Episode 38

Living her mantra, “Action Creates Clarity” with Shawn Fink

Shawn is a business coach who advises her clients to act because action creates clarity. Learn how she has embodied this mantra with her first and second businesses and the digital products she’s created over the years.

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Shawn Fink is a creative business strategist who has been creating digital and virtual offers, coaching and selling online for 15 years. She’s a gentle instigator and changemaker who prefers to operate as a free spirit and think outside the box of the online industry.

In 2013, she built a 6-figure membership business that helped her build a village of women around the world.

In 2020, she took a Brave YES Leap and closed that business down and moved into helping other entrepreneurs build thriving businesses.

She helps her clients grow, uplevel or pivot their business to center their thriving and joy.

Find her at shawnfink.com, sign up for her weekly Brave YES Business Playbook newsletter, learn more about her Bolder Business Boundaries Challenge and take her new quiz to Discover Your Entrepreneurial Courage Style.

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[00:00:00] Rene: Hey everyone. Welcome to Your First Digital Product, a show that helps maxed-out service providers create their first digital product so they can gain an additional income stream, grow their impact without increasing one-on-one work and experience more time freedom. On the show, I talk to business owners who have launched digital products and dig deep into how you can create, launch, and market your first digital product. I’m your host, Rene Morozowich. Let’s go.

[00:00:28] Hey everybody. Today I’m here with Shawn Fink. Shawn is a business strategist and courage coach for female identifying entrepreneurs who want to brave up, release fear and self-doubt so they can grow, uplevel, or pivot their business. She is also the host of the Brave Yes Business Show.

[00:00:44] Hey Shawn, how are you?

[00:00:45] Shawn: Hi. Thank you for having me. I’m great. It’s great to be here.

[00:00:49] Rene: Oh yeah. I’m so excited you’re here and I can’t wait to hear all about your product. So why don’t you tell us just a little bit more about you.

[00:00:55] Shawn: Yeah, so I am a business coach. I talk to female entrepreneurs who are interested in taking their business to the next level.

[00:01:05] And so that’s where the courage coaching comes in. I’ve been doing business stuff for a long time, and most people, you know, when you’re looking for a coach, everybody can talk business. But I add a whole other layer to that to really push women entrepreneurs to their edge, to help them get more visibility, take more risks, have more fun.

[00:01:23] And I specifically really love to work with women, to streamline and minimize the heavy, you know, hustle and grind work.

[00:01:31] Rene: Ugh.

[00:01:32] Shawn: Which is brave to do. Mm-hmm. And, you know, so it takes some real yeses and nos, to really get your business, to a place where you can feel happy in it and joyful in it and love what you’re doing and making money.

[00:01:45] Rene: Yeah, that makes sense. I love that. Yeah, because there is a lot of this like hustle culture, like work harder and all this kind of stuff, and you’re like, Ugh, I just don’t wanna do it like that. And there has to be another way. So I love, and I love that you mentioned fun too, because Yeah, really like, and, and especially I, [00:02:00] I feel for, uh, freelancers or other, you know, kind of self-employed people, business owners like you, you know, you, you don’t want to do it the nine to five way.

[00:02:09] Like you, we wanna do it like a. Better, more fun way. So that’s very cool.

[00:02:13] Shawn: Absolutely. Why, why treat your business like a j o b if you don’t wanna have a j o b? You know, that’s.

[00:02:19] Rene: Exactly, exactly.

[00:02:20] Shawn: Let’s, let’s make it fun. Let’s make it joyful. Let’s make it, you know, us, you know, authentic and real.

[00:02:27] Rene: Yeah, and it just feels so much better.

[00:02:28] It feels so much better. You know, waking up in the morning, we could probably talk about this all day, but.

[00:02:32] Shawn: We could. With another episode, right?

[00:02:34] Rene: Yes, for sure. Yes.

[00:02:35] Shawn: Or another podcast actually.

[00:02:36] Rene: Yes. Yeah. Okay. So tell us about your first digital product. We talked a little bit before and you don’t have any current products, but you’ve had products in the past, possibly from another business.

[00:02:46] So why don’t we start at the beginning and we’ll go through your journey as much as you wanna share with us, but tell us about your very first digital product.

[00:02:54] Shawn: Yeah. So, um, I love this story. I’m currently in my second business. My first business was a very successful, um, B2C brand. Um, and it was called, it, it when I started the digital product.

[00:03:08] I didn’t really have, um, well, I had a blog name. I was a blogger, okay. And I was writing, and I had, um, you know, this, this was 10 years ago, by the way, actually it was 11. It was actually 11 years ago because this month, as we’re recording this, it is my 10th month full-time as an entrepreneur. 10th year?

[00:03:26] 10th, did I say year 10th. Okay. Yeah. 10th, 10th year. Um, so it was 11 years ago and I was blogging. And I had a mentor who I was working nine to five, you know, I had my j o b and um, a mentor and I would have lunch from time to time, and she was a big marketing business person and so she knew I was interested in, in doing more of an online thing.

[00:03:50] So she, um, I told her I had this free course that I put together, and I think I had four, four to 500 people sign up for it. Oh wow. And [00:04:00] she was like, okay, that’s great that you did that, but what are you gonna sell to them? Mm-hmm. And I was like, well, I don’t know.

[00:04:06] So I was like, all right. Well I think I could probably, cuz I was a writer, I am a writer, um, still a writer. I think I could probably throw together a book, like I can just sell some kind of an ebook. So I think the course, the free course was like a two week course and so I ended up, throwing together some blog posts that I had written and a few extra little bells and whistles, and I put together, it was an ebook called The Playful Family.

[00:04:30] Mm-hmm. Um, my audience at the time was mostly moms. Um, and so I put it up on Amazon. I did not print that book, but it was, you know, just in digital. So I had it in like PDF version on my site. Mm-hmm. And then it was also on Amazon. In fact, I was just talking with a client that I had closed out with, but um, is currently in my group coaching program.

[00:04:52] And the whole time I was coaching her, she was like, I know that your name sounds familiar. And just, just a couple weeks ago she’s, she said, I figured it out. Your book is on my Kindle and it was the Playful Family. Oh, that’s awesome. So a lot of those clients that from my first business are coming around.

