How To Stop Riding Life On The Default Setting

It might not be obvious to any of us on a day to day basis, but the world has radically shifted in the last 50 years.

We’re watching as understood norms and structures are collapsing right before our eyes – either through corruption or a mass awakening or both.

  1. Is college really the best way to get a higher education?
  2. Is the American dream of buying a home with two kids and a white picket fence really sustainable?
  3. Do the police actually protect us or are they a part of the problem we see today?
  4. Is Democracy stable against tyranny and uprising?
  5. Do we really need banks and intermediaries or can we democratize and digitize money?
  6. Why do we think staying in the same career for 30+ years is the right path for most of us?
  7. Is Capitalism destroying the planet?

Will we even be here in 100 to 200 years? If we are, it won’t look anything like what we’ve known as modern society in the last few decades.

What happens energetically in society as a whole trickles down into each individual person and depending on where you are in the structure of it all, you might be feeling this radical shift internally as well.

  1. Is everything I worked for what I actually want?
  2. Why did I believe that this was the best path for me? And is it still true?
  3. Do I feel like I’ve lived fully so far, and if not, do I need to make a change in order to make the next 30-40 years more fulfilling?
  4. Have I coasted on societal norms and expectations only to feel empty and lost?

You might read those questions and say, “Oh that’s just someone in a midlife crisis.” And that might be true.

But in this time of the world, I would argue that these questions are a necessary ask to every human being who doesn’t want to just ride through life on the default setting.

Especially now when our civilization is headed for collapse.

The scariest moment for all of us is when the answer to those questions requires a reinvention. And that is something I know a bit about. I’ve done it before, and in many ways… am doing it again.

Truth #1: The fundamental belief that “end” means failure… must die. 

In 2014, my first marriage ended. And with it, a lot of the traditions, routines, friends, and community that went along with that union.

In addition to the end of my marriage, I lost my church. My best friends. My home. My town. My entire community. If you could write a definition of burning it all to the ground, that was it.

It was a mess. And in that season, I learned another truth.

Truth #2: Mess isn’t bad.

Walk into a garden in October in the Northeast and you will see a mess. The flowers are dying. Weeds might have grown up. Bugs. Maybe even some disease on leaves after the hot and humid summer.

Walk into that garden in February and you will see death. Nothing is alive or moving. The ground is frozen.

Walk into that garden in May and everything will look right. Bright green foliage, new flowers, life. Even still… it’s planted in dirt.

When things come crashing down in your world, it will be messy. You’ll feel conflicting emotions. You’ll doubt yourself. It doesn’t mean it was the wrong thing for you.

What happened for me is much like what you see in the mystical Phoenix. With everything dead and burned, I was able to resurrect the parts of me that I wanted to carry forward, and the parts of me I needed to let die.

My life today looks nothing like back then, but I still hold many of the same beliefs I did then. They just are expressed differently.

My potential would not have been unlocked if not for that mess and failure and end.

It doesn’t feel good to watch the deck get shuffled. But that cliche saying about failure is true.

Truth #3: We learn more in failure than in success. Failure is our greatest teacher.

We need to redefine failure because it is the only true catalyst for change in the human heart. Yet, most of us go to extraordinary lengths to avoid it. And by doing so, we avoid learning deep truths about ourselves that can change the way we impact the people around us.

That reinvention in 2014 taught me so much about myself and the world around me.

And silly me, I thought that was the only one I would need.

Why do we believe that a human being (average lifespan 75 years old), wouldn’t need to go through several cycles of reinvention in order to reach their highest potential?

Show me something in nature that doesn’t cycle naturally through seasons. I’ll wait.

And in all of those life cycles, death is a part of it. What’s true in one area, is true in another. For us as humans, our physical life cycle might have one natural death, but emotionally/intellectually, it’s absurd to think we wouldn’t go through several of those cycles in our lifetime.

Truth #4: If you’re committed to reaching your potential, be prepared to leave behind old patterns that don’t work anymore.

In my decision to end my current marriage, I had to wrestle with the societal norm that says divorce is only for people who can’t stick it out in relationships.

No one was going to come and reassure me on that. Despite the fact that I would be more accepted societally if I had slept around with 10-15 guys and married none, vs. staying loyal and true in two longterm serious marital relationships that ended.

It sounds absurd right? Why would I have more scorn from the world than that other scenario where I would be unable to commit to anyone in a real meaningful way?

Truth #5: Question what you believe and why you believe it. You might discover cognitive dissonance at work.

