Dr. Gena Lester pursued a career in the fashion industry, but she discovered that she hated the work and felt like her love of education and entrepreneurial spirit were falling by the wayside. She decided to start a private school, had 80 students enrolled within two weeks, and spent the next 15 years as its leader. However, when her husband was diagnosed with Parkinson’s, she needed to be able to show up for him at the end of his life. 

Now, at Accepted Academy, Gena helps teens get into great schools and provides parents with the support they need to show up for their kids along the way. Through membership groups for both kids and parents, she provides the guidance they need to get the results they’ve always dreamed of. She’s also launching a new membership, Edpreneur Accelerator, to help fellow educators build businesses of their own. 

Today, Gena joins the podcast to share the story of how she turned her educational experience into a thriving membership business, how she tripled her revenue in 2020, and the beauty of closing your eyes and jumping.

Key Takeaways

  • How Gena took what she learned from running a successful private school as she built her first membership site.
  • Why Gena’s revenue increased dramatically in 2020 as many of her peers struggled.
  • Why it’s okay not to have all the answers. 
  • How Gena built multiple B2B and B2C memberships to satisfy several different audiences with different goals, including her fellow educators. 
  • How Gena built an all-virtual team to support her businesses.

Free Give

TRIBE membership guide

FREE Guide – Launch & Grow a Profitable Membership Site

Ready 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!

Memorable Quote

  • “There are hard moments about it, obviously with any job, you’re working for somebody or you’re working for yourself, but when you’re doing what you love, those hard moments are easy within the heart.” – Dr. Gena Lester
  • “Sometimes you get confidence by doing the thing so start afraid.” – Shelli Varela

Episode Resources


Read The Transcript


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Shelli Varela

When you reframe your inner story, you reframe what’s possible. This is the mantra of our host, Shelli Varela who achieved incredible success, blazing a trail to become a fire captain, author, TED speaker, and host of The Yes Effect on Entrepreneur's list of 48 Best Podcasts for Entrepreneurs. Today, she uses the same approach to show people how to magnetize their message to achieve their dreams, and discover how they can make a BIGGER impact.

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