158. Learning To Value Slow Progress Over Instant Success When Chasing Your Dreams with Diane Evans

31 May 2022 | By Salome Schillack

The business dream isn't always so dreamy. So how do you continue with confidence when it feels like everyone around you is so uncertain about where you’re going? 

This week we're going to get real vulnerable....

We're all about authenticity in The Launch Lounge, and yes, we do share the perceived wins. But we're also committed to keepin’ it real and sharing the perceived losses. 

The world tells us success should be instant. So it's no wonder many of us walk around feeling like utter failures because a 6 figure launch didn't happen immediately! 

It takes a while for things to start coming together.
It takes time before financial results start flying through. 

And it's all part of the journey, and it's a really good thing because it allows you to get crystal clear on the bits that are working (and ready to scale) and the bits that are wasting your time and resources. 

But I get it. At times, growing an online course can feel like eating dry cardboard. Data, patience, testing, trialing, zero sales....it can feel like all your hard work is going down the drain. 

But it's in this very moment when it all feels too hard; you need all the hope, support, understanding, and patience in the world to keep going because you're well on the way to seeing incredible results. Believe me, it’s going to happen!

It's also at this moment when a shiny, bright bajillion-dollar successful launch story can make you want to throw a hammer at your laptop and scream, WHEN IS IT MY TURN!

So this week on The Shine Show, we're going to get honest about the online course journey. The highs, the lows, and everything in between.

My courageous, brilliant student Diane Evans from PhotoFluent transparently & bravely shares her online course journey. Even though her course teaches travellers to take photos they feel proud of, her business journey has been anything but picture perfect. Rather than giving up, Diane has stuck to her vision and found a way to keep the hope alive, find confidence within herself, and stay true to her dream. 

If you're losing hope and feeling like things are taking forever to happen, this episode is exactly for you. Don't let the feeling of failure shape your future. Tune in now and hear Diane's story for yourself! It'll inspire you to keep going even when it feels tough.


P.S. The Launch Lounge doors are opening for a limited time only. One of the things that can make or break your success is the community you surround yourself with. A community that supports you, cheers you on, and understands a growing list is JUST AS exciting as a full bank account. The Launch Lounge will fast track your progress and show you how to get results without wasting time & money along the way. It seriously pays for itself. Spots are strictly limited, so make sure your name is on the waitlist! 

When you subscribe and review the podcast not only does that give me the warm and fuzzies all over, it also helps other people to find the show.

When other people find the show they get to learn how to create more freedom in their lives from their online courses too!!

So do a good deed for all womenkind and subscribe and review this show and I will reward you with a shout out on the show!!


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172. 25 Biggest Lessons In Online Marketing I Learned From Amy Porterfield


171. Social Media: One Thing That Makes All The Effort Worthwhile


170. How to Choose the Right Name for Your Online Course


169. Content Planning For Posts VS Content For Your Course And Launches


168. Managing Your Money As A Small Business Owner with Darcie Milfeld


167. 3 Lies You Were Told About Hiring An Ads Manager


166. How To Create Your Online Course Faster with Gina Onativia


165. The Only Way Low Dollar Offers Are Working Today


164. New Ad Targeting Options That Are Working Now

Salome Schillack (00:00:00):
Hello, and welcome to episode number 158 of The Shine Show. Today's show is called Learning to Value Slow Progress Over Instant Success When Chasing Your Dreams, and I'm interviewing one of my favorite students, Diane Evans. Diane is a Launch Lounger. She's not just any Launch Lounger. She's a VIP Launch Lounger, and Diane is a photographer and the founder of PhotoFluent where she teaches travelers how to turn down the volume of their inner critic, develop the confidence to be creative with their camera, and take travel photos that capture their beautiful memories. She's been studying photography for over 20 years. It didn't always come easily to her, and she came back from way too many trips with bad photos, but once she figured out the technology and connected that to the creative aspect of making travel photos, she wanted to help other women travelers do the same, and she does that through online courses and coaching, in person retreats, her blog, and her YouTube channel.

Salome Schillack (00:01:09):
She and her husband, Neil, lived in France for a year where she honed her photographic storytelling skills. Now, they live in Sacramento, California with their sweet dog, Maggie, but Diane dreams of the day they can move back to France where she plans to host PhotoFluent retreats for women travelers who want to connect with their creativity and cameras. And I have to say, I really have to commend Diane for sharing bravely and vulnerably today on the show her journey of ups and downs. If you're in the Launch Lounge, you know that it really matters to me that we don't just share perceived wins. We also share perceived losses. We share the up and the downs because it's all part of the journey, and it is just false to pretend that it's all up, up, up all the time. So, without further ado, let's listen to my interview with Diane Evans.

Salome Schillack (00:02:14):
Giving up your time and freedom to make money is so 2009. Hi, I'm your host Salome Schillack, and I help online course creators launch, grow, and scale their businesses with Facebook and Instagram ads so that they can make more money and have an even bigger impact in the world. If you're ready to be inspired to dream bigger, launch sooner, and grow your online business faster, than tuning because you are ready to shine, and this is The Shine Show.

Salome Schillack (00:02:48):
Diane, thank you so much for joining me. I am very excited to share your journey with all of the listeners today.

Diane Evans (00:02:56):
I have to say I'm thrilled to be here, and it was always kind of one of my dreams ever since I started listening to your podcast to be here and here I am.

Salome Schillack (00:03:04):
Yes. Here you are, and you're one of my all time favorite. I mean, I say that about everyone, but you are one of my favorite students. You're in the Launch Lounge and you're in Launch Lounge VIP, and you are just tenacious. I love that about you. And so, today, I have invited Diane on the show to tell us her story, and we are going to talk about the ups and downs of getting a business off the ground and what that takes. So, Diane, just, I think you are at heart an entrepreneur, but tell us a little bit about how you moved from day job to entrepreneur.

Diane Evans (00:03:50):
It's funny that you say that I'm at heart because I have never really believed that. I hear people say, "I've been an entrepreneur since I was nine years old because I had a lemonade stand," and that wasn't me. I went from high school to college to job. I was an occupational therapist, and I didn't really like it, but I just kept doing it because it paid the bills. So, I would switch jobs a lot, and I tried a lot of different areas of healthcare. I was in project management. I was a clinical specialist. I did sales. I did it all in healthcare, and I didn't like any of it, but I didn't have the courage to push myself out because that is what I had experience in. That's what I had my degrees in, And so I just kept doing it, and it took me into my fifties to finally say-

Salome Schillack (00:04:41):
By the way, I cannot believe, when I read you're 50, you're in your late thirties. So, whatever you're drinking, I want some of that.

