Balancing it All

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

This is an email I sent to my list….

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

Utter nonsense.

Here are the classic players of excuses in my head…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It was nuts.

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

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

Here’s What I Learned…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

#4 Nothing substitutes pen and paper. Nothing.

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

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

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

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

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

Monitor #2

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

Monitor #1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

#8 Develop a “catch all”.

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

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

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

Here’s how it works…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

xx Julie

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

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Full Transcript:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • 2017
  • 2018
  • 2019

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

She’s right.

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

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

But back to that first quote above.

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

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

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

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

That fear is driving you to:

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

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

That’s what I’m doing.

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

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

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

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

Last thing…

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

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

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

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



A Spiritual View Of COVID19 Conspiracy Theories

Alright, last night I wrote a post on Facebook and then ended up deleting it because the thread got weird, super fast. So many conspiracy theories flying around, and it brought a lot of confusion and fear. Confusion is one of those alarm bells that tip me off that something is not right.

It started because of the press briefing that went totally sideways. All of a sudden, we were talking about a big drug cartel and trafficking mission… and it smelled a lot like something wasn’t right.

  • Was it a political distraction?
  • Was it a mission and they had to get in front of it and say something publicly?
  • Was it a pre-frame for things to come?
  • Was it Trump looking for another wartime narrative?
  • Was there something more insidious happening?
  • Was it a cover for something else?

I didn’t know, I just knew it felt… off. Could it be smoke and mirrors?

But then, the conspiracy theorists came out. They came out to say this is all a part of a huge plan and we’re going to be indebted to Trump for what’s about to unfold.

After I deleted the thread, I decided to listen to the people I think have crazy theories. I wanted to hold space for those people too, because many of them I like and respect, though we have HUGE differences.

And I stayed up til the wee hours of morning digesting an enormous amount of content to try and understand their side and their story.

I have a Biblical worldview that I test everything against, even when I don’t realize I’m doing it. It’s impossible for me to take that lens off, because it’s the core of who I am and what I believe.

But I also love science. Math. Facts. Data. Evidence. I wrote about this the other day on my blog… how I feel like God has finally taught me how to blend both my spiritual eyes and my intellectual ones.

There are several conspiracy theories flying around the Internet right now, and I’m sure most of you know someone who’s talking about them. And there’s always this cryptic strange messaging that comes with it. No one will just come right out and say it. They’ll send links or PM’s or make inferences, but not just bring it to light and say, “This is the theory.”

I am SURE I will get some of this wrong, but I’m going to drag those theories into the light right now. Given I only spent about 6-7 hours on it, there will be mistakes. But this is my gift… condensing info into a bite sized chunk so you can get the IDEA. The idea really matters more than details.

The theorists will say the details matter, because that’s how these theories fly. They fly by using details to mount evidence because it’s too hard to believe otherwise.

The theory predates COVID19. It’s a classic good vs. evil story, as most are. The virus appearing has given a new intensity and curiosity around the story, as the plot undoubtedly thickens. But this theory didn’t START with Covid. It’s been around awhile.

There are the good guys – you’ll see them labeled… QAnon, WWG1WGA, The Storm, The Great Awakening. These are typically far right folks and avid supporters of Trump. Some would say his loyal cult-like following.

Then there are the bad guys – The Cabal, the rich left, the Deep State, and they are a satanic cult trying to control the world and traffic children. Lots of celebrities and wealthy names like Vanderbilt, Rockefeller, etc.

The story goes kinda like this…

  • Step One: Bill Gates and the Cabal tried to solve the problem of overpopulation, as well as how to rule the world.
  • Step Two: They conspire to leak the virus. Build the virus? I’m not sure. Multiple stories abound. Some say China did it. Not sure how that works with this story though.
  • Step Three: The plan was to kill off the older population, get a lockdown in place so they could finally take over.
  • Step Four: While this was all happening, they would install 5G technology because somehow it’ll help control us better?
  • Step Five: A mandatory vaccine would come up and they’d inject an RFID chip into our blood with the vaccine. This is sometimes referred to as Agenda21. Then with the new technology, a reduced population, a chip, they’d have their mass plan enacted.

BUT… The plan is about to be foiled by the good guys. The good guys who are led by Donald Trump who’s five steps ahead of everyone.

  • Step One: Get a bunch of indictments for this Cabal.
  • Step Two: Get everyone in lockdown so they can start this mass arrest and release of sex slaves.
  • Step Three: Shut down the phone and Internet for a few days while this all takes place. Use the big ships and field hospitals for rescuing children during the arrests.
  • Step Four: Do some sort of financial reset, take back the Fed, etc.
  • Step Five: Bring the world back online and play 24 hours of tapes for days on all computers and TV showing the whole plan so the world knows what happened in the three days of darkness.
  • Step Six: A new amazing golden age gets ushered in by… Trump? This far right team? I’m not sure about this part.

