Marie Forleo’s B-School: My Non-Affiliate Review

If you’re like me, you’re on a lot of online biz, marketing, and entrepreneurial mailing lists. This time of year, your inbox may be full of e-mails from people you’ve signed up to follow who happen to be plugging Marie Forleo’s B-School. It’s an online business program that’s only offered each March so that means one big launch period where prospects like us are inundated with wanted – or unwanted – information about it.

CC0 image courtesy of Pixabay.com

The Story Behind B-School Affiliates

The thing about B-School affiliates: They are VERY well-paid; to my knowledge, they get half of each $2,000 sign-up! So you can see why they’re motivated to convince YOU to join B-School, not in general but specifically using their own affiliate links.

The good part of this whole sitch is this: Because B-School affiliates are so eager to sell the program, they offer VERY nice bonuses if you sign up through their link. For example, I posted here back in 2015 about all the affiliate offers I was considering – and who I chose.

YES! I took Marie Forleo’s B-School in 2015

One of the challenges I ran into when deciding to sign up – or not, because hey, it’s pretty pricey – was finding UNBIASED reviews of B-School, ones that weren’t shared by someone who was going to make $1k if they convinced me to sign up. Well, I don’t want you to be in the same boat so I’m going to give MY review of and experience with B-School. Want to cut to the chase? I wholeheartedly recommend B-School for most online entrepreneurs. And I’m not being paid a cent to say that ;)

So Let’s Take a Step Back

First, some background about B-School, in case it’s brand new to you or you don’t know much about it. I’ll do the classic “who, what, when, where, why” to fill you in.

WHO: According to her site, Marie Forleo is “(a)n entrepreneur, writer, philanthropist and an unshakable optimist dedicated to helping you become the person you most want to be.” She started her online business with nothing and now runs one of the most profitable online empires around. Marie has been recognized by people like Tony Robbins, Oprah Winfrey*, and Sir Richard Branson. In other words, she’s teaching what she knows because she’s accomplished it herself.

*Yes, I’m now a big Marie fan and this blog post includes my review of her appearance at Super Soul Sessions in Los Angeles last year.

Marie Forleo at Super Soul Sessions 2016

WHAT: B-School is an 8-week online learning program for big-hearted creatives who want to build a meaningful, profitable business online. Getting your business up and running requires clarity, vision and the ability to execute consistently on the right strategies. Without a roadmap or guidance, the process can be overwhelming. B-School can fast-track your growth and save you years of expensive trial and error. – from the B-School Program Tour page)

The B-School curriculum includes 6 modules, with 1 module released per week starting Monday, March 6th. Each module contains 4-6 individual video lessons plus corresponding Fun Sheets (growth assignments and handouts) to help you integrate and apply what you learn to your business. You’ll also get two full weeks of implementation at the mid and end point of the program, where no new content is released. These open weeks are designed to give you a chance to catch up on the training, reflect and take action. Once the initial 8 weeks are complete and all content has been released, you’ll have access to the entire library of training materials inside the member portal and can revisit and review as often as you like.

WHEN: Marie Forleo’s B-School runs from Monday, March 6, 2017 for 8 weeks (through Sunday, April 30, 2017). Enrollment begins February 22, 2017 at noon EST and closes March 2, 2017. They encourage you to join as soon as possible because there is some pre-work you can do to get clear on your business idea and get focused before B-School begins.

WHERE: Everything takes place online. Marie and co. are based in New York so times are EST-based but they really try to accommodate others, at least in the U.S., as much as possible. Students come from all over the world and, of course, it’s impossible to be perfectly-timed for everyone. Everything is fully available to anyone, no matter their location.

CC0 image courtesy of PIxabay.com

Saving the WHY for Last

WHY: This seems like the perfect place for my review and recommendation – why i took B-School, what my experience was, and why you should or should not take it.

How I Made the B-School Decision, etc.

I’ve already written about B-School a bit on my VA Creatively blog here and here, where I talked about things like:

  • how I heard about B-School
  • who recommended it to me
  • the high-price barrier and how I was able to afford it
  • how I finally made the decision to take the plunge
  • how I chose which affiliate to sign up with
  • my experience in the first 3 weeks of B-School

So feel free to head over to those posts if you’re curious about any of that. Just remember to come back here when you’re done …

Sorry, More Background

Before B-School, I was a long-time work-at-home transcriptionist who had been slowly adding virtual assistance services to my repertoire. Honestly, even though I’d been doing the work since 2007, I’d only discovered that being a VA was a “thing” in 2013 or so.

