If you’ve been on the internetz for the last few weeks, you probably noticed a fair bit of buzz around Marie Forleo‘s B School, which is currently open for enrolment.

Having been part of several conversations about it and other programs I’ve done, I thought I’d share with you who my online business gurus are and how I learnt what I’ve learnt so far.

I’m a big fan of MarieTV and watch it religiously every week. I have loved Marie’s videos leading up to the launch of this year’s B school and, if I hadn’t already done similar courses, I would definitely be signing up. She speaks my language and I have received massive value from the free  content she delivers weekly through her videos. Marie is definitely one of my gurus.

When I first began contemplating the idea of an online business, I came across Dr Joanna Martin. She is an Aussie, currently living and working in the UK, who started in business through speaking gigs and selling training programs off the stage. Her training programs focus on designing a lifestyle business based on your personal goals and values. I highly recommend watching the series of free videos available on her website, they made me realise that learning about business does not have to be dry and boring and that my business life could be smoothly integrated with my personal life.

When Joanna ran a free webinar on developing an online business the feminine way, I immediately jumped on board and was completely convinced when she announced the Shift Lifestyle training program at the end. I was lucky enough to have the money available at the time, so signed up on the spot and hey, I even got the bonus Goddess card as my reward for being an early bird. Frankly, anyone who uses Goddess cards as part of her business training is going to get my vote.

The Shift Lifestyle program lasted for 9 months and included webinars, live Q & A calls, business blueprints and access to private Facebook group with Joanna. I learnt so much in those 9 months. Each webinar and live call was a highlight of my week and I loved being able to implement what I learnt immediately. I was also lucky enough to attend a live Shift Speaker Training day with Joanna which really helped me clarify my values and long term goals. I also learnt how to sell from the stage, but that was almost a by-product.

Of course, the value of any training program you participate in is in what you actually implement. There were aspects of this program which didn’t work for me, such as writing my morning pages and getting “in flow”. I continued to struggle with the “what” of my business, even as I got pretty clear on who I wanted to work with. I was swayed by other people’s ideas of what I should do and as a result had no passion for the business that I ended up launching.

Then I came across Christine Kane. Christine runs Up Level You and similarly to Joanna, teaches women (and men) how to start and uplevel their businesses. Again, I watched a couple of videos that Christine had made and a webinar which launched the Up Level Your Business program. The content was extremely practical and even though I couldn’t access the bonus live days with Christine as she is based in the US, I signed up. Again, there were webinars, action notes, Q & A calls and a private Facebook group.

What I really love about these programs is that you get life time access to all the material and to the support forums via Facebook, so even if you’re not ready to implement some parts straight away, you can go back to them when you are and revisit them when you have lost your way. I’ve been reviewing several of Christine’s modules in the last week or so and they are making much more sense to me this time around.

If I were to sum up what I’ve learnt in these two programs, it would be:

  • what is important to me, what kind of lifestyle and business I want,
  • who I want to work with – creative female entrepreneurs who want to change the world,
  • so much about marketing!
  • all about packaging my services – which is also about marketing,
  • how to talk to your potential clients in their language – also marketing.

Finally, I recently discovered Danielle LaPorte, author of the Desire Map. Her approach to goal setting blew me away, because it focused first and foremost on “how do you want to feel?”, rather on what do you want to achieve. I used the process she describes with a group of women business owners and they really appreciated the whole-of-life approach to goal setting. Using feelings as a basis for a year’s intentions, or goals, feels rich, soulful and exciting, rather than dull and boring, as most business planning tends to be. To get a taste of Danielle’s approach, watch this 20 minute interview she did for Marie Forleo.

If your budget doesn’t allow for any of the programs I mention above, then consider the following course being run by friends of mine from Visionary. The ‘Create An Online Business Course’ is fully accredited and delivered through ‘The Virtual Business Academy’. It is completely online and self paced and you will receive a Certificate One in Virtual Business Administration on successful completion. The course is delivered in 5 modules with an estimated time of 25 hours.

Create Your Online Business

The course covers:

  • You as a Virtual Professional
  • Planning and Preparation
  • Workspace & Environment
  • Communication
  • Income & Expenses
  • Online Business – websites; social media; other methods of promotions and most importantly how to ‘Create Your Online Business.’

To find out more, follow this link.

Now it’s your turn, if you have a business, who are your gurus and what programs have you found helpful in setting up and running your business?