[00:05:08] So that was my first product. It was a book, which is very fitting. I am a writer. I identify as writer, creator, coach, you know? Mm-hmm. You know, I will always put writer first because it is my heart, it is my passion. Um, and so I’m really happy that the, the first product was a me book.

[00:05:25] Rene: Yeah. So that’s an interesting story, that you didn’t really have something and then, you know, somebody said like, Hey, why don’t you do this?

[00:05:31] Like, how did you feel after you did it? Or even whenever they said that to you, did you feel like, oh yeah, that’s a great idea. Or, you know, were you resistant? Like, how, how did you feel about the process and, you know, having done it.

[00:05:44] Shawn: Yeah. Well I think I, you know, my work now is in helping women take, you know, do brave yeses.

[00:05:50] Mm-hmm. And, and I think that was a, that was probably one of my earlier brave yeses in business. Nice. I felt like this is what I’m supposed to do. Mm-hmm. I mean, I really did, um, from, from the [00:06:00] very beginning. Um, but I also had to learn, I had to like mm-hmm. Learn really quickly, you know, everything online, you have to, you know, there’s always a digital learning curve.

[00:06:09] Mm-hmm. So like, how do I get it up on Amazon and all, you know, how do I get it? I think, um, I think I even designed the, the cover myself. Oh, nice. On that book. Mm-hmm. I eventually wrote a different book and published that in print. Mm-hmm. But I did get somebody, I hired out for somebody to do the cover on that one.

[00:06:26] Uh, but yeah, I think, you know, I think I was proud and it really gave me the confidence to continue on to do, you know, the really big things that I eventually went on to do.

[00:06:37] Rene: Mm-hmm. Yeah. Sometimes it’s, you know, like, you’re not sure how to do it the first time, and then you kind of just work through the steps.

[00:06:42] You’re like, oh, okay. Like, now I get it and, you know, I, I can.

[00:06:45] Shawn: It’s not that hard.

[00:06:46] Rene: Yes. It’s, it’s really not that hard. Yes. Yeah. We make it hard, I think.

[00:06:50] Shawn: Oh, totally.

[00:06:51] Rene: Yeah. Just in our, in our mind.

[00:06:53] Shawn: I tell people that I’m an accidental entrepreneur mm-hmm. Because of that story, you know? Cause she, if my friend had not said, what are you gonna sell to them? Mm-hmm. I may not be an entrepreneur right now.

[00:07:03] Rene: Yeah. Yeah. I love that too. Like all those, like that like one little, you know, moment, you know, just at lunch or something that, like, something that you hadn’t considered or hadn’t thought of and then like, you know, change the course of your, of your business.

[00:07:17] Like that’s very cool.

[00:07:18] Shawn: Absolutely.

[00:07:19] Rene: Okay, so you, so you had the book and it was out there, and then what? Like you, you said you changed businesses. Did you kind of just like retire it all? How did you kind of like maybe wrap that up and then what was the next thing that started or, yeah.

[00:07:31] Shawn: Well that actually was what kicked off, uh, and about an eight year journey, um, with building, you know, with a, with a brand that really kind of became a machine of its own. Mm-hmm. The Abundant Mama project is what it was rebranded to at the time. Um, which started, um, really started as a course, an online course. I was using I don’t know if you ever heard of or used it initially was on something called Ruzuku. [00:08:00]

[00:08:00] Rene: Okay. No.

[00:08:00] Shawn: Okay. So I’m, I’m definitely dating myself right now.

[00:08:04] Rene: Some people probably know.

[00:08:05] Shawn: Yeah. So I’m, I, you know, uh, been creating online for a long time, so there was, I’m sure Ruzuku’s still around. The problem was they stopped updating.

[00:08:15] Mm-hmm. They stopped updating and so it really came kind of obsolete, but. It was an online course platform, like Thinkific and Teachable. Teachable, but it was one, it was probably the first one. Mm-hmm. Um, and so I put up an online course. I think originally it was an email course, but then eventually we moved it to Ruzuku and then eventually I moved it to Mighty Networks.

[00:08:34] Mm-hmm. Which is where, um, I eventually had a membership community, um, had about 200 women from around the world in that community. That community lasted eight years. Wow. Um, Eight full years, uh, producing online content and digital, you know, products. Mm-hmm. For the membership community, I’ve probably created 200. An inventory of about 200 mm-hmm.

[00:08:57] Products, um, webinars, e-books. Mm-hmm. Workbooks, courses, um, many, many, many things. Yeah.

[00:09:05] Rene: How did those specific pieces come to be? Like, did you just sit down and think like, oh, this is what they need? Or were people asking for certain things or were like, how, how did the, the content come to be exactly?

[00:09:19] Shawn: Yeah. Yeah. That’s a good question. Um, you know, my process then and now is always to use sort of a like a 50 50 approach. 50% of what I know to be true. Mm-hmm. Trusting myself and what I’m going through. And 50% really paying attention to what other people are saying and doing. Mm. Mm-hmm. So a lot of times when I, you know, I’ll have a hunch of what I think people need, and then I can just kind of feel it out.

[00:09:52] Mm-hmm. You know, whether that be through conversations or just listening, you know, listening. I say listening. Yeah. Because mostly it’s reading other people’s [00:10:00] words and comments. Mm-hmm. Online, um, or as I, you know, became more and more, um, experienced in hosting. I mean, I was hosting, hun, my first course, the Abundant Mama project, which is what it was called, had upwards of 150 students in it for every session until it started, till the market started to change.

[00:10:25] Okay. And we can talk more about that. So my hunch was this product would work, it would help people. And it was, it was a, a course for moms to be more mindful, be more present. Mm-hmm. Um, focus on gratitude. I mean, there was four pillars to the, for, for the program. Mm-hmm. And, um, but it was in those conversations in the course where I would read people’s comments that I would learn, oh, here’s something else that I could do, or here’s something else that I can pay attention to.

[00:10:56] Mm-hmm. Um, But I would never create something that didn’t feel right for me. Right. Like I wouldn’t just create it just to create it, right? Even if someone needed it. It had to feel something, I had to know that it was something I could teach, that it was something that I could really, um, build, you know, success around.

