Episode 31. Don’t Know if You Need to Legally Protect Your Business Yet? Hear These Stories First
When do you know it’s time to legally protect your business?
Today I’m bringing you conversations with three incredible and varied entrepreneurs – each of them members of my Ultimate Bundle™️ program. They offer real-world examples of running businesses, what their concerns were when they started, and their experience seeking out legal training and protection for their businesses. If you’re not sure if your business is quite there yet, or you’re feeling vulnerable and unprotected, you’re going to get a lot out of their stories.
In this episode, you’ll hear…
Finding out when you need to be legally protected
How Kathryn Blaze helps busy women get stronger
How Kim Manes decided to make the leap into entrepreneurship
How Aimee Cerka found her legal and financial confidence
If you’d like a shoutout (and a chance to win a $20 gift card), just leave a review on Apple Podcasts and send a screenshot of it to me on Instagram via DMs!
How Kathryn Blaze helps busy women get stronger
Kathryn didn’t always want to be an entrepreneur – but when the pandemic started, she felt it was the right move. She helps busy women get stronger so that they can look and feel their best, and show up better for their business and daily lives. Her husband is also an attorney, which gave her an interesting perspective when it came to starting a business and all of the legal concerns that come with it. (Spoiler alert: He told her she needed to join the Bundle to get legal advice from someone who actually understands the online business world, because it’s not his forte!)
How Kim Manes decided to make the leap into entrepreneurship
Kim is a teacher-turned-entrepreneur on a mission to help students and families enjoy the process of learning how to read and write. She works one-on-one with students, as well as offering on-demand lesson packs for families who want to take a more hands-on approach to their child’s education. She was scared of the legal side of starting a business, but getting the Ultimate Bundle™️ was the first major investment she made in her business and she would recommend it to anyone who’s serious about their business.
How Aimee Cerka found her legal and financial confidence
Aimee is a money confidence coach who helps women create unstoppable financial security and wealth. After her and her husband faced three major financial roadblocks over the last seven years of their lives, she knew she wasn’t doing all that she could to protect her family. She created systems that helped them grow their net worth substantially – all while spending time on what matters most. She was further along in her business by the time she implemented more legal protections, and she felt as if not having things in place was holding her back from the business growth she knew she was capable of.
When you’re feeling unsure about where to go in your business, the best place to look is to your fellow entrepreneurs. Through these three stories you can see that everyone’s situation is different and there isn’t one answer, but having a solid foundation of legal protection is key no matter where your business is headed.
If you’re ready to take the leap like our guests did and get your business legally legit™️ today, click here to join the Ultimate Bundle™️ NOW before our special offer ends at midnight on February 24th!
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Resources Discussed in This Episode
- A Beginner’s Guide to Kettlebells: https://tinyurl.com/begbells
- Wordy Birds: wordy-birds.com
- Money Mindset Mastery: aimeecerka.com/mindset
If you’re ready to legally protect and grow your online business today, save your seat in my free workshop so you can learn how to take the simple legal steps to protect the business you’ve worked so hard to build. Click here to watch the free workshop so you can get legally legit right now!
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:00:00] Well, I can’t forget to tell you this. In case you’re out of the loop, I wanted to tell you that The Ultimate Bundle is on sale until this Thursday, February 24th only. For a very limited time, you can get $400 off the Bundle, my signature program to legally legitimize the online business that you’re building, plus a load of incredible bonuses, including a live Q&A call and hot seats with me in March.
If you’re interested in getting The Ultimate Bundle, now is definitely your time before the sale ends. You can use the link in the show notes or head straight to samvanderwielen.com/oyt-live-sale to get in before doors close on this amazing sale. The Ultimate Bundle gives you my 10 DIY legal templates, plus over 35 on-demand video trainings, teaching you everything from how to legally form your business to how to work with clients online, and what to do if a client doesn’t pay their bill, and so much more.
You also get access to me to answer all of your legal questions in our online member-only Ultimate Bundle community. And whenever I update my DIY legal templates, I give you the updates for free as a member of The Ultimate Bundle. I take care of my customers. If you’re ready to stop worrying about the internet business police catching on to you flying under the legal radar, you can use the link in the show notes or head straight to samvanderwielen.com/oyt-live-sale to get in before this special offer ends. I can’t wait to see your name pop up on my message board inside The Ultimate Bundle members-only community.
Hey, there, and welcome to a very special episode of On Your Terms. I am so excited today to bring you three interviews with three different and very incredible entrepreneurs who all just so happen to be Ultimate Bundle members. That’s my signature program. It’s on sale right now. You’ve been hearing all about it. But I really wanted to sit down and give you some real life examples of people who have been in your shoes.
These women all have very different stories, backgrounds, goals, fears, all kinds of things, and I wanted to share these stories with you so that maybe if you’re feeling like you’re not sure when you’re supposed to legally protect your business, you’re not sure if your business is quite there yet, you’re not sure if your business is too far along, or you have that nagging feeling that you’re not able to grow it, because you’re worried that somebody is going to call you out, you’re going to be found out that your business is vulnerable, because you didn’t do, accidentally, what you were supposed to do legally, then I think you’re going to get a lot out of these conversations. And these women all shared like really incredible stories about how they got started in their business, what drove them to it.
So, we have three completely unique business owners that we’re chatting with today. You’re going to hear all three of these interviews separately. I interviewed them all separately, and asked them about their businesses, asked them what their experiences were in the Bundle, what they were going through, probably at the time that you’re going through right now.
And I will tell you a little bit about each person in this episode, and then we’ll get into the interview, then we’ll go into the introduction of another Ultimate Bundle member, and then we’ll hear their interview, until you hear all three of these incredible women’s stories. So, thank you so much for listening to this episode. I can’t wait to hear what you think. Make sure you tag me on Instagram as you’re listening to the episode @SamVanderWielen. With that, let’s get started with guest number one.
Alright. So, our first Ultimate Bundle member that you’re going to hear me chat with is Kathryn Blaze. I’m so excited for you to hear my conversation with Kathryn. She was somebody who I really wanted to have on because I hope that you might be able to relate to parts of her story, in that like she didn’t always want to be an entrepreneur. The pandemic kind of pushed her into starting her own business.
She’s somebody who really likes to get things right and like do things the right way from the start. And her husband is an attorney. And so, I thought she might help you to like really see what was going on for her in her business, and you might be able to relate to some of the questions and concerns that she had. And we also had a fun conversation about some of the challenges and things that are going on in her business, the shifts that are going on for her right now around pricing and low ticket versus higher ticket or value offers.
So, I think there’s a lot that you’re going to be able to get out of this conversation with Kathryn. So, formally speaking, Kathryn Blaze is a fitness coach and kettlebell specialist who wants to help women get stronger for real life. She lives in New Jersey with her husband, who’s an attorney, a seven-year-old son, and two very naughty kittens. So, here’s my conversation with the lovely Kathryn, and make sure you hang on until the end, because she’s got a pretty incredible free video training for you all about kettlebells, which I’m about to go download myself. So, here is my conversation with Kathryn.
Welcome, Kathryn. Thanks so much for coming on On Your Terms.
Kathryn Blaze: [00:04:48] Well, thank you so much for having me.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:04:50] I’m so glad that you’re here. We were just chatting before we got rolling and I’ve chatted with you so much behind the scenes, so it’s exciting for me now to get to chat with you more formally on the show.
Kathryn Blaze: [00:05:01] I know. Me, too. This is like official like face to virtual face, so it’s great.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:05:05] I know. I know, which we all are these days. So, I know I gave you your formal introduction, but I would love for you to share with everybody what you do and how you work with people.
Kathryn Blaze: [00:05:18] Alright. So, my name is Kathryn Blaze, and I help busy women learn how to get stronger so that they can really feel good in their bodies, and then show up for their business and for their real life.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:05:31] That’s awesome. Yeah.
Kathryn Blaze: [00:05:32] So, yeah. The goal is strength training is the path to both mental and physical well-being and that power to show up how you want every day in all the things.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:05:49] Mm-hmm. Yeah, I love that. And do you primarily focus on kettlebells or you focus on other forms of strength, too?
Kathryn Blaze: [00:05:56] Kettlebells is the primary way I work with people, just because I think that it is the easiest, most accessible way to incorporate strength. I mean, you can have like one or two kettlebells at home, that’s it, and you can have like a full body session for years. So, it doesn’t require a lot of investment upfront. They’re a little bit expensive, but, okay, these are the two bells you’re going to have now for years. The bells that I bought three years ago, I still use every day.
So, great option, especially when we’re all stuck at home, maybe you’re not back to the gym, maybe you want something that you—like I’ve packed them up in the car and brought them on vacation. So, it’s just such an easy, transportable option and you don’t need a lot. So, that is one reason why I love them. They’re also really ergonomically more comfortable to use than something like a dumbbell. I don’t think a lot of people are going to commit to like a whole barbell setup in their house. So, kettlebells are for sure my chosen option.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:07:01] Yeah. And I imagine a lot of women come to you feeling kind of intimidated by them, right?
Kathryn Blaze: [00:07:08] Oh, 100%, and I was as well. Like when I started using kettlebells, it was actually at the request or demand of my chiropractor and functional movement specialist that I was seeing at the time. This was many years ago, and I was having chronic neck pain. And my background is in ballet. I was teaching a ton of barre and dance sculpt classes, and I, like physically for months, couldn’t move my neck further than like an inch or two to the side. And so, we went through all this stuff and she said, “Okay, well, like you need to start strength training”.
And she showed me a kettlebell, I was like, oh, no, no, no, no thanks, I’m okay. But we started using that as part of the treatment, and I kind of got hooked, and I realized that they are not scary. It’s a big ball of iron, but like I promise you, we are not going to start like flipping it around from day one. There’s a lot of social media stuff where you see people doing like really fancy flows, and swinging, and snatching, and like that’s great if you want to work towards that, but you absolutely can have a solid kettlebell regimen without ever doing that stuff.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:08:17] Yeah, there’s a lot you can do about it. I find them so fun. I find them fun. There’s something about like the momentum of swinging, and I just find kind of meditative, I really like them.
Kathryn Blaze: [00:08:27] Oh, my gosh, totally. Like swings for me, I think they can be an amazing reset, like mentally and physically. It’s a really great way to kind of just like tune back in. It’s something great you could keep by your desk and be like, okay, I’ve been sitting for a while, I’m like, stand up, do a couple sets of five or 10 swings, and get back to work, and you’ve kind of gotten your heart rate up, you’ve gotten your body back in alignment, I’m all about them. I could talk about kettlebells all day.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:08:54] Yeah. No, I love that, because I mean, as you know, like I’m always preaching to that, people say to me all the time like, “Oh, I’m so worried that the industry is saturated”, and I’m always like, well, that’s why it’s so important that, we talk about like niching down as if it’s very, I don’t know, like commercialized or something, but if you genuinely feel passionately about like kettlebells, for example, the way that you do, and you really see this as like a method that you feel really passionately about, and you have your unique spin on it, you’re going to be so much more successful than the person that’s just like, “I want to be a fitness coach”, or somebody who’s like, “I want to be a fitness coach who’s more of like a lifestyle business”, which I was talking about on Instagram yesterday. So, it’s like I think you’re like a great example of somebody who’s like really found their way and it’s a genuine passion.
