How do you create a business you love? It may seem tricky and unattainable but I've done it and so did my guest on a recent interview.
Meet Marie Forleo, founder of B-School and host of the wildly popular show MarieTV. Named by Oprah as a thought leader for the next generation and one of Inc.’s 500 fastest growing companies, Marie’s mission is to help you build a life you love and use your gifts to change the world. She’s the creator of the award-winning online show MarieTV with over 35 million views on YouTube with an audience in 195 countries. She’s the founder of B-School, an online business school for modern entrepreneurs. B-School is for you if you want to create a profitable online business.
I hope you find inspiration for your idea and know that you too can create a business that you love.
Enjoy this interview with Marie – the full transcript is below.
It’s hard to find people who understand what you do when your career is social media and blogging. When people ask what I do, I get a blank stare back because most people have no idea what it means to build an online business or do social media for a career. A few years ago I was looking for a way to get to the next level with my business and decided to take the leap and sign up for B-School. I did a payment plan for my tuition because I didn’t have the money to pay for it all upfront.
I cleared my schedule for two months and said no new client work at all until I finished. While I was taking course, I got to the section where Marie talks about businesses she loves and when I checked my email I had an email from one of the brands that Marie loves. They wanted to hire me to help them with their social media! It was a sign, right? I talked to this client and worked with them with a social media strategy and in-house training. I earned 5 times the cost of B-School from this one client. It paid for itself before I was even done!
When I was at their offices, the CEO told me that she was on a plane, thinking about hiring someone to train her team on social media and she saw The Art of Social Media in a magazine. She came to my website and loved it so she wanted to work with me. She had a sign too!
Bottom line is, it was 110% worth it for me to take B-School. There’s no shortcuts or fast tracks to build an online business.
As Marie says, “Learners are earners” and I want to continue to grow. What about you?
Full transcript from the interview:
Peg Fitzpatrick: Hi. I'm Peg Fitzpatrick and I am so excited to share this interview with you. It's somebody who I have admired and respected for a very long time. I love all of her content. She has an amazing YouTube channel, and this interview is just fantastic for anybody who's an entrepreneur and who wants to learn how they can get themselves up to the next level with their business, so I hope you'll join me for this great interview with Marie Forleo.
Marie Forleo: Thank you so much. Thanks Peg, for having me on. And I just want to say, just at the onset before we get into this, that your energy is amazing. I was on your Instagram profile a little while ago, and it's just like there is so much light and so much fun and love that comes through everything that you share and I really admire that about you.
Peg Fitzpatrick: Thank you. When you have me on Marie TV, it'll be just like this but I'll be on your set.
Marie Forleo: Yay.
Peg Fitzpatrick: That's on my wish list. I'll throw it out there in the universe because it always happens when you throw it out there.
Marie Forleo: I love it.
Peg Fitzpatrick: So when we get started, I wanted to talk first about your YouTube channel, like your website and your YouTube channel are your foundation for all of your world.
Marie Forleo: Yes.
Peg Fitzpatrick: So can you tell me about how you got started on your YouTube channel and some advice for people who might want to start a YouTube channel?
Marie Forleo: Yes. I'll give a little context just to paint an accurate picture. So I've been doing this since the year 2000. And when I say this, I mean creating an audience, sharing content, coaching, all of that stuff. It started off with just text based content, email marketing. Then it transformed into blogs and written content. And then I think it was around 2008, 2009 when I started getting this itch to create in video. And the impetus for that is, you mentioned that I'm a multi-passionate entrepreneur, so as I was starting to grow my coaching business in the early 2000s, I was also very passionate about hip hop and dance. And so I had a career in those realms, and I had four fitness videos. If you troll through Wal Mart, or the Target, or wherever still sells fitness DVDs, you might come across me on a cover like, “Hey, I want to dance you thin,” or whatever the cheesy, awful names were, that I had no part of because I was the talent coming up with those.
My point in saying that was that this itch to create on video came around that time, and I started just with my webcam, just like you and I are doing right now. I figured, you know, if I could answer questions, and part of the impetus too … This is funny because he's out there somewhere, is I got a puppy, my dog, Kuma, and I was so enthralled with my puppy and I noticed how much time I was spending with him that I'm like, “Okay. It takes me a lot of time to write blogs and write content, that I could answer questions much faster if I just look into my camera,” so that's what I started doing. So I just turned on my webcam. There was no lighting. There was no editing. There was no team. There was no nothing. It was me and iMovie and my sticking it up on the blog.
And so over the years it has evolved very, very organically. I had no idea, Peg, that it would become a show. That, I had not clue that was going to happen. That was something that transpired out of just doing it again and again and again and looking for ways to optimize and be more effective and save my time and understanding what the possibilities are.
Peg Fitzpatrick: That's awesome. I still think that people can start a channel today. What do you think?
Marie Forleo: Oh, 100%. You know Peg, I know we'll get into this, but I was looking at a story the other day about a fellow B-Schooler. Right? Someone in our community, a gentleman named Shane Farmer. And he, I think it was just like a year or two ago, he got into this world and now has the number one YouTube channel about rowing online.
