Business Strategy

The Three Phases of Online Business

The Three Phases of Online Business

So…for those of you who don’t have a business idea yet, I see this pattern over and over and over. People get STUCK in what they can sell, where they should focus, etc.

I notice there are THREE stages in many online business journeys. And in all three stages, you can make money.

Stage One – Skill + Service

Skill growth is the easiest place to start for 2 reasons. One, you don’t need a following, and two, you learn skills and then turn around and sell those skills. Digital Marketing, VA, FB AD Agencies, Copywriting, etc.

Stage Two – Community + Brand

The second stage I call Community Growth, and this is what happens after you’ve really mastered a skill. Usually you start to build more than a network of clients, you start to build a following around your expertise and passions. You can make money here with coaching, consulting, affiliate marketing, blogging, etc.

Stage Three – Movement + Scale

The third stage is movement growth. This is the stage with products, courses, SaaS and things like this start to develop, and where scaling REALLY happens.

So many people want to skip the first two phases but almost every successful person in Internet Marketing you see today, followed this path in some shape or form.

Now…you can skip Stage One and go RIGHT to Stage Two when you begin, but it means you need CAPITAL. Because if you don’t know the skills, you’ll have to pay someone to do the things you need done. This is very common if you show up on the Internet scene and decide you want to be a coach, consultant, course creator, etc.

By the way, Stages One and Two do blur together at some point once you’re established.

So knowing this, if you identify what stage you’re starting (1 or 2) then you can start to see what sort of business you should focus on depending on your stage.

Trying to jump into phase 3 before either 1 or 2 is really really really really hard.

How You Get The Money

In Stage One, it’s a lot of “door to door” marketing. This means referral, networking, events, Facebook groups, LinkedIn, etc. Joining the Create Your Laptop Life Program is a MUST for anyone in either Stage One or Stage Two.

If you are in Stage Two + Three, your primary method of selling happens through list building and funnels.

In The Digital Gangsta, I teach you how to do Stage Two + Three for your clients, and in the bonus materials, I teach you how find clients as a business owner in Stage One.

I find that if you decide to start with Stage One, it’s best to not worry so much about niche, and instead – just look for anyone with a problem you can solve. Then, start to hone in on who those people are.

Here are a few posts that discuss online business and niches more in depth…

When you become a Digital Marketer, you need to understand this general pattern, as well as the different ways that online business grow, so you can charge a LOT of money to build other businesses!

You also need to recognize that the way to get business as a Digital Marketer in Stage One is often more referral and network based than the methods you’re using to build non-marketing businesses.

Hope that helps!

Is the Guru Trustworthy?

Is the Guru Trustworthy?

How to decide if a guru is worth following…or…more importantly…if they are worth giving MONEY to.

Does the guru help you without charging you money?

In other words, is their free content like breadcrumbs and stale leftovers or a hot loaf of steamy delicious french bread from the oven? Look at their posts, free content, videos, and low-cost offers. If they are fluffy, steer clear.

Does the guru practice bait ‘n switch marketing?

For example, when I promote Create Your Laptop Life, bait ‘n switch would be using my coaching revenue as an example for what a freelancer can do (which is misleading – I need to show FREELANCE revenue).

Another example is a guru who says, “I only spent $100 a day on ads and made $1,000,000” when really it was referral and affiliate marketing that were driving sales after the first several ad campaigns. Numbers DO lie and context is everything…yes, even with screenshots.

Does the guru give you helpful resources — even if it isn’t them?

Do they promote other experts, do collaborations with other people, and give away resource lists and helpful documents?

Are they constantly promoting something new, or do they consistently have a similar and streamlined marketing message?

Meaning one day do they tell you that you need to Periscope and the next day they are all up in your face about Snapchat? Experimenters have their place, but if your guru is talking about social media and then funnels and then Amazon and then real estate and then investing and then crypto and always bounces from one opportunity to the other, that’s a warning sign.

Is everything they push out “perfectly coiffed”?

Perfect clothes, perfect message, perfect life, perfect perfect perfect? Warning, warning. Over compensation happening. The only thing that’s really perfect in their world is the desire to look perfect.

Does the guru use sleazy marketing tactics that pressure you into the sale?

Do they seem desperate for your money? What do their followers say? Look for referrals and recommendations. How many people are buying from them — a second time? That’s the clincher. Repeat customers are one of the surest signs that the guru is legit.

