Coaching As Activism


What if your coaching could be a potent, effective and inspiring form of activism?

In asking this question, I am suggesting something to you that might be hard to hear: there’s a good chance that it’s currently not.

Let me make my case: the coaching industry grew out of the personal growth industry and the personal growth industry spawned by such books as Think & Grow Rich by men with deeply questionable ethics like Napoleon Hill.

The personal growth scene has largely been (and just watch The Secret if you don’t believe me) almost entirely led by white men. Seriously. Consider that 28 out of 29 of those featured in The Secret are North American. Consider that 24 our of the 29 are white males. That only 5 of them are female and that only 2 of them are people of colour. This might be a part of their secret.

Think of the most successful authors in the personal growth space. How many (outside of Iyanla Vanzant and Rev. Michael Beckwith) can you name who aren’t white?

Over the past decades, we’ve seen the new age and healing scene grow and be led by primarily by women (who are almost all white). I can testify to this from leading dozens of workshops all over North America and the UK over the past more than a decade.

This uniformity of background, this whiteness, has led to a certain limit in perspective.

There are certain things that people of colour see that white people don’t.

There are certain things people of colour must contend with daily that white people don’t.

There are certain privileges that accrue, and have always accrued, to being white in North America at this time. There are certain disadvantages pulled by the gravitational force of the way it is to darker skin tones.

White people, in North America (and particularly the USA), have benefited the most from the way things are. Are white people screwed by the man too? Yes. But not because they’re white.

But what you see from most of the personal growth scene is largely uncritical of the current system of white supremacy (entangled as it is with capitalism, the prison industrial complex, the military industrial complex etc.) because, for most white people, the system of racism is invisible to us. We never have to contend with it. Most of what I see offered up by my peers is about how to succeed within the current capitalist system but not how to change it.

It’s how to manifest what you want without any encouragement or insistence on considering the impact that this might have on the world (e.g. can everyone have that mansion they put on their vision board? Is this actually sustainable?).

To put it another way, many coaches are waking to the realization that the system isn’t neutral but harmful.

The unspoken but impossible to avoid message of much of the personal growth movement is that the universe is your personal slave.

The other implied message is that you are responsible for everything that’s ever happened to you – period. And so, the Jews manifested the holocaust and indigenous people their own genocide.

There is a deeply entrenched and utterly unexamined worldview of individualism in the personal growth scene. Not only are notions of the village absent, they are seen as weakness. Pull yourself up by your own bootstraps already and stop whining.

However, in the past few years, we’ve begun to see this change.

As White Nationalism has been on the rise and become more obvious to white people, there’s been a waking up of white people in the coaching industry to how bad it is (and has always been for people of colour).

As the gap between rich and poor grows, those who came from middle class to wealthy families in the coaching industry are having to reckon with the class divide as it’s becoming harder to ignore how hard the poor have it.

And this is leading to a very real and very deep realization that simply coaching people for their own inner growth isn’t enough. The world is on fire. Coaching people on how to be more effective might actually make things worse if what they’re being effective at is predicated on the destructive to the world.

Elder and dedicated social change agent Joanna Macey speaks of the Three Pillars of the Great Turning – one of which is about inner work but the other two (creating alternatives and holding back the juggernaut) are equally important. And not only missed but dismissed in most of the coaching scene. All too often, I hear the message that protesting against the war simply creates more war.

Enter Andrea Ranae, the daughter of a coach, who wrote the provocative blog post Why The Personal Growth Industry Is Not Changing the World.

After writing this piece, she got such a response that she created a program from it called Coaching As Activism on how we can make our coaching a genuinely effective force in contending with the very real troubles of our times.

When I heard about this program, I sat up and took notice. This is a perspective that has been desperately needed in this space for a long time.

And so I asked Andrea if I could do a video interview with her. Sadly, I would be on the road and unable to do it live but she graciously consented to being sent questions and doing the strange and lonely work of talking into a camera. Having just finished watching it I am sad I missed the opportunity to connect with her more directly. The kindness emanates and I find myself having to settle, for the moment, with being so glad she’s in the world.

The Five Levels of This Video:

The video is below but I’d like to make the case for watching it on four levels.

Level One: Meet Andrea! You might be interested in checking out her coaching program and this video is a fine way to meet her and learn more about her story. It’s hard to not like this good woman.

Level Two: Be a Better Coach. I think that her approach can help you be a more effective coach. If your mission is to help create a better world, then how will you do that without a deeper wrestling with how things are? How many books have you read about the interlocking and intersecting issues of injustice? Most coaches have read many and most I know are struggling to come to terms with it all. And they’re trying to do that all on their own. But consider how much more you could help change the systems and challenge your clients if you came from this perspective? What if you were not only holding your clients feet to the fires of their personal commitments but also to the larger fires of this cultural moment? What if an edge of your coaching became about asking people to find their right relationship to the travails of their particular time and place? You think you’re seeing resistance in your clients now? Wait until you ask them to consider the ecological and social consequences of a goal. So, yes, you’d see more resistance but you would also see a much deeper and more meaningful transformation. Imagine the skillfulness it might ask of you to contend with patterns that didn’t start in their childhood but thousands of years ago. I suggest that taking on Coaching as Activism will make you a better coach.

Level Three: Learn about Marketing. So much of what I talk about in marketing is present in her work. Andrea shares her bigger why and her point of view. The title of her program is a deeply compelling message. The whole program is a unique niche. There’s a lot to learn here.

Level Four: The Questions. I emailed Andrea a series of questions. Whether or not you sign up for her program (and I hope you’ll consider it) I invite you to take the time to consider how you personally might answer the questions. You might even pause the video as you watch it to come up with your own answers. Doing that would be a fine step towards coaching as activism.

Level Five: Your Resistance. As you watch this video, I invite you to write down all the places you feel resistant to what Andrea is sharing. Be candid with yourself. If you’re feeling brave, put it in the comments below. You can learn more about yourself from this simple exercise than most workshops you’ve ever taken.

Here’s what in the video:

  • the story behind where this program came from
  • how Andrea defines healing, activism, coaching, justice and liberation
  • three tips to use coaching as a form of activism.
  • the central pitfall of trying to use coaching as activism
  • a short poem

For More Info on Coaching as Activism:

Important Note: There is a Self Study which closes Sept 14th and Community Study (everything from Self Study + live weekly calls) which closes Sept 10th. And spaces are limited. She’s getting close to filling her program.

a blog post in which I discuss why the whole economy is toxic, destructive and suicidal and yet… marketing is needed to fix things?

