Beeta Hashempour was on track to study law, but a trip to France to visit a friend changed her life. As her French food blog grew, she discovered Francophiles all over the world who read her writing, loved her photography, and wanted a deeper connection with the French lifestyle.
Now, at Everyday France, she provides her members with recipes, ideas, and a sense of community. They embrace their love of France and French living through on-demand content, recipes, fun challenges, and conversations.
Today, Beeta joins the podcast to talk about the trip that revealed her life’s calling, turning her true love into a viable business, and why even the most obscure niche can serve as the fuel for a powerful membership site.
- How Beeta turned her food blog into a membership site to empower and forge deeper connections with her most supportive readers.
- The misconceptions and apprehensions that Beeta worried about as she created her membership – and why they proved not to be true.
- How Beeta turned her passion into a thriving business – and what kept her motivated along the way, even as she pursued a seemingly unconventional career path.
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- “I would say just start telling yourself the new story of what is possible and what can be. Stop replaying the past. Don’t even look at where you’re at today.” – Beeta Hashempour
- “You can have all the tools, you can have the path, the layout, everything for your business, but if you don’t have the right mindset behind it, you’re not going to succeed.” – Beeta Hashempour
TranscriptRead The Transcript
Stu McLaren: There is a big trend brewing that’s revolutionizing the way business is being done. Big companies like Netflix, Amazon, and Apple are jumping on this too but so are thousands of others in all kinds of markets like photography and calligraphy, fitness, finance, meal planning, lesson planning, dog training, and so many more, and they’re doing it by shifting to a recurring revenue model. Hi. My name is Stu McLaren and for more than a decade I’ve been helping tens of thousands of entrepreneurs generate recurring revenue through membership sites. Join our host, Shelli Varela, as she takes you behind-the-scenes to see how these companies are building a thriving tribe that spends with them every single month. Now, let’s get to today’s episode.
Shelli Varela: Beeta Hashempour, welcome to the It’s a TRIBE Thing Podcast, buddy. How are you?
Beeta Hashempour: I’m good. Thanks for having me.
Shelli Varela: It’s our absolute pleasure. You have an incredible membership site and an incredible love of France. And we’re going to dive into what that looks like and how that came to be that you serve your people and talk a little bit more about your membership site going forward. But I wondered if you would start with sharing who you serve specifically, and how you got to be a person who has this incredible love of France and decided that was going to be their business and their membership site.
Beeta Hashempour: Yeah, of course. So, I like to say my people are just like me, they love all things French. They are what we call Francophiles. So, they just gravitate towards anything that promotes the French culture and French lifestyle. So, that’s who I serve in my business and the type of people I love to hang out with. But I actually don’t consider, well, I didn’t consider myself to be a Francophile growing up and I did not even have French class in school. I actually took Spanish all throughout high school and that was great but it wasn’t until I think it was my sophomore year in college that I took a trip to France to visit my best friend. She was studying abroad there and I thought, “Well, why not? I’ve never been to France and this is a perfect opportunity to take a trip and see her.” And I just fell completely head over heels in love with France. I mean, from the moment I got up out of the metro station and stepped out onto those cobblestone streets, I thought, “Oh my gosh.”
Because a lot of places you go to you see them in the movies and when you get there, it tends not to be like the movies and this was the opposite. It was even better than the movies. It just looked picture perfect. And after spending two weeks there, I was in love with the food, the culture, the people, the architecture, everything. And so, I came back from that trip and I just felt completely changed. At the time I was at school studying political science. I was on a track to go to law school and I was working at a law firm in this really big shot law firm in LA and I realized that was not the path for me. And I was just so inspired by my recent trip that I just knew I wanted to do something with France. I wasn’t really sure what yet but I started out just doing basically buying French cookbooks and practicing French recipes at home. Because I figured in the meanwhile, I might as well try to recreate all the amazing food I had in France. And at the time as well, it was just when blogs were really gaining some popularity so I decided to start basically a food blog, documenting the recipes that I was trying out and playing around with some food photography, and just sharing my love of France.
