#140: How to Launch an Online Business with Jeff Walker

One of the goals of the Turn Autism Around podcast is to help parents and professionals lead less stressed lives. One way to reduce stress may be to bring in additional income or see the value of online courses. I am interviewing Jeff Walker, my business mentor and author of the #1 New York Times bestseller, Launch. We discuss how to disseminate information globally, how to find your place in the digital world, how to grow a business, or how to move your current coaching program to the online space.

Jeff has a really interesting story on how he got started as he went from stay-at-home dad to the author and digital entrepreneur guru he is today! I first got connected with Jeff when I was ready to start my business. I read his book Launch in 2014 and followed every single step. Now the new and expanded edition of the book has just been published, and I’ve read that cover to cover too.

If the first book was so successful, why re-publish and expand? Jeff shares that the perception of digital work has changed a lot in the last seven years. Tools and strategies have evolved, and there are a lot of crucial launch strategies that didn’t exist when he wrote the first book. One of those highly recommended strategies is “Go Live”. There are tons of platforms out there that every single person has access to that allow you to go live to your friends, followers, subscribers, the public with a push of a button. Jeff shares a couple of really interesting stories about entrepreneurs building their platform and their business just by going live.

It’s not uncommon that people tell me I should be educating and sharing my approach for free. There is constantly a push for many industries to be altruistic and share knowledge freely, especially in the autism community. Jeff breaks down how to appease the free-knowledge-seekers, while also valuing your hard work. The secret to Jeff’s business has been, since the very beginning, giving away high value to get your consumers interested in paying for more. This is a crucial part of Jeff’s Launch formula. I provided a lot of free content via the podcast and blogs, my book resources, and my website. For those that want to dig deeper, they can purchase my book or my courses. Like with any job, our time has value, and running a business has expenses; but it is also what it takes to reach the masses.

Whether you’re a stay-at-home parent looking to turn a hobby or skill into a business or a professional in the autism world ready to move your coaching business into the digital space, Jeff Walker’s book, Launch, is the best way to pursue it. We talk about finding your niche and the gradual steps to building a following and a business. This can apply to starting a business by teaching courses, becoming an online coach, selling a product or service. The options are endless on the internet.

Jeff’s advice for staying less stressed and leading a happier life is meditation. He enjoys meditating outside and says he never misses a day where he starts his day with 20 minutes of meditation. He also reminds us of the importance of staying active and keeping hydrated. As a parent with grown children, he relates to those listeners still in the trenches with their young children, so if 20 minutes isn’t realistic, Jeff says, take 20 seconds to take three mindful breaths. It can really change your day.

This was definitely different from any other episodes I’ve done; Jeff Walker has been such a great tool for me in building my business. I wanted to share that information with parents and professionals looking to start their own businesses and even see the value and importance of taking courses online to better yourself as people, parents, and professionals!

TODAY’S GUEST

Jeff Walker is the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller “LAUNCH”. He teaches people how to launch online courses, products, services, and brands online. Jeff started his first online business in 1996, and he pioneered the very idea of the online launch. His “Product Launch Formula” transformed the online marketing world from the day it was released in 2005. Jeff and PLF have never slowed down. Now, more than 14 years later, the Product Launch Formula brand is the gold standard in the online entrepreneurial training market. Jeff’s students and clients have done over a billion dollars in launches in hundreds of niches and markets, in dozens of countries around the world. Jeff lives in Durango, Colorado (because he can live anywhere) and he loves to get outside for all kinds of adventures. He’s been married to his wife, Mary, for decades. He’s no longer quite as fast as his kids on skis or mountain bikes, but they still let him come along for the ride.

YOU’LL LEARN

  • How to disseminate information globally.
  • How to find your place in the digital world.
  • How to grow a business from scratch.
  • How to move your current coaching business online.
Want to get started on the right path and start making a difference for your child or client with autism?
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Transcript for Podcast Episode: 140

How to Launch an Online Business with Jeff Walker
Hosted by: Dr. Mary Barbera

Mary: You're listening to the term autism podcast episode number one hundred and forty. Today, I am interviewing my online marketing mentor, Jeff Walker, who is not in the autism world. He is not an autism expert. But what he brings to us today is information about how to disseminate information globally, how to think about how you might work in the digital world, how to grow a business, or how to move from one-to-one coaching to more online autism programs. So it's a fun, interesting conversation. Hope you love it. Let's get to Jeff Walker.

