Balancing it All

Ep. 86 Adventuring in an RV (Personal Update)

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What’s up? I’m finally getting around to a little bit more of a personal podcast episode today. I wanted to talk to you about my big adventure across the country, sort of how that came about, what I thought, some of my takeaways from it all.

It was really my first trip since March, when this whole Coronavirus quarantine thing hit. So I thought I would just kind of give you a little behind the scenes of what’s been going on in my world, and it’s also sort of my excuse for why I haven’t been podcasting.

So back in the summer my Digital Insiders were really hankering for an in-person visit, the Coronavirus had kind of waned a little bit, sort of, in certain parts of the country. And I started to think, “Okay, maybe we could get together safely.” But as luck would have it, of course we saw that summer surge, and that just wasn’t going to happen.

So I was really thinking hard, well how can we safely meet? What can we do? And I knew immediately that whatever we had to do would have to be outside, and in order to be outside together for multiple days you need to have great weather. I didn’t want to have a lot of rain and bugs, heat, humidity or super, super cold. So I started looking around for climates that have very little rain and great temperatures, and sure enough the only one that works in October is the high desert. So basically a million miles from my house here in Connecticut.

So I reached out to Julia who is in Digital Insiders and I asked her about the area, because she’s in Colorado, only a couple of hours away from that high desert area, and I said, “Is this a great place?” And she said, “Oh my gosh, yes. I’ve been here.” She actually traveled in an RV and lived on the road for two years, so she knew everything there was to know about that area.

So before I had too much time to talk myself out of it, I had booked this giant group campsite in Moab. And it is 33 hours from my house, driving time. And not only that, but it was going to be a dry camping experience. There would be no water, no showers, no electricity. There would be drop toilets, so that’s a plus. And here’s the kicker, no cell service.

So I booked it, I didn’t really think much about it, and I told everybody, and everybody was super excited, and we had about 45 people reserve immediately. And I said, “Bring your own food, bring your own shelter, we will be outside the entire time so it is a safe venture for everyone and no one feels at risk.” And that was that.

I really didn’t think about it much until about two weeks before the trip. Thankfully, thank God, my husband was thinking about it, because he had all the tools, the camping tools. But about two weeks before I thought, this is nuts. I was a little scared, we had never, Alex and I had never driven an RV, rented an RV nothing. I mean I’ve done some dry camping, but man. We were going to bring William, who is my 5 year old, and we were going to try to, I was going to try to work on the road, and school on the road. I just started to get a little nervous. And I made the mistake of Googling, to kind of get some RV tips, and realized pretty quickly that we had been extremely over ambitious in our estimates of how far we could drive.

So we decided we’d leave on a Wednesday and arrive in Utah on Sunday, we would camp from Sunday to Thursday, and then we would drive home Thursday and be home by Sunday, which makes it about a 12 day trip, roundtrip. So it was crazy. And I’m here and alive to tell the tale. And if you follow me on Instagram you probably saw a lot of the highlights. I’m not going to lie about 3 hours into the trip, realizing that an RV is nothing like a plane. I had all these grand visions of being able to work and school and cut vegetables. And about 3 hours in I realized, “Oh, no, no, no, this is not that. This is like a ride at Disneyworld, and I am about to vomit all over my son because I’m so carsick.”

So thankfully I figured it out and I didn’t vomit, and I also didn’t work. I mean, I did my Voxers, but I really wasn’t able to do much else. So it was kind of an unintended consequence of 66 hours of driving over 8 days, was I had a lot of time to think. And it was glorious.

I don’t think I would have willingly put myself in that situation ahead of time. But it was what it was and it ended up being the best thing for me. So one of the advantages I say that I’ve found out about RVing is that, especially when you get carsick and you can’t really do much, is that it gives you an incredible amount of time to reflect. There’s nothing to do, you’re on the open road, you look out the window, talk to the people you’re with, and it was so good for my mental health. In fact, despite the fact that it was an incredibly exhausting trip, I came back more emotionally and mentally refreshed and calm than I have in a long time.

4 days in Moab with Digital Insiders was incredible. We had a fantastic time. Basically we all hung out in the early morning hours, it was chilly in the desert, but it was amazing. Had tea, coffee, talked and we all sort of scattered, did our own thing, whether it was hiking or crazy, life-risking UTV drives along Hell’s Revenge, and then we’d all get back together in the evening, have our dinner, be around the campfire, talk, sing, hang out, and we did that for 4 days with no cell phone service. So it was just a lot of connecting with the people you’re with. And I really, I do recommend if you have never gone off the grid, that you try.

I will say that I did drive, 5 or 6 miles each day to go get my twitter updates. But that was just because we were in Moab right as the president was getting sick, so it was very hard not to know what was going on. The drive home was crazy and if you decide to take a road trip, do not do what we did, which was think that we could do a 12 hour drive in one day. A 12 hour drive is actually a 16 hour drive when you include stops, sanity stops. So that day was brutal. On the way back we left Moab on Thursday at 10am, we arrived in Kansas around 9 pm. The next morning we left at 5:30 in the morning, around 5:30 or 6, we left Good…I think it was Goodland, Kansas and we made it all the way across Kansas, all the way across Missouri, all the way across Illinois and into Indiana. We arrived in Indiana at 1:30 in the morning.

