12 Minute Video – The Only Three Kinds of Potential Clients You’ll Ever Meet (And How To Relate To Each).

In today’s 12-minute video above The Only Three Kinds of Potential Clients You’ll Ever Meet (And How To Relate To Each), you’ll learn:
  • what the three types of potential are (it will seem too simple but don’t be deceived)
  • exactly what you need to do with each type (again, don’t let the simplicity persuade you that it’s not powerful)
  • why so few people who seem to express interest ever actually buy

If you resonate with the content of this video and you’d like to spend six weeks with other good people from around the world exploring how you could make your marketing feel good to yourself and the people receiving it (while still being effective), then I invite you to check out my six-week, Marketing for Hippies 101 program.

It is extremely affordable. There are no early-bird specials, just an honest, straight-forward good deal.

You can learn more to see if it’s a fit for you at the link below.


Honesty Matters: 12 Marketing Tactics to Avoid At All Costs

Guest Post by Marcia Yudkin

You want to run an honest business, right? It’s easy to lose your moral compass when you hear prominent marketers talk up shady marketing tactics and see them hail the results they get through fakery, verbal sleight-of-hand, or outright lying.

So here’s a handy list of marketing moves to rule out when you want to have the trust and respect of long-term customers and the public at large.


One well-known information marketing guru laughingly told a conference that he gets lots of last-minute orders by telling prospects that only, let’s say, 5 product sets are left, when in fact, he’d gladly sell 500 more. Fake scarcity also crops up when someone says the price will go up after the next X units are sold, yet the marketer doesn’t raise the price, or when a sale is supposed to end Saturday, and it’s still there on Sunday. Clearly, all these examples show a lack of integrity. Even if you think “everyone does it,” you have the option of taking the higher ground.


Certain phrases enrich marketers by triggering guilt, shame, confusion or fear in customers. One marketer says you can reduce refund requests by saying, “and if you’re not satisfied, I’ll refund you out of my own pocket.” This implies the refund comes from the marketer’s money and is that right, to make the seller suffer because you weren’t happy with your purchase? Actually, it’s really the customer’s own payment that would be coming back to them when they return something for a refund. Don’t perpetrate twisted tactics like this.


The classic move in this category is getting photographed beside a Rolls Royce parked in front of a mansion. The car is rented, though, and the mansion belongs to someone else. Inflating your lifestyle, your credentials, your depth of experience – it’s all wrong and can boomerang on you disastrously when an ex-friend, investigative blogger, a lawsuit exposes you.


A whole industry flourished for a while devoted to the aim of achieving something that would be technically true yet highly misleading to the average person. If you engineer a relatively small number of sales in a short period of time, you can reach the #1 rank in an Amazon.com category and call your book a “bestseller.” The intention here is to deceive people into thinking thousands or tens of thousands of copies sold when the actual tally might have been less than a hundred.


Take a cold, hard look at your headlines. Are you promising results that your buyer desperately desires and probably will not get? “From Couch Potato to Beach Bikini Goddess Without Diet or Exercise!” “Become the Talk of the Town With Your Google Places Listing.” A little bit of drama to get attention might be okay, but over-the-top promises have no place in a respectable business.


Someone selling thousand-dollar home-study courses once gleefully described a new technique he’d come up with, designed to make it harder for people to return his products for a refund. It was impossible to open his mailing package without shredding it, so any customer would have to find or buy a box to send the course back in order to invoke the money-back guarantee. When your goal is having happy buyers rather than lots of unhappy ones who never ask for their money back, this kind of chicanery makes no sense.


Here the pitch warns that if you don’t buy the product, competitors who do will leave you in the dust. Do you have any genuine basis for that kind of a prediction? If yes, explain. If not, then it’s nothing but hot air, hype, and hoopla. Don’t go there.


When a marketing guru says you’re foolish to care about quality and that “good enough” wins the day, shut your ears. Never deliberately leave mistakes, oversights, glitches or holes in your work. If you have something you’re tempted to apologize for, fix it before you go to market. Remember that with today’s ubiquitous online reviews and social media, complaints are easier than ever to post.


Sometimes you’ll see two or even three emails in a row from the same source, with the second and third correcting an error in the link in the first email. Unfortunately, some marketers have figured out that those second and third emails get more attention for the message than the first one, and they occasionally create this sequence deliberately. Do this on purpose and then make a genuine error you have to correct, and you begin to look hopelessly incompetent.


Ever grind your teeth because you signed up for a webinar or conference to learn the featured content only to suffer through an extended pitch for a new product or event instead? Call a preview a preview, so customers understand what they’re getting into. Don’t invite visitors to your website to download a “report” that is little more than a promotion. Earn trust by setting up accurate expectations.


When you describe something as “free,” that means it has no cost. Period. Something that the customer receives only when they buy something else is not free. Marketers often fudge this because they understand the power of the word “free.” Customers get disgusted because they were attracted and then fooled by the word “free.”


Testing helps us determine what works better than what. However, some marketers go beyond the usefulness of testing to claim that whatever gets a better response is always the better tactic. A little voice inside you worrying that maybe a headline, a selling technique or a marketing spiel goes too far is irrelevant, they say. On the contrary, giving that little voice a fair hearing can often keep you from getting customer backlash and negative media attention. It also helps you maintain your self-respect!