Again – pretty sure I messed up a ton of details… but you get the idea.

Guess what? Conspiracy theories gain legs because they have compelling patterns and layers. It’s hard to watch hours and hours and not think, “Holy crap, how is that all coming together so well?” The detail weaving is intense.

But that’s where intellect and spirit work together. After I finished reading all this, I decided to pray.

I asked God to give me peace and clarity and I was reminded of several truths….

1. God uses all things – even bad things and bad people – to bring redemption.

It doesn’t mean that person is a savior or even someone good. That person or event could be horrible and God could still achieve healing or redemption. The danger here is when this happens, humans have a tendency to herald the person. Rewrite history. Forgive massive character flaws and mistakes, ignore malicious intent… because we long for a hero and a savior.

2. It almost doesn’t matter if you believe the theory or not, because it doesn’t change anything about the reality of what we’re dealing with as a nation.

COVID19 still is going to kill people and overwhelm our hospitals and we have to do our part to flatten the curve. I’ve read compelling medical journals that say this was not a “created” virus. The resources are below.

3. The only true redemption happens through Jesus, so even on the random crazy chance that there’s a mass evil plan that will be taken down by our government, any new age of peace and gloriousness isn’t truly real.

Any man-made government that overthrows an evil one, if you look jussstttt below the surface, has its own plan of evil. Digging into QAnon, there’s a ton of xenophobic, nationalist, populist evil lying in wait.

The good guys who save you from the bad guys are not good guys really.

All you have to do is sniff around and look for the fruit of the Spirit – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, humility, to see there’s a different agenda. And if you don’t believe in God, you can simply hold onto the truth that Power Corrupts, and the way people come to power is by doing something good first… in the midst of a crisis.

Doesn’t mean that good things can’t happen through evil people. Just means that people will erase and overlook evil in plain sight to rationalize how a bad person/people do something so good? They must BE good.

It all comes down to your ability to hold two truths in tension. Two opposites that can coexist. If you can’t do that, you will lean on either extreme.

Side note, when people REALLY can’t do this, they actually have a name for the extreme of this problem – Borderline Personality Disorder. The inability to hold opposing things in tandem. Dialectical Behavior Therapy is what’s used to treat this.

You’ll watch as Trump supporters take him *almost* as a Messiah in talking about this theory of them overthrowing the Deep State.

On the left, you’ll see media people doing EVERYTHING they can to discredit Trump at every turn, even if it’s an objectively solid decision. They have no ability to see that even if he is a pathological narcissist, he can still make good decisions from time to time. Stuff can still get done.

Extremes are NOT your friend in this hour.

Having a plumb line of faith will greatly help you cut through the noise of the conspiracy theory and the fear.

The question of the hour? Do I believe any of it?

  • I believe there is evil in this world, on both the left and the right. I believe there is an agenda for both, and it includes power and money.
  • I believe there is a global pandemic that’s crushing our healthcare system, sinking our economy, and killing thousands and thousands of people.
  • I believe in God, in His ability to do incredible things in the midst of crisis. I believe He can use anyone or anything – because He’s God.
  • I believe we will be okay, and we will see normal life return, though I’m not sure when.
  • I believe there are people wrongly heralding Trump as a hero, and ignoring the danger of his narcissistic pathology. The dangerous precedent to credit a human and exonerate the behavior because they were an instrument of good in some fashion.
  • I believe that society is quite fragile, and people will cling to whatever leadership they find, and conveniently rewrite history to suit their narrative.
  • I believe the only true redemption on Earth will happen when Jesus returns, and anything else that appears Utopian, is just a shadow. A fragile temporary state that hides the fight for power underneath.
  • I believe that where there is confusion and fear, evil is lurking nearby.
  • I believe that the truth is clear, kind, firm, understandable, even if it’s hard to hear.
  • I believe that money and crisis amplify WHO people already are underneath.
  • I believe that I am just one person with one worldview (and a bias) and that even if I think all conspiracies are just wild quacky theories, it doesn’t mean that it couldn’t in some strange world, have grains of truth in it. But even if it were ALLLLL true, I wouldn’t feel relieved about the good guys. I wouldn’t think that Trump is a hero. I would feel alerted to the fact that there’s a nefarious underground destabilization happening that means I need to cling to God even more.
  • I believe that whatever is going on that we can’t see, doesn’t really have anything to do with Trump at the end of the day. He’s just the current chess piece on the board in the hand of the player.
  • I believe that these conspiracy theories have been around much longer than COVID19 and the harvest was ripe for a plot twist.
  • I believe that I am fallible, and can be wrong at times.
  • I believe that there are a ton of off-shoot theories that mix and match various details, switch the bad guys and good guys, and continue to play on peoples’ fear and uncertainty, without actually changing anything about our day to day lives.

