When you run an online business, you really do need to roll with the punches. The online space saw more changes in 2021 than in the previous five years before. Crazy right?! Businesses were thrown for a loop and scrambling to determine their next move.
Needless to say, being flexible in your business and willing to pivot when needed is a vital trait to have if you want to be successful in business these days. In this episode of the Empowered Business podcast, I brought on my very first business coach, Megan Flatt, to talk about finding success through pivoting.
Megan Flatt is the CEO of Let’s Collective, a business growth strategy firm devoted to making entrepreneurship easier. She is also the founder of Focus Sessions, a virtual coworking and accountability membership to get your most important work done. Let’s Collective’s mission is to help small businesses scale without burning out through strategic planning, revenue-focused decisions, and science-backed accountability.
Megan is obsessed with lattes, post-it notes and helping women make money. When not doing that, she’s hanging with her husband and two kids, probably near the water, in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Megan knows first-hand the impact that you can have on your business by being open to new ideas and not being afraid to learn something new and go for it. It is so important as an online business owner that you can shift into something new when what you’re doing doesn’t work anymore.
Megan has always been an inspiration to me and someone I could turn to when I needed a sounding board for my business. I hope that this episode has brought you some inspiration and actionable tips that you can apply to your online business today.
Ready to learn how to find a digital product that will resonate with your audience, outline a customer journey that will make your customers love you, and build an offer that your audience can’t refuse? Make sure to check out my free training, Digital Product Dash Live!
Head over to http://monicafroese.com/listen to listen to this episode and previous episodes on your favorite podcast platform!
Monica Froese 00:04
You’re 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 $100,000 a year. That’s right $100 million 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 $100 million dollars. Sound good, then let’s jump in. Welcome back to another episode of the Empowered Business Podcast. Today I’m talking to a good friend of mine, and my very first business coach in the online space. And that is Megan Flatt. And Megan has been a business coach for many, many years. And she helps me get my business off the ground. She’s a wealth of knowledge. But today we’re talking about something pretty interesting. And something that I’ve been recently pretty obsessed about, which is different business models. And this idea of pivoting, especially in the midst of all the craziness going on in the world. I mean, I would argue and perhaps I should do an episode on this sometime soon, that the online space, saw more changes in 2021. Then in the previous five years before, I mean, just so many things changed. And if you think about it, it makes sense because really, a lot of our behaviors have changed due to the circumstances in the world. And this conversation is great, because Megan made the majority of her money throughout the years selling high ticket programs, she sold one on one coaching and group masterminds, both of which I did both were phenomenal. And the thing about that is it’s a very different model than recurring revenue, subscription based models, which I’m also obsessed with. And she just, it really uses a different part of your brain. Basically, to sell two different you have to sell two different ways. When you’re selling high ticket, you really need to be involved in that sales process and you’re often selling yourself. But when you’re selling a subscription, lower price kind of churn and burn a little bit. It’s a very different. It’s just a very different model. And we’re gonna talk all about that today because she made a huge pivot in 2021. So let me tell you a little bit about who Megan flat is. She is the CEO of let’s collective, a business growth strategy firm devoted to making entrepreneurship easier. She’s also the founder of focus sessions, a virtual co working and accountability membership to get your most important work done. Let’s Collective’s mission is to help small businesses scale without burning out through strategic planning, revenue, focus decisions, and science backed accountability. Megan is obsessed with lattes, post it notes Oh, yes, I got my love of post it notes from her and helping women make money. So it seems like we might have a lot in common. Alright, so let’s dive right in and start talking to Megan. Megan, welcome to the Empowered business podcast. I am thrilled to have you here. It’s always a pleasure when we get to talk.
Megan Flatt 03:22
I am so thrilled to be here. Monica, thank you for having me.
Monica Froese 03:25
Oh, of course in for context, I always like to give context for people listening. They know that a lot of my guests, I have some sort of history with and you are no exception. You are my very first business coach in the business. Like once I became full time in the business, you were the first business coach I ever had, which is kind of like really fun.
Megan Flatt 03:43
I love it. I love it. It’s it’s my favorite thing to do. I feel like you know, mother hen, like, it’s my favorite thing to do to just watch my former clients Excel, and just see them take off and their businesses take off. And for me to then start to learn from them. It’s amazing. So you, you’ve been really fun.
Monica Froese 04:02
The connections to I will say some of my actually one of my very best friends Layne. I met in your mastermind,
Megan Flatt 04:09
I love that. And that also is my favorite thing. And I see that I see people meeting up and you know, everything we do is virtual, even pre COVID. Everything we were doing was virtual. And so then to see people meeting up in real life and you know, photos of their kids, I’m like, Oh my gosh, like I have some small part in that. It’s really it’s really heartwarming.
Monica Froese 04:28
Oh, my goodness. And I think I’m actually so many people in your mastermind that still connect with me in different capacities. I’ve always been a very big proponent in leveraging, like, it’s not just about the programs you join. It’s also about the people that you meet and not to…
Megan Flatt 04:43
Monica Froese 04:44
Underistmate that and like you you have formulated over the years. I feel like really great groups of women. So thank you for that.
