Never Been Promoted Podcast

"Redefining Retirement": Stephen Courson's Approach to Lifestyle Design and Entrepreneurship

March 26, 2024 Thomas Helfrich Season 1 Episode 31
Never Been Promoted Podcast
"Redefining Retirement": Stephen Courson's Approach to Lifestyle Design and Entrepreneurship
Never Been Promoted
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Never Been Promoted Podcast with Thomas Helfrich

Meet Stephen Courson, a remarkable individual who retired at the tender age of 34 and embarked on a journey of lifestyle design and financial freedom. In this episode of Never Been Promoted, host Thomas Helfrich delves into Stephen's unique approach to life and business, uncovering the strategies that allowed him to retire early and subsequently unretire to pursue his passion. Stephen, the founder of Courson Solutions, shares his insights into the evolving concept of retirement, emphasizing the importance of strategic planning and lifestyle design to achieve personal and financial goals. His story is not just about retiring early; it's about living life on your own terms, making deliberate choices, and continually evolving to meet your aspirations.



About Stephen Courson:


Stephen Courson, a trailblazer in lifestyle design, retired at 34 after a successful career in sales and management consulting. His early retirement was not the end but a transition to a life focused on personal fulfillment and helping others achieve their financial and life goals. Through Courson Solutions, Stephen offers courses, coaching, and a community platform, guiding individuals in creating a sustainable and enjoyable life path. His approach to lifestyle design, coupled with his expertise in personal finance, empowers people to take control of their futures, redefine their concept of retirement, and design a life that aligns with their deepest values and aspirations.



In this episode, Thomas and Stephen discuss:

  • Redefining Retirement: Stephen’s journey from early retirement to lifestyle entrepreneurship.
  • The Power of Lifestyle Design: How strategic planning can lead to a fulfilling and financially independent life.
  • The Impact of Financial Freedom: Stephen’s insights into managing finances and making informed life choices.
  • The Role of Education and Community: The importance of sharing knowledge and building supportive networks in achieving personal goals.



Key Takeaways:

  • Rethinking Retirement: Retirement is not about ceasing to work forever; it’s about having the freedom to choose how to spend your time and resources. Stephen’s experience shows that early retirement can be a launchpad for new ventures and passions.
  • Lifestyle Design Principles: Stephen’s strategy of treating life like a business, with clear plans and goals, demonstrates the effectiveness of lifestyle design in achieving long-term success and satisfaction.




“Retirement isn't about never working again; it’s about having the freedom to work on what matters most to you.” — Stephen Courson



CONNECT WITH STEPHEN COURSON:

Website (Company): https://www.coursonsolutions.com/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/stephencourson/

CONNECT WITH THOMAS:


X (Twitter): https://twitter.com/thelfrich | https://twitter.com/nevbeenpromoted
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/hovienko | https://www.facebook.com/neverbeenpromoted
Website: https://www.neverbeenpromoted.com/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/neverbeenpromoted/
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/@neverbeenpromoted
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/thomashelfrich/
Email: t@instantlyrelevant.com

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Welcome back to another episode of Never Been Promoted. Hi, I'm Thomas Helfrich, your host, and it's your first time visiting us. This channel is all about entrepreneurs helping other entrepreneurs through their own journeys and stories. So lessons learned of their mistakes, their successes, their accidents that have led to either mistakes or successes as well. If you've come back and you're joining us again, thank you so much for visiting. And today's guest, it's Stephen Courson. He's the founder of Courson Solutions. Not course and solution, just his last name, Courson Solutions, but also he retired at like 15 years old. No, it's not true. 33, basically 15. And he's going to talk about his journey and some of the things that are trending. So let's meet our guest, Steven. Steven, how are you? Hey.

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Doing all right.

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Let's just start with the big one here.

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You retired at 34. Yes.

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I think I got the age right.

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Yeah.

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Did you mentally check out before that?

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Yeah, no, it's been fun because I put that in my LinkedIn tag. It's probably out of all the variations of the LinkedIn headline or whatever that I did been the biggest conversation starter. And when people go like, so do you never have to work again? I'm just like, well, no, I will have to work in about ten years if I decide to take my money all the way down to zero. But it's like, what is retirement? Exactly. If I can take a break for ten years now versus taking a break for ten years at 75, is that not the same thing? So it's just been a really good conversation starter. And as we mentioned before, I retired at 34, took two years off, started building something that I was passionate about, jumped industries, and now I'm doing that full time and no longer retired, I guess you could say. But it's been.