Diane Evans (00:04:49):
Thank you. Oh, I do love you so much, Salome. Yeah, and the sad thing too is my dad did not like his career, and I always was determined I will not be like him. I will not do what my dad did and just continue on in a job he didn't like for his whole life, and yet, all of a sudden, I thought, "I've done that." And so, when I decided then it's time, it was really my late forties where I decided, "Okay," and I had the support. Before I was single, I was alone, and I just had to support myself, and when I got married and we started talking, that's when I decided photography is my true love and that is what I wanted to do. You don't make a living as a photographer. In my head, that's what I've heard. You need a paycheck, you need benefits, and all of that. But I just decided it was time to figure it out because some people do, right?

Salome Schillack (00:05:54):
Yeah, yeah. Oh, I want to dive into so much of what you just said, so much. Firstly, I am a hundred percent with you in that I never believed I was an entrepreneur because I followed such a traditional path, and here's why I think today if you ask me am I a born entrepreneur, I would say hells yes, but if you asked me a few years ago before I had success as an entrepreneur, before I learned how to make money, before I learned how to find my audience and sell to them, before I learned how to turn courses into money, I would've said the same thing, no, I'm not because I've never sold a thing in my life. I always feel icky when I'm selling. Well, back before, I was like, "Selling is icky," and yet I was a salesperson, just like you, pharmaceutical rep.

Salome Schillack (00:07:00):
But here's what I want to say to you, and I hope this serves a lot of the listeners out there, the reason I look at you and I go, "Diane Evans, you are born entrepreneur," is because people like you and me, we are too damn creative. We are too damn creative for traditional jobs. We are too rebellious. We cannot be contained. We cannot be spreadsheeted. I remember feeling so spreadsheeted, spreadshited. We cannot be told not to do new things. We cannot be told not to listen to the burning passion in our hearts. And if you grew up in a family where you were modeled you get a job, you get a solid income, you go to uni, you get a degree, you study, you have a professional job like I was, then entrepreneurship is a hard skill to learn even if you're a born entrepreneur.

Salome Schillack (00:08:31):
There are people who are just not made for this. You and I were made for this, but there's so much unlearning that has to happen, and so much learning that has to happen, skills, just plain skills that needs to happen that it's easy to think, "Well, I'm not a born entrepreneur because this is so hard." And what I want to say to you is no, no, that's just part of the journey. You, Diane, are a born entrepreneur.

Diane Evans (00:09:04):
I just had a little aha moment when you said all of that. That is why I didn't like any job. I thought I just picked the wrong profession, but it's because I did, I felt stifled and trapped. I felt like they were sucking my soul out every single day, and I just kept thinking, "Something's wrong with me," but you're right. I was meant to be an entrepreneur. I just didn't know how to do that.

Salome Schillack (00:09:30):
Yes. I had the exact same experience. It didn't matter what I did with the exception of when I did musical theater, and I'll talk about that in a second as well because I want to touch on that. Every job, it didn't matter how, I would literally just start the job in order to win at it, and as soon as I won at it, I was bored. I needed the next thing to move on because we are creators, and here's not a difference between a creator and an entrepreneur. The only distinguishing factor is creators don't all create to turn it into capital, but all entrepreneurs are creators because they create in order to turn it into capital. So, there are areas in your life where you can create and it doesn't have to turn into capital, but when you can create and you can turn that into capital, you get to live from this burning fire in your heart, and it gets to pay your bills, supply your external world because that's all that money does is it just supplies our external world, but that's pretty important.

Diane Evans (00:11:06):
Yeah. Right.

Salome Schillack (00:11:08):
Yeah. So, I wonder how you feel about that.

Diane Evans (00:11:15):
I think, yeah, I feel like I've made this big shift just having this conversation with you because I do feel like I just had no... I didn't have the skills to do it. I didn't know I was supposed to do it, and now suddenly when I decided to do it, like you said, it's a steep learning curve to figure all that out. I'm used to having it kind of spoon-fed to me, and sitting at a desk, and having everything structured which is safe, but like you, I'd get bored. I'd get bored and I'd switch jobs. I mean, like single year, I'd switch jobs and I'd have a new one, and then as soon as I'd get to the place where I think, "Okay, I get this," boom, I had to have another job.

Salome Schillack (00:12:00):
Yeah, yeah, I know exactly what you mean.

Diane Evans (00:12:05):
It's terrifying to not know what's coming and what you're doing. I love learning, so that part of it, I love. Just all the software and the systems and all that, it's been fun, but I don't have a paycheck coming in while I do that. So it's stressful. I lived in Boulder, Colorado for a while and there's a mindset there. I think of an entrepreneur as someone who creates software and then sells it and makes millions of dollars. This online business, course creation, chugging along, plugging along, making a little bit here, making a little bit there, that's not what I envisioned at all, but that's also an entrepreneur, just like a lemonade stand is, right?

Salome Schillack (00:12:56):
Correct. Yeah, correct. I don't know if this is true for you, but it definitely, if I look back at the time, the three years that I put in when I started the business and the three years that it went nowhere financially or... Well, no, it actually did go somewhere. It went into $40,000 debt. That's exactly where it went, but the learning went somewhere else, the learning. But if I think about how I felt back then, I would not have described myself as an entrepreneur because I felt like success is a precursor to calling yourself an entrepreneur, and that's just not true. That is just not true.

Diane Evans (00:13:43):
And it's hard to respond to people when they say, "How is your business going?" I don't even like to talk about it because when they say that, I want to say... I don't know. What's the right answer? I'm making profit. You can't say, "I have a great email list. I'm building this incredible Facebook group." People don't understand that. They want to know are you making money at it, and so for the first few years, I don't even know how to respond to the question.

Salome Schillack (00:14:14):
Yeah. Yeah. That's a good question. That is a good question. How do you respond to that? I remember feeling exactly the same way, and my answer was always, "It's going great."

Diane Evans (00:14:24):

Salome Schillack (00:14:25):
It's fantastic.

Diane Evans (00:14:28):

Salome Schillack (00:14:28):
And in my heart, I'd going, "Yeah, I'm doing a great job building my audience, but I haven't sold a thing."

