My B-School Q&A With Marie Forleo
I was honored to host a Q&A chat with Marie last week. It was great! I wanted to share the recording and transcript with you to make sure you didn’t miss out on this valuable information.
Q&A with B-School creator, Marie Forleo
Karen: Hi everyone welcome, welcome, welcome I am Karen Yankovich and we are live today we are live today with Marie Forleo and I’m excited about this one. We are going to get right to it I don’t want to spend a lot of time chit chatting here we’ve got half an hour and let’s make the most of it. Marie it’s so fabulous have you are with us today.
Marie: Thank you it’s my pleasure.
Karen: Just so everybody here is … just you know what we are doing here we’ve got some Q&As I’ve got a bunch of you sent me questions. Ahead of time I have some of those but I would love for you to go into the Q&A section and listen to our seminar and leave your questions there. If anything comes up as we are talking I’d love to have your questions as well because we are here really to be of service to you today. We want to make sure that you’ve got all your questions answered about whatever Marie and I can help you with. Also of course Marie Forleo’s B-school which as you all know is starting very soon. Before we start I have to note this Marie and I are both Jersey girls there’s a lot of energy when there’s two Jersey girls in one place. Be ready take notes and let’s get rolling. Let me just go ahead over here and see what we’ve got here.
One of the things that people ask me about Marie a lot and that I got a bunch of questions about this. I try to keep people focused on the program when people will ask me questions about B-School but invariably people talk about the community. Let’s talk about your community for a second and talk about community where it’s related to running a business.
Marie: Most of us don’t grow up in entrepreneurial families and a lot of us don’t have any friends or people that we can talk with and connect to and ask questions of and bounce ideas off of that really get who we are and get this crazy think that we are trying to create. I know I didn’t when I first started the in it left me feeling quite alone and honestly it slows you down because you can spend a lot of time second guessing yourself wondering if you are crazy, having ideas or notions or things that you want to talk through but there’s no one around that really gets it and that understands what you are trying to achieve and has any experience doing the kind of things that you want to do.
I remember when I was first starting my business it was vital that I had folks around me that understood online marketing and that really started to … they could give me their ideas give me their experience turn me on to a new tools and new resources things that I might not have come across yet. It made a huge difference for me in general it still makes a difference to me today, to have folks that I can call up literally at any time of the day or night if something is going wrong or even when something is going right to celebrate. There’s just nothing like having other people that really get your industry and get what you are trying to do to be able to talk with, so that’s on general level.
Karen: I agree with that completely and it’s so true you mentioned your friends your family and they are so supportive … as in my case they are so supportive but they totally don’t get it and not only that they don’t get it, they think I’m crazy. It’s really good to have people in my world that get what I’m doing and support what I’m doing and in a way that continues to give me the confidence to move forward with what I’m doing.
Marie: I’ll be completely transparent here. When I started B-School seven years ago the community was really nonexistent because it was the first time we were doing the program. Now we’ve had tens of thousands of graduates across 112 countries and territories spanning six continents and 160 industries it’s literally the most powerful online community I’ve ever seen. I didn’t set out to build it that way, it built itself and consistently … Karen I’m here in LA right now I’ll meet people on the street virtually every day that are either Marie TV fans, most of them are B-schoolers. The consistent comment I get the most is, “I love B-School it’s the program that keeps giving. I have found my best friends, I have found business partners I found clients, I just have this incredible community of people I never knew existed before.” If we are talking specifically about B-School again I take credit only for the fact that I created the program and I’ve helped to nurture it to this point, but it is literally the most powerful online community that I’ve ever seen. I’ve never seen anything like it in the world.
Karen: Well I would have to agree and I’m in a lot of online communities and obviously B-School being one of them. To me this is one of my favorite B-School community stories and I’m sure you remember this Marie. A couple of months ago maybe it was even a year ago, somebody came on to the B-School group and said “I’m in California I won a ticket to blah blah b/ah but I just can’t afford to go so I just want to give it to somebody. Who here can use this ticket?” And immediately instead of saying “I want it, I want it, I want it,” the entire community said, no, no, no screw that. You are going and we are going to raise money for you to go and they put up a GoFundMe campaign and in a day this woman had the money to go to this conference. Do you remember that?