At first, it was just mom and dad following me on there and I really didn’t expect much from it but my parents were just really generous and told me I could be living with them while I kind of figure things out for myself. And so, I used that time to work on the blog. I even started teaching some culinary classes on the side to make some extra money and just continue that until I started actually getting comments and emails from people that weren’t mom and dad, telling me how much they loved my blog, what I was talking about was resonating with them, how they were Francophiles, and sharing their memories from trips to France. And I realized that there were other people just like me and they were actually liking what I was doing. And I started making a little bit of money, too, from some ads on my website, and it made me realize that the blog could actually become a business. Now, when I say some money by any means, it was nothing I could afford like rent and a real life with but at the time, it was allowing me to just kind of pay towards my student loans and get by and like I said, my parents were really kind of were letting me live with them.
But around 2017, I saw Stu McLaren’s TRIBE Course advertised on Facebook. I had no idea who he was. And I don’t know, it was like an ad I saw and I watched his video series he had for advertising, basically, this course promoting membership businesses. And I was hooked from video one and thought, “Oh my gosh, I need to have a membership in my business,” because while the blog was growing and like doing very good in terms of comparison of where it started, I knew that my people wanted more from me. The blog was pretty much just food-related and these people who were subscribed to my blog really wanted to have a deeper conversation around the French lifestyle, a whole holistic perspective. And so, I knew a membership platform would be perfect for that. But honestly, at that time, I didn’t have the funds to purchase TRIBE. I really believed in it and I was totally bummed out that I couldn’t get it, but I knew that it was definitely in my future. And so, I never forgot about it. I was thinking about it consistently.
Until finally 2019, I had saved up enough money and I had the time that I could devote to really going all-in into the course. I went to TRIBE Live in 2019 and came back as I’m sure you know, completely pumped and liberated to launch a membership. I now had the tools like the know-how from the course so I, literally, it was like late August was TRIBE Live and by early September, I just went for it and sent out an email to my subscribers and said, “Hey, this is what I want to do. I don’t really know what I’m doing but want to join me?” And, yeah, it all started from there.
Shelli Varela: What did that feel like when you first made the ask and say, “Hey, I was thinking about starting this membership.” Were there feelings of apprehension and what did that look like for you?
Beeta Hashempour: Yeah. You know what, the thing is too and when we talk about this in TRIBE but I am a bit of a perfectionist. I get really big visions in my head of what I want to do and imagine the most glamorous way of doing it. And the reality is, is that a lot of times, I’m not necessarily in the position whether it’s budget, manpower, or know-how, whatever it may be, to carry out that level of perfection. And a beta launch, if you’ve ever done one for anything, is usually not perfect at all. It’s pretty messy and there’s a lot of uncertainty. And for me, that was really hard but I knew that if I didn’t just literally press the send button on that email, I would never do if I was going to sit there and try to think about it for too long.
Shelli Varela: What was the biggest apprehension or misconception that you had going in that proved actually not to be true?
Beeta Hashempour: I think just that, A, no one is going to like this or get this or buy this. You’re going to have basically zero customers but more than that, I don’t know. I’m one of those people maybe sometimes what you consider a people pleaser. And so, I had this fear that, “Oh, if I try to sell something to these people who up until that point had never really bought anything from me. It was I had a blog which is to them free. So, I had this fear that they’re going to like hate me and not be happy and unsubscribe. And so, I think there was a lot of that going on too when I was sending that email.
Stu McLaren: So many people in all kinds of niche markets are leveraging their existing knowledge and influence and they’re transforming it into passive monthly income. This isn’t luck. This is a repeatable formula for producing a growing subscription income and if thousands of others can do it, you can too. To find out what type of membership site would be right for your business, visit GetTRIBEGuide.com. Go to GetTRIBEGuide.com and download it today. You’re awesome!
