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8 Weeks That Changed My Business Forever (and Could Change Yours, Too)

March 1st marks my official two year mark in business here at jennyshih.com, and as the day comes closer, I couldn’t be happier about how far I’ve come.

As I look back on the past two years, there is one 8 week stretch that truly changed my business forever. These 8 weeks had such an impact on my clarity, my confidence, my business and marketing know-how, and my bottom line, that keeping it a secret would be criminal.

In today’s video, I’m going to share with you my biggest business success secret so you can steal it, too.

(Hold on tight, I nearly lose it at the end.)

Now I want to hear from you!

What have been some of your business success secrets?

Share them in the comments below so we can all learn from your wins, too!

If you’d like to check out Marie Forleo’s B-School, it’s open for enrollment today.

(I am an affiliate for this program but I wouldn’t even be mentioning it if I didn’t think it was totally, absolutely, without a doubt worth the investment many times over.)

If you’d like my 100% honest review of the program, including who it’s for, who it’s not for, and the bonuses I’m offering if you purchase through my affiliate link, my B-School review dishes the truth.

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Prefer to read over watch? I’ve got the transcript for you below.

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{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Katie Morton

Hi Jenny,
Enrolling in B-School is a risk for me in the $$ department, but your enthusiasm — and coming from someone I trust — is pushing me over the edge. I’m also very excited about your bonuses. Oh, and I’ve just started in business, but my success secret is your 1000 Subscribers program. I launched my site this past fall with 0 subs. Since starting your program, I’ve gained over 300 subscribers so far. My goal is to get 1000 by June. So thanks for that!

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2 Jenny Shih

The enthusiasm is genuine. I can’t fake it :-)

Katie, clearly you’re someone who can join a program, take action, and get results. Those are the people who ROCK IT in B-School!

Congrats on your 300 subscribers — that’s awesome! I know you’ll hit 1000!!!

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3 Caryn

I just signed up and it feels amazing! Thanks for your help along the way!

I look forward to meeting my fellow jennyshih.com B-Schoolers – we are going to rock it!

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4 Jenny Shih

WOOT! :-)

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5 Molly Fisk

You are so hilarious! I love it.

My biggest success of the last month has been to write a much longer description of what I’m offering (a new class for poets in this case, on revision), telling more of what I know, what they’ll learn, and some of the things I’ve gotten from famous poets whose names we all recognize. This was an experiment. I like to get brief e-mails that cut to the chase. I don’t want to have to read a lot of stuff. But, turns out I’m not like everyone. Some people want more information, have more anxiety about decision-making, and also may not know me as well as I think everyone knows me. So this experiment was to find out how many people signed up for the class.

I got 8. I could maybe have taken 10, but that’s a big stretch considering how much critiquing I do in this class. 8 is pretty perfect. My classes lately have been running 5 to 6, which is not enough to make me happy. (I’m designing new classes that can accomodate 50 and 100, but that’s a whole different way of teaching.)

I’m not going to say that working with you directly made me think of this and try it, but indirectly, I think you’re my biggest influence. Watching you over the last year change how you do things, take risks, be real, and have fun have really inspired me.

So, Jenny, thanks. ;)

xox Molly

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6 Jenny Shih

Congratulations on that big win, Molly! That’s awesome!! Congrats on filling your class at 8 — those are some lucky students!

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7 Allison Evans

Awesome video, Jenny — and you got a shout-out in the program! Thank you!

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8 Jenny Shih

Thanks Allison! I got a shout out? Cool! Where was it?

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9 Allison Evans

From MF’s “Start the Right Business” PDF: “By way of contrast one of my B-School grads, Jenny Shih, runs a profitable consulting business from her laptop in Oregon. Jenny offers one-on-one consulting, small virtual group classes and downloadable self-study products. She has no employees, has a waitlist for clients and has no desire at this point to greatly expand her business. She’s working about 20 hours a week, earning more money than ever, and has time to volunteer, run marathons, and enjoy her husband, her dog and her decidedly active lifestyle.”

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10 Jenny Shih

You’re a quick student! Yes, Marie did call out me and my biz in that guide. You’re going to do great in BSchool, I can tell already!

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11 Nancy Da Costa

Hi Jenny!

