If you are an entrepreneur or in business for someone else, you more than likely have had to overcome a major roadblock within yourself to attain measurable success. In today’s episode, my special guest, Allie Bjerk, is here to talk about how she showed up authentically in her own business to make her first million in the first 10 months of being in business… and how we all should own our expertise and not shrink from our big dreams. You’re going to love her story and I think you're going to learn a lot from her.
Allie Bjerk is a visibility strategist, coach and consultant who has helped hundreds of business owners create the visibility strategies and marketing plans behind growing super-profitable businesses for balanced and prosperous lives. As a funnel expert, Allie has taken her marketing agency experience and used it to lead entrepreneurs towards their goals through her transformational programs focusing on tiny offer strategies. In addition, her utilization of digital products results in entrepreneurs making money while simultaneously growing their business and following. Allie specifically encourages women that they don't have to choose between their family and a successful career. And she is living proof.
• [4:54] Allie speaks about wins and failures, not having a lot of confidence when she first started and not charging her clients appropriately for her time invested
• [7:35] “I've had like 22 years of experience of being bullied or put down by other people, myself included, you know, I've had a huge inner critic…”
• [8:50] Allie had to think about marketing - how she was going to get new clients and it all involved her being visible and in front of people
• [16:00] Allie speaks of wanting to be present more and compartmentalizing her time… work time… reading on the couch with her kids time
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Christine Li 0:02
Welcome back to the Make Time for Success podcast. This is episode 59. What I love about hosting this podcast is that I get to interview people about their journey to success and pretty much without fail. Each of my guests has a moment during the episode, where they share how they've overcome a major roadblock within themselves to reach the success that they've been able to attain. Today's episode with Allie Bjerk is just that kind of story. And it's a really interesting one too. Allie kindly shared with me different stories about different types of anxiety and mindset issues that she has struggled with the kind that threatened to hold her back both in business and in life. You're going to hear how she overcame those roadblocks very consciously, and became the business leader and present mother that she is today. Allie is a visibility strategist, coach and consultant, who has helped hundreds of business owners create the visibility strategies and marketing plans behind growing super profitable businesses, while maintaining balance and prosperous lives. Allie specifically encourages women that they don't have to choose between their family and a successful career. And she is living proof. She made her first million in her first 10 months of being in business. Her mission is to help entrepreneurs to show up authentically owning their expertise and not shrinking from their big dreams. I think you're going to learn a lot from her. In this episode, you're going to love her story. And I think we should go listen to this episode now.
Hi, I'm Dr. Christine Li and I'm a psychologist and a procrastination coach. I've helped 1000s of people move past procrastination and overwhelm so they can begin working to their potential. In this podcast, you're going to learn a powerful strategies for getting your mind, body and energy to work together so that you can focus on what's really important and accomplish the goals you want to achieve. When you start living within your full power, you're going to see how being productive can be easy, and how you can create success on demand. Welcome to the Make Time for Success podcast.
Hello, my friends. It's Dr. Christine Li and today I am welcoming a brand new friend of mine, Allie Bjerk to the show, I have been following Allie for a while on Instagram and in the online business space. And I thought that she had some very important and unique viewpoints about being an online business woman that I would want you to hear. She's also a lovely woman. So thank you, Allie, for agreeing to be on the show.
Allie Bjerk 3:01
Thank you so much for having me. I'm so excited to be here.
Christine Li 3:04
So Allie, could you start us off with telling us what you do. Now? What is your main focus for your business? And tell us a little bit more about you too?
