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Erica Douglass, "temporarily retired" after selling a successful business at age 26, writes thought-provoking blog entries challenging you to change your life and daring you to become more successful.
Updated: 1 week 5 days ago

How I Helped Ramit Sethi Break Through Barriers and Earn Millions of Dollars

Tue, 2014-07-15 22:55

This post could potentially help you create the next huge online business. I’ll get into that more below, but first, since you’ve been asking, here’s what happened in the aftermath of my last blog post!

It’s been 2 1/2 months since I shared the story of my startup failing here on my blog. And I’m happy to announce I can now share the epilogue to that story: After I wrote the post, Whoosh Traffic was acquired by another local Austin company, OwnLocal.

OwnLocal, as our largest customer, had significant interest in the technology behind what we’d built, and also acquired our customers. In addition, they hired Paul, our CTO. It was a huge win-win for all, and I’d like to personally thank Lloyd Armbrust, OwnLocal’s CEO, and their entire executive team for helping make the acquisition a quick and relatively pain-free process for all involved!

After wrapping up all the details related to the acquisition, I was able to take most of the past 2 1/2 months off (sans three consulting gigs–all of which I greatly enjoyed.)

Finding Out What I Really Wanted

In mid-May, I went to a leadership retreat outside of Boulder, CO. I’ve been spending a fair amount of time in Boulder lately, and this was a natural extension of that. During the retreat, Shane Rasnak led a session where we dove deep into what we really wanted to do. I found myself aligning with two goals, both of which surprised me: I wanted to do more blogging, especially video blogging, and I wanted to do more coaching.

Coaching was the one that surprised me the most, perhaps because I’ve always seen myself as a founder, even though I’ve had hundreds of people ask me to coach them, and have even had paid coaching clients in the past. I’ve struggled with saying “yes” to requests from others to be coached, often because those requests come from people who are just getting started with their online businesses.

Honestly, I’m better at coaching folks who are farther along. I can make a bigger difference in someone’s life when that person already has a 6-figure business and needs help transforming it into a 7-figure, and potentially even, 8-figure a year business than I can with someone who’s just starting out.

That realization took me a long time to come to grips with. Offering coaching but turning many people away who wanted it was hard for me to reconcile. But I realized I owed it to myself and to others who wanted to work with me to open the door for a few people who really wanted to make a huge difference in their lives.

The Huge Leap I Helped Ramit Make

One of my first truly transformative experiences as a coach happened back in 2008, when I had dinner with a then virtually-unknown blogger named Ramit Sethi. His blog, IWillTeachYouToBeRich.com, had an audience of Stanford students and people who knew him in Silicon Valley, but didn’t have the huge reach it has today.

Back then, Ramit was better known as one of the co-founders of PBWiki, which is today known as PBWorks. I remember the dinner so clearly. He slid across the table a piece of 8.5″x11″ copy paper. On it, neatly written, was a list. At first glance it looked like a shopping list. There must have been at least 40 items on it.

I started reading. “Write a book”, read one item. (Actually, I think it might have even been “Write a best-selling book.” That’s Ramit for you–and indeed, he did write that book!) Other items included product ideas for his burgeoning blogging audience, blog post ideas, and ideas on what to write that would get syndicated by other media companies.

Noticing some writing on the back, I flipped the piece of paper over…only to find 40 more items on it. “Ramit, what is this?” I finally asked him.

Ramit replied with a grin, “It’s what I want to accomplish in the next year.”

I looked at him, shocked. “Eight people working full-time could not accomplish all of that in one year, Ramit. At the very least, you’re going to have to quit your job.”

“Oh no,” he said. “I can’t quit.”

“Why not?” I asked him. (I had also observed that none of the items on the list included anything to do with PBWiki–clearly showing where his focus was.)

“Well…” he said, thinking for a minute. “People know me as the co-founder of PBWiki.” And certainly, back then they did.

“I understand,” I said. “Hundreds of people knew me as the founder of my hosting company, back when I ran that. But today, because of my blog, thousands more know me. Most of my blog audience doesn’t know me from when I ran my hosting company. They just know me from my blog.”

“Hmm,” said Ramit. And I saw the shift in his face–the emotional shift. It was the permission he needed to set himself free from his job.

He quit his job soon thereafter. And he credited our dinner for changing his perspective. He had been so stuck on the identity he had as “co-founder of PBWiki” that he was scared to step into what would become a much larger identity for him as a best-selling author, blogger, and (now) someone who makes millions of dollars a year running a blog-based business.

Ramit had a few things that made him special. He was driven, motivated, and focused. Even back then, I could see he would be hugely successful. But, like many of us, he had a belief that held him back. I was able to see that belief and help Ramit smash it.

These coaching experiences continued to happen with me over the past few years. I have helped numerous business owners smash barriers, break through their beliefs, and transform their businesses. In several cases, business owners have made millions of dollars from the changes I’ve suggested or the re-alignment of beliefs they’ve had after talking to me.