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Yeah, it's amazing, right? Maybe just set it up a little bit. So talk about your background a little bit. Give the audience an idea of who you are as an entrepreneur, as a person, and take us to where you said I had an exit. I'm good.

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Yeah, no, I graduated college and did the corporate nine to five job. Worked in sales for management consulting and tech companies for about 14 years. Did very well in sales, lots of sales trips and awards, different things like that. And then about, I'd say about seven years into that journey was just really feeling the entrepreneurial itch. Started a company here locally, co founded it with my cousin, actually, and we built that up into a six figure company within the first nine months. And then shortly after that, this fun little thing called COVID happened. And considering the fact that it was a local cleaning business, pressure know, clean the inside of companies, different things like that, that didn't help out the fact that nobody was going anywhere or into the office. So we made a couple of pivots, did a couple of things. It was really good lessons as far as having to make big business pivots as things go along. But the short version of that story is that we managed to keep it afloat, kept it profitable despite all of that. And then I exited in five years, was able to sell him the rest of it, and just really enjoyed the process. And what I do and what I've been doing for years is something called lifestyle design. This is a newer concept that's becoming more and more popular, and I very much practiced what I preach and basically I treat my life kind of like a business strategy. So I'm mapping things out in a three year roadmap usually, and then bring that back down to what do I need to achieve these twelve months, and then map it all the way back to what I'm doing this week. So that's really what I've been doing that enabled me to retire at 34, take two years off and really get into the personal finance and lifestyle design space. And that's what I'm doing now full time. I spent all last year building the products and as of last month, we have officially launched. So it's been exciting.

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Yeah, congratulations. So now are you doing as a coaching or as an app or what's the kind of deliverable?

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No, it's great. So there's three different deliverables. It's the three c's, it's the courses community, and then coaching. So if you're familiar with kind of a Dave Ramsey approach, I give a lot of that initial advice. It's like, hey, I'm in debt just trying to get everything together. So it's like we have resources for people like that. One of the big differences we have from the majority of others is that the courses are great, but the courses are kind of like this moment in time and you're making a plan. Whenever I was coaching with people, the number one thing that they always wanted was ongoing meetings, ongoing resources. So that's where we built this digital online community to where now you can come in, we do monthly keynotes, there's open fireside chats, you can post in there, a lot of different resources. So that's great to get the course for when you need to just create a plan for the moment in time, the community is to help you with the ongoing execution of that plan. And then when you really need to tackle a big challenge, that's when we have the coaching available.

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Now are you doing the coaching yourself or are you starting that way, then backing into an army of trained coaches? And I asked that from the entrepreneurship angle of people who are building coaching business, is it going to be about you or are you going to scale it? So that's the lead up to that. I hope it's the scale part.

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No, it's definitely the scale part that'll get there. I'm not there yet just because like I said, we just launched everything else today or, I'm sorry, last month. So the big part of it is I do have plans to and I'm building that all now to get this to where we can scale the coaching. And basically the key part is going to be I want my resources and my courses. I don't want it to be about me in the community and in the coaching. I refer to everyone as the hero because everyone is the hero of their own journey, right? I'm not the hero. I'm just trying to be a guide where I can. So because of that, the other thing that I'm doing that's really different is next month I'm going to be launching the affiliate program. So that's step one to scaling this is launching the affiliate to where people can make a percentage off of any product or coaching that I offer. And then the step after that will be to officially license people who want to become not 100% sure what I'm going to call it yet, but probably lifestyle strategists. So to officially become that and I'll walk them through the process and then it's just, hey, bring in your own coaching clients, the content is ready for you to go. And then we move from there.

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So let's take an advice piece. So as we're building never been promoted here, just from Fidelity Stake, it's February 2024. We're about three months into this podcast and YouTube channel. It's going well. I mean we're 3000 or so subscribers in two and a half months and it's great. I think it could be much better from we're still figuring out our content and we're just starting with interviewing people. But the idea is cut the tie, right? So this movement I want to make community of entrepreneurs helping entrepreneurs. If I think of the business model that I think I'll take for never been promoted, I don't have time to coach, and I'm not even sure I'd be the best entrepreneurial coach on many aspects. You would need what I'm actually thinking of just doing. And I'd love to hear your take on this because I think if I was going to hire you as a coach, this is the kind of question I would have. So I get free coaching since you came on and sponsored your show and that weird how that works. Here it is. So I'm thinking of just actually in this community of how you can get involved when you join. Kind of the cut the tie, never been promoted movement would be, I'm either coming in as I need help or I'm a mentor, I'm a coach and I can help. And you bring two people in and whatever the onboarding will be to describe their problem or what their skill set is from either being needing help or having. You can give help. And the idea is it's a paid community, but I connect them with people that say they do this. Here's three options, and then rate them. If you met with them, hey, they seem nice. No, and the point is to just create that community of people who can help. And I don't actually have to do anything except just create pretty much the marketplace of where to bring people to, from a business model, from a lifestyle thing. This would have to run in the background. I have a full time agency. I love doing the podcast. I'm all committed for that. That's kind of the tip of spear, so to speak, from content.

