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IAM1828 – Online Course Creator Helps Business Owners Turn Their Passion Into Profitable Online Course

Podcast Interview with Molly Keyser

Why it was selected for “CBNation Architects”:

In this episode of the I AM CEO Podcast, host Gresham Harkless interviews Molly Keyser, an online course creator who helps business owners turn their passion into a profitable online course. Molly has had a successful career in photography and has leveraged her knowledge and experience to create a business course for other photographers. She grew her course business to generate $2 million per year, benefiting tens of thousands of business owners worldwide.

Molly's mission with Profitable Courses is to assist business owners in creating their own profitable online courses that generate passive income. She currently resides in New Mexico with her husband Aaron and their dog Franklin, enjoying outdoor activities like camping, road-tripping, and connecting with friends.

In her CEO story, Molly shares her passion for photography from a young age and pursued it in college. However, she realized that she was not taught about running a business alongside her passion. After achieving success in her photography studio, other photographers began asking her how she achieved it. She then discovered the world of digital products and online courses. Over six years, Molly taught photographers through her course, growing it into a $2 million per year venture.

In 2021, Molly and her husband started their own company focused on helping business owners, content creators, and coaches turn their knowledge into profitable online digital products. The main business service provided by Molly and her company, Profitable Courses, is online courses. She operates a membership called the Creator Accelerator. Molly's secret sauce lies in teaching herself the desired results and then helping others achieve those results. She believes that one doesn't need years of experience or excessive profits to begin teaching others.

Her CEO hack emphasizes the importance of being in a good mood and taking care of oneself and one's mental health in business. Maintaining a consistently positive mood is crucial. Molly's CEO nugget advises entrepreneurs not to immediately create another product after finding success with the first one. Instead, she highlights the importance of continually selling and promoting the initial successful product.

For Molly, being a CEO means being a visionary who guides the company in the right direction. It involves consistently looking ahead and anticipating the market's needs. Ultimately, the success of the company depends on the CEO's leadership.

Overall, this episode offers insights from Molly Keyser, an online course creator who helps business owners turn their passion into profitable online courses. Listeners can gain valuable knowledge on creating and selling online courses, achieving results, and maintaining a positive mindset while navigating the entrepreneurial journey.

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Molly Keyser Teaser 00:00

I do think that in order to be productive and successful, you need to be in like a good mood. Because in business, there are a lot of ups and there are a lot of downs and it really doesn't matter how big your company is.

In order to keep your mood good to be able to deal with, problems that arise or things that come up that aren't necessarily positive all the time, you just need to be taking care of yourself and your mental health.

Intro 00:24

Do you want to learn effective ways to build relationships, generate sales, and grow your business from successful entrepreneurs, startups, and CEOs without listening to a long, long, long interview?

If so, you've come to the right place. Gresham Harkless values your time and is ready to share with you precisely the information you're in search of.

This is the I AM CEO podcast.

Gresham Harkless 00:52

Hello, this is Gresh from the I AM CEO podcast and I appreciate you listening to this episode. If you've been listening this year, you know that we've hit 1600 episodes at the beginning of this year. We're doing something a little bit different where we're repurposing our favorite episodes around certain categories, topics, or as I like to call them business pillars that we think are going to be extremely impactful for CEOs, entrepreneurs, and business owners, just like you, what I like to call the CB nation architects who are looking to level up their organizations.

This month, we are focusing on CEO Hacks and CEO Nuggets. This is by far one of my favorite questions I asked on the show. In other words, I asked, what are the apps, books, and habits that make you more effective and efficient? Those were the CEO hacks. Then I asked for a word of wisdom or a piece of advice, or something that you might tell your younger business if you were to hop into a time machine and those were the CEO nuggets. That's what we'll focus on this month and some of the top ones that can instantly impact your business.

I love all the questions, but with every episode, I thought I would walk away with something I could look at and implement right there to save the precious resources, time, and money. Or I would also learn about the advice, tips, and tidbits or tools of the trade on how to level up our organization. So you'll hear some of these this month. So sit back and enjoy this special episode of the I AM CEO podcast.

Hello. Hello. Hello. This is from the I AM CEO podcast. I have a very special guest on the show today. I have Molly Keyser of Profitable Courses. Molly, excited to have you on the show.