Narrator: Welcome to the Town Autism Around podcast. For both parents and professionals in the autism world who want to turn things around, be less stressed and lead happier lives. And now your host, autism mom, behavior analyst, and bestselling author, Dr. Mary Barbera.

Mary: Thanks so much for joining us Jeff.

Jeff: Thanks for having me, Mary, I'm looking forward to this.

Mary: Yeah, we've known each other now since 2016 in person. And so I was just kind of chatting with you and, I usually for every episode, I've started with describing your fall into the autism world, but you are actually probably the guest with the least autism information that I've ever had on. So do you have any experience with autism?

Jeff: No, I mean, frankly, my experiences is my friendship with you and what I've learned about the autism world just from watching you and your work and the casual conversations. I didn't even know how to talk about it before. So, yeah, I don't, I just actually had some new neighbors move in. We have a very, very tight knit neighborhood and they have a son who is on the spectrum, far as I can see, my unbelievably unpracticed eye, very high functioning. But so I'm getting to know him. He's, it's actually a lot of fun to watch him and be around him and yeah.

Mary: Yeah. OK, well, but the reason I did want to have you on is because you know a ton about how to disseminate information, how to create and launch businesses. And I know you basically created launching and launching of informational products many, many years ago. And I know there's a lot of listeners that maybe are in the autism world, but they have hobbies and interests or maybe they're married to somebody in business or want to start thinking about how they could get their information to go a little wider. OK, so we'll start with how I found you. I read a couple business books and I was trying to get my message out online. I was going door to door and then I was also traveling around the world speaking about autism. And I knew that I had a formula on approach. The turn autism around approach it's now called and I wanted to get it out online. And this was after I got my PhD and at about 2011. People are like, well, what are you going to do now? You're going to teach in college? And I'm like, well I'm going to try to figure out how to get my message out online. So I found your book called Launch in 2014. It was published and that's when I read the first edition. But now, just a few weeks ago, the second well, the expanded edition of Launch, new and expanded edition, of Launch is out on the market. And I read it cover to cover. I actually bought two versions. I bought the hardback and I bought Audible. I like to do that with really good books. I like the author to read me the book at double speed and I like to have a hard copy so I can underline or highlight the interesting facts. So the subtitle is, How to Sell Almost Anything Online, Build a Business You Love and Live the Life of Your Dreams. And some people that don't know you. I mean, you are very well known in the industry of the online space, but I'm sure there's a lot of people that don't know you. But why did you initially write Launch and then why did you update it?

How Jeff Walker Got Started and the origin of Launch:

Jeff: So I started my first online business long ago in 1996, and I was a stay at home dad with a couple of young children. And my wife is supporting the family and my wife, my Mary. You've met her many times and she supported the family. Times were tough, there was not much money to go around. And I just wanted to find some way to contribute financially to the family. And my goal was to make ten thousand dollars in a year to help support the family, and that would make a great big difference, and so I started publishing online. I started back then, It was hard. It was really, really hard.

Mary: Was AOL even out in 1996 or?

