Jordan Gill is the founder of System Saved Me and the Done in a Day Program. Jordan helps burnt-out service providers replace their monthly retainers with VIP Days, a four-figure offering that leads your clients through a three to five-phase transformation in only one day.
I went through her program last year, making me one of the hundreds of students who have gathered in her amazing community to learn how to create and sell their first VIP Day.
“Everything I create is going to ultimately come down to bringing more presence into people’s lives.” – Jordan Gill
Highlights from the podcast episode:
[03:26] How Jordan became the go-to thought leader on VIP Days
I started my business back in 2016 and started doing what I saw everybody else doing (monthly retainers.) It’s like, okay, this is how you start an online business. But about five months in, I started experiencing burnout. It was scary because it made me question if I was even going to be able to be an entrepreneur. There are very specific things that I have to acknowledge and honor, one of them being my chronic illness. I have to manage how many hours I work and if I don’t, then I get sick.
So, I actually hired a sales consultant and she offered VIP days. I did one with her and it was awesome! I asked her how I could do them as an operations consultant and how much I could charge.
She said, “Well, what do you want to charge?” Joking, I said what I charged for my monthly retainers at the time which was $3,500. And she said great! After I got over my surprise, I figured, “The worst somebody can say is no.” But then again, other things bubble up when you think about charging that much for a day. For example, I am of mixed race. I’m biracial: I’m half Black and half white, but I definitely identify as a black woman and have experienced racism in all forms. Plus, VIP days were not a big thing then – especially for people of color. It was tough. I wondered, “Why would I be able to succeed and charge that much when, statistically speaking, women of color do not succeed at higher rates of business as our white counterparts?”
That fear started to settle in. “Am I really going to be the person that’s going to be able to make this happen?” It’s an inner battle. I really had to come to grips with my fear and give it a shot.
In December 2016, I sold my first VIP Day. And since the beginning of 2017, I haven’t had a monthly retainer since. I went all in on VIP days. After a while I wondered … “Wait, why isn’t everybody else doing this?” And here we are, six years later and I get to teach all about VIP Days!
[09:00] Cultivating values, culture, and community as a leader
Values are everything. Yet, when a lot of people start their business, they think “Whoever can pay me is who my client is.” We’ve all been there. I’m not saying that’s right or wrong.
It takes growing into your business to understand and dial into the values that are really important to you. Again, with my chronic illness, I’m very cognizant of the energy I’m in. I have to keep it top of mind. And I’ve been in rooms where my energy is drained so fast because it’s not a happy place for me … there’s a misalignment of values.
When I first started the Done in a Day program, I knew it had to be a safe place for the folks that I want to support. In order for that to happen, there had to be an application. And I understand that there are different pros and cons and feelings about applications because it feels very exclusive, or as if we’re making folks jump hurdles in order to join.
But that’s partially on purpose because my job as a leader is to protect the community, my team, and myself. If there are people who won’t be true community members (i.e. they’re stealing other peoples’ stuff) then I don’t want them in here. I want people who have a very giving spirit, who are respectful, and smart.
While you can’t always feel that out in the beginning, that does come down to the job we hold as CEO’s and leaders. That can be hard, right? Some business owners think, “Well, they’re paying me money. So, I don’t want to get rid of them.” They may not be willing or in a place to forego the profits to keep an amazing community intact … but I believe in abundance. I believe that there is absolutely more available to us than we think is possible. So, I am quick to get rid of individuals who are misaligned with our community. (Thankfully, it hasn’t happened very often.)
Every time we hire a coach, they’re surprised at how amazing our community is. They’re like “I’ve never been in a coaching program like this, where all the students are SO smart, brilliant, and kind. I love coaching there.” But honestly, if it wasn’t, I wouldn’t have continued doing this program!
Values really do start at the top. What does the leader value? Then, it trickles down to the team you build, and then the community you cultivate.
[14:16] Preventing the hamster wheel of burnout with VIP Days
Often, as entrepreneurs, we don’t immediately recognize that we’ve created past experiences [from corporate life.] It’s comfortable, or it’s what we just know. It’s what success looked like. So we think entrepreneurship must be that way, too.
But I don’t subscribe to the “have to/must” mentality. I don’t subscribe to the hustle and grind. I don’t subscribe to Team No Sleep and all of that. It’s really toxic. VIP days have built-in boundaries which is great for people who identify as people-pleasers or shapeshifters. You know, that tendency to say, “Of course, I can totally give you this by Monday!” But with VIP Days, everybody understands when it starts and when it stops. It’s very clear. And that clarity allows for both parties to feel aligned with expectations.
