Successfully Self-Employed


Everything you need in five months to create the business and life of your dreams.

Now enrolling for Fall cohort-- begins September 14th

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You’re self-employed because you’ve chosen the freedom and exhilaration of sharing your unique gifts with the world -- on your terms.

You’re self-motivated because it’s your courage and drive that took your passion from an idea to a viable and impactful business.

And you’re self-taught because, well, there just isn’t anything out there that combines practical tools and methods with the dynamic support of a like-minded community.

At least there wasn’t.

I’m Jeffrey Shaw, Founder of Self-Employed Business Institute. I’ve been self-employed since the age of 14 when I started a surprisingly lucrative venture selling eggs door-to-door. It wasn’t glamorous, but it was mine. It spelled freedom, self-determination, and the opportunity to stretch myself.

Flash forward a few decades, and the thrill of being self-employed still motivates me. I never did end up having a traditional job, and I’ve never gotten a paycheck from an employer. Instead, I charted my own course, becoming a renowned portrait photographer, a speaker, a small business coach, a podcast host, and an author.






Along the way, I’ve met, interviewed, and coached an incredibly diverse array of self-employed business owners whose talent and vision take my breath away.

But I’ve also encountered something that absolutely drives me crazy:

For far too many people, being self-employed means figuring out
this fantastic journey all on your own.

Yet you still wouldn’t change a thing, or trade the opportunity to chart your own course for the predictability of a 9-5 working for someone else. But it’s not quite as clear a path forward as you thought it would be. And it feels like you have to do it on your own because historically, you have. Self-employed business education simply didn’t exist.

Oh, don’t get me wrong. There are piecemeal trainings on isolated topics, but there hasn’t been anything comprehensive and specifically designed to marry coaching, business strategy, and community– let alone in a way that gives you immediate benefit as a student and lasting benefit as an alum.

Add to that our notorious aversion to asking for help, and it’s no wonder so many self-employed business owners are still working to close the gap between their passion for what they do and their full potential for joy and success.

The Self-Employed Business Institute
is turning that model upside down.

Or rightside up -- because this is an idea whose time has come. To finally have access to high-level business education specifically for self-employed business owners. At a time when the growth of self-employed businesses are at an all-time high.

For the first time, self-employed business owners have access to a unique program that combines coaching with business strategies tailored to their particular needs, challenges, and opportunities -- all within the context of a supportive and dynamic community.


This is business education for people with experience, ready to bring their vision and impact to a whole new level. Perhaps you’ve been on the self-employed journey for years, or perhaps you’ve just left your corporate job to do your own thing. Maybe you’re poised to pivot your offerings in a different direction, or are looking for a way to reinvigorate the business you’ve been growing for decades. The Self-Employed Business Institute is your opportunity to infuse what you’ve already honed in life and business with unprecedented support and clarity for exponential growth.

Here’s how it works:

The Self-Employed Business Institute offers a proven blend of group energy and support with individualized one-to-one coaching over a five-month learning and implementation experience that includes:

  • Two 90-minute live virtual classes per month – this is where you’ll receive the training that will take your self-employed business strategy to the next level, plus some highly specific topics and techniques that no one ever thinks to cover.


  • One 30-minute 1:1 coaching call per month – this is where you get a chance to ask specific questions and get customized advice to boost your ease, speed, and success in implementing what you’ve learned.

  • Two optional 60-minute live open coaching calls per monththis is where we take a coaching break together to explore a topic you’re working to implement, share successes, and brianstorm solutions.

  • One optional guest speaker or workshop per month – this is where we tap into the wisdom, creativity, and experience of some of the business world’s brightest luminaries for inspiration and practical advice to elevate and streamline your self-employed experience.


  • A supportive online community – this is where you get the camaraderie and creative conversation so often missing from the self-employed picture, and so critical to inspired growth. Being self-employed can be lonely!


  • Forever access to a dedicated online portal – this is where you get unlimited, lifetime access to all of our recordings and resources so that, whatever comes up in your business, you can always draw on the wisdom and support of the Institute and your community.


  • A comprehensive workbook – this is where, in one easy download at the beginning of the course, you get access to tools to work through the class material, brainstorm on paper or keypad, and develop your plans for bringing the lessons learned to life in your business.

There are two five-month cohorts per year: March-July and Sept-January. You are welcome to apply for either anytime of the year.

Tangible Results

  • 100% of students say they are completely clear on their why, their core message, and their brand message by the end of the program 

  • 100% of students say they are far clearer on their goals and direction by the end of the program

  • 90% of students say they experienced a significant mindset shift that will enable them to move forward in their business in a different way to get different results

A one-time investment for a lifetime of value:


What happens in the five months that you are a student of the Self-Employed Business Institute will transform your business – and your ability to enjoy it as you learn to thrive in the self-employed ecosystem that brings balance, clarity, and greater impact to your life and work.


But what happens after the five months of the program is just as remarkable. Your benefits as an alum of the Self-Employed Business Institute include:


  • Lifetime membership in a vibrant community of self-employed business leaders – you’ll always remain a member of our online community to come home to your virtual campus with its current students, fellow alumni, and continually growing body of knowledge and inspiration.


  • Unlimited opportunities to take a “silent seat” – join any (or every!) live training session from future cohorts as a silent observer, dropping in to brush up on a relevant topic or update your learning with the most current techniques in business strategy and marketing.

  • Unlimited participation in Coaching Break calls – imagine always having a place to go for support! Have a question about how to implement an idea years down the road? Join one of our twice monthly coaching breaks and get real-time support whenever you need it.

  • Forever access to a dedicated online portal – you’ll have unlimited, lifetime access to all of your recordings and resources so that, whatever comes up in your business, you can always draw on the wisdom and support of the Institute and your community.