So I changed my official title – well, the thing I told people when they asked, “what is it you do from home exactly? It’s like medical billing or something, right?” Ha! Yeah, no. I had some very steady medical and psych transcription clients but I could read the writing on the wall. They weren’t going to be my clients forever.

With new federal medical laws, doctors were being required (against their will, in smaller and rural areas like mine) to transition to EMR (electronic medical records) or else face hefty fines. I wasn’t going to wait around for these clients to go EMR, drop me, and suddenly be without income. So I started taking every free class and webinar about online business and entrepreneurship that I could find. (Huge shout out to Creative Live! I feel like I got an AA degree in online business from them and it was free, other than the few classes I purchased).

Then 3 female online entrepreneurial friends (who didn’t know each other) all told me within a few weeks of each other about how B-School had been the game-changer for them and, long story short, I signed up. My impression from their reviews and all the information I could find online was that I probably already knew a lot of the information being taught. However, the way it was organized, presented by Marie, reinforced by her staff – not to mention the crazy networking that goes on in the B-School Facebook Group – would make it more than worth my time and money.

My Actual Review (Thank You for Your Patience)

Marie and the Materials

And that ended up being completely correct. I did already know about 60-70% of the information that B-School taught. But it wasn’t about JUST the curriculum. For one thing, I really like Marie Forleo, how she teaches, and what she stands for. I felt like she was talking directly to me with each .pdf, video, and call. She’s very straightforward, knowledgeable, self-deprecating, and funny. She tells great stories to illustrate her points in a way that makes sense to my creative yet somewhat techy, multi-passionate mind.

I’ve listened to other heavy-hitters and I don’t connect with them in the same way, so I know it’s something special. If you want a feel for what I’m talking about, watch some Marie.TV; make sure and stay for the end of each episode ;) You may not connect with her in the same way and, if that’s the case, I’d have second thoughts about taking B-School. While she’s not like a 1:1 coach in this environment, B-School is definitely full-tilt Marie Forleo. If you don’t groove with her voice and message, this isn’t for you. But I suspect that if you’re taking the time to read this extensive review, it’s because you do like Marie Forleo :)

Another highlight for me was that the way she presents the information in workbooks, videos, the online portal, etc. was SUPER well-organized and just plain pretty to look at! Hey, I’m a visual person. It really did make a difference in how I absorbed the information. Heck, it motivated me to read, listen, or watch in the first place because it’s an eye-pleasing presentation. It’s like Anthropologie: aspirational. I know my site doesn’t look like Marie’s but it can someday, lol. So if you like a plain-text, straightforward, “just the facts, ma’am” type of presentation, maybe all the pretty colors and design will be distracting for you?

Psst! Keep reading … I have a way for you to get an idea ahead of time about how things look inside the B-School learning area.

The Information

Like I said, a lot of the info I’d already heard or knew from starting to expand my virtual assistant business, build my VA website, starting my social accounts, etc. The difference was, instead of this information/reference materials being scattered all over the internet and in my computer files, it was all beautifully organized in the B-School portal, available to access 24/7 from any device, and available for download to access offline as well.

Also, the information came from someone who, by then, I trusted and admired, not some random blog post or person I didn’t know that much about. Marie presents the information in several formats and also has live calls where YOU can ask a question to her directly or just listen to those from other students – who have the same types of questions you do. I didn’t have to piecemeal information together; it’s all there, A to Z. If I got stuck or needed motivation or encouragement, I had (and still have) one place to go.

The Learning and Implementation

B-School is an 8-week course with 6 modules and 2 weeks to implement what you’re learning. There’s an oft-repeated saying, “There’s no behind in B-School” because they don’t want you to beat yourself up or get discouraged when life inevitably gets in the way of your studies and you can’t keep up with every lesson, every task, every week. It’s a LOT of information and a lot of hard work. If you’re starting from scratch, it can be overwhelming.

Also, sometimes you need to contemplate and decision-make or prep before you can move forward and that’s okay. The information is always there for you to access because you’ve downloaded it and you have access to the portal. B-School materials are updated for each new session and the portal does close down for (I want to say) about a month every Jan/Feb. But they notify students via email any time something will be inaccessible or deleted so you have plenty of time to download it before then.