Peg Fitzpatrick: That's awesome.
Marie Forleo: Like a fitness niche, so I think anyone can start a channel. I don't think video is going away. I don't think humans wanting to learn things, humans wanting to be inspired, humans wanting to be entertained, especially via video or via audio, depends on what medium that you like. It ain't going away.
Peg Fitzpatrick: I agree. I agree. I mean, years ago my daughters were obsessed with YouTube and it was like they were all the time watching it. YouTube, YouTube, and it's just evolved into, I think people look there more to Pinterest and YouTube for how to do things than Google, to be honest.
Marie Forleo: Absolutely. You know the first place I go if I'm trying to figure out whatever it is. How do I really poach an egg the right way? The other day I was trying to fix … The sprayer on my sink in my kitchen was broke, and I was like, “I bet you somebody has made a video about how to take all these pieces apart, fix it.” And of course, I got where I needed to go, and part of the help was YouTube.
Peg Fitzpatrick: That's awesome. Yeah. I love learning new things too, and learning new things like: Whoever thought you needed to fix the faucet? And then you did it.
Marie Forleo: Yeah. Everything's figureoutable.
Peg Fitzpatrick: Yeah. And that you could have the channel that teaches people to row better. I love that no matter what your passion is, there's somebody else that shares it.
Marie Forleo: Yes.
Peg Fitzpatrick: The people who go super, super niche on things sometimes really just kill it.
Marie Forleo: Absolutely. And oftentimes, that is a really smart strategy to get into a bigger world. You know, when I first started my first book … I'm working on my second book now and I took a long time in between. But I focused on women and relationship and dating. First of all, it was a really big topic in my own life, and a lot of my individual coaching clients at that particular time, that was a hot topic. So I'm like, “Why not focus on it?” And focusing down and going into that niche really allowed me to kind of leapfrog in many ways and make a lot more connections that allowed me to then jump into the world that I'm in today.
Peg Fitzpatrick: Yeah. That's awesome. Hooray for your second book. Woo hoo.
Marie Forleo: Yay.
Peg Fitzpatrick: The second book is almost harder than the first book because you've done it once, and then it's like the pressure.
Marie Forleo: Yes.
Peg Fitzpatrick: I'm on my second book now too, and I'm like … But I'm not as far along as you, I don't think.
Marie Forleo: Oh, I don't know. I don't know. I wouldn't say that. But it's a painful … At least for me, it is a painful process. I so admire people who are like, “I just love to write and I just sit down and it comes out of me,” and I'm like, “That is so not me.”
Peg Fitzpatrick: I do love to write, but the book process, it's like you know what your end goal is, so it's bigger than just writing a blog post or writing an email or something like that. So I love your tagline for Marie TV, the place to be if you want to build a business and life you love. And every time, I love the way that you play around with it too. Like in your intro, sometimes you're just super goofy with it, which is awesome. Can you explain? Because I know it's not just … They're not empty words. This is really your whole, everything behind it and how your business runs and your content goes. Can you kind of talk about that a little bit, how that tagline drives everything? Motto or tagline, do you say motto or tagline?
Marie Forleo: I actually don't refer to it that often, to be honest, so it could be either. I think if I do refer to it as it relates to Marie TV, it's tagline. If I think about life motto, it's everything is figureoutable. In terms of those words, you're right. They're not just empty words. Joy, for me, is one of my highest values. I think that we're here on the planet for such a short amount of time. And as you get older, you start to realize how short it really is. And there's no reason we shouldn't enjoy it. We are going to have pain. We are going to have suffering. We are going to have loss. We are going to have grief. However, there is many, many pockets that we choose to fill up with stress and strife and overwhelm and just wanting to tear our hair out. And that is a choice.
And so for me, building a business and life you love means really, A, tapping into: What is it that I most want? What are the kinds of activities and projects? What's the difference that I want to make? Who are the kind of people that I want to surround myself with? And who are the kind of people that I want to make a difference to? What is going to help me express the most joy, feel the most joy, share the most joy, have it be fun, have this whole thing be enjoyable? Because, I mean heck, let's face it. What? In 100 years from now, you and me and most of the people listening are going to be powder. Right?
Peg Fitzpatrick: Right. But it's possible that someone could watch an old episode of Marie TV and be inspired. Think about that.
Marie Forleo: Yes. It's kind of cool.
Peg Fitzpatrick: It is cool.
Marie Forleo: So if I can, and that one of my … All of us have gifts. Every single person on the planet, every single person listening right now has a set of unique gifts that no one else ever has, had, and no one else ever will have. And you have got to, when you're on this planet for this short amount of time, figure out a way to share what makes you uniquely you because it's the only expression that will ever be.
So one of my gifts I know, is being goofy and being joyful and being playful. And so for me to have a vehicle in which to share that, and I've realized as I've grown this business. I've been doing this, again, since like the year 2000. The more I share my joy with my team, it's a show in the fact that we have a set. Now we have a team. I have outfits. We have lighting. That's a show, but it's not a put on. That's how we are all the time everywhere.
