- Why Avital stayed at her job until she landed her first significant recurring sales.
- How YouTube comments gave Avital social proof that her work was worthwhile – and the value of feedback.
- How to teach from the standpoint of a student – and how Avital’s challenges make her more authentic to her members.
- What running a membership site allows Avital to do as a mom – and the profound ripple effect her work has on other mothers.
- Why you must focus relentlessly on your vision – and why looking at your doubts will never help you achieve your goals.
FREE Guide – Launch & Grow a Profitable Membership SiteReady to reclaim your time and attract more monthly paying customers? Our step-by-step guide will show you how to build a membership site that turns your passion into recurring profit. Click here to download!
- “There’s a place for academics, designers, coaches, mentors, and all the different types of teachers. The people you need to help are those who are one step behind you.” – Avital Schreiber
TranscriptRead The Transcript
Shelli: Avital Schreiber, welcome to the It’s a TRIBE Thing Podcast. How are you? Avital: I’m great. Shelli. Thank you so much for having me. Shelli: Oh, my goodness. It’s my pleasure. I love what you’re doing in the world and I’m a big thing for those who have listened to this podcast before. I’m a huge proponent of what is the ripple effect that our membership site creates and you happen to have one of those membership sites that ripple effect is profound. You have a site called Present Play and you are a mindful parenting coach but I’m wondering if you can take us back to what you did before you were a membership site owner or before you are in this business in the way that you are, and how you do transform from what you did before to what you’re doing now, and in the spirit of hoping to inspire other people that may also have an idea for them to be able to follow suit and do something similar as well. Avital: Absolutely. Yeah. So, my background is in design. I work as a graphic designer doing identity branding and I love that job but I never felt like it truly hit the mark on the meaning that I wanted to bring into the world so I always kind of gravitated towards the design projects that were for companies that I cared about. And that’s a big part of my personality and I was a type of school student that when I cared about the topic, when I found it interesting, I got straight As, and if I didn’t find it interesting, I literally bailed. So, meaning means a lot to me. And so, working as a designer was great. It was cushy. I had a stay-at-home job. I’m a mother so I had a young child at that time, my first, and it was really lovely. But I really wanted to work more in the field of parenting because when I first became a parent, I became a parenting junkie and that’s what my company is called is The Parenting Junkie because I’m just so obsessed with learning about alternative and interesting and fresh new ways to raise children. Does that answer your answer question, Shelli? Shelli: Yeah. Absolutely. No, just I’m interested in knowing more about that because what I encounter so often is people that have an idea and immediately the first thing they do is they doubt that idea or they think like, “Is this something or could this be a thing?” For yourself, you’re so self-aware enough so that you know that the meaning is the pivot point for you and what is more meaningful than being a parent? And when you have the ability to have a 30,000-foot view and look down and go, “Okay. Like what is a better way that I could do this?” and then start to see results and then be able to go on and offer other people that sort of assistance, what did that transition look like for you when you left the design world to kind of transition into, okay, I’m going to actually make this thing go? Avital: Yeah. Absolutely. I mean, and you hit the nail on the head because of course, that’s what’s come up. I don’t have a degree in psychology. I am not a doctor of sociology. I have no bells and whistles to my name with regards to parenting. I’ve taken a few coaching courses and I’m mostly self-taught and especially in a field like psychology and relationships, that puts a big question mark on whether or not I can help other people. So, that’s a first kind of strike against me and then I’m in a stay-at-home job that’s paying me well. I’m actually the main support of our family at this time and I have young children and my husband is a doctor going through residency, again, that’s very frightening and scary to think would I leave this job to try and go out on my own, be entrepreneurial, and pursue a career in something I don’t have formal training in? And there’s nothing promised. You know, my husband, bless him, he’s my biggest fan. He always thinks I’m absolutely incredible but he hadn’t heard of this job called parent coaching online like what would that even look like? “Would we be able to continue paying our rent?” was the main question on our mind. So, it was definitely a big leap. I like to say there is an element of leap and then that will appear. You got to take that first step. You’ve got to believe in yourself and be brave, but you also need to be smart and down to earth. And so, I did stay in my job as long as I could until I made my first significant recurring monthly sales where I said, “Okay. This has now become a career for me,” and it was actually able to more than replace my current income level. So, I think there was a little bit of both there, but I believe for anyone listening who is considering moving over