The Making of a Coach [Part 3] – Leaving NYC + Blowing up a Broken Business Model

The Making of a Coach [Part 3]

** This is a continuation of a multi-part series on how I’ve built my coaching business. If you missed part 2, check it out here. If you missed part 1, check it out here. **

Our couples retreat at Kripalu for our 5 year wedding anniversary in 2010 gave us the idea to leave New York City.

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Within days of the retreat ending, we had made our decision to move.

Three months later we bid farewell to our castle in the sky on the Hudson River.

Great Barrington, Massachusetts became our new home in the cultured country in the Berkshires.

We knew about 5 people total in our new community, but it felt totally right and adventurous.

People often ask me how Steven and I BOTH left NYC for the country. (Many couples who make a move tend to have one person who still commutes into the city.)

How did we make the work thing work?

You know how? We were both self-employed.

For him, he was and still is a sports television producer. He didn’t need to be in NYC for his financial livelihood. He simply needed to be willing to travel to football and basketball games in the Northeast.

For me, I was growing my business as a COACH to women.

My business was still in its infancy in 2010, having completed my coach training certification program in late 2008.

I was in the midst of a year-long mastermind, training and coaching program led by entrepreneur superstar Ali Brown. And my mind was EXPLODING with possibilities of how to grow my mission and do it on my terms.

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And I had clients … plenty of them. Almost more than I wanted with my 1-year-old son and another baby on the way.

I had no desire to work with clients every waking hour of the day or have a telephone attached to my ear.

Sure, I loved working from home in my PJs if I wanted to, but I craved freedom and space in my schedule, and I was realizing that the business model I was taught in my coach training program simply wouldn’t work for me.

I had to shake things up to save my business so I could touch the lives I’m here to touch.

First up was offering up VIP Days to women who wanted to spend the day with me strategizing about their career, business and life goals.

I hosted these at my home and LOVED the terrain we’d cover in these deep-dive sessions. We made so much progress in one day – it made me see the power of focused connection with clients who were heavily invested in their growth.

I also got the idea when I moved from NYC to the Berkshires to host a women’s retreat in the country for my clients and tribe. A getaway of sorts.

In a flash of insight, I called it:

The Retreat for Goddesses.

I birthed the website within weeks of birthing my second son Luke.

A few months later, I hosted that retreat with 16 women from around the country while I pumped my boobs on breaks (nursing mama’s gotta do what she’s gotta do!).

It was one of the most magical and mystical experiences of my career.

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From there, I launched a 9-month coaching program and started the journey of building various income streams with consistent cash flow into my business.

I found my clients had much stronger results when they had training curriculum and cohorts along on the journey, in addition to my coaching.

This was a huge light-bulb moment for me and one that I’ll forever be grateful to my private coach at the time Angelique Rewers for DRILLING in my head.

I was on the way to massive growth, but was crushed at the end of 2011 when I realized that my revenues were the lowest they had ever been in the history of me being out on my own – $30,000 – and my profits were almost non-existent.

I vowed to turn things around in 2012 and take the business past the 6-figure mark.

So, I hustled like a wild woman and went on a creation spree!

I hosted a series of live workshops called “Goddesses, Guts and Glory” (often I’d host these at yoga studios) and launched my 8-week group coaching program called the Live Your Dream Challenge.

Vision boarding is a huge tool in my life and I love teaching gals how to use this tool. After having led SO many vision boarding workshops in person, I decided to create a video workshop that we could sell online!

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I hosted more VIP Days for clients and continued serving my clients in my mastermind program called the Gutsy Goddess Society.

Free teleclasses were my thing! I used them to spread the word about my offerings, grow my list and enroll prospects into my courses and events!

Experimentation was the name of the game!

I sponsored a webinar with Ladies Who Launch.

I campaigned to win a global entrepreneur contest and won 2nd place (and a new Apple computer!).

I traveled to business meetings and joined a high-level mastermind led by Fabienne Fredrickson.

I grew my team by hiring an Online Business Manager to work alongside my Virtual Assistant. I invested in Infusionsoft as my CRM platform (and spent the next few months freaking out about that decision, but am so glad I took the plunge!).

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And I did it all while working about 20 – 25 hours a week and spending lots of sweet time with Steven and 2 sons Sean and Luke.