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Molly Keyser 02:26

Yeah. Super excited to chat with you today.

Gresham Harkless 02:29

Yes, it should be a phenomenal time. And, of course, before we jump into the interview, I want to read a little bit more about Molly so you can hear about some of the awesome things she's been working on.

As a successful professional photographer for 16 years, she turned her knowledge into a business course for other photographers. She grew that course business to $2 million per year, helping tens of thousands of business owners worldwide. She now helps business owners turn their passion into their own online courses for a stream of passive income.

Molly currently lives in New Mexico with her husband, Aaron, and a dog, Franklin, and you can often find them camping in the mountains, road tripping or around a campfire with friends. The mission of profitable Courses is to help business owners turn their passion into their own profitable Online Course for passive sales. Molly, absolutely love that. Love all the awesome things you're doing.

Are you ready to speak to the I AM CEO community?

Molly Keyser 03:19

Oh, I'm stoked. Thanks for having me.

[restrict paid=”true”]

Gresham Harkless 03:21

Yes, absolutely. So to kick everything off, I know I touched on a little bit, but I wanted to rewind the clock hear a little bit more on how you got started. What I call your CEO story.

Molly Keyser 03:30

Yeah. So I like to tell the speed dating version cause I've been in business for 16 years. So it can be as lengthy or as short as I want it to be, but essentially I've always had a passion for business and in high school, I really had a passion for photography. So I went to college because that's what everyone told me to do and I found out that I absolutely did not like it and they were not teaching me anything about how to actually have a business and how to actually make money.

Some of my business professors, like all of them had never even had a business. So I just thought, you know what, I'm just gonna drop out and just go for it with my business. Fast forward, I think a few years I had my own successful studio and other photographers started asking me how I did it. That's how I found out about digital products and online courses, because I tried doing some coaching and I quickly realized, I was just trading more of my time for money. I was trading my time for money with the photography service business and then also with the coaching.

So when I found out about courses, I thought, wow, this is a million-dollar idea because I was in this online course and I think we've all done the math. How many students? What's the cost of the course? Man, that's a lot of money. And then I thought I could help so many more people and also not trade my time for money. That's when I started my 1st online course and for 6 years, I taught photographers through that and we grew that to $2 million per year.

Then around 2021, my husband and I decided to start a company together and this is our only sole focus now, where we help business owners, content creators, and coaches turn their knowledge into their own profitable online products, digital products.

Gresham Harkless 05:12

Nice. I absolutely love hearing that transition. I love the speed date version. I'm definitely going to borrow that from you and being able to talk about, of course all the peaks and valleys that we talked about, before we jumped into the actual interview.

But I love hearing the transition of you realizing that's a very powerful phrase. You realized you were trading your time for more money, like the new idea, the idea after that, that we all want to pursue. There's such a limitation as far as the time and energy that we have to often get a lot more creative and think about things in a different way.

Molly Keyser 05:40

Yeah, absolutely. Because that's the thing is I was like I really want to share my knowledge, but now I'm just working 80 hours a week. This is not the right solution for where I'm at. So, yeah.

Gresham Harkless 05:52

Yeah, absolutely. So I wanted to drill down a little bit more, hear a little bit more on what you're doing, you and your husband, how you're making that impact, and how you're helping out these business owners.

Molly Keyser 06:00

Sure. Yeah. So, all of my previous businesses, just, the photography and then the education for photographers, were all a hundred percent owned by me. My husband, he was full-time in IT. Unlike myself dropping out of college, he actually got multiple degrees and he went on to do IT. But what's crazy, not really crazy. I'm sure some of you guys listening can relate, but, with how expensive student loans were, and then how much money he was actually making in the field, it just didn't really make sense to keep doing that. So we both just talked about it for a number of years. He worked in my business for a number of years and left his full-time job.

We just thought, what if we just combine our skills and did this together, and of course, we're married. So it makes additional sense there as well. But we both have completely different skill sets, so I think that's something interesting. If you are interested in having a partner in your business, I do think it's important to have different skill sets. So I'm more of the face of the company, the marketing, the sales, education, and he definitely is like funnels, tech, ads, data, like complete opposite skill sets, which is really great. So that worked out really well.