Marie: Yeah I totally remember that and I remember something a little bit more recent that’s actually extremely tragic and it’s extremely sad. Another member of our community her son was killed by a drunk driver and the entire community rallied around. We all found the GoFundMe page we helped to support her as much as we could. The outpouring of cards and of love and of everything for one of our dearest members at her worst hour of need and there’s literally thousands of people offering their condolences their prayers their thoughts genuinely. Like this isn’t just lip service. People seeing if they are nearby what can they do. I remember another time when someone’s dad … one of our members couldn’t reach her dad in San Francisco and she was terrified not knowing if … God forbid something had happened what was going on.There is this whole thread in the community, “Hey I live nearby give me the address, direct message me the address I will drive over there right now to go and see if your dad is okay.” It goes so far beyond business. From a business perspective alone it’s invaluable. B-School and what we’ve created and what we continue to cultivate, again I am not making this up I’m literally reporting what our members and what our students and our grads tell me. It’s a life program. It’s something that once you do it and once you experience it and once you are involved things are just never the same.
Karen: I’d had to say that while … yes that it’s about business and you say that it’s life program. If anybody here is listening to this and thinking that supporting each other personally as well as professionally doesn’t make you money, you are wrong. When you have this group of people around you that are supporting you personally as well as professionally everybody is set up for success. I don’t even know how to explain it and I don’t know if it’s explainable truthfully …
Marie: I’ll tell you. It’s a really easy thing. We do business with people we know and like. All the time it happens for me the opportunities that come my way aren’t just because people know me professionally. It’s because they know me personally. It’s because we have solid relationships. It’s because they can get me on text. It’s not just the thing where they have my email and go through a filter of systems. And I see it happen all the time. The depth of your relationships really translates into the sustainability and the profitability of your business over the long haul. Not to mention too and I think this is huge, when something is going wrong in your business that you didn’t expect, which happens to every entrepreneur. Whether tech things break, the wheels come off no matter how well you planned or how well you execute it. To have folks around you that can give you the exact person you need to help fix it, that can jump in and fix it for you. That can give you solution.
Karen: Absolutely it’s two o’clock in the morning you just can’t fix something on your WordPress site and you go on the B-School group and say “who’s around who can help me with this?” Anytime of the day or night there is somebody. Let’s move on to another part of that question, which is do you think a community is important within your business? I guess that I would have to think about that would really depend on the type of business you have, but what do you think about community as you’re building your business? Is it important to build community into your business model?
Marie: I think it’s about what you want. You have to be strategic and clear on your own vision. Some people want to run businesses where of course they take great care of their customers but they are not really focused on forming community around it per se. They want to have loyal raving fans that go out and spread the word but they’re not looking to start Facebook groups and I think it really is business specific and it has to be focused around what your vision is, what your strengths are. We happen to have the people and the temperament and the structure and place to be able to support something like this but a lot of people don’t and that’s just not their strength or their interest. I don’t think it’s a necessity but I think what is important is for people to really understand the kind of business they want to build and to be able to leverage their strength to do it. The community is part of that great but it doesn’t have to be.
Karen: I love that. Another question that I get a lot is why is B-School different than other businesses and other coaching program? What makes it different from some of the other programs?
Marie: It’s an interesting question Karen because here is the honest truth. I don’t spend my day running around picking other people’s business programs or coaching programs. My time is really spent running my own business and taking care of my own customers. We try and do a great job of just outlining here is exactly what we teach the curriculum is all there. There’s thousands of stories hundreds of them really in debt go look at it, and if you are looking at another coaching go look at their coaching program and [inaudible 00:10:09] much one feels better. It’s impossible for me honestly to know what’s in other peoples program because all I do is take business coaching programs all day long and again I have better things to do.
We just focus on being transparent and clear as humanly possible. We have a no risk money back guarantee we’ve been around for seven years which is longer than most people and we just put everything out there. If it feels good in your heart I say do it and if you are not interested or you are like “I don’t know.” don’t do it because B-School requires full commitment. It requires your focus it requires your time it requires your energy. I always like to tell people B-School doesn’t work unless you do. If you are looking to come in and just sit around and absorb things by osmosis your business will naturally transform definitely not the program for you, no way. If you are ready to roll up your sleeve and get to work and actually take action and implement you’ll probably go further faster than anything I’ve ever seen. Based on results that we get people are always, they speak for themselves.
Karen: Do you think that there’s a … is it more for beginners more for intermediate more for advanced digital marketers? Where do you think most of the B-School … who do you think will get the most out of B-School?
Marie: It’s not for one specific market, I’ll tell you there’s people that take B-School that have no certain clue about what they are doing they have a million ideas and they need clarity they need structure and they need support. I have people that take B-School that have Ivy League MBAs. Highly educated experience people that have run multiple businesses. One of my favorite grads he runs over a hundred million dollar publishing company. He is a really experienced marketer with a very big team and there are a parts of B-School that he’s used to completely transform how he’s team does marketing. How they sell their products and services even better and he told me about that. Are there some people that are going to feel, “Oh my God I’m so advanced” All I say is “Hey look take a look at the curriculum.”