All in all, if you wouldn’t feel comfortable having something be exposed on the front page of the newspaper, engraved on your tombstone or part of your entry interview at the pearly gates, don’t do it. Guard your reputation. Treasure your conscience.

marciayudkinMarcia Yudkin is a copywriter, marketing expert and business coach, as well as the author of 6 Steps to Free Publicity, now in its third edition, and 15 other books. She particularly works with introverts, social entrepreneurs, health educators, coaches and consultants. Learn more about no-hype marketing through her No-Hype Marketing Academy.

12 Big Mistakes Crowdfunders Make (And 11 Tips You Need to Succeed)

 Guest Post by Leah Lamb

crowdfundingCrowdfunding is one of the more powerful initiations and rites of passage into actualizing your vision. And while it is exciting and inspiring to hear of so many people’s successes, it is equally powerful to learn from their mistakes. Below I have outlined 12 big mistakes it is oh so easy to make, and 11 tips to developing an effective and efficient crowdfunding campaign.

1. Thinking Too Small When It Comes to Long-term Relationship Building

Most of the people who are launch crowdfunding campaigns are maker-types. And most likely that means that there will come a day when you will want to make something again. So don’t think of the people who participate in your campaign as disposable…consider them epic allies that are joining your team for the long haul.

  • Super Stealth Tip 1: Get Personal: You are building relationships that have the potential to last a lifetime and could potentially see you through many projects. Along with sharing information about your project, be authentic about who you are and what you care about. Reach out to people after they donate with a personal email where you thank them; you may even want to tell them what they funded. For ex: “Thank you for donating $10, you paid for 10 pages of my book!
  • Super Stealth Tip 2: Just because your campaign ends doesn’t mean that your relationship ends. You can continue to message people through most platforms, and you can also download the contacts list and integrate that into your mailing list. You can use that mailing list to maintain contact with people over time, keep them engaged with what you are creating, and make them part of your tribe/family/pods that actualizes cool things in the world.

2. Not Realizing That Your Main Job Is To Inspire People

I realize you thought that your main job was to get people to give you money. But atlas…it is actually to inspire people. One of the very first winners of project runway actually called her fans to see why people were watching. Turns out her fans watched because they loved watching someone accomplish something. You are DOING something amazing… you have taken a bold leap, put yourself out there, and are manifesting your dream. So flaunt that, and know that people are inspired by you.

  • Super Stealth Tip 3: Share Your Vision. Don’t be shy about sharing your big vision. Maybe it’s as fabulous as bringing more joy into the world by making people laugh, or as serious as feeding the homeless, or as practical as telling a story that will inform people. Connect people to your big vision for change, and tell them what inspired you to create this project.

3. Not Preparing for Taxes

Taxes and crowdfunding are for real. If you raise more than 20K you will be reported to the IRS and you will be taxed on what you raised. So make sure that you run your campaign early enough in the year so that you can spend as much of your funds as possible to avoid large tax bills.

4. Ignoring the natural cycles of online behavior:

August, September, and December are historically the months with the highest amounts of campaign failures. Don’t become a stat. Know your facts.

  • Super Stealth Tip 4: If you find yourself feeling the impulse to begin your campaign in one of those months, make sure that it is timely and irresistible OR use that time to your advantage for doing all the campaign planning…

5. Rewards: bad, boring, and costly

So many things can go bad with rewards… but the top pitfalls are: 1) Not budgeting for the time it takes to assemble and distribute rewards 2) Not budgeting the cost of mailing.

  • Super Stealth Tip 5: Develop as many digital rewards as possible.
  • Super Stealth Tip 6: Take every talent and gift you and your best friends and allies have and think about how they can be made into rewards. Rewards don’t have to be a literal representation of your project, they just have to be inspiring and result in something that people want. Extra points if you create a pick up location where people can get their gifts so you don’t have to mail them.

6. Lacking an eagle eye when it comes to the details:

There are a lot of details that can bite you if you aren’t paying attention. Such as the fees that crowdfunding platform charges, taxes, and the time, energy, and cost involved with fulfilling rewards. You don’t need a super stealth tip to tell you to read all of the fine print.

7. Making a crappy, boring, or really long video

            Enough said. Your video reflects on the quality of product you will ultimately deliver.

             It doesn’t have to be Hollywood quality, but it needs style, good sound, good editing,

             and great messaging.

  • Super Stealth Tip 7: Consider using the following recipe while writing your script: 1) Build credibility, tell us who you are and why you are the person who can do this job 2) Be your authentic self…in front of the camera. This isn’t as easy it sounds. Get someone to stand behind the camera and talk to them. 3) Deliver a concise and inspiring vision for what you want to do…and why you want to do it. 4) Inspire us with your idea! 5) Ask us for money. I know…it seems so obvious and so many people don’t do it. 6) Keep your video under 3 minutes. 2:45 seconds is even better.

