Online business and entrepreneurship can be and very often is…hard.

It’s the wild west of business. There’s no rules, no exact path and you can memorize answers for a test to get things right.

For these reasons, I’ve seen countless folks come from the corporate and academic world into online business and bail quickly…but not my guest in this podcast episode.

Alyssa Marshall, co-founder of the embeddable online course platform Owwlish, shares all the lessons, challenges and struggles she’s made it through going from a dental practice to building multiple online businesses.

There are a ton of great lessons up in this chat that can help you in your journey, especially those of you coming from a more traditional academic or corporate background!

P.S. If you want to create a course for yourself or for clients but aren’t sure what platform to use or you’re ready to commit to, check out her online course tool at

It can be embedded on any platform so you don’t need to put course creation off while deciding on the perfect platform. That link will give you a special offer as a listener of the show 🤘

In this episode:

00:00 – Introduction
02:52 – Greeting to Alyssa
07:27 – From dentist…
11:18 – …To entrepreneur
20:12 – Discovering freedom
23:01 – Utilize what you know
26:03 – A not so clear path
37:11 – Trust your instinct
39:30 – Pivoting into plugins
42:13 – Adding a family
44:36 – Changing course
54:32 – New business challenges
56:55 – Find the balance
1:03:16 – Tips to work with spouse
1:10:49 – Hard in the journey
1:16:31 – Final thought

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Featured links mentioned:

Episode #241 Full Transcription

[00:00:00] Josh: Hey, friends, great to have you here for this episode, episode 241, where I’m excited to bring to you somebody who came from the academic and corporate world into the wild west of online entrepre.

[00:00:13] Josh: And has learned a lot of really valuable lessons that she’s gonna share with you in this episode on how she has done it and how she’s stayed with it. This is Alyssa Marshall who has a really cool, uh, course platform called Owwlish, uh, I’ll mention that in a sec here, but I wanted to actually have her on to share what she’s learned with going from corporate academic style.

[00:00:36] Josh: Uh, she actually used to own a dent, a dental practice, and now she is a full-blown entrepreneur. And what’s interesting about this in particular is I think we all know that online entrepreneurship is hard. It is a, it, it is not for ev everybody, quite honestly. And what I’ve found is a lot of people who come from the corporate world of stability or, or the academic world where there’s like tests and there’s right and wrong and there’s like manuals on how to do things.

[00:01:01] Josh: Those things are just not the case in online entrepreneurship. So a lot of people very quickly give up because there’s no textbook and there’s no exact path. So Alyssa though has done a really good job. at creating an incredible platform and, and getting through a lot of the common struggles that we all face in online entrepreneurship.

[00:01:18] Josh: She’s gonna share that with you in this episode. I think it’s gonna be super, super valuable for you. I learned a lot just talking from her about her experience, going from a dental practice to an online business. And as I mentioned now, her and her husband actually have created this cool, this, uh, really cool tool called Ish.

[00:01:35] Josh: You can check it. At Ish, which is uh, O W W L I S What this tool is, is basically a way to create an online course that you can embed anywhere. Cause a lot of questions that I get have to do with people wanting to build their own online course on the side or a course for clients. But the question is, what platform do I use and.

[00:01:57] Josh: The, the cool thing about what she’s done with Ish is you can literally create a chorus and put it anywhere. You can put it on your WordPress site, you can put it on doda, you can put it on Squarespace, whatever, and it, it’s able to grow with you. So it’s actually a, a, a really cool solution. And in this whole episode, you’ll hear about how they kind of came to this solution naturally by the clients she serve as an online entrepreneur.

[00:02:16] Josh: So a lot of cool things that Alyssa’s up to. I’m gonna bring her on now, and you’re gonna hear how she went from owning a dental practice to being an online entrepreneur. I really hope this one helps you out. Let me know if it does. Go to josh 2 4 1. Leave us a comment. I read all the comments there, and if this episode helps you out, maybe consider sharing it.

[00:02:35] Josh: It, it’d mean a lot to me to have you shared the podcast and it would help get the word out, uh, to help some other folks as well, particularly those going from corporate to the Wild West Obama and entrepreneurship. All right, let’s dive in. Here’s Alyssa.

[00:02:52] Josh: Alyssa, welcome to the show. Thank you so much for taking some time to chat with us today. So

[00:02:58] Alyssa: nice to meet you, Josh, and thank you so much for having me on

[00:03:00] Josh: your show. And I wanna thank you too, because I know you are either getting past or dealing with, uh, kind of some cold symptoms. Uh, so you said your throat, you know, we, we may have, we were both having a coughing fit before we started, so I was like, this is gonna go really good today.

[00:03:15] Josh: Uh, but it’s that time of year, but bye, golly, life presses on. We gotta, we gotta do our calls and stuff. So I appreciate you, uh, being willing to chat for a little while. I’d actually love to start out, uh, for, for folks who don’t know you, to see maybe where you’re based out of. And then I love asking this question, and that is, when somebody asks you what you do, what do you tell them?

[00:03:35] Josh: Ooh,

[00:03:36] Alyssa: that second question is. It really depends on who’s asking. Let’s say if it’s just a random person that is probably not in the web world, I just say I have an online business and that’s just where I leave it. And sometimes they’ll say like, what kind of business do you have? Then I’ll say, I have a business I have a software business where we help people have online courses on their websites, and I just keep it super simple.

[00:04:03] Alyssa: That’s what I say. And I’m based out of Payson, Arizona, so that is about an hour and a half away from Phoenix. It is not hot at all. It’s like 20 degrees cooler a year round, but it’s also not too cold. So we got pretty mild winters and like very agreeable summers, mild weather. We got pine trees everywhere and we’re, we’re kind of in the, in a small mountain town.

[00:04:32] Josh: Hmm. I mean, I, I have seen this like migration of people going to Arizona and I hear nothing about good things, particularly, uh, from the weather. Do you, are you guys, uh, do you have a time change there or are you in a part where there’s no time change? There is

[00:04:46] Alyssa: no time change.

[00:04:47] Josh: I love it. I’m so jealous of that. We just recently went through that and it’s dark at like five by five o’clock. I hate the time changes. It’s

[00:04:57] Alyssa: like we’re not farming anymore. Drop it.

[00:05:01] Josh: Yeah. And also like, what I’ve found is, and I don’t know if you’ve seen this is somebody in the online world, but when you’re working with people all over the world, that makes it really complicated with calls. Yeah. Cause it’s like, like maybe we had this call, like if we had scheduled this call, it’s 11:00 AM my time.

[00:05:17] Josh: I think. I think you’re two hours behind us. So 9:00 AM your time. The time change originally would’ve been, uh, 10:00 AM my time in 9:00 AM mirror time. Uh, but with that time change, it just messes everything up. Thank goodness. Most of the systems we use now automatically change the time and, and reminders.

[00:05:34] Josh: Yes. But yeah, what a pain. And it, it, it has been, uh, it’s been an interesting thing in the online world, I’ve found working with people globally because it’s like, well, we have this call, you know, this day. But, oh, when’s the time change? Have you seen that as well? Working with people all

[00:05:47] Alyssa: over that? Oh my God, absolutely. Because now, I’m in Arizona, but like before I was in Arizona, I was in California. I was in Texas. So I’ve lived in for longer in areas that had a time change. And for me, like what I always mess up was team meetings. Cause I would set up a recurring meeting in a calendar, but I wouldn’t set, I don’t know, I, I wouldn’t set it up in a way where the time change was. I, I guess I,

[00:06:17] Alyssa: I would just have like a weekly recurring meeting and every time, time changes we would miss, you know, the first few meetings and then I would be like, okay, messed it up again. Let me change that.

[00:06:29] Josh: That’s interesting. Enjoy having it. Yeah. That is interesting. I think, uh, lesson number one for everybody with re recurring meetings with your team or with clients or whatever it is, that is something to keep in mind. And I mean, I guess it would depend on what you’re using or what anyone’s using as a, uh, like a calendar event. You know, you, I think, again, most of them I think. Tend to change, but I guess yeah, it’s like depending on the system.

[00:06:53] Josh: Yeah. Yeah. It could be locked into like eastern time or mountain time or whatever it is. So, yeah. Uh, yeah, it’s just a chall I guess it’s just one of those challenges challenging things of the online world. Which, uh, kind of segues me into to this topic that I wanted to dive in with you specifically Alyssa, about, which is going from like the, I don’t, would you consider yourself that you had a previous life in the corporate world?

[00:07:16] Josh: Do you consider, you know, your, your dental practice stuff as corporate or do you feel like that was outside? Because I want, I’m curious to hear the differences of that world compared to the online world. So the

[00:07:27] Alyssa: short few months that I did work as a dentist, it was not very long. It was approximately six months. Um, I was a dentist, but I did work for a corporate dental office. But I was so out of touch with anything other than the actual office I was working in. So I don’t really consider myself having corporate experience in that sense. I did have a job, um, but it felt more like a private office that had a manager, if that makes sense. A manager that was not present on a day-to-day basis. Basis.

