How to Find Your Own Community of Business Owners: A Review of (with Behind-the-scenes video)

In this video review, I discuss online marketing training and tips from Corbett Barr. Do you ever feel lonely as a business owner?

I know I do. It can be tough work owning your own business, and doing it all by yourself.

In fact, loneliness is a major contributor to business owner burnout which causes so many businesses to fail. But there’s good news.

It turns out there is a better solution.

I knew I didn’t want my business to fail, and so shortly after I started working for myself, I looked for a community or communities I could participate in where I felt like I could belong.

I want to share with you a community of other entrepreneurs and business owners that I belong to today which has really helped me to feel less lonely and more like I’m in this journey together with others who think like me.

That community is called Fizzle, and it’s an online training program and community aimed at entrepreneurs who want to create and grow an online business, or just grow their online presence.

Just like building an offline business, building an online business is not easy.  Even if you have an “offline business” but have a website and want to attract more clients and customers to it, you will find there are no silver bullets.

Thousands of people try to build their online presence every day. Many of these would-be entrepreneurs end up wasting a lot of time, energy and good intentions and ultimately, they fizzle out.

For years, I was one of them. I blogged without much direction or progress. I wrote about various legal topics and it was boring. No one was interested.

Worst of all, I knew no one. I did not put in the time to develop relationships with others who could help me in this journey. I should have known better.

Fizzle has pretty much changed all of that.

An Online Training Program and Supportive Community

Corbett Barr (founder of Think Traffic) teamed up with Chase Reeves and Caleb Wojcik (aka the “3 C’s”) to launch Fizzle in late 2012. I joined in the second wave they let in the doors, around November 2012.

The goal of Fizzle from the beginning was to provide high-quality training videos and a supportive community for small business owners and entrepreneurs who are interested in building an online business.

They also wanted to attract people who want to make a difference. People who want to create a valuable resource or tool or “thing” online that provides value to the world. In other words, if you’re looking for some “get rich quick” solution, you might as well look elsewhere.

At the same time, these guys don’t take themselves too seriously.  If you’ve ready The Sparkline or listened to The Fizzle Show then you know they have a great sense of humor. In fact, one of the reasons I love Fizzle is because it’s so much fun.

Their tag line is simple: Honest Online Business Training, and they mean it. As a result, they attract a very ethical, honest and helpful community.

They want you to know if you are willing to put in the work, then you’ll reap the rewards. If you want shallow promises that you can put in zero effort and profit from “passive income,” you should look for some other community that’s a better fit.

But, if you’re willing to be disciplined, focused, and repeat the things that lead to good results over and over again, then you will build a business that can make a difference and support your family.

In other words, one day you might be lounging on a beach somewhere drinking a mai-tai, but not before you expend some serious effort.

Who Is Fizzle For?

Fizzle is aimed at entrepreneurs who want to build an online business, or who want to expand their offline business using online tools. There are a lot of service professionals, like photographers, therapists, coaches, writers, web designers, CPAs, lawyers, and consultants who belong to Fizzle.

Do You Need to Have a Business Already?

No. In fact, there are a number of great courses on picking a niche, defining your audience, etc., which are helpful for someone who is just getting started or who wants to build something on the side.

In fact, I wish Fizzle had been around years ago when I started blogging because it can save you years of wasted misdirected effort.

A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Inside of Fizzle

I recorded a quick video giving you an “inside look” at Fizzle. You can check it out here:

If you want to try out Fizzle, you can get the first 30 days for $1 for a limited time (it’s normally $30), using this link:

(That’s my affiliate link, so if you sign up, I get a small credit to my account – but it won’t increase your cost.)

If you want to learn more about Fizzle, read on:

How Fizzle Has Helped Me Grow My Business

It’s hard to sum up everything I’ve gotten since I first joined Fizzle, but here are a few of the highlight of what I got in the first 12 months of being a member of Fizzle:

  • My email list has increased tenfold, from around 200 to around 2,000
  • I’ve written for major blogs and sites such as Forbes, Huffington Post, Art of Manliness, Get Rich Slowly, Dumb Little Man, etc.
  • I’ve been interviewed on dozens of podcasts.
  • I’m going to be featured in a book to be published in the next year.
  • I developed a new online course which I ran live twice during the past year. I’m planning on honing it further and will be able to get lots of feedback on it as I do.

I’ve also made dozens of good friends who I can trust and count on. I’ve helped them and they’ve helped me. It feels like we’re all in this together.

