*Please note* As of Fall 2021, I’ve decided to no longer participate in the Selfmade affiliate program, so I have removed this section and affiliate Selfmade discount code.
in the interest of full transparency – while my participation in the course was positive, my participation as an affiliate has not been and it no longer feels aligned to continue working with them in this capacity. I have left up the rest of this post as it was an honest assessment of my time in the program in Fall 2020.
I’ve been in business for about two years now, and nothing has challenged me more than becoming an entrepreneur. I’ve followed Brit + Co since their early days (I went to their Re:Make conference in 2016). When I heard they were offering a new Selfmade course for women who own a business or are starting one, I decided to check it out.
Brit + Co is a creative media company that offers classes to help women connect to their creative side. According to their website, they’ve made over $75 million in revenue, and have over 400 million users on their website.
When I saw they were teaming up with Office Depot to offer 200 scholarships to women from underserved communities and women of color, I decided to apply.
I ended up getting one of the scholarships and wanted to write this post to give you an honest review of my experience with Brit + Co’s Selfmade course for female entrepreneurs. I participated in their Fall 2020 class, so these details pertain to my experience there.
- ABOUT SELFMADE
- BUSINESS COACHING
- SPEAKER SERIES
- MY FINDINGS
- SPACE TO ASK QUESTIONS
- EXPERT SESSIONS
- TIME COMMITMENT
- SELFMADE VS. OTHER BUSINESS COURSES
- DISCOUNT CODE + Scholarship opportunity
- WOULD I TAKE SELFMADE AGAIN?
Selfmade is a 10-week course for current and aspiring female business owners.
It’s structured like a 10-week MBA in running a business. They have live weekly sessions and homework focused on a specific topic in business.
Below is a breakdown of the detailed curriculum, each week focusing on a different part of running a business.
- Week 1: Mindset
- Week 2: Defining Your Idea
- Week 3: Finance & KPIs
- Week 4: Branding
- Week 5: Fundraising & Legal
- Week 6: Marketing
- Week 7: Social Media
- Week 8: Press
- Week 9: Sales + Public Speaking
- Week 10: Pitch Week + Wrap
They also have a facebook group that you can join and preview to see if it’s a good fit for you.
During the course, there are a set of business coaches from different industries that offer 1:1 coaching, group sessions, and office hours throughout the duration of the program. For the Fall 2020 program, the six coaches were:
- Naomi Powell – founder of The Lifestyle Edit
- Jacqueline V. Twilie – Founder and President of ZeroGap.co
- Tiffany Tolliver – Owner of The EmmaRose Agency
- Majo Molfino – Author and Women’s Leadership Coach
- Emily Merrell – Founder and Chief Networking Officer at Six Degrees Society
- Niki Shamdasani – Co-Founder and CEO of Sani
We were allowed to jump around to different coaches’ office hours during the program.
During my session in Fall 2020, we could also sign up for office hours with Brit + Co’s founder, Brit Morin.
Additionally, there are multiple live interviews with women entrepreneurs that you can tune into or watch at your own convenience. Some of the guest speakers during my course were:
- Bozoma St. John – CMO at Netflix
- Julia Hartz – CEO at Eventbrite
- Eunice and Sabrina Moyle – Founders of Hello!Lucky design studio
- Joy Cho – founder of Oh Joy! Design Studio
- Autumn Adeigbo – founder of Autumn Adeigbo fashion
- Emily Heyward – co-founder at Red Antler
- Hayley Barna – co-founder of Birchbox
So far on my entrepreneurial journey, I’ve been solo.
It seems as if they made the course accessible for working moms and women with busy lifestyles. Every week on our Zoom calls, it was normal to see moms with their kids sitting on their lap as they followed the session. It added to the feeling of a space for female entrepreneurs of all levels and walks of life.
I chose Naomi Powell as my coach for a few reasons. She has journalism experience, so since her background was similar to mine I thought she would be a good fit for me to learn from.
Secondly, she was completely self-funded in her business so I knew it would be valuable to hear her advice since I am self-funded also.
I had one 1:1 coaching session with her in the program, and it was nice to bounce ideas off of someone who is further along in their entrepreneurial journey. The downside was that the 1:1 sessions booked up super fast (within hours) for all of the coaches. There were still weekly office hours available to get face time with the coaches, but these are in a group setting.
