Brian Duvall: Good afternoon, folks. This is Brian Duvall with Smart Business Development and today our guest on our show is Jory Fisher over at JoryFisher.com. We’ve known each other for a number of years and I’m very happy and fortunate to have her as a guest on our show. I’ll let her tell her story about her journey of success going from being an attorney and a Professor of Law at Liberty University to running her business the way she has today. Jory, thank you again for being on the show. Tell us, how did you make that leap from a law professor and an attorney to being an executive coach?
Jory Fisher: Well, thank you. I’m delighted to be here. It’s so good to be on your show. I wasn’t expecting this to happen but you know, that’s how life is, full of twists and turns. I was very happy at Liberty University School of Law. I was a Law Professor there, as a founding faculty member and associate dean, very much enjoying it. I was coaching (because I was coaching my law students). So that was working very, very well and then, lo and behold, we discovered I had a heart condition. I had an atrial septal defect, which is a big deal. I could get a little bit emotional telling about it, but it was really miraculous that I was able to get that repaired and go on to live hopefully decades afterwards.
I decided as a result of that, my husband and I together, that it was time to resign my position as associate dean and come out on my own. I was already in the process of getting certified as a Life Coach. I came out on my own in August 2008. By that I mean I started to work from home as an entrepreneur, and I also practiced law on the side. So it’s a combination of law practice and building my coaching business at first. Then three years ago, my husband and I moved to Bel Air, Maryland, and I no longer practice law. I did not want to take that bar exam again and set up malpractice insurance and all of that, and my coaching business was going well so I decided to be a full-time coach.
Brian Duvall: Very good. So for folks who are our target audience – the entrepreneurs and business owners out there trying to get started – you’ve made the journey. What were some of those early challenges, some things that really you felt like were an obstacle to you, that you were able to overcome in order to get to where you are today?
Jory Fisher: Thank you, Brian. One huge obstacle was that I was used to being a “subject matter expert” and when you move into the coaching world, at least as a life coach, you’re not supposed to be an expert on really anything except the process of coaching. This is the true classic, co-active, non-directive style of coaching. That was like having a rug pulled out from under me because I was used to advising my clients (and now I’m not supposed to do that anymore) and teaching my law students. I’m not supposed to teach either. So that threw me off.
The other thing that was a total bugaboo for me was I never had to worry about attracting clients before. I’ve been a public defender, no lack of clients there. I’ve been a legal aid attorney, no lack of clients there. I’ve been an assistant county attorney representing the Department of Social Services in Fairfax. So this whole thing of having to “get clients now” totally freaked me out. I didn’t realize I had an insecurity problem until I became an entrepreneur.
Brian Duvall: Okay.
Jory Fisher: That was tough. That was definitely tough.
Brian Duvall: Yes, that’s probably a very common challenge for most entrepreneurs, business owners out there, is how do you go about getting customers? So what was something that you learned that you were able to put into action that helped you get those clients and kind of get the ball rolling with your new business?
Jory Fisher: Well, I came to understand, and you helped me quite a bit, Brian, that it is important to have an online presence. I can say a little bit more about that, how you can kind of overdo that, and I’d be happy to….
Brian Duvall: Okay.
Jory Fisher: … but right now, let me just say that you were the one who taught me that it’s really important to offer something to your prospective clients online so that they will have an incentive, a motivation to give you an exchange, their name and email address, so you can start growing your list. So you were the one – and thank you, thank you, thank you – who helped me actually create and design my first free offer, which was my Discover Your Purpose Starter Course. That did help. I started growing my list right away as a result of that and you helped me create a website that actually worked. I’d been kind of floundering before as you know. My first website was all on Flash, which had anyway at that time absolutely no SEO value. I mean nothing. I was a techie toddler, if that. So that was very important to realize that yes, you do need an online presence. I would just say, don’t put all your eggs in that basket and don’t focus on that to the detriment of other things you need to do in growing in your business.
Brian Duvall: Right, great advice, absolutely. What were the other things that you had to do beyond building your online presence because I know you as a very prolific publisher of great value content? What were some of the other things that you did?
