When you can go on a holiday and everything still runs smoothly inside your business you know you’re really onto something.
I remember when I created my wellness center thinking that it would do exactly that – and it did NOT!
Now, my target is to make my business and my membership just as valuable without me in it. To become… USELESS!
Being useless is not as scary as it sounds, in this episode let me show you how it can give you the freedom you are asking for.
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Welcome to the podcast. It is February. I hope the snow is thawing wherever you are. Or if you are down under like me, the heat is starting to calm down. <laugh> it’s the opposite side of the world over here. And I am talking to you today about making yourself useless in your membership, which sounds like a horrible thing, but it’s actually a really, really good thing. And I wanna first start out by telling a story. You might not all know about me. Some of you do. And that is that I back in 2002, gosh, that was 20 years ago. Now what <laugh> 20 years ago, 2002, I became an acupuncturist. Started a private practice, started a wellness center actually after the private practice was booming. And I thought having become a very busy acupuncturist that starting a center where I had other people working with me and under me and beside me and contributing and under the same roof, that that was going to provide me some level of freedom.
Now, anyone who has started a business or it not to mention a brick and mortar business can relate to <laugh> and probably predict where this is going, having more staff and a mortgage and people, renters, tenants, and becoming not only a, a service provider practitioner, but now a business owner, a employer, a landlord, all the different hats. Shockingly did not give me any more freedom than I had. In fact, it did the opposite. And what I thought was gonna happen was, you know, when you’re an acupuncturist or you do any service, like you go on holiday and you lose money. Like there’s no one, if you’re not doing the work, there’s no one else doing the work. So you are not making money and you are losing money because you still have overhead. You still have the treatment space, you still have whatever, you know, your bottom line is to pay and you don’t have money coming in.
So I thought I create wellness center. And when I would go on a holiday, I’d go on vacation that all the other stuff going on in the center would just run smoothly without me. And I would be making money when I would go traveling. And that’s what I really wanted to do was to like, have these services, have the wellness center, but like kind of be useless in the whole situation, in a, on, on purpose intentionally and be able to go away and live my life and go traveling and have fun. And I, and I had a travel bug at the moment at the time and, uh, back in those days, and I really wanted to do that and not have to sacrifice the everything else. Well, that didn’t happen. I definitely didn’t work the business in, in my favor. And whenever I traveled the business was definitely not making money like while I was away.
So it did not do this for me. However, I do think and know that having a membership site is something that can run without you, at least temporarily. It’s something that if you structure it properly and you hire the right people and you put the right systems in place, something that you can basically become useless in and that a target can be for you, that your membership is just as valuable without you, as it is with you in it. Now that might be a bit of a hang on record, scratch moment. And you might wanna rewind and go like, wait, what did she just say? The membership can be just as valuable without me as it is with me. Like, how does that even make sense? It’s my membership. Of course it needs me. Well, what if it didn’t and the moment you start feeling a little bit useless, like, do these people even need me?
That’s when you know, you’re on the right track and I’ll tell you why. So if you were to actually create this membership in this way where you were not needed, when you were actually just an added benefit where the members didn’t a actually ask about you or require you hands on in there, right. Holding their hand with them perhaps. And the way this can look is a lot of different ways, but perhaps they’re getting so support supported and feeling so cared for and nurtured that they don’t even remember you. What if that was actually a really, really good thing. And it can be a little bit of a adjustment internally, but this happened for me recently, uh, actually over the last year or to my membership has a lot of aspects to it. And one of them being in these small group pods that the members run without me.
And, uh, when we pull the members, it’s always one of those things that people say is their one of their favorite parts of the membership. And I’m always kinda like, ah, I’m not even in that. And that’s their favorite part. And I kind but chuckle because that’s actually really, really cool. And it’s a Testament to not only my job of creating the membership, but my job of bringing in people and putting them in roles that they’ve really, uh, succeeded in and taken leadership and ownership of and their, and a Testament to them really, and the members themselves for what they’re creating. And I think it’s a very, very, uh, interesting and, and cool thing when your membership starts to have its own identity and its own, it takes on a lot life of its own. That is bigger than you. So here are three keys to making yourself useless in your membership.
Number one is this membership that you’re creating or you have created, I want you to remember, or if you haven’t ever heard this or realize this, if this is the for, I want you to know your membership is not about you and please don’t make it about you. It shouldn’t be about you. It should be about the members. So anywhere that you have created the membership, focus on you. I want you to start shifting that from off of you and onto the change that is being created with the members, not just from you to the members, but with the members, the community amongst themselves, and the change that’s being created, like as whole, as this collaboration as this community gets together. So take the focus off of you. And when you talk about your membership, make it about the members and the change that they’re creating, make it about the other team members and what they’re, how they’re engaging, make it about the transformation, this successes they’re having, the wins, the collaborations, the friendships, the, all of that, and take the focus off of you.
