The Best Stuff

Julie Chenell

4 Steps To Untangling Any Problem (Big or Small)

An email I sent to my list on April 6th. Not on my email list? That’s where I send my newest trainings and info first. Click here to get on my list! 

Some straight forward business advice for you today. Given the unpredictable climate of the stock market, the banks, the economy, not to mention the health risks we’re facing as a population, it’s hard to find clarity. I get it. I so get it.

  • You could be a startup with a lot of overhead and wonder how to keep the lights on with less customers and clients
  • Or you could be a bootstrapping freelancer who fears that clients might cut out upcoming projects with you to run a lean machine
  • Perhaps you never got your business off the ground and now you’re home from work (either furloughed or still getting paid for now)
  • Maybe you’re unemployed and don’t feel like you have the money to get a new business venture off the ground

It’s a lot.

But every big messy problem is usually just a mixture of a bunch of little problems. And those little problems are ALL attached to a belief.

So with a little surgery, we can unravel a big problem by pulling out all the little problems and going after the fundamental belief that’s allowing that problem to remain.

Let’s take a very common problem I’m seeing right now with agencies.

Agencies serve business owners. And those business owners might be local businesses that have had to shut down (gyms, salons, restaurants, etc.). So as clients drop off, the agency owner starts to panic. What do you do now?

Let’s look at the little problems that combine to make this one big messy scary problem…

  • You’re losing existing clients + revenue
  • Your expenses are the same and debt will quickly follow if you don’t figure something out fast
  • Your time is less because your kids are home and you have to help them with online schooling
  • Your spouse got laid off and just put immense pressure on the family budget
  • Your own anxiety and fear is wearing you out and draining you of your creativity
  • The people you follow online are boasting about opportunity in crisis and you don’t know what’s wrong with you that you can’t pivot fast

Now it’s time to tackle EACH little problem’s fundamental belief. It’s only when you see what you’re dealing with that you can attack it with solutions, creativity, hope, and determination.

You’re losing existing clients + revenue

The fundamental belief here is that you don’t have any control over your income, and while it’s true you can’t control your existing clients behavior, you can control your behavior. Your policies. Your actions. There are businesses that are doing well. Those are the people you need to go after.

  1. Can you create a pause plan for customers who don’t want to lose you long term but need some reprieve?
  2. Can you lower prices temporarily?
  3. Can you find other clients in markets that ARE doing well (because they are there!)?
  4. Can you turn on your own funnel and/or ads and teach people how to DIY it in a course at a lower price point?

Your expenses are the same and debt will quickly follow if you don’t figure something out fast

The fundamental belief here is that you’re a victim of this (maybe so) and there’s nothing you can do to stop this cascade of terribleness. The truth is you can cut expenses (even if it’s hard) and you can go into debt AND get back out. That’s okay too.

  1. Quickly create a priority list of what you should pay for and what you can get an extension on. Mortgage? Utilities? Credit Card interest? Student loans?
  2. Are there ways you can save some on things like food, monthly subscriptions you’re not using, etc.
  3. Do you have any assets you can liquidate temporarily?
  4. Can you put some things on credit cards to buy yourself some time?

Your time is less because your kids are home and you have to help them with homeschooling

The fundamental belief here is that you’re going to screw up your kid if you don’t homeschool well. Isn’t it true that if your kids are younger than 12, EVEN if they miss an entire year of school, they could easily catch up? The answer is yes. Most kids could skip 12 months of school and still grow up to be intelligent adults. The good news is, that everyone is in the same boat. Your kid isn’t the weird one. Everyone is struggling with this! If your kids are over 12, they need to take some self-responsibility for their education. What a perfect time to teach that important lesson when you have the convenient excuse of surviving a pandemic.

  1. Can you get up at 4-5am and do your work until 9am and then just be done for the day? After all, there’s nothing to do and no place to go so you can take an afternoon nap or go to bed early. Your schedule is literally yours right now. There’s never been a better time to work odd hours.
  2. Are there free groups and opportunities for kids to get taught by others? So many teachers and business owners are offering free or low cost online meetings/trainings to supplement education.

Your spouse got laid off and just put immense pressure on the family budget

The fundamental belief here is that your situation isn’t going to change and you’re stuck. You are not stuck. This is really hard, but there is unemployment. In the meantime….

