Non Artist · United States
All right. 3, 2, 1. Hey, everyone, Harry Whelchel here. Today, I have Kelly Riordan with me. We're gonna be talking about how Kelly went from zero to $6,200 in sales, bringing on about five clients, helping musicians grow their studios. So Kelly, why don't you just introduce yourself and tell everybody a little bit about you and what you do?
Hi everyone. I'm Kelly Riordan. I am a musician by trade. I have my master's in clarinet performance and literature. So when I finished my master's program, I started teaching and struggled at first to build my studio. But when I finally figured out some of the things that were more useful of my time and the ways that I could best invest my energy and get students, I built my own studio up to 40 students with a wait list of over 15. And once the pandemic started, and other teachers were really struggling to maintain their studios and keep their studios online, I was able to step in to some of these studios and help them. And it's kind of just taken on a life of its own. Now, with Harry's support I've been able to help a lot more people now, which has been great.
That's awesome, so how long have you been at this? Did we kind of start this together?
Yeah, so this would have been, I actually came to Harry with a different idea. I came to him with a class idea for AP music theory. In talking through it just wasn't something I was really excited about. I really want to be working with my peers. And as we started those conversations, and worked through some of the problems I was running into with the AP theory course, it made a lot more sense to kind of pivot, and start working with people that I already was in contact with and already was helping. And I realized I had been doing this already. But I formally started in about September.
I had my first client shortly thereafter. Recently I've just really dove into it head first, and invested a lot more of my time and energy, and it's really taken off.
Cool, so yeah, it's been just a few months, four or five months since we got started. Yeah, like you said, like the last like month or so, you've just been really taking off.
Yeah, like three weeks.
That's awesome. So we'll talk more about that, I'm sure. What do you feel like makes you especially unique as somebody who can help other musicians grow their studios?
Well, one of the things I like to talk to my clients about is data. And as musicians, we tend to want to teach and do things for the love of the arts and the love of the music, and that's what we're taught to do. But a lot of musicians undervalue themselves, and they don't have the knowledge or the resources to build a studio, because we're not taught. So when I started my own studio, I took a ton of data. I logged everything that I was doing, and I was trying to figure out what was working best. And in doing that, I found the avenues that I could explore more, and things that I could dive into head first. And that was what really blew my studio up from about four or five students to 40 in two and a half months. So I have that all collected and I have that information. I know when the best times to reach out to referrals are. I know which referrals are the most beneficial, and I know what referrals want for a mutually beneficial relationship. So it's really easy for us to go in, and make those relationships for my clients, so that they have a lasting relationship. I often compare this to a cup of water versus a well, where you don't want to just fill a studio one time, or go get a student one time, paying a small fee to do something online, and get a referral. We want something that we can go back to over, and over and over again to fill their studio whenever they have a need.
That's awesome. Cool. So, I mean, it sounds like you've done this all firsthand. Like you've gotten that experience, you know what you're doing now. It's just about sharing that with others who could benefit from that help.
That's awesome. That's awesome. So, you know, you touched on that a minute ago, this like, the AP music theory stuff, let's go kind of go back to the beginning. So what were you working on before we started working together? We can talk about the AP music theory stuff. But also like, what were you doing outside of this project where you, I guess you were working on your own studio as well?
Yeah, so I have a studio of about 40. when the pandemic hit and everything shut down, and we had to move online, I was able to retain my studio. And I was still close to 40. In the summer I always drop a few students anyway. There's always some summer attrition, but I also like a lighter schedule in the summer. So over the summer I was a little bit lower. And I was trying to find some things to keep myself busy. 'cause I'd kind of dropped my teaching from five days to three. And this idea for an online AP music theory course popped into my head. And so I was reaching out to some teachers that I had contacted-
Where do you think that came from? Were you like thinking I wanted to start a course? Or was it more like I wanted to do something with AP music theory, and then you were looking about how to best do that?
I love teaching and I love my students, but I am someone who, I just get bored really easily. I hate like that sounds bad, but I just, I want a new project all the time. And my studio was full. It had been full. The pivot to online felt like a new project. And then once we settled into it after a few months, I was looking for something else. And lessons are fantastic, but unless I start hiring, it's not scalable. And I wanted something that I could build out, and I can help more people, and I could be in contact with more people. So I was actually looking at hosting an AP music theory course on another online teaching platform. And it just seemed like a lot of upfront work to get this approved by another platform, and then have to market it. And some of their marketing might take care of that. But then as I was doing this, I was watching other competitors fill that space in the same platform. And it was really disheartening-
Was this like a kind of a more niche specific, like Coursera, or Udemy, or something like that, where they try to-
It's called Outschool. It's kid-specific, so it's like ages three or four through 18. And a lot of families that are homeschooling music for AP courses.
And do they try to claim that they're gonna send you traffic, or send you leads, or something?
Yeah, and then they take a 30% cut of everything.
Got it, got it, got it. So you were pretty far down that path, both in terms of just leg work and psychology. You were pretty
deep into that plan, right?
I thought for sure, that's what I was gonna do. I was definitely nervous about it. Music theory, for me, is a strong third interest, like performance, and then musicology, and music history and then theory. But there's not an AP course for either of those. So when it came to finding what I could put on this platform, which I thought was the easiest way for me to go about doing something like that. That really was the first thing that popped into my mind.
