funnels are different. They’re not the same. And I’m not a web designer by any means. Actually, we’ve really started up leveling our templates

Speaker1: [00:31:17] Because we, finally Hayley,

Speaker1: [00:31:18] Convinced me that we should hire actual designers to take my because I’m great at the tactical and strategy, but I just don’t have a design. I she’s like, we just need to take your brain and so we make it prettier. So we really started up leveling those website templates are a great thing to sell. So that went well for you when you started selling those templates?

Speaker2: [00:31:36] Oh, yeah. Like we made what did I say, like forty thousand dollars and twenty five or six months. And I don’t like where I live. I’m in Columbus, Ohio. That’s like a

Speaker2: [00:31:46] Normal and came like

Speaker2: [00:31:49] I’m just like what is happening. Why did I not do this five years ago.

Speaker2: [00:31:53] I had in twenty nineteen

Speaker1: [00:31:55] Or eighteen, I added a

Speaker1: [00:31:56] Seven color order bump to one of my really high churning mom products and made thirty four thousand seven dollars click the box at checkout.

Speaker1: [00:32:05] And I remember

Speaker1: [00:32:06] Thinking, I’m pretty sure that’s what I made when I started my corporate job. So that’s incredible. All the deposit at the check box, my checkout form is it’s almost like, whoa, that’s just crazy to

Speaker1: [00:32:17] Quantify

Speaker1: [00:32:18] That out, how one thing can just change so much. OK, so then you have that. But now you have this academy where you’re helping people build websites for other people. So you’re teaching, right?

Speaker2: [00:32:29] I am teaching web designers who already know how to build websites for other

Speaker2: [00:32:33] People to stop

Speaker2: [00:32:34] Undercharging over delivering so they can make sustainable

Speaker2: [00:32:38] Revenue and

Speaker2: [00:32:39] Also teaching them how to scale with their knowledge. Right. Like how to package up their intellectual property, whether that be a course or a pamphlet or

Speaker2: [00:32:46] Something that’s very siliciano

Speaker2: [00:32:48] Specific for their

Speaker2: [00:32:49] Ideal client in this whole

Speaker2: [00:32:51] Process

Speaker2: [00:32:52] Is your core offer is

Speaker2: [00:32:54] Like, yes, sure. For Web designers like I have two sides of my business that are like,

Speaker2: [00:32:59] You know, one’s for the

Speaker2: [00:33:00] Dimia and then the others for the web

Speaker2: [00:33:02] Designer

Speaker1: [00:33:04] I’m following now. So, OK, so the

Speaker1: [00:33:07] Designers, the challenge,

Speaker1: [00:33:08] You get the templates and the strategy. And then this is for people who are service providers.

Speaker2: [00:33:14] Yes. Yep. Watching them.

Speaker2: [00:33:15] All of the stuff that I messed up on in the early days, thickset

Speaker2: [00:33:19] Packaged it up, helping them

Speaker1: [00:33:21] Which side do you like more?

Speaker2: [00:33:23] Oh my gosh. I love to see the transformation, the web designer stuff. They’re both like near and dear. Like, I love to see a DIY

Speaker2: [00:33:30] Or take my training

Speaker2: [00:33:31] And go on to

Speaker2: [00:33:32] Build a million dollar business

Speaker2: [00:33:33] Because that

Speaker2: [00:33:33] Has happened. I mean, it’s crazy.

Speaker2: [00:33:36] And then I love to see the

Speaker2: [00:33:37] Web designers transform

Speaker2: [00:33:39] From, like I said, the pixel order taker to the collaborative expert consultant and like 10, 20 x their prices. That’s super rewarding to me as well. So they both are. I have

Speaker2: [00:33:50] Conflicts with it’s like you

Speaker2: [00:33:52] Have two kids and one’s your favorite sometimes and the other’s not like that’s how I

Speaker1: [00:33:55] Feel. I actually experience that. It’s actually very weird how how that happens. One day one kids just like so adorable and the other one’s on my nerves and the next day it’s like totally opposite. But that can also feel stressful sometimes to feel like because we pretty much sidelined redefining mom this year to focus on the digital product side because I felt like I couldn’t give my attention was to divide it so that I can also feel I’m sure you feel some stress around that sometimes.

Speaker2: [00:34:21] Sometimes I feel like

Speaker2: [00:34:23] After what is this?