8. Avoiding Proper Planning

So many people think they can whip out a campaign in a weekend (ehem, I was one of those people once upon a time). The truth is…doing it right means setting yourself up for success. Give yourself the time you need to develop the strategy, rewards, and copy for your campaign page. Schedule time to and write and rewrite your video, gather your production team, and schedule an editor. Reach out to your network to develop an ambassador program. Coordinate with friends or partner organizations who would want to throw a launch party… all of this takes planning and time.

  • Super Stealth Tip 8: Give yourself 4-6 weeks to develop your campaign.

9. Creating Financial Goals That are Out of Your Reach

This one speaks for itself. You need to assess the size of your network, and assess the size of your friend’s networks, and then do the math.

  • Super Stealth Tip 9: Around 1/10 of the people who visit your campaign page are going to make a contribution. The average contribution is $50. Now develop the math equation (or use the one I created in my 23 page Action Guide (see below).

10.  Not Treating Their Campaign Like A Job

You know that saying, “If you build it they will come.” That doesn’t apply to your crowdfunding campaign.

  • Super Stealth Tip 10: Plan on treating your campaign like a part time job. It will require you to be relentless and persistent. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take the weekends off, because you need to treat it like a marathon, not a sprint. But doing a little bit of promotion on the weekend couldn’t hurt.

11. Ignoring Your Special Sauce

There is something unique to you and your project. It might be your sense of humor. It might be your epic persistence. You might be able to do a handstand like no other. What ever it is…make sure that you thread your campaign with the specialness of you. I realize this concept is abstract, so I’ll provide an example. One of my goals in life is to strengthen and build community. So when I did my second campaign I became aware that there were a lot of entrepreneurs and artists, and I wanted everyone to know about each other. I started flaunting my awesome tribe in my email updates, and I celebrated people on facebook. It was one of my ways of giving while receiving…to celebrate the people who joined my mission to put a story into the world that I believed would make a difference in the lives of youth. So I posted links to their work, and bragged about the amazing skills and talents of the people who were joining my project’s community. People still mention the impact that had on them. That’s my special sauce. What’s yours?

12. Not making a mid-campaign strategy

Every campaign has a natural cycle: lots of attention at the beginning, lots of attention at the end, and a flat line in the middle. You need to create a strategy before you launch your campaign for how you are going to enliven your campaign in the middle.

  • Super Stealth Tip 11: Don’t announce all of your rewards when you launch. Keep a few reward that you can announce in the middle or end of your campaign that will encourage people to increase their reward. In other words: plan all your rewards at the beginning, and then post a few halfway through your campaign when things get slow. Cause they will.

Want more help? YOU ARE IN LUCK!

I will be hosting an Online Workshop October 4th-Oct 8th Everything You Need to Rock Your Crowdfunding Campaign where you can study with myself and other experts who have successfully raised 100’s of thousands of dollars through crowdfunding. When you take the course live you have access to me for live Q&A and you can even sign up for the bonus package to have me review your materials. I know. It’s an awesome and crazy affordable program. I made it this way because I wanted the makers, creatives, burners, and more to have easy affordable access and support so they can build kick ass campaigns.

Can’t take the class but want to dive deep into the topics touched on above? You can get the recorded version or you can Get this 23 page DIY How To Launch Your Campaign Action Guide. (Of course it this comes free to everyone who signs up for the online course)

Contact: Leah Lamb at: 

leahlambLeah Lamb is a Writer, Producer, Transformational Storyteller, and Multi-media innovator. Her work plays with a lexicon that weaves myths, archetypes, and the hero’s journey into our modern world. Leah weaves her love of theatre, wilderness, film, and social justice together into her work as a storyteller and crowdfunding expert. Her first novel The Whale Dreamer, is almost finished. For more info: leahlamb.com

(Starts Sept 28th) Seven Compelling Reasons To Sign Up for My New, Online, Six-Week ‘Marketing for Hippies 101 Program


On September 28th my new Marketing for Hippies 101 program begins.

This program serves two purposes:

An introduction into my work. If you’ve never attended one of my Marketing for Hippies 101 workshops then this program is a fine chance to learn the basics because you get the video version of that workshop when you sign up.

A chance to apply the concepts. If you have attended my day-long workshop and are hoping for some support in integrating it and figuring out how it applies to your situation, this is best thing I’ve got going. The calls will not be me teaching the content. I will assume you’ve already got that walking in (because you’ve already attended my workshop or watched the video).

But why should you consider signing up?

Well, if it seems like a fit, there are seven, compelling reasons…


Compelling Reason #1: You Get the Full Footage From my Live, Marketing for Hippies 101 Workshop the moment you sign up.

While I was in Victoria, BC in 2014, I had Canadian film maker Ian Mackenzie record the latest version of my workshop so I could make it available to those who have never had the chance to attend my workshop and to whose cities I may, sadly, never come.

Before the program begins, you will be expected to watch this full two-and-half-hour video of this live workshop (and, for extra points, dive into the Bonus Materials you’ll learn about below).

When I do this workshop live, participants don’t get the advantage of being able to pause, rewind and watch it over again. And they haven’t gotten any of the bonus materials listed below. You can watch, streaming online or download to your computer.

