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For the entrepreneur in pursuit of freedom and fulfilment, perhaps the most important decision we must make is what products we will invest in, build, sell and deliver.

These critical moments in our planning and business development determine not just our revenue potential – but the commitment of our most valuable resource: our time.

Sometimes we make these most life-altering decisions based on a whim – the fancy of a good idea – the suggestion of a customer – the desire to fill an obvious gap in the marketplace… and they end up leading us down paths we’d not intended.

But sometimes, we find a strategy that ticks all the boxes – that is both a genius idea in its own right, and a business model that leads to the lifestyle we truly desire, instead of the one we just happen to end up with.

Personally, I’ve tried and tested a lot of businesses – local and international, in-person and online, physical and digital products… I’ve traded hours and skills for dollars, manufactured, packed and shipped products, curated and sold other people’s products, and built communities.

Of all the business models I have ever built and grown – by far the most superior in every way is a membership site. I conceived of my first membership site in 2015 and brought it to life in 2016… it is called ‘Working with Dog‘ and it is now a thriving community for pet entrepreneurs.

If, like I was, you’re searching for a better business model – a better way to apply your skills and passions while also building a sustainable business that affords you BOTH more freedom AND allows you to have a bigger impact with the people and causes you care about most… then this episode may just be the first domino you tip to trigger a cascade of small decisions that leads you to that life and business… so it’s worth sticking around and having a listen. With that, I think it’s time we make some magic, shall we?

I spent over a decade as an entrepreneur trading time for money.

Worst of all, in my design business… I traded money for an unknown about of time – because I could only charge so much for a project, but I never knew how long it might take me to get inspired, sketch something good – or solve the visual problem.

It was an almost impossible business model to make profitable.

In my other businesses I traded products for money – but the disadvantage there (aside from having to create and purchase inventory in advance) – is that each transaction was hard-earned. Every time I sold something, it wasn’t until I sold something else that I made money… so I had to be in constant marketing and sales mode – with only hope and promotion to ensure that the next sale actually arrived.

In 2015 I had a sort of ‘reinvention’ of myself and my businesses. I sold my retail business… and despite loving it, I stopped offering photography and design services. Why? Because when I stopped and asked myself what freedom and fulfilment looked like for me – that picture did not include packing or shipping products, and it did not include hours and hours at a computer doing an unknown number of hours of work, for an unknown sum. It also included helping more people and having more impact than is physically possible one-at-a-time.

I did the work to find my why – which we talk about in other episodes here on the magic maker podcast – but very importantly – I also did the work to find my who, and my what and my where. The other Essential Elements of a thriving business… and when I looked at who I wanted to serve, what I wanted to sell, and where I wanted to deliver it – there was ONE STRATEGY that ticked all the boxes for me… and that was a membership model.

Not only did it have all the freedom factors:

  1. Easy to outsource
  2. Scalable
  3. High potential for profit
  4. Potential for Premium pricing
  5. Recurring revenue model

but it meant I could create a low-price point for extremely high value – AND serve tons more people all at the same time – while maintaining the lifestyle of freedom and fulfilment that I desired.

I was hooked.

So in February of 2016, with only a month or two of planning and preparation, I launched my first membership site, a community for pet entrepreneurs called: Working with Dog.

I knew nothing about membership sites, but I did some important things right when I launched it:

I put it out into the world as an MVP – I didn’t get caught up in the tech or the ‘good enough’ and I got a beta version up and out there to a group of founding members who were willing to take the journey with me as I learned what the product needed to be get them results.

I had an email list of only a couple hundred people, but luckily managed to get over 50 members to sign-up for $175 for 6 months of the site, which was enough to create some buzz, and really kick it off well.

Once those founding members were in, I devoted tons of time and energy into making it an incredibly warm, useful and effective space for them – to this day it remains one of the most remarkably engaged and kind online communities I’ve ever seen.

But, I did a LOT of things wrong, too.