  1. What can now happen that could not before in terms of having two people at home instead of one?
  2. What skills and talents does your spouse have and how might they be used in a different arena?
  3. Are there temporary jobs available at places like grocery stories or Amazon facilities that need all the help they can get?
  4. Since it’s that proverbial hit bottom moment, what have you been dreaming about trying but seemed too risky? Now can you do it? Start that business?
  5. There’s a level of freedom when your worst case scenario hits… all of a sudden crazy options that you never would have tried, now you can.

Your own anxiety and fear is wearing you out and draining you of your creativity

The fundamental belief is that you have a set amount of creativity and energy and when it runs out, you can’t get it back. This is not true. However you do need to “hack” your brain a bit to get your fight or flight mechanism back on track.

  1. There are anti-anxiety toolkits that actually rewire the brain physiologically. Can you get a book or meditation to start practicing?
  2. Music, physical activity, conversations with an encouraging friend… these all change your state and stop the anxiety flow.
  3. Gratitude exercises work. When you get in an anxious cycle, stop what you’re doing and [OUT LOUD] start saying what you’re grateful for. Don’t stop until you feel the anxiety starting to dissolve.
  4. When you’re about to problem solve something or get creative, do it the MINUTE you wake up before you have a chance for the input from the news or social media or people start to get at you.
  5. Face your worst case scenario in your head because once you do, you’ll realize that you can still survive it (yes, even death). Once you battle it, your anxiety has lost its most terrifying power.

The people you follow online are boasting about opportunity in crisis and you don’t know what’s wrong with you that you can’t pivot fast

The fundamental belief here is that you’re not good enough. And because you believe that, these types of posts are “sticking” to you. They are triggering you because you believe that to be true, when in fact, if you just stopped believing it, these comments wouldn’t bug you anymore.

  1. Remind yourself these people are doing/saying what they are for their own reason. You don’t have the whole picture. Don’t compare their highlight reel to your behind the scenes.
  2. The unfollow button is your friend.
  3. Everyday write down the things you accomplished. Big stuff, small stuff, hell even just thoughts and beliefs you beat down into submission. Remind yourself of everything you’re doing. Stick up on the wall.

It’s this kind of deconstruction that breaks the power of fear and stops the downward spiral in its tracks.

My incredible therapist (thank heavens for professional help is all I have to say)… says that anxiety is just fear of another feeling. We will do all kinds of things to avoid feeling the unpleasant feeling we don’t want to feel. But attacking it at the level of belief will actually move you forward faster than anything else.

  1. Look at that big scary messy problem.
  2. Break it up into smaller fears and problems.
  3. Attack the fundamental belief.
  4. Find the solutions (even the ones you might not like at first – they might grow on you).

Last thing…

If you have a problem – a big messy problem that you can’t figure out – hit reply and let me know. I may attempt to untangle some of these for folks… to show you that ANY problem, no matter how big – has a way out. You may not like the way out, but it’s there and it’s available to those willing to look at it.

xx Julie

Inside Digital Insiders With Ashley Buffa’s $70k in 30 Days Funnel


If you missed our interview, you should definitely check it out over on Facebook!


Ashley joined Digital Insiders in May 2019, and there have been some exciting developments in her business over the last 9 months that I want to share with you!

We met at ClickFunnels, where she was working as an agency owner/contractor there, and she was in charge of the messenger bot. We got to talking and one day, she told me she was really hoping to launch an online brand about being a mom/parenting, etc. A few weeks later she joined Digital Insiders to help grow that brand.

And as you know how life goes, just a month or two later, she found out she was pregnant with… wait for it… her 10th child! ????

Now the pressure was on. She had nine months to really light this brand up, because agency work really isn’t conducive to a newborn.

So how did it all go down?

Step one: First she decided to launch her Freedom Moms Challenge internally to her small list of 1000 people. She didn’t have an OTO, so we did a small pressure launch with just one product…and her results were good. People bought it! The market had showed her that yes, they did want this product. But they also showed her that they wanted something else…

That valuable market feedback from her audience was the catalyst for what happened next. Turns out, moms think the solution to reducing the amount of housework they do is to get their kids on board with doing chores. And as is typical with people who have superhuman skills, Ashley hadn’t realized that her ability to get her kids to do chores was in fact a big deal! She had a skill to share!

Step two: We brainstormed the next funnel and out of that came Smart Kids Chores. This was a classic funnel, with an order bump and an OTO. She did a Power Launch (this is a term I’ve coined for launching a low ticket funnel with ads – and is explained IN DEPTH inside of the course Launch Gorgeous). Her funnel consisted of…

  • A $49 chores course
  • A $12 order bump with SOP’s for kids chores
  • A $29 OTO for the Freedom Moms Challenge

Ashley went against the grain in a couple of ways… first she charged more for her front end than is typical for a Power Launch Funnel. Next, she charged LESS for her OTO. Finally she pre-sold this offer (something I don’t usually recommend on a low ticket funnel). Just goes to show that taking chances does pay off (as long as you’re aware you’re taking those risks).