Jeff: AOL was definitely a thing for sure. Yeah, but it was like the world was transitioning from AOL to the Internet really is where we were in 1996. And but like putting up a website was really, really hard. Things like blogs didn't exist. Of course, Facebook, Instagram didn't exist. Google didn't exist. And so I started publishing a newsletter and the new letter was about the stock market because I had a passion for the stock market. I had no credentials. I wasn't a stock broker or registered investment advisor, didn't have any initials after my name, just a real passion for it. So I started writing a newsletter about it. And eventually I decided to try to create a paid version. It was a free newsletter. So I created this and decided is going to create this paid version to see if anyone would buy something for me. Now, at that time, I had no business experience. I'd been in the corporate world, had not been very successful in the corporate world, which is why I was a stay at home dad. I just did not fit in that corporate world. I couldn't figure out how it worked. And so no business experience, no marketing experience, no sales experience. I just had this newsletter with several hundred people that were following it and that had just grown through word of mouth. The first edition of the newsletter was sent out to 19 email addresses, one of them was my second email address. One of them was my wife's email address. So really 17 people outside of my house, that first newsletter. But it grew through word of mouth and then I had hundreds of people subscribed. And I thought maybe some of these folks would pay me for something. And so I came up with an enhanced version that would be the paid version. But then my problem was I had to try to sell it and I had no sales experience, no market experience. And there wasn't anyone teaching online marketing then because online marketing barely existed. There really were just a handful of businesses online at that time. And so I thought and since I didn't know how to sell, I decided I would try to make my people fall in love with me. And so I started delivering even more value beyond just that free newsletter and then eventually led into the launch. So I delivered a lot of value ahead of time to try to get them excited. And that's the core of what I teach in my business. Now this thing we call the product launch formula or the launch formula. And really what it is, it's an expanded, codified version of that, delivering a lot of value ahead of time and then asking for the sale. But back then, the idea of a formula or teaching, marketing or teaching business or having a successful business was all the way in the future. Back then, I was just desperate to hopefully make some money. And that first launched at 1,650 dollars in sales. And everyone's got a different frame of reference for money. But for me, that was a huge amount of money. I was like doing backflips just with that, really. But if I could, I would have been doing backflips. And then I thought, wow, if I did this once, I can do it again and again and I might even get better at it. And that's what happened. And over the years, I got better and better. And then in 2005, I developed this to the point where I started teaching it. I came out with an online course in five teaching this formula. I had lots and lots and lots of successful students. Literally, and this is going to sound like a very braggadocious, but it literally changed the way stuff was sold online. It really changed the very nature of online marketing. And then as the years went by, this idea of writing a book, that basically gave the formula in the book, came to me. A few friends vigorously told me I needed to do it. And then I had this idea, like, really? Like I said, it changed the marketing world, it changed the business world. I'm like someone at some point when someone sits down, writes the history of all this, someone's going to get credit for this. And since it's my baby, since I'm the one that created it, I might as well be the one that gets the credit for it. So I think I'm going to write a book and maybe they'll put like a stamp, like the stamp of approval. And so that was one reason. The other reason is I knew that it would bring clients to me. I knew it would bring to grow my business. And then the third reason is my online course is not inexpensive. And I knew that if I put a book out there, it would just help that many more people. If you have a Kindle book for twelve dollars or a hard copy for twenty dollars, that's a lot more, it was more accessible and it would help more people. And I wanted to do that because it felt like a good thing to do. But I also want to do it because I know that it selfishly I knew that the more people were having success with my formula, whether it was from the book or from my course, the more it was going to grow my business. And Mary, I mean, you're an example. I mean, you're right now, this is an example, right? Because you took this and you've had extraordinary success building your business, getting your message out there, getting the word out there, helping so many parents. Now you've built up this great big platform because of that. And now you're hosting me on your podcast that gets a gazillion downloads with each episode.

Mary: And yeah, it's kind of a meta thing. And your book launch that I read on a plane ride to and from Germany where I was speaking and took eight pages of notes and I literally was like, OK, page twenty three. Write this kind of email. And I did. And I followed it to a tee and it worked. I mean I launched, I read the book in late 2014 and March 2015, I started my first online course. It's still selling that same course is still selling still today. And then I went on to create another course and then my third course was just a toddler preschooler course. And I saw you for the first time. I bought the book and I launched and I didn't even have your product launch formula course. I literally just did it from the 15 dollar softcover version. And then you were presenting live at launch con 2016 and I, I'm like I'm going to go see this guy because I didn't ever get invited before because I wasn't a part of the PLF community. So I was like oh he's, he's doing something live and it's going to be advanced launching. I had already figured out how to launch just from your book. I was already like moving towards Evergreen, started an accidental membership program. I was like, OK, it's going to be Advanced Strategies. I'm going to go and get some tricks and tips. And then when I went, I was just like, whoa, what is happening? There's like a thousand people there. You were giving away a Ferrari. There was a competition of top ten launchers and they're all giving their five minute spiel on the stage. I'm like, I'm there completely by myself. And I'm like looking around like I could be on that stage. I could do this and, you know, and right now I'm in my mid 50s, I mean, this was I was 50 or early 50 and I'm like, you know what? What do I have to lose? These people seem very positive, very genuine, and I didn't know you. I mean, you seemed very genuine. I appreciated the stories, but now I know you like I know I would totally have your back and know that everything out of your mouth. It's not sales or sleazy. And that's what I loved about loved and currently love about the launch club community. So I joined Launch Club basically for the number one reason of getting on the stage and getting top 10 the following year. And I actually got top ten and then I won the whole competition, which I think I've talked about here and there on the podcast, but not much because I am out to give out autism information, whether it's free through this podcast or my video blogs or through my paid courses. But, you know, I am now basically an online marketer and I'm trying hard to disseminate the information. So you recently updated the book and why is that? What's different about this book than the first version?