Allie Bjerk 3:17
Yeah, absolutely. So my business is helping female entrepreneurs and male entrepreneurs to I guess, to start businesses that showcase their expertise and helps them to be able to reach more people online, specifically. So when I when I met like a dinner party, and I explained what I do to people who aren't familiar with online marketing, I say, I find a marketing strategy that works really well. And I teach it to a group of people all at one time. And then people are like, Oh, okay, now I totally understand what you mean, when you say, you know, I'm an online business owner. I just help people understand digital marketing, and I teach it in a group format. So then I also help people learn how to do that for their own businesses. So if you're like a yoga teacher, who has figured out a way to fill your yoga studio, and maybe you want to start working with peers and teach other yoga teachers how to fill their own studios, it's really helping people step into that expert space and sell group coaching programs or digital products, or anything in that nature, even one on one working with people online, but specifically using tech and the Internet to deliver their expertise.
Christine Li 4:20
Okay, beautiful. That's a lot. That's a lot of different areas that you help people with. That's wonderful. Yeah. You describe your own journey of becoming an expert and seeing yourself as an expert.
Allie Bjerk 4:32
Whoa, man, that's a big deep sigh. It's been a very long, long journey. I've been doing this. I have to think how old my oldest son is and then subtract a year because I started when he was about one. So it's been nine years that I've been fully self employed. And it it's been a very long and winding journey with a lot of wins and a lot of failures. But when I first started nine years ago, I was doing social media management for people and I was charging Gosh, like $150 a month, maybe $200 a month for clients to get access to pretty much limitless access to what I could do, whether it was creating blogs, you know, posting on social media for them every day. So it was crazy that, you know, they could buy pretty much limitless time for me for $250 a month, but I didn't have a lot of confidence in what I was doing, I didn't have a lot of confidence that I could even make money on my own. So it was kind of a race to the bottom price wise to just try to get clients and prove that I could do this and that I could be self employed. Of course, like many people, I maxed out on how much time I had available, I still, you know, I felt like I had five bosses than instead of one boss, and I just kept growing my confidence little by little and raising my prices, getting more specific on who I was working with, and just getting clarity and taking action on what I wanted. And I guess, clarity on what I really didn't want at the same time, and just kept growing and testing my own comfort zone and kept pushing beyond where where I felt safe for what I thought I was capable of. And now I'm here and doing webinars for 1000s of people and speaking and leading. And it's just been such an evolution from where I was nine years ago, when I wouldn't even get on video with people I refuse to go on Skype if that was how someone wanted to interview me for, you know, like a social media management job like oh, sorry, I don't think it's a good fit. Because I was so uncomfortable on video, I wouldn't even I wouldn't even do it. So it's been like a huge evolution in the last nine years. I mean, I feel like a completely different human being from where I started.
Christine Li 6:33
Fantastic, fantastic story. Could you describe if you don't mind? The what you think were some of the reasons for your lack of confidence when you first started?
Allie Bjerk 6:45
Yeah, I mean, that's very one deep, real fast. I think I mean, a lot of it is just just being critical of myself. I mean, I grew up in a very Catholic family where like you are, you are not what is the expression like you should kids should be seen and not heard, like, kind of that mindset of we don't stand out, we we don't brag, we don't do things that draw attention to ourselves, partner that with, you know, just the whole journey of like, I was a very, very smart kid in elementary school until I realized I was bullied for being a smart kid, then I became a cool kid. And then I became a, you know, a female target in high school, just from other girls. So it's like, I had a lot of different levels of bullying, growing up, that all kind of stacked on top of each other. So here I am, as a adult woman, and I've had like 22 years of experience of being bullied or put down by other people, myself included, you know, I've had a huge inner critic, I was, I was very judgmental of myself and probably other people. And that just all kind of came together to affecting my confidence and a lot of, you know, hard ways to step beyond as I started my business. So thank
Christine Li 7:57
you for sharing what you did about your journey. And I know you and I are new to each other. So thank you for sharing the history of bullying that you had to endure. I would love to hear now about what you mentioned about consistently moving from comfort zone to comfort zone and making progress in that way. Could you tell us what was involved in your being able to do that?
