I have tremendous respect for Natalie. What she teaches is one of the keys to power on the internet without lookin’ like a jerk.
This episode was really special for me.
I get to interview an incredible entrepreneur. Her name is Natalie Hodson – she’s fantastic. I love learning from her.
In this interview, Natalie talks about some crazy things that went on in her life – and how YOU can leverage the vulnerable moments in your life to help you connect with your audience.
Vulnerability is a bit of a buzzword at the moment. However, if you don’t do vulnerability in an authentic and heartfelt way, it can actually repulse your audience.
In this interview, Natalie shares the incredible story of how vulnerability helped her make a million dollars in four months with a $37 e-book.
So, let’s cut to the interview now:
Stephen: I have someone who I’ve been trying to get on the podcast for a very long time – because I just think the world of her.
It’s been super amazing to get to know this person.
The first time that I got to hear her story, it was heart-wrenching, not just because of everything that had happened, but also because of the inspiration that it’s created in other people’s lives.
The way it’s changing lives is a huge deal. Literally, thousands and thousands of lives have been changed by this person.
It’s my incredible honor and privilege to interview Natalie Hodson.
Natalie – Hey, thank you so much, Stephen. That was an amazing intro.
Stephen – I mean it.
Natalie – I’m so excited to be here too. I’ve watched your stuff, and I’ve binge listened to all your podcasts. Your advice has helped me so much, so it’s like a win-win. I’m excited – you’re excited. It’s awesome.
Stephen – Oh, I appreciate it. Thank you very much. I know a lot of people may not know about you yet, and frankly, it’s just a matter of time… I think everyone’s gonna know who you are.
Natalie – Aw, thank you.
Stephen – Could you tell us a little bit about your story, and kind of the background, ’cause it’s inspiring, and…
Natalie – Yeah.
Stephen – There’s obviously funnels in there, but that’s a vehicle for this whole thing. You’re changing people’s lives, and I’d love you to grace my audience with that… that’d be great.
Natalie – Totally. Well, there’s a long version and a short version. I’ll try to keep it towards the short version, but I tend to be long-winded.
So at any point, if you’re like, “Natalie, take it this direction,” you know…
Stephen – We have happy ears.
Natalie – So I’m in the fitness space. But I always say that I accidentally fell into the fitness industry because I was a history major in school. I didn’t know:
#1: That there even was a fitness industry
#2: That I ever wanted to be a part of it.
After I had my son, I gained 70 pounds when I was pregnant with him. I was like big, out here. He was a 10-pound baby.
Stephen – 70 pounds?
Natalie – Yeah, I was really big. And after I had him, I remember feeling lost. I remember looking in the mirror and feeling like, “I don’t even recognize myself…
I just wanted to feel like myself again – it wasn’t even so much about the weight. I just didn’t feel like me.
So I started a blog, and honestly, it was like an online journal – just as a way to keep me accountable for my fitness stuff.
I didn’t tell a single person that I knew in real life because I was embarrassed. I didn’t want the people I knew to know that I was struggling
This was when Pinterest very first got started, about eight years ago. I just started sharing…
I like to cook, so I started sharing healthy recipes, and I started putting them on Pinterest.
And honestly, if you look at my first pins back then, they were taken with a flip phone, just awful photos, but luckily for me, now people are taking gorgeous pictures for me.
So I started to get a lot of traffic to my website.
Stephen – You were just kinda documenting what you were doing?
Natalie – I was just documenting what I was doing and sharing.
This was right when Facebook groups weren’t even a thing, and I started a Facebook group with this training program I was doing.
I started sharing my ups and my downs because I felt like it was a safe space.
I was really vulnerable and telling, you know, my struggles; like I got called out of the gym daycare again – just like real struggles, you know?
I was struggling with all this stuff. And so I did that 12-week program, and had awesome results, and got some recognition from bodybuilding.com.
I was getting a lot of traffic to my site. So I was like, man, if I’m getting traffic, I might as well monetize it. So I got certified as a personal trainer and started writing – I wrote a couple of ebooks.
I didn’t know what I was doing. I didn’t know how to write an ebook. I just kind of figured it out as I went.
Stephen – Yeah.
Natalie – And then, I started recognizing, basically, like, long story short, what happened is one day…
I was at an event, and this girl came up to me. And she’s like, “I love following your stuff! I could never do what you do, because I have stretched skin after I had my babies, and I could never look like you.”
I got really confused in the moment, ’cause I was like, “What are you talking about? I have tons of stretched skin.”