We also had, we lost two hours because of two time zones, so it was really like 11:30. But still it was about 12, it was a long time. And then we woke up in Terre Haut, I think that’s how you say it, Indiana. We stayed there in the morning just to try and get our bearings, and we drove until 9 pm just to get to Pennsylvania, slept at a truck stop for about 5 hours, Got up at 3 in the morning and went from Pennsylvania home. It was crazy.

So the moral of the story is that you should go off the grid, you should try RVing. You should not try RVing across the country as your first RV trip, thinking you can do 12 hour days, that is nuts. That’s where I’ve been and I would encourage you, if you are a leader in any kind of group community, look out for your people. It has been a very, very hard year, it is hard to not see people, figure out ways in which you can do it safely, and ways in which you can still get that much needed connection. Because we desperately need it and we’re heading into a rough fall and winter, there’s no doubt about it.

So whatever you can do in the next several weeks to connect with the people that you serve and connect with your students, go ahead and do it. Because even though it’s hard and crazy and very inconvenient, it is always worth it. Talk to you soon.

Digital Insiders Take Moab

It never stopped feeling just a little bit crazy… even after we arrived.

Back in June/July, in the slog of quarantine and covid, the Digital Insiders were hankering for some sort of in person event. There was no way we could do a traditional mastermind, but I thought that if I could find a place with perfect weather and wide open spaces, we could have a safe get together outdoors.

Turns out the only spot in the country with truly perfect 24 hour outdoor camping weather is the high desert in Utah. So Moab it was. I booked four campsites, told people to show up with whatever they wanted (RV, camper van, tent, sleeping bag) and figured we’d wing it.

It wasn’t until about two weeks before we left that I started to feel the craziness of this idea. For me, Alex, and William, it meant a five day 33 hour drive across the United States as first time RVers.

The learning curve was steep. Less so for Alex who has a natural aptitude for cars + outdoorsy things.

But for me? I have a leg full of bruises to remind me that my “idea” of making lunch in a moving vehicle was far more aspirational than realistic.

Thankfully no sharp objects came flying out of the RV as we drove. William was an incredible trouper. We’d drive for 8 hours, stop once or twice for gas, and then camped at night. He basically had three hours a day of “non moving” time because by the time he woke up the next morning, we’d already be an hour into our drive.

Alex and I got really good at quietly securing everything in the RV so as to not wake William.

We also realized about halfway into day 2 that we needed to alter our driving schedule some because four days in a row of 8 hours was too grueling. So we stayed an extra day by the lake in Nebraska.

Ya’ll it took three days of the longest driving in my life to get to just the center of the United States. It’s incredible. And during all that driving, really the only thing you can do when you’re prone to carsickness is eat, sleep, and listen to stuff. All my grandiose ideas of writing and working were promptly buried about 4 hours into the first day.

RV life is pretty comfortable I’ve gotta say. I slept well…well except for the fourth day when we tried to pull an all nighter as Alex drove through the mountains of Colorado. That wasn’t a good night sleep. Basically – no sleep. It was far to windy and bumpy. By 3am I begged Alex to pull over so we could sleep, and with no hookups or generator running, we settled in for a toast 30 degree mountain winter slumber.

Arriving in Moab the next day, it was so strange to watch the lush green Colorado rockies turn into desert red rock with sand and cactus everywhere. I gotta say though, high desert camping is the best. No humidity. No mosquitos. Just a SHIT ton of dust, but for someone like me who loves the beach, I’m used to sand.

As we set up camp, Digital Insiders slowly started showing up. By nightfall, we had almost everyone.

  • Matt + Heather in their Rugged all terrain car and adorable little airstream.
  • Julia + Neil in their pop-up tent and truck looking like an advertisement for Patagonia.
  • Tyler flying solo with his itty bitty tent.
  • Robin + Ken with their two dogs and their trailer (after taking a more reasonable 6 days to get across the country).
  • Cathy, Erik, Maizen, and Aven… oh yes, and Lucky their dog.
  • Ausi + Ron who flew in with their tent.
  • Chris, Jen, + Jack came in with their tent and Christmas lights for some flair.
  • Stephanie, John, Josiah, Jude, Jocelyn, and Journey – PACKED to the gills in their Honda Odyssey.
  • Katie + Caitlin who rolled in with their minivan while smartly waiting for their fully prepared RV to be dropped off (no idea why we didn’t think of that).
  • Christina and her horse Shadrick and her dog Bella (she’s legit a badass).

This was the crew the first night. It was hard to believe we’d all made it – from all over the country, now sitting in the quiet desert rock of Moab – not a streetlight or wifi signal for miles. We were all ready to dry camp.

Well it wasn’t quite all of us yet. There were still a few missing.

