Great Escape Podcast episode 7 - Sara Moseley and the million dollar online business challenge

Uncategorized Jun 29, 2019

- [Stuart] Welcome to the Great Escape Podcast, Episode seven.

My guest today is Sara Moseley, and if you listen to nothing else, then this little quote from Sara is absolute gold dust.

- [Sara] One of the things that really made a difference to me was letting myself be open to opportunity.

- [Stuart] But I know you're gonna wanna hear more, so carry on listening, and if you want to find other episodes, the website is, and now on with the show.

- [Announcer] We are go for liftoff, in T-minus 30. All systems are a go.

- [Stuart] Sara, tell us about your life before change.

- [Sara] Oh my goodness, right.

Well, at the tender age of 48, I won't go into the whole of my life before the change, but the key thing is that I was a professional photographer.

I'd been self employed for 12 years, so I'd built, I turned my hobby of photography into a business, and I absolutely loved it.

It was a real journey in itself, and I got to the stage where I had a beautiful boutique studio in a lovely area of Birmingham, and everything was really, really good.

So, I had some key freelance stuff that worked for me, and all was very well.

Then, one day I woke up, and I had a little bit of a headache, and I thought, oh, that doesn't feel too good.

Within a couple of days, I was completely bedridden.

I was experiencing pins and needles in my arms.

I couldn't get my head off the pillow.

Physically couldn't move, and I had what was the start of a couple of months pretty much in bed full-time.

So, I'd gone from,

I'd gone from enjoying a successful business, doing something that I really loved, to suddenly everything had to stop, and what was most soul destroying about this experience was,

I didn't see it coming.

Most people don't see something like this coming.

I hasten to add that I'm fine.

I had what was diagnosed as mild encephalitis, which is a swelling of the brain, and people die from this, it's awful.

So I feel very grateful that I'm able to say that, you know, I went through this, and came out the other side.

But, the key thing was, life was good.

My business was doing well, and I think that had been a big focus.

I have two children and a husband, but we also had the business, which was like a third child.

So when this happened, yeah, it kind of came from nowhere.

- [Stuart] You were kind of backed into change having to happen.

- [Sara] Change happened to me, yeah.

- [Stuart] In a way, that decision was taken away from you, but as you were recovering from this, why not just go straight back in, and carry on with the photography business?

- [Sara] Well, this is where hindsight is a beautiful thing, because I kept questioning...

I'm a big believer in, you know, things don't happen by accident.

I do believe in the law of attraction.

I'm just gonna hasten to add that I also believe you have to actually do something and take action, but I do believe in that whole, you kind of manifest things that happen in your life, and I spent hours, because the thing is, when you're bedridden, especially with headaches, you kind of have a lot of time on your hand to just think about things, and I realised, I had this massive, dawning realisation that whilst everything was great, there was an underlying unhappiness about what was going on, and that was that, you know, my passion in my photography was I love people, okay, so I was a portrait and wedding photographer, so it doesn't take a genius to work out that the majority of my work took place at the weekends.

With photography, you've gotta be with somebody, at the same time, in the same place, and there's a camera between you.

The editing and so on, and all the bits that happen after that, and all the marketing of your business, and running your business, can happen at another time, but you can't really run a portrait and wedding photography business without working weekends.

So what was happening was, my, I remember my husband one day said,

"I kind of, I feel like a single parent."

He said it was awful.

He took the kids out for lunch.

They'd gone out, they'd had a morning together, they went out for lunch, and he said, "I felt like people were looking at me,

"as if like, ah, there he is with the kids today,

"it must be his day."

And whilst that wasn't true, the fact that he even felt like that really started to sort of grate for me, and then my son started playing football, and so I was missing out on activities that were happening with my own family, because of the photography business.

So, a lot of the doctors and things were saying, this is stress related as well, and I kept saying it can't be.

Things are so good, everything's good.

Why would I be stressed?

Because anybody who's ever had their own business, you kind of know when you're stressed out, right?

It's very obvious.

But, I didn't feel that way.

But with, as I said, with hindsight, as I was sort of getting better,

I realised that that is what was eating away at me.

It wasn't the business side of things.

It was my lifestyle, it was, this is great, but what am I actually, where is the quality of my life here?

And whilst we'd referred to my business as the third child, really it had become the naughty toddler, who was very demanding of my time.

So, that realisation was a real turning point for me, because it made me realise that things were gonna have to change.

