For seven years, Anna Saucier struggled with infertility. During that time, she became a practitioner in a natural charting method and medical treatment for restoring fertility, and began teaching this method to other clients. She built a business that she loved, but when she had two children of her own, she struggled to make time to see her clients one-on-one.
Out of this struggle came a realization: using the membership model, she could help her fellow practitioners build their own client base. At Inspired Fertility Pro, she helps Natural Family Planning (NFP) & Fertility Awareness Based Methods (FABM) instructors ditch the overwhelm, reignite their passion, and turn it into profit.
Today, Anna joins the podcast to talk about how the membership model allows her to have a greater impact while giving her more time for her family. You’ll also hear about how she got over her fear of being anything less than perfect, and why even the smallest niche can be a viable foundation for a successful membership business.
- How Anna’s struggle with infertility helped her create a business — and why having children years later forced her to change her business model.
- What Anna did to get her beta launch group despite having nothing built — and the reason this strategy can work so effectively to forge authentic connections.
- How Anna tackled moments of fear, uncertainty, and impostor syndrome.
- The unexpected gifts of having a membership site.
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I have 58 members now, and we’re not coaching or interacting with them separately, which takes an incredible amount of time. We’re creating resources once and sharing those out with everyone.” – Anna Saucier
- Inspired Fertility Pro
- The Inspired Fertility Pro Podcast
- Inspired Fertility Pro Facebook page
- Think and Grow Rich
TranscriptRead The Transcript
Shelli: Anna Saucier, welcome to the It’s A TRIBE Thing Podcast. How are you, my dear?
Anna: Thank you, Shelli. I am great. I’m so excited for this.
Shelli: I’m super stoked to have you here because I loved hearing some of the challenges and how you are overcoming them and I’m super stoked to share that with our amazing TRIBErs and our community at large, but I’m hoping that you can start with telling us where your journey began so who you were before you were the online entrepreneur and the membership site owner and how that changed your life. But before you were that person, before you had it all figured out, can you bring us to the beginning of your story and share your journey with us?
Anna: Yeah. Absolutely. So, I think this journey begins for me with our seven years of infertility and all of the heaviness with life that came with it, and we found this natural charting method and accompanying medical component that allowed us to dig in to really the why behind to why we were struggling to conceive and that led to my really believing in this method in restoring natural fertility for those who are struggling. So, I became a practitioner teaching this method to other clients. I loved doing that but then I had two babies and…
Shelli: So, clearly it works.
Anna: Yeah. It worked. Yes, absolutely, and they are a huge blessing. The next turning point then or the next struggle became I had my daughter last – she’s going to be a year old this week and then found myself with so little time and that didn’t translate well to seeing clients one-on-one but that kind of rocked my world so like that’s what I know, that’s what I do, that’s what I love so I really had to step back and say, “Okay. What can we do here? Is there something else I love? What do I really love about this?” and I actually started realizing that it was more stressful than it was worth trying to see the clients one-on-one.
Shelli: Could I jump in just for a quick sec?
Anna: Yeah. Yeah.
Shelli: Because I’m curious as you’re explaining the story, was there a part of you that was kind of torn away because the thing that you have come to know works and that has affected your life in amazing way and blessed you with incredible children and is obviously working for other things that’s also the way you’re creating your business and ironically, the thing that you’re teaching is how to conceive and have children and then once you conceived and had children, it was the thing that was tearing you away from your business.
Shelli: Got it.
Anna: Exactly. So, I really had to just kind of step back and have a real meeting with myself and look at what else I was good at in doing. Now, for the couple years prior when I was teaching, I’d also kind of become a go-to businessperson in our tiny niche and you can imagine this natural fertility niche is pretty small. We’re talking a couple of thousand people or a few thousand people in the world. So, I thought, well, I love that too. I’ve kind of been really enjoying being the go-to person for how do I get more clients and how do I build my business and how do I kind of be a businessperson? Because a lot of these practitioners or these instructors, they get trained on how to teach but they have no experience running or building a business. And then in thinking too, well, I have so little time. I can only see a few clients a month and that is not the impact that I want to have on spreading this word or this knowledge and this way of solving this infertility problem. So, my new thing or I wanted to try out was, “Okay. Well, what if I could actually help more people by helping practitioners build their client base?”
Anna: So, that okay, online entrepreneur I guess that makes me now. So, it was kind of funny because the year before so 2017 I had been working with Anna Runyan who is an online entrepreneur coach, and she had mentioned like a membership site concept and so that’s what I heard about and started working toward in April but it was really more my first thought was to do that on a mass scale directly to the public to help with these infertility issues and then I realized, “No, I’d be helping the practitioners grow their businesses,” because I already have that audience.