It’s scary when you uncover beliefs that don’t make logical sense. And, as a faith based person, I don’t worship logic as the highest form of thinking. I’m perfectly comfortable believing things that require faith to hold.

However, doing that with the awareness that they are based on faith is where you have to square up with yourself.

Pretending your beliefs are logic based when they are clearly not creates a pattern where you’re not willing to question yourself and your beliefs regularly.

As I’ve been walking through this divorce process over the past months, I have a new awareness of how much the body does keep the score. My physical body is the key to what’s happening emotionally for me, and this is one of the first times I’ve really understood what’s happening.

I’ve learned to notice the sensations in my body – a queasy stomach, tightness in my chest, numbness in my hands, racing heart, shaky jaw… and then even more subtle sensations… a feeling of fullness in my throat, small vibrations in my stomach… it’s all communicating to me important truths about the emotions running through me.

I didn’t realize how much I try to push certain emotions down until I started paying attention. Most of my anxiety is fueled by the desire to avoid feeling pain and sadness. And this is where I got stuck back in 2014.

I learned so much but didn’t understand this. And I do now.

Truth #6: We’re designed to feel our emotions, and if we don’t, we get stuck. They will entrap us. The way out is through. Simply feeling an emotion in the body and letting it wash over us like a wave is how we process emotion.

All this talk of hard things does have a positive flip side.

The potential for love is deeper.

The ability to tap into true empathy means you will be able to reach more people.

The feeling of true happiness and contentment is more accessible.

The body keeps the score in both positive and negative ways. Living in stress, avoidance, fear, anxiety, frustration will take its toll on you physically as much as emotionally.

The brain controls everything, including the hormone response to stress. And those stress hormones in large quantities over a long period of time will manifest in your life.

How about we use this incredible power of the mind body connection towards the positive?

None of this is easy, but it’s 100% worth it. I’ve been through some of the deepest pain and sadness in both seasons of reinvention, and it’s tough – but in each of them, I have held onto my commitment to doing what is best for me, regardless of how it feels in the moment.

I know that the more responsibility I take for myself and my potential, the more impact I will be able to have on those around me.

I did a podcast episode the other day and I was asked the question, “What legacy do you want to leave on this Earth?” and it took me a minute, but it was clear as day.

I want people to look at my life and think, “If she did it, so can I.”


16 Lessons On Money

I’m thinking a lot about money these days. In some ways I feel totally unprepared for what’s happening. In other ways, I feel totally at peace and realize… that there is a lot of work I’ve done to get to this point, and if I can help anyone with a shortcut, I will. So here are 16 quick Saturday morning lessons on money. I hope they speak to you.


1. No matter how hard or gnarly something seems today, it will be harder tomorrow – I promise. Procrastinating on money stuff, whether it’s debt reduction, investments, wrangling a money goal… so many of us don’t like to do it because it feels too hard or messy in the moment. And without fail, every time, I realize days, weeks, months down the road — it never gets EASIER. Today is the best day.  So now when I know I need to do something, I stop what I’m doing and do it today, knowing that tomorrow it’s not going to magically be easier.

2. Many money things (like purchasing life insurance for example), feel a bit like overkill. I remember when I elected to file as an S Corp into 2016. Felt like overkill because I wasn’t making much yet. It feels weird to do something BEFORE you need it. It feels like overkill. It scares you because you’re like, “But what if this is the best it’s going to be?” and then you over prepared. When it comes to money, no matter how it plays out, even if it feels like overkill, do it.

3. Know your numbers. Even if they are hella ugly and depressing and you think not knowing them is somehow going to make things better, it’s not. Face the numbers. I speak from experience on this one.

4. As you start to make more, the management of money will take up more and more of your time. That’s why there are entire fields of expertise around wealth management. If you want to turn your full time job into managing cash and investments, go for it. Otherwise, find an expert who doesn’t have a bias towards one type of investment and then take their advice!

5. You might think that debt is the scariest problem in the world of money… but it’s actually less scary than you think. When you realize how much companies and hell even the government use debt, you start to realize that we carry so much shame around something that much of wealthiest people in the world leverage to keep cash flow moving. There is debt you want to avoid sure, but it’s not the scary monster Dave Ramsey wants to make us all believe.

6. Your greatest financial investment is in your longterm emotional, spiritual, physical, and intellectual health. I used to think that earmarking money for therapy or coaching or development was a luxury or an “exception” to the rule. Now I see that the #1 way I like to spend money is on the development of myself and my kids. Whatever they need and whatever it looks like, it comes back in spades.