[00:08:01] Josh: And when you started your practice, I don’t know, because I’m, that’s, that world is so far removed from me, like, yeah. Do you feel like a freelancer in a way or kinda like an entrepreneur? Even when you have a practice like that in the, you know, the, the real world, I guess you could say. And it’s not necessarily on the online world.

[00:08:18] Alyssa: Uh, I didn’t feel like an entrepreneur at all in that environment. I felt like a dentist. I would see the patients that were scheduled. It’s because it was a bigger, like a corporate kind of office. I, I wasn’t, and it was not my practice, right? Like, if it was my gotcha practice, then I would be taking care of things like, okay, how do we get patients booked?

[00:08:45] Alyssa: How do we market this thing? What’s our retention rate? What’s the rate of people coming back after they, you know, set an appointment and the follow through with treatment? All of this stuff would be on my shoulders, but I was literally just the provider and. I enjoyed not having to get into that part because when I was practicing, I already knew that I wanted this to be temporary.

[00:09:12] Alyssa: Um, it wa the, the entrepreneurial bug started in the senior year of dental school, and so I didn’t, um, I wa I was not looking at this as a long-term gig, so yeah, I just felt like I was doing, doing my time, if you will, put it that way. And, uh, I just saw patients that came, I couldn’t care less if they didn’t come, come back, you know what I mean?

[00:09:37] Alyssa: Oh, wow. It

[00:09:37] Josh: was just. Yeah. Just doing your time, like you said. Yeah. Yeah. And

[00:09:42] Alyssa: it’s not that, That I would, I would take good care of the patients that did come. Like if somebody’s sitting in my chair, I cared. And sometimes maybe even a little bit too much. Like I still remember some of the patients that were sitting in my chair, and that was like about 10 years ago, nine years ago.

[00:10:00] Alyssa: I still remember there was this grown man that cried because he couldn’t afford to get his tooth out when he was in so much pain because he was spending all of his money, uh, taking care of his PA parents. Like his dad went through some kind of surgery and he just didn’t have any money left over. And I remember thinking like, damn, if this was my office, I just do this for you.

[00:10:20] Alyssa: But I can’t, you know, and I just about that, that haunted me for a very long time afterwards. So like, I would take good care of the patients and really care a little bit too much while they were here, but if somebody didn’t show up, I’d be like, okay, great. Let me work on my computer because I was building a business

[00:10:38] Josh: already.

[00:10:40] Josh: Well, there’s a couple fascinating points into this already because I, I did want to ask about your entrepreneurial background and have you had people in your family who are entrepreneurs, or if that came to you naturally and you just kind of became an entrepreneur. I’m fascinated by that, especially because, uh, I feel like people who dive into the online world either have to really work to become an entrepreneur, or if they have some people around them as a support system or tendencies, it may be a little bit easier, uh, sometimes.

[00:11:06] Josh: So for you, that question for you, Alyssa, do you feel like you had to become an entrepreneur or do you feel like there was an entrepreneur inside you that just was able to come out when that opportunity came to you? .

[00:11:18] Alyssa: That’s a really interesting question. I feel like, so my mom was a business owner, a perpetual business owner.

[00:11:27] Alyssa: She was a single mother that raised three children in South Korea. That is not easy. Or the businesses that she ran were obviously physical back then and they were always businesses that required her full on presence. And none of them really grew to a point where we were financially comfortable.

[00:11:51] Alyssa: We, we were in, like, we just kept downsizing where we lived. Let’s just say it that way. Um, for when we moved from the US to Korea, which is when I was. . Um, and my mom, the, the way we were able to get into a house and we never owned a house. We, we was a rental, but the way we were even able to do that was because my grandfather gave her her inheritance early.

[00:12:17] Alyssa: And so she had us headstart with that, but we had to kept downsizing until like I was going through dental school. So we kept on going smaller, smaller, smaller. So we were always kind of in a struggle, not kind of in a struggle. We were always in a struggle. She went through several businesses during that time.

[00:12:36] Alyssa: She never held a job, she had never worked for anybody. But all throughout that, the way she would talk to us was about how you should be a professional, like, like a doctor or a dentist would, requires a license that you, so that you are financially stable. and you would never be out of a job or, you know, financially in, in a spot.

[00:13:03] Alyssa: The kind of situation that we were growing up and growing up, looking at how hard my mom struggled, one thing was so abundantly clear to me, which was that I did not wanna live like that. Like it was just so hard, so hard. I do not know how she did that . Um, and, and so being a single mom is hard in the US too, but Korea especially more so back then, still, still very much so.

[00:13:30] Alyssa: It’s so looked down upon for you to not have a husband, right? It’s, it’s more traditional. It has more traditional values and so it’s just not what you do so much so that she was like, okay, let’s move back to the us. Um, I mean, that was not obviously the only reason, but it was, you know, the. Let’s just say all the drama surrounding people talking behind your back, it really weighed down on her.

[00:13:57] Alyssa: And so when my brother was in high school, he’s nine years younger than me, and, uh, because my sister and brother were born in the us uh, my mom and my brother didn’t do do very well in his studies, which is a huge deal in Korea. If you know anything about the educational system there, you have to study like you have to do good.

[00:14:16] Alyssa: Um, yeah. And he, he was just not a born student, if you will. And my mom was like, you’re gonna have a really hard life trying to live blue collar in the, in, in Korea. It is just not looking good for you. I see. And I don’t like this anymore either. I lived there before. Let’s pick up and I’ll go. This, this is how we, uh, ended up coming back.

[00:14:38] Alyssa: Ah. So I, even though I watched an entrepreneur, I, it, it was not, I didn’t see the fruits of entrepreneur. I didn’t see the payoff. It was always really hard, and so I never really wanted to do that . Um, but because I saw her do whatever it took to take care of her business and her family, I do think I did have a bit of it in me, even though it was never, I, I never tried to, it wasn’t a part of me that I was trying to nurture.

[00:15:10] Alyssa: But I do think that it came a little bit more naturally to me once I realized that it was something that I wanted to do.

[00:15:21] Josh: So interesting because that entire story made me feel like, I would think that you would dread being a business owner or an entrepreneur. I would think that you would wanna go the corporate route and a quote unquote stable job or stable industry.

[00:15:34] Josh: And what’s interesting too is I feel like most entrepreneur kids, if they have a parent as a business owner, entrepreneur, are usually, not always, but usually at a point where they’re already successful and they haven’t seen the struggle. And I feel like that in, in a way is, is, it kind of sucks for the kids cuz they don’t see what their parents went through unless their parents just tell ’em how hard things were.

[00:15:57] Josh: But you saw it firsthand. So I’m so curious about this, like when you thought about becoming an entrepreneur, diving into the online world, even after that, that practice, like, was there a, what helped you make that leap, I guess? Was it the thought of being able to have freedom and uh, an uncapped earning potential?

[00:16:17] Josh: Like I imagine there had to be something that helped you make that leap, otherwise your entire background would just tell me that Yeah. You would chase security instability over a freedom and uh, potential. Yeah, and that

[00:16:30] Alyssa: is actually what my brother and sister both are doing. They have absolutely zero interest in be doing their own thing for me. I was listening to so I was introduced to the four hour work week by my friend. And when I started listening to that book, first of all, that was like the first, um, what do you call it? Not a novel, uh, non-fiction book that I was introduced to. Like I was not a reader. I was, I didn’t even know that audiobooks were a thing.

[00:17:01] Alyssa: But this friend of mine is like, you just need to listen to this, this book. And I’m a senior in dental school and trying to finish my requirements. So I graduate on time, right? And I’m just at the lab late at night doing patient lab work, whatnot. And I started to listen to this book and it’s like my whole world turned upside down.

[00:17:23] Alyssa: And in that, The struggles of entrepreneurship really isn’t highlighted, right? It’s just presented as pretty easy. Like, oh, just make a cash flowing machine. It’s not about like build a business, it’s more like, well do your research, run some Google ads, see which one they click on. Based off of that like, Make, uh, cash flow, um, cash flow kind of business.

[00:17:51] Alyssa: I mean, it’s not to say that he didn’t struggle to Ferris, like he, he did, right? He had a supplement business and then it, he, it run it running down so hard that he decided like, I, I’m not doing this anymore. So he did that. But the process of building the business and just generating cash flow was presented.