[]This is a different sort of blog than I usually write  because it’s not just about marketing. It’s about the context that marketing happens inside of.
Namely, the economy.
Of course, most of us have some very justifiable issues with marketing. Some of us wonder if even the whole ‘conscious marketing’ thing is bullshit
But those issues are driven by something so much larger.
We live inside of an economy that David Korten coined as ‘The Suicide Economy’. For obvious reasons. If we let it, it will kill itself (and take a lot down with it as it goes). 
It’s an economy and culture that has led much of humanity to a point of a secret sort of self loathing. The sense that made, as William Gibson put it, ‘man is a bad animal’. Stephen Jenkinson illucidates on this brilliantly in the following video by Ian Mackenzie.
As David Orr so brilliantly put it, “The plain fact is that the planet does not need more “successful” people. But it does desperately need more peacemakers, healers, restorers, storytellers, and lovers of every shape and form. It needs people who live well in their places. It needs people of moral courage willing to join the fight to make the world habitable and humane. And these needs have little to do with success as our culture has defined it.”
And most of us are fighting tooth and nail to create something more sane. Something more in alignment with what Judy Wicks of Phillidelphia’s White Dog Cafe expressed so beautifully when she said, 

“The Local Living Economies Movement is about: Maximizing relationships, not maximizing profits, Broad-based ownership and democracy, not concentrated wealth and power, Sharing, not hoarding, Life serving, not self-serving, Partnership, not domination, Cooperation based, not competition based, Win-win exchange, not win-loose exploitation, Creativity, not conformity, A living return, not the highest return, A living wage, not the minimum wage, A fair price, not the lowest price, “Being more, not having more”, Interconnectedness, not separation, Inclusion, not exclusiveness, Community and collective joy, not isolation and unhapppiness, Cultural diversity, not monoculture, Bio-diversity, not mono-crops, Family farms, not factory farms, Slow food, not fast food, Our bucks, not Starbucks, Our mart, not Wal-Mart, a Love of life, not love of money.”

In a similar way. this quote from The Necessary Revolution (shared with me by my colleague Julia) struck as right on theme for this theme of figuring out the deeper cause our business is about. It invites us to step back and consider the underlying cause of business itself:

“…the new generation of mission-based businesses builds on some very old ideas, ones that predate the Industrial Age. They seek, as an essential part of their purpose, to contribute to the health and well-being of living systems.  They reject the notion that the sole purpose of business is to make a profit and they regard the quality of relationships between members, suppliers, and customers as the true indicator of success.  In so doing, they are returning business to its origins.  The oldest Swedish word for business is narings liv, “nourishment for life.”  In ancient Chinese the concept is expressed by two symbols that translate as “life meaning.”   And the root of the English word company derives from the Latin com panis, “the sharing of bread”- the same root as that for the word companion.”  

Everywhere we look, we see the growth of this new Green Economy. But some of us wonder if it’s enough. Because, as it rises, so doesgreenwashing (in which corporations try to make normal things seem green instead of helping to make green things seem normal). But also because many of suspect that solar power and compact flourescent lightbulbs are not the complete solution we need. That we may need something more. Many of us are waking up to the reality that, even if we all did what Al Gore called for at the end of his powerful documentary ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ it wouldn’t be anywhere near to enough.

Silently, some of us wonder to ourselves, ‘What if the Green Economy is a wonderful means, but a terrible ends?’

We see the Occupy Wallstreet movement and the new economy it’s calling on us to imagine. 


David Korten invites us to go even deeper than critiquing the economy but to question the very stories that have, for so long, underpinned it. And he invites us to consider what the economy might look like if it were inspired by a different set of stories. What if we shifted our stories from those of building empires (which never end well) to building and sustaining villages? What if instead of growing big and selling we could be small and enjoy the beauty in that? What if endless economic growth was not the drum we marched to but that love and justice were the drums we danced to? What if there were models of creating change that didn’t all rely on money?

What if indeed.

So, what does this all have to do with marketing?

So much really. 

The word marketing is full of such heavy connotations. But let’s say it in a different way.

We need to find a way to articulate the problems we face as a culture and the potential solutions with such a powerful eloquence and clarity that it awakens something in people. 

If people don’t know about the alternatives you offer the world, they, functionally, don’t exist. And we need people to know they exist. Desperately. The solutions are out there (e.g. holistic medicine, permaculture, solar power, local economies and currencies, slow food etc.) but what good are they if no one knows? And people finding out about things is another way of saying marketing. 

As Antoine de Saint Exupéry put it, “If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.”

And that’s marketing.

We need to educate people about what new things are possible that could be restorative to both the planet and ourselves. And that’s marketing.

We need to lift our rhetoric to a level of relevance and clarity than is unmistakable. 

We need to get people’s attention, help them understand if our particular solution is a fit and then make it sweet, gentle and easy to try it (because we know asking them to change everything overnight will never work). 

We need to find ways to not seduce people, but court them into living their fullest lives. Imagine if everyone in the world offering hopeful and positive solutions awoke tomorrow with this kind of irresistible eloquence that inspired the best that humanity has to offer. Imagine how many fewer people might find themselves on their deathbed full of regrets

We don’t just need more conscious marketing. We need a whole new economy. We need to reimagine the culture we live in. But, to get there, we need to be better marketers. 

Most of us get most of our money, directly or indirectly, from the Suicide Economy. We’d love to make all of our money from the more Conscious Economy and spend all of our money there… but most of us haven’t been able to do that. Most of us are, like this culture, in transition. Most of us are trying to make our little conscious venture financially sustainable.

And a mighty piece of whether or not we can pay the bills comes down to marketing. 

If you’re needing more help with finding the eloquence to express what you do I’d like to remind you of somethings.

My website is full of free things. There’s over three hours of free video. Five hundred blog posts. Case studies.

I have a 195 ebook that you should have gotten when you signed up for this email list but, in case you’ve lost it, you can download it here.

If you feel drawn to work with me one on one, you can find more info about that here.

Thanks for being on my list. I hope you get good things from it. 


p.s. I’ll be in touch soon about some breakthroughs I’ve been having around this whole question of finding your niche, plus a contest around niching I think you’ll love.

p.p.s. On March 11th, I was the witness to a man taking his life by jumping off of Edmonton’s High Level Bridge. It was a deeply traumatic event from which I’m still recovering but recovering well with the help of a lot of good friends and support. I wrote a song about it and was able to go to the funeral and sing it to the family. It would mean a lot to me if you could share it with others. Yu can find the song and the story here:


The Bigger Context

galaxyI almost died a month ago.

And it showed me something important.

When we are in crisis, the crisis becomes everything we see. It looms over us like a giant, blocking out the sun. And this makes dealing with the problem very hard. We become overwhelmed with not only the problem but our emotional reactions to it. Overwhelmed. Daunted. Hopeless. Betrayed. Alone. We become trapped not only in the problem but our fear around it

Our job is to help people take a step back and see how this problem they are facing fits into the bigger picture.

Our job is to paint a picture so much larger than the problem so that their efforts are infused with even more meaning.

For years, I’ve found incredible solace in the work of Byron Katie. It’s a simple work around questioning our stressful thoughts until they let go of us.

But then, late in 2013, I found myself in the hospital with a heart situation (which, thankfully, turned out to be okay) afraid that I would die. And for the next month I had many moments of thinking I would die that day. I was discharged with a clean bill of health but the experience shook me to my core and had me cancel the tour of Europe I’d been planning all year so I could head home, care for myself and integrate what this experience had meant to me.

I truly thought I was going to die. That I was going to have to let go of my life. And I was not ready for that moment. There was no peace in my heart. Just an overwhelming terror at the inconceivable thought of dying. The most impossible thing to let go of – our lives.