Roxanne + John had gotten held up on their way out with a broken down RV. When they finally showed up Monday afternoon, we realized they were also pulling some pretty cool side-by-side and ATV vehicles on the back of their trailer.

Sean (aka Elon we nicknamed him) came in his Tesla in the middle of the night, and showed us all how it’s done with “camping” mode in the Tesla. No tent. No supplies. Just him and this weird little “almost chair” he brought for campfire chats at night.

And last but certainly not least, Dani came rolling in with her truck and crazy cooking supplies (she’s a food blogger and knows camp food like nobody’s business).

We did it. We overcame all the headache of packing for four days of dry camping where you begin your day in a down jacket, gloves and hat, and end the afternoon wading in the frigid waters of the Colorado river in your bathing suit.

  • Where there is no cell service.
  • No water.
  • No electric hookups.
  • No stores for at least 45 minutes.

For experienced campers, this is still glamorous of course. With an RV and only a 45 minute ride to town, it’s hardly roughing it. But if you’re not a camper, this is a stretch.

Nonetheless the promise of four days of just being together in nature, with nothing to do but chat, cook, hike, and enjoy the outdoors, it was enough to pull everyone into the adventure despite the headache it was to get here.

Most everyone woke up between 6-8. In fact, I notice without my phone, my body QUICKLY adapts to the rhythm of the sun. I am nearly asleep by 9pm at the campfire, and I open my eyes just as the sun starts to cast that pink glow on the mountains.

We all just huddle around in our jackets and hats, with tea or coffee in hand, and just chat. Make plans for the day. Some go hiking. Some go off roading. Some just want to sit and stare at that rock and have nothing to do and revel in the absence of the crazy modern world.

At lunchtime, there’s usually another transition as people return to eat lunch, strip off all their morning clothes and change into full on summer weather gear, and settle in for the hot afternoon.

By 4pm, there is nothing to do but bring your chair down to the river where you can wade into the water about to your knees. The water is FRIGID and moving quickly. It’s too dangerous much beyond that but it’s a good way to cool off.

Around 6pm, we’re all back. The campfire gets lit, food comes out, and it’s time to just sit and be together. The kids run around in the dust and sand chasing each other with glow sticks.

Erik puts on his Russian Siberian winter hat and comes out with his tray of S’more fixings.

There’s lots of talk about the sky, which is littered with stars, and a crystal clear view of the Milky Way galaxy.

People retell their harrowing stories of climbing mountains, or nearly dying in some Hell’s Revenge car trail that seems like utter madness to me, but they love it.

It’s easy for me to get choked up in moments like this. I know that the investment into the Digital Insiders over the last three years has created a network that almost acts like a family. I mentally thought about all those that weren’t able to make it, and try to figure out how I can plan more of these adventures that bring all of us together.

I am so blessed.

I am sad today is the last full day. It went by so quickly, and I know that this will probably be the last time until spring that I see people other than my immediate family.

Last night William (I wish you could have seen him)… he was still in his bathing suit from the day, but it was so cold he had on a down jacket on the top, bathing suit on the bottom. Covered head to toe in sand from rolling around in it playing some game of tag.  He was so sad to have to go to bed. This was just the kind of vacation he needed after 7 months of staying in CT without any friends other than his siblings to play with.

We plopped him in bed and I saw a plume of dust land on his pillow, but I didn’t care. It’s been about 8 days since we’ve had a shower. They’ll be time for all that later.

Tomorrow we pack up and begin the long drive home. Our schedule for home was EVEN more ambitious than getting here, which just points to our naivety about RV life. I’m not sure how it’s going to go. I’m a little worried about the cascade of notifications on my phone when we go back into civilization, but just one day at a time right?

People asked me, “What do you think about RVing now that you’ve done the mother of all trips?”

I would say I REALLY enjoy it, but you have to go at a slower pace. 6 hours of driving a day. Staying one or two nights at a stop. I LOVE the high desert which is hard, because it’s so far away from home, and even if I can handle the trip, it does mean at least 2-3 weeks away from home, which is a lot.

Katie’s “drop off the RV” and fly in idea wins in my book. When we do this again, that’s what we’ll most likely do.

People also asked how hard was it to eat vegan the whole trip? Hard. We broke the rules a few days, but not as bad as you might think.

We did a few ham sandwiches for lunches on the road because to whip up beans + rice or some soup wasn’t feasible. Dinners were easy because we were stopped and could cook. Breakfasts were toast + jam or avocado toast, so… not as hard as you might think.

We did try a few dehydrated vegan camper meals, which were pretty tasty!

Lastly people asked, “Would you do it again?” The answer is most definitely yes. If we can make this work in the middle of Covid, we can do anything.

It is always worth it to do these things, even when it’s hard. Like John Maxwell says, “Everything worthwhile is uphill all the way.”

**Photos not included because I’m doing this all on cell data hotspot and I wasn’t in the mood to upload photos!

Julie Chenell

Productivity Tips To Keep Your Head In The Game Despite 2020’s Nonsense

This is an email I sent to my list….

