Balancing it All

Julie Stoian

What It’s Like Being The Little Fish In A Big Pond

Working inside the batcave with Russell Brunson has had a lot of side effects I did not plan.

The biggest side effect is….

I am now a little fish in a big pond. 

A big huge ocean of marketing knowledge and genius-ery that I wasn’t expecting.

I mean, I was expecting it…but I can tell I’m not used to it.

Case in point, we were talking about a new development inside the Power Editor and I started with,

“I’m not sure this is possible but…”

…and Russell says, “We have Todd. Anything is possible.”

Or in a traffic meeting we are talking about SEO and I say, “Shouldn’t we go for the low competition long tail keywords?” and the response is,

“We’re going for all the HUGE big ENORMOUS keywords.”

Right.

I forgot.

I’m working with a team that could call themselves Internet World Dominators and ACTUALLY do it.

When a little bootstrapper scrappy entrepreneur joins the Justice League of Internet Marketers, it’s a bit like wearing shoes three sizes too big.

So while I’m trying to get used to being at command central with high performing geniuses at every turn, I’m also experiencing a very bad case of…

FOMO.

I talked about it on my Facebook profile and Clickfunnels HQ also captured my FOMO-ness on one of their latest vlogs.

FOMO is the fear of missing out.

Even with the batcave and online instant access to everyone on the team, the epicenter of energy and creativity pulsating from the Boise headquarters, not to mention the fantastic friendships and relationships, it’s causing me to WANT TO BE THERE.

Right now, I’m working on traveling once a month to work a week in the office, with three weeks in Connecticut. For now, that’s the solution.

Don’t ask me anymore than that…it’s really complicated.

In fact, the conflict of desire has created a LOT of sleepless nights…trying to wrestle with what’s best for me, what I want as a human, as a business owner, what the kids need, the family, all of it. That would be a WHOLE other blog post.

I have never in my life been so professionally and mentally challenged as I am right now.

In my years as a stay-at-home mom, I battled my driving need for challenges, relationship, leadership, etc. I shoved it towards anything I could find…

  • Reaching a top score in Farmville (I know I know…I was so BORED)
  • Running church programs and a music band
  • Building my own piano teaching business
  • Blogging every day for YEARS
  • Rearranging my house a zillion times
  • Trying to coupon-hack my grocery list to buy food for a family of 5 on $40 a week

You could see evidence of my brain-starved existence EVERYWHERE.

Now, I’m sufficiently challenged and inspired.

I’ve got a thriving business, amazing students and customers that I LOVE, a great community, and I get to be on the best team for the best software in the whole world and work on a REALLY REALLY big mission and make a significant contribution.

I feel like Clickfunnels in a lot of ways, was the missing piece to all the other million things I’ve been doing.

So I couldn’t orchestrate a more perfect setup if I tried…except…

Clickfunnels is so far away.

*quiet sobs*

So that is something really bothering me, and my brain is still trying to come up with a solution that works for everyone.

This is hard. I’ve spent my entire adult life sacrificing my own self for the sake of others.

At what point can I say, “What’s best for me is what’s best for my family too?”

I just don’t know.

Another side effect?

I’m recalibrating my confidence.

Pretty sure this is normal, but it caught me off guard.

I mean, I made a lot of money in 2017.

I’ve got a LOT of testimonials of people who’ve been really successful with my coaching and teaching.

I’m not new to Internet Marketing.

But when I started to get into the nitty gritty of working with Russell and his team, I spent more time slack jawed than I thought I would.

Holy crap.

So much expertise.

I’m having to recalibrate my confidence.

In fact, one night I listened to Russell’s podcast about “How to Replace Yourself” and he was talking about how the entrepreneur has to go out and find a “10” in each area he was working in, so that eventually 10 people replace one entrepreneur who does a ton of things well, but no one thing at a super super master level.

It was REALLY good.

I also fell into a big vat of worry because I thought, “Well shit…I’m not a 10 at anything!”

I wrote a big long Voxer message asking him if it was cool to have a really reliable and loyal 7.

I’m such a dork. But I was really concerned!

His response was awesome and kind, and shows what kind of leader he is.

