-To see all the Instagram Story highlights of FHL 2018, check me out on Instagram at https://instagram.com/juliechenell and peek at the FHL 2018 highlights on my story profile.
I really hope I can do this event justice. It’s going to be hard to capture the depth and breadth of emotion that I experienced over the last two weeks, but I know if I don’t write it down, the intensity will fade and I will have no record to remember!
Quick review if this is the first blog post you’re reading about me – I’m Julie. I run an online digital marketing business with a membership, course, and a mastermind group, and I’m also part of Russell Brunson’s Justice League.
This was my first Funnelhacking Live as an “insider” – and my oh my, what has changed in just one year.
In fact, last year I went to FHL 2017 in Dallas, and barely ANYONE knew me. It was an amazing event and I left super inspired and pumped up. So much so that over the next 12 months, I would go on to make a million dollars, win the dream car award as an affiliate, get a 2 comma club award, join his Inner Circle, explode my business, and then join Russell’s team as a coach and writer.
Funnelhacking Live is the best Internet Marketing event in the world…largely because it’s not JUST about marketing. It’s about business, life, relationships, heck even God. It’s incredible. And you should go. If you take nothing else from this post, take this – you do not want to miss next year.
Prior to arriving, I knew that I would be split in a million directions because of how many hats I was wearing…
- I was there as a Clickfunnels team member
- I was there as an attendee who is Inner Circle, 2 Comma Club Member, and Dream Car Winner
- I was there as an entrepreneur with a business and following of people who’d want to come by and say hello
- I was there as a 2 Comma Club X coach
- I was there as a wife to my husband Alex
- I was there as a mother to my son William
- I was there as a Disney addict
Needless to say, this produced MASSIVE amounts of excitement, anticipation, AND some definite stress because I was never sure which “hat” needed to be on my head at any given time…and frankly…how many I could wear at once.
Day One – Monday
We arrived in Orlando around 12pm and William was completely over stimulated by the plane, buses, and monorails we took to arrive at our resort. He did something he never does – he fell dead asleep in my arms.
We managed to transfer him and ourselves to our room at the Port Orleans Riverside Resort, and then had a nice afternoon swimming and shopping. The rest of the Clickfunnels team was due to arrive on Monday night, but we weren’t able to get a room at the Coronado (where the conference was) so the first day was just about Alex and I enjoying the amenities with William before the madness began.
Day Two – Tuesday
On Tuesday morning, I was hankering to get to the Coronado to see all my people, to get the scoop, and to be a part of all the planning. It didn’t go quite as planned since #1 – I wasn’t really in the loop with all the prep meetings, and #2 – Every time I tried to leave William for a few minutes, he would dissolve into ridiculous screaming.
This was the first moment where I felt a bit like “Which hat am I supposed to wear right now?”
It was so odd. I was worried about William adjusting to all the new people, worried about Alex feeling like a babysitter, I was in the lobby saying hi to anyone and everyone I could recognize from my tribe, I had lunch with Inner Circle Peeps, and meanwhile I had this bizarre feeling like I was missing some important prep meeting with the CF team. FOMO is such an annoying thing to have.
On top of that, we had to perfectly choreograph the following:
- Get our luggage from Port Orleans to Coronado
- Unpack and get my clothes out and ready for the VIP dinner
- Shower and do makeup and hair for VIP dinner
- Register for the event and get all our badges and all access passes
- Keep William from napping so he’d fall asleep at EXACTLY 6pm so a stranger babysitter could come in and watch him
- Get the shuttle for the VIP dinner by 7pm
It was tight. We basically hung out in the lobby until 4pm, got our room and luggage by 5pm, and yes – William did go to sleep and the babysitter was very nice and we made it to the shuttle in time for the VIP dinner.
The VIP dinner was AMAZING.
Russell and company took all the IC members, 2 Comma Club winners, and executive team to Hollywood Studios for an Indiana Jones dinner.
This was the first moment where I started to really feel the energy and excitement of the event, and I knew- the next several days would be amazing. I was able to relax and thankfully, William stayed asleep the whole time and there were no frantic texts from the babysitter.
Day Three – Wednesday
Wednesday morning, Alex, William, and I took an Uber over to the Polynesian…where we had a Mickey breakfast with a delicious all you can eat family style meal…complete with Mickey waffles.
We also rode the monorail and a boat, just to give William something to do (we both knew the afternoon would be dull for him).
We got back to the hotel around 11am and that’s when I got a little bitchy with Alex.