Happy 2 year anniversary! I’m a B-School alum who literally started my business from scratch last year. I have a website and am building on my list-building efforts, and still have a ton of work to do. My biggest challenge right now is managing my time. I have a very demanding corporate job (part of the reason I’ve started my own biz) and am completely changing careers. Apologies if you already address this somewhere on your site, but did you originally start your biz while you were still employed or did you just jump right in? I do plan to quit my job later in the year and feel like I will make a lot more traction once I have space in my life, but was wondering if you had any pointers to add, things to watch out for, when taking the big leap (and I know to save up as much $ as I can and be prepared that things will be slow in the beginning).

Thank you again for the weekly inspiration!

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12 Jenny Shih

Hey Nancy! I started coach training and practice (free) clients while I was still working my corporate job, but I hadn’t made a penny when I quit my job. My income was what kept our house running, so quitting without my business making money was a bit crazy. I saved a ton of money, sold some stock options, and we cut back on everything until I made it work. I think that’s what I needed to do for me – put it all on the line. But that’s not the right path for everyone. I will say, though, it worked!

As far as when to leave, you know when it’s the right time. I had a friend who kept telling me that before I’ll quit: “You’ll know when it’s time.” I wanted to shoot her because I was such a mess about the whole process. But she was right. I knew when it was time, trusted my gut, and although it had it’s crazy scary moments, it turned out to be a great move.

So for you – trust your instincts as to what you need to do and when to go. It’s all so personal and what works for each person is unique to them.

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13 Nancy Da Costa

Hi Jenny!

Thank you for the helpful words! I admire that you went all in and put everything you had on the line. I think that intuitively, that’s exactly what I need to do too. Kind of like when Rachel from Friends wanted to work in fashion but was spending all her time working at the coffee shop, it wasn’t until she purposely quit her coffee shop job that she really went out and eventually landed her dream job. I think that I will have to do the same thing with my business, and go from there.

I do have a plan to quit my job by end of May, though it may happen sooner since my gut is telling me to tell my coworkers that I plan to move to Australia later this year. Also I’ve been spending alot of time taking care of my ill dad and want to be sure that he’ll be ok before I pick up and move.

I do have some money saved up and very manageable living expenses so I’m not worried about those things, but I do worry about my partner. While on the surface he is 100% supportive about me having my own business, he is really pushing for me to try to get a job in accounting (an industry that I am RUNNING away from right now) when I land in Australia, because it’s going to be hard to start a business and be in a new country. I know it will be hard, but I’m also a lot less risk averse and really really don’t want to work in a cubicle, and just want to hit the ground running, even if I make squat in the beginning. Maybe this is too personal, but did you have a hard time explaining to your partner that you wanted to go full-force and risk it all with your business? Were they supportive, or did they have an underlying fear that kind of clouded over you too? I know that if you had naysayers you definitely proved them wrong, so I wonder how you dealt with them in the beginning.

Thank you Jenny! I love your videos, especially the one where you talked about how you didn’t listen to the business advice that may have sent you back to corporate America if you had.

Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

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14 Jenny Shih

Starting a biz in a new country doesn’t have to be hard, Nancy! Since you’re web-based, you can still marketing to people in North America, if they’re your target. No reason it has to be extra challenging because you’re in a new country. (Unless I’m missing something here…)

As far as my husband, I helped him quit his job in 2004 to start his own business, so it was a bit different than the situation you’re in. I financed his departure and our lives since then. When I wanted to quit my job, I financed my own departure there, as well, and we lived off of the savings I stocked away.

As far as whether or not he was supportive, he seemed to be on the outside. If he had different opinions on the inside, he didn’t share them. And to be honest, I didn’t give him much of a choice in the matter of me quitting. It was more, “I’m doing this, and here’s how.” I’m fortunate in that my husband is a pretty agreeable guy when it comes to me making decisions for my own life; he doesn’t tell me what I can or can not do if it’s 100% about my life — which this was.

One thing to consider is letting go of what your husband “really” feels. Take your husband’s support at face value. If he says he’s supportive, then take that. If he really feels something else on the inside but doesn’t share that with you, it’s not your responsibility to pull it out of him or mind read.