My yoga practice continued serving me in huge ways during this growth period.

And of course I hosted the 2nd annual Retreat for Goddesses, this time doubling our numbers with 30+ women attending. The retreat was held at a Tibetan Buddhism-based retreat center called Menla Mountain that was so, so sacred.

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We went deep. Tears were shed. Leaps were made. Connections solidified.

In addition to my talks on my areas of expertise, the gals heard from a tarot card reader and intuitive; as well as a shaman and yoga teacher.

I even had a firewalking guide come and lead some of the women through a firewalking ceremony. I’ll never forget this!

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I always want to bring my unique brand of medicine and my “voice” into all I do. That has been a key to my growth and to withstanding the test of time online when a lot of coaches come and go.

Knowing HOW to coach has also been crucial in growing a business that lasts.

I would NEVER have been able to create all of these different offerings – workshops, retreats, private coaching packages, masterminds, VIP Days, teleclasses – if I didn’t have the necessary SKILLS and TOOLS of a master coach.

Coaching is an art and a science – one that can be learned, but not faked.

And I did what I set out to do: 2012 was the year my business broke 6 figures in revenue. I was thrilled!

But with each new year brings a fresh slate and a chance to start over.

Could I repeat my success as a coach, mom, wife and business owner in 2013 without burning out like I had so often done in the past?

And that is where we will pick up with the next post in our series on “The Making of a Coach” …

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If you feel you’re being called to the COACHING industry as your career or a supplement to what you’re doing now, but aren’t sure how to actually BE a COACH …

(You’ve got questions like:

How do you hold the space during your client sessions?

How do you onboard clients?

What do you charge?

How do you work with clients?

What technology do you need?

What policies and procedures will keep you in business?

How do you actually get clients?)

… then you’ll want to check out Get Gutsy Coach Training School (enrolling for our amazing January 2017 class now!).

I also invite you to come to my upcoming free webinar where you will see what’s possible when you say YES to packaging your magic + fully stepping into coaching.

Click here to grab your spot now.

I’m looking for a gutsy crew of leaders who are ready to transform into CONFIDENT COACHES who are changing the world with their GIFTS.

Is that you?

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The Making of a Coach [PART 2]: Investing in Coach Training + Discovering Online Marketing

The Making of a Coach [Part 2](1)

** This is a continuation of a multi-part series on how I’ve built my coaching business. If you missed part 1, check it out here. **

Welcome to Part 2 of my series: The Making of a Coach.

I like to think of my life as BC (Before Coaching) and AC (After Coaching).

My entire life changed when I discovered the field of coaching and said YES to an extensive coach training program.

This was March 2008.

In November 2007, I quit my $175,000 a year job as a conference producer in New York City while in the midst of a 200-hour yoga teacher training program.

My former cubicle!

My former cubicle!

At that point, I didn’t know much about the field of coaching. It hadn’t yet exploded onto the internet or in our collective conscious like it has now.

But as fate would have it, I met a woman in a workshop led by Jonathan Fields who was a yoga teacher and creativity coach.

At that point, I was really trying to figure out what the heck I was doing with my career since I had quit my corporate job and was trying to figure out the next step in my work.

I considered becoming a teacher with Teach for America, training to become a nutritionist with IIN, taking a corporate fundraising position with St. Jude Children’s Hospital, becoming a marketing executive for a branding firm, going for my 500-hour yoga teaching certificate, and selling yoga apparel at lululemon in my neighborhood.

Pretty diverse options, right?

That’s my Gemini mind at play!

Having babies was in my future so this was a consideration for my new career path.

What would allow me to make a great impact in the world with my gifts, earn a fantastic income AND have a flexible, freedom-based schedule with me calling the shots?

When I heard the word “coach,” my curiosity was piqued. My body took notice and something inside me shifted as I contemplated this path.

Just what was this “coach” thing?

I madly researched coaching schools and found one that spoke to me to the tune of $9,000 and 10 months of hard-core training.

Throughout the course, I evolved into what I had always been deep down inside: a COACH, a GUIDE, a TEACHER.

I learned to listen holographically, ask open-ended questions, reframe situations, work with different levels of energy … the list goes on.