And then I started realizing that, I don’t share that. I have all these beautiful professional photos where I stand up straight, and I angle myself just right so you can’t see it, right?
Stephen – Right, yeah.
Natalie – Posture and perfect looking. I started realizing, like, “Holy crap,” in my head, I look down, and I’m like, “Oh, yeah, I have stretched skin, whatever,” but I wasn’t like, showing that to anybody else.
And so, that night, I pulled out my camera, and I filmed this video, just saying to people, “Look, I recognize that I’ve never shown you… this is what that looks like.”
People talk about that a lot, but this was six years ago, and really, nobody was talking about it.
I remember the first time I posted that video, my hand was shaking. I thought I was gonna lose every follower I had
But I was like, “I know that if I’m struggling with this, other people are too.”
Stephen – Yeah.
Natalie – And I posted it.
I shut my computer down. I wouldn’t look at it, ’cause I was like, “everybody’s gonna hate this.”
When I opened it up an hour later, there were just thousands of comments – and that video went kind of viral.
Then I started realizing that the more I talked about things that felt scary or uncomfortable – it was actually more of like a magnet.
People started to feel like, “Whoa, she gets me. Whoa, she’s talking about things that I think in my head, but nobody’s really talking about.”
And then what happened is it started to heal broken parts of me too – because I started to realize that those fears and insecurities weren’t even real. It was just the story that I was telling myself.
The more I talked about my story, the less power it had over me.
And so, total side note here, fast forward to right now… ’cause this was years ago… but I feel like I worked through all that body image stuff kind of on accident.
Stephen – Sure.
Natalie – I was being vulnerable, and it’s crazy, ’cause right now, I’m going through a very similar process. I’m trying to do a lot of self-work. Learning to be perfectly imperfect with the body stuff – I feel like I did that, and I’m okay with it.
Stephen – “Perfectly imperfect” – that’s cool.
Natalie – Yeah, and now it’s like, “Okay, how can I…?” I’ve always struggled with this idea of perfection, and now with relationships, I’m trying to recognize that it’s okay to not be perfect in relationships. That when you work through the hard stuff, when you talk about the hard stuff, it actually…
So anyways, I’ll turn back now. I skipped a big chunk in there, but…
Stephen – No, that’s fascinating what you just said… We will come back to that.
Natalie – Okay.
Stephen – Keep going, ’cause there’s this whole spot… I’m like, “This is so cool.”
Natalie – I might not have the right words for it, because I’m just starting to figure it out. It’s what I was talking to my friend Yara about last night.
Stephen – Yeah.
Natalie – So, anyways, I built this big audience, all organically. I had about 400,000 followers, but I wasn’t really monetizing it.
I was selling ebooks and making decent, good money, probably around six figures as a stay at home mom – so it was good. Like, it was awesome, and I was enjoying it. I was writing.
And then I went through a divorce. And then it got really scary, because I was like, “All right, I don’t have child support, I don’t have alimony. I have to figure this out.”
Stephen – Right.
Natalie – And it just so happened… like, you know, I swear, a lot of times, things fall in place when they’re supposed to, or you meet people when you’re supposed to.
Stephen – Right.
Natalie – It just so happened that… I don’t know actually what happened. I don’t know if my name got thrown around in a mastermind or something, but all of a sudden, I got emails or phone calls from eight different people wanting to build a funnel for me in ClickFunnels, and all this stuff.
I was like, “What? What is a funnel? What is this?” And so, I started researching and googling, and I kept seeing this name, Russell Brunson.
It’s so embarrassing now ’cause I know what a good, honest, genuine, hard-working guy Russell is… but honestly, at first, I was like, “Is this a scam?” Why are people promising me the world, and like telling me they can…
Usually, if somebody tells you something that’s too good to be true – it is, right?
…And they’re like, “With that audience, you can make all this money.” And I was so skeptical.
But the embarrassing part is, Russell wrestled in college with my cousin, and we live like just right down the street from each other. So we had all these mutual friends.
Stephen – Right.
Natalie – I messaged him on Facebook, and basically just… I mean, I didn’t say, “Is your company a scam?”… but that’s basically… I mean it was rude!
And now that I know who Russell is, I’m like so embarrassed, and I’m so grateful he didn’t just say, “See ya, I’m never talking to you again.”
So I started finding out about ClickFunnels, and then I read his DotCom Secrets book, and I was like, “What?”