Diane Evans (00:14:36):

Salome Schillack (00:14:38):
But I wouldn't tell them that.

Diane Evans (00:14:40):
People talk about imposter syndrome, and I always thought, "I don't know that I feel that," because I feel like I really know my subject matter. When I teach photography to travelers, I know what I'm talking about, and I love it. So, I don't feel like with my students I have imposter syndrome, but boy, does it rear its ugly head when somebody asks me about my business.

Salome Schillack (00:14:59):
Yeah, because somewhere in there, there's still a belief that it has to make money in order for it to be real.

Diane Evans (00:15:07):
And a lot of money.

Salome Schillack (00:15:08):
Yeah, and a lot of money.

Diane Evans (00:15:10):

Salome Schillack (00:15:12):
Yeah. Do you think that's stopping you?

Diane Evans (00:15:16):
Oh, I've done so much mindset stuff. I think there's whole lot of things stopping me, but yeah, I think it's a marriage. That's what drew me to you, Salome, is that you're the logistics and the fact person married with woo-woo.

Salome Schillack (00:15:35):
I love that.

Diane Evans (00:15:36):
And that's what I loved about your podcast, and that's what I love about your approach is it's not all just visualizing and believing you can. That's equally as important, but I also have to learn how to make it happen.

Salome Schillack (00:15:51):
I love that. That's so funny. You're the second person who's described me that way in the last month. What did you say, the data person married to the woo-woo person? Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I love the woo-woo, but let's substantiate it with data.

Diane Evans (00:16:04):
Right. I need facts, yeah.

Salome Schillack (00:16:07):
Yeah. Yeah. I need facts too, but I also know that the woo-woo is factual. It's just, I can't see the fact, but [inaudible 00:16:17].

Diane Evans (00:16:16):
Right, in a different way, right.

Salome Schillack (00:16:18):
In a different way, yeah. Okay. So, how long ago did you start PhotoFluent?

Diane Evans (00:16:25):
About two and a half years now.

Salome Schillack (00:16:27):
Okay. What's that journey? Tell us, how did it start? Tell me a little bit about your two and a half years of getting it off the ground.

Diane Evans (00:16:37):
You know, I had this beautiful moment where I started a local photography business, and I quickly realized I wanted something online that would give us location independence because I want to move to France. So, that's my goal. And so, I started hearing from friends and family, "I got this nice camera, I'm going on these great trips, but I'm not getting photos that I like." And all of a sudden, it was like this beautiful woo-woo moment that said, "You are meant to do this. You are meant to teach women travelers how to develop confidence in their creative skills with the camera." Boom, there it was. It became so clear, and then the name, everything just fell into place like it was meant to be, and then the falling into place immediately came to a screeching halt.

Diane Evans (00:17:29):
I came to you through DCA, like most people, with Amy Porterfield. I started my online course creation, and the website and the email service part. There's so many moving parts and pieces, and I got all of that going, and I keep moving forward, I keep progressing, but I'm still not making a lot of money at it. So, there's also been this kind of emotional rollercoaster of I'm a failure. You see these success stories on podcasts and think, "Well, they had a $10,000 launch the first time out. They had a $100,000 year their first year, second year, and I'm not, so what's wrong with me."

Diane Evans (00:18:12):
So, there's been, I would say, equally as much website messaging, marketing, training, learning as mindset, and I'm not a failure, and I am an entrepreneur, and I can do this, believing in myself, pushing past the fear of failure, all of that stuff. It's so complicated. I work harder. I'm more stressed than I was with any job my whole life, but I love it more which doesn't even really make practical sense, does it?

Salome Schillack (00:18:45):
I understand that perfectly. I understand that perfectly, and it's one of my absolute values. It's something I promote a lot is the idea that we should not just be talking about the financial wins because that is not the journey. The journey is not just about hearing about the person who made a $100,000 in the first year or the million-dollar launch. The journey is about the journey. The success is the failure. The failure is the success, and it's this traditional belief that we have that we have to succeed straight away. That comes from school. In school, you got a grade. You took a test and you got a grade and you knew very well how you fared in that test, whereas with this, no one's grading us along the way. No one's telling us if we're doing it right along the way.

Salome Schillack (00:19:46):
We have to go all the way to close to get to our result, and then if the only way we grade ourselves is on how much money I made, of course, if it didn't yet sell, you give yourself an F. But what if you give yourself an A-plus for analyzing the right data and knowing where to make the change for next time? That would look a little bit differently.

Diane Evans (00:20:28):
Yeah, I'm in a new phase of my business, and that's what you've helped me get to is we're looking at this as data. I'm going through launch right now, and I'm detached from the results, and I always say that going in, "I'm detached from results. This is just data collection," but I never have been. I'm always devastated if I don't get the results I want.

Salome Schillack (00:20:49):
Of course.

Diane Evans (00:20:50):
But this time I feel like I really am. It's going to be okay. If this launch doesn't work out the way I want it to, then you and I are going to dig through that data. We're going to figure out, okay, how does it have to look different next time, and the next time, and maybe I don't do a webinar next time. Maybe I do a challenge. Whatever, there's a thousand different options, and finally, I feel like I'm not alone, and that's part of the journey too is I felt very isolated, and I joined Facebook groups, and I would take a course, but it's still like thousands of people in one group. And now, I finally feel like I'm not alone, and I do have the support, and I would say to people starting off, that's something you should get immediately to find your group of people that can support you, and it takes a while to find that.

Salome Schillack (00:21:42):
Yeah, it does. It can take a while. Do you know what I love about that, what you said? I think this is, like you said, where the woo-woo and the data comes together, when online course creators, we all, and me included, when I started, I just wanted someone to give me a simple recipe, right?

Diane Evans (00:22:05):

Salome Schillack (00:22:06):
And so, we sign up for all these courses that are pitched as the simple recipe, the step by step, the paint by numbers of how to do this thing, and we do the thing with the paint by numbers, and it doesn't work, and then we sign up for the other paint by numbers. So, maybe a webinar paint by numbers didn't work for me, so let me sign up to this other course where this person is promising me results with a paint by numbers challenge, and then that doesn't work, and then you sign up for the paint by numbers Facebook ads course, and then you run out of money, and that doesn't work.