We don’t hide anything we tell you exactly what we teach. If you look at that curriculum there, oh I’ve mastered I have all the customers and clients I could ever need. I’m doing really advanced multi variant testing and split testing and I’m like a master copy writer and my everything is just so tight in my business you probably shouldn’t even considering B-School because you are so busy you don’t need anything like that. You know what I mean?
Karen: I do.
Marie: We have an incredibly diverse student base and I love that. I love that we have beginners, I love that we have more seasoned folks because everybody learns from everyone and no matter how experienced you are, I consider myself now after 17 years quite an experienced marketer, I even go back to our own B-School material anytime we are launching something new or we are considering re-jiggering anything in our business because those are the fundamentals. Those are the things that make all the difference in the world. The tool and the platforms and the technicalities of things those change at an ever increasing rate Moore’s Law – technology just exponentially gets faster, it gets cheaper and it gets more advanced. All of that is going to continue to change but what doesn’t are … is human psychology.
What doesn’t is understanding how to influence and persuade. How to position your product and your services in such a way that your customer say I want that I got to have that. Those are the things that most people frankly don’t spend enough time on and they get too caught up in worrying about oh my god what button do it hit on Facebook it’s like dude you can Google that in five seconds. That’s not going to get you anywhere. The best marketing in the world is never going to sell a product or service t hat sucks. What you get in B-School is you learn how to make your stuff phenomenal, top level the best of the best. You learn how to create extra ordinary customer experiences that are unique and one of a kind, not your copying other people. You learn how to make your marketing really authentic really persuasive and really genuine no matter what tools you are using.
Karen: It’s interesting because I’m a B-School partner as a B-School partner I mentor the people that register with my link for your program through the program. What that means I go through the program again every year. Which is easy to say you are going to do it, but when you are busy you might not do it so this it forces me to make sure it’s on my calendar and I block the time aside. Every year that I do that I listen to something that I’ve may have heard already and I think but with a year later, a year more experienced and a year of changes in my business I listen to it and I go “Oh I’m going to do that I got to tweet this now.” I just tweet out so many things, I was at the program it helps me every single year even when I’m not really looking for it to be helping me for something specific.
Even if I’m not rolling out a new product or service. What I tell people I find that with the people that I know through B-School which is now a tone of people, I also went to B-School it shifts your business anyway. Certainly for me it helps me with focus so I think that its okay if you are really a beginner and if you are not a beginner then I think you know that the investment for B-School is so well worth whatever little nuggets you might get even if you don’t know that there is a lot. Even if you don’t know that there is a lot there for you. Once you’re a digital marketer you know “I can definitely get my money back on this”.
Marie: That’s the thing it’s like anytime I go into any learning experience now I know all it takes is one idea, or one refrain or one new thing that I can turn X in a month or two. That happens to me all the time that’s when I laugh when people are like I feel I’m too advanced. I’m like okay cool then if you’ve got everything all handled awesome we are not trying to sell you. All we are saying is look we’ve got this amazing product if you are excited by this and you think there is anything you can learn join us there is no wreck. If you don’t, don’t it’s that simple.
Karen: I love that, so what kinds of … I also get a lot of questions about results. What kind of results can peoples expect to see after joining B-School? I answer this questions all the time I want to hear your … how you would response to this question.
Marie: It so varies, we’ve had people create their first seven figure business meaning they are earning in revenue a million dollars a year. What they are taking home in profit I don’t know because I’m not sitting there doing their expenses with them. Some people have extra ordinary results financially. Some people wind up healing themselves physically. Again Karen I know this sounds crazy. I’m just reporting on what some of the results are. Some people start multiple businesses some people wind up closing their business because they found out that they were running a business that they hate and they are like “I’m so happy to get the hell out of that and do something I really want to do”.
I can’t guarantee anyone results not only is that illegal but it’s unethical. If you want to see the kind of results that we create through B-School Karen I’m sure you have all the links to them. We have 40+ video and photo essays on The Live Your Dream site I think there is over 50 written case studies called in their own words that you can just go read. I’d say go read it for yourself because they result very hugely. There’s people that take B-School and I’m going to say this plainly, that don’t do shit with it. They don’t do anything they get no results none, is that my fault? No.
Karen: Right in the B-School Facebook there’s a lot of people talking about that. I took it last year, I took it the year before this year I’m going to do it and maybe it will … maybe this will be the year that it really pans out for them. It’s very funny.