If I wanted to have more time with my family, if I wanted to enjoy that side of my life, and Stuart, you know, when you've got children, you understand that that time is gone, and it's so fleeting, and I actually lay there, and I worked out that I had 250 weekends left with my children, before they got bored, and were not interested in me anymore being around at weekends.

And when I did that number,

I thought, that's crazy.

I can't miss out on those.

That's not, that's not very many at all.

So, yeah, so that was when I decided that I thought, you know what?

I do love this business, but,

I don't want to carry on with this, and once I had that knowledge that that's how I felt about it, then clearly it was coinciding with the fact that I'd created a lovely business, but the realisation of once I'd taken myself out of that business, then I started haemorrhaging money, because whilst my team were able to carry on,

I was very fortunate, my sister was my studio manager, so she was very much behind me.

She carried on doing the sales.

She did as much as she could with the business, but clearly once the editing ran out, once, you know, the products to sell ran out, then there wasn't anything left.

So, teaming those two things together,

I'd gone from happily loving my business, to suddenly thinking, hang on a minute, this is not good.

Haemorrhaging money is not good.

I don't want to work on this kind of business model anymore, where really what I'd created was a glorified job.

Do you know what I mean?

I paid other people, but it was a glorified job, rather than a business that could operate without me.

So, yeah, so that's when I began to think about making a change.

- [Stuart] What led you to then understand that you could make this change?

That it wasn't just something you wanted to happen, but that you could do it?

- [Sara] Well, I'm a bit of a stubborn old bird, really, and I've always believed...

Yeah, I had made a previous change, and this is important, that my, before I setup the photography business,

I'd been a magazine publisher, and so I'd published magazines for some big publishing houses in London, and also launched titles in Dubai.

I went over to Dubai with my magazine career, but that got to a stage where I was like, well how many magazines do I launch?

And I wanted to make the change, because I'd always wanted to have my own business.

So, I knew that I'd already experienced a change, quite a dramatic change, going from having your fabulous corporate job, and a successful career, to, okay I'm gonna start my own business, and at that time, I handed in my notice, and I actually went...

We got pregnant within a month of me handing in my notice, so I was actually like a few months pregnant by the time I left, and I was starting this business, so it wasn't ideal circumstances, but even though that had happened, my drive for making the change, and working out what I had to do,

I'd already experienced that, so I knew that I'd already done a change once, so it was a case of, okay,

I know that I can go through that process of making change, and it's so, so much in your head, you know.

A lot of, the belief comes from when you decide, and commit.

If you decide and commit to making a change, then you start to believe that it can totally happen, because you don't want to go backwards.

You can only go forwards.

So, I'd already as well, with my photography business, you know I mean, you'd have to have been under a rock.

This was just in 2015.

You would have had to have been under a rock, not to have started to notice the online business.

You know, the online world, and what was happening there, and so I'd already started, I had plans made, and this is where I kick myself, or I had kicked myself.

I had plans to do something called

The Photographer's Sanctuary.

I was gonna help people setup their own businesses, take their hobby, and turn it into a photography business, as I had.

But the thing is Stuart, was that I'd never ever made the time to really make that happen.

I'd been just learning about,

I'd been looking into it.

I'd made a few plans, but guess what?

I was constantly busy with my business.

I hadn't given it priority.

So, by the time I had my burnout,

I was in a place where I realised that had I gone through that, had I actually gone ahead and created those online courses, created that membership site,

I wouldn't necessarily have been haemorrhaging money in the way that I was, and things could have been very different.

So, that was, again, you know, the fact that, when you're gonna make your change, you've really gotta go into yourself.

You've really gotta think about what are the things you want?

And often, you've gotta think about what are the things you don't want?

Do you know what I mean?

Like, sometimes the change comes from, okay, I don't wanna be doing that anymore, and whilst you're not clear on what you do want, starting with what you don't want, you just flip it, and then you can start to see what you do want.

So, I actually, before, I hadn't written off photography, but I'd started to realise that I felt that journey had come to an end, and actually I didn't wanna go down the road, because I felt, I felt it had ended in a way that wasn't through my own choice.

And so, I realised that, yes,

I definitely want to do something that is not tied to a bricks and mortar premises, that, you know, is not on other peoples' schedule.

I wanted a business that I could operate in my own time, and that just led me totally to the online world.

And I thank my lucky stars,

I'm sure you do Stuart as well, you know, I mentioned my age earlier, 48, but we are at such an amazing time now, to have the internet, to have technology being so very simple,

I just felt that, no, this was where I was gonna go.

I was gonna build a business online, because that would be able to give me all the lifestyle things that I wanted, and allow me to do something that was really fulfilling, and help others.