I am MOST comfortable barefoot, in jeans and a t-shirt.
I get SO STRESSED at the idea of putting clothes on. For real. It’s so annoying. Especially in a situation where I knew I’d be recognized.
And with every shirt I tried on, I got more and more annoyed because they were too big or too tight or too frumpy or too…I don’t know.
Alex knows this about me, so he just let me be until I could figure out what I was going to wear.
I finally settled on just wearing all black. My black Clickfunnels jacket (that I love), black leggings, cute shoes…end of story.
Alex and William stayed behind and I went downstairs to the main room, and h..o..l..y…c..o…w. I had no idea how many people would already know me. That was super cool and fun and really unexpected.
I got to talk to a ton of people and then…the event began.
Russell did two incredible presentations —
- Conversation Domination
- Funnelhackers – We See Things Differently
And even though I knew a bunch about the presentations because I got a preview, I still loved to watch it all unfold live.
Wednesday night was the Vendor Speed Dating Event, and this night was so much fun. I hung out with a bunch of my mastermind members, and we ate and drank and chatted until it was time for the documentary showing of Operation Underground Railroad.
The documentary was intense. And that isn’t even the right word to describe it. Everyone was in tears by the end. It documented Tim Ballard’s mission (with O.U.R) to stop human trafficking around the world, and it was crazy — Clickfunnels and all the attendees raised OVER $1,000,000 for the organization. That’s insanity!
I left that night feeling so damn proud to be a part of the Clickfunnels team.
Day Four – Thursday
Thursday’s presentations were SO good.
My favorite of course, was Russell’s Funnel Audibles. You could see the room frantically scribbling down notes. You could hear the aha! moments. My phone was going off with my students and clients around the room pinging me “I get it now!” It was so fun. He did an amazing job.
There were some other memorable presentations – Alison Prince from $0-100k, Dave Lindenbaum’s Redemption Funnels, and then Todd, Ryan, and Russell unveiled the updates to Clickfunnels and the new Actionetics MD.
If that wasn’t enough for one day, there was also an impromptu proposal and performance by a broadway star. Never a dull moment is 100% true when you come to FHL.
I think Thursday was the day I finally felt like I was able to wear my “CF team” hat. Up until this point, I had missed all the meetings, not even had a moment to say hi to anyone on the team, and just felt a bit disconnected. I hate that feeling. People who know me…know that I am the personification of the word community. I love being a part of something I believe in.
It was during the break – I went to go eat lunch with the crowds, and I started to feel a little stressed. I couldn’t really walk more than 10 feet without being stopped, I was also trying to see Alex and William during the break, and it was hard to find a moment to breathe.
James Friel said to me, “Why don’t you go in the staff room to have lunch?” – and yeah, this whole time I had no idea that was even a possibility. Thank God for James.
Lunch was quiet and delicious, I got to see everyone, talk to a bunch of people, and work with Russell to help finish out a presentation. I hung out in the green room with him, Todd, Ryan, Jake, Dave, and Melanie and watched the presentations from backstage. It was awesome.
Thursday night we had a babysitter (again) and Alex came out to take photos and support me during the Round Table event. This was so crazy fun. I talked for 3.5 hours straight with a full table, and got to meet and hear so many peoples’ stories and questions. I love this stuff!
The only hard part was Alex and I had now gone nearly two days without connecting so I could tell he was tired. He’d been with the baby all day, and now couldn’t even find a seat next to his wife in this crazy crowded room. He gets husband of the year award for sure.
One last thing to mention about Thursday. I had an experience which can only be described as spiritual.
Forgive the momentary rabbit trail…
My whole life…I’ve been attracted and attached to the continent of Africa. I can list at least a dozen events and moments that connect me to that part of the world, and in recent months – this connection has resurfaced.
- I had two Africans join my mastermind
- I had several Africans buy my course
- I was a key speaker in the Marketing Summit to support clean drinking water in Uganda
- I donated to African charity organizations after the Expert Secrets contest
- I connected with an African charity at a retreat this past fall and became their top donor
So…on Thursday, one of my clients in my mastermind – from Africa, she came up to me and gave me a gift. It was a set of spoons with intricate beading on the handles. The woman who made them had her name printed out in pen on the back. And I literally….burst into tears.
No idea why. I just sat in my chair crying.