And it has struck me that every time we let go of anything we are practicing for our death. Every time we are willing to question a stressful thought until it melts away leaving us more free – we are practicing for our death.

Every time we let go of a way of defining ourselves in favour of something more true and expansive leaving us more free and authentic – we are practicing for our death. Every time we shake our body until the stress melts away, every time we are, miraculously, able to forgive someone and let go of a grudge, every time we are able to let go of a relationship or the belief that we need closure or completion on it, an addiction or obsession . . . anything we think we need that we grasp to . . . we are practicing for our death when we’re asked to let go of the most impossible and brightest thing. Because I know that letting go of anything we grasp onto feels like a sort of mini death. Letting go of a precious idea, ideology or identity feels so terrifying. Letting go of our shame, the ways we beat ourselves and others . . . it’s terrifying. We just can’t imagine ourselves without it.

And so, letting go becomes not only the secret to a happy life with a peaceful heart but also a peaceful and happy death. And, it also struck me that every single time I let go of something that wasn’t meant for me or something that causes me stress I am happier, more free and have more peace in my heart. I am always in a better place after genuinely letting go. Maybe that’s true when we lose this life of ours. I don’t know. But I know that all of the suffering in my life (and the suffering I’ve caused for others) is the result of my clinging onto things. I hope that when I face that big moment next, I’m able to embrace it and meet it with peace in my heart. May it be this way for all of us.

Suddenly, doing The Work was infused with so much more meaning. I wasn’t just doing it to deal with some small stressful thought.

Each time I did it, I was practicing for my own death.

And, now I’m noticing how much more motivated I am to do it. When I finally saw how this small and simple work was preparing me for the most important moment in my life . . . something shifted. 

There’s an old story I’ve heard many times that speaks to this theme. I’ll share it here.

A man came across three masons who were working at chipping chunks of granite from large blocks. The first seemed unhappy at his job, chipping away and frequently looking at his watch. When the man asked what it was that he was doing, the first mason responded, rather curtly, “I’m hammering this stupid rock, and I can’t wait ’til 5 when I can go home.”

A third mason was hammering at his block fervently, taking time to stand back and admire his work. He chipped off small pieces until he was satisfied that it was the best he could do. When he was questioned about his work he stopped, gazed skyward and proudly proclaimed, “I…am building a cathedral to praise almighty God!”

Three men, three different attitudes, all doing the same job.

When we see there’s a bigger purpose that our work is contributing to, we’re more likely to do it.

And when people see that your business is fundamentally about more than just ‘making money’ but, instead, something much larger, expansive and meaningful . . . they’ll be so much happier to support you with their money.

Is there a bigger context, a larger purpose, that lies underneath all the work you do or invite people to do?

Janis Rosen of Winnipeg has worked with women around weight loss for years and frames it all beautifully. For her weight loss is a path of personal growth. Her belief is that, if you approach it in that way, that as you grow smaller on the outside, you grow bigger on the inside.

Deena Metzger, in her book, Entering the Ghost River, speaks beautifully about how, from an indigenous perspective, illness isn’t an individual thing. That if you have cancer, it’s more a matter that the entire community has cancer and it’s simply showing up through you. And so, the work of healing our communities becomes inextricably linked to personal health and vice versa. 

I know of people who work with addiction but instead of just trying to help people stop using a particular substance, they see the addiction as a spiritual issue and use it as the doorway to transforming their whole life. 

the-hero_s-journeyJoseph Campbell’s incredible work on codifying the ‘hero’s journey’ is a perfect example of this. His basic idea was that, cross culturally, the stories of hero’s all followed a similar pattern that is mirrored in our own lives. That we’re having an ordinary life, are called to adventure and then we go through hell and are torn apart by the adventure but then rebuilt and return home with the gifts of everything we’ve learned for the community.

And knowing this whole bigger context matters. Because if you’re trapped in the Ordeal and you don’t know that this is a totally normal and natural part of the process and that the next step is that you get your reward and get to head home . . . you might just give up. 

Understanding the larger story that you’re in can give you so much strength to persevere.

Helping your client understand the bigger picture where they are in their journey and the bigger cause they’re a part of can change their entire orientation around it from being a victim to being the hero of their own story. 

You can read more examples of projects with a clear larger ‘why’ here.

The core question to ask yourself is, ‘What is my work really, at the heart of it, about? What’s the bigger picture?’

Or here’s another way to consider it: imagine that everyone in the world for whom your work was suited, did it what would the impact on the world be? Like if you sell cloth diapers – what would the impact on the world be if all mothers switched over and stopped using disposables? If you help people recover from trauma – what would happen if everyone in the world was healed of their trauma? What would that mean for the world?

Really sit with all that. Get clear about it. And then tell everyone. Help them understand why you are so passionate about the work you do and how, by them engaging in it, they’re also working towards this larger vision.

Is there a bigger context spiritually, politically or environmentally for your work? 

What are the benefits of getting clear about this?

1) If people see the bigger picture and how by doing what you suggest they’re contributing to something so much larger than they thought, they will be more inspired to sign up to work with you.

2) By sitting with this you will also feel more inspired to share your work. Rather than feeling gross about ‘self promotion’ you’ll be spokesperson for a larger cause that matters to you.

3) It’s an incredible help to people, when they’re struggling, to have a larger context put around their problems. It helps shrink the problem down so that it’s a part of something rather than everything. 

I invite you to share the bigger cause/deeper context of your own work below. 

Guest Post: How To Make Your “About Me” Page Irresistible

My Storyby Schuyler Kaye

You’ve probably heard how important it is to have an awesome “about me” page. As the saying goes people buy you, not the product or service. Yet it can be one of the most difficult pages to write.

I mean how do you capture “you” on a single page? 

And even if you could capture “you,” what if people don’t like it?

Many “about me” pages try to be something they’re not… 

I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face as I pulled off my rollerblades. I’d just been on a fantastic first date and was sitting on cloud 29 as a result. (That’s 20 clouds higher than cloud 9!) It lasted for about a week until I realized she wasn’t going to return my calls. 

Unsure of what happened, I asked my friends for advice… It was decided that I wore my heart on my sleeve, and I needed to keep her guessing about what I felt. And so I learned the dating game, when to show I cared and when to pretend I didn’t.

It totally worked! I got called back. I went on more dates. Soon she wanted to be in a committed relationship… only something was off. I was exhausted always trying to figure out when I was allowed to care – constantly worried that if I stopped this game, she’d lose interest.

What pressures or expectations do you feel influence your “about me” page?

Should you be professional? 

Do you need to stick to the facts and credentials? 

Maybe you feel bashful and so you try to be overly modest? 

Is there pressure to share everything or to remain a mystery?

Are you worried you might scare off your customers if you share the personal hippy side of you? 

I’ll be honest. Chances are if you show up with a personal story, there will be people who decide they don’t want to work with you. But don’t worry! They’ll be the unhappy customers that you can’t seem to please and leave you feeling drained.