All he said was, “Funny thing about 10’s, they never think they are…that’s what makes them so amazing to work with.”

Then we launched into a big discussion about humility and the Screwtape Letters and well, it was really good and Russell may look 12, but he has wisdom WAY WAY beyond that.

Anyway, this whole post is my attempt to be real with my audience….

And to show you all the inner stuff that goes on in my head.

I appreciate you all, the people who trust me with your business and your world and your products and services.

Know this – when you invest in me, you’re investing in someone who has an insatiable appetite for learning!

xx

 

 

 

My Startling January Revelation

I got my Profit + Loss statement for January 2018 from my bookkeeper.

Do you know…

I was $4000 away from a $100k month?

Not a $100k in revenue.

Not $100k in gross profit.

NET profit.

I did $96,010 in net profit for January.

That’s after my salary and all expenses.

I don’t even know what to say.

I know that I expected life would feel so different with that kind of money coming in, but it doesn’t feel different.

It’s either because I am not really in touch with the last year and a half of my life (the business growth happened too fast), or I’m just so hell bent on NOT using the revenue as an excuse to spend frivolously that nothing really feels that different.

The truth is that I don’t know that my past demons of money and worry are really even gone yet. I know that everything and everyone can vanish in an instant.

I’m not sure it’s healthy to live that way, but it’s the way I think right now.

I’m so not your typical entrepreneur.

Strong, yes.

Adventurous, in a way.

Bootstrappy, for sure.

But knowing how to spend and where to spend is really a big battle in my head.

I did decide to invest in some cash value life insurance after consulting with wealth management experts Ryan Lee and Bradley Gibb. They specialize in helping entrepreneurs achieve financial independence through the two most trusted sources of guaranteed returns…

Business and real estate.

Some day I might do a livestream on why I chose them and their life insurance methodology for saving my money.

It might interest some of you!

Other than that, I’m trying to figure out how to have enough saved to do the following:

  • Pay for four college educations
  • Pay off the house
  • Create a retirement nest egg that will support thirty – forty years of retirement
  • Creating enough passive income that I can CHOOSE to work within 10 years
  • Go to Disney World once a year (or more) with my family just because I can’t think of any place else that’s as fun as Disney World

You know how much money I need in order to do all that, and live?

It’s a lot.

So while $96,000 of net profit seems like I should be sitting on a hill in a castle somewhere, I choose not to.

Instead, I’m taking 50% and putting it straight into a tax savings account.

I’m taking the remaining 50% and splitting it 30/70.

30% goes right back into the business for growth.

70% goes right into my “vault” investment account so I can’t touch it unless I NEED it for a specific investment or venture.

Which means, I don’t see or feel any of that $96,010.00 on purpose.

Because I don’t want to.

I have EVERYTHING I need.

My salary through my business and the pay through Clickfunnels is more than enough to cover the month to month bills, plus extra to save for vacations.

This is what I’m choosing to do.

I think I’m probably the least exciting expert to follow.

Which worries me a bit, since I make money directly in relation to the visibility and value I give out.

I don’t know how to be showy.

And I’m not sure it would be me if I was.

For me, I am 1000% driven by people.

Always have been, always will be.

Money is cool….

Security is better…

People are the best.

No matter where I go or what I do, I love humans. I love community. And since my life exploded in 2014 and I lost everything and everyone I loved (minus my family)…I’ve never had a real life community again.

I have beautiful online communities.

They are amazing.

I can go virtually anywhere in the world and know someone.

Just think about that for a minute.

That’s crazy.

The sense of mission and vision and belonging. It’s always about people.

Guys…

I think that’s my point tonight….Money is AMAZING. Security is AWESOME.

But people are my reason.

Maybe it’s why I decided to get a minivan instead of a ferrari or a lambo.

Minivans can fit more people.

If you decide to follow me, study with me, mentor with me…

Know this…

I will always and forever teach business owners how to care and love the people they serve.

To me, there is no greater legacy.

Working for Clickfunnels [behind the scenes – winter edition]

I didn’t expect to feel more nervous and more pressure two months into working with Russell at Clickfunnels, but I do.

I didn’t expect to feel less confident, less able, and less sure.

I expected to feel like “I got this.”

