Passion, Purpose, and Why - Glenn Allen is a Digital Course Launch Specialist, Marketing Consultant, and the Host of Unstuck and Unstoppable Podcast.
Do you have success in your traditional career?
Are you learning how to do this online?
Often this takes learning how to grow a completely new audience and new messaging.
Glenn shares his wisdom around how he did it and how he inspires others to do this.
What Intrigued Me?
What Inspired Me?
Glenn’s story about wanting to be a musician and debunking myths:
What Challenged Me?
Total agree with the reality check:
About the Guest
Glenn Allen, Digital Courses Launch Consultant and Marketing Strategist for 6-7-Figure Business Owners, Business Coach, Podcast Host & YouTube Host.
About the Show
Podcast Host: Life & Leadership: A Conscious Journey with Michelle St Jane
A podcast for Global and Re-Emerging Leadership creating community/tribe, a circle of influence, transcendency of compassionate leadership in the world and wider universe. A unique destination for learning about Leadership + Conscious Stewardship + Legacy.
Social Media Accounts
Intro: [00:00:00] You're listening to life and leadership, a conscious journey. The podcast is shares, wisdom, and strength. Join your hosts, Dr. Michelle St Jane's weekly conversation on how to have a positive impact on people, the planet, and the wider world. If you want to live a life of intention to be proactive with your time and bring your vision for the future to life one today at a time you were in the right place at the right time, let's get started.
Michelle St Jane: [00:00:37] The featured guest today is Glenn Allen. He is a digital course launch specialist. Marketing consultant and the host of Unstuck and Unstoppable, A podcast. Glenn's work is primarily in the area of industry and thought leaders. I really appreciate his presence in the world because I'm passionate about re-emerging leaders.
Those who've had successful careers, but they no longer satisfy. Those who choose to retire and/or redeploy and more satisfying strings of life. They wish to flourish and share their wisdom in new and authentic ways. So if you're ready to run from your day job, Glenn is the man with a lot of wisdom for this podcast.
Glenn, welcome. I'd love for you to share your story, and how you got into this?
Glenn Allen: [00:01:23] Well, thanks for having me on. How I got into this, that's an interesting roundabout. I think a lot of people's careers and the things they do in life are very, non-linear. It's very odd, very infrequently that you hear somebody say, well, I always wanted to do this, and then I did that.
My story is no different. I did always want to be a musician. I come from a musical family and I started out and went to Berkeley College of Music in Boston, and I was gigging around New York City and in California and to pay the bills I ended up teaching quite a bit and I got stuck in an eight by 10 room.
It started to become 40 hours a week and longer, where I was seeing the same things over and over. I just wanted to make more money and I realized a big chunk of my money went towards the place I was renting to teach, and I can only really go so far. So I wanted to scale what I was doing.
I realized that the results I was getting were causing me to become overbooked and I was pushing people away, so I knew there was an opportunity to make more money teaching and coaching people through music. I was helping people get over a lot of limiting self-beliefs such as. “I'm too old”, or” I heard that if you don't start when you're a kid, you'll never be this great”.
I was debunking all these myths that people had about what they could and couldn't accomplish in music. I didn't realize it, but I was actually coaching at the time and that's why I was becoming so successful at getting results. So I thought I'll make a YouTube channel and just start making tutorials. I'll try to figure out how to make a living doing this.
I didn't really know exactly how to monetize it, I just figured I'm just going to create a YouTube channel. This was 2006, 2007. So I learned how to create content that was interesting to people and then lead people back to my email lists through offering transcriptions and different freebies and then to get them in my email world and start offering them, through an automated email nurture sequence, an ebook that I had written on songwriting because a lot of the content I was creating was about writing songs and creating music.
It was a $7 Ebook and I spent, I think, six months creating content for this and writing the Ebook. I was thinking, this is going to be the thing, and when I went to sell it, I made a whopping $70. So all that time and energy went into that and I felt it wasn't exactly a failure, but it taught me a lot about marketing and about info products.
People started asking me, “how did you set up your YouTube channel? How do you create this email automation? What are you using to process payments”, all these different things like that so I started freelancing and marketing, and what I found was that same creative energy that I got from writing music and performing, I was getting that same joy out of creating these marketing campaigns and creating, worksheets and websites and all these sales funnels and digital marketing content.