Marie: I like to be honest about that because all we can do and I’m very good at helping people move ahead there’s folks in B-School right now Karen already that got in the moment that we opened the doors. That are already seeing results that I’ve made calls that they were terrified to make that are holding meetings with people they never thought they never thought they could have. There’s people that are making moves just on the bonus material alone we haven’t even started the [inaudible 00:18:27] yet they are actually seeing results and momentum in their life because they are taking action. I put up the material I’m in there coaching our team is in there coaching, we are supporting people or answering questions we are helping them move ahead. If someone signs up and they just want to lark and do nothing out of our hands there’s nothing we can do about it.
Karen: Absolutely. The good thing is it is there when you are ready for it when the timers comes where it all clicks in … I’m going to stage way from that question into now B-School starts and there’s a lot of content and especially [inaudible 00:19:00] one I thought one really…
Marie: It’s a beast.
Karen: It is it’s a beast my advice to people and I would to hear what you think about this. My advice to people is go through it and they and … don’t worry about getting through it all but try and stay with the group while the program is live. Because then you can jump on the Q&A calls and you know what people are talking about in the Facebook group and you can kind of … then you can always go back and dig in and re-review it well. So that is kind of always my advice what do you think about that, do you think you should stick module One till you’ve completely finished it or just …?
Marie: No here’s the thing again we have PHD and MBA educated student students come back and tell us or report “OMG this was more comprehensive this was more applicable than my graduate program.” I’m like I love you thank you for that, that’s great and you content that’s why you get life time access to B-School. going through module one digesting it if there is something small that you are like wow I can see that I can make that right now fantastic. You can go through it digest everything ask the questions you want to ask and then start making an action list for yourself of what you want to take action on in your business. Most of our students and again we pout through tens of thousands of people nobody really gets through every single exercise of every single module of every single video in eight weeks.
You have life time access though and here is the thing that I really want to stress you can come back and re do it every year for free. Karen we were talking earlier about what makes us different t that other programs. The level of care and generosity that w e share we our students I think you know this, this year all alumni ate getting free Q&A calls. We are doing that for every student that’s ever come back since 2010 and they are not paying anything more. It’s like no we are doing that because I care and I want to help people grow their businesses could we charge more of course we are good. Are there other programs out there that outsell people and constantly trying to get you this and that the other thing in a whole essential model? Yeah, I’m not saying those things are bad it’s just not how I run my business.
In terms of getting through B-School you can take it at your own pace, if you need to pause because you are getting married or you are going on vacation or you are having a baby or something just pops up in your life we are not going anywhere the material is there for you for life. The community is there for you for life. Everything is at your fingertips when you want to go through it and most of our students do wind up revisiting material after they’ve digested it the first time so they can go back and go deeper and execute.
Karen: You find people popping up every now and then going hey everybody it’s June and I need to go to B-School again who wants to start with me today? Then some people will get together and they will form a little group and they will go through it again at some random time just to have the accountability at any time. There’s really … while it’s great to go through it large because you get the Q&A and you get all the energy of everybody going through it together you can just keep doing it over and over. Very exciting stuff another question that I get a lot is and here is the exact question. I need more one on one support I get lost in online programs is B-School right for me?
Marie: It’s a great question and you know that’s really a personal decision. B-School is not a one on one coaching program. If you are really clear that you need a one on one coach you might want to consider signing up for B-School and getting yourself a coach on the side to support you to work through it. We don’t offer that it’s not something that we do but B-School has an amazing education. If you feel like you can get that entire education from one person and back of them go for it. If you know that is the best way you learn God bless stick with what you know and rock it out. I would say if you are attracted to be learning of B-School, the community of B-School and you just know you need extra one on man support than get yourself a coach on the side.
Karen: Before I took B- … first of all in my case B-School was the biggest investment I’ve made in my business to date. It is now, I think that’s pretty funny, it’s not funny is very common but I would never have had the confidence to invest in a business coach before I took B-School. Taking B-School and watching people in the group think bigger and invest bigger they kind gave me the permission to think about doing the same thing. I would never have invested in business coach without B-School and without my business coach and B-School together I would definitely wouldn’t be my business wouldn’t be worth now for sure.
Marie: Very cool.
Karen: There is a quote that I found Marie that you … that I actually use a lot in my presentations. That is a quote from you and I think it was it’s now one of your common quotes, it’s a quote that I found in an article in a magazine or something that you wrote and it was a while ago. I don’t even remember truly where it was but I use it a lot obviously it’s impacted me and I’d love to hear what may where you … what your story around this quote, and the quote is, “We underestimate our power and our greatness and our genius.” You probably thinking did I say that but you really did say that.
Marie: I’m sure I did often times out here of course I’m like oh yeah and then I find out the I remember when I wrote that or I aid that.