So imagine my surprise when the opposite happened. 

The good news is I think I’ve figured out why.

First, I think the first month of working at CF HQ I was just in shock. Shock that the people and company I’d admired from afar was now a part of my work family. That didn’t really sink in right away, probably because I was too busy trying to rearrange my life and business to make room for the opportunity.

Secondly, I think Russell is a punk. He has an attractive character – we all know this. He’s the reluctant hero. The “nobody” special who happened to fall in love with marketing and sales. HA!

He’s not nobody special. That’s a load of crap. 

He is an artist.

That attractive character is so dialed in, it even got me.

As his voice and writer, it’s my job to try and write blog posts and articles and books as him.

I’m also doing some of those things as me too…which is easier because well…I get to be me.

But when I have to be him, I feel like I’m swimming in a sweatshirt WAY too big.

I’ll write something and hand it off. It’s good, I know this.

But then I hang around on the Google doc waiting for him to review it, and I watch…

I watch as he types a sentence…and erases it.

Types another sentence…erases it again.

Back and forth, back and forth, until I see a story unfolding on the document…and of course it’s hooked me right in.

It’s SO FREAKING good.

Russell voxes me, “Are you watching me?”

I’m sorta embarrassed to admit I am…but I am.

I’m trying to watch an artist paint so I can paint like him.

And I’m in awe.

And I’m little like “Oh shit. What if I can’t do this?”

I am working with one of the best marketing minds in the world and I feel wildly unqualified. Which is dumb.

He wouldn’t have hired me if I wasn’t ready.

But it’s still been a massively uncomfortable two months trying to adjust to the “little fish in a big pond” syndrome.

People ask me all the time why I took a job when I made $1.3 million dollars in my business last year.

It does seem odd if you think my goal of being an entrepreneur was to sit on the beach and drink.

But I LOVE to be a part of something big. Of something meaningful. I love community and culture.

I love to work.

Sometimes I’m ashamed to admit it, but it’s true.

I have a lot of financial catch up to play too. I have hundreds of thousands of dollars I need saved for four college educations. I have virtually nothing saved for retirement. It’s cliché to say, but I am going to work hard and long until I reach my goal of financial independence.

Because my business and my work at Clickfunnels all centers around the same topics, the same niche, and the same work…I can do it. I can swing it because the work I do in each arena helps the other and vice versa.

And when I reach financial independence, I’ll still work because I LOVE what I do. I won’t be working as hard, but I’ll still always work.

Right now, the hustle is pretty intense.

It’s been a struggle to really adjust my life to reflect my desire to work. I have to own up to it…to the kids, my husband, and the help I’ve hired. It’s uncomfortable to ask for so much after spending a decade being the sacrificial mom.

It’s hard to say, “Can you all support me and help me do this?” but I’m asking. Finally, I’m asking.

Anyway, back to this artist I work for.

I think Russell is more an artist than most people realize.

His gifts with words and stories and selling and thinking like a customer is just breathtaking to watch.

They say it’s good for you not to be the smartest person in the room all the time.

I think I’ve got that in the bag.

As for what I’ve done in the last month…

  • I’ve had the chance to write blog posts, both as Russell and as me.
  • I’ve built six modules of Funnel Builder Secrets curriculum.
  • I’ve designed and recorded 21 videos for the new Ignite Your Funnel series coming out.
  • I’ve written 10 emails for that sequence as well.
  • I’ve done a smattering of random projects – for 2 Comma club, for a bunch of new projects, odds and ends, etc.
  • I’ve started recording regular podcasts with Dave and Funnelhacker Radio.
  • I’ve worked with James and the funnelbuilding team to help relaunch the book funnels.
  • I’ve reworked and rewrote a skyscraper article draft again and again until it’s ready.
  • I’ve continued to write snippets for the Marketing Secrets book coming up next year.
  • I started writing some articles for mainstream publications – one of which was published on Entrepreneur.
  • I’ve gotten to know the team and the people and the flow of how the company works – something that is not always easy to do when you’re remote.

The “pinch me” gift in all of this is that the work I do there, makes me smarter and better…for everyone I serve, both at Clickfunnels and in my own business.