Megan Flatt 04:51
Thank you. Thanks. It’s really it’s really important to me, it’s really important to me to not just and you know, this will we’ll go into all of the things that we’re talking about today but but it’s really important to me, I don’t, I realized and again, that will go into this when we talk about pivoting and scaling. Like, I realized that my options for scaling a mastermind, we’re gonna make it really personal. And it’s totally fine. And those, and that business model works. And it’s a great business model, and it’s totally fine. And I realized it wasn’t the business model that I wanted to run. You know, I wanted to run a group where people found their best friends.
Monica Froese 05:25
Yeah. Oh, my goodness. Okay. Yeah. So let’s kick off with the question I always asked in the beginning. Yes. Tell us about your entrepreneurial journey. How did you become an entrepreneur? And what are you doing today?
Megan Flatt 05:34
So my story is, you know, a little bit different, maybe not different, but different than yours is to where I’ve actually always been an entrepreneur. So I’ve never been in corporate America, I’ve never had a boss. I’ve never I mean, that’s not entirely true. But, but really, I’ve always been an entrepreneur. So you know, my jobs in high school. I, you know, was a lifeguard. And so in those situations, I had I, you know, I maybe had a boss or had more of a workplace setting. But right from the beginning, even in high school, I started teaching dance, I started teaching swim lessons into college, I continued those things. And so I’ve always kind of done things. Even when I was working at a, you know, fitness, this I, I was personal trainer. So even when I was working at a gym, whether I was personal training or, or teaching swim lessons, or teaching dance, it was always very entrepreneurial, I was coming up with my own programs, I was setting my own schedule, I was setting my own pricing, even if I was under the umbrella of something else. And I’ve been a personal trainer for almost 20 years, and I was working with pre and postnatal women. That was my expertise, my area of expertise in the fitness industry. That’s what my college, my college degree is in Nutrition and Exercise Science. So it was while I was working with these women that were at these transition points in their lives, they a lot of my clients, where I lived, the type of gym I work at, I was getting really high powered executive women that had Ivy League degrees that had huge careers that had all of this, and then they were having babies, and they were making this decision, like what do I do now? Do I give up on my career? Do I give up on you know, everything I’ve worked so hard for? And stay home with my kids? Or do I go back to work and you know, get a nanny and daycare and do that whole juggle? And so we really I always joke, it was the it was the conversations we were having, you know, between the bicep curls, because I had been an entrepreneur my whole life that I started having conversations with these women like, well, what if? What if you could do a hybrid? What if you could be home with your kids more of the time or all of the time? What if you could use the skills and talents that you have that you’re using in a corporate setting and you know, do something for yourself and I will never forget the day and she’s still a client to this day, I will never forget the day when one of my clients, I would go to their houses. And she opened the door and she was wearing you know, street clothes, not not workout clothes. And I thought oh, like I must have gotten the day wrong. I must not you know, and she said, she said can you come in? Can we just sit at my kitchen table and talk about my business instead of working out today? And I went and she’s like, you know, I’ll pay I’ll still pay you. And I went, Oh, yes, we can. And so that was that’s kind of the you know, the start of my entrepreneurial journey was like, Oh, just like I was helping people with their fitness. People wanted help. It’s all the same. I use the fitness analogy all the time. You know, it’s like people wanted help, like setting goals, setting up plans. And so, so that’s kind of where I started. And that was, gosh, I can’t even like I literally can’t remember right now. 20 some maybe 2010 So more than 20, yeah.
Monica Froese 08:47
Okay, so eventually that the way like when I joined when I started coaching with you, I want to join your mastermind it was like the mama CEO. So you’re very like mirroring How do you bring together your mother, your mom life and your home life and your business life? And how do you like holistically plan and that was what it was? Now that was probably around like 2015 2016 window and that lasted for a while. A few years? I wrote
Megan Flatt 09:11
Oh, no. For a long time. Yeah, for a long time. Yeah.
Monica Froese 09:14
And then you rebrand it into let’s collective. And I feel like that was almost shortlived is, or is it still thing? Talk to us about that pivot? Right?
Megan Flatt 09:23
Yes. Okay, so this brings us to 2020. This brings us to March of 2020. And when I foolishly thought and I thought I was so smug because my kids were out from school, you know that they closed schools for two weeks. And I was so smug because because we had the way the closures worked was we had they said schools were going to be closed for two weeks. Then they were going to be back in school for a week and then it was spring break. It was gonna be the week of spring break and I was like you just watched they’re going to be out of school for four weeks and we’re not going to go back until because I thought I was so smug. Little did I know where where we be and what we do. But I had been thinking a lot about the mama CEO, brand and kind of what was happening with like the mompreneur kind of hashtag, for lack of a better a better word. And like, where that was headed, and what types of businesses were kind of focusing around that. And I was looking at my current clients, as every year my clients like, like you, my clients got more and more advanced, their businesses got bigger and bigger and bigger, they were making more and more money, they were hiring employees, they were, you know, they were renting buildings, and you’re doing all of these things. And they weren’t really identifying as mama CEOs anymore. They were identifying as women who owned businesses, who also have children. And the second thing that was happening was I was really wanting to be more inclusive, I was wanting to use more inclusive language, I was wanting to make sure that I was a safe welcoming space for all sorts of different types of people. And it was really hard to do that with the language of mama, you know, so heavily ingrained in my brand. And so it was, you know, end of March, April of 2020. And I thought, Oh, this is the perfect time to do a little facelift, right? And it always starts out as just a little, it didn’t start out as a rebrand, right? It was like, Oh, the website hasn’t been updated in a while, let’s take this time where, you know, things are a little bit, you know, we’re offline a little bit and things are a little bit chaotic. Let’s just do a little refresh. Let’s refresh the copy, let’s refresh. And then that of course, then ballooned into this whole design, or this whole rebrand and, and it was like, Okay, well, now we’re renaming now we’re doing a new logo, this whole thing. So and that’s where it let’s collective came. And I still feel like women who run businesses, and people who are socialized to be women or feel comfortable in that space, are still my ideal client that are running businesses while also, raising families or doing other things that pull their time and they want to be able to have that flexible schedule. That’s the other thing that happened to me was in 2019, both of my parents independently had medical events happen. And both times I was able to pack up my laptop and go help my parents. And so I saw that happening for myself. And for my clients, too. It’s not just about babies anymore. It’s it’s all of the things that are important to us in our lives. So that’s kind of a long answer to where the pivot came from.