Help your customers decide early on if you’re the right fit

You know things didn’t work out with that girl I was dating. In truth all the games did was make it take longer to realize we weren’t a fit. You can only pretend to be something else for so long…

Years later after repeating this process many times, I decided to take a chance. I dropped the games and sure, I tasted rejection again… But soon enough, I found myself in a positive healthy relationship for the first time.

By sharing your hippy story on your “about me” page, you might lose the interest of some people, but you’ll naturally become irresistible to the people who will LOVE working with you.

Pick the story that best shows off your unique hippy-ness

Step 1: Identify the “why” of your life. To make it simpler, here are some categories of what you might value:

  • A sense of excitement, adventure, or just plain ol’ fun?
  • How about a realization of a long-standing belief or conviction?
  • Maybe it’s a better understanding of who you are or what you want in life?
  • Is it love, friendship, some kind of companionship?
  • Or to receive healing, balance, happiness, peace or freedom from something in your life?

Example: I’ve always envied people who knew what they were meant to do… my life has been a constant search for that sense of knowing and belonging to a purpose that engaged my heart.


Step 2: Think of a story in your life that has prepared you to make the world better with work you do. Then use it to introduce yourself to your customers through your “About Me” page. The following questions will help you think of a story that resonates with the core values you identified in the first step.

  • How did you decide to do the work you do?
  • How did you overcome the problem you solve for your customers?
  • If you could be known for just one thing in the world, what would it be and why?
  • What’s your greatest challenge or accomplishment? How’d it play out?

Example: I’ve been in the shoes of my customers, and I found a way out… here’s the story of how it went down.


I’d recently broken up with the Fortune 100 Company that I worked at for 6 years and was “dating” five different business ideas at the same time… Unable to be successful at any of them because I was unable to meet the expectations of all of them, I found myself lost and depressed.

Having no choice, I explored my own life with reckless abandon to find a way to leave the expectations of others behind and discover my own path. 

Uncovering my story revealed my purpose, and that clarity has effortlessly guided me since. Now I apply what I learned to guide small business owners in finding a brand that feels authentic to their hearts and is effective at attracting the right customers with their online presence.

If you want an “about me” page that’s irresistible to the customers you love, then share the story of “why” you do your “hippy” work.

Want to take your story to the next level?

Sign up for this no-cost learning series on how to attract more customers with your “about me” page beginning on September 24.


Schuyler-HeadshotBio: I help small business owners who want to make a difference, and need to attract more customers with their online presence. You see I’ve been in the business of branding since I decided being a short, fat, nerdy high schooler wasn’t the way to start college.  After leaving a Fortune 100 Company, I found myself “dating” numerous business ideas at the same time hoping one would uncover my passion and grant the freedom of any lifestyle I chose. It didn’t work… In truth it was uncovering my story that revealed my purpose, and that clarity has effortlessly guided my business since ( Now I help others use their story to build a business they love and that attracts the right customers.

what to do before you even think about marketing your business

Rebecca_9202_Cropped_SmallRebecca Tracey has something very important to share with you.
So many people come to me for marketing help who are not ready for it.
Before you can market a thing, you need a thing to market.
It sounds so simple.
But, if you want it to be really successful and fulfilled it’s not enough to have any old thing. It’s got to be something you’re over the moon proud of, something that you can’t wait to share with the world, something that expresses your heart and feels right to you.
And people often come to me with something they feel ‘okay’ about. Sometimes even ‘good’.
They do massage, but they haven’t figured out how to make it theirs yet. They haven’t found their voice in it. So they have a generic thing. And you can try to sex up a generic thing and add more sizzle to cover the lack of steak as it were . . . but in the end we feel incongruent about it and people discover it and are upset. 
Rebecca Tracey is one of my dearest colleagues and she helps people do this pre-marketing work (which is actually the basis of all effective marketing). She helps people take this generic thing (e.g. life coaching, massage, holistic practioner) and build solid foundation they’re proud of. And, believe me, this makes marketing so much easier. 
Before you obsess about making your business attractive to your clients, focus on making it attractive to you.
I recently did an interview with Rebecca about her new program The Uncaged Life Mastermind. You can read the interview below.
What’s the result you’re offering people?
I work with people who want the freedom to work from anywhere, and who want to work for themselves, but who can’t quite figure out what they could possibly do. I help them smoosh everything they love and everything they are all about into a business that fits them perfectly.

So you’ve recently refined to this direction – how did that happen and how is it feeling to hone it?

Oh my god Tad, it is feeling AMAZING!
Everything in my business is SO much easier! I was kinda-sorta always doing what I am doing now (helping people figure out what makes them unique and then helping them start a business based around it), but it scared me to really OWN it. So I kind of skirted around it for the first year and a half. I was too scared to really commit to it (welcome to my life!). And now that I’ve really owned up to my expertise and have redirected my business to really make this the cornerstone of what I do, everything is all falling into place.
I know you’ve seen a lot of people try to create a business before they have a solid foundation underneath it. Can you share what you’ve seen?
Well, I’m probably the best example of that.
I graduated as a Holistic Nutritionist and was desperately trying to grow my business, but something wasn’t feeling right. I had NO idea what made me any different from the other thousands of nutritionists out there. I had NO deeper connection to why I was doing it in the first place, so nothing was really working and my whole business felt really generic (even though I knew I wasn’t a generic type of person. I felt like I was trying to be something I wasn’t). 
It wasn’t until I really looked at what it was that I loved about nutrition – that it gave people a choice about how they wanted to feel and live – that I was able to see why I was really doing it. I cared about people CHOOSING their lives. And so I ditched the nutrition part and JUST focused on coaching, and all of a sudden everything made sense. I allowed myself to build a business that was based on what I was naturally good at  – seeing the possibility in people and in situations, coming up with creative solutions, helping people move past obstacles so they can have lives of adventure and travel and fun. A way better fit than trying to tell people that kale is healthy.
And I have seen this over and over again with my clients. They have a general idea of what their business is, but they have no really sense of purpose. They are kind of just going through the motions of creating a website, picking a tagline, learning how to use social media, but they’re SO disconnected to their bigger WHY that they struggle and business feels hard and kind of like a drag.
Once we get really clear on WHY they care so much about what they care about, they have permission to ditch what’s not working and leave the rest.
You have a powerful system for helping people create a solid foundation before they build their business – can you lay out the steps you’ve created?
1. Mindset. We are usually our biggest obstacle, so gotta tackle that first!
2. Values + Lifestyle. You have to know what’s important to you if you want to know what business to create.
3. Purpose  + Message. What do you care so much about that you could build a business around it? I help my clients dig deep with this, and this is the foundation of the work that we do.
4. Strengths + Weaknesses, Skills + Expertise. What are you naturally good at (oftentimes so good that you don’t even recognize it was a strength). These are the biggest clues to what kind of business will suit you.
5. Idea Generation. We take everything from above and we smash it all together into business ideas, then work through them to tweak them until they feel like a great fit.
6. Testing your ideas. I help my clients pick a shortlist of all their ideas and put them to work testing them out in the real world. We look at what worked and what didn’t, and tweak things as we go.
My goal is to leave my clients with a business idea that feels 80% right, so they can continue to build it and still have room for it shift and evolve with them as they learn more about what they love to do.
I really believe the process is experiential and not analytical, and that taking action is the only way to really figure it out.
For my clients who already have business but things aren’t feeling quite right, we basically use the same steps to evaluate what’s not working for them and shine a light on what they could do differently that would be a much better fit for them.
I’m curious which of these steps were there when you started and which ones you discovered along the way? And can you share the stories of how you realized they needed to be included?
With the nutrition business that I was trying to start I felt like I was forcing my message to fit my business, instead of creating my business around my message. I had it backwards. As soon as I stopped forcing it and let my purpose/message be front and center in my business (and ditched the parts that weren’t working), everything came together quickly.  
My values were always there too, those were clear to me before I even had a business. I always knew the way that I wanted to work and what I wanted my lifestyle to look like, so I integrated that right from the beginning.
Testing my ideas was also something that came naturally to me. I’ve always been a bit of a “ready, fire, aim” kind of girl, and I tend to make things happen FAST in all aras of my life. When I want something, I want it now! So I never hesitated to try out new things and see what worked and what didn’t, and it became very clear to me early on that this HAS to be a part of creating a business. You can’t just sit and think about what might work – you actually have to put it into action and test it.
It took me a bit longer to really hone in on my strengths and figure out how to use them in my business. I started as a coachy-coach, and its only now that I’m really coming into owning that I am WAY better at teaching and leading than I am at being neutral (as you’re “supposed” to do as a coach). So I’ve slowly been listening when things in my business don’t feel great, and then picking them apart to see what strengths I may be squashing and which ones I need to play up more. I now know that creating a business without being clear on your natural strengths is just bogus – it has to be part of the process to create something sustainable
Can you share some stories of clients who’ve created uncaged lives and careers or at least made some major progress?
I recently worked with a birth specialist and doula who is creating a business centered about teaching people about their options when it comes to giving birth.