[00:11:13] Yeah. Um, so I was kind, you know, so it’s a little bit of both. I, I know I never wanna be somebody who. Well, my client wants this and, you know, I don’t like it, but yes. Um, you know, so I really do use the sort of a both and approach. Mm-hmm.

[00:11:27] Rene: Yeah. And it’s nice that you, and you’re not doing it in a vacuum.

[00:11:30] You’re not like, well, I, you know, like with your eyes closed, like, well, I think this is what people need, or, I know this is what people need. Like, you know, getting that sort of validation, you know, not maybe just asking them specific questions, although you could, but yeah, reading through what they’re saying, the conversations you’re having so that you can get that feedback to, to really understand their needs because, you know, I’m sure that the group was cohesive, but everybody’s different also. So. Yes. It’s, you know, so that, that’s a good, I think, good approach for them.

[00:11:59] Shawn: Yeah. [00:12:00] Yeah. And it’s, um, much more organic and, and fun. Mm-hmm. For me to, you know, to kind of go, okay, here’s what I’m thinking. You know, can I find the, the evidence?

[00:12:10] Mm-hmm. Or, you know, somebody would trigger, you know, a, something in me that was like, oh, there it is. Yeah. You know, it’s a little bit of, um, intuition, but it’s also just, you know, self-trust. Mm-hmm. You know that, okay. You know what, that’s, that’s the winner. Yeah. And I’ve always had a really good sense of, and even now I have a really good sense of people.

[00:12:32] Mm-hmm. I was a journalist for 10 years before I, you know, started doing all this. And, um, you get to know people. Mm-hmm. You know, you get to know how the world works and how people work, and that has served me very well.

[00:12:46] Rene: Yeah. Yeah. That’s great. That’s awesome. Very cool. Okay, so you had the, so you had the e-book and then you had the products, many products, membership community, and you’re, you’re creating products based on things that resonate with you and conversations you’re having with people, and then what happened?

[00:13:03] Shawn: Yeah. Yeah. So eight years. The course was, you know, wild success. Mm-hmm. And because the course was so successful, um, I think I ran it like three times and the same people kept signing up. Oh, wow. I would get new people, but I would have the same mm-hmm people. And so finally I realized, um, I guess they want more.

[00:13:23] Rene: Oh, okay. Interesting.

[00:13:24] Shawn: So that’s how the membership community came to be. Mm-hmm. And, um, with the community, um, obviously, you know, there was a great big connection there, so there was some in-person retreats. Oh. Um, and so we, and these people were so tight that they would meet up all over the world, so, you know, they would connect with their families, their kids would get together.

[00:13:44] Mm-hmm. Um, it was really beautiful to see, and I still have boxes of cards from this, these people who, you know, sent me just tons of beautiful cards, notes, things in the mail, just loving aww you know how Abundant [00:14:00] Mama changed them. Mm-hmm. I mean, it was an, it was really, truly one of the greatest things I’ve ever done.

[00:14:05] So the problem was the market changed. Okay. Um, and I wasn’t prepared for that and none of us were, and we’re seeing now, you know, even more and more people. Mm-hmm. The membership model of high traffic, low cost mm-hmm is not a viable product or model for your business anymore. At the time it was because there were no algorithms, or if there were, they were very light. Mm-hmm. And traffic could just flood in and you could, you could sell anything. Mm-hmm. I mean, people were selling anything. And that’s why I always tell clients, like if people are talking about like anything before 2016, and how they sold and make a ton of money.

[00:14:46] Mm-hmm. That’s because it was a different, different market. Okay. Um, so the market started to shift, getting people to sign up for courses and even in memberships really started to shift. Mm-hmm. And I do not want to hustle and grind. Yeah. As I said. And that’s what it would’ve taken for me to really start to keep, to keep up with the churn mm-hmm of the membership. Um, so, and at the same time, I was changing. I was outgrowing the model or the business itself. Mm-hmm. Because when I started, my girls, I have twins, they were five and they were 16. Mm-hmm. And, uh, I could kind of see into the future, like, do I really wanna be talking about motherhood for, you know, the next 10 years?

[00:15:31] Right. Yeah. Um, plus I was feeling this calling to do something more. Mm-hmm. Um, and it took me some time. I had to do some digging, but I finally was like, all right, it’s time to close. I had to close the membership. Mm-hmm. It was such a drain on my energy to keep it afloat. Okay. You know, all the, I was the only content creator for it, so I was creating all the monthly content.

[00:15:52] Um, I had a, you know, a team that helped with some of the other things. Mm-hmm. But that’s a lot of content. Yeah. And I did it [00:16:00] 24 7 for eight years. Mm-hmm. Um, and so I was ready to let it go so that I could then have the energy, the creative energy to try something different. So my Brave Yes, which I talk a lot about was closing the membership.

[00:16:13] Mm-hmm. And I knew that people were gonna be very upset. Mm-hmm. They knew it and they were, they were upset, but they, but it, it went off very well. Yeah. Um, still in touch with many, many, many people. So that’s when I, I switched gears and I mm-hmm pivoted, um, to only one-to-one coaching. Okay. Um, and at first I thought I was gonna do, um, more like career coaching, life purpose coaching, something like that.

[00:16:44] And, um, that did not feel right either. Mm-hmm. You know, after kind of being in it for a bit. So it was soon after that that I realized that really what I am best at and love is talking to, to people about business, business strategy mm-hmm. And up-leveling in your business and really taking those risks.

[00:17:03] So, and that’s kind of related to the work I was doing by the end of my first business. You know, I, I was just writing, um, a piece about how the first, really, the first people that I led to courage was these women who got on an airplane and flew to the middle of nowhere outside of DC mm-hmm to meet me for the weekend and, and to stay with a bunch of strangers mm-hmm.

[00:17:28] That they’d never met before in real life. Um, and they were like so terrified because most of them had never even left their kids before. Oh, okay. Yeah, so they were, and they hadn’t flown solo before. Mm-hmm. So for them it was a huge trip. Um, and so I’ve been kind of leading people to courage for quite some time.

[00:17:45] Rene: Mm-hmm. Yeah. That’s amazing. So what do you think changed, like before we, before we continue down the path, what do you think changed in 2016?

[00:17:53] Shawn: Yeah. Well, there was a lot of news going on in 2016. Okay. Um, it was, it was a [00:18:00] big news cycle.