Monica Froese 12:40
That’s very good context, because so let’s collective still at its basis, though, was to form mastermind groups. It just wasn’t based in the mama…
Megan Flatt 12:50
The mama space. Yeah, yeah. The language. Yeah.
Monica Froese 12:54
but spoiler alert, it was sort of short lived, right? Because then you had another child that you birth, another brainchild to birth, which is…
Megan Flatt 13:03
Focus sessions. Okay. So and we’ve gone around and around about focus sessions too. And kind of this question that you’re asking like, is let’s collective still around what’s happening. And so basically, again, jumping to the end of the story, and then we’ll come back and spend a lot of time talking about focus sessions is that let’s collective absolutely still isn’t around. And you know, kind of jumping to the end of the story. Let’s Collective is basically the parent company. So let’s collective. Our motto at let’s Collective is we make entrepreneurship easier. And we make entrepreneurship easier by helping our clients make revenue focused decisions, we help our clients make strategic plans. And we help our clients with science backed accountability.
Monica Froese 13:47
And this is in the form of mastermind groups?
Megan Flatt 13:49
Right now. And again, because of what’s happened in 2020. And what’s happened in 2021, I was I continued to run my masterminds through 2020, and into 2021, into the spring of 2021, I was still running groups. And then as it came around time, we launched focus sessions. I’m jumping around a little bit, but hopefully it’ll all gel back together. We launched focus sessions in June of 2021. And we’ll talk about that and kind of what that is, and scaling that. And so in fall of 2021, I was kind of deciding, okay, am I going to keep running my masterminds? Am I going to keep running these group programs. And what I was seeing with my clients with all the changes that were happening in the landscape in the world, in especially, my clients are a mix of, you know, in person, brick and mortar businesses and online businesses. But what was happening with everyone’s business was everyone was just really feeling and frankly, people’s just brainpower and bandwidth. People were really feeling like they just needed one on one support. And so for me, that was also the easiest. It’s a lot more flexible to offer. One on one business coaching, than putting together specific masterminds and having a launch date. It’s start on this date it ends on this date. So I decided for the fall to only offer one on one coaching. And I only offered it to my past clients. And I basically sent, I basically sent an email out to a handful of past clients and just said, Hey, I know this is a really crazy time right now, for everyone. I’m offering one on one on one coaching for the fall. Are you interested? And I thought my goal was to get, you know, five or six people to say yes. And I had 12. People say yes,
Monica Froese 15:28
Megan Flatt 15:29
because I just think that’s what everyone needed!
Monica Froese 15:32
Yes, actually, I do think that there’s a big Well, everything in online business apps and flows, right. And so like, we move to these big group programs, and then people are like, but I need the personal touch. And it just kind of is but it’s just such a crazy time right now. And like, yeah, so many things. It was like we were in the middle of a pan, well we are in the middle of a pandemic. And then all these changes happened with Apple and Facebook fighting. And then Apple went after email marketing as well. And privacy changes, and just a lot of things in the online space changed. And I think sometimes it’s just, it feels very lonely. Doing it, you’re like, wait, I’m seeing this happening? Or is other people seeing this happening? Like I had a great conversation with another friend of mine, who just validated I was like, it feels like everything kind of shut off all at once. And, like I have, like reasons why I think that is and and she just said to me, I just want to validate that what you’re seeing. Yeah, is really happening. And then we talked about the reasons and, and I think that’s why it’s like, like even when I coached with you back in the early days, it was like, you just didn’t know what you didn’t know, you just needed a sounding board, right.
