I often get asked what I think of Marie Forleo’s B-School, so here’s my 100% honest review.
I’ll share what B-School is and who I think it’s best suited for (and not for), so you can decide if it’s the right investment for you.
What is B-School, anyway?
Marie Forleo’s B-School, previously known as Rich, Happy & Hot B-School (or RHH B-School for short), is an online business school originally created by the multi-passionate entrepreneur Marie Forleo and social media maven Laura Roeder. It has evolved and improved since it was originally developed and now is run just by Marie Forleo.
B-School is an 8-week online program to teach women and men how to create, structure, and grow their online businesses. It covers all of the high-level concepts you should understand if you want to run an online business.
A few years ago, Marie added additional content to show brick and mortar businesses how to improve their online presence and reach more customers through their website.
My 100% Honest Review of B-School
I joined B-School in 2011, just a few months after launching jennyshih.com. At the time, I had barely made any money in my business and knew very little about marketing or building an online business. B-School closed of my knowledge gaps and set the stage for success in my business.
It was exactly what I needed, exactly when I needed it. As a result, it was a game-changer for me and my business. For that, I will be forever grateful.
Is it for you? Well, it depends.
The B-School Program Content
The program content is comprehensive. Marie covers the high-level online business theory that you must understand to be successful in business. She covers the basic lingo, too, which is great if you’re confused by terms like opt-in, permission marketing, guest posting, and more.
Marie also hosts live calls where she answers participant questions on the phone. Although you have to spit out your question fast, as she try to get in as many Q&As as possible, she’s there to answer your questions, and that’s fantastic.
The B-School Community
When I joined B-School in 2011, I also joined the B-School online community. The women in this group are like no other I’ve been a part of. They are loving, kind, giving, generous, non-competitive, supportive, thoughtful, caring, sharing, wise,… I could keep going.
When I joined, I had never experienced a community of women who were ambitious yet simultaneously non-competitive. I can bring business or personal questions to this group and feel supported no matter what. This community alone was worth my B-School investment.
Since then, the community has grown to nearly 13,000+ members, and since this is a 100% honest review, I have to say that the program lost the intimate feel that I experienced back in 2011. Yes, the members are still amazing, and there’s lot of support there. And, it’s a quite overwhelming, even for me (who can handle those things really well), and not quite as helpful as it used to be. However, I still visit the group there and consider myself a B-Schooler for life!
Who I Think B-School Is For
B-School is perfect for anyone who knows what they want to do for their business but hasn’t had much success with the business aspect of it (like making money!). B-School is also perfect for anyone who has had a successful off-line business who wants to take it online but doesn’t know where to start.
If you’re clear or even mostly clear on what you want to do in your business, you are primed to take advantage of what Marie teaches in this program.
If you’re ready to put yourself out on the internet to make money doing what you love, and if you believe in yourself – even just a tiny bit – B-School will rock your world.
If you’re a locally-based or brick and mortar business looking to up your game and online presence, this program will teach you exactly what you need to know.
Who I Think B-School Is NOT For
If you are swimming in fear and have doubts about being in business, I suggest you wait until things settle down for you. From what I’ve seen, business owners who try to learn about business and marketing before they feel confident, simply flounder and feel worse about their situation. I don’t want anyone to put unnecessary pressure on themselves when it comes to making their purpose-driven business work. Take care of your inner work, then dive into the business stuff when you’re ready.
B-School will come around again, so you don’t need to feel like you’re missing out. There will be another chance for you to dive in next year.
If you’re busy and overwhelmed and have no time to commit to learning the content (and there’s A LOT to learn), joining might just stress you out!
I believe that one of the biggest reasons B-School was a huge hit for me was that I set aside time each week to learn the material and implement the concepts Marie covered. Each week I set blocked out three hours on Mondays to work through the program content. I made learning a priority, put the time in my calendar to work through the material, and made that time non-negotiable.
Additionally, I set aside an additional time each week to take action on what I learned. This meant that if I learned about websites on Monday, I was implementing what I learned on Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday.