She was excited about her idea, but was doubting her expertise. We worked together to discover that what she really cares about is helping women connect with the power of what it really means to be a woman giving birth, to help them embrace real femininity through the birthing experience. This felt way more resonant for her than simply “teaching people about birth options”, and opened up a whole new world for her in terms of ways that she can work with and help her clients. She now has a solid foundation to work on and has so many ideas to move forward with, when before she was feeling kind of stuck about what to offer.

Another client and good friend of mine from nutrition school worked her butt off to create her little nutrition practice. She was working with clients and teaching workshops and all was going well. Except that it wasn’t. It was glaringly obvious to me that her whole thing was about body wisdom and learning to love and respect your body, whether it wants to eat cookies or kale. We worked together to help her get really clear about what felt off in her business, and I’m happy to say that now she has fully stepped into her true calling and I can just feel the energy behind what she’s creating. SO much more resonant than the blanket nutritionist thing,
To me, an uncaged life is all about doing work that lets you play to your FULL potential AND gives you the lifestyle you want. This looks different for everyone, and I would really encourage everyone to figure out what their version of living Uncaged looks like.
I know you just recorded a free call where you went in depth into your system – where can people get access to that?
You can get that free training here
Also, check out her full Uncaged Life Mastermind 
Rebecca_9202_Cropped_SmallAbout Rebecca: As a Life-Switch Coach + Professional Adventure Instigator, I work with people who want to quit their shitty day jobs and create Uncaged careers that let them travel the world and work on their own terms. I help them create cool Uncaged Careers out of thin air. I also work with entrepreneurs who are feeling a little stuck, and who need to revamp and revive their businesses to be more in line with who they are. Ready to take your top-secret, rule-bending, crazy-town dream—and lay out a plan, to bring it to life? Let’s tell your excuses to suck it. Together.

Guest Post: 7 Top Lessons I learned from Creating my Online Product

peruby Brad Morris of

15 Months Ago I had a Vision while in the Mountains of Peru…

My Vision was to create ‘Something’ that helped people Meditate and Celebrate their lives every single day so that they too could know the joy that comes from accessing a connected state of Presence that I have come to Know over the years through my daily practice.  At the time I had no idea what this ‘offering’ would be but I was committed to figuring it out.  I remember sitting above the Temple of the Moon in the mountains of Peru praying to be guided to what this offering would be.  Days and weeks went on and everyday I would get a tiny little piece of the puzzle in my Meditations and through other magical synchronicities.  The first piece was that I KNEW it would be 40 Days long because of the magic & mythology behind 40 days as a powerful number for Self Transformation. 

This was the beginning of the Cowabunga Vision Quest and that was in November 2011.  Now as I sit here writing many amazing months later, I JUST activated the new website for this amazing 40 day journey, I have shared it with 162 people from 7 countries and the results participants are getting from the Cowabunga Meditations I teach are even surprising me a bit.  And just this I week I celebrate the 50 or so potential Joint Venture partners I have extended my invitation to, to participate in expanding the ripple of this program to the rest of the world over the coming months … YAY!

Some of My Greatest Lessons from Creating the Cowabunga Vision Quest program…

My purpose for this article is to share some of the greatest life lessons I have learned this last year and a half of working on this program so that you can take away the tid-bits of wisdom and apply what resonates to creating your greatest vision for your Life!  Truly ALL of us are on our on Vision Quests right now of stepping into our pure potential and learning to live our purpose through every breath we take and I hope you take away something potent that activates a grounded new perspective within you from reading this….

Work on One Thing at a Time…

Though I’m not ADHD I used to joke that I was because I would think a zillion thoughts and have a bajillion things on the go at once.  

This was my first pattern of self sabotage, which caused me to never get anything done and when I did finish a project it wouldn’t be to my greatest potential because my energy was so scattered throughout the creative process.  At the beginning of 2012 I committed to just one project and that was to create the best  Meditation Program I possibly could.  I ended up cancelling all of my Cowabunga Retreats for the year and putting all of my focus into this ONE thing, the Cowabunga Vision Quest.  

It became an inspiring art project of harnessing my greatest life lessons, most transformational Cowabunga techniques and compiling all of it into a real-life tangible experience that would support people to embody this information in a life-changing way.  And  WOW – I thank God that this was the only thing I created because I put ALL the love, care, attention to detail, money and time into this project that I used to put into 10 projects and I gotta say, I can notice the difference!

Double the Listening to Action Taking

You have two eyes, two ears and one mouth which means you should be listening and observing twice as much as you are taking action.  

For a guy like me who is borderline obsessive compulsive with my need to get shit done, this has been a very challenging dosage of medicine to swallow BUT at the same time, I know it’s the Truth.  Connecting to your God Self or Whole Self is the ONLY way to rock your life with your highest, clearest potential of Creativity.  Trying to create from just your head is painstakingly a waste of time because if you’d just Meditate and learn to embody your full Presence, you would have way more fun, be way more efficient and your brilliance from accessing that state of Being would completely shine through in all that you create!  Take time to pray and listen to your Higher Self so you stop wasting your valuable Life-Force and time. 

Your Prayers will Move Mountains and Create Miracles

Prayer is talking to God and Meditation is listening to God.  