Megan Flatt 16:40
And that’s what and that’s what people needed, then with hindsight. And with the 10,000 foot perspective, I could look at those 12 people, and probably 10 of them could have been in a mastermind we could have, you know, there. But I think people’s brain spaces, the idea of joining a group program, the idea of having to start on a certain day show up at Thursdays at 10am for a call, I think that was just too hard for people to they just if they couldn’t wrap their brains around making that work. And so the idea of, hey, let’s do this, it’s going to be you know, it’s gonna be calls every other week, I’ll check in with you every Monday, reach out when you need support. Like I just, it wasn’t super formulated. It was like, what do you need? Let’s create, let’s just create, like I said, I reached out all to past clients. And so it was what are you working on now? What do you need, what kind of support do you need? And I think that people just felt like, and I did have some clients, especially because most most, if not all of them had been in my past masterminds. You know, some of them were like, Oh, we love the group aspect. But I think people just time brainspace brainpower to even feel like they could show up and hold space for someone else was just not there. And so So I switched to one on ones. And I, I love it. And this will talk about this in transition. I love getting all up in people’s businesses. And it was like, let’s, let’s drill down on this. Let’s talk about this. Instead of having to kind of generalize things more and more and be like this month, we’re talking about marketing or this month, we’re talking about this. I love just being able to be like okay, what are you struggling with right now? Oh, you’re struggling with hiring? Great. Let’s talk about that. What are you struggling with? Oh, financial forecasting? Great. Let’s talk about that. So it worked really well. And I think it was a little regenerative for me to it. Because I was one I was one of those people going, what the heck, like, what are we doing? What’s happening here? What do we how do we do this now? And so kind of going back to my roots of that one on one, you know, personal training that it was helpful for me to?
Monica Froese 18:48
So while you’re doing these one on ones, we touched on a little bit, but we got to talk about the focus sessions, because that’s really, the focus sessions are kind of underneath from like a structure perspective, let’s collective but it’s actually its own entity. Yes. I mean, it’s like a whole different business. Really.
Megan Flatt 19:05
Yeah. And we set it up that way really intentionally. So. So talking about pivoting, I have to go back a couple of years. I have to go back. I think it was 2019. And I had I belong to a local group. They have chapters all over. It’s called EOA entrepreneur organization accelerator. It’s for businesses that are making between 250,000 and a million EO Entrepreneurs Organization is a International Organization for businesses that are making over a million dollars. And this is their accelerator program. The idea is like that. They pair you up with a mentor and it’s to help get you into this program. So I’ve been in it for a couple of years, and I had a mentor back in 2019. When I was 2019 was my biggest year in business. I made the most money I’ve ever made in 2019 I was running these huge masterminds with in person, you know, retreats and all of these things. And I had my mentor said, Yeah, but you’re really running a practice, not a business. I was like, what?
Monica Froese 20:01
Ohh, what does that mean? What’s a practive versus a business?
Megan Flatt 20:05
Right. And my whole business was on helping helping people scale their businesses. And he was what he was basically saying. And it’s so funny because I feel like I see him all the time now. And I’m like, oh, like I owe you I owe you so much for I was so mad at him. I was so mad at him for saying that and so hurt and but this idea, you know, if you think about like, like a therapist, or someone who it’s like, Okay, I’ve got a nine o’clock appointment at 10 o’clock appointment, 11 o’clock appointment, I can raise my rates, but I can’t, there’s still a ceiling to the revenue that I can make. So even though I was running these masterminds, and like I like kind of alluded to and hinted to earlier, you know, yes, I could scale the masterminds. Yes, I could go from at the height of my mastermind. I think I had about 25 people in it. You know, I could scale it. I could go to 50. I could go to 100. I could go to 300. I could hire coaches to work under me. But I didn’t really want to do that. And so at the end of the day, even though I was leveraged, it was still me trading time for money. One way or another.
Monica Froese 21:05
Okay, I Yeah. Wow. So yes, he was right. It was a practice and..
Megan Flatt 21:10
it was a practice. I’m looking at your face right now. Oh, yeah.
Monica Froese 21:16
I am so fascinated, by the way he phrased this, okay, is this what got your wheels turning that you had to figure out a way to leverage yourself?
Megan Flatt 21:24
It did, it really got my wheels turning because again, what I had seen modeled, and I kind of just described it, what I have seen models with modeled was you absolutely can scale group programs. But you have to really productize your this is I mean, I think you’ve done this is what you talk about, and you’ve done this so well. You have to productize your knowledge, you have to systematize your knowledge, you have to be able to have someone else be able to deliver your knowledge. One of my very good we were talking about best friends that we’ve met in masterminds, I’ve met my one of my best friends in a mastermind that I was in. And she she has this brilliant thing that she calls a Knowledge Library. And so basically, every time she’s coaching, she has someone off Fiverr, or I don’t know, wherever, where she has this person, but who just takes those call recordings and cuts them into snippets, all her answers, then catalogs them so that her coaching team can go back and answer questions the same way she does. Amazing. I wasn’t doing that. Like every time I tried to like and for whatever reason, I just I didn’t want to couldn’t, couldn’t get out of my own way. Whatever it was, I couldn’t scale my I didn’t want to scale my mastermind that way. And so I had to think about something different.
Monica Froese 22:41
I actually, okay, so a sidebar. I’ve mentioned this before I for the last two years have been in Mariah causes high ticket hybrid. I love Mariah. I love her brain. I’ve learned so much from her, but not the name, high ticket hybrid. So the whole point of being in the program was to launch a high ticket. Did I launch high ticket? Nope. Am I going to? Nope, I cannot. I don’t want to leverage myself in that way. For some reason. I was like, paste the floor during our team retreats. And I felt like I had it was almost like, what this is the next logical step, right? This is what I’m supposed to do. And I finally come to the conclusion. I don’t want to be leveraged that way. It’s not interest me. Yeah, I don’t want to so and so because I came to the conclusion. I came to that conclusion a couple months ago, it kind of aligned with listening to your podcast with Claire on the paid podcast, which is one of my favorite podcasts. And that’s actually how…
Megan Flatt 23:38
I think that’s how you found me originally. Yeah.