Kathryn Blaze: [00:09:40] Thank you. Well, I think that also from—like yeah, I went through that transformation myself, like I was a very active ballet dancer for 30 years, I was feeling not great, kettlebells and strength training were the prescription, like literally my chiropractor said like, “You may not go take any yoga, pilates, or barre classes”, like she’s like, “Teach what you have to teach, do not go take those other classes for fun until you’re strength training three times per week, because that’s not what you need.”
Because a lot of us, like we do what feels good and like what our body wants, what we want and what we’re good at already, like naturally, I’m flexible, and my body feels good doing like yoga, pilates, barre. That comes naturally to me, but that’s not what my body needed. My body needed to get stronger to balance that other stuff out, to balance out that hyper mobility. So, I think that that’s a tough thing to kind of find the balance of like, oh, my gosh, if you love barre class, or pilates, or yoga, you 100% should do that, but I bet your practice will get stronger and you’ll feel better if you also kind of incorporate some strength work into your routine.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:11:00] Yeah, for sure, I could see that. And so, I know that you were a dancer and that you were teaching all of these classes, but tell me about the time, like how did it flip into starting your own business, because I think that’s around the time that you and I connected?
Kathryn Blaze: [00:11:15] Yes. So, I had been teaching group fitness at like a high-end chain of gyms in New York and New Jersey for many, many years. So, right up until the pandemic, I was teaching like 10-plus classes a week. I was bouncing back and forth from New Jersey to New York, running around, like all the classes in a row, and the classes were still barre and dance. And at that point, I really was looking to transition into kettlebell and strength work, but I was very ingrained, like my reputation in that gym was in barre and dance.
It was hard to kind of carve out that new niche myself, so I was not exactly sure what I was doing. So, when the pandemic hit and like all those classes ended, and I was like, oh, I don’t miss those classes at all, it was kind of a very fortunate forced exit and I have not gone back. So, after a bunch of months of isolation with my then five-year-old, I realized like, okay, I really would like to get this message out to more people about the importance of strength work.
I mean, a lot of people were like stuck at home, they didn’t know what to do, they couldn’t go back to the gym. So, that’s when I decided to start my business, and that’s why I came to you right away. You know this, my husband is a lawyer, a contracts lawyer, so it’s very ingrained that we need to be like legally legit for real. So, when I started going through all of this process of building a business, I wanted to make sure I have my stuff in order, so that’s why we met.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:12:52] Yeah. Well, so it’s interesting, because obviously, I’ve met a lot of people who, the pandemic pushed them, like I hope for the better, to do something. Like was that something that was always in the back of your mind like while you were teaching classes?
Kathryn Blaze: [00:13:07] No, never ever. Like 0%, negative 10% did I ever want or think about having my own business. Like it just was not on my radar, and especially an online business, again, that just never crossed my mind. And it took many months of pandemic to be like, oh, okay, I guess I should pursue that, like I have a message I want to get out, so I guess this is the way to go about it. So, it definitely took a while for me to kind of settle into that mindset, because being a business owner was just never something I toyed with. But I’ve actually really enjoyed it. It’s been fun. Stressful but fun.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:13:50] I think I hear you. I know.
Kathryn Blaze: [00:13:51] I know, you can hear that.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:13:52] Yeah. I think it’s good for people to hear, because I think, sometimes, there’s this like pressure that everybody who’s in business has been like an entrepreneur since they were five or something, which was, that was my own situation, like I always loved business. I always had my own little businesses. I loved it. I don’t necessarily think that’s—well, I know it’s not remotely necessary for everybody, but I also know that that’s not a lot of people’s experience, that a lot of people come to me when they’ve been laid off, or now with the pandemic, or like they just had some other kind of like life crisis.
Like with everything I’ve gone through, I’m sure I would have left the law if I hadn’t already. So, I think it’s good for people to hear. And I also like that because like you’re able to get your message out to so many more people this way, I think it’s important for people to hear who maybe have such a specific niche. It’d be hard to do only in person unless you live in like a major, major, if you live in like New York, you can do whatever, but I think it’s helpful to hear that you could get your message out to more people this way. Yeah.
Kathryn Blaze: [00:14:51] Yeah, I definitely agree.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:14:55] Mm-hmm. Well, I know that your husband was in your ear, because he’s a fellow attorney, but tell me, like what were some of the things that were coming up for you as you were starting this up? Like what were some of the things, I don’t want to say like worried about, but what were some of the concerns that you had that you wanted to make sure you had tied up?
Kathryn Blaze: [00:15:12] We’ll, just like, yes, I have that legal thing in my ear, but also, I’m definitely a rule follower, like the perfectionism is real, I really like to have everything lined up, so that has been something I’ve struggled with through the whole like entrepreneur journey, because I got to like tone down the perfectionism, because as you know, as like all the business coaches say, like you just have to kind of start, and that’s hard for me. So, it did like take me a while to kind of get started, because I said, okay, well, I’m going to like follow this—I got this business course that kind of shows me how to—because I knew nothing. I was like, oh, like I have to start actually like promoting myself on Instagram, not just posting pictures of like my beautiful breakfast, fine.
So, like that, and then I wanted to get, like I built my website and try to make the copy really compelling, and then I tried to get all my legal policies in place and have everything set up, because I wanted to feel confident that when I launched a product or when I launched an offer, that I wasn’t going to be surprised, like in a big way. Of course, there are always surprises, but I didn’t want to be like bowled over, like, oh, crap, like this, I was not ready for, and now, I have to scramble. So, there was much learning, like Squarespace, hello, now, I design a website, great.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:16:40] Congratulations. Yay. See how much has changed? It’s amazing.
Kathryn Blaze: [00:16:45] Oh, my gosh. I mean, it’s both kind of ridiculous-feeling. Like I’m really good with movement, like I’m really good at teaching people how to move their body in space, I love to coach, and now, here I am, like on Squarespace, like where’s my hex code for that color I want. So, it’s both very like interesting, like I did kind of enjoy it, but also, like yeah, it took me way more time than it needed to, because I was so tuned into these details that maybe I did not have to focus on.
Like if I were to do it over, I think like in terms of starting, I would have just started and just like tried to start talking about an offer, like how can I help you, this is what I can do, instead of having some like “perfect” website that’s not perfect. But it’s like that was an excuse or like a stall tactic in some subconscious way that wasn’t necessarily required.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:17:47] Yeah, for sure. I mean, it doesn’t help that we get a lot of messaging like from business coaches or people like that in the space telling you about like, it’s funny because people often suggest it in the flip of what you did, but they’ll be like, “Oh, you don’t need all this stuff, like this legal stuff to get started, you should just like get started, and then take care of it later”, and I’m like-
Kathryn Blaze: [00:18:05] Like get your get your PayPal account ready and just accept payments, and I was like, oh, no.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:18:09] Yeah. I’m like, oh, that’s so dangerous. And then, you have like so much to undo, and I would rather people get the foundation first, and like you said, like you don’t need to obsess over the sales page or the like whatever part of your website to sell this offer, because the truth is you’re probably going to change it like 57 times before-
Kathryn Blaze: [00:18:26] Oh, my gosh. Totally.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:18:26] … yeah, you really make very many sales. That’s why when people come to me and they say like, “I don’t want to start my business until I trademarked my logo”, and I’m like, no one’s stealing your logo, nobody’s even come to your site yet, it’s like, it’s okay, we could just-
Kathryn Blaze: [00:18:38] Yeah. No, exactly.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:18:38] It’s a balance of like the get started, and I think it takes a lot of practice, but there is a certain like foundational level of things that should, I think, be in place. Yeah.
Kathryn Blaze: [00:18:47] Yeah, I think that’s true, because I think—so as I was trying to put everything in place, I was watching a lot of my friends, like fellow trainers, fellow instructors who had had to pivot. They were no longer teaching in person, because all the gyms were closed. And so, I saw them all hosting like, okay, we’re going to have like an Instagram Live class like show up at this time, we’re going to do a Zoom class, Venmo me, and I’m going like, no, no, no, no, I don’t know if that’s a good—like where’s your liability waiver, man? Like I don’t-
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:19:16] Yeah, scary.
Kathryn Blaze: [00:19:17] So, I think, like you said, there’s very much a balance between like, okay, yeah, like go for it, and take action, and don’t obsess over the little details, but also make sure you’re protected and like the foundations are taken care of so that you can move forward confidently and not get yourself into a mess.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:19:36] Yeah, for sure. And I think that people falsely, unfortunately, believe that like if something small, like if you’re just offering a class to a couple of people, or you only have three clients, or you’re only making $2,000 a month, they’re like, I don’t know that they think there’s no liability or like the chances of them getting caught, but as you always hear me saying, like one of the things that I’m always like swimming upstream against is like it doesn’t matter how much you’re making, how many clients you’re working with, like all of this, unfortunately, will be treated the same in the eyes of the law. So, like there is a certain level of like, you just have to get this done.
Kathryn Blaze: [00:20:11] Yeah. And I think like, does it take more time? Is it maybe a little bit more labor-intensive to set that up? Yes. But then, like it’s set, and then you don’t worry about it, and then you’re not going to have to like, “Oh, I’ve built my business, and now, I have to backtrack, and try and rebuild like, ‘oh, I have clients, but now, I have to send them contracts'”. So, yeah, like it’s a balance. It’s all a balance.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:20:37] It’s all a balance. Yes, that’s for sure. Were there any pieces in particular of the Bundle, where there was like a training, or specific templates, or anything that were particularly helpful or that have turned out to be really helpful in your business?
Kathryn Blaze: [00:20:50] I mean, all of it has been really helpful. I think, obviously, like setting up all the website policies, and the terms and conditions, and privacy stuff was great. I have it on my website now. Wonderful. I feel good about it. And then, like for me, since like I’ve done like some one-on-one stuff, I had a small group program, so having all of those specific for health and wellness like a mini-disclaimer, okay, wait, here is also a terms and conditions that you can check at check out, and also, here’s the one-to-one contract. I mean, those, I’ve used many, many times. I’ve been able to tweak with my different programs. So, that is what I have gone back to over and over again, and I’m glad that I have in my pocket so that I don’t have to harass my husband every time I have. He’s like, “I don’t have time to like help you with all these contracts”.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:21:42] Yeah, it’s so funny, everybody, like there are actually a lot—so, first of all, there are a lot of attorneys in the Bundle who do different things. And then, there are a lot of people who have spouses.
Kathryn Blaze: [00:21:50] Well, that’s the thing. It’s a totally different-
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:21:52] It’s totally different, yeah.
Kathryn Blaze: [00:21:53] Yeah, it’s a different thing.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:21:54] For some reason, people don’t understand that-
Kathryn Blaze: [00:21:57] Yes, it’s like I don’t do online business.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:21:57] Yes, and people don’t understand, for some reason, that attorneys are really not that different than like the way doctors are set up, that like you wouldn’t go to your heart surgeon to have like brain surgery. It’s like they don’t just like flip-flop back and forth or whatever. And so, yeah, I think that that’s important. But a lot of people have spouses who are attorneys, too.
And I think like a lot of times, people will hope that they can get like a friend to help or a family member to help, but it’s like you do have to be focused on this kind of stuff, because I’m sure you’ve faced a lot of like issues or little things that come up in online business, like landing pages, and email lists, and things that your husband just might not be as familiar with. I definitely wasn’t, by the way.