So fast forward a while, after freelancing and doing it in a few jobs, I ended up landing an absolute dream job with leadership development, coaching consulting, and training firm, where I took their entire workshop series.
We started creating digital info products, digital courses, virtual coaching, and membership site, things like that. I started coaching on the side and consulting on the side, helping people launch their digital courses. As people start to seek out, “how are you doing this ?” I got more and more involved in it.
All this time I'm investing heavily, and I'm obsessed with digital courses. I've spent tens of thousands of dollars on them and this dream job of mine, they were bankrolling that obsession. So that was wonderful.
I'd still be there today, if not for, well, I don't know if I'd still be there today, but I would likely still be there today but COVID kind of pushed me out the door. I'd always planned on going solo, but it was kind of like, “okay kid you're on your own, you gotta do this because you know, the business took a big hit”.
I saw that as my opportunity “I don't think I want to stick around and wait to get furloughed”. So I said, “this is my opportunity. I'm going to jump”. So in a roundabout way, I went from a musician to a marketer and now I help Emmy award-winning musicians, songwriters, people who produce and write music for film and TV, as well as other creatives, like videographers and authors, best-selling authors, and photographers to create info products that scale and sell their expertise.
Michelle St Jane: [00:05:38] Given you're a man who likes to jump, tell me about parachuting. Sorry. I couldn't resist.
Glenn Allen: [00:05:44] When my buddy turned 40, that was a couple of years back, maybe two years ago, we went to Utah, to Zion national park and we decided to parachute. I think of parachuting as a sort of analogy for making that leap into a new career, going full-time in a business, you know, something like that.
The reason I look at it that way is that when you parachute, you're not allowed to do it on your own the first time. You have to tandem or you have to take a bunch of training. So my first experience, I remember I was fearless about it. I was like, “this is going to be fine, it's gonna be great” until that moment I actually got up into the plane and I thought it was going to be like what you see on TV, where they have these big jets and it's a bunch of people on there at the same time and they're all getting ready and all psyching each other up.
No, you go up in this tiny little feeder plane. Its walls are really thin. You feel every little bump and every move along the way it feels like a roller coaster and once it gets to a certain height you're like, okay, that's high enough, that seems like what I'm going to jump from, but then they keep going several thousand more feet. You're in, I think they called it the pollution layer. You can see the curvature of the earth and you look down and you think you're going to make out like buildings no, the mountains, or the canyons below me look like dots and pepper. It was really hard to make out.
So that moment, that door swung open. I remember my heart just sank. I knew that I wanted to do it, but I didn't want to do it. If it wasn't for the fact that the instructor with me basically just forces you out of that thing and it tells you what you need to do.
He anticipates the fact that you're going to be freaked out. He anticipates the fact that you're not going to want to move and he's there to keep you on track because you're too busy worrying about what's going on and feeling the free fall. He tells you the moment where you gotta be. He puts his arm over your shoulder and points down at your rope and tells you to pull your cord. Without that kind of thing, you just feel like you're plummeting.
That's how I feel if you're going to make big leaps. You should always have a coach or a consultant. My big jump into entrepreneurship required somebody just like that, where she just basically just kicked me out the door. “You ready? You're running Facebook ads”. “I am????” If you're not going to jump, somebody has to push you sometimes to just get you past that fear.
Michelle St Jane: [00:08:05] Absolutely. Absolutely. You also talk about how you almost died on a jump. Did that crystallize things for you when you clarity?
Glenn Allen: [00:08:16] Well, we practice in the air. The man or woman who takes you down, they show you how to practice landing while you're in mid-air. You have these straps, but they have straps above that they can take the reins back if you're not doing it right, but what's crazy is if you get the parachute above you, it's holding the air pressure, you're looking out at the horizon and it was a point where you feel like once that parachute is deployed, you're just suspended in mid-air, you're walking on glass and you're looking down at a glass floor. It's the weirdest feeling. Everything's still, once you're done with the freefall.