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What we're doing now is we only have 2 main products. I really recommend focusing your time and efforts into. Start with just one product. So the 1st product we started with is called Profitable Courses. I said, we help coaches, content creators, business owners, turn their knowledge or passion into their own profitable course. Then we just recently opened up a membership called creator accelerator, where we help these same people to start growing their following and dabbling in digital products.

The reason we did that is because we noticed that a lot of people before they get into courses, they want to grow their following and like dabble in digital products, see if it's for them first. And so that's another lesson to share with you guys is just always listen to your market and what people are saying and create the things that not only you think are going to help them, but that they're quite literally telling you that they need help with.

Gresham Harkless 08:08

Yeah, absolutely. I guess the quest to build a better mousetrap. You actually ask, is this a better mousetrap? Is this something that you might use and want to create? And there's no better person to ask or people to ask than your actual community that you've been able to build.

Molly Keyser 08:21

Oh, absolutely. Yeah. But first, you got to build that community and we can talk a little bit about that. But yeah, I think that's important to do that on so many levels, but mostly so that you can survey and talk to them and just remember that they're humans and that your job is to help them if that's the type of business that you're in.

Gresham Harkless 08:40

Yeah, that makes so much sense. I definitely appreciate that. So would you consider that to be like what I like to call your secret sauce,can be for yourself, the business or a combination of both, but the ability that you feel sets you apart and makes you unique.

Is it for you to be able to I think understand maybe all these tips, tidbits, all this information and be able to teach that to people and help people to be able to excel as well. Do you think that's part of your secret sauce?

Molly Keyser 09:05

Yes, but I think what's interesting to note is I think a lot of times people won't think they can do a course or a digital product or something because they're like, I have nothing to teach. What's interesting is like everything I've learned about Tiktok, I've learned in the last six months. So, it's not like I knew all this stuff about social media and Tiktok and everything necessarily before I started my business. Of course, with this business, I had the previous knowledge, which you know, if you're going to teach courses, you should probably know what you're doing. But my point is let's say you're like, I'm really interested in social media and I want to teach it and you don't know anything about it.

You can learn about social media so quickly and all you have to do is get results for yourself and then you can start to get results for other people. So this doesn't have to be like a 10-year journey, I thought before teaching courses. So with my previous business, I just kept telling myself I can't teach people digital products or courses until I make at least a million dollars a year. And that's great and cool for me to be able to share that number, but I don't think that's like a hundred percent necessary. You just need to be able to get yourself a result, start to get other people results. And then, hey, now you're a teacher. You don't even need that piece of paper or anything anymore. We're in a digital age where results really matter.

Gresham Harkless 10:20

Yes, I absolutely love that. So I wanted to switch gears a little bit and I want to ask you for what I call a CEO hack. You might have already touched on this, but this could be like an app, a book or a habit that you have, but what's something that makes you more effective and efficient?

Molly Keyser 10:34

I do think that in order to be productive and successful, you need to be in a good mood, right? Because, in business, there are a lot of ups and there are a lot of downs, and it really doesn't matter how big your company is. I almost feel like I actually had more ups and downs the more I grew my company. So, I don't know, just something to keep in mind, but in order to keep your mood good, to be able to deal with problems that arise or things that come up that aren't necessarily positive all the time, you just need to be taking care of yourself and your mental health.

For me. It's so simple. But every morning I go on a 1-hour long walk with my dog. I don't see anything other than nature and animals like no people, and that might not be possible for everyone. But for me, it really puts me in a great mood. I think I should say, too, it's not just the walk, it's the consistency of the walk. So, find the things that you know, help you stay consistently in a great mood to run your business, and then do those things over and over and over.

Gresham Harkless 11:36

Yeah, absolutely love that. And I usually ask for a CEO nugget, which I think you might have already touched on, which is like a habit or something motivational that you might tell your younger business self or potentially tell your favorite client. But what would you consider, those things around social media in the following? Do you consider that to be your CEO nugget?

Molly Keyser 11:56

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I will give 2 actually if that's okay. I would say the 1st one is when you go to create your product and you get it selling, don't go and create another product, keep selling that one dang product. I think so many times, I don't know about you, but I find it fun to create new things. I'm like a hyper-creative and I like to do all that stuff, but just channel that into the one product. Like you've already done the hard work, you've already got the product selling, just sell more of it. You can put your creativity into the ads or the campaigns or the messaging, different things.