Small Disclaimer: We forgot to mic the audience. For the most part I restate what they have said, but I miss it a few times. You’re not missing anything vital and it doesn’t happen much but I know this sort of thing can drive some people crazy. :-)

Compelling Reason #2: Your Private Marketing for Hippies 101 Facebook Group

Built into this program is a private Facebook group where you can connect with others who are going through the same program. You’ll be able to share your wins and put out requests for support in where you’re stuck. We’ll also use this group during the Office Hours calls as a virtual poster-board.

Compelling Reason #3: Customized, “Get-Your-Questions-Answered” Weekly Office Hours.

Each week, you’ll get to partake in a 90-minute group call where we will dig into the content you learned. These calls will be structured entirely on your questions. We will cover whatever aspects of the content were most interesting and/or confusing to you. You’ll hear my personal thoughts on how those principles might apply to you and your situation.

From September 29th – November 2nd, 2016, you’ll be able to phone into the Office Hours group conference call and speak to me personally to share your progress and get reflections from myself and everyone else on the call about how to work on the areas in which you might be stuck. I’ll communicate with as many people as I can in the 90 minutes. Think of it as a group coaching call.

These calls will all be recorded.Weekly office hours from 12:00pm – 1:30pm PST/3:00pm – 4:30pm EST every Wednesday from September 28th through November 2nd. So that means six calls on Wednesdays September 28th, October 5th, 12th, 19th, 26th and November 2nd. Make sure you double check the time zone to make sure you’re able to make the calls. Calls will be recorded if you’re ever not able to make the call or want to re-listen to it.

Compelling Reason #4: Three Carefully Crafted Bonus Materials to Help You Deepen Your Understanding

Not only do you get the full footage off the core content from my Marketing for Hippies 101 workshop, you’ll also get these three extras.

Bonus #1: The Calgary Video
60-minutes of footage from a workshop that I led in Calgary a few years ago covering content that I no longer cover in my day-long workshops (even though it’s really good stuff) and a recap of some of the content of the core video. You’ll learn about the importance of your Unique Selling Proposition, a bit more about hubs, why marketing is like baseball and more.

PLUS: you’ll also get the complete 25 page transcript from this workshop.

Bonus #2: The Complete Marketing for Hippies 101 Transcript

Don’t find watching videos the easiest way to learn?

You’ll also get the complete, 53 page written transcript (in PDF format) of the Victoria workshop to review, highlight and scribble on (if you print it out!) at your leisure.

PLUS: you’ll also get the full digital audio files in case you want to just listen to this workshop.

Bonus #3: The Marketing for Hippies 101 Workbook & Bonus Reading

Want to dig deeper into the material?

Then you’ll enjoy this 44 pages of bonus reading and exercises to more fully explore the content you’ll learn in the videos.

Compelling Reason #5: Lifetime Membership – Audit for Free Whenever I Hold This Program Next

I’m planning to run this program at least once a year for a while to come. Whenever I run it, you’re welcome to join in gratis. No charge. Fully on the house as if you were a full paying member. Your signing up for this makes you a lifetime member of this program.

Compelling Reason #6: Spread Out Over Six-Weeks

When people attend my live workshops, they get all of this content but they don’t get all of the additional support you’re getting here to help them integrate it. I run that day-long workshop on a pay-what-you-can basis meaning people give me a $25 deposit to confirm their spot and then pay me whatever they want to pay at the very end based on what they thought it was worth. I’ve received as little as $5 (with an incredibly kind note about how this was genuinely all she could afford) and as much as $600.

But, when people ask me what I would charge for this day-long workshop, I feel very at ease in saying $200. For most people if they were to get even one repeat client from what they learned it would mean at least $200 and likely much more. So you’re getting the content plus additional support and coaching in integrating it into your business.

Compelling Reason #7: Cheap Like Borscht

I am pricing this program low for a few reasons. On the selfish level, it’s pretty simple.

I want this to be a no brainer for you to sign up.

I don’t want to have to spend a lot of time marketing this or convincing anyone it’s a good idea.

So that’s the main reason.

Plus, if you like this material, which represents my core “take” on marketing then you’ll be more likely to sign up for other more expensive programs of mine and maybe want to hire me one on one. You’ll be more likely to buy my eBooks. You’ll be more likely to spread the word about me to your colleagues.

On the altruistic level, this is material I simply want to see out there. If you get a handle on your marketing, not only will you make more money, you’ll show other people that making money doing what you love is possible. You’ll also, because you’re savvier about marketing, be better at helping your friends with their marketing. I dream of a movement of marketing savvy social entrepreneurs who are able to make green, sustainable and holistic things seem normal instead of making normal things seem green, sustainable and holistic.

Plus, I’ve had so many people tell me they want to attend a workshop of mine but that they couldn’t travel to Canada to attend. So, I’m trying to make this material more accessible to a wider audience.

12 Minute Video – The Three Roles Every Piece of Your Marketing Must Play

In today’s 13-minute video above The Three Roles of Marketing, you’ll learn:
  • Why marketing and selling don’t just have the one role traditionally given to them (i.e. to get the sale) but three roles.
  • Why holding onto the agenda to ‘get the sale’ at all screws up everything, creates pressure and hurts your word of mouth marketing.
  • Three roles every piece of marketing you ever do must play in order to be most effective (if you leave out one of these roles, the whole thing falls apart).
  • One simple thing you can weave into your marketing that can get you not only a 10% increase in response but, sometimes, double or triple the response.