Shelli Varela: Well, I just want to commend you for sending the email because you now have a membership site and a business which is amazing. But also, I just wanted to point out to everybody listening and this is something that I really took away. You were in, by society standard, a really great education path, potential career path. You’re on your way to become a lawyer and it would be really easy. And I’ve heard many people echo this. Well, this is what I “should do”. This is the responsible thing to do. And it’s ironic that what you were doing was law because I remember hearing a story one time of this person. Both of their parents were lawyers and they’re like, “Well, I should be a lawyer, like I know that I’m genetically smart enough to be a lawyer. I know what the lifestyle of a lawyer looks like.” So, they do the thing they’re supposed to do just like their parents. And they summit this mountain, right? They become a lawyer and they get to the top of the mountain and they feel empty. And then they realize they just climbed the wrong mountain.
And so, what I love about you is like absolutely tapping into what do you love and what’s true for you. Because had you not been as innovative and dedicated to the knowing of what you love, if you were to compare going to law school versus I love France and French cuisine, it would be easy to say, well, that’s not a viable option for a career or a business but you’ve actually proved that to be not the case. And I’m wondering, for everybody listening out there, how many of us are thinking about the thing we love and saying the opposite of what you said and what you did, which is why I asked you what did it feel like when you pressed the send button? Because many of us are very quick to dismiss that, “Oh, that’s the thing I love,” but it’s not a viable business. Can you speak to how you feel about showing up in your life and showing up for your people and what that looks like inside your membership as a result of saying yes to the thing that many other people said no to?
Beeta Hashempour: Oh, yeah. And I want to just add to that, that by all means, it was not easy. I don’t want anyone to think that it was as easy as just like, “Oh, I’m going to follow my passion.” Because as wonderful it was that my parents were always of the supportive type, they never pressured me to go that ordinary track of life. People all around were kind of questioning what I was doing. I had so many relatives that were like, “Oh, but you’re so smart. You know, you would do so good in law school,” and it’s that time after college where everyone kind of wants to know what you’re doing. And I couldn’t even say what I was doing because I was still figuring it out. And back then people were like, “What? A blog? Like, how do you make money?” So, there’s a lot of that and you have to stay very convicted to what you know to be true in your heart. So, there is that but I know that today in my membership like I am so grateful and happy to be able to say that every day I get to wake up and do something I love and make an impact.
I’ve talked to my members and just the feedback I always get from them, the way that the membership has changed their lives, I have one member I was actually just talking to her. She’s a retired nurse and she was telling me that she never even cooked or baked anything at home ever during her entire adult life. She said she mostly ate out at salad bars. She is health-conscious. So, she was really just eating out all the time and was working as a full-time nurse for so long. She never had time to do any cooking or baking or anything like that. And she now if you could just see the stuff that she makes, I mean, she could open her own little pastry shop if she wanted to. But just I think seeing the impact that you’re able to make has been so fulfilling, on top of the fact that like I said, I get to show up every day and do what I love, and know that it’s having some positive effect on someone else’s, not just serving me, but it’s also serving my people too.
Shelli Varela: I love that you gave that example of that woman who never cooked before. In essence, you’re giving people permission to do the thing that they always wanted to do, but maybe it doesn’t seem like a good “use of their time” but it fills their cup.
Beeta Hashempour: Oh, 100%. I can’t even tell you how many of my members tell me like, “Oh my gosh, this was, A, so much easier to do than I ever thought and my family is actually like getting excited for dinner time and looking forward to seeing what I’ve actually cooked or bake,” and it’s really bringing their families closer together. So, yeah, it’s amazing. When I hear those stories, it just makes me that much more passionate. And even in the hard times, I’ll tell you being a membership owner, just a business owner online is not always easy but remembering those stories and going back to that, it really fills my cup and gets me excited every day.
Shelli Varela: Well, it’s funny that you say it’s not easy and I completely acknowledge that. But what is harder going through an entire education to do something, which is also not easy to do something that at the end of the day is not your path, it’s not your joy, and it’s not your truth. So, if we can go back in time to when you were the person who was deciding what they were going to take in school, can you explain the difference between who you were then versus saying yes to the thing that other people might deem unconventional? And the reason I asked this question is just because I love the concept that you just talked about of giving permission. And I want to if we can shine a light on the people right now that are maybe going to benefit from hearing you give them permission, through your experience in your story.