[00:18:01] Mm-hmm. Um, happening. There with the presidential election. Mm-hmm. There was a lot of, you know, I think there was a lot of interest moving toward news and reading news and keeping up with the news, which created, I think, a lot of stress for people also. Yes. Yes. Um, and that stress, I, uh, for me, I think that stress really only now is starting to kind of subside.

[00:18:25] Mm-hmm. Um, and I think in that timeframe, people’s, their attention spans changed dramatically. Yeah. And then also the algorithms changed dramatically. You know, that’s when we really saw Facebook. Mm-hmm. But it’s, it’s like really intense algorithms in. And so then people were leaving there. Mm-hmm. And then, you know, you’ve got Instagram kind of doing its own algorithms and Google really started to clamp down so that you couldn’t even get search to your website.

[00:18:54] You know, you go to Google now, like you don’t even get Yeah. Websites. You get the information right there. Mm-hmm. So they are really controlling how much traffic you can get, which that’s hard for business owners, you know, if you can’t get people to your, an online business owner, such as myself. Mm-hmm.

[00:19:09] Especially. If you can’t get people to your sales page, you can’t get them to your blog post. Yeah. How are they gonna really get to know you, especially if you don’t want to do social media? Yes. Oh my goodness. To do social media. Yes.

[00:19:21] Rene: That’s definitely a big thing. Yeah. There’s a lot of people out there like, you don’t have to do social media and you know, do this or do that, and there’s so much, I feel like it’s so much noise, like so much noise to kinda wade through to figure out like, yeah, what is, what do I have to do?

[00:19:36] To be able to be successful and kind of throw out the stuff that you know doesn’t feel right for you. But yeah, that goes along with the times and the algorithms and the attention spans and all that stuff. It’s hard.

[00:19:47] Shawn: It is very hard. It’s a hard thing. And you know, there’s a lot of conversations right now, especially cuz there’s a slow economy and people are like, you know, should I just get a remote job and not have to deal with this [00:20:00] stress? I’m celebrating 10 years and I’m, I’m proud to be here 10 years later mm-hmm. And have not had to get a job. And, but it has not been easy. Right. Yes. And it’s, and it’s, to me, it’s complicated by these big capitalist machines like Google, like Meta, like Twitter mm-hmm. That are really, I know they’re trying to make their money. Yes. But it’s, to me, and you know, this is like an aside, I’ve watched this happen. I’ve experienced this. When I’m doing well in my business, I need the traffic to my website. I need people to be able to get to my blog post. And when I have that, I make money.

[00:20:39] Mm-hmm. And then I can spend more money. Mm. True. Mm-hmm. So I will then have the money for the ads. But as long as they keep that traffic away, it’s very hard to sell your digital products. Mm-hmm. It’s hard to get those, those sales, so then people don’t have the money. And I, it’s, it’s literally been a pattern that I’ve seen.

[00:20:57] Rene: Mm-hmm. Yeah. I’m not sure about the, maybe listeners of the show or how long they’ve been in business, but yeah, I think having the advice and thoughts from people who have, who have seen some of these, uh, you know, everything’s cyclical. I don’t, or, or up and down, you know, cycle either way, uh, however you wanna look at it, but yeah, who have actually been through it to say, okay, like, I know whatever this is that’s happening right now is not going to last.

[00:21:19] Something new will be happening. Or something old will happen again. And that’s, uh, that’s an, an interesting, uh, perspective.

[00:21:27] Shawn: Yeah. I mean, I do think that there is a connection between, you know, if you’re, if you, I mean, here’s the thing. I love to create. I love to create things I could create all day.

[00:21:37] Mm-hmm. I’d be happy to do that. I love coaching too. Um, but if I can’t sell or get what I make to people, it really is a, you know, kind of like why bother? Yes. Why bother doing it? Yeah. Um, and I think we’re seeing a lot of that with people. You know, they wanna do well, they wanna make a lot of money, and they think it’s them.

[00:21:56] That’s the problem. Mm-hmm. And it’s not, it’s the fact that you just don’t have [00:22:00] the numbers.

[00:22:00] Rene: Yeah. Yeah. A lot of pieces to the puzzle. Yes. Many what we can control and what we can’t control. Mm-hmm. Yeah. Okay. So let’s then talk about, so, so now you said you’re only working with people one-on-one, um, or, and may maybe, I think you said groups before too.

[00:22:17] Um, so tell us about that. And you had mentioned that you maybe don’t use paid digital products now in your business. So how, how did that come about?

[00:22:28] Shawn: Yeah. So like I said, I’m not here to hustle and, you know, I really love working with people, um, one-to-one. I like the connections, I like the relationships. I like the deep conversations.

[00:22:41] Mm-hmm. Yeah. Um, that, you know, digital products is just very cold. And I don’t really see that being where people want my people. Mm-hmm. Really don’t want that kind of a passive relationship or learning. They want that, they want to either be with me mm-hmm. Or they wanna be in a group. Group with me.

[00:23:03] Rene: With you. Yeah.

[00:23:04] Shawn: Yeah. Um, and you know, I just find that. We’re not seeing, and I can speak kind of more collectively cuz I talk to a lot of people. We’re not seeing people at, at the stage that of, of the people that I wanna work with anyway. Mm-hmm. And I don’t work with beginners, I work with people who already have established businesses.

[00:23:25] They’re not really interested in learning online. The pandemic burned people out on learning. Yeah. Online. Online. Definitely. They now really are looking for a much different experience. Mm-hmm. Um, that said, I have a ton of digital products because I love to make them.

[00:23:45] Mm-hmm. Um, and so what I use them for mostly is lead magnets, you know? Okay. Create things that if I think, um, I can put ’em on my website as, you know, get on my email list. Um, I do have one digital product, which is called [00:24:00] the, um, Financial Wellbeing Inventory. Mm-hmm. Um, that is a, it’s an assessment that you can take, you can kind of run yourself through every month to identify the areas of your own wellbeing that need to be shored up.

[00:24:13] Because I do courage work with entrepreneurs, I need them to have the highest capacity. Because when we’re tired, we’re burned out, we’re exhausted, we’re stressed. We don’t want to take risks, right? We wanna hide, we wanna eat, you know, eat. Mm-hmm. Sleep and eat Ben and Jerry’s on Netflix, right? Or sleep. Um, so, so it’s in my best interest to make sure that my clients are, have top capacity.