[00:18:09] Alyssa: Like it was very easy. And that’s really what got me started. So, to be honest, I started out thinking it’ll be a lot easier than it really was. Gotcha. . And if I really knew the truth, would I have started? I actually don’t know to be

[00:18:28] Josh: so many people, as so many people do by the way, they do feel like, yeah, see, I wanna work for myself. I wanna work by the beach with my laptop. And then you realize, oh, This life looks a lot different. It can be very lonely. Yeah. And it’s actually a lot of like boring, monotonous work that you have to do. Uh, yeah. So that’s interesting that you had that mindset, like, I think a lot of people do Getting into it.

[00:18:49] Josh: Yeah.

[00:18:49] Alyssa: Yeah. That, that really is. But at the same time, it’s like, well, thank goodness for that because the alternative is, I, I do not miss having to, uh, work as a dentist. I do not miss that one

[00:19:03] Josh: bit. And, and both paths are hard. Like I think it recently I heard, um, there’s different quotes about this, but it’s basically like, you just need to choose what hard you’re comfortable with.

[00:19:14] Josh: Like what, like every path is gonna be hard if you wanna excel as a dentist, I’m sure for me, as somebody who is not an academic and is terrible at like book study and things like that, that path would be extremely hard for me. I have more personal. Uh, strengths and superpowers in the entrepreneurial world.

[00:19:31] Josh: Now, there are hard things that I’ve been through for sure, but I kind of found a path that I liked and enjoyed and the hard things were worth it for me to get through. Um, and I think that’s an important point too. I love that we’re talking about this because entrepreneurialship, web design, freelancing, whatever it is, it is hard, but so are

[00:19:52] Josh: So is like sitting in a corporate job that you hate, that’s a different type of hard. So did, did that come into your mind as well? Like when you started going through the struggle and through the challenges, did you, did you feel like this is something that is going to pay off or f uh, feel like you know, this is gonna be worth it?

[00:20:09] Josh: Did that come into your mind at all In the early days? Yes,

[00:20:12] Alyssa: it absolutely did, and I was really determined to figure it out. So I was, after I graduated my then hu uh, then fiance and I, we were like, well, I wanna go to Europe for our honeymoon, uh, but I don’t wanna go for a week or two. Like, I wanna go for several months.

[00:20:38] Alyssa: And it all kind of clicked together with this whole new dream that I had. Right. Because like in my entire, like a decade, I already had gone through a dental school in South Korea by the way. So I Oh, okay. Did. Yeah, so I did my dental studies a lot longer than the average dentist. And for the past, since I was tur about 20, like that was my identity, right?

[00:21:01] Alyssa: That really was the only path that I saw for myself. Not that I loved it, I never even thought to think about it. It was never a question to pause and say, Hey, do I like this? Is this what I wanna do with my life? It never was that. It was more like, okay, this is the profession I got into. I will figure out how to make it work and maybe we’ll have a B like, you know, I had, I had, my thought was that I would own, uh, a few offices, have a lot of associates and reduce my workload.

[00:21:33] Alyssa: That was gotcha by goal, if you will. And then that just all shattered and turned around within a short few months. And I was going through this process with my husband, which he was in corporate by the way. And so we were like, okay, let’s, let’s try to figure this out. But he is already like, good with web design and he was actually a web designer, like he was a developer.

[00:21:56] Alyssa: He was making websites for other people. And um, as we were going through that and we were like, okay, let’s go to Europe for, for a few months. And then we were like, you know what? We can work, we can continue to work on our stuff while we are abroad. Like we are not no longer tied down to a location.

[00:22:17] Alyssa: And we did that for a few years on and off. Like we would spend a little bit of time in the US and then we would go abroad again and be there for like six months and we would come back again and we would go out again. This is like before we had kids. We lived it, we lived it. And the this lifestyle would not have impossible. if I had to see patients. And so even though it was hard and we absolutely had our ups and downs and we started in 2012, I graduated in 2012, so I’m totally like a mature person.

[00:22:53] Josh: So you grad, you graduated from dental school, started your practice, and then started your business. Is that how that all worked out?

[00:22:59] Josh: Like or your online business? We

[00:23:01] Alyssa: were dabbling, we were starting to dabble in stuff while we were in school and Okay. While I was in school and while we had like some, let’s say, website ideas that we tried, but the first business that actually started bringing us money, um, and it’s still. Is going today is a business where it’s a dental related business.

[00:23:24] Alyssa: So it’s also only possible because I did, I took the path that I took. Um, I see. So it’s a business where we work with dentists like myself that were from other countries that are coming here and they need to get their licenses here again, they have to go through a series of tests and whatnot. So we have online courses helping them go through that process.

[00:23:47] Alyssa: And while that business, obviously it did not start out as an online course business, like in the beginning it was more, uh, consulting. It looked more like consulting, uh, but it was online. Um, and then when we really needed the money, we came back to the US and we did, um, live courses. So people would fly into Texas and then fly into California.

[00:24:10] Alyssa: We did in both locations. Wow. Fly into us to, to take courses and yeah, it was a pretty big deal. Like we drove across country when we were moving locations from Texas to California, we drove in. What car did we bring? It was probably a, uh, anyway, it was a sedan. It’s out of, out of, they don’t make those cars anymore.

[00:24:32] Alyssa: But it was full to the brim with dental equipment. And um, yeah, we filled up our car. And drove cross country. I remember when you drive into California, from Texas, you, there’s a checkpoint, I think, to check for a illegal immigration and whatnot and we were so afraid of going through the checkpoint cuz it’s like, what is in

[00:24:55] Josh: your car?

[00:24:56] Josh: Yeah. What It probably did look a little shifty with a bunch of zin to equipment. Which prob, I don’t know, I, it looks like, like DTO equipment when it’s just in pieces in a car. , I don’t know. I

[00:25:07] Alyssa: dunno

[00:25:08] Josh: so you’re, yeah, but you, you’re for way your foray into this. Entrepreneurialship online journey definitely was. it looked like kind of a hybrid of this kind of a, I didn’t say a hodgepodge of different things, but Yeah. It wasn’t a clear like, okay, dentist to online business the next day kinda thing. No,

[00:25:24] Alyssa: yeah, no. It was just following that next thing that seemed like it had some promise. Yeah. The, the little bed breadcrumbs, and this did drive me crazy a bit, I have to say, because I really like to have a clear destination that I’m going, right?

[00:25:42] Alyssa: Like I’m a dentist. Like I went to dental school out of high school in Korea. That’s how it works. It’s six years long. Dental school is, but like I was working to be able to do so. All throughout high school and then I start and it’s just like, okay, you just go through school and then, you know, it’s So

[00:26:01] Josh: there’s like a clear path.

[00:26:02] Josh: Clear, yeah,

[00:26:03] Alyssa: yeah, yeah. And coming out, becoming an entrepreneur, there is no path. It’s like, okay, some people will say, go this way. Some people will say, go that way. And you just have to be like, okay, I can only take one route. I do not know how my life would be different had I gone down the other route at all.

[00:26:23] Alyssa: I mean, it’s kind of great. Great point. The beauty of it too, right? It is just there’s no one right way to do anything

[00:26:30] Josh: like you. I’m so glad. Yes. I’m so, I’m so glad you, you said this because I think this is perhaps the main thing that keeps people, if not starting like quitting pretty quickly if they come from the academic and corporate world, is because yes, there is no exact path.

[00:26:49] Josh: Now the destination may be the same for a lot of people. Like you want freedom, lifestyle you love, you want uncapped earning potential, but everything in the middle is gonna change. And quite frankly, a lot of it is based on the variables of you as an entrepreneur. Like what do you like to do? For web designers, for example, I have my courses and my trainings, but they vary a little bit depending on the person as far as.

[00:27:14] Josh: Like, somebody may love SEO and they may love working with words and content. Mm-hmm. , another one of my students may absolutely hate that and love code and design. So for them, I’m like, okay, here you focus on this kind of thing. Make these your services and have different packages from, you know, this person over here who is gonna have web design as a core, but, but different type of packages.

[00:27:34] Josh: Which again, same destination potentially for both people, just different pathways. So I, I, I think that’s such an important point. I love that you bring this up because yes, there is no like, exact roadmap and it’s daunting, but I do think it’s kind of cool because it’s certainly never gets boring. Like what?

[00:27:52] Josh: So when you were. Another thing I wanted to mention real quick before we move on is the power of finding somebody else who kind of fills in the gaps of your superpowers. Like you, uh, Kevin is your, your husband, right? Mm-hmm. . Yeah. And so he was the one who had like the web design knowledge and online knowledge, and I imagine a suite of other skills to accom, uh, a compliment you.

[00:28:10] Josh: So another really, really powerful thing, if you’re gonna do this and you know you have a bunch of gaps that you just don’t have interest in, try to find somebody to, to fill those gap. Doesn’t need to be a significant other necessarily, but if that works. Awesome. I, there’s so many husband and wife businesses now that I think I just love it.