Salome Schillack (00:22:49):
But the thing is the online courses are pitched at us as a step-by-step formula, and you and I both know there's nothing step-by-step formula about this. There's trial and error. There's underlying principles, and if you understand the underlying principles of how audiences move through funnels, and you're tracking the data of what happened as your audience moved through your funnels, then you can look at it and go, "I got a result." I can look at my data and understand my result as numbers, as only numbers, and then it's okay to be disappointed then if it didn't make money because we are still having a human experience.

Salome Schillack (00:23:46):
So, we should be emotional about that, and disappointment and anger and frustration are going to come with it, but that's not all there is. There is also, okay, now let me detach from this and look at the data, and I think that's the one thing most people do wrong is they are never in these step-by-step courses taught what data to track and how to interpret it and how to know how this group of people moved through a funnel to get to the other end, and they can't interpret that those numbers and make a decision, and so I love that you're seeing that and that you're seeing the value of that.

Diane Evans (00:24:28):
Yeah, I actually worked with a coach because you do need somebody to help you. You don't know what you don't know and to get into a Facebook group and ask questions, I didn't even know what questions to ask. So, I remember saying, "I have a landing page and I have an audience and I have an offer, and I have all these pieces, and communication to that audience. I don't understand which piece isn't working. Help me figure out which piece isn't working." And she said, "Oh, I don't really look at all of that. I just try it, and if it works, it works, and if it doesn't, I try something different." And I thought, "That's not how I roll." I'm not super analytical, but I got analytical in me, and I need to know what's broken and how to fix it because there's so many moving parts and pieces, and it can get very overwhelming.

Salome Schillack (00:25:23):
Right. And I will share with you, I have worked with clients who makes $2 million a year and they think like that. You can get to $2 million a year throwing spaghetti on the wall, but I will tell you can't get beyond that, and if you have thrown spaghetti on the wall to the point of $2 million, that's a lot of spaghetti to wade through to figure out what actually got you where you are. So, anyone who is starting, who is starting to learn how to analyze data from the beginning, you will be in a far better position to make decisions as you scale your business.

Diane Evans (00:26:09):
And this lady had a really successful business too, successful as far as... But I always thought, "But if you took the time to look at your numbers, it would be probably much more successful, and I think you'd waste less time."

Salome Schillack (00:26:23):
Yeah, absolutely.

Diane Evans (00:26:24):
Be more efficient.

Salome Schillack (00:26:25):
Yeah, and that's the whole point for me is we need to waste less time and waste less money.

Diane Evans (00:26:33):

Salome Schillack (00:26:33):
How much money do we waste in those early years?

Diane Evans (00:26:37):
I'm a total course addict, and I wanted the formula, and maybe that's the years in corporate because you usually have a formula and that's all you get to do.

Salome Schillack (00:26:48):
Well, you also have a formula in school, right, because you have a teacher who gives you a curriculum and tells you memorize this.

Diane Evans (00:27:04):
I was very good at school. Yes.

Salome Schillack (00:27:05):
And if you memorize it and you can regurgitate it on a test, then you succeed.

Diane Evans (00:27:05):
Yeah, and I was very good at school. I memorized. I took the test. I was a good tester. I got good grades. So, but in some ways I'll tell you, it really set me up for failure because I was considered, quote, smart, and that was really the only thing that I was, an attribute as a kid. That was really my only thing that I was complimented on growing up is you're smart, but I'll tell you what, then I get out, and I'm not successful. I can't keep a job. I didn't get fired, but I kept getting a new one. So, all a sudden, I'm smart. I go to college because that's what smart people do, but I'm not successful. I don't have a job that I've become a VP yet, or I've climbed a ladder, or I don't have any outward signs of success, and so it was very disappointing and kind of surprising. I thought if I was smart, that would translate into success, but it doesn't. Creativity, finding the right match for you maybe, I don't know, but that was always kind of my shame point.

Salome Schillack (00:28:15):
Hmm. I see that. I hear that. Yeah. I think there's this, I think your creativity and your smart is two circles, and they are moving closer and closer and closer to each other, and when they meet each other and they integrate with each other, I think you have no idea how successful you can be.

Diane Evans (00:28:44):
Well, I'd love to hear that.

Salome Schillack (00:28:45):
Well, the beauty of it is while you're on this journey that you're on now, the day you get to the point where you check the box for what you measure as success today, when you get there, it's not going to matter to you.

Diane Evans (00:29:02):

Salome Schillack (00:29:03):
Yeah. You're going to be detached from it.

Diane Evans (00:29:08):

Salome Schillack (00:29:09):
So, you started a local photography business which turned into teaching women, women or anyone, how to take better photos.

Diane Evans (00:29:20):
Anyone but mostly women. When it comes to photography, we learn very differently, and most of the instructors are men and they almost all focus on the equipment, the gear.

Salome Schillack (00:29:34):
Sound like a dude.

Diane Evans (00:29:36):
They want to talk about lenses and equipment, and I've been to so many photography workshops and I just think, "Oh, why are we talking about lenses?" or they'll ask me which lens I use and I think, "Ugh." I say, "I don't know. I don't remember the numbers of all of that."

Salome Schillack (00:29:51):
It just works.

Diane Evans (00:29:52):
Yes, and they focus on the technology and the camera settings, and it didn't help me in my learning process. So, I have a very different approach in that we talk about mindset stuff and confidence and believing in yourself and not judging yourself based on other people's stuff, and we can do the technology. I'm going to hold your hand and we're going to walk through it together, and you're going to get to the other side, and it's going to make sense, and I'm not going to assume you know it up front, like a lot of them do.

Salome Schillack (00:30:23):
Yeah. Oh, I love that. That's beautiful. And your students, where do they travel because they're all taking travel photos, right?

Diane Evans (00:30:30):
Yeah. All over. All over. I mean, I did a webinar last week and someone was going to Antarctica and somebody Germany and somebody Maine in the United States. So, really all over the world, and I love that I have students who live all over the world. That makes it fun too.

Salome Schillack (00:30:52):
Yeah, I was going to say I can probably travel down my street and take some travel photos.

Diane Evans (00:30:58):
Yeah, absolutely. And you should before you go on your trips so that you're ready.

Salome Schillack (00:31:04):
So that I'm ready, yes, and so that you see how beautiful your own [inaudible 00:31:08] is.