I keep hearing that word over and over in my head when I tell myself all these excuses as to why I haven’t written to my people in over a month.

Utter nonsense.

Here are the classic players of excuses in my head…

  • Gardening
  • Busy building FG Society content
  • Starting a new YouTube channel for Funnel Gorgeous
  • Kids
  • Quarantine

…but I’m going to be brutally honest and say this:

After writing some pretty heartfelt “non-marketing” messages over the past few months – both on email and on social media – I was a bit tired of managing the kickback. It wears on you, even when 1000% confident of your beliefs and in alignment. So I dove headfirst into all the things I listed and quietly hoped no one would notice I’d broken the #1 rule of marketing… staying quiet.

Anyway, today I want to share some “keep your head in the game when the dumpster fire that is 2020 is raging” tips.

It’s hard to stay focused in summer. In an election year. With a worldwide pandemic. With uncertainty around kids and school. With the economy in the toilet. With the unrest of the biggest and most necessary civil rights movement since the 1960’s.

But if you’re a business owner, you are wear the buck stops. Your business doesn’t move forward, people don’t get paid. So keeping your head in the game is like an Olympic sport and you need to get on that podium.

When Cathy and I soft launched the Funnel Gorgeous Society at the end of May, we both figured we’d get about 50 people signed. It would be a typical BETA launch, but with the certification piece built in, I knew the content creation would be way more complex than a simple course. So imagine our surprise when we we clocked our first $100,000 day and enrolled over 450 students into the first round of FG Society?!

It was nuts.

Even though my commitment to 50 people or 450 people would be the exact same, this unforeseen epic launch reminded me of this one truth: My life, my business, my habits, my words – they affect other people. My ability to keep my head in the game – even when it looks like “selfish” self care or rigid boundaries, is ultimately what’s best for everyone. Because if I go down, other things go down and the domino effect isn’t good.

So with quarantine months 4 and 5 dragging into summer with four kids, my full time gig of 1:1 coaching and consulting in my Digital Insiders, and the most ambitious curriculum and certification program to be written with 450 students waiting on me, I had to dial in my routine BIG TIME.

Here’s What I Learned…

#1 Your creative brain and logistics brain don’t place nice together.

If I made the mistake of leaving “creative” mode to go into “logistics” mode, I was screwed for the day. Nothing but sleep would help reset my creative brain. That meant that things like email, Slack, administrative tasks, Asana, list making, meetings, etc. all had to come AFTER I was done creating the content for the day. The FIRST most important task of my days that were dedicated to content creation – was to create.

#2 You will appear rigid and abrupt if you truly hold yourself accountable to your sacred time.

So I told my Executive Assistant back in May, that I would need up to 20 hours a week for content creation for months on end. That’s not easy to do when you run a mastermind with 75 people who have 1:1 access to you. So this is how I scheduled my week.

  • Mondays – Digital Insiders all day. This was my day to review audits from Insiders, do some hotseats, answer Voxers, plan, etc. Occasionally I would have an FG Society meeting in the afternoon but otherwise, I was DI coach on Mondays. No creation time at all.
  • Tuesdays – Tuesdays have been DI and meeting days. I start the day with my Insiders (Voxer + then a group call and some hotseats). Afternoons are all FG – including our weekly team meeting and FG Society Q&A.
  • Wednesdays – SACRED TIME from 9-3pm. This was the first 6 hour block I gave myself to create. I spend about 2-3 hours a day on Voxer with Digital Insiders early in the morning, and from 9-3, I am not doing ANY logistics. Only content creation.
  • Thursday – Same thing as Wednesday. Another six hour block after early morning with Insiders.
  • Friday – Same thing as Wednesday/Thursday. Another six hour block after early morning with Insiders.

You know what felt crappy? Sticking to that schedule when I knew people were waiting on me for other things. When I knew I was missing out on tags and dings. When it seemed like I should just throw my schedule away and just go lay on the beach.

#3 Don’t forget the “musing” time you need when in creation mode.

Now lest you think I stared at a screen for those six hours three days a week, I did not. I mean, I did – but I also spent a considerable amount of time in my garden and with the birds. I’d write for an hour, then go outside and water the plants. Come back in and write for another hour. Repeat.

What DOES play nice with creativity? Mindless tasks that get you outside and in nature. I found the flow and creative process wasn’t interrupted if I went outside to trim my Rose bush. It actually helped it. It allowed me to step away, think, muse, and then come back with a new way of looking at it.

#4 Nothing substitutes pen and paper. Nothing.

I keep thinking something will come along to replace it and so far, nothing. I use my pen and paper CONSTANTLY. At the end of every day, I review what’s on the list, and add to Asana or Trello, whatever needs to be turned into a task or a to do. But my paper whiteboard sits on my desk and helps me stay on track because I can put down on that paper anything that comes to mind (in whatever messy shape it’s in) and I know I won’t forget to deal with it later.

#5 Keep an ENDLESS supply of tea at hand at all times.