A few years ago I took a year long Prayer course in Affirmative Prayer, which was an incredible gift to my Soul.  I now Know how to connect to the particles of Creation and command changes to occur within my life by Being the God Presence I pray to, rather than asking some imaginary figure to save me.  Prayer is not about asking the bearded dude in the clouds to give you something that you don’t have … NO … Prayer is activating your Whole Self into the state of Being of already having what it is you are praying for.  Instead of praying out of lack, pray from the state of Being that you already ARE everything you want, need and are calling into existence.  

For example, to transform the frequency of your prayers into a Powerful command, change your words from “Please give me or Please help me…” to “Thank you, I give Thanks.”  That’s a good start!

Only Always Do What you Love

Malcolm Gladwell in his book ‘Tipping Point’ talks about how it takes 10,000 hours to become a Master at something.  So lets just say you are working a job you hate 8 hours per day, 40 hours per week it would take you exactly 4.8 years to become a Master at hating your life and then probably another 2.5 years to unwind your mental and emotional patterns caused from doing the thing you know you shouldn’t do everyday, which is to keep doing the stuff that makes you miserable.  Okay, now lets go to our happy place!

My mission is to be a MASTER at having the most fun possible doing exactly what I love and to make my money by Being me.  That was a goal I set 5 years ago (yup, I wrote it down) and four years ago I started Cowabunga Life, which is a lifestyle company that supports me to teach workshops around the world sharing Life skills (I love it), I get to go on epic spiritual adventures to epic places with the coolest people (which I also love doing) AND I get to be a creative genius writing, creating videos and making wicked programs that change people’s lives like the Cowabunga Vision Quest.

Sure I was totally broke when I started and it took me about 3 years and a couple hundred workshops to gain some stability with my income but to me that was paid education on my journey to Mastery.  I couldn’t expect to be paid a masters wage when I was just a beginner.  I couldn’t have asked for a more fun experience of having no money than the one I endured over the years because I was living MY DREAM not someone else’s.  What I learned from dropping out of college in 2005 to start my own business was way more than I would’ve received from many thousands of dollars in tuition and 4 years of school.  Now, years later, I am well on my way to fulfilling my 10,000 hours of experience  at being a Master of Loving Life!  What do you wanna master  (write it down, your 10,000 hours starts NOW)?

When your Vision is Greater than You, Miracles Happen

Pretty much everyone wants to make a difference and when you can open yourself up to a dream that is bigger than you it is astonishing all the people who will show up in your life to support your vision. By taking your first steps and then the next steps after that, you Open yourself to the creative powers and magic of the Universe and miracles really do happen.  But here’s the thing, we can’t wait for the miracles to happen and then take action, we must take bold action, which is the thing that creates the miracles.

Your Limiting Beliefs aren’t a Good Excuse Anymore

You are a living, breathing miracle of the Universe.  Before you were born you were the eternal breath of life, floating through all of Creation.  You are a particle of Star Dust and an extension of Source Energy  (AKA:  God).  Petty excuses of not having enough money or not being strong enough or that some person hurt you earlier in life or whatever it is that someone with a Victim mentality says to the world as a way to get out of living, serving and activating their fullest potential and purpose in the world just isn’t enough.  

Let go of the old, ‘poor me’ story and STEP INTO YOUR POWER by being your boldest, most amazing, loving, whole-hearted, beautiful self.  If you don’t know what to do, just start with the first step… If life really is the shits,which I know all about, then activate yourself to a higher state.  Celebrate the tough challenges like it’s a new adventure where you’ll get to learn all sorts of amazing, wonderful things about yourself, life, the Universe and what magical super powers you posses!

Patience and Persistence  =  Good times

What’s the rush?  Enjoy the ride.  You’re here til ya die so why not enjoy the ride!?  Seriously, whatever you set out to create it is going to be an equal balance of Inner and Outer Work, especially if you’re committed to it being a masterpiece!  So when things aren’t coming together in the outer world, explore the inner world and remove the block or gain the insight.  When life ain’t flowing inside, take a time out to honor your process instead of pushing forward like a drunken Rhino.  Life is all about the stories and all about the Journey, this I know 10000% in all my cells from personal experience of living my life to the fullest and only always following my Hearts’ greatest calling.

Learn Anything Valuable?

Leave a comment below and let me know your insights, questions or thoughts… 

Sharing is Caring!

Pass this page onto a friend OR re-post it on your Facebook wall. 

Begin your own Personal Vision Quest:

marketing from the heart manifesto

One of my clients, wrote me a beautiful email recently with her ‘manifesto’ about marketing. I was so inspired by it that I had to share it. It’s a beautiful example of starting with the ‘why’ and of a clear and compelling point of view.


Marketing From The Heart?

by Mary Pellicer, MD?

My vision of what MARKETING can be if it comes from the HEART:

An INVITATION to people to live RICHER, FULLER and more MEANINGFUL LIVES, to live lives in ALIGNMENT with their own INTEGRITY.

Communication to INSPIRE from a place of GENEROSITY (vs. pushing and pressuring from a place of greed)

CONNECTION to inspire people out of LOVE and CARE (vs. motivating them from fear)

EMPATHIZING with people (vs. exploiting their insecurities)

Being COMMITTED to SERVING people (vs. selling to them)

Making sure it’s a PERFECT FIT (or NO DEAL)-Going for the WIN-WIN ?(vs. making the sale)

CONTACT to LEAD & INFLUENCE (vs. seeking fame)

Opening CONVERSATIONS about POSSIBILITIES (vs. closing deals)

Market from the Heart and invest in making the world an amazing place to live, work and grow.                    

(With much gratitude to Tad Hargrave who’s blog post Death and Marketing inspired this.)

caged hens in your bus stop

The Coop grocery chain put out a great ad at bus stops that educated it’s customers (and prospective customers) that it was doing a good thing. And it did it in a funny (but poignant) way that helped people relate to why they were doing it.

I think a great indirect consequence of this kind of ad is that it’s not only the kind of thing people will share on social media because it’s so simple and clever but it also raises the bar for what people expect from any grocery store.

After seeing this ad a few times, people might be a bit more likely to ask their own grocer if their eggs are from caged hens.

your platform in a single page

Clarity is everything in marketing.

A while ago I wrote a blog post about the importance of developing a clear platform. Your platform is what you’re known for. It’s another way of talking about ‘brand‘. It’s the heart of slow marketing (but also the basis of fast marketing). The challenge that I lay out in that post is that most people choose to be known for only ONE thing – which is the thing they do. But I would submit that there are six things you can be known for.

And if you can clearly articulate them in a single page then you are ready to grow. If you can do it in a single page then everything else will be simple (even if it takes effort).

Always remember: the confused mind says ‘no’.

There are two watchwords for your platform. The first is ‘clarity’. But the second is ‘authenticity‘. It’s the clarity and authenticity of your platform that ultimately makes your business safe to approach and easy to get to know.

And while there’s endless depth you can go into in defining your platform – here’s my down and dirty version. Each of the six elements of the platform has three or four laser focused questions to help you hone in on them. They’re the best questions I know of to get right to the heart of the matter.

If you can answer them and distill it into a single page – you’ll have the clarity you need to grow easily, organically and beautifully.