The Importance of How You Launch For The Success of Your Business:

Jeff: Well, so the first version came out almost exactly seven years ago. And everything I teach is very rooted in strategies and things that are going to work, for decades. That being said, there's always new tools coming out. And we're always coming up with new strategies. And there's also a perception in my world that something from 2014 can't possibly still work because the Internet's evolved and digital marketing evolved. And that moves so fast. It's. It can't be useful anymore. So because of that, the perception is out there. I felt like I needed to update it. But then I also added a whole bunch of new material about things like the idea of doing live launches, which is using live broadcasts, which is quite the thing these days. In fact, I've leaned heavily into that. It's not required, but it's a really great tool in addition to all the other tools. And it's a tool that anyone could go live on Facebook at any time. If you just go on your Facebook account, anyone could push the button and do a live broadcast. And that's just one. There's many other platforms where you can do that. You can do it on YouTube, you can do it on Instagram. And the idea of doing a launch is you deliver a bunch of value ahead of time. Typically there's three pieces that could be emails, that could be videos or that could be live broadcast now. And those lead into the opening where you open your course or your membership or whatever it is you're selling. And I used to think that, I don't know, I started doing these launches with live broadcasts maybe three years ago. I think it was might have been four, but I think it was three years ago. And it's been enormously successful. We've got this, we've built out this whole studio. It almost looks like a TV studio, there's lights everywhere and there's cameras all over and there's all kinds of fancy electronics. And so I thought that this idea of a live launch was like for super advanced people. But then we have people like, you know, Anne LaFollette. I'm sure you've met her. I mean, she's, you know, early 60s was downsized from a corporate career, a very successful corporate career. One day her boss calls her in and says, you don't have a job anymore completely out of the blue to her, and she'd had a career that was like a defining piece of her life. And then it was gone. And she's 59 or 58. 59, 60. And she's like, OK, now I don't have anything to do, you know. And she had always been interested in art. And so her husband said, why don't you bring those art supplies from the basement up and get the work on those. And so she started, she learned something called the surface pattern design, which when she first told me about it, I had no idea what it was. I had to Google it. Even after I Googled it, I still didn't know what it was. It's hard for me to understand, but it's this idea of creating repeating patterns that you could doodle something, literally doodle it out, bring it into Adobe Illustrator, turn it into a repeating pattern, and companies actually will license that from individuals. And so you can actually make money doing this. And she learned it. She got good at it and then she decided to start teaching it. But she had no online experience, no publishing experience, no video experience, no live broadcast experience, no marketing experience, no following, no social following, no email list, no product, nothing. But she just started every week doing a free class. Via Facebook, just by pushing that go live button, which everyone's got in your Facebook account, and she did that every week, and initially it was just her cousin was watching. She had an audience of one, but then she did it week after week, she started to get comfortable with being on live. And then she did a test launch and just to see if this could possibly, if someone could possibly buy from her, because like when I did my first launch, I was the same way. Like this idea that someone would actually pay me for something I created? Outside of a regular job? That seemed foreign to me. But she did her test launch and she made 500 dollars. This was in late 2018. And it all came from doing those live, first live broadcasts and then doing a launch with live broadcasts. And so she started spending. Then she's like, OK, this, I mean if I wanted a proof of concept. So she started spending five dollars per day on ads in Facebook to drive them into her free live broadcast each week. And then it just grew and it snowballed. And then in 2019, she did four launches that totaled up to over a hundred thousand dollars. Again, this is someone who started with absolutely nothing, from scratch.