 

 

The Death of Happily Ever After

There is NO happily ever after.

That realization – though it sounds very negative and cynical – will actually be GREAT news if you stick with me for a few minutes here.

We’re taught that there is a happily ever after our whole lives. Directly, indirectly…society, media, religion, etc.

No matter what age or stage, there’s always a future “happily”…

  • When you’re a middle schoolers, high school is supposedly the best years of your life
  • Then college is supposed to be the best years of your life
  • Then your 20’s are the best years of your life
  • Then the newlywed stage is the best stage
  • Having a baby is the best thing ever
  • Having kids during the golden years (6-10) is the best thing ever
  • Having your kids grow up and give you grandchildren is the best thing ever

You get my point. A future moment in time is the arrival of the “happily ever after” and we’re striving all the time, to reach this destination.

The problem is…

After you get through like 6 of those things…you start to wonder if maybe this story about happily ever after is really true. Because each of those stages come, and yes, they are happy. And they are also REALLY REALLY hard.

I’m 36 years old and have arrived and surpassed 6 of the 7 stages.

This happily ever after destination has plagued me especially because of the moral attachments to it. Growing up in a conservative Christian environment, there was an additional pressure of “blessings and favor” to those who did things right. The happily ever after got REALLY mixed up with God’s favor and my goodness as a human.

At each stage, yes I had times of feeling gloriously happy. I also felt depressed, anxious, worried, stressed, tired, overwhelmed, teary, and lost.

So when I look back on my life to date, have I arrived at happily ever after? Is it what I expected? Is this what I’ve been waiting for this whole time?

How do I measure this nebulous vague destination that has driven my ENTIRE life?

And furthermore, even though I’ve done 6 of the 7 happily ever afters, I still have one to go. Maybe more. Are all six still supposed to be supplying me with un-ending happiness?

Do you see the problem here?

Thus I now get to my massive AHA! moment that makes the death of happily ever after so glorious.

In order to know happiness (contentment, wellbeing, pleasure), you must ALSO know the flip side.

There can be NO happiness in this life without understanding what the opposite feels like.

I know, you’re like…how is that good news?

Try for a moment to imagine what life would be like…if you ONLY felt happiness every single day – for the rest of your life.

You would feel no anger. No indignation. No sadness. No tears. No anticipation. No exhaustion. No stress. No hate.

  • You wouldn’t cry at sad movies.
  • You wouldn’t be scared on roller coasters.
  • You wouldn’t feel angry at crime and poverty and social injustice.
  • You wouldn’t HATE things like rape and assault and racism.

You’d just be happy. Happily ever after.

I realized…we all want this happily ever after…EXCEPT WE DON’T.

None of us want to ACTUALLY live happily ever after.

That’s why all the movies end when the character arrives at the destination of happily ever after.

Because it’s bullshit, and movie producers know that we don’t ACTUALLY want to see what it looks like after…because living out a lifetime of happiness is not possible nor real….and truthfully, it’d be horribly boring.

It’d be like eating cake…everyday.

Without any savory or salty flavors, we would go tired…no…SICK of cake.

You don’t want a happily ever after, and neither do I.

This is glorious. When you finally let go of this weird proverbial wind at your back pushing you to some ideal you can hardly articulate, you can ask yourself, if I don’t want that…what do I want?

Most of us want the same things…

  • Safety
  • Love
  • Adventure
  • Freedom
  • Meaning
  • Legacy

We don’t want to fight every minute for survival. We want people to love us, and for us to love. We want new adventures and challenges that excite our brains and bodies. We want to not ask permission to explore the world and all its beauty. We want to things that have meaning and soul. And we want to leave a legacy so that our contributions live on and so our life isn’t just…well…mortal.

THOSE THINGS…in big and little portions…can happen to us at all times, at any time, barring no particular prelude.

This life is not a journey with a destination somewhere out in the future.

Think of those things we want as buckets. Some of us have our buckets full. Others of us have some near empty.

Depending on the day, we might fill one bucket more than another.

  • Every day you get the chance to either fill your buckets or take some of the reserve if the day isn’t being generous.
  • Some days will have more parts of love or meaning or safety than others.
  • Some days we’ll have to fight really big battles just to hang onto one of those things.
  • Other days they’ll all appear in abundance.

