beware of “build it and they will come” fever

I once had a call with someone who said she was ready to scale her business beyond $100k.
Let’s call her Rachel.

Rachel told me what she did and explained that she had a course she wanted to sell.
For some reason, she had a very specific price for it.
Something like $3463. (This reeked of some guru advice.)

I asked her to tell me more about her business and found out that…

She had invested in a beautifully designed website with custom branding.
She had invested in a course creation program.
She had built out her course based entirely on what she’d personally experienced (using expensive course software recommended in the program).


She had no email list.
She had no online presence except for her site.
She had never been paid for her service.
She had helped two people for free with single sessions.
She didn’t have any testimonials.

Ultimately, Rachel didn’t have a business.

When I asked her what she had done so far to get the word out about her services, she said she was in a few Facebook groups where she thought she could find potential clients.

That was it.

A classic case of the “build it and they will come” fever.

She hadn’t created her course based on customer feedback or research because she assumed it would bring people to her by virtue of its existence.

I told her that she would first need to work on some foundational stuff (see list above) before she could focus on her course.

That was not what she wanted to hear.

She was convinced she had something great and that she could sell it fairly easily. She was in love with her ideas and approach and mistakenly assumed that people would be too.

This sh*t pisses me off.

I understood how Rachel found herself in this place but so wished I could rewind to a time before she spent all that money and effort ‘starting’ her business.

Many programs are marketed as THE BEST WAY to build a successful business.
But that’s a big fat lie.

While many of these programs do include content and training on the fundamentals of marketing, it’s not enough to provide a solid business foundation.

A small percentage (5-15%) of people who follow these programs do create successful courses, memberships, masterminds, group programs (pick your flavour) but most don’t go on to have a sustainable business.

I know this first-hand.

As a manager and advisor in other founders’ programs, I’ve supported more than a thousand people as they went through the training.

Many of the participants didn’t make money from their offers and went on for years trying to find the right way to start their businesses.

Starting a business isn’t a one-size-fits-all.
There is no best way for everyone.

That’s why I do 1:1 advising to help people build their business.

To help people figure out exactly what it is they want to achieve, what they want their days to look and feel like. And then help them get there with a business that makes sense for them.

Programs can be helpful for specific initiatives but for something as individual as your own business, nothing beats high-touch, personalized help.

I wish Rachel had gone that route instead. There are no guarantees but she definitely wouldn’t have wasted all that time if she’d first worked with a good advisor or coach.


Every Sunday morning I’ll send you an email to help you build a minimalist biz that’s money making, meaningful, memorable, and maintainable. 

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