Not five minutes later, Russell got on stage and presented Stu Mclaren with an enormous check for World Teacher Aid – an organization that builds schools in Kenya. Then, by chance? I happened to meet Stu in the hall where he mentioned there might be an opportunity for me to go to Kenya. I don’t know if it’ll pan out, but I talked about this series of events with James and Yara over lunch and they both said, “How many more signs do you need Julie?”
Good question. None.
Day Five – Friday
I will never forget this day as long as I live.
I don’t even know where to begin or how to start. Maybe in the middle.
I can’t remember much about Friday morning except that I was again – super stressed about what to wear. But this time, it was times ten because I knew I’d be up on stage in front of 3000 people.
Oh wait! I do remember one presentation. Peng Joon’s. He brought the house down with value, content, as well as great storytelling and vulnerability. I’ve never seen him present before and was incredibly impressed.
Otherwise, I spent a lot of time in the staff room, alone and concentrating on memorizing all the things I wanted to say during my portion of the presentation.
After lunch, the award ceremony began. I got to take the stage twice – once for the dream car – once for 2 Comma Club. In the flurry of preparing for my presentation, I forgot to tell Alex to come to this portion so I didn’t actually get many photos!
Then, Russell, John Parkes, Stephen Larsen, James Friel, Alex Charfen, and me – Julie – took the stage for the 12 Month Millionaire presentation.
It was the one BIG sales presentation of the event and so nerves were SUPER high. We were all about to sell the 2 Comma Club X Coaching program and damn…pressure was on to do a good job.
When we walked out onto the stage, I couldn’t believe how many people there were. I thought I was going to pass out.
I tried hard to hide my nerves and focus on the person talking in front of me.
Don’t slouch Julie… Don’t forget to smile – your concentration face is a resting bitch face and that won’t go well…
These were the things I kept saying to myself.
And then…it was my turn.
I don’t remember it all that well (thank God my friend Renee recorded it). All I knew was this…
- I wanted to make sure I could communicate in a way that would stir up hope and belief – not just facts
- I wanted people to have a core nugget or aha! moment they could remember
- I wanted to give 1000% because I had a team (and mentor) depending on me
- I wanted people to come away feeling, “Julie is no one special. If she can do it…I can too.”
There was no timer, so I realized after I went five minutes over – which sucks. I hate being late or not timely, but I got a standing ovation that seemed to go on forever…and I nearly broke down on stage.
It’s hard to explain what 3000 people screaming and cheering feels like…it’s exhilarating and scary and awesome and also…there is a ton of pressure. I wanted so bad to be able to help them have the breakthroughs I’ve had myself.
When all of our presentations were done, Russell did the stack and the close…and I decided…
Speaking on stage alone is cool. But speaking on stage with a team is the most incredible feeling in the world…especially when the leader of the team takes time to tell everyone just the exact reasons why you’re the best person for the job.
I didn’t hear it live because I immediately went to the back of the room and proceeded to answer questions for 3 hours. But Yara recorded it and I was so grateful.
Then we hopped back on stage for hotseat coaching, talked some more, and then talked some more.
Friday night was the first moment where I felt like I might need help getting out of the building.
Thankfully, Alex’s tired Romanian stare worked well. He managed to help me find a hamburger at 11pm after talking and being “on” for a million hours straight.
When all was said and done, Russell and the Justice League sold over 600 coaching spots for 2 Comma Club X and it didn’t really sink in what happened until the next day.
Day Six – Saturday
William woke up…not okay.
This day was hard, not gonna lie. I could tell William was feverish, Alex was delirious, I was exhausted and excited at the same time, and a LOT was about to go down.
- I wanted to make sure I saw Myron and Russell’s presentation
- I was hosting a lunch for all the new 2CCX members with the team
- I planned to meet the people from Create Your Laptop Life for coffee in the morning
- Tony Robbins was going to speak
- Alex and William had to transfer AGAIN, to a new hotel
- The big kids were flying into Orlando for a vacation
In hindsight, I shouldn’t have planned all this in one day. It was insanity…especially with a feverish kid.
But we did it. We got through it intact and alive!
I carried a sick baby downstairs so I could see my CYLL peeps. It was great to catch up!
Russell and Myron’s presentation was off the chains.
The 2CCX lunch was super fun! This is when it really hit me what we’d accomplished and the incredible adventure I was about to go on as a coach.
-Do you want to see what 600 coaching students look like at a lunch? Go to https://instagram.com/juliechenell and peek at the FHL 2018 highlights on my story profile.