Step three: Design the funnel! She used the Funnel Ink design – and submitted her funnel and copy for an audit inside of DI. We tweaked and tweaked, until we were sure it was good to go for her $1000 Facebook Ad Test.

(By the way, if you’re interested in the types of tweaks I recommend plus the Facebook Ad test, you should check out Funnel Rx – the special offer after Offer Cure)

I wish people could see inside my daily Voxer routine. I have 75 Insiders so on any given day, I’m spending a solid 2-3 hours answering questions on all things marketing, funnels, mindset, etc.

Step four: Do the $1000 ads test. Ashley was nervous. You can hear it in her voice when she described fearing that this funnel thing wouldn’t work for her.

Turns out, her nerves were not needed. She was profitable from day one with her ads!

Step five: Optimize. She submitted the funnel two more times to me for review, and we continued to optimize the page using the checklists I made for DIers (inside Funnel Rx). Her conversion rate slowly climbed, as did her ad spend, and her profit.

  • Her sales page is currently converting at about 3.7%.
  • Her order bump is around 84%.
  • Her OTO is around 45%.

She used the spreadsheet in Module 4 of Funnel Rx to assess her numbers and got three green lights! That means that she proceeds to the stage of micro-optimizations rather than macro-optimizations.

The first thing I noticed when we sat down to look at her numbers was how unbelievably high her order bump was. The solution to that? Raise the price until the conversion is sitting at around 40-50%.

Ashley turned her ads on on December 5th.

At the 30 day mark, she’s spent $20,185 in ads and earned over $71,000 in revenue.

That’s a $50,000 month she just had – and if you had asked her if she was okay spending $20,000 in ads on that first day she would have been nervous. But that’s the thing people don’t realize.

Once you’re making profit, you can roll some of that money back into ads and continue to scale!

At the end of the interview, you’ll hear Ashley talking about how grateful she is for not just the coaches in DI, but the members as well.

I received a voxer message from her about two weeks into this funnel launch. She thanked me for creating Digital Insiders – because she knows it was the pivotal thing that helped her create, build, launch, and grow a product that will allow her to take her maternity leave, enjoy her 10th baby, and not have to grind 24/7 to make ends meet.

Ashley has some big plans for later in 2020, where she’ll be rolling out some new programs for her growing audience. She is one to watch!

If you’re interested in working with me, here are three ways you can…

  1. Start by picking up a copy of Offer Cure + Funnel Rx – where my partner Cathy and I team up to bring you the best in offer and funnel training.
  2. Next, if you’re ready to launch something new, get on the waitlist for Launch Gorgeous. That program is a curriculum created DIRECTLY as a result of working and launching with Insiders for the last two years (plus my experience at ClickFunnels), and is also with Cathy and Funnel Gorgeous!
  3. Finally, if you’re making $100,000 a more a year, and you’re ready to join a high end mastermind and worked directly with me 1:1, you can apply to Digital Insiders. Membership is limited to 100 and we’re more than 75% full.
Julie Chenell

Productivity Hack: How To Move From Interruption To Search

I had the privilege of attending Russell Brunson’s Traffic Secrets event last year, and it was there that I first heard the phrase “Search vs. Interruption.” It’s Russell’s way of talking about a marketing topic that many of us know as…

Inbound vs. Outbound Marketing

Or sometimes called…

Content vs. Direct Response Marketing

People like Gary V. and Neil Patel lead with content. They invite people into their world by creating value and leveraging organic traffic. From there you might level up into their paid offers.

Russell Brunson and Dean Graziosi are industry leaders in outbound or direct response marketing. This is where you’re interrupted with paid ads and drawn into a funnel, even when you weren’t planning on it. You weren’t actively searching.

In one case, the prospect is actively searching for information and runs into your content (which leads to your paid products). In another case, your prospect is scrolling on social media and gets interrupted with ads that lead to a funnel.

This is not going to be a blog post about the differences between the two types of marketing. What it is going to be is (hopefully) a MASSIVE productivity aha! about how this schema in marketing works with productivity too.

First off, at the bottom of this post is an article I read about productivity and your phone. It’s a long article and totally worth the read, and I found myself implementing a bunch of the hacks in it.

