When it comes to making decisions in your business, there is a lot to consider.
What you want.
You have to consider your priorities for each of these things, and what you’re willing to sacrifice.
If you’re having trouble getting clear on your priorities and making big decisions in your business is a challenge, listen in.
Hear my process for making business decisions with examples from my own personal and professional life. I share some things to consider next time you have to make a decision for your business.
What you will discover
- How pricing can influence your business’ inclusivity.
- Why you need to be intentional about who you exclude.
- How to attract clients who are committed to doing the work.
- My process for making business decisions.
Featured on the show
You are listening to The Life Coach School Podcast with Brooke Castillo episode 461: Business Decisions.
Welcome to The Life Coach School Podcast, where it’s all about real clients, real problems and real coaching. And now your host, Master Coach Instructor, Brooke Castillo.
Hi, my friends. How are y'all? I am amazing. I am in Orlando right now at the Ritz Carlton in Grand Lakes Orlando, and this is the most beautiful, amazing hotel. I'm working from the balcony. This hotel is amazing. It has gorgeous golf course views, a lake, a pool, but most importantly, my friends, it has pickleball. We have been playing like crazy. It's so fun. I love the sport. Are you guys with me on the sport? In all my travels now I have to consider is there a pickleball court. If there is, that's where we're going to stay for sure.
But I wanted to record a podcast today to talk about business decisions and some business decisions that I'm in the process of making and some that I've already made to kind of share with you my process for making decisions, and how I consider decisions, make decisions, and then either have my back on those decisions or change them and what my criteria is for all of those things. I thought that this process might be helpful for many of you.
Even if you don't have a business, it's the same process that you can use for personal decisions, life decisions, that you might be going through in your own personal lives as well. It's really important whenever you're making any decision that you separate out unconscious thoughts from conscious thoughts and true desires from fears.
That's been something that I've taught all throughout Get Coached and Self-Coaching Scholars but also through the podcast. It's something that I apply to my own life. That's one thing that's really important to me in my own work is whatever I'm teaching, I'm actually utilizing and applying.
So I wanted to share kind of what's been on my mind in terms of a business owner and some of the decisions that I've been needing to make in my own business and how I've made those decisions. So the first one that I want to start with is really the decision of whether or not to raise my price on Certification.
The last year of my business, I did a lot of, in 2022, I did a lot of speaking engagements. I hired a lot of help and a lot of mentors and a lot of contractors to help me understand and learn more about marketing in my business and scaling a business from where I am, which is at about $50 million to $100 million. Getting advice from people who have done that and how they've done it and how that's different than just building an entrepreneurial kind of solopreneurial business.
For example, I have studied all of the work of Russell Brunson. I'm going to have him on the podcast a little bit later on this month. His work has influenced me so much in terms of building a really successful business built around me as the kind of attractive character of the business, me as the teacher, me as the coach. As my business grows and as we bring on more talent and more support and more coaches, how do we make that transition from it just being the Brooke Castillo Show to really being just focused on The Life Coach School?
So through that process, I hired a lot of mentors for help. I paid a lot of money. For those of you who were at Life Coach Live, you know that I hired a mentor for $250,000. I hired another mentor for $300,000. I paid $25,000 for a day. I hired a coach that was $10,000 a month. I really do believe in coaching and mentoring and consulting, and I paid all the big dollars to get opinions from people who are further along down this road, who can look at my business, and really helped me make some decisions around it.
One of the things that was consistent with all of them, one of the themes that was consistent with everyone in that process was that my price was too low on my Certification program. When I showed everyone kind of what I offer in the program, what the results are that most people get in that program, whether they be financial, which a lot of people who go through the program have significant financial results.
A lot of people get hired in jobs that they want. They're able to move out of corporate jobs that they don't like into coaching jobs that they love, and the benefits that people get just from the personal work that they do in that Certification. There's just so much evidence that I'm undercharging when I talk to all these mentors.
So I decided last year that for sure I was going to raise my price to $30,000 for Certification. Before my price was $18,000 if you paid cash all upfront for the Certification, or $21,000 if you did a payment plan. So I wanted to wait until probably Q2 of this year to raise my price, but I was going to raise it to $30,000.
Then at the end of last year, I had a meeting with my coach, Trudi LeBron, who is my DEI coach, who really helps me consider things from a very different perspective than most of my business mentors do. We had a long conversation about not just my business and the vision of the business and scaling the business, but also me personally and how I was going to evolve personally and take care of myself personally as the business grows.
She had some really good insight based on many of the sessions that we have had. I want to share a lot of that personal work that I've done with her in a future podcast, and I will. But one of the things that she helped me really see was how pricing can affect being inclusive. The higher the price, the less inclusive you are of the people that can actually afford it.
So it kind of put me in this dilemma where one of the things that's very important to me is to attract people into our Certification who are very serious and not just coming in and wanting a quick fix or wanting us to solve their life for them. But someone who's really committed to doing the work, not just the emotional and personal work, which is significant, but also the legwork that is required if you are wanting to change your career or wanting to build a business.