Then when the next round starts in early March, every alumni has full access and can “take” B-School again. In fact, the alumni Facebook group is full of people excited about doing B-School again, mainly for these 3 reasons: 1. Something came up and then never completed it in the past, 2. They’ve changed or added businesses and want to apply the B-School tenets to a different business, or 3. Now that another year or two has gone by from their first B-School run-through, they want to put the same biz through it again and make improvements and refinements. I think the ability to take B-School over and over is one of its best (and most cost-effective) selling points.

The Biggie: Networking

The ability to network in B-School is UH-MAZE-ing. I can tell you this: I’ve made WAY MORE than $2,000 just from the networking in B-School alone. For one thing, in the B-School portal, you can create a listing by name, business, and contact info and you also  participate in discussions under each lesson. So your name is out there and available to other B-Schoolers if you want to be found, to network, to make friends in similar businesses, etc.

For another (and more importantly in my opinion), there are the now-massive B-School Facebook Groups where you can network like crazy. I don’t mean blatantly plug your business because we know that’s super-bad form and not allowed in most Facebook groups anyway. {And the group moderators on Team Forleo do not mess around. They delete inappropriate posts pronto}. I do mean that you can make authentic connections with like-minded folks who are in the same place with their businesses, facing the same challenges, and asking the same questions you are.

When you’re in B-School, you go into a Facebook group just for that year’s B-School class. (I’m sorry, I can remember how many were in my 2015 group but maybe 2-3K?). Then when the current B-School session is over, they close that group and you’re invited to join the huge alumni group (as of this writing, it has 18,000 members!).

With a group that large, it can be easy to feel lost in the crowd but it’s what you make it and that hasn’t been my experience. I’ve made a consistent effort to take part in the discussions and, over time, have bonded with specific people who I really feel connected to. We’ve gotten to know each other, our businesses, and work ethics; we love to support and recommend each other; and we often DM or call each other. I can’t recommend B-School enough for making this kind of connection possible.

The bottom line about the networking is B-Schoolers love to support other B-Schoolers. Just by being a student of Marie’s, you know you’re on the same wavelength with most everyone in this group. Because you each spent $2,000, you’re most likely pretty dang serious about your business. And you’ve watched each other grow and succeed – it’s exciting and fun! People post their successes and milestones in the group and we cheer each other on! People also post their hardships; not only do the B’s support each other but Marie’s team shows such kindness as well, even sending cards and gifts to these students 💗

Who Might NOT Want to Take B-School

I read in another non-affiliate review from a few years ago that unless you’re a coach or someone who serves coaches, you shouldn’t take B-School and also that product-sellers shouldn’t take B-School. I couldn’t disagree more with that advice. Maybe it has changed since that attendee went to B-School several years ago. There’s actually an entire bonus just for product-sellers, Marie answered many live questions from product-sellers, and I’ve seen sooo many product-sellers in the Facebook group achieving great success. The first who comes to mind is Brandon Wagner of Crumble Co.  He’s not only been a huge financial success but also a success at giving back, an integral part of what Marie preaches in B-School.

So let’s use the B-School technique of ICA: Ideal Client Avatar. I’d say the ICA for B-School is: Jennifer, a 30-something young married who has worked in private industry but always been at least somewhat of an entrepreneur at heart. She knows she has more to offer the world with her work, not just from a ‘producing something valuable sense’ but from sharing her wealth with others. She’s spiritual but not religious, has a supportive extended family, loves to travel, and has a pug named Marley. (Ha ha, any B-Schooler alumni reading this, how did I do?!?)

So, yeah, if you’re a guy in B-School you’re going to feel outnumbered although very welcome. But there’s not that masculine, hardcore, hurt and hustle mentality you might see in male-taught courses. B-School definitely attracts coaches, or brings out coaching biz ideas in people who’ve attained expert level in their fields and now want to share their vast knowledge. But B-School also has artists, photographers, writers, bloggers, visibility experts, social media managers, and much, much more.

I can’t think of any one business group or type that would feel excluded in B-School or wouldn’t benefit from it. It’s definitely geared toward online business over brick and mortar! But if you’re a brick and mortar, you’re crazy if you aren’t also trying to maximize your online presence, sales, and marketing. There are also MLM’ers, teachers, and athletes in B-School. If you have a question like, “Hey, Erika. Are there filmmakers/jewelry designers/naturopaths in B-School?”, just ask me and I’ll let you know.

