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February 21, 2023

5 Lessons From My Earliest Mentor – FitBizU Episode 257

Listen to the Full Episode HERE!

[Transcription starts at 1:00]

What is up y’all. Welcome to another episode of FitBizU. I’m your host, Jill Coleman, and today we are going to be getting started and I wanna share with you guys some lessons today that I got from my very first business mentor. So some of you have heard me tell a story before. Uh, my first business mentor was Rachel Cosgrove.

She’s married to Alan Cosgrove. They are, uh, OGs within the fitness industry. And I remember it was late 2011 and at that point, Jill Fit had been in business for about a year and a half, and we had grown our one-on-one coaching offer to the point where we had myself and five other coaches and everyone was sort of maxed out with coaching.

Now, again, this is a really good problem to have. But I was at the point where I needed to scale, and maybe you have found yourself in a similar situation where you feel a little bit stuck and you don’t really know exactly what the next step is. In fact, whenever I do sales calls or I do chemistry calls with people, this is sort of like the number one thing they say is like, Hey, I’ve gotten myself to a point.

I just don’t know where to go from here. I feel like I’m stuck in the business. I’m not sure exactly how to grow this thing. I feel like I’m in a holding pattern, and that’s exactly where I found myself. And this is always the best time to seek out a coach because remember, the coach can see things that you potentially can’t.

They’ve obviously been somewhere that you haven’t been yet. They can open up their playbook and they can pull that back, and so, When I worked with Rachel, it was a $10,000 investment, and at the time I was, you know, Jill Fit was making six figures, but because I had five coaches, I was paying a lot of that out.

So technically, yes, we were at six figures, but to me, a $10,000 investment when, up until that point, I think maybe the biggest investment I made was like $500, maybe a thousand dollars. It was quite an investment, and I didn’t even have the money. I didn’t even have a credit card that went up to that.

And so I remember when I reached out to to her and she gave me that price point. I remember saying what most people do, which is, oh, I’ll get back to you. Right? I’ll get back to you. Knowing full well, like it just was gonna be a no-go. However, couple weeks went by and nothing was changing and I was feeling really frustrated.

It was towards the end of the year, 2011, and I didn’t wanna go into 2012 not knowing how to scale this thing and how to start really like taking this business seriously. We had gotten to a point at Jill Fit, luckily on our own sort of merit and being good trainers and having great content. But I wasn’t a business, like I didn’t know anything about business.

I wasn’t a business expert at that point. So when I reached out to Rachel, uh, and she told me about the investment, I went ahead and figured out a way to launch a brand new product to make the money to afford it. Now, the product itself was a year long mentorship. I’d never done anything like this before and I said, let me see if I can get 12 people to gimme a hundred bucks a month for 12 months.

Now this is a long-term commitment. It was a little bit harder of to sell, but at this point JillFit had grown a pretty significant and loyal readership to where I was able to get 14 people to say yes. And ironically, actually, I emailed my quote unquote list. I didn’t have a big list at the time. Maybe a thousand people.

And I attached a flyer. That’s how I sold this thing. I didn’t even have a sales page for it. I didn’t have a checkout for it. I said, Hey, take a look at the attached flyer and let me know if you’re interested. And I was lucky enough to get 14 people, and I made $17,000 and paid Rachel. I was ecstatic. So before I even started coaching with my mentor, she taught me resourcefulness, right?

She taught me resourcefulness. I talked to so many people in the dms who were like, Jill, I would love to do FBA. I’m saving up for FBA. Here’s the deal. You don’t have to save up for FBA. You can literally launch something to make that money right now, like FBA, our, our like lowest price point is $1,500 to me, and we have like a bunch of different findings and financing options.

So if you’re thinking about that, you don’t have to be like, let me go ahead and save for that if you want to. That’s fine. But get resourceful and go, how can I make $1,500 online in the next 30 days? What does that look like? How many one-on-one clients is that? Do I have to put together an ebook? Can I run a challenge?