And this way, not only it is really the true nature of your membership should not be about you because it’s people don’t come. They may come because they know you. They may come cuz they heard about you. They may come because they had some interaction or they, they learned something from you. So that was their entry point, but we need to make it about them in order for this to actually work. So it, it’s not about you, it’s about them. What is it that they are there for? What is in it for them and always in everything that you create inside that membership and it all your marketing in all your sales and messaging, you need to tie it back to what is in it for the person who is going to be joining this membership, right? So it’s not about you or your features or your benefits or the bells and the whistles and the blood bright, shiny platform or any of the stuff it’s about the change and about the members themselves and what they are choosing, changing, creating, and all of that.
So, number one, it’s not about you. Number two, hiring great staff and contributors. Now I get it at the beginning. It’s probably not gonna be in your budget and you’re not gonna have the space to hire lots of people or maybe even anyone and maybe just you, but set this as a target that once you have, and you’ll have to look at your number and how much you’re charging and all of that. But say, you know, after I get X number of members, I will hire a contributor to the group. Now, if you are able to, before that, have a look inside your existing membership, inside your community, or if you have a database or anyone that’s come to like one of your courses or someone that’s connected to you, that that seems to really like what you do and see if that might be someone that you could hire and, and without paying them, maybe they’re a paying member of the membership.
Maybe you give them a discount off of the membership or you give them a free membership. So that can be a really great option to get some help without having to spend the money at the beginning. And sometimes those people are just so grateful cuz they want to contribute to you anyway, that they don’t really want or need the money. They just happy that you’re acknowledging them and they’re happy to contribute even more. So have a look first inside your community. And then once you have enough members that it makes sense financially for you to be able to hire someone. I really recommend that you look at hiring people greater than you, better than you at the role that you’re hiring them for, with a membership, there’s usually a aspect of immunity. So there’s usually a group of some kind, typically a Facebook group, or sometimes it’s inside another membership platform or portal where they, where you have to log in and people would gather, but there’s some aspect of community right now.
What I would recommend is that you have some one to manage moderate, whatever you wanna call it, that community and their job should really be to nurture the members to make sure they have what they need to keep them engaged, to provide value, to make sure that they feel seen, feel heard. Uh, we call our community, manage the magician, the fair pod mother, because she is, uh, you know, we have these pods. So I say, what do you want us to call you? She’s like fairy pod, mother. I’m like, okay, great. And uh, you can call them whatever fun name you wanna call them, but really they’re, that’s their role. Now you may be a great, great connector and a great person that likes to engage with people and you may not be, I am not. And that is not one of my favorite things to do.
It’s not one of my strengths, but I recognize that it is it’s required in a membership. It’s not required in all things. Like if you do a course and you’re just delivering a product to someone, or if you’re doing a one-on-one session, like it doesn’t have that community aspect, but memberships really do. So if you’re not primarily that type of person or a social butterfly or, you know, you kind of are just more of an introvert and you like your space a lot. That’s definitely me. You need to, I’m gonna say need, you might choose <laugh>. It might be smart to consider hiring someone to be that role for your community. And it will contribute a lot. So look at having someone who is better at you than you at that particular role that you bring in. And that can also not just be community manager, but that could also, it could be lots of things.
Uh, you could have guest contributors, you can have guest trainers, speakers. Uh, you could have collaborators, you could have people come <affirmative> and I don’t know, take over the group for a month. You could have lots of different, uh, ways that other people could contribute to your group that makes it so that it’s not just you and it’s not just your content inside the group. There is another group that I’m a part of and you, it was sort of a one woman show and she was the one doing everything. And then I noticed she made a change and she started bringing in, gosh, there may be four or five other, uh, guests, not even guests, um, cuz they’re regular contributors. So she brought in someone who does, I think weekly or by weekly mindset coaching cuz she doesn’t do that. She brought in another person who looks at ad copy and uh, landing page copy.
So she is like a copywriter. So she brought in this person reviews copy for the members. She brought in another person to do ad strategy and look at people’s Facebook ads. She brought in another one to look at a launch strategy. And when you’re, you know, kind of looking at launching a new course, like what is the right strategy for you? So she brought in all these and she has a community, two community managers, I think. So it became this real collaboration. And I watched that and I was like, wow. And actually her job got a whole lot easier. She still does a few things here and there, but it doesn’t, uh, feel like it’s all about what she contributes. Now it’s this it’s a team effort. And I can say that she has done such an excellent job at higher these people that are great and probably better at her, better than her at, at their individual roles that it actually made the group even better while she’s working less working less.
So she has essentially, she hasn’t quite made herself useless, but she could very well if she wanted to because she’s hired so well. And so, uh, many experts that are great and they’re, and I feel really taken care of still, even though it’s not always by her. So that’s number two is to hire great people and contributors, even if you’re just starting out, look within your community and see if someone wants to do that for you in exchange for the membership or something else maybe that you offer, uh, could work in the meantime, like a, a trade or a swap. So to help get you sort of up and running for. And number three <laugh> this is funny because it comes up a lot and that is you have to be willing to be out of control. So we entrepreneurs are typically really good control freaks, and we like to make sure that we are, have our hands and all the pots and our eyes are done in and our Ts are crossed and that we are sort of in charge of every aspect and this isn’t gonna work forever.