Got it. So you did the common thing, which a lot of people do of just really working on building up the product and like putting a ton of work on that first. Had you done anything to generate leads, or try to make sales, or anything like that? Or were you just like-
Like, fingers crossed, let me get this all done, that they'll show up.
Yeah. You know for AP courses, too, I'm going through getting my course approved, and getting it registered with AP, and going back and forth, and see if my course would even count, because it's not through a school and I don't have a sponsor. It was so much work.
Oh, so you had to go through the government, as well, to get some sort of agency to get this approved for AP purposes?
Yeah, it was a lot of work. And it was taking forever. On top of that, too, people weren't in the office as much as, everyone's working remote. So I'm trying to reach out to people and get help. That wasn't really working. It was taking a lot of my time and energy. And I felt like my wheels were spinning. And honestly, it was just completely overwhelming. So when the door was opened to maybe go a different way, I think I jumped in pretty quickly.
Did you feel like... I mean, did you have a sense of the time that, you know, man, I feel like I should be working a bit more on my sales and marketing? Or was it just more vague than that? Like you knew something wasn't quite moving as fast as you'd like, and you didn't know what it was or why it wasn't working?
Yeah. I think, I think I was overwhelmed by the whole process. And I was worried that I was gonna get down to the wire, and I was gonna get right before the school year, and I wouldn't have any sign ups. Or I'd be posting things on this website too close to the beginning of the school year, and it was gonna take a long time. And that was really overwhelming and stressful. And so when we first met we were still talking about that idea. And you had encouraged me to consider other options. And so we talked about building a course off of this platform. Building something where maybe I'm not just enrolling students in this one time frame, but I can kind of have more of a rolling enrollment. We had talked about all that.
That's right I remember that because it's AP, there was such a time sensitive nature to when you could enroll people, how often you could enroll people. Yeah, that's right, that's right. Got it.
Yeah, so that was frustrating. And the more we talked about it, the more I felt like I just wasn't in the right place. And I had a difficult time putting my finger on it. But a lot of our conversations really helped to shape my growth through that process. I think I needed to have that idea in order to have other ideas. And having a music business in general, as a musician, sometimes it can feel a little bit greedy, because again, you're supposed to do it for the art. And so I was working through that process of kind of getting over that fear of stepping out of my comfort zone, and offering help to other musicians.
Nice, nice. Yeah. And so I know, like when we first started talking together, you have a fiance, Isaac, who was helping out too. Were you guys having lots of conversations about this, and kinda like, you know, sharing your frustrations with him? Like what, what was that like, kind of having him, him as somebody to talk to you about all this?
Yeah, the benefit is that even though he's not a musician, and so he doesn't have the same frame of reference understanding of these things that I do, he does work in sales and marketing. So he's got a little bit more of the other side. And so we had a lot of conversations, even before you and I started talking about what this could look like. And he was the one that introduced Harry and I, because I know you guys had previously met when we were down in Atlanta. We lived in Georgia for two years. And during that period where I was really frustrated, and I was trying to work through this, I think he knew something was off, but he didn't want to tell me, 'cause I was working so hard on it. I was investing so much time. But once we had met with Harry, and we had a couple conversations, before we even formally started working together, we sat down one day. And I think it was about four hours worth of conversation where we just worked through all of the information that you'd given us, and all of these things that you'd given me to think about. And it was in that conversation that I realized, I wasn't really excited about what I was working on. And I felt stuck and I felt unfulfilled. And I'd been hoping for that fulfillment when I actually had students. But that process seemed stressful. Again, like it's just not a major interest area for me. So I was doing all of this work, just get myself stuck into at least a year long commitment for something that I don't even really have a strong passion for.
Like that much.
Yeah, so. That was really eyeopening. And so when we came back for another conversation with Harry and started talking about some other ideas, it was so much more of a natural fit. And I felt like I was on a better path and it felt really right. Isaac, obviously, was a huge help in that. But you guiding that conversation, that thought process really, really helped.
Totally, yeah. Let's, let's dig into that a little bit more. I'm curious, how did you first hear about me? I don't think I ever heard from you guys. Did Isaac say, "Oh, maybe this guy Harry, maybe he could help?" Or was it more that you're just looking for help from a bunch of different people and having a bunch of conversations? What was that like kind of getting connected with me?
Well, I didn't know that I needed a business coach. I didn't really think that I had a business. I thought I was just listing another class in an online platform. And what happened is one day when I was frustrated, I was getting stuck in this process. Isaac said, "Hey, I have an idea, and hold up your website." And you guys are friends on Facebook, I know, but he actually had seen what you were up to you from your email list.
So I guess a bit of background. We lived in Georgia for two years. I went to university of Georgia for my master's program. And then Isaac was working in Atlanta during that time for a startup company. And I think you guys had met just kind of networking, and had a few meetings.
I came like a year, year and a half ago when I was doing some more like done for you consulting. And I pitched his company something, I don't even remember what it was.
Oh, that's right.
That's when I met him.
Yup, that's right. So you must have thrown him on your email list. He pulled it up one day and he just like cast your website onto our TV and like clicked through, and watch some interviews. He really went down the rabbit hole, and watched a ton of material from you, and was reading and trying to figure out what was going on, and if this could be a good fit.
