Here's the scoop.
Upside members pursue careers on their own terms, achieving the flexibility, freedom and high-impact work that results from being your own boss.
Our members choose The Upside to connect with other like-minded professionals, collaborate and level-up their business game, with the common goal of building a strong, premium client base.
It can be challenging running an independent business alone. Don't get burned out trying to do it all yourself!
Within the confines of our private platform, we pool resources, post referral opportunities, share best practices, answer tough questions, collaborate and crowdsource.
Although many of our members work independently, through The Upside they never feel alone or isolated. Our members feel the support of fellow high-caliber professionals who help one another sharpen their focus and take their business to the next level.
Additionally, our members have the added privilege of giving back: 10% of all membership profits goes towards charities and non-profits that support women in need or provide leadership training to young girls in under-served communities.
Want to quickly know if we have chemistry? Check out our Core Values.
Hi, I'm Erin.
If you've accepted the current state of corporate America, where we are forced to decide between working full-time or not working at all, then no need to read further. But if you're like me and the other members of The Upside, you feel in your bones that you are meant to be more than a traditional employee and do more than clock in and clock out, day in and day out.
We are more than just cogs in the wheel.
As professionals evolve, and especially after we start families, our needs change, whereby fitting into the 9 to 5 box (or let’s face it, 8 to 6) is beyond antiquated and unrealistic. It’s also inefficient for both experienced employees and future-forward employers.
There’s been this myth that full-time “lean-in” employment is the only way to climb to the top. Or that we have to launch groundbreaking startups and raise millions in venture funding to be considered successful. Either of these myths hit a nerve?
Packaging your skills and networks into a consultancy can provide the autonomy, freedom and flexible lifestyle that so many of us strive for. In addition, when executed well and with the support of other like-minded, positive and brilliant B2B entrepreneurs, this career path can be less stressful, more fulfilling and yield more money than any traditional corporate job out there.
Own your time. Own your success. Own your relationships. Join The Upside and see for yourself the friendships, growth and success that develop when like-minded professionals come together to support one another in business. It's truly magical.
Give me all the details.
Why Join The Upside?
There's a lot of value packed into an Upside membership. But no need to feel overwhelmed by it all. Take your time right now, today, to learn about how we roll and what is offered, and decide for yourself which aspects of membership best suit your needs.
"As an active member of several business communities, I can honestly say that The Upside has the most focused niche and membership base I've seen. It's a true gem in a sea of large-scale communities." -Shani Syphrett
A Private, Curated Forum
This is where all of our main conversations, collaborations, announcements and Q&As take place. This is where you go for getting answers from some of the smartest advisors and entrepreneurs in the room.
"What I love most about this tribe, is members are always cheering me on and sharing tools, resources and advice that cannot be found from a Google search!" -Danielle Yannotta
This is where we post speaking, publicity, SEO and other opportunities to gain exposure as an expert in your field. This is also where your fellow members will post client referral opportunities.
"The Upside has opened up the door to several opportunities that have helped me acquire strong relationships with fellow consultants and elevated new business opportunities." -Kadisha Phillips
Connections that Empower
We believe that when smart people of varying backgrounds and broad ideas come together, with the common intention of autonomous, flexible, high-impact work, true #upsidemagic happens.
We're so obsessed with making connections because we know from experience that one connection can change a person's life. We make it easy for Upside members to connect online and in real life, through facilitated conversations, virtual meetups and intimate in-person gatherings.
Our Membership Directory is like no other. We designed it with function over form in mind, with the goal of making it as robust yet simple as possible for members to connect with one another and find what (and who) they are searching for.
For example, let's say you have a specific question that could use some 1:1 expert advice. Run a keyword search, scroll across to the Member Offers column and see what lights up. It's quite likely that one of your Upside members has offered up help in what you're looking for.
"The community has connected me to other likeminded, driven, and intelligent consultants, of all ages from a variety of industries, who I consider my virtual board of directors of sorts." -Kara Ladd
A Network of Business Friendships
At The Upside, we believe in cultivating business friendships vs. traditional networking. This means connecting with your fellow Upside members with the intention of getting nothing in return. We encourage members to get to know people, build relationships, and ask, "What introductions would be helpful to you right now?" or "What's your biggest goal for this year?"