You practice pulling down the straps to your legs and kicking your feet out because that's how you land. When that happens, you’re here. Your parachute is basically not engaged. So you're back in a free fall and it's freaky. You feel like it's never going to come back up. So we practiced this thing and essentially what happened was that I thought I had it. I watched my friends all go in front of me and they didn't quite time it right. So they tumbled forward and hit the dirt. I said that's not going to be me. I'm going to time it right. I timed it right, but I didn't let off at quite the right moment.
Basically, my friends are just watching me from the side. I see the landing strip coming at me and all of a sudden I see myself just veering 10, 15 feet off of the landing strip into the hard ground. All of a sudden we just went, boom. Just smacked our butts straight on the ground. If it wasn't for that instructor who had a sense of what was going on and rolled us forward really hard, we probably would have broken our legs or could have even become paralyzed.
So, you know, again, it's another reason why you have that other person there to help you, to anticipate things that might come. What was great is, it was a bumpy landing, but nobody was injured. We got through it and I was like, “Oh my gosh, if I can do this, something that was really, really scary, I can start my own business” because those two things coincided with the timing.
I was looking at hiring this coach that I didn't know if I could afford her. This is really scary, and I wasn't sure if I should invest in myself at the same time I was also going to go to this job and so that really gave me this bravery.
Once I did that, nothing seemed that scary to me.
I was going to take another trip to Las Vegas in another month, and I was looking for things to do. There's this thing where you can bungee off of this large building and I watched it and I was like, “that's child's play.” It just didn't seem frightening at all.
Michelle St Jane: [00:10:49] You just bounce, and as long as you keep your mouth closed, you won't lose your false teeth. Right. I'm a Kiwi and an adrenaline junkie. I can commiserate. I love the analogy as well. Just jump just to John.
I've had four different careers. Each one of them has been a moment in my life where it's, “You need to do this.” and then all my choices get taken away, except for that lane. I am a very creative person. I like lots of choices, and I'm very curious. So I like to go explore, I can kind of get lost in the flat lens a bit if I'm not careful.
So it's a great analogy for sure.
Glenn Allen: [00:11:29] It's interesting. It’s curious to me where it does seem like sometimes when you get this thing that you want to do, and you're thinking about it. Maybe it scares you a little bit, a how just situations change where you're almost forced into that one course of action, right?
Michelle St Jane: [00:11:45] Absolutely. I argued my way into law school in four hours and had three weeks' leave to go to the other side of the world, to a university that had a brand new law school. I even had to borrow a high school friend's mother to drive me to find the university. As I see it all my past closed down but this, and fortunately my credit card was clear. I was like well, I'm gifting myself a year, and four years later I was practicing law and that took me on a fabulous career. Absolutely fabulous career.
At the turn of the century, I was where I didn't want to be in the international corporate world anymore. So I was thinking about what I now know is called a social enterprise law firm.
At the time that was before people had social enterprise law. They had law charities, they had foundations, but I wanted to create a Chimera with a triple bottom line in terms of being able to practice law for traditional clients, but also provide pro bono and provide educational opportunities for people who wanted to be lawyers, but not necessarily traditional lawyers.
I was also very passionate about social and environmental issues. So 10 years later, I'd done over $3 million in pro bono work and transitioned the lead out to the next generation and then went off to do my doctorate in leadership, global leadership. So in each of my degrees, I've been really shocked they actually let me in.
It's so funny because the doctorate I finished five years ago, usually leads you to go on and do the book for the general public. There were many reasons why I should have written the book, but now I'm podcasting, and each time I do a topic from the doctorate, that transcription goes in the folder called the book.
I love the fact that you also referenced music because I wrote a song long and 2012 ish. I love music. I play the piano really badly. I do more by ear. I'm just one of those people you don't want to hear playing and I really love a piano that’s out of tune because that's what I learned to play on at my granddad's.
Glenn Allen: [00:13:57] Oh, yeah, we've all had those.
Michelle St Jane: [00:14:00] The social enterprise I had created enough. I did my master's in philanthropy, so I'd done a lot of research around the work I was doing socially, environmentally and my heart was hurting so bad. My soul was saying, write a song, and of course, a mentor crossed my path and it's unique to write a song. It was the song that led me to the doctorate.