That said, if you don’t have as many hours each week to learn and implement as I did, and you feel comfortable pacing yourself (even if you’re behind the group), you can certainly learn and take action more slowly over time. Many of B-School’s students do this, and there’s no pressure to go any faster than you’re able.
What B-School Isn’t
B-School was a big deal for my business, as you’ve read here. However, there are many skills you need to create a successful business that you don’t get from B-School.
In addition to being good at your craft (whether that’s coaching, nutrition, yoga, design, writing, teaching, making or crafting or anything else), you have to understand…
- fundamental marketing principles (B-School does teach you this)
- financial planning
- bookkeeping and taxes
- strategic planning
- how to work through your own fears and perfectionism
- the sales process and how to implement in for your unique business
- legal implications associated with your unique business
You also have to…
- take massive action consistently
- have like-minded colleagues to work alongside
- keep going no matter what
- deal with fears and self-doubt every step of the way
- be crazy-determined to make your business work
I say this to clarify that B-School isn’t a silver bullet. I think a lot of people join thinking that they’ll “Make millions and Impact millions” — overnight. But honestly, that just doesn’t happen! You’ve got SO MUCH WORK TO DO to get there.
That doesn’t mean B-School doesn’t deliver! It teaches you the online marketing fundamentals, and you must instant those to be successful. Just please don’t think it’s the end-all-be-all program that will make you rich tomorrow. It takes too many other pieces to make that happen.
Frequently Asked Questions About Marie Forleo’s B-School
I’ve received dozens of emails about B-School over the past four years. (I was an affiliate for three years. It didn’t fit into my schedule to participate as an affiliate in 2016.) The common theme is: “This is my situation. Is B-School right for me?” I’m posting the most common questions I’ve received, along with my answers, hoping this extra info will help you make the best decision for you and your business.
If you don’t see your question here, email me. There’s information below on how to do that.
Q: When does enrollment open for the next round of B-School?
A: Marie will be offering free video training beginning in early February. Enrollment begins a few weeks later. Historically, B-School is offered just once per year.
Q: How much is Marie Forleo’s B-School?
A: B-School is $1999. Marie offers a payment plan for those who prefer that option; specifics on the payment plan will be available when enrollment opens.
Q: I’m a _______. Is B-School right for me and my business?
A: The information covered in the program is at a high enough level that it can be applied to many different business types. If you feel confident in your ability to take solid information and translate it for your specific needs, B-School will definitely help you.
If, on the other hand, you’re looking for a program that will teach you exactly how to make your ______ business work, then this will not be the right program for you. You’ll need to take the high-level online business concepts and apply them to your unique business. Though not always easy, but it’s essential for success!
Q: I’m a coach who has been through coach training, but I don’t yet know what type of coaching business I want to have. I’m not totally clear on my niche. Should I take B-School now or wait until I’m more clear?
A: [spoiler] It will be challenging to go through B-School if you don’t know what you want to do in your business. You can’t create an opt-in offer for your list, blog, create packages, and market yourself if you don’t know exactly what you’re marketing or who you’re marketing to.
That said, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take B-School if you don’t know your niche. Often we can’t get the additional clarity we seek without taking action. Sitting around and thinking about your niche won’t get you more clear. Coaching people will. This means you could…
- market yourself as a general coach (which isn’t easy but not impossible either) so you can get a few clients to practice with; this will help you get more clear on who you want to serve and give you an opportunity to practice your new marketing know-how.
- pick a niche for the time being (though you don’t have to commit to it forever); this will allow you to get some initial clients, practice coaching, and learn and implement the business and marketing concepts you’ll be learning.
- work with a life and/or career coach to help you get clear on what your niche is before, during, or after you take B-School.
All of these options are equally valid. Which way you go depends on your personal style, approach, and preferences. Honor whatever will work best for you.