Peg Fitzpatrick: And that's obvious. It's so obvious that it's all … It's planned and organized, but organic. I read this study recently that talked about how people who are younger, like people who are … You live longer if you're immature, which I've been saying for years. People are like, “How are you so young? You seem so young.” I'm like, “I'm immature, I think.” And there was this study that actually backed it up. The less serious you take yourself, the longer you're going to live.
Marie Forleo: Peg, you've got to send me this study.
Peg Fitzpatrick: I've got to find it.
Marie Forleo: This is [inaudible 00:10:14] everything. I hear the same thing all the time. I don't feel very different than when I was like 17 or 18. I have the accumulation of wisdom and experience, and I am responsible. But besides that, all bets are off.
Peg Fitzpatrick: Same with me, same. Honestly, people think I'm decades younger than I am.
Marie Forleo: I love it.
Peg Fitzpatrick: I would never say how old I am. Yeah. I always tell people it's because I'm immature. Part of that, the playful, you just don't take yourself so seriously. Why?
Marie Forleo: Humor is really healing.
Peg Fitzpatrick: Yes.
Marie Forleo: It's extraordinarily healing.
Peg Fitzpatrick: It is.
Marie Forleo: I was reading something. I was actually writing, working on my book. And I'm a huge Game of Thrones fan, love Game of Thrones. There are certain shows that I just obsess over. That's one of them. Catelyn Stark, for anyone who watches and you're a nut like me, there's a line where she says, “Laughter is poison to fear.” And I'm like, “I love that.”
Peg Fitzpatrick: That is so good.
Marie Forleo: So anytime we're afraid or we might feel fear, if there is anything that we can find humor in or be a little goofy about, all of a sudden it loosens everything up and you can see things from a brand new perspective and most likely be able to move ahead.
Peg Fitzpatrick: Yeah. Definitely. I totally am like that. If there's an emergency, family crisis, whatever it is, humor number one. I am there with the jokes. I'm down for making everyone laugh.
Marie Forleo: Yes.
Peg Fitzpatrick: Because it does, it makes it better.
Marie Forleo: And I will say this. Back to your original question. In creating a business and life you love, I think from a really practical standpoint, think about how much time all of us spend working on a daily basis. It can be anywhere from six to eight to 12 to 14 hours sometimes. And over the entire course of our lives, it's the biggest part ostensibly. Right?
Peg Fitzpatrick: It is. Yes.
Marie Forleo: Unless you were born with trust fund or you have a completely different reality, which is awesome. But for most of us, for most people, you spend the majority of your life working. So my point of view is, let's enjoy it. Let's create the business that we love. There are no rules. We get to write the rules. And that's part of what I love helping people do, is going like, “Hey, we've got this canvas. We've got these incredible tools. We're living in a technological time where the possibilities are limitless, so let's really be intentional about what it is that we're creating and make sure that it works for you.”
Peg Fitzpatrick: Yeah. Totally agree. Down with that. Sometimes I'm just like, “I can't even believe that I have been able to create this whole life that I love.” My husband jokes about that all the time. He tells me, “You totally made up and created a job for yourself. What you did is not even a thing.” And at first he was like, “This is never going to be a job. You're never going to make money.” Now he's like, “Do you need water, honey? Do you need stronger wifi? How can I help you succeed more?”
Marie Forleo: I love it.
Peg Fitzpatrick: And that could be a lot of people too, though, getting that pushback from other people saying, “Hey. What you want to do isn't a thing.” Yeah. It doesn't matter because it's the thing I made a thing.
Marie Forleo: Yes.
Peg Fitzpatrick: And it's your thing that you made a thing.
Marie Forleo: Absolutely.
Peg Fitzpatrick: And whoever's watching, you have a thing that could be your thing.
Marie Forleo: Yes. And that's the thing. And the other thing is, all of us have this voice. I can hear some people possibly saying, “Oh yeah. But you guys are doing it already.” Peg's doing kind of what I want to do, or Marie's doing what I want to do. They've already taken up all the spots. It's like, no. There is more than enough for everyone to go around.
Peg Fitzpatrick: There is.
Marie Forleo: There are over seven billion people on the planet. We need your unique thing, that combination that is only you that is exactly what the world needs.
Peg Fitzpatrick: Amen, girl. We could just agree with each other all day long.
Marie Forleo: This would actually be a very fruitful relationship, [inaudible 00:14:01] walk away going, “We're fabulous. Whatever.”
Peg Fitzpatrick: I know, right.
Marie Forleo: Everybody else needs to sit down.
Peg Fitzpatrick: Let's face it. We need people that get our … With our viewpoint. Not everybody is. It's a unique world we live in. So let's talk a little bit copycats. You mentioned people who say, “Peg's already done it and Marie's already done it,” because your tagline, your website, which I know you update yours once a year and holy crap. Your latest update, I want to cry a little bit it's so damn good. So good.
Marie Forleo: [inaudible 00:14:30].