That’s where I am today. I hope it helps shed light, reduce anxiety, bring clarity, and most of all… a sense of peace.


Some resources on the theory of the virus being created or leaked…


Giving Credit Where Credit Is Due

I started talking about COVID19 in February, after following it closely *yet silently* since the first reports came out at the end of December.

I did choose to talk about it before it was everywhere, and in one of the most profound examples of why I need to trust my gut – ended up with countless PM’s and emails from people in the two weeks that followed.

  • “Because of what you said, I was prepared. I didn’t have to clamor at the store like everyone else the day after the President spoke in the Oval Office to the nation.”
  • “You literally woke me up to putting contingencies in my business and now we’re okay today because of what we did just a month ago.”
  • “Because of your daily takeaways in your Facebook group, I decided to email my list of 500k people to help them get prepared.”
  • “We took measures to pull our kids out of school before they shut down because you said you were doing the same. Now it’s everywhere, but we are all healthy and home.”

Since first speaking about it, I have set up a Facebook group where I post two threads a day…

  1. One is a thread for people to link up articles they are reading
  2. The second thread is my daily takeaway. It’s just a smattering of thoughts and information I gather throughout the day based on the science of the virus, the public health, the economic ramifications, etc.

When people ask me why I do it, I say simply, “Because my gut tells me to.”

But I’m starting to think my gut instinct might be mislabeled, and I’ve been taking credit for something that isn’t me.

What lots of people don’t know about me is that I carry a deep faith and belief in Jesus. Prior to being a marketer, I was a worship leader, pastor, and heavily involved in the Church. My entire life, whenever I’d go to prayer meetings or conferences, the same message would be spoken and prayed over me. It happened even as a very young child. I had a strong prophetic gifting that people needed.

I had a supernatural experience at age 6, where my mom describes me sobbing as a young girl – in my living room – listening to worship music trying to describe the presence of the Holy Spirit to her in little kid language.

When everything in my life fell apart (in 2014), I walked away from my Church. I lost faith in most every religious body, and clung onto my belief in God (barely) and in small ways where I could. But I was also reasonably sure that any favor or blessing or gifting given to me had been immediately revoked. I’d fallen too far into sin.

I lived with this belief for the last five years.

And then something strange started to happen. God started speaking to me through other people. Other people who had NO idea of my past, and in some cases, didn’t even realize I was a Christian. They’d say, “I know this is going to sound nuts but…” and then launch into a prophetic word so accurate, it’d leave me weeping uncontrollably.

This past fall, I started to hear God speak to me again, without needing someone else to say it. You can find some of the posts on my Facebook profile in October/November. I knew He was doing something, I just wasn’t sure what exactly.

Now I understand.

He knew I would need Him more than ever in 2020. He also knew that people would need me. They would need me to be a voice of clarity in the midst of so much bullshit and noise.

There were a number of decisions I made “with my gut” that were difficult to explain. I just had a sense, a feeling, a premonition – that I would need to be nimble, flexible, adaptable. And there were also a number of decisions I made (IGNORING my gut) that cost me deeply. I started to see a pattern emerge, and it wasn’t without help from a therapist, and also people who were diligently praying for me.

It’s funny. People like to separate spiritual stuff from intellectual stuff from emotional stuff… we’re so separatist in the western world. And it’s just not real. God uses therapy, He used instincts, brains, emotions, all of it. He created us as these amazingly integrated human beings and what used to be a thorn in my side (my intellectual brain being chided as faithlessness since it asked too many questions) is actually a gift He’s using. Just like using therapy too. It all works together, and the patterns are there if you look.

There are a number of ways we all exit this crisis. If we do this whole “pandemic” thing right, you’ll know it because scores of people will say the world over reacted. That’s how you know we beat it. If we mess it up, and deaths start to recklessly pile up in cities all over the world, there is no better time to start using all the parts of you – your spirit, your brain, your emotions – to stay connected to the One who knows you better than you know yourself.

Lastly, I want to make something very very clear. 

Most of what I find, read, post, speak about is NOT somehow spiritually downloaded from heaven. God gave me a brain and wants me to use it. So I do. However, what I’m noticing now is that I’m better able to see how God is using BOTH my brain and my spirit to help guide me, that I am leaning into what my instincts say because I believe they are Him… and not me.

He’s helping me to find the doctors and scientists to read and listen to. He’s helping me sift through mountains of information to figure out what’s most important to remember, and what I can ignore. He’s putting smart people in my path that know way more than I do, and prompting me to listen. In all of this, it was high time I give God credit for the work He’s doing in and through me.

If anything I’ve said over the last month has helped your family or you in some way, that should be an unwavering indication that God loves you very much. He’s here. He sees the end of all this, and He isn’t moved or shaken by a wobbly economy, joblessness, lost customers, clients, or sickness. He’s got you, just like He’s got me.

And that really is the best news of the year.


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