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Right.

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But what do you think about that model or what comes to mind as you.

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Yeah, I see what you're saying. The challenge that I've learned with communities, because that was probably what I spent the most of my time and honestly, budget as well, researching, because I've been a part of a lot of online communities. I've been a part of ones that do really well. I've been a part of ones that I quit after a little while, despite all the promises they made. And even some of those, the content was good, but it wasn't delivering for one reason or another. Right. And the way that I've set up my community is there were two reasons that I hope this is going to be successful just from lessons that I've learned that I think could apply to your situation. Number one, I don't do free communities because free communities, you get what you pay for. Right. So there's that. I was told by two different consultants that I needed to charge about $99 a month for this community, that was like value wise where it was at. So I put it at 29 because the reason I do believe that I'm delivering on $99 a month worth of value, but I also know how people are. And I wanted this to be more like a Planet fitness gym membership than I wanted it to be some exclusive cycle bar membership. That's like really high price.

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I think I look at your thing too. I thought actually when you said that, I was thinking 29 a month is great if you pay it annually.

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Otherwise it's 90 annual option. Get it even cheaper. That's right.

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But I even see it like, why not 99 a month if you're going to go monthly, but if you go early, it's 29.

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Yeah, I've thought about that too.

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You can join for a month or two and be done, and that's fine. And otherwise, hey, if you're committed to this jump in.

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Part of it is to avoid. I'll be stacking levels on this community depending on what you're looking for. And this goes into the second piece of what I was going to say is that I view it even though it's a community and people can come in and they can connect with themselves and do all those other things, I find that people find that valuable. They don't find it valuable enough to pay for it, right. Because you in a lot of ways have to tell people what the value is and it's kind of this weird thing. But I know you understand that from a marketing perspective, right? This is why sometimes giving away things, no matter how valuable they are, people don't know what it's worth until you say, normally I would charge $200 for this, right? And it's like, oh, okay. So that is something that people don't normally understand. But then when I bring in a keynote speaker and I say like, normally an hour of this person's time is $500 an hour, whatever the case is, they get a little bit of a better sense. Oh, wow. I got access to this person for $30. So I look at it almost more like a membership than a community. And it's like even if you never come in and post, even if you never come in and have conversations with people, this is still worth five x what you're paying based off of the monthly deliverables that you're getting.

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It's early stages. Do anybody signed up? Like what's your initial month? One.

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So I took a beta group and then I closed it off of 25 people. So I just wanted to get a couple of people in test out the platform and all that. So I'm opening it up as of really the beginning of March. But out of the 25, I wanted to see what retention was like. Different things like that stayed at, I think it was 92% retention. People were giving incredible feedback. So overall happy with where we are and then we'll see how things go from there. Yeah.

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So if I looked at it from like, if I think about group coaching or something else, where it's like, even if you just made yourself available once a month to field entrepreneurial related questions and say, hey, let's pose that and say, listen, that's a great question, let's break it out. And it becomes a community interacting, $30 a month. People might join in on that once a month to say hey, and they can get a replay of it or something else. And so I could see that definitely being a value add. And I think what I was describing a little bit too is not so much the community as much as if you provide services, you'd pay to be there to say that you're providing these services so you can get leads. So it just becomes a lead generation for people.

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That's exactly what it is. I mean, every single person who's a member in your community is ultimately a warm lead for you. So that would be one of the biggest benefits I would see for you and honestly for me, because when I do my coachings, it's not individual, it is a group thing, and then it's, hey, we're going to be going through this. Who wants to do it? Well, the first place, the first people I will give dibs to and I'll give them a special offer are the people who are members in the community.

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Yeah, exactly. And I think if someone comes to you and said, here's twelve k for the year, you'd probably take them as a private coach and just say, fine, I'm going to meet with you a couple of times a month.

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Absolutely.

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Like a higher number. It's not like a ton of money. It's only like $1,000 a month, but you'd be making $500.

