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Episode 57: What the BLEEP Happened?! Breaking Down Where We’ve Been & What’s Next

We’re back! It’s been nine months since my last episode, so I can’t believe that I can finally say welcome back to another episode of The Empowered Business Podcast. 

I hope 2022 has been treating you well. To tell you a little more about how we are doing, I’m taking you back to the last episode, episode 56, where I told you that we are going on an indefinite hiatus. That happened back in January of this year, and at the time, I really didn’t know when I would be back. 

This year, we made a big pivot, and this is going to be the backbone of the next few episodes. We doubled down on our online storefront, The Empowered Shop, and it was a game-changer. 

We gave the shop a major overhaul and sent a short and sweet email to our list. This changed everything and it all clicked into place. We have an enormous amount of resources available to our customers and this was the best way to offer it all to them. 

We now have a six-figure shop and needless to say, we have learned a ton about what to do and what not to do, so I can’t wait to share it with you all. 

In Today’s Episode We Discuss:

  • Why I put the podcast on hiatus
  • The core of my business
  • Monica’s Soapbox
  • Our series of workshops
  • The biggest pivot we made this year
  • What’s coming up on the show
  •  I’m so glad to be back, so I hope you enjoyed this episode. In the next three episodes, I will be sharing how you can take what we’ve learned and build a successful digital product shop of your own. I haven’t been this excited in a long time, and I’m looking forward to diving in with you.

If you want to listen to Monica’s Soapbox, make sure to check it out here!  This is my more laid-back, unscripted podcast where I share updates on my business and the industry. 


Head over to http://monicafroese.com/listen to listen to this episode and previous episodes on your favorite podcast platform!


I’d love to connect with you and hear your thoughts on this episode! Send me a DM on Instagram here. 

Resources Mentioned:

Monica Froese 

You are listening to the Empowered Business podcast. I’m your host, Monica Froese, and if you’re like me, you want to grow a business you love that gives you financial freedom and fits your lifestyle. Every week you’ll get strategy and unfiltered opinions from me and other successful business owners that will inspire you to make big moves in your business. When we work together, we not only grow faster, we also amplify each other’s voices. Are you ready to build your business on your terms? Let’s jump in. Knock, knock. Anyone there? Hello? It’s nine months later and we are back. I honestly can’t believe that the day has finally come for me to say. Welcome back to another episode of The Empowered Business Podcast. I have so much that I want to share with you today. But first, how are you? How has 2022 been treating you? I can tell you 2022 has been a wild ride for me so far. I guess the best place to start is to take you back to the last episode, Episode 56, where I shared that I was putting this podcast on an indefinite hiatus. I recorded that episode on the last day of January of this year, and at the time I really didn’t know when I’d be back. You can go back and listen to that episode if you want to hear all of my reasons why in the moment I put it on hiatus, but I will quickly recap them for you because it will give us a nice jumping off point to chat about what’s been happening and what’s to come.

In a nutshell, the way I had run my business for five years wasn’t working like it used to. There were a lot of warning signs that I can look back and say, in hindsight I should have done X, Y, Z, but that’s just not real life. My top two strengths on the strength finder are context and strategic, which is interesting because apparently those don’t go together usually. I’ve come to learn that this mix is actually my superpower as an entrepreneur. I rely heavily on context to inform my decisions, and this is why I’ve always loved history, because I love patterns. And the quote, The best indicator of future behavior is past behavior resonates so much with me because that’s exactly how I process my entire life. It’s why I am obsessed with knowing my numbers in the business before making decisions. However, I also have this strong ability to see multiple roads ahead of me, and given all of the context I have built up in my brain, I am able to quickly see the roads ahead and make a decision on which one I want to travel down. That is exactly what happened. When I put this podcast on hiatus for five years, my business operated on a live launch model.

I am going to oversimplify this a little bit because it’s not that I only made money from live launching because we’ve always had strong funnels running and other business activities in the background, But the core of my business relied on four big cash injections a year in January, April and August. We’d run large scale events like free or paid challenges that took up the majority of our bandwidth for weeks. In November, we’d have a big cash injection from Black Friday. Since I know my number so well. I also knew how many people we needed to get into the live launches in order to hit our numbers, and I budget pretty well. So if we had an off month after a launch, we could ride that wave. I decided that I didn’t want to spend this entire episode giving a 2021 recap. So I started a private podcast called Monica Soapbox. Yep, we’re all go on unfiltered rants. And the first episode is an in-depth look at how 2021 performed for us, including numbers. So you can go listen to that by signing up for the podcast at Empowered Business eco forward slash Soapbox. And of course, we’ll be sure to link to that in the show notes. The important thing to note about 2021 for what I’m talking about right now is that in January and April of 2021, we had six figure launches.