If you resonate with the content of this video and you’d like to spend six weeks with other good people from around the world exploring how you could make your marketing feel good to yourself and the people receiving it (while still being effective), then I invite you to check out my six-week, Marketing for Hippies 101 program.

It is extremely affordable. There are no early-bird specials, just an honest, straight-forward good deal.

You can learn more to see if it’s a fit for you at the link below.


Is This My Best Interview Ever? You Decide.

Greetings friends,

I recently recorded a 71 minute interview with Australia’s Natalie Kent of sacredbusiness.com.au and I thought you might like to check it out.

The focus on the interview was on Point of View Marketing. As you know, I’ve written a book on the topic but this is one of the only interviews I’ve given that delves into it.

Some interviews feel like I’m retreading a lot of old ground but this one was cooking with gas and we both found ourselves breaking some new ground. I found myself saying things I’d never said before. I think I also swear more in this interview than I’ve tended to do. This was one of my favourite interviews I’ve done in a long time.

I don’t know how long this video will be up for free.

In this 71 minute video you’ll learn:

  • Why the 3 key elements of point of view can transform your business
  • Why you need to create a marketing map for your customers (+ a live critique of Natalie’s new map)
  • How to craft your offerings in a way that creates a sense of safety
  • How the integrity of your offering is intertwined with your pricing

You can watch the whole thing for free at the link below:


Three Marketing Lessons to Pull From Rebecca Tracey’s Uncage Your Business Launch

IMG_7407Rebecca Tracey has just launched her Uncage Your Business program and there are three lessons I think it’s worth taking from it that might be able to help you in your next launch.

1) Use Case Studies: Rebecca did three case study interviews with past UYB Grads. You can watch those here.

Whether you sign up or not, you might consider the power of what she’s done as a marketing technique with these case studies by interviewing people a while after they took the course, so you can really see the results they have gotten over the long term (and not just that post-course glow that most testimonials have).

They show an accurate portrait or what someone can expect with her course – real results for a new business owner. Things like getting your first few paying clients, stopping working hourly and creating leveraged programs instead, and finally having the confidence to tell people what you’re doing in your business.

It’s something you might want to consider doing with your own programs to market them.

Note: Case studies like this are so much more powerful than testimonials because they tell a story. Also, I find that Rebecca’s conversational style in these has them land as more real and authentic that something that’s very well produced. The approach is free (just get on Skype and record it) and down to Earth. Testimonials carry 10% of the impact of these.

Another excellent example of this was done by Verge Permaculture who, instead of making a promo video about themselves made a bunch about the grads of their programs. You can watch them here.

2) Let People Spread Out Their Payments. Rebecca just opened up the possibility of a six-pay, meaning you will be able to pay for the program over six installments rather than all at once. You can take advantage of that here.

So many people don’t offer this up to their people and yet, by offering it, you can get a much stronger response. Try it in the next launch of a program you run – give people the opportunity to pay in terms and you may find that you get a lot more sales than you might have.

3) Provide Pink Spoon Content: You can learn more about Rebecca and her take on things in a blog post I just wrote entitled Eight Business Building Thoughts from Rebecca Tracey. This blog post is full of smaller pieces of content that Rebecca has been releasing throughout the launch as a way for people to get to know her without a huge time investment. This is a solid idea.

Another example of this was created on the fly last month, when I recorded a 12-minute walk-and-talk video with Rebecca while I was visiting in Toronto. Click on the image below to see it. It’s entitled “Summer Tour: Day Two – A Late Night Walk With Rebecca Tracey of TheUncagedife.com”


If people have never heard about you before, it’s foolish to expect them to sign up for your program and spend hundreds of dollars with you. Safety is vital in marketing. The more ways you can give for people to safely check you out from a distance the better.

Of course, there are many ways to be strategic about this. Danny Iny has some brilliant ideas about this that you can watch in the video below.


If you’ve been struggling to get yourself out of the gates in your business, Becca’s Uncage Your Business program closes on Friday. You can learn more about it at the link below:


Note: The link above for her program is an affiliate link. That means that, if you click on it and then sign up, I will get some money for that. It’s a part of what helps sustain my business and allows me to keep offering my live workshops on a pay-what-you-can basis at this point. I’m grateful for it. And I know the uneasy feelings that people have about affiliate deals. If you’d like to learn more about my approach to affiliate deals, you can read that here.

If you click on the link below, it won’t be tracked and I’ll receive no money if you sign up. Either way is fine. I hope you’ll check it out regardless.


Guest Post: How To Use Back-To-School Momentum For Success

Guest Post by Craig Filek

Fall is in the air. Can you feel that back-to-school vibe?Purpose Mapping Fitzgerald Life Starts All Over

This time of year supports “New Year Resolutions” better than the dormancy of winter’s long night.

Whether you’re fresh out of school, or catching your second wind via your school-age children, we’re all entrained to make major behavioral shifts this time of year.

If you’re like me, you’re feeling both relieved and excited to settle in to some autumn productivity.

How can we use back-to-school momentum to lay down a new rhythm track of daily and weekly routines that fortify our success?