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Well, that's a great thing if you want to do the one on one. I mean, I remember Alex Hermosi, I think, was talking about this. He actually called Grant Cardone as he was starting to build up the media stuff, and he called their salespeople and was like, hey, can I get like one on one with Grant? And they were like, no, we don't offer that. Well, then it got back to he's like, can I talk to a manager? And they're like, well, we'll figure something out. And I think he ended up doing $120,000 for, like, four sessions. And it's like, yeah, for the right price. Everybody's got an hourly rate if you want one on one. So you just have to figure out what that is for you.

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Absolutely. And I think that's the access level. So you said, like, you talked about that 29 that could get. You say, hey, I'm bringing a speaker in. The other option is, too, is that gets you access to speakers. But I still think a tiering model like this gets you, like, basically once a month and the community, whatever else. But the idea, it gets you access to these tickets. So for $100 a month, you get full access to, you bring on influencers, you do it at whatever in there. Or you could just do a pay per play. Like, listen, it's $39 to go to this exactly 1 hour to learn, and you can just upsell. And that also allows you to bring speakers in and pay them a fraction of whatever it is. Hey, listen, you get 30% of what you bring in here. And so we'll promote it. You promote it. So I think there's a cool business models there from a technology standpoint. Where are you doing the community hosting? Because there's a lot of options for that. And I know one that it's so overwhelming. I'm like, I pulled back on all of them. I have no idea.

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Yeah, right now, I'm primarily using kajabi. So I looked at Circle, I looked at mighty networks, a couple of the other different ones. The reality is, when it comes to the tech stack, they all do things. Everybody does something better than the other one, right? The reason I ended up settling on Kajabi really just came down to the fact that they provided for the price point, in my opinion, as a solopreneur. Right now, like I said, I'm just starting up. I don't have a va yet, haven't hired all these other people to do stuff. That's all coming down on the roadmap. But for now, I value simplicity as an entrepreneur. So the ability to be able to log onto one platform has my mailing list, has my website on there, all these other things. It's pretty invaluable. Now, a lot of people recently, if you've looked at Kajabi over a year ago, you'll be like, oh, my gosh, they're using their community. Their community was absolutely trash. They went and they acquired a company, I think called thrively, something like that. And they are now using that platform as the community. So if you looked at the community over a year ago, but prior to 2023, just know it is completely different. And yes, it was absolute trash back then, I wouldn't have used it then either. But they're making significant upgrades and I think they do a really great job laying out the courses and different things like that. So that's primarily where I am. I think eventually I'll move to like a convert kit or something on the mailing list when I want to get a little more advanced with it. But for right now, with what I'm doing, it works just fine.

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Yeah, and we looked at mining networks and played with it and just filming course content, by the way, seems overwhelming of what you're going to say. I struggle with that myself. I'm sure many entrepreneurs out there, maybe you did. I can do one on ones with people all day long when I have to go look at a camera and just talk about a subject, I really struggle with that, and I'm sure many people do. And I am completely comfortable on camera doing stuff. But man, I lose the train of thought when I'm just doing it myself. I feel like I'm in the box and I don't have all the questions and information coming in where I'm most.

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One of the big things that honestly helped me with that, because I set out, and I've done four courses at this .1 of them I didn't even mean to do, but it was kind of consumer driven. It's an interview prep course. And basically the thing that really helped me is, have you ever heard of the Feynman technique?

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I have not.

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Okay, so the Feynman technique basically walks you through these four steps. But essentially what it's about, you can google it, it's really simple, but it's about learning to teach it. So when you focus on I'm learning a topic, even if it's a topic that you know something back and forth, but your focus is not just to learn it, you're learning it because you know you're going to have to teach it to somebody else. It puts it in a totally different context and it also helps with memory retention and conciseness. And I'm from the south. We are not very concise with anything. It's a long wind that blows through the south. So that is normally my biggest thing is in all my courses, I'm building these things for busy people. Gone are the days when you used to go to do an eight week session on how to make a budget and do all these things. It's like, no, that course is 2 hours. You can knock this out on a Wednesday night if you want to. So for me, that's been the big thing is learning. Not just to learn something, but learning boiling it down to its most core components and then just spitting that out primarily.

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That's actually interesting. If you've been listening to podcast before, this is a little different style. And I think the reason I think is I'm learning from you and you're hearing some stuff that I'm doing and it's in line to what you coach. So I know that one of the things I've struggled with creating content for my company, instantly relevant, so we can do a digital course, was I didn't want to make it crappy. But what you're telling me is if I could just be the way I am with, hey, don't overthink this. I know you paid money to be here, but I can explain in five minutes what you need to go do. Just go do it and then show up and ask questions. And so the idea is something like that. And I think that actually will help me say, hey, listen, we're going to go with this. Five minutes. This is the thinking, now go act. Now go do it. Don't waste time and just try it and then ask questions. And that's the value add of being in community.