It’s a pretty wide range which reminds me: There are also B-School subgroups on Facebook where like-minded students (Woo-Woo Crew, want to give TED Talks, Ontraport users, etc.) and those from similar professions (coders, coaches, veterinary, etc.) can “talk amongst themselves.” There are also groups by geography so you can arrange meet-ups in your own area! Pretty dang cool, I tell ya’. They’re all on a handy-dandy list in the Facebook Group files section; 6 pages of groups by similar interest/profession and 4 pages worth by location.

The other thing I read in a negative review was that there was a lack of networking beyond meeting up with local B-Schoolers. As you can see, I completely disagree with that as well. If you can’t network, make friends, and establish a referral network in a group of 18K people who took the same extensive business course you did, that’s not B-School’s fault, LOL. And then all the sub-groups too! Yikes. With approval, you can even start you’re own.

Want to Check Out a Kind of “Mini-Mini B-School”?

I mentioned earlier there was a way to get a little peek behind the B-School curtain. Welll … Hurry! I don’t know how long this offer is available but right now, in the top bar of MarieForleo.com, it says, “Limited Time Only – Get Instant Access to a FREE 3-Part Business Workshop”. Click on that to sign up and you’ll get access to some videos and .pdf workbooks that are very much on the wavelength of B-School. Enjoy and I hope that helps in your decision … along with my 100-page review here, lol. (So I’m a little verbose! Sheesh).

In Summary …

Without hesitation, I recommend Marie Forleo’s B-School for most online entrepreneurs who want to start, build on, or refine their business.

There are negative reviews out there, too, and you should read them before you sign up. I sure did. Honestly, even before I took B-School in 2015, the things that stood out about the negative reviews was that they were older (perhaps the program has improved over time, eh?) and their experience seemed more self-directed than anything.

I go back to something I heard when I was trying to make this big decision: B-School or no B-School? And that’s that B-School is like anything in life. If you approach it with a positive attitude, willing to learn, eager and open to what’s being offered to you, you’ll have a good experience. The opposite is true as well: Those who look for fault usually find it. So approach B-School positively and I can’t see any way you won’t get your time and money’s worth.

Did I go to B-School and become the most super-amazing, 6-figure virtual assistant?! Nope. But that was never my goal. For me, being a mom comes first and I just wanted to improve and refine the VA biz I already had going, work about 30 hours a week, and be at home for my family. B-School helped me in so many ways, the main one being networking with like-minded online business owners. I learned how to figure out my ideal customer, how to market to them, what services they most needed, and how to communicate with them.

Marie herself gave me the confidence to charge what I’m worth and to obtain the clients I deserve. Since B-School, I’ve rarely had to “hustle” for clients and am usually fully booked. When I’m not, I don’t panic because I also learned how to see the big picture and a little woo-woo to get me through, too ;) I learned how to ask for help from my B’s and that I’m not alone in my entrepreneurial ideas, dreams, and struggles.

If this all sounds good to you, definitely give some good thought to attending B-School. However, if the money is too much of a hardship or Marie doesn’t ring your bell, don’t feel badly about it. B-School isn’t for you, at least not right now. Keep looking for the program that DOES resonate most fully with you and is within your budget.

I wish you so much luck and love in your online business journey! If you have ANY questions about Marie Forleo’s B-School, online business, working with a virtual assistant, etc., don’t hesitate to ask. Helping is what I love to do.

Take care,

 

Super Soul Sessions 2: Oprah, Marie Forleo, Cheryl Strayed, and More … Amazing Day!

On Saturday, April 9, 2016, I was lucky enough to attend Oprah’s “Super Soul Sessions 2” at Royce Hall, UCLA. Here’s my diary of the event, to share with you and because I never want to forget it :) Please grab your favorite beverage and get comfortable – this is a long one!

Speak to Me

To start, here’s a list of the amazing speakers, with links to their websites:
Shaka Senghor, author of Writing My Wrongs, prisoner activist, speaker
Marie Forleo, entrepreneur, star of MarieTV, and owner of Marie Forleo’s B-School
Cheryl Strayed, author of “Wild”, made into a movie with Reese Witherspoon
Caroline Myss, author, speaker, and medical intuitive
Amandla Stenberg, Hunger Games actress, activist, “New Progressive”
Kris Carr, “Crazy, Sexy, Healthy”, author, wellness advocate, cancer thriver
India.Arie, Grammy-winning singer/songwriter/producer
Dr. Shefali Tsabary, clinical psychologist and author of The Conscious Parent
Eckhart Tolle, spiritual teacher, author of New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose
Kerry Washington, ABC’s Scandal lead actress, activist

Sign-Up, Arrival, and Photos (or lack thereof)

As I’ve talked about before, I attended Marie Forleo’s B-School and that’s how I heard about this event. Marie e-mailed subscribers when she found out she’d be part of the event, and then again when pre-sale tickets went live. I knew they’d go fast so I jumped on and got my ticket before I had time to talk myself out of it. If I recall correctly, tickets ranged from $175-250 for the all-day event.

