“Hustle culture is not sustainable. And everyone knows that.”
Aprille Franks is a master coach, launch strategist, and community galvanizer who helps women coaches and entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses. She joins Steve on this episode to talk about community, content, and the issues on her mind right now:
- Why she’s pro-alignment and anti-hustle (and what that means)
- The framework that helps her clients build and monetize their offerings
- The biggest misconception about online communities
- How she’s thinking about the gender pay gap
- The ingredients of successful personal branding online
Listen and tap through the chapters above or read on for our highlights of the conversation. Prefer to watch? See the full videos of all our episodes on our podcast page.
📛 Name: April Franks
💥 What she does: Master community builder and digital launch strategist.
💡 Get smart: “If people would get over this perfection thing that they have—that things need to be perfect—then they will be more effective in their work.”
Hustle culture doesn’t work 👉
“The primary problem of hustle culture is that it’s not sustainable,” Aprille says. Burnout is real, and constant hustling doesn’t even lead to results.
“The only reason people are hustling is because they don’t know a better way,” she explains. “As soon as you learn a better way, you can be more strategic and impose some constraints around your work and what you’re doing.”
That’s why Aprille focuses on helping her clients get aligned on their goals for both their work and life. When you’re aligned on what you want, you know what steps you need to take to get there and can prioritize those, instead of making yourself busy with meaningless work.
Her community’s philosophy
“I really believe that we should be enjoying this journey. I think a lot of people are stressed out trying to build their coaching businesses and get themselves out there—and I used to be that person too. So now, part of our work within our community is just not subscribing to that culture of losing sleep and hustle and always grinding, while still building something that’s meaningful and profitable for yourself as well.”
Community requires connection, not just content
“People really connect with certain leaders and business people, coaches, etc., because there’s something that is personal that they connect to, that they resonate with. It’s not just the content because the truth of the matter is, you can learn the same content from me that you can learn from Jeff Walker. But my audience doesn’t want to learn from him. Not because he’s not teaching good content, but because there’s no resonance. And that’s what community is about.”
Busy doesn’t equal successful
“I really like to teach my clients on being strategic and operating within frameworks, so that you’re more aligned with the work and you know what your next step is, so that you’re not aimlessly just trying to do a lot of things to make yourself feel like you’re successful because you’re busy.”
Clarity before marketing
“A lot of people think that they’re gonna become irrelevant if they aren’t online, spewing things all day long with no intention or purpose. And it’s better in my professional opinion to stop, be clear on what you’re offering, and be clear on the content around what you’re offering, so that you can market.”
Authenticity is easy
“It’s easy for you to be yourself. And it’s only when you are trying not to be yourself to please other people that it seems hard, but if you would just be yourself and teach the content and be yourself and laugh at the funny meme and be yourself and share that you went to the ballgame with your kids, that’s really not that hard. It’s the overthinking of what the people on the other end are gonna say that makes it difficult.”
On the rise of women-owned businesses
“It’s not new that women are rising and are growing really quickly and are connecting and having these movements. None of this is new. It’s just that now we’ve decided to stop pretending like we weren’t as great as we have been this whole time.”
How to solve the gender pay gap?
“It’s real that white women make 76 to 81 cents to the dollar as white men. And it’s real that black women make 51 cents to the dollar as white men. People should be like, “What?!” And you’re expected to go to work with a smile every day when you know you’re getting underpaid, just because you’re a girl? This is so not okay. So I asked myself, how am I really solving that mission?
Initially, my surface level thing was well, we’ll just be entrepreneurs, but… That’s not helping the problem. So while it may be empowering women, everyone is not gonna be an entrepreneur and everyone can’t be, or else we wouldn’t have anyone to run any of these companies. So I’m digging deeper on how I can more directly impact that specific cause, aside from paying my own people fair wages.
…Entrepreneurship is a way for women to take control of their finances, but the truth of the matter is everyone is not gonna be an entrepreneur. So then what happens to the women that are still in the workplace?”
The right brand voice = loyal fans
“Our brand voice is very rebel-like. It’s very womanist. It’s snarky. It’s very girlfriend-ish. It’s very, ‘Hey girl, hey.’ That doesn’t work in everything, but it’s authentic for our brand.
If companies would identify what are all those voices of the brand, then it’ll be much easier to convey and attract people that want to stay and not just buy from you, but they want to stay. They want to buy from you. They want to refer you and they want to buy again.”
“When you’re economically empowered, then it opens the doors for you to be empowered in in many other ways.”
“Women do business differently than men because we’re just different. We talk about things differently. We share differently. We connect in different ways.”
“The people that are hustling, they’re not more successful than people that are not.”
“If people would get over this perfection thing that they have—that things need to be perfect—then they will be more effective in their work.”
“I don’t believe that you need to be everywhere on all these platforms. I think you can pick a platform and you could be highly successful.”
“I don’t believe that I’ve had any challenges growing my business because I’m black. I think the challenges I’ve had are just the challenges of business people.”
“I would rather train a person that has a positive attitude and some experience than someone that has all the experience and is dry as a bone.”
Check out the names Aprille mentioned on the show:
The Four-Hour Workweek: “The 4-Hour Workweek is a must because I think that just sets your mind in a space that helps you see that you can create a life that maybe we hadn’t seen before.”
The One Thing: “It’s a super powerful book because people are always trying to do so many different things and we all have so many different talents and you can really make a name for yourself by just being known for one thing.”
Chalene Johnson: “She does really great job of combining her brilliance and what she does, with what’s happening with her family and leveraging things that are going on and making those things relatable to her fanbase, which is really important.”