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You started doing YouTube, right? And I don't know if you're just posting the podcast on YouTube, but YouTube, I think is a great mentality for courses nowadays because I've taken courses and the videos 45 minutes long and it could be crammed full of amazing content. It doesn't matter. My brain, thanks to the TikTokification of the world and all these other things, it's like I struggle doing anything for 41 minutes just staring at a screen, right? I mean, it's just even when we watch tv, we normally have our phones, like right here. In between.

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Yeah, in between. When it seems a little boring or predictable part.

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I think if you think about every single module from my course is a YouTube video and you focus on, we're going to talk about this thing for three to seven minutes max. It makes it so much easier to consume for people and it makes them feel like, oh, I'm actually making progress as well.

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Yeah, you make a great point. And actually I think you've motivated me to just do the three to seven video but set it up. But this is to get you to act, because honestly, any of the courses you can watch for 45 minutes, take all the notes, but then it's almost too much.

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People, whatever you want them to act on. In every single one of my courses, there's three to six videos, and they all lead up to an activity. And then what I do is in the activity, they can use my template, they can do the role, and it doesn't matter, but it's like now we're going to walk through actually doing the work. And it's one of the things that people say they love the most about the courses because they're like, man, you didn't just tell me what to do, then we did it. And they love that. It's very actionable. So I think if you included some stuff like that, I think it'd go over really well.

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Yeah, absolutely. And I think that's where I've struggled with is how much do I put in for value? But here's a takeaway for anybody listening, even I'm struggling with this, right. And I think if you're listening to this, just start. And just my own advice, just go do it and then say, hey, guys, what else do you want to hear about? And feedback, and I'll go create, create some videos for it. And so I think part of what I'm hearing from you, and if you're out there as a coach or you're trying to build your course or just your content in general, is go put it out there, do a beta group and ask the question. So if you're going to do a group coaching with the digital course, it's interesting. I'm going to come back to why you started a community, because I would actually say I wouldn't start there. I would probably say do digital courses and coaching. And maybe I would agree with you on that opportunity in between to say, here's an event that I'm only inviting people that I work with to come listen to because I've paid this fee. So to read it and back into community, because you've introduced, I favor go high level. Let's say they don't have the community piece. I think they'll probably add it at some point, but it creates a whole dynamic that becomes very much so overwhelming and as simplified as you want to keep life, it does not simplify it, it creates work for you to stay in it.

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Absolutely.

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And do it. And the value effectively, though, and what your monetization might behave, you may not need the community platform, right, to do a $29 a month community. My point being is, hey, you join this because you get exclusive invites to networking events and live events if you're in Atlanta or wherever you may live, what do you think about that? Because I feel like I hear that. I'm like, oh, my gosh, that's so much work. I'm not signing up for that because for the main reasons of just doing it. And also, people quit. Amen. And it's like the pebbles are always falling out the bottom of the stack. Right? So what's your take on that for somebody who's just starting who didn't have a year to think through it?

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No, I absolutely agree with you. If I was planning out my digital business, and this is something I'm actually, I don't promote it, but I'm coaching people on the side on this. And so I'm just saying that so people know, like, I haven't just done this for me.

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In case you need help.

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In case you need help, shoot me an email. But no, seriously, it's like, one of the things that's, I think, really important is to, again, like we keep saying, it's about simplicity. The reason that I was ready to start the community right off the bat is because I had been doing this coaching for five years. So it was just something I had done on the side, and it became a passion for me because I just loved helping people. It wasn't just about getting people out of debt. It was about really designing the life that they want. Because, let's face it, everything's crazy expensive right now. And inflation continues to tear. Me and my wife were looking at our budget from an overall view last year, and I'm like, how in the world have we not changed our lifestyle at all? But we're spending 25% more, and it's just inflation. That's it. Food. Yeah, food is terrible right now. I mean, groceries just less and less.

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Bags than normal can't get out of, like, Aldi for less than $300 right now. You guys know about Aldi, but look.

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The easy solution to save money on food is just stop eating. There you go. Right?

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Everyone gets dinner. That's the plan for America. We're all too fat, so we're just going to raise prices.