Monica Froese 23:41
Which is so funny. So listening to that episode, this idea of focus sessions really, really, really appealed to me because it’s one way that you took what you you had you had an avenue in front of you to lend yourself more, you chose not to do it and then you pivot it to this completely half business model. So focus sessions, what are they?
Megan Flatt 24:01
Yeah, so and I’m so excited to talk about this because it’s so interesting and I think for your audience, and it’s so amazing, starting a second business or starting uh, really not just offering other products but really starting a whole nother like arm with everything that I know. And a little bit of money it’s so much easier man, you and I right? Like we bootstrapped the business I was YouTubing How to Make a Website at three in the morning right and it’s it’s so nice to be able to kind of take let’s collective and fund this start of focus sessions but but I really was able to go into it with with that mentors you know, you’re you’re running a practice not a business. In my mind. I was really able to say like, Okay, what do I want this business to look like? And and to really craft something from the ground up that I knew, I knew that I wanted it to stand alone. I knew I didn’t want to be the face of it. I knew I wanted to highlight other people. expertise, I knew that there could be other people that helped me run this that were better at it than me. And so I really kind of went into it with with that attitude instead of the way I had started my you know, the way I had started my, my first business, which was all me, just me and then kind of blossoming out from there. This started totally the opposite. I was like, How can I start this thing over there. So focus sessions are dedicated distraction free virtual co working sessions, it’s a membership model. We offer 90 minute co working sessions, we offer over 16 sessions a week, at all different times of the day, they’re all hosted, we use a science backed framework to help you get your most important work done. And I say I always use my fitness analogies. Focus sessions are like a gym, but it’s for productivity. So it’s not a course it’s not a membership. You’re not learning anything new. Other than our focus technique. You’re bringing your most important work, whether you’re working on a sales page for a new program, whether you’re writing your memoir, whether you are writing a legal brief, like whatever your most important work is you bring that to a focus session, we help you get focused and you get your most important work done.
Monica Froese 26:17
So it’s like selling them space. Yes,
Megan Flatt 26:19
Absolutely. We are selling we are selling dedicated distraction free space.
Monica Froese 26:25
Okay, but now you went from here, sign up for this program. Here’s how much it costs. Here’s how many people I can have in it. You could do the math on that, too. Oh, now I’m going to charge a recurring monthly charge. And you have no idea how many people you’re going to get in to the session. So like how, I mean, yeah, where did you even start?
Megan Flatt 26:45
Yeah, so we knew we wanted it to be low cost. So right now a focus session membership is $40 a month, because we really wanted this to be something that you added on, we wanted it to be something you know, so often when we’re choosing business programs, or coaching or things like that, you’re like, Oh, I’m going to work with this coach, or I’m going to do this program right now. Because you’re doing their thing. You’re doing their curriculum, their homework, it takes up time, right. So what we wanted was, we wanted to make sure that we were offering something, one of our core values is that it’s really accessible. So that comes into play with the price, but also with how many different sessions we offer a week, because when I was looking at competition and things like that, there were other people that were doing this, but it’s like Tuesday, Thursday at 11. And it’s like, okay, well, if you can’t make it Tuesday and Thursday at 11, it’s not very accessible. So we wanted it to be something that you could take the work you’re doing, like in Mariah’s course or in whoever’s course, or one of your clients that has purchased one of your programs could come to focus sessions and get that work done. Okay, so there are 16 sessions that you can choose from unlimited in a week. So I could show theoretically, I could show up to all 16 sessions. Absolutely for $40 a month.
Monica Froese 28:00
Now, how does this work for the people who run it? How do they get paid?
Megan Flatt 28:04
So I have six. Well, so the first the first thing I did is I knew that I wanted to hire someone to help me run it. So lucky me, I have been a business coach for, you know, 10 years and one of my long term team members who still on my team, we kind of sat down and we were thinking about people to host these individual sessions. And we kind of were brainstorming who who of my past clients might make good hosts. And to back up quickly, too, we have been doing these virtual co working sessions inside our mastermind, so you probably experienced them. We have been doing these, you know, get it done virtual co working sessions as part of our mastermind, this holding space, this holding accountability, you know, show up, but we were doing them once a month, or at one point in the mastermind. We were doing them one one time a week. But it was still, you know, kind of a limited amount of time. But I knew that my clients had experienced this. So we kind of were looking back at like, what clients and talk about like the funniest way to hire someone, we came up with one of my past clients, Miriam Burke. And I was like, Oh my gosh, I would just I would love for her to get involved somehow. And I literally sent her that email I sent her an email was like, Hey, I’m launching this new thing. I’m looking for hosts, but I’m also looking for someone to help me run it. Are you interested in getting involved and I just kind of left it like that. And she had had a series I mean, it was like Kismet. She had had a series of events kind of happen in her life in her business. And she was really looking for something like this. And so really early on before we even launched I hired Miriam to help me run the program. And we call her the head focus finder. But she like you know, she helped create the the, the training curriculum for the new hosts. She manages all the schedule all of that. So right from the beginning, I wanted to even remove myself from that operations essentially from the operations. Yeah, your operations
Monica Froese 29:59
You are, You’re the big picture, you are truly like the visionary of this idea that you birth the idea and you deal with like the financial end of it, the forecasting projections. Okay, so, so many questions about this, but what would you say is the single hardest thing that you’ve experienced, pivoting into this completely different model?