I’d built this big audience, but never in my life had I even spent a dime on Facebook ads
So, I started reading his book, and I was like, “What? These are real secrets. Why is he sharing this?”
Stephen – Yeah.
Natalie – Look, this is my original notepad.
Stephen – What?
Natalie – That’s crazy. I was organizing my office, and it happened to be sitting here.
So what I did, this was cool. I pulled out this notepad, and as I went through the book, I started saying, “How can I apply that to my business?” Like, five variables of successful campaigns:
Step one, who are your competitors? And I started writing down who are my actual competitors? This is cool. Blast from the past.
Stephen – That’s so cool. I just found mine the other day.
Natalie – No way!
Stephen – Yeah, it’s just right over here – the exact same thing. I was just showing it to somebody else. But, yeah, I found mine. It’s like going way back. “I remember the first time I realized this!” This is a huge deal.
Natalie – I was mind-blown, and I was like, “What?” And so, I started implementing it, and I was like, “This works!”
I brought somebody on to help me with building the funnel at the beginning. Now we’ve since split ways…
So we launched the funnel. So, okay, this story’s getting very long, so we’ll wrap it up, but…
Stephen – No, it’s awesome. Super valuable.
Natalie – Okay, so, basically, at that point, I was like, “Hey, my back’s against the wall. I need to figure out, how am I gonna monetize what I have here?”
So what I did was, I looked at my Google Analytics on my website. I was like, my audience is telling me what they’re interested in through my analytics, right? So, I took my five most popular blog posts, and I said, okay, I’m gonna make an offer around each of these.
Stephen – Wow.
Natalie – So the first one was this weird word called Diastasis Recti. Which is basically ab separation.
When you’re pregnant, your abs can separate to make room for the baby, and in about two-thirds of women, they don’t always come back together the right way. So it can cause you to look pregnant, even if you’re eating right or exercising. It can cause you to have like just core weakness.
The other post was this thing called Pelvic Floor Dysfunction, which in layman’s terms means like, if you laugh, cough, sneeze, jump on a trampoline, exercise too hard, a lot of times, women, after they have babies, will pee their pants a little bit.
Stephen – Right.
Natalie – And so it just so happened that one of my good friends from college had just gotten her Ph.D. in this specific area.
So, I reached out to her, and I was like, “Hey, Monique, I am getting a massive amount of traffic to this blog post. Do you think we could do something together?”
And that’s when she told me. She’s like, “Oh my gosh, Natalie, the peeing your pants stuff doesn’t have to happen! Just ’cause it’s common, and happens to so many women it doesn’t mean that it’s normal or healthy. It can be improved.”
And I was really skeptical again at first. I was like, “Yeah, right!” I was like, “Yeah, I’ve had two 10-pound babies.” I got kind of defensive.
Stephen – Your kids were 10 pounds?
Natalie – Yeah, both of ’em. Isn’t that crazy?
Stephen – Oh my gosh. Our first two were five and a half.
Natalie – Oh, wow.
Stephen – We have little kids.
Natalie – Yeah, and I had ’em at home too, with midwives, yeah.
Stephen – Oh my gosh.
Natalie – It was crazy. So crazy.
Stephen – Amazing.
Natalie – So, long story short, last year, it was November of last year, I talked to her. It was that first conversation. And it’s funny, ’cause we have the Facebook messages still with the date.
And I said, “Hey, do you think we can write a program helping women?”
Because she put me through a program, and it totally worked. I knew that if I’m struggling with this, other women must be too.
We started talking about it on Thanksgiving. We began writing it at Christmas. We launched on January 31st.
It was like, a month, a month, a month.
Stephen – Yeah.
We launched through ClickFunnels, and within four months, we’d sold a million dollars of this $37 e-book.
Stephen – Do the math on that, people.
Natalie – Yeah.
Stephen – How many people? That’s crazy.
Natalie – Yeah, it was really crazy. We don’t sell the physical version, but this is the physical version, and it’s just an e-book. I mean, there’s nothing super fancy about it. It’s kind of text, parts of it are kind of textbooky.
Stephen – Yeah.
Natalie – I partnered with the doctor to write that. I’m glad I did because she has the credibility, and I have the connection, so it’s kind of like a one-two punch.
Stephen – I love that, yeah.
Natalie – I don’t think I could have created that program 100% on my own, because when you’re talking about the body and anatomy – there are so many things that I wasn’t qualified to talk about, but anyways.
So then, it was this whirlwind of like, “Holy crap.” Before this, it was just me in front of my computer answering emails.