The happily ever after is dead to me. It doesn’t denote some sort of moral goodness or mean that I have to stop trying at life once I’ve made money, gotten married, had kids, etc.

I now see that every single day is my opportunity to invest in and enjoy and fight for more safety, love, adventure, freedom, meaning, and legacy.

I fully expect that journey to be REALLY messy.

Gardens when they grow….they need water and soil…which makes mud.

They need bugs and bees…creatures that bite.

They need the baking hot sun…

Why is life any different?

All good things are not without fight. Without some heartache or sweat or frustration.

That just means we’re ALIVE.

I hope you can fully embrace and enjoy and fight for what you want, this day…without putting your future happiness in some ideal that isn’t even real. And if this day is really hard for you, tap into the reserves of the good days, and know that every morning, you get a fresh chance to start again.

Mistakes, Money Talk, & My Check to the IRS

Mistakes, Money Talk, & My Check to the IRS

I recently wrote this email to my list and I decided it needed to also be on the blog.


It’s New Year’s Eve and I’m awake at 4am.

This pretty much guarantees I will NOT make it to the ball dropping at midnight.

Thing is, I couldn’t sleep.

I’ve been tossing and turning for the last hour…overwhelmed.

There are SO MANY decisions I have to make on a daily basis that I did not anticipate when I started on this journey of commandeering my own financial destiny.


For those of you who are new to my list (or signed up for the upcoming new webinar this week), I’m Julie. I went from solopreneur to millionaire in about two years and it’s been a wild and stressful ride. I also write REALLLY long emails, so…yeah. Sorry…not sorry.


I asked you all on Facebook yesterday if you’d rather me write a New Year’s Eve email on money revelations or my biggest mistakes, and most of you answered both. So there you go. I suppose they do go hand in hand. I’ll try to write both and hopefully you’ll feel inspired by the end!

 

Let me start by saying that 2017 taught me this weird paradoxical truth:

You must spend money to make it, and you also must take profits first.

These two rules seem obnoxiously in conflict with one another, even though they are both true. 2017 was a ping pong match between both of these in my head, and I still can’t tell which one I should follow at any given time. It’s truly madness making.

The profit first model is something I read about after I’d already implemented it. You see, I couldn’t NOT take profits first because my business WAS the thing my family depended on. So in early 2017, my biggest goal was BUY A HOUSE. And so every extra penny of profit was going into my nest egg for a new home. I accomplished this in May 2017, and it was definitely the highlight of the year. I saved $91,000 and I used $80,000 of it for a down payment, and $11k of it for furniture and moving expenses.

All that said, I realized there was a direct correlation between re-investment and business growth. For example, FB ad spend equaled more revenue. Every time I sunk money in ads and programs and software and training, the numbers on my profit + loss went up, up, up. So I’d sit and stare at my numbers and try to figure out how to spend more and still take profits.

Each month, if there was too much profit (more than 35%) I’d wonder what I could have done more to really invest back in to reap larger returns. If there was too little, I’d panic that I was too “spendy”.

At the Christmas dinner table, I was talking with my brother (who works at Google) and we were having fun talking about the big five companies that rule the western world – Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Facebook, and Apple. And how funny it is that Amazon has NEVER taken a profit. And this is on purpose?!

Guys…I had to send $240,000 of my hard earned cash to the IRS yesterday. It made me SICK to my stomach. I couldn’t even do it so I made Emily do it. Even though I know I’ve done what I can do reduce taxes, there’s definitely a niggling thought in my head that I could have re-invested more into my business throughout the year to create more growth and momentum, and had a Profit + Loss that didn’t look so lopsided.

Here’s the advice I have:

Pay yourself a good salary. Yes, put yourself on payroll. Become an LLC that files as an S-Corp and use Gusto to give yourself a regular paycheck. I paid myself too little this year in an attempt to reduce the amount of money I was getting taxed on as an employer/employee. I paid myself $100,000, which turned out to be $6,000 a month net. It wasn’t enough for our family of six (health insurance and the mortgage is $4k a month right out the door) so we used the extra distributions to cover the difference. If I were to do it again, I think I might pay myself more. I would also re-invest more heavily into the business (something I started to do more in quarter four of 2017). I enrolled in Russell’s Inner Circle Mastermind (best idea ever), I traveled to a bunch of places/conferences, and I spent $30,000 on a new video show that is launching 2018.

