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This is a special episode. We’re showing you what’s inside seanwes membership!
Becoming a member gives you access to The Vault, Learning Paths, mini courses, full network show archive, live broadcasts, 24/7 Community chat, mobile apps, custom content feeds for your favorite podcast app, and hundreds of like-minded people across the world eager to provide feedback and accountability.
seanwes is the place to build and grow a sustainable business.
Go behind the scenes of seanwes membership and see what’s inside.
Highlights, Takeaways, Quick Wins
- We’re all about helping you build and grow a sustainable business.
- You think nothing of the coffee you buy every day, so why not invest in yourself for less than the cost of a coffee a day?
- seanwes membership is not just for the person who already has a business, it’s also for the person who wants to start their own business and doesn’t know where or how to begin.
- seanwes membership includes The Vault and The Community. Access hundreds of episodes in the archive, learning paths, mini courses, and people all across the world who won’t let you quit.
- The people in the seanwes Community are world-changers; these are the people you want to be around.
- The seanwes Community wasn’t started for the money, we started it for the people. We’re constantly investing in the member experience, and we never run $1 or free trials because we don’t just want numbers—we want the right people.
- With membership, you get instant access to everything in archives now and anything we add in the future.
- 08:55 Sean: I know how to write a book now, and I think it’s the knowing that makes it easier to write more books in the future. While I was writing my book, Overlap, in July, Cory and Aaron were shooting Aaron’s course, Successful Podcasting. At this point, Cory and I have done several courses together and before that I did courses on my own before that.
- 09:24 I’ve produced half a dozen courses with tens of thousands of words, hundreds of lessons, but after you’ve done it, it gets easier. We’ve developed processes for shooting courses, so Cory knows how to shoot a course now. Cory went up to Ft. Worth, where Aaron lives, and they shot a course.
- 09:56 It was Aaron’s first course, but I’d like to think that it was easier for Aaron having a process to follow. A first course is a learning curve, but having someone who’s been there before, there’s a process, there’s steps, and knowing what you need to do made it easier for him. That’s basically what we’re trying to do here with seanwes membership.
At seanwes, we’re all about helping you build and grow a sustainable business.
History of seanwes
- 10:53 For those that don’t know, I was in the design field and even before that, I was running a computer repair business and a partnership web firm, but eventually I got to the point where I was working for myself and with clients making into the six figures just with client work. I started selling my own products and products weren’t making me a ton of money back then, but it was still cool to see people wearing my shirts or buying my posters.
- 11:29 The vast majority of the people in my audience, because I was doing hand lettering at the time, wanted to know how to do what I did. I got tired of answering five emails a day asking about this, so I put up an introductory hand lettering guide and 200,000 people read that guide over the course of a year. I knew there was interest. I worked hard at client work and saved up enough money to take off client work for six months to just produce a course.
- 12:00 I had never launched a course before. I was building my own platform and it was a lot of work. I immersed myself in the world of marketing and learned everything I could, watched videos, read articles, and bought books. I applied everything I learned in those six months to the launch of my course, and when I launched it, it made six figures in revenue aside from client work or products. That was crazy; I didn’t really know what to expect.
- 12:34 I had a meager goal of $30,000 or $50,00. I was actually shooting for what felt like a big number to me at the time, but I ended up blowing that out of the water. I went back to doing hand lettering, but I got a lot of people asking me how I made six figures on a course launch as a hand letterer. It was a lot of things—I’d done video, audio production, music, and writing stuff in the past and all of this came to this one experience. I produce my own intro music.
- 13:47 My background is also in music. I used to record piano every single day and I produce the electronic music for this show. I love doing that and I actually got to do that on this course. So many things came together on this course. I started sharing everything I knew on this podcast. Things like finding out what people want, marketing to them, writing a certain way, making the money to work on a course, client work vs. products, attracting clients, building a great portfolio, what you should share and what you shouldn’t share, what goes into a case study, etc.