[00:28:25] Josh: Um, but the path, what, did you ever get to a point where you were like, I don’t know, the path is so interesting to me because I feel like you could probably get to this point coming from your background where you’re like, did you ever feel stalled or feel like, I just don’t know what to do because no one’s telling me what to do?

[00:28:43] Josh: Did you ever get to that type of, Uh,

[00:28:45] Alyssa: yeah. Um, more than once for sure, because it’s like, okay, what’s the next step? And lemme give you an example. My, my entrepreneurial past a decade was, is, is not straightforward. There are a lot of stuff that I started and decided not to do and all this kind of stuff.

[00:29:06] Alyssa: One business in particular that I ran for, oh, maybe was it a couple of years? It did pretty. I was, how do I say it? It was maybe like an online stationary business. So it started off as um, a stationary subscription box kind of thing where I would buy things from China and repackage them and then make a subscription box out of them and, and mail it out.

[00:29:34] Alyssa: And that was, uh, it was not amazing. you know, the margins were not great. I wasn’t producing anything in bulk, but it was consistently growing. And, but I was just like, I don’t think I, like, I wanna continue doing this for very long. And then an idea came to me to, um, do it all online. So there are all these like creators, if you will, that designers that create online stationary that needs to be printed out in one way or another.

[00:30:03] Alyssa: And I reached out to a bunch of them. Created a bundle, sold it really cheap. And actually they sold it and then they got a big cut of the sale they made. And that did so well. It was, it was a lot of work, but it was amazing. Like we did two or three launches in a year and we would just make so much money.

[00:30:27] Alyssa: And it was like, I didn’t like, my audience was the designers, right. And the designers went out and did it and did all the work for me to their audience with, with a referral link and. At a certain point I was like, and this was about the time where we were like, okay, should we have, um, simplify a little bit

[00:30:50] Alyssa: And I was also thinking like maybe it’s, I think it’s about time for us to think about having kids and whatnot. And the dental business was the more lucrative and more product predictable one. This gotcha business was like you would put in tons of work to make it happen, but if you didn’t do the work, nothing would come in and.

[00:31:12] Alyssa: I decided to stop it even though I had just did like $50,000 profit month, right? The month before. I was like, this is really nice and this is absolutely exhausting and I don’t think I wanna do this when I’m pregnant or I have a newborn and I did not yet see how I would be able to delegate all of this to somebody else.

[00:31:36] Alyssa: Now, if I had given myself more time, would I have been able to delegate it out and have a manager? Yes, I absolutely. But was, but that, that again is like, and somebody would say, you should have done that, and maybe I should have, but there’s no right or wrong way. Like what felt right for me? What did I wanna do?

[00:31:53] Alyssa: No, I felt like I had a good, you know, a few good years of doing these launches and it was fun and I earned a lot of money, um, in comparison to the time I put in to doing them. The launches were amazing, but it felt right for me to just say bye. And so I literally put up a thank you for everything, goodbye landing page on the website that was just a redirect and just poof.

[00:32:21] Alyssa: Disappeared overnight. And so, yeah, but it’s kind of like, well stalling, like, yeah. So that was like a decision, right? Like it was, I was doing one last launch and it was just like, okay, what do I do? You know, this is like this. Place of what’s the next step? And it’s kind of like you can continue going down the path.

[00:32:42] Alyssa: You’re going without taking aside. And that is a decision in and of itself. But at, at a certain point, and my personality is very much like this, I don’t like Luke warm. I’m gonna go hot or I’m gonna go cold. Cut it off if he needs,

[00:32:56] Josh: yeah.

[00:32:58] Alyssa: Yeah. But like in the middle, this like, when I feel like I don’t no longer want to really run this thing, would I continue because. If I really needed the money, I probably would’ve,

[00:33:11] Josh: but fortunately, that’s a good point. That’s a good point. Yeah. If you, if you weren’t dependent on that, it’s a different ballgame. Yes. Yeah. Yeah. You’re, I feel such a kinship with you, Alyssa, because the, what you’re talking about is exactly what I experienced when I sold my web design agency.

[00:33:25] Josh: and became a full-time web design teacher and web design coach. And it was that same thing. It was like I w I was not burned out by my agency. I had done it for 10 years. I loved my clients. We had really good systems, but I had such more of a passion for teaching. Similarly. I was like, I don’t want to half-ass running this business, and same as you as like I could, you know, part of me is like, should I have just scaled it more and hired and brought in a project manager and a salesperson?

[00:33:52] Josh: But then I think, how much time would that have taken? And what would I have to have given up in a, like a six months or a year of doing that, whereas I was able to just sell it to one of my students actually, and then oversee it as basically a consultant and teach full-time. And I’m so glad I made that decision because it allowed me to grow my teaching business effectively and, and not do that half-ass either.

[00:34:13] Josh: There’s nothing worse than like being 25% here, 25% there, 25 here, you know? So I, I, that’s exactly, and I, and I do think this is a really important point for those who may not think this is applicable to them yet, it’s likely that you’ll get to this place where you do grow your business and then suddenly you’re like, Ooh, I feel, I feel weird.

[00:34:32] Josh: I don’t know if I want to, like, I thought this was gonna be the path, but maybe there is something different, like you said. And, and I think another really important point, I don’t know how you feel about this, but just because you stopped something does not mean that you quit or failed at it. . It’s just sometimes there is a time to put something to an end and then move on to the other thing. Ha. Would you agree with that? Like absolutely no one’s time to fit, pivot?

[00:34:57] Alyssa: Absolutely. And because this entrepreneurial journey is such a personalized no right way to do it, nobody’s there to really tell you. And honestly, like the people that I talked to when I made that decision to stop, cuz I made the decision to stop, not even to sell, it was just like, I don’t even feel like selling right now.

[00:35:17] Alyssa: I just, I just Gotcha. Wanna stop and. It was not supported by my friends either, who were like, well, why don’t you just do a little bit more and sell and would, I’ve made some money. I’m sure I would’ve, but I don’t look at back at that decision and regret it one bit. I don’t know. I just felt like it had run its course for me.

[00:35:38] Alyssa: Like, I don’t know why the revenue wasn’t even going down. It was , it was doing really well, but like those kind of big launches, you do it a few times and you’re just like, yeah, I just, I’m, I’m done. Like, what’s new? You know? There wasn’t, wasn’t anything.

[00:35:51] Josh: I feel I also, I mean, to cut you off, I, I feel like you, like a lot of really great entrepreneurs, trust your gut and if you feel like something’s just telling you you’re done with this, or like, yeah, you could have made more money, but the question I would have in that case for everyone who told you that advice would be like, well, at what cost?

[00:36:10] Josh: If you did more launches or started to scale or hire, what kinda like whittle your way out of it at what cost? Like you probably would’ve slowed down the next thing drastically. You probably would’ve been more burned out. You probably would’ve been enjoyed, you probably wouldn’t have as enjoyed, you know, waking up and I mean, like that’s the worst as an entrepreneur waking up and not enjoying what you’re doing.

[00:36:29] Josh: So like, dang it, enjoy what you do. Play, like craft your business and, and you’re try to forward your path just slightly ahead to where you, you enjoy what’s up ahead and what you’re doing. Exactly. So I think you totally, totally the right thing. I mean, I I know it’s tougher. Plus, I mean, let’s be honest, we all have our own vision of our business.

[00:36:46] Josh: and other people are not gonna get your vision. You could probably, and I don’t mean personally you, Alyssa, like all of us, like we have a vision. You are your only vision caster un unless you really, really, and somebody, unless somebody is like in a partnership and they know your business and everything, like you’re gonna have your own vision. So don’t expect all of your colleagues and peers and friends and family. Definitely, probably not family to align with that and understand that

[00:37:11] Alyssa: for sure. And it’s, it’s, it becomes tricky because it’s like, well, just tell me what to do. Dang it. Like like I, some big decisions sometimes you’re just like, I don’t wanna have to be making this like, it’s, it’s a lot on your shoulders, right? And you’re just like, I sometimes I, I do miss like, just knowing what to do next. Or like, I would look at like my brother or sister, which they just have to do what their boss tells them to do, and it’s, uh, they don’t take their work to sleep. You know, like, it’s just, there’s a clear end and they’re like, okay, I’m, I’m done.

[00:37:45] Alyssa: I, and they just really don’t think about it. They’re like, Netflixing. And I’m like, oh my God. Like what a totally different type of life we’re leading. But I wouldn’t trade this for the world. Like I couldn’t go back. But it is, it is very, um, interesting in that. But the trusting your gut is something that, um, I I don’t think you’ll ever regret doing that.

[00:38:13] Alyssa: Like, yeah. Yeah. Like that, that business that I stopped, I don’t think my gut would’ve told me to stop it. If I really needed the revenue from that business, that would not even be an option. But I didn’t need it. It was a nice to have, it was a nice padding and I enjoyed it, but I really didn’t have to have it.