Kathryn Blaze: [00:22:32] He’s 0% familiar with them. And also, just having—and like the other thing, when he was saying like, “Yeah, absolutely, I think that you should do this Bundle”, is because he’s like, “Even if I can like review a contract for you here and there, I’m not like in that world, I’m not in that space. So, in terms of like keeping up with changes in the industry and changes to certain laws that are going to affect you and your contract, like I’m not going to know about them, she is, that’s her job, like that’s her thing.”
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:23:07] Yeah. I mean, that’s honestly what pushed me to start the business because I was basically your husband, like I wasn’t familiar with this world at all, and when I left to start my own coaching business, I was like, wait, attorneys don’t know anything about this, like I wouldn’t have known until I had—I mean, as I always say, like I remember Googling like, what is a landing page? I didn’t even know what the stuff was.
I’m still not sure I totally understand even though I have like a million of it, but yeah, I just remember being like, wait, they would never understand this or like how we’re building email lists and how we’re using social media. And as you’ve probably even seen in the last few years, like this stuff is changing pretty rapidly, right? Like social media landscape is changing.
Kathryn Blaze: [00:23:46] Yes, exactly. It’s like you have to be either committed or have someone else on your team or in your wheelhouse like committed to keeping up with all these changes who can start to help you evolve your business as well.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:24:01] Yeah, that’s true. Yeah. And so, what are any of like—is there anything that’s going on in your business right now that you’re like, “Oh, if I could just like figure this thing out”? Like is there something like, and I don’t mean anything legal, but like some sort of hurdle that you’re trying? And if there’s anything I can do to help, you can ask me about it. Yeah.
Kathryn Blaze: [00:24:19] Thank you. No, I think like I would for many new entrepreneurs and business owners, there’s always this like figuring out pricing and offers, and like how this balance of like, okay, how am I going to get clients that will pay this? Like right now, I’m very immersed in this, like I have offered a lot of like pretty low-ticket products. And as a result, people don’t commit to actually doing them.
So, okay, like here’s a 97-dollar four-week program, like this is going to help you build strength, and teach you kettlebells, and this, and that, but then like they don’t do it. So, like it’s prerecorded videos and they’re not going to do them. So, I think I am trying to figure out—sorry, there’s suddenly like a lot of construction noise outside my house.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:25:20] Okay. Don’t worry about it.
Kathryn Blaze: [00:25:23] You can’t hear it, but I’m like, where are these trucks coming from?
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:25:26] Just randomly.
Kathryn Blaze: [00:25:28] So, sorry.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:25:29] No, you’re fine.
Kathryn Blaze: [00:25:29] So, yeah, I want people to actually get stronger, like I don’t want you to buy my program, and then like great, okay, I just made $97, but you still like can’t pick up your kid because your back hurts. That’s why I want you to do strength training. That’s why I want you to learn kettlebell. So, it’s trying to find this balance of like, okay, like I am working, I’m shifting my offers right now a little bit, and it’s going to be more of a high touch option so that I can help you like legitimately learn how to get stronger and take care of your body so that you can show up in your business. And I mean, I know a lot of your listeners, I’m sure, like they are committed to building a business and entrepreneurship.
And when that happens, because, I mean, I experienced it, like I’m a fitness professional, but my own training has slipped as I try to focus more on my business. But if you don’t know like what to do and why you’re not feeling great, then everything else is going to suffer, because you can be making a load of money in your business, but if you’re not feeling good, then like why? So, health is wealth, and they go together. And so, that is what I’m really trying to start to tweak and create something that the accountability is there and like the live feedback is there for people so that they really can show up for themselves so that then they can show up in life stronger.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:27:12] That is so interesting. Do you mind if I talk with you about this a little bit? I just like, you know me, and my mind like always goes there.
Kathryn Blaze: [00:27:21] Oh, please. No, go, go.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:27:23] So, pricing is so interesting for so many reasons, but I think it’s just a common thing that we do in business, and so I think a lot of people will relate to this, in that we price things thinking that it will be easier for people to get into it or make it more accessible. But there are, I think, what you said is so true, and so I want people to hear this, that I think, sometimes, the low price can be like low commitment kind of thing, because it’s also low, like when you go to make a decision to buy something, if something’s 50 bucks or 100 bucks, you might think like, “Well, what’s the worst that can happen?”, right? And so, if you don’t end up using it, it might not feel like the biggest punch in your gut.
But if you spend however much more, you would be a bit like, and also, you’re going to attract the people who do take that moment to think about it, and that means that it’s the person who really needs it, which, of course, will mean that you work with fewer people, but you don’t need to work with as many people when the price is different. So, I think there’s definitely that. And then, I was just going to say the second thing, was that one thing that’s really helpful that I just don’t hear people talking about very often is like building in some kind of community, like automated community engagement with these kinds of programs. So, you’re using Kajabi, right?
Kathryn Blaze: [00:28:37] I’m using Kajabi, yeah.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:28:37] Yes. So, with Kajabi, you can, it’s not a plug for Kajabi, but with Kajabi, and I’m sure other platforms do this, you can do it so like if someone completes a lesson, you like send them an email automatically, so you’re not going to do that.
Kathryn Blaze: [00:28:50] Yes.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:28:50] Yeah. So, I just want people to think about that kind of stuff, where that’s the kind of thing, like whenever you’re designing something that’s like a membership, a month-to-month thing, it’s really important that you focus on customer engagement and customer happiness, because it’s going to keep that person looped in. And you, with a gym background, probably know more about this than others, that like this is a lot of how gyms kind of latch on to people, is like making them part of a community feeling, and like getting you into classes, and like giving you all this gear, you feel some buy in, right? And so, I think like that might be something for people to think about as they’re like designing this out, especially if you’re doing something that’s like a monthly fee of sorts. Yeah.
Kathryn Blaze: [00:29:29] Yeah. And I think, also, for me, at least, it can be easy to, like fitness and movement is my job, I’m super passionate about it, and like even with, okay, the past few months, I haven’t been training as much, because I like renovated my kitchen and things were in crazy town. However, it’s in the back of my mind, I know how to get back into it, it’s a priority. But for the people I want to help, that is not the case. And for you, like certain things are coming naturally, and so it’s easy, sometimes, for me to forget that like, okay, I might be really self-motivated to exercise and move, but the people I’m serving are not.
So, like you’re saying, like building in more motivation and more encouragement, like what is going to really get someone involved in my program, or membership, or offer, whatever? Like it’s not necessarily just like, oh, I really love to move, like I really love to move and get like excited talking about all this stuff, but like that’s not everyone. So, I think it’s easy to forget that, for me, at least, sometimes. I have to constantly remind myself like, okay, not everyone is like getting all excited about squats versus deadlifts.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:30:51] No, but you know what, so I would imagine that your people are very excited about the outcome, right? They want the outcome. They want to feel better. They want to be stronger, maybe be more confident, have more energy, be able to play with their kids, be able to pick up their kids and not have pain. They want the outcome really bad, but you’re the solution, they just don’t know what the solution is.
And so, there’s this knowledge and this awareness gap, that they don’t understand that they want the solution, but they don’t know how to get there, and you’re the vehicle to getting there. So, your job every day in terms of your content is just to let people know you exist, make them aware that you see and you feel their problems. Like if I were you, I’d even be sharing about your kitchen right now, and like even that you felt that way, right? And then, like here are the ways I get back to it.
Kathryn Blaze: [00:31:35] Oh, I did.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:31:36] Yeah.
Kathryn Blaze: [00:31:38] I mean, I have been totally showing that, I was like, guys, I have not, and I legitimately did not touch my kettlebells for like two months. It did not feel good. I wasn’t proud of it. But like I physically didn’t have anywhere to train, like the workers in my house everywhere, I didn’t have anywhere to go. But it was kind of beneficial because it did give me like even another way to relate to people, like just in terms of, I was like, oh, my gosh, I don’t know if I’ve ever, like other than when I had my son and like was postpartum, I have never gone this long without moving, and it was so hard to get back into a routine of moving again.
Like again, I am a trainer, I am a fitness professional, I’ve been doing it for a long time, but it was so hard, I would be like, oh, I’ll just send a few more emails, oh, time to pick the kid up from school, I guess I can’t do it today. So, like it happens to everyone, and I think it’s also, and I really have been trying to drive this home lately, like the whole, like it can be both end, like, yeah, it can be really, really, really important to exercise and move your body every day.
And it’s a pandemic, and there’s a ton of stuff going on, and people are just overloaded and overwhelmed, and it’s hard to make it happen. So, it can be both. So, the fitness industry is like, it is a very loud and pressure-filled place, and people are getting just so bombarded by so much intense messaging that like it’s not helping them feel better, it’s making them feel guilty, and punished, and stressed.
So, that is really what I’m trying to kind of hopefully take some of that like shame and guilt away from people, because like it’s 100% important. I believe in movement and fitness so much, like it’s the answer, but also, it’s a crappy time, people are not in a good way, mentally and physically, like it’s just a hard time. So, I just think, again, it’s all about the balance in like trying to figure out a way to take care of yourself mentally and physically, and like how is the most efficient, effective way to do that?
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:34:05] Yeah, for sure.
Kathryn Blaze: [00:34:06] It’s kettlebells.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:34:07] Yeah, that’s awesome. I think it’s so true that like I feel like it’s another point for why to be so like unapologetically yourself on social media, especially, because there are those people who are getting inundated with this fitness content, where it’s not speaking to them, because they’re like, “Dude, I just had a baby”, or like, “I just moved, or “I had an injury”, or like “We’re going through a worldwide pandemic”, so that stuff doesn’t speak to them. And then, when they land on you, they’re like, “Oh, finally, someone who’s like reasonable, and she’s just like sharing how she’s been through this thing, and this is how she navigated it”, that’s going to be really motivating to them. So, I think that’s awesome.
Kathryn Blaze: [00:34:43] Yeah, I hope so. I hope so. I’m trying.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:34:45] Well, you’re doing great. And before you go today, I would just love for you to share, if you don’t mind, to anyone who’s thinking right now about getting The Ultimate Bundle, what you would recommend to them, especially if they’re in that point in their business, like they’re just getting started, they’re not sure if they need it, they’re not sure if it’s right for them, I’d love to hear what you have to say.
Kathryn Blaze: [00:35:07] I mean, I would say, just do it, because listen, I was making zero dollars. I had not started my business yet. I think I bought the Bundle before I registered my LLC and like did anything, because I knew it was like the backbone of what I needed to feel confident moving forward, so it was not easy, like I was like, oh, like it’s not inexpensive, like is this too—I have a lawyer for a husband, it’s like the age old, like shouldn’t I be able to do this on my own, which is like all things in business, in fitness, in whatever, couldn’t I just like Google and YouTube my way through this?
But I was like, no, I think it’s worth it. And 100%, it has been worth it. And I think, also, I will say, Sam, that you are so accessible, and like the number of like little questions that I’ve posted in the Facebook group or like sent you an email has been so helpful and reassuring. You always are so nice to respond back so quickly, to be like, yes, okay, this, that, and the other thing.
So, the peace of mind has been incredibly valuable so that I can then worry about like, okay, what’s my messaging, what’s my offer, and like let’s get this content out there, rather than like, oh, hope someone doesn’t sue me, because they hurt their toe with the kettlebell or something. So, yeah, I just think it’s an investment, it’s like the foundation of your house. It’s something that like you’re not going to think about it, it’s not maybe like the most exciting purchase you’ve ever made, it’s not like picking out a new couch, but like if your foundation isn’t there, like your house is going to fall down.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:36:54] Yeah, that’s what makes you sleep at night.