Like how can I get resourceful? And that was the first thing that Rachel taught me without even knowing it.

Then we spent a year together. And while I learned a ton about business and numbers and things like that, uh, the mentorship I was in with Rachel and her husband Alan were, was a lot for like business gym owners.

And so because I didn’t own a gym, a lot of those things didn’t necessarily apply to me. So some of the biggest things that I did learn from Rachel had to do with mindset. They were massive mindset shifts. Both her and Alan are running a super successful business, multiple successful businesses. Uh, they were established within the industry.

They were writing in magazines. They had books out. And so I learned so much just from a mindset perspective and it elevated me from coach, content creator, blogger, to really a business owner, right? And a digital CEO. And so the first thing that she taught me was, and this is one of my greatest lessons to this day, which is, act like you don’t need the sale.

And this one for me was, uh, such a huge insight at the time and continues to be something that I draw on, especially if I start to feel in scarcity. So actually, this is a conversation I was having with Rachel right before I was getting ready to go on a webinar. And I was gonna sell a $5,000 offer on the webinar.

And I was terrified. I was so scared to sell. I had sold before in like a previous webinar, and I like ran through it. And I remember just going to Rachel like, wow, I’ve never sold something that’s expensive and I gotta tell you, I’m having like imposter syndrome, right? Like, am I good enough to charge this?

Of course, this is the highest ticket thing I had ever sold. And Rachel just said to me, Jill, go on the webinar and act like you don’t need the sale, and it was such a small thing, such like an offhanded comment, something I would tell my clients now, but it just was the thing that I needed in the moment.

And I remember thinking to myself like, yeah, Jill, you don’t have these clients already, right? Like they’re, you don’t have ’em already, so you might as well go out there, deliver tremendous value and then detach from the outcome. And for me, a lot of times when we feel in scarcity, it’s because we’re trying to control the outcome.

We’re trying to. So hard. We have to make money and like we’re coming into this space as the business owner operating in scarcity, anxiety, desperation, and it’s repellent, right? That desperate energy is repellent, that like, I need this to work. Those are the times when you probably don’t have your most successful launches because you’re trying to control everything.

And when it comes to business, You’re only half of the, you’re only one side of the street. The other side of the street is your customer, which is why we spend so much time talking about knowing your customer, knowing your ideal client avatar, knowing how they think, et cetera. Because it’s your job to get in their head, but all you can control is what you do on your side of the street.

And so Rachel’s saying, act like you don’t need the sale. I certainly had control over how I showed up on that webinar, how I showed up in abundance, and if you’ve ever worked with me, You know that like, that’s one of our core values at Jfi is abundance. There’s enough to go around. Talk about scarcity. If you have an in-person business, that’s when you should feel scarcity, right?

You’re, you’re sort of limited by the geographical region that you’re in, how many people are in that neighborhood? The people who walk through the door at the gym. Meanwhile online, are you kidding me? There’s more clients, there’s more money, there’s more success. There’s more than you could ever imagine to go around, and so if there’s anywhere we can be in abundance, it’s online.

So act like you don’t need the sale. It was tremendous business advice at the time, and it continues to be even life advice. The second thing that I learned from Rachel was take responsibility for every little thing in your life. Now, I know this sounds sort of, you know, remember you guys, this is back in 2012, there wasn’t a ton of, like, Instagram wasn’t around yet.

There weren’t a ton of people talking about positive psychology and you know, radical responsibility in some of these things. But I remember this struck me because I was on board with take responsibility for your own stuff, right? I could get on board with that. I had gone through some personal development stuff.

I had read some books and I was like, yeah, I get it. But Rachel took it one step further, she said take responsibility for your own actions, but also take responsibility for situations you find yourself in that weren’t of your doing. Now, this was so challenging. This was so challenging because oftentimes we do find ourself in situations that.