7. It always feels too hard until it isn’t. There are some money decisions in my life that feel absolutely crippling. And the anticipation of it is worse than the walking it out. So when you start to want to worry about money in the future, remind yourself that it is far more painful – the act of worry – than the walking out of whatever it is you have to do.

8. Hang around people who see money as a tool, not as the end destination.

9. Figure out your *enough* numbers. The amount you need to live the life you want. The real amount. The amount you need to retire. Stop chasing a destination when you haven’t yet plotted the coordinates (because of fear, lack of know how, etc.).

10. You can ALWAYS start over when you focus on skills, mindset, and connections. Those are your three pillars. What skills you can continue to market. What mindsets you need to stop thinking you have no choices and you’re stuck. What connections matter and give you life and energy and which ones you need to let go of.

11. Money will be a part of any major identity shift you make in life. If you’re scared of it, you might not make the transformation you’re supposed to make because you don’t want to face the financial reality. It’ll always be the excuse you fall back on.

12. It’s so cliche… for a reason. More money is not going to make you happy. However, not letting money become a source of pain and suffering, deciding you will get back in the drivers seat instead of sticking your head in the sand, and seeing the money conversation as simply unlocking a new “level” in the video game of life… will give you more peace.

13. Parkinson’s Law states work will expand to fill the time allotted for its completion. If you have two hours or two weeks, you’ll use that whole time even if it you could have done it in 30 minutes. Money works on the same principle. It’s going to be spent, whether it’s $1.00 or $1000. So might as well create some intentions around where it goes.

14. As you sit here today and think about a financial goal of the future, understand that the person you will become to be able to manage that goal will adapt and transform. So when you arrive, don’t be surprised if it didn’t feel like you expected it would.

15. Get outside perspective. Seriously. Stop thinking you’re weird or abnormal. You’re not. We’re all on this spinning blue ball doing the best we can and I assure you – you are not alone. All the money in the world that we could ever need, is already there. We just need to change how we relate to money to start to access it.

16. I’ve had no money and lots of debt. I’ve had some money and a little debt. I’ve had a lot of money and no debt. I’ve had money that I thought was forever that I have to lose. If I could give people anything from my journey, it’s that money is an inside job. A job of the heart and of the mind…and a little bit of the hands.

If you’ve not been a part of the Future Fund community, I invite you to do so. The course is open all the time, but Aryeh and I will be holding a complimentary office hours and Q&A session for all students this Wednesday, April 27th at 2pm EST. All current students are invited.

In this world of rapid inflation, volatile markets, emerging crypto and blockchain technology, a crazy housing market, and a quickly changing digital landscape, this is your chance to come and ask questions. Hope to see you there!

About Divorce

The grief took me by surprise. The depth of my tears seemed to come from the innermost parts of me and sometimes I felt like they would never run out. I felt very much like death had come to my door, and I had no choice but to ride out the tsunami of grief it brought

  • Death to surviving.
  • Death to over functioning.
  • Death to loose boundaries.
  • Death to bending because I’m scared of losing love.
  • Death to trying to make a happy ending.

Today, I find myself struggling sometimes to hold onto these new set of shoes I’m wearing. I want to kick them off and go get my old comfy sneakers that take me to places of desperation, neediness, over adaptation, codependency. But then I say no… I put bandages on the blisters forming where my new shoes are causing discomfort, and I keep walking. 

I realize it’s normal to one minute want to run right back into the past. To soothe the pain of separation and loss and pretend that everything is okay.

But then the next minute feel the incredible rush of relief that comes with finally learning to honor oneself.

One minute you want to beg to someone, anyone, to tell you you’re worth loving, even when you’re not useful or accommodating to them.

The next minute.. standing in that feeling of alone-ness, in the middle of the night when your body and brain can’t fall asleep, and your souls whisper… “you’re doing it.” 

One minute you can’t hardly bear the idea of being alone forever.

The next minute you cannot imagine how you went so long without a sacred space that is just for you.

Though the world sees me as incredibly competent and reliable, I’ve spent the majority of my adult life thinking I cannot be left to my own devices. I need someone to rescue me, take care of me, give me feedback because I can’t give it to myself. And it turns out this was the biggest lie of all. A belief system that dictated the entirety of my adult life is crashing down.

It’s only been a short while, but it feels like a lifetime.

There are still many hills to climb, many of which seemed huge and insurmountable before I made the decision to be alone. I wish I believed it when people told me those hills would not seem so huge once I trusted my instincts.

I spent so long being afraid of them, and here they are – and the grace and strength is there for me, in abundance.