Some gurus I recommend you follow…

  1. Russell Brunson (for Sales Funnels + Marketing)
  2. Jon Loomer (for Facebook Ads)
  3. Hubspot (for Social Media Marketing)
  4. The SOFTWARE itself (Instagram, Facebook, etc. for updates on their policies and systems)
  5. Neil Patel (SEO and Google)
  6. By Regina (Content Marketing and Publishing)
  7. Me (for Digital Marketing and Online Business)

There’s a difference between inspiration and investment

Some people I follow just to see what they’re doing. I would NOT however, give them my money.

Someone may inspire you but may not be up on the latest and greatest or out there working in the field.

For example, you may love someone like Marie Forleo, but you don’t want to model yourself and your business after hers because her business exploded in …oh I don’t know… 2013. When the INTERNET was a VASTLY different place.

This is what makes online marketing so hard. If someone isn’t in the field and the trenches, then you can derive inspiration from them, but what to do right now in this moment? Might not be the greatest option.

Even if they have massive success, it could be because of factors that aren’t real right now, in this landscape.

Whatever you do, whoever you follow, look at your own self before and after. If you’re finding that comparisonitis is constantly creeping in, you’re stalling, have shiny object syndrome…it might be time to stop following!

Julie's State of the Union for 2017-2018

Julie’s State of the Union for 2017-2018


It’s been so long since I’ve written a post!

In the time between the last post and this one, two MAJOR things happened:

  • I had my BIGGEST month ever in my business…November’s Profit and Loss statement showed $160,000 in revenue (what the what?!) with $118,000 of it as profit. I couldn’t believe it. There are a bunch of reasons for that spike, but suffice it to say – it was NOT a normal month.
  • I traveled to Boise to Clickfunnels Headquarters to hang out with Russell and work on trainings, curriculum, and planning for the year.

This photo below is a screenshot of a few training videos we shot together for Funnel Builder Secrets last week. The course should open back up in the next month or so (those in the program will see new modules dripping out over the coming weeks).

So that’s all the cool stuff…but I’m sure you want to know the real things I’m feeling right? Not all the pretty highlight reel moments that make me look like a perfect human in a perfect life.

I’ve been in a MASSIVE struggle in my own head over the last month. There’s so much going on, and I’d love to try to articulate it for you, but….it’s probably going to be long.

Business changes RAPIDLY. Especially on the Internet. Sometimes I feel like I juuuusssttt get something sorted out, and then – Wabam! I have to change it up again. I take solace in knowing this is exactly what happens at Clickfunnels HQ too, so it’s not just me. It’s business.

If you don’t like mess, this WILL drive you crazy. But I’m finally giving into the reality that it just is part of the journey.

Right now I have several things people know me for: Create Your Laptop Life, CYLL Network, The Digital Gangsta, Digital Insiders, Pipe & Lime Media, Clickfunnels, and then there’s my name. And it’s left me feeling a tad bit schizophrenic. Where do I focus? After pages of scribbles notes and long car rides doing NOTHING but thinking…here are the things that are coming with me into 2018….

Create Your Laptop Life®

The name has morphed so much and taken on a life of its own, and because of that – I feel like it’s a living child who sometimes cooperates and sometimes does not. At one point this year, I thought maybe the name Create Your Laptop Life would become my company name rather than just a brand or course, but a partner who left sorta changed all that. I even had it trademarked! Of all the things I do, this brand is the one that can stand on its own without my face plastered all over it, which is cool. To that end, I’ve been slowly bringing other people into the mix – experts monthly, plus a lot of you have been hearing more from Jessie, who’s a talented Digital Marketer as well. What you’ll see more of in 2018: Create Your Laptop Life will be primarily focused on the CYLL Network – the premier membership community that supports those living their Laptop Life. This is without a doubt the most economical way to get coaching from me…period.

The Digital Gangsta

This course launched in May 2017, and BLEW UP! We’ve had 100’s of people sign up, which is so cool! What’s been hard about this program though? The double avatar. The price point. Here’s what I mean: The Digital Gangsta is really for TWO types of people – those who want to become Digital Marketers, or those who need a Digital Marketer in their business. It’s been a struggle to dial in the webinar for this because of that, and because of the price point. It sold like hotcakes at $997. It’s been progressively harder to sell it at its new price point – $1997. People don’t get it until they are in it and then it’s like WOOOAHHH. The thing is – it’s worth triple that. I’ve been on the fence about going to a sales team and application for TDG, in part because of the price point, and also because I don’t want everyone and their mother just buying it. It’s taken too much work and effort for it to collect dust, be hacked, ignored, etc. It’s one of (if not THE most) comprehensive Digital Marketing curriculum on the Internet right now. What you’ll see more of in 2018: Expect that this program may not be just have a simple BUY NOW button forever, and there will be a big overhaul to the Facebook Ads portion of the program, as well as some new workshops added as the landscape changes. I may also go to an open/close cart option as well. We’ll see.