Then all of a sudden, it’s like, “whoa,” we have this big company and this big machine, and I need to learn how to hire people and scale and be a CEO of a company instead of just a little solopreneur.
Last year was a real whirlwind of a year. I had to learn how to be tough with business. I had to learn the value and the importance of contracts and of not let people take advantage of you.
I had to grow and scale – and create value. I mean, just everything was…
Conceptually, I knew what I needed to do, but applying it was kind of whirlwind.
I still feel like we’re still… we’ll always be working on our businesses, but…
So, that was the world’s longest answer to “How you got started,” but that’s how I got involved in the ClickFunnels community.
The one thing I will say is; if anybody is watching this and is skeptical, “I understand,” ’cause I felt the exact same way.
But if you just do what Stephen teaches, what Russell teaches it works. It really, really works! It’s not scammy.
If you have a good product and a good message to give to the world, follow the system and don’t try to change it, and it will work. That’s all I did.
I didn’t do anything fancy, other than I came up with the idea and the program… I just did what you guys say to do, and it worked.
Stephen – That’s so cool. That’s so awesome.
Natalie – Yeah.
Stephen – That’s so awesome. Yeah, sometimes people look at it. I had a buddy who looked at it once, and he’s like, “That looks like it’s scammy,” – you know, the same kind of thing. I’m like, “Ah, no, we actually end up delivering more value than if you don’t do it this way.”
Natalie – Yes, 100% agreed.
Stephen – Fascinating.
Natalie – Yeah.
Stephen – You gave a speech at Funnel Hacking Live which was incredible. I was so excited. I think we were sitting in the front row, or something like that, I was pumped.
I was like, “Yeah, Natalie’s next!” You gave a speech about vulnerability. And you talked about some of the ways you build in vulnerability – and this isn’t a weakness.
Natalie – Yeah.
Stephen – Right, but how do you find the strength to be vulnerable?
I guess, first of all, can you tell us what it means to be vulnerable?
You’re such an… I don’t know if you wanna call it vulnerability secrets, vulnerability expert, or hacks? Whatever, like, but you’re really good at doing this in a way that doesn’t come across, you know…
It seems like most people are like, “I’m not gonna be vulnerable ’cause it means I’m weak.”
Natalie – No, it’s not. I get that, ’cause I felt that way for a long, long time.
So first off, I think a lot of times, especially if you’re talking to guys, they will hear the word vulnerable, and they’ll be like, “I’m a man. I am not vulnerable,” right? And I get that.
So, another way of saying “be vulnerable” is just “be real,” right?
Look at Russell, he shares the ups and the downs, and because he shares the downs, you wanna champion and root for him on the ups.
If somebody only shares the good times, then you don’t connect as much
It’s almost like we naturally, as humans, have a tendency to…
If you think somebody is only always doing good, it’s harder to wanna cheer for them and root for them, you know?
Stephen – “Yeah, the cards are always in that guy’s favor… are you kidding?”
Natalie – Yeah, exactly. And so, you know, when it comes to being vulnerable, it’s not about crying all the time, and it’s not even about being vulnerable all the time.
If you look at my content, 80 to 90% of it is just really good quality content, and then occasionally, I’ll add some real honest truth or raw moments into what I share. And what it does is it brings, this isn’t my phrase… it from an author named Brene Brown, her books changed my life.
*Natalie looks for books* I don’t have them here, but “Daring Greatly” and “Rising Strong” literally, personally and professionally, changed my life.
Brenee is a shame and vulnerability researcher. She teaches that vulnerability is the ultimate human connector because vulnerability and shame cannot survive together.
And so the more vulnerable you are, the less shame can survive, and the less power that story has over you
And so, you know, we all have moments that we feel embarrassed to talk about, or we think that people will judge us, or we feel ashamed, and what’s crazy is that I’ve found that the more you talk about the hard stuff:
- The less shame you feel talking about it, and you start to feel more comfortable with it
- People start to open up to you and say, “oh my gosh, me too. I didn’t think anybody experienced that.”
- It creates a different level of trust with your audience.
However, there’s a fine line between being vulnerable to get sales and actually being vulnerable
That’s kind of hard to teach. And so, you know, I didn’t start this off saying, “I’m gonna be vulnerable so I can build a big audience and make all this money.”
I genuinely have a heart to help people, and selfishly, it helped me along the way, too, because it made me feel less insecure about these things.