Shelli: Brilliant. So, you’re able to tap into that audience by connecting with fewer people who are also familiar with your area of expertise at a higher level.
Anna: Exactly. You’re so good at making my rambling sound good.
Shelli: No, no, I just track with it because that’s really, really brilliant insight because it sounds like you first started with this problem, infertility, then you found a solution to that problem like you are a perpetual problem solver because you find a solution to the infertility then you teach that problem, then when you have children, you realize that the very, very thing that you solve the problem for is what’s creating a tear in your business in terms of time so then you yet create another workaround and another solution in teaching other people how to create a business teaching about infertility. It’s genius on about seven levels. I love it.
Anna: Well, isn’t it interesting though? I mean, because we go into something, it may not look exactly the same way forever but that’s not a problem. It can lead us to the next thing which can even create a bigger impact. The next I think real turning toward a realization was how do I get started? As I told you at the beginning, my time is extremely limited with the two little kids. So, I knew that I could pull my audience and ask them what they wanted but the one thing I did in order to start this is I really just did what I call the founder’s launch or I didn’t have anything. I didn’t have a membership site. I didn’t even have a name for a membership site or a Facebook community or anything, but I went out to these practitioners to my audience and I said, “Hey, this is what I’m thinking of building. What do you think? And if you like it, invest in it.” And so, I actually asked them to if this is something they want, put down some money and I did that. I opened it for 24 hours and I had – my actual goal for that was about 15 or 16 people. I decided I would be really excited about that. And I ended up with 22 people and then some on the waitlist.
Shelli: That’s amazing!
Anna: Yeah. So, then something that I think is really powerful for our audience and it was really life-changing for me because I tend to be a let’s get it all figured out, and what’s the strategy and what’s the plan, and let’s build it and make it look really pretty and then we’ll put it out there and some people are going to pay for it. But I know exactly what they wanted and I didn’t even know if they were willing to pay for it. And so, I was able to bring in those funds ahead of time and then we built it and they were able to be a part of building that membership community.
Shelli: I want to jump in real in quick on that because I love what you just said also because I’ve heard a number of people that will give – so, there’s two schools of thought. Some people will say, “Sell it before you build it,” like you have an idea and you can articulate what the idea is and the vision is and where you’re going to bring people even though you haven’t built it and then other people are of the school thought, you know, “Build it, make sure it’s perfect, and then launch it,” although those are usually people that don’t get it done. So, for you, as you were looking out onto this, you’re like, “Okay. It’s not perfect and it’s not even built,” but I want to cast a vision and I want to include all these people. What did that feel like for you and if there were any challenges in that, how did you overcome them?
Anna: Oh my gosh, when I sent that email, I almost threw up. It was really… And it was funny because I was at a conference in Toronto and it was really just kind of a spur of the moment idea because I knew I wanted to do something for this audience but I didn’t know how I went to get started and somebody else had this idea of just throwing this out there as a founder launch and I was at this conference alone with my six-month-old at the time so she’s strapped to my front the whole time. And really just I wrote this email while half listening to these talks at the conference and I sent it out and I had about a little over 300 people on an email list because I had been talking to this audience with different things in the past. But even with that amount of people, it was a pretty good response, but to answer your question, yes, I was scared because it wasn’t polished and that’s not what they had seen from me in the past. Yeah.
Shelli: What do you think the advantage of jumping before you are ready and knitting the parachute in free flight? What was the unexpected gift that came in that for you?
Anna: That I actually did it.
Anna: I don’t think, I mean, I would still be thinking about it and I would still be planning and strategizing and it’s really powerfully changed how I’ve done business at all for the last six months because it’s freedom and you can put it out there with an imperfect action especially with people who already know, like, and trust you.
Shelli: For sure. Well, you had mentioned too they are used to seeing things from you that are polished. Before you sent that email, did you have any concerns about, man, I hope they don’t think different of me or less of me or hope they don’t think that this is unprofessional? Did you have those thoughts and what was the reality that you actually encountered?
Anna: I absolutely did because I didn’t have like a nice payment page. I told them to message me on Facebook and then I would send them a PayPal link when if they were interested and it just felt really kludgy for the lack of a better word, but I think I’ve appropriately set expectations in email saying, “Hey, I don’t have anything but this idea and I’m inviting you to be part of it,” and I think that only helped with strengthening a connection because you’re inviting these people into something instead of saying, “Okay. I’m up here on this platform and I’m going to trickle things down to you guys.” Instead, you’re inviting them up with you.