- 14:33 I started sharing more of these things and helping people. I actually found myself more fulfilled in helping other people pursue what they love to do and make a living than even doing it myself. I made six figures doing client work, products, and teaching, but I’m more fulfilled in helping other people. That’s when I revised the whole mission of seanwes. The brand at the time was just me doing design work, but when I had a team, I wanted to build the place that people go to build and grow a sustainable business.
- 15:18 I want to give people everything they need to know about growing their business. I want to give them the resources, but not just the recourses and say, “Here you go. Figure it out yourself!” but let’s bring people together. I was having all these conversations over email with people who listened to this podcast for years. People were sending me messages saying this show had changed their life and we were having awesome conversations, but no one else was benefiting from it because they were private. I thought, why don’t we bring these people together? Why don’t we create a place where these like-minded people from across the world can come together and talk about these things?
- 16:00 Ben: That was probably one of the most exciting points in seanwes history, when we got to start interacting live with other people. It surprised me how many people automatically joined the Community then. The Community is my favorite place to go on the internet.
- 15:44 Sean: Eric Lin said, “Imagine a social media platform with no ads, no negativity, and no daily selfies. A place where everyone cares about your success and desire to witness it; a place where you can get constant value about growing your business; a place where you can find lifetime friends and business partners; a place where entrepreneurs around the world exchange ideas and support each other. Such a place exists and it’s called the seanwes Community.”
- 17:14 Sean: It’s so cool to see people coming together. This is what we built in 2013, but we started realizing we need more than just the people here. We need to give them the resources, so we’ve got these mini courses coming out that will help people start podcasts, shooting video, building a writing habit, and content marketing. You’ve got to get yourself out there and you’ve got to get used to presenting and creating media (Related: e277 Preparing for the Virtual Reality Future and Why You’ll Be Affected Whether You Like It or Not).
Introducing seanwes membership
- 18:02 We’ve got these mini courses coming out that we’re going to be selling separately, but we’re giving them to the members. We want members to have these resources. We’ve created learning paths as resources too. Inside seanwes membership, we’ve created 18 learning paths as of right now. If you want to build an audience, we’ve got a learning path for that. If you want to attract great clients, price on value, build a writing habit, launch a course, hire a team, find your passion, learn how to stay motivated, or get your money situation right, we have those resources for you. We want to have a place where, if you want to build and grow a sustainable business, you think, “seanwes is the place to go” for less than a coffee a day.
- 19:01 My wife used to work at a local coffee shop and Starbucks and while she was at Starbucks, she often got a drink for me when she was getting off work. I got to have this drink I wanted for over two years and she doesn’t work at Starbucks anymore, but I was hooked. It’s a $4 or $5 drink, but I had to have it so I kept buying it. That might be excessive, but I liked the drink and it helped me focus, plus I could make the money elsewhere, so it was worth it. I wasn’t worried about the expense, it was a no-brainer. It’s just a coffee right?
- 20:24 Yet, when it comes to a place that has hundreds of people from across the world 24/7 with a live chat full of people talking about growing their business, mindset, clients, and launching courses, you’re missing out. All of that costs less than a coffee a day. You’re going to make more money and build and grow a sustainable business here.
People don’t think about the coffee they buy, but why wouldn’t you invest in yourself for such a relatively small amount?
- 21:22 Ben: Being on the inside of it, it’s a no-brainer. There have been so many Community members who have commented on the benefit of being a part of the Community and what it’s meant for their business in terms of financial benefit, but also in other ways, like having clarity on what you’re supposed to be focusing on.
- 21:46 I’ve struggled with knowing what I want to do. There are a lot of things I enjoy and know how to do, but the Community is a place that’s really helped me gain clarity and know what to say no to for now so that I can really focus on what I really want to do. Sometimes, before you make money, you have to take those initial steps and the Community is a great place for that.
Who Is the seanwes Membership For?