People always say, “Okay I get it in theory, it makes sense to be vulnerable, but how do you actually do that without coming across as that crazy person on Facebook that puts all their drama there?”
Stephen – Always crying, the person like, “Oh, crap, unfollow.”
Natalie – Yeah, and you’re just like, Where’s the popcorn. Let’s watch their drama unfold.” And so I kind of have this four-step system that I didn’t mean to create. It’s just how I naturally write, but it works really well.
The first thing that I do is, #1, remember that you don’t always have to share your vulnerable moments in the moment.
Stephen – Yeah.
Natalie – So, if you haven’t worked through something and you’re still feeling very fragile about it – it’s okay to wait to share. Because I’ve made that mistake before.
If you get criticism back and you haven’t really worked through it yet, that criticism can be shattering to your confidence.
And so, one of the tricks that I have…
For a long time, I struggled, ’cause when you’re going through the vulnerable stage when you’re really sad or excited or happy or embarrassed or feeling ashamed when you’re in the moment, the feelings feel very real…
But sometimes it’s hard to sit in front of your computer later and remember the real emotion that you felt during that moment.
So one of the things that I do now, a trick that I have, is I’ll pull out my phone and pull up the notes section when I’m in that moment feeling, you know, small or hurt or scared or whatever the feeling is, right? It can be good or bad.
And I’ll just shorthand write out the raw feelings. Not like full paragraphs, but, now I have this big catalog of feelings.
So if I want to tell a story that relates to this, that relates to body image, or that relates to whatever, I have all these raw emotions to draw on later.
I’m not faking vulnerability. It’s my real stuff. It’s my real moments that I can draw from and turn into actual stories.
Another tip: A little family joke is that I’m really bad at analogies, and my family calls them “Natalogies” because a lot of times, like, you know…
The whole crux of expert secrets, is you have to be able to do epiphany bridges and analogies. And my analogies do not make sense half of the time.
I’ll say them, and people are like, “that didn’t make sense?” I’m just not good at them.
I hope someday, I can learn to be better at analogies. So what I try to do instead is just pull on these stories that I have – and kind of weave it together instead – ’cause my “it’s kind of likes” never actually make sense.
So that’s like my trick – You know how Russell talks about in the soap opera sequences, to start with the drama – to start with the most dramatic point, and then you tell the back story…
In my posts, a lot of times, I do that.
I start with the hurt, the pain. Whatever you’re feeling, the run moment, start with that, ’cause then people will automatically be like, “Whoa. She’s talking about something nobody talks about.”
And then what I do is I, and this is just my style. Everybody will find their own style.
But my step number two is to show myself some grace. Remind myself “perfectly imperfect, it’s okay,” or, just show yourself some grace, and in some words, type that out.
Then the third step is to try to remind myself of a time when this has happened before, and I worked through it – or when somebody else has gone through something like this and worked through it.
Stephen – Right.
Natalie – And then the fourth step is; I always finish up on a positive note.
So like, either how I worked through it if it’s a past experience, or if I don’t know how to work through it, I share what my plan is to try to work through it – even if you fail trying, right?
So what it does is it puts people, like, when you’re, when you start with the raw stuff, it makes people feel like, “whoa, like, that could be me, because I’ve felt that exact same way.”
And then you’re giving yourself grace, and you’re teaching other people how to show, how to give themselves grace if they’re in the same shoes, and then when you talk about how you work through it.
It’s like, somebody else could look at you, look at your situation and say, “Whoa, I’m in that situation too, and if she can work through it, I probably can, too.”
I think that’s why a lot of my content has gone really viral, is because I make it relatable by sharing, it’s not fake.
I mean, they’re the real moments, and then I come up with like a positive, and it’s not.
Stephen – End with hope at the end.
Natalie – It ends with hope, yeah, but it’s not like, talking down to somebody.
It’s not like, you have to do x, y, and z, or I’m so perfect on my high horse here.
It’s more like, we’re in this together. We’re all in the arena, and we’ve all fallen down. Let’s dust off our knees, and this is how I’m gonna try to stand up.
I might get knocked back again, but like, this is what I’m trying.
I don’t know if that makes sense at all, but I think that’s why… there’s an underlying subtleness of talking down to somebody or being on the same playing field and championing everybody to come up together.
I don’t know if I have the language to always describe how I do it, but that’s kind of the feeling behind it
I have written and deleted and written and deleted, ’cause I’m like, “This feels like I know everything,” or you know, I’m like talking down, and I never want that to come across that way.