Kathryn Blaze: [00:36:56] Yeah, that’s right. I need my foundation strong.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:36:59] Yeah. Well, thank you so much. That’s so kind of you to share. And I think that I’m able to be there for you guys because I love what I do and I feel so passionately, just like you do about helping people get stronger with kettlebell. So, I think it’s a testament to honestly doing what you love. Yeah.
Kathryn Blaze: [00:37:17] Yeah, absolutely.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:37:18] Well, thank you so much for coming on today. I really appreciate it.
Kathryn Blaze: [00:37:21] Thank you.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:37:22] And, oh, before we go, I’ll share about it in your intro, but will you tell everybody some little freebie that you got for them?
Kathryn Blaze: [00:37:30] Yes. So, I mean, kettlebells, I know, are intimidating. It’s like this big ball of iron. Everyone was like, “No, no, absolutely not”, especially the ladies, if you’ve been doing a lot of barre, it’s super intimidating with the like two-pound dumbbells, which, again, I can say, because I taught barre for many years, and I was using two-pound dumbbells, and then they gave me this kettlebell. So, it’s a beginner’s guide to kettlebells.
Five basic moves to get you started. It’s a video training. It’s on my website, kathrynblaze.com. It’s at the top banner. You can click on it, sign up. And it’s a video training. It’s about 15, 20 minutes long, and I walk you through five moves. There’s no swings, no snatches, like these are like basic, easy moves. If you have never touched a kettlebell before, like great, here’s your kettlebell, here’s how you’re going to manipulate it to get something out of it, and you can see that it really is not scary.
And once, again, like everything else, you learn your foundations, then you can decide what other stuff you want to do with it. But even just sticking with those five basic moves, you can really start to change the way you feel, and in terms of like strength, and chronic aches and pains kind of starting to go away as you find more balance in your body.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:38:48] I love that. I’m so glad you did it on video. I know I can’t wait to go download it. I’ll drop the link to it in the show notes, so you can all go download it, too. But thank you so much, Kathryn, for coming on today. It was so awesome talking with you.
Kathryn Blaze: [00:38:58] Thank you, Sam. Thanks for having me. I know. You as well.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:39:03] So, next on the podcast, we have Kim Manes. Kim is a teacher turned entrepreneur on a mission to help students and families enjoy the process of learning how to read and write. She uses systematic, explicit, research-based strategies to teach the rules of language and support literacy development. Her business is twofold. She works one on one with students who have been diagnosed with dyslexia, and she also creates on-demand lesson packs for families that want to take an active role in their child’s education, but may be struggling to find a tutor of their own.
She’s worked both as a literacy specialist and an elementary school teacher. She has a master’s degree in education, and she’s a nationally certified Orton-Gillingham tutor. So, Kim is amazing. I was just like blown away by her energy, and her warmth, like despite the fact that she’s from a very cold place in Minneapolis, but she was just so awesome to talk to, and I think you’re going to enjoy this conversation.
I think you’ll probably relate to a lot of what Kim went through. Kim actually quit her teaching job last year, and like a lot of people who have come my way in the last couple of years, the pandemic has either forced people to shift positions and create a business, or it’s just made people realize that they’ve always wanted to, or that there’s an opportunity to work with people differently.
And Kim has a really unique story, so I’m excited for you to hear how she made the transition from teacher to, now, education entrepreneur. She’s really pretty incredible. And I also wanted to tell you that Kim is another Bundle member, and she was scared to start her business. She had shared that with us before she had started her business, that she was scared of the legal side, just making sure that she had things right.
So, for any of you that might be feeling the same way, I think you’re going to get a lot out of her story. She had also shared, we didn’t end up talking about this on the recording, but Kim had also shared with us that she had considered a lot of other options, that ours wasn’t even the cheapest, but that she had bought ours and was really glad that she did. So, Kim is just a really special customer, person, and educator, so I’m really excited. So, let’s just get into my conversation with Kim.
Hey, Kim, thank you so much for being on On Your Terms.
Kim Manes: [00:41:18] Thank you so much for having me, Sam. It’s great to meet you and spend the afternoon with you.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:41:22] I know. I’m so lucky to get to chat with you today. I’ve been so excited about this. And you were just telling me before we started recording that you’re in a very sunny and warm Minneapolis today.
Kim Manes: [00:41:33] I think we’re expecting like three, four, maybe five inches of snow by the afternoon.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:41:37] It’ll look pretty, I guess.
Kim Manes: [00:41:39] It’ll look gorgeous. It’s a good day for just staying inside.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:41:42] Yeah. I always look for the hot cocoa excuse, so I’m like, oh, perfect, snow, we can make hot cocoa. Yeah, not that you can’t do it on a normal day, but you know what I mean.
Kim Manes: [00:41:50] Absolutely.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:41:51] Yeah. Well, Kim, why don’t you tell the people a little bit about you and what you do?
Kim Manes: [00:41:57] Yes. Hello, everybody. I am Kim. It’s nice to meet you. It’s great to be here. I am a teacher turned entrepreneur on a mission, honestly, just to make and inspire a love of learning and reading in students and people of all ages. I’ve been a teacher for 10 years, and last February, made the switch, left my classroom teaching position and started my own business called Wordy Birds.
And the main goal of my business is I work with students, primarily those that have been diagnosed with dyslexia or other learning disabilities to gain confidence in their reading and writing skills, and experience success in those areas of life. And I do that by systematically and explicitly teaching the structure and the rules of the English language and what I think is a super engaging, multi-sensory, multimodal way. And then, I also help their caregivers, their families, understand the process of what we’re doing together so they can continue to support their students at home.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:43:00] I love it. I think it’s so cool. It is such a cool way to work with people online. A lot of times, people will ask me about, there are a lot of like emerging industries online, like the health and wellness coaching has been around for a little bit, business coaching has been around for a little bit, but now, I get to see so many cool businesses like yours, where you’re taking a business that would have just been an in-person tutoring center that would have reached X number of people, and you’re creating this like really cool and interactive way to reach people wherever they are.
Kim Manes: [00:43:31] Yeah, this like virtual business space, I feel like, has opened up this world of possibilities for entrepreneurs, but also for families that are seeking services and maybe didn’t have access to them.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:43:41] Yes, and you can be selective, as to like maybe they just click with you, maybe their kid clicks with you. Like there are all kinds of reasons, maybe your style speaks to them, even the way that people are offering this information, if it’s more of like an on-demand kind of thing that they can do it with their busy schedules, obviously, especially with the population that you’re working with, like the whole point is that the parents are busy, the kids are busy. And so, in order for them to have like a high level of success with you, it has to be super flexible.
Kim Manes: [00:44:08] Exactly.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:44:09] Yeah, that’s awesome. I’m so excited. So, okay, I want to rewind the tape for everybody a little bit, because I know a little bit about your story, but I want to make sure they do. And so, tell us a little bit about, I know you mentioned you left in February of, what year is it? 2021, right?
Kathryn Blaze: [00:44:23] 2021, yeah, almost a year ago.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:44:25] I’m still in 2019, so I’m working on it. So, in February 2021, you left, and tell me a little bit about like what was going on during that time period, as much as you feel like sharing that cause, that shift.
Kim Manes: [00:44:35] Oh, absolutely.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:44:36] Yeah.
Kim Manes: [00:44:37] Well, so before I left teaching, honestly, like 2018, 2019, 2020, even 2021, I was kind of living this fantastic dream that I had worked so hard to manifest for myself. I had moved into this wonderful little neighborhood. I lived a block-and-a-half away from the school that I wanted to teach at, interviewed for a job, got a first grade position at that school, and it happened to be the school that I went to as a student.
So, I just felt like so connected to the students, and their families, and the community. They had an amazing, amazing teaching team, wonderful families, and was really just kind of in this mindset that this like was my life, that I was honestly like going to teach at this school with the same people as long as I could until I retired, because I love teaching so, so much.
And outwardly, it’s like I had everything, and I had accomplished everything that I set out to accomplish, and I didn’t really have any goals above that. I was like, oh, look, I’m like, I don’t know, just turned 30, 31, like here I am, I have everything that I want, and it’s so great. And then, I mean, obviously, the pandemic hit, and so education landscape changed a lot. And in the Midwest, we moved to online learning, like at least in my city, we moved to online learning, and we did that for almost an entire year.
And during that time, I just had like this realization. There were some things that I loved about it and some things that I obviously did not love about it. What I loved was that it gave me like extra opportunities to connect with families more frequently than I did when I was in the classroom. I loved that I got to have the opportunity to record more lesson videos, and focus more on instruction, and how I deliver instruction, and how I make that engaging.
I got to focus more on small groups of students and individual work that was uninterrupted, because we were online and everyone had their scheduled time, which wasn’t something that we did in the classroom, right? It wasn’t feasible for a classroom of 30 students to make that happen for them every day. So, those were some of the really, really good things. And then, last February, 2021, kind of the world started to open back up again and my school was transitioning back to in-person learning, and this kind of like perfect storm happened for me, where the teaching responsibilities are going to be increased.
I had big, big concerns about the safety of myself, of my family, of the students. There were redrawn boundaries for schools the following year, so with a staff of 25 teachers, 11 of them were going to be cut the next year, and I didn’t have the seniority to stay at that school. So, there were a lot of different things happening, all these different external factors that kind of pushed me in this direction of trying something new and going out on my own.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:47:43] Yeah. I can imagine that as that was all going on, that that was probably really like stressful, but sometimes, we need those situations to show us. And do you feel like there was a moment, in particular, when it switched from like, I don’t want to go back to I want to go start my own business?
Kim Manes: [00:48:02] Well, if I’m being totally honest, I have like-
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:48:05] Yes, please.
Kim Manes: [00:48:05] I can be honest with you, right?
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:48:07] Yeah.
Kim Manes: [00:48:07] Like for so many years, I had wanted to start my own business. And I had been doing like one-on-one tutoring for like four years prior, just kind of after school, before I had my daughter in the summers, and loved it. But what held me back for so long was like the financial aspect of it. Having a teaching job, being tenured, you have that financial security, and switching away from that is a scary thing.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:48:32] Oh, yeah.
Kim Manes: [00:48:34] Right? So, I wasn’t ready to take that leap. And I think like the final, it wasn’t necessarily a moment, it was a couple of weeks where I was juggling like all of these decisions, like do I go back to the classroom? Do I apply for an online teaching position? Do I leave education altogether? What do I do? And I’m super anxious, as I’m sure any other teacher listening, again, can relate to, like really anxious, not sleeping more than a couple of hours every night, not eating very much, just kind of this wreck.
And I was talking with my husband over, and over, and over again about like all these options and what we wanted to do. Shoutout to John, love you. But I remember like very vividly, it was like a couple of weeks before we were supposed to go back. And I’m laying on the couch, I’m just sobbing, and I’m so overwhelmed, because I don’t feel like there’s a right answer, right? Like I didn’t know what the best answer was for our family and I like wanted him to make the choice for me.
I was like, what do you think? Is it safe that I go back? Do I start a business? And he just looks at me and he goes, “Kim, I can’t make this decision for you. Like you have to decide for yourself like what you’re most passionate about and what you want to pour your heart into.” And him saying that like took away my ability to attribute successes or failures in this business to anybody but myself. And he just said that, and he like got up and he left the room, I was like, what?
