How Melissa Bauknight Earned $25,000 from Her First Course Launch Helping Women in Business

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  • Who: Melissa Bauknight
  • Website:
  • Course Topic: Women in Business
  • Interesting Stats: First launch was $25,000

Who are you and what course have you created?

The course I created is called The Bridge.

What market does your online course serve?

My online course is for the ambitious woman who’s ready to embody her purpose in her own authentic way. She knows she’s made for more and that it’s time to thrive not just survive as a high-achieving woman. She’s ready to break free of the expectations that have bound her and unleash her feminine power!

What’s the biggest benefit of taking your course?

When they complete the course, the women believe in themselves and what’s possible for their future more than they ever have before in their lives. I help them trust themselves deeply and find clarity and belief in their deepest desires.

How did you get into the market?

I packaged up my own personal and professional growth journey – I do what is commonly done, I created the exact thing that I needed! The idea started 7 years ago in a personal growth workshop where I made my unconscious desire, to help every woman know her voice, conscious by speaking it into existence. From that point on, I have been unapologetically committed to my healing and self-discovery and I use my journey as my inspiration to guide other women to reconnect with themselves and create meaningful work.

Why did you decide to create an online course in the first place?

I know I’m here to leave a legacy and one way to do that on a broad scale is to create an online course. My goal is to reach over 1 million women shifting the collective consciousness to value women and our innate feminine wisdom!

Melissa Bauknight's site

Did you have any moments of doubt before you created/launched it?

Ha! All. The. Time. I’m human after all! I am a living example of my body of work and I don’t believe that our “not-enoughness” voice ever completely disappears. I believe that we get the tools to understand where it’s coming from, question its validity, and choose another belief about ourselves. That’s what I do on repeat.

I have a clear vision of where I’m headed, trust myself to deliver, and use neuroplasticity to rewire my brain to build a life by my own design.

It’s taken an immense amount of belief, resilience, support, and community to keep me moving forward.

What’s your online course like?

It’s a combination of video training with a corresponding PDF curriculum along with weekly live calls and guest masterclasses.

How long did it take you to create your course?

This is a little hard for me to quantify because it’s been a behind-the-scenes iterative process for years. I enrolled in Amy Porterfield’s Digital Course Academy YEARS before I was ready to create a course but that was my first exposure to digital courses.

When I finally decided it was time to launch this was my process.

  1. I hired a business coach, Amy Yamada, who specializes in high ticket coaches
  2. I created a rough outline of what the benefits were going to be to my client
  • Who will they become as a result
  • What problems are they currently having
  • Why are they searching for you
  • What will have them feel the “yes I found what I’ve been looking for” feeling
  • How will they feel after
  • What breakthroughs will they receive

Here’s what I did …

  1. I did a massive brain dump of my entire process of getting to where I was in my life and organized that into themes
  2. In that brain dump, I wrote down every coach, program, modality, experience, that I learned from.
  3. I did an outline of the logistics (what’s included / what do they receive)
  4. I created the description
  5. And then I sold into it with an outline and created the content as I went based on my intuition, feedback from my participants, guidance from spirit, and my creativity.

It was a wildly in-flow process like none other I’ve experienced in my life. I used to be the type of person who had to figure out everything ahead of time. This time I was going to do it a new way! A way that embodied my teachings.

Tell us a little about the process of launching your course and getting your first sale(s).

I created a webinar called Take the Leap first followed by a summit called Create Your Ripple – Embrace your feminine power to design a life and business you love. Then I did a few more live workshops and created and ran two 4 week-long programs to make sure that I truly enjoyed this type of work.

Since it was a resounding hell yes in my body to go for it, I did an invite-only enrollment to my course consisting of my existing 1-on-1 coaching clients, close personal friends, and referrals. I filled out my program without even having to post or send an email about it. It felt so aligned and easeful!

Do you have a lead magnet?

I am in the process of refining my lead magnet to be an “Unblock to Unleash” quiz which will be a comprehensive guide to help them identify their core block and guide them on how to unleash themselves from it so that they can live a life that’s truly theirs.

Melissa Bauknight's site

What’s the traffic strategy that works best for you?

At the start, I relied heavily on my existing network and referrals. These were people who already rated me high on the know, like, and trust scale and knew my story and journey more personally. This network was created from people from my 15 years in corporate sales, local networking and collaboration, participating in lots of coaching and business development programs, my large direct sales team, running webinars and masterclasses, and showing up consistently on Facebook and Instagram.