Peg Fitzpatrick: Yeah. Well, having a good website is super amazing. But let's talk about copycats because you teach people how to do things. I teach people and sometimes people mistakenly, instead of coming up with their own thing, they cut and past Marie's thing onto their WordPress site. So how do you deal with that kind of copycat stuff? Because it's your intellectual property, and as creators, that's all we have. That's it.
Marie Forleo: This is something that I think so many [inaudible 00:15:03].
Peg Fitzpatrick: I just lost your sound for a second. No. It's back. Good. Okay. Great. We're back. Sorry.
Marie Forleo: No worries. What I was sharing was the copycat thing happens I think in almost every domain, even with jewelry designers. An independent jewelry designer will come out with something and then [inaudible 00:15:24]. Another company, again, I don't want to [inaudible 00:15:27] Urban Outfitters. I just read one article about that. But in terms of me, here's what we do. First of all, I do my best to communicate, and you know this because you've been through B-School. I always say, “Look. I'm showing you examples. You have you and you. You need to do you. Don't do me. I'm showing you a framework, but you've got to do your own thing. That's the only way it's going to work.” And as you said, not a lot of people, for whatever reason they feel scared. They feel insecure. They want to try and save time. There are a myriad of reasons why people do it. It kind of makes me … I'm like, “Are you serious? Do you not know that we all see it?”
So I try and vocalize and lead in that respect, but honestly we also have a legal team. And we will send folks. We try to be really kind and we try and be really compassionate most of the time. There are some times when some people are so blatant. Like, I've had our entire site in Europe, like word for word with all of my pictures.
Peg Fitzpatrick: With your pictures?
Marie Forleo: Yes. I'm just like, “Oh my goodness,” and you're just like, “What are these people thinking?” So we will have our legal team contact folks and say, “Yo. That ain't cool. You've got to take that down.” But it's actually a large investment in terms of resources and time because it's pretty constant these days. And I think that as a business owner you have to not get yourself off track. You have to create some kind of system for you and your team to handle it when it happens. You have to look inside and think about your values and think about the kind of language that you want to use when you reach out to someone. And that isn't really a cut and paste cookie cutter kind of thing, because sometimes something, like I said, is blatant. The example in Europe where it's my face, it's my words, it's everything.
And then there's other times where you can tell that someone is heavily, heavily influenced and almost skates on this line where you're like, “Why'd you go and do that?” But there isn't really a case to tell them to take it down. And in those instances, you might want to reach out with more of an olive branch and say, “Hey. We've gotten some emails about this. It's pretty clear that you were inspired by us, but of course you changed it to this degree. And here would be our recommendations. You're going to do way better if you really make it your own,” and appeal to someone's better nature.
Peg Fitzpatrick: Yeah. It's tough. I have dealt with it quite a bit. People cut and paste my articles. And I used to try to contact people, but believe it or not, those are the jerkiest people I've ever dealt with. They get all mad because I won't let them cut and paste and I'm like, “Okay.” So I usually just file the DCMA notice myself, but I haven't had the whole website scam with my pictures. I'm glad you … That would be crazy. That's where you're really like, “Really, people?” And wow. I did have somebody in Australia do something similar. They don't the strict laws in other countries as we do. But Google kind of dominates the whole web, so it is possible to get those things fixed if it's a total cut and paste.
Marie Forleo: Yeah. I would say it depends on the frequency in which it's happening. So for you Peg, if it starts happening a lot more, if you haven't done this already, to create a little bit of a system and have someone on your team or an assistant that you can always kind of filter those things off to. At least for me in the past, they would become energy sucks.
Peg Fitzpatrick: I feel like five minutes. It's like five minutes for me.
Marie Forleo: Good for you.
Peg Fitzpatrick: I do the notice and it's done. It takes me two seconds. I figure if they have … Yeah. Whatever. I just deal with it too and move on. Some people say it's a big compliment, but it's really not when it's your intellectual property.
Marie Forleo: No. It's not. Yeah. Every time I hear that I'm like, “No, it ain't. It's a pain in the ass.” It's stealing. It's not.
Peg Fitzpatrick: No. It's totally not. Even on YouTube, people download people's videos and upload them to their channel.
Marie Forleo: Can I just tell you something? I was just on our YouTube channel because somebody on my team said, “Look at this beautiful comment on this video.” And I went over there and this is hilarious, Peg. Next to my own video, I see a video of my set with me and Tony Robbins, and that ain't my video.
Peg Fitzpatrick: Right.
Marie Forleo: I was like, “Okay.” But that's the world that we live in.
Peg Fitzpatrick: It's technology. Don't use it for evil, people. Use it only for good.
Marie Forleo: Use it for good.
Peg Fitzpatrick: Use it only for good. So you've mentioned on your show that you don't spend a lot of time on social media, but it does drive a lot of your business.
Marie Forleo: Yes.
Peg Fitzpatrick: So can you talk about how you keep that work, life balance without getting sucked into the rabbit hole?