However, what I recognized is this…

To become more productive, it’s important to build your daily routine around the concept of search… not interruption.

Most of us don’t do this. We love interruption. We have the typical *bad* interruptions like social media. We also have *productive* interruptions – like… calendar reminders! These are good right? Alarm clocks do the same thing. Interrupt our activity to get us to take action.

So I’m not trying to demonize the idea of interruption… because there are times when it’s necessary.

But if we developed search based routines, we’d avoid a crap ton of interruption.

Here’s the idea…

In the article I mentioned, one of the things he describes is the idea of using folders for your apps, and also removing badges (the little red notifications). That’s because if you open your phone and see a 45 next to your inbox, even if you were opening your phone to turn on some music or use the calculator, you probably had to resist the urge to check your inbox (or maybe you didn’t resist and went down a rabbit hole).

If you put your apps in folders and remove badges, then there’s nothing interrupting you. You will have to SEARCH for updates, notifications, messages, etc. which means, unless you’re actively looking for it, you won’t see it.

Now let’s expand this to think about in other ways.

How many of us use notifications on our computers too? I know I have it on for Facebook, for Slack, for Voxer… heck even for Trello! I am using the notifications to dictate where I look and when, which is interruption based.

What if I restructured all my work to be search based. At first, I’d need reminders yes. But eventually, I would learn how to use all these apps without the buzz of interruption all the time.

What if it started with a simple checklist? That checklist is all the places you check during your prescribed “admin” time. So for example, at 12pm and 5pm EST everyday, you would check…

  1. Your Trello Boards
  2. Your Slack Channels
  3. Your Voxer Messages
  4. Your Email Messages
  5. Your FB Groups

etc. etc.

I know people do this with email, but there are so many other communication channels now – that we have to carry this idea over to them as well.

Another question to ask yourself is this:

What would your day look like you had NO REMINDERS and had to actively search out anything and everything you were going to do?

Think about that for a minute.

  • No calendar reminders. You’d have to open your calendar and actually look.
  • No Facebook notifications. You’d have to pick the groups and places you were going to check for updates for.
  • No Slack messages. Which channels would you go in and read the happenings on?

Then ask yourself this next level question…

If I received NO INBOUND messages at all for one day – no comments, no emails, no Voxers… WHO would I actively reach out to? WHAT would I actually do with my time?

Then… once you’ve answered those two questions honestly, compare it to your actual day. Are you talking to people you would never reach out to? Are you checking and answering things that aren’t something you’d proactively go after?

If there’s a huge disparity between what you’d do “in the wild and left to your own devices” vs. what you’re responding or reacting to on any given day, then that’s a sign that your productivity should become more SEARCH based.

This works for battling shiny object syndrome too. I can’t tell you the amount of times I got sucked into massive amounts of head trash because of something SOMEONE else said, did, wrote, posted, etc. It would derail me for hours.

  1. If you want to JV or do an interview, who are YOU going to choose? Is it the same people that are reaching out to you day in and out for requests for interviews?
  2. If you want to learn from someone, who are YOU going to buy from? Is it the same people that are cluttering up your inbox and your newsfeed now?
  3. Or, what about a slightly off-kilter customer service inquiry on email that then has you re-evaluating your entire business model, value ladder, and material because of a criticism you didn’t even see as an issue?

I’m not saying that these things don’t have their time, place, and value, but if we take our cues from the most successful people on the planet, they have entire teams of people managing ALL the interruptions, and only allow those interruptions to make it to their desk at a prescribed time.

We do need feedback. We need new ideas. We need new people.

But we also get to control how and when and where that information comes into us, and if we ask ourselves… how do I become more search based, vs. interruption based… we’ll go a long way towards better time management and staying on task with the goals that matter to us.

Here’s the article I read —> How to Configure Your iPhone to Work For You. Hat tip to Cathy Olson in our Marketer’s Heart Facebook Group for the find. It’s really good.

Inside My Next Big Campaign

The blog post below is an email I sent to my list. Are you not on my email list yet? This is where I send ALLL the best content FIRST. Click here to opt in.


I should have added in the subject line [Part 1 of I’m-not-sure-how-many] because I’m about to launch another email series, and I know that people love it when I pull back the curtain on what’s about to go down, but this time I just don’t know how many emails it’s going to take!

First you should know that I’m writing (again) at 35,000 feet in the air. October was a doozy for travel because I was invited to speak at several events – LadyBoss Live, 2CCX Platinum, and then there was Russell’s last Inner Circle event. So it’s been 9 days of travel in a row and now I’m on the long flight home (into a Nor’Easter apparently).