"Grateful to be around dynamic, women entrepreneurs for these conversations. We lift each other up in more ways than one." -Sarah Sharif
The Upside offers monthly in-person meetups, in addition to our virtual gatherings, for Upside members to connect even deeper. These meetups are pure magic for making connections. Some months we keep things light, and some months we get serious with a hands-on workshop.
"Even though Upside members span all different industries, they’re the closest thing I really have to colleagues.” -Clare Hackney
Weekly Members-Only Email
Don't have time to keep up with all things Upside? We have a solution for that. Distributed each Friday, our Members-Only Email is a no-BS wrap-up of all things Upside. So even if you're sipping sangria in Argentina, you won't miss an Upside beat (or opportunity). Plus, we highlight three members each week with what they do and their Upside offer *plus* direct links on how to connect with them via LinkedIn and email.
Leveling-Up for Premium Clients
Monthly Coffee Talks
Join these members-only interactive video calls where we dive deep into one topic that will have you walking away with a sharpened outlook on your approach to business. Past topics include "$100k in 90 days," "Value Pricing" and "The Art of the Proposal."
"Membership with The Upside has truly helped me level-up my boutique PR agency. I highly recommend membership with The Upside for anyone seeking to elevate their business and reach their next level." -Andrea Samacicia Mullan
Industry Circles are The Upside's version of a small group rapid-fire mastermind where we hand-curate groups of 4 - 5 members to help solve each other's biggest challenges and questions.
"I have gained priceless business optimization advice, countless client and partnership opportunities, and have grown more sophisticated as an entrepreneur." -Kara Ladd
We are constantly updating, evolving and adding to our learning and growth guides on business development, pricing structures and even crafting your one-sentence elevator pitch.
Access to Premium Services & Resources
At The Upside, we pay for premium services so that you don't have to, such as paid services (like Zoom and Canva) that you can access complimentary as a member, as well as resources that will save you time and money.
"I'm so happy The Upside pointed me to my trusted and wonderfully positive virtual assistant! Vanessa is quite the hero in my eyes for receiving my spontaneous ideas and enthusiastically creating structure and systems that make Catalyst into a well oiled machine." -Sara Dahan
How will joining The Upside help me?
We launched our platform because this was something we wanted back when we were growing a flexible, independent career, but it just didn't exist at the time.
We wanted a place to go when we had questions about difficult situations.
We wanted colleagues to interact with and grow with, and who had our back.
We wanted a place to gain resources, like contract templates, pricing formulas and business development strategies.
And we wanted a place to make meaningful, authentic connections and friendships with other like-minded, independent and entrepreneurial spirits.
Through The Upside you will:
Gain a tribe of independent professionals with diverse backgrounds yet common lifestyles and goals
Build a high-caliber referral network, organically
Learn how to build a premium client base with non-salesy business development skills
Navigate tough business situations
Gain resources and best practices
Collaborate through a private community
Gain access to tech apps and tools that we pay for, so you don't have to
Participate in curated masterminds that will solve your biggest challenges and sharpen your business skills
Build friendships with like-minded, high-achieving professionals
Gain accountability for your business goals
Improve work/life integration
Develop stronger confidence and conviction in your value, unique offerings and rates
Learn how to enhance and refine your pitch to land better clients
Create better and more targeted business development strategies
Learn how to select the right clients and create boundaries
Define a niche that maximizes your most valuable skill sets
Strengthen relationships with clients
Increase personal confidence to excel
Gain a community of professionals who have your back and share your desire to succeed
Feel a sense of giving knowing that we give back to charities and non-profits that support women in need or provide leadership training to young girls in underserved communities.
Who do you accept into The Upside?
Professionals who are launching, building or scaling an independent consultancy or B2B business
Professionals in pre-launch mode who want to learn the best practices of consulting before leaving their full-time job
Professionals who took time off from their high-powered careers and are looking to jump back in through consulting
Consultants, contractors, speakers, workshop organizers...if you have a B2B offering in your business, you are most likely a fit
Is there anyone you don't accept?
Because all of our members work with businesses or executives as end clients, our membership is not the right format for solopreneurs pursuing network marketing businesses or for health/life coaches.