Mary: Yeah. And she was six in her sixties and she didn't know any of the tech and everything, you know. And you're describing, you know, most of the people I know through Launch Club, which is one of your group coaching programs. And, you know, you can start no matter what age, what/how much tech you have. And if you have a passion for something like even for me, I've learned a lot online. I've learned from you online. I learned how to play the piano during covid online. I learned how to paint online. I've learned how to do webinars online. I learned how to do my podcasts online like so I know both as a provider of content and the consumer of content that it is very powerful. And you've said it when covid hit, you know, we were all kind of...almost paralyzed by what is happening, and I'm sure the listeners out there that either have children with autism or work with children with autism, they had even more stress because kids with autism in general are not easy to supervise. And when you're having no break and then you're transitioning to homeschooling and working from home and everybody's isolated and kids need a structure. And I can't even imagine, I know what my family went through. And it was not as stressful as many others with younger children with less services available. And so, you know, you've helped people in and is in your book. And I know almost everybody that's mentioned in your book. I know from being in your world for the past five years. In fact, I do want to put this in the show notes. We did, I did podcast interviews with Shelley Brander, who wrote a book and has a son with autism. But her book is in the yarn world and she's an entrepreneur. We're going to link hers. And then your show notes. This is episode 140. And then I also did a podcast interview with Julie Cairns, who was all about abundance mindset. She's also a Hey House author and I'm also a Hey House author with my new book, Turn Autism Around, which is partially definitely related to working with you, because I remember I was I was actually in Durango twice at Mastermind's and it was during a break and I wasn't really thinking about writing another book. And one of our members came up to you. She found one of your launch books, your 2014 books in another language and said, Jeff, what language is this in? And you said, Oh, I have no idea. And I happened to be talking to you. And I said, oh, how many languages is launch in? And you said like 12 or 13. And I said, Oh, my gosh. My Verbal Behavior Approach, which was published in 2007, still selling better than ever, is 12 or 13 languages at the time. And then I just looked at you and I said, Jeff, do you think I should write another book? And you're like, Yes, you should. And I will connect you with Reid Tracey and the Hey House family. And I really I mean, between my first publisher and Hey House, it is like night and day. And I'm so happy and proud to be a Hey House author. But like you endorse my book and Julie Cairnes and Shelley Brander among lots of people entrenched in the autism world.

Jeff: Yeah we've got this great big community. So, yeah, Shelley has been part of my world for a very long time and Julie even longer. She's been part of my world since 2009, 2010.

Why You Should Put Value to Your Hard Work, Free Vs. Paid Content:

Mary: It is really one common theme, while we're all in different niches and different focuses, is we are all, I think, very optimistic, positive approach. We're very much, you know, assess what the situation is, make a plan and take action and try to move yourself forward, trying to move your niche forward, trying to overcome obstacles. And when you get to the next level, then there's another level and you just keep going, because that's what passions are about. That's what makes the world go round. That's spirituality and leaving a legacy. And then we've had those kind of discussions, too. So in your book and in marketing for your book, you have said that you've helped tens of thousands of people make over one billion dollars. And I think you were quoted somewhere as being the one billion dollar guru. So in the autism and even the parenting space, and maybe this is just like everywhere, but everybody thinks and sees that people are very price sensitive. They don't like that idea. Like even though I'm telling my listeners you're like the most authentic person in the world, they still are like and he's spouting off a billion dollars and one hundred thousand dollars. And, you know, and like, this is autism. We shouldn't be about making money. And why can't you just.. In fact I've gotten one star reviews saying all she wants to do is sell her course, you know, she's not giving away the information in the book. Yeah, actually, the book very much goes in line with my toddler cause like now if you want to go deeper, you know, after your book, just like I read your book and I wanted to go deeper. So I joined Launch Club and I got PLF and, ya know, went deeper. But your information in your book was very, very valuable, just like the information I believe in my book is very valuable. So how do you respond to people who want the information for free, who think all information should be free and there is a lot of autism information for free. So let's talk about free information.

Jeff: Yeah, well, I mean, the core foundational principle of my process is that you give away an amazing education, amazing information. So for me, when I launched my course, I do it in a launch master class and I'll teach for anywhere from 10 or 10 to 12, sometimes 14 hours of live training, live streaming training. And then I invite people to go deeper. If they want to get the full course, they can go deeper. But my entire goal is to give away, is in that launch master class that's free. You give us your email, it's free. And I want that to be like the second best training in the world on how to launch an online membership, a course, a product, whatever it is, a book, a series of paintings, whatever it is.

Mary: Between your book and your free workshop. That's how I did it. And I was able to launch. But then if you want to go deeper...