When I first started jennyshih.com, my focus was tech help, project management, and “making your big ideas happen.” I took B-School with that hat on. Over time and as a result of working with tons of clients, I started to see I had a knack for understanding, implementing, and teaching business and marketing. That’s how I eventually became a business coach. I tell you this because it’s okay to pick a niche for the sake of getting started. It’s through taking action that I personally learn best, and I’ve seen this to be true for many entrepreneurs. You can always change your mind later, just as I have done and others. Picking now never means you’re stuck, so don’t worry about that! [/spoiler]
Q: I know what I want my business to be, but I haven’t created anything yet. No website, no clients, nothing. Should I take B-School?
A: [spoiler] If you don’t know what you want to do at all, B-School won’t help you get clear. If you were trying to decide if you should start a bakery, an online business as a coach, or a practice as a massage therapist, B-School won’t help you sort that out.
However, if you know what you want to do but you have no idea where to begin, B-School can definitely help. JennyShih.com was only 3 months old when I took B-School in 2011, and it did wonders for my business.
You will learn a ton of valuable information in B-School. But be forewarned, you won’t have it all implemented by the time B-School is over. Building a website and creating everything you need to get your business up and running online will take some time. But you will definitely learn everything you need to know to get your business started on the right foot.
If you’re pretty clear on what you want to do, you’re ready for B-School, so dive in and get started sooner rather than later! [/spoiler]
Q: I’ve been a coach for awhile and recently found my new niche. My website doesn’t reflect this niche. I can make changes to the content, but will I be behind the curve because I haven’t already been marketing to this niche?
A: [spoiler] Absolutely not! In fact, having the basics of a website up and a foundational understanding of online marketing will make you ahead of the curve. You’ll be able to implement what you learn very fast because your site is up already.
I believe you’re primed to take B-School and get a ton out of it. This is sort of how I was when I took B-School, and I think it helped me maximize my investment. Go for it! [/spoiler]
Q: I want to create a premium coaching program where I work with clients one-on-one. I also see myself creating related products to offer a low barrier for entry so I can serve even more women while generating passive income. Is this something that B-School can guide me in doing?
A: [spoiler] The information covered in the program is at a high enough level that it can be applied to many different businesses. You will definitely get some great ideas for what to offer, but it won’t teach you exactly how to do this for your specific business. That said, my bonus group coaching can help address that gap for you.
If, on the other hand, you’re looking for a program that will teach you exactly how to design a coaching package and create coaching products specifically, this program won’t do that. [/spoiler]
Q: I’ve hired a ton of people to help me start my business: a website designer, a copywriter, and even a business coach. I’ve spent a ton of money but haven’t seen any results. I’m reluctant to join B-School, but part of me also thinks it would help. Do you have any words of advice?
A: [spoiler] First off, I’m sorry to hear that you’ve invested a ton in your business and not seen the return. I know that can be terribly disheartening and frustrating.
I also see a trend: relying on other people to make your business work. I see this a lot with new entrepreneurs. They shell out a ton of cash to get started in a business that they have no experience in. B-School could help turn that problem around — or it could perpetuate it! You need to learn to be in the driver’s seat of your business if you want to be successful. Will this investment be different? Only you can know. [/spoiler]
Q: I have an online business, but I’m just doing it on the side while I have a full-time day job to support me. Because of that, my business is still pretty small. I’m also a mom with little free time. Should I take B-School?
A: [spoiler] If you’re ready to take the steps necessary to grow your online business, B-School will absolutely help you make that happen. If your time is limited because of your job, your kids, or anything else, it’s okay!
To help you succeed, set aside however many minutes or hours you can each week to get through the material and slowly implement what you learn. Even if it takes you a year or more to do everything, that’s okay! Stick with it, and you will start to see results.
The bottom line is if you want to make your online business work and need some solid guidance to make it happen, this program could help you do just that. [/spoiler]
Q: I have a successful off-line business and would like to build an online presence, but I know nothing about the internet or websites. Is B-School right for me?
A: [spoiler] If you have a solid, successful business that runs well and if you know what your business is all about and who your target customers are, B-School can help you.