Like that’s not what I was expecting, but it’s what I needed to hear. And I’m so appreciative to him for doing that and like stepping away, and I just continued on with my meltdown, and then when I emerged from like the despair and the confusion, it was so clear to me. I was like, you’re right, nobody is coming to make this choice for me, nobody’s coming to change these broken systems. Like what do I want to do? What kind of change do I want to be a part of? It’s like, what is my purpose here? And I emerged, I came down the stairs, and I was like, alright, we’re doing it, I was victorious.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:50:40] For some reason, I just pictured you like carrying some sort of armor and like in a superwoman outfit.
Kim Manes: [00:50:46] That was like the bathrobe and the box of tissues, like I’m doing it, honey. Okay.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:50:51] Yeah, that’s amazing. I think so many people will relate to that moment. I mean, whether it’s been through COVID, or for years and years, I was doing this work and people were deciding whether to leave their “safe jobs”, or traditional jobs, corporate job, all of this stuff, to take that risk and go out. And one of the things I think is so interesting about what you shared is that I feel like that was almost your first moment, what John did to you, and that moment was like your first moment as an entrepreneur, because I think the biggest switch for people to make when they’re leaving, having had a job or working for someone else to themselves, is like, no one is making these decisions for us every day, whether it’s from starting the business to like, what kind of contract do I need to? How should I offer this program? What should I charge? What should I do about this client? So, there are so many decisions for us to make, and it’s a hard transition in the beginning.
Kim Manes: [00:51:43] But it’s so empowering at the same time, like once you just like grab on to that feeling, you’re like, I am in control of this, I just want everybody to feel like that all the time, like you’re in control of your life, you’re in control of all the choices you make.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:51:54] Yeah, I found it so freeing. I don’t know about you, but I felt like I had—and then like you, I hadn’t liked the kind of job that I was doing, but I felt this immense freedom in getting away from like the other people’s grasp. I was like, oh, I can like go out and do whatever I want. And then, when you realize that you can actually make—exactly like you said, you can make more of a direct impact upon the people who you really never got to interact with, right? So, there was an intermediary, always the child being the intermediary between you and the parents. So, it’s kind of cool for you to do that. Well, that’s really cool. So, you left in February, and then tell me a little bit about what you did then to start, like to actually form this thing and make it official.
Kim Manes: [00:52:33] Well, like obviously, I bought The Ultimate Bundle and watched all of the like, how to form your business, how to get your EIN, like the steps to take. So, that was like my first big investment. And then, it kind of became this big vision session. And like at one point, I had just like butcher paper all over this little nook office, and like what do I want to get out of this? What do I want to share with people? Where are there gaps in the market? What are people asking for?
And so, just kind of like brainstorming like, what can I do? Because up until this point, pretty much, my business, and I had one before as like a sole proprietor and kind of restarted again as an LLC, like what can I do to enact the most change and help people? And up until this point, I had just done the one-on-one tutoring. So, that’s where it started, right? So, in February, when I left my classroom teaching position, I was able to gather a handful of students that were interested in these services and I started working with them right away.
And that was great for making connections in the community, building those relationships, and getting all those great word of mouth referrals, which is pretty much the only way I operate. But then, as I’m like looking at the butcher paper, and like what can I really do here outside of this one on one? Because there’s only so many hours in the day and you can only reach so many people.
And in all my conversations that I had had with families, like caregivers that were seeking tutoring services for their children, if it wasn’t a good fit with me or with another tutor, there was like some sort of hurdle, right? And there were like three main hurdles that I just kept like seeing again, and again, and again in these conversations all over my butcher paper. And so, the first one was like time.
Like yes, I want these individualized services for my child, but I don’t know how to fit that into my day between school, work, afterschool activities, daycare, multiple kids. First hurdle. Another one was the location, finding a tutor in your area that, again, matched up with the time for you. And then, the biggest one for a lot of families is the financial, because it’s an investment to have these one-on-one tutoring services for your kids, especially from someone that’s trained in a specific type of tutoring, like I do Orton-Gillingham, and that was what was developed for students with dyslexia, but that takes a lot of time.
That took me five years and hundreds of hours to get that certification, and that can be a big barrier for families, and then that, unfortunately, only increases and like exacerbates the problem of this inequity about who can get services and who can’t. So, anyway, from all of that, I decided that, yes, I’m going to continue with the one-on-one lessons, but then my other like little program child that I am working to create right now, it’s like a set, it’s a lesson pack.
So, it’s an on-demand pack, similar to like how you’ve set up The Ultimate Bundle. On Kajabi, you buy into it, you have access to all the lessons, you can access them any time, anywhere at your convenience, right? So, what I’ve done is I’ve recorded these lessons exactly the same way as I would if I was on the computer with a student or sitting next to them in our learning space, but they’re on-demand. It’s me, just like this, hey, hi, any time they want, and those lessons are full length. So, they’re like 30 to 50 minutes, but then parents have the ability then to watch how these lessons happen, to see the strategies that are being taught, the techniques that they can continue using with their kids, and that’s kind of like the market that I’m aiming for, right?
I really want to support families that have this investment in their students education, and don’t just want to send them somewhere and be like, “Fix it, like help me. I don’t know what to do, just like figure it out for me.” No, I want to work in partnership with you to help your students be successful, and I want to teach you strategies and techniques that you can use to support them outside of our time together every few days.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:56:38] Totally. Yeah.
Kim Manes: [00:56:39] That’s where that idea was born.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:56:41] That’s genius. Yeah, I think this is going to be so helpful for people, because as I know, a lot of people struggle with, they kind of see the one-to-one work in their business, but they can’t really figure out how to package it differently, whether it’s because they want to scale their business, and like you said, there’s only one of you, and so many hours in a day, and so many days in a week, but also because it does give you this ability to make things more accessible, right?
And then, I like how you probably have given people so many ideas as to like how even the way that you’re packaging that information and delivering it to your clients is actually part of the process that’s helpful to them, right? And allowing the families to be integrated into like reinforcing the techniques and the behaviors that you’re teaching.
Kim Manes: [00:57:24] Exactly. That’s the hope.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:57:25] Yeah, it’s so smart. And you’re niching down by saying like, “I’m looking for people who are”, like I was actually thinking when you said that, like we got a puppy last year and some people will be like, “Oh, you should just like send the puppy away for two weeks. And then, when they come back, they’re like this perfect puppy robot.” And I’m like, “Yeah, but what happens when he comes back and he just starts doing all the like naughty stuff again? Then, what do I do?”
Kim Manes: [00:57:48] Yeah. Like how do you support him? How do you continue that learning for him? Or he has a setback, like you don’t know how to correct.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:57:54] I don’t know what to do, so I went to the classes, I took things online, because it was during COVID times, and I am reinforcing that behavior every day, and I don’t even do it as well. Obviously, it’s the person, the expert. But the point is, at least, he’s getting that reinforcement all the time, which makes it just more of a learned behavior, and I saw things change much more quickly.
So, I imagine that the children are much smarter than my dog, and then the things are happening even faster for them, but I just think that it’s a really cool approach to what you’re doing. So, congratulations, by the way, because I think it’s brilliant, and I love what you’re doing, and you’re going to help so many people. I’m just like very, very excited for you.
Kim Manes: [00:58:33] Oh, thank you. And I think it’s also really interesting in like conversations that I’ve had with parents, like if you’re a proficient reader now, chances are like, obviously, your brainpower while you’re reading isn’t spent on like isolating sounds and words, and breaking them apart, and understanding prefixes, and suffixes, and root words, and how you change the endings with all these, like you’re not actively thinking about that.
So, for a parent that’s trying to sit down with their child that’s like struggling with phonemes or like letter sounds, it’s kind of this, like I’m drowning, I don’t know where to begin, because like you don’t know, you don’t remember how you learned that process. And like that’s nobody’s fault, right? That’s not where your brainpower is anymore. So, that’s what I want to help with, is giving parents just like these little strategies, helping pre-teach it to them, so they can help with their kids.
Sam Vander Wielen: [00:59:21] Yeah, for sure. That’s amazing, Kim. I think that’s so cool. And did you feel like as you were building out the business, were there any specific pieces of the Bundle or any like trainings in the Bundle that you found particularly helpful or that were like those little hurdles that you really needed to clear to move forward?
Kim Manes: [00:59:37] The contract was a big one for me. Like I said, I had been tutoring for years prior and I was like pretty proud of the Google contract that I had like pieced together. But even when I just started, there were all of these doubts and fears in my mind like, well, what if I say something wrong, or what if the student doesn’t make like as much progress as the parent wants them to, and they sue me, but my contract isn’t legit, and, well, maybe I don’t do a contract and I only accept cash, and then there’s no record that we work together.
It’s just like all these things that run through your head, and it’s just so anxiety-producing, right? So, the contract was the biggest one for me, and it’s all like just finishing that, and I did it in an afternoon, right? That quick video, worked through it. I just feel so confident in what I’ve created now, and it’s helped me so many times with families that are maybe paying late or decide that they want to terminate the contract, but they don’t want to give the notice that’s required.
And it’s so much easier to just point back to the contract and say, totally understand, here’s what you agreed to, let’s work on us finding a solution, as opposed to the old Kim would have been like, oh, I totally understand, yeah, that’s fine, let me give you money, like it’s cool, guys, don’t worry. So, yeah, the contract was the biggest one. And then, in like the initial days, the how to form your business, getting that EIN member, how to register, and all the confusion that comes with like the business address versus home address, and keeping that clear, because I don’t necessarily want my home address in all the public records.
Sam Vander Wielen: [01:01:16] Yeah, you and me both.
Kim Manes: [01:01:17] Right?
Sam Vander Wielen: [01:01:18] Yeah. And I did a little tutorial inside the Bundle, I guess it was last year, of like me walking through the EIN video, did you see that when I recorded it?
Kim Manes: [01:01:30] I watched like the original one. I don’t know if I saw an updated one.
Sam Vander Wielen: [01:01:33] Oh, and maybe I’ve added it since then.
Kim Manes: [01:01:35] And they were all included.
Sam Vander Wielen: [01:01:36] Yeah, if you ever want another EIN, you have that waiting for you.
Kim Manes: [01:01:40] Well, lovely.
Sam Vander Wielen: [01:01:40] Yeah, for your next business, you can do that. But yeah, I finally realized like maybe it’d be helpful if I just show people how to do this, I like performed a pretend business, and then fill it out.
Kim Manes: [01:01:51] Oh, yeah, that was definitely the one I saw.
Sam Vander Wielen: [01:01:51] Okay. Good.
Kim Manes: [01:01:52] You did it in like a few different states, I was like, oh, this makes sense, yes, let me follow along.
Sam Vander Wielen: [01:01:55] Yeah, I was trying to like pick random places to show people. Yeah. Well, that’s awesome to hear. I feel like you hear me talk a lot about how people worry about getting sued, but in reality, what happened, which is like only so much we can do to control that. But in reality, what happens more are like the things that you listed, like people saying, “I want to like end this early or like I’m going to pay late and just keep kicking the can down the road. They stretch their sessions over a longer period of time than what they paid for it.”