- [Stuart] Okay.

So, how did you then choose what we're gonna talk about in a minute, what you're doing now?

What led you to this, that you've decided that change is gonna happen, what made you choose what it is that's happening?

- [Sara] Well, I've gotta tell you this.

I'm so glad you've asked this question, because I think, I hope, and I would love if any of your listeners to give me some feedback on this one, and if they've ever been in this place, but my drive to make the change, I became...

I started a phrase...

There's a phrase, isn't there, where, you know, the fairytale, you gotta kiss the frog to find your prince, and I knew roughly what

I wanted to go into, which was, you know, I took a bit of a life audit, you know?

I sat down and I went, okay, so what can I do?

What are the things I can do?

Well I know photography, I know magazine publishing, and I went back, and my first steps were to go over my life.

I started at university, where I studied Business

Studies and Marketing, and then I just went through, what were the milestones, what were the things I'd achieved?

What had I'd really done?

And, business, business was the overriding thing that came through.

You know, as a teenager,

I used to read everything that Richard Branson put out there.

Alan Sugar, these were the characters of the time, and I always wanted to do business, it was a passion for me.

And then I realised, hang on a minute,

I've run multimillion budget magazines,

I've run my own business, so I started looking into that.

So, the obvious thing was to,

I'd already been coaching other photographers.

It's amazing when you get a studio, they pop in, and see you, and before you know it, you're saying things like,

"You know what, I could coach you on this."

And, so I'd been doing that, and I'd really enjoyed that.

You know, I'd run workshops, so I knew I knew how to teach.

And I just went through my skillsets, so I started off thinking, hang on, okay, the ones that I like coaching, who are they?

And that took me to another level, which was,

I investigated that further.

I really enjoyed helping women over 40, because they wanted to, they wanted to make a change, right?

And so, they seemed to be totally coachable as well, they wanted to learn, they wanted to move on, so that led me to running networking meetings, helping women set up their own businesses.

So, I then went through a series of,

I'll try a bit of this, do I like that?

I'll try a bit of that,

I'll do the online coaching, and so on.

And, then that led me to where I am now, and I realised, I'd had a bit of a lifestyle change, and my very first online course was actually about giving up drinking alcohol as a lifestyle thing, because I made that choice, and I sold these courses, and ah, what a buzz.

To sell your first online course was just awesome, and I thought, okay, this is it.

This is it.

I'd done a webinar, I'd really enjoyed doing the webinar.

People had bought, I was excited, but I realised that's not what I wanted to be known for, and it wasn't something that, it was just a lifestyle change, and I tested out a course.

So I retired that course, and then I went into the business coaching, the business side of things, and that led me to where I am now, which is, what I do is I help people with small businesses, solopreneurs, one man bands if you like,

I show them, if they've got a successful offline business, how they can actually take their skills and knowledge, and turn that into an online business.

And my drive behind that comes from my story, which is where I wanted to be.

You know, I want total financial and time independence.

I wanna be, we talked about this earlier, that, you know, I wanna be that grandparent that takes the grandchildren on cruises, you know, rather than look after them and take them to the park.

Not that there's anything wrong with that, but I wanna be fun grand, do you know what I mean?

So, for people when they got their own businesses, and they get themselves into a state where they're exchanging time for money, or they're totally tied to their business, where they can't take any time off, because they know their incomes will come down, then the solution clearly is to have an online element.

So that's now what I teach.

I teach people how to create online courses, and create online businesses.

- [Stuart] Cool.

- [Sara] It's quite a journey, right?

- [Stuart] Well, and I think that's one of the things that I'm enjoying so much about doing this podcast, is everybody that I speak to has an amazing story.

- [Sara] But this is what's so great about nowadays, is that because everybody's individual, that's the only, that's the one thing you have, isn't it?

Your own story, your own journey, that's what makes you unique.

And that's why people can stand out, online now, is because, come out, be brave, and stand for what you believe in.

- [Stuart] Absolutely.

Then, having made that decision, on teaching people how to do online courses, what's the plan?

- [Sara] Here comes another big change.

So, like most people, when you get into something new, you know, you have to get really uncomfortable, right?

You have to learn new skills, you have to move forward, and the thing with the online business is, you have to become more visible, right?

You can build a beautiful course that gets people results, but unless people know about it, you're never gonna really make any money, you're never really gonna make it work, and of course you need that to come in, to give you the time freedom, and the financial freedom.