Stephen – Right. Absolutely, and you know, you know what it reminded me of is so like, you know, we always tell people, like, start publishing before you have a big following.
Natalie – Mmhmm.
Stephen – So that you can bring them with you and you become the expert in front of them.
Natalie – Exactly.
Stephen – Rather than become an expert and then start publishing, ’cause it’s so less believable.
You’ve done the same thing with the vulnerability, which is fascinating. Like, yes, start it. Don’t be afraid to talk about the low moments, not that it always needs to be low, and it probably shouldn’t always be, but you know…
Natalie – Totally.
Stephen – But being open about what’s actually going on and doing it in front of ’em rises everyone together. That’s fascinating.
Natalie – Well, and what’s crazy is that it never gets… well, it’s always a process, right?
So, what’s weird is that eight years ago, for me to talk about the body image stuff, it was so hard for me, ’cause that’s where I was. I was in that phase of my life where I was really struggling with that, right?
And so, I did the work, and I went through the process unintentionally.
I didn’t know I was doing the work at the time. I was just being vulnerable. I was sharing.
So what’s cool is that, fast forward to now, I don’t really have all of those body image insecurities that I had then, and I think it’s honestly because I was willing to talk about it in the moment.
Now, fast forward to today, and the issues that I’m struggling with are different.
I’m a different person than I was eight years ago, right?
So when I built my audience with talking about the body image stuff, now, it’s like, “okay, I don’t feel like I have to talk about that as much, ’cause I’ve not grown past it,” – that’s not the right word, but it’s not my main focus anymore. And now it’s…
Like, okay, you know, I went through a divorce, and I haven’t really talked about that very much publicly.
But now it’s like, “Okay, now I’m sitting in this moment where I’m at a crossroads.” Am I gonna do what has worked for me in the past and be vulnerable and open up and share these things that feel uncomfortable to me again, right?
It’s not the body image stuff anymore. Now it’s personal development and relationships and the struggles that I’ve had with my business.
Like, it’s always changing.
So vulnerability is never like, you just learn how to be vulnerable and you’ve got it. Like, it’s always easy.
It is easier for me to be vulnerable on the body image stuff, but now it’s shifted to “how can I grow?”
And the only hope I have is that I know that it worked with the body stuff. So I’m hoping that five years down the road, I can look back and say, “Okay, I was scared to be vulnerable. I was scared to talk about these things, but it got me into this confident, comfortable zone because I shared.”
Stephen – No, totally, totally. Like, I went through a lot of the exact same, you know, it’s funny because I feel like it’s the emotion that binds people.
While I haven’t gone through a divorce, there are other times where I felt really vulnerable as well.
And so whilst that person may not have gone through a divorce, if we didn’t have the same experiences, we did have the same emotions, and being able to expose the emotion, I feel like, is what binds people. I think it’s interesting what you said.
Anyway, quirks, the little quirks that you have or the little vulnerabilities you have, that’s your superpower. That’s the reason people follow you. They don’t follow you because of pure perfection 24/7. That actually annoys people after a while. But you actually get personal healing along the way. Like that’s so, that’s so amazing.
Could you tell us a little bit… I mean, this is Sales Funnel Radio, and you’re talking about your sales funnel. Like, what does this have to do with sales funnels? Why does it matter? ‘Cause it totally does, but just for everyone else, you know.
Natalie – Well, it 100% matters because the thing that I’ve learned is although I’m not the best trainer in the world. Like, I will be the first to admit that. Yes, I’m a personal trainer, but like, people don’t buy my programs because….
I mean there are probably people who can talk science better than I can. I stumble over my words. I have mild dyslexia, and I mix up scientific terms all the time. But the reason people follow me and the reason people buy my programs, the reason we were able to sell so many of this book, is because of the connection.
I owned a company called Dollar Workout Club a couple of years ago, and we would film our workouts, and we never cut the cameras. And we would always be joking and be like, “Guys, if you’re at home you can relate to the doorbell ringing or whatever, right?” And it was very relatable.
Stephen – Yeah.
Natalie – Well, in one of the workouts, I happened to be wearing gray shorts, and Drew, the only guy, the other trainer, wrote the workout, and it was all jumping exercises, right?
So, we’re doing the jumping, and I’m like, “Oh, crap.” I could tell I was like, peeing my pants a little bit, right?
It was so embarrassing.