Marie Forleo: Absolutely. For me, I love connecting with people. I love people. I wouldn't do what I do if I didn't. And that said, running a company or a team, I think, gosh, we're 23 or 25 now, working on a book. There is a lot of moving pieces, so as much as this thing is useful, this thing also is an addiction and a tension machine. And I'm very aware that its goals are not aligned with all of my goals. So it's about creating pockets of time. Sometimes I'm here in Los Angeles right now, and often when I'm going someplace that's not walkable, I'll actually take an Uber because that allows me to spend some time that I'm really not going to spend diving deep into a project, and get back to people and engage. So I find these little windows of time where it really makes sense, where it's not pulling on my attention or stealing away from other longer-term projects or higher value, quite frankly, things that I really need to devote deep focus to. That's how I do it, so it's not a perfect formula.
But I don't wake up in the morning and look at my phone. I don't go to bed at night and look at my phone. And my relationships are really important to me. So if I'm having dinner or having a meal, this thing is actually not around. I don't even have it on the table. There's some studies that prove that if your phone's on the table during a meal, the level of intimacy and connection that you experience with the person that you're eating with goes way down because some little part of your mind is drawn to this thing and everyone feels it. So I try and do my best, and if I'm going to be on social media for a while, and say Josh is around I'll say, “Hey guys, I've got to take 10 or 15 minutes. I've got to go deal with something, or I need to handle this.” And then once that time's done, I'm done.
Peg Fitzpatrick: Awesome. And then there's the iPhone effect too, where one person picks up their phone, everyone does. And 100% of the conversation is gone. I love the ones where people put the phone on the table. Everybody puts it there and the first one that picks it up has to pay the whole tab.
Marie Forleo: That's a good one.
Peg Fitzpatrick: But yeah, keeping it away is super important because it's not worth it. I sometimes will take a picture of the food and table, depending on what's going on. I don't usually post too much food, but then I put it away if I do that. Then I put it away.
Marie Forleo: Yep, exactly. Josh and I, we try, because he's the person I'm with the most, just to have really open dialogue about it. So it's like, “Hey. I'm going to do this. This is [inaudible 00:22:32].” Like, okay, do it. And then it's like, “Okay. Now I really want your full attention.” Okay. Great. Now you get my full attention, so I feel like … And those are some lessons that are hard won because we had a lot of fights. I'm like, “Dude, this is my business. This is going on. I've got to handle this. This is what takes care of a lot of things.” And then at the other times where it's like, “You know what, I really need to put it down.”
Peg Fitzpatrick: Yeah. Yeah, and being aware of those things too, not letting it control your … If you feel like it's controlling you, it's a really good time to put it away.
Marie Forleo: Yeah. For sure.
Peg Fitzpatrick: As entrepreneurs, and you kind of mentioned your team a little bit, but as entrepreneurs, we have to wear tons and tons of different hats. So at some point, to grow and expand, we have to bring on a team. When do you know when it's a good time to start a team and how do you find the right people?
Marie Forleo: Big, huge, important question. From my experience, most of us wait too long. And I will say, I see that mostly with women. For whatever reason, the men in my life and the men that I've coached, have a much easier time going, “Yeah. I need a team. I'm going to bring them on.” They are so much more comfortable. And so many of the women that I've experienced try and do it all themselves and want to hang onto everything as long as possible. So I would say sooner than you probably think.
In terms of finding the right people there are many different methods to do that. One of the things that we do in our company now is we try and keep what's called the virtual bench. Any time we come across anyone, like if I meet them at a networking event, or anyone on my team meets someone who just has that kick ass, driven, focused, detail oriented, positive attitude vibe, we're like, “Who are you? What's going on?” So I will keep in touch with people. I've found some of my most key team members, they were clients. They were customers in my program. And I've watched how they behaved and I went and plucked them. And then I did my best sales job to say, “Come on over here and work with me.” So I think that there are so many places you can find them. You can find them on social media. You can find it through friends of friends. You can go on sites and put out … One of the things we did recently was, we actually put out basically a help wanted ad on our Instagram stories.
Peg Fitzpatrick: I saw it in your Facebook page too a while ago. We're hiring a designer. It was quite a while ago.
Marie Forleo: Yeah. So we've done lots of things, so I feel like you have use every vehicle that's at your disposal, your personal network, if I have people that you know on LinkedIn, whatever, cold call. But you've got to know what you're looking for, know the exact skillset. Know what you can pay. And I would say this is a really big lesson that costs us a lot to learn. Do whatever you can to have a test period. So pay people for project work. Pay them for part-time work. But find a way to experiment and test.
It's kind of like dating. You're not just going to go, “Oh wow. This person looks great. Let's just get married.” You would never do that. You would date. Right? Before you're going to put a ring on it. You've got to do the same thing in this world, I believe, when it comes to hiring, especially when you don't have many resources, when you can't afford to make a big mess up that could cost you a lot financially, legally, emotionally. It's a big mess. But if you can find a small targeted project to test each other out on and see if you like working together, it's the best and fastest way to find great talent.
Peg Fitzpatrick: Yeah. That's a great … I save things on collections on Instagram when I really love someone's work. There's somebody, she posted a logo that she designed and I was like, “That's definitely who's making my next logo,” because it was amazing. So I do that too. I keep my eyes open for good skillsets.