- 22:11 Sean: Cory, who would you say is a good candidate for becoming a seanwes member? Someone out there is wondering, “Is this for me? Am I good enough? Have I gotten far enough? Do I have to have a business? I’m in a day job and I’m trying to figure this out. I don’t know what I’m passionate about.” Who is this for?
- 22:36 Cory: I see it for people at any stage. There are people in there who I know are well above me, who I can glean from.
- 22:48 Sean: We have people with seven-figure businesses.
- 22:51 Cory: I can learn, ask questions, and benefit that way, but then there’s also times where I can help someone else because I’ve been there. It’s a give and take thing. If you’re wanting to build and grow a business, it needs to be online, and you can benefit from the Community.
- 23:18 Sean: We talked about that when coming up with the tagline “Build and Grow a Sustainable Business.” We wondered if we should say “online”, but it needs to be online. Your business needs to be online. If you have a business that’s not online, you need to get it online. It’s important. seanwes membership for the person at any stage who wants to build and grow a sustainable business. Do you want freedom?
- 23:46 Do you want to eventually quit your day job and pursue your own thing as a business? Do you want to be able to do work for other people and have them pay you? Do you want to be done with work for the day at 2pm if you want to because you’re your own boss? If that’s something you ever want, we help you get there. We have the processes, like how to build a course. We tell you what you need, what you have to get, and what you have to do.
seanwes membership is not just for the person who already has a business.
It’s also for the person who wants to start their own business but they don’t know how to begin.
- 24:38 For the person who already has a business, it should be even more of a no-brainer for them. This investment will multiply itself over and over again. You do have to invest yourself into this—the material and the people can’t do the work for you. We also can’t chase you down and give you advice when you’re not participating, engaging, or consuming the material. For several years we had the Community with several hundred members that saw the benefit of it. They got a lot out of the membership, it helped them, and it changed their lives. They made friends, there’s meetups, and we’ve got the conference coming up.
- 25:52 People in the Community were meeting each other and making life-long friends, but meanwhile, there’s all these people listening to the podcast and seeing the posts—they know what we’re about—but they didn’t see the big deal with the Community. We take that on ourselves to say that we need to give you what you need where you are. The problem was that we were thinking of it as, “There are people in the Community and there are people out of the Community, and that must mean there are right people who we want to be around, and I guess all of the other people aren’t.” The problem with that was all of the other people are incredible people.
- 26:55 I appreciate those people! If you’re listening, you’re an awesome person. I love that you listen to this show! I know when you hear someone else talking about starting a business, you recommend this show, my videos, and my website. I would love to connect with you in person.
- 27:35 I see that not a lot of people see the same value in a community as they do the podcast. What is that, a chat room? What’s the point of listening to and watching the shows live if I can just see the edited version? People have different ideas of value. That’s why we decided to create seanwes membership.
seanwes membership includes the Community, but it also includes access to resources and hundreds of our podcast network episodes in the archives.
- 27:57 We have custom, protected content feeds. If there’s a show you want to listen to, we give you a custom RSS link. You can connect it to any podcast app or feed reader. That’s really awesome. You get access to mini courses and resources, but it’s not just the value of what’s in the vault now. The value of that is tremendous. You could join just for access to the vault with hundreds of recourses curated into digestible learning paths.
- 30:12 Instead of just having it be this big pile you have to figure out, which is what it used to be, we curated it into these learning paths so you can go from zero to a sustainable business. Anything you want to learn is there. We give you exactly what you need and nothing you don’t.
- 30:30 Ben: These learning paths are basically curated information from podcast episodes, seanwes tv videos, and blog articles.
- 30:48 Sean: Currently, we’re gathering material we’ve put out in different places that people have had to previously find into these curated learning paths, but you’re not just investing in what we have now—the vault. Have you ever tried to get feedback on social media? It’s hard and the advice can be bad. People wonder why you would ever pay for a community. Have you ever tried to get feedback on a free resource like Reddit? Have you ever asked what people think about pricing or products on there? It’s riddled with Scarcity Mindset.