to this crazy, scary, different idea that everybody around them thinks isn’t a real thing, it’s really wonderful if you can maintain a little bit of that stability, keep your income where it is now until you’ve proven to yourself and others that this can work and then you have proof in the pudding and you have confidence to go forward. It’s not always a possibility, but for me it was and that really helped me make that leap. Shelli: I love some of the stuff that you touched on. You didn’t have a degree, but I always find it really interesting for those people who have experience or knowledge or skills. I’ll oftentimes hear them say something very similar to that, “Well, you know, I don’t have a formal education in it, but it’s almost like in some regards you can have a Ph.D. in results like you can be the person who has hands-on experience, who’s been in the trenches, who can navigate the landmines, who knows how to get a certain result in maybe a shorter amount of time, or perhaps costing less money to make that transition. And I’m curious like was there a point for you or what advice would you give to somebody who’s in that same position having those same thoughts thinking, “Well, I don’t have a formal education in this. I’m really passionate about this topic,” and then they go right into self-doubt. What was the thing that allowed you to jump? Avital: It’s a really great question. I started with a YouTube channel and I put out content and, in that content, I served as a journalist. So, I was so passionate and nerdy about parenting. I was reading all these books and I found that my conversations with people would naturally gravitate in there and people just wanted me to give them the footnotes, the shorthand version of the book. They wanted to download all of those hours that I have been researching into bite-size actionable steps. And so, the doctors and the psychologists were writing the books. I was reading the books and I was summarizing them and as a designer, I’m very problem-solving-oriented, I’m solutions-oriented, and I was able to, you know, this might be my superpower is I’m able to take all these complex ideas and say, “Well, this is how it would look in real life.” This is what you actually have to do. And in parenting, that’s important. We don’t have a lot of time to read all those books. It’s really bothersome, right, but I love to. So, I think you can find your place in the ecosystem. There’s a place for the academics and there’s a place for the designers and there’s a place for the coaches and there’s a place for the mentors and all the different types of teaching modalities. And the people that you need to help are the people who are just one step behind you. There’s another thing that I found really empowers me, just to finish the previous thought is that I made the YouTube videos distilling more bad information, and YouTube has comments. And so, I was able to actually get feedback from people that this was helpful for them. Of course, you got some haters as well. That’s a sign that you’re growing healthily but a lot of the feedbacks were for me social proof that this was worthwhile that someone out there was benefiting. And I think you need to push through until you get that piece of feedback that says, “Thank you. You’re helping me,” and you use that to fuel your fire and to reinvigorate your passion to say, “Yes. This is working and this is worthwhile.” Shelli: That’s brilliant. It’s genius because, yeah, sometimes you don’t like you can’t from a standstill position anticipate what is going to work and what isn’t going to work. Sometimes you just have to get out there and give it a try and give yourself permission to try to do it imperfectly. And I know that a lot of people from, A, will look at where they want to be and say, “Man, I don’t know, it’s kind of scary like this could go wrong or that could go wrong,” and when they look at people like you or other people that have successful membership sites, potentially they can be saying, “Well, that’s for them,” like that it’s possible for them. But what I want to say to those people too is that sometimes bravery is just fear in motion like it’s just doing the thing and trying it out and learning as you go. And the other thing that I really love that you said that will be valuable for our listeners as well is you can be the front-facing person, the personality of the membership site but there are different styles and different ways of doing that, and you spoke about one of them. You know, like you’re also possible to be the curator of other people’s expertise in your membership site. And so, for example, Napoleon Hill, he wrote Think and Grow Rich. He wasn’t at the time a millionaire himself. He just studied and curated and distilled all of the stuff that you were talking about when you were reading all of these books, and he basically had the expertise of numerous experts that he distilled down into one package so, again, saving people time and saving people effort and money. And then the parenting niche to your point that is extremely vital. Avital: Yeah. 100% and it’s also about being brave, being willing to be an example as a student. You know, I’m at a point now in my journey where I have some of my own original content that I bring, but I certainly I’m always teaching from the standpoint of a student and I think that the world is ready for that kind of teaching or I should say ready to go back to the apprenticeship model. I think my members appreciate that I’m another mom in the trenches with them and that I am struggling to implement all of