Before answering these questions I commend reading the following blog posts so that the rest of the questions make sense:

The Journey

The Platform

The Three Foundations of  Thriving Business



What is it that you do? If I were to look you up in the Yellow Pages or on google what terms would I use? (e.g. plumber, hardware store, massage therapist etc.)

What is your boat built out of? How many hours and how much money has gone into building your business? How much education?

What is most important to your clients when buying what you sell? (either to have or not to have) And how do you deliver that?

If your business were to shut down tomorrow – who would miss you and why?



What is the journey that you take people on? Fill in the blanks for the ideal kinds of clients you want to have: ‘we work with __________ (kinds of people) struggling with _________ (kinds of problems) and who feel ________ (way about their problem). And what we do it to help them get __________ (result).

Who is a perfect fit for you as a client? Why?

When is the perfect moment for you to enter their life? When is the perfect moment to leave it?

To read more of my blog posts on Niching click here.



What gives you the credibility to do what you do so well? In what ways have you gone on the journey you’re taking your clients on? What have you had to overcome in order to be offering what you’re offering here and sailing that particular boat?

What qualities do you bring to the table that are different from other people offering similar things?

What are your nerdy interests, hobbies, strange lives you’ve led in the past, interesting social information about you?

Why do most people fail to make this journey? What are they missing?
What’s your map/system for getting people from Island A to Island B as quickly, easily and painlessly as possible? How many steps?
What’s your core take on this issue? What’s your perspective, philosophy, understanding of this journey?
To read more of my blog posts on Point of View click here.



Why did you start doing what you do?

Beyond money, status etc. what is this business really about for you? What’s the bigger cause it’s a part of?

What is it that you see missing in the world that would help make it more whole?

To read more of my blog posts on developing your Why click here.



What is it that you see is possible for your clients that they don’t see is possible yet?

When you went through your journey did anything delightful happen as a result of being on the journey that you didn’t expect that you couldn’t have anticipated when you began?

What do you crave for your clients to have in their life? What’s your fondest wish for them?

What do you see is the future of your industry? What’s coming up next that’s so exciting that most people don’t even know about?

To read more of my blog posts on Island C click here.

CASE STUDY: Paolo Donati – Italian Nutritionist –

BOAT: as a qualified natural nutritionist and health coach I help people overcome a variety of health issues and improve their shape using natural foods, supplements and powerful but simple cleansing techniques. I offer live or online consultations and cleansing retreats in my native country, Italy.

ME: With a background in environmental engineering and remediation of contaminated land, at my core I’m a nerd with a true passion for bringing nature back into its pure, uncontaminated state.

I was raised on the Standard Italian Diet (still better than the SAD hey) which made me lethargic, lacking energy, mentally confused and a totally unsociable kid. Somehow I felt that food affected my behaviour and emotional state.

From a very young age I studied what gifts from Nature could make me more healthy and in tune with who I am.

I experimented with different detoxes and type of diets: from macrobiotic, vegan, mediterranean to paleo and weston price type of diets. After giving up the frustrating quest for the perfect diet, I can honestly say I had benefits from all of them. Eventually I started listening to the messages in my body and found an equilibrium that works really well for me. Today my approach to health and nutrition with my clients is absolutely dogma-free.

As a native Italian, I still have a passion for local, traditional Italian food. I love revisiting stunning Italian dishes using alternative ingredients to make them more healthy for us. After all, I believe we can occasionally indulge and feed our spirit more than our body, provided it comes from a clear message within to enjoy and live life more fully, rather than a need for suppression.

JOURNEY: My main journey type is on health. But I also help reach a state of inner peace and greater clarity by working in cleansing and nourishing the body.

Who: I am attracted to people who believe in good old fashioned common sense and trusting their intuition who find themselves experiencing some chronic health issues. They are looking for a holistic body-nurturing approach rather than reductionist conventional treatments. They are also interested in keeping fit and adopting a diet to support their levels of training. Ideally they consider adding at least some animal products into their diet, if not I am more comfortable referring them to a vegan nutritionist.

Problem: chronic fatigue syndromes, digestive problems, depression and so called gut and psychology syndromes, i.e. mental disorders such as autism, schizophrenia, ADHD and others connected to a leaky gut condition.

Result: Renewed physical energy and health, mental balance, clarity. Significant improvements of mental conditions. Toxicity is removed from bowels, liver and other tissues. Feeling more in tune with ourselves and our higher purpose.

POINT OF VIEW: Dieting is for losers… if we don’t first love ourselves, accept our current situation and that we need to take baby steps. Without this fundamental frame most of us will sabotage any attempt to move towards a diet, or anything new in life.

The ‘perfect’ diet is a quest for the holy grail. It really depends on your location on the planet, the season, your curent state of health, your history of health and what you want to achieve. For most of us, the quest for the perfect diet is just an excuse for not taking consistent action.

Elimination is as important as nutrition. The cleanest diet may lead to autointoxication if we don’t support the routes of elimination in the body.

Humans are part of nature and we should be inspired by nature’s rythms when deciding how to live, what to eat and how to eat it.

Your body never works against itself. It always does the best it can to restore its original conditions.

WHY: To continually celebrate and be inspired by the transformation in health and energy of people around me. To support as I can local farmers and food producers so their products not only will improve people’s health but also contribute to restore damaged ecosystems through sustainable farming. When in my home country, I love travelling the Italian countryside to meet local food producers that don’t even know what the Internet is.

ISLAND C: I didn’t expect that by releasing my toxic load I also got rid of old negative emotions I was still holding to. I feel lighter, full of energy and mentally clear. Now that I got past my health issues I’m ready to move on to something new in my life. I feel this food is wholesome and nutritious and I’m naturally drawn to eat it. I’m not influenced by dietary ‘dogmas’ or the latest diet in the media.



Want Help? If you’d like some more direct guidance and hand holding on figuring out your niche then go and check out my Niching for Hippies coaching program


case study: 10 lessons on making a no hype compelling sales video

My dear friend and colleague Ryan Eliason has put together a video presentation about his upcoming business training for social entrepreneurs. I just finished watching it. And it. is. good.

I want to encourage you to watch this (whether or not you decide to participate in his training). I think this video is a great example of a few key marketing lessons. Ten of them in fact.

I’ve laid out the ten lessons below that I’d love for you to take from this and, as per usual, I’ve loaded this blog with a tonne of links to posts I’ve written on key topics and useful resources to help you get the most out of this as possible.

Context is important here. If Ryan were simply to make this video, put it on his website and hope that people signed up, he’d get very little response. This video is a part of a campaign with a start date and an end date. It is being introduced to people (like you) through people they trust (like me). It’s also being shown to people who have taken part of five very content rich teleseminars that have been leading up to Ryan’s 21 week program. That’s important. People aren’t seeing this video with no context. And they’re only watching it because they’re a socially conscious solopreneur who wants more money and more free time and they are curious about what Ryan has to offer at this point.

There are lots of kinds of videos you can make. You can make a video for your homepage, a bio video, a blog video of just you sharing to the webcam some new thing you’ve learned. But you can also use a video as a direct ‘here’s what I’ve got and here’s how much it is’ offer.

