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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.

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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 it all out on your own.

Actually, it’s even worse, because as any self-employed business owner will tell you, you even have to figure out what needs to be figured out. 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.

And there’s no shortage of advice out there, but for every helpful insight, there seem to be a dozen branding gurus offering recommendations that are either too general to be of any help, or are just plain bad, like asking someone to be different from who they truly are to better fit a mold or appeal to a wider audience.

Or shaming someone for not “hustling” enough.

Or suggesting solutions that work for the rest of the world, but don’t match the reality of self-employed life.

Add to that our notorious aversion to asking for help, and you’ve got a recipe for frustration, disappointment or, at the very least, a self-employed business owner whose full potential for joy and success remains unfulfilled.

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 business owners 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.

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.

  • Three evening classes with guest speakers -- Top-notch guest speakers are brought in to provide expertise on topics most needed for you.

  • Two special workshops -- in addition to scheduled trainings, there are two workshops on hot topics that will help you apply what you've learned like Productivity and Goal Setting. 


  • 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 workbook & downloads -- this is where you get 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.


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’d had 5, 10, or 20 years ago, 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.


  • Establish systems and habits to be highly productive, reduce overwhelm, and position yourself to naturally and continually be inviting in more business.


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

Our program ends with something fittingly unconventional: I’ve pulled together a number of highly specific skills and tactics you can leverage to market yourself. Usually, topics like these are their own programs, but as we know, the self-employed life doesn’t follow the usual script.

The point of the Self-Employed Business Institute is to give you what you actually need, so I’ll be guiding you through skill sets like:

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


  • An up-to-date and creative book launch strategy.


  • Best practices to promote your business on livestreams, YouTube, social media and content strategy.

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, March-July 2022.


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


  • Get direct access to me 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.


  • Expand the scope of what’s possible, setting the stage to reach your goals more easily and joyfully than ever before.

Each one of the trainings on its own is worth the entire investment to attend the Self-Employed Business Institute, let alone ten trainings. Plus one-to-one coaching for five months, community support, guest speakers, and workshops make this an exceptional value.

The entire investment for ten trainings, six 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).


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, 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.


Meet the founder of the Self-Employed Business Institute.


How do I know the Self-Employed Business Institute is for me?

The Self-Employed Business Institute is for you if you are a self-employed business owner who is ready to reap the benefits of a first-of-its-kind program bringing together personalized coaching, live classes, and community support -- all tailored to the unique needs and goals of the self-employed life.

I’m already established in my business -- is this going to be too foundational for me?

The Self-Employed Business Institute is designed specifically for established self-employed business owners because you’ve already come so far on your own -- now, you’re just far enough in to recognize how much more you can grow with expert coaching, supportive accountability, groundbreaking tools, and actionable techniques that have never before been available to us. Each live session is designed to be a mini masterclass, packed with information that is as practical and actionable as it is inspiring.

I’m pretty early on in my self-employed journey -- is this going to be too advanced for me?

When I share these methods and techniques with my private coaching clients, one of the things I hear most often is, “I wish I’d learned this stuff 10 years ago when I was starting out.” The Self-Employed Business Institute is designed to present deep, thorough, rich education and foster a vibrant, dynamic, and supportive community -- in other words, the very building blocks you need to grow a thriving business.

How can I be sure I’ll get a return on my investment?

You can ensure you get a return on your investment, and the results you are looking for, by taking full advantage of the proven blend of personalized one to one coaching and live group interaction. I’ve seen it work time and again, and I’ve implemented it myself many times over -- it is truly the magic formula for fast tracking results. Show up, participate, and be as passionate about the success of your fellow members as I am about your success.

I can't make this cohort -- will there be another cohort?

There are two cohorts per year. March-July and September-January. Each has there own unique aspects. The Spring cohort is a great way to start off the year. The Fall cohort intentionally crosses over the New Year to be sure your stay on track the following year. When you think about the value, though -- and the potential that enrolling in the Self-Employed Business Institute has to empower you to change your life and business -- how long can you afford to put it off? 

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