Jeff: Then I offer my course and then beyond the course, there's Launch Club, which is, you know, not inexpensive. Again, it's a serious investment. But I mean, like if you did the looking at your return on investment that you've had, Mary, and that course, you couldn't even calculate that number. You could not even calculate that number. So, I mean, if people first of all, if you want everything for free, you can get a lot of stuff for free from me. Or you could spend twelve dollars for the Kindle or twenty whatever dollars for the book. Now if you're on the other side, you're publishing and you're like, I feel like I should give everything away for free or my people tell me that I should be giving away everything for free. Well, you know, I know a lot of people that have jobs and when they go to their job, they're not going to their job for free. Right. I mean, you know, you were a nurse. I mean, there's a lot of nurses out there, do they? You know, people really need nurses. Nursing is really, really important. It's Important people get cared for. So shouldn't those nurses do that for free? Doesn't it make sense that they should do it for free? I mean, that's the kind of, you know, for the folks that are insisting that everything is free. It's like, no, that's not the way the world works. You can't give from an empty cupboard. No matter how altruistic you want to be and how many people you want to help, if you really want to get your message and your work out there in a big way, then it has to be a business. Businesses have costs, cost in time, and cost in materials, cost in resources. And you need to have revenue coming in. I now have a team of 40 people and 40 families are dependent on this business and we have an added up how many kids? But there's a lot of kids in those 40 families. I don't know if we're at one hundred kids or not yet, but it wouldn't surprise me if we are. They really like it when they get a paycheck, you know? I mean, they're here doing great work, working really, really hard, working for our mission. And our mission is basically it's all about the future of all humanity, because I think that's what online education and online entrepreneurs are all about, really is about us getting our best knowledge and our best work out there and helping humanity by sharing the wisdom and knowledge we've built up over our lives. But the reality is, if you want to be a force for good in the world, it's very hard to do it without having a budget. It's very hard to do without being able to spend money. And you can't spend money unless you have revenue coming in, even if you're a nonprofit. And frankly, we've had a lot of nonprofits do really, really well using our formula as well. So, yeah, it's and there will always be people that don't want to pay anything. Well, then I've got my free stuff here. That's great.

Mary: Right. You can go to the library, you can check out a book, you can get a free Audible or Kindle trial and read the book or listen to the book. And there's ways that people can be very resourceful. And, you know, there's also in addition to money, there's time, you know, especially when you're talking about the focus now of my new book and my toddler courses. If you have a toddler with early signs of autism, you need to turn it, start trying to turn it around, try to start trying to teach some language, to reduce tantrums, to work on eating, sleeping, potty training. You can't afford to sit and wait for professionals to help you. And even if professionals are helping you or you are a professional. You need to learn the approach to do it better, to do it quicker, to do it easier with less stress, because time is ticking for all of us. And one of the books that actually led me to you was Brendan Bouchard's book called Millionaire Messenger. And basically in that book he says, you know, you basically if you want to spread the word to millions, you have to actually make millions. And so when I hear people say, well, I'm just going to charge them $4.99 To be a supporter on Facebook. And, you know, it's a lot of effort to charge $4.99 to have the PayPal fees and the Google forms and customer support. And, you know, if you want to get there quicker, you need what we call curated content. You need the fast track in because you could spend days and weeks and months sifting through my free content and you might get a little trick or a little tip here. That's just for one thing. And doing it based on your formula or my formula or teaching piano formula, you know, you're going to and in every market, I mean, there's a lot of markets that say, well, my market is very price sensitive, so we have to go lower. But you've shown me over the years is that we are providing enormous value. And actually, if people don't pay for things they don't really pay attention, they don't value things. So I think it's a good combo because you are a leader in the field. You don't charge for stuff that other people would charge for. You give a ton of value away for free and people that don't have the resources and really can get very creative, especially in the autism world. I just interviewed somebody for a podcast, actually just one thirty eight, just two podcasts ago. She got my courses paid for through parent training, through her service provider, through birth to three agency in her county. People have done go fund me accounts. People have asked for it for Christmas gift or their birthday. So people pay money for their kids, they pay for sports, they pay for piano lessons, they pay for... And this is important. And if you can get the resources a variety of ways. I think in my situation, I have over the years, I have invested a lot of money in learning your formula and being in the community of other like minded entrepreneurs. And like you said, I mean, the value, the return on investment has been huge. And what were my alternatives at 50 years old, going door to door and traveling around the world like I have an important message. I have one life. You post this Jelly Bean YouTube clip. I don't know if we can link that in the show notes, but I mean, it's just basically you've got only these many Jelly Beans in your whole life and, you know, and you have to decide how to live it. I love that. I love that Jelly Bean clip.

Jeff: I mean, and if you look I mean, you were impacting people. You were working with parents and toddlers. Right. And so you were making a real individual impact. And then you had your book and you're going around and speaking. And so instead of helping one here, one there, you are helping dozens or hundreds, now you're helping hundreds of thousands.