Like that kind of stuff, the boundaries, the day-to-day stuff. And I don’t know if you feel this way, but I feel like contracts just remove the personal side, and particularly for us people pleasers who do want to just like, okay, sure, like I just want to make you happy and like make this go away, I think it’s been helpful to just be like, well, this is actually what the contract says and not like I am not comfortable with this.
Kim Manes: [01:02:49] Exactly. And it’s operating as a business, not just an individual. It’s so important.
Sam Vander Wielen: [01:02:52] Yeah, it was just super important. This is true. Yeah. Okay. So, you told me that you’re—I know you’re building out more of the—are you building on Kajabi, by the way, all your-
Kim Manes: [01:03:03] I am building on Kajabi. Oh, my gosh. It is such a process. I finished all of the recording, and now, I’m just deep into the editing. And I keep setting goals, I’m like, oh, by Christmas, by the middle of January, like it’ll be ready when it’s ready, like I’m hoping spring, but like I want every single video to be full of information and easy to follow, and I want them all to be just like top quality.
Sam Vander Wielen: [01:03:31] I’m sure they’re amazing. I can’t wait to, if you ever don’t mind, I would love to see it, I would love to poke in to see.
Kim Manes: [01:03:36] Of course.
Sam Vander Wielen: [01:03:36] Yeah, it will be so cool. Is there anything that’s coming up for you lately like business-wise that you’re like, “Oh, I wish I could figure this out” or “I want to figure this out about sales or social media”? Like is there anything that’s coming up that’s like a hurdle for you these days?
Kim Manes: [01:03:50] That’s a really good question. I feel like as a one woman show over here, it’s like constant hurdles, but not necessarily in a bad way. I think the thing that I’m struggling with most right now isn’t one thing specifically, but how to juggle like the many different demands, right? So, for here, like the top things that I’m thinking about all the time is like wanting to keep the one-on-one clients and the school district, that most of the students that go to the school district in my neighborhood, they’re virtual for the next few weeks, and now, I have families coming, “Can we do two-week intensives? And like it’ll be great.”
And of course, like yes, I want to do that. Of course, we’re going to get that in. It’s like managing that, but then also knowing that I’m so close to being done with this product, and if I just devote like 40 or 50 more hours to editing, that can be finished, but then also learning about how to promote and like how to like build that offer. And it’s like all those trainings on Kajabi that you have to fit through. And then, on top of that, like social media, I don’t want to build a giant product but not work on like cultivating the community, because then it’ll be done and like nobody’s there, and nobody knows about it. But also, like I started doing Instagram just a couple of months ago. My Instagram is very small. Shoutout to the 66 followers, I love you guys.
Sam Vander Wielen: [01:05:13] But 66 are amazing.
Kim Manes: [01:05:15] Like I hope that they actually like get something out of it, like they’re true followers, I appreciate them. But like focusing on that, and now, I’m making all these little videos, and these little graphics, and just teaching little tidbits through social media, and I love doing that, but then that takes away from the editing time. And it’s like, in the bookkeeping, like how do you manage, how do you prioritize all those things in your business? And I don’t know, can you just give me the answer to that?
Sam Vander Wielen: [01:05:43] Sure. I have it right here. I wish it was that easy. I mean, I’m happy to give you some like feedback or at least share like my experience with you if it’s at all helpful. Well, first, it’s like that what you’re experiencing is super normal, right? I feel like there’s this period in the beginning where we wear, literally, all the hats, right? And people right now, you’re your own like accountant, and marketing manager, and operations person, and then you’re the face of the company, and you’re doing all of the things, right?
So, you’re in that phase where it’s really hard. I think it’s also a really important phase because you learn all the jobs. And then, if and when you can outsource any of them, you have a standard of like how you want certain things to be done, but you’ll also know your products in and out. Like I formed, I don’t know if you know this, but I did the Bundle the exact same way. So, I think I had like less than 100 followers when I created the Bundle.
I didn’t have any like audience, social media presence, anything like that, and filmed all the videos myself, edited myself, built this out. But because of it, I knew the program like the back of my hand, which really came in handy as I started to then promote it later on, because I was able to like think of all these little angles of like, oh, I’ll create an Instagram post about this like one topic that’s in the Bundle, and then the point of that post will be telling people, hey, this is one of the very many things that I teach inside of The Ultimate Bundle, so you’ll be able to do something really similarly.
Also, if you’re editing your own videos, you could edit a few of them. And then, if and when you’re ever ready, you could hire a video editor pretty affordably to then say, hey, here’s the format that I like, this is the way that I like, here’s like the first five, I want them to look like this, now, go and do this. And then, that way, you can dig in and like do the other stuff that you need to do, right?
So, like just learning how you like things to be done, how you want to look and feel, and that kind of stuff can be super helpful. But the only other thing I was going to say that I found really helpful in this stage of business was starting to categorize my days. So, having days that I used to call cave days, which were like head down, writing, creating content, like filming the videos for your course, writing whatever you need to do, and then having outward days.
So, those are the days where you have the client calls, you’re doing the intensives, you’re doing all of that, and then you probably have to have like a CEO day, where you’re doing like admin, sending contracts, like handling the invoices, checking on your schedule, like maybe planning out your project for how you’re going to execute these videos, that kind of stuff. When I started to do that, I noticed like a big increase in productivity because I wasn’t switching, I wasn’t like context-switching every day, all day, between like filming, then having a client session, then trying to do social media. It was like too much back to back.
Kim Manes: [01:08:22] Yeah.
Sam Vander Wielen: [01:08:23] Yeah, you know what I mean?
Kim Manes: [01:08:24] No, that makes so much sense, because I mean, yeah, when you’re trying to like wear all the hats and do everything yourself, it’s like an email comes in, I’m like, oh, I want to respond to that right away, because I want to like show you that great customer service, and you asked for this contract, let me send it over. And so, you spend the day kind of like running around like a chicken with your head cut off, and then the end of the day comes and your to-do list is the same, and you’re like, like I was busy all day long, but what did I actually accomplish?
Sam Vander Wielen: [01:08:49] For sure. Yeah, I was going to say, any time that you get to the end of a day, and you feel exhausted, and like you were busy all day but got nowhere, that’s a good sign that there has to be this chunky link. Around school, sometimes, they would do like block scheduling, I kind of consider it to be similar, in that like going deeper for longer periods of time, very focused, getting out of email. I’m also someone, as you know, who prioritizes customer service, and it means a lot to me to be timely.
So, if it makes me feel better to do that first thing in the morning, but then I’m blocking off a big chunk, and maybe I don’t check the Facebook community for the Bundle members until the end of the day. Again. And people, it’s funny, we are hard on ourselves about this, but when I ask customers and stuff, they’re like, “No, you’re like lightning fast”. And I’m like, oh, I was feeling guilty that I like waited that day to get back to you. And so, I often think that we set an expectation for ourselves as business owners that maybe other people aren’t necessarily holding us to.
Kim Manes: [01:09:45] Yeah, that’s a really good point. I’m going to try it. I’m going to try it, Sam.
Sam Vander Wielen: [01:09:49] You tell me. If you want any ideas, I’ll show you my calendar, how I do it, but I-
Kim Manes: [01:09:54] I might. It’s kind of cool like how my schedule is set up. Like I see kids one-on-one in the morning before the school day, and then after school, but then I have this big chunk of like six hours, and even if it’s not a full day, but like two hours to cave day, like cave hours, and then-
Sam Vander Wielen: [01:10:06] Cave days are helpful, I’m telling you.
Kim Manes: [01:10:09] … movement, and lunch, and then emails and contracts, and that’s a good idea, I like it.
Sam Vander Wielen: [01:10:13] Yeah, you kind of get in the mood. You start to get like, if there are filming days, like I have like a whole routine of like what that’s going to look like, that’s a big difference, right? Like on a day where you’re filming videos for your stuff or filming videos for social media, if you start doing Reels or start doing little like social media training things, it’s different energy, right? You have to be up and out, and all of this kind of stuff. And so, I just try to like mentally have that organized so that I know like, okay, Thursday is going to be an outward day, I’m like doing the thing, and I get all of it out of my system, and then I can go back in my little cave where I want to be and just write.
Kim Manes: [01:10:50] Oh, I love that, you’re very wise.
Sam Vander Wielen: [01:10:51] No, no. I’ve just made a lot of these mistakes already, so I just want to try to pass it on to you.
Kim Manes: [01:10:58] Oh, I appreciate it.
Sam Vander Wielen: [01:10:59] I think people are really going to relate to that because I think the whole like scheduling, I mean, going back to our earlier conversation about you being, you’re your boss, you’re responsible now, no one’s telling you what time you have to be somewhere and no one’s telling you what you need to be working on it at a certain time. And so, that freedom is incredible, and then I think it quickly becomes kind of terrifying and stressful, because it’s so flexible that you don’t know what to do and you don’t know where to start.
Kim Manes: [01:11:24] Yeah.
Sam Vander Wielen: [01:11:26] Yeah. Well, this has been so fun for me, at least. I hope that you’ve had fun chatting. Yes, it’s been so cool. Is there anything that you want to invite people to check out after we chat?
Kim Manes: [01:11:38] I mean, like I said, my social media presence, everything is very small right now. The majority of the work that I’m doing is with kids one-on-one. But if this sounds like interesting to you, whether you have kids or not, like maybe you just think English is really cool like I do, and you want to follow along, like check me out on Instagram. It’s Wordy.Birds. You can email me if you have questions, [email protected] And yeah, I’ll be sharing, obviously, when this hopefully amazing lesson pack is complete, that’ll be the best way to learn about it.
But I guess I’ll also say like if you are a parent or a caregiver of a child, and you like have concerns about them, and you want to talk with somebody, like talk through that with somebody, reach out to your child’s teacher or their caseworker if they have an IEP family doctor, or if you’re like curious in what I do and are interested in me doing an assessment on your child, like I do that for families as well, just short little 45-minute sessions, and then meeting with parents after to share my findings, of course, because I’ve learned from the best, like my mini-disclaimer, right?
Here’s my disclaimer, everybody, like I’m a licensed teacher in Minnesota, I have a master’s in education, and I’m Orton-Gillingham-certified, but I’m not like a medical professional, I’m not your child’s tutor. So, if you want to explore this like assessment option, it’s purely just for like informational purposes for you. It can’t inform any like IEP, 504 plan. It’s just for you to get a better understanding of where your child’s performing and have a conversation about how you can help them and how you can support them in their literacy development
Sam Vander Wielen: [01:13:16] That’s amazing. I’m so proud.
Kim Manes: [01:13:18] Thank you.
Sam Vander Wielen: [01:13:19] And last but not least before we go, I forgot to ask you, so right now, as people are listening to this episode, they are deciding on whether or not to get in on The Ultimate Bundle. And I know that, oftentimes, people, they are concerned about the investment or they’re wondering whether their business is in the right place for it. And so, what would you have to say to anybody who is considering whether or not to take the leap?
Kim Manes: [01:13:41] Oh, well, I feel like it’s not a question of like if you need The Ultimate Bundle, it’s is it the right time for you? And only like that business owner or that person with the idea of a business is going to know if it’s like the right time. But unless you are a lawyer or like are best friends with a lawyer that’s like helping you with contracts, looking over everything, helping build out your website, like it’s not possible for you to know everything and like know all of the information that’s provided for you within the Bundle.