the things that I teach as well. I think that they appreciate that I’m not in an ivory tower and just giving them academic research and beating them over the head with the latest from Harvard which they’re not managing to necessarily implement because it’s hard and I get that. I think empathy and validation and being willing to say, “Hey, me too. I’m doing this too. We’re working on it. I may be just one step ahead of you or I may be a little bit more advanced in whatever field it is than you but we’re figuring this out together.” I think people are ready for that model of learning as well so you don’t have to be. You can be. There’s room for everyone, but you don’t have to be a doctor of what you’re doing. You could also be a student who’s just a grade above the people who you’re mentoring and allowing to join you on your journey and you’re serving as the role model who is willing to lead that. Shelli: Absolutely. So, what has having a membership site allowed you to do as a mom? So, as a business owner, you now have this membership site and you have income coming in on a regular recurring business model. But what has that meant for you as a mom and how is that impacted not only the way that you are able to serve other people but the way you’re able to parent your child? Avital: Yeah. That’s a great question. I have four children under the age of eight and I homeschool and my husband this past year has been doing his fellowship, which means he hasn’t been living at home. He’s only come home for the weekends. He’s been on this commuter model. And so you can imagine, Shelli, that my life is pretty intense like a lot of people need my time. I homeschool my kids at home a lot of the time with going around to different programs and classes and joining meetups. I spend entire days in the forest with my children without even looking at my phone. My business model has given me 100% freedom within integrity to both show up and fulfill all of my promises with enthusiasm and joy for my members, but also be present for my family and it’s not picture-perfect or anything, but it’s pretty damn close to just think it’s an amazing model for me. It’s a very liberating model. So, it’s really allowed me to do that. It’s allowed me to support my husband for his work and to be home with my children and to support my team and my members and do all of that in a way that’s fun, that’s basically easy, and I’m focusing on the stuff that I love to do. So, if this sounds like a brag, it’s only because it is. I mean, I’m very proud and very grateful to have been able to build this. It’s a huge privilege of this day and age, and thanks just you and TRIBE, I had the tools to successfully create that and continue to run it time after time. So, yeah, it’s really allowed me huge freedom in my life. Shelli: Well, that’s fantastic and it doesn’t sound like a brag. It sounds like an inspiration for those people, again, who on this journey are a couple steps behind you, who perhaps are standing on the precipice of something, some idea, some problem, they have to solve or even a transition that they want to or have made for themselves. Just something that they can offer the people that are just a few steps behind them. I’m curious to know, you’re impacting moms like this is really, really important and powerful work that you’re doing. So, the fact that you’re able to create this membership site to be the kind of mom you want to be but also when you are providing other people curated resources or tips, tools, training, all of that kind of stuff, what is the best piece of feedback that you’ve received from one of your members that you never would’ve anticipated at the beginning of your journey? Avital: Wow. It’s a moving question for me. It’s an emotional question because I’m very lucky to be in a career where I got a lot of feedback on a regular basis. I think one of the most moving pieces of feedback that I’ve received is the mother writing to me saying, “You know, I hated being a mom. I did not enjoy my child and now I do, and now I love it.” That transformation, that is so profound. I mean, that’s where we heal intergenerational wounds. That’s where a woman has her life back as a mother and feels empowered and not like a victim of motherhood anymore. And you know for all of the results that my members get, I think that’s probably the deepest, the most profound thing for me to hear. Shelli: Well, yeah, and I just want to circle on that for a second because I always like to drive the idea home the feature and the benefit. There is a feature of what the membership site provides, but the benefit, the ripple effect that goes so far beyond that, and to your point, something is profound as intergenerational trauma and what the ramifications could be for the next generation and the generation after that. In points in their life when they get stuck, those friction points now no longer exist for a couple of reasons, because of the membership site that you provided, but also as the person at the very beginning of your journey who said, “Yes, I’m going to do this. I don’t have all the answers. I don’t have it all figured out, but I do know what I know. I know that meaning is important to me and I know that I want to take this journey a little bit farther and I’m going to bring some people along with me.” So, hats off to you, my friend. Avital: Thank you and, yeah, you know the credit always goes to the members, right? You put out this energy, you put out that the information and the steps, but I think one of the great joys we get to have as leaders of memberships is