Allie Bjerk 8:25
Yeah, absolutely. I mean, I think when I really reflect back on it, I know a huge piece of why I was able to realize I had issues with confidence or had a comfort zone I even wanted to move beyond was having a business that very front and center made it apparent when I was feeling stuck, or when I was not moving in the direction I wanted to be or not growing as fast as I wanted to is because when I have this business, and I had to think about marketing, and how am I going to get new clients, all of it involved me like being visible and being in front of people and going to networking events locally, and putting videos out on social media and even just showing up in general. And I had I realized how big of a resistance block I had around that. So that was one piece of it is just having it front and center of like, Ali if you want to grow or if you want to keep making your business reach more people, you have to be able to do some of these things. So first, first of all, that was what helped me identify it. And then also, before I had even started my business when I when I had my first child, my son was born, my priorities shifted rapidly. And I previous to him being born, I was working for a marketing agency and I was very happy working there. And you know, I didn't hate working there. But once my son came into the world, I had this big readjustment of priorities and what I wanted life to look like and when I started dropping him off at daycare, I started running the numbers in my brain differently of you know, the marketing agency I'm working for is paying me X amount. They're charging clients this amount like there's a huge difference difference between what I'm being paid for my hours and how much they're charging the client. So I this seed I no idea seed was planted of what if I could even meet halfway of what they're charging, and I could charge less, and still get clients for myself and do the exact same thing, save money on daycare expenses. So that was all part of it. And the other piece of it being that I developed a huge amount of postpartum health anxiety after my son was born is probably largely thanks to the fact that he didn't sleep at all until he was I mean, he did a little bit but not a lot until he was 13 months old. So I was running on fumes, trying to, you know, be a first time mom trying to work trying to, you know, still have some relationship with my husband and like keep, keep all the you know, all the plates spinning that I wasn't sleeping a lot, I think my nervous system literally started shutting down. And I was getting all of these weird symptoms that made me analyze all the symptoms that I was getting, which gave me a ton of health anxiety. And I got to the point of thinking, I was dying, I started going to doctors, all the time, I was getting MRIs, I was thinking I had some, you know, disease that was going to kill me in a matter of years. So I started reading a lot, just trying to give myself a tool to be able to, you know, think positively about what I was going through. So I started reading personal development books around the same time, I started to not feel so happy being at work. And it's like, all of these journeys kind of came to a head and I realized growth mindset, my guess is at the core of all of it of like, Oh Allah, you can become someone different than you are. Or you can learn new skills, you can be really good at networking, you can become really good on video, you can feel confident in everything that you do, or, you know, at least get to the point where you feel like you're an expert and everything that you do. So I just think part of it was coming from more of a fixed mindset family of like, you're either good at things or you're not good at things. And I have two siblings who are doctors and I'm a marketer. So I think having some of the black sheep feeling of feeling so much different from the family that I grew up in, but realizing that, that this is all can be used as a superpower if I can learn how to harness the skills that I have, and turn them into an expertise just through having that belief of like, I can create or learn anything that I need to know, to keep growing this business and have my son at home. So it's like, that's a really big story. But it's like they all kind of mesh together and got me to this point, to be able to talk about it the way I can now.
Christine Li 12:31
It's a beautiful, totally understandable.
Allie Bjerk 12:35
There's a lot of story. Yeah, pieces that come into it.
Christine Li 12:39
Yeah, I think that's a life. Right? Right. When we begin businesses, for ourselves, all that kind of gets amplified. And we have multiple opportunities to face the things that we have the most difficulty with both life choice and sometimes not by choice that somebody gives you a speaking opportunity, and you just don't feel ready for it. But then you step into it and decide, okay, I'm going I'm going to see what comes of this. I'm going to get whatever training I can around. Yes, events, and sometimes we get the help accidentally from the people that we're working with. Oh, great. Yeah. Lovely. So could you share a story of where the growth mindset was not enough for you that you had to kind of maybe reach out to somebody else, or double down or there was a moment mid business where you felt like this is not actually working the way I wanted to? That's just where my curiosity is going right now.