If your target audience is our members, The Upside is not the right fit. Upside members do not solicit other members.
If you are not fully supportive of closing the gender pay gap and you are not passionate about diversity and equal opportunities for all, then we are not the right fit for you.
If you are joining with the sole purpose of using The Upside as a client sourcing platform, then we are not the right fit for you.
Anyone who is not joining for the right reasons. See #2 above.
What is the format of The Upside?
The Upside leverages Facebook's community technology for all of our communication and conversations. Why Facebook?
(1) Because just about everyone is on it, eliminating the need for members to download a separate app or learn a new technology
(2) Because it's free, keeping our overhead costs, and thus membership costs, as low as possible
(3) Facebook makes it super easy for everyone to frequently participate in the group and connect as friends outside of the community
(4) Facebook makes it simple to create searchable tags on each post for finding answers quickly and easily
What is the cost and value of joining The Upside?
Members invest $204/quarter (that's $68/month).*
Upside members see huge value in what we offer. In fact, the longer our members stay in The Upside, the more value they gain. This includes both priceless and quantifiable benefits such as:
(1) A safe space to ask the smartest people in the room answers to your most pressing, confusing and nagging questions about business and beyond: priceless
(3) Small group masterminds with some of the best and brightest in your industry: $500+ value
(4) Press, exposure and speaking opportunities: priceless
(5) The privilege of networking with a private, curated group of high-achieving professionals who believe in community over competition, and support one another in growing a thriving consulting practice: priceless
(5) Opportunities to write guest articles distributed through The Upside's social media channels and newsletter: priceless
(7) Erin Halper's constant drive to bring value to members, and connect them to relevant people and game-changing opportunities that will help them thrive: priceless
(8) Hundreds of helpful, formalized offers, including contract templates, from fellow Upside members: priceless
Our current members agree: the cost of an Upside membership more than pays for itself!
Imagine the value if:
Over the course of two years of Upside membership, you landed just one 5- or 6-figure client from a relationship, referral or connection you made from networking with members in The Upside?
You received time-sensitive feedback that saved you thousands of dollars in potential mistakes?
You received insights from Erin Halper and your fellow Upside members that led to closing one of your largest clients ever?
You received quick feedback, advice and information over and over again, saving you hours of time researching on Google and crowdsourcing from unreliable groups?
Instead of paying a lawyer hundreds of dollars an hour for their time, you could access contracts and templates provided by fellow members?
You made life-long friends and business relationships with high-quality, ambitious entrepreneurs who are there to support you and have your back?
*You will be grandfathered in to this rate when you join and your membership fee will never increase.
Why do we charge for an Upside membership?
(1) Charging a monthly fee allows us to keep our community curated with high caliber members.
(2) Paid membership holds members accountable for their participation and engagement.
(3) Members have access to “offers” and files such as contracts and pitch decks that would normally cost hundreds of dollars and/or hours of time to create on your own.
(4) Charging a monthly fee enables us to pass along business opportunities and referrals for which we used to charge a 20% finders fee. We no longer charge matching or referral fees now that we converted to a membership model. If you directly or indirectly sourced only one client through The Upside or its members over the course of two years, it would more than pay for itself many times over.
(5) The Upside is not a project or side hustle. It is our full-time business and it’s all we do.
(6) Upside members have access to learning and growth resources, as well as tech tools such as Zoom that we pay for so that you don't have to.
(7) Upside members have access to crowdsourcing best practices with high caliber, curated members and Upside experts who understand the consulting and B2B industry inside and out. Just one right decision sourced through The Upside could save you thousands of dollars in mistakes not made.
(8) We actively connect our members to opportunities and to each other through accountability partner matching and sub-groups called Upside Industry Circles. These types of connections build friendships, connections and have been known to catapult our members' businesses. And we think this is very valuable.
Why do we charge quarterly and not monthly?
(1) We know from experience that members gain the most the longer they are in The Upside. One month of membership does not give an accurate snapshot of what a member can gain from a quarter or even an entire year of membership.
(2) The Upside charges non-members for access to our proprietary tools. When you join The Upside, you have access to all of these tools which are valued significantly higher than one month's membership.
(3) We want members who are committed to membership, and who are ready to learn, share and gain for the long-term.