Don’t keep your business account too fluffy

Something funny happens to your brain when your business bank account starts to inflate.

You get lazy.

At one point in my business, I had nearly $550,000 in liquid cash in one checking account.

Dumbest move ever.

You spend differently when there’s a ridiculous cushion, vs. when there isn’t. I’ve been SO AFRAID to touch money because I didn’t want to spend tax money or draw down an account and then not have funds to pay my team, so I did the opposite. I let the account grow and grow. In an attempt to be more conservative and safe, you actually see money leak more. Not to mention the fact that it’s not actually WORKING for you when you do that.

The first half of 2017 I took two distributions and I also had to pay out a partner who left, so I kept the account lean and mean, which kept me more careful.

Then I didn’t take one for Q3 and the business account started to grow. And I noticed that all the poor money decisions I made happened at the same time the account got fatter.

When my Facebook Ad account got shut down, I redirected a bunch of my ad spend into other endeavors, but I wasn’t ready to really support them. So all that happened was I spent a ton of money that didn’t really add any revenue to my bottom line.

Both distributions I took were actively being used, whereas the “cushion” wasn’t.

I already talked about how I used one distribution for the house, and a second one was dispersed in lots of areas and there’s still a bunch left we’re going to use for investments.

  • Cryptocurrency – We’re invested in Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ether, and Ripple
  • Retirement fund – We put in a big chunk and saw a 20% return this year
  • College fund – Not a huge return yet, but it’s tax-sheltered money
  • New car down payment – We put down $15k on a new Honda Odyssey
  • Paid off our 2nd car – $6k loan on our Mazda
  • Stocks – We’re using Betterment right now
  • New air conditioner – This was a fun $5k purchase *insert sarcasm*
  • Alex built a new patio out back
  • Monthly expenses – Since $6k isn’t enough to live on, we drew down on it each month, and also hired our first nanny to help with life and used money for this
  • Travel – Alex went to Romania and we brought his parents back and forth a few times
  • Christmas – I went all Santa Claus on everyone this year and bought gifts I normally wouldn’t

Anyway, I feel like the takeaway here is this:

Get a business tax savings account so you can safely save for taxes and then draw down your account and ALLOCATE the money. ALL of it. That’s something I didn’t do well, even with my second distribution. We started off well, but then whenever you let a chunk of money sit somewhere, it NEVER goes well. Never. And it doesn’t have to be half a million dollars. It could be $10k. Or even $1k.

We’ve finally taken a final distribution for this year and we’ve already figured out where every penny is going to go. We are working with Atlas Wealth Solutions and shoving most of it where we can’t reach it easily. We have the house. We have the car. We don’t need ANYTHING except a vacation or two a year, and to save for college. We also need to be far more aggressive with retirement since my work history and contributions are LAME.

The line between nice and weak is REALLY thin

It’s AMAZING how people start to treat you differently when you have success. It’s also amazing how obnoxious it is.

I like to think I’m a nice person. I also like to think I don’t get pushed around easily.

But there have been a few times this year where I feel like my power was stripped. That I was saying yes to things I didn’t want to say yes to, or I gave into people whose sole goal was to be an asshole. And I’m not sure why I did that.

Maybe because the bigger your business gets, the more “territory” there is to protect…I’m not sure. But even my team behind the scenes would sometimes say, “Julie why are you being a pushover about this?” and I honestly still don’t know.

I lost energy to fight some battles because I was too busy to really take the time to solve the issue the way it needed to be solved.

Here’s the takeaway:

There are these things called gatekeepers. They are people that you put in front of yourself, to help shield you from YOURSELF and your inability to say no or stand up for yourself. I wished I’d implemented this gatekeeper idea faster. It hasn’t been until the last month that I’ve really let my team fully take that role. I realized that it isn’t just about having the money to hire, it’s about the reality that a CEO or owner of a company can’t really be in some of those positions because they will always just bend in situations where people are trying to take advantage of you.