Stephen Covey loved the metaphor of putting in the big rocks first.’

Success, he explained, comes most easily when we schedule our big rocks (priorities) first. Gravel and sand naturally fill in around them.

Filling our calendar buckets with gravel and sand (small, unimportant activities) leaves no room to add the big important rocks, resulting in a hectic, mediocre life. 

Aristotle said, We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is a habit.”

Hab·it /?hab?t/ noun

1. an acquired behavior pattern regularly followed until it has become almost involuntary: “the habit of looking both ways before crossing the street.”

Habits come from repetition.

The alternative is drifting. Drifting leads to failing (in identity-damaging ways), and ultimately flirting with compensatory habits, a slippery slope toward stagnation and even addiction.

To establish healthy habits, we need regular repetition with scheduled time to practice.

The big rocks, the big priorities, are the things we want to make second nature. Involuntary. This means they go into our daily and weekly schedules before anything else.

For instance, every morning I drink a mason jar full of organic green glop. I love it. I literally watch myself making this green wonder on auto-pilot every morning, without fail.

That’s a habit; all but involuntary. (Wasn’t always that way, but about 3 months in, the auto-pilot switch flipped for me and I never looked back.)

What Habits Will You Build Your Schedule Around This Fall?

Ken Wilber describes 4 Quadrants, or primary areas of life. I find these to be the most succinct framework for a well-integrated life.

Grab your calendar, and by the end of this post, you’ll have a healthy “rock” scheduled for each quadrant. They are:

  1. Self
  2. Body
  3. Relations
  4. Systems

Like any 80/20 assessment, one of these areas will contain your BIG rock. The rest will be supporting rocks, while everything else is gravel or sand.

What we’re after in each quadrant is the One Thing that, if you do it consistently and predictably, making it an involuntary habit, will make everything else easier… or unnecessary.

So, let’s identify a habit you can develop in each quadrant, and make sure you get the big rocks in place.

Before we do, a quick disclaimer:

It takes 2-3 months for a new practice to become a habit.

Using that time-frame, it’s far easier to start with ridiculously tiny, no-fail habits and work your way up to something  you feel proud of, which changes your life in measurable ways.

For example, start with 10-seconds of meditation every morning, and win! vs. shooting for an hour and failing right out of the gate.

Then the following week, bump that up to 30-seconds, and so on, until your’e doing 5, 10, even 30-minutes consistently. This rewires your brain and makes the practice an involuntary habit.

Consistency is the key. So if you’re already doing 10-minutes of meditation a day sporadically, try 5 or even 2-minutes every day without fail and build from there.

1. Self

Self-practices could include things like:

  • Meditation which is my current focus, but I do all of these more or less habitually now (after years of practice). Try apps like Headpace if you’re just starting out, or Insight Timer if you’re looking to build consistency in your existing practice.
  • Journaling is not as scary as it sounds. Just scratch out three shitty, stream of consciousness, never to be read again ‘Morning Pages’ first chance you get each day. Use cheap $0.99 memo notebooks and burn them once they’re full! (I use a Moleskine for my coaching / workshop / business notes and I don’t burn those.)
  • Gratitude Lists have been proven to bump your dopamine levels, resulting in a significant mood enhancement, especially when stabilized through daily practice. Start by writing 3 things you’re grateful for every morning when you first wake up.
  • Reading, or listening to Audible.com, even podcasts… anything that feeds your mind is a good Self practice. Most people never read a book after college. If you read one a month, you’re doing great. One a week, and you’re on fire. You’ll feel it, too!

Start by putting one of these practices, or some equivalent Self-enhancing practice on your calendar. Ideally, daily. Pick one and start with regular, no-fail doses.

Use apps like Momentum habit tracker to support you in gamifying your new practice.

Make it fun!

2. Body

Before you start getting antsy over going to the gym, let’s slow things down and look at some foundational Body practices that will support you to create a life and business that feels deeply nourishing for you.

Body practices I’ve seen work miracles include:

  • Sleep because the science is in, and it’s just non-negotiable. You need 8 hours, on average. So, cut out caffeine after 4pm (or switch to green tea until you restore your adrenals). Dim lights after 9pm and get Fluxio on your computer to aid in melatonin production. And avoid sleep medications – the sleep is low quality.
  • Exercise in a way that works for your body, start slow and build. Try walking around the block, or hiking for a start. A little cat-cow yoga or tai chi movement to get the spine lubricated in the morning. If you’re more advanced, consider hiring a personal trainer. Get consistent. That’s the key.
  • Multi-Vitamins every day because food just isn’t what it used to be. Get a good food-based multi like MegaFood, MyKind, VitaminCode or whatever you like that’s food-based so your body doesn’t just eliminate it, undigested.
  • Green Drinks are a genius way to start your day. I don’t love veggies, which is why I LOVE my green drink. If I get nothing else green in body each day, at least I’ve got this checked off.