Diane Evans (00:31:08):

Salome Schillack (00:31:09):
It's one of the gifts COVID gave me. We were blocked into our state into Queensland. We couldn't go out of Queensland for two years, and so the Schillacks love to travel, but we're always going overseas, and we had to travel inside our own state, and we have the Great Barrier Reef here.

Diane Evans (00:31:27):
I know, I know.

Salome Schillack (00:31:28):
We have the Daintree Rainforest here which is supposed to be the oldest rainforest in the world. It's beautiful. So, it's kind of like in your backyard. So, let's continue talking about your journey. So, two and a half years, and it's changed from a local business to an online course. What other big events were there in that two and a half years that some of the listeners will go, "Yes, that's where I'm at now."

Diane Evans (00:32:05):
Well, let me tell you one big event is I started my online business and rolled out my first online course in March of 2020.

Salome Schillack (00:32:16):
Oh I did too. I sold a course that opened on 20th of March 2020. It was not just you.

Diane Evans (00:32:25):
And in the travel industry of all places to be.

Salome Schillack (00:32:27):
And in the travel industry.

Diane Evans (00:32:30):
And so, my first launch, I thought, "Well, did it not do well because I did something wrong or because COVID hit and nobody's allowed to travel?" Who knows? Yeah.

Salome Schillack (00:32:40):
They're not even traveling to work, yeah.

Diane Evans (00:32:44):
I had this vision of doing onsite or in person workshops and retreats with PhotoFluent, but I thought, "I want people to have the skills before they get there." So I thought the perfect combination is to have online courses and in person retreats. So, when COVID hit, I thought, "Okay, great. I will start with the online portion." So, that's what I did is start with the online component and found out I really loved doing online courses. It's fun. I enjoy doing it, but again, it's so complicated, and there's so much to implement and put together and to find your right audience and your right offer.

Diane Evans (00:33:30):
So, I've really grown through that, and I'll tell you what, Salome, I think one of my biggest growth factors right now is not just learning the you call it profitable customer journey, and that has been huge for me to figure out where do my people come from and how do they move through my ecosystem, but to go from this emotional roller coaster of entrepreneurism, whatever word we're going to call that, business ownership, to having a steadier belief in myself and in my business, even without the proof, and people kept saying, "You have to believe it without the proof," and I thought that doesn't even make logical sense.

Diane Evans (00:34:25):
But one of the quotes I keep close by is that successful people hang on when everyone else has let go, and I read it every day, and I know that it will happen, and I've done enough meditations and visualizations and mantras to know in my heart that it will.

Salome Schillack (00:34:45):

Diane Evans (00:34:46):
And the proof will come, soon, I hope.

Salome Schillack (00:34:53):
I know. I love that. I felt like I quit three years into it when I went back to my job, and I remember feeling the shame, feeling the failure. Literally, whenever I thought about it, my cheeks would flush, my stomach would turn. I felt like I had to justify my choice for going back to work to any stranger who asked me how the business is going. It was such an emotionally negative experience, and I felt like such a failure, and in hindsight, looking back at it, it was the best gift I could have given myself because going back to my job meant I could pay off the $40,000 debt I'd accrued. It meant my husband was not under as much financial stress because he was going gray really fast because of my business, and he's very supportive and we are going to talk about supportive husbands because I know you and I have very similar husbands who are supportive and they want to see the money, but that feeling. So, let's talk about successful people... Say your quote. What's your quote? Say that again?

Diane Evans (00:36:14):
Successful people hang on when everyone else has let go.

Salome Schillack (00:36:18):
Yeah. So, what does hanging on mean for you?

Diane Evans (00:36:23):
Well, I think when you said you felt shame, you were embarrassed because you went back to work, I've certainly considered getting some regular paid work, and I also am embarrassed. There's a lot of shame around I feel like I'm failing, when I'm not making money. So, sometimes I feel like I'm hanging on and it's just idiotic. Who hangs on when they don't make any money? Who just keeps going and doing this same thing over and over? But then I think, "You're not doing the same thing over and over." You shift, you try something new, you shift again, you try something different, but-

Salome Schillack (00:36:57):
I'm a idiot.

Diane Evans (00:36:58):
Yeah. Well, I am too. I mean, I know that-

Salome Schillack (00:37:01):
Yeah, you can sign me up all day for idiot.

Diane Evans (00:37:03):
... there would be a whole lot of people that would look at my business over the last few years and think, "Why the heck are you still doing this?" including sometimes my husband. We've had that conversation quite a few times where he is supportive, he wants it for me, but he sees how hard I work. He's never seen me work this hard because I never have, and yet...

Salome Schillack (00:37:24):
You've never been happy, yeah.

Diane Evans (00:37:26):
So, I think he gets frustrated with the fact there isn't money coming in, but also he gets frustrated with how hard I work and how little I get back from it right now. I believe it's going to come. All of this is going to pay off, but he doesn't have that mindset. He believes what he can see right in front of him, and so I feel like I constantly have to justify in my own head and with him that I'm hanging on and it's going to be worth it.

Salome Schillack (00:37:56):
Yeah, it's hard. It's hard when you have to justify it and you're almost hanging on believing it yourself.

Diane Evans (00:38:09):
Yes. Yes, it is.

Salome Schillack (00:38:13):
You're a hundred percent in on the fact that this is going to happen and I'm committed to this, and you have moments of doubt and then you have an external voice who also says, "Really? Really? Really?" And my husband's very much the same. He's very supportive, and I remember wanting to throw him out of a window every time he said to me, "Just show me the money. I believe you're going to get there, show me the money." I wanted to punch him.

Diane Evans (00:38:48):

Salome Schillack (00:38:49):
And even now, I've shown him money. I've shown him money, and even now I talk about my next big dreams, my next big goals, and he goes, "Yeah, show me the money." And I go, "You just buckle in, dude."

Diane Evans (00:39:02):
Right. Oh, I will.

Salome Schillack (00:39:04):
Yeah, challenge accepted. You know?

Diane Evans (00:39:08):
Yeah, and I think that's the shift that's happened for me lately over the last couple months is that I didn't quite believe it either. I wanted to, I did the mantras, the visualizations, all the mindset stuff, and I told myself, "I believe it." I journaled I believed it. But every time he would say it out loud, I think, "Oh, he's right." And now I think, "Buddy, you better get yourself ready because we're going to move to France." Once my business is successful, we're moving to France, and he says it like, "Oh, okay, sure. We're moving to France." And I think, "Oh we are, we are. You better start learning your language, buddy, because we are moving to France."