And he really encouraged me to just take the call. And I was so nervous, because again, I didn't think I needed a business coach. And to be completely honest and you know, not to knock on you Harry, you're not a musician. And I thought there's no way he's gonna be able to help me. He's not gonna understand at all my niche, and what I'm trying to do, and who I'm trying to talk to, and who I'm trying to sell to. And our first conversation was like an hour, hour and a half. And I left that conversation, I was like, "No, he does know, and I was wrong." And I think I'd kind of pushed it off, and I wasn't really taking it seriously. We went back and watched a ton more interviews. We watched things, went over the notes that you'd sent over from that first call. And when we got on another call to talk again, I was a lot more confident that I was in a place where, maybe, I was gonna get a little bit more support. I didn't feel so lost. And that was a really big factor in me wanting to move forward.
Got it. That's cool. I had a feeling, there was some research going on under the surface and stuff like that. But I don't think we ever talked about it. That's cool.
So if you can remember back, I know it's sometimes hard, but that first conversation we talked, or maybe even before that when you're doing that research, what do you think really peaked your interest and made you open to learning more?
You know, I think it was, the first big question you asked me is, "What if this wasn't on an Outschool platform? What if you built out your own course, and you weren't giving somebody else a cut, what would that look like? And in the moment it completely terrified me. And I was like, what do you mean build out my own course? Like, I don't know how to do that. I don't have any, I don't know how, like, I'm sure that there's platforms for that, but I don't know what they are. That sounds like more work. It sounds like more advertising. I don't really have the marketing budget. Anything that I'm doing at this point to fund this is coming directly out of my savings, and I'm also trying to pay for a wedding. It just felt really, really overwhelming. So-
I think you had your car broke down, too, at some point.
Yeah! Oh my gosh, in the middle of all of that. Then all of a sudden we had to replace the catalytic converter in our car. There was a lot going on. And we had family stuff going on too. My grandfather passed away in the middle of all this. In the first three weeks of us just talking, and not even working together, so many things happened and I was totally overwhelmed. And I just remember getting off that first call, and I was excited, like really excited about this for the first time. And it wasn't even I was excited about this course. I was just excited about having a music business, and finding something that was gonna be a new project, a new challenge. Something exciting that I was gonna be able to help other musicians. And that was the first time I really felt hopeful about it. And it was really just because we'd had so many thought provoking conversations. I had seen it as a very black and white thing. And all of a sudden it was not black and white. There was 57 different options and avenues that I could explore. And that was really helpful. I think I got too stuck in a rut.
Very cool, Very cool. Yeah, that's interesting. Maybe I'm wrong, but I feel like I remember when we had our last conversation before we started working together, I thought you were still on helping music theory students. And it was only after we started working you said, "You know what? I think we should do marketing for music studios." Do you remember that?
Yeah, in between our first two calls I had started talking to Isaac about that, but I was like, "Eh, like, I don't really know. I don't know if there's a ton of money in this." If someone doesn't have a studio, do they have income to even invest in this? Do they want this? Would they trust me? And so I put it on the back burner, and I kind of eliminated that idea for a little while. And then, when we decided to work together.
It seemed quick,
I don't think I've ever really told you this.
Just like out of the blue in the group you said, "Hey, I want to do the music studio thing.
Yeah. We got off that call with you, and we decided, yup, let's move forward, let's take the next step. So let's go ahead and start this and dive in. And I was really emotional about it. This sounded so weird. I think it was such an eye-opener for me that I literally sobbed uncontrollably. And Isaac was like, "What's wrong with you?" I was like, "I don't know. I think I'm excited. I don't really know why I'm crying right now, but it's like, it's not a bad cry. I think I'm just scared. 'Cause I'm right on the beginning of something." And after that, he and I sat down and talked for several hours again, and started talking about this other idea. And I said, "I've been helping some other teachers with their studio, and I think this is something that I'd be more excited about." And all of the sudden when you were working like through our thesis, and our action plan, and what we needed to build as a foundation for an offer, I completely pivoted and surprised you. And went into the music studios. And from there, it's just been a far more natural fit.
Nice, nice. I'm sure we've done a ton of things together. It's been a lot, you know, working on since we got started. Maybe, you know, we don't have to speak to everything, but maybe can you talk about one or two things that have been really, really helpful
in the last few months to kind of helping you get these clients, and get the wins that you've been seeing?
Yeah, absolutely. I think the first thing is mindset. So I had already been exploring a lot of mindset training from other sources on my own. I'd already been, you know, reading business books, and listening to what I deemed to be relevant material. But as a musician too, you know, you have performance anxiety, and that's something that you consider, and you talk about a lot. And I had a lot of those resources. What I didn't have was a business mindset. I thought I did. I thought I had a business mindset. I thought when I built my studio, that I was taking myself seriously. And I wrote a really nice policy, and I had a little mini sales process for myself. I thought I had a business mindset. In talking with you about some of my own limiting beliefs, and the things that I was completely stuck on, like I could never possibly do this. It's just not even an option. For example, changing my cover photo on Facebook, something I just totally got stuck on. I was so anxious other musicians would see that. And for some reason I thought they would think it was bad, or think it was wrong. I don't know. I really had an adverse reaction to that suggestion. And working through that with you, and working through that self confidence of if someone's in my niche and they're interested, and they would be a potential client for me, if I don't post this. First of all, they don't know I exist, and second of all, I can't help them. So I'm doing them a disservice. And watching some of those mindset training videos, you even gave me affirmations. And reading through them the first time it was like, so sales and business oriented, I felt weird. It was like a foreign language. And now it feels really natural, and it like something I mean, and I'm excited about every day. So that was the first thing. The second thing that we-
Real quick, Kelly, on that.