I think it was back in 2018 sometime – at Inner Circle actually – that I got up to present and spoke right into the universe… “I want to get more speaking engagements.” Small or large it didn’t matter, I wanted to speak and share with more people than I was able to reach on my own.

And when I look back on the last 18 months, I’ve been on FHL’s stage twice, I spoke at ClanCon, LadyBoss Live, Unlock The Secrets, 2CCX, Boss Mom Retreat, Food Blogger Pro, and turned down offers for Carrot Con, Offermind, and others just because my schedule couldn’t handle any more!

This doesn’t even count my own fulfillment events – Funnel Gorgeous Retreat, Digital Insiders Mastermind Events, and the upcoming Hustle Detox Live in March!

All of this…after I set the intention, spoke it out loud in front of others, and then actively began looking for opportunities to practice sharing my story and my knowledge – on all kinds of stages. Here’s what happened along the way…

I gained more and more clarity and insight into what and why I’m here on this funny blue and green spinning ball of planet.

And it wasn’t what I expected…

I thought I was going to share and teach marketing, and I have (and do!).

But there’s another message forming in my heart, and the act of seeking stage opportunities has been the catalyst for all of it.

By the way, there are all kinds of online stages too – webinars, summits, podcasts, etc. Anyone who’s trying to reach a group of people with their message needs a stage. Many actually.

If you’re sitting here reading this email and saying to yourself, “I know my message needs a bigger platform because there are people who are hurting that need my help…” then don’t ignore that stirring. It’s there for a reason, even if it feels nerve wracking or foggy right now. I remember thinking….

  • I can’t speak on stage
  • I don’t know what my message is
  • Why am I qualified when there are people who know so much more than I do

I felt all of those things, and last year – soon after speaking the intention about stages, I went to Kenya Africa, and there – I met Pete Vargas. We INSTANTLY hit it off, and there are very few people in this online business space I respect more than him. We spent 10 days together, on safari and in a remote village called Ndatho, and it was there – that I started to hear about what he does – which is all about crafting your message and landing the stage.

We’ve been in touch since then, and a few months ago, he reached out and asked if I’d be a part of his big Stage to Scale launch in November. It didn’t matter that the timing wasn’t great (I have an event during that time). I said yes. I said yes because Pete Vargas is full of incredible integrity, heart, generosity, and knowledge. And also? He pretty much knows everyone…and remains totally humble and approachable just the same.

I haven’t participated in many affiliate launches since the great and infamous Expert Secrets launch of 2017 LOL, and I’ve done that deliberately.

I committed to partnering with people who can check off three boxes:

  1. I believe that their expertise will help the people who trust my advice.
  2. I believe that they can deliver the level of quality I demand of myself and my own products.
  3. I believe that the person at the top is aligned with integrity and humility.

You notice I’ve not done much affiliating of late right? It’s all intentional.

But here lies an opportunity I firmly believe is timed perfectly for many of you who might have watched me explode my travel and speaking engagements and wondered, “Could I do the same? Am I ready to find stages for my message?”

The answer is 1000% yes. You can, and Pete (and I) can help you!

So over the next few weeks, I’m going to be launching a big JV partner campaign where I combine a TOTALLY brand new offer…FREE for people who are going to purchase Pete’s Stage to Scale when it launches in November.

I thought it’d be fun to show you a bit behind the scenes of how it all works, because that’s how I learn best, and I assume you do too!

So stay tuned… I’ll be sending out another email soon, and I’ll explain my process for coming up with a great JV Bonus offer, and what goes into building it all out prior to launch.

I’m excited you guys.

Stages are changing my life…in ways I didn’t expect. The ability to communicate your message to a group of people carries virtually limitless potential, and I want to help you strengthen that muscle over the next few weeks.

Plus…I’m STOKED to introduce a never before seen bonus offer that includes some pretty cool stuff.

xx Julie

P.S. A clue about my bonus offer – it’s going to include the same tools that helped one of my Insiders, close over $200k in sales in just a few hours in his very first launch. More about that later.

The Adventures of Lake Powell + 10 Days Without Internet

DAY FOUR

It’s taken me four days to even get my sea legs enough to sit down and write.

Today is day four. We’ve been on this crazy amazing lake for four days (five counting the travel day), and the amount of stuff I want to tell you might make this the longest post ever.