Beeta Hashempour: Yeah, definitely. So, when I was in school, I hadn’t really been exposed to too much of what the working life actually meant. You kind of just pick something to study in school. I remember I just enjoyed government class in high school and I thought, “Well, let me go into law.” And so, I pick that track, but it wasn’t until I was working at that law firm that I was, and I was just like a file clerk then so I didn’t have too much work on my hands. A lot of times I was just helping the lawyers with this and that and observing them. And I just felt really, I don’t know, I guess I want to say scared, but that could be my future because, A, every single lawyer at that firm was telling me, “Do not go to law school. You don’t want to do this,” basically discouraging me from wanting to go in that track. But more than that, it was just their life of looking at how they spent, I don’t know, for maybe seven in the morning until seven or eight at night in their little offices hunched over a stack of paperwork and feeling miserable. They had no passion whatsoever for their work.
And just seeing that and comparing it to the feeling I had when I was in France and how exhilarated I felt, how inspired I felt in that juxtaposition just really opened my eyes and it made me realize, “Well, yeah, I don’t know what I’m going to do if I don’t do law school, but at least I’ll know I’m not going to be this sad and miserable person who basically hates Monday through Friday of her life.” You know, and that happens so much in not just America but around the world that we spend so much time in our jobs. And if you don’t like your job, if you don’t like what you’re doing, if you don’t wake up feeling excited and happy, that’s really sad. That’s a big part of your life that you are really essentially throwing away. It’s those people that like live for the weekends only. I have a lot of relatives who are like that. They put that Facebook post up on Sunday night, like, “Oh, back to work tomorrow,” and I feel bad for them because I know that there is this whole other life that they can have and they just haven’t either been made aware of that or they’re just missing out on that.
Shelli Varela: Totally. Last question. If you were to be able to speak to somebody who’s in your position all of those years ago, who is maybe thinking, “Is a membership possible for me because maybe my niche seems so obscure,” what would you tell those people?
Beeta Hashempour: I would say yes because, A, not only from a practical standpoint have I seen a membership business in all sorts of niches but I would also say everything that you do, when it comes to business, especially online has to do with your mindset and attitude. So, regardless of whatever experiences you may have had in the past or even present, I know there’s a lot of people right now that do have businesses or have done stuff online. And maybe you didn’t always succeed. That’s okay. I would say just start telling yourself the new story of what is possible and what can be. Stop replaying the past. Don’t even look at where you’re at today. You know, I’m not by any means a huge membership owner. There are definitely people who have bigger memberships than me. But for me, I’ve stopped trying to compare where I’m at with other people and I just focus on how amazing I know my membership can be, how much bigger and better it can be, and I focus on that.
And that is the story I tell myself every day when I wake up. I kind of brainwash myself with that but it’s so important. You can have all the tools, you can have the path, the layout, everything for your business, but if you don’t have the right mindset behind it, you’re not going to succeed.
Shelli Varela: And at some point, as you were saying earlier, you don’t have to get it perfect. You just have to get it going.
Beeta Hashempour: 100%.
Shelli Varela: Awesome. If people are looking for you online, if they want to be part of your world in your community, where’s the best place for them to find you?
Beeta Hashempour: Oh, yeah. Well, I’m everywhere but the best places are usually I have my food blog, MonPetitFour.com, and also they can visit the membership site to check that out at EverydayFrance.com.
Shelli Varela: Incredible. Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing a little bit of France with us.
Beeta Hashempour: Thanks so much. I’m so excited. Thank you.
Stu McLaren: I hope you love that story. It’s amazing, right? That’s what It’s a TRIBE Thing is all about. So many people in all kinds of niche markets are leveraging their existing knowledge and influence and they’re transforming it into passive monthly income. Listen, this isn’t luck. There’s a repeatable formula for producing a growing subscription income and each week we’re going behind the scenes to show you exactly how they did it. Get the latest stories and actionable ideas from each episode at www.ItsaTRIBEThing.com and if you know one other person who could benefit from this, tell them to subscribe. Tell them to go to ItsaTRIBEThing.com.
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