Shelli: What do you think the difference with that was?
Anna: I think I would just build a huge amount of trust. I mean, I didn’t see any hesitation whatsoever. I had so many people responding and they just ask questions and they wanted to know more. There was really nothing negative about it.
Shelli: Well, I just really want to speak to your bravery also, because being able to take action even though you feel like you’re not ready and be able to move forward and get something done that really even especially if that’s not how you normally do business is brilliant because you ultimately were able to serve people that you might not have reached otherwise and also, I know that people will often say I need to feel like the expert or also will have feelings about like an imposter syndrome that will, “Who am I to be telling people?” But the power in what you just said I feel is that there really is something magical and special about having those first members co-create this with you, and how they champion it, and embody it with you as opposed to it would be easy to look at starting before you feel like you’re ready and saying, “Well, you know, it’s not perfect and how am I going to lead these people?” When really instead, what you’re doing is locking arms with them and bringing them on your journey with you.
Anna: Yeah. Exactly. And I think that point about the imposter syndrome and “who am I” is, well, of course, it’s really prevalent, but it’s really powerful to recognize that. I had that very strongly but you only need to be a few steps ahead of the people that you’re helping because we can do it together and I think one of my strengths though is being able to absorb information and insight and ideas from my managers and from other people and things that I read. And then I have a tiny niche and I think a lot of people can do that. They have their tiny niche and they can gather information and like synthesize it and make it relevant to their tiny niche. They don’t have to be an expert in all of those different ideas. Does that make sense?
Shelli: Totally. I know that Napoleon Hill wrote the book Think and Grow Rich and he actually was a curator. Essentially, there was this billionaire named Andrew Carnegie back in the day and he challenged Napoleon Hill to interview all of his wealthy friends of the day and find out what are the commonalities, what are the tips, tricks, habits, mindset that these people have like what is it about these people that were able to allow them to become some of the wealthiest people in the world. And to your point, Napoleon Hill was not an expert. He was a curator of other people’s expertise and he was able to filter down and distribute it through his perspective of what he learned from all those people.
Anna: Yeah. Exactly. Yeah.
Shelli: So, what has been the unexpected gift of having a membership site for you?
Anna: Well, first of all, I feel like I’ve found my thing. I’ve really been able to come into what I can give to the world, I guess. I mean, it can sound cheesy, but I’ve never been doing something that it’s hard to go to bed at night like I just want to keep working because I enjoy it so much. Now, of course, there is admin stuff and there are processes that I need to work on and hand off to others because I have so little time but I adore connecting with those numbers and just fostering that community and having a place where especially having a tiny niche where they haven’t had this kind of extremely supportive positive environment where they can go and not only be built up just emotionally and in their work but also have practical resources, and I love that.
Shelli: Well, earlier at the top of the interview, you said that one of the challenges you had was that you didn’t have a lot of time because you do have two amazing children. How has the membership site impacted your ability to continue to share your knowledge and expertise and also have a quality of life with those two little ones?
Anna: It’s only been about five months, Shelli, so my vision is to allow that to even more, to free up my time, even more, to actually play with my kids. I mean, that’s my ultimate goal. With the membership site, you can impact a lot more people at once while not creating. I have 58 members now so we’re not coaching or interacting with 58 people separately, which takes an incredible amount of time but you’re creating resources once and be able to share those out with all those people that are having benefit from it. And I’m still building the site and tweaking and pulling the members and figuring out how to set up processes especially for admin things that I can hand off. So, I’m not there yet, but the vision is that it will allow me to make a much bigger business impact and a financial impact on our family while allowing me to only work ideally three days a week.
Shelli: Brilliant. I love it. If people are looking for you online, what is the best way they can find you? My website is InspiredFertilityPro.com and it’s really the same tag on Facebook, InspiredFertilityPro.com.
Shelli: And also, you have a podcast. What is that called?
Anna: I do. It’s Inspired Fertility Pro Podcast.
Anna: Yeah. I started that to, interviewing people in the natural fertility professional space about their stories and we can share stories of success with one another.
Shelli: That’s incredible. Well, I appreciate your time and I appreciate you hanging out with us on the It’s A TRIBE Thing Podcast and I’m grateful for everything you’re doing out there in the world. Thank you so much.
Anna: Thank you, Shelli. It’s been awesome.