Here’s my morning Green Drink recipe:

Base Model:

1 Organic apple or pear (chopped, seeded, and put at bottom for better blending)
Handful of Greens (I used the organic, pre-washed field mix + some kale or chard)
1/2 Avocado (for fats and oils… add half the pit for the best soluble fiber ever)
1/2 Lemon (or lime if it’s hot that day… this is a great way to alkalize your body)
Water (just enough to get it to blend, then add more until prefered consistency)

If you want to get fancy, try adding coconut oil and cilantro in summer, ghee and ginger in winter, unhulled flax & chia seeds for protein and enzymes, seaweed for all those nutrients, collagen powder for joints, or add ¼ cup aloe vera gel to keep things flowing smoothly in there.

Adjust everything to taste and monitor your body for sensitivities. Give your body time to adjust and notice how the taste you may dislike at first becomes a craving. That’s a great sign!


Getting some version of all these body practices going is the best basis for health to sustain you in every other area.

For now, pick one, or create your own, and start small with tiny, no-fail repetitions. Build up over time.

3. Relations

This is where I’m personally putting in my big rock first this fall.

My daughter is 15 1/2 and if she needs anything right now, it’s a strong father showing up for her no matter what. (Much easier said than done.)

So for me, the big rock is a daddy-daughter date every week. I’m scheduling it right after yoga when I’m nice and grounded. I rescheduled her violin lesson so her mom drops her off, and I pick her up from the cafe next door where I can leave my phone in the car, and give her my undivided attention for 20 minutes or 2 hours. Whatever it takes for her to feel seen and nourished by my presence.  

Knowing that’s on the calendar every week, in addition to all our other regularly scheduled days and overnights, communicates more to her than words can ever approach. That’s putting the big rock in first, and aligning the supporting priorities (yoga, violin, pick-up/drop-off times) around it.

Relation practices I recommend for friends and clients include:

  • Date Night, if you have a partner, this is such an overlooked no-brainer, and one of the most potent ways to ensure your relationship has what it needs to thrive. Block out the time, every week, and hold that sacrosanct for connecting with your partner. Or daughter. If you have multiple kids, rotate 1-on-1 time. It will work wonders for family dynamics.
  • Imago Dialogue ensures both partners feel heard, seen and ‘gotten’ which is the essence of real communication. The steps include Mirroring, Validating, Empathizing and offering a Gift. My friend John Wineland encourages couples to practice this every day for 40 days just to make it a habit. I couldn’t agree more. Get the book or just google “Imago Steps” to get started.
  • Men’s/Women’s Group is such a valuable support structure for your life. If you’ve never experienced a regular, weekly container for going deep without the distractions of the opposite sex, I can’t recommend this highly enough.
  • Singles Practices could include anything from journaling about your ideal mate, doing therapy to prepare yourself, or creating an online profile and committing to date at least one person each week to get yourself into a rhythm until you find the one.  

Again, we’re looking to start small and build consistency. That’s what rewires your brain and turns a practice into an involuntary habit.

Your habits define you.

You are already a cluster and pulse of habits. With this back-to-school momentum, you’re consciously choosing practices you want to become the habits that define you, and your relationships.

So choose wisely!

4. Systems

There are two types of systems:

  1. Your Environment includes your ecosystem at the macro level (Vancouver is different than Boulder is different than Topeka), and your home, office, even the chair you sit in and mattress you sleep on
  2. Your Contribution system involves what you’re contributing into the marketplace and what you are receiving back (usually monetarily, but not always).

Systems practices you can score big wins fast with include:

  • Clean Out Your Closet because all the stuck energy is holding you back in your life. Believe it. Try Marie Kondo’s book The Life Changing Magic Of Tidying Up. Hire a professional organizer if needed. Especially as you spend more time in doors this season, you’ll be amazed at how much flow this frees up in your space and your life.
  • Upgrade Your Systems is there something you use every day that you feel dissatisfied with? Like that old granny blender? Try upgrading to a Vitamix or Blendtec and you’ll be amazed at how your morning green drink seems to make itself. How about your chair or your computer?

Winners understand, environment is the better part of strategy.

  • Structure Your Space for the different types of work or activities you do. This is especially important if you work from home. Once I separated my financial space from my creative space, they both felt so much better, and the work got done more consistently. Make a list of the 3-5 highest priority things you do, and identify one activity that would feel so much better if it had its own space. Carve out that space and support your practice at the structural level. It doesn’t have to be its own room, just a station.

And the grandaddy of all Systems practices…

When my Purpose Mapping® clients discover their Purpose, the thing they were born to do… the thing that puts them in flow… they pause for a moment and glow, and then their very next question is always:

“Great, I know my purpose… so how do I make a living with this?”

My answer is:

  • Build Your Contribution System Around Your Flow State because anything less will leave you dissatisfied. The way to do this is slowly, through small experiments and lots of course-correcting repetition. Pick something you love to do and would do for free because it makes you feel so alive. Then give it as a gift to someone. Get paid in dopamine and endorphins. Then do it again. Get paid in testimonials. And again, and again… until someone says, “Hey, can I pay you for this?”
  • 80/20 Your Business if you’re already getting paid for doing your life’s work, then it’s time to take stock and dial in on the things only you can do, with an eye for how you can delegate, automate or eliminate everything else. Make a quick list of everything you do in your business, and circle the top 3 most profitable, flow inducing things that you do best. Make a plan to start paring away everything else on the list. One item at a time. Your increased productivity will astound you.