[00:24:36] Mm-hmm. And so this tool is something that people can pay for, download, and then there’s a video that walks you through the actual inventory. Mm-hmm. And it’s what I do myself every month just to, to make sure that I have the capacity that I need to have. Mm-hmm. Um, so that is a product that I have and I actually do get sales on that.

[00:24:53] Oh, nice. From time to time. Um, I don’t promote it. Mm-hmm. Because it’s not really, I’m mostly promoting coaching. Mm-hmm. Um, but yeah, so. And I’m getting ready to launch a quiz, um, which is also a digital, to me, a digital product. It’s, I love all the digital things and I’ve got ’em all. Um, so the quiz is going to be, um, discover your entrepreneurial courage style.

[00:25:20] Oh, nice. Yeah. Um, but again, it’s not a paid product. Mm-hmm. Um, people, you know, will be able to take it and then they will learn what their style is. Mm-hmm. And then there’ll be some follow up, you know, emails and whatnot.

[00:25:32] Rene: Mm-hmm. So these nurture people to. Work with you one-on-one? Yes. So based on like the, the video or the results or the quiz or whatever it is that they go through, it’s, it’s just like a way to get to know you. Yes. Or to see if they would like to work with you. Okay. That makes sense.

[00:25:48] Shawn: Yeah. The follow ups will.

[00:25:49] Mm-hmm. Um, obviously the quiz is for them to get to know themselves. Yes. Yeah. Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. And in my group coaching program, and this is probably, you know, my [00:26:00] ideal. In the perfect world would be a hybrid coaching program that would have some form of online lessons. Mm-hmm. Or video or audio along with one-to-one coaching with me and mm-hmm.

[00:26:17] Group sessions. Mm-hmm. That’s, yeah, that’s actually what I want to kind of move toward. Mm-hmm. Um, And so, because I do think that everybody needs to have that variety of learning, you know? Mm-hmm. We, we can’t just learn through solitary computer work. Yeah. We need to learn from each other. Mm-hmm. We need to have those back and forth, engage in conversations.

[00:26:40] That’s where the ahas happen the most with people. Yeah. So I, I personally think that if we could, you know, if I could create the perfect program, it would have all three elements. The digital product type offer along with group and solid, you know, one-to-one.

[00:26:56] Rene: Yeah. And I think that lets people go at their own pace so that they can kind of pick and choose what is, um, you know, what they’re kind of interested in learning at that point.

[00:27:05] And it also, I think, not that you probably don’t say the same things over and over again, because I think that once you start to specialize, you, you really are saying the same things over and over again because people really need to hear them and you need to make sure that they understand. Um, but you know, for those things, like having recorded audio, like you said, or video of like fundamental principles or the very beginning things you need to know.

[00:27:26] I think those are great supplements to be able to kind of do it your leisure, um, or as a supplement to like a one-on-one call. I’m part of a program now and it has all of those things. So it has community and I have one-on-one times with her, and I also, you know, can take a advantage of her libraries and worksheets.

[00:27:45] So we’ll have a call together and she’ll say based on this call, why don’t you check out that video next?

[00:27:51] I like that, that then I can go on my own. And because I might not talk with her again for another two weeks. So yeah, I think all of those pieces together makes a really good environment [00:28:00] for people, uh, to be able to, to learn.

[00:28:03] Shawn: Yeah. Yeah. I think it’s important. I’m someone who doesn’t consume video very much.

[00:28:07] Mm-hmm. I mean, it’s pretty like maybe 1%. Mm-hmm. Of my day or week. Um, and so knowing that, like, I’m not gonna sign up for a video course. Right? Yeah. Mm-hmm. Like, yes, I, I will, I will not sit there and watch those videos. Mm-hmm. Um, so knowing that, you know, not everybody’s gonna learn a certain way mm-hmm.

[00:28:27] And kind of giving those different options is always a really great way when you’re putting together any kind of program or digital offer.

[00:28:34] Rene: Yeah. I learned this, I think kind of, I don’t know the hard way, but it took me a while to realize it. Like, yeah, I’m not a big video person either, but that doesn’t mean that my audience isn’t, and if I’m comfortable enough to do it, which I don’t mind doing it, I just don’t consume a lot of video.

[00:28:48] I’d rather read your blog post or maybe I’ll watch your video if it’s not so much of a black box to me. Like if it’s a 45 minute video and I don’t know what’s inside there, I’m not gonna watch it. But if there’s like a blog post or like some snippets or maybe some key moments, like I’m more likely to to go to those. Um, and the same with audio. I, I’ve never really been a huge podcast listener, but that doesn’t mean that my audience isn’t. Mm-hmm. And if I’m comfortable enough to do it, then that’s just another opportunity for people to be able to consume the content. So that’s kind of how I look at it now.

[00:29:23] Um, and I have gotten more into podcasts, you know, since doing this, so I think that’s a good thing too.

[00:29:27] Shawn: It’s gotta be something sustainable for you. Yes, that too. As long as you can produce it, you know? Mm-hmm. Cause I’m not a bit, I don’t produce video because it’s not a sustainable outlet for me.

[00:29:38] I’m a writer. I’m, I’m okay with that. Yeah. There’s gonna be people who may not want to read what I write. Mm-hmm. And that’s okay. I can’t be for everybody.

[00:29:46] Rene: Yeah. Okay. So anything else you wanna say about your past products or before we get into your advice? Anything else that we missed?

[00:29:54] Shawn: No, I don’t think so. We covered the whole journey.

[00:29:57] Rene: Yeah, I like that. It’s awesome. I like that it’s [00:30:00] different. I like that everybody’s journey is different because I don’t, I, I just don’t feel like the approach to, to say like, here’s exactly how you build a digital product and here’s how you release it.

[00:30:11] Like, is really realistic. Yes, there are some overlaps, right? Like I do think that creating things that you actually want to create, I do think that validating it in some way that it’s going to resonate with your audience ahead of time. But if you don’t do that and you find out that you should be doing that later, like, that’s an okay lesson to learn.