Mary: Actually over a million. Over a million have seen my clips. Actually my one clip on YouTube is my most popular blog by far. It's almost a million. We can link it in the show notes, It's called "Is it Speech Delay or Autism? The Steps You Can Take No Matter What." And it's approaching one million. I mean, that's just for that one clip. But we get millions of people that are there are finding me in some capacity, but not millions yet who are really invested in and diving deep. And, you know, we'll see. We'll see. I mean, you know, we've got a lot of balls in the air at every level. It's a constant challenge to reach more and to make it easier, simpler, as inexpensive as possible to really help the masses, so it's a challenge. So we do have some professionals listening, who I'm sure like I was going door to door, one to one, maybe some now one to one telehealth. So what advice would you have from going one to one to moving towards the digital space, maybe online courses?

Transitioning Your Existing Expertise into The Digital Space:

Jeff: Yeah, well, first of all, A great way is to start one on one and build up the experience, build up the results, and then the next step would be small groups and then from small groups. And then the next leap is into more like online courses. And we have this process, though, where I have this process, I always say we know because my team is such a big part of my life. So we have this process called the C Bunch, and that's for when you're when you're just starting out, maybe you have a two or three hundred people that are following you or you have two or three hundred people on an email list like you've worked with that number of people. And then you would offer basically a small group training and do it online and and you could just basically take whatever topic you want to teach and split it into five main areas. And then you do one call training on each one of those areas. You record it. You take surveys ahead of time to figure out what people need to know about those things. You say, even if you've been working one on one, going to teaching in a small group is a different environment. And what you're doing is you're basically creating what would become your online course because all this is recorded and when you're doing an online training and you could do it, you could do it via zoom, it's probably one of the best tools to use right now. But you could do it in Facebook groups. You can do a number of ways, but those are all recorded. And now you take those recordings that becomes your product. Or if you want, you could re-record. I mean, I'm a bit of a perfectionist. So when I did this afterwards, then I basically took what I taught and said what I want to change and then I re-recorded it. But basically you sell it ahead of time. You're getting paid ahead of time, then you're doing this training. And the great thing about this is some people like me are procrastinators. And but if you actually get paid and people have paid you for this thing, then you go ahead. You will do those five calls and you will finish it and you will create it. Your course will be complete. And so that transition from one to one to teaching small group to an online course, that's a well trodden path.

Mary: And that's how I did all my courses. I followed the instructions in launch. There's a whole chapter on C-launches. I follow the instructions, I did a C-Launch and never looked back because the one mistake I see people making is they have an idea and they're like, I'm going to make this course. I'm going to video shoot it. And it's like I say, like,if you build it, they will not come unless you know how to launch. So it's best to create it as you go with your people that want it. They need it. And it can be dynamic. They can get experience with you. They can interact with you, which is high value. And yeah, I think it's definitely the best way to go. I also want to add that in the beginning, back in 2004, when I was working for a statewide grant in schools, I didn't have permission to take videos and stuff and use them. But then I also was involved with some just friends of friends who were like, Mary, can you look at my child to see? And I couldn't diagnose autism, but I had a lot of information that I can help them. So I would let them come over to my house in exchange for video permission to videotape what their child was doing, the interventions, what the child was doing afterwards. And so I still have a bank of many, many videos. And that's really helpful in the autism world is my courses are filled with video examples, just like your stories, your case studies with Anne and Barry and Michael, my case study, some of them have also videos to actually see it, which is really powerful. So most of my audience is female and there's probably a lot of stay at home moms. So what kind of work is available in the digital world?

Jeff: Well, it seems like these days, just about everything except for waiting tables is online. You know, like I said, we've got 40 people on our team,

Mary: And they're all virtual.

Jeff: They're all virtual. They always have been. And so everything from customer service, to writers, tech people coding stuff, to event planners, to coaches, you know, obviously coaching has become a huge industry that is really facilitated by the whole online world. So just about everything that used to be in the office is all available now. And people are hiring. Absolutely hiring. And of course, I'm the biggest fan of creating your own thing. That's just to get it launched. And even if it's not like a course, membership sites are really red hot right now and they don't have to be overly complex or complicated and also....Just had a blank there...But yeah, online and online courses, memberships or coaching. I mean, coaching, whether it's coaching, you can be a meditation coach, or a life coach, or a romance coach, or a tennis coach, or a health coach. And in coaching, that is an industry where I think just in the last few years, people have understood that whatever they want to get ahead at... You know, it's like you were just talking about learning piano during covid. I've got a guitar coach that she coaches me online. And I think what people have opened their eyes to in the last few years is that having a coach is just a shortcut to wherever you want to get to, whatever skill it is.

