Kathi Lipp and Cheri Gregory are here with another episode of this amazing series helping us to move from free to fee! In the first episode, we learned about how to start using free products and services to start earning money. The second episode helped us move from free to fee. Now Kathi and Cheri are taking us another step forward with fee plus me! Jump in the conversation as they navigate us through this journey from information to intention, and now attention. There is only one of you my friend and attention is finite. Let’s learn together about the journey of these three concepts and:
- Giving from the overflow
- Finding your sweet spot
- Examples of fee plus me
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Meet Your Hosts
Author, Speaker, Communicator Academy Creator and CEO
Cheri is the co-author of four books, co-host of the Grit ‘n’ Grace podcast, co-leader of the Sensitive and Strong Community Café, and founder of Write Beside You communicator coaching.
Cheri and her college sweetheart, Daniel, have been married for 32 years and live in California near their two adult children.
Free-to-Fee Part 3
Free-to-Fee Part 3
Kathi: Well hey friends! Welcome to Writing at the Red House podcast where we gather at the table to break bread and tell tales with some of our favorite writers and speakers who love to share the story of God’s extravagant love. And back with me today for part three of our series, from Free to Fee – and now we’re doing From Free to Fee to Fee Plus Me, and we’re gonna explain what that means. It’s Cheri Gregory. Cheri, welcome back to the podcast.
Cheri: Hey, Kathy, thanks so much for having me again.
Kathi: Okay, explain fee plus me. What does that mean? Because we’ve talked about – there’s value in giving things for free. You have to charge a fee. So what’s fee plus me?
Cheri: Okay, so free was about information. Fee is about helping them take their intention and move forward with it in some way.
Kathi: So that’s like courses, Facebook groups, things like that.
Cheri: But fee plus me is about attention. And you’re the one who taught me that information is free. But attention deserves to have a premium price because you and I, and our listeners, only have 24 hours a day, some of which needs to be spent sleeping and doing life. So we really do have a very limited amount of time.
I took a survey one of these quizzes online a year or two ago about what kind of entrepreneur I was. And I came up as an altruist, which basically is somebody who loves giving everything away when it makes sense, I’m an enneagram 2. But what I realized the day I took that was I was out of money that day, and I had been for quite some time. So since I couldn’t give away money, I was giving away my time. And I was burnt out. Crispy. And I had no more money and I had no more time left. And I was talking to a friend of mine and she’s like, “We need to move you from being an altruist to a philanthropist.”
Kathi: Because I think of a philanthropist – philanthropist. Whoo. That’s a word. I don’t know that I’ve ever actually said that word out loud before. Somebody who has money and gives it away.
Cheri: Yes. And I was like, ah, instead of being someone who has nothing but tries to give it away, I need to be somebody who gives from the overflow.
Kathi: Okay. And we hadn’t planned on talking about this, but you and I have read a book over the past year that has changed a lot for us. You want to talk about that for a moment?
Cheri: You know, I don’t remember much about it. All I know is that instead of trying to manage my business around, “Okay, I’m going to pay all of these things, and anything that’s leftover is the money that I get for my family;” and then add it on top of that old way of thinking my urge to give everything away. And you know, I’ll admit, my ministry for the longest time I just needed it to break even or actually be technically a hobby as far as the IRS was concerned that our family didn’t pay more taxes, but then came a year where I did a lot of speaking and I signed several book contracts and my business accidentally made money.
Kathi: Oh, darn it.
Cheri: And I wasn’t prepared to pay the taxes on it, so that was bad. Plus I enjoyed – I still do enjoy paying my contractors. I mean, there are people in my life that I love paying. I want to pay them to be my coach. I want to pay them to do the graphics work for me and stuff. But I didn’t do that with any kind of a plan. Yeah. And so what profit first did was it said all the money coming in? The first 50% is your profit. You keep it, you pay it to your family as a paycheck. 30% expenses. And I will tell you I was doing way more than that for a very long time. I was –
Cheri: I was worse than inverted. 15% for taxes. 5% is a very special separate profit account that gets shared with my family. And I thought I could never do it. And it took me a year to kind of turn things around.
Kathi: It is it is a process to turn things around.
Cheri: But – I mean, tracking it helped a great deal because as I tracked it, it helped me make better decisions like no, I’m not going to do all those impulse expenses. That felt fun, but didn’t actually make make my business any better.
Kathi: Can I tell you what has been the biggest surprise this year? That when the tax bill comes we have money to pay it.
Cheri: Isn’t that the best thing ever?
Kathi: I don’t have to like go sell something. It’s a beautiful thing.
Cheri: You can sleep at night. We’re halfway through 2020 as of as of today, and I know that I have enough money in my tax account so that when the time comes to pay the taxes, I actually have more than enough in there. It’s a whole new Cheri Gregory.
Kathi: It’s made it so I don’t feel persecuted. I didn’t feel persecuted by other people. I felt persecuted by myself.
Cheri: Yeah, well, and I take my business more seriously now.