Megan Flatt 30:21
I’m not sure I can do a single thing. selling, selling a low cost. I mean, math, right? Selling a low cost thing. And this sounds so obvious, but like selling, selling a low cost thing is so much harder than selling a high cost thing. And you’re like nodding your head. Yeah.
Monica Froese 30:39
I you know what I’ve so I, you know, I have very conflicting thoughts in a way about that, like, well, first of all, isn’t the grass always greener? ‘
Megan Flatt 30:50
The grass is always greener.
Monica Froese 30:51
Grass is always greener, there are there are hiccups to both. I think it’s going with the one that resonates the most with you and your personality. So I guess I could ask this, do you think that selling high ticket more meshes with your personality? Do you still do feel that way?
Megan Flatt 31:04
I do, I do and I and to kind of I want to talk a little more about focus sessions in the pivot, but to like, circle back to like, Will I keep running masterminds? I think I will. But they’ll look a little different. And they and I won’t be pressured to be making all of my money or all of the company’s revenue. Whereas I felt like with masterminds, there was still that pressure of like, I’ve got to get one more person and I’ve got to get one more person in. And I feel like when focus sessions is a little more stable, then I’ll be able to say, hey, we’re going to do a six person mastermind, you know, we’re going to do an eight person mastermind, and and be able to still do that one on one coaching that I love, but be able to have something else that is bringing in that recurring revenue.
Monica Froese 31:49
So would you say like, the summation is, when you started it, it was a new thing. So you didn’t know how many people to expect to get into it. So you kind of had to initially kind of jab in the dark.
Megan Flatt 31:58
A little bit. Yeah.
Monica Froese 31:59
And it turned out it felt harder. It wasn’t that it felt harder to get people in than you thought it would be. And was that like, maybe just because you’re still working on the messaging and being able to articulate exactly what the value was?
Megan Flatt 32:12
Absolutely, absolutely. And we’ve and right now we’re in the process of, I’m working with a copywriter. So we launched in June. So we’re you know what that is six months in seven months in. Right now we’re working, I’m working with a copy of a conversion copywriter to make sure because this is so different. I’m not doing sales calls, I’m not I’m not talking to someone one on one and telling them why this mastermind is a great fit for their business. So all of the marketing pieces, the social media, the emails, the the copy on the website that has to do the heavy lift, lifting another, you know, client of mine and mutual friend of ours, Meg Castel, she said something years ago, where she said your website has to be your best employee. And like, my website didn’t need to be my best employee when I was selling high end masterminds, but it has to be my best employee now. So those are things that I that are kind of using air quotes, but those are the things that are harder about selling a low ticket is all of those things need to be dialed in. And it needs to be I keep using this word, it needs to be an engine, right? Like it needs like everything to run a $40 a month membership has to be an engine where levers getting dumped on you. You need volume, then talk down to and I think it’s a great business model. I love it. I’m so excited about it. I love we have we have six different hosts that all have each unique personalities. And I attend their focus sessions. I’m like, Oh my gosh, this is this person is amazing. Because she starts out with an affirmation. And this person’s amazing, even though we have kind of a framework that they follow, they’re allowed to have some kind of leeway within that. And I think it’s such a cool and I see such visions for how this can grow. But yeah, that that being the the driver and the backseat and the visionary and and doing those financial projections. And we were talking a little bit about that before we started recording, like literally sitting down with a calculator and a pad of paper and saying, Okay, what does it look like if there’s this many numbers? What if it looks like if there’s this many hosts? What does it look like if we, you know, when we very first launched, we launched at $30 a month. And I was like, Okay, we’ve got to raise the price because, you know, we’ve got to we’ve got to, you know, tweak some levers here. And I think that’s the thing that’s trickier about running these types of programs is there’s more levers to tweak.
Monica Froese 34:31
Yes, which makes modeling that much more complicated I have. So we have operated on like a launch model for forever because I have been very like Signature Course Based that was our big pops in the business and then so I was working with my not my CPA, she’s my actually my bookkeeper but she’s also she helped me with some financial modeling as well. And we were talking about because when you launch if I launch a course, it’s a big pop of money. Yeah. But it’s that one time, you know, you might have a payment plan that lasts for a couple months after, but it’s not going to be ongoing. But it’s a big pop. Right? Yeah, it there’s, as a business owner, and I think you could probably relate to the masterminds to kind of get addicted a little bit to the bigger pops, you know, like all the money floods in it once. And it’s almost like a dopamine hit. And it’s emotionally fueled, at least I found, for me, it was emotionally fueled. And then when we were laying out the numbers of because really, what I want is for our membership to be the leader that and we want. We enter every single month with guaranteed expenses, but not guaranteed revenue. And that’s an issue. And I’ve always been good with forecasting and be able to spread out my big revenue pops to make sure I was being covered, but I want it to be more stable. And so it’s like this addiction, it was like a dopamine hit where I was like, I gotta go for the big launches. But then she modeled for me, if I actually treated the membership, which our membership is $29 a month, if I treated that, like a launch and flooded a bunch of new members like I do to get into the course, when you project that out. And we haven’t factored in 10% churn and also because you got to worry about retention and churn. Oh, the factors it was like, and I’m good at numbers, and
Megan Flatt 36:14
there are so many more things to track. Yeah, there are so many more like, like, like we just said, there’s so many more levers. Because with a mastermind people were signing up for you know, especially when I was running my year long mastermind, people were signing up for 12 months, it was like, you know, I was just tracking I was tracking like three things. And like you’re tracking like 30 things. Yeah.