And not only that, you don’t have access to Sam in the Facebook group, and I mean, it was a big investment, and that was one of like the scariest things, was the biggest financial investment that I made in myself and in my business at the beginning, but just like when I clicked like purchase, this giant weight was just lifted off my chest, and I was like, I’m going to be okay.
Like the fear of starting a new business and doing it wrong or like not above board, that concern was just totally gone, and then that really empowered me to focus more on the content that I wanted to create and deliver to people, as opposed to kind of all that background noise. So, if you’re listening and you’re like, oh, should I do it? Should I do the Bundle? I mean, the answer is yes. Like if you’re serious and you want to take your business to the next level, or even if you just want to do it on the side, but you want that legal protection, so you can focus on your service or your product as opposed to all the legal stuff, it’s time. It’s time.
Sam Vander Wielen: [01:15:15] Kim’s the whisper in your ear that you needed to hear.
Kim Manes: [01:15:21] It’s time.
Sam Vander Wielen: [01:15:22] We’re going to snag that and play that in Facebook again.
Kim Manes: [01:15:25] Go for it.
Sam Vander Wielen: [01:15:26] Yeah, we’ll give you a cut. Yeah. Oh, that’s amazing for everybody to hear. I just really appreciate it. And I so appreciate and like respect the investment, and I know how much it takes, and I’m obviously very proud of you, and I’m so excited to see like what you do. And so, thank you just so much for coming on here and chatting with me today.
Kim Manes: [01:15:50] You’re so welcome. Thank you.
Sam Vander Wielen: [01:15:53] And last but certainly not least, we have Ultimate Bundle member, Aimee Cerka. Aimee is a money confidence coach after she and her husband faced three major financial roadblocks in the last seven years. She felt like she wasn’t doing all that she could and had let her family down until a coach helped her to see the success in her experiences instead of her failures. This allowed her to create and implement systems to grow their net worth by over $250,000 while spending time with her loved ones and on her priorities.
Now, she helps motivated women create unstoppable finances, providing them the happiness, family life, financial security, and long-term wealth they deserve. So, I am so excited for you to hear my conversation with Aimee. I wanted to bring you her story because she’s somebody who was a little bit further along in business by the time she got legal stuff in place. It was something where she really felt like it was holding her back and she wasn’t able to grow the business to her potential.
So, for any of you who often are reaching out to me or just are thinking kind of quietly that, “Oh, I’ll get the legal stuff in place once my business gets further along”, but then you have this nagging feeling that your business can’t grow because you’re not legally protected, I think you’re going to get a lot out of Aimee’s story. So, I’m so excited for you to get into this interview. Aimee is absolutely delightful, and she is located in Texas, and we will make sure that we share about her incredible freebie that she tells you about at the end, the Money Mindset Mastery Checklist. So, with all that said, let’s get into our interview with Aimee.
Hey, Aimee, thank you so much for being on On Your Terms.
Aimee Cerka: [01:17:29] Hey, Sam. Thanks for having me.
Sam Vander Wielen: [01:17:30] I’m so excited that you’re here. Why don’t you tell everybody a little bit about who you are and what you do?
Aimee Cerka: [01:17:35] Yeah. So, my name is Aimee Cerka. I am a money confidence coach, mom of three, married to my best friend, and I help women, motivated women, step into unstoppable and create unstoppable finances so that they can have, really, the prosperity, the happiness, family life, and really, the way of life that they are hoping to create.
Sam Vander Wielen: [01:18:03] That’s amazing. Yeah, I love what you do, and I’m so excited to chat with you a bit more about it today. How long have you had this business?
Aimee Cerka: [01:18:11] I have been, truly, with my own business, coaching now for, let’s see, my daughter is three, so about four years now.
Sam Vander Wielen: [01:18:20] Okay. That’s awesome. Yes, you’ve been in it for a little bit. And so, what were you doing? Like tell me a little bit about the period right before you started your business. What were you up to?
Aimee Cerka: [01:18:29] Yeah. So, I actually started as a home business owner or a small business owner almost 10 years ago now, right after my first son was born. I had to change careers. I had done something else that just wasn’t going to work when he was in daycare. I was a very young single mom, and I ended up in network marketing in a personal development and financial literacy company, and really learned a lot through the whole process, was in insurance, and then left insurance and was still promoting that financial education company. And through a lot of our experiences, I became more and more passionate about the financial literacy side, to the point that I decided to launch my own company to be able to really create the program that I wanted to and really work with the ladies that I felt like I was called to do.
Sam Vander Wielen: [01:19:21] That’s amazing. And how did you start out working with people versus like how you’re working with people now? Like did you offer different services or programs in different ways?
Aimee Cerka: [01:19:31] A little bit. When I first started with that network marketing company, they had like a financial literacy pack. So, what I would do, if you purchase the pack, we would kind of talk about it like as you work through it. So, it was a lot of the people that were already signing up like within the network marketing company or other ladies that I was with, like just, hey, let’s go through this material, but I found there was a little bit of fear, even if it was subconscious, that if they were in a different company, that I was going to poach them or something, which I would have never done, but that fear was there and I always felt like that held people back. So, the pack that I learned, all the financial literacy principles, that’s what I was helping people go through in the beginning.
Sam Vander Wielen: [01:20:17] Hmm. Okay. Cool. And then, versus now, how are you working with people? Now, like what kinds of offerings do you have at the moment?
Aimee Cerka: [01:20:25] Yeah. So, now, I have multiple courses that I’ve created. We’ve got Budgeting Simplified, which teaches you how to budget for prosperity in just four weeks. So, I’ve gone through several financial programs now, and we’ve kind of taken, I don’t know, the best of all of them, because I believe that we should feel good about the finances that we have. There’s a lot of gurus out there that teach from a lack mentality and cutting things out, and I don’t think we have to do that. So, Budgeting Simplified is the budgeting program that we created, and then Money Mindset Makeover Blueprint is the brand new Money Mindset course. So, within that Money Mindset is the thing that we all have to work on forever when it comes to money.
Sam Vander Wielen: [01:21:10] Yes.
Aimee Cerka: [01:21:11] Yes, it plays into so many different things. So, it’s a four-module course to take us through like really understanding what money is, uncovering some of those false stories that we have growing up, giving you really tangible tools to help you improve your Money Mindset, and then what to do when things go off the rails, because it’s not all going to be rainbows and butterflies. So, when that stuff happens, like how to get back on track again.
Sam Vander Wielen: [01:21:39] Yeah, very cool. And I imagine that that’s attracting some entrepreneurs as well, right?
Aimee Cerka: [01:21:45] Yes. A lot of the ladies that I do work with, I mean, you’re motivated to do something with your money, I find with, at least, started a side hustle, small business entrepreneur at some point.
Sam Vander Wielen: [01:21:55] Yeah, for sure. And then, I feel like I hadn’t even heard probably the term, Money Mindset, until I became an entrepreneur, then I was, all of a sudden, like, oh, there’s this thing, Money Mindset, I’m supposed to work on that. Yeah, that’s really cool. I like seeing how things evolved over time. That’s super neat. So, like do you remember some of the issues that came up, like some of the worries or concerns, legal hurdles that you were like,”Oh, do I have this? Am I supposed to have this?”? Like do you remember what was going on and what was kind of happening in your business when that started?
This is serious. It’s like, I need to get this right. Being on the other side, where we had a business deal go bad when I was three months pregnant with my second, we had done everything that we were supposed to, we had the legal contracts, they were technically liable for 20,000-plus, but they didn’t have the assets, so it wasn’t going to do us any good to sue. We technically could have gone down that road, but knowing like, okay, this is the financial aspect and the things that we went through because somebody else didn’t do what they were supposed to, I felt that much more of a calling to make sure I was doing what I was supposed to with people’s data.
Sam Vander Wielen: [01:23:47] Yeah, exactly. Yeah. Sometimes, these like legal things pop up, where people have an experience, and then they’re like that. So, just so that everybody knows what Aimee is talking about is that, I think it was back in 2018 that GDPR came out, which is the General Data Protection Regulation. It’s a European Union law that regulates how we basically give people access from the European Union to their data, and it applies to all of us, no matter where we live, even if we live in Texas, or we’re in New York, or wherever.
If people can access our information or our websites and we’re taking people’s information, we’re responsible for complying. So, that’s what Aimee is talking about. But sometimes, like that will happen or somebody will hear about like somebody’s content getting stolen or like a client not paying them, and then all of a sudden, that makes them realize like, well, what else don’t I know about or where else could these like little holes be?
Aimee Cerka: [01:24:40] Definitely.
Sam Vander Wielen: [01:24:40] Yeah, for sure. So, at that time, I guess the GDPR, and when I spoke with Rachel back then, is that what triggered you to look into The Ultimate Bundle and to join at that time?
Aimee Cerka: [01:24:52] I actually didn’t join at that time. I was looking into it then. Honestly, I didn’t make it a party. I probably should have, because I know it’s not something that I can tangibly see, but I know that I held myself back from working at my full potential, because I knew that I wasn’t protected like I needed to be and like I wanted to be. So, I think it was probably at least a year later, you ran a special program of some sort, and I was like, alright, we’re going to figure this out.
This is sad, but I think it was even like an extended payment plan or something, and I was like, okay, I’m going to make it happen, it’s going to be done so that I can feel better. And I know like I should have done it before, because I could tell within my confidence like I knew I was good then, that I had done what I needed to. I mean, of course, people out there are going to be people, but I had done my part.
Sam Vander Wielen: [01:25:45] Yeah, which is all we can control. Do you feel like you remember what you were holding back on or what you would have done differently if you had had it, like with the ability of hindsight now?
Aimee Cerka: [01:25:57] I think that I probably would have done more like promotion, putting myself out there, more consistency even with content. I mean, I know that I am consistent. It’s one of the things that like it is a strong suit for me, but I don’t think I was consistent then, because I was letting myself—I knew that like, okay, this isn’t really where it’s supposed to be, so what if I do this, and it does work, but this isn’t right?
Sam Vander Wielen: [01:26:25] Yeah, totally. A lot of people will share with me that they feel like they, yeah, that that fear of being exposed or found out keeps them playing pretty small, and then I don’t know if you felt this way, but people will often say like, they thought, “Well, I’ll invest in legal once I get a little more successful in my business”, but then they don’t really grow the business because they’re so afraid of being successful or being seen, and like what comes with that, legally speaking.
Aimee Cerka: [01:26:49] Yeah. And I think that’s what I was telling myself in the beginning, it was, okay, if I can like hit this income goal, then we’ll take care of it and it’ll be fine, but until, I mean, it’s silly, because this is what I do all the time, like until we do the mindset work, like we’re not going to hit those goals. So, hindsight’s 20/20, but that’s definitely what I did.
Sam Vander Wielen: [01:27:07] Yeah, but now, you can teach other people, like we all have these experiences, so it’s so helpful, and I’m sure it makes you be able to relate to your clients now, whether it’s a course or something they want to purchase, some way that they want to improve their career, I think it’s really helpful. Yeah. Okay. So, about like a year later when you join the Bundle, do you remember how you felt once you got inside?
Aimee Cerka: [01:27:30] I felt good. I know that like—I mean, I worked through the whole program, I set myself, was like, okay, there are so many videos, so I’m going to get this done. Like I went through the whole thing, I watched everything, even if it wasn’t like a template that I necessarily needed at the moment, but then I knew, okay, this is like what I’m looking for, and this is when this will come into play. Really quickly, it was like, okay, this feels good, this is in place, this is the way it’s supposed to be, and like let’s go to the next step.