Allie Bjerk 13:41
Yeah, I mean, that's, that happened recently, because I've invested a lot in in courses and learning, you know, skill sets of that I didn't have and I realized, at one point, when I was at a mastermind group that there's there's a huge discrepancy between how I see myself and how other people see me and I think I got to this point of like, there's something in my brain that needs some help, whether it's past you know, could be past trauma from all the bullying could be something subconscious that I'm not even aware is there. So, just getting to that realization of, I mean, the analogy I kind of had in my brain is like I was in a corral and kind of bumping around the edges and I had come up to some level of success, but until I can really keep peeling back the layers of the onion or knock down the corral, I'm not going to get any further. So just having that aha moment of like, okay, maybe maybe therapy is needed, you can hire mindset coaches who can help you like think rah rah towards the future, but there's also a lot that we can have under the under the surface that we may not even be aware is there which I'm sure you know, in your line of work. Yeah, summer classes that are triggered that we you know, don't even know where they've come from.
Christine Li 14:54
Oh, absolutely. I love your image of knocking down the corral. So I'm gonna tuck that away. Yeah. Are you? I love it. I love it. All right. Could you talk a little bit about being a business owner and a parent of young children? Are there any reflections that you have about doing both at the same time? How to do this without burning yourself out? Perhaps?
Allie Bjerk 15:20
Yeah. So the best answer that I've come up with is efficiency, like trying to do what I call minimal marketing in a way of minimal ish marketing of trying to get the biggest bang for my buck in anything that I do. So relying on running ads, so I don't have to be on a computer trying to find clients through social media marketing, or, you know, hiring people on my team that can help me get things done, just really surrounding myself with people that will support me so that I can give myself grace when you know, a kid is sick, or when something doesn't, I'm not able to get something done the way that I thought I would, or I really like being a present mom. So I don't want to, I want to be able to compartmentalize, you know, this is work time, this is when I'm at home reading with my kids on the couch, you know, I don't, I don't want to feel pulled in two different worlds at one time, because I've done that in the past nine years, you know, I've tried to market my business on my phone with the kid on my hip. And it's, it always feels very overwhelming. So I've tried to make my work hours very clear and get support around, you know, when I'm working. And then when I'm at home, my phone is up in a way. So I'm not tempted to look at it. And that for my mental health has been one of the best decisions that I've made, I used to have a watch where all my notifications popped up on my watch, and it was stressing me out because I would be doing one thing, and then I'd get a notification like, oh, I need to go check a Facebook message, or I need to go look on Instagram or I need to know is like I had sensory overload. So just removing, you know, allowing myself to really shut down one thing before I move on to the next has been very helpful and making time for me when I was in that growth phase. And I felt like I had to work a little bit harder, I had to hustle. There were times when I was getting up early. And I was making time for the business. But I always tried to stay really present with my kids. So I don't know if that's great advice. But that's what worked for me.
Christine Li 17:18
That's beautiful, very wise advice. So thanks for sharing it. Could you tell us now about your current business, what your main product is and what you love about it.
Allie Bjerk 17:30
So my specialty of what I'm teaching that I found checks, a lot of the boxes that I just mentioned, and how I've had to structure my business to be really efficient is creating these types of products that you sell in a very specific format that are called Tiny offer funnels. So it's a low cost digital product, which can work for a lot of people who want to sell digital or they want to step into this online business phase. So it's it's all based on paying for advertising running advertising to these products, then the advertising with the sale of the product product itself is liquidated. So you have like limitless visibility all the time. But then you sell in a sequence after the first product is purchased. So then you offer them a you know, another snack sized product. So what I call like an order bump, they can add on to their initial purchase. And then they can be brought to another page and you just keep offering them additional products and from like a service perspective of like, you might also be interested in this. It's like when you're shopping on Amazon and they give you recommendations, it's kind of that same concept of getting their attention with one small offer and then having other things available. So that's the method that I'm using in the method that I'm teaching to help people get into learning about selling digital products or digital programs as a you know, a coach or an expert of some kind. And it's it does a lot to help people build their email list, build visibility, get disconnected from the computer, so they're not feeling like they're online hustling all the time, and just checks all the boxes.