- 31:54 They’re intrenched in Scarcity Mindset and they would never invest in themselves. This isn’t even about the money. I’ve been running this for years and it’s still not even profitable. We’ve spent tens of thousands of dollars just on the chat, if not hundreds on the full infrastructure. I don’t care about the money from the membership, I care about the peoples’ experience. I know we’ll eventually make money from it, but here’s a tip: if you want to have a membership site, don’t do it for the money. It’s not going to be good news.
We didn’t start seanwes membership for the money, we started it for the people and that’s why we want to make it great.
- 32:55 Even if you don’t care about getting good quality critique from people who have an abundance mindset, you could sign up just for the vault and access to these learning paths. We’re creating learning paths out of the wealth of an archive we have now, but my plan is to go back and look at how many people go down the learning paths and turn them into courses and lessons.
- 33:40 We’re going to look at which ones are more popular and in order of popularity, we’re going to go back, revisit the material, and reproduce it in a way that saves people time and takes into consideration all the feedback we’ve gotten from members who have gone through it in the past. This is not just about what we have, you also get access to anything we add in the future.
- 34:22 Ben: Having the reproduced content, is there still going to be a way of categorizing the existing archive in a way that’s really easy to find a specific thing you’re looking for?
- 34:38 Sean: Yes. Some people might have signed up, they weren’t really engaging, and they let their membership expire. Maybe they’re no longer members. Maybe they couldn’t find the things they needed or wanted in the Community—that is where we’re going. 2016 has been about getting our money right and coming up with a business model that makes sense, so that we can continue helping you. If we didn’t actually figure out our business model—to help you build and grow a sustainable business—we couldn’t keep helping people.
- 35:40 Now that we’ve spent an entire year getting our money situation right so that we can continue to help you for years, if not decades, to come, we’re now building the entrepreneurial learning community. This is where you go to connect with businesses and people who are serious. My brother Ryan likes listening to the shows and he said, “I’m starved for friends and people around me who are success oriented and have an abundance mindset. Nobody I know thinks this way. Nobody I know thinks big. Nobody I know is talking about million dollar businesses.”
- 37:05 That’s our bread and butter here! This community is like an incubator of sorts. We’re giving people the resources, the encouragement, the feedback, and the course correction they need. We haven’t yet had our first seanwes conference, but it’s going to be good. These people are world-changers. When I visualize people leaving the conference, I just imagine fractals spreading their influence. It’s mind-blowing to me.
The people in the seanwes Community are world-changers.
These are the people you want to be around.
Building Community Talk
- 38:11 The system we’ve been building for years inside seanwes has never been done before. “Chat” isn’t even the right word for it. We started with several months of discovery on this project before Justin built it. If there was an existing solution, we would use that, but there wasn’t. This system is built around the needs of a community. There wasn’t a system that accommodated real-time discussion with long-time archivable content. How do I find the things that interest me? How do I find the discussions that interest me? How do I get notified of follow up stuff? How do I filter out what I’m not interested in?
- 39:06 That’s what we’re building. It’s a hybrid between real-time and archivable content. It’s built around the needs of a community. At some point, I would love to make this available as a SaaS (Software as a Service) app. We have this resources for anyone who wants to build their own community. I don’t want to make it available prematurely. I guarantee this SaaS app would get us to $100,000 a month and eventually a million a month. I could do it and I could do it soon, and there are people in the Community talking about starting their own community using Slack but they’re waiting for Community Talk.
- 40:07 If we build this for you as our client, you’re going to instruct the direction of it and you’re going to want features and to make requests. We want to be able to accommodate those things. Before we do that, I want to make the right system around the needs of a living, breathing community, which we have. Before we even turn this into a product, I want to make this into the right thing that serves these peoples’ interests. Once we have that, and only once we have that—it could be years honestly—then I might consider turning it into something else.