Kathi: Yeah. So I’ll put up a link for profit first.
Cheri: And it’s simple enough that you and I both can do it. I mean that very kindly towards both of us, but both of us have tried complicated systems…
Kathi: Yeah. And it doesn’t work.
Cheri: This one takes me 10 minutes a month. I understand it. I don’t try to finesse it at all. It’s straight across the board percentages.
Kathi: Yeah, my money comes into one account and gets divvied up into the other accounts. And I don’t even see parts of it.
Cheri: And I am so proud of myself.
Kathi: I am so proud of myself too. I’m more proud of Roger. But yeah, there’s pride all the way around.
So that was a little tangent but I thought it was really important because if we are so we go from free which is information to fee which is helping people with their intention and getting things done, to fee plus me, which is attention, which is finite. Information can be given to a million people. Intention can be given to a million people. But attention has to have a premium price so that you can function.
So let’s talk about some of these fee plus me ways of making money. So the first one you listed is high level memberships. So yes, and for me that’s clutter free for life, which – but I will I would say even more – yeah, so, like there are memberships where you’re paying dearly to be a part of something. So I would say, mine kind of straddles the fee plus the fee plus me because most of it, I’m not involved in. But there’s specific times and it’s not one on one coaching. Yeah, it is group coaching to a small group of people. And I have discovered especially in the past year, with Writing at the Red House, where we have six guests here. With other things I’m doing, I’m much better at small groups than I am one on one or with a large crowd. So that’s my sweet spot and that’s a valuable thing to know.
So okay, Sensitive & Strong Community Cafe. Is that a fee or a fee plus me?
Cheri: That’s fee plus me. Okay, so under fee I’ve got the brand new Facebook group that will be under $10. I won’t be very present. But with the Sensitive & Strong Community Cafe, I’ve built that on a mighty network, which is a very visually clean platform. A lot of my members don’t need to be on Facebook. It’s overwhelming to them. Especially inthis year of all years. And I am much more present there. And I also keep the membership small. 50 is my cap. Sensitive persons don’t need hundreds and hundreds of people like they can’t handle hundreds and hundreds of people. So that in order for that one to actually – to be paid to show up, I need to have a higher price point. And the women who join that want closer relationships, they want to get to know each other. And then they also want to have access to me, and I want to be present for them.
Kathi: Interesting. I love that. Okay.
Let’s talk about webinars. So how how is it webinar fee plus me?
Cheri: Well, it’s live. And we’re not talking prerecorded here. Now to me a prerecorded would be a tutorial would be a tutorial because it no longer involves you in real time. So maybe they’re – I don’t know if there’s a different name than webinar, I think that’s a webinar. And you know I think webinars have gotten a bad name because so many gurus use them manipulatively. But I’m talking about where you say, “Hey, you show up on Zoom on this day and time, I’m there.” And you can give some good information live and then you can do a Q&A and a really good webinar will have an opportunity to give questions or problems ahead of time, right. So the person purchasing – part of the value they’re receiving is they’re contributing to the content, it’s co-creation of content is what we call it, right?
Kathi: It’s not just I’m going to present something and you can take it or leave it.
Cheri: Yeah. That’s a lecture.
Kathi: So a webinar –
Cheri: It’s interactive.
Kathi: Yeah, there are a lot of different ways you can do that. You know, you can If I do that on Facebook or something like that, but I happen to love Zoom. Zoom is a big thing for me. The other thing is for Facebook, I use stream yard and love that platform as well.
Cheri: Now some people are worried about this because they don’t they don’t work well under pressure. They’re afraid they don’t work well under pressure. You excel. Like you love being on the hot seat. You love having people just throw stuff at you. And for those who are more worried about this, who are like, oh, I’d just rather get the questions ahead of time and then pre recorded video. People pay to get this done live right, you know more you than you think, you’re better than you know. You don’t have to wait to do this.
Kathi: No, I would say practice with a small group of people who love you, and then move on and, and also don’t forget in a webinar, you’re still in control. You can tell people “Nope, I’m not gonna answer that.” or “I’ll take that offline.” or whatever. Yeah, you don’t have to do it. Everything people ask consulting.
So let’s talk about consulting as fee plus me, what does that look like?
Cheri: Okay, consulting is generally very project based It is generally quite specific to solve a particular problem. And so it’s somebody with expertise who comes in and either tells you how to do something and maybe even does it for you if that’s the agreement that you’ve made, and then it’s finished. And so there’s consulting, and then there’s coaching. Coaching tends to be much more of a long term relationship, where it’s going to involve questions that helps you come to conclusions.
Kathi: So consulting is solving a short term problem; coaching is long term growth. So consultants give advice, expertise, that kind of thing. And consultants will tell you what to do, how to do it, and as needed, do it with you or for you. Because I do have some consultants where I’m like, just go do the project. Like, I never need to learn how to do that thing in Canva. Nope, nope, nope, never in a million years. So coaching one on one as a group is is a little bit different. And like I do, I have a Mastermind, which is coaching. Well, and we can talk about that in a second. But coaching is one on one or in a group. And coaches will ask questions that help you make key choices. So they’re not doing the work for you. And it’s interesting, you do a lot of coaching where people want consulting.