In August of 2021, our number slid by about 30%. And in November 2021, we had our worst performing Black Friday since 2018. Now, in hindsight, I could tell you that two things needed to happen at the end of 2021, I needed to lighten our payroll expenses because that is the number one expense line item in the business. And I shouldn’t have went through with a January 20, 22 live launch that performed at about half of the previous January. We really need it January 2022 to perform like it did in 2021 to carry the expense load that we had at the time. Now, there were a lot of warning signs, like the fact that Legion had been cut in half going into the January launch, which makes a lot of sense since Facebook ads pretty much imploded in May of 2021. Another thing that I did instinctually know at the time, but did not know what it meant just yet was that our customers buying behaviors were changing. The pandemic really did a lot to change this world, of course. I mean, that’s stating the obvious. But for my audience, a few things were standing out. First, there was this general feeling of constant overwhelm we were seeing from responses in the inbox. Second, my audience felt like they were not making any forward progress on their goals. And third, there were some early warning signs of inflation, and big purchases were beginning to be scrutinized more So in January, we were launching the Empowered Business Lab, which is a very comprehensive program on how to create and launch digital products.

The program itself is fantastic and I have no hesitation believing in its value because I know it works if you see it through. We’ve had over 500 students go through the. Program to date. The issue, though, it’s comprehensive and it is by no means a passive program. There is a lot of work that’s involved with completing that program, which means when people are telling us that they are overwhelmed with life, feel like it’s too hard to make progress and that money is a concern. Guess what? It was probably time to change what we were leading with from a selling perspective. Well, let me clarify this. We still sell the lab and students are still seeing success with it. But in hindsight, we shouldn’t have put all of our resources into the live launch in January because we really need it to do a pivot. And that brings us to when I recorded the hiatus episode. Looking back, I am very thankful for the one motto I’ve always stuck by in my business, which is I don’t do failure. And I always say, That’s not because I don’t fail. I fail all the time, but I do quickly pick myself back up and try again.

When the launch didn’t go as planned, I knew we were about to enter a season of major change, which meant that I needed space to execute that. And one thing that had to pause was this podcast. Oc So now what exactly did we change over the last nine months? Well, let me tell you pretty much everything. The first thing we did was survey our audience for what they needed from us. Haley, who is my operations manager, also known as my Unicorn or right hand lady, had the brilliant idea of breaking out our surveys between customers versus non customers, and this survey told us a lot. It validated exactly what I already knew were the main problems overwhelm lack of progress and money. The first thing we did to address this was launch a series of four workshops priced at $47 each, which we called Quick win workshops. The idea behind these workshops were that they went deep on one topic, provided a hyper specific result. And more importantly, we’re affordable. This would address all three issues people were having. It wasn’t overwhelming. They could make progress on a specific topic and it was affordable. So the series of workshops saved our butts in February because we couldn’t have any downtime because a live launch didn’t perform as expected. And I never want to touch the cash flow in the business.

In other words, for us, that’s our emergency savings. So we needed cash in the door. In February, these workshops made over $18,000 and needless to say, it was clear we were on to something. Now, here’s the beauty of the Quick Win workshops. From a selling perspective, we have one push to get people to enroll live and then another push for the replay afterwards. Not to mention the content is evergreen, so we can continue to sell the workshops for years to come. At some point in the future I’m going to be doing a quick win workshop on how to structure and run your own series of workshops in your business. So stay tuned for that. At the time of this recording, we are up to eight quick win workshops this year and they have made up approximately 13% of our total revenue for the year. So that was pivot number one. Now let’s talk about the biggest pivot we’ve made in 2022, which is going to be the backbone of the next three episodes of this podcast. So let me take a moment to let you know that the plan for this podcast right now is to be back for a four episode special series. So you’re listening to episode one right now. Episode two will come out next Thursday. Then we’ll take a break for Thanksgiving and wrap up the last two episodes in early December.

After that, we will go on a short break and relaunch again in 2023 and it will be better than ever. I have a lot of plans for this podcast. Now back to my point. What was the biggest pivot we made in 2022? Well, we doubled down on our online storefront, our shop, the Empower Shop, which you can find at empowered Shopko. Wow. I have so much to say that my brain is almost overwhelmed thinking about how in the world I’m going to get this all out in a cohesive manner that helps you. But I’m up for the challenge, so let’s give it a try. Let’s go back to March 2022. My team and I were in Charleston for our mastermind retreat in our Spring team meeting, and I will never forget two major things that happened. The first, I was sitting in my chair getting my hair done the day before I was flying out and I got pinged that payroll was processing. I opened up the PDF and saw a larger than usual amount and immediately opened up the bank account where payroll comes from. Things weren’t looking so good, so I immediately went to check how sales were for the first seven days of the month because it was March 7th. And to my surprise, we’d only taken in about $1,000 in cash so far that month. Needless to say, our payroll was a tad bit more than that.