Speaker2: [00:34:24] Twenty, twenty one. After six years after launching the free five day website challenge in like one year of that, like a snap funnel that kind of runs itself

Speaker2: [00:34:32] Like it’s self

Speaker2: [00:34:34] Driving traffic from all of the relationships and seeds that I’ve planted before. I have a team that answers to questions like that’s very like I don’t really do a whole lot with that. Most of my time is with the Web designer Academi right now. And then I have a third

Speaker2: [00:34:49] Child which teaches

Speaker2: [00:34:51] The the DIY hours how to actually get traffic to their website and that type of thing

Speaker1: [00:34:57] Is that, you

Speaker2: [00:34:58] Know, that’s been around for a while. It’s the website marketing lab. That’s the one that teaches them how to do it without

Speaker2: [00:35:03] Ads like about

Speaker1: [00:35:06] Ok, so that’s OK.

Speaker1: [00:35:07] I have two things.

Speaker1: [00:35:08] You have built your business. You mentioned this before. We start recording people now

Speaker1: [00:35:12] That I built I did have

Speaker1: [00:35:14] Organic traffic, but I built substantially with ads you have not built with

Speaker1: [00:35:17] Ads. You have

Speaker1: [00:35:18] Built this

Speaker1: [00:35:19] Business completely

Speaker1: [00:35:20] Organic. So now you’re helping people in your lab. What are the most popular methods? How do you teach people just like a high level, how to organically grow without ads,

Speaker2: [00:35:30] Literally relationship building,

Speaker1: [00:35:33] Networking, which is how we started this. We talk about the power of it.

Speaker2: [00:35:37] Yeah, I am like create a valuable I call sure. Where the freebie use it to

Speaker2: [00:35:42] Leverage building relationships with people who serve the audience that serve in a different way. So you’re not

Speaker2: [00:35:47] Competing.

Speaker2: [00:35:48] Go talk to people, make friends, build relationships, serve their audience. And there are so many different ways to do that. This is a situation, this

Speaker2: [00:35:56] Podcast, and do the work

Speaker2: [00:35:59] To find your people. And it all starts with like actually talking to people.

Speaker1: [00:36:05] So it’s essentially what people would coin in this world is GB’s joint ventures like you find adjacent audiences, people who would be interested in what you’re providing.

Speaker1: [00:36:14] But like you said, the person you’re partnering

Speaker1: [00:36:16] With doesn’t do the exact same thing, but their audience would be

Speaker1: [00:36:19] Interested in it. And you’ve just grown, which

Speaker1: [00:36:21] Funny enough, I talked about this at some point that actually before I really doubled down on ads, because we do run a lot of ads now before we really double

Speaker1: [00:36:29] Down. When my Pinterest

Speaker1: [00:36:30] Advertising course took off, it was right after my second daughter was

Speaker1: [00:36:34] Born. And it was a

Speaker1: [00:36:35] Series of JVs of other Pinterest influencers who didn’t want to talk about ads because the ads was like that for one thing no one wanted to touch. It was new on the

Speaker1: [00:36:43] Platform and they’re like perfect.

Speaker1: [00:36:44] People ask me about it, but I don’t want to talk to my audience about it. There were like three or four pretty heavily influenced

Speaker1: [00:36:50] Pinterest people

Speaker1: [00:36:51] Out there who had brought. In front of their audience, and I just did like many companies, and it exploded everything for me, which is essentially what you’re saying to do.

Speaker1: [00:37:01] I love that.

Speaker2: [00:37:02] And it was even like even more like less formal than a JV in the early days. It was like, oh, collaborate. Or it was always me going first, like with no expectation of them ever doing anything for me in return.

Speaker2: [00:37:15] Like, how

Speaker2: [00:37:15] Can I support you, how can I serve you?

Speaker2: [00:37:18] And then the natural

Speaker2: [00:37:19] Next step is, oh hey, I’m doing

Speaker2: [00:37:22] This. And then you’ve already

Speaker2: [00:37:23] Built trust with that person because you showed up, you follow

Speaker2: [00:37:26] Through, you served

Speaker2: [00:37:27] Their audience and now you’ve established some trust.

Speaker2: [00:37:31] And it’s just like life.

Speaker2: [00:37:34] Right. And it’s way more fun doing business

Speaker2: [00:37:36] With friends than

Speaker2: [00:37:38] Going it alone.