It’s not because of something we did, it’s something that maybe someone in our life did, or family member or friend relationship. You know, I went through, um, you know, you guys, I think you probably know this, but I went through like, you know, infidelity and divorce with my ex-husband and I was so resentful for such a long time because I was like, ah, like I didn’t do this.

Right. Yeah. It was like maybe somehow we came together at some time, but I remember feeling so like, just helpless, like, ugh, this thing was done to me. Until I remembered Rachel and I was like, you know what? I didn’t do this, but it affects me and it’s a part of the reason why I’m here in this space. So do I decide to take responsibility even if it quote unquote, wasn’t my fault.

It’s still my responsibility to, to figure something out, to take an action. I ended up leaving my marriage. I ended up moving across the country. I ended up doubling down on Jill Fit. Again, all of these things that like weren’t in my plans, but as a result of someone else’s actions and where we found ourselves in our relationship, it was like, well, I gotta figure something out.

I can’t be here and be the one everything is being done to. I didn’t feel good being… I think some people like to play up the victim role. For me, that was like the worst feeling in the world, so taking responsibility for your own actions, but also taking responsibility for a situation you find yourself in.

That wasn’t your fault, and this sucks because it feels really unfair. But at the end of the day, if you want to make progress, if you wanna learn, if you wanna succeed, you have to take radical responsibility for everything that happens in your life now, especially as you start bringing on team members, right?

Team members may do some things that you know you wouldn’t have done. They’ll miss things that maybe you wouldn’t have missed. But that’s part of the process is training them, allowing for there to be some wiggle room for them to learn to maybe make some mistakes. And for you to be that leader and be that manager who they feel comfortable sharing those experiences with.

And so asking yourself like, yes, I’m taking responsibility for the fact that I brought on a team member. I’m taking responsibility for the fact that maybe this person isn’t 100% trained up yet. And so I’m taking responsibility for the fact that they may still make a mistake. And obviously that’s not ideal, but when it does happen, which inevitably it will because it’s not you and even you make mistakes, right?

So then you take responsibility. And for me, at the end of the day, it’s my business. And so if a team member fucks up or something goes wrong, goes sideways, I have to ultimately take responsibility for that. So then I ask myself, cool, how can we prevent this in the future? What do we need to do?

What conversation do I need to have, et cetera. So taking radical responsibility for everything is a place of power. One of my favorite statements or mottos is ownership brings options. When I own the situation, right, not, I’m not saying I, I blame myself, but when I own the situation, I have an opportunity to do something else.

If I don’t own the situation, then all of a sudden I feel helpless and I can’t do anything. I can’t affect change. And so taking responsibility for everything that happens, whether it’s your quote unquote fault or someone else’s, to me, that is the ultimate in empower.

The, the next thing that Rachel taught me, and this is massive, she said, we teach people how to treat us.

Now Rachel is someone who, she also sort of taught me that people respect those with boundaries. And I was terrible at boundaries, especially the first couple years at Jill Fit. Cause we were doing one-on-one coaching. And I remember constantly blaming our clients like, don’t they know it’s Sunday night?

They’re texting us, they’re texting us all hours of the day. Right. And it was because we hadn’t put the boundaries in place. We hadn’t taught them what was acceptable. This became sort of my religion after that. I was like, yes, if I’m interacting with someone in a way that I don’t like, it is my responsibility to change that.

People will do whatever you let them do. And it’s not because they’re malicious, it’s not because they’re a bad person, but if you allow for them, you know, if you have coached them for free in your dms, they’re going to keep asking for free coaching in your dms and not purchase something from you. And so you have to look at how you’re showing up in those spaces, whether it’s with potential clients or or actual clients or family members or friends and and say, how am I allowing this?

How am I enabling this? And early days in Jill Fit, we definitely had some moments where our clients were texting us like dozens, if not hundreds of times a day. And I was like, God, I could either blame them for like not knowing, or I could take responsibility for this and like put some boundaries in place and have some conversations, have some uncomfortable conversations.