Isn't it interesting how in the moment when you're having those limiting beliefs, you feel like it's so real and so true. And this is like, it's a fact like you cannot get around it. But then just a few weeks later you're kind of laughing about like, why was I so wrapped up about that? Any reaction or comment on that feeling?
Well, yeah, I mean, now I get, I have inbound leads, which is the most wild thing in the universe. I actually had people message me cold on Facebook that I didn't add and say, "I see that you help musicians with a studio. Can we talk?" I've booked in the last two weeks, I think I've booked four or five sales calls off of those messages. When I was stuck in that place and it felt really confusing, and it felt really, again, it felt black and white. Like I can't do this, this doesn't fit, this doesn't fit my niche. This isn't what people do in my niche. And now looking back on it, if I hadn't done that, the two latest clients that I have, I would not have found.
And the four other sales calls that I have this week wouldn't have happened. And it happens randomly, and it's a really good feeling. And it feels like I'm not just out there bugging the world, but people really do need this. And it motivates me to work harder, because obviously people are looking and they need my help. And I'm excited about that.
I love it. It's such a cool story because I think there's so many people out there that are struggling to take that first step into resistance, into discomfort around something that they don't feel like is them or their identity. But it's as soon as you do it, and you realize you're still alive, it's still okay, and you actually see positive feedback, the next time you face resistance, the next time you're uncomfortable, it's just a little bit easier to realize, oh, wait a minute. I should lean into this, maybe this'll be okay. And then you just get progressively better and better at breaking this down and keeping it growing, and becoming a better version of yourself. Yeah, it's just been so cool to see you kind of just bust through a lot of those limiting beliefs. It's really awesome.
Yeah. Even most recently we were on on a call on Monday. And I brought up that, I'm looking at the timeline of the school year. And a lot of the things that I work with my clients on are a little bit more dependent on the school year schedule currently. And I have some ideas and I have some options. I have gotten to a place now where I don't say, "What do I do, Harry? Help me." I don't hope that you have an answer for me. I can problem solve and see through those potential answers, and then come to you and just ask for guidance as to the next step. And that feels a lot more confident. I feel like I'm more secure. And I believe in my thought process a little bit more that I do have good ideas.
I do have options and, I'm not needing you or Isaac on the sales and marketing end to give permission for me to do something. I feel really comfortable and confident moving forward and doing those things on my own.
It's incredible. That's fantastic. And that's like at the end of the day, getting better at business is just learning how to map out the landscape, figure out what's the best options. And then make a decision. And the more you do that, the more you can just trust yourself and try. That's great. That's really, really good. So what else? What other things?
Well, sales. And that's such a big topic. I thought, like I said, that I had a sales process for my studio. I guess I would say I'm relatively innovative in the sales process for my own studio. And I felt really good about that, and really confident. But getting on a conversation with someone, and getting to the root of their problem, and not just spewing all of my ideas and knowledge onto them, is a struggle for me. It's something I'm still working on. Making sure that I'm leading with questions, and using more of a Socratic method in my sales process, in my coaching. That's something that I'm really, really working on. So when we started talking about this new idea of working with teachers and how that can look. And I was working through that sales offer, and trying to figure out what to do first. My first idea was a group model. Because when I came to this, this is a group model and that's what I had, I was experiencing, and I liked it. And I was excited to just replicate it, and make it mine do the same thing. And I came in hot at a big offer with a really high price point. And it was gonna be this amazing lifetime access program and a course. I didn't close my first four or five sales calls. And in my mind I was like, yeah, that's okay. You know, it just takes one, it just takes one and then you'll have your testimonial and it'll be great. And another two or three went by. And I was getting a little frustrated, and I felt like maybe I'd made a mistake. And Harry was kind enough to just hop on a one-on-one call with me and kind of work through that. And in that conversation, we talked about, what if we just start smaller? Like what if we really focused on getting testimonials first? What if we make sure that we're really making impactful change in other people's studios with a little bit more direct approach? And so I scaled it back, went to a one-on-one short-term offer. And that's really when it blew up. I mean, I went back to a couple people that I'd had on sales calls before. And some of them that were still interested took a call. And one of them, the first one I did on a new offer closed immediately. And again, that's one of those places where I saw it as really clear, and this was the only possible option. And I didn't see that one-on-one could be an option. I didn't see that it could be a good fit. And now, that's what all of my clients are currently. And I'm in a better position to potentially roll into a group model in the near future. So that evolution of, I can't sell anything, to I'm gonna sell a gigantic gigantic course, to heading back to the basics, and really working on my sales skills, working on my coaching skills, building my confidence in that process. Now, that's landed me five clients. I've got really big goals for March and April, because things are moving fast, and really picked up momentum.
