Power of Iterations • How I Unleashed my Masterclass Organically
In this series...
Power of Iterations • How I Unleashed my Genius Organically
Power of Iterations • How I Unleashed my Boutique Brand Organically
Power of Iterations • How I Unleashed my Masterclass Organically
Power of Iterations • How I Built my Signature Program Organically
I once stumbled upon an e-course called "Create your Damn E-course" and it made me chuckle because without even realizing it, people were damning their own e-courses right from the beginning. No wonder they never finished the e-course, didn't launch it, or launched it but made no money.
If you had told me a few years ago that my signature program would be a masterclass that guides women founders, overachievers and freedompreneurs on how to unleash their masterclass, I would have laughed very hard, named you crazy, and called it a day.
But here I am, guiding a brilliant, new cohort of women overachievers from California to Dubai, from France down to Argentina, from Senegalese, Venezuelan, Filipino, Italian, Latin and Asian cultures, in a "big love, high joy" sanctuary to uncover the depth and beauty of their soul and alchemize it into wisdom for their people.
It make take you one iteration, it make take you twenty, but isn't it worth finding out what you're made of and alchemizing that into a meaningful and profitable service/product for your people?
ITERATION 0 • SELF-ASSESSMENT
I always start with a self-assessment because you can't know where you're going if you don't know where you've been.
We all come to Earth, to entrepreneurship, even to Unleash Your Freedom with a set of natural talents, learned talents, and struggles. I came to all three as the "wrong" gender, the "wrong" skin color, the "wrong" age, the "wrong" temperament (sensitive), and the "wrong" personality (introverted), while everyone in my industry was an old white male, hardcore and full of rah-rah-rah fist pumping.
I'm ever so grateful my Aquarius / Non-conformist parts didn't give a shit about being a quintuple minority. Yes, other wounded child, empath and abandoned mystic parts cried ourselves to sleep for years, but it was the Non-conformist that lead us into battle. Here's how: by putting my left foot in front of my right foot, then my right foot in front of my left foot, and repeat.
- Curriculum Outline 3/10 • Though I never saw myself as a teacher, because when I was 7 I vowed that I'd never end up like my mother, tethered to the kitchen and laundry, financially at the mercy of my dad for survival. It's only when I embraced Shadow Work that I realized how outcasting my Teacher Archetype to avoid ending up like my mom who's a teacher, I also outcasted my power and sovereignty to lead a freedompreneurship movement through grace. That "aha" moment lead me to meticulously tracking my clients' and students' top struggles, most effective tools, and biggest transformation. I was later that I'd realize this pattern tracking spreadsheet would turn into version 1.0 of my curriculum.
- Lead Magnet 1/10 • I. Love. Simplicity. I also read enough marketing books to understand the nature of an appetizer to draw the right people in for a full meals. So I, as I mentor all my clients to do so, started with a one page PDF as a lead magnet. It was basically a cleaned up and prettier version of my pattern tracking spreadsheet. Just. One. Page. You'd be surprised how much wants to come out when you're limited to just one page!
- Production Panel 2/10 • Having raised my parents and siblings from a very young age, I've grown naturally organized. I created a grid to track the status of every recording, intro, outro, rendering, upload, titling, thumbnail, etc. Being organized is not black or white, it's not either you are or you aren't. Being organized is also NOT about being perfect or having a magazine cover sparkling clean home. It's a skill that anyone can learn if they are willing to dissolve the emotional barriers, such as self-sabotage or self-hatred, between disorganized and organized.
- Storytelling Website 3/10 • I used to own and run a web design agency, so I was ahead of the game on the tech front. But just like marketers can't seem to market themselves or coaches can't seem to coach themselves, I couldn't design my own website properly and make myself shine. And I knew nothing about the power of storytelling, so I gave myself a 3/10.
- "About me" Mindmap 3/10 • I was initially going to set my "About Me" tuner to zero, given all my shame conditioning, thus not knowing who I am and not having any self-worth. But I remembered the Post-it Wall of Greatness inner work I did, combined that with the powerful question of, "What's the simplest way to write my 'About Me' page?", and voila! I simply copied my wall of greatness as my first "About Me" page. Yes, there was terror of being burned at the stake for being "too great" (I had already been burned twice), but I did it anyway. I'd rather burn from greatness than die of shame.
- Masterclass Sales Page 2/10 • I also am an archivist at heart. I bookmarked several websites and sales pages that I admired and was making a checklist for myself of what elements needed to be on a sales page (who, what, when, where, how, testimonials, pricing, etc.). I hadn't implemented any of it, so I gave myself a 2/10. Besides, the beef of the page, the actual masterclass curriculum itself didn't exist yet.
- Systems Automation 4/10 • Of all the trackers and all the tuners from UYM Part 1, UYM Part 2 and this UYM Part 3 blogs, Systems Automation started out of the gate the highest. All I've ever wanted was to be free. So I leveraged my inner tech geek to streamline and automate everything my fingers touched.