Marie Forleo: Talent.
Peg Fitzpatrick: Yeah, talent. It's easy to spot. Right?
Marie Forleo: Absolutely. You can feel it. Just observing people, you start to see who's hungry, who's driven, and who's on their game.
Peg Fitzpatrick: Yeah. Agree. Agree again.
Marie Forleo: Agree.
Peg Fitzpatrick: So I wanted to switch gears a little bit and talk about money and abundance because I love your theories [inaudible 00:26:36] video when you talked about ironing your money. Cracked me up. Gotta respect the money. You know?
Marie Forleo: Yes.
Peg Fitzpatrick: When I have a big job where I do a speaking engagement when I'm out of town, I always spend a little money. I give back into the local community. I like to just give. I feel like if the universe is gifting me some money, I like to gift it back. I'll do a project with contractor, or if I buy something. So can you talk a little bit about your money transformation and your state of enough-ness?
Marie Forleo: Yes. For me, I came from a very blue collar working class town in New Jersey. We didn't have very much. We weren't in poverty or anything like that, but it was never like, yay, tons of money running around. And after I graduated from school like many people, I had debt that I had racked up. And I just remember making this promise to myself that I was going to handle this. I could feel that there was so much scarcity inside because my mom actually did grow up very poor. A lot of those kind of scarcity mindsets around money were just naturally absorbed in my head as well.
And so I really made it a focus in my early 20s, not only to get debt free, but to do whatever it took to completely realize a new reality around money because I knew it was possible. I saw other people out there, but I was just not there yet. And one of the most profound things that I did was early on in my career, I always knew that I wanted my business to be about more than just me. I'm not the kind of person … And by the way, this is not knocking anyone who's like this. I'm just really not that into tons of shoes or tons of clothes. Those things don't excite me. I like experiences and I also like taking care of people. So I said, “I want my business to be about giving back as well.” But at that time, I was getting scared every time I would open up my checkbook, Peg, because some months there wasn't enough to take care of all of the things. Right?
Peg Fitzpatrick: Yeah. It's hard. Entrepreneurial income is scary because it's not a set check.
Marie Forleo: Exactly, especially in the beginning. And so I had this thought and I said, “If I really want to handle kind of this inner scarcity once and for all, then I need to start behaving in a way that I know is better aligned with reality,” meaning I need to behave in the way that I know is true, not these messed up thoughts I have in my mind. So I pledged, there was a new coaching program I was doing. I said, “I am going to give away 10% of the profits.” And that terrified me at that time because again, I was coming from a reality that there wasn't enough. And I said, “No, I'm going to make this promise no matter what it is. 10% of the profits, I'm just going to give it away.” And I got so excited by that idea and I had no clue whether people were going to sign up for the coaching program. I didn't know what was going to happen.
Well, people did wind up signing up. And that money came out to be about $7000, which for me at that time … First of all, $7000 is still a lot of money. That's money. And at that time in my career, it was an enormous amount of money. And I was like, “I am so excited to give this away.” So I was looking around for a particular charity and I had met some people from the UN Foundation and they were launching their first campaign for an initiative called Girl Up, which is all about helping bring awareness and also education to the world. I think it's 16 million young girls, who are denied education. And I said, “Okay. Great. You guys are having this launch party. Can I come? I'd like to give you a check.” And Peg, I'd always had this little weird fantasy that I wanted to give someone one of those really big checks and make their day. So I called up the local Kinko's and I was like, “Hey. Can you guys just print a big check because I want to give it to this organization?” So I wound up going to this kind of launch event and they brought me on stage because, again, they had no funding at that point. I was their first donor, which was again, ridiculous to me because my own checkbook was scary.
Peg Fitzpatrick: Right.
Marie Forleo: And I gave that check on stage and it was so incredibly moving. And I stepped off stage, Peg, and a woman from Richard Branson's team came up to me. And she said, “I would love to hear about what you do and I want to see if you're potentially interested in coming on a trip to South Africa with Sir Richard Branson.” And I literally [crosstalk 00:31:00]. I couldn't believe it. Yeah. I started jumping up and down.
Peg Fitzpatrick: Of course.
Marie Forleo: I was like, I could not contain myself. But it was a really big lesson for me in taking that risk and then aligning myself with the behaviors that I knew were true on a cellular level, but that weren't yet a reality in my own life. And all of the events that transpired from that, life changing.
Peg Fitzpatrick: Totally. And because you gave first. That is such a huge key that I think people … It is scary. Seguing into our next section, to make an investment in yourself is also scary when you're an entrepreneur. And you're like, “I want to get to the next level. But what do I do?” I want to do more than I'm doing. I'm spinning my wheels. I'm not getting there, and that's where I was. For a couple years, I wanted to do B-School, but I just wasn't … I didn't have the funds to do it. Kids in college, whatever. But then finally, like two years ago, I said to myself, “I am worth it. I'm going to do it. I'm going to do the payment plan. I am not going to feel guilty about it,” because that's another thing that women feel guilty about, spending the money that if their family … All those things, I am worth it. So I did it and I told myself, no client work. I'm not going to take any client work. I'm going to focus. I'm going to do B-School. This is like me. The next two months are going to be about me, how to get to the next level.
