In 1999, Dr. Mary Barbera’s firstborn son was diagnosed with autism the day before his third birthday. Despite the fact that she was a master’s prepared nurse and married to a physician, she knew almost nothing about autism — and set out to change that. Over the past two decades, she’s studied how parents and professionals can better teach children all across the autism spectrum the things that other children often learn on their own. Along the way, she became a behavioral analyst, wrote a bestselling book called The Verbal Behavior Approach: How to Teach Children with Autism and Related Disorders, and earned her Ph.D. As she began her deep dive into helping children with autism, she quickly discovered that it could take months to get in to see specialists, and losing that critical time for young children severely impacted development and recovery. That’s why she launched her first online courses in 2015 — and created her first membership site entirely by accident in the process. Now, at, she serves people in over 60 countries on her mission to turn autism around for 2 million kids by the year 2020. Today, she joins the podcast to talk about her son’s life-changing diagnosis, why the membership model is such a powerful way to address the serious lack of resources many parents are faced with, and the transformative results of her work.

Key Takeaways

  • How Dr. Barbera dove head-first into the world of autism. She explains why it’s so hard for many parents of autistic children to get access to the resources and support they need.
  • Why Dr. Barbera launched her first online courses and how this naturally led to creating her first membership site.
  • How to authentically provide multiple tiers of services and resources to your current students without being pushy, sales-y, or dishonest in any way.
  • Why doing great work always leads to recurring revenue.

Free Give

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Memorable Quote

 I am really on a mission. I set a goal that I’m going to turn autism around for 2 million kids by 2020.” – Dr. Mary Barbera

Episode Resources The Verbal Behavior Approach: How to Teach Children with Autism and Related Disorders Is it Autism, ADHD or Typical Toddler Tantrums? Three Things You Could Do Today Instead Of Worrying LaunchCon Launch: An Internet Millionaire’s Secret Formula To Sell Almost Anything Online, Build A Business You Love, And Live The Life Of Your Dreams


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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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