Hollis Johnson/Business Insider Marie Forleo is a life and business coach with hundreds of thousands of followers, many of whom pay for her classes. As she grew her business in the early 2000s, Forleo would bring a yellow legal notepad with her wherever she went to collect names for […]

her weekly email newsletter, instead of spending money on advertising. By taking the time to get to know people and understand their needs, Forleo said she was better equipped at helping them as a life and business coach.

Marie Forleo is a life and business coach with hundreds of thousands of followers, many of whom pay for her classes. But she didn’t use any advertising to build her client base in the beginning, she said on an episode of Business Insider’s podcast “This is Success.”

While building her coaching business in the early 2000s, Forleo was a jack-of-all-trades — she worked as a dance instructor, spent time at the New York Stock Exchange, bartended, and had a brief stint in ad sales.

Forleo said she would carry a yellow legal notepad with her everywhere to collect names for her email newsletter where she sent weekly tips to help others have a better life. She said nobody had heard of email newsletters at the time.

“I didn’t have money for advertising. I wouldn’t have even known how to do it. I was a one-woman show. So it was completely built through me with that yellow legal pad, every single place I went,” Forleo said.

When Forleo got more active in health and fitness, she would bring her yellow legal pad to her hip-hop class and tell clients about her coaching business after each class concluded, racking up names and email addresses.

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