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That's all you got to do. Yeah, maybe it'll be a nice health benefit in the long run, but if I know people and their habits, it won't. But basically, what it comes down to is the reason I did the community is, like I said, I had been doing this for five years, so I had my use case strongly built out. I knew the demand of what people were asking for. I knew the problems that they were having. So really all I needed was just to okay, I just have to build this in a way that I think people won't leave because that's the biggest problem with a paid community that will absolutely crush any kind of startup is if you are not retaining people. And I haven't found like a solid number yet, but I would assume if you don't have a retention rate of at least 70% on a month over month, I mean, you're just bleeding cash and your CAC customer acquisition cost is probably ridiculous at that point just to keep that thing growing. Because if it's not growing, it's dying. Right?

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So glitching my camera is just freaking out here for those who oh, there, it's back to normal.

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Oh, there it is.

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It's an AI camera, so it probably does have a mind of its own.

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See, it doesn't like me.

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For those listening, one of my video cameras when we shoot this just went nuts. So it's describing to start shaking it.

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Oh, just disagreeing with you again. When AI decides to take over, right, this will be the beginning. So that was really the big thing. So what I would say to the general public is this, the first thing you do is you start with whatever it is that the problem you are trying to address. Right. That's always what it is. A course is to help you build a plan to fix a problem. That's really the most basis of what it should be. If it's anything more than that, it's probably too complicated and it's not targeted enough. So that's where I would, great advice. Start with the course, then move to the coaching. And the reason I say start with the course, then move to the coaching. I say that with the caveat that you have already had some level of experience in an area, therefore you've already identified the problem. If you are trying to coach someone in something you just did for the first time, or whatever the case may be, then I would actually flip it. I would actually say, do coaching first, then do the course. Because through the coaching you will identify the most specific and common problems. Sorry, I don't know what that accent was. Then you can turn that into whatever it is. Again, courses are just to really get into the specific things. If you do the course first, though, if you've already got those problems, the reason that's great for the coaching is because then you can tell people, okay, go and watch this 30 minutes of content.

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Exactly.

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So we don't have to do it and then we can dive deeper into it in the group coaching session.

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You make a great point there.

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Doing it in that order.

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Yeah, you make a great point there. So you're going to need credits to stand on. So sometimes you're going to do those in parallel and you're going to redo stuff. So we're like a Princelyn relent. We're a done for you system that's pivoting to we want to start educating and be less done for you and more. Let me train an army of people out there to go do this. It aligns to some things we do have never been promoted that I think I can have more touch if I can bring more people in to be better at getting leads through LinkedIn or building a business that uses one of the social media pieces. It also expands what you can do from a time standpoint. But one thing I just thought there that is interesting, if you do a short content like, hey, seven minutes a day in nine days, over a nine day period, you basically can transform, fill in the blank. So if you say, listen, you have seven minute homework video to do today, and then we're going to go meet about it this week. So maybe over a nine week cohort, listen, seven minutes, come in with some questions, try some stuff, and get ready to interact. That's a consumable level. Like, oh, shit, I forgot. And now they can cram it in right before they get in. Still, if you do 30, you're asking people to fall behind and then they start dropping the value. And then you may have a great course, but they won't rate it, they won't encourage it because they spent a lot of money. They didn't find time. But I think you described the thing as, you have to set it up so they find time. And I think that's part of my marketing hat. I'm thinking I'm going to listen and try to do every one of these things in five minutes and say, I'm going to give you what you need to get it going so we can go meet, so you can talk about the problems and the challenges.

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You might bite sized pieces is the way to go. And again, it makes people. I actually wrote two fictional novels when I was in my early 20s. It's kind of just a hobby thing. And basically one thing that people told me that they always loved about the books is that it had like 50, 60 chapters, but it was only like 280 pages. So each chapter was only like three to five pages. And they were like, I just really felt like I was getting through the book a lot faster. Versus you read a Harry Potter. Harry Potter. Some of those later books, they have like twelve chapters, but then each chapter is something like, it's like the Dan Brown.

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It's like you have like a half page chapter.

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Exactly. So again, it's just adapting to where we are as a culture in a society from a psychological perspective to give a sense of progress. And I think if you format it that way, then people are going to warm up to it and likely get through it a lot better.

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Guys, I'm not just saying this. I actually really think I have more confidence to go just shoot shorter videos, promote it as such. And the benefit being jump on the group call and let me answer your questions from it. And I think that's the touch point of, hey, I got it. This was still confusing. And that also is going to give me the feedback of supplemental. If you need some more videos specific to a problem, like additional bonuses. Hey, listen, if you're having these problems in this phase, here's some things that often come up and you can just record the conversations of the live event, which might be a longer one. If you need additional answers, here's the things that are covered so you can use your content to create content without having to do it.