[00:38:34] Alyssa: And then it was like, The sales structure was the same every single time. I was getting kind of bored. It was like, nothing is really challenging. It was just like, oh yeah, we’re doing this again. For what? Oh, to make money. Oh, right, right, right. Do I need that money? Uh, I’m actually doing okay without it. Like, and so we’re like, okay, I’m gonna start a family. I’m just gonna stop this. Done. Gotcha. Done. Deal. Ready.

[00:39:01] Josh: Yeah. And what did the, what did the next phase of the journey look like? Is that when you guys sort of ish in this, this brand, this, this current company and brand? Or, or how did that all come about?

[00:39:12] Josh: Because, I mean, you had some experience in the, in the training world. I don’t know if I would call the in-person stuff. I guess they were courses, but yeah, like live trainings and stuff like that, so, yeah. Well, how did that transition into what you do now? And then I, I, I have so many questions about like the challenges of this type of model, but yeah. Initially, where did the brainchild of this all start?

[00:39:30] Alyssa: Yeah, for sure. So the whole like dental business started from in-person and consulting work. And then from there we added the online courses. Then we stopped all the, um, in-person. Uh, we did the in-person stuff for two years and the courses that we made back then, they’re still selling.

[00:39:47] Alyssa: Um, but when I stopped that on my stationary business, it was like, We, we were actually getting into, uh, the WordPress plugins for courses. Okay. And so we were not making our old course. We, we were not making our own course plugin, but because our courses were on WordPress and my husband being a developer, um, bringing all these elements together and you have to integrate all these things, and it was just not working very well.

[00:40:19] Alyssa: And so he would make these custom plugins to integrate all the things so that things would work the way we wanted it to. And it really started by him putting those for sale, just wor working it a little bit and then selling them. And, um, we did one, and then we did another, and we did another. And then it started to bring in a few grand.

[00:40:41] Alyssa: a month pretty soon. And it was like, oh, well there’s, there’s potential in the software world, right? And then we had a kid , so everything kind of was on pause for a while after the kid. Our kids didn’t sleep. Like they, they didn’t sleep. We were very, very tired.

[00:41:01] Josh: We were just, by the way, we, we should tell everybody we were just chatting before we went live that. Yeah. But despite having a four year old and a three-year-old and a newborn, our kids overall sleep pretty well. So we, I feel pretty fortunate. Somebody’s just asked me on, uh, Facebook, do you, are you getting any sleep? And, uh, for the mo, for the most part, we’re, you know, we’re doing okay. But yeah, I realize that’s not the case for all, all families with, with kiddos, Josh,

[00:41:21] Alyssa: you look fresh for somebody that ha

[00:41:25] Josh: for, for a

[00:41:26] Alyssa: dad that has a new baby, you, your face. I was like looking at her face. I, you don’t even have dark, you don’t even have bags under your eyes like you look fresh. And so yes, that is such a blessing when you’re good sleep.

[00:41:40] Josh: I am, uh, I don’t know if I wanna tell my wife that. I don’t know if I wanna tell my wife that cuz she’s doing the feeding at nights. He’s exclusively breastfed. Yeah. Uh, buddies in the room with us. I certainly get up every time in here. I’m, uh, every once in a while my daughters will, will have some nights where they’re just up. But, uh, yeah, luckily it’s not every day. So by golly I’ll take that compliment though. At least I appreciate it.

[00:41:59] Alyssa: take it. Own it. Yeah. And

[00:42:03] Josh: so, but your kids, your kids did not, so I imagine at that time, my gosh, it just adds, you know, it’s a, you put sleep deprivation on anything and everything gets harder.

[00:42:13] Alyssa: Oh. And I do not function well if I don’t sleep. And so, just like I started the entrepreneurial journey with great optimism and thinking that everything would be easy and whatever, I started my motherhood journey the exact same way.

[00:42:28] Alyssa: I, cuz I had nobody with kids around me, I had no kids around me. Oh, okay. And I just thought, Like, I mean, how hard can it be? Kids don’t need much. Like they need some love. And I read that newborn babies are supposed to sleep a lot, so they need sleep. And I mean, it’s the most natural thing, right? To have a kid is like biologically the most natural thing.

[00:42:51] Alyssa: We’ve been like evolved to do this. Like how hard could it be? He’s just like, oh, it’s not a big deal. Like, people like to make a big deal out of nothing. This is I thought now I think it is, it is the hardest thing I’ve ever, I’ve ever done. It is really hard being a mom. Um, but back then my optimism said it’s fine, whatever.

[00:43:12] Alyssa: Like you’re gonna be okay. And thankfully the, the dental business was Bri. It, it was, it’s was very, very steady and we were able to live pretty comfortably on, on that. So that’s what gave us the cushion and then the, the plug-ins were selling and it, that revenue was going up. So we were, we were doing okay, but by the time we had two kids, and no, we started all ish.

[00:43:39] Alyssa: Actually the conception started before we had two kids when we had one. So when our kiddo was about one in a year, a little over a year, like I’d say a year and three months, it’s like now sleep is stabilized and my brain is just needing some exercise now. Right? And it’s like, okay, what do I do next?

[00:43:57] Alyssa: Because the dental business is so steady, like I could literally not touch it for three months and be okay. I just like answer an email here and there that our assistant needed help with. And that’s all it really needs from me. I was like, okay, like what’s next? And my husband and I were just talking and we’re like talking about this creator economy and online courses, because online courses were such a blessing to us.

[00:44:23] Alyssa: They, that’s what really afforded us what we were doing with barely any, any effort really. I’m not gonna say it’s passive income because that’s not true. It’s not passive. Yeah, it’s

[00:44:35] Josh: not passive. Yeah.

[00:44:36] Alyssa: You, you, we, we had an assistant that was running everything. She was just doing our work for us. And, um, and then when we needed help, uh, or when she needed help, which obviously comes up, or if we wanted to do anything special, right?

[00:44:50] Alyssa: Like if you wanted to pull in more, uh, revenue for whatever reason, that would be our special project that would, we would be working on. But in terms of keeping it on coast, it really needed very, very little. And so I wanted something to do. We, like, we, we were kind of like, okay, like what’s what’s next?

[00:45:09] Alyssa: And we could be making more WordPress plugins, but it, it was like something was not quite, because for me, I am not a developer and WordPress is really hard for me, like very challenging and all the plug-ins, cuz my husband’s a developer, right? Like, so he would do all these complicated things and I wouldn’t even wanna log into the backend anymore.

[00:45:32] Alyssa: Like I just go and be like, SI. And it’s like, what is this? I don’t even know where to change this lesson anymore. Like this is all. A little overwhelming and just a little scary and I don’t know. And then the few times where we would change our website and rebuild it. Oh, that headache of moving all of the lessons over to a new one and making sure everything Oh, oh sure was so hard.

[00:46:04] Alyssa: And I, I was just talking to that, talking about that to my husband and we were like, you know, they really should be a better way to do courses now. And this is how Aish started was from our, really, my right? Like, cuz I’m the non-technical person. He’s a technical person. That, and we’re pressed for him was like, like, I’ll do it.

[00:46:25] Alyssa: Sure. But for me it was just like, oh my God. Like Kevin would sometimes be like, oh yeah. Like I’d be like, oh, how do I do this? He’s like, let’s go on and change it. I’m like, no no, I’m not gonna go and change it. Like I’m really afraid that whatever I do is gonna break something else or just. No. And so we dreamed up this platform that would be a course management platform that you, that would allow you to insert a course into any web platform, not just WordPress.

[00:46:58] Alyssa: It does work with WordPress as well, but there are like a lot of web platforms that there are no way to insert a course onto that specific platform.

[00:47:07] Josh: And that’s always real quick. I was just kind of curious, you know, initially, like what was the big separator from your guys’ l m s and others and Yeah, I, I don’t know of another one right now that does work with all other platforms as far as like, cuz it’s em embeddable, right?

[00:47:22] Josh: It’s something that can be embedded so that, like you said, if you build, like if somebody builds a course on, on WordPress and moves to Squarespace or what, whatever the platform is, it’s like, well that entire course you have the content, everything, but you have to recreate literally the course in a, in a different platform. So yeah, what a benefit to be able to have like a native course and just. Like probably put that somewhere plopping in there somewhere else. I, I definitely see the value of that. Exactly.

[00:47:48] Alyssa: I mean, there are really well mature, well-developed online course platforms that are incredible. I don’t know what you’re using Josh, but like there are some really big name players that have wonderful platforms.

[00:48:04] Josh: Those learned Dash use those platforms. Yes. Uh, yeah. Yeah. I use LearnDash. Um, I’m also a big fan of Lifter lms. I know the, the founder there Uhhuh and they have an awesome, awesome product for WordPress. .