So I decided, at the end of last year, that 2019 was gonna be the year that I invested in myself, and that I stop playing small, and start to kind of get that mindset right to...

I'd delved enough into the online world to know this is definitely for me.

I know I can create amazing things.

I know I can help people, and I think, when you get that, when you get that drive, that oh my gosh, I could change peoples' lives.

How amazing is that?

So, I invested in myself, and one of the things that I did, was I took a little trip over to L.A., and I went to the Impact Summit, which was a conference organized by Kajabi, which is how we know each other, isn't it Stuart?

- There you go, yeah.

- That's how we know.

So we both know it's great.

- [Stuart] Links in the show notes.

- [Sara] Yeah.

So, I went over there, and three days of listening to amazing people.

Brendan Bouchard, Amy

Porterfield, James Wedmore, all these guys have done, you know, mutli-million dollar online businesses.

So I had this moment of, oh my god.

I was like Neo in The Matrix.

All of a sudden, everything became totally crystal clear to me, was that, Sara, what are you doing?

You have everything in place.

You know exactly what you wanna be doing.

You've got the skills to be doing this.

You've just gotta go out there and do it.

So, I had this mad and crazy moment, where I said, "I am gonna commit

"to building a million dollar online business."

Now, just to put this into context, you know, I've been selling this particular online course since November last year, so it's still in its early stages, if you like, so I'm pretty much starting from scratch, and that's what led me to go, well why don't I just start from zero?

So, June the 24th, I am zeroing everything.

I'm starting from zero, and I am pledging that I'm gonna build a million dollar online business within a year.

Now, I still, you're hearing me,

I'm still, you can see it...

There's, in my voice, I know

I'm giving this away, right, because I have the drive to do it.

I've put together the business plan to do it.

I have got myself a great network of people around me, who are saying,

"You can totally do this," and that was the thing that

I heard at that conference.

Nobody laughed at me when I said that.

Nobody, not a single person at that conference said,

"Oh don't be ridiculous."

Now, I've gotta be honest here.

I've had plenty of people who have since laughed at me, who are not in the online world, and, you know, all people who've been super caring about me.

I know they're coming from a place of protection, and love.

You know, they're like, "Oh, come on.

"That's not realistic.

"You can't do that in a year."

But, why not?

People do it.

Other people do it.

And all those speakers were up there on that stage, telling me, I felt like they were talking to me personally, telling me how they've done it.

What they went through.

What they had to overcome.

What they could...

They were imparting all this amazing information, and who was I, how rude of me, to not take it onboard, and actually do something with that information?

Do you know what I mean?

Yeah, so I've started the podcast, which starts on June the 25th.

So I'll be day into my project, and the podcast launches.

And, yeah, away we go.

So my invitation is to,

I don't wanna do this journey on my own, because why?

Why not take some people with me?

So, I, yeah, that's what I'm gonna do.

I'm gonna build a million dollar online business in a year.

- [Stuart] And we are gonna love walking this journey with you, and watching how it all goes.

- [Sara] Let's go.

You're not gonna be watching, you're gonna journey yourself as well.

- Absolutely.

- Public commitment.

- [Stuart] Public commitment, indeed.

- [Sara] The thing is with it, Stuart, is that when you decide and commit to do something, whatever the change is, you know, this feels fun to me.

It feels fun, it feels totally achievable, and I believe I can do it.

And what's the worst that can happen?

I don't make it.

But I know I'll make a damn good job of it, and I know I'll enjoy the journey.

- [Stuart] The risk of failure is actually relatively small.

- [Sara] Yeah.

I'd rather be known for the person who tried, than to never try at all.

- [Stuart] Oh yeah.

That's an amazingly inspirational story, and absolutely fascinating.

We will put all of the links to Sara's podcast, and her training courses in the show notes, and so you can follow her story, join the story, and if you've been inspired to do something yourself, you can go and join her team.

- [Sara] I've created a Facebook group, called The Million Dollar

Online Business Collective, so if anybody does feel that, oh man, you know what?

I'm gonna play bigger.

I wanna go and see what this is all about, then they're more than welcome to come over and join that free group.

- [Stuart] Excellent.

And you'll find me in there as well.

- [Sara] Yes.

- [Stuart] Thank you very much, Sara.

- [Sara] Thank you so much.

Was great fun Stuart, thank you.

- [Stuart] And you can find Sara's details at, and her podcast, which was launched last weekend, is The Million Dollar

Online Business Podcast, available on all the usual platforms.

Talk to you on Wednesday.

The Great Escape titles music was created by Darren Reddick

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