In Conclusion

By now you should have enough clarity to understand what the 4 Quadrants are, and why it’s important to have a practice in each area.

It doesn’t matter what practices you choose. But choose something, and put it in your calendar.

Then, monitor and adjust and correct your course continuously you hit your target. You need to understand that your target is fulfillment in life, and giving your unique gifts in powerful ways. That requires focus and FOCUS is an acronym for Follow One Course Until Successful.

Use the social momentum of the back-to-school season to make some quick, high-leverage changes in your routine, and stay the course.

Little changes now, well practiced, will result in habits that can carry you swiftly toward your goals with a lot less friction.

NOTE: Got a great idea for a habit-practice? Share what’s working in the comments below!

Screen Shot 2016-09-07 at 9.54.14 AMAbout the Author: Craig Filek knows success and significance are not the same thing. After building a 7-figure business, he walked away from it all to focus on what matters most — raising his daughter and living his purpose. With over 20 years experience coaching and facilitating deep, transformative work, Craig developed Purpose Mapping® to bring his own life into alignment. Now, he guides High-Achieving Misfits to reclaim their authenticity and find true fulfillment by using their talents to full capacity in service to a larger mission.

Executives, entrepreneurs, investors and professionals in the US, Canada, Australia and Europe seek Craig’s support when making life-changing decisions. If you’re ready to unlock your full potential without blowing up the success you’ve already created, request an invitation to speak with Craig.


Eight Business Building Thoughts from Rebecca Tracey

Rebecca_9202_Cropped_SmallRebecca Tracey of The Uncaged Life (pictured right) is one of my dearest colleagues. She’s produced solid, reliable content with an attitude and personality that is unique to her.

She’s getting ready to launch her program Uncage Your Business in a few days and I wanted to do the best possible job at introducing her and her content.

So here are eight, big business-building thoughts from her.

The first six are quick, straight-to-the-bottom-line blog posts (I’ve included some teaser text for each of them but you can click on the links to read more).

The last two are videos that require (and are worth) an email opt-in.

Thought #1: Don’t Make A Website for Your Business Until Your Read This

“Unless your business is super solid and you are crystal clear on what you do, who you work with, and how you do it, any efforts to build a website or come up with a great logo are a massive waste of your time.”

Thought #2: 3 Reason You Need to Be Selling Packages

“If you’re a coach or any other kind of solopreneur who wants to be able to work online, you might have heard me bang on and on about how to create your packages for your business. But after chatting with some people in my free Facebook community, I realized that the idea of packages may be new to you, and not entirely clear.”

Thought #3: Why Choosing A Niche is So Hard (and how to make it easier)

“My take on niche is simple. Forget avatars. Forget ideal client. Forget age ranges and demographics. Focus on PROBLEMS.”

Thought #4: Your Message And Why It Matters

“The only way you will get clients is if they can understand what you do and see that it’s something they need. If you can’t describe it or get all wordy and stay with the higher level stuff, no one will get it and their eyes will gloss over and they will head for the drink table before you even finish your 5 min rambling elevator pitch.”

Thought #5: The Best Way to Get More Clients Quickly

“I’m all about the slow build and taking the time to build something solid and sustainable – but I’m also all about paying your rent and being able to eat and stuff. So here’s what I recommend for getting clients right NOW in your business, while you work on the more sustainable methods in the meantime.”

Thought #6: 3 Ways to Sell More

“We have all seen it (and let’s be honest, we’re all sick of it). The vague, wishy washy, “sounds nice but I’d never buy it” kind of offers. The ones promising you authenticity, your best life and business, that promise to help you thrive, or raise your vibration, or find vitality, or claiming they will help you leap over the hurdles in your business (and life!), help give you energy for new possibilities. And so on. Hell, you might even be sick of your OWN packages and descriptions of your services (you wouldn’t be the only person reading this who feels that way). And being sick of your own work is NOT good for business. So how to we clear away all the clutter and actually create packages that offer results, and then sell those packages in a way that actually speaks to people?”

Thought #7 (12-min video): Why you’re not making any money in your business

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Thought #8 (20 min video): How I Grew My Business Quickly

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If you haven’t already, I encourage you to check out her Uncage Your Business program.

13 minute video: Why Does Marketing Feel Bad – Posturing, Collapsing and Composure

In today’s 13-minute video above Why Does Marketing Feel Bad – Posturing, Collapsing and Composure, you’ll learn:
  • My candid thoughts on why marketing feels bad so often (I have a strong opinion about this). I think that there is one central issue that I rarely ever hear discussed amongst most of my colleagues.
  • The difference between posturing and collapsing (and the hidden agenda that runs them both).
  • The hidden agenda that sits at the centre of most mainstream sales and marketing processes.
  • What you can do instead of collapsing or posturing and what the overt, plainly stated agenda in all marketing needs to be (there is only one agenda that works)

If you’d like to spend six weeks with other good people from around the world exploring how you could make your marketing feel good to yourself and the people receiving it (while still being effective), then I invite you to check out my six-week, Marketing for Hippies 101 program.

It is extremely affordable. There are no early-bird specials, just an honest, straight-forward good deal.

You can learn more to see if it’s a fit for you at the link below.