Diane Evans (00:39:51):
And now, I can kind of deflect his sarcasm and his disbelief because I've built a shield of belief around me.

Salome Schillack (00:40:00):
Oh I love that. I love that, and you know that letting go and finding a job is not the same thing.

Diane Evans (00:40:10):
Yes, I do, and you've helped me realize that too because I love to hear people's stories and their journeys, and so when I hear over and over people's success stories, it just makes me feel bad about myself. So, I want to hear. I'm sorry that you went through that, but I love to hear that you were in it three years and then went back to work, and I think, "Okay, so she's still here doing it," and you're successful, and so if I have to go supplement with some income somewhere, that's okay, and maybe it'll even take the pressure off.

Salome Schillack (00:40:42):
You're right.

Diane Evans (00:40:42):
PhotoFluent's not going anywhere. I love it too much. It's too much a part of my soul, and he doesn't believe this or know this, but I think he feels like, at a certain point if I fail, I'll go get a job, and we will say, "Oh, well, we tried."

Salome Schillack (00:40:56):
Nah. That's just doubled down.

Diane Evans (00:40:57):
No, it's not going away.

Salome Schillack (00:40:59):
That's doubled down. I started working from 8:00 to midnight every night, 8:00 to midnight. After I put the kids to bed, I just worked on it. I want you to know that letting go, letting go and finding a job is not the same thing. Letting go and taking a break is not the same thing. Letting go and shifting gears is not the same thing. Yeah, we just have to persist. The person who let go is the one who stops trying. The one who completely gives up, that's the person who lets go, and I think there's also, there's letting go also in trying one business, then trying a whole nother business, then trying a whole nother business, then trying a whole nother business, I would say that's also letting go because you got to try one thing until it works, and particularly in the photography space, there's enough evidence that there is a market for teaching women how to take good travel photos. So, it's not like you're trying to invent, I don't know, underwear for dogs.

Diane Evans (00:42:20):
We had that.

Salome Schillack (00:42:20):
It sells? Really? Damn, I'm in the wrong business. You know what I'm saying?

Diane Evans (00:42:34):
Yeah, I do.

Salome Schillack (00:42:38):
I think maybe there's a space to sit and explore, well, what does letting go mean.

Diane Evans (00:42:43):
Yeah, because not everybody has the luxury to sit there for three years and lose money.

Salome Schillack (00:42:47):
And it is a beautiful luxury that we have.

Diane Evans (00:42:50):
It is. I'm incredibly grateful, very grateful for that. It hasn't been easy because it's not... He's not over there just saying, "Honey, you lose as much money as you possibly can."

Salome Schillack (00:43:02):
Go ahead and take my vacation money and spend it on more Facebook ads.

Diane Evans (00:43:08):
And then there's the whole shame around that. I've supported myself my whole life, and now, suddenly, I'm dependent on another human being financially, and it does not feel good. The amount of pressure I put on myself to be successful right now is another thing I have to really work through and release and meditate through. He's not putting as much pressure on me as I'm putting on myself.

Salome Schillack (00:43:39):
I can see in the year that we've worked together how you've let that pressure go. I can see how that has... In a year ago, it was like, "I must get this right now."

Diane Evans (00:43:56):
And I was holding on so tight I was strangling it.

Salome Schillack (00:44:00):
Yeah, and I think you're going to see the more you let it go, the easier it becomes.

Diane Evans (00:44:06):
And that sounds good in theory, but when people tell you that you have to let go, you think, "Let go? I have to try harder." It's such a balance though.

Salome Schillack (00:44:19):
It is, and it's a bit like an onion. I feel like I have peeled that onion over and over again because it's a life lesson. You're learning it in a very acute way right now, but three years from now, when you're rolling in dough, you're going to be learning it again because your business is going to shift into a new phase and you're going to be like, "Oh damn, I'm needing to let go again."

Diane Evans (00:44:44):
Right, because then I'll have a team, and I'll be trying a whole new ventures, yeah.

Salome Schillack (00:44:48):
And I'll tell you, the resilience you're learning now, everything you're learning now is tenfold bigger when you have a team, and the other day, I said to someone, who did I say it to? Oh, it's this spiritual coach that I'm working with, my woo-woo coach. I said to her, "I feel anxiety because I am responsible for 10 people's mortgages," and she goes, "Hold up, are you responsible for their mortgages? That's a mountain that you put on your shoulders for no reason." I went, "Okay, yeah. Yeah, they are responsible for their mortgages. I am responsible for running a profitable, well-managed business that pays them a salary." But in my head it's like what if they can't pay their mortgage, take on their whole lives. But it's not that, that makes it hard, and it makes it troublesome, and it makes it survival, whereas if it's joyful and fun and light and we get to pay them a delicious salary, so much different.

Salome Schillack (00:46:11):
So, your online course you're launching right now.

Diane Evans (00:46:16):

Salome Schillack (00:46:17):
Yes. How often are you going to launch this?

Diane Evans (00:46:20):
Well, I don't know, Salome. You tell me. Well, I launched it the end of last year, did not have a successful launch. So, I kind of I stepped back and I evaluated what went wrong. I really did some more research, heavy research into kind of parallel businesses, similar models, and so I repackaged, and I looked at my offer and my audience, and so this is kind of taking what I've done before and putting it out as basically a new offer. So, I take the results and then from there I decide what do I do next. I had it all mapped out for the year. First I'll launch in this day, and then I at launch at three month, and then, and then, and then you said, "Let's just look at one step at a time." That feels good. Maybe every month. There's so many different models of do I launch it every month, do I keep a live program going and everybody's on the same track. So, there's a lot of different things I'm evaluating. It just depends what next week brings.

Salome Schillack (00:47:35):
I love that, what next week brings. Every year I record a podcast why I don't do annual planning and it stinks.

Diane Evans (00:47:45):
I listened to that and I loved it, yes.

Salome Schillack (00:47:46):
Yeah, it's this, it's because when you're inventing things, how are you supposed to plan because you're still inventing, and for my business, for a long time, the agency side, I couldn't plan for that. It was just a machine that has to turn over the same thing over and over and over, and so for the content piece, it was like, sure, we can plan some things, but we're also going to need to not plan some things because it's all very flexible and very dependent on the program, and I feel like there's not enough people that say this, that there's a time in your business where you don't plan, you just execute. Okay, I hustle.