Sam Vander Wielen: [01:28:01] Yeah, and did you feel like, at that point, you were able to—like did you feel that confidence to start promoting yourself differently?
Aimee Cerka: [01:28:09] Yeah, I think that weight was released off of my shoulders.
Sam Vander Wielen: [01:28:13] Yeah, that’s really, really helpful. And I feel like you’re somebody who’s gotten a lot of use out of it over the years. Like you’ve been able to get back to it, right?
Aimee Cerka: [01:28:21] Yeah, I’ve gone back a couple of times and updated a couple of things. And of course, the community has been super helpful, too. I’ve asked in the group, I’m like, hey, like I saw this, like is this something that we should be doing, too?
Sam Vander Wielen: [01:28:33] Yeah. I mean, that’s amazing, because I mean, I created it for that, because people often like freak out about the amount of time they think it’s going to take them to do all of this stuff, and I feel like, I mean, maybe you tell me of whether you agree, but like I don’t think it’s that bad. I don’t think it’s as bad as people think in the beginning. But then, I don’t think people realize that like it’s never going to get any better.
And as these questions come up over time, if you don’t put yourself in a community or a space like this that you trust to be able to go pose a question, because you’ve been doing this long enough and I’ve been doing this long enough that you see that things have changed, they evolved. These new laws pop up, new ways of promoting our businesses pop up. I mean, Reels didn’t even exist when I started my business, and now, people would be like, how do I legally use music in Reels? Like that was never a question I got asked two years ago.
Aimee Cerka: [01:29:20] Yeah, definitely. And it didn’t take that long. This might be a little bit of a hack, but I had one screen that I was watching you like show where to go, and then I had my—well, I guess it was on my tablet, and then on my computer, I was filling it in at the same time so that I was multitasking, I guess, making the most of the time there, but I didn’t feel like that it took long at all.
Sam Vander Wielen: [01:29:41] Yeah. Well, thank you for sharing that, because that is how I intended it. So, just you know, but yeah, and what Aimee is talking about is that all of my legal templates come with a video tutorial, where I actually like walk you through the process, I teach you how to fill it out, I’m kind of explaining what it means when it needs some explaining, where I want to give you guys the confidence to be able to talk to a client, like somebody who says to you like, “Hey, Aimee, why do you have to include this paragraph, I don’t understand what this—what am I signing here, like I want to know”, I want you all to feel really empowered to explain it to people. Yeah.
Aimee Cerka: [01:30:11] And that was definitely the case. And even understanding contracts and things that I was sent as well, I’m like, okay, this is what this actually means, it’s not just like this random legal thing that we just signed the bottom of, because that’s what we do.
Sam Vander Wielen: [01:30:25] Yeah, that’s what we’re taught, right? It’s like, I think people are really taught like it’s a contract, you just sign it, and I’m like, no, like there’s so much you can do. I think even just like telling people like, you know you can give feedback, like on a contract, you can be like, “I don’t want this paragraph, I want this to be five days instead of three”, like you can change it. And so, I think just empowering people with even the awareness that like these things are negotiable. And so, did you watch the training inside the Bundle where I teach you how to like read contracts that other people send you?
Aimee Cerka: [01:30:55] Yes, I did.
Sam Vander Wielen: [01:30:56] Yeah.
Aimee Cerka: [01:30:57] I probably re-watched that one, too. Like the first time I got like a media contract, I’m like, okay, what does this mean again?
Sam Vander Wielen: [01:31:03] Yeah, I just had like two Bundle members tell me about that training this week alone being like, “That training where you teach me how to read other people’s contract, like I never even thought about it.” I was like, yeah, see, it’s helpful. Yeah, that was a fun one to do, because I never really hear anybody talk about it. So, that’s really cool. Do you feel like there are any pieces of the Bundle, like whether it was a training, or contract, or something you’ve learned in the community in particular that like stands out as being the most helpful to you?
Aimee Cerka: [01:31:29] I think the terms and conditions one is probably the most helpful, and even like the privacy—really, I guess we’ll say the three main ones, but the terms and condition one stands out, because that is so important, especially when you have multiple like offerings, because I have several like many offerings that we’ve created that like knowing, okay, I’ve done this part, like I’m telling you, this is what it is, and of course, it’s in their court to read it, and I’ve covered myself, because I’ve told you exactly what to expect before you ever make your purchase.
Sam Vander Wielen: [01:32:05] Yeah, exactly. Yeah, I think for someone like you who sells things that people can buy any time, it’s a big relief to know that you’ve got the legal stuff in place to like protect yourself in that process, because as you know, Aimee, I always say in the trainings, like people are going to be buying stuff while you sleep, how you’re going to legally protect yourself?
Well, while you’re sleeping, you can’t let people purchase, and then send them things like on the side. So, that’s really cool to hear. I’m glad that it’s been helpful. So, tell me a little bit about like what’s going on in your business world now. I know you have a lot going on in life, but like what are some of the things you’re working on? What are some things you’re excited about? Any challenges that you’re facing in the business right now?
Aimee Cerka: [01:32:45] There’s been a lot of really exciting things going on. So, my membership, I guess, I didn’t even mention this earlier, is Money Masters Inner Circle. So, that’s really like the guided experience that we walk through with these women that are looking to really create the unstoppable finances like we talked about. And really, we’ve restructured the way that it works inside, because before, I was doing kind of like just like a monthly training, but it kind of felt random.
So, we’re restructuring it into like the main categories of what we talk about. We talk about like your health and managing your time. And then, of course, like the nitty-gritty when it comes like to the money stuff, and investing in cryptocurrency, and having it more structured like that, instead of feeling like we have to have something every single month that doesn’t necessarily feel aligned. It’s going to be really laid out in a simple manner, so you can get to like what you need to, when. I’ve actually stepped back, I’m not even really taking any private clients. We are expecting our fourth child end of August, beginning of September.
Sam Vander Wielen: [01:33:50] Congratulations.
Aimee Cerka: [01:33:52] Thank you. So, now, I have what we call our platinum level inside the membership. So, you get the one-on-one support to work with me, but still really taking advantage of that group community at like a much better price for you, because it’s kind of like a hybrid and I absolutely love it. Working on a slow funnel, which I would have never thought that I would have been like somebody that’s like, okay, yeah, I’ll do this. So, we’ve been working on that, really just kind of streamlining things.
Like you said, there’s been a lot of things going on and focusing on the things that I enjoy, which, of course, is working with the clients, and inside Money Masters Inner Circle, and letting go of some of the other things that maybe are stereotypical that like, oh, you got to be doing this, but in reality, it’s my business and we don’t have to. So, I just need like more time to make it all happen, right? That’s what we all say, though.
Sam Vander Wielen: [01:34:47] Yeah, this is true. Yeah, you’re in the scaling phase and trying to streamline you really being only working on like revenue-driving activities, and especially with what you’ve got going on in the background, it seems like a good time to do that.
Aimee Cerka: [01:35:04] Definitely.
Sam Vander Wielen: [01:35:04] Yeah, there’s a lot of learning to be done, but I also hope that like a lot of the support, a lot of the resources inside the Bundle are good support. I mean, part of why I designed it that way, like when I started the Bundle, I didn’t think anybody would even buy it, just from like a lack of confidence in myself, speaking of confidence, but as the Bundle went on and like all of these, I mean, now, we have like thousands and thousands of people inside, and it’s been really cool to watch all of you develop. And as the industry has changed, shift more into courses and memberships, like I don’t even think memberships were that popular when I started.
Now, obviously, it’s such a great way for you all to work with people. And so, I’ve really tried to create a really comprehensive set of resources in the Bundle for you to be able to be like, okay, I want to go create this membership. Here’s exactly what I need. This is the contract I need. These are the legal issues or things to be aware of that could come up so that I know how to navigate them if and when they happen.
Aimee Cerka: [01:36:02] Definitely. And I really do feel like it’s laid out in a very simple manner, even like with the way it’s titled, and you’ll even say in the video, it was like, okay, this is where this applies and you keep it updated, too. So, like you said, things change. So, as things change, like we’re updated and we know. It’s not kind of like you have to keep logging back in and checking on it. You let us know in the community that like, “Okay. Hey, there’s something there, you might want to look at that.”
Sam Vander Wielen: [01:36:28] Yeah, I’m actually just about to post in there this afternoon, because I just dropped a new free training in there for you guys about you signing consent, and I give you a new little template for free that’s like the language that you need for e-signatures on contracts. So, you have that waiting for you when you’re ready. Before August, get that set up.
Aimee Cerka: [01:36:45] Yeah, there we go.
Sam Vander Wielen: [01:36:47] Sometime maybe in like June. Yeah, you can do that. And so, as people are listening to this, Aimee, right now is particularly a special time where people are considering whether or not to join the Bundle. And so, I was just curious what you would tell somebody who’s considering, maybe somebody who has a lot of those similar doubts and concerns coming up for them right now, but whether it’s the right time, whether their business is right, whether they can swing the investment, what would you have to say to them?
Aimee Cerka: [01:37:14] Definitely. I would say that you need to know that you are protected. If this is something that you’re aware of, that you know that you’re missing, you’re not going to play full out, you’re not going to do all the things that you would do. And even if you are, your confidence isn’t going to be there, and your clients and your customers are going to feel that, because in the back of your mind, you know that this isn’t really where it’s supposed to be. It is something that we have to make a priority.
Sam Vander Wielen: [01:38:25] Yeah, get on it.
Aimee Cerka: [01:38:27] Yes.
Sam Vander Wielen: [01:38:27] Well, I appreciate you saying that, and I think your story will be very relatable to people. So, I just really appreciate you like sharing so openly and honestly. And I know that you have the Money Mindset Mastery Checklist, so do you want to tell everybody what that’s about? And then, I’ll make sure I drop the link in the show notes below so they can grab it.
Aimee Cerka: [01:38:45] Definitely. So, like I mentioned, mindset is the thing that we all have to work on. So, we put together the Money Mindset Mastery Checklist. It is 10 simple steps to help you create that unshakeable Money Mindset, so these are the 10 most common things that I myself messed up, and then I see most frequently with clients. It’s so simple to switch it. It’s not like these massive things that we have to change. They’re simple tweaks that we need to make. So, once you go through that, you are on your way to creating that unshakeable Money Mindset, which, again, gives you the confidence, we keep talking about that today.
Sam Vander Wielen: [01:39:19] That’s awesome. That sounds like a really, really helpful checklist, so I’m definitely going to drop the link in the show notes for everyone, so you can check that out. You can reach out to Aimee. She’s @AimeeCerka on Instagram. As well, I’ll share all of her social handles and her contact in the show notes. But thank you so much, Aimee, for being here today. It was so fun chatting with you.
Aimee Cerka: [01:39:37] Absolutely. I enjoyed it. Thank you.
Sam Vander Wielen: [01:39:43] Thanks so much for listening to the On Your Terms podcast. Make sure to follow on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you like to listen to podcasts. You can also check out all of our podcast episodes, show notes, links, and more at samvanderwielen.com/podcast. You can learn more about legally protecting your business and take my free legal workshop, Five Steps to Legally Protect and Grow Your Online Business at samvanderwielen.com. And to stay connected and follow along, follow me on Instagram @SamVanderWielen, and send me a DM to say hi.
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