[00:30:29] So, but I don’t think that there’s any one specific path that you need to take in terms of like, you have to post on Instagram three times a week and this is what you have to say. That doesn’t feel right for me to recommend to people. Mm-hmm. So I like that. I like to showcase people’s stories so that they can say like, this is the path I took and this is why I did what I did, and this is what went well and this is what didn’t go well.

[00:30:49] So yeah, I think it’s important.

[00:30:52] Shawn: Yeah. I guess there’s one thing to add and that’s just, I continue now in this current business to keep my feelers open for what a digital offer would look like. Mm-hmm. Should I go that route. And it’s, you know, again, because I think the market’s tricky, I tend to be much more conservative with what I put the energy into to sell.

[00:31:16] Yes. Mm-hmm. Um, because I don’t wanna be distracted and feel like I’m doing too many things. Mm-hmm. I really love to show up for my clients, you know, 150% and I love to write, and anything beyond that is going to kind of dilute my impact. But I will always be a creator, and I’m always looking. Like my radar is always on.

[00:31:38] Mm-hmm. And a hundred ideas come to me every day, you know? Mm-hmm. Like, Ooh, this could be it. This could be it. But I am much more conservative with what, like actually going forward mm-hmm. Than I used to be because of just experience.

[00:31:51] Rene: Yeah. Time. So how do you then identify, so if you have a hundred ideas that come into your head, let’s say over the course of a week, how do you know or how do you identify, like, okay, that’s the one I’m [00:32:00] gonna act on?

[00:32:01] Uh, because I think maybe what a lot of people might do is not act on any, or act on too many mm-hmm. And then not finish. So how do you identify which ones are, you know, or which one is like the one to go with?

[00:32:15] Shawn: Yeah. Well, I haven’t identified one yet, so that should tell you. Okay. Um, but, but you know, just in the grand scheme of decision making mm-hmm.

[00:32:23] You know, I think there’s usually, um, you know, I kind of like put them in three categories, you know, like, oh, this is a good idea. Like, oh, this is a, this could be it. And then there’s the game changer. Okay. Like, it’s usually like, I’ve kind of been able to discern. Mm-hmm. This is, you know, in my work, the Yes.

[00:32:45] The brave yes. Okay. Like, it, it’s the work that I want to put out now. It needs to be pretty big and bold because I just don’t wanna waste my time. Mm-hmm. So for instance, the, the quiz is, you know, it’s a pretty kind of like different. Refreshing kind of project. And as soon as I came across that I was like, this is perfect.

[00:33:07] That’s okay. Mm-hmm. And I, I really feel like, I feel like it’s in my wheelhouse. I feel like people are gonna learn something new from it. And also it gives me a lot of flexibility to keep the conversation going with with potential clients.

[00:33:22] Rene: Yeah. And I wonder like each path, you know, when you could have different conversations with different, you know, so I don’t know, maybe there’s like four outcomes, so you know, like there’s four can choose your own adventure.

[00:33:30] Shawn: Well, I wanted six, but my assistant was like, no, you have to only have four.

[00:33:35] Rene: That’s funny.

[00:33:38] Shawn: I was like, fine. But that’s, you know, that’s sometimes it’s my assistant who’s telling me, no, you can’t do that. Nice.

[00:33:46] Rene: It’s good to have somebody like that in your life.

[00:33:47] Shawn: He has, we have worked together for 10 years. Nice.

[00:33:50] So it’s awesome. Pretty, pretty rare to find a team member that that’s with you that long. Mm-hmm.

[00:33:56] Rene: And like with the, with the, the results, like obviously those are [00:34:00] four different types of styles, so four different types of messaging that you can really hone in. You know, they talk about like, um, you know, segmenting your email list.

[00:34:07] I’m speaking to you, this style of person. Like, I think that’s a great way to identify their specific fears and concerns and the way they view the world. Like that’s a great way to do it. And people love quizzes. Yes. Like everybody wants

[00:34:19] Shawn: to take it’s fun, right?

[00:34:20] Yeah. They’re just fun. Yeah. And, you know, I used ChatGPT to help me make the quiz. Oh, nice, nice. I did, I haven’t, um, it was like more, more of like the framework than mm-hmm. The actual questions. But yeah, that was a pretty handy little tool.

[00:34:34] Rene: Yeah. That’s cool. Yeah, I’ve heard people using, I haven’t really talked too much about it, um, on the, on the show, but I, yeah, you’re hearing more and more like it’s, you’re hearing bits and pieces.

[00:34:44] I’m using it for this, using it for that or whatnot, but I haven’t used it myself yet.

[00:34:47] Shawn: But yeah, that was actually the most, um, beneficial way that I’ve used ChatGPT. Nice. Nice. It was really very helpful. I’ve done quizzes before. Uh, my first business, I had a really well received and mm-hmm.

[00:35:01] And taken quiz. Um, and so I, you know, feel pretty confident in this, uh, in this arena. Yeah.

[00:35:10] Rene: That’s exciting too. Very cool. And, you know, launching something new like a, a different way to get people’s attention, I guess. Yes. Or connect with people rather. That’s what I wanna say, you know, a way to connect with people.

[00:35:19] Yeah. That’s awesome.

[00:35:20] Shawn: Well, and for me you cannot get it from social media. Mm-hmm. You’re going to have to come to my website. Yeah. You know, that’s good. And so that’s, that’s, that’s kind of the power behind it. Mm-hmm. You know, I talk about Brave YES power moves with my clients.

[00:35:32] Mm-hmm. We’ve got to, we have to play big, we have to play smarter than, you know, the algorithms and mm-hmm. And all of that, you know, so that you’re actually really getting an impact.

[00:35:42] Rene: Well, yeah. And who’s on this platform, or who’s on that platform and who’s leaving this platform and who’s leaving that platform?

[00:35:47] And that you, you mentioned the algorithms, like your website. Your website. Yes. You may have a harder time getting traffic to it based on certain things, but it’s there, it’s living there. You can keep adding to it. You’re showing like [00:36:00] a body of work over time. I’m a big proponent, you know, coming from a web background, like a big proponent of your website being like, the source. And then, yeah, put your stuff on social media, do whatever else you’re gonna do. YouTube or Instagram or whatever. But like your website there, your website is everything. Yes. Yes, exactly. And your email list. It’s my baby.