I’m joking (sorta). But when it comes to the creative process, don’t stop drinking. I have my assistant refreshing my tea, water, and fresh juices every hour so I don’t have to stop what I’m doing (except for the 8 million bathroom breaks because of hydration).

#6 Develop a system and set it up the night before so your momentum isn’t crushed when you begin.

This one is so critical. When you start your creation process, get your computer ready with all the tabs and notes you need. For FG Society, this was my setup…

Monitor #2

  • Google doc with my outline
  • Google folder with all my module presentations
  • Teachable with the lessons + sections in draft format
  • The Google form with the exam questions in progress

Monitor #1

  • The current presentation I was working on
  • Screenflow for recording

If you sit down in the morning and have to set this all up, I guarantee you’ll get distracted.

(goes without saying, if you’re going to create content, get two monitors)

#7 Creating great content means always keeping the end in mind.

This was the first program I designed with an exam at the end, and though it’s a crap ton of work, I’m now totally sold on exams. First, it helps students have a completion milestone.

Second, it also helps the students understand what the instructor is looking for in terms of comprehension and understanding.

Third? It helps the instructor keep the end in mind.

I knew rabbit holes and tangents and extra goodies that look like “over delivering” wouldn’t help in this case. I needed to keep the end in mind, which is that we want people who are certified in offer, copy, and design to be partners and listed on our site as marketers we recommend. Creating that synergy of the win/win helped keep a lot of tangents at bay.

#8 Develop a “catch all”.

Even with all this, you’re going to need a catch all. What do I mean by this? Well, I theorize that my ability to get SO MUCH DONE isn’t that I’m doing more than everyone else, as much as it is my ability to IGNORE.

I talk about this a lot. People who can’t ignore distractions, notifications, issues, requests will struggle in our noisy world. And to be honest, ignoring when you’re a CEO can also be disastrous.

So how do you avoid disasters and still stay focused? Develop a catch all system.

Here’s how it works…

I create a habit whereby I have ONE spot where I check to do lists, tasks, etc. This can be Trello, Asana, or any project management tool you want. If you’re good at using the tool to add tasks, that’s great – but most people suck at that part.

They don’t want to be bothered to load everything into Asana or Trello, so they get in the bad habit of dealing with it right on the spot so they don’t forget. THAT IS THE PROBLEM. STOP DOING THAT.

On Voxer, my catch all is my assistant. Any voxer that comes in that I can’t respond to right away, I forward to her. She knows that every forwarded message means that it must go on my Trello to review later. Nothing is lost. I just listen, hit forward, and keep moving.

On Slack, my catch all is similar. I’ll either tag my assistant or reply with “Asana” alerting them that I need that content in my PM software for when I go to check on things.

On PM/DM and places where people are asking me questions, my canned response is “email me”. That way I know it’s heading to a place where someone will be there to read it and respond, OR, read it and put it in Trello/Asana where I can take a look.

The idea is that every spot where you might get a distraction or a rabbit hole, put a little catch all habit in place (either with a response or an assistant) that will help you funnel information into the ONE spot you designate.

So there you have it. I hope some of that is helpful for you!

xx Julie

Ep. 79 Striking Balance When Scaling To A Million In Revenue

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I wanted to share with you a discussion that I had with a friend on Facebook. She reached out to me and she asked me about my journey to making a million dollars in revenue, but specifically about balancing your drive and your hustle to reach this goal that you know that you’re capable of, with being a wife and a mom and having that balance.

And what should her trajectory look like? Where should she double down? Where should she stop and say, “okay, wait. Maybe this is not worth it.” She’s really very much wanting to do it the right way, and the best way for herself, her business, and her family, of course.

So I told her, I said, “This is a big question. I think I’m just going to answer it as a podcast because I bet there’s a lot of people, moms and dads who listen to this that have this same struggle.” So what I want to say first and foremost is that there really isn’t just one way to do this game. Now, I do think that women, more so than men, but you know, I’m sure there are exceptions to the rule, struggle with a tremendous amount of guilt. Especially if they’re moms of young children, because there’s a lot of conditioning that we’ve taken just from society that we are of course, supposed to be there for our kids. But there’s a guilt, there’s like a guilt gland that seems to be dialed in much stronger with moms than even dads.

So if we take the child sort of discussion out of the matter, it’s hard enough to figure out how to scale to a million dollars without any extra guilt, never mind adding that in. So I kind of want to separate the two issues a little bit.

So from a real strategic standpoint how do you get to a million dollars? That requires you to look at what you currently sell, and how much of it you’ve been selling and compare that to the audience that you currently have. For example, if you are making $20,000 a month and you have a thousand dollar program, so you basically get 20 students a month, what you want to look at is, “How many leads did I need to get those 20 students?”

So maybe you need, maybe you have 5000 leads a month, and it gets you 20 students, at 20k a month. So what you can do is look at, the first thing is “What do I have to do to scale my audience?” So in order to get 20 customers at a thousand dollars each, I need 5000 leads. Well, how many customers would I get with 20 thousand leads, and how much would it cost me to get 20 thousand leads?