That's amazing. Yeah. I love that saying of kind of like, we take two steps back to take one step forward. And often it's like, when you do that, you just unlock another gear. Yeah, it's really powerful to kind of do things in the right order, and how much of a difference that can have on people's interest in working with you, and the ease at which you can bring people on as clients. So that's great. So anything else? Anything else at a high level you think you want to speak to?
I think the other thing too, is that the group of people that Harry works with is actually a really supportive community. And at first I didn't know what to expect. I didn't have a business mindset. I had an individual studio mindset where you're also, you're friends with everyone around you, but you're also like a little bit competitive with everyone around you. And so it's really hard to open yourself up to working with people. I had a hard time, because the audition prep in me was pushing me to maybe not befriend people and to use the resources, but maybe to compete with them and say, "I'm doing better. I'm going faster. And my offer, my ideas are more secure. You were really encouraging in reaching out to some of the people that had either a similar niche. For example, Duweet, who works with other teachers. You know, even though she's working with school teachers, I'm working with music teachers, there's so much crossover there. And so just getting on calls with her, to do some business building together, to practice things together. And just have another friend that's working through some of the same roadblocks that you are, and having the same problems. That really opened me up. And then recently I've been working a little bit more with Sam. I've been in contact with Bryce, and I'm hoping to set something up with him soon too. Having other people in that group, and now I see people posting and I'm excited for them. And when I post, when they're excited for me. And it's not just Harry cheering me on, or Harry seeing my success and being excited. Or Isaac who's obligated to be excited for my success. It's this whole group. And I took a while to settle into that. But really, I would say in the last six to eight weeks, that's really built up for me. You were encouraging of that, and encouraging me to use those resources that were available, and kind of lean on some of your own people. And I think it really has helped surround me with others of a like mindset. And that's really kind of elevating things for me too.
That's so cool, I'm so glad to hear that. It's amazing, I feel like that has really taken off in the last couple of months, the community aspect of what we're doing. There's just certain feedback you can get from your peers, and other people that it's harder to get from me, or from Isaac, or whoever. And then they just have more availability to do practice with you to drill things, to work on stuff. I'm so glad that you're taking advantage of that. 'Cause I just think that, you know, I wish I had something like that when I was getting going, or just had more support and resources like that. And so that's why I really place such an emphasis on it. That's awesome. That's really, really good. Let me ask you this. What do you think? What areas of your business or life kind of have improved in the last couple of months, do you think?
Well, my income. That's been a big one obviously with the influx of clients, which has been great. And I think it also makes me a little bit more willing to invest in myself and invest in all aspects of my life. When we started working together, and I was looking at investing in building this course, marketing this course, getting some help and some coaching, and that seemed very foreign and overwhelming. Which is funny, 'cause I mean, how much money did I pay for music school and you know, undergrad and graduate school? I have invested in it, but that seems a lot more logical. And so taking a step out and really investing in myself, and not just somebody else teaching me in a classroom every day, that was a big step. And so following the start of us working together where I did take that big step and agree to invest this time and energy, and financial support into myself, I really found it easier to invest more energy in other areas of my life. So for example, my health and my wellness. In the last few months, I eat so much healthier. I am a lot more strict about my sleep schedule, and making sure that I get enough sleep. I think I was worried when I got busy, and I started having clients, and having sales calls, and having success that I was gonna feel burnout. And that I was gonna be so busy, I couldn't handle it. And it's actually the opposite. I'm a lot more confident in saying, I really can't take any calls this Friday, I've got something going on, and I need to block that off on my calendar. I feel like I take care of myself a little bit more in that way. I'm a lot more active. I'm going to the gym more, I'm eating healthier. All of that is great. I just feel so much better. I've got a lot more energy. And I think that again comes from this mindset of building yourself up, and being in this positive situation. I've invested this into business, but now I have to make sure that I'm happy enough, and energetic enough and well enough to meet the needs of my clients, and to continue to grow my business. So that's been really big. I also feel like I'm a better teacher when I am in my own studio. I think that I feel really fulfilled in my mornings, which is where I put a lot of my coaching activity. And I get to work with other people, and I get to hear about their students, and the successes that they're having, and their new students. And I don't really have a lot of new students now, right? I'm in a routine. My studio is full. My attrition is very low. So that doesn't change for me, and it hasn't changed in several months. So it's nice to have something new and exciting to be working on. So when I get into the studio, I feel refreshed, and I'm definitely a more engaged and a better teacher, because I do feel better and more confident. And then I guess I would say the last thing too, on a more personal note is that having this project to work together with Isaac has been hugely helpful for our relationship. We already were kind of on this path. But having both of us be in this really positive mindset, and read affirmations together in the morning, and find resources together and practice sales calls, it's actually been really helpful. And I find that because we're practicing things together with the intention of them improving, it's a lot easier for us to give feedback on this business, but also we give each other feedback, and constructive criticism in the relationship. And so thank you, Harry. But I mean, I really, really, I do think in all areas of my life right now, I feel the most fulfilled, and healthy and in control that I have felt in my entire adult life. And I feel like I have a clear path forward, and I know what I'm doing, and I know what my goals are. And I don't feel in limbo anymore. And that has come from like August or September to now. It's been a big shift and it's been a long time coming, but I'm happy right now and that's a really good feeling.