So on the back of the social enterprise and song, I got invited into a doctoral program. You just never know where these creative moments might take you and the opportunities that are out there. I probably will never write another song, but I definitely like the lyrics.
So the doctorates are a little bit lyrical as well. Then from the doctorate, rather than write the book, came podcasts. So you just never know where you're going to end up and how you can contribute and serve.
Glenn Allen: [00:14:41] Right. That's very true. That actually makes me think of this story. I went through a very painful divorce a few years back, and I'm on the happy side of it now.
Everything is so much better. So this is not a sad story. In fact, last week I got engaged and it couldn't be better. It's amazing how this all turned out. When I was in the worst of it, I had to let go of a lot of ways in which I thought my life was going to be dreams that I and my ex had and plan we had for the future.
I think sometimes we really think this is the very path we're going to take. Kind of like with me and my music career. I'm going to be a professional musician. This is what I’m going to do and somehow I end up here. Now I'm helping musicians, but in a very different way, but I was restringing a guitar. I needed new strings. I went to the music store and on the guitar rack, I thought I'd just kill some time and play a little guitar. There was this guitar that was broken. It was missing the tuning pegs in the headstock. The bridge had been busted and it wasn't strong. I think it was missing most of the hardware, but it was hand-painted this flat beautiful red and not like a fully finished painting. It had the brush strokes in, it had a little bit of the black underneath it in the, in the face of the guitar and it just looked beautiful. It kind of looked like a fiery piece. I just had to have it.
I thought it was the weirdest thing because it was amongst all these playable guitars that were at least a hundred dollars and up, which is not much for a guitar, but this is a used guitar shop and it just had a little tag at $15. And I thought, well, I'll take that.
The thing was, it was like a symbol for me. I was thinking, okay. It was kinda like my life. How I felt at that moment. Here's this broken thing whose intended purpose was to express beauty and art through sound, but it's broken now. So somebody gave it a new purpose where now it's expressing visual beauty through the paint colors, and now it's a new type of, work of art.
I really felt like the kind of the direction I was taking with my life at that moment, how I thought my life was gonna be this one thing, and in the brokenness of my situation, I found this new path and a new direction of what I was going to do with my life. So that thing hangs in my living room as that reminder of that.
Michelle St Jane: [00:16:57] What a beautiful symbol, absolutely. Having been widowed and divorced I can empathize. These can be very dark tunnels and how you come through that. You can either grow through it or go through it. If you grow through it, you turn the pain into wisdom. If you go through it, you can have a lot of issues and a lot of therapy in your future. If you don’t make some healthy choices.
I really appreciate it like, you live today job. And what did you do first? How did you move into being your own business person and deal with all this business of rebranding and growing audience marketing?
Glenn Allen: [00:17:34] Well, fortunately, I had been working for an organization where the founder was really dialed into the digital marketing space. Aleta Norris, co-founder of Living As A Leader, a leadership development coaching and consulting firm, at the same time as me, was building a side hustle. In fact, Aleta had hired me to help her launch one of her digital courses. She was writing a book and starting a nonprofit organization called “Women Who Spark”. So she's helping women in what she calls, “The midlife makeover”, helping them basically regain their spark and find their new purpose.
So working with her people they were seeing what I was doing in the online community, and a few other people started. I start attracting more and more people. I had a small audience starting to build and a small following and some results.
It wasn't like I was starting from scratch. Fortunately, Aleta, the co-founder said “basically anything you do in your side hustle helps our organization because you're learning from it. So go home, go ahead and do that as much as possible.” Then when it came time, when the pandemic started and quarantine came into it, the business was starting to hit a loss. We had to let go of some people.
I talked to her and said, “you know, I hate to do this,” and she was, “no, your upside is really with your own business.” I had her blessing. Aleta was always like a mentor and in some ways, like a mother to me. We actually chatted a few weeks ago and she said “you know, Glenn, had you not left, we would have had to let you go, so you made the right decision. We would not have wanted to let you go, but we would have had to let you go.”
This comes to your point about sometimes being forced onto a path. Your path has been made very clear. Essentially, I started a platform. One of them was podcasting. I already did a YouTube channel. But the YouTube channel was a little unwieldy.