I live 3 1/2 hours from Los Angeles so the day of the event – after not much sleep because I was excited – I got up at 4am, left the house at 5am, and arrived at 8:30 for the 9am event. Phew!  I went alone and didn’t know anyone there but you could tell it was a good vibe, with everyone smiling and anxious to see what the day would bring. Here’s a Facebook Live recording of Oprah’s welcome to us. It was wonderful and really set the tone for the day. {You can see more video from SSS2 on the OWN Facebook Page}.

I was very disappointed that we weren’t allowed to bring in cameras. In fact, in e-mail instructions before the event, we were told to downsize our purses; no totes/larger purses and no cameras. Cell phones were allowed but, even with the decent camera on my iPhone 6+, it was impossible to get good photos due to lighting and distance. My pics are down at the bottom and you can find lots more online; use #SuperSoulSessions on the social media of your choice.

I’m gonna’ share my observations, some quotes, what I learned, etc. from my favorite speakers.

Oprah – Introduction

You saw part of it in the link above but she basically welcomed us, did a meditation, and then introduced the first guest. In telling about Shaka Senghour, she told a funny story about having his book for quite a while before she actually read it. She said she finds it so hard to get rid of hard copy books and that she needs a book rehab program. LOL, can totally relate.

Shaka Senghour

Shaka grew up in a very rough situation and, while living the gang lifestyle, committed murder. He served 19 years in prison, much of it in solitary confinement. He had a lot of time to think and many experiences that changed him into the man he is today, which he talks about in his book, Writing My Wrongs: Life, Death, and Redemption in an American Prison {all book links in this post are Amazon affiliate links; if you make a purchase after clicking on one, I receive a small commission}.

After receiving letters of forgiveness from his victim’s family members, Shaka learned “what forgiveness looks like in action” and that “humans by nature are capable of redemption.” To forgive himself, he had to break down everything he thought was his identity and he began that through his writing. He discovered that he was a man on the outside but really just a broken little boy with years of hurt and abandonment.

He asked us, “When was the last time you were completely honest and raw with yourself?” We don’t do this often enough. He said that “transformation comes when we can see the broken child in every person, their true self,” and he gave us permission to see the child in ourselves. He talked about how there are no better innovators than prisoners – making things out of nothing – but that in prison, innovation = breaking the rules. He encouraged us to use our raw materials to create our life’s vision.

Marie Forleo

Marie was the reason I went to Super Soul Sessions 2 and one of my favorites to hear. She was very fun and funny, more dramatic than we usually see her in B-School and on Marie.tv.  She used two personal stories to weave in her famous idea that “everything is figureoutable.” The saying came from her mother, who sounds like a hoot, with her Tropicana orange radio playing all over the house, even on the roof while making some repairs by herself :)

Marie told a hilarious story about her and her honey Josh racing through the airport carrying a huge duffle bag past “soccer playing Smurfs” to make a flight to Spain. At the airline counter, the woman clicked and clacked her computer, frowned, looked Marie in the eye, and said, “You’re never going to make it.”

For some crazy reason, my eyes filled instantly with tears. I don’t know if that was supposed to be our reaction and I didn’t understand why it WAS my reaction, given the frenzied tone Marie was using to share the funny story. After digesting it, I think it just hit that chord in me (I know you have it too) of all the years and all the naysayers, the lack of support even from friends and family (usually because they don’t understand, not because they don’t love us), and that deep fierceness we have that brings tears. “Yes, I AM gonna’ make it. I don’t care what you think.”

Marie’s message was that we are unstoppable, what we say in our minds matters, and that we are “divinely blessed and infinitely capable.” Amen.