[00:48:14] Alyssa: Yeah. So all WordPress and WordPress is wonderful if you have the knowledge or you have a really, the developer you can rely on and you don’t get overwhelmed and

[00:48:26] Josh: scared by the passion.

[00:48:27] Josh: Yes. And, and I should say yes, I, I felt comfortable with LearnDash because I am a designer and I never called myself a developer, but I’ve been doing it long enough to wear, I’m very comfortable getting into the settings if need be. And, but yeah, I took some custom customization, like if you’re gonna do a learned as site or use learned as for WordPress site and you’re gonna.

[00:48:46] Josh: You know, chip away at it and customize anything. You should probably have some developmental chops or at least hire, hire that owl. So there’s definitely a need for the, for the simplicity of building your course and focusing on your superpower. Yeah. Which I think, by the way exactly, that seems to me, I, I’m sure you’ve identified your superpowers, but to me it looks like you were like the vision caster and the like, how can we make this simple?

[00:49:10] Josh: Like, how, how can we do this without, you know, accessing the, the technical side of things too much? So that’s really cool to see that you guys teamed up on that and Yeah. Got to this point where you’re able to, to build something that, because cuz how old is it now? When did you actually start that? We, was it like about five years, years vision

[00:49:26] Alyssa: casting and conversations started almost three, three and a half years ago.

[00:49:32] Alyssa: But the actual, like our very first paid customer was this year. Earlier this

[00:49:37] Josh: year. Okay. So 2022 is when it officially

[00:49:41] Alyssa: just so, so it wasn’t That’s cool. Wasn’t we? We had some, like, it was completely free. Like we had zero revenue coming from it, uh, from last year. And then this year we turned on the revenue stream.

[00:49:54] Alyssa: Gotcha. Yeah. But, but it’s like if, because a lot of people would just want, they would have a website on, let’s say a square space, right? And you just want to put in a course element. It’s, it’s not like it’s, it’s usually not creators that have like five courses yet, but it’s this creator that’s like, okay, let me just put up a course.

[00:50:17] Alyssa: Sometimes it’s a freebie and sometimes it’s a paid thing, but they just wanna have their course on their Squarespace site that they already have. They don’t wanna create another subdomain and create another website. Cuz when you make a subdomain, you’re essentially creating a brand new website. Now you have two to manage.

[00:50:35] Alyssa: Right. And it just feels like a lot of work for. For what? To just put up a simple like three module course on your website. So that really wa was like where our whole inspiration and everything came from was like, oh, it should be simple. And I talked to these course creators and I was in a bunch of masterminds and whatnot all throughout the years and talked to these people and like this one guy that I talked to was like, yeah, like I have this spearfishing podcast.

[00:51:07] Alyssa: I don’t know but I

[00:51:09] Josh: guess talk about, talk about niche, right? ? Yeah, exactly. There is a podcast and a channel and a course for every niche. Like, I don’t know, you can have like coffee mug holder podcast and I’m sure it would get a a, you know what I mean? Like it would get a very different material with different designs.

[00:51:27] Alyssa: Right, right. No, for real. And the guy was like, well, yeah, I’m just not sure how to, cuz I like, he’s like, I, I made a course. I don’t know how to host this because not only do I wanna host my course, but I also want to have people book excursions and not with me, but with different people. And that throws a level of complication that you can do it with WordPress.

[00:51:53] Alyssa: But he didn’t want to because he was not a developer. He didn’t feel comfortable, you know, getting into that, getting his hands dirty. Gotcha. But I, at the same time, like, you know, it was, it was too big of a capability to ask those other, uh, SAS platforms like po Teachable that would allow you to. Courses, but you’ll have to have a dedicated website that will be just for, for this purpose.

[00:52:16] Alyssa: And it would just, yes. Yeah. It doesn’t serve your purpose. So at a certain point, your business has its unique needs and you have a vision for what it is that you wanted to do, and there was just no, not really a way to do that. Like with Weebly, with Squarespace, like those simple website builders that are made for non-technical people especially. Those were the focus that we had because there are no LMSs that work with them whatsoever.

[00:52:41] Josh: That’s good. I was actually, I was curious about that. I didn’t know if there was any sort of add-on for Wick, Squarespace or anything like that, that was like a native type of thing. Like, like you would have to use Teachable or something. That was its own thing. Yeah. That’s interesting.

[00:52:56] Alyssa: Yeah. So for us, and I’m not the developer here, so I can’t talk too much about like how it’s all done, but we just have to like drop code into your header or footer area and um, basically it’s telling us where to display your course and it will be displayed and somehow it only gets displayed to people that actually bought your course. Don’t ask me how

[00:53:18] Josh: that is. Cool. Yeah, and I’m, I’m kind of curious what, so you mentioned like you got to the point with the previous business where because you didn’t 100% need that income, it was. , it felt like you were getting into that, that scary, like, uh, content, boredom range. Yeah. So you wanted the new challenge.

[00:53:36] Josh: What about this aspect of the, the online web space in course space? Like what, what challenges did you like about this? Because this is a competitive field, especially now, now online courses are, obviously they’re huge and a lot of people are like, I have a lot of students who are web designers and are scaling their business.

[00:53:54] Josh: and a lot of them now are adding courses in either for clients or kind of a side hustle. And yeah, it’s, it’s definitely blowing up, which obviously I’m a huge fan of. Courses similarly have changed my life. Um, it is hard work though, bringing up the point we said earlier. A lot of people find out it’s not just, you know, just creating a little something and putting up there magically thousands of people by it.

[00:54:15] Josh: Like, it is a lot of hard work, especially depending on the, the competition of the niche. But that is, it’s a whole nother stream of challenges. Not only course creation, but then. SaaS product and building something to bring to market. So yeah. What, what were the challenges? Like what are the challenges that you enjoy about this?

[00:54:32] Alyssa: Oh my God, it, so, lemme just contrast this with the online stationary business that went through the same launch motions. It made great money, but it was very clear what had to be done. It was not, uh, difficult to do each of those steps, right? It, it, it, I felt like it required less of my creativity and just more of going through the motions on all of the things and making sure that, um, things were working or like creators were on, on track and, It was getting a little boring versus the online, like the SASS world.

[00:55:13] Alyssa: There is no

[00:55:14] Josh: bored you’re not gonna be bored there. That’s actually, I, I need, I need, like, I’m not boredom, but I need like a little more of a, a slower pace. I don’t think I’m cut out for the sass world, but by golly, you know, if you, and if Kevin could do it and, and you enjoy the, the other aspects of it all power to you, it

[00:55:33] Alyssa: keeps my brain engaged at all times. Like there is no, um, yeah, there, there’s no, uh, never not enough things to chew on or decisions to make in terms of, and I. I’ve always felt this way. The hardest decisions to make are what not to do. Cuz there are like a thousand business ideas out there, or marketing ideas out there at all times that just feels like, well maybe it’ll work.

[00:56:02] Alyssa: And you just have to like be very clear, like, okay, this is a yes and this is a no because we don’t have the time for it. We don’t have the capacity for it. I mean, we’re a small team. We’re not, and we’re bootstrapped, we’re self-funded, we’re not, uh, you know, we, we didn’t take anybody else’s money. And so we don’t have, and we, for all of our businesses like.

[00:56:22] Alyssa: Being lean is a very big priority of ours. Staying within what we can afford and not, you know, going out and taking somebody else’s money and then hiring 10 more people. Like, I mean, that I’m sure will be fun in a different way, but then it’s, it’s just a different type of business that it’s not what either Kevin or myself are interested in.

[00:56:41] Alyssa: Cuz we want to be able to take breaks too and like go abroad and like Yeah. You know, like we have all these, these different elements of our life that we don’t really want to have to justify or , like talk to anybody about and

[00:56:54] Josh: Sure. Yes,

[00:56:55] Alyssa: yes. Business decisions, like we wanna be able to, to make it. And, uh, it’s, it’s kind of also nice having a co-founder is that, Somebody knows the business as well as I know it, and we can always talk about the big decisions together.

[00:57:12] Alyssa: And yeah, we do not always see things eye to eye, but repeated conversation does. Shed a lot of insight into aspects of things that you just didn’t think about before. Like if you have this marketing idea, for instance of, I don’t know, whatever it might be, and then you bring it to the other person before you start working on it, it’s like, well, this is good in this sense, but.

[00:57:39] Alyssa: Have thought of this, and it looks like it’ll take a lot more work than it will be, you know, and, um, whose take, whose time is it gonna take to do all this? And we’re like, well, sounds like, uh, let’s file it away in the someday maybe pile then. Like it doesn’t nice. Seem like it’s a good thing for now. Right. It’s like hard to say no to things when it’s like all these bright, shiny ideas are all around you, all around you. I,

[00:58:03] Josh: I love that you said that there’s ideas and opportunities too, which are different, but like yeah, there’s like your internal ideas, but then there’s the external things that come to you that’s like, yes, you could do this.

