Student profile: Tina Ferguson

Name: Tina Ferguson
Location: Plano, TX
Age: 47
Job title: Business consultant

Tina Ferguson has spent her career coaching other people and helping their businesses succeed, but she’s also smart enough to recognize when she’s the one who can learn something.

Tina’s consulting work focuses on helping companies accelerate their growth. With a varied background that includes HR, marketing, and business development, she’s uniquely positioned to work with “people making big changes in their industry or helping industries rethink a big idea.” Tina’s sweet spot is “drawing the best out of people,” and she attributes her success to having an intimate understanding of “how people relate to themselves and others.” Still, some of her most powerful insights have come when she was at a low point in her career, and now she’s using that wisdom to offer clients deeper guidance. “I want encourage people to do what they love and contribute in a way they feel comfortable,” she explains.

The turning point came for Tina around 2006, when she sensed the economy was starting to slow down. She’d been planning a huge conference, and when the crash hit, people stopped putting budget toward traveling and events. This was Tina’s first experience with failure, and it rocked her world. “I was just kind of a mess,” she recalls. “I was used to everything moving and working and growing like crazy. After that I needed to get my head on straight, take a break, and try something different.”

Tina found her silver lining by coaching others. Her personal setback was actually “a beautiful gift” that helped her develop greater compassion for her clients and rediscover the full power and potential of her consulting skills. Whereas before she didn’t fully understand the mindset of someone paralyzed by fear and doubt, she now could relate only too well. She also realized she wanted to express and share more of what she’d learned with others by spending more time writing books. “I’d made millions of dollars for other people by writing; now I wanted to do it for myself,” she explains.

Tina had heard of Udemy before through a self-publishing community group in which she was active. Others in the group had been phenomenally successful, some even reaching seven figures in sales. In particular, her fellow authors swore by the advice instructor Jerry Banfield offered in his Udemy course “The Complete Facebook Ads and Facebook Marketing Course 2016.” They told Tina she could see the same results if she followed exactly what Jerry said.

She wasn’t ready to act on their advice until after she’d emerged from her post-recession fog — and then she was pleasantly surprised to find it “super easy to jump on [Udemy] and go, even if you’re a newbie to that kind of tech.” She ended up taking a bunch of Jerry Banfield’s courses. “It’s just like Jerry is talking to you,” Tina says. “There’s something comforting about seeing an actual person instructing you one-on-one.” She wasn’t ready to roll out her own books yet but wanted to practice what she was learning so she started out by testing Jerry’s techniques for her husband’s web development business. She also enrolled in a course called “Reverse Engineer Riveting Fiction & Write Best Selling Books” from instructor Geoff Shaw, who runs a Kindle publishing group Tina’s in. “Geoff Shaw is straight to the point; so is Jerry Banfield. They both want to help people and enjoy sharing what they know,” Tina says of these “road-tested warriors.”

She can relate to that attitude, having written nine books already — four published and five coming soon — that share her wisdom on building a successful life and business. She knows her principles work, and now, thanks to Udemy courses, she can take maximum advantage of social media to get those books in front of more potential readers. She’s skipped trial and error and gone straight to harnessing the power of online networks to get her desired results — translating her one-on-one consulting into countless connections with people all over the world.

“Every course had a few nuggets that made me say, “Oh my goodness, that’s worth 10 times more than what I paid,’ but there’s also so much more.” She appreciates getting actionable advice without fluff on Udemy. She also loves having lifetime access to her courses and that instructors will update their content based on student feedback, a Udemy feature Tina finds “mind-blowing.”

Tina’s brush with failure is firmly behind her as she plans her next books and determines how much consulting she wants to keep on the side. Part of her coaching now includes sending people to Udemy to find new knowledge and skills just like she did. As she puts it, “I’m a believer in referring good people to good people; when I find a golden ticket I tell everyone.” You can hear the excitement and confidence in her voice as she describes her future.

“It’s amazing to me how life is today, especially with things like Udemy. I can have a total connection with people online, I don’t have to go to an office, I can run two businesses, I can homeschool my son — the sky’s the limit,” Tina says.