And then you can look at, does this make sense to do with a joint venture partner, where I find people who already have my audience? Does it make sense that I scale with Facebook and Instagram ads, how expensive would that be? Do I turn on some organic traffic strategy, whether it’s YouTube or Pinterest or Instagram, or SEO? Those are longer plays, so it takes longer, so you have to think if you’re trying to reach your goal by December, that’s going to be hard to do with SEO. But it is a long game that sort of builds over time.

So that’s the first thing you want to do, look at your current revenue, what your current revenue looks like, how many leads you’re needing to get that current revenue, and how much it would cost for you to double or triple the amount of leads you’re getting.

The second thing you want to look at is lifetime value. This is a term, a KPI that a lot of marketers talk about. How much is your customer spending with you over the lifetime of them being a part of your company? And if you only have one product, it’s very easy to figure out what lifetime value is. If you have a ecommerce store, you have multiple products, you kind of want to look at, how much are people spending over time? There’s actually a whole formula inside of FG society for any of you guys are in that program. I actually teach you how to calculate lifetime value.

So for example, in Funnel Gorgeous, which is the brand I run with Kathy, We have a lot of products, we have a lot of little products. So we figured out our lifetime value, and we know it is about $170. So the average customer spends that. So think about it like average cart value, which is another KPI, ACV, this is what the average person who comes through a funnel spends. This is what the average amount of money a customer spends with you. So we know for every new customer we get, we can assume about $170 in revenue. So then what you can figure out is how many new customers do we need in order to hit a million dollars? So we can say, well we need 10,000 more customers, how do we get it? And that’s just getting new customers.

Now the other thing you could look at when you look at your lifetime values, you could say, “gosh, my lifetime value is low. We want people to spend more. So maybe we need to introduce a new product line to the existing customer base.” And this the second strategy. So the first strategy is looking for new customers and figuring out how many new customers you have to hit a million. And then the second strategy is how do I get the customers that I have now to buy more frequently, or to buy something more expensive? There’s two ways to do that.

The more expensive is to figure out some set in time events, things that you can do that help them ascend to that next offer. Especially if you have an offer, this is easy. So for, let me give you an example with Funnel Gorgeous. We have Launch Gorgeous that’s going to launch in the fall. We can do a launch or we could possibly do a virtual event, and at that event we could sell it and then get people into the program.

So the virtual event would double, number one it would be a low ticket event, so it’d bring some revenue. But number two, it would be designed to ascend people into that higher ticket offer. If you don’t have a higher ticket offer, that would be the time to create one.

So the second strategy is really looking at all of that, what you have to do to get more traffic, and to get people to buy more often, which is like a continuity play. Even if you’re not selling a membership, bu tthey’re buying more frequently because of the type of things that you’re selling, or to buy something more expensive. And once you look at that, and I have a free strategic planning worksheet that really can help you, it’s on my Facebook page at Julie Stoian Live, just look for the video that says Strategic Planning Worksheet.

So you can do that, and that will help you back into a million. It is hard to go to a million dollars in sales with just one product, if that product is less than a thousand dollars. If it’s a thousand dollars or more, you can get to a million pretty easily on one product. But a lot of people still need to figure out how they can create another offer in there.

So once you have figured that out, and I would back into it with a spreadsheet and look at the various scenarios, the second thing you want to look at is the ease with which it’s going to take you to execute on all the ideas. Because probably you’re going to come up with a bunch of ideas, “I could do this. I could do this. I could do this.” And you want to look at the ease.

I got this from my friend and fellow insider Dave Lindenbaum, he got it from somebody else who I can’t remember, but he rates all of his ideas with impact, confidence and ease. Impact is how much of an impact is this going to have on my goal? How confident am I that it’s going to have that impact? Meaning like, am I reasonably sure that this is going to help or am I just kind of thinking about it? And then ease is how easy is it to get off the ground?

So if you have a couple of ideas and one is like, ‘Oh, I’m going to create a high ticket offer one on one and I’m going to sell it to existing customers.” That’s relatively easy versus, “I’m going to create a certification program.” That’s going to be much more difficult.

So you want to look at which projects are going to be more quickly, because you want to be able move the projects that happen a little bit more easily to the front of the line because and especially if you have a high confidence score that you know that it’s going to make a difference.

So sometimes our best ideas are super complicated ideas like, ‘Oh, I need a brand new website, and I need new branding and all this kind of stuff.” But then it requires you to roll that branding out through all of your products and is that really going to, is it really what is impacting your revenue? If the answer is no, then you don’t want that to be a high priority.

So back in the fall Kathy and I were talking about trying to hit a million dollars, because we really wanted to walk the Two Comma Club stage and that was sort of a goal. So we were very much up against the wall with a timeframe, so everything we did in our business, in probably a six week period, was very much driven by, ‘we’d like to reach that goal.’ Whereas if that goal was not there, we’d probably, we would have maybe done things a little bit differently. So when you’re thinking about your goal of hitting a million dollars by a certain date, is there something behind that that’s important to you? Because this was really important, this was Kathy’s first Two Comma Club and it was really important to her. So we knew because it was important, we reprioritized. But had that not been there, or had it been further out, we might have rearranged things.