I got caught up in the content treadmill – overwhelming my members with new content each month and spending way too much time creating it. Because of the time spent creating content and engaging in the group, I struggled to sell the membership – so once I opened it up to new members after the first 6 months, new members barely trickled in. It was so difficult to both sell and deliver all the time and I prioritized delivery.

Plus, my members felt overwhelmed by the volume of content in the site – and while they loved the membership and felt it was great value – they felt guilty if they couldn’t keep up – and that guilt was the only reason people seemed to leave. They felt like they couldn’t possibly use everything they were paying for.

Last year, I decided I needed to focus on truly revitalizing and improving my membership site. I discovered Stu McLaren and the Tribe course and although it felt like a big investment, and I wondered if I’d get much out of it since I already had a membership (and a Masters in Marketing) – I decided to invest and participate anyway.

It’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made for my business.

Not only did a few KEY TWEAKS AND SECRETS ensure that our membership site is better for members (easier to navigate, easier for members to get fast results) but it is also better for me (I got off the content treadmill)

PLUS, most exciting of all, our membership is growing exponentially FASTER in the last year than in the three previous. We’ve doubled our members with tons less effort, we’ve seen huge increases in retention, and I’m more proud than I’ve ever been of just what an incredible resource it is – and the constantly-improving results of members confirm my claims that it is a worthwhile investment.

But another surprising impact from Tribe that I hadn’t actually predicted, is that I found my people.

When I cashed in my free ticket to Tribe Live in Toronto last summer it was by far the most transformational experience I’d ever had at a conference-type event. It wasn’t just mind-blowing from a learning standpoint (surprise guest speakers included James Wedmore and Ryan Levesque!) but I discovered that Tribe people are my people. We’re a bit weird and a bit normal – not all high-octane marketing mavericks – but real people who really just want to make the world better and make a great living.

I am a huge believer in Membership sites, and I am a huge believer in Tribe.

I wanted to share all of this with you today for one reason: Tribe is opening its doors. It’s only for a few days, so you have to be quick, but if you have ever thought about adding a recurring revenue model like a membership or a subscription model to your business – there simply is no better resource to help you do it faster, more efficiently and with more success than Tribe.

We endorse and are affiliates for Tribe because we believe this type of business model is THE ONE that will get you to freedom and fulfilment as an entrepreneur the fastest, and with the most ease… and there is no one to get you there faster than Stu McLaren – who has helped literally thousands of entrepreneurs in every niche you can imagine to build six and seven figure businesses through membership sites.

Free 90 minute consultation with ME and my partner DEE

I believe so strongly in this model, based on my own experience, and the results I see every day in the Tribe community, that if you decide tribe is a good fit for you, and you purchase by clicking this link , I will gift you with a free 90 minute consultation with ME and my partner DEE – to help you define your membership product and assist you in finishing and applying the Tribe curriculum.

Better still, we are going to be in Toronto in August for TRIBE LIVE – the conference you’ll get a FREE TICKET to if you purchase the tribe course- so we can meet up and share the tribe experience in-person, together.

I am not an affiliate marketer, and I don’t sell other people’s products – in fact Tribe is the only course I endorse that I didn’t create myself. I believe in it because I’ve seen incredible results from implementing just a few of the genius strategies inside. I believe Tribe is the most powerful, step-by-step resource to turn your paycheck to paycheck business into a profitable, lifestyle business that funds your freedom and increases your impact in ways you might never have even imagined before.

But, you only have a few days to decide because it only opens once a year, and that time is right now. Please feel free to reach out to my team and I at [email protected] if you have any questions or if you want to know more about the $1000 worth of free consulting you’ll get from us if you join Tribe this year through this link.

We would love nothing more than to support you in your journey of creating freedom and fulfilment – by creating a membership site product for your business. We’ve done it – we’ve seen thousands of others do it – and there is a simple step-by-step plan to do it, which you’ll find outlined and fully supported in Tribe.

If you want to chat, as always you’ll find us in our free Facebook group for enchanted rebel entrepreneurs.

Hope to see you over there – or in Toronto in August!