So I'm in the class loving it. I'm loving it because I love learning, love learning so much. And you guys have such great materials in there too. It's like everything you could possibly want to know. Hitting all the target, like you have the written. You can listen to it. You can watch it. Everybody has different learning styles. Personally, I don't enjoy listening. I like video or reading. For me, podcasts are not my favorite. Maybe other people, obviously they're very popular. But for me, not my fave.
So I'm in the class and I didn't check email, didn't do anything else, because you've got to focus while you're putting in the time. And I had an email from one of your very favorite brands, who I shall not name. But they're one of your very favorite brands, and they said, “We want to work with you. We love what you do.” I have a little line in my tagline. It says, “We make the best brands better.” I work with the best brands and make them even better. And they're like, “We're a good brand but we want to be even better.” And so I took … That was like a sign. Sometimes you just get the sign. Okay, I will contact these people, because that was too direct of a sign, almost like Richard Branson's people showing up right after. When you make the leap, the universe catches you. I really feel that's true.
And so I contacted them and that one client, the income was five times what I paid. So not only did it pay for itself, but it was way beyond that. It was crazy. And if you told someone that would happen, you can't say, “Marie, if you just do that, if you make that donation, this really great thing will happen.” It doesn't happen like that. You have to make the leap.
Marie Forleo: Yes. Yes. Over and over again. And congratulations to you, Peg. It's incredible. And you know this. Once you're a B-Schooler, you're a B-Schooler for life. You can come back and take the program every year for free. You don't pay again.
Peg Fitzpatrick: Yeah. It's awesome. And I think jumping into B-School, what are the goals? When you started it and where it is now, it evolves every year, which is awesome. Like you said, you guys update it. Who do you feel is your target student?
Marie Forleo: Yes.
Peg Fitzpatrick: And what will people learn in B-School?
Marie Forleo: I started B-School because when I was first beginning my online business, this was back in the early 2000s, where online business was new. It was the wild, wild West. And as I was trying to figure out how to do all these things and pull these things together, I was going to all these business conferences, these marketing conferences, anywhere I could go to learn. And when I would attend these things, 99.9%, sometimes 100% of the presenters were men. And some of them were fine. Some of them were great. But many of them talked about business and talked about marketing in such a way where customers were nothing more than numbers on the bottom of your balance sheet. And it was all about: How do you extract as much profit as possible? There's lightening bolts and highlighters and it was nothing that I thought business could be. There was no soul. There was no integrity. There was nothing about values. The actual aesthetics of it were nonexistent. So there was no joy or pleasure in learning. And again, it was devoid of some of the kind of holistic depth that I thought business needed.
My dad was a small business owner and I remember going to work with him when I was a kid. And I would see the dedication and how you always put your customer first, and all of these beautiful, human traits that came out. I was like, “Why is there such a big disconnect?” And the other thing was this. I don't have an MBA, so I was very intimidated by this idea of entrepreneurship. And so once I got my business going and learned about how it all works, and it was working for me, so many people started asking me, “Hey. How are you doing this? How does this whole thing work?” And I realized there was a huge hole in the market for business education that was grounded, that was practical, that took into account how busy people were, the fact that they might not have MBAs, that they aren't necessarily going out to secure VC funding. That's a different flavor of entrepreneurship. A lot of people just want to start something at their kitchen table and see if it can work. A lot of people want to bootstrap.
For me, I've been offered funding. I've never taken funding because Mama likes control. I like having total ownership and control over my game. That's just me. So in terms of: Who is B-School for? B-School is for anyone who wants to start or grow a business that is a true expression of what they feel their biggest gifts and creativity is in this world. So it can be a product based business. You can be selling candles, or juicing, or whatever the heck you want to sell, glassware, electronics, doesn't matter. Or it could be a service based business, someone like you, if you're selling social media oriented services, or you're a massage therapist, or you're a designer, or you're an artist. Doesn't matter what you're selling, but if you want to understand how to start and grow something meaningful, that's profitable, that aligns with your values, how to use the online tools today to not be overwhelmed, but to actually get results, and to do so in a way where you're really proud of everything that you put out, then B-School's for you.
Peg Fitzpatrick: Totally. I totally agree. And you don't have to know those things going into it, which I love. I don't know what my big idea is right this moment, so I'm not going to do it right now. That's the wrong way. The longer you wait, and number one, B-School only comes out once a year. It's important to note that you have that one shot, and if you don't get it, you've got to wait a whole other year and think about why you didn't do it. But sometimes it's okay. Sometimes maybe this is your second or third time hearing it, like I was. And maybe this is the year for you. There's no right or wrong time, but sometimes you do have to take the leap and then you'll get the client email or Richard Branson's people will be at the bottom of the stairs. You just never know what that thing is. So like you, I like to encourage all the people that follow me. You can really do it.
