My business-building secret weapons

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My business-building secret weapons

I've said this before, but setting up a Facebook page is NOT a business plan. Growing your Twitter account will NOT solve all your business problems.

Maybe this is shocking coming from a social media coach, but as powerful as social media is, you need to have a strong business foundation BEFORE you can make the most of it.

You need to know WHAT you do and WHY you do it. You need to be super clear on WHO you serve, the problems you solve and the results you get for your people.

Social media won’t ever get you the connections, engagement and clients you are looking for until you can answer those questions with confidence.

And then there’s the other pieces of your business foundation like your website, blog and newsletter to get in order.

When I decided just under a year ago that I wanted to work for myself and become an entrepreneur, I read, and googled, and read some more, desperately seeking resources and support to help me get started. I had lots of social media experience but zero business experience, and no clue how to run an online business.

Enter B-School & Jenny Shih

Jackie Johnstone and Jenny Shih

Mid-February I stumbled onto Marie Forleo’s B-School, an 8-week online course that teaches women (and some men) how to create, structure, and grow their online business. But it was expensive and I didn't really have the money. (We’d been in France for about 6 months at that point and I hadn't really worked since we’d left Toronto.)

But I kept going back, soaking in the free video training she released in the run-up to B-School enrollment. I started googling B-School reviews to get a sense of whether it was worth the investment–I read and watched so many rave reviews. And then I landed on Jenny Shih’s 100% Honest B-School Review.

Not only does she answer a TON of questions in that extensive post, but she invites questions by email. So I emailed, explained my situation and asked if she thought B-School was for me right now, or if I should wait a year until I had my website up, etc.

Jenny wrote back the same day (!) with a super-helpful, personal and honest response. Five days later I made the leap and registered for B-School through her affiliate link–because while there were tons of affiliates out there offering all kinds of different bonuses, her personal attention made it a no-brainer.

Best. Business. Decision. Ever.

Not only was B-School amazing and exactly what I needed to get my business up and running, Jenny’s B-School bonuses were INCREDIBLE. (I actually felt sorry for the other B-Schoolers who didn't sign up through Jenny–that’s how useful her bonus content is.)

B-School helped me get my website up, put together an editorial calendar, learn a TON about online business and introduced me to a whole community of inspiring, supportive business owners. But having the chance to ask Jenny my personal burning business questions as I implemented what I’d learned post-B-School was priceless. I don’t know how she does it but on our group coaching calls, Jenny was able to zero in on our unique problems and offer spot-on solutions in the space of mere minutes. It really is her superpower!

Making it Work

Make it Work Live with Jenny ShihIn fact, I got so much out of our group coaching calls, when Jenny released her brand-new Make it Work program in the fall, I jumped at the chance to work with her again. Based on the clarity and support I got out of our 10 minute chunks on the B-School bonus group coaching calls, I was certain working with her for 3 months, including in-person at a live retreat, would change my business forever.

Well, I’m a month into Make it Work–in fact I just got back from the retreat in Portland two days ago–and already HUGE shifts are happening in my business. This lady is magic. Seriously.

UPDATE MARCH 2017: BSchool got it all started but deciding to work with Jenny as part of the very first Make It Work group was the turning point that truly helped my business take off. You can read my complete Make it Work Online review here but if you know your business foundation needs some work, I cannot recommend Jenny Shih’s Make it Work Online group coaching program enough! 

I'd love to hear from you

Who has been instrumental in your business-building journey? What's the best business investment you've ever made? Please share in the comments, I love hearing your story and learning about great business-building resources!

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>> In this free training you'll learn:

  • The number one mistake people make when it comes to their social media content
  • How to generate a month’s worth of content in a few short hours(using the same system I use AND teach my private clients)
  • What works (& what doesn’t) on Facebook and Twitter (with TONS of real examples)
  • How to automate this piece of your social media presence so it works hard getting you noticed while you’re busy doing other stuff

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11 Responses to My business-building secret weapons

  1. Jenny Shih January 31, 2014 at 01:11 #

    Love this, Jackie! It has been so much fun and such an honor to watch you learn and grow over the past year. It’s even been more fun to help guide you in making it happen!

    You’re just at the beginning and so much success is headed your way!!

    big love to you,

    • Jackie Johnstone February 3, 2014 at 14:45 #

      Thank you, Jenny!! Seriously, having your support and expert help has been key in getting this far. I know I’m going to hit my 1 year biz-versary in May with plenty to be thankful for and even more to look forward to! :)

  2. Leah February 13, 2014 at 20:38 #

    Loved this recap Jackie. You are so right about the investments and how much of an impact they are able to make. Loved seeing a little behind the scenes and can’t wait to see how you grow this year!

    • Jackie Johnstone February 13, 2014 at 20:43 #

      Thanks Leah! I can’t wait to celebrate our 1-year (full-time) biz-versarys this year! :)

  3. Jessica February 13, 2014 at 20:53 #

    I LOVE this line: You need to know WHAT you do and WHY you do it. You need to be super clear on WHO you serve, the problems you solve and the results you get for your people.

    I realized awhile back that even though I was posting on SM and trying to get engagement, trying to get more followers… I wasn’t specific (with myself) about who I was serving, what I was doing, etc. I got SO much clarity after sitting down and going through that. As a person who also has marketing experience, I had forgotten to even figure out my own target audience!

    • Jackie Johnstone February 13, 2014 at 20:57 #

      YES YES YES! You really can’t skip the ‘getting clear’ step. No amount of Twitter-ing or Facebook posting will ever work if you don’t know WHO you are serving and why :) Love this. Thanks for sharing, Jessica!

  4. Deborah February 13, 2014 at 20:58 #

    A week ago I started thinking about that B-school course. I want to start an online shop and I know I have a lot of work to do before I start worrying about money and success but I’m glad to hear about someone who actually took the course and if you say it worth it I will keep the idea in mind.

    Thank you so much!

    • Jackie Johnstone February 13, 2014 at 21:07 #

      Deborah, I cannot recommend BSchool enough (especially with Jenny Shih by your side!) — I had just the germ of the idea for my business when I took the plunge last year and not only did the training make sure I got off on the best possible foot but the BSchool community is WORTH the cost of BSchool alone. All my first clients and so many of the business partnerships I’ve developed have come directly as a result of that group. I would not be where I am in my business today without BSchool! If you have questions, I highly recommend you reach out to Jenny, she’s super awesome about being straight up about whether it’s the best fit for you.

  5. Rebecca February 13, 2014 at 21:07 #

    Hi Jackie,

    Well said! So many entrepreneurs go head first into Facebook, etc without that important foundation work in place and then get frustrated when they don’t see immediate results.

    So jealous of your work with the wonderful Jenny :). For me it was B-School and also investing in working with the lovely Heather Thorkelson 1-on1 in Autumn last year. Two big game changers.

    • Jackie Johnstone February 13, 2014 at 21:22 #

      You got it! I see business owners all the time who are turning to social media in the hopes that it will fix all the business problems but that will never be the case — that foundation has to be there first and foremost!

      BSchool is such a game-changer. And I’ve never worked with Heather, but I love her style and her free content — she knows what she’s about! Yay for game changers!


  1. My honest review of Jenny Shih's Make it Work Online - March 28, 2017

    […] If you’re tired of watching everyone else’s businesses take off and are ready to make that happen for you, get with Jenny: she’s been my business-building secret weapon! […]

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