Monica Froese 36:36
But in the long run for the fact, I still I think I personally feel like though the business model is more solid. When it’s not selling yourself, I really do. And I’m reading this book, I’m I’m actually going to host my very first mastermind, I have 13 people in it for six months, I it’s actually a pet project of mine, it’s at the I actually just want to do i after what we’ve been through and the last few years is like I just need to do something i I just want to do that isn’t all about like the bottom line of what we’re making. But I’m holding up a book, it’s called Built to Sell, we’ll link to it, because we’re reviving redefining mom in a similar fashion to you doing focus sessions. And it’s not that I’m going into it because I want to sell redefining mom per se, but I want to build it because when you think outside of yourself, when it can be bigger than you, then the potential is so much different, the impact that you can make is so much different than when it’s you having to lead the charge and..
Megan Flatt 37:34
Monica Froese 37:34
it’s you that they are buying all the time. Like you can only impact so many people on that one to one level. And it just
Megan Flatt 37:41
it just really changed my mindset to so instead of trying to figure out how I could productize and systematize my brain, now I’m thinking about how can I leverage other people’s expertise? How can I leverage like, I’m going into it with that, you know, instead of like pounding a square peg into a round hole, I’m going into it with like, Oh, what, you know, what size pegs? Should we create? Or like whatever the analogy is, they’re like, I’m going into it with like, How can I craft this? When, you know, I designed in, you know, in the first six months of 2021 when I was building focus sessions, I built it and how do I make focus sessions a million dollar business? And so everything was engineered backwards from there, how many members? How many members do we need for? You know, what, what gets us to a million dollar business? What gets us to, you know, $83,000 a month run rates, like what, like everything was built backwards from there, as opposed to when I started my business. It’s like, how can I get one client? Right? We started from zero when we started our first business. It’s like how can I get my first client? And when starting this one I said I know what my not even my end goal because that’s just my my first end goal. But it’s like starting from there. What do I need? How many sessions Do we need a week? How many hosts do we need? How many? You know? How do we work backwards from there?
Monica Froese 39:06
My students get frustrated with me because I always talk about how you have to start with the end in mind and I like I liken it to getting a college degree and so like you know when you start your undergrad Okay, in five years, I majored if I say why, like one of my most hated Gen Ed’s was World Civ. I just, I don’t I did not like World Civ. Why would I have showed up for World Civ? If I did
Megan Flatt 39:29
Wasn’t part of your master plan.
Monica Froese 39:30
Exactly. I had to do it to get the degree. If I didn’t know I was getting the degree at the end of the four years, I would never have shown up for that class. I never would have I would have, I wouldn’t have and I couldn’t have ruined my 4.0 GPA. So I showed up. But the thing is, is that like, if you don’t so many people go into business, I think because a lot of people enter business without a business background nowadays, which which is totally fine. But like that, it’s you don’t know what you don’t know.
Megan Flatt 39:58
Right? Well, you enter it a little bit. accidentally, you know, and that was that was kind of how I like I said that one person that opened the door and was like, Hey, can we can I pay you to sit at my kitchen table for an hour and talk about my business? I was like, Okay, I just started a business coaching business, you know, and, and so I think that, you know, we start that way, but this time, I’m getting to start the other way. I’m getting to bring all the education, all the programs, the the mini MBA program that I did, you know, I’m getting to bring all of those things to start to launching this business.
Monica Froese 40:33
Okay, so, in the couple minutes we have left, this is what I would like to ask you, first of all, we’re six, seven months in how many members do you have right now?
Megan Flatt 40:42
We’re at about, in fact, I should have checked this morning before, we are just under 100 members, which I thought we’d be at 300, my forecast was 300 by the end of the year. But you know, it’s that same thing. It’s like, wow, if there were 100 people in my office, like that’s a lot of people. So and we’re feeling really good about about those numbers. And that’s the thing with forecasting, it’s like, you’re constantly readjusting, and you’re constantly figuring out how many new people are coming in? Where did those new people come from? are, you know, and so that you can adjust those levers? So, yeah,
Monica Froese 41:15
so let’s talk about 2022. So have you goal planned for 2022.
Megan Flatt 41:20
So I have a little bit, I have a little bit, I feel a little behind for someone that is like a diehard planner and has built her entire thing I have, like my own planner that we produce someone who’s built her entire, like career around planning, I definitely feel a little behind, I’m gonna, I’m just gonna blame it on COVID. And my, you know, pandemic brain. But definitely, we’ve we’ve planned for 2022. And I think, like I said, my quarter one goal is to build the marketing engine. So we’re really focusing on again, having like building a machine, instead of the goal being which is what I did in 2021. Getting my years all mixed up here, no idea where we are. In 2021, I was really focused on well, how many? And when I did my projections, it was like, How many members are we going to have? Right? That lag goal? Like how many, how many members do we want, and that’s fine, because you need those to do the math to figure out what you know what your revenue is going to be. But what I really want to focus more on in 2022 are the lead goals. So how many partnerships do we need? How many affiliates do we need? How many leads? Do we need coming in on a? You know, from a Facebook ads? How many podcast interviews do I need to do like focusing on those and really creating, like I was putting together a presentation for this mentorship group that I’m still in? And I used a picture of a car engine. You know, it’s like, how do I build this so that we know exactly what we’re putting in the top? And exactly what will come out the bottom, and then we can tweak all those little gears inside.