seeing where people take it. People take it further than you could ever imagine and get results beyond your wildest dreams and it’s really incredibly moving to see that. Shelli: What’s the biggest vision for you, for your membership site going forward, both in terms of maybe your community but also in terms of your business and what you now think is possible because you’ve taken the steps and you’ve got some momentum? Avital: Yeah. Well, we’ve grown a lot in two-and-a-half years both in terms of my member count but also in terms of the types of offerings that we have. So, when I first launched, it was all about the content. It was also about community a little bit but I couldn’t bank on that. Before you create a community, you can’t quite brag about it or promise anything, but all my wildest dreams in terms of the community totally came true because they’re awesome and it’s a really supportive space. It’s a really, really supportive space and any parents listening I think you know some of the boards out there on Facebook can be really demoralizing and dogmatic and very dramatic and our group is just so supportive. And so, the content has grown and the results have grown and the branding has been snazzed up and all this stuff is super fun. It’s beautiful. It’s great. But I think my biggest vision that has already started to form and will continue to crystallize as we go is that members have now tapped into this worldwide support network where we have people joining Zoom rooms and connecting to each other and having listening partnerships and people able to truly share what’s going on. Because my members are kind of invisible to the outside world being home with children and it’s not only for stay-at-home parents but when you are home with your child is a very isolating experience. All of your major triumphs and major challenges go unnoticed to the outside world and in fact, the outside world is typically extremely critical and judgmental of however you happen to parent, whatever philosophy you follow. And so, having this group, this movement that you can be a part of and say, “This is the type of parent I am. We operate in a guilt-free way. We prioritize play and presence and peace for our families. Those are our values.” I’m part of hundreds and even thousands of parents worldwide who are also parenting this way and then we have off-line meetups and off-line events and live calls and WhatsApp groups and all these things. That to me is just so powerful to consider the fact that all these different members from literally we have over 50 countries represented in the membership. So, all around the world, all these different people who might have otherwise felt isolated as parents might have otherwise felt lost or different or like their alternative parenting choices aren’t justified and supported by their community and they just feel bummed out, now feel empowered, invigorated, excited, motivated, supported, and part of something bigger. Shelli: I love that because in a community, when you get a group of like-minded people together and on the same page and in the spirit of positivity and again talking about features and benefits like the benefit of one of your parents or one of a community member of anybody’s membership site, being able to tap into the community and maybe let off some steam or maybe ask a question that they would be afraid to ask otherwise, but it’s created a safe space, a sacred space where you can ask those questions and get supported and everybody does things in a similar way and is on the same page, the impact that that makes for not only the members but now how they go out in the world and be is profound. Avital: 100%. 100%. And we have such deep sharing in the group. It’s really kind of mind-blowing. I mean, it’s again one of the speeches but the benefit is on a very profound level and that’s why we have a lot of people who were there for life. I mean, they’ve already signed up. That’s it. They’re our Present Player now. Shelli: Excellent. I have one last question for you. If someone were to come to you and say, “Hey, I’m thinking about starting a membership site. I have a little bit of doubt. I may be afraid. I don’t know if it’s going to go and I have apprehensions,” what advice would you give them based on your experience? Avital: I think if someone was coming to me with fear and doubt, my advice would be to focus 100% and relentlessly on the vision and on the realization of that vision. In other words, believe, choose to believe. Don’t wait for belief to show up. Don’t wait for faith to drop in, but instead, every time you have doubt, acknowledge it, thank it, yes, okay thank you for keeping me small and safe. I get it. I’m choosing to focus on my big vision. And you need to put on the blinders and look at that goal far off in the horizon and take one step after another until it becomes closer and looms larger. It will not happen if you keep looking at your doubt and looking at your fears and giving them the platform and giving them the microphone. They will continue to shout into your ear. Instead, you need to thank them and dismiss them and now focus relentlessly, optimistically on a bigger vision and on realizing something that now seems so far away. But as you take those steps, you feel the fear, you do it anyway, you take those steps, and you start to see traction. Shelli: That is amazing advice not only for membership sites but for life. So, I thank you, I honor you, and I appreciate your time. Thank you so much for stopping by the It’s a TRIBE Thing Podcast. Avital: Thank you, Shelli. [END]