Even though this isn’t my first time on an outdoorsy like camping vacation (my craziest camping trip was Kenya Africa) – this is the first time I’ve ever committed to a solid 9 days of real life escape to the high desert climate of Arizona… with our four year old William in tow.

No internet. 18 people. One houseboat.

The first thing I want to tell you is that if you haven’t tried to really unplug from the real world – no internet, no news, no email, no social media – try it. Your brain frees up enormous bandwidth. For me who works online and regularly answers over 100 messages a day, I honestly bought back 90% of my brain’s bandwidth when we rolled up onto the desert-y beach for the week.

This has both amazing consequences and unintended ones.

The amazing ones you probably know – things like resetting your rhythm to the sun, living in the present moment with the people you’re with, more time to think, etc. The unintended consequence of all this brain power?

You have time to really let all those repressed thoughts rise to the surface as you stare at the stars. Hard emotional thoughts you ignored as the busyness of life took hold.

I have this high powered, fast moving brain – in a completely foreign environment. Times that by all the other successful people I’m with? It’s a lot of brain power sitting on a boat in the middle of nowhere. I’m not sure how it was for everyone else, but for me? It brought up a whole lot of stuff I don’t normally pay attention to.

For the first four days, I couldn’t go two hours without trying to figure out what time it was. All the phones are jacked because there is no internet first, but secondly, we’re right on the timezone line between mountain time and pacific time so it’s always a toss up on what time you’d get when you asked. And I got a ton of shit from everyone because it mattered to me what the REAL time was. They were all like, “Why does it matter?!”

Literally..two phones next to each other at dinner one night.

And it was a really good question. Why did it matter so much to me? Everything I do runs by the clock, and without it, I was completely lost.

The thought of trusting my own instincts to guide me (and also to guide me parenting William) felt scary and unknown. For those of you who have children who are monsters when they are tired or out of their routine, you understand why I chose the word “scary”. I pushed through the discomfort and as each day passed, I asked the time less and less. It’s now day four and I no longer need to know what time it is to wake up, go to sleep, or eat meals. I just feel my way through it, for me and William. It may not seem like a big deal, but it is.

Sleeping under the stars will probably go down in history as one of the most incredible things I’ve ever done. Being a New Englander, I haven’t ever been able to sleep outside. It’s either too humid, too buggy, too stormy, or too cold. Here? There are no bugs that bite. No humidity. Just miles and miles of water, red rock, and stars. I feel my body resetting every night I sleep here.

I want you to imagine for a minute, 15 entrepreneurs all on one houseboat together. Every day is like a new reality TV episode. We had Lake Powell Day 4 – the day Nick successfully climbed the steepest rock you’ve ever seem. We all watched from the lake below, as he became the tiniest speck against all the rock. He definitely didn’t bring a walkie talkie, enough sunscreen and water, or even a shirt…but it didn’t stop us from listening to James narrate his descent in true David Attanboro fashion. We all peed our pants laughing, which didn’t matter because peeing in the lake is perfectly acceptable.

Several entrepreneurial endeavors have popped up in our new lakeside economy. Sophie (age 10) has started a floatation rotation service business. She hops in the lake and gets paid every time she tows someone on a floatie back to a prime spot (near the dock, in the shade, etc.). She hustled Brian out of 40 bucks yesterday since she rotated his floatie over 35 times in our afternoon floating session.

The days revolve around floating sessions. Think three or four hours of talking, laughing, and drinking – on the bluest most beautiful lake water (temp 87). It’s the closest thing to heaven I can think of. We drink hard seltzer – called White Claw. So much so it’s become a verb. You yell to whomever’s on the dock and say, “CLAW ME!”

Peppered between float sessions – we do all the water sports. Wake surfing, wake boarding, slalom, paddle boarding, jet skiing, kayaking…

And then, because it’s a bunch of a-level players in the water, it turns into headstands ON the paddle board (really it’s just Brandon who can pull off this incredible feat). Nothing is ever just status quo.

Brandon and Kaelin hosted this trip, and if you’ve never watched them surf…you should. It’s impressive.

It’s funny when you’re in close quarters like this – there’s only a few hours a day of electricity, limited toilet paper, fuel, ice, and of course – throw in some toasty daytime temps of 95+ degrees, the rules change.

Things you’d never normally do – sleep in a wet bathing suit, taking communal outdoor showers, sharing beds and blankets with people, drinking sangria for breakfast (it’s really just a fruit salad with wine)… you find that the rules you live by in your real life, are just arbitrary principles you set up for the life you have.

And if you change your life, you can change the rules.