Monica Froese 43:03
So really 2022 is the year of understanding how to leverage all the levers for this. Absolutely. To validate what you’re doing. Basically, I built my whole business on being hyper focused on the lead. That is why people are always very surprised by like, how big my email list is and stuff. And they’re like, how did you do that? I’m like, because I cared about the conversion attention all the time. Yeah, 100% of time, I don’t care about vanity metrics. It’s funny how many people get caught up in vanity metrics. And I just don’t and I’ve always been so hyper focused on the conversion. And for me, the conversion was either you’re going to get on my email list, well, it’s always you want them to pay you money. But for me, it’s dual get on my email list. So you’re you’re in the world that I can communicate with and then become a student, or bypass or whatever it is.
Megan Flatt 43:52
And I feel like I now have the opportunity to do that. Because like, like we said, I I was always really concerned on the delivery. And I think a lot of business owners, right? We go into business, because we want to do the thing we want to do we want to, we want to be that, you know, we want to give health advice. We want to you know, teach people how to build websites, like we want to do the thing that we sell, we don’t want to sell the thing that we sell. And so with my masterminds I spent so much of my time, that’s my favorite thing to do, like working with my clients. But now I have a whole team of people that are dedicated to serving my clients. And so I get to focus on bringing new clients in.
Monica Froese 44:36
I love it. Well, I would actually love to do a follow up with you. It’s like towards the end of 2022 to see like how this changed because you’re I’m currently very fascinated by different business models. And like just seeing your brain like have to flip over from one way to the other and like what that’s going to mean to you or for you and I’m sure great things because you get it like it’s not like you don’t Get it, you get it, it’s just a matter of executing on it. So I’m very fascinated to see how 2022 shapes up for
Megan Flatt 45:06
Me too! you know, hold me accountable, then I’ll put it I’m going to put it I’m going to do my planning and my vision board and everything on it. This I’m putting I’m putting Monica and empowered business podcast on my vision board like, okay, when I come back at the end of 2022, I better have some good stuff to tell you.
Monica Froese 45:21
I, and even if you don’t, yeah, I first of all, I, we just got mugs done, and notebooks and everything. And I’m setting into my mastermind people of I don’t do failure. And I always say that does not mean that you don’t fail. It just means you. You don’t accept like you there.
Megan Flatt 45:35
You don’t stop there.
Monica Froese 45:36
You don’t stop. Like I don’t understand the whole it didn’t work. I, when people come to me and they’re like, my ads didn’t work.
Megan Flatt 45:42
I tried it once. And it work.
Monica Froese 45:43
Yeah, I’m like, cool. Well, if you’re gonna succeed in business, you better keep going like I don’t, I’ve gotten kind of tough love over the years, because it’s like, no, like you can’t accept failure. Like, it doesn’t mean you don’t fail, but you got to learn from it. So even if 2022 is doesn’t go the way you want it, I have no doubt that you will take learning lessons from it, and just do the next thing that you have to pivot to make it work. Like that’s what we do. That’s how we that’s why we’re entrepreneurs at the end of the day. Right?
Megan Flatt 46:08
Monica Froese 46:09
So if someone needs to focus time, because I know I do, I have to say I definitely need focus time because I’m pulled a million different directions with having employees and stuff. So how do we connect with you and focus sessions?
Megan Flatt 46:22
Absolutely. So come check us out at Focus dash sessions.com. And you can sign up for a membership, we’re going to be launching a higher tier membership that’s going to in February, that’s going to launch it’s going to come with some more planning and a few other features to the membership. And if you use the code, when you sign up for your membership, if you use the code empowered, then you’ll get $10 off your first month. So you can come check it out. And try a session. It’s super easy. You can cancel anytime we wanted to keep it super low key. So come, come try out a session, see how it works for you. If you run a business, if you if you have clients and you think that it would serve them, we do partnership and affiliate opportunities. So if it if it’s something we have people that are offering focus sessions as part of their program, so we do that as well. So if you’re interested in any of that, you can always reach out to Hello at Focus sessions.com or send me an email directly at Meghan at let’s collective.co
Monica Froese 47:27
Awesome. Well, we’ll make sure to link to all that. Thank you for the coupon code. Yes, I appreciate that. So we’ll put that in the show notes as well. And put me on your vision board. You’re coming back. I want to hear about how 2022 happened and all the levers you pull.
Megan Flatt 47:39
I love it. I can’t wait. I can’t wait. Thank you so much for having me on. This was really fun.
Monica Froese 47:43
Yeah, it really was. Thank you. Thanks for tuning in to another episode of the Empowered business podcast. If you want to get started creating your own digital products and don’t know where to start, I am hosting a live five day free training that can help. It’s called digital product dash live, how to discover your unique million dollar digital product formula. Head on over to empowered business.co forward slash dash to join us live the week of January 24 2022. I’ll see you back here again next week.