But I, I need to take responsibility for the fact that it is my job to teach them how to interact with us. And it’s not, again, because they’re bad or they’re wrong or we’re right or anything like that. It’s just like, if I don’t like a situation, how do you know? How do you know? If you don’t like a situation, how do you know if you are.

Liking the scenario that you’re in and it’s time to take responsibility. You’re probably gonna feel things like resentment, right? Irritation, annoyance. I know for me, if I haven’t taken enough downtime, if I haven’t taken enough recharge time, I start to feel those ways. And I don’t blame anyone else. I don’t blame my partner.

I don’t blame my friends, my family, my clients. I don’t blame them. I blame myself and I go, okay, Jill, like you need to take responsibility for this. Where are your energetic leaks? You’re showing up in this feeling resentful or annoyed or irritated. That’s your job. So if you don’t like how an interaction is going with someone in your life, it’s your job to change your actions or to have a difficult conversation and have the courage to do that.

You know, I think a lot of times we don’t put boundaries in place cuz we’re scared. People thinking we’re a bitch or that we’re like, you know, I don’t know that we think we’re too good or something like that. But at the end of the day, The boundary isn’t about punishing them. The boundary is about maintaining your own mental and emotional energy.

And really, at the end of the day, to grow your business, you’re gonna have a lot more output. Think about some of the challenges you have come up now in your business, whether it’s a beginning business, whether it’s a, an intermediate or advanced business. As your business grows and as you start scaling and as you start dealing with more and more customers, right?

We talked about bringing them more money. You’re gonna have to deal with more customers and different personalities. You gotta lock it down. You gotta figure this out now when your business is smaller, so that as you grow, you can continue having these boundaries in place.

The next thing Rachel taught me was how to cultivate high self-worth constantly, and in other words, This was mostly around like, how can I continue evolving as a leader?

How can I continue growing as a content creator, as a professional? And if I’m cultivating high self worth, that means am I investing in myself, in my personal growth? Am I investing in the business, right? Am I, uh, listening to podcasts? Am I reading books? Am I staying up on what’s going on in our space? Am I attending live events?

Anytime you feel in scarcity, or you start to feel like, I don’t know, maybe you start to feel a level of irrelevance or maybe you start to feel like you’re not on the pulse of like your clients, or maybe you’re not doing a good job and you having this imposter syndrome. Oftentimes it’s because you’re not on the pulse of what’s going on.

And so for me, that’s one of the biggest things about cultivating high self-worth is I’m reading, I’m listening. I’m going to live events. I’m seeking out experts. I’m learning from experts, right? I’m constantly evolving and getting better as a professional when I’m doing those things and cultivating high self-worth, you can bet I’m gonna show up in my conversations confident and confident.

And with mastering proficiency over the material, so I’m not gonna feel insecure because I know that I’m doing my due diligence constantly. This is why I’m such a huge fan of not only investment, but continuing education and continuing to learn and grow and show up at live events and be in the trenches of your industry.

You can do it so easily, but so many of us don’t because it costs money or it costs time, or it costs effort or it’s hard. But at the end of the day, the people who are, who have the most success are constantly staying up on and cultivating a level of high self-worth so they can show up in these, in these containers, confident and competent, and get their client’s results the last.

That, uh, I that I learned, and this wasn’t exactly from Rachel, but this was as a result of being in the Mastermind with Rachel. She was so good around teaching boundaries and, uh, teaching people how to treat you and having hard conversations, and really just showing up in the space as a digital CEO.

And what I learned from her was, sort of earning the right to say no. And this is sometimes a mistake that I see a lot of newer, newer entrepreneurs making, which is they’re already worried about being drained. They’re already worried about their energy. They’re already worried about, I’m not gonna be able to keep up with them.

They’re already worried about success. Now I wanna pull on something that the Movement Maestro says, which is so good. And it applies to so much. And she said, worry about being too rich once you’re rich. Worry about being too rich once you’re rich. Now what I mean by this is get to the point of overwhelm.