That’s been a huge aha! for me. If I want to spend more time not caring about the time, or spend more time not worrying about your house being perfectly clean, then change your life so you can create new rules that make that as normal as breathing.

In this environment, it never dawned on me not to sleep in a soaking wet bathing suit. I was hot, it was evening, I was tired, and so that’s what I did. And I woke up ready to swim.

We have a few neighbors here on the lake. Since we’re in the middle of nowhere, every new houseboat that shows up – draws intense interest from us all. There’s a territorial-ness about our little beach on the lake. So much so that James and Kaelin have concocted an elaborate plan to scare off any new visitors. It might involve stacking the long and slender white claw hard seltzer cans into what looks like a bomb, and a giant avocado and sauerkraut slingshot. I can neither confirm nor deny. What happens in Lake Powell stays in Lake Powell.

Our neighbors have attempted to barter with us a few times. Mostly for toilet paper. We did share one roll, but last night – they drew on James last nerve. He walked over there to politely ask them to turn off the flood light on their boat, and accidentally walked into a costume party. They were dressed up like the Kardashians, and even gave James an Oscar for coming as Darth Vader (they were drunk – he simply had on a Star Wars t-shirt).

Everybody has a job on this boat. Jeff is our sheriff. He’s always patrolling the beach, announcing the impending windstorm, chasing after air mattresses that blow off the sundeck into the water.

Yara has two jobs – she’s the featherer of the nest – making everything cozy and comfortable. When she’s not the nest featherer, she is a dangerous fly hunter with a salt gun.

Steve is our resident Stevearita – he can turn ANYTHING into a Margherita. Also…the catcher of one lonely fish. Didn’t stop us all from trying, but he caught only one the first day.

And of course, Kaelin and Brandon are captain and captainette….

Correction…

Roeme is CAPTAIN!

All of us have distinct personalities that show up and perform well in different circumstances. Just like in business, it’s important you have the right person for the right job. If you asked me to check the water level of the lake to make sure our houseboat is anchored properly, we’d be screwed.

I’m keenly aware of the fact that I can even write all these adventures because Kaelin, Brandon, Steve, Steph, and Jeff are expert adventurers that know all things boats. The amount of logistics are insane. From locating the right beach, rationing electricity and ice and fuel, anchoring down our boat, towing all the extra water toys, and finding this epic location, without them, I wouldn’t get to experience this great grand adventure.

Also, I wouldn’t have had the chance to experience what a desert hurricane is. I can’t remember what day it was – it was the first day I decided to see if William could handle sleeping outside too. He’d been in the boat for the first two nights, and it took some persuading of Alex, but we decided to give it a go with William. We managed to get him to sleep despite the noise and fireworks. And about 10 minutes later, the wind picked up. Like REALLY picked up. So much so that our night plans of a campfire were completely demolished in exchange for all of us holding down our mattresses so they wouldn’t fly away. One still did. Twice. And some of the gusts were so strong and so loud, Alex and I spent our entire evening using a blanket to create a makeshift tent to blunt the wind.

Notice the rope. Our attempt to hold the bedding down. We’ve essentially roped our kid to the boat. LOL

Alex and I just looked at each other as we spent our night tenting William and agreed…this is what it feels like to protect your young. It’s just your family against the elements.

I’ve only taken a few photos. Mostly my phone stays in my room, barely charged. I randomly get text messages in the middle of the night. The best guess is that a satellite flies overhead and beams down messages from the real world. Once in a while I can get one out. Or… we get a service run on our two trips to the Marina.

This post to be continued…

Jeff just drank a Monster with a bee inside, and got stung on the ROOF of his mouth. Off to go find my children’s Benadryl so he can chug half the bottle.

DAY SIX

Okay I’m back. It’s now day six. Took me two days to get back to writing. A lot’s happened…the biggest thing is we’ve moved the boat. We’re now at a totally different beach and canyon, re-invigorated by all the new stuff there is to explore. Giant rocks to climb, crystal clear deep water in a private little lagoon, and cave-like taverns of inlets to kayak through. We didn’t intend to move, but by the end of day five, we ran out of drinking water – and had to head back to the marina (about a three hour ride in) with the big boat… so we decided to camp out in a new place.

No one got dehydrated don’t worry. We have enough hard seltzer on board to hydrate the population of Utah.

The wind continues to show us who’s boss at night. It rips up about sunset and flings full length sundeck lounge chairs and heavy mattresses right into the water like it’s nothing. You know, Kaelin and Brandon warned us about the wind. But it’s not until you lose your bed that you quickly learn how to rope your linens in place. Sleeping on a wet mattress is no fun.