I always tell people, if I can do it, you can do it too. I'm just a girl. I live in New Hampshire. I'm in one of the smallest states. Not the smallest, but one of the smallest states. I have actually more followers than there are people in my whole state. And when you think about it, it's funny. It's a funny kind of stat and it sounds like a braggy kind of stat. I don't mean it in a braggy way.
Marie Forleo: No. It's fun.
Peg Fitzpatrick: I'm a girl with a computer. If I can do it, I really feel like when you put your heart into things, you can do it.
Marie Forleo: Absolutely. 100%. And for someone who's kind of curious and they're like, “Gosh, I want to do something, but I'm not quite sure what it is,” B-School is perfect for you because you're putting yourself in an environment that's highly creative, highly supportive. You're getting a chance to kind of taste and sample and see all of these possibilities. And you can't help but have yourself be ignited in that environment. I've had people take the course who were also New York Times bestselling authors.
I've had people take the course who are already multimillionaire business owners, but the online piece of their business, they kind of knew. They were like, “There's something I'm missing here. There's more that we can do that I just want to get in and see what else is possible to kind of really 10 X this thing.” So there's people from every different level. And we have. I'm really proud of that. I'm proud of the diversity in the sizes of the businesses, of the stage where people are at. And as you know, Peg, because you've been through it, it's like you have B-School for life. So even if you go through the program and you're like, “Oh my gosh. This first part, this is where I need to focus.” Well, come back as much as you want and get through the whole thing.
Peg Fitzpatrick: Yeah. It's important. I just actually redid copy cure again too because I was working on some stuff and I was like, “Sometimes you've got to resharpen that pencil.” You know?
Marie Forleo: 100%.
Peg Fitzpatrick: You can't use your same text. You've got to update stuff.
Marie Forleo: Yeah.
Peg Fitzpatrick: So it can't be a bunch of things. You can't be brand new and just thinking, “I want to do this great thing. I've got to figure out what my gifts are.” I was actually probably a little bit farther along, maybe than a lot … Maybe some people, because I already had published my book at that point. But I just know that everybody needs to level it up. You can't stagnate because that is one thing in the online world. You could get run over if you're not … You know, keep growing and expanding too.
Marie Forleo: And there's no better place to do that than with a whole group of humans who are like-minded, who are kind, who are generous. And you get to kind of ping off of all of these new technologies. Every year that we run B-School, Peg, I'm always learning things because we have these new conversations, and someone brings in a new technology. And someone shows. And we're like, “Wow.” So it's up level time for everybody. It's awesome.
Peg Fitzpatrick: Yeah. There's always room to learn when your mind is open, I think. So thank you so much, Marie, for all your wisdom and sharing, and I'm so excited to be partnered with you for B-School this year. And I'm excited for everybody who watched this. I hope you're inspired and thinking about what your next thing is going to be. And maybe you want to learn from Marie and I. I think so.
Marie Forleo: Thank you. I think so too. You are welcome. If you've had fun with this, and again, we have everything online. Peg will share links. You can come check it out. Everything is there for you to make a great choice for you, but we would love to have you. I can't think of any other place that offers a guarantee, lifetime access, and the bad ass people like Peg, and so many others that you get to hang out with. It's incredible.
Peg Fitzpatrick: You learn from the best. Right?
Marie Forleo: Absolutely.
Peg Fitzpatrick: Learn from Marie, who is the best. Your team is amazing. And then all the other people on there too, positivity definitely snowballs.
Marie Forleo: Yes.
Peg Fitzpatrick: And excitement, and enthusiasm. That's what you get. Actually, we forgot to even mention during the two months while the class is going, you have calls and there's a lot of things that are kind of [crosstalk 00:42:20]. There's live things, so there's that two months is super active. And then after that, you can redo things.
Marie Forleo: Yeah. We have the community all year long. The B-Schoolers Alumni Community. There's always someone that you can connect with, even Team Forleo. We are constantly around. I see letters every single week from the team of B-Schoolers who wrote in saying, “Hey. I need help with this.” You are always supported, never left on your own.
Peg Fitzpatrick: Awesome. That's amazing. Okay. I don't want to take any more of your time because we've taken a lot. And thank you so much.
Marie Forleo: Thank you.
Peg Fitzpatrick: And it was a pleasure. Now that we're best friends, we'll probably … I'll be in LA. I'm just kidding.
Marie Forleo: Yeah. Of course. Just come over for coffee, Peg. Thanks so much. We're just going to agree with each other all day and then skip around town. I love it.
Peg Fitzpatrick: All right. Great talking to you, Marie.
Marie Forleo: Thank you so much, Peg.
Peg Fitzpatrick: Thank you. [inaudible 00:43:08] loved that interview with Marie as much as I did. Is she amazing, or what? If you want more information about B-School, click below on my link. You can find more information about the program, get more testimonials. But I'm telling you I really love this program, otherwise I wouldn't be recommending it to you. If you are ready to sign up, again, click the link below. You can do a payment plan. You can pay for it all at once. It's a great tax write off. Your skills will be amazing moving forward and your business is going to thank you. So thanks for your time in watching the video and let me know if you have any questions.