- Art of Enrollment 0/0 • I knew nothing about sales nor enrollment, would never even have imagined that it was an art that anyone can eventually master.
- Sales + Lead Generation 0/0 • I knew nothing about sales, lead generation or list building.
ITERATION NO. 1 • OUT OF THE GATE
You might read "Iteration 0" and wonder where you stand if you're not a tech wizard, organized or a natural tracker/pattern seer. Well, there's a lot I didn't have. I didn't have any support, there are no entrepreneurs in my family, no connections to high places or any place, no husband/partner to pay my bills while I grow my business, no role model who is young, Asian and feminine (there were some hardcore tough-as-alligator-skin Asian women role models, but none that radiated ease, joy or grace), I'm not American nor plugged into the huge US media network, I was never taught to dream, never encouraged to be whoever I wanted to be, didn't have a bestfriend, didn't have a sister bestie whose couch I could sleep on in case I failed, etc. etc. etc. And I had a heap of filial piety duties that required all of my time, energy and money.
You may be a far better storyteller, networker, dreamer, creative, do-er, etc. etc. etc.
Like I said, we all come to the game of life and freedom with baggage and superpowers. It's being willing to play the game as joyfully as possible that will ensure your success.
This "Iteration no. 1" felt like molasses rolling uphill on a frigid winter day. It took focused discipline, patience, and self-compassion to move each of these "Create the Masterclass" components up one notch. One. Single. Notch. There was reading, digesting, discerning and selecting what resonated with me and discarding the rest. Just because the majority of the world does marketing a certain way doesn't mean they're right or that you have to.
In fact, don't follow the masses. Often the 'm' is silent. Lol!
ITERATION NO. 2 • OFF TO THE RACES!
After any storm, the sun eventually comes out. Then after a period of sun, the rain always returns. It's like that with freedompreneurship. After the phase of molasses rolling uphill, of muck, heaviness, even despair, there is light at the end of the tunnel. You're still in the tunnel, just like every single human who has ever sought freedom, but at least there is a dot of light at the end.
- Curriculum Outline 6/10 • By now, my curriculum made it above the halfway mark, because I tested all my teachings and tools on a small group of live ideal clients. You can read more about the gracefully organic way my masterclass unfolded, without wasting a cent on pre-mature filming and production. In short, I taught them what I knew at that time, trusting that it was good enough, coached them through their implementation of those teachings and tools, and asked them what else they needed. If their request resonated with me, then I created the visual aids, worksheets or supplementals that they asked for.
- Lead Magnet 4/10 • I also read enough about business and funnels to know that the best lead magnet, which would attract clients to offer their email, time and readership, was to gift them the best 3 modules of my masterclass. But I hadn't finished leading my first live group through my program yet, so I didn't know yet which modules would end up "the best". Even though "Lead Magnet" scored 3/10, I grew like a phoenix in the areas of patience and inner peace.
- Production Panel 6/10 • In the meantime, while patiently and joyfully leading my little group of 3 through the first paid iteration of my masterclass, I was preparing in the background my 30sec intro and outro videos that would accompany each masterclass module. It was a great opportunity for me to hone in even deeper on my brand, my motto, my signature of "Women who are free will set the world free!". I read about the neuroscience of sales and average people need 7-12 repetitions for brand recognition and call-to-action following through.
- Storytelling Website 5/10 • Even though I was a web wizard, I hadn't embraced storytelling. My webpages were standalone pages that didn't take a stranger through an experience. But so what! We can't be born geniuses at everything!! That'd take away all the fun, pleasure and delight of reading, learning, discovering and actualizing what we learned.
- "About me" Mindmap 5/10 • I arrived at the halfway point in terms of describing what I do and who I am. I think this is THE most vulnerable and challenging part for a women entrepreneur: to let her light shine with fear of persecution. Especially for women like me who had their sense of safety stripped away at a very young age, the fear, terror or trauma of being burned at the stake, persecuted or crucified is very, very, VERY real. I had no idea that I'd end up in a PTSD counsellor's office when I started this freedompreneurship quest, not from having been traumatized by business, but from needing to heal and clear the past in order to move forward gracefully in business.
- Masterclass Sales Page 4/10 • I knew that a super important part of a sales page was genuine testimonials from raving clients and students. Having been raised in a culture of "children are meant to be not seen and not heard," I couldn't bring myself to ask for testimonials. Even though my clients verbally told me how much they were benefiting from working with me, my tongue, jaw and vocal chords were frozen by having no self-worth. But I moved the tuner up to 4/10 by writing a few prompts that would help collect a future testimonial. And I even journalled a dozen dream testimonials I'd love to receive. It's a start! Just start. Start somewhere, anywhere!