Even still, grief is so messy and unpredictable. Sometimes I watch myself flail around trying to find a stabilizing force. I try not to fall into shame and judgement because no one ever said it wouldn’t be messy trying to break out of a cocoon to become a butterfly. Those caterpillars have to turn to goo first to even get their wings.

When I think about having a partner again, I feel so many things. 

  • Guilt. Should I not want this?
  • Anticipation. Will someone actually be able to walk alongside me in this life?
  • Despair. I don’t know that there is any man able to reach the standard I’ve now set for access to my heart and mind. 
  • Joy. I know that I’m an entirely different woman now and won’t choose out of need.

I feel God is close to me in this moment. I know He is near to the brokenhearted.

I see Him in the eyes of my children who are closely watching how I choose them as my first priority.

I see Him in the mentors who are right there to send love and advice and reassurance just when I need it.

I see Him in the face of my parents who show me unconditional love and acceptance no matter how messy my life gets. 

I see Him in the arms of friends who are walking this with me.

And I know, when He sends me a partner who will be strong enough, smart enough, capable enough to just walk alongside me in this life – I will see God in his eyes too.

In the meantime, I will keep going. I will keep finding joy. I will wake up every day grateful I get another morning to get up and see the goodness of God in this life. I will celebrate life and love in all its forms. I will take risks. I will be gentle with my mess ups. I will find compassion for everyone, even those who don’t know how to care for my heart. I will choose forgiveness. 

I will not be ashamed that my life doesn’t look like the fairy tale endings we were all spoon fed as children.

I will choose love.

For myself as much for anyone else. 


Ep. 109 What People Get Wrong About Setting Goals

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Full Transcript:

Today is a short little podcast to talk about mistakes I see people make when they go to set goals. Let me know, is this you? You say, “Okay, I’m going to make a business goal for quarter one or quarter two, and my goal is I want to hit $10,000 in revenue…”

or maybe your goal is, “I want to sell 30 units of my course.” Or, “I want to have 100 new subscribers on my list.” All of these goals are fundamentally flawed. I mean, they’re not flawed, they’re just incomplete because every single one of these goals you cannot control. You do not control how many people actually take their credit card out and buy your course. You do not control how much revenue comes into the business, ultimately. And you certainly don’t control how many people get on your email list.

So we create these goals that we have no actual control over, and then we get annoyed when those goals don’t come to pass. So I was talking with my friend Aria, and I said, “Do we call these lagging goals? What do we call these things?” Because they are milestones, of course, but they really can’t drive your behavior because they all have to do with the behavior of other people.

So I’m not saying that we don’t make these goals, but I’m saying that if you are going to sit there and say, “Okay, I want a certain number of subscribers.” Or “I want a certain revenue, or units sold.” That that be the milestone, that be sort of the indicator that you have done what you needed to do, but you actually need to write down some goals that you have control over.

So I see this happen a lot in the service based industry, because in that industry in particular, you can feel a little bit like feast or famine, you’re not quite sure where your leads are coming from, a lot of it is word of mouth, and sort of you’re just left with this feeling of like, am I going to get another client or not? And so lead flow becomes an issue.

So when you set a goal of, “I want to close 5 new clients.” Or, “I want to hit my first 10k month.” Or whatever it happens to be, you’re setting goals you have no control over, and your marketing lead flow is a little bit less defined than other types of markets because you’re relying so heavily on word of mouth.

So you need to step back and think about what triggers word of mouth. What triggers that? Well, number one, you have to actually be talking to people and people have to be able to communicate what you do, right? So if I’m going to recommend somebody, I’m going to see a post on Facebook or someone’s going to talk to me and they’re going to say, “ Oh I need help with xyz” and your name is going to come to mind. “Oh, Nicole is so good at this. You need to go talk to Nicole.” So I need to first know who Nicole is, know what Nicole does, and know what she does in a way that’s memorable enough that when I see somebody else asking…

So one of your goals could be to have a certain number of conversations with other people in a way that they actually know what you do. So let’s say I’m a coach for weight loss, or a ketogenic diet, let’s say. So my goal to close five new clients, one of the things I’m going to do is I’m going to aim to have 100 meaningful conversations over the month of January where I introduce myself to 100 new people and they know what I do and I am able to communicate it in a way that’s simple. So that’s the first thing.

Okay, so then I go back to word of mouth referrals and I think, what else? What else is a part of it? Well, I have to have done really great work. So maybe one of my goals for the month is to go back and look at who my best clients were and ask them for word of mouth referrals, and then maybe look at some of my clients who I’m currently working with, who I know if I step up or I over deliver or I do this extra thing, they’re going to be like, “Oh my gosh, this person is amazing.” And they’re more likely to refer me.