As women, and especially if you’re an empath (meaning you can feel other people’s feelings — I’m an empath), it’s easy to take responsibility for what other people feel and try to fix or change it. Maybe your husband thinks he’s supportive but feels worry or uncertainty inside, and you’re picking up on that. He many not even be aware of those feelings. It’s not your job to dig to find it, though. He may even be highlighting your own fears. (I say that from personal experience!) So stick to what you know for sure: he says he supports you. It’ll be much easier for all of you that way :-)

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15 Allison Evans

Nancy,

I just had to chime in, too. It isn’t your partner you have to prove anything to, it’s yourself. If you believe in yourself and are clear in your purpose, your partner *will* get on board.

For *years* I projected my own self-doubt onto my husband, saying, “He wants me to earn more money.” “He doesn’t believe I can do this.” etc. All the while *I* was the one who wanted to earn more money and wasn’t believing in me. Once I took ownership for this doubt, I was able to work through it (I am a life coach). It is so powerful to own your feelings. After all, you are the only person you can change! And, in what feels like a miracle, once I did that, my husband (who had truly been doubtful) became my biggest booster.

Bon courage!
Best regards,
Allison

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16 Nancy Da Costa

Jenny and Allison,

You’re totally right about taking my partner’s support at face value. I’m definitely digging deep because I (unfortunately) subconsciously have this belief that growing my business locally and online is going to be slow and time consuming, and that I won’t get the results I want right away. He picks up on my antsy feelings and relays them back to me. The universe is a remarkable mirror like that! My own self-doubt is what I definitely need to work on (and believe me I’m working on it!). Fortunately, I’m becoming aware of this self-destructive pattern and am making conscious efforts to reverse it. It also helps to reach out to other women who have accomplished what I want to accomplish for support!

I know that I have to work on myself, and when I do it will be totally worth it!

Thank you again for the thoughtful and helpful responses!

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17 Jenny Shih

Kudos to you, Nancy, for your willingness to notice what’s happening with you and work through it. That can often be one of the most difficult parts of entrepreneurship!

I believe with all of my heart that we can make a living working for ourselves. It’s not always easy and it won’t happen overnight, but it is possible!

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18 Evie Abat

Hi, Jenny! I just signed up for B-school through you, and I am excited and terrified.

I am an actor here in LA who is also a doctoral-level psychotherapist and certified holistic health coach. I asked myself…WHY am I limiting myself to either/or? Why can’t I do both: be a successful actor AND have an amazingly lucrative business as a therapist and health coach that helps people and uses my acting skills to create awesome video presentations, books, etc? I’m ready.

My vision for my business, Sexy, Sassy, and Soulful, is to create a community of women who change the world through self-love, self-acceptance, forgiveness, and compassion. I get to use my skills and talents to make this happen, with a lot of help from you and Marie Forleo! Can’t wait to get started! I’ve got my FB page up, am working with a designing on my webpage, and have a draft of my first blog post. I already have so many questions!!!! Looking forward to learning and soaking everything up like a sponge.

Best, Evie

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19 Jenny Shih

Yay, Evie!!! Sounds like you are on fire and ready for more!!

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20 Tracy

Hi Jenny,

I am seconds away from signing up for B-school thourgh you link. I was going to sign up straight through the B-School link, but I think you bouns program is great!

I love the idea of the Missing Manual and SALES 101!!!

I do have a question about the SALES 101. Is that the entire program offered on Kendrick Shope’s website for $797 or is it just excerpts from this program?

Thanks for your response in advance! I am excited to work with you and Marie in the near future! Tracy

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21 Jenny Shih

Kendrick’s $797 program is 1-1 coaching where she works with business owners specifically around their unique selling challenges.

Our Sales 101 class will cover the foundational concepts of authentic selling and how to apply them. The ideas will be applicable whether you’re selling diapers wholesale or coaching services over the internet. Of course, it’s Kendrick, so the concepts are the ones she covers in her $797 coaching program, but since it’s a class not 1-1, the format will shift accordingly.

Hope that helps! And if you need more info, feel free to email me — I’m happy to answer whatever questions you have so you can make the right decision for you and your business! (and WooHoooo for joining B-School!!)

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22 Tracy

Thanks so much for your quick response!!! TR

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23 Tracy

I just signed up through your link!!! I’m so excited!!! TR

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24 Jenny Shih

Woohooo!!!

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25 Aradia

Joining B-school has been on my list since I first “met” Marie, and it’s my big goal for 2014 (since I missed out this year). I just KNOW it will make a difference for me. <3 your honest enthusiasm as always Jenny!

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