It was a lot of work to just constantly make them, so I'd taken some time off of that, but I started a podcast to really use it as a way to get access to people that I wanted to talk to and start building relationships. To me that's one of the most important things when you're starting out is building relationships with people who are there on the same mission.
You can look at them as your competitors, or you can say, “Hey, we're both serving the same audience and we're on a mission together.” In doing so it's opened up a lot of opportunities. It’s helped me make a lot of connections by just meeting different people, adding value to them, and being able to actually leverage their audience by offering to be a thought leader in their space.
A lot of thought leaders take a lot of time to create a lot of content, so they're looking for people to come along and share things with their audience that maybe they don't have expertise on. And so that's a big part of it.
Michelle St Jane: [00:20:04] That’s a great point. I have a whole doctorate to share and I've had a number of messages saying “we want to hear from you, do more solo episodes.”
As I mentioned, I go into that deep place of being curious and updating the content, and doing lots of research. A solo episode for me is a huge amount of hours, as I have not managed to reign that in. Also, I'm a people person, I really like the in-person virtual time at the moment. As much in person and in the same place, real-time, IRL. I can relate to what you said. I've got to work on those solo episodes.
We'll capture things in such a way that it's redeploying. Every time I do all of this work, it can become evergreen content, I think it's called. I believe you're a bit of a master in the space, maestro. Share some thoughts.
Glenn Allen: [00:20:54] Evergreen content is definitely one of my things I could go in a lot of different directions, I guess I'd say. What would you like me to share about that?
Michelle St Jane: [00:21:04] I'm going to leave it wide open because I think you've got a pretty good intuitive antenna there and we're talking to leaders who are pivoting. What if you've got all this expertise, how can you channel it and not get lost in the halls of your expertise and updating it and exploring.
Glenn Allen: [00:21:20] Oh, that is a really great question. Whether you're retiring and looking to go in another direction, which I've worked with some people on that, or what you did previously have become obsolete and you have to change what you're doing, or in some cases, with some of the clients I've worked with have found their work is now currently on pause indefinitely.
There's a lot of people who are realizing, “I've got to do something with this expertise I had. Otherwise I become sort of irrelevant in the digital world”. Is it the frontier for that? I'll give you an example. One of my most recent clients, Michelle double-check, Pat Natto, was on tour with Elvis Costello, my favorite song writer. She's running up sound for the likes of Janet Jackson, Gwen Stefano Christina Aguilera, some of the biggest names in pop music, and to have that kind of clout, then all of a sudden have this pandemic just shut down the touring industry and the music industry. What do you do? You know, you're not exactly going to be qualified for a lot of other things that translate, and so, she was looking at not door dash, what do you call it? Like driving trucks for Amazon. She joked, but not without a little seriousness behind that. There is some merit to some people having to take these odd jobs.
So a mutual friend of ours. Who has a digital course on music licensing said, “you should make a digital course.” So she did, but the problem was her industry and her contacts and her people on her email list and then the networks she had, they were all out of work sound engineers, too.
So to create something that was based on her expertise in an area where other people couldn't really market that skillset or couldn't afford to invest in it, just didn't seem to align. And so, you know, it didn't do that. Great. I think she launched this one course, she made a thousand dollars. I was like, “okay, that's great, but it didn't pay for the service she hosted it on.”
When her mutual friend basically said, “Hey, should talk to Glenn. You know he can help you remarket this thing and launch it properly.” He and I both said, “you should really partner with some people that can actually, their audience is poised to use this information.”
For a lot of people, there are audiences out there that can still make money and be marketable with something you have to do. What we realized was that there's a lot of musicians right now who are selling their music to TV and film and video games and they're able to do it from home, but the skills that they don't have is hers, which is equalization and frequency and producing music, so it sounds. Radio or TV ready
Basically, she partnered with somebody who had that audience who taught. Here's how you make your money licensing. It's called sync licensing. Licensing your music and here's her who comes along and she's got this product that feels right. I think they did a $17,000 launch the first time.
