Fusion Biz Co. Founder, Ashley Matkovic shares the full story behind the decision change the Fusion membership from recurring subscription based to one-off joining fee in August 2021. In her own words…
NOTE: I share this story of one of my darker moments not for sympathy, but in an attempt to lift the veil of the “highlight reel” and show you that mindset battles are real for everyone and f*cking tough – especially for us brave business owners!
I know that it helps me to hear what others go through, so if you’re having a tough time at the moment, please know I’ve been where you are, and lighter days are coming your way. Sending love and light ☀️
“Lately every transformational story starts with “…and then COVID hit”
And this one is no different 😉
So the big C hit and I was in denial for a good few months.
“It won’t hit little ol Perth. It’s just another swine flu.”
*insert every denial under the sun*
And then it came.. the first event we had to postpone, then another, then another.
Then the member cancellations, seeing our community suffer through some of the toughest times in business and not being able to be there to support them just because funds were tight was heartbreaking.
It didn’t feel right, and was completely misaligned with our values of community and authenticity.
We call this a family, we are the Fusion fam.
And we couldn’t support our family members at a time when they needed to stay connected more than ever.
Everything felt hard.
The shower crying sessions were ON 😭
To be honest, it started to feel like I was pushing sh*t up hill.
I’m a big believer that if you’re not in alignment then the universe will give you a whisper, then nudge, then a kick!
Life was definitely starting to give me a boot up the ass that’s for sure.
Nothing I did felt completely aligned, and I started to lose my drive.
And I know for a fact that when the energy isn’t there, your customers can intuitively feel this. Energy doesn’t lie.
I was on a one track road to burnout-ville and I was so IN it that I couldn’t see a way to fix it.
I had 300+ amazing people paying me to deliver this service that was no longer in alignment with my values of connection, growth and authenticity.
I stopped marketing the membership, and knew something had to change. But what? How?
So what did I do?
I gave myself permission to take a 5 day break.
I completely stepped out of the business for 5 full days, no emails, no social media. Nothing but me, my family, sun, mocktails and Hamilton Island.
I’d never taken this long off the business since I started it 7 years ago.. not even when Kyla was born!
I hoped that if I gave myself a proper break an epiphany would drop in.
I kept waiting for it, watching the sunset over the ocean, watching my little girl so happy playing with her daddy in the pool, reading the first fiction book I’d read in years, and sleeping… A LOT.
But nothing.. crickets.
I was so burnt out that I could not squeeze even an ounce of creative juice.
And normally holidays are SO inspiring for me. Entrepreneurial ideas usually flow to me left right and centre when I take a break!
Not this time 🙅🏻♀️
I got home, and opened my emails on my first day back, and the very first email read:
“Member Cancellation: I expected more”
And as I read that email, it hit me.
Through the shock and sadness (and I’ll admit it: shame)… finally my epiphany moment!
And a glimmer of hope ✨
I am so thankful for that email “Member Cancellation: I expected more”
As hard as it was to read, it was the catalyst for my epiphany.
If you’re having a difficult time at the moment, I urge you to look for the silver lining or potential opportunity in it all.
A wave of inspiration washed over me so powerful that I grabbed my whiteboard and sat on the floor of my office.
I quite literally went back to the drawing board!
I closed the membership for new enrolments, and got to work redesigning my business model from a place of complete value alignment.
I suspended all fear, all people pleasing, and all limiting beliefs – just for a few hours. To get it all out of my head and into potentiality.
It became clear to me that if I could dig deep to find the courage to pivot, my first baby, Fusion Biz Co. had the potential to serve business owners in a much deeper way.
1. Offer a unique networking platform for business owners of all different stages – from side hustlers, start-ups, scaling, and CEO’s.
2. And on a more personal level – to answer the calling I had to go deeper with my life’s purpose of bringing more meaningful connection into the world.
The idea was to make the current Fusion Membership a FREE offering so that we could curate a stronger overall community – a true family and “entrepreneurial home” for those courageous enough to ride the entrepreneurial roller coaster.
But this is a business after all, I am not running a charity.
I am also not ashamed to say I have a big vision for Fusion – impact AND profit-wise.
So the idea was born to offer a brand new all-inclusive intimate networking experience, called the CORE Business Club – a movement of businesswomen ready to invest in their network to create more success, opportunities and business and personal growth.
I ruminated on this idea for weeks.
And as every day passed I could feel my energy returning.
My spark was back, BABY! 💥
I could also feel the doubt and fear just as strong – the polarity of it was overwhelming.
I took advice from my coaches, and close friends in business.
I listened to so many people tell me I’m crazy.
Their faces said it all 😳
“Why would you wipe out this recurring revenue stream, something you’ve spent almost 5 years building?”
But I have always steered this ship from a place of intuition.
And my heart was SCREAMING that this was the right move.
So even though:
1. the new service offering wasn’t proven yet,
2. people told me not to,
3. my anxiety was through the roof
I went ahead and announced in our member Facebook group on Wed 9th June that they would no longer have to pay a subscription to be part of the Fusion community.
Then I went and bawled my eyes out to Hubs 😭
“Have I just completely f*cked my business?”
A funny thing happened once I announced that the Fusion membership was going free.
It kicked off a whole new wave of emotions and hard-earned lessons.
I felt immense relief that the decision was final, and I couldn’t go back on it now it had been announced.
And I felt excited for the potential of this new way forward.
But the same time, I felt anxious and heavy, like I’d somehow let my community down 🥵
This was reflected back to me through people’s thoughts and opinions.
BIG LESSON HERE: you can never make everyone happy… even with a free service offering 😉
Over the next few weeks I had many conversations with members – some super excited, some not so much, and others indifferent!
But through it all, one thing became clear…
People loved the high vibe community we’ve spent years creating together at Fusion, and the main concern was protecting that.
Another free business group was not what anyone needed 🙅🏻♀️
So I settled on having a one-off investment for new members to gain access to our high quality community.
Which would allow us to maintain the integrity for current members, and ensure we keep the Fusion vibe high, and continue to cultivate a quality community of committed business owners.
So on 13th August, Fusion reopened for new members to join at a one-off investment of $349 – and introduced a new member meet & greet event series to ease our new members in to the Fusion way of networking 👇
So we now had the Fusion community, which would continue to deliver the warm Fusion experience, providing:
👯♀️ Connection and inspiration on tap
⚡️ Fun, high-vibe and welcoming networking events
💖 A highly engaged Facebook group to connect with hundreds of female entrepreneurs in WA who were also investing in themselves.
And I also launched the beta round of the CORE Business Club in that time, opening only to current Fusion members.
And all 30 spots SOLD OUT in the first couple of weeks!
I built our values into the program and even the name CORE: Connection, Opportunity, Relationships, Expansion – so we could always stay aligned to what we stand for.
We are two months in to the beta round of CORE Business Club, and the women who have said YES to that opportunity are absolutely incredible 🤩
We will kick off a new round in November, so if you’re looking for more of a high level networking experience to grow your business and yourself, through the power of connection, leverage, peer mentorship and accountability – then you can check out the CORE Business Club here.
So there you have it!
The rollercoaster story of my decision to change the Fusion membership from subscription based to one-off joining fee.
I feel so aligned with this new way forward, and fully believe Fusion Biz Co. is now better set-up to support business owners achieve their visions.
Because YOU are the ones who will change the world for the better, and you can’t do it all alone.
Thank you for reading my story!
I invite you to come join the Fusion fam, we can’t wait to welcome you with open arms and support you on your business journey.
Love Ash x