[00:36:19] Shawn: It’s It’s your baby. Yes. Spend countless hours tweaking my website and nobody’s there to read it.

[00:36:25] No, that’s, no. But it, the biggest conversion tool that I have. I always tell people like, it’s, it’s my website that works. When people go to my website and they read things and they’re like, mm-hmm. Oh. They’re like, oh, she gets me.

[00:36:37] Rene: Do I need to work?

[00:36:38] Shawn: Yes, yes, yes, yes.

[00:36:39] Rene: That’s great. Yeah, because a lot of people, they put the website up and then they’re like, do, do, I don’t do anything else, and like, no.

[00:36:45] The website, the website, the website.

[00:36:46] Shawn: It is your, it is your magic. Mm-hmm. It’s your secret sauce. Really?

[00:36:50] Rene: Yes. Yes. Oh, I love that. That’s cool. Okay, great. Okay. Mm-hmm. So tell us, uh, what do you give us maybe two to three pieces of advice for people? They have not taken this step yet. They have never maybe created a product.

[00:37:00] Maybe they have a lead magnet, maybe they don’t. So what do you recommend they either do or don’t do? Um, you know, in your words.

[00:37:07] Shawn: Yeah. Okay. This is fun. I’m a courage coach for entrepreneurs so, and creators. So the first thing I’m gonna say is say yes before you’re ready. If you have the idea, don’t hold back and just do it because it takes, you know, I always tell my clients action creates clarity, right?

[00:37:27] Yes. It’s only once you actually take the action that you’re gonna start to know what’s gonna work. Um, you know, same for selling. I always say, you know, try selling it, then you’ll know if it’s gonna work or not. You know, you can put a million free things out there. Mm-hmm. But if you try to put dollar to it, then you’ll know.

[00:37:43] Mm-hmm. It’s different. It’s a, it’s a game changer. Um, follow your joy and your passion. I, you know, I kind of talked about this in the beginning, but you know, what is, what people need. Mm-hmm. You know, you don’t need to do, uh, uh, you know, all these like, millions of data research. [00:38:00] You as a service provider, as a consultant, as a freelancer with the experience.

[00:38:04] Mm-hmm. You know what people need. My best work has come from that alone. I had a, a free, um, lead magnet that was a, a challenge. Um, it was called The Rise and Shine Program. It was a waking up and getting up early kind of program. Okay. And that led to, um, a series of about 25,000 subscribers.

[00:38:28] Um, wow. Over the course of a couple of years. Mm-hmm. So all because I loved mornings and I wanted to share that passion with other people. Mm-hmm. So don’t don’t think that you have to do all this research. You know what people love, you know what people need, and you really need to trust that. Um, and then get support, because support, you know, conversations, ways to talk things through and ask questions is really valuable.

[00:38:58] Um, and you should never create something in a vacuum. Your brain is gonna expand when you have a conversation with somebody who’s asking you the right questions or are you sure that this is the right, you know? Yeah. Like just really kind of helping you walk through things that you’re not able to see mm-hmm.

[00:39:15] Because of your own blockers. Mm-hmm. And you know, your own life experiences or limited experiences.

[00:39:20] Rene: Yes. It makes so much sense to you. You’re like, oh, it’s just like this. And somebody’s like, wait, I don’t understand that. And you’re like, wait, really? But it makes so much sense to me. So, yes, I think having those conversations.

[00:39:29] Yeah. Whether it’s an official, you know, coach or, you know, mastermind group.

[00:39:33] Shawn: I always tell people, your husband or your partner. Yes. Is not your coach, your business coach their own life.

[00:39:40] Like let them sleep.

[00:39:41] Rene: Yes. Yeah. They don’t really know. They’re tired. Yes. Yeah, exactly.

[00:39:45] Shawn: They’re tired. They’re not gonna give you plus, you know, and this is why I love coaching. I have always had to pay for my biggest cheerleaders. And that’s just the way it works. And it’s not a bad thing.

[00:39:57] Mm-hmm. When you’re paying an expert [00:40:00] or somebody who is going to be in your corner, whether it’s a mastermind or any mm-hmm any kind of program. You’re paying for a lot of reasons, but the number one thing you’re paying for is that level of encouragement and inspiration. Yes. Mm-hmm. That nobody else, nobody else is gonna care as much as you do.

[00:40:17] Yes. Mm-hmm. Except if you pay for a program of some sort that just gives you that like skin in the game and you’re like, okay, yeah, I can do this.

[00:40:26] Rene: Yes. And you get so much more done like you and the clarity because, because, you know, you mentioned the action creating clarity, like there’s so much more action happening that the clarity is coming from it.

[00:40:37] Like, I just think it, it’s a big game changer. I don’t know. Um, I don’t know if you we’re kind of maybe getting off track here, but, um, if you recommend like being in coaching like all the time. Like, I did a, a six month block of coaching and I felt like I was really go, go, go, but then, you know, maybe needed like a, a time of, of rest and, and not so much movement, you know, but not that I’m, it’s off limits to go back to it. Um, so I’m not sure what you recommend for people.

[00:41:03] Shawn: Yeah, I mean, absolutely. I think, um, it depends on where you’re at and the kind of coaching probably. Mm-hmm. Um, But I, I find that many people are like, yeah, you know, I’ve, I’ve done a lot.

[00:41:15] I’ve learned a lot. I think I need a little pause or a little less. Absolutely. Like, listen to your body. Mm-hmm. A lot of my clients don’t leave. Um, and when they leave they, they’re like, um, I need to come back. So, oh, yeah. Right. Yes. And, and it might be just the style of coaching and mm-hmm.

[00:41:31] I kind of tend to like, we’re just gonna have like a constant consistent momentum as opposed to big action and then rest and big. Yeah. Really looking for, you know, like consistent courage. Mm-hmm. Consistent movement, but not, not exhausting you. Not burning you out. Yeah. You know, so I think it could be, Yeah.

[00:41:52] The level of energy that you put forth might mm-hmm. You might need a pause that makes sense. Or you might be like, no, I’m good. Let’s, let’s keep going. [00:42:00]

[00:42:00] Rene: Like a marathon pacer. Yeah. Like the person who runs like the, you know, 11 minute mile and you’re like, okay, that’s my, that’s my person. I’m following them. Right.