SPACE TO ASK QUESTIONS
When you have a business, you’re juggling multiple things and you don’t always have resources that can answer your questions about taxes, legal structure, contracts, etc. They did offer resources and sessions to address some of these areas.
They also have a pitching round, where you can get in some practice refining your business pitch before you do it in front of investors, clients, etc.
There was a legal breakout session in the middle of the course that answered a lot of my legal questions. However, when it comes to legal questions with your business it’s always best to work with a lawyer. I also learned from the questions other people were asking in these sessions that I didn’t think of.
They had other experts along the way for PR, marketing, social media, etc. as well.
I’d estimate I dedicated about 2-3 hours per week attending sessions and group coaching calls, and at least an hour per week doing the homework. So based on my experience, I’d budget 2-4 hours per week for watching the course sessions and doing the homework assignments.
In my opinion, you’ll get the most out of it if you have the time over 10 weeks to devote to the course material and activities. The coaching is only accessible during the 10-week period, so to get the most benefit you want to be able to participate in this.
SELFMADE VS. OTHER BUSINESS COURSES
Now that it’s been a year out from taking Selfmade and I’ve participated in some other business courses, I can add my two cents on which ones I got the most value out of.
I’ve taken Marie Forleo’s B-School course which is also $2000, and I found it to be more basic in nature about starting a business. Part of the big draw of that course was the community, but they’ve since disassociated with the Facebook community they created so I don’t think the initial value of the course is still there.
As far as Selfmade goes, I feel it’s somewhat in the same boat. It seems to cater more to people starting a business, and less so for people who are already established. It’s a draw between spending $2000 on a course, or nvesting that same cash in a business coach who can give you personalized results. If you’re just starting a business, use your intuition about what feels good for you – $2000 is a lot to spend when you’re starting out, and may be better spent establishing the foundation of your business with lawyers, accountants, etc.
Now, the program I’ve joined is the Create & Cultivate Insiders group and their associated conferences. Their Insiders membership costs $95/year as of this writing and gets you access to their vault of speakers past and present, as well as a wealth of start-up and business resources. I’ve also attended several of their conferences in the past and gotten so much value out of the networking, speakers, materials, and discounts there.
DISCOUNT CODE + Scholarship opportunity
*Please note* As of Fall 2021, I’ve decided to no longer participate in the Selfmade Affiliate Program, so I’ve removed this section and affiliate discount code. I have left up the rest of this post as it was an honest assessment of my time in the program in Fall 2020.
In the interest of full transparency – while my participation in the course was positive, my participation as an affiliate has not been and it no longer feels aligned to continue working with them in this capacity.
I’ve had difficulties collecting my affiliate payment from them for past rounds. Additionally, through my Google Analytics reports, I saw that people were coming to this page, grabbing the discount code off this section, and not using the affiliate link that credits me for their purchase. Those aren’t the kind of people I want coming to my website.
They used to have it configured to where people were forced to click through our link to get the discount, but for whatever reason removed that configuration and now people just end up stealing the code from blog posts like this. It doesn’t feel good, and quite frankly, it feels pretty exploitative of Brit + Co as well. I suspect there are a lot of Selfmade enrollees who purchased with the alumni discount code, but used it without linking it to an alumni affiliate referral based on the amount of traffic I got.
I’m always an advocate of supporting and empowering women, but because of my experiences above, I’m no longer participating in this container. I’ll likely take this page down at some point, but wanted to give an explanation of where I removed the discount code. I hope to replace this post with more aligned resources that will support and empower women business owners.
WOULD I TAKE SELFMADE AGAIN?
The short answer is no.
As I stated above, if you’re established in business I think that money is better spent on a business coach that can give you personalized attention.
Selfmade does have an alumni program for $150/month, and I was on the fence about joining it for the reasons mentioned above. That money may be better spent directly on your business or on a business coach that will give you consistent, direct feedback over time.
Given all the issues I had being an affiliate, I cannot in good faith recommend Selfmade to someone else because I wouldn’t want you to deal with the same payment issues I’ve had. These are the same people running the course and I can’t say with confidence that you won’t run into the same problems. If you still feel called to take the course, I’d recommend steering clear of being in the affiliate program.
Their intentions are obviously good with trying to start a program to help women entrepreneurs, but I’m at my wits end with the issues I’ve had so it no longer feels like a good fit for me.