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Let's call something out too, real quick. I want to call something out. Let's call out the mentality of, oh, great, everybody's got a course now. Okay, great, everybody's just making courses. It's like, okay, maybe that's true, but why is everybody making courses? Okay? Is it a bad thing? I don't think so at all. A course is, forget courses. Forget the mode of what we're talking about. You and I know that anytime you are teaching something in a targeted area, it's pride of principle. Right? 80% of everything that you're going to talk about is going to impact the masses. We are going to have the same conversations over and over again. Every single time I talk to somebody about wealth, it always starts with cash flow. Do you understand your cash flow? Okay, well, if you don't, we can't go do anything else. It's a foundational principle. Right. Well, I can continue to have that conversation over and over and over again, or I can put that into a digital format, have the person consume that, and then when they come to talk to me, we can get into the 20%. That is not the common 80% and it's much more customizable to their situation. So there's much more value there. So when it comes to whatever it is that your industry is, if you're hesitant, because I do hear this, people are like, I don't know if I want to do another course. I feel like everybody's doing courses. You're doing it. Forget the course. People aren't stopping making apps on the iPhone because everybody has an app. They're doing it because it's a great way to solve problems that are extremely common and then provide more value in additional interactions.

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I think you also described something interesting just from a business model. If you preface your digital course like, hey, this is going to get you about 80% there. And if you're clever, you can kind of take it the rest way, you might not need help, and that's just the digital. But if you really want, kind of like it a bit more tailored to answer some of the hard questions that you couldn't cover, the next 10% is covered in that group, and that's why you upgrade. But the 80 20 rule being that in the 10% is what really kind of makes a difference. And then the last 10%, where private coaching might come in, that's where you really get an advantage. You either need to go fill those gaps yourself or grab. And I think if I would look about how I would stack and say, this is why you would do it, and set up the whole problem of the 80 20 rule that everyone is already familiar with. I think just this conversation, honestly, this has been really helpful for me to think about how do I sell it? And why would people want to go spend this much more for this or this much more for that, or just do the digital course and figure it out. And the truth is they can kind of do all three. You can go here and then you can go here, and if you feel like you still need more, then you can jump in. But then here's the thing I would say from the model is interesting. If you spend x on the 80%, the digital course give a benefit of two x towards the next 10%. And then if they spend that, maybe a two x towards the private, so that way they feel like they've already invested and it's getting discounted, if you will, from their commitment to you.

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And a lot of times that 20% just happens to be a deeper dive into the 80%.

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Oh, for sure. Yeah. And it's just with nuance and context, no question. Absolutely.

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Yeah. It's customized to whatever they are again. So there's five modes to make money. It doesn't matter if this is our.

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Closer here, we're getting your time. Before you go, five modes. We're going to give you five modes to make money from Steven Corson. But before it's shameless plug time, people, if you get to this point now, don't check your phone, don't get out, don't misclick. Listen. How to get hold of Steven? Okay.

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All right. We're going to leave it at this one because I think this is going to help entrepreneurs a lot. When I learned this framework, it's an acronym called wait.

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Before you tease it, I want them to know how to get a hold of you.

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Oh, okay. We're doing that. Okay, great.

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Yeah. Your shameless plug before they don't get this juice until. And you don't know, I may mess up the editing here. You may not get the five right after. If you don't listen, I'll know. All right. How do they get a hold of you first, Stephen?

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So if you want to get in touch with me, you can go to my website, course and solutions. It's like a courseonsolutions. There you go.

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C o u r s o n. Corson.

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So corsonsolutions.com. You can check me out there. You will see a whole bunch of stuff for the true wealth experience. And then you can contact me. My email is on there. It's just Steven@corsonsolutions.com. And then you can also check out the YouTube or the podcast. Just go there, type in my name, and you'll see it'll pop up.

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It's a new show, really good content. I've already checked it out for this year, and they're doing well. And it's early stages, so definitely check out the YouTube channel. You got some really nice content.

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Active platform, by the way, is LinkedIn. So if you have a LinkedIn profile, you want to shoot me a message on there, connect with me there. It's the one where I'm the most active. Yep.

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Stephen Courson. It's a very important. Yes, very important. Because there's only one right way to spell right.

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He's out there. The just poser. Sorry, guys.

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Let's close here. Give us the top five things to make money. What are the top five things you want to do? I'm going to give you just. You have three minutes.

