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"Selling Time to Selling a Course"

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Megan Walker: Hello, and welcome to Market Savvy Conversations. Today it's my great pleasure to have a chat with Mark Lockyer. Hi, Mark. How are you today?

Mark Lockyer: I'm very good. Thanks, Megan. A great pleasure, is it? Well.

Megan Walker: Absolutely. I just know that there's going to be quite a few pearls of wisdom come out of this conversation. You're a very worldly wise chap.

Mark Lockyer: Thank you. Yes. I hope they're useful pearls of wisdom.

Megan Walker: Absolutely. So, Mark and I are going to be talking about the transition from more of a traditional healthcare style of delivery to an online one, and Mark's right in the thick of making that transformation. So I thought we'd talk about that, and Mark, do you want to kick us off? Tell us a little bit about you and your background.

Mark Lockyer: Yeah, so, I went back to university as a mature age student. I did psychology, but I majored in social work and I graduated in 1997. So that would be 10, 20, a bit over 20 years. And like a lot of those degrees, you end up getting a job where you did a placement. So I did. I started working for Juvenile Justice as a juvenile justice officer. And I did really enjoy that. And I've just moved around the place. I've worked in health, in hospitals, mental health, family court, child protection. So a range of settings offering some sort of service for people. But it's probably since 2010 that I've mainly gone in to private practice, which is where I am at the moment. Yes. But delivering all of my services right now online, mainly because of the effects of COVID. Yeah.

Megan Walker: Yeah. And that also allows you to live in a beautiful part of the world. Do you want to tell us where you're talking to us from?

Mark Lockyer: Yeah, so northern Tasmania, in Devonport, just at the back of Devonport. And in fact, today marks 12 months that we arrived. So, if you backtrack 12 months, we were totally exhausted.

Megan Walker: Wow. That's a whole other conversation.

Mark Lockyer: Absolutely.

Megan Walker: I mean, that's a whole other conversation itself, but I can't move on until you tell me, has the green change been what you hoped?

Mark Lockyer: Look it is. Yeah. I mean, northern Tasmania is such a beautiful place. And the first thing people think of is, it must be cold. But, I mean, it does get cold in winter, but we have surprisingly beautiful days and there's beaches and lots to see and wineries and just, yeah. I mean, we're still getting to know it. Yeah.

Megan Walker: Yeah. And there's so much to know, and the food trail, that's a really emerging, global phenomena out of Tasmania. You can't do anything wrong. Anything you grow or produce is just so delicious.

Mark Lockyer: Yeah. So true. They had a graze thing. I'm sorry. I forget what they called it, over the weekend, but now things have opened up again, this is the first time that they've done it. So yeah, it was like a map of places that you could go that were open for the weekend, wineries, restaurants, food producers, et cetera. So, we did all of that.

Megan Walker: Wow. Oh, Mark.

Mark Lockyer: Sorry?

Megan Walker: No, I was going to say you might get all sorts of inquiries after this. How many bedrooms do you have?

Mark Lockyer: Yeah, that's right. Yeah. We're on two acres of land at the moment and it's overlooking Spreyton Valley. It's just beautiful.

Megan Walker: Oh, fantastic. Oh, I'm so jealous. And so, making the transition then from private practice. So, I'm guessing, a lot of telehealth by the hour, seeing people. Any particular type of client group that you have been delivering those services with?

Mark Lockyer: I was doing a lot of my own promotional work with GPs. Then I linked in. Then when we moved here, I had to transition to the move and I didn't have those local contacts, but before I left Melbourne, I had linked in with an agency over there that was looking for subcontractors. And I've been with that agency for the last 12 months and that's working really well. So I get referrals from them. I also do a lot of EAP work Employee Assistance Program work, which often is really tough because that's people just, something's going wrong at work and they phone the service up, and the delivery is meant to be virtually immediately. So you're often getting people in a really anxious crisis point. Yeah. But that's very challenging, but yeah, I enjoy both forms of work. Yeah.

Megan Walker: Mm. Oh, wonderful. Everyone's lucky to have you doing that, Mark. Absolutely. But thinking about this, I'm wondering, the scaling, how you reach more people. So tell us what you're working on at present.

Mark Lockyer: Well, I was trying to do my own Facebook and social media promotional stuff, Google ads. And if you look at my Facebook page, I've got probably 20 groups or 20 different personas that I've formed over the years, the Mindful Guru and goodness knows what else. And I just thought, I get really excited and put a lot of energy into creating a new page and putting out some posts and you don't get the amount of likes that you want. And then, I just get dejected and just give up. So that's when I thought I really have to go to the next level and look for someone that does this professionally, that can support me. And that's when I came across you, and I thought, right, I've just got to do this.

Megan Walker: And what is it that you're wanting to achieve? If we do the old five years from now, what do you hope your products and services might look like different to what they are now?