Jory Fisher: Well, I think you know. I started a radio show and that was kind of cool. I had just listed, I was in a class that said, “Okay now, get out a 3×5 card and put on it some of what you’re hoping to accomplish over the next few years.” I put “radio show,” but what I meant by it was just to be a guest on a radio show. That seemed like a big leap right there. No sooner had I written that down then I received an invitation from VoiceAmerica to become a radio show host. I’m like, “Whoa! That’s cool.” I started with VoiceAmerica and then I switched on over to BlogTalkRadio. You’re right, that was about seven years ago. That really helped. I mean, I’ve had, oh gosh, over 400,000 listens to my radio show so that has been great.
Brian Duvall: Nice.
Jory Fisher: That has been really good. I know through my guests that I’ve helped bless a lot of people that way. The radio show was one thing. You were the one who taught me that it’s very important to create content, so that whole concept of content marketing is important. At first I freaked out over, “Oh, what am I going to blog about?” I mean, I was used to writing. I enjoy writing. I can write a legal brief really well, but the idea of blogging and having people read it, and didn’t even know who they were, I was nervous about that. I remember, you were the first one who said, “Okay, let’s just break it down. Go through the year and come up with 12 broad topics and then break that down into what you’re going to do by the week.” That was very helpful advice. Again, I thank you. Thank you very much for that, Brian.
Brian Duvall: Sure.
Jory Fisher: Yes, building a blog is important, but maybe this is a good time for me to say, you know how I said don’t put all your eggs in that basket?
Brian Duvall: Right.
Jory Fisher: It’s way too easy to hide behind that.
Brian Duvall: Right.
Jory Fisher: And to think you’re accomplishing all this stuff sitting at home, I call that being a cave-preneur,” and don’t do that! People like me, I’m an extrovert [in case you couldn’t tell]. That was quite a challenge for me because I went from wearing a suit, carrying a brief case and going to court or going to the classroom every day, and all of a sudden I’m working from home. I’ve never worked from home in my pajamas, but it was just really different to be home with my girls, which is great, and my dogs and all of that, but I started to rely a little too much… I got a little too cozy.
So I need to get out there. It’s very important to network. Some people hate that name. Okay well, don’t call it networking. Call it mingling. Get out there and mingle. We need to get out there. We need to speak and of course along with that, you really need to know who you are, WHO YOU ARE, who you are at your core and that’s where my purpose work comes in, which I’d be happy to talk about. You need to know who you are, whom you serve, who is your target market, how best can you help people, what is your message of hope? How are you going to solve a problem for somebody?
Brian Duvall: Right.
Jory Fisher: You need to know all of that, and if you’re out there networking, if you’re out there speaking, and you’re not clear on your message, you have a mixed identity and it’s like, “Well, I do this and I do this.” Well, a confused mind always says no, and you’re not going to get anywhere. Well, I guess I learned one or two things along my journey.
Brian Duvall: Very good. It’s great advice because I’ve run into that a number of times with a lot of clients, the idea of becoming a “cave-preneur” as you put it. That’s a great term. Yes, you get comfortable and you want to stay in your comfort zone. So getting out there and meeting people face to face is where you really start to transact business that’s immediate, where building a web presence is generally more of a long-term strategy for positioning but you’ve really got to back it up with face-to-face encounters with folks and start closing some deals.
Jory Fisher: Right.
Brian Duvall: Now you’ve been involved, since you mentioned networking, you’ve been involved with some really interesting organizations. What are some of the other organizations that you have become involved with that have helped you get new clients and build that real world presence?
Jory Fisher: Okay, well thank you. A little bit more about the online… Ann Sieg, whom you know and you actually introduced me to her, she helped me really understand even further, like with grad school level, of building an online presence, so that was great. She’s kind of known as one of the pioneers of attraction marketing. I love Ann. We became good friends and I owe a lot to her. I am a certified trainer in the Daily Marketing Coach program, so that was great. For online, that was wonderful, and other communities, and that is something that I strongly recommend is get involved in online and offline communities. When you can come together and meet in person, that’s wonderful. I’ve been with Ann in person several times.