Kathi: So explain that.
Cheri: Yeah, well, I do have people who want me to tell them what to do. And it’s like, okay, well, then we need to change our contract. Because I, you know, I certainly have plenty of opinions about you know, how they should do their book contract or whatever it might be, but I do two kinds of coaching. I do writing coaching and I do HSP coaching, but especially for the HSP coaching, I’m not going to tell them what to do because I don’t know. That’s gonna be them and the Holy Spirit. But I can ask them questions, right, and I can reflect back to them what I’ve heard them say, and sometimes even just that, and especially if I say what I really noticed was or your voice changed when you did this, or you sounded especially excited here. Can you tell me more about that? You know, they’ll come to the conclusions they need. And, and especially in coaching, it’s important that they come to those conclusions, because what if I say, I think you should do this and it’s wrong.
Kathi: Well, it’s so interesting because I used to do a lot of one on one coaching. And what I’ve come to understand is I love the Mastermind model, because people learn so much from each other. And so it’s not that I’m trying to get out of things, but the group has more knowledge than any individual could. And so lots of times like when we do our mastermind, we have a business-building Mastermind that I run, and it has a cap of six people in it. And so when people share, this is what I’m going through. I let the group answer, you know, and give input. And then sometimes I might have a key thing that I have because of experience that maybe other people might not have. But oh my goodness, it is it is so great to see people, like, the light bulbs turn on, and them to become a community and to love on each other and cheer each other on. And it’s more than one person could do for six people, but six people doing that for each other is a beautiful thing.
Cheri: And you deserve to be paid for being the facilitator of that, because you’re the one who curated everybody in that group.
Kathi: I was gonna say, besides my long term knowledge, the best thing I’ve done is being able to select the right people for the right mix of a group.
Cheri: Absolutely. Well, and you and I are both in masterminds and yeah, we know – at least I know from my experience – when other people are in the hot seat, I’m listening to them getting feedback, I’m learning probably more than when I’m in the hot seat, because the pressure is off of me and I’m listening and it’s not even my business. I don’t do what they do. But then my brain is going, “Oh, I could try that. Oh, I could, I could modify that to meet my needs.” And so it’s multiplied, is my point, the value is multiplied.
Kathi: I love it.
And then I want to talk for just a minute about – we’ve talked about Masterminds; retreats. Talk about retreats as a group coaching. Well, it’s what we do here at the red house.
Cheri: It is the best thing. It really is the best of all worlds because those who come have made such an investment in themselves. To take the time away. I mean, at the Red House, it’s a full five days. And so there ends up being this wonderful rhythm of having time to actually do their writing, time to interact with each other and have some fun, time to learn, time to process it. It really is the best of all worlds.
Kathi: Yeah, it’s my favorite thing to do.
The last thing is – I want to talk about this for just a second. We will go into this more in our course, because it’s a little more complicated. But it’s the concept of taking something that you’re doing for free, and then offering advertisement or sponsorship in the midst of that show. So an example is our podcast. So you have done, we’ve both done this, where we find a guest that we feel like will serve our audience, but we can also serve them by highlighting their book. So talk a little bit about what you’ve done there.
Cheri: Well, the Grit’N’Grace podcast almost shut down because we couldn’t afford to do it anymore. And it was Profit First that helped me realize that I was spending a large percentage of my monthly income keeping Grit’N’Grace going, and that was money that really needed to go to my family. I was not being a good steward, right. So we actually plan to shut down. And then Amy and I both began to grieve. And we thought maybe there’s another way we could keep going. And so we really stepped out in a very shaky faith. We did not know if publishers, publicists, authors, would have money to be able to pay for sponsored ships for the interviews. And it turns out long story short, not only did they do season one, which just ended, season two is fully funded. And right now we have four of the six interviews we need for season three, which is January, February, March of 2021.
Kathi: I love it. And we’re going to be discussing that more.
Kathi: When we – guys. I’m so excited about this. We are going to be offering a four week group coaching program where we’re going to walk you through how to take your business from Free to Fee to Fee Plus Me. And Sherry will be talking more about how do you get sponsorships? I’ll be talking about how do you get sponsorships for things like your groups, you’re taking these free things, and adding value to you and your family to be able to pay your bills. So I’m so excited.
So go check out our show notes to find out more about possibly becoming part of our four week group coaching sessions. Cheri, thank you so much.
Cheri: Oh, thank you!
Kathi: And friends, thank you for being here! And don’t miss next week – we’re going to talk about something that you may not have thought about when it comes to money and your business and another way of producing income that Cheri has discovered that we can’t wait to share with you. You’ve been listening to The Writing at the Red House podcast. Now go share your story of God’s extravagant love.