Tony Robbins did a great job. It was my first time hearing him (last year I left before his presentation). He’s really good at what he does. I will say that based on the way people talk about him, I think I expected something a bit more intense and emotional….and I didn’t get emotional during his talk. So that was surprising to me. But it could just be my expectations.
The only major bummer of the day was that I didn’t know about the post-FHL CF family dinner at Epcot and I was super sad to miss it. I really wanted to be able to debrief, but I had to go to the airport to get the kids and couldn’t change plans at the last minute.
Leaving for the airport was not fun because I couldn’t say goodbye to all the people I wanted to! And then…I forgot my license and the kids were texting me in flight that their ears hurt, and there was literally NOTHING I could do. It was their first solo flight, and so I was nervous.
The whiplash I felt having to transition from FHL to family vacation was intense. I definitely cried on Saturday.
I was SO EXCITED to be on a Disney vacation with my whole family. I was also missing my FHL people. I wanted to debrief. I wanted to spend several hours just reveling in what all went down. And I didn’t get that chance. So I cried in the bathroom for about an hour, then got my shit together, and kept going.
Once the kids landed in Orlando, my excitement about our Disney vacation took effect and then I went into FULL Disney mode. Finally I would get to spend time with Alex and William and the three big kids.
It was the first time going to Disney in four years…and realistically, our first blended family vacation.
The next four days were a whirlwind. Except for one really bad sick day, we had a blast. What we did would require another 3000 words I don’t have right now.
Now…I’m home. I’m still so pumped up and excited about the future of this year, the next 12 months, and what the next FHL will bring. I learned a ton, hugged and met so many people, bonded with members of my tribe in a deeper way, and got the distinct honor of speaking on stage with some amazingly talented humans.
Everyday I wake up so grateful that I LOVE my work. That is not a given for a lot of people, and I don’t ever want to take for granted that I don’t wait for the weekends to have fun…because the work I do…is fun. And I love it.
I love FHL, Clickfunnels, the Funnelhacker family, and my Inner Circle of people who know all my ups and downs.
I am supremely blessed and think God has given me such abundance that I could give 100% of myself for the next 40 years and not tap into the depth of the blessings I’ve been given.
I’ve mentioned many of them in this post, but I want to shout out a word of thanks to the following people who really supported me and helped make this event what it was…
- Alex Stoian – Thank you for supporting my entrepreneurial endeavors and being my rock while I pursue my dreams. I love you to the moon and back!
- Alison Prince – Sister from another mother!! I can’t wait to catch up more with you! Love you lots and lots!!! xx
- Yara Golden – I love you. You’re amazing.
- James P. Friel – I’m so flippin’ glad I get to work with someone with your wit, wisdom, and creativity.
- My Insiders (Stephanie, Renee, Carol, Allie, Chris, Dani, Arianne, Jamie, Rose, Tatiana, Esther, Cathy, Dallin, Elise, LJ, Heather, Matt, Roota, Alecia, Tamarah…and all the ones who couldn’t make it too!) – When I hang around you all, I feel like I can kick off my shoes, drink a beer, and just BE myself. You’ve become like family to me. xx
- Create Your Laptop Lifers – Even though it was a New York Minute, I was grateful to be with you all and love our community so much.
- Stephen Larsen, John Parkes, James Friel, and Alex Charfen- My fellow Justice Leaguers – so honored to be working with you!
- Dave Woodward – I honestly thought you WERE Indiana Jones. LOL
- Dave and Roni Lindenbaum – It was so fun getting to know your family better. I hope we can do it again soon!
- Melanie Knueven – You put on an amazing event. In awe of what you pulled off!
- Nick Sanders, Jake Leslie, and Karen King – You guys are some of the most amazingly helpful and funny and awesome people to work with ever.
- Myles Clifford – Your energy and positivity – well it’s just infectious!
- Brent, Todd, and Ryan – I feel like I finally got a chance to know each of you a bit better, and I can see why the Clickfunnels company is the best place to work ever. It has an amazing leadership team.
- Collette Brunson, Carrie Woodward, Amber Coppieters, Ashley Dickerson, Andrea Montgomery, Vanessa Parkes – Six of the most smart, supportive, beautiful and amazing women that enable the executive team at Clickfunnels to do what they do.
- Russell Brunson – For being the best example of true leadership I’ve ever seen. Behind you 100%.
-To see all the Instagram Story highlights of FHL 2018, check me out on Instagram at https://instagram.com/juliechenell and peek at the FHL 2018 highlights on my story profile.