What Happens When Nobody Shows Up to Your Masterclass?

A Lesson in Allyship

I was booked for a masterclass back in November 2022 to be delivered this April just gone. It came right after I delivered a masterclass for the host who was so happy with the way I teach that she booked me for her next cohort. I was ecstatic especially given this was possibly the biggest Australian online business owner I had worked with at the time.

Her team was brilliant at keeping in touch ensuring I had everything I needed for the masterclass and checked in a few days before the masterclass delivery. In the lead-up they did what they do by promoting the masterclass to their almost 100 students and so I was expecting a decent amount of online business owners to turn up…only that they didn’t.

Yup.. not a single person turned up… as in zero {$name}. I know attendance can be low for some online programs and I’ve hosted masterclasses where there’s been a handful of people, but I’ve never been booked, paid in advance and not a single person show up.

The host and I were baffled. We discussed the title of the masterclass and whether it was the pre-work they needed to do before showing up that possibly scared them. But it just didn’t add up. Did they get the timing wrong?

The host did something that surprised me. She said, “well if they are not going to show up for a masterclass that is so important for their business then I’d like us to incorporate inclusion throughout the program.” (Cue the gene from Aladdin when his jaw dropped after seeing Jasmine & Jafar in an embrace).

Instead of thanking me for my time and sending me along on my merry (well maybe not merry) way, she doubled down on her commitment to inclusion and absolutely schooled me on Allyship. She suggested the ways we could integrate inclusion in her program and together we formulated a plan of action.

It didn’t end there. She got on to her private community space for her cohort (the one that didn’t show up) and shared her disappointment with them and reiterating the importance of this work.

That is genuine Allyship and it didn’t come from me teaching her what to do. It was part of her, she was embodying this work. To say I didn’t see this coming would be an understatement. This is what I teach about inclusion work not always being about telling you what to do and not to do. As you keep doing the work, with time it becomes part of how you do life and business.

As I was journaling later that week about everything that had happened once I had processed it all, it dawned on me:

😞 The number of online business owners who do not see the need to prioritise this work because they think they are too early in their business journey and want to focus on revenue generation activities. I get that, but what you are possibly failing to see here is that inclusion work is actually a revenue generation activity because it allows you to attract and serve more people from diverse backgrounds.

😞 One of the biggest and potentially the most damaging thought process that keeps racial equity work from moving forward is the belief that one is already inclusive. I cannot tell you the number of students who come through my program REPRESENTED who say, “I’ve just had an awakening of how much I don’t know. All this time I thought I was an inclusive person but I’ve been perpetuating exclusion and I didn’t know.”

I don’t think it’s a mistake that you subscribed to this newsletter and you are reading this now. The businesses that will be sustainable are the ones that choose to do the things that others might deem not important. It’s the one’s like my client above who double-down on their inclusion efforts despite the cold reception from the value they are adding to their program.

I’ve often heard the saying the customer is always right…I don’t think they always are. But what I know for sure is, if you operate from an inclusive lens and commit to this life-long work, you will reap the benefits of making a deeper impact than you ever imagined.

Book me to deliver a masterclass for your group program/team

With Love,

How I can support you:

👉🏾 Want to build a racially equitable online business? Join the waitlist and be the first to find out when doors to my 10 week signature program REPRESENTED open in September 2023. Join REPRESENTED waitlist

👉🏾 Learn how to create a successful and supportive scholarship program for people of colour. Find out more and get instant access to the Scholarship Immersion Experience.


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