Diane Evans (00:48:30):
And I think Russel Brunson maybe is the one who does launch after launch after launch after launch, and you learn how to launch that way. You learn how to get good at webinars.

Salome Schillack (00:48:40):
You do.

Diane Evans (00:48:40):
And when you first said, "Maybe you'll launch again next month," I thought, "I don't know what that looks like," and I thought, "That's okay. Well, future Diane will figure that out." And my mantra right now is I am open to creative solutions, and so I feel like I'm not planning out too far in advance, and we'll see where each step takes me to the next place, I guess.

Salome Schillack (00:49:08):
I love that, and it is this action energy that's going to get you to results faster because the more action you can take with a clear goal in mind, I'm not saying just spaghetti on the wall action, clear goal in mind, data-driven decisions, but quick action, the quicker you'll get feedback, and the feedback, sometimes that feedback comes in the form of money. Sometimes it comes in the form of not money, but it's always a result, and it's always feedback, and you just got to take it on board and work with it and do it again as quick as possible.

Diane Evans (00:49:49):
Yeah, and next week I have a conference, an actual in person conference at women in the travel industry so I'm very interested in where that will take me because I know Amy Porterfield talks a lot about how that made such an impact on her business is meeting with people in person, and conferences, and getting referred to different things, and collaborating with people, and I have not had the opportunity to do that since my business started because of COVID. So, now, I'm trying to get out there and talk to more people, and that I think will also break open some new opportunities.

Salome Schillack (00:50:23):
Absolutely. I love that, and you can just sell your course to people who are ready to buy it from you. It was an in-person conference and it was Amy Porterfield's in-person conference that eventually helped me then quit my job and be able to work as a full-time ads manager.

Diane Evans (00:50:44):
Yeah, I remember now hearing that story too where you went to conferences really regularly and felt like that was a kind of a factor that pushed your business forward.

Salome Schillack (00:50:55):
Absolutely, absolutely. For me, so 2017 was the year I went back to my day job. So, I started the business in June, July. 1st of July 2014, I started it, and it had various iterations of a lot of different things. Some of it made a little bit of money. Some of it made not much money. It was a lot of work, just like you, trying to figure out. I feel like you have a lot more figured out than I did at that point. And then in 2017, I went back to my job, and I was back in that job from February 2017 until December. At the beginning of December, I got on an airplane from Perth where I lived then which is on the western side of Australia, so that means I have to get on like a six, seven-hour flight from Perth to either to Sydney or to Auckland, and then from Sydney or Auckland to LA, and then from LA to San Diego. So, 30 hours door to door. Yeah, 30 hours door to door.

Salome Schillack (00:52:04):
I remember my husband, the only way I could go to this conference is if I could convince my husband that the business can pay for it. So, I listened and I heard there was a US travel show on where they promote traveling to the US, obviously run by the US to Australians, and I went there, and I went to every ticket booth, every airline, and compare tickets, and I ended up getting a ticket for a thousand dollars which today, I'm looking at flights to New York right now, and they're two and a half thousand dollars. But so a thousand dollars, and I remember my hand literally shaking as I handed my credit card for the business over for that thousand dollars ticket, but as soon as I had it, I was like, "I'm going to America. I'm going to meet Amy Porterfield. I'm going to meet all of these other mentors I've had." Rick Mulready was there. David Duncan was there. Jasmine Star was there. Who's the podcasting guy? His name escapes me. They're all going to be there and I'm going to meet them, and I did, and I signed up four clients while I was there, and I came home and I quit my job, and I gave my boss finger, and a month later, I was self-employed and I was making like five grand a month.

Diane Evans (00:53:24):
Yeah. I feel like it could be a big shift for me as well because I'm going to have the opportunity to collaborate people for those in person workshops and those retreats, people that are already doing travel, and it's all women in travel. I mean, it's the perfect place for me. So, I feel like I have this great base now. COVID kind of helped me in that way because I probably would've been a little too scattered at first, but it really helped me. I had to sit at home like the rest of us, and I had to work on the online piece, but now I really understand that, and now I'm ready. I'm ready to spread my wings, fly.

Salome Schillack (00:54:02):
Ah, you're going to spread your wings and fly, all the way to Paris.

Diane Evans (00:54:05):
All the way to Paris.

Salome Schillack (00:54:06):
Oh, I can't wait to hear all about this live event that you're going to. I feel like that you're right, that is going to be... And all of the hard work you've done that you're not necessarily seeing the results of yet, when you meet those people in person and they see this asset that you've already built up, it gives you so much credibility, and it gives you instant connection with the right people, and they're going to be there, and they're going to be like, "Yes, Diane, I'm ready. Show me how to take photos."

Diane Evans (00:54:40):
And I know how to talk about it now. If I would've went two years ago when I signed up, I wouldn't have been able to have the same conversations.

Salome Schillack (00:54:48):
Yeah, now you know the copy inside out, you know exactly what their desires are, you know how to speak to their pain points, you know exactly how to sell this to them. So, that's very exciting. Is there anything else? What else would you say to anyone who is working on getting their business to a place where it is profitable and where they can tell all those external voices, "Look, it's working"? What would you say to them?

Diane Evans (00:55:15):
I think don't give up I feel is an obvious piece of advice and a luxury, but like you said, there's different ways of giving up. So, if you believe it in your heart, keep doing it on some level. And the other thing that I think has held me back my whole life is fear. And the other quote I have on my, I have to look at my board, everything you want is on the other side of fear, everything, and don't let fear of failure of whatever hold you back. If you dream it, if you want it, then you have to be uncomfortable every day, and do it anyway.

Salome Schillack (00:55:59):
Do it anyway, and do it anyway. Do it anyway, and pick up. I think, for me, the fear thing because that also doesn't go away, you know?

Diane Evans (00:56:09):

Salome Schillack (00:56:10):
It's just onions. You just, you discover a new layer of fear. For me, it's been identifying when I'm procrastinating because I'm scared.

Diane Evans (00:56:23):
Yes, that's one of my tools of choice, or habits of choice.

Salome Schillack (00:56:30):
Yeah, I love [inaudible 00:56:30].

Diane Evans (00:56:30):
Yes, procrastination. I could clean out an inbox like nobody's business when I'm procrastinating.