If I’m stuck, I know I have a community I can turn to for advice and support.

If I need feedback on an idea, I can get it.

But my story is just one of many. Let’s look at just one other member of Fizzle who credits Fizzle, in part, with a huge amount of her success.

Darlene Hildebrandt: From Regional Photographer to International Photography Expert

Darlene-HildebrandtMy favorite example of a Fizzler who has really succeeded by implementing things she learned in Fizzle is my friend Darlene, who is a superstar.

When she joined Fizzle shortly before me (around September 2012), she was a photographer in Edmonton, Canada working a couple of side jobs to make ends meet. She had a few hundred email subscribers.

As of the end of 2013, her successes included:

  • An email list of 10,000 subscribers.
  • She offered a two-week photography tour to Cuba which sold out. Then she offered a second tour and that sold out as well.
  • She started writing for Digital Photography School, one of the largest photography blogs on the web, and ended up being hired to be its first managing editor.
  • After the success of the Cuba photo tour, she decided to offer a photography tour to Nicaragua and it sold out as well.
  • Oh, and Darlene Hildebrandt also has a gajillion followers on Google+ (she went from like zero to over 60,000).

I was so impressed with Darlene’s success that I hired her husband, Rob Cooper, a web coach, to help me with building my site. His advice has been excellent and really valuable.

You Can Do This

More than anything, I’ve learned that there is a community of like-minded business owners out there – you just need to find them. And I’ve also learned it’s possible to build an online business, or to get more clients and customers and revenue using your online base.

I’ve figured out what I need to focus on and what is a waste of my time. And I know I have a supportive community who is going to urge me on along the way.

I can also say with complete confidence that you can do this too. It’s not rocket science. If you’ve struggled with doing your “thing” online and are looking for a community, check out Fizzle.

Sign up for your $1 trial for the first 30 days (regularly $35):

Let me know if you have any questions in the comments below.

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  1. chasereeves says:

    Wow, so generous, John. Thanks for all the kind words. So fired up about the results you and Darlene have achieved. Keep breakin’ legs!

  2. Mark Fornasiero says:

    Hi John… The Alternative Board is a great way for small business owners to benefit from the mutual support and knowledge of other similar-minded business owners. We form peer-advisory groups (like a board of directors) that meet monthly in 4-hour, facilitated settings. Add in an hour of one-on-one coaching a month and it is a very cost-effective strategy.There is probably one in your area as it is a franchise model. Fizzle looks awesome. Thanks for sharing.

    • Hey Mark – I hadn’t heard of the Alternative Board before, but it sounds great. I have a similar concept in some mastermind groups I belong to, but it sounds like this is different. I’m checking out their website now.

  3. Faith Watson says:

    Great review, John. As a Fizzle addict, I concur. The community has meant so much to me, and the learning that is available through the library is top notch. And while there are many big member successes to mention, it’d be a shame to overlook the hundreds of smaller/more subtle successes and their impact, exponentially. When I look back at what I started with when I joined in May, to my just-launched site this week, I’m amazed. It’s literally evolved through and from interactions on Fizzle. –Faith

    • That’s awesome, Faith. And you’ve demonstrated a keypoint – you get out what you put in. You’ve been very involved in the forums, which really pays off. I think Darlene may still be the most active person in the forums in terms of the number of posts, and she has been one of the most successful.

  4. Fabulous review John! A great inside peek to a fabulous community! You are easily one of the many Fizzle success stories as well. So inspiring for everyone to see the amazing things people can achieve when they band together in a great watering hole!

    • Thanks, Jo! I don’t consider myself a success yet, but I definitely do credit Fizzle and its very supportive community for helping me advance far further than I had on my own.

  5. I totally agree John – Fizzle has given me the support and camaraderie to really build a solid business foundation – something I’m convinced I’d never had been able to do without it. Oh, and I got to interview you for my podcast!

    • Thanks, Jo! Yes, that’s true… interviewing me must have been a highlight of your Fizzle experience. Just kidding. : ) Actually, being on your podcast was a real highlight for me, seriously. You asked great questions and are a delight to talk to. And I’m not just saying that because of your awesome accent. : )

  6. Good stuff.

    I joined and watched all the videos and left to start on my blog figuring I’ll come back later. In hindsight leaving was a mistake. I think just being part of a community has such a big impact on your work (motivating you) and resources you have access to.

    Plus, everyone was there was so professional and kind. Makes me feel lonely right now…

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