Similarly, the Professional Christian Coaching Institute is one of my communities. I’m a faculty member for PCCI and it’s just great when we can get together. We’ve done that only a few times so far, but we have a very strong community. I love that also with Facebook. So that’s one, and the community I’m involved in now, which I love because we’re focusing on growing your local business, is the Top 6 Club. In fact I am a Top 6 Expert for the Baltimore area, the Metro Baltimore area, and we have a virtual presence as well so I really can help anybody anywhere.
Tommi Wolfe is the one who founded this and she is known as The Startup Expert. Her tagline, if you will, is “Live. Local. Lucrative.” So that has really motivated me to join some groups here in Baltimore. As I said, I have only been here three years. I’m out in Harford County and while I had started a networking group when I first came here with WOAMTEC (which is Women On A Mission To Earn Commission), which is wonderful, I was just here in Harford County. I was very local. Now being a To 6 Expert, this has kind of pushed me out of this nest and I’m going way over to Hunt Valley and way over to Timonium and way over to Baltimore city and Towson, and meeting people out there. That has been really good for me as well.
Brian Duvall: Very good. What were some of the early, I guess, your best tips? Since you’ve been in business now for a number of years, and you’ve been constantly growing and progressing, what would be some of like two or three best words of wisdom or advice for folks who maybe still struggling in getting their business going and off the ground or reaching the next level?
Jory Fisher: Okay, sure. Brian, when you first met me you knew I was in the process of getting certified in the True Purpose Process. So I am certified True Purpose coach and being clear in your purpose is absolutely critical. Some people may call it purpose. Some people may say divine purpose or calling. If it’s a calling, then who is the caller, right? So usually it’s people of faith who refer to it as a calling, but if you are clear on whom you are meant to serve and how you are meant to serve them, then that is going to get you a long distance because you’ll know what you are doing when you get up in the morning. You may still need business development classes or certainly to hire a business coach or a business mentor, or something like that, but at least you’ll know what it is you are meant to do.
Knowing your purpose, knowing your why, I’m certainly not the first person to talk about that but it is really important to know why you are doing what you are doing. Maybe that “why” is in order to help your children get to college, maybe that “why” is to help the earthquake victims in Nepal and other terrible tragedies around the world, maybe childhood nutrition. It could be a number of things, but knowing your purpose, knowing your “why” is very important.
As I said part of your purpose is whom are you meant to serve, and that is also known as niche – so target market, what is the service you provide, what results do you hope to bring about for people. That is very, very important. Getting clear on that is important. Certainly knowing some business fundamentals, that is very, very important. I took accounting my freshman year but other than that I did not have any business development or business fundamentals. I knew how to balance my checkbook, that’s about it.
Brian Duvall: Let’s talk about that for a second. This is an opportunity and I’m not an affiliate for this particular organization, but there is a book that I highly recommend that addresses what you just brought up. It’s called Personal MBA by Josh Kauffman; you can get it on Amazon for like $10, the Kindle version. I like having the paperback version because you can flip to specific chapters. Basically what he’s done is he’s taken what amounts to $250,000-MBA program at like Harvard Business School and condensed it down into a single paperback going over the most critical elements of business and ideas, and the concept of how business works without jamming your head full of extraneous things or making you run through all kinds of figuring complex math problems and things. It’s just an absolutely brilliant book. I love it. It’s an easy read. It’s in easy language so you don’t have to be intimidated by the title. I highly recommend everybody in business get that book.
Jory Fisher: Will you be able to put a link to it on your…?
Brian Duvall: Yes. I’ll go ahead and put an Amazon link after this interview but yes definitely. I highly recommend that book. It’s definitely worth the $10.
Jory Fisher: $10, yes, exactly. It’s just so important. I do work with a lot of people of faith, and a lot of Christian women seem to struggle with this. Not that they don’t have the aptitude, I’m not saying that, but just that you think of, “Oh but I enjoy coaching, I enjoy doing this. So therefore, it should be a ministry and I shouldn’t be concerned so much about profit,” and it can get really tricky. I’m sure there are some people out there listening to this who know what I’m talking about. I think that book sounds great. I have a blueprint that I can offer. If anybody wants to email me at Jory@JoryFisher.com, I’d be happy to send it to you. It’s sort of how to put things together related to the clarity and calling and client attraction and cash. Not to the extent, of course, as the book that you are talking about with the business fundamentals but maybe in conjunction with that because I think those are very, very important to get all of that.