What's great is she can keep partnering with people that have these audiences and keep repeating that. The key here is it's really being clear on who it is that has something that you can teach them. Then have a very simple, repeatable process. We came up with a process that is simple and repeatable. I said, “how do you help people get results?” She replied, “the first thing we do in the courses is a bunch of listening exercises. And then once they do these exercises, they're going to start to be able to identify out of thin air, what those frequencies are.”
“Once they know that, they need to know how to manipulate them, to make things sound better. So hearing him knowing what they are, it's identifying that they have to manipulate or tweak them”. Then it was identifying, tweaking it”. “You're going to call it the hit production process to make your music sound like a hit song”.
She now has this very simple, repeatable process that she can use everywhere. She goes on a podcast, somebody else's group on her sales page. It's crystal clear what the process is. She can teach people the process everywhere she goes and if they want to work with her she has products that will help you learn the process quickly.
I think that's really important. A lot of people aren't clear initially on who they can help? How and what's that process is.
Michelle St Jane: [00:25:31] Wow. That was simply brilliant. What is yours why? Why do you do what you do? Where are you going from here?
Glenn Allen: [00:25:40] Why do I do what I do? Yes. There's just something in me that has always wanted to have freedom and independence. To follow the things that make us curious and that give us passion. I've always been a lifelong learner. I'm just obsessed with learning. That's why I invested so much money in digital courses. Anytime I want to learn something by a digital course and being able to help other people, I get to watch all their digital courses for free.
I mean, that's, that's. Maybe a part of it, and I get to help people, help other people to learn things, and to change their lives. So I love what I do because it's got this great ripple effect. I helped this one music musician. She teaches, largely women how to produce music so that they don't have to go into the studio and feel that these men don't listen to their ideas and don't take them into consideration. It gives women the power to basically take their music back into their own hands and to be able to speak on a technical level and really intelligently to know how to make their own songs.
She told me that she had a very successful launch. She did something like $300,000 a year. Her first year. It was crazy. She told me that she's been invited on panels to speak and she's all of a sudden this expert. People are seeking her out and she said she had people lining up to talk to her tearfully saying, “you know, your course, your program, has changed my life and what I do”.
So to hear what I'm doing impacts my client, but then it impacts on her client. I can do so much more good in the world doing this sort of thing. What was amazing about that experiences? Not only was the client's clients helped, but also get the joy of hearing some of the life changes that have happened as a result of this, with the one client I talked about Michelle, she didn't have to get a job driving trucks, as we joked. For this client, I'm talking about Chris, she actually was able to pay off all her debt.
She had a dream of always moving to some ocean-side property. She was able to do that. She just bought a new vehicle. When we started, she was bankrolling on credit cards. She hired me on a credit card and she had, I think, $25 in the bank. So it's amazing what you can do when what you do serves other people.
That's my why. I love to help people and I love to teach people.
Michelle St Jane: [00:28:02] Thank you, Glenn. I'm just so appreciative of how you do, contribute to the world. So this is your moment. Please share how the audience can engage or use your services. I will have all the details in the show notes for you but feel free, tell them what you do, how they connect, and what you would like to do with people.
Glenn Allen: [00:28:22] A lot of the work I do with people is one of two things. I'm helping somebody completely rebrand and reposition. It's everything from Web design to copywriting, to the offers, the free offers, and the paid offers. Some people come to me and they've already got, some kind, of course, they're offering so I'm also helping them market and launch that. So if anybody is in that kind of position, or they're interested in working with me, you can learn about firstname.lastname@example.org and check out my work with my page.
Michelle St Jane: [00:28:50] Glenn, I will have all the details in the show notes because I love your passion, purpose, and presence in the world.
Outro: [00:29:05] Dr. Michelle St Jane is a conscious steward of meaningful leadership in the world and the wider cosmos. Tune in every Thursday for real talk around life leadership and your conscious journey. Be ready to create and cultivate your dreams and wholehearted desires. Your support is valued. Please subscribe, leave a review and a rating, but more importantly, share with your connections.
Reach out. I am interested to hear from you. Do you have a topic you'd like to explore? It would be great to have your feedback.
Dr. Michelle St Jane
Podcast Host: Life & Leadership: A Conscious Journey
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