- Systems Automation 7/10 • In other areas, I got very savvy with Simplero.com and automated all my processes, from welcome email, receipt all the way to masterclass module delivery and post-session recordings. Some areas grew quickly, like this one. Other areas grew ever so slowly. This is one of the greatest paradoxes you could ever accept: that even though we are chronologically grown adults, we are still like children who have high IQ but low EQ (emotional quotient), or high EQ but low SQ (social quotient).
- Art of Enrollment 5/10 • The greatest booster I made from 2/10 to 5/10 is to buy a book on the difference between selling and enrolling. It blew my mind. No wonder soooooo many people think sales is sleezy, because the sleezy people only knew how to pitch (which feels like a pie in the face), not how to enroll (which feels like a set og luxury mansion doors opening to a buffet feast, luring you in with its scent and delights).
- Sales + Lead Generation 2/10 • At this iteration, I didn't have the time, space or brain capacity to also be learning about lead generation and list building. You truly can't do everything at once, all by yourself. But I moved the tuner out of the gate by doing sales my way: by being the naturally gifted listener I am. I listened, then listened, then listened some more. And a prospect would feel so heard that they either wanted more of that peaceful attention or would word-for-word tell me what they needed. When I repeated word-for-word what they needed to them, they'd be pleasantly shocked with, "How did you know? It's like you can read my heart." Hehehe, "Because you told me so."
Last week, we looked at the 0th, 1st and 2nd iterations of creating my masterclass, which turned out to be a spiritual quest to discover that my calling is to teach and guide others on how to unleash their masterclass, through our signature Unleash Your Freedom program. Now let's look at the 3rd, 4th and 5th iteration.
Yes, the first steps are the most challenging. No, nobody gets to bypass the first steps. Just like everyone goes through the pain of teething as a baby, then loses their baby teeth, then grow adult teeth, there's no skipping that initial discomfort or pain. If you do, then you'll end up with the equivalent of a very expensive orthodontic bill, to compensate for the the bypassing of those rites of passage.
ITERATION NO. 3 • THE TIPPING POINT
In world cultures, there is such a strong bias toward "The Prodigy" archetype. People "oooh" and "aaah" at the little 6-year old chess champion or the little 7-year old opera singer. Even regardless of age, prodigies and geniuses are praised and valued for their effortless, natural talent. What does that imply for the rest of us who aren't natural prodigies, who aren't effrotlessly talented at business building or marketing?
We fall prey to the shadow side of "Prodigy Culture", which tells us:
- Only prodigies succeed, get rich or famous
- There's no room for the rest of us
- If something requires effort and grit, that means I suck at it
- No one notices normal people like me, etc.
One of my favorite books on success is Grit by Angela Duckworth, where she breaks the mold of "Nobody wants to show you the hours and hours of becoming. They'd rather show the highlight of what they've become." Me, I'd rather show you the hours and hours of becoming. I spent years, and willingly so, from age 14 to age 23, honing my digital talents, while my peers were out drinking and partying. It wasn't a sacrifice, I enjoyed learning and making things from what I learned, and now those talents keep paying dividends each and every week.
It is a delusion to think that you'll be an overnight success. Only little children and unmaturated ego's blindly believe that they'll be rich and famous tomorrow. But you and I, we are mature women, who understand that everything we are and everything we do is cumulative. And eventually, all that accumulation hits a tipping point.
My tipping point came in the form of an embodied "aha" moment of realizing the simplicity of success: keep doing what does work and stop doing what doesn't work. That's what moved all the tunners forward in iteration no. 3, with two significant leaps:
- 5. "About me" Mindmap (8/10) • I signed up for a year long $10,000+ leadership program and my tribe helped me see the true me, the most compelling me. I wrote down what they lovingly said about me on my "About Me" page. That's when I realized that we are our own worst enemy and we are always the last to see our own greatness. I also realized that human nature is inherrently setup that way, so that we connect and mirror back greatness to each other.
- 8. Art of Enrollment (8/10) • I combined the Law of Detachment (which I learned from Deepak Chopra's The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success) with what I learned about the Art of Enrollment and simply listened with my soul, without expectation. That lead to an 85% enrollment rate into my programs.
ITERATION NO. 4 • GROWTH SPUR
I don't know any freedompreneur who got to skip the middle part, where we feel lost, afraid, confused, alone, anxious, depressed, hopeless, etc. On any creative endeavor, whether it's birthing a human baby, a book or a masterclass, there's no bypassing the middle part. The only way out is through. And god oh god is life delicious once through.