Salome Schillack (00:56:36):
Oh yes. Oh yes. Oh yes. And it's funny how that has... When I started the business, I procrastinated by creating content for social media. Now, that's not an issue for me anymore. I don't create much content for social media anyway. I believe social media is just, it's a way to connect with people, but we don't need social media as much as a lot of people would have us believe, but now, it's other things. It's oh, the client still needs this thing, or I haven't analyzed that webinar, or I haven't... It's amazing the things your brain will present to you that it's like, "Oh, but the ducks aren't in a row yet. So, let me just put it off a little bit more."

Diane Evans (00:57:23):
And I love to create so I can work on my branding, my color scheme, how many color schemes I've picked because they're not just the right one, the graphic for that email. Picking gifts can take me long.

Salome Schillack (00:57:39):
Yes. That's a favorite one of mine too. Yeah.

Diane Evans (00:57:43):

Salome Schillack (00:57:44):
Yeah, yeah. I have heard someone talk about procrasti-branding.

Diane Evans (00:57:49):
Yes. Oh my gosh.

Salome Schillack (00:57:52):
Yeah, that's [inaudible 00:57:52].

Diane Evans (00:57:52):
Yeah. I really was thinking I need to revamp my whole website and finally I thought, "Let's do that next year. It's fine for now."

Salome Schillack (00:58:01):
It's fine for until you make a million dollars.

Diane Evans (00:58:05):
Yeah, I say next year, but kind of like when you say, "I don't want to go to the gym. Okay, I'll just go for 15 minutes," but then you always stay for half an hour or an hour. I say that, "Maybe we'll work on that next year," it might be 10 years before I redo my website.

Salome Schillack (00:58:18):
It might be. And you know what? It'll be fine.

Diane Evans (00:58:20):

Salome Schillack (00:58:20):
It'll be fine. It'll be fine. Yeah, fear. What are your best tips for overcoming fear?

Diane Evans (00:58:30):
You know, for me, a lifesaver has been meditation, and I suffered from depression when I was younger, and I don't think that's something that just goes away. I've just, I've really learned how to deal with it, live with it, and meditation is one thing that throughout my life that has really saved me from... I've had kind of anxiety-driven depression, and meditation is the thing that keeps me grounded and keeps me stable and keeps me... Because it's not just the 10 minutes or the 20 minutes that you sit on the cushion, it has so much that carries over into your life, and it just helps you start to recognize the thoughts that creep in there. Meditation, you're kind of swatting them away. Go away. I'm meditating now.

Diane Evans (00:59:17):
But then you learn, they creep in there, and you are not your thoughts. They're not true. They're your mother's voice or your teacher's voice or wherever they came from, and that, that has really helped me, and to develop those mantras that are kind of the old standbys that help me. So, when I wake up in the middle of the night, that's the time when I get the most fearful and the most anxious and the most panicky, and so I have mantras that I can just soothe myself with, calm myself down, kind of let go of those fears.

Salome Schillack (00:59:54):
Love that. You're a master. That's fantastic. That's wonderful. I also feel like it's this snowball effect of the meditation is the fitness, it's that fitness of learning, like you said, I am not my thoughts. I am just the thinker of my thoughts, and I can allow a thought to come up and allow it to be there without believing it.

Diane Evans (01:00:23):
And we can live with discomfort. As humans and in our culture, in the United States, you're not supposed to be depressed or sad or anxious. So, you take medication to get rid of all of that, but it's actually okay to feel. I've read a lot of Buddhist teachings, and you kind of get in there sometimes and just give it a hug. You don't have to analyze the heck out of it. You don't have to be happy all the time. You don't want to be sad all the time obviously or anxious all the time, but sometimes I just let that butterfly rumbling in my gut that's not comfortable, I just let it be there, and I meditate, and I journal, I do all the healthy things I know to do, and then all of a sudden, I realized it's not there anymore.

Salome Schillack (01:01:07):
Let it be. Yeah, just let it be there without judging it, yeah.

Diane Evans (01:01:13):

Salome Schillack (01:01:13):
Ah, so powerful. It's fantastic.

Diane Evans (01:01:17):
We've covered a lot of ground today.

Salome Schillack (01:01:22):
we have. I feel like I'm going to have to change the name of this episode, but I don't know, like a whole lot of everything with Diane, but I think that's the beauty of getting to know each other is we really can talk about this stuff because we live it. We live it, and it's important. It's not the step by step, paint by numbers to growing your email list.

Diane Evans (01:01:48):
No, I sure wanted that. I really wanted the formula, and then I wanted somebody to come in, look at my business and tell me, "This is what's not working, and once you fix that, it'll be successful." But that's not happening.

Salome Schillack (01:02:04):
And then the universe is like...

Diane Evans (01:02:07):
Right. Oh, you have a lot to learn.

Salome Schillack (01:02:09):
Yeah. No, it's not going to be like that. Diane, thank you so much for sharing all your wisdom and your journey and your ups and downs with us, and I am really honored to be on your journey and be part of your journey, and I can't wait for so many women photographers to have your course in their hands and for your name to be a big name in travel photography. It's happening. It's happening. It's happening. We're making it come true because you're doing everything right.

Diane Evans (01:02:49):
Well, I want to thank you for inviting me to be your guest, and I want to thank you for having the podcast and inspiring me and so many people because you really are that perfect marriage between analytical and woo-woo, and that's what we all need.

Salome Schillack (01:03:09):
I love it.

Diane Evans (01:03:10):
So, thank you.

Salome Schillack (01:03:11):
You're very welcome. Thank you so much.

Salome Schillack (01:03:14):
I hope that interview with Diane really inspired you, and if you love this episode and you're a committed online course launcher who wants to learn how to grow your profits in your next course launch and you want to know how to successfully scale your online courses business to seven figures and beyond, then I'd love to see you inside the Launch Lounge. The Launch Lounge is the only community online that is dedicated solely to helping you develop every aspect of your online courses business so that you can build your business to scale with no one-size-fits-all solutions, just the right education you need when you need it, coaching from our team of experts in different areas of launching and scaling and the best community on the internet. The Launch Lounge is your online course building home if you want profitable launches that scale your business to seven figures and beyond. Get on the wait list for our next enrollment season. Go to shineandsucceed.com/launch. That is shineandsucceed.com/launch.

Salome Schillack (01:04:31):
Thank you so much for listening. If you had fun, please come back next week, and remember to hit that subscribe button so you never miss a thing.