Christine Li 19:03
It sounds like it really worked for how you wanted your life in business to be.
Allie Bjerk 19:08
Yes, yeah, very intentional from day one. So I loved how it all all aligned for that goal.
Christine Li 19:14
Okay, beautiful. Now, could you share with us some tips or pieces of wisdom for people in our audience who are very curious about what you're offering what you're saying? And feeling the fear they're feeling the fear about starting a new business or moving away from a traditional job? What kinds of reflections do you have there?
Allie Bjerk 19:40
Yeah, my tagline is Dream Big start tiny because the funnels that I teach are called Tiny offers but it's kind of applied to how I've run my whole business and grown is just taking tiny baby steps towards that next thing. Other things that I see people do a lot when they want to start selling a digital product is like Bill create The entire program and then they think about selling it where I would advise people to switch it and see if there's an interest for it or a demand and get some people to buy the product first and then create the you know, if it's a group coaching program or something created together, instead of spending all this time trying to make the perfect product and the number actually launching it, which is what I see a lot of people do. If you flip it, and you get that validation and even get some payment in, then you have accountability, and you have a reason to go through with creating it and continuing to talk about it. I think it's just if you can, if people can trick their brain into just launching what they have, I call it minimal viable product a lot is like, what can you sell? Right now? Or what could you create? What What's your expertise, you know, finding that market validation or the demand for what you want to create first and then creating after that it can save people a ton of time?
Christine Li 20:55
Okay. Now, with that, what about the procrastination piece? What if you've got the idea? You've got at least the requisite amount of expertise to put a product out there? What about the stuff that's blocked in the Chorale? What do you suggest for our listeners there?
Allie Bjerk 21:16
Yeah, public accountability has been a huge one for me. Like if there's something that I want to create, if I can even get a few people to sign up for it, or show that they're interested in it, maybe it's something that I show up, and I teach for free the first time, but I know, by people are going to show up and watch me for free, then I'll take that recording, and I'll turn that into a product that I could sell. So for me, it's always where can I maximize my time? And where can I create something once and then repurpose it and sell it over and over again. Otherwise, I'm a huge I mean, I'm a major procrastinator, and I have been from day one. I've realized to stop judging myself for that, but just figure out like how I can harness that and still be really productive even though I am a procrastinator, and it's usually public accountability and giving myself deadlines so that I have something that I'm moving towards, or, you know, if it's a comfort zone thing, it's like what can I commit to that forces me out of that comfort zone and helps me get support or helps me hire a coach in that specific topic or get ready for the thing that I've committed to? That can be a really good way to force yourself out of the crowd?
Christine Li 22:27
Yes. All right. And then could you say a few words about setting your own vision for your life? Because it sounds like no matter how anxious you were feeling, or no matter how much you felt like procrastinating, you knew you're always heading towards something. Could you describe that?
Allie Bjerk 22:46
Yeah, it the goalposts have changed, or they just keep moving. You know, when I first started, I remember being in the kitchen with my husband and being like, How much money do I need to make to go to Target whenever I want like that was the goal of being able to go to Target and buy a new home decor or a new shirt or something. And now it's, you know, how many investment properties can we buy in the next three years. So knowing that the goal right now doesn't have to be the big goal, I think there's a big thing that I learned early on is my first goal was just to get four clients so that I could quit my job. And then it was, you know, I want an extra client so I can, we can go on a vacation every year or then become debt free. So I think knowing that, if you can figure out what that first hurdle is or what that first goal is, and I do a lot of reverse engineering for my goals of, Okay, how many clients is that? How much do I need to show up on social media to get that many clients and you know, figuring out how to do it most efficiently? That's how I work on setting goals.