I’m wearing gray shorts and you can see this little tiny spot, then by the end, my whole butt was just… it was so gross. It’s just covered in pee
At the end, I’m trying to stretch and turn sideways so you can’t see.
Anyways, I could have never shared that, and I didn’t for a while. I was really embarrassed about it.
But we have that footage. So then when I went to go create this program, I could take screenshots from that video. I could take the actual video and put it in my funnel.
So what happened is people were like, “Whoa, this woman actually peed her pants.” Like, this is embarrassing.
I mean, truth be told, this program almost didn’t come out, ’cause I had to have a heart-to-heart with myself really, and say, “okay, Natalie, are you willing to tell the whole world that you used to pee your pants,” you know?
Stephen – Yeah.
Natalie – But what happens is then you can put those real stories in your funnel. You can put the photos. And it’s kind of like instead of social proof this is your real story and your real-life proof.
“Whoa, this woman understands me and this woman gets me.” Because the truth is that real change, like, I can give you the best meal plan and the best workout program in the whole world, but it’s not gonna have a lasting, long-term effect until you make that internal change and have that belief in yourself.
I feel like that is my gift, is helping people see their value and their power
And so, you know…
Stephen – People kind of have an identity shift with the vulnerability that you have, almost. That’s fascinating.
Natalie – 100%. And so that’s the psychology behind it. I think that when you are willing to be real vulnerable, not fake vulnerable… If you’re willing to be real vulnerable, people can relate to that. And once people relate to it, they begin to trust you, and then once they trust you, they’ll buy from you.
My biggest fear is that when people listen to me talk about this, they’re gonna be like, “Oh, I see dollar signs. I’m just gonna like, figure out how I can be vulnerable.”
But the truth is, people are smart. Your customers are smart, and they will smell out fake vulnerability
Stephen – Right.
Natalie – And so.
Stephen – Yeah.
Natalie – The biggest thing… If you’re sitting there and you’re thinking, “There’s no way I could ever talk about this,” then you’re on the right path. That’s how you know it’s real vulnerability.
If you seriously feel nervous to share it and talk about it, and you think: “Everybody will think I’m a fraud. Everybody will think I’m a bad parent.” Everybody will think I’m a bad husband or wife. Nobody’s gonna find me attractive.”
All of these things, these stories that we tell ourselves that you feel if you start talking about, people are gonna think you’re terrible… Guess what?
That’s the real good stuff that you need to be talking about and sharing if you wanna create a real connection and live a wholehearted life.
Stephen – Totally believe that yeah. ‘Cause I struggled. Anyway, when you got up, and you were speaking about that on stage, I was like, “Man, I know, I feel ya, holy crap.”
I had like, zero confidence. So rather than choose not to be active and do this game, I just called out my fear publicly, and that became a theme for a little bit.
It was like, “Look, guys, I don’t really wanna be doing this, although I got something cool to show you, all right?”
And for a while, that was the theme of it. And then as I grew up and healed, (I like how you said that) I passed certain things in front of the audience.
Then it was like, “Whoa, I’ve gotta wait for this new episode,” or “what’s he doing now?” And it was crazy, crazy. That was worth more than me putting hundreds of episodes out of just the best content ever.
Natalie – Yeah.
Stephen – It was crazy, crazy what that did.
So, what would you say is, like…
So you tell people, go ahead and start recording down things that are going on in the moment. Don’t feel the pressure to go ahead and say it at the moment, which I totally agree with. I don’t know if I can handle that.
Natalie – Well, and it can be whatever platform you like the most, right? Mine happened to be Facebook, but some people are better at YouTube, or some people are better at podcasting or Instagram.
There’s not one that’s better or worse. Just find what feels the easiest for you and start there.
Stephen – Yeah.
Natalie – I will say too…
So, one of the downsides of being vulnerable is, and I don’t let this scare you from being vulnerable, but it does happen. It still happens to me.
So when you’re open and transparent about your life, for some reason, and I get it. We’re that way with celebrities, right?
You’re like, “I wanna know why they broke up.” And both sides of the story; people feel like they know every aspect of your life. And I do share a lot, but I don’t share everything.
And so what can happen is that you get harsh people on the internet. And we all get that anyways. Even just last night.
I get mean from people messages pretty much every day
Luckily, I have my team now to kind of shield me from it, just ’cause it’s like silly.
Stephen – I have to do the same, yeah.
Natalie – Yeah, just ’cause it’s hard for me to continue to be vulnerable if I’m always reading the negative messages.
Stephen – Yeah, I’m the same.