And yes, everyone was going to get paid because again, I do keep cash savings on hand. But wow, this was a red flag. When I landed in Charleston, I told my team we had one mission and one mission only, cash in hand immediately. And listen, this is when my I don’t do failure really comes into play, because when we left five days later, we had taken in over $10,000 of cash. So one thing I know is that I do not fear hustling. When necessary, I will do whatever it takes. However, the other thing I knew was that this is not sustainable. We were missing something. We have created so many amazing resources over the years and yet still felt like we were always chasing our tails. Why? The second thing that happened in Charleston was on our second to last day. I was, oh my gosh, incredibly frustrated as we started to chat about what the heck do we do next? Cash was in the door, but now what? We had an abundance of ideas in front of us, but I was mentally blocked. And what the next step should be. I felt the pressure to not make the wrong decision because it felt like we were balancing on a very thin rope. So finally I threw up my hands and said, Let’s go get some brunch. And I’m sitting there sipping my mimosa.

An hour later, all of a sudden I blurted out, I’m not having fun anymore. I am stressed all the time. And you know what? I used to have fun. I used to literally skip to my office in the morning. And I have always loved working. I don’t do that anymore. And Haley said, Well, what will make you happy? And then it just clicked. I said, You know what? Why don’t we just list all of the digital products we have created in our shop and create fun sales graphics like funny gifs and things like that, and just say, Hey people, we have a lot of crap to offer you, but you probably don’t know about 75% of it because you know you can’t put 75 links in one email. So on March 12th we sent an email to our list with the subject line feeling funny in parentheses, Big sale and like this little funny emoji guy. I don’t know, he’s got glasses on, He looks kind of nerdy. And the email was super short. It said, Heya, whatever your first name is, it’s Saturday. And my team and I are in Charleston, South Carolina, finishing up our team retreat this morning. We were feeling kind of funny and decided our shop needed like a major overhaul. So we went through and updated pricing on everything. There’s now an under $10 section A planners and templates and a new course section with everything marked down.

We highly advise you. Check it out. Now click here to see everything. Hope you have a nice weekend. And then we signed off Monica and team. So we hit send and sat there and then my watch started going off. Ping, ping, ping. Holy cow. People were buying things at record speed. And listen, people buying things I’m not foreign to. I have clearly made a decent amount of money in the business. I am used to ping, ping, ping. When I’m live launching. I am not used to back to back pings all day long. I am not. The shop did change that. And suddenly everything just clicked into place. Over the years, we have developed 100 plus digital products, and inside some of our most meaty programs there are hundreds of more products we could easily sell a standalone. But how in the heck am I supposed to tell people about all of these resources we’ve created in emails? When you have to go to different sales pages and check out 100 plus times? How unrealistic, Right. Right. And also, duh, what the heck. For years I did two things. I attracted a cold audience, people who didn’t know me yet through very specific sales funnels. This turned thousands of people over the years into customers. And then we would run these full scale live events and convert them into our higher priced programs.

But over the years we just kept creating things and would tell our warm audience about it once when we launched. And then maybe if we were lucky, we would circle back to it a year later. No wonder why we felt like we were on a hamster wheel. We were not leveraging the years of hard work we had already done at scale mind blown. So here’s where I tell you that our shop is now a six figure shop, and we’ve learned a ton about what to do and not to do. Since launching this in March, that is what our next three episodes will be about, how you can take what we’ve learned over the last six months and build a successful digital product shop of your own. I’m super excited about this series. Like, I haven’t been this excited about something in the business in a long time, like pretty much since we relaunched the shop. But before then, I couldn’t tell you when I was this excited. I’ve already tapped several of my colleagues in the online space with my excitement about storefronts and gotten them to take action. Like some pretty big names out there have already built their shops because I just lit into their DMS and I told them how excited I was and how this fix so many things for us and sent them some resources and then they took action.

It makes me super happy. So if you’ve been creating in the online space for several years and have a mountain of content and products created, you really need to be asking yourself, are you leveraging your hard work at scale? And can people go to one place to see everything you have to offer in a cohesive manner? Do you feel like you are always creating more and not leveraging what you already created? Then you need to stick around because this series will not disappoint. In the meantime, I’d love to connect with you and hear your thoughts on today’s episode. Come follow me on Instagram and send me a DM. My handle is Monica froze and you spell my last name fr0se. So thank you so much for letting me back into your ears after nine months off. I truly appreciate you and I hope you’ll join us for this very special series. So until next week. Thanks for tuning in to another episode of The Empowered Business Podcast. I just launched a brand new subscribers only podcast called Monica Soapbox. It’s a nice supplement to what I share with you each week here. Monica Soapbox is more laid back where you’ll get unscripted behind the scenes updates on my business and the industry. Head on over to empowered Business Deco forward slash soapbox to sign up. See you here again next week.

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