So you want to make sure that your goal isn’t arbitrary like, “Oh, I have to make a million dollars by this date, otherwise I don’t know what’s going to happen.” You want to make sure that that date, that there’s some meaning behind it. And sometimes when you make goals like that, you get close to hitting it but you don’t quite hit it, is that going to be okay? So you really want to look at your motivation behind it.

When I, my first million dollars in business didn’t come through just one product, it came through two products. I had a membership and I had a signature program, TDG, so those together created that million dollar mark for me. So I, you know for Funnel Gorgeous a million dollars came through, again, a funnel stack, which was 2 offers kind of put together. But yet I have helped lots of people hit a million dollars with just one offer. But again, it’s hard to do if the offer is less than a thousand dollars. I have a couple of people who did it with a $500 offer, but most people do it with a thousand dollar offer or higher. So just keep that in mind based on your business.

Now, I want to transition a little bit away from tactics and talk about being a mom for a second. I believe that there is a time and a season for everything. I also believe that momentum and creativity come in bursts. This is always a little bit of a hard thing to explain to people who aren’t entrepreneurial, especially spouses and children who don’t quite understand. But I know enough to know that the balance that I enjoy today, the lifestyle of gardening and going to Disney World, when there isn’t Coronavirus, and all that kind of stuff I enjoy today because of the hustle that I did.

So it’s very tempting, and you’ll see business owners do this, where they make a lot of money and then they create this lifestyle for themselves, and then they sell this lifestyle, and almost kind of you know, talk badly about what they did in the past, or talk about it like it was less than, forgetting that that was a legitimate stepping stone to them being where they are now. There are seasons of hustle in business, and sometimes it’s hard to see where they start and stop. And the danger is that sometimes you don’t know how to stop. And this is, you know, the analogy that I talk about is like, a tiger is chasing you in the woods, and I know for me in 2015 when I was really trying to get my financial feet under me, and I had just come out of a divorce and it was very stressful, there was a sense of a tiger chasing me. I was hopped up on some adrenaline for sure. But I’m, I don’t regret what I did because I was riding the momentum and the adrenaline, and sort of that cash in.

And that was a season where I would not, that season doesn’t hit all the time, and I used it, I used that sort of crisis to my advantage. You know the tiger of poverty was chasing me. So it created this drive, I also had a period where I wasn’t with my kids as much, and that was painful, and I took that pain and that grief and I used it, I used it to create something. And for me to then sit and look back on that and be like, ‘Oh my gosh, I made such terrible decisions, or I didn’t do it right.” Or whatever I would judge about myself in the past, would be so short sighted. Because I was using what was in front of me to the best of my ability to create something that now I get to enjoy.

And so I just, I kind of scoff a little bit when I see influencers who talk badly about their hustle past because it’s short sighted. Hind sight is always 20/20. But the danger, the danger is that you may not realize that the tiger has stopped chasing you and you won’t know how to stop. And I think that was something that I sort of ran into once I hit that revenue goal I was looking for and I started to feel that financial security. And I was working like a dog, I had Funnel gorgeous, I had Digital Insiders, I had Create Your Laptop Life, I had you know, I was working with Russell at Clickfunnels, and it was just, you know, my life was suffering.

I did not realize that the tiger had stopped chasing me because I was stuck in this pattern. And it took a real strong, I mean it took therapy, it took inward reflection to really look and be like, “Oh, the tiger’s not there anymore. I don’t have to run at this pace forever.” And I was able to start to unwind and untangle some of the habits I picked up along the way and say, “Okay, what do I want this to look like now?”

So that’s the thing that you want to be mindful of, when you know there’s a season of hustle and you know there’s a season of drive. Number one, understand your motivation. Number two, get really clear on what things you will need to do to make that happen. And then number three, watch for signs when it has happened so that you can sort of unlearn some of the things that you might learn in the process. And that’s what I had to do.

So now I have a little bit of a different vibe with my life that I recognize. I recognize where I came from. To some extent, you’re never going to be rid of the guilt. The guilt is always going to be there. I’ve never figured out how to get rid of it. I have learned to live with it. I have learned to just accept that as a mom there’s always going to be this tug, and I have to just do what I know is best for me, because if I’m unhappy and I’m miserable, I am going to be a terrible mom. And I know that I care so much about my children that I don’t have to worry that I’m going to irreparably harm them because what’s best for me is also as an extension what’s best for my children. Because I love them, I would jump in front of a train for them, in a heartbeat.

So I just have to trust that my instincts as a mom will guide me. And as far as spouses and friends and all that kind of stuff, I think that when they, you know if they’re not entrepreneurial and they’re worried, and they see, “Oh my gosh, you’re burning the candle at both ends.” It’s important to have the discussion of like, “This is the goal, this is what I think it’s going to take to get there, and this is the timeline I think it’s going to take to get there.” and creating boundaries around it so that they don’t feel like it’s this never ending thing that’s never ever going to stop. I think that you can mitigate a lot of spousal disagreements about that.