- 40:56 Ben: That’s a cool part of the motivation of being in the Community—being a part of building into the DNA of something like this and the DNA of anyone’s business that you come into contact with. There have been ideas that have become a part of the existing chat that wouldn’t have come about if it weren’t for the people here and the needs they were expressing.
- 41:27 I think about the positivity and how kind everyone is, but we challenge each other. We believe in each other and we don’t let one another not take responsibility where we can because we recognize how important that is. In subtle ways, those qualities and values are being built into what this will ultimately be.
- 42:02 Sean: To be completely honest, we’ve kicked people out because they weren’t the right people for the Community. They were purposefully agitating other members, they were negative, they had the wrong mindset and they weren’t interested in getting it right, so we said, “You’re done.” It’s a privilege to be here. That’s not something I’m happy or proud about, I just want you to know how much we care about facilitating an environment here that’s bringing about success. You have to be positive, we just won’t tolerate anything less.
- 43:10 If that’s the kind of environment you want to be around, that’s what we’re creating here. It’s tempting to adopt the $1 trial or free trial model that a lot of people in this space do. There are other membership sites that make 10 times what we make a month because they get people in on a $1 trial and then the payment kicks in for a recurring subscription. A lot of people fall off, but enough of them stay where it’s a rapid-growth strategy.
- 43:51 Very quickly, you have thousands of people paying, in some cases, hundreds a month! I’ve seen other memberships who charge hundreds a month do free or $1 trials. The reason is you get more people in. This has been a slow and steady growth for me for the past several years. It’s not fast or a way to make a bunch of money quick, but it is a way to get incredible people. That price point is a filtration device.
- 44:25 When you hesitate because you don’t know if you want to pay to join this thing keeps out all the people who aren’t serious. You know that everyone inside has overcome that hesitation. Think about the quality of people we have—that’s what I want to preserve. That’s what I hold onto when I feel the temptation to run a sale, discount, or run a free trial. Those sites have a lot of people, but they don’t have the right people. That’s not what I want. We’re about quality here.
- 44:49 I brought up the chat thing, because I know for some people that was the entrance point. They see the value of a community and being able to engage in real time, get critiques, etc. That all started online and now we’re creating this conference. Now they’re meeting up in their own cities. They’re meeting real people! That’s an awesome experience for them. It was online and then in person. For other people, they need that real-person experience.
- 45:49 It’s not real to them unless it’s in person—that’s why we made seanwes conference. We made the conference to bring people together—some of them have met online and some of them haven’t yet. For some people at seanwes conference, that’s where it’s going to click for them. Sometimes I think of the members as a certain number, but it’s not a number.
- 46:21 It’s a group of people that if you count, you come up with a number, but they’re all real humans across the world in every time zone. It starts to overwhelm me how incredible it is. When you go to the conference, that’s when it’s going to click for a lot of people. I think the conference is what’s going to make it click for the people who haven’t engaged in the Community. They’ll think, “I would like to be around these types of people every day throughout the year.”
- 47:00 Ben: One of our Community members gave me a business card when we met in person at a conference a few years back and I’m using that business card as a bookmark in whatever book I’m reading at the time. The card has an encouraging and challenging message on it (I can’t remember what it is) but it’s a cool reminder that these are real people.
- 47:33 You can get very focused on business and gaining value here, but it’s so cool to see how that flourishes into their real lives. It’s cool to see people starting their own businesses and the things they’re trying to overcome and how excited they get when they get their first package of branding materials in the mail.
In the seanwes Community, you get to share experiences with real people.
- 48:23 Sean: A lot of people want someone who’s popular, an influencer, to promote their work. Will you give me a shoutout? Can I come on your show? They see other people getting shoutouts and other people collaborating or getting exposure on these massive platforms influencers have.
- 48:48 Roll back the clock eight years, before they had a million followers—I want you to realize where that person started. You don’t get a million followers overnight. You don’t build a million-dollar business overnight. It’s going to take you years. “Years” is a scary word, but it’s really not a long time.