I then decided to hire a marketing firm to scale more sustainably and strategically in the online space because I believe that “what got me here won’t get me there”. - Melissa Bauknight Click To Tweet

We are currently in the process of refining my customer journey and sales funnel.

What online course platform are you using?

I’m using Kajabi.

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  • Price Range: $149 to $399/month
  • Most Popular Plan: Growth Plan at $199/month
  • Annual Discount: Yes, take 20% off!
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Do you like it?

Yes, I find it to be highly intuitive and user-friendly.

Are there any features you wish it had?

So far I am satisfied with it.

What made you decide to use your chosen platform over others?

I asked my network what they use and it was the primary platform I experienced as a participant in several personal and professional growth programs with other coaches. I got familiar with the user experience first and then decided to try it as a course creator.

What other tools do you use to run your online course business?

I use Calendly, Asana, Slack, Wave Bookkeeping, Voxer, Vimeo, Zoom, and Project Broadcast.

What books or training programs have you found useful on your journey to a successful business owner that others might find valuable too?

I tend to gravitate to books that help with the mindset of running a successful business, ones that focus on honoring yourself, listening to your intuition, and navigating burnout and stress. Here are a few that I recommend: Burnout, Essentialism, Untamed, Dare to Lead, Do Less, and Go-Givers Sell More.

Do you have any big mistakes you’ve made along the way that you’d be willing to share?

I prefer the language of learning opportunities rather than mistakes and I have more than I can count. - Melissa Bauknight Click To Tweet

I believe wholeheartedly that each one of them had to happen for me to learn the lessons that I needed to run my business – after all life and business are all about the journey rather than the destination. If you aren’t making “mistakes” then you likely aren’t showing up!

The biggest one is not trusting myself and relying on other people’s opinions vs my gut instinct. It takes time to develop trust in yourself and it’s the most beneficial business skill you can acquire. I have found that any time I chose to go against my inner knowing, it always results in me feeling like I made a mistake.

Please share some idea of revenue.

I find it relatable when a coach says “make $200k your first year” so I’m here to share my authentic experience. Since I didn’t already have a huge network and email list primed to buy, my growth has been slower.  I also invest heavily in myself and back into my business because I believe we should be supported and have a strong foundation of self to grow a business that we love. In my first year, I generated $50,000 in revenue and my first launch was $25,000. Since I’m learning how to scale and implementing an evergreen course, in my second year I’m projecting over $200,000 (This is revenue NOT profit to be clear).

Please tell us a little about what the money you’ve earned from your course has done for you.

I initially wanted to share about the material things that the money I have earned has allowed me to have and do … and then I sat with that and quickly realized it’s not about that. Having an income from this business has helped me believe in myself on a level I never knew possible. It’s allowed me to feel incredibly proud of myself for doing a business that makes a huge difference in other people’s lives AND honors the lifestyle I desire to live. This money has shown me I CAN build a business with intention and alignment and I can teach others to do the same. For me it’s never about the material items, it’s about the way the money makes me feel and how I can use my experience of generating it to pay it forward.

In addition to revenue are there any numbers you would like to share?

At the first summit I did, I interviewed 25 women and was able to grow my email list by 350 subscribers. My goal was to add 3,000 people to my list and because I didn’t require my participants to have 5,000 people on their email list, I fell short of my goal. I was still so grateful for each of the 350 and learned a lot about how to run a successful summit.

I also started a local meet-up group to connect with other women who are looking to grow a business in a more feminine informed way and grew that to 100 people within the first month and it keeps growing each month organically!

Melissa Bauknight's site

What has creating your course done for you personally?

Creating my course has shown me that I get to fully honor myself and my process and do not have to do business anybody else’s way. It’s helped me trust my intuition, honor my creativity, believe in myself, and feel an immense amount of pride. I truly feel like I can do anything – especially when it feels hard or my doubts start creeping in. I can draw on this experience and remember that I am beyond capable of great things and that I can learn as I go. It’s also helped me let go of attachment to outcomes, the need to be perfect, and the belief that I can help women achieve tremendous results!

Do you have a story of a transformation from any of your clients?

“Life before Breaking Free felt intense, chaotic, and like a daily hamster wheel. I felt reactive, emotionally fried and like my nervous system could never settle. I was drinking too much to “decompress”, angry with my husband and kids’ demands on me, and quick to think negatively.