So I hope that helps for those of you guys who are working towards a million dollars and feeling the pull of where do I start? What do I double down on? What do I let go of? And how to manage that as a wife and mom. I hope this was helpful for you. And thank you to the person who reached out to me, because it’s a great topic. I hope you guys have an amazing day. Talk soon.

The Reckoning For White People Who Don’t Realize Dismantling Racism Is Going To Mean Giving Something Up

“Our racially violent patterns will not break if white people do not give something up.” – Emily Volz

That sentence cut me like a knife this week when I read it. As I watch White people fumble around trying to grapple with the depth of institutionalized racism in this country, myself included… I’m feeling a lot of emotions.

  • Grief
  • Shame
  • Guilt
  • Outrage
  • Anger
  • Frustration
  • Fear
  • Overwhelm
  • Paralysis

I ask myself, “Why did it take such a horrifying murder to rip the scales off of our eyes to see this level of injustice in this way?” As I scour for books and blogs and people to read and learn from, I can’t help but notice the dates on the posts.

  • 2017
  • 2018
  • 2019

These people have been laboring for this cause way before the world was paying this level of attention, and how it must feel like a slap in the face that now all of a sudden… when the country is doing everything it can to prove their non-racism… that it’s trendy to be anti-racist. That’s what my sister said to me the other day. It’s trendy and that feels horrifying in and of itself.

She’s right.

That probably is igniting more anger and outrage and trauma among Black people because it feels like when business brand and reputation is at stake, now everyone cares. Fuck off is what I’d say if I were them. That anger is 100% justified.

It’s hard to figure out who’s just saving face and who is really waking up. I’d argue you probably aren’t going to always be able to tell right now, now while emotions are still so hot. It won’t become obvious until the news cycle passes, and the people who are doing the work will continue to, and the ones who weathered the impossibly charged emotional storm – get to go back to being comfortable.

But back to that first quote above.

Dismantling racism will come at a cost. A cost of power, of wealth, of opportunity. As long as there is a hierarchy designed to keep White people at the top, there will be a fight to redistribute that equity.  It demands it. And the ones who will fight the hardest to stay at the top are White people. Which means the only way it changes is if enough White people get disgusted enough at the injustice to dismantle it.

The realization is that in order to move against that tide, the individual work each of us must do will be costly, uncomfortable, and will change our way of seeing the world forever.

For those of you who paralyzed with what to say and do, I offer you this.

Fear is paralyzing you. The fear of being wrong. The fear of being racist. The fear of appearing racist. The fear of hurting people unintentionally.

That fear is driving you to:

  1. Hurry up and add Black people to your lineup on your summit
  2. Hurry up and make a statement before your silence is seen as complicit
  3. Hurry up and attack other White people for getting it wrong because then it distracts from your work
  4. Hurry up and do anything and everything to avoid facing the truth… White people are born into a privileged society where White Supremacy is at work, and we are all racist

And no matter how you choose to respond, you’re not going to get it right. But if you’re okay with that, then facing that fear head on might actually bring you the real freedom you need. I’ve learned that when I am in pain, I have to be careful not to solve the problem because I simply want the pain to go away. Sit with your pain, and see what it teaches you.

That’s what I’m doing.

I’m grieving my ignorance. I’m angry that it took so much for me to see it.

White people are going to have to give something up. It’s true.

The first thing is your moral high ground. And when you do, when you stop fighting against the fear of being misunderstood or labeled, you’ll actually be able to get to work.

I gave up the fear of being racist + privileged because I am. And trying to avoid it only distracts me from the work God is asking me to do.

Last thing…

The amount of grace and compassion shown to me this week by Black people can only be described as a God experience. I feel Jesus in their responses. Helpful. Generous. Patient. Even in the midst of their own pain. I thank you for showing me something you didn’t have to show me. Something that wasn’t your responsibility to do but you did anyway.

Thank you Kevin Laylor, Michelle Hughes, Michelle Perry, Myown Holmes Carin Clark, LaToya Russell, Erica Johnson, Chido Samantha, Titilayo Tinubu,  Shereese Floyd-Thompson, Rose Guthrie, Traci Green, Sue Denis, Aurora Gregory, Lakshmia Marie, Na’Kole Watson, Paulette Harper, Isi Aladejobi Shola Abidoye. I’m sure I’m forgetting people so I will most likely (and certainly) add to this list, but every single one of these people have either reached out to me privately or took time to share their perspective and I’m so appreciative.

There is freedom from fear when you stop running from the truth. Give up the fear. The moral high ground. The worry that you’ll get it wrong. That’s not the point. You’ll get it wrong and when you’re really free, you’ll be okay because you know that’s part of the work.

Grace and peace. This song is on repeat in my office as I pray for this broken country that Jesus would bring righteous redemption, justice, and healing in our land. We need it so badly. I pray it over every man, woman, and child standing for justice. May His favor be upon you.



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