Speaker1: [00:37:39] So since you haven’t grown with ads, but I’ve been on your email list for at least five years,

Speaker1: [00:37:45] How big is your

Speaker1: [00:37:46] Email list? All organic.

Speaker2: [00:37:48] All organic. About eight thousand. I mean, I’m sure I could have and I called five thousand people off of it during the great GDP’s scare of twenty eighteen or whatever. But yeah, I mean I know it could be way bigger had I had the patience and understanding of

Speaker2: [00:38:05] How I needed to like

Speaker2: [00:38:07] Test ads and I just didn’t. I was like, oh it’s just put one dollar and three dollars out and that didn’t happen after spending twenty dollars. So this doesn’t work. I’m not going

Speaker2: [00:38:16] To do it. I’m going to go over here

Speaker2: [00:38:18] And build my list this way. I had no concept of like what it really takes to go through a process of validating your ads. And so I just opted out and went with what was easy for me and not what was uncomfortable to follow in my mind. Lower waste money on ads. I did not have the concept like, oh, you said earlier before we started. I’m paying for data right now.

Speaker1: [00:38:39] Yeah. I’m going to have a whole podcast episode coming up on this. I had to sort of

Speaker1: [00:38:43] Give a I called it a State

Speaker1: [00:38:45] Of the Union to my students because it just got to the point where people I felt like there’s too much unrealistic expectations of what ads can and cannot do for our business, especially when you’re new and you’re pixels aren’t seasoned, meaning like a pixel of the code you put on your website, it tracks. That’s how Facebook and Pinterest and all that

Speaker1: [00:39:03] Know what’s going on, who’s taking

Speaker1: [00:39:05] Action. It’s basically without that you

Speaker1: [00:39:07] Can’t run ads and people

Speaker1: [00:39:09] They’ll put a pixel on their site, no data. They haven’t given any data to Facebook or Pinterest yet. And they expect magic when they put a couple. I had someone put thirty dollars in and was upset that they got nothing in return. Them like thirty dollars is nothing. So I had to draw a hard line and say, listen, if you’re not willing to up front spend at least five hundred dollars, don’t even bother running ads.

Speaker1: [00:39:27] And that is

Speaker1: [00:39:28] Very low like some teachers would tell you thousand. But it was frustrating to see people think that it was just like you put up an ad and magic happens. It’s just not the way. But that goes to show we all have different strengths when we’re building businesses. And that didn’t resonate with you. You didn’t want to double down on it because it felt stressful to you if you went with something that felt more naturally and I just called my list down to fifty two thousand. I’ve probably had hundreds of thousands filter throughout the years. So it’s vastly different. Right? Someone would be like, oh she only if you have fifty two thousand but who cares because it’s about how we serve our audiences.

Speaker2: [00:40:02] Yeah. I mean like I collaborate with people who have five hundred people, I’m like that’s five hundred people I don’t know. And this person’s introducing me to them

Speaker2: [00:40:11] And their introduction builds trust

Speaker2: [00:40:14] With them. And I’ve gotten my best, like if

Speaker2: [00:40:17] I’m going to go for five hundred

Speakerw: [00:40:20] And then have someone join my academy at five thousand, ten thousand dollars from those, why would I

Speaker2: [00:40:25] Not do that? And that person

Speaker2: [00:40:26] Is going to have five thousand

Speaker2: [00:40:28] In two years and then ten thousand

Speaker2: [00:40:31] It’s just going to grow. So it’s not like a one and done like judge people by their audience size at the snapshot in time. It’s a long

Speaker2: [00:40:39] Term multiple

Speaker2: [00:40:41] Year thing.

Speaker2: [00:40:42] And just one more thing

Speaker2: [00:40:44] I wanted to

Speaker2: [00:40:44] Say.

Speaker2: [00:40:45] Like you went all in on that. I went all in on relationship building.

Speaker2: [00:40:48] We were

Speaker2: [00:40:49] Consistent. We stayed the course. We did not quit. Whatever you choose, we’ll work if you stop jumping around from thing to thing to thing, the moment that you don’t get the result that you expected.

Speaker1: [00:40:59] I just want to say, I think this is like my third or fourth episode.