[00:58:13] Josh: I love that you said that because while it is exciting, that is a challenge that is often overlooked is like you said, what not to do. And I, I think at this point you’ve found out, and, and, and I found this out, a lot of my students have found this out. You very quickly get to a point where you’re saying no, way more than you’re saying Yes.

[00:58:31] Josh: And you need to be so crystal clear about not necessarily the, the path, but the destination. Of, of where you wanna get to because you can be derailed so quickly and it’s not always out of like, no one’s trying to harm you generally, or like it’s, it’s good intentions. It’s like Phil, like the bad paths are filled with good intentions.

[00:58:51] Josh: I’m sure there’s a Yeah. Full. You know, that sums that up better. But it’s true. It’s like somebody made a really good idea and just like you said earlier when you decided to just cold Turkey, stop that previous business, technically there’s probably a lot of good ideas for you to scale it and then ease it down and sell it.

[00:59:08] Josh: Maybe that would’ve been a good idea for them, but not for you. So you, it’s almost like you have to be kind of selfish, don’t you, with your vision. Yeah. And just like everything else takes the back seat. Everything else is second fiddle. This, this is the most important thing when it comes to. And you have to

[00:59:25] Alyssa: hold it like you have to be the person that holds this like destination. I mean, the destination is changeable, right? Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like Sure, sure. But at any given time, you have this vision of what it is that you’re working towards. And if you don’t hold that, it’s like, Is this an expression chicken running around with her head chopped

[00:59:47] Josh: off? ? Yeah. Yep. Absolutely.

[00:59:50] Alyssa: That’s what, that’s, um, at times it has felt like that. And then we’d be like, okay, take everything out. Take everything off. Because we need to stay focused. Like you only have so many rowers, like you can’t try to road in different directions, just like take it to that, that, and our destination may change and that’s fine, but at all times you have to be rowing together.

[01:00:11] Alyssa: And that also comes up with, uh, like feature development for the software as well. Oh, sure. Because as you get more customers, the customers will be like, okay, I want this and I want that and I want that and I want that. And it’s like, okay, well, okay, well, is. Feature building that is that adding, is that in alignment with where we, what the vision we have for the software is And oftentimes the answer is no.

[01:00:35] Alyssa: Great points. And so sometimes it’s like well have to say bye to a customer or be like, okay, well you can use this other software to do this part and you can use us to do to this other stuff.

[01:00:46] Josh: But yeah, cuz even in a service. Yeah. Even in a service business, it’s the same to where you, same, same alignment of like your vision. That has to be priority because your customers similarly will have a lot of great ideas, probably, and there may be a need for some services that you could do, but maybe you shouldn’t do, or maybe you just don’t really have a desire for, like, I got into, uh, a lot of trouble situations when I reached outside of my ideal services and then I dipped into like photography and dipped my toes into like videography for clients.

[01:01:21] Josh: Sometimes it, it worked out okay, but more often than not, it was all taking me away from what I do best and what I would’ve got better at faster, which was website design. So it’s a great lesson, like yes, sometimes your clients are gonna throw opportunities your way too, and you have got to say no in a nice way, of course.

[01:01:38] Josh: But just say, I do this and this is why. Cuz web design, I will tell everyone, as probably everyone listening knows. And if you’re new to the game, It’s enough to keep up with by itself. Uh, just the core aspects of web design, like design, conversion, seo, accessibility, privacy, all these things, speed, security, these, there’s plenty enough to, to keep up with. So like you have, be really careful about how far you’re gonna venture outside into like marketing services and things that are gonna potentially pull you away. So I love that you said that

[01:02:07] Alyssa: I was, it sounds like a nice idea, right? Like, oh, let’s just add some social media marketing services, and it’s just like, oh my God, you’re just spread so thin now. Right? How are you? And, and like, you, you do this and then, you know, like you have to be clear about what it is that your business is willing to do and not willing to do. And there’s no right or wrong answer to that. It’s just more like, okay, what do you want your business to look like? Because you are stuck with it. Yours.

[01:02:32] Josh: And speaking of being, being stuck with it. So we’ve been talking about like, uh, married couples having businesses together. How do you guys, what have you learned about how to turn this off and not bring it. Home. Like you might be working from your office, but you go in a living room or the kitchen stand, you probably wanna try to turn it off.

[01:02:50] Josh: Like, um, you know, I love that the, there’s this new trend, which is awesome, and I think a lot of it is for, for folks similar to you, Alyssa, like you guys wanna travel, you have a family, you’re on the same page, you know, the business. But that does have its complexities. This is a whole nother episode, no doubt. But I’m just kind of curious. Do you have any like, tips for those who, who have like a, a marriage business as well alongside, you know, this type of relat. Oh my

[01:03:16] Alyssa: gosh. So Kevin and I have been partners in business before we even got married. We’ve been married now. We just celebrated our 10 year anniversary this year. So we’ve been

[01:03:27] Alyssa: Oh, congrats at things.

[01:03:29] Alyssa: Thank you. So we’ve been doing things for a while and it was a huge adjustment, right? Like it’s like just like starting to live together with a new person is big, but add to that, doing a business together that again, like doesn’t have any right answers to, and we’re each looking at it and value different things and we’re like trying to pull it to the thing, the direction that we think is right.

[01:03:58] Alyssa: And we’ve definitely had to learn how to work together. And now I feel like we are quite settled. Not that we still don’t have passionate discussions, but that I think is supposed to happen and will happen. Whether it is your. Partner, that’s your romantic partner you’re working with, or just a co-founder, like a friend or a co-founder, right.

[01:04:19] Alyssa: Outside of it, like it’s to be expected, but a few things is you have to have very clear delineation of responsibilities. You have to, if you are, if I am pushing feature development out and he is getting into the marketing side of things beyond what that person was asking help with, then it’s like, well, this is my territory.

[01:04:47] Alyssa: So you have to have that trust and respect for each other like that trust that this person wants this business to do well as much as I do. So they’re going to make the best decisions. And we have a business meeting time where we discuss everything that needs to be discussed and, and so you have to have these kind of like boundaries in terms of.

[01:05:10] Alyssa: If Kevin didn’t think it was important to make a joint decision about something, he thought it was a small enough decision that he could make it, then I have to let that be, even if that was not how I would have done it. it’s not, it’s okay. But if you’re trying to make every single little decision together, good luck, like nothing will move forward.

[01:05:31] Alyssa: You’re just going to be in dispute mode. Like for so much of the day, you, you just can’t. And so with any business that is kind of growing and like. parts of it, you just have to let go. Right? Like, and this is even like, I’m, I’m pretty much a control freak here, , but I have to just be like, yeah, that, that’s what, that’s the way Kevin wants to manage the developers.

[01:05:58] Alyssa: And that’s fine. Like, it’s not, it’s not my part, but my part is over here. My part’s not perfect. There are parts of mine that Kevin would do differently. I know that. And we just, you know, you have to have that trust and respect and just letting each other do their thing their way. Um, more than what you maybe would’ve previously thought.

[01:06:24] Alyssa: Yeah. But

[01:06:24] Josh: without, without that. Yeah, can’t. That’s a such a great thought. I, yeah. We may need to do a round two to explore this cuz I have so many questions on that we could probably dive into to this as a whole separate conversation. We do, for sure. Yeah. Especially it’s, it’s a lot like parenting too. Uh, uh, we both have young kids, it’s like, you do need to figure out the responsibilities, otherwise expectations get muddled in with, um, your own visions and own thoughts.

[01:06:48] Josh: And then, yeah, it’s like, well I thought you were gonna do this. I thought you were gonna do this. And that’s when, whether it’s personal or business and professional, that’s when the, the problems really arise with expectations. Responsibilities. And yeah, like you said, I think it’s interesting, I didn’t really think about it like that, but when it comes to vision and seeing where things are ahead, like there are gonna be differences.

[01:07:08] Josh: So I imagine there’s probably gotta be a little bit of compromise and then also understanding and, and yeah, like I said, like maybe it’s a priority thing or a hierarchy thing. It’s like, these are the things I absolutely, you know, feel passionately about the other things. Sure. I like ’em done different, but it’s fine.

[01:07:23] Josh: Uh, Yeah,

[01:07:25] Alyssa: there’s a lot. But at the same time as we are giving each other space to do things their way, the biggest vision has to be held together. So if your partner wants a company that has a hundred percent, uh, a hundred person staff with an office and you, your ultimate goal is to be, um, ha you, you can spend half of your day doing whatever you want to, and you don’t want to have an office and you have to have all remote staff, then that is a very, very bad combination.

[01:07:59] Alyssa: And so as much as Yes, like the smaller details, you let the other person. Do and figure out the big destination you’re trying to go to together that has to be one and the same. And your people that work for you, their team members can’t be like, I go to Alyssa for something and she says one thing and you sh I go to Kevin for something and you know, you

[01:08:20] Josh: can’t confuse.