So this is how you start to develop your actual sort of task related goals that you can set up, which will then lead to this lagging goal, or this goal that you don’t actually have any control over.

So as you sit down and you think about whether it’s email subscribers, course units sold, breaking down what actually has to happen in that process, what are the actual nuts and bolts of selling courses? What are the nuts and bolts of getting subscribers on your list, and then setting up actions and KPIs of what you’re going to do. So do not underestimate conversations with people. Do not underestimate interviews, do not underestimate how much you are bumping into other people because this is usually at the core of a lot of lead flow and growth over the month.

Now obviously if you are a bigger entrepreneur and you have more reputation, this is a little bit easier because the proverbial snowball is already rolling down the hill, whereas if you are new it is going to be a lot of one on one conversations that on first glance don’t feel super productive. But if you are going in with the intention to provide value to them and to make sure that they understand who you are and what you do, you may find that these sort of lagging goals, these goals that you have that you really can’t control, start to get met. And once you have met them, then you sort of have a benchmark. “Oh look, 100 conversations led to 5 new clients.

Now you have a benchmark to say, “Okay, if I want 10 new clients, I maybe need to have 200 conversations.” And you start to come up with KPIs that help you dictate how to set your goals for the next month or the next quarter. Hope that helps, talk to you soon.

Commanding Your Rates

Have you heard the term “command higher rates”? If you’re following me you have, because I’ve said it many times.

But after several hard discussions in our Marketer’s Heart Facebook Group, private PM’s, and our other paid communities, I’ve decided to write a post on this term… what I think it means, and more importantly, what it doesn’t.

The word command has multiple meanings, but for the purposes of this discussion, I’m interested in this meaning of the word.

“dominate (a strategic position) from a superior height”

The example in a sentence is “the two castles commanded the harbor”. In this case superior height simply means that they were the most skilled or strategic in the crowd, and because of that, they had more influence than their surrounding competitors.

I am aware that the terms superior and dominate are laced with context (many of which are negative), so I hope people understand that in the matter at hand, we need to probably rephrase it with more nuanced language for our market or industry. In this case, I would say the definition of command is this:

“lead (a strategic position) from an exceptional height”

In other words, your excellence speaks for itself. You are:

  • asking for higher rates
  • clear on what you charge
  • not intimidated by people who don’t understand your pricing
  • comfortable asking and sending out proposals
  • not afraid to ask for it when someone is expecting less

You do so from a place of excellence and expertise. 

Unfortunately a lot of what’s taught in Internet Marketing is not commanding higher rates at all.

It’s demanding higher rates, and it’s entirely different.

The word demand means… something claimed as due or owed”.

If you look at the difference between demand and command, one comes from a place of identity and security, and the other one puts the responsibility on the other person to conform to their view or way of thinking.

Of course most of us think of the word demand in an aggressive tone, but it can show up passively as unsolicited advice or offensiveness when someone doesn’t honor or acknowledge their view, etc.

Many of us get into the entrepreneurial game because we long for freedom. Freedom to choose our hours, choose our work, and not have someone else telling us how it should look.

That freedom extends into our pricing as well, and when we are secure in our expertise and what value we’ve placed on that, we are able to command higher rates and not be ruffled when other people don’t ascribe to the same view.

Demanding (and it’s more passive cousins) forgets that in order for us to have freedom in our own businesses, we must also give that freedom to others. They must also be free to command their own rates and pay, and if it’s not from a place of expertise and security, that is most certainly on them to deal with.

“It’s a good day if you can control yourself all day 100% of the time.” – Danny Silk

So much would be solved by learning how to stay in our lane and control the things we can control. Spending so much energy being offended or trying to change someone’s mind when there is zero rapport or even an invitation for that opinion, just leads to wasted time or energy that could be spent working on your own position of command.

What are some practical tips to learning how to be a commander of your rates instead of a demander?

  1. Work on your skill. Invest in your expertise.
  2. Work on your own personal development and triggers.
  3. Practice working on controlling yourself and your emotions.
  4. Get comfortable with rejection.
  5. Hang around people who are commanding the rates you’d like to command.
  6. Learn detachment from outcome, and controlling the things you can.
  7. Stop giving unsolicited advice on the Internet. When you have an opinion, use your platform to take a stand.
  8. Repeat over and over again the awesome things people say about you.
  9. Have an accountability partner or coach who can keep you from reverting to what’s comfortable.
  10. Don’t beat yourself up when you make a mistake. Own it, and move on.

– Julie



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