This is where the biggest changes have happened this year. My previous role with Clickfunnels was basically – super affiliate. I ran an affiliate group for anyone who purchased Clickfunnels under my link – which right now has 5-6 workshops (amazing training by the way) inside it. You can get it all for free if you’re under my link. As of December 1, 2017, I became an official member of the Clickfunnels family, working directly with Russell on curriculum, content, coaching, and as Russell’s main writer. I’m not going to lie, it’s been NUTS. Nuts because I’ve had a lot of people ask me, “Why if you’re making so much money, would you give so much of your time to another empire?”

It’s a great question that I grappled with for about two months during negotiations. I don’t need to work for anyone. I don’t even hardly need to work for myself if I wanted to auto-pilot more of my stuff. So why would I do this?

Russell Brunson has been able to unlock potential in me that no one else has. No teacher or boss or pastor or college education or well-meaning advice has done what Russell’s mentorship and teaching has done for me. For as long as my marketing career will last, I want to work with the best. It’s more important to me to be a valuable player on a REALLY big mission than to be emperor of my own domain just to say, “Hey look, nobody tells me what to do”. Or put another way, I’d rather be a small fish in a huge ocean than a big fish in a small pond. I will go further and be better and reach more people if I pool resources and brainpower than if I simply operate as a lone ranger.

It’s not without its anxiety for sure. I’m nervous to be representing someone so huge in the marketing world. I’m nervous about how to use my voice for both me and him. I’m still feeling gun-shy around my marketing hero. I wonder if my role at CF will help or hurt my business. Everything in life is a risk right? So far, every risk I’ve taken with Russell has paid off a million times over. I have no doubts it will continue this way.

What You’ll See More of in 2018: I’ll be one of the head coaches in Russell’s new program (launching this spring), you’ll be hearing from me LOTS on the Clickfunnels blog and on other podcasts (both Clickfunnels sponsored and otherwise), and you’ll be seeing me in the Funnel Builder Secrets and Ignite Your Funnel programs. And of course, I will still be promoting CF as a super affiliate and give free access to training and bonuses for those who join with my link!

Digital Insiders

I don’t think I’ve been so excited about a program as much as this one. From inception to launch, everything about this has been exactly what I want, and nothing I don’t. It’s the first time I’ve built something completely and simply because I want to, and how I want it, without worry of if it will sell or how to position it, etc. The 40 people inside are incredible and I’m looking forward to an incredible 2018 with a select few people who I can really help at the level I want to! If you want access to me, this is the program, and it’s limited to 50 people TOTAL.

What You’ll See More of in 2018: This program is by application only, and will be available on a case by case basis. It includes two live events per year, unlimited Voxer access to me, my trainings, as well as support in tech and mindset and other important areas of business.

What I’ve done that HASN’T worked

So much of this business is trial and error…and not everything I’ve done has worked out how I thought it might.

  • Thinking I could bust into e-commerce simply (hahahahahah) – The planners I created are AMAZING, but aren’t selling the way I thought they might
  • Running a 1:1 coaching program at a price point way too low (and then getting so busy I couldn’t do anything other than sit on Zoom all day long)
  • The Course Creator’s Program we launched was super cool because some amazing courses came out of it, but I underestimated the work it would be to keep it ongoing. We won’t be opening it up again to new creators to build courses, but we will be selling the ones that are there now because there’s a lot of great training!
  • Pod groups in CYLL Network. It was a great idea, but a huge resource hog to manage on the shoulders of volunteers
  • The Create Your Laptop Life YouTube Channel and Instagram handle I sunk a LOT of money into, but haven’t seen the return I wanted. Like to the tune of $12,000 and counting
  • Creating JV programs that I could not sustain – in an attempt to be “nice” I overextended myself multiple times, and found myself “giving away the farm”
  • Giving up my personal brand (my name) in the emotional high of a partnership…this wasn’t smart.

…and I’m sure there are PLENTY more.

I guess that’s the point. If you want to make money and really scale, you also have to be prepared for major mistakes. Costly mistakes. I’ve spent at least $50,000 or more this year on things that flopped.

It’s not been all sunshine and roses!

