Let’s dive right into this.
Check out this email I got not too long ago:
I was super excited to have run across your story. After reading your home page, thought I had finally cut through all the people who had gotten richer by creating courses about how to start a business. In fact, you said on your site that you aren’t one of those people. So I have to call you out on this. You are indeed selling a course and I suspect it is bringing in quite a bit of extra cash for you. It may be a fabulous course and I wish I had the extra cash right now to take it, but I’m disappointed that you aren’t helping others break free without making money off those people who desperately want to break free.
I understand you need to bring in income, but when is enough enough so that you can actually help people break free without asking for money?
My hope in writing this is not to make you defensive. Instead, I ask you to think. If you do truly want to help people without being one of those people you say you aren’t, then great! Stop charging for your course.
Thanks for reading this,
Well, for starters, I thanked N- for her email. And no, I didn’t get defensive. Why would I? People that take offense usually have something they’re feeling guilty about. I don’t.
I have zero problems with anyone calling me out on anything. In fact, I really appreciate people being straight up with me.
That’s why I myself try to cut through all of the nonsense online. I even share a vlog where I invite you into my own life. I can’t do much more than that! It’s the best “proof” I think I can give.
In fact, I just met up with a new friend named Nathan together with his family. He was on vacation here in Mexico and we all got tacos together.
He told me that anyone can put up a website but that my vlog was what made me legit. He said when he first saw the vlog (& has followed it ever since), it’s what made me “real” in his mind – that I was really walking the walk.
BUT GOING BACK TO “N’s” EMAIL…
N asked me to think. So I did.
I’m saddened that N doesn’t have the “extra cash” to take the course but I have no intention of making it free or changing any of the wording on my site.
Here are a few reasons why:
FAMILY ROCKETSHIP SERIOUSLY IS A HOBBY FOR ME
I started this blog back in 2010 when I started my own online marketing agency. I thought it would be fun to track the progress that my family and I would make.
But this blog has always just kind of been in the background – something to do when I get around to it. I post rather infrequently (sorry!) and only when I’m fired up about something – as you can probably tell by my tone in most posts.
Just like any other hobby, I enjoy it but only do it when time and desire permits.
FAMILY ROCKETSHIP IS NOT MY PRIMARY INCOME
I still actually make 95% of my income from my main online marketing agency – the same one that I started back in the day when we began our adventure.
In other words, I still have my own business that puts food on the table. While I do have some courses & coaching for sale, any income from Family Rocketship is considered bonus money. It’s structured as a business, but if Family Rocketship were my only business, I would have gone bankrupt a loooong time ago!
THE MONEY FROM FAMILY ROCKETSHIP FIRST HAPPENED ON ACCIDENT!
From the beginning, I knew I never wanted Family Rocketship to be one of those click-baity sites where I drive a bunch of traffic and try and sell you on overpriced products and affiliate products.
My first book (& resulting course) came as a result of teaching a friend here in Cozumel how to “clone my business”. The info I provided worked for him – he literally quit his job a few weeks after starting his own business.
I thought if it could work for him, it could work for others. And it has!
Even the coaching came as a result of a Clone My Business student asking me to help him.
I appreciate your time as well as well as I love that your a real person! It’s hard to find that now a days. I love your blog, videos, Facebook closed group and most of all that you spent the time to do all these to not only help you and your family but me and everyone in the world who will benefit from it.
THE STUFF I SELL IS BASED ON MY OWN EXPERIENCE
The courses I do have available are based on my own experience and that of my friends/fellow lifestyle business owners.
I didn’t whip up a cheesy product and then market the snot out of it to the people of the internet. Nope. I created something based on my own experience with the sole desire of helping others have success.
I WILL NEVER SELL OUT
Look at this website. Seriously look.
You’ll see that I do NOT have a ton of affiliate links plastered all over my website. I do have a few, yes. But it’s only the best & necessary stuff for people in this space.
Also, I don’t always try and sell you the courses I have. I just kind of have them there. I mention them a few times in my autoresponder and that’s it. No hard sells.
If there’s something that interests you, cool. If not, no pressure.
The reason I signed up for your list is because I don’t feel that icky pressure that I get from most online marketers who have some kind of upsale on every page of their website or email they send. It’s a breath of fresh air to find someone who seems genuinely interested in helping others to grow.