What I have seen is that when the investment is more significant on the front end, typically the student is more committed. That's a generalization, but I have seen that to be true for my students but also for me. When I sign up for something and it's not a significant investment for me, it's easy for me to blow it off. Versus if it's a significant investment that I've had to really consider the financial resources to sign up for, I consider it from a different angle.
So I wanted to balance that and making sure that I'm really attracting the highest committed customer but also being as inclusive as I can to people who are very committed and very dedicated to the work but maybe don't have the financial resources that would be required if I raise my price that much.
So I have been debating and going back and forth on whether starting in our next launch, we will raise the price to $30k. There's other considerations too. For those of you have your own businesses, when you're raising your prices, you end up having less students, ultimately. So typically, if my price was $18,000, I could enroll two people right at that price versus one person at the price of $30,000.
So it's less work for my customer service. It's more attention per person. The value of what we're offering is definitely there in terms of being able to leave that Certification and know how to coach someone, understand the Model, have the practice and the mastery to really be able to hold space for another human being. Also, get the materials and the process that you need in order to build a business or to get a job as a life coach.
I am very proud and feel very committed to the results that we get for our students. Because we haven't had a significant price increase for a while, it's something that I'm definitely considering. But I had already made that decision, and then I got that other perspective.
I got the other perspective from talking to Trudi and also talking to Erika and also looking at what's going on in the industry right now. Kind of stepping back and having to decide who exactly are we going to be. What are we going to be the best in the world at? What are we going to teach? How do we keep everything simple and easy and effective for our students?
So one of the things that I step back and do a lot of the time, and I think this is an important thing for many of you who have your own businesses to do, is to step back and really consider. If I was going to start, if I was a brand new company, and I was just coming on the scene, and I was going to start today, what would I do differently than I'm doing now? How would I set my business up to be the best business it could possibly be?
The other question that Dean Jackson taught me that I think is so great is what would you do differently in your business if you only got paid after the client got the result that they wanted?
One of the things that really he taught me when he taught me that question is you have to be much more discriminating about the people that you choose to work with. Because you'd have to make sure that the people are committed to the work, they're committed to the result, they believe in themselves, they're committed to doing the work to believe in themselves. They want to achieve the goal as much as you want them to.
So I've just been spending a lot of time kind of weighing this consideration of what it would mean for my business, but what it would also mean for all of the potential students and the reach that we would have, and the inclusivity that we would provide, which is a huge part of one of our values at The Life Coach School.
So at this time, I have not raised the price. It's something that I am going to discuss with my team and keep considering and keep evaluating different options, to really make sure that that is the best decision for everyone. Like a win-win-win-win for the entire organization. A lot of times when I ask about pricing, it's so funny. I remember when I first started, I was charging $3,000 for a Certification. My coach is like you have to raise your price because you're actually excluding people that would come in because they don't see the value in it because it's priced so low. I did not believe him.
At that time, I was seeing like 10 students at a time. If you look at what the potential of career we're offering at The Life Coach School, and you compare it to a college, and you compare it to the types of jobs, the cost of what it costs to go to college, and the type of entry-level jobs you can get coming out of college, it's actually really crazy to think about how we're priced in terms of our tuition.
So there's a lot of different perspectives on what things should cost. What will happen regardless is that we will have to exclude some people. One of the things that I want to do and work with Trudi and work with Erika, my CEO, is just to make sure that the people that we exclude is conscious and intentional, and it's not excluding them because we don't care about them. We offer them other resources that they're able to utilize.
But we also exclude people that don't align with our values. That was something that Trudi really helped me consider too is like I mean anyone who doesn't align with giving back and generosity and inclusiveness and diversity and caring for people and holding space and unconditional love, we don't want in our organization. But we also want to make sure that we're attracting the highest level of hard work and commitment and thoughtfulness and excellence as well.
So it's a pretty big decision that I just – It's interesting. As my business gets bigger, as more people are involved, it feels like there's more at stake in making these big decisions. So for me to just say hey, we're going to raise the price, and then realize that I hadn't considered some other things. So that's decision number one.
The second decision that I made in my business was I had sold a mastermind when I was at my live Reinvention program. I had sold it for a year of time with me to meet quarterly and to talk weekly on the phone to help you build your business. That was a $50k per person offer. I think we had 50 people that applied for it, and we enrolled 20 people into it. So it was like a million-dollar product for our company. I was really actually super excited to work with this group of amazing people that had applied and that were doing such great things with our business.
But when we got to the point, I had sold it, and then I was meeting with everyone and talking to them, but we were actually starting the program and we're going to travel all over the world too. We were actually starting it at the beginning of this year.
So when I sold it, I didn't realize what was going to be going on with Christian's golf schedule in terms of him trying to enter pro tournaments and him also playing for University of Arkansas. As we started planning the travel and coordinating that with Christian’s golf, I realized I was going to have to sacrifice a lot of the time of seeing my son play golf, and that it was going to make my life much more complicated to try to do the mastermind in person and then jump on a plane and fly and see Christian golf or maybe not see him golf and maybe have to miss some of his tournaments.