- 49:25 Here’s the thing: these people who eventually grew to massive audiences, tremendous influence, best selling books, or million-dollar businesses, and you see people collaborating with them, and you wonder, “How did they do that? How do I do that? How do I get quick exposure?”—that’s not how it happened for them.
- 49:47 They had that relationship eight years ago. Those people met when that person wasn’t famous. They met in the beginning. They built relationships with people while they were shoulder-to-shoulder. You don’t go to someone who’s super popular and ask for a favor. You don’t ask them for a shoutout—that’s not how it works!
- 50:11 You build the relationship before they’re popular or they’re discovered. How do you find those people? Everyone wants to know. How do you find the star before they become a star? If you can figure that out, you can capitalize on it. All you have to do is look at the mindset and that’s it. Find someone with the right mindset.
You’ll recognize someone with the right mindset by the things they say, the things they don’t say, the things they do and the things they don’t do.
- 50:42 Are they speaking negatively about things? Are they complaining? Winners don’t complain. People who are going to accomplish great things are doing the work now that it takes to build the foundation for that in the future. Find the people with the right mindset and I guarantee you’ve found the influencers of the future.
- 51:06 If you want to be promoted by someone popular or get exposure on another massive platform, you need to build relationships with those people now before they get there. The way you find them is by their mindset. One of our members, Alex Kellerman said, “If you’ve gotten a lot out of the podcast episodes and your life has changed for the better, you’re missing out on 10X the opportunities and value that’s being created every day between the seanwes members. Just freaking do it. Get on board and invest in yourself. You’ll be grateful one year from that moment you decided to do it.”
“Even on my last dollar, my subscription will never lapse. I cannot afford to not have my seanwes membership. No one ever sees the need of investing in a generator until the power goes out, then all of a sudden you wish you had one. The same can be said for your business.” – Ed Williams
- 52:01 Sara Nee says, “seanwes membership has been one of the best investments during my business start up. Before joining, I felt like I was struggling, making all kinds of mistakes, and I was feeling really isolated. Now, being surrounded by so many like-minded people with similar goals, things have completely changed for me. I have a lot more confidence working with clients because I know if I have a question or problem, someone from the Community is there to offer advice and feedback.” These are the people you want to be building relationships with right now. Grow with them!
- 52:33 Ben: If you’re willing to invest in someone for eight years, you might deserve to be able to take advantage of the promotion, but that can’t be your end goal. The people who are going to be able to invest in you the most right now, and the people you’re going to be able to invest in the most right now, are the people that are a step ahead or a step behind you.
- 53:06 That’s why it doesn’t make any sense to reach out to someone who’s making millions of dollars a year when you’re trying to get to the first six figures. You’re going to find those people here. You’re going to find the people who are a step ahead of you and you’re going to find the people that are a step behind you.
- 53:24 Really pouring into those relationships is what’s going to bring both of you the most benefit, both in the short term and in the long term. Don’t go at it from the mindset of, “What will I be able to get out of it in the future?” That’s going to be determined completely and totally by how much you pour into those relationships. That’s got to be where your focus is.
“Being part of the Community is nothing less than the catalyst for the hard work that allowed me to quit my job. If you truly believe in yourself, act today. Joining is a no-brainer investment that will propel you to the success you deserve.”
– Damien Shreurs
- 54:05 Sean: If you want to join because you want to get around great people, that’s a fantastic reason to join. If you’re introverted, you’re scared, or you don’t want to talk to people, we totally understand. If you want to join just for the vault that you get access to with seanwes membership—the archive, the hundreds of episodes, the mini courses—that’s also a no-brainer. For less than a coffee a day, why aren’t you investing in yourself? Why aren’t you investing in your future? If you want to build and grow a sustainable business, go to seanwes.com.
- 54:58 If you’re waiting for the free trial, it’s not going to happen. We’re never going to sacrifice the quality of people we have and that’s the selling point.