[01:08:21] Josh: Yes,

[01:08:22] Alyssa: that’s good. Yeah. So that there has to be alignment there. And it may take time, but you know, not all couples are meant to be co-founders or, you know, not every, not all people are meant to be co-founders with each other. And so before you partner, cuz this is huge partnership just so big, you have to make sure that you’re partnering with somebody that has that kind of value alignment with you in the first place so that you can trust and delegate and just be like, okay, like it’s not how I will do it, but that’s okay because we’re still heading to the right place. like, you know, the final destination is the.

[01:08:56] Josh: Yeah. Well I can tell you’re so passionate about this. We’re definitely gonna, I’m gonna have to get you on again here at some point to, to dive into this, cuz I love your, your take on on that so far. And because it’s such a popular trend. I think, especially after Covid, I think a lot of couples were at home together and then like, well, we have similar visions on something.

[01:09:15] Josh: We have complimentary skills. We could put that in a business together and mm-hmm. and yeah, have something that creates more freedom and time and more flexibility. And one of my favorite things is just the uncapped potential of earning growth, scaling, whatever that looks like. Um, yeah. So, gosh, Alyssa, this has been great.

[01:09:35] Josh: I’ve re really covered Yeah. A lot of cool things from just your background, which I, I really enjoyed learning a little bit about, uh, just culturally the differences between what you’ve experienced with your family in South Korea and moving back and, um, my gosh. The thought of like, having that type of situation and then having the, I don’t know, whatever the gumption, the drive to like do what you’ve done is really inspiring.

[01:10:01] Josh: So I, I hope for people thank you, who are in similar situations or have a past like you do, I hope this isn’t really a good note that like, you, you can do this. It sky’s the limit. You can do whatever you want. Doesn’t mean that it’s gonna be easy though, and I’m glad that we talked about that, dude, because entrepreneurship is very hard.

[01:10:20] Josh: But again, I’ll say it one more time. A lot of other things are hard too. It’s just the, the challenges are different. The, the struggles are different. Um, but isn’t everything good in life? Hard often, like usually the best things in life take some sort of soul. Like when somebody finishes a marathon, they’re like, they’re not like, well that was easy.

[01:10:36] Josh: That was kind of cool. I was like, wow, I worked my ass off. I am dead. But wow, this feeling is incredible cuz I’ve worked so hard for this. It’s like that, that’s the best. And I’m not sure if that’s how you feel now with your endeavors, but it, yeah. Yeah. So

[01:10:49] Alyssa: anything worth chasing after, you know, anything that, yeah. Anything that’s worth chasing after I think is, is hard. It’s a hard journey usually. It’s not something very simple. Anything that promises to be so easy and simple, it’s not going to give you what it’s actually promising. It’s a lot of

[01:11:09] Josh: work. except for aish, the platform you guys have created. Was that a perfect segue for that

[01:11:16] Alyssa: That was perfect. very impressive, Josh. Um, you’re welcome. Yeah, and speaking of, because I know your audience is heavy on web developers, and you know what, like developers, if you have a way of onboarding your new clients and you say the same thing over and over again, and you have this like email sequence that you send and they’re like, I didn’t get it, or whatever, and it’s just this big old thing.

[01:11:40] Alyssa: Every time you onboard somebody new, maybe put your entire onboarding sequence into an online course, and it’s, it’s not, it’s a different type of course, right? You’re not charging for it. You’re not trying to make money off of the course, but it’s more like for your convenience and for theirs. It’s like you have a little video and this is the expectations and yeah.

[01:11:58] Alyssa: Here are, here’s some text that lays out what exactly is going to happen. Now, here’s a checklist for you to go through, and it will, it might. , you know, make your job of onboarding new clients. Cuz I know that’s a big part. Getting started on a new project takes a lot of energy, right? Yeah. And if anything can do to like, help that a little bit, um, yeah, just something that I wanted you to think about. Um, so that, I mean, it’s easier.

[01:12:25] Josh: A lot of, of, a lot of my audience and my students are building online courses for clients. And I think what is, I think where I think where your guys’ platform will be a really good option for folks is if they either want to try a course out on their own or have clients who like just want to add it to what they have, but they don’t wanna necessarily build out like a five or $10,000 learning l m s on their site with segmentation and all these advanced, you know, topics and all this stuff.

[01:12:53] Josh: Like, I do think Alice is, I mean, I’m sure you could get really advanced and technical with this if you wanted to, but it’s also great to just like kickstart just to see like, I know one of your plans is like nine bucks a month right now mm-hmm. for one course on one website. So the, the really, one of the reasons I wanted to have you on is I feel like this was gonna be a really good tool for me to have you guys available for people who like, because I have had students say, I’m thinking about launching a course just to kind of try it.

[01:13:20] Josh: I’m like, It’s a lot of work if you build it big right from the get-go. Like, I would hate to see somebody build out a huge learning management system portion of their site, or invest a lot in a different site, and then it just, you know, in three months go by the wayside. So what a perfect tool for folks to like, have as a, as a starting point too.

[01:13:39] Josh: I mean, again, stick, stick on it. But yeah, I think, I think it’s a really good option as well. So, and you guys have, uh, I think you had talked about maybe a, a link to, to send people too as well, right? If they wanted to try it out?

[01:13:49] Alyssa: Yeah, for sure. Um, yeah, so, but in terms of like the simpleness and the ease of uses because like that was such a big thing for, for me, super important that non-technical people would be able to start and get going easily and it would still look very good.

[01:14:07] Alyssa: It needs to look good, right? It’s sunny tiny two, like you don’t want, or 20 tiny three when you might be listening, but you don’t want to have, uh, online course that looks like it’s from the early two thousands. And so all of that was very, very important. And the most feedback we get is, oh my gosh, this is so much easier.

[01:14:23] Alyssa: I tried a few other platforms and I was kind of lost in the middle of it. And with your platform, like I, I just had a course up. Quickly, and I just can’t believe how intuitive and easy it is. So yeah, for all the non-technical, um, developers or no developers that have non-technical, uh, clients, um, this is certainly a tool that you can keep in your back pocket to help your clients have a course on their site without much too much complication.

[01:14:54] Alyssa: And with that, if you wanted to try Oish out for two months for completely for free, we, uh, have prepared something for Josh, your audience, and you can find that at Hall. So that’s oish with two Ws. O W W l I S H slash Josh Hall, just all one word. And yeah, if you go over there and follow the, follow what’s there, you’ll be able to get two months absolutely. For free. So you can thoroughly try it out before being like, okay, yep, this is for me, or Nope, this is not for me. Whatever it might be. Like when it’s all good.

[01:15:33] Josh: Awesome. I’m just making note of that too, cuz we’ll make sure we put all this in the, in the show notes. Um, cuz yeah, like I said, I, it just dawned on me as I’m looking at this, I’m like, how many times recently have I said, Like, you know, make sure they want to do a course before investing and building a building a huge thing.

[01:15:49] Josh: So yeah, I have an option like this to, to get a kickstarted and to make sure it’s a good option. Oh, I love it. So, yeah, and, and I really en have enjoyed this conversation and what you guys are up to, Alyssa, you have to give Kevin my, uh, uh, my, my regards on, uh, what he’s up to. I’m sure we, uh, as a WordPress guy myself, I’m sure we have a lot of, uh, uh, similarities and a lot of similar interests.

[01:16:11] Josh: So, uh, yeah, this is really cool. And I, wow. Just yeah, your background, everything we’ve covered today, this is a super fun chat. So thank you so much for your time. I hope you enjoyed this as well. And, uh, any, any, you know, like a final word to anyone who maybe is, uh, maybe who has like a similar background to you, what would you tell them if they’re early on in the journey?

[01:16:30] Josh: Ignore the sunk

[01:16:31] Alyssa: cost ignore the sunk cost. This is kind of a segue, but you know, 10 years from now you’re not gonna regret trying and worse comes worse. You go back. Like if it doesn’t work out, you really wanted to try changing your careers. You’re a doctor, you’re a dentist. It didn’t work out. Get your license again, or maintain your license by while you’re trying something.

[01:16:49] Alyssa: But if you have any inkling of wanting a life that’s, let’s say, not tied to your office or your patients or something like that, you owe it to yourself, at least to give it a try. And, um, yeah. I, I’ve done it and I think you can too.

[01:17:07] Josh: Oh, that’s well said. What a good motivational moment to cap this one off.

[01:17:11] Josh: But listen, thank you so much for your time. Looking forward to having you back sometime here. I think we have a whole nother chat we could dive into, so I love it.

[01:17:18] Alyssa: Josh, thank you so much for having me on.

[01:17:20] Josh: All right, talk soon.

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