Cheryl Strayed

Cheryl was the other main reason I’d gone to the event. Of all her books, I’ve only read Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Coast Trail but I thought it was fascinating and I identified with several things she’s been through (single parent upbringing, loss of a parent as a young adult, etc). Oprah said she’s been giving copies  of Cheryl’s new book, Brave Enough, to a lot of people. This is her favorite quote from the book:

“You let time pass. That’s the cure. You survive the days. You float like a rabid ghost through the weeks. You cry and wallow and lament and scratch your way back up through the months. And then one day you find yourself alone on a bench in the sun and you close your eyes and lean your head back and you realize you’re okay.” Yep, sounds like a book I need to buy.

Cheryl had a surprising message but one that I really liked, about having big but maybe unattainable dreams vs being happy where you are. She said that at yoga class, her poses never look like the instructor’s, who told her, “The goal is not to attain the perfect pose. The goal is to attempt it.” Cheryl’s goal now with her writing is not to be a famous author but to “make beauty and sorrow in other people’s hearts.”

When she was young, she was “arrogantly ambitious.” Then when she was a senior in college, her mom died at age 45 and Cheryl suddenly had no one who believed in her. She had to “propel her own engine.” She talked of attaining an MFA which these days can = waitress, and of being pregnant for the first time determined to work on her book and being distracted by her inaugural cable TV. This brought all kinds of doubt whether she was capable of attaining her huge goal of being a New York Times bestselling author; it just seemed “too big to hold” and that she was “too much of a failure to follow through.”

After these and other experiences, she decided that you have to “reckon with who you actually turned out to be,” despite these great plans you had as a young woman. She decided, “If I’m going to fall short of greatness, I need to redefine greatness.” That allowed her the belief, “I just had to write a book. That’s all.” Cheryl joked, “If you’re perfect, we don’t want to know you” and that her idea for a bumper sticker is “Surrender to Your Own Mediocrity.” Just make good on your intentions and it’s okay to hold two opposing truths in one hand.

I don’t think this message resonates with everyone but it did with me. I didn’t say as a child, “When I grow up, I want to be a virtual assistant!” LOL I had other dreams and plans, ranging from criminal psychologist to a writer living in Italy. I graduated from college and worked my way up to an impressive career position. Awesome. Then I had kids and everything shifted. My goal changed from “being successful at work” to “being more present in my children’s lives.” Like Cheryl said, I redefined greatness. Now I’m an amazing mom, which is my goal every day and my proudest achievement. So, needless to say, I LOVED Cheryl Strayed at Super Soul Sessions :) “Surrender to your own mediocrity!”

India.Arie

I arrived as someone who’d just “heard of” India.Arie and left as a huge fan! She was open, nervous, truthful, talented, beautiful, and had the voice of an angel. India told her story through a “SongVersation” which combined her speaking with her music. She included our voices as well while she told the story of her hugely successful career, feelings of overwhelm and loneliness, a breakdown, isolation, learning, and finally rebirth. She spoke so poetically about these difficult themes in a way you could see into her while applying them to yourself as well. On my Facebook profile, I shared the video from SSS2 where she sang “I Am Light” but it might not be visible to you. So HERE’s a link to watch her sing the same song on YouTube (song starts at 2:10). I think it gives a great view into who she is and I know you’ll love India.Arie as much as I now do.

Kerry Washington

I didn’t take notes while listening to Kerry but she was another favorite. Oprah interviewed her, asking her signature “deep” questions to elicit heartfelt answers. Kerry talked about her new movie “Confirmation” where she plays Anita Hill, how Anita was quite underwhelmed by Kerry when they first met, etc. Kerry remembers the case from her childhood because it was the first time her parents sort of disagreed at the dinner table discussion, because they came at it from different perspectives, as did Anita and Clarence Thomas. Kerry talked about wanting to be an actress but not “famous” because she values her private life and family. She decided early on that she’d be more of a character actor, have union insurance, hopefully steady work, but stay in the background. Well, oops, that didn’t exactly work out :) She was lovely and I like her even more than I already did.

Wrap Up

Overall, what an amazing day! Oprah was WAY funnier than I thought. She made me laugh a lot, like when she commented on all “the tinklers” heading up the aisle between speakers to use the restroom. The event felt relaxed and spiritual. I met such interesting people at lunch time, where we compared our perceptions of what we’d heard so far, learned about each other’s passions, and more.