And this isn’t gonna work for you to go to go as big and as great as you can go because there are things that are beyond your CAPA. There is time constraints, energy constraints, there’s things that you don’t know, there’s things that other people are better than you at. And if you actually are willing to be out of control with your membership, it can go beyond your wildest dreams. It can go beyond what you have currently imagined or planned and it can go beyond like what you are even willing to choose if you’re just willing to be out of control of it. So stop being so controlling is, is my point <laugh>. So here’s another story. Uh, and one of my friends last year, she lost her mom to cancer and I had helped her create a membership. And so during this process and her mom was getting sick and everything, we, you know, knew it was only amount of time.
Um, what, what occurred was she needed to continue, you know, showing up and providing value for her members. But of course, when you have a death in, in your family like that, and you don’t have the energy and, and you wanna have some space to grieve and all of that. So she said, you know, Lauren, it was such a gift to be able to ask some of my friends and colleagues to contribute and showed up for her in, uh, lots of different ways inside her group as, as guest speakers and contributors. And of course she let her community know what was going on. And they were very understanding. And, uh, what it did was it allowed her the space that she needed and it still filled in those weekly trainings, et cetera. And she has a great community of friends who, uh, and I was one of them who stepped in and like, of course, whatever you need, I will come and, and do whatever I can in your membership.
So she said, you know, this is one of the GA, like she was able to keep her membership running and yet have space for herself, uh, without sacrificing either either side. So she temporarily became useless in her membership and it was a really, it was a real blessing for her, with everything going on in her life, another one students. And she is funny because she loved her first membership so much. She was in my membership launch, uh, accelerator. And she launched her first coaching membership. So she was like, I love it so much. I started a second one <laugh> I was like, okay, what are you doing now? And she said, her second one is a yoga membership. And she with me that one of her favorite things of having these two memberships is that she literally batches her trainings, which means she does a bunch of them all at once.
And then she schedules ’em to go out and her members get them while she is actually unplugged camping, hiking, no internet, no phone out the wilderness. And she really loves nature and out enjoying her life. So those of you who think if I’m gonna create an online membership, now I am tied to the computer and I’m going to have to be in front of my screen, 24 7, Uhuh. It’s not true. This person actually was spending less time in front of her computer while running two successful memberships and going camping and not even be being reachable by cell phone or internet. And it’s, it’s not a unique situation. It’s definitely something you can create when you’re intentional about it. And so things can carry on without you and you can still provide value and it feels like you are still present and you are still tapped in and you’re still showing up for your members and all of that.
And you just have to do a little bit of pre-planning and a little bit of extra work at the beginning of the week or the month. And you, uh, can, can create your tint that way. So it’s a great feature of having a membership. And another way to become useless is to do a little bit of planning and put systems in place that automate your membership. And they don’t have to be complicated, you know? Yeah. I think that’s another hurdle that people they have to overcome is like, oh, it’s so complicated running a membership. It’s so technical. No, it isn’t. It’s really not. It’s, uh, it doesn’t have to be, but this person is out hiking and running her membership. So I love that. So having an online membership can actually provide you with the time freedom, location, freedom, financial freedom, and you can get to a point where you find yourself useless in your membership, where you’re going, Hey, does anyone even need me anymore?
Which is a really cool P place to be. And then you can just go create something else. And that’s really fun too. So where I was with my wellness center, where I thought it was gonna, what it was gonna provide me, that it never did my membership and many of my students memberships are providing them with that true freedom. And does it happen to overnight? No. It does not happen overnight. Does it happen eventually? Yes. If you put in the work, if you put in the action, if you take even one tiny action every day, you will get there. It’s just a matter of time and commitment to your tar targets and how much you want it. So once again, if you haven’t heard me say this isn’t about natural talent, good looks <laugh> or anything that you are just lucky. This is about taking action.
All of you right now are capable of taking action. You may have nothing else going for you, but do have choice and you are capable of taking an action. So if you choose to make this a target for yourself, I will make myself useless in my membership. Even if you don’t have one yet, you can make this set, this target for yourself. I’m gonna create a membership and then I’m gonna make my myself useless in that membership. I challenge you if you want to, uh, accept my challenge, to create yourself as a useless <laugh> member, as a useless creator of your membership as a useless founder and your membership and make it fun, make it a, uh, a thing that when you get there, you laugh and you remember this episode, oh my gosh, Lauren told me I’m gonna start to feel useless. And you’re gonna ask, how does it get any better than this? Cuz that is a time that you get to start receiving. You start to get to relax and you can go and out, create, create even more. So I hope this was an inspiration for you to take action today, to choose something greater, to come out of your comfort zone, to be a little less controlling and to step up in a different way. The thanks for listening. I’ll see you next time. Bye for now.