MY COURSES ARE VERY AFFORDABLE
Between the two of them, I have well over 10+ hours of video content, video interviews, audio, articles, templates, and more. And they literally give you step-by-step instructions on how to get started – like a business in a box!
Oh, and they have 30-Day no questions asked money-back guarantees.
In other words, they’re not some dorky PDF’s that I pieced together from the internet, repackaged, and sold to my list.
If I were seriously one of those cheesy internet marketers showing off their Lamborghinis and Beverly Hills mansions, I would price my courses at some super duper price like $5000 or “only 7 payments of $750” or whatever.
That’s. Just. Not. Me.
I wouldn’t be able to sleep at night.
MOST OF MY CONTENT IS FREE
Besides the courses, everything else I have to offer the world is free. Even my books are free.
I mean, I have the Clone My Business book on Amazon for $.99 because it’s the lowest possible price I can charge there. If you really want it for free, email me and I’ll send you a digital copy.
I don’t sell much, but what I do sell I’m really proud of and put a lot of work into.
IT’S TRUE, I DO CHARGE FOR MY COURSES (GASP!)
Why do I charge then?
Well for starters, I’ve found that the people who pay for the courses versus getting them free make more progress. I’m not sure why but it seems that when people get their checkbook involved, they take it more seriously.
I’ve tested both free and paid and the results are the proof. The numbers don’t lie.
Also, the payment provides a small barrier to those who want to copy my course, repackage it, and sell it elsewhere – for more…
I came across Family Rocketship back in December 2016 when I stumbled across the Side Hustle Nation podcast hosted by Nick Loper. Of all the episodes I listened to on the show, I was instantly taken by your story of about how you started your online marketing business and changed your narrative from a horribly sucky one (much like my own) to one of travel and adventure for your entire family. And that’s the part that instantly grabbed me – The family part. I wanted to do the same for my family, so I promptly searched for your clone my business course and enrolled that same month.
I’m motivated to make this a success this year, but I fear the 9 – 5 rat race will drain me of my energy and will again.
I rejoined this list so that I could have a direct line with you, Sean. I find that even just seeing your name in my inbox immediately pushes me to do at least one productive tasks for my business before leaving this cubical.
I PUT A LOT OF WORK INTO MY COURSES
I wouldn’t ask a surgeon to remove an appendix for me for free. It’s perfectly fine to charge for something that has a lot of value.
In fact, as humans we usually only value something if there IS a charge.
I put a lot of time into creating content, updating the courses, and answering every email I get. I do NOT have an assistant that helps me with this. Everything from the website to the emails to the social media – it’s all me.
THE COURSES AREN’T FREE FOR ME
I pay hosting fees for my website, the email provider I use, and also the platform I host my courses on.
It adds up to more than $100 a month. It may not sound like much, sure. But it’s a cost that I have. If a course isn’t sold, I’m in the hole that month.
LET ME BE 100% FREAKING CLEAR
I know I will never be able to make everyone happy. I know that some people are going to think whatever they want and it’s not my job to please everyone.
That said, I want this much to be made 100% freaking clear:
I’m a husband. I’m a father. I’m a friend.
And I’m a real guy trying in my own small way to help others live a better life. If there’s something I share that can change your life for the better, then it’s worth it.
I’ve put my name on this thing. I’ve put my face on this thing. It’s my reputation. It’s my honor.
If the message isn’t for you, that’s ok. But I do take this seriously because I have been able to help a lot of people start their own businesses and their lifestyles are so much different now.
By the way, if you email me, I reserve the right to use it as content on my website. Especially if you’re challenging the values I hold dear and how I choose to help others. 🙂
And speaking of which, I’m going to end with another email that’s about the polar opposite of the one I started with. And this email pretty much sums up why I do what I do with Family Rocketship.
You embody the antithesis of the cringe worthy “Guru” type that makes their income from selling the dream only.
That’s how you seemed on your website and certainly how I have found you to be – Genuine.
There is zero wrong with making money teaching people how to make money, provided you actually know how to make money the way you teach. You do and it shows you’re the real deal.
I remember you replying to my early emails – before I ever paid you a cent – providing me guidance. For that I will be always grateful as I was able to get started with $0 and then buy your course once I was able to afford it.
I have a business, built using your advice, without us having ever met – to me that’s incredible. When I’m successful enough to take off to mexico, I will buy you a beer (or 10).