Brian Duvall: Right. One of the key ideas he brings up is that you have to have positive cash flow; so that you can keep things going and do all the things that you want to do with the rest of your life. So making a profit is not a bad thing.
Jory Fisher: It’s not, it’s not. I can’t help but think of John Wesley, “Make all you can.” He’s the founder of Methodism, by the way, for those of you who don’t know. “Make all you can, save all you can, give all you can.” If we aren’t making money, then we’re not going to be able to tithe. We’re not going to be able to put anything in the coffers at church. So we need to make money, and that’s okay. Money is not a bad thing.
Brian Duvall: Right, very good. Are there any other words of wisdom that you would like to share with our entrepreneurial audience today?
Jory Fisher: Well, I think that you really need to know for a fact that you’re called to business, because it can be hard. It can be absolutely exhilarating. It can be wonderful. I’m kind of glad I didn’t know back in 2008 how difficult it can be; however, having gone through the bumps and grinds and everything that I’ve been through then I can help other people more. So we can use all of that. We can use all of that, so that’s good.
Brian Duvall: Right.
Jory Fisher: But be prepared to persevere. If you are a person of faith, be prepared to have lots of prayer every day of what you are doing. The clarity, understanding client attraction, and knowing business fundamentals, making sure that you get out there and mingle with people that you get on the speed circuit when you know what you are doing, I think those are the most important. What I was going to say again it’s yes, you do need to have a website. In this day and age if you don’t have a website, people are not going to take you seriously but you don’t necessarily have to do which is what I did first, and spend a gazillion hours on, “Is that the right color teal?” You remember back when I was doing that. So yes, that’s where I am.
Brian Duvall: I know we were starting to wind this down, but there is a question that I think is probably on a lot of viewers’ minds since you mentioned it earlier in the show and that was that you had a radio show on BlogTalkRadio. I just want to ask you a couple of quick questions before I let you go about what it’s like to host a radio show. Tell us a little bit about the frequency, the topic, how did you get your guests. Just give us a little background on your show.
Jory Fisher: Sure, I’d be happy to. Well, starting with VoiceAmerica really did help me because they taught me what I needed to have in place. They taught me about advertising. So that was good. I realized through them that it was always good to have your guests lined up ahead of time. In fact my first 13 guests, I knew who I was having even before I started my first show. So that was great. Then when I came to BlogTalkRadio, they give you a lot of online help and they are wonderful people. I feel like they are my friends. I can call them in the middle of the show if I’m having an emergency and they’ll help me. That’s good too. I’m very, very glad that I came on over to BlogTalkRadio and strongly encourage working with them.
You need to have a theme and for me my show has been Heart & Soul for Women of Faith and the emphasis is on purpose, passion, perseverance, just really making a difference in the world through ministry and through business, and I’ve had probably over 200 guests. I’ve done a combination of having the show completely by myself and co-hosting. I love co-hosting as well because then I can carry on a conversation with somebody else and sometimes the two of us, the two co-hosts, will have a guest or sometimes it will just be the co-host and I speaking.
I’ve done so many different things with the radio show, and it’s been good. It is going to take your time. One of the things that I do is (well, at least since October, I didn’t use to do it) but I have my shows transcribed, and then I have them on my website so that somebody can access the PDF of the transcript.
Brian Duvall: What has been the impact on your business in terms of being now known as the host of a popular radio show on BlogTalkRadio?
Jory Fisher: I have people reaching out to me from Nigeria, from Germany, from Kenya. That is really neat. In fact, my biggest challenge there is trying to figure out a time that I can speak with the person because we are in such different time zones. That’s been fun knowing that I have an influence in people around the world. BlogTalkRadio does have a very strong reach. That’s been great. Rephrase your question again.
Brian Duvall: Obviously it takes a lot of time and effort, so I was wondering what impact being the host of a radio show has actually had on either your fame or your ability to attract clients, that kind of thing.