I didn’t believe the best about someone for ONE minute, and it’s mistake I’m still embarrassed about…even though it was the catalyst for my whole business life changing

Some of you might have remembered this thing called…The Expert Secrets Affiliate Contest? If you weren’t around here back in April, you won’t know what I’m talking about…but it’s still a good story.

Russell Brunson – aka the King of Internet Marketing – released a book and had an affiliate contest to see who could sell the most books. I entered the contest not realizing it was like the Internet Marketing Hunger Games. There was blood in the water and it was the cause of a LOT of tears.

I landed in the top ten early in the contest and in my excitement, asked Russell for a book interview. All the other top ten people were getting interviews, I should too right? Well, no. I didn’t. Dave (his chief of staff) kept giving me excuses why he was too busy.

I was hurt. I felt like a nobody. I was working my ass off and getting ignored.

So I took to Facebook and wrote a lengthy and searing post about Russell, and to this day – and knowing what I now know about him – I HATE that I did that. He didn’t deserve one minute of it. And the more I get to know him, the more embarrassed I get because it was totally unfair and I was wrong.

The deep down truth of the whole post was simply hurt. I was hurt because I wanted to be acknowledged in the contest and hadn’t gotten the attention I thought I deserved. Which is silly, because no one deserves anything in this life. And I was really a nobody who showed up out of nowhere…and without context about, I now understand why I was hit with the gatekeeper in that crazy month. I would have done the same thing.

This story has a REALLY happy ending though. Because Russell graciously forgave me, did an interview, and then I ended up as the #4 affiliate. Not only that, we became friends. I joined the Inner Circle. Then he hired me. LOL – Now I’m working with him full-time and he only pokes fun at me once in a while about it.

My advice:

This is something I learned from experience and from binge-listening to Russell’s podcast. Always believe the best about people. Yeah, sometimes you’ll be wrong. But most of the time, life will go well with you if you trust that deep down, people are trying to do the right thing. Russell believed the best about me, even when I wasn’t acting my best. He knew I was hurt and not really meaning the things I said, and because he did that, things have changed in an incredible way.

I thought it was just me that things grow in messy and unpredictable ways and so I jumped the gun too fast because I didn’t have mentors slapping me silly

In early 2017, I was running a membership funnel and thought it wasn’t working because out of 100 people who’d signed up for a $97/m program, only 70% of them were continuing after the first month. What in the hell was the matter with me?

I’ll tell you EXACTLY what. I didn’t have a mentor. I wasn’t getting coached by someone or someones who could say, “You’re flippin’ nuts, that’s awesome!”

Every time something messy or unpredictable happened, I thought it was me. Me doing something wrong. Being dumb. Now looking back with the perspective I have now, it was the NOT even close to the truth. I was so hard on myself for changing up programs and prices and names and felt like such a dumbass for absolutely NO REASON AT ALL.

If you are not in some membership or mastermind, seriously – get thy butt to one. I have two. Create Your Laptop Life or Digital Insiders. One is affordable. One is not.

I have a HUGE regret that I didn’t join Russell’s Inner Circle earlier (I applied at the end of 2016 and bailed because I was scared I wouldn’t have enough money for a down payment) and that was another ridiculously untrue lie that held me back.

Takeaway:

Seriously, the only thing that near guarantees business suicide….is if you try to do it alone. Your perspective will be so outta whack if you sit inside your own head. I know people think I just say that so I can sell my group programs, but I’m telling you the God’s honest 1000000% truth.

I’ve made a lot of other mistakes. Small ones. Insignificant ones.

Ones that at the time felt big but really weren’t.

Things like holding on to old ideas and methods because of fear of the unknown.

In fact, I think if I round up most of my mistakes, they all fit under that ONE problem. For me and my personality, this is the where my achilles heel is. I hold on too long to something, or fear letting go, or struggle to jump into the unknown. Why? Because I’m not a daredevil.

Not even a little.

I’m an entrepreneur who hates rollercoaster rides and abhors risk and I guess the only saving attribute here is that you can be sure if I tell you to do something…I’ve fully vetted it (and probably waited too long to figure it out for myself).