Mary: So and there are some people listening that are either board certified behavior analysts or speech and language pathologists and like technically like telehealth. And you need to be licensed in that state. So, you know, there are some limitations. However, if you want to become a parent coach or a life coach using your background, just as long as you say, like, I'm not working with you in the context of a board certified behavior analyst. I mean, you can coach people and not use your credentials, but you do have to. I mean, Jeff and I aren't lawyers, so you do have to have you know, there is quite a bit of legal stuff involved in terms and conditions and privacy policies, and it does get pretty complex pretty quickly. So I think reading the book would be your best first step. The book and all the information and all the bonuses are at thelaunchbook.com and that way too, you'll get on Jeff's list. And Jeff often emails, he does a blog every Sunday, which I never miss. And, you know,he's also sometimes looking for people to work with him. And he emails his list and I might start doing that, too. So keep your eyes open. All right. So to wrap it up, I think this has provided a lot of value, even though it's a very different topic for us. But hopefully people will get your book at thelaunchbook.com. But part of my podcast goals are for parents and professionals to be less stressed and lead happier lives. And I know you have some really neat self care practices that you do every day. What are your top three or five that you would recommend?

Jeff's Advice for a Less Stressed Life, Meditation:

Jeff: Well, I sort of feel like in the world, these things that used to be strange when I talked about them now are pretty much everyone talking about. I mean, the big one for me is meditation. I've had a pretty regular meditation practice for about twenty years now. It's been about twenty years. And that's like a cornerstone of something I do when I first get up. Usually within fifteen minutes of getting up, I'll have about a twenty to twenty five minute meditation these days. It's out of my front porch. I like being outside during meditation as much as possible. I live in the mountains in Colorado, so in January, February, I'm not outside. But the meditation is a very simple meditation practice where I'm just focused on my breath. It's evolved, she comes, it changes, but it's pretty much daily. It's very rare for me to miss a day. I also do probably 80 percent of the days I've got a yoga practice. It's not some amazing, incredible 90 minute deal. It's usually about fifteen, twenty, twenty five minutes. That's just stuff I picked up either in classes or on videos, I also like getting outside. I'm fortunate to be in Colorado and have amazing outdoor spaces around me. So even if it's just a 15 minute walk or a half hour walk, I'm a big fan of getting exercise. It's always a much better day if I have some form of exercise. So I will do it all again. It's generally not the gym for me. It's generally mountain biking or tennis or hiking or skiing, but it's generally something outdoors. And then I and then I'm really focused on hydration. I try to get it. Yeah, I'm actually measuring it. I fill up a half gallon glass jar of water, I drink that and then I try to drink another one. So I think like it's hydration, meditation, yoga, getting outdoors and exercise are the big, big ones for me. And I know a lot of those. I mean, for parents, you know, my kids are grown. They're grown. They're out of the house. But I know for parents, especially for parents with children on the spectrum, I get the 20 minutes of that is not gonna happen. But you know what? Three mindful breaths, three mindful breaths that take you twenty seconds can really change your day.

Mary: Yeah. Yeah, I think that's great. Yeah. So well, thank you so much. It's been an honor to interview you here. I know I was on your video blog when my book came out. Maybe we can link that in the show notes as well. And I know I have really benefited from being in your world and really maintaining a close friendship, and I can't see that changing ever. So it's been a pleasure. And hopefully my audience will learn a little bit more about online, the digital world and really dissemination how to help your child, your family yourself with any kind of online courses, especially online autism courses, where you're going to find, you know, so much help, hopefully that we'll just keep moving forward and and going up the big mountain together. So thank you so much, Jeff.

Jeff: Thank you, Mary. This was great.

Mary: If you're a parent or professional and have benefited from the information you learn from me on this podcast or from my Turn Autism Around Book or from my online courses, I would love to hear about your success. Please go to MaryBarbera.com/success and fill out a very short survey. On the survey, you could upload your book or podcast review or you can share a picture or video and tell me how your life has been impacted. I will personally review everything submitted and I would love to hear from you. I'm on a mission to turn autism around for millions of children around the world so that each child can be as safe, as independent and as happy as possible by writing a Turn Autism Around Amazon or podcast review. And by sharing your story with me, you'll be able to help others find out about the Turn Autism Around resources so they can start turning things around, too. I can't wait to hear all about your success at MaryBarbera.com/success. Thanks so much.