That's amazing. That's amazing. That's awesome, yeah. I'm almost tearing up, that's great, wow. It's so cool. I mean, it's so cool to hear that. It makes what I do really fun. I love seeing people improve their lives, and it's cool to see this rippling into other areas of what you do. I hope you feel like, one thing I feel like, is really cool about this stuff is once you learn it, it's not just about like making a bit more money short-term. I feel like, do you agree that you have the confidence that, oh, this is not just like a one-off thing, this isn't a fluke, you can just do this in perpetuity going forward. Right?
And that confidence, I think it's just... I think that's a lot of what's happening where that spills out into the other areas of your life. And you feel like, oh, I can do this, so therefore I'm gonna take care of my health, I'm going to take care of my sleep, and make sure that I'm, 100% for everybody that I need to be there for in my life.
I think, and I think before this, because my studio was full, the only way up or forward, and the only career advancement that I saw in the immediate was I can like increase my studio rates, and my lesson rates a few times, maybe once or twice a year. And that's as good as it gets. And that was a little stressful for me. I was feeling the burnout, because I didn't see a path forward, I didn't see an increase. And now, I mean, obviously with this the sky's the limit, but I have other ideas that I'd like to use this, and use this practice and use this coaching to get more data and information from music, teachers and musicians about what they need. Because I have other passion projects that I'd like to work towards. So it's not just about making a ton of money for me. It's about funding these other ideas and projects that I have that musicians need, and the arts community needs. I want to have the funds to make lasting impact. And I can't do that on just my teaching in my studio, but I can do that if I've got something where I'm already helping more people. And I've got more contact with teachers, so that I have more information in addition to the funding.
I love it. Yeah, I love it. It's so great to help somebody like you, who has that desire to make an impact in your industry, and change things and make things better. But that also recognize that in order to do that, you have to have a sustainable business. You know, you have to eat, you have to survive. There's so many people who want to make an impact, but they just race to something that's not scalable, or it's not profitable early. And they just never actually, they're not actually realize that impact, because they're not doing things in a sustainable way, if that makes sense.
Well, great, well, great. So let's think back to our sales conversation, if you can remember, why did you decide to do business with me?
Well, I had a lot of trust. Obviously, Isaac knew you, and Isaac vouched for you a little bit, too. But we hadn't worked with you in this capacity ever. And I think what was exciting for us is that we had a few testimonials that we watched of yours that really spoke to us. When we were on the calls, you were asking really good questions, and really engaged, to not only trying to understand my niche, but also trying to get me to understand my niche better, and really get the thought process going. And you were encouraging in the fact that it didn't have to be... One of the things I think I asked you about was what if I don't like this? What if I start this? And this was probably my first red flag that maybe I shouldn't have done the course. What if I don't like this? And what if I don't want to do this forever, then what does that look like? Can I pivot, can I have other ideas? And you're like, yeah, if you don't want to do it forever, don't do it forever. You just move on to something else. It's really not that big of a deal, it's not that scary. And I felt like if I locked myself into something I was gonna be stuck forever in that one, that one model or that one offer, and it was never gonna change. And you were really encouraging, and offering other ideas and input for me to think bigger, and for me to think more long-term, so it's not just a course that lasts a year. What can you do that's more fulfilling? I think the other thing that really helped was, our first call when we had gone through a lot of these big questions, and we weren't totally sure what we wanted yet.
You didn't push me to have a choice or an answer. You didn't push me to know exactly what I wanted going forward. You didn't push me to have a financial goal, or a business goal, or an exact course, or something done and ready to go. You didn't push a timeline. It was very supportive of my own pace, and my own confidence level. And on that first call, all we did was talk. I mean, we didn't even talk about working together. All we did was talk about the idea. And I felt really safe, because I felt like you cared a lot about the idea and making sure that I was on the right path. And going into the next few times that we talked, I carried that forward. I really felt like you did want to see me choose something that made me happy, something that made me successful, and something that I could work on long-term. I guess I just felt like I knew you weren't gonna let me go astray. Like you weren't going to let me waste a ton of time, or energy, or money on something that was never gonna work. And I appreciated the honesty and the fact that you were willing to kind of step in, and tell me when something wasn't a great idea. Or maybe there was a better way to do it, and help me find what that could be.
Nice. Nice. So what do you think kicked you over the fence at the last, you know, the one yard line, so to speak? I mean, I remember, do you remember that I think you Isaac actually like stepped away for a minute?
We did, we did. That might've been part of when I was crying. I literally said, we paused the call, we're like, "We need a second. Well be right back." And we went and had a little powwow in the kitchen. It wasn't a belief in you. I mean, I'd seen a ton of videos with proof and evidence, and obviously you knew what you were talking about, and you knew what you were doing. And you had helped with the people be successful, that wasn't the problem. It was, do I trust myself? Do I trust myself enough to take this leap and take this step? And I think going into the first call, the answer to that would have been, no, I don't trust myself enough. But knowing that I had really strong guidance was going to help. I think that just helped me feel less afraid of my own, my own stuff. Like all the other things that I bring to the table. And we talked about that confidence, and all those limiting beliefs that I had. I didn't know what they were, but I knew that I had them.