The meal was a box lunch but healthy and delicious (a choice of turkey or chicken sandwich, handmade chips, salad, protein bar, desert, and drinks). At lunchtime, it absolutely poured rain but that didn’t seem to dampen anyone’s spirits. We just dealt with looking like drowned rats :) Afterward, I saw on social media that Danielle Laporte and Christiane Northrup were in the audience but I didn’t see them :(

The only downer about the day was that it took 40 minutes to get out of the parking garage afterward – but that’s not Oprah’s fault :P I thoroughly enjoyed Super Soul Sessions 2 and highly recommend you go the next time they have one.

iPhone Photo Gallery

 

 

Marie Forleo B-School Update

I’m about halfway through Marie Forleo’s B-School and wanted to give an update.

It runs from March 9 through May 3, 2015 so we start Week 4 tomorrow. It’s kind of a catch-up week, thank goodness, because I’m behind . . . erm, not totally caught up. As you’ll hear again and again from your fellow students, “There’s no ‘behind’ in B-School!”

I started off strong, completing Module 1 and most of Module 2. But that’s where I’m stalled. I’ve been interacting a lot in the online group, trying to be an encouragement to others and providing helpful tips or ideas where I can. I’ve also offered my virtual assistant and basic website building services to students who’ve expressed a need. It’s such a great community and I honestly feel like it’s one of the best parts of B-School.

People post their progress and ideas, ask for feedback, talk ICAs and opt-ins and software, oh my! So you truly do learn in 2 ways: Not only from Marie and crew but also from your fellow students. It’s awesome to see what we’re learning being put into practice in real time and hear about the hits and misses along the way. It’s transparency at its finest and it’s all a learning experience.

This week will be the first Office Hours, where Marie takes live calls from students with their questions. I’m super stoked about that! I can’t make them all but will take part in as many as I can.

I’m also loving my Operation World Domination crew which I’m a part of because I signed up for B-School through April Bowles Olin and Mayi Carles. They’ve been sending out some great resources to help us along the way and held online video meet-ups where they share their B-School experiences and answer questions. They both have such contagious joy in all they do and that really helps keep me going.

Because this is tough. Like a lot of other students, I have a full-time job, a family to take care of, and loads of other obligations. I’ve missed some fun personal events and have spent many a late night at the computer (ahem, it’s Sunday at 11:46 pm as I write this). But I don’t think I or any other student is complaining. That’s what entrepreneurs do, right?

You work in pursuit of the dream and you go until you get there. You have friends pulling you along, cheering for you, and backing you up – if you’re lucky. If you go to B-School :)

Peace.

Social Media: How to Create Lists on Twitter

I’ve been using my @ErikaFriday account on Twitter for awhile now.  It’s fun finding new people and businesses to Follow!  I Follow those who have similar interests to me (like crafts, books, and travel) and those who align with my business (virtual assistants, authors, social media, online taste makers, fellow B Schoolers, etc.).

twitter follow me

One thing I’ve found already, even with only Following 227 accounts, is that I often have to hunt for Tweets I’m really interested in because some Tweeters are so (too?) prolific!  There are accounts I Follow that seemingly Tweet several times an hour throughout the day.  It’s a bit much.

On the other hand, I don’t want to Unfollow them because they do have information I’m interested in or need for work.  So I wondered if there was a way to not lose track of these accounts while removing their constant Tweets from my stream.  I found a solution:  TWITTER LISTS!

I created a List for each grouping; for instance “VA book promo” to keep track of the companies that are of value to my author clients (the VA stands for virtual assistant, which is MY business).

Here’s how to create a List:

1. Go to your own Profile page.

2. Click on Lists.

3. Click on Create a New List.

4. Enter the List Name, Description, and Public or Private.

5. Click Save List

Voila! You just created a List.  Easy peasy.

My next step was to add those prolific Tweeters to my lists:

1.  Go to your own Profile page.

2. Click on Following.

3. Next to the account you want on your list, click the gear icon.

4. Add or remove from list.

5. Tick the box next to the List you want them on (you can tick multiple boxes).

6. Click to “X” out of the form.

Voila again! You just added someone to your List.  Lemon squeezy.

Finally, if you want to remove anyone’s “noise” from your feed, just find them again in Following and click the Follow box to make it Unfollow.

I spent about an hour creating lists this morning and it feels so great, like a good housecleaning! {Be careful … it’s kind of addicting!} Now when I go to my Twitter feed, I’m only seeing the Tweets I’m really looking for and yet I’m still keeping track of business resources in the background for when I need them. Also, when I’m in the mood to read about travel or crafts or connect with some B Schoolers, I just click on that List I’ve created and have tons of posts at my fingertips.

I hope you find that helpful!