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Won't even need that. So five modes to make money. Again, this is not my framework. I wish I could take credit for this genius. I got it from Rory Baden. I believe and basically the acronym is paid. So it stands for product advertising, information, deals and services. So when you think about those things, a course falls kind of into two of them. A course falls into product, but it does fall into the information, which is generally like a consulting. Okay. And then when you go into the coaching world, that tends to be on the services side. So deal making would be something like, I'm a realtor, I'm connecting two parties. Whatever the case may be, I think we all understand what ads are. So normally the two most common things that we tend to do tend to fall into product or services. Well, one product is much more scalable than services. So that is where the coaching plus course is such a powerful combo, because then you have the scalability of the course, but then you can deliver a faster and more personalized touch and charge more for the actual coaching side. So it gives you a paid services combo there. And then if you can find a way to get that AI or d, hey, it's just more ways to make money.

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I love guys, listen, Stephen Courson, check him out on LinkedIn. Steven, thank you so much for joining today. Honestly, I need to grab the notes from this and go do something with it. Because if you're one of those people out there that are trying to start a business and it's going to be around coaching or services or some kind of product with some type of ancillary services, which is a great way to start a business, it's one of the easiest ways to get a side hustle going, I think taking your course, joining your community for $29, check out some of the YouTube videos. If you didn't get value from this, then you've either solved it or just fundamentally disagree with it. But I think there's no way you didn't get value from this to either confirm what you know or be like, oh, I could do that. Bite sized chunks, get it out there, solve one problem was the takeaway and get really good at that too. I think it was kind of the underwritten thing is get really good at solving that one problem for a very specific market, and then you can think about extrapolate where you could probably take that next. So thanks for joining today, Stephen. I really appreciate it. No problem.

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Thanks so much for having me on. It's great having never been promoted before.

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Yeah, me too. I don't even have to ask the question I normally do. I already know there's no way you've been promoted. You're just too smart and good looking for that. And that's what happens?

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That's why thanks for coming out of retirement. Just make the jump straight from worker to CEO.

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That's a hard transition, people.

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I'm going to tell you, thanks for.

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Coming out of retirement once again from your busy day doing nothing. Anyway, I a little bit hates me or hates you, but a little bit hates me for hating you for you being so successful. So just know that's not all of. There's a bit of jealousy embedded in everything.

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It makes the world go round. I think we all need a little jealousy in our lives.

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Isn't that a counting crow song? Hey, jealousy.

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Oh, you know what? It might be.

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If not, I don't know, I'm dating myself. Gen X, eat it. All right. That's what we do here. Gen X. He's not quite Gen X, but I'm going to give him complimentary Gen X.

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Status for I fall into that weird zennial category to where I've got a couple of Gen X traits, but still very firmly on the millennial side. So I'll take.

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Yeah, here's the thing, though, I'll leave you with this, Gen X people. Your kids are going to be fine because we still tell them, just drink out of the garden hose. No, you can't have that. Of course you can have a beer at 14.

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I'm just kidding.

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I don't think child service is showing up. But the point being is if you're a Gen X or near there and you think in this way of like, you're raising a generation of kids that are going to be respected like the Xers, because they're going to be like.

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They'Re kind of harder.

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They're going to be a little bit tougher. Pure millennial Gen Z bridge people. You're screwed. Sorry. Your children have no chance. And you might as well just stop reproducing right now. Let's help the world. I've really taken this conversation some place else. All right, Steven, thank you so much. Stephen corsonsolutions.com. Check it out. For everybody who's made it this far in the podcast, you are amazing. And thank you for being here and listening to know the cut the tie movement that we're starting is entrepreneurs helping other entrepreneurs. I want you to just. If you don't cut a tie, that's fine, but go out there and help another entrepreneur. Unleash their entrepreneur. That's what we want to do. And that's why we talk to these amazing guests that we have on here about their journey. So thanks for listening. And until we meet again once you go out there and unleash your entrepreneur. Thanks for listening. Bye.





Introduction and Background of Stephen Courson
Journey from Corporate to Entrepreneurship
Launching New Venture
Building and Scaling the Business
Advice for Building a Digital Business
Community Building and Retention
Considerations for Content Creation
Balancing Digital Courses and Community Engagement
Utilizing Digital Platforms for Entrepreneurial Growth
Importance of Focused Problem-Solving in Entrepreneurship
Course Design and Audience Engagement
Entrepreneurial Strategies and Business Models
Wrap-up and Final Thoughts