New things coming…

I don’t have a ton of new stuff coming this year because…

1. I have enough stuff out there now!


2. My role with Russell (and there’s LOTS coming on that side of things)

…but here are a few things you can expect…

  • A new website and personal blog at! This should be launching in early January and be a central hub for all the things I’m doing!
  • FB Live show. This will start dropping in January. It’s short 5-7 minute episodes on all things business and marketing. Totally free 🙂
  • A brand new webinar called – The Three Secrets to Closing 90% of Your Leads with Proposals They Pay For. The first launch of it will be on January 4th at 8pm EST, and will dive into the proposal secrets that I used in my agency that yielded massive returns.

When I look back over 2017, I remember in January thinking “How am I going to top 2016?” I looked at my P&L sheet and couldn’t believe I’d made $325,000 dollars in one year. The year prior (2015) was just $70,000. That was like a 300% increase. I was scared. I thought I wouldn’t be able to match it.

Well guess what?

I’m going to end the year around $1.3 million and I’m feeling MORE scared. This time I’m SURE I can’t keep up this pace, and to be fair, I don’t think anyone would blame me if I couldn’t. I’ve been working HARD.

The thing nobody realizes is that with more money comes more expenses, more responsibility, and more heartbreak if things don’t work. When it’s just me it’s one thing. It’s not just me anymore. Facing fear is something you do NOW and always…rather than waiting for some outside thing to cure it. More money doesn’t solve any fear-based issues. Trust me. It does NOT.

I’ve tried REALLY hard to keep my living expenses the same, even though my income has gone up. We did buy a house finally, which upped our rent of $1650 a month to a $2000 mortgage. We also bought a car (that Clickfunnels is paying for). And..I finally succumbed to a nanny and housekeeper. Living wise, we’re doing well not outspending the increase in pay, but our monthly budget has gone from $6k a month to $8k. So much of that is health insurance, it’s disgusting. On the business side, it’s always a dance. How much to reinvest? What profit margin is good? How do you average out the crazy insane months (like November) and save for a rainy day when ad accounts go down or things stop working the way you expected them to?

Scaling is hard. The end. LOL

2018 is going to be the year I do what I love. It’s no longer about fighting to get my kids back, it’s no longer about buying a home or a car, it’s about settling into my zone of genius, doing the things I really WANT to do, and running towards something…rather than away.

xx Julie

Becoming the Best in the World until Your Legacy becomes a Stronger Incentive than Your Income

Becoming the Best in the World until Your Legacy becomes a Stronger Incentive than Your Income

Sometimes when you are starting out in business, the driving motivator is money. You dream of being able to support your family on a business you have built, or are sick of being at the mercy of an employer who- at any given moment, can give you the boot and leave you high and dry. You don’t necessarily think about how to become the best.

So you start on the entrepreneurial journey. The initial goals you set after establishing a niche is typically tied to income. You say things like, “my goal is to make X this quarter” or “this year, if my business makes X, then I’ve met my goal.”

You become obsessed with hitting your numbers and do and learn everything you can to accomplish that monetary goal. But what happens in the process is something may surprise you. You start becoming really great at what you do.

So what happens when you’re so obsessed with your work that you become the best in the world?

I was recently interviewed by Dave Woodward on FunnelHacker Radio where we talk about what it takes to become the best in the world. I was chosen for this interview because I am the first woman to receive the Dream Car Affiliate for ClickFunnels and now get to drive my family around in style.

So, how do you know if you are becoming the best?

It starts with asking yourself: what are the things that I need to change in my life to become the best in the world?

How to Know If You are Becoming the Best

  1. Obsession: Becoming obsessed with your craft is the fuel that gets you through the not-so-ideal moments that come with being an entrepreneur/ business owner. Being obsessed also ensures that you never stop marketing what it is that you do. After all, if people don’t know about you, you won’t be able to help them.
  2. Repetition: Day in and day out, you have to do, do, do.  The only sure fire way at becoming the best in the world is to repeat your process, change what isn’t working, and continue going until you are the best.
  3. Mentorship: You become an expert as you teach your craft, because the act of teaching sharpens you and helps you understand where to improve. When you are able to teach what you know, you grow.
  4. Impact: Can you replicate it in somebody else? Have you successfully been able to teach your students so well that they surpass you? And if they surpass you, does that make you genuinely happy?

Your Legacy

If your students surpassing you makes you happy, then that is a clear indicator that your legacy is officially more important than your income. Life has more meaning as money becomes less of a focus and your legacy takes its place.

So,  what are the things that you  need to change in you life to become the best in the world? Feel free to leave a comment below.

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