Speaker1: [00:41:03] That consistency is been brought up

Speaker1: [00:41:05] And I actually follow coach. I watch her stories and she actually Pooh-pooh is consistency. She says it’s one of those fake things that you hear of how to run a successful business. And I actually appreciate people that have alternative viewpoints. I think it’s very I think actually the biggest thing we do wrong in the world is put ourselves in echo

Speaker1: [00:41:24] Chambers, like you get

Speaker1: [00:41:26] Into politics on Facebook, you get mad at the other side. You put yourself in an echo chamber. You only want to hear what you. But how do you grow and learn? Like I’ve always, always felt. So many people that don’t agree with me politically say, wow, I’ve had the best conversations with you. And I’m like, that’s because if I don’t understand where you’re coming from, like, how are we ever going to reach middle ground? I don’t even if I vehemently disagree with you, let’s have a conversation about it.

Speaker1: [00:41:48] And so

Speaker1: [00:41:48] It’s interesting to

Speaker1: [00:41:49] Watch her say,

Speaker1: [00:41:51] Like, you know, consistent. He is not important. It’s kind of a lie, but yet everyone I talked

Speaker1: [00:41:56] To that had

Speaker1: [00:41:57] Success online, we all go back to the showing up day in and day out, sticking with it, inconsistency. So I don’t have to explore, like, what you saying a little bit more, because it’s fascinating to me, because I don’t understand that. But I don’t know, like I agree with you on the consistency thing.

Speaker2: [00:42:12] Yeah. I’d be interested. Like, what is the thing? Because maybe the word we’re using

Speaker2: [00:42:16] Is not maybe she has a

Speaker2: [00:42:18] Different definition. I’d be. Yeah, I’m totally fascinated by other people’s viewpoints because it does it kind of cracks your brain open to be like, oh, now I know why I am going to keep this belief or I’m open to, like,

Speaker2: [00:42:31] Exploring what you’re saying.

Speaker1: [00:42:33] That’s how I feel. That’s why I can’t I can’t articulate it yet because it was still I just hit my stories a few times. And it’s funny, too, because you know what I find and this is I feel like a great life lesson when something triggers me.

Speaker1: [00:42:45] So like when she

Speaker1: [00:42:46] Said that, it kind of triggered me. It seemed it almost seemed kind of condescending. And I

Speaker1: [00:42:50] Have learned that that means

Speaker1: [00:42:52] I should pay

Speaker1: [00:42:52] Attention what I am triggered.

Speaker1: [00:42:54] And that is why I do have great political conversations with people I don’t agree with.

Speaker1: [00:42:57] Actually, more people

Speaker1: [00:42:59] In my life don’t agree with me politically than I do, which is kind of funny. But it’s because I just have this thirst for

Speaker1: [00:43:05] Understanding how

Speaker1: [00:43:06] We can, like, live in the same world and lots of times have very similar experiences but see things so differently. It’s like I ask the question, what am I missing? And it’s like, OK, if consistency isn’t important, then what am I missing? What could be better? Could might be better, could my business be better. Like, let’s figure this out. So I don’t know. Yeah well to circle back to that once I like actually dove into it some more and I don’t want to say who it is yet because

Speaker1: [00:43:30] Who knows if it could be

Speaker1: [00:43:31] Very misguided. But yeah, I don’t know, it’s just fascinating to hear. So many of my guests though say the same thing, that consistency is that important in there. And there is a sturdy OK, we went really long. I’m glad everyone’s still listening. We did this when I was on your show too. We could talk forever, but building a website is important for anyone who has an online business. So that means there’s got to be people listening who are interested and either probably both sides of your house building their own website or providing website services. So how do they find you,

Speaker2: [00:44:02] Shannon Mather and Dotcom. That’s where all the things are. So all the links to everything. You can go there.

Speaker1: [00:44:09] Ok, great. We will link to that and everything else we talked about in the show notes. So thank you so much for having this conversation with me. I really enjoyed it.

Speaker2: [00:44:16] Thank you so much for the opportunity. Me too.

Speaker1: [00:44:21] Thanks for tuning in to another episode of the Empowered Business podcast, Let’s Stay in Touch. I just opened a brand new Facebook group for digital product creators. Whether you are new to digital products or an existing digital product creator, our new Facebook group, Digital Product Insiders, is perfect for you. Head on over to Monica Froese dotcom forward slash group to join for free. See you here again next week.

 

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