My advice:

I think it’s good to know your achilles heel. It really is, even if you don’t like it about yourself. Are you impulsive? Do you spend too much? Are you too cautious? Too suspicious? What is your go-to default? It’s not so you can feel shame. It’s just so you can exercise the underused muscles and push yourself out of your comfort zone.

What does it actually mean when you become a millionaire?

I think this is just one of the trendy phrases from society that we all think about differently, and no one really knows what it means.

  • Does it mean you have a million in cash?
  • Does it mean you made a million dollars?
  • Does it mean you have a million in assets?

Or…is it some symbolic representation of financial freedom and independence?

Since January 2016, I’ve grossed $1.6 million dollars. Of that money, around $800k of it is profit (combining salary and distributions). If I add up my assets (business and personal), I definitely think I’ve reached the “technical” definition.

But here’s where the nirvana-like state becomes a true mirage.

  • I own a $350,000 2500 sq ft. home, which is PLENTY. It’s also a home I feel like I can afford. Much bigger than that and I would be overwhelmed. I’m not living in a mansion.
  • I own two cars – a Honda Odyssey and a Mazda 6. Both cars are amazing, but I’m not driving anything exotic.
  • The amount of money I need to be able to fund my retirement fund (to play catch up from 10 years as a stay at home mom), put four kids through college, and pay for two weddings..is OBSCENE.
  • The amount of money it takes to run a business when you’re taxed between 41-50% is OBSCENE.

The things you think happen when you become a millionaire, don’t actually. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t AMAZING benefits. There are. Here are some:

  • Buying your 6-year old niece an American Girl doll for Christmas…just because you want to
  • Flying in-laws back and forth from Romania and covering all their expenses…because family is important
  • Going out to dinner once or twice a week and not spending an ounce of guilt worrying if you can afford it
  • Hiring a nanny to help cook dinner and clean so when you stop working, you can focus on your kids instead of a million household chores
  • The luxury of doing something like investing in Cryptocurrency because you’re not “betting” the farm and can afford to part with some of your money
  • Not stressing out when a child wants horseback riding lessons or needs $100 for a field trip
  • Going to Disney World!

Here’s the HUGE takeaway here:

It’s the small things that make us feel wealthy. And I think there’s a way to make money and really enjoy what it does for you, without feeling like you have to “look” or attain some status. If you find you’re starting to make money, but still have comparisonitis….just STOP. Look for the small ways in which to celebrate your wins.

There’s often a less expensive way to get the same joy or feeling you’re truly looking for. Talking with my friend Brie the other day, she said she feels rich when she has a big bowl of fresh fruit on her kitchen counter.

What makes you feel rich?

What’s Your One Thing?

I’m going to go to jail for emails that go on too long, so even though I want to keep writing, I’ll spare your inbox. But I do want to part with this:

What’s your one thing for 2018?

I’m thinking about the upcoming year and trying to figure out – what is my ONE thing? I had two really big goals for 2017 that kept me moving forward…to buy a home and to make a million dollars in one fiscal year, and now that I’ve met them…I need a new ONE thing. A new big goal.

I think the tangible nature of these goals made them more tangible and reachable, so I want goals like this again.

I don’t have it crystallized in my head yet. I’ll let you know when I do.

But in the meantime, head on over to my Facebook group and put down your ONE big goal…writing it out publicly makes it real! https://www.facebook.com/groups/LivingTheLaptopLif…

I hope you enjoy your New Year’s holiday. I will most likely be sound asleep by the time the ball drops!

xx Julie

P.S. Don’t forget – my FIRST live webinar of 2018 is on January 4th at 8pm EST. Don’t miss it!

Free Things You Need Right Now

Where to Find Me

Click Funnels

As head coach over at Click funnels HQ, I teach people how to build funnels, how to get into the coveted 2 Comma Club, and how to make an extra $4k a month or more as a Click funnels affiliate. It doesn't matter what kind of online business you have, come and learn with me!

More Profits, Please >
Create Your Laptop Life

Join hundreds of other entrepreneurs living their laptop life. Learn how to get started, how to grow, and how to make it YOUR key to financial freedom and security. A membership community focusing on business growth and digital marketing.

More Freedom, Please >
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 >