[00:42:09] Shawn: Well and you gotta watch too, like, you know, coaching, um, if you, and I know we’re off topic, but. You know, like if you aren’t taking action because you’re not with a coach mm-hmm. That, that tells me there’s more work to be done like mm-hmm. You, you need to be able to sustain the, the outcomes on your own.

[00:42:28] Yeah. Um, you know, so you don’t wanna only take action because you finally have the coach. Mm-hmm. You know, like, yes, you gotta, that’s true. You gotta be in it. Uh, I tell, tell people, like, if you wanna be a business owner and you wanna have digital, uh, online world, you gotta fight for it. Mm-hmm. You know, and it takes constant energy and, mm-hmm. Work. It’s, yeah, it’s not easy.

[00:42:48] Rene: Yeah. I wonder if service providers too are, you know, maybe accustomed to getting support. Like I wonder if that’s an area where they’re maybe not used to it. Like they’re used to supporting the businesses they serve. You know, one-to-one, their, their specific services, but they have maybe not encountered, you know, an opportunity to work with a group, to work with a coach, to have a guide to get them through something.

[00:43:13] Um, but I just feel like as soon as you try to, it’s kind of like, to me it’s kinda like therapy. Like the first time you go to therapy, you’re like, okay. All right. I can see now how getting through a difficult time in my life is beneficial with therapy. Yeah. Like it’s easier to do it, you know, with somebody there to help you through it with your specific problem.

[00:43:34] So I, I wonder if like that’s a. A thing that’s, well not even

[00:43:39] Shawn: just service providers, but all, you know. True. Yeah. I have a couple of, you know, very high end brands mm-hmm. Who are not making money, and they’ve just been kind of suffering through in survival mode. Yeah. Thinking, oh, someday it’s gonna come to me.

[00:43:56] Someday it’s gonna come to me. And they’re not really, you know, they’re so, they’re [00:44:00] so focused on vanity metrics. Yeah. Which you get really caught up in vanity metrics. Yeah. When you have, you know, when you have almost a million followers mm-hmm. You should be making at least six figures. Yeah. If not more than that.

[00:44:11] And so we do, people are really confused on. I should be able to do this myself. I’ve got the numbers, I’ve got, you know. Mm-hmm. Everything is in place, but sometimes you need an outside party. Yeah. To just show you what you cannot see because mm-hmm. I can’t, there’s a lot of things I can’t see. Mm-hmm. I need other people to help me.

[00:44:28] Rene: And why should you have to do everything by yourself? Like why, why is that, that like, we’re like, well, I can. You know, like every aspect of my life, like I should be able to, to handle, to know how to handle and handle by myself. A lot of the things that, like, that I’m encountering right now, I’ve never done before.

[00:44:44] I’ve never gone through this specific scenario or situation and maybe I don’t even know anyone else who has. So like having that support, finding that support and having that support like really makes a big difference.

[00:44:57] Shawn: Absolutely. Yeah. I had tons of support over the years. Tons. Um, and I always tell people, resilience withers in isolation.

[00:45:06] Mm-hmm. We are not resilient people on our own. Yeah. We’ll crash and burn. We will go to our cave. We will hide out. Yeah. You know, and that’s not where good action happens. Mm-hmm.

[00:45:16] Rene: And it just gets so heavy sometimes. It gets so like, ugh, like I, you know, can you, can you just carry it all and like, and having somebody with you like the, this kind of reflecting things back to you like, maybe you don’t need to carry that.

[00:45:28] Maybe life doesn’t need to be so heavy because you can put that thing down and you can move on with this other thing or on this other path or in this other direction. Like, yeah, you, you can do it. Yeah. So, okay. Anyway, the benefits

[00:45:40] Shawn: of coaching, I know totally. Right. I know we just gave a whole plug on that, but I like it.

[00:45:44] Yeah, I, I think, you know, I just wanted to add one thing that I think a lot of times coaching is permission. Like permission to mm-hmm. Know you don’t have to do that thing. Yes or yes, you can do that thing. Mm-hmm. And I find that that’s like every week, like I’m just giving permission and I love that.

[00:45:59] Yeah. [00:46:00] Yeah. That’s nice. Yeah. That doesn’t feel good. Mm-hmm. Let it go.

[00:46:02] Rene: You don’t have to do it that way. Yeah. Just because like the, whoever online said that you should do it that way. Yes. Or your neighbor is like, well you should do this. Like, you don’t have to. It’s okay. There’s another way, like you can figure out another way to.

[00:46:14] Shawn: And I have a lot of people pleasers as clients.

[00:46:17] I’m sure you do, I’m sure. Yes, I do. And that’s a specific, that’s a common theme.

[00:46:21] Rene: I bet there’s a specific personality type, like that’s Yes, there is.

[00:46:26] Shawn: So we know the high achievers. A lot of changing on the people pleasing.

[00:46:30] Rene: I like that. That’s awesome. Cool. Okay, so tell us where we can find you online.

[00:46:35] Shawn: shawnfink.com is my website.

[00:46:38] Yes. And I do encourage anyone who’s interested in learning more to go there, read through things. I do a lot of writing. There’s a podcast to listen to called The Brave Yes Business Show. And then every week I send out a newsletter, the Brave Yes Playbook. Um, both of those are on my website, um, but I’m also on all the socials.

[00:46:57] LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram. I don’t do as much on ins on Facebook anymore. Um, but Twitter. So yeah, I’m pretty prolific in terms of marketing and putting work, work out there.

[00:47:10] So, you know, I don’t hustle and grind about it. Mm-hmm. I just have really good systems. Mm-hmm.

[00:47:15] Rene: Excellent. Oh, I love that. That’s probably a whole other podcast. Oh, I love it. Yeah. Mm-hmm. Very cool. Well, thank you so much for being on the show today. It was great talking with you.

[00:47:22] Shawn: Thank you for having me. I loved it.

[00:47:24] Rene: Hey, thanks for listening. I’d love to continue the conversation in your inbox. Email SUBSCRIBE to hey at yfdp.show or sign up in the show notes to get bimonthly emails about how you can create, launch, and market your first digital product. Can’t wait to see you there.