Get to the point of having taken on too much. Don’t be scared to say yes to everything to the point. You’re so in demand, right? You’re in such high demand that now you have the pick of the litter. Now you can afford to be discerning, earning the right to say no. So what I mean by this is sometimes this people will come into the space and they’re like, well, I don’t wanna take on my too much at once.

And I’m like, But people wanna work with you. Take ’em all on, say yes to everybody right now, and then you can learn, right? Yes, you’re gonna feel overwhelmed. Yes, it’s gonna be a lot, but the idea that you are, you are gonna somehow pace yourself. Appropriately when you’re starting out in your business, like you don’t get that luxury yet.

I, I remember in the first couple years I said yes to everything. Like speaking gig summits. Yes, I’ll be on your podcast. Yes, I’ll show up. Yes, I’ll do that for free. Yes. I’ll coach you over here. Yes. I got like I said, yes to everything free and paid. The reason why was because I didn’t know where the momentum was gonna be yet.

I didn’t know what was gonna be a yes for me or a no for me. I didn’t have that intel, I didn’t have that, uh, that data. So for me, using yeses and saying yes, and don’t worry about burning yourself out, like you can always pull back. But I think if you go too slow, cuz you’re constantly trying to check, check, check.

Am I good? Am I good? Am I good? I think you’re gonna just miss huge opportunities and you’re gonna miss out on the opportunity to be in high demand. The reason why we even sought out Rachel was in the first place is because we were overwhelmed. Like we literally got to the point of like complete overwhelm.

Remember going to my coaches and being like, Hey, we have some clients. Can you take them on? And they were like, I can’t take on anyone else. I now, I could continue growing my team. Obviously we had five coaches, plus myself, and I knew that I needed a different strategy, and so we were overwhelmed and in such high demand that it demanded a new solution, and Rachel helped me to learn how to scale.

That was the first thing. And so when I think about. You know, these are some of the biggest lessons that my mentor helped me with, and it was the right person with the right message at the right time. Now, I’m sharing these with you. Maybe one or two of these clicked for you. Maybe you’ve heard these a million times before, but for me, At the time, in 2012, these were massive lessons and no one was really talking about this, at least not in the circles I was in.

Not in the fitness circles, not in the nutrition circles. So I had to go to someone who had a level of business success and really treated this like a business, wasn’t just a glorified trainer, wasn’t just a glorified online coach, really had an established business to learn some of these big things. So when I say earn the right to say no, I.

Worry about being too rich once you’re rich, that you can always backpedal. You can always pull back. You can always call the herd, but you can’t if you’re starting out so slow and trying to constantly check, check, check. Am I good? Am I good? Am I good? Are I good? Like overwhelm yourself? To the point of such high demand that you can name your price, that’s the best place to be in.

And I think a lot of times we get so worried, and I work with some people who are like so worried about stuff like taxes, and we’re like, we’ll get some clients first. Then you can figure out taxes, right? Make money first. It gives you options to then pull back if you need to, right? To figure it out. To hire an accountant, to bring in a bookkeeper.

Don’t worry about it at the beginning. Worry about being too rich once you’re rich. All right. This episode’s getting a little bit long. Maybe I’ll do a part two, some of these big mindset lessons that were to me so pivotal at certain points in my journey. And I always want to reference Rachel and Alan whenever I can because they were amazing for me at the time that I needed them.

And, uh, wanted to pass on some of these lessons to you. I hope they are useful. And remember, you guys, we are gonna be launching FBA very soon if you’re on the wait list. Amazing. If you are not on the wait list for FBA, which stands for Fitness Business Accelerator, you can do that by going to, so it’s That’s the early interest list. Everyone who’s on that list will get an early discount, as well as early details and exclusive bonuses coming very, very soon for our next round. All right, that’s it for me. I hope you have a great rest of your week, and I will see you in the next episode.


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