I think it was yesterday that we all hit our stride. Everyone now has nicknames. Kaelin is ponytail. I am Lampshade22. Lampshade because of my hat, and 22 just because. Who knows. There is one person here called Canyon Shitter because… well. Pretty sure you can figure that one out. When you put James and Kaelin in the same vicinity, the amount of shit talking is insane. It’s 100% pure entertainment watching the two of them banter back and forth. It’s like a sport. Our nicknames are going to be sealed tonight at the campfire, and then – there is no changing.

William is being stretched, I can tell. I found him in his bed last night – blankets covering his ears, slowing rocking back and forth. I think he was trying to drown out the wind and fireworks. He woke up today pretty tired. My mama heart feels like it’s ripping in two watching him cut his teeth on nature and learning how to face less than ideal circumstances and still thrive. The other part of me knows that he will go back to Connecticut and be so much more resilient. I’m really proud of how few meltdowns we’ve had.

Yesterday I stretched too. Literally. On a tube. On the back of Brandon’s boat. While I hung on for dear life screaming profanities at everyone laughing in the boat, as well as Yara who was next to me on the tube laughing at my wimpyness. I wouldn’t say it was fun being flung around on a tube going a million miles an hour – but I will say I’m glad I did it. For the photo. And even if all I learned is that I really don’t need speed in my life in order to have an adrenaline rush.

It’s so hard to explain how you bond with people when in the wilderness this long. When you see someone peeing off the side of the boat, you just walk on by as if it’s the most normal thing in the world. Because here…it is. So is waking up essentially next to 15 people. We’re all in one big bedroom called the second floor of the boat.

There are three more nights. Kaelin explained that we would hit our stride about halfway, which is partly why the trip is as long as it is. And she’s right. We have hit our stride here on the lake. We’re making memories that will last a lifetime.

To be continued… it appears there is a chainlink floatie parade led by a paddle board, swimming to shore for homemade tostadas, and I will not be last in line for dinner tonight.

DAY SEVEN

Day seven. Last night around the fire, I had the distinct privilege of hearing one of the funniest things I’ve ever heard. My sides hurt from laughing. The problem is I can’t share it on this post. There are too many things that must remain in the desert sands of Lake Powell.

William now has a calendar on the wall of his cabin to track the days. He kept asking me how many more sleeps, so I drew a calendar on a piece of paper and taped it to the wall with bandaids (cause I’m scrappy like that). He’s now announcing the date each morning.

Clearly he is just like his mom with her timezone addiction.

Tomorrow, we return to civilization.

There are hundreds more stories I haven’t had time to share. Stories of nature showing us who is boss… people getting stuck in canyons and needing a jetski rescue, me trying to swim unsuccessfully in the waves and wind and needing to be thrown a rope. Stuff that reminds you that we are small and God is big.

Stories about the first ever annual White Claw Pong Tournament.

Stories about firework blisters as big as your palm.

But mostly they are stories about how fast people bond when taken away from the outside world, and only have each other to be with. I’m so grateful I have the family, friends, and team to be able to experience this adventure.

*Important Notes*

All the really good photos are most definitely the work of Brian Burt, our resident photographer, drone flyer, and firework starter. Do not attempt a houseboat Lake Powell vacation unless you have the distinct privilege of hanging out with boss people who know what the hell they are doing.  Remember that whoever you go with, will learn your sleeping face, and most definitely, your peeing in the water face.

This post was written live, in real time – in the wild. It’s missing BIG huge chunks of the vacation for one reason…I was living it. <3

Latest Podcast Episodes

Where to Find Me

Digital Insiders for Life

Join my mastermind where you rub shoulders with talented business owners working to scale from $100k a year to a million. This intimate group is by application only, has a max of 100 people, and is the way to get 1:1 support from me. Would love to hear from you!

More Strategy, Please >
Funnel Gorgeous ®

Become a part of the Funnel Gorgeous movement to transform your funnels to beautiful, on-brand, profitable cash-flow machines even if you are not a designer, have been told that "ugly" converts, and have no idea where to begin. Say goodbye to ugly funnels forever!

More Gorgeous, Please >
Create Your Laptop Life ® Podcast

Inside each episode, you'll learn business & mindset growth tips, lifestyle hacks, & marketing strategies for growing an online business from scratch. Learn the art and science of launching new products, sales funnel creation, copywriting, branding, and more!

More Freedom, Please >