This program will teach you everything you need to know about taking your business online. Because you have a successful off-line business, I think you’ll benefit tremendously from the concepts. You won’t be worrying about whether or not you found the right target customer because you already know your target customer! Instead, you can get to work on building your website and preparing your online marketing. Your experience will definitely benefit you.
I have known several business owners with off-line or brick and mortar businesses take B-School and the concepts they’ve learned have helped grow their business tremendously. [/spoiler]
Q: I have a brick and mortar business. How specifically does B-School help someone like me?
A: This is such a great question! Since I don’t own a brick and mortar business, I reached out to my friend and fellow B-Schooler, Sonia Ruyts (also a super cool human being and the the owner of Stash, a brick and mortar yarn shop) to answer this question for you.
Here’s what Sonia shared with me… [spoiler]
“B-School is a powerful and inspiring resource for all types of businesses. As the owner of a brick and mortar yarn shop, I found a lot of value in working through each of the modules alongside other entrepreneurs. Thinking about your business from a new perspective is always a good exercise; B-School challenged me to do that continually.
“One of the biggest things I learned in B-School was how to hone in on who my business serves and who I’m speaking and selling to. Your business doesn’t have to meet everyone’s needs or stock every possible variation of the item you are selling. Nor should it! Instead, I learned to focus on truly understanding what my business values are and what movement I was trying to ignite in my customers. I stopped trying to please everyone and focused on how I could make the dreams come true for our core group of customers. Now we focus our efforts on those customers who believe the same things we do at Stash, and the results are much more powerful.
“I learned how important web presence is for a brick and mortar store, even when the majority of my customers are local. One of my dreams is for Stash to be a nationally recognized brand and destination yarn shop. Part of achieving that goal is expressing the personality and values of the shop online to a broader audience. A website can really convey your brand’s soul to customers anywhere in the world, drawing them into your virtual and physical doors!
“Since B-School I’ve been able to hire 2 more employees and am working toward my dream of the business running strongly without me there on an everyday basis.”
Sonia Ruyts, Owner, Stash, Corvallis, Oregon, stashlocal.com
Q: I currently have a ton of debt and money is tight. But I know I need to learn some of these concepts in order to make my business work. Is it worth it for me to invest and go further into debt to create this business?
A: [spoiler] I can’t offer advice on whether or not you should spend more money when you’re already in debt. Each of us needs to make the right financial decisions for ourselves. I know some people are comfortable taking on more debt when they know it will benefit them in the long run; others shy away from debt and would prefer to wait until they can pay cash. This is a personal decision you will need to make for yourself.
That said, here are some things to consider…
- Are you buying into one more program in sheer hopes of it being your saving grace? (Be honest!)
- Is the debt something you have under control, like it’s a school loan that you are making payments on every month, even though it’s mountainous? Or is it out of control, growing every month, and you’re struggling to make the minimum payment?
You know yourself best. Before you jump into creating more debt, look at your situation from several angles – practical, logical, and emotional – and really see if B-School will help you change your situation or perpetuate the situation you’re currently stuck in.
B-School isn’t an instant millionaire-maker. It’s not a get rich quick scheme and won’t make you wealthy overnight. Building an online business takes time, determination, and lots of work. At the same time, it’s totally possible to create financial success in an online business. I’ve done it, my clients have done it, and I know other business owners (and B-School graduates) who have done it, too. However, taking B-School alone doesn’t guarantee a monetary return; but I have found it to be one of the key ingredients to my success. [/spoiler]
Q: There are quite a few affiliates selling B-School. Who should I choose?
A: [spoiler] Since I’ve taken a break from being an affiliate this year, obviously I can’t recommend myself or I would! I would suggest you look at who you can learn the most from.
Often, the bigger name affiliates aren’t the best to go through because they have SO MNAY people buying from them. But when you buy from smaller affiliates who offer small group coaching or a more intimate experience, you can learn so much more.
Trust your got, not flashy big names, and you won’t go wrong. [/spoiler]
This post was originally published May 14, 2012. It was last updated January 15, 2016.