I really thought a long time about it and really stepped back and looked at my life, and I decided that my number one priority is being in my child's life and to watch him play golf and to be with him as much as I can and to support him in any way I can. So I made the decision to not do the mastermind. I refunded everyone their money. I credited anyone who had already bought their travel tickets and anything like that. We refunded all of that money to walk away from such an important piece of business work that I wanted to do and a lot of money in order to focus on my son.
I will say that I spent a lot of time making that decision. It was a really hard decision to make. But once I made it, I knew that that was the right decision for me. So sometimes, I mean, I would call that a failure in terms of business, in terms of letting my customers, my students, my clients whom I love, letting them down after making them this offer and kind of putting extra strain on my team to have to do all of that which did not benefit the business. But I still feel really good about making that decision for my commitment to my son.
So many times I think in business, we're going to have to step back and be like okay, what is more important here? What is the most important thing to me? What is my true value? Am I willing to walk that line to make sure that I stay committed to that?
Then the last decision that I've been making, and that I'm kind of in the process of making, is how to scale my business. This is a huge decision because there's two ways I can do it. I don't know that many of you, as you're scaling your business, have thought about it this way, but I want to share it because I know a lot of you are trying to get to $10 million, $20 million, or even from $100,000 to $200,000.
For me, what's going on is I'm having to make the decision of whether I stay at the forefront of running operations, being involved in the marketing, creating all the creative ideas, and really kind of holding all of the responsibility of revenue in order to get to that $100 million. Or if I'm willing to now step back, which is what I've seriously been considering, step back and kind of do a reset and let my team find their legs and figure out who we need separate of me being involved in it to really go to that next level.
I've been sharing much of that process with you all. Last year was such a significant amazing year for us. I feel like the level of accomplishment that I have because of my goal of $100 million is like so awesome and so astounding. So part of me just wants to keep that momentum going and keep doing reinvention programs and Life Coach Live programs and putting myself out there with lots of opportunities for people to be exposed to me and my work and share my work with them directly and have them become fans of me personally so I can get to that $100 million.
But there's another part of me that really knows like in my heart that this business and the sustainability of this business and of this work has to live beyond me. It can't be the just the Brooke Castillo Show. It can't be just about me. It has to be about the work. It has to be about the Model. It has to be about the tools that we've created, and the coaches that we have in my team.
So that's a very challenging thing for me to do emotionally and financially to kind of step back and do a reset and not be in any kind of hurry. So as I go through that decision and I'm talking to my team, and I'm trying to stay emotionally stable, that's a decision that I just want you to know I have to keep recommitting to. I have to keep focused on.
I am really dedicated to knowing that Get Coached, getting people in the world a coaching session, getting them a taste of what it means to be coached, to have them be coached in the world through Get Coached and Self-Coaching Scholars, and then to also offer the opportunity for people to develop mastery in the Certification.
Those are the two things that I want to stay committed to. Those are the two most impactful things that I can do in this world and in my business. The more I can systematize them and systematize my work and really highlight other people and their ability to utilize that work, the better my company is going to be.
So that's a decision that I have made as well. I am totally committed to coaching all of my clients and to being present in Get Coached and coaching and teaching and coming up with new classes and new criteria for my clients, but also kind of shifting gears a little bit in terms of building this sustainable business that I call adulting. How can we create a business that isn't based on the ups and downs of what I jump in and offer, but really the consistent quality work that we are able to create as a team?
So that's what I've been going through y'all. Really thinking through some of those decisions and having these conversations with all of you who are trying to build your businesses and trying to create something that you're super proud of and something that can go beyond just you. I don't know. Maybe it was turning 50 that really helped me solidify that decision and really think that through.
So I'm feeling very proud and very excited about that, but also like this amazing sense of well-being and calm about the work that I've done in the world and how I've shown up and what we have created as a team that can carry on from here. So business decisions, my friend. You have to consider yourself, you have to consider your customer, you have to consider your team, and then you have to consider your vision.
As you're considering those things when you're making business decisions, you have to decide what are the priorities of those things as well. What are you willing to sacrifice and what aren't you? I think for some of us, those are a little too fuzzy. Once we get clear for me, it's my children first, period, then all the other decisions become easy. For me, it's this business needs to live on beyond me then the decisions become easy.
My business needs to be inclusive. It needs to be the highest quality it can be to excellence, but it also needs to be inclusive of as many people as we can include. So that is the work that I'm doing. Those are the decisions that I'm making. That is my process. So, as always, I like to include you and bring you along. As I get more clear and as things become more systematized and evident and clear, I will share those solutions and those ideas and all of my failures, of course, as we go through the process. Have a beautiful week everyone. I'll talk to you soon. Bye, bye.
Hey, if you enjoy listening to this podcast, you have to come check out Self-Coaching Scholars. It's my monthly coaching program where we take all this material and we apply it. We take it to the next level and we study it. Join me over at the TheLifeCoachSchool.com/join. Make sure you type in the TheLifeCoachSchool.com/join. I'd love to have you join me in Self-Coaching Scholars. See you there.