And I felt really confident that we were going to be able to break through some of these things. I think I could have sold that music theory course, or I think I probably could have gotten to this idea of helping other music teachers eventually on my own. I don't think it would have happened as fast as it did. I don't think that it would have happened in, I don't think I would've gotten my first client in three months. And after working through several iterations and ideas. I don't think I would've gotten my first client in three months. I think this probably would have taken me a year or two years, and I would have given up 47 different times. And I don't know that this would have taken off. And then all of a sudden, my first client in November, my second in December, my third at the end of January, and then two right away in the first two weeks of February. On that last call, I think it was just setting aside the fact that I was insecure, and kind of trusting that you were gonna help me break through that. And I felt really, really confident in that in particular.
Cool. Yeah, was it like, did Isaac kinda need to have to step in, and kind of be like, "Look, I'll support you, encourage you, you can do this? Did you need reassurance from him, and reassurance from me, even though you weren't feeling 100% confident in yourself? What was that kind of feeling like at the time?
Yeah, yeah I mean, I think I was afraid of wasting everyone's time. I think I was afraid that I was gonna waste your time, I was gonna waste Isaac's time. They're gonna sink a bunch of energy into this, and that I wasn't gonna be good enough, and I wasn't going to fulfill that. Like all these ideas that I had weren't gonna come to fruition. It was gonna be because of me, not because of you, but because I was in the way. And like I said, I didn't know what the limiting beliefs were, but I knew they were there. I knew there were things holding me back. Isaac stepped in on that, but I asked you a few questions. What if I don't want to do this forever? Or what if this doesn't work? Or what if it ends up looking different? And you were really encouraging of, "It's okay. If this isn't the final decision, if this isn't the end all be all, that's okay. If you want to change your mind, you can change your mind at any time. You don't have to do this forever. And if you want to explore other avenues, you can." And it wasn't just, it has to be this music theory course that you brought me. And I think that that helped a lot, because I didn't I didn't feel stuck in something that I, again, I wasn't excited about, or I knew I wasn't excited about in the back of my head.
Yeah. Yeah, it's so interesting. I mean, the reason I'm asking about this, because I feel like there's so many people out there that oftentimes yeah, like they'll, they can see that somebody could help them, or that their process works, or that they really know what they're doing, but they struggle with confidence in themselves. Some people have a hard time trusting other people if they don't trust themselves and trusting that it'll work. And I just think it was so cool and good that you were able to take that step of faith, really, of being like, "All right, like Isaac thinks I can do this. Part of me thinks I can do this, but I'm not sure. Harry thinks I can do this." And just going and doing it because... I just know what it's like to feel like that, and feel like, "Oh, I can't, I don't know what to do." But if you do lean into that feeling of doubt and confusion, then you've just cut off all this opportunity to have people help you and really change your life. You know? If that makes sense.
Absolutely, and I think that as a musician, we sign up our entire lives to go to a weekly lesson where someone tells us all the things we're doing wrong. And all the things that we're bad at and all the things. And I was very much in that mindset where I was expecting to go into these conversations sometimes, and be told what I was doing poorly. And what I need to improve on? It's something that has caused a lot of anxiety for me in my life. It's something that I've struggled with, because that's been since age five. And even when you have a really supportive teacher musicians don't always have this mindset to figure out for themselves, and they were raised in the same culture. And so it's just like perpetuating crazy mess of negativity, even when someone is trying to be nice about it.
And it's not always an encouraging environment. And so coming into this, I kind of viewed you as my teacher in that in the first couple of meetings. When we were conversing and you weren't coaching.
In that old frame, that frame, that kind of music teacher, negative, critical frame.
Yeah. And so, at first it felt like it was gonna be critique. It felt like it was gonna be all the things that I had not considered, because I was doing things wrong, or had bad ideas. And in the conversations it was more about, how can we improve this? What other things can we consider and explore, so that we're not just locked in on one idea from the get go? Or what else can we improve? Or what else could we consider as potential options, and opportunities. The frame of what if, instead of just this is wrong, made me feel so much more confident, and supported and guided than those past experiences. And so I think part of what kicked me over the fence was the fact that I felt like I actually had someone in my corner and someone that was going to help me see it through. Not just someone that was gonna tell me, I was doing a bad job or I wasn't meeting expectations, or I hadn't practiced enough, or I hadn't, you know. Actually having someone that was cheering me on, instead of just giving constant critique.
And I hope, and I bet, I bet you're probably taking a lot of that, and doing it yourself in your own business, and like showing people that you're in their corner. You might even see that too, like where people are having doubts, that they're not confident in themselves. And you can like really empathize with them. 'cause you were just in that situation like a couple months ago, you know? Awesome.
Let me ask you this, Kelly. Would you recommend others work with me?
Absolutely, and to be honestly, 100% honest, I have. I have recommended others work with you. I think it's really important that someone has this guidance and the support. Harry's community is really unique in the fact that there are supportive people there who aren't competitive and they want to see each other succeed. And I've really found a home there. And I really enjoy those relationships that I have, and I think it's really helpful. But Harry's also very thorough. I mean, everything that I have learned in the last few months has been a direct result of something that he's talked to me about, something I learned in one of his courses. All of the success that I've had, like I said, it was accelerated through this process. I think I could of maybe eventually gotten here, but it would have taken me forever, and I would have felt a lot more miserable for a lot longer.