During and since working with Melissa, life has dramatically shifted in that I now have tools to slow down, calm my nervous system, and care for myself. I see myself as a priority and have learned how to set clear boundaries, letting go of pressures and feel into my body as to what’s right for me.

Now I live in an authentic version of myself, and have so much grace and patience for myself. I strive for ease in my days, and when I feel resistance, I step back. Incredibly counterintuitive for how I’ve lived my years, and it’s the most peace I’ve felt in years.” 3 months after she completed the course she sent me a message that it’s continued to make a huge positive impact on her life. Since then she’s gone on to get a promotion, double her pay, and her marriage is in the best place it’s ever been.

It’s hard to put into words what this means to me because it’s so meaningful. It’s truly the greatest honor in my life to guide a woman to discovering her own happiness and confidence. She is thriving because she was willing to go deep with me, slow down in her life and clear out all the noise, and really listen to her own inner wisdom. She’s making choices from a completely new space, one that isn’t from a place of not enough or scarcity, and it’s changing EVERYTHING. My heart feels like it’s going to explode out of my body every time I get a message like this. I often wonder to myself “how am I so lucky that I get to do work like this?”. I’m crying just thinking about it now.

What advice do you have for people just starting out?

1. Learn to manage your thoughts:

Being an entrepreneur is an emotional rollercoaster and isn’t for the faint of heart. When I began, I had no idea what it took to start, run, and scale a company. I have had more moments of extreme joy and equal numbers of tears as I’ve navigated entrepreneurship. It’s the most profound personal growth journey you’ll ever go on!

If you can begin to notice your thoughts, question them, and replace them with more empowering ones, that will even out the volatility and self-inflicted stress that can result from the rollercoaster. - Melissa Bauknight Click To Tweet

2. Hire people early.

One of my favorite sayings is “just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should”. When you start a business you get to wear A LOT of hats. As a business coach, I have been the head of marketing, sales, operations, finance, and anything everything else you can think of. When I hired my first virtual assistant it was both terrifying and a breath of fresh air. Now I have one that works full time for me and a marketing agency supporting my strategy and implementation. I’m never fully ready when I hire someone but it’s what keeps me running my business with excitement and joy rather than overwhelm and exhaustion. Hire someone to get you out of your business and into your zone of genius before you feel ready.

3. Don’t sacrifice yourself.

If I could shout this from the rooftops every second of my life I would…well I kind of do in my business lol. If you value joy, ease, and happiness, you have got to prioritize yourself and your own needs. You can’t take care of everyone besides yourself. You can be proactive about this or you will find out the hard way. It takes intention to ensure you don’t work yourself into exhaustion. I highly suggest doing blocking blank space every day for creativity, spontaneity, and nothingness. I also recommend doing something loving for yourself daily as a non-negotiable.

4. Success will not happen overnight.

When we look at other people and their success, there tends to be this immediate bizarre idea that it happened overnight or it was somehow easy for them. I have yet to see that be true. Great things take time and so will your idea. I like to compare bringing an idea to life like birth. It needs time and space to grow and develop and a lot of the process is outside of your control. Don’t force or push. Be patient and give your creativity time to breathe otherwise you’ll stifle it.

5. Trust and believe on repeat.

Let go of the idea that you have to or that you can control everything. That is a fast pass to anxiety. As someone who personally lived with anxiety for decades, I realize that letting go of the grip takes time and intentionality. I know that might be triggering for some but control is toxic. Elizabeth Gilbert says “You’re afraid to surrender because you don’t want to lose control, but you never had control all you had was anxiety”. Learning to trust yourself, that the path will continue to reveal itself, and that you’ve got what it takes to stick with it through the hard times are paramount to you finding success in your way. Remember success isn’t all about objective outcomes. Consider that how it feels is more important than what’s accomplished!

Learn more about Melissa Bauknight of

Lisa Parmley
Lisa Parmley

Lisa Parmley is the founder of After gaining a Master's degree, she worked in research for about seven years. She started a training company in 2001, offering a course helping people pass a professional exam. That course has earned multiple 7 figures. She created SEO and authority site building training around 2007 which went on to earn well into the 6-figure mark.

She has 22+ years of experience in the trenches creating and selling online courses. Get help starting and growing your online course business here.

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