I’m very big on power dynamics. I want everything to be a win-win. I found that often with longer-term offers, there’s this power dynamic of like, “I am the client and you are the service provider, so you’re going to do things for me. You’re at my beck and call and your schedule doesn’t matter in any way.” But that’s gross. With VIP days, two experts can work together, and the power dynamics are win-win, not high-low. That also brings about a different type of clientele, where people are excited to come together for a day and collaborate. They honor the fact it’ll be done in a day.
[20:21] How to own your expertise and confidently offer VIP Days
The only difference between a VIP Day and your longer-term offer is a time constraint. You’ve already done this before and proven that you can. You’re just changing the time container and speeding up the offer. Don’t overcomplicate it or feel like you have to stuff everything you did in three months into one day.
I use this analogy of the All-You-Can-Eat buffet, where people think they have to eat as much as possible to get the value (even though you’re literally in the bathroom for hours afterward.) Or, you can go for the pre-fixe menu. Yes, the portions are smaller but there’s intentionality there. You leave satiated. You leave feeling really good, and you can point out the different things that you loved about that experience. But you can’t with the All-You-Can-Eat Buffet.
When it comes to expertise, it’s not all about shoving all your know-how into one VIP Day to justify the price. It truly shows how smart you are when you can reduce all of the friction and noise to create a concrete plan or path for your clients. It’s the unique framework that showcases your expertise.
[25:07] Building referral partner programs that sell your offer for you
I quickly realized, “Okay, I need to work smarter, not harder, with my marketing. It needs to be intentional.” I didn’t want to feel like I had to create content all the time, and I’m naturally pretty good at relationship building. I wanted to crack the code on referral partnerships.
A lot of people don’t get this right. They’re always asking for clients, and I did not want to be that person. I had to think very intentionally, “I do systems work. Where do clients go before me in their client journey?” Then I reached out to those people to ask, “How can I be the next step after you?”
So, I attach myself to the end result of people who come before me in the client journey. For example, as a systems consultant, the consultants who came before me were generally website designers, business coaches, and some marketing coaches.
Website designers would build their clients’ gorgeous websites that brought in leads, yet the business owner’s systems didn’t work. When the balls got dropped, they thought it was the website designers’ fault but actually, they had no systems to nurture those leads or even schedule a call. So, when I spoke to website designers, I shared how systems could make them and their clients look good in literally one day. I explained how we could build out their client relationship management system to create clear onboarding, management, and offboarding. That way, when the client brought in leads, they actually could convert into a sale. The website designers think that’s fantastic because that piece is not their zone of genius; they didn’t even want to think about that. So, they gladly send people to me, because I make them look good.
That’s how you build a referral partner relationship. You not only think about the benefits that you give to your clients, you also look at the benefits that you give the referral partner. That’s going to bring you way more clients than consistently just asking for clients, over and over.
[30:49] The most unique VIP Days Jordan has seen after 300+ students
So, one person’s expertise was in producing a song that helps folks who suffer from PTSD with their healing. And so, that’s what she does: all in one day. She has a call at the beginning of the day so the client can share their experience. They separate for a couple of hours, and she actually produces the music, the guitar, the piano, all the things. She knows the tones for different types of healing so as she hears their story, she can match it to the tones and melodies she knows will create a therapeutic experience for them. At the end of the day, they get back on a call, and she shares the finished song with them. Imagine the impact that she gets to have in one day!
[37:24] Jordan’s vision for the future world she’s creating
I am a “Quality Time” love language person, so I may be a little biased. But I am a big fan and proponent of being present. The world that we live in now lacks so much presence. There are so many distractions and noise.
Right now, I’m on this podcast interview so I don’t know what’s going on in Slack. I don’t know what’s going on with my phone. But it’s fine. I’ll get to it afterward, so I can be present here on this call, and experience presence together. Everything I create is going to ultimately come down to bringing more presence into people’s lives. And VIP days are a vehicle for that, of course.
Resources Jordan to imagine your VIP Day:
Take Jordan’s Quiz and find out which type of virtual VIP Day you should create.
Download the free roadmap to learn the 9 steps to VIP Day domination
Apply for Done in a Day to join the VIP Day Revolution
Connect with Jordan
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