  • Continued learning – join in on all future guest speaker sessions and workshops from future cohorts to continue to broaden your skill set and be introduced to new business leaders.


Why the Self-Employed Business Institute,
and why now?

There’s a tricky little irony here. As self-employed business owners, we went into business for ourselves because we wanted to control our own destiny and forge our own path forward. But here’s the hitch: there are things we can’t control.

We can’t control world events.

We can’t control the ups and downs of the economy.

We can’t control shifts in consumer habits or the business landscape.

What we can control is the environment we set up for the results we want. And when we do that, we set the stage to meet our goals with greater ease.

I founded The Self-Employed Business Institute to teach self-employed business owners the strategies to gain the control over their business and life that they always wanted. And it starts with understanding the Self-Employed Ecosystem.

If it sounds unusual to think of your business in terms of an ecosystem, that’s because it is. As self-employed business owners, we have always been asked to fit our experience into the mold that works for the rest of the world -- you know, the one where the goal is “work-life balance,” and where phrases like “it’s not personal, it’s just business,” make sense.

But unlike the rest of the world, we don’t get to leave our business at the office and go home to a separate personal life. For us, business is personal. And that’s why I call it an ecosystem.

Understanding the Self-Employed Ecosystem empowers us to see our unique experience as self-employed business owners as a holistic blend of personal development, business strategy, and daily habits. And It’s only within this framework that the methods, strategies, and techniques take on a whole new level of meaning and actually work.

But it’s not enough to just be given information. To achieve the real results and change we’re looking for, we need guidance, accountability and support.

One to one coaching and the synergy of community aren’t typically experiences we associate with being self-employed, but they are game changers. You know how far you’ve come on your own… imagine how far you can go with the support of a coach who is disproportionately passionate about your success, and the safe space and creative energy of a group that shares your drive and your dreams.

All the things you wish you knew when you started your business…

The Self-Employed Business Institute is designed to give you the insights, knowledge, strategies, and tools you wish you had when you were starting out. Think of it as a series of masterclasses, full of practical wisdom, actionable techniques, and a whole lot of a-ha moments where things just fall into place.

Our curriculum delivers results by guiding business owners to recognize, embrace, and shape their self-employed ecosystem, one step at a time.

We start off with the inner work:

  • Break through glass ceilings, limited thinking, and mindset blocks to clear the path to your next level of success.


  • Establish time-efficient and effective daily habits to create steadiness, consistency, a firm foundation, and an inward flow of results and positivity.

From that foundation, we step into actionable business strategies:

  • Revolutionize and simplify your marketing with a comprehensive step-by-step system to turn strangers into leads, leads into customers, and customers into forever customers and referrals -- all in a way that feels exciting and authentic to you!


  • Ditch the idea of creating a “hook” -- instead, we’ll learn how to create a customized lead magnet that demonstrates your value, is highly desired by prospective customers, and builds a relationship.


  • Get 100% clear on the thing that gives you confidence and direction -- and that all your other marketing hangs on: your core brand message.


  • Re-evaluate your website to create a brand message and image that attracts your ideal customers -- and filters out the ones who aren’t your tribe.


  • Create diverse streams of income and a business model that keeps customers buying multiple services and products.


  • Build strategies to increase customer loyalty and make more money from those you already serve.


  • A complete system to market your business as a guest on podcasts.

Where could you be in five months?

It's been said the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now. Do you want to be in a different place five months from now? Or more importantly, do you want to look back and realize this was the best investment you ever made?

Instead of going at it alone, you can join a dynamic group of people who…

  • Understand the adventure and joy and questions and dreams that come with being self-employed.


  • Share your passion and can be a sounding board, creating a safe space for you to explore and discover and grow.


  • Learn from the nation’s leading authority for the self-employed, and be motivated to create the environment for the results they’ve always wanted.


  • Will take the journey with you, offering motivation, inspiration, and accountability.


Applications for Enrollment are now open.

By enrolling in the The Self-Employed Business Institute, you will:

  • Attend two 90-minute live training classes on the second and fourth Wednesday of each month from 1 pm to 2:30 pm ET.


  • Receive one 30-minute one-to-one coaching call EVERY month.

  • Benefit from two 60-minute live open coaching break calls as well as a guest speaker workshop every month.


  • Get direct access to your coach for guidance and support.


  • Gain support and feedback from a community of like-minded peers.


  • Be held accountable to be sure your goals are met.


  • Gain forever access to a dynamic alumni community with lifetime benefits, support, and learning opportunities.​

The entire investment for ten trainings, five one-to-one coaching calls, three guest speakers, two workshops, workbook, online community, and unlimited support over five months is $5000 paid in installments ($1000 enrollment fee; $800/mo for five months).



Meet the founder of the Self-Employed Business Institute.

Jeffrey Shaw is the nation’s leading authority for self-employed business owners. As a speaker and small business coach, Jeffrey helps self-employed and small business owners gain control of their business in what seems like otherwise uncontrollable circumstances.

Drawing on his experience as a renowned portrait photographer, Jeffrey shows business owners how to see business through a different lens and strategies to compose the often-chaotic pieces of life and business into sustainable success.

A sought-after keynote speaker whose TEDxLincolnSquare talk is featured on TED.com, Jeffrey brings his message to audiences through live and virtual presentations as well as through his books, 
The Self-Employed Life: Business and Personal Development Strategies That Create Sustainable Success and LINGO: Discover Your Ideal Customer’s Secret Language and Make Your Business Irresistible.

Jeffrey is the founder of the Voices of the Self-Employed advocacy group and The Self-Employed Business Institute and the creator of The Self-Employed Summit.