Christine Li 23:49
Okay, so your vision is ever expanding? It sounds like yes, that to either love it. I think that's a great model. Yes. And I also, by the way, relate to the fact that you both are a procrastinator, and someone who really loves efficiency, because I feel like we could be soul sisters. They're probably visionaries, yet. visionaries. Yes. So thank you. Could you describe to our listeners, how they could work with you how they can stay in touch with you? And I believe you have a free gift for our audience.
Allie Bjerk 24:27
Yeah, absolutely. So one of the ways that I help people start picturing what a tiny offer could look like inside of their own businesses, this product that I created called the tiny offer toolkit, and I wanted to give it to your audience for free. So I know you have a coupon code that you'll put in the show notes, but the product itself talks a little bit about what kind of different tiny offers there are and it gives away my template so you know, the calendar that I I've used different things like Trello boards that you can customize and just things that you can put your own content into and read Sell however you like. It's kind of like being able to use my digital products as your starting point. So that's what I would love to be able to offer.
Christine Li 25:09
Okay, thank you so much for that generous share with our audience. Could you give us the URL so that we know how to get it?
Allie Bjerk 25:15
Yes. So if you go to tiny offer toolkit calm, then there will be a place where they can access that product.
Christine Li 25:21
Okay, I loved our conversation today, you are so wonderful. And I appreciate you diving into the deeper questions with me, just so that we barely know each other small talk. That's good to know, too. And I want to take your energy and guide our listeners to really take a look at what are the things that are holding you back? What are the things that make you quaking in your boots? What are the things that you want from your life and or your business and or your family vibe? These are all things that you have choices to consider, for I think I'm having trouble with prepositions today. But Ali has given us so many different examples of the fact that you can really move and grow from those feelings of unstack or I'm not enough or I need to keep myself small. And in this zone, she's shown us that you can take yourself where your vision has guided you. So I want to back up what Allie has said. I want to thank you, Allie for being our guide today. And I would love to have you back some other time, too. I'm sure that we'll have more to talk about. We have so much in common.
Allie Bjerk 26:40
Absolutely. Thanks so much for having me, Christina. It's been really fun.
Christine Li 26:43
Thank you, Allie. Okay, everyone. I will see you next week. Thanks for being here this week. Bye. Thank you for listening to this episode of the Make Time for Success podcast. If you enjoyed what you heard, you can subscribe to make sure you get notified of upcoming episodes. You can also visit our website maketimeforsuccesspodcast.com for past episodes, show notes and all the resources we mentioned on the show. Feel free to connect with me over on Instagram too. You can find me there under the name procrastination coach. Send me a DM and let me know what your thoughts are about the episodes you've been listening to. And let me know any topics that you might like me to talk about on the show. I'd love to hear all about how you're making time for success. Talk to you soon.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai
Allie Bjerk is a visibility strategist, coach and consultant. Allie has helped hundreds of business owners create the visibility strategies and marketing plans behind growing super-profitable businesses for balanced and prosperous lives. As a funnel expert, Allie has taken her marketing agency experience and used it to lead entrepreneurs towards their goals through her transformational programs focusing on tiny offer strategies. In addition, her utilization of digital products results in entrepreneurs making money while simultaneously growing their business and following.
Allie specifically encourages women that they don’t have to choose between their family and a successful career, as she’s living proof, making her first million in ten months. Her mission is to help entrepreneurs to show up authentically, owning their expertise and not shrinking down from their big dreams. Her focus on inner-work, confidence, consistency, captivation and clarity has set her work apart from other marketers and strategists, who focus on tactics and algorithms over the relationships.
Allie spent four years working for corporate web development and Internet marketing agencies before launching her business. She managed the SEO and Social Media departments, teaching marketing and training new agency employees. Allie left her corporate career after the birth of her first baby and a battle with debilitating postpartum anxiety that served as the catalyst for her to transform her life and never look back. She now lives an adventure and travel-filled life based in Northern Minnesota with her husband and three young children.