Karen: For me with that tells, for me I do social media I teach people how to show up big. Especially LinkedIn I’m focused on LinkedIn I want to appear like a freaking rock star when people check you out. I love that quote because I think we do underestimate our greatness we think anybody can do this and that’s really not true. There’s a little … there’s analogy that I use you may feel like a fifth grader but to a third grader you are a big deal. I like to let people really step into that power and that greatness and really get that shine. That’s way that quote is so valuable to me. Tell me what you think when you hear that or when you said that?
Marie: The truth is all of us have very unique gifts and strength. We have a combination that is so inherent to who we are it’s like our power DNA. The challenge is most of us assume that everyone else must be good at the things that we are good at so we completely devalue we underestimate how our strength are really incredible. There’s times when I’ll be on the phone with my team and we are working on a bit of coffee or working on something like how do you do that? I my mind it comes so easily but then I look at say my director of operation Pana her mind is so set up to organize and to keep things on track and to move things ahead. She is on e one of the most systematic thinkers I’ve ever met in my life it’s a natural strength of hers.
Most of us unless we get on to the world and we really begin to flex those muscles we completely underestimate our genius … our gifts and our strengths and we devalue them. I think one of the greatest gifts of what happens is B-School is people really start to recognize how powerful they really are. They learn how to articulate their strengths they learn how to express them in a very humble yet powerful way where other people can recognize, I have value to offer here. Here is why you should do business with me and here is why its’ going to be fun and its going to be amazing. You don’t come of braggily you just come of confident and of service then its really beautiful thing.
Karen: I love that word confident because I think that that’s really important to business success it’s confident or at least appearing as if you are confident. A lot of times we are I the back and we are going, oh my gosh what did I just say I would do but hopefully you are smart enough to go back and figure it out. Not just BS your way through something. Having the confidence and appearing to have the confidence and understanding that people buy confidence.
Marie: I think you made a great point there has to be integrity in that and I think it’s a outcome a natural by product. Another one of B-School is that people are very rude at … in their own gifts they feel really at home sharing what they are here to share they understand how much value they have to offer in the world. They are doing so in such a way that it’s transparent its loving its compassionate its generous. There’s nothing desperate about it there is nothing brash about it there’s nothing harsh or egotistical it’s really coming of service and I think that kind of confident is really attractive and it’s something that naturally develops throughout the program it really cool.
Karen: I think that is a good note to wrap this up on. I want to thank you for being … first all I want to thank you for putting B-School together because its absolutely  my business and my life and what I talk about Marie is t hat I was in corporate and I ran a company like it was a corporation and I freaking hated it because i didn’t know there was another way. I didn’t know that there was a way that did not revolve around f d the corporate model so I want to thank you for opening my eyes to t6h e fact that I could create my business in what ever model that worked for me and I really hope that everybody here listening understands the power of that. The power of really being able to create a business that suites you life.
Marie: There is no better feeling in the world and again when I meet people and I get the chance to talk with B-scholars and I see their faces light up and they tell me about the before and the after. Life before B-School what it was like and most of the time for most for most us it was  struggling and we are feeling frustrated we are not doing what we are meant to be doing the money is not really there we are feeling we are just gridding and wasting away. Then seeing the after and what they’ve created for themselves its usually entails some degree of freedom a lot of self expression that feeling like you are finally doing the work that you were put on the planet to do.
You are getting a chance to take care of your loved ones and your family and you have an opportunity to rest and to travel all the things that you’ve ever wanted to do it is just … it’s really beautiful and often bring tears to my eyes. Karen thank you for sharing that I appreciate you as a Bee scholar and I really appreciate your support as an alumni and as one of our partners that means the world to us.
Karen: it my absolute pleasure for anybody that wants more information on B-School you can go to my page which is B-Schoolsocialmediabonus.com and that’s where all the bonuses that I’ve got that I’m adding at no additional charge to your B-School experience if you are interested. You can to on that page to all of Marie’s pages as well and all of the things that she talked about the interviews and the stories of all the Bee scholars are on there. On the topic of the community I threw in the last minute I’m going to do a new York city meet up with a lot of B-Schoolers I would love that people to sign up with me to meet all my B-School friends.
Karen: Won’t that be Fun? I have to tell you when it is maybe you’ll be in town.
Marie: Definitely let me know.
Karen: I will. Thank you Marie so much for being here today and if anybody has any questions about anything we talked about here you can always reach out to me. Connect at Karenyankovich.com and all of my information will be on the site with this link as well. Thank you everyone for being here today and that you Marie I’m really excited for B-School 2016.
Marie: Thanks every one bye.