Today, I get to step into my courage and say: I’m going to do breakthrough coaching full-time for at least the rest of this year. I’m looking for just 4 people to work with. Like what I saw with Ramit, you must be driven, motivated, and focused. You likely won’t be just starting out (Ramit already had a great job, as well as a blog that was growing.) You’re probably already making 6 figures–after all, all that determination and focus hasn’t been wasted on you! But you know you can take it to a huge next level. And that’s what I’m here to help you do.

Does this sound like I’m describing you? Apply here. I’m going through each application individually. If you are a fit, I’ll reach out and we’ll do a complimentary 1-2 hour 1:1 initial coaching session (through Skype or Google Hangouts.) We’ll go deep. I’ll question the beliefs you have, and make you think deeply about why you’re doing what you’re doing.

My goal with our initial coaching session is simple: I want to get you to a breakthrough about your life or your business, and smash a belief that is holding you back. I won’t hold back–I’m here to be your coach, not your friend, and big breakthoughs often require someone who isn’t afraid to show you exactly what’s holding you back. That’s what I’m here to do for you.

At the end of the session, if we both think it’s a fit, we’ll work together for a minimum of 3 months, and we’ll do a 1:1 call every week. I’ll help you set the right goals, sort through the stress, and hold you accountable to make the big changes you need to make.

In addition, I’ll open my Rolodex to you and help you get connected to whoever and whatever you need to take your business to the next level. I’ve helped business owners raise hundreds of thousands of dollars from investors, change pricing and make millions, and even completely “pivot” their businesses into something they’re more passionate and less stressed about–that makes them an exponentially larger amount of money. It is all possible.

It’s a huge opportunity for the right 4 people–and that’s why I will only do this with people for whom it’s a 100% total fit in both directions. I’m looking for the next Ramit, the next hugely successful startup founder, business owner, or blogger.

Here’s what Ramit had to say about working with me:

“Erica helped me launch a program with hundreds of paying customers over one hour that’s generating thousands of dollars per month.

In the midst of running a 30 day challenge, I couldn’t figure out how to turn this into sustainable revenue. Ebook? Webcast? Erica asked me about my goals, thought about it for 30 seconds, and told me exactly how to create a program that would serve my customers and keep them engaged, all while minimizing my time. Yes, it helped that I already had an existing community. Yes, it still takes time each month. But without Erica’s advice, I would have just continued churning out blog post after blog post, without looking at the big (business) picture. She helped me with my sales page, business model, and even the user flows.

There’s one other key: Erica’s suggestion was great, but without action, it would have just been another grand idea. She urged me to forget about all my mental barriers and launch it. With a few hours of execution, I was able to launch ScroogeStrategy.com and sell 100+ customers in the first 48 hours.”

Think you’re the next Ramit (or the female/black/gay/etc. version)? If you’re looking for a way to transition from 6 figures to 7 figures, from 7 figures to 8 figures, or from a hugely successful day job into a hugely successful business, please do apply. I’ll be in touch with each applicant individually starting this week, so the sooner you apply, the better.

If You’re Just Getting Started…

So…what about those of you who are just getting started? I’m really excited to announce that Ramit is finally releasing a dream program for those of you who are ready to build a huge business…the program I’ve been bugging him to release for the past 6 years!

Ramit doesn’t release programs until they are amazing, and that’s why I unabashedly recommend you check it out. He’s running a free webinar tonight, July 15, at 6PM Pacific/9PM Eastern where you can get a sneak peek of how he’s built a multi-million dollar business.

Sign up for Ramit’s free webinar here!

As a special bonus, just for signing up for Ramit’s free webinar, I’ll send you a copy of an interview Ramit and I did back in 2009 when Ramit was just getting started with his business. It’s a great look at how Ramit built his business–back when he was earning a few thousand dollars a month, so it will help you if you’re just getting started.

We cover:

  • How to get “super affiliates” to promote your product
  • Want to build a membership site? Learn how Ramit built one that earned thousands of dollars a month in income without having to do a lot of work.
  • How Ramit got other people to write the content for a product that he then sold (not what you think

…and more! Sign up for Ramit’s free webinar here, and I’ll send you the recording and transcript of my interview with Ramit next week. (You don’t have to buy anything to receive the recording–just sign up and attend his webinar!)

Podcasting, videos, and more…

You may have heard me talk recently about how I’m working on a podcast, some videos, and an information product about how to start your business when you feel too “busy” to do so. I’ve decided to honor my most-fulfilling path and go into coaching full-time for at least the rest of this year–so 4 up-and-coming “Ramits” will receive my full attention. However, as time permits, I may also work on the podcast and information product!

I will definitely commit to at least 1 blog post per week for the rest of this year, as well. I have an accountability partner who is holding me to that. I’ve got a ton of posts queued up, with topics ranging from more details on my foray into the funded startup world, to how to be more productive, to how to hire the best people. Stay tuned!

If You’re Just Getting Started: Check out Ramit’s free webinar here.

If you think you may be the “next Ramit”: Apply for my exclusive 3-month coaching program here. You can be anywhere in the world. It’s a unique opportunity to work with a successful entrepreneur who has generated millions of dollars in online business sales–who has gotten her clients where you’re looking to go.

See you next week!

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