Mark Lockyer: Well, already on this journey with you, and I would have to say the biggest benefit of joining the course that you run, is just the fact that I did something.

Megan Walker: Yes. I've started.

Mark Lockyer: I've started. So it's like, I've got to continue with it, but the course, I've been deliberating over that. What course am I going to deliver? And I must admit that I have sidetracked a bit, just over the last week. We were talking about this last week, I think. I came across Stu-

Megan Walker: McLaren. Yes. His work is brilliant.

Mark Lockyer: And I did think to myself, I think I want to go on membership base because I want this to be long term. I originally started out practicing Acceptance Commitment Therapy, which I really enjoy, and that has a really strong mindfulness component. But what I found is I've just got right into the mindfulness, and I use the acceptance commitment process as a scaffold for delivering that. So that guides me, but primarily it's mindfulness. And I found in my own life, mindfulness has dramatically changed my life. One from a really depressed person to one that can now see the depression and keep it at bay through mindfulness and other activities. But it's a long journey.

So, I thought to myself courses would be great, but I think what I want to focus on at the moment is trying to get people into a membership so that we build community and I can guide them long term. That would be my ultimate aim. So in five years' time, it'd be great if I had a couple of thousand members that had been along for the journey and we built a community and we feed off each other and I develop courses, that sort of thing. Yeah.

Megan Walker: I love that. That's a really popular model that a lot of course creators, particularly in the States, and we do tend to follow what's the trends happening over there. And I've been looking at different machinations and some will have consulting. So in your situation it would be perhaps telehealth. So we'd have the one on one. And then like you're saying the membership, the people who want the ongoing, and it's a really nice stepped way for the consumer's journey and the client's journey. Oh yes. I'm getting these problems solved direct. Now I'm going deeper in a course. And now I'm actually going to get into some level of accomplishment with this and embed change long term. So it's a great customer journey.

But for you as a practice, it means you're only selling potentially, two or three hours a day. You're reaching a whole group of people at mass in the course, and then one to many in a membership. So scale is unlimited. I suppose it just comes back to how many people you feel like you can still do justice to. But that to me, is so exciting as an opportunity compared with, well, I can see six people on a Monday. I can see five on a Tuesday. Now, hang on Wednesday I'm exhausted. Thursday I'll do two. Friday I've got to do all my reports.

Mark Lockyer: Yeah. Yeah. And I think the membership model as well, or anything that's lower cost than direct practice, because it's upward of nearly a couple of hundred dollars every time someone wants to see you and that can't go on forever. And so you start to get into some good work and the Medicare rebates run out and people disappear.

Megan Walker: Yeah, good point. So how can they keep accessing you, but affordably? And that's where you can start to share that pay load, for want of a different term, with others. They're sharing the session in a way aren't they, sharing the cost?

Mark Lockyer: Yes.

Megan Walker: Oh, how exciting. And so tell me, what have you learned? Oh, excuse my croaky throat. What have you learned along the way in switching your head, which is not a small feat from going, this is the way I've always done it to hang on, this is the way I could be doing it? What have you learned in that process for yourself and that you think would be useful for other people who are considering this journey as well?

Mark Lockyer: I mean, the thing for me is I've always considered myself a bit of an entrepreneur, within limits, within the field that I operate from. But what I have found is how my professional background does impact my almost limited ability to be entrepreneurial. So that then leads me to say, the biggest dilemma I've had is what persona do I want to give off, through these courses and membership. We were just talking about Stu, and not that this is about promoting his stuff, but you know what he's like. He's like, "Hi, everybody, come along, we've got this for you." And it's like, do I want to be like that, or do I want to be somewhere in the middle? What image do I want to be giving off? I certainly don't want to be a, hello, I'm a mental health professional. Welcome along.

Megan Walker: Button you up.

Mark Lockyer: You've got to have some sort of personality that's going to attract people. So, honestly, I have found that a bit of a dilemma in terms of my image. Yeah.

Megan Walker: That's really interesting you should say that. The first couple of years I was in business, I remember feeling completely exposed and vulnerable, like I was naked in Queen Street. It just felt like every decision was raw and exposed. There was no team. There was no buffer. It was, this is Megan Walker and her ideas and what she's come up with for all the world to attack like a pack of ferocious dogs.

Mark Lockyer: Yes.

Megan Walker: And it's a really tough thing to get your head around. And I know I used to wear black when I worked in hospitals. That's a good look. And in medical research, I would always wear black because we're corporate. We're very serious. You don't muck around and you don't laugh. You don't wear color. And it took me this two years to emerge like this rainbow of, hey, I love colour, and I love laughing. And so I do hear what you're saying, Mark. And I can only share that through doing mindfulness myself and going on that journey of going, well, you know what? Stuff it. This is me. I say weird things now and then. I'm quite quirky. I have a really odd, random sense of humor. Sometimes I've got to be careful when that comes out, but I just figure with doing this work, there is a sense of exposure, but there's also a sense of, well, take it or leave it.