In marketing baseball terms, most people are already on second or third base by the time they watch this video. There’s already at least curiousity but likely some trust and excitment by the time they hit it.

Here’s the video  . . .


LESSON #1: Tone.

Ryan demonstrates how to be respectful, direct, understated, down to earth, grounded and matter of fact in your presentation (vs. over the top, too enthusiastic, pushy, aggressive and hyped up). This is something my colleague Lynn Serafinn wrote about in her book, ‘The Seven Graces of Marketing‘. And I’ve written about it in some blog posts about this idea of resonance and also in a recent blog post ‘Nine Thoughts of Copywriting for Hippies‘. He does this by acknowledging that not everyone will be able to get the same results. He acknowledges the limitations of his own program based on where people are at. To me that is so incredibly credibility building.


LESSON #2: Fit.

What if we used marketing as a filtering process of attracting only who’s a perfect fit (vs. trying to sell everyone into your programs). If you’re just in it for money? It’s not a fit. It’s powerful to not only say, ‘Here’s who my program is a fit for,’ but also ‘Here’s who my program is not a fit for.’ People feel immensely respected when you let go of your attachment to making the sale just lay out clearly who your program is a good match for.


LESSON #3: Stories.

This video powerfully uses the power of case studies and success stories of your clients (e.g. in his case a naturopath, fair trade tea company CEO and a relationship coach). These establish credibility but also give clarity about who his program might be a fit for. Stories are so powerful in marketing. My colleague Casey Hibbard wrote a brilliant ebook on this at And you can also check out the excellent work of Michael Margolis at or read my blog posts about using stories effectively in marketing.


LESSON #4: Point of View.

Here’s where I think this video really excels. It demonstrates the power of sharing your clear point of view about the best system to get from Island A to Island B.

Ryan does a solid job of laying out his take on why most socially conscious entrepreneurs don’t get the results they are craving. He breaks down the elements (in his case eight of them) and makes the case that if you’re missing even one of these it’s like a leak in your boat (which is a great example of effectively using a metaphor to sum up your business).

And so, if you are missing multiple elements then you have multiple holes in your boat. In my workshops, I will talk about the three foundations of your marketing or the six elements of a successful platform. These types of maps and systems are extremely useful in helping people self diagnose themselves and see if what you’re offering can be a fit. Think also of: The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, the seven chakras, the five elements of chinese medicine, the four directions etc. Maps.

After all, someone might watch this video and think, ‘You know what? I’m really solid in all eight of these.’ and, wonderfully, realize that Ryan’s program isn’t a fit for them (thus saving dozens of hours and hundreds of dollars that would have been wasted if they’d been hyped or pressured into it.

But, if they are lacking in some of these areas then it’s likely they’ll lean into wanting to work with him. Ryan doesn’t just list the outline of his course and hope that people ‘get it’. He makes his case. He says, ‘Here’s what I think you need to make this journey and here’s why I think you need it.’ Again, he’s very direct. And direct is respectful.


LESSON #5: Sharing your Why.

Ryan does a great job hear of repeatedly coming back to his ‘why’ of making the world a better place through seeing socially conscious businesses succeed. His why comes through in a number of ways. Many programs wax on and on about ‘don’t you yearn to make a difference? have a bigger impact?’ and it honestly makes me gag sometimes because it seems soooooo overly, earnestly sincere and like it’s trying so hard not to be marketing.

I’d rather someone just made their case directly. And, frankly, I don’t think trying to sell someone on your services based on altruism and ‘doing the right thing’ ever works. People do things because there’s something in it for them. Find that. Speak to that. But, if people get that you can help them get a result they’re craving and relevance has been established then your ‘why’ (the deeper cause of your business) becomes incredibly compelling. How does Ryan communicate his why?

It comes through in his voice.

His program is targeted towards socially conscious entrepreneurs.

His case studies of socially conscious entrepreneurs.

It’s not enough to just mention your ‘why’ once. If you really want it to land for people then you need to come back to that again and again and again.


LESSON #6: Speak to the Impact.

Ryan doesn’t just give his map – he reemphasizes the impact of what happens if people follow his kind of advice (whether from him or someone else) and when they don’t. The basic formula is, “If you don’t implement these these then ______ is likely to happen but if you do implement these things then _______ is likely to happen.”

You need to speak to the impact. You need to speak directly to ‘here’s what’s in it for you.’ If all Ryan did was speak to how cool he thought his program was he’d lose people. And that’s a huge mistake that so many people make. Instead of talking about the journey they take people on from Island A to Island B – they talk about the boat. And, as I wrote about in a recent blog post, no one cares about your boat initially.

Even the title of Ryan’s program, “Double Your Income and Your Time Off” speaks directly to this. People don’t want to sign up for a business coaching program. But people do want more money and more free time. They want to feel more confident. They want to make a bigger different. Speak directly to what people are craving.


LESSON #7: Anticipate Concerns.

Ryan anticipates a very likely concern that will come up for most people who’d be drawn to his course, ‘But my business is different.’ And then he addresses it directly. If there are common questions and concerns that come up from people, risks they’re afraid they’ll have to take in if they work with you, address those head on. It will have your sales letters feel like much more of a conversation because you’re acknowledging what’s happening for them on their side.


LESSON #8: Know Your Niche.

Okay. This should be #1 really. This program is focused on a particular niche. It’s a bit broad but it seems to work for him. It’s for socially conscious solopreneurs. It’s what I’d call a big circle (and in the video he lists lots of the little circles that fit inside of it). You can read my thoughts on Big & Little Circles in niching here. But Ryan is not niching by industry or age or geography (demographics) he’s niching by type of business (socially conscious solopreneurs), a core problem (not enough clients, time or money) and focuses heavily on psychographics (the internal values, worldview and communities they’re a part of).


LESSON #9: Establish the Value. 

Ryan takes the time to go through his program and make sure that people get the impact each piece could have. He makes sure that people know how much each piece is worth on its own so that, when you get to the final price, it’s clear that you’re getting good value for your money. If I had to sum up marketing in a single sentence, I’d borrow Mac Ross’s words, ‘Marketing is about establishing the value beyond the immediately apparent.’ Don’t assume that people ‘get’ how valuable your stuff is. If they don’t appreciate it, that’s your fault, not theirs.

Ryan also does something compelling in the powerful reframing of the cost of his course as an investment. And he doesn’t do this in an offhanded way. He makes the case systematically. Communicate the value of what you do.


LESSON #10: Video Sales Letters.

This lesson is sort of implicit in the presentation itself but I want to flag it.

Your programs that you offer likely have a lot of of aspects to them. They’re not so simple. And, sometimes, it just takes a while to really communicate everything you’ve put together to help people. But many people are sick of the long scrolling sales letters. So, Ryan lays out another option in dealing with this – put it into a video. If you were to take the transcript of this video and put it into a long copy sales letter – it would be pretty long. But, for some reason, video is often easier to digest for people. It’s something to consider as an option. You can read my posts about writing sales letters here.

If you’d like to see other posts of mine on the power of video marketing just click here.


Want Help? If you’d like some more direct guidance and hand holding on figuring out your niche then go and check out my Niching for Hippies coaching program