At iteration no. 4, I could not only see the light at the end of the tunnel, but almost feel it on my skin. So I was adamant about moving every tuner up a notch, even if it's only one notch. The two major advancements worth noting:
- 3. Production Panel (9/10) • Now that my first live group program was complete, I turned the audio recordings into an informal script, added in anything else I wanted to teach about that topic, then record a formal audio training. I overlay Powerpoint slides on top of the audio track, and voila! Now I had a video masterclass. Sometimes, a tuner is dependent on another tuner, so if one doesn't move, the other doesn't move. But then when one does move up, the other automatically moves up to. That's the nature of the game. Patience and self-compassion will become your bestfriends on this quest, you might as well embrace them now.
- 8. Art of Enrollment (10/10) • I never knew how talented I was at enrolling my people until I did the math and realized I had an 85% enrollment rate, meaning that if 100 people spoke with me, 85 of them would enroll. Once I setup an even more rigorous application form, which filtered out all the wrong people, my enrollment rate shot up to 95%!
ITERATION NO. 5 • EVERGREEN GROWTH
You know that feeling when you're so close to the finish line, you could almost taste it, but the more you focus on that taste, the further away the finish line seems? Hehehe, yeah, that happens in freedompreneurship too, just like in the restless days before birthing a child, before defending a PhD, or before quitting your last job.
On iteration no. 5, even though my ego would have loved all tuners to be 10/10, I accepted the fact that I'm not a robot or a car assembly line. I had a ton of family duties, heartbreaks, overseas moves, visas challenges, home purchases/sales, family funerals, etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. There's no way business will be utterly perfect, and I finally stopped trying.
- Curriculum Outline (9/10) • My masterclass started as 12 modules, then expanded to 15 modules, then to 3 programs (each with 15 modules), then got unified into 27 modules. I don't think I'll ever move this tuner up to 10/10 because there will always be enhancements I'll continue to make.
- Lead Magnet (9/10) • Lead Magnet jumped up from 6/10 to 9/10 because I finally had a full video version of my masterclass and I surveyed my clients to know which 3 modules were the most beneficial to them and shared that as a lead magnet. Seems simple advice: just extract 3 of your top modules and tada! that's your lead magnet. But it was multiple, multiple iterations to arrive at a lead magnet that is desirable, marketable and profitable and that I was proud of.
- Production Panel (10/10) • Even though there will be continuous upgrades to my masterclass, my production process has been nailed 10/10. I now what pacing fits my lifestyle, what support team talents and hours I need, and what approach encourages or discourages me. Woohoo! I finally graduated from frantic one-woman-show to graceful symphony conductor.
- Storytelling Website (9/10) • I also want to leave this tuner at 9/10, because I love digital design and want to enjoy the process of tweaking my story and my website to match my soul maturation and lifestyle freedom.
- "About me" Mindmap (10/10) • I started this journey knowing I had zero self-worth, or rather minus 10,000 self-worth. I never imagined I could feel this whole and this invincible, knowing the answer to the elusive question, "Who am I?" I know who I am now, and it's the most peaceful and powerful feeling in the world. I know what to say "hell no!" or "f*ck yeah!" to. I know who to clear from my life and who to keep in. This deep mind- body-heart-spirit knowing is so, so, so, so, so worth going through the "muck" and previous iterations for, I promise!
- Masterclass Sales Page (8/10) • By now, I'd automated the process of asking clients or students to contribute a testimonial, which eliminated any emotional turmoil or hesitation that I used to have. And with time, I actually started loving receiving testimonials and recording video testimonials, because I did those MY way. I put all my clients at ease, we simply laughed and played, reminisced about their coaching journey and my team sliced and diced in the editing room. I never imagined it could be so easy and so fun~
- Systems Automation (9/10) • My tech wizard mind wishes this tuner was 20/10, but the rest of my soul knows that 9/10 is good enough and we'll always be growing and streamlining things.
- Art of Enrollment (10/10) • There's nothing that strengthens a skill more than teaching it to others. Every client always tells me how they didn't feel sold to, they felt emotional resonance and they just knew they wanted to work with me. This is because we interviewed each other, we both were looking for "bigh love, high joy" and the volume of our laughter, intimacy and trust said it all, whether we were a good match or not.
- Sales + Lead Generation (6/10) • I would have rated myself 9/10 had it not been for THE worst hiring mistake I ever made. I hired a lead generation marketing agency and they utterly over-promised and under-delivered. I will write a separate blog (or blog series) just on this, so you learn from my $10,000 mistake. Oy.
THE POWER OF ITERATIONS
There is so much cultural shaming, prompting women to squeeze in that fat, cover up that wrinkle and make perfect that website. Women are under constant pressure to compensate for their weaknesses or shortcomings. At Guide to Grace, I'd rather focus on your strengths and your superpowers. My superpower is guiding you to unleash your masterclass in a "big love, high joy" sanctuary.
It may take you several iterations, or one single iteration. It may take you less iterations than me, or more iterations than me. What does it matter? As long as you start, then keep going, then keep going some more, with championing support, I promise you you'll reach the freedom finish line.
(First Published Mar 4, 2020)