It wouldn't have been as fun.
No, no. Now, I'm having a great time. But I wasn't before. And so I think it's really important that someone... I speak about the lesson process, and I don't mean to be super negative about being a musician, because I really do love what I do. But that guidance is something that we do need as people, not even just in your niche. And something that people do need is a mentor, and someone to guide you, and to help you avoid the mistakes that they know of already, so that you're not falling into the same pitfalls. And Harry helped me skip over a lot of those things. And I felt like what could have been three years happened in three months. And not just from a business standpoint, but from the personal growth standpoint. I feel really proud of my success, because it's mine. And it's something that I completely did on my own. But then I also had this amazing support team, and someone that was always in my corner, answering my questions, so I didn't feel lost, and getting me back on track when I was spinning my wheels.
So, would I recommend it, absolutely. I think it's absolutely worth the time, and energy and investment.
So who do you think we're especially a good fit for?
Well, if you feel stuck, if you're not happy with where you're at right now, I think it's, that's definitely Harry's niche. I think from a business mindset, if you think you have it figured out, if you think that what you have in front of you is the only way, it's probably not, and you probably could use a little bit more guidance. And again, speaking from experience, I was stuck in that. looking back on it, now, I see that I was stuck in that, but I didn't even know it at the time. I also think Harry is a really good fit for someone that is not feeling confident in their skills, and not sure if this is right for them, or if they're right for this, and questioning their capability. If you have self-doubt, I think Harry's a really good fit. Because it's not gonna be some like, crazy psycho Tony Robbins. You know, God love him. But it's not gonna be some like awesome pump up. Harry is willing to get down into the weeds with you, and talk really about what's holding you back. And if you're stuck, and if you don't feel confident, lean on him.
Awesome. Thank you. So let me ask you this. Why should someone who's listening take action right now?
Well, it could take you three years, or it could take you three months. And I think if you're still trying to figure out what you want to do next, or if you do feel stuck, I would encourage you to realize that it really can take less time. And it really doesn't have to be as hard as you're currently feeling it is. And it doesn't have to be a mountain that you're climbing. It can just be a river that you gently float down. And I think that's something that I took a little while to see myself. But if you keep waiting and you keep sitting in this negative place and you keep sitting in this, you know, this place of self doubt, or insecurity and lack of self-confidence, it only sucks you in longer. It only takes longer to break those habits, and to break out of that mindset. So right now, if you're listening to this, I would encourage you to meet with Harry, and talk to him and see what he can do to help you. Because the faster you can break out of that, the faster and easier it is to break through those limiting beliefs, and to move forward in your business, and in your life and improve it. Not just the income, in a lot of other ways.
Amazing. Amazing, okay, great. Well, we have to kind of wrap this up. Let me ask you this. What would be your number one piece of advice for other coaches and consultants right now?
I would say prioritize the mindset. I think it's something that I didn't realize, like I said, was holding me back. I thought I had a really good business mindset. I thought I was a positive person. And now I realize that I still have a ways to go. I'm happy now, but I still think there's more out there for me. Wherever you're at right now, is not where you have to stay. It's also not your end game, so really work on yourself. And the clients, and the business, and all of the other success that you want will come so much easier. And one day you'll wake up, and someone will have messaged you on Facebook that they'd like to buy from you. And it'll be like the happiest moment of your entire life if that's never happened for you before. But I promise that where you put your mindset, and intention is what comes back to you. Yeah, I would work on the mindset, and leverage Harry to do that.
Awesome, so you mentioned this, you have some big plans for March and April. Tell me what's next for you at a high level.
Yeah, I've got some big financial goals, which I'm excited about. And next high level for my coaching is that I really like to mold it into a group model. I'm starting a Facebook group in the next week, as I sign on probably two more clients, at least for the next couple of days. I've got some good feelings. So we're moving into a Facebook group, so we can build that community, also. I really want to make sure that I've got musicians that are supporting each other, and filling out the same thing. And then I'm going to build out a mindset training. That's something that I've been talking with Isaac a lot about in the last week. And I want to make sure that I'm doing this for my clients, because a lot of us get stuck in the same places. And so whatever I can do to expedite that for them, I want to provide. Then from there, I've got other business ideas. All these business ideas that I'd like to invest in. So, yeah, got a lot of really fun plans for the next couple of months, and the next few years.
Awesome, that's so great. Well, this is so good catching up. Really, really proud of you, and the progress you've made, it's real exciting. We'll have to do another one of these in a couple months, and I'm sure you'll be seeing even newer heights. Yeah, this is great. If people want to learn more about you, Kelly, where can they find out more about you online?
My website is kellyriordan.com, so K-E-L-L-Y-R-I-O-R-D-A-N dot com. And there you'll find some testimonials from my clients, and some information about what they're up to, and how things are going for them. If you're a musician and you're watching, and be interested in building a studio, I'd love to talk with you and see if there's something that I can do to help. If you are in business, and interested in the music business in general, I'd love to meet you and , as well.
Great, awesome. Well, good stuff, Kelly. Thanks so much.
Thank you very much, Harry.
Hundreds of artists around the world have used Unstarving Artists to start and grow their art practices, expand their minds, and change their lives.