Then also the second thing I would say is to build a brand, build a following if that's the type of business. I don't even think it really matters what business you're in. I think building that following and building that brand is crucial. Look at I don't know, Kylie Jenner, for example, she was a billionaire by what was it like 20 or something. And yeah, what real skills does she have? I don't know. That's debatable. What she does have though is a brand and a massive following. She could have literally sold like dog poop and people would buy it. Like she could sell anything because she has this huge brand. I'm not saying you should sell bad things. But just trying to be goofy.

Gresham Harkless 13:11

No, I definitely picked up what you were putting down. It wasn't the dog poop, but it was very valuable. So I think that's so powerful and understanding that the saying was always like people will do business with people they know and trust. I feel like that's been accelerated to a massive degree.

When you have that following, you can sell whatever it is that you bite to. If you have built that brand in the community, because people trust you, they trust that, whatever it is that you are pushing out there is something in alignment with your values because they feel like they connect you with, you got to know you. So I think that's such a powerful, nugget as well too.

Molly Keyser 13:46

Yeah, absolutely. And just Mr. Beast, for example, his one focus for 12 years was just to make good videos and get paid through AdSense. That doesn't need to be your route, just an example, and then he's like okay, now I can add, hamburgers or whatever. Now I can add chocolate bars and keep in mind, he has partners, he has operations managers, and people, and you can start to do more things once you've grown that first thing. So absolutely.

Gresham Harkless 14:12

Nice. Absolutely love that. So I wanted to ask you now my absolute favorite question, which is the definition of what it means to be a CEO. We're hoping to have different quote and quote CEOs on the show.

So, Molly, what does being a CEO mean to you?

Molly Keyser 14:23

Being a great visionary and steering your company in a great direction, whether you have a team or not, you still need to be constantly living in the future. Constantly researching, knowing what's going on in your market, seeing what's next. Then if you do have a team, really communicating that with them and being the leader and steering your team in the right direction. The success of your company really comes down to you and where you're steering it.

Gresham Harkless 14:53

Yeah, I absolutely love that. Molly, truly appreciate that perspective in that definition. Of course, I appreciate your time even more. So what I want to do now is pass you the mic, so to speak, just to see if there's anything additional that you can let our readers and listeners know, and of course, how best people can get ahold of you, find out about all the awesome things you and your team are working on.

Molly Keyser 15:11

Sure. So that goes hand in hand if you go to, which we are rebranding to freedom creator. So if you see that when you go to our website, just keep that in mind it's the same thing, but We have tons of free tools for you guys.

So if you're thinking about if you want to grow your following on Tiktok, we have free tools for that. If you want to create an ebook or a course or something like that, lots of free tools for you guys no matter where you're at in your journey and no matter what business you have.

It could be a great idea to add a digital product to scale with really high-profit margins and, not having to deal with shipping of physical products and things like that. So yeah, just trying to always add value and help you guys out with lots of free tools.

Gresham Harkless 15:57

Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. And to make it even easier, we're gonna have the links and information in the show notes as well, too. I truly appreciate you for providing value, loads of laughs as well, too and just really great information.

That's super important for us as CEOs, entrepreneurs, and business owners. So I appreciate you for all the awesome work you're doing. Of course, your time today, and I hope you have a phenomenal rest of the day.

Molly Keyser 16:17

Thanks so much. You too.

Outro 16:18

Thank you for listening to the I am CEO podcast powered by CB Nation and Blue 16 Media. Tune in next time and visit us at I AM CEO is not just a phrase. It's a community.

Want to level up your business even more read blogs, listen to podcasts, and watch videos at

Also, check out our I AM CEO Facebook group. This has been the I AM CEO podcast with Gresham Harkless Jr. Thank you for listening.


Dave Bonachita - CBNation Writer

This is a post from a CBNation team member. CBNation is a Business to Business (B2B) Brand. We are focused on increasing the success rate. We create content and information focusing on increasing the visibility of and providing resources for CEOs, entrepreneurs and business owners. CBNation consists of blogs(, podcasts, ( and videos ( CBNation is proudly powered by Blue16 Media.

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