Natalie – But one woman was like, “You are so different from how you used to be. You used to share your progress photos, and now you just talk about your life.”
The truth is, we all change and grow as people, right? And so for me, posting an ab selfie now, I don’t get validation or fulfillment. I don’t need that like I did six years ago.
So, yeah, if you look at my feed, I don’t post as much like, like, body image stuff, because I’m kind of like in a different space.
And so what will happen is that as you’re transparently sharing what you’re focused on in your life, sometimes, you will get people who you don’t attract anymore.
Like, they’re still in a different area, and they want to follow people who are in that area, and that’s okay.
What I’ve had to learn is that the #1 thing when you get mean people on the internet, and it took me a long time to figure this out, is that it’s so much more about them and what they’re personally struggling with than it is about you, you know?
Stephen – Yeah.
Natalie – Okay, so, for example, my peach tree. So we had a big wind storm. I’m sure you saw it ’cause we live in the same town.
So, this tree that I’ve nurtured for two years, finally had some fruit coming off of it, well the storm completely broke the tree, and I was really sad. I posted about it on my Insta Story, and she wrote back, and she was calling me all these mean names, and she’s like, “To think that your biggest worry right now is that your peach tree died. My mom just died, and my brother is sick.”
And I realize she’s hurting because of that, and she’s lashing out at me, right?
So it’s a reflection of her. It’s not a reflection of me. And so that was the hardest thing I had to learn, being open and vulnerable in the online space, is that you will get critics.
I always say it’s like the people in the peanut gallery out there who aren’t, like…
I’ll listen to criticism from people who are in the arena with me, people who fighting and working hard. But if it’s just a critic out in the peanut gallery, then their opinion doesn’t matter. It’s probably more about them than me
Stephen – You’re better than I am, then. There are times I just, I don’t know.
Natalie – Well, I did block her.
Stephen – I like to fight with ’em sometimes. And I shouldn’t, and I’m growing past that, and there’s me being vulnerable. I like to stir the pot sometimes when it’s already brewing.
Natalie – You should talk about that, Stephen. So you should talk about it- not just like the fun, “I said this, and he said that” but the real issues, “why did that trigger you?” And what’s the story behind that insecurity?
Those are the things that people love. Not just the story, but going deeper into the feeling or the “why” behind it – you know?
Stephen – Yeah.
Natalie – I don’t know.
Stephen – I told you, yeah, some of it’s going on right now still with some other people. Like, it comes in waves. I don’t know if that happens for you too.
Natalie – Yes.
Stephen – It’s like the criticism goes down, whoa, and then it goes away, and you’re like, everything rocks, and then you try something big again, and everyone’s like, “whoa!”
Not everyone, but there’s like, anyway, the talking heads, as I call them, come on out. It’s the armchair quarterbacks.
Natalie – Uh-huh, 100%.
Stephen – Yeah, I told you, and I’ve been planning on doing that. Funny you say that. I just haven’t quite formulated how to do it yet, so.
Natalie – Yeah.
Stephen – It’s top of mind.
I wanna thank you for being on here with everyone, and guys, Sales Funnel Radio, we’re talking about vulnerability.
This is everything, especially if you are the attractive character in your own business – which I hope that you are, and you choose to be.
This is not a tiny subject. It’s something that you will not have the choice to go around. You will address it whether it’s through haters or your own personal growth. You’re gonna get it.
So, please, please go follow Natalie. Natalie, where should people go to follow you?
Stephen – Cool.
Natalie – If anybody has any questions, you know, you can leave ’em, and I’ll keep checking ’em. I’ll answer them and stuff.
I call the books magic, ’cause I’ve listened to them probably six times now, and every time, I need to hear a different piece. I gain something different from them every time, you know? They’re good books.
Stephen – I wrote it down. I’m excited. I’m gonna go get them right after this.
Natalie – Cool.
Stephen – That’s awesome. Everyone, guys, thank you so much.
Please reach out to Natalie and say thank you and go follow her, and watch her practice what she preaches on this stuff. It’s fantastic and amazing – and that lets her audience open up as well.
So Natalie, thank you so much for being on, and it’s been a pleasure.
Natalie – Yeah, you’re so welcome.
Stephen – Woohoo, hey, thanks for listening.
Until next time – Keep Crushing It!
Hey, many don’t know that I actually made my first money online as an affiliate marketer.
If you wanna know how I funded my entire company without using any of my own money ever, you can learn to do the same for free at affiliateoutrage.com.