Mark Lockyer: Yes, yes.

Megan Walker: And if you don't like what you see, then don't look.

Mark Lockyer: And look, I'm certainly sure that everybody that does your course will get something different depending on where we are on our journey. And that's certainly one thing that I've picked up that you've mentioned a few times is, if you're doing a podcast, if you're doing a video and you stuff up and there's lots of errs and ums, or you cough or something, just leave it in there. It makes you natural. It makes you human. And I think that could be a stumbling block for a lot of people. It's like, "Oh, I just stuffed up. I forgot what I was going to say. I've got to do it all again. It's all too hard. I won't." Yeah. So yeah, that naturalness and especially in today's world where people just hold a phone, don't they? While they're at the traffic lights and go, "Oh, hi everybody. I just thought I'd mention this."

Megan Walker: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. It's just that real journey of tapping into your true self and knowing your gifts, Mark. And that's what I think, your persona already, you're so warm. You're so caring. You're so interesting. You love a good laugh. I think show more of that. That is the persona to bring out.

Mark Lockyer: Yes. And my social media stuff at the background is just ticking along, but it's like, I do a post and then every now and then I go, no, I've got to inject my personality. Maybe that's more just like spontaneous video stuff, and so that's taken a while, to get used to looking at this.

Megan Walker: Yes. On camera.

Mark Lockyer: Play the video back. Why do I keep doing that with my eyes? But it's all okay.

Megan Walker: Mark and I were talking before we did the interview about a wallaby that pooped in a very delicate place, outside his front door. I mean, I would turn that into a video and go when life delivers you, the proverbial, what are you going to do about it?

Mark Lockyer: Yeah.

Megan Walker: That's a mindful moment, isn't it? Mindful teaching moment. Tell me, what-

Mark Lockyer:   Are you going to keep going around it? Or are you going to do something about that poop?

Megan Walker: Yeah. Life as a metaphor. And tell me, so the persona's one thing. What else have you learned along the way in your butterfly transformation?

Mark Lockyer: Look, I've definitely learnt, and there's no way that you said. "Mark, can you promote my business?" But I feel it's like being with you and also joining Stu's group. It's very much, I did have that lack of confidence in the sense that I'm trying to promote mindfulness and there is so much stuff out there. You think, why would somebody come to me? But as you have said, and as Stu has said, that's actually a benefit because people just get overwhelmed. So people do want to go to someone like you and a professional like me that will put together a program to say, "Can you please guide me? You seem to know what you're talking about. There's this plethora of free stuff out there, but I just get overwhelmed with it. I just need someone like you to guide me." So, definitely, that's giving me a lot of confidence. Yeah.

Megan Walker: Oh good. Yeah. I find the same thing. The journey for me, in the six months that I've tried to go it alone, I felt very lonely. And I think having a guide, just someone who's gone a few steps ahead, saves time. "Don't do that, do this. Stay focused, stay motivated." All of those things where otherwise we'll just go, ah, too hard, procrastinate.

Mark Lockyer: Keep it simple, as you promote. Keep it simple. You did look at my webpage and I've got that 55 page ebook on mindfulness. And a few people have said, "Mark, scale it down."

Megan Walker: Hose it down a bit.

Mark Lockyer: Yeah, it is. It's about keeping it simple. And that's like a breath of fresh air as well. So these sort of things are giving me confidence. So before I joined your group, it was more, I've got so much knowledge. I've got so much information, but I'm just overwhelmed. How do I present it? Yeah.

Megan Walker: Yes. Good. And any final advice for anyone listening who's thinking, "Mm, I think I've got an online course in this brain and I don't want to keep working, selling time." What would you say to others who are listening?

Mark Lockyer: I would say, well, number one, if you're passionate about it, I think that's just so important. Just don't put together a course because it seems to be the thing to do. If you're really passionate about what you want to put into the course and to get it going, then definitely do it. But yeah, get guidance from someone like you or a program that's going to help you, because you have your fortnightly meetings. It's a six month course. It's like, I've paid for it. So I might as well show up. And it feels like there is that obligation. It does feel like someone's pushing me every fortnight to say, "Come on, come on." So, that is definitely helping. Even as I'm talking to you now, I realise how much I have learned.

Megan Walker: Oh, good. I'm so glad. And to close this off, Mark, when life gives us wallaby poo on the front step, what do we do with that? Give us the guru's advice from the mindfulness perspective.

Mark Lockyer: Well, look, remember to look up. Occasionally, if you tread in that poo, that's okay. Because if you keep looking down, looking for the poo, you're going to miss the beautiful blue sky. So it's okay to make some mistakes along the way.

Megan Walker: Oh, you're so wise. I love that. Thank you so much for talking to me. That's been very motivating and insightful and yeah, really encouraging for others who are listening. So thanks, Mark.

Mark Lockyer: Thanks very much, Megan.


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