Once in a blue moon I love to share something that’s going on in my family household…and often, it has something to do with what my hubby is up to.
I’ve got a little story to tell you about him and my business, but stick with me, because there’s potentially some big help available for you if you’re building or running an online business (or even thinking about doing that).
As some of you know, my husband, Forest, has been around since the day I started my Art of Money work over 16 years ago in a little cabin in the woods in California.
He’s helped me grow and run this business since then.
For the first 7 years of teaching my money methodology, I was doing it live with small groups of people all around the San Francisco Bay Area. Meaning, yes, I was driving around teaching in person. Sometimes a couple times a week.
I had a simple website with a few pages and some blog posts, but my online presence ended there.
After those 7 years, we moved back to Boulder to start a family, and for 2 years I taught via conference calls from our home, because, well…I was growing a little boy in my belly and then was caring for our tiny new family member after he came out.
Driving around teaching wasn’t an option. Resting in bed with our boy was the option.
After a year or so of recovery from the birth and adjusting to being a mama, I felt ready to breathe more life energy into my business and teachings.
I wanted to reach more people with my work. Many more than I could reach by driving around teaching live, or by getting on the phone to teach classes.
My amazing husband, Forest, had some ideas about this.
Out on a dinner date one night, he dropped an idea on the table: what if we took all of my teachings and put them in a format that could be taught online to people around the world?
Over sushi, he laid out a plan for how it would work, how to put my teachings in a format that could be sold and taught online, and how we’d use web technology to pull it off.
I think I started hyperventilating at the phrase “web technology” and the thought of all the “web based software” he kept talking about. But he said, “Don’t worry hun…I’ll build the whole system for you.”
Forest had spent years learning everything he could about building online businesses, content marketing, building websites, launching online programs, and everything else involved in making good money by teaching online.
In fact, a few years prior, he had taken Brian Clark’s very first course, Teaching Sells. (Brian Clark later got famous for CopyBlogger and Rainmaker Digital.)
Forest was lit up about this stuff. I’ll never forget the picnic in Dolores Park, years and years ago, when he excitedly showed me what he was learning in the Teaching Sells program and said, “THIS IS WHAT I WANT TO DO! I WANT TO HELP PEOPLE THIS WAY!”
Well, Forest certainly helped me — in a huge way. He helped me create my first online product, a Home Study Program that captured all of my teachings, which at the time was called Conscious Bookkeeping.
He took care of all the techie back end stuff for me: the front-end website and blog, the email marketing system, the payment gateway, the members’ area … even stuff I had no idea what to call.
And, crazy thing…the hubby was right. It worked.
People from all over the world bought my program — which totally blew my mind!
Two years later, I had a vision for the next version of my work: a year-long program called The Art of Money.
Forest again stepped in and created the entire tech structure, which needed to be more robust to handle the bigger amount of content and multiple different multimedia formats for all the learning materials.
Once I launched this online version of my methodology, I suddenly leapt to teaching over 300 students in one course (what?!?), and they were from all over the world.
We often get folks from 28 different countries signing up each year we run the Art of Money.
And this year? We welcomed almost 500 people into the program! Amazing.
Plus, I now have my favorite teaching model — and most sustainable, profitable business model — ever, and it all happened because I moved from teaching live in-person classes to teaching an online program.
But here’s the thing: I never could have done all of this without Forest’s techie know-how and support.
Having an online business isn’t just about writing copy to create a warm website, posting Facebook selfies, and sending off PayPal invoices. It also requires 187 techie thingamajigs, whoozies, and whatsits.
- You need a website (of course…but…how do you make it?)
- You need an email marketing service (but which one? There are literally 34 different apps to choose from.)
- You need to make it easy for people to give you money (which means you need a payment gateway that has to be tied to your member’s area.)
- If you have an online course, you need a members’ area platform so that only paying members can access your course content.
- Your website has to play nice with all your other tech stuff
- And on and on, with stuff you don’t even know that you don’t know.
When all of this is automated and running smoothly, it’s incredible. It makes EVERYTHING possible. But when it’s not? It’s a mascara-streaking, emergency-chocolate-stash-raiding nightmare.
I’m so glad I didn’t have to figure all of this tech stuff out on my own — because that meant I could focus on all the other things it takes to run my business (like actually teaching!) as well as being a mama and enjoying life … which is why we do this whole entrepreneur thing in the first place, right?
Without the tech platform Forest made, I would never have been able to reach the thousands of people around the world who connect with my work (and there’s a 98% chance that includes even YOU!)
Last year, Forest built me a new website (which I love, love, love) as a parting gift … and he headed off into his own business sandbox to build something new. It was time for him to share his gifts with more people.
After a lot of hard work, Forest now has an agency, called Clarity Lab, that helps people find the best tech tools to use, and then builds their tech platforms for them — (just like he did for me).
He’s partnered with Chris Bleill (the husband of my dear friend and incredible photographer, Danielle Cohen), and has an amazing woman-powered team of tech wizards.
I know some of you are dreaming of someone smart and kind to take you by the hand and take care of all the tech tools and software that are needed to teach online.
And I know it’s so hard to find really great folks who do this. That’s why I’m so excited to let you know about my hubby’s business, Clarity Lab.
If this sounds interesting or possibly helpful to you, they’re offering free, 30-minute consultations to anyone considering hiring them to get help around all the tech stuff involved in running an online business.
If you sign up for the free consultation, please enjoy! My husband has a wealth of knowledge and has been instrumental in helping my business get to where it is today.
Plus, Forest isn’t just smart: he’s incredibly sweet and patient. So, if you have a chat with him, I know you’ll love it.
I hope we can all share our gifts, do work we love, and earn a sustainable income. That’s part of my mission in The Art of Money — and it’s also why Forest and Chris are doing what they’re doing over at Clarity Lab.
We all need help to make these dreams come true, though. May you all find the help you need to get where you want to go.
Maybe Forest, Chris, and the Clarity Lab team have the kind of help you’re looking for…
With my dearest wishes,