Jory Fisher: I will say that it is lovely when people reach out to me and say… because I have people fill out a questionnaire when they want to work with me. I always ask how did you know about me or how did you find me, or whatever. It’s always exciting when they say, “Through your radio show.” But there is no way that I can tell exactly the population that is listening to my show. I can see the number of listens in the BlogTalkRadio back office, but I can’t see that they are primarily from Europe, primarily from… you know, like Google Analytics does. So it’s hard to say for sure, but I definitely had people come to my website and then fill out a “Work with Jory” form and then we have a conversation, and the way they found out about me was the radio show.
Brian Duvall: Okay. You’ve interviewed some very impressive people, famous authors and other coaches and experts from a variety of different industries over the world.
Jory Fisher: And Brain Duvall.
Brian Duvall: Yes, thank you. It was a pleasure being on your show. Tell us a little about what it was like getting these folks lined up?
Jory Fisher: Oh, okay. People are honored. In fact, I had to turn a lot of people away until I made it really clear that, since October anyway, I was not having guests so much as working with the co-host. That was hard to be turning people away, but I had to do it because I think people get on a quest to be as in many radio shows as they can, and so I was getting all kinds of request. But you need to be clear on, again, it’s just like what we were talking about before, you need to be clear in the purpose of your show. So you need to be clear on your own purpose, your own life calling, your business, and you need to be clear on the purpose of your radio show. If it didn’t fit, if it didn’t fall within the realm of my purpose for the radio show then I would politely say, “I’m sorry, here let me give you another radio show host that you might want to reach out to.”
You know, Brian, from working with me that I reached out to you probably months in advance and invited you to be on the show. Then I sent you a questionnaire [oh gosh do I have system down!]. So I sent you a questionnaire and then you filled all of that out and then I used a scheduling tool in order to make sure that I didn’t have guests signing up to be on the same week, and then you’d be getting a reminder. I have a wonderful assistant, Susan Fleming, who has been helping me with all of that. She’s been uploading my shows to BlogTalkRadio from day one and on my website. It would be hard to do by yourself, but I know people who do and I know people who are radio show host every single day of the week, and they seriously monetize it. I never got into that. I never wanted to do a show every week. I have other things to do in my life. That’s not my only calling. I never really pursued monetizing it so my way of monetizing it is just when people hire me as their coach.
Brian Duvall: So for you it’s mostly about positioning you as an expert and an authority figure in the marketplace?
Jory Fisher: That’s it.
Brian Duvall: It’s great. Thank you again so much for being on today’s show. What we are going to do is you’ve asked a great question before we actually went on the air to broadcast this one and what we will do is look for an answer to those questions and go ahead and tell folks where they can find out more information about your company. Give the web address again.
Jory Fisher: Thank you. Well, my website is JoryFisher.com, that’s J-O-R-Y. You can probably see it on the screen, J-O-R-Y-F-I-S-H-E-R. You could email me at Jory@JoryFisher.com. There are a couple of things that I’d really like to say. One is if you want to get clear in your purpose, I’d be happy to help you, and the other is if you really want to take your business into six figures, I’d love to help you with that. If you’re here in Baltimore, we could do it in person. If you’re outside of the Baltimore area, we have a virtual program. We can work with you through that and I am Top 6 Expert. I mentioned Tommi Wolfe from the Top 6 Club and what that refers to is only 6% of entrepreneurs truly thrive. I’d love to help you thrive if you’re a purpose-guided service-based entrepreneur.
The other thing, Brian, if you don’t mind, another mission that I have which I absolutely love is I help feed malnourished children and we’re on a mission to eradicate childhood malnutrition around the world. It’s through a company called EMSquared and The Hope Bar Project. I got in on the ground floor of that and I absolutely love it. If you want to know about social enterprise, social entrepreneurship, especially if you have an interest in helping feed malnourished children, please reach out to me as well.
Brian Duvall: Great. Thanks again for being on the show. We look forward to talking to you again and following your success.
Jory Fisher: Bless you.
Brian Duvall: Until next time, folks. See you!
Transcription by Alma Noefe