Most importantly, I found myself again after spending much of my 10-year career feeling like I had taken a wrong turn.

I LOVED coaching.

Loved what it did for both coach and client.

Having known so much about psychotherapy after working with my fantastic therapist for several years, I appreciated how coaching shifted energy quickly in high-functioning clients who were committed to their growth.

Everywhere I went, I would tell friends and strangers what I was up to and that’s exactly how I got my clients.

I didn’t have a website or email list or newsletter until July of 2009 – 17 months into my coaching career.

So getting clients at the beginning of my coaching business involved me spreading the word about what I was doing to anyone who would listen and handing out my trusty business cards.

I did a lot of 30-minute “complimentary” coaching sessions by phone and was able to convert a good number of prospects into paying clients.

I’ll never forget when I got my first paying client! I was still in coach training and I was simply over the moon that this gal – a friend of a friend – was interested in hiring me as her career coach. Know where I met her? At my friend’s birthday party! Easy.

I took it as a sign from the Universe that I was exactly where I was supposed to be.

When I first started, I would coach my clients 4 times a month at around $300 a month. This was the holy grail of coaching. If you could sign a client who wanted the 4-time-a-month package, you were doing a happy dance!

To accommodate different commitment levels and budgets, I also would offer 2 sessions a month at around $200 a month. I’d assign homework between sessions and would be available for email coaching.

Honestly, it felt like free money because I loved the work so much.

After signing a number of clients into multi-month coaching packages, I realized we had a problem.

And that problem was this: the model that I had been taught in coach training was not going to work long term. It was truly a broken model for a gal like me.

Sure, I was having fun coaching my clients. I was making a difference in their lives and I was earning some money.

But I got pregnant with my first baby in May 2008 (yay!) and I knew I wouldn’t be able to coach 5 days a week for hours at a time once my baby was born. I also knew that even IF I wanted to keep this schedule, the money simply wouldn’t add up to what I desired for my family or lifestyle.

Up to this point, I wasn’t even coaching full-time. I was pulling in MORE money as a freelance consultant as a conference producer (this is the job I used to do when I worked in corporate) and this took up about 75% of my work week.

But I LOVED coaching and I didn’t love being a conference producer anymore. I was doing it simply to help pay the bills as I built my coaching business.

So I started thinking about what I could do to LEVERAGE my time more effectively, step away from my freelance consulting work, and generate more income as a coach.

The year is now 2009 and my first baby Sean had just entered the world in early January.

I joined a new mom’s support group to help me navigate the world of motherhood, which was a God-send.

I eventually got the idea to launch my own new mom support group on the Upper West Side with a company called babybites (now called mommybites) as there was a major need for it.

This support group concept took off! We ended up launching groups for working moms (I know – all moms work!) and entrepreneur moms, too! And I trained other women passionate about supporting moms to lead their own groups too. It was truly amazing. I like holding space for women to grow.

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It was during these groups that I saw the magic of women coming together to support each other. I saw the magic of soul sisterhood. This is truly where my love of group coaching was born!

At this time in mid-2009, internet marketing was getting some of my attention.

I had launched my website (I paid a designer $1,000 to build this for me) and published my first monthly newsletter and started growing my list on Constant Contact.

My first website circa 2009!

My first website circa 2009!

I was on Facebook and involved in some online networking groups.

It was in one of these online networking groups that I met a gal who had a shared interest in supporting moms online.

She knew A LOT more than I did about online marketing, CRM software, teleconference lines, sales pages, preview calls and more … but I was so eager to learn.

We put our heads together and eventually launched my first-ever group coaching program called the Inner Mama Mastery Program. It was a 3-month program that we were in love with.

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We thought we’d get like 300 women to sign up during our launch. What did we know? I think we got about 10 and then we offered a few bring-a-friend for free spots, which brought our total enrollment to about 16 women.

I was CRUSHED as I realized this world was a lot more complex than I thought, but also so PUMPED to be working with women from AROUND THE WORLD through the power of technology.

There was something totally magical about this and I was hooked on the world of online marketing, but realized I needed to know A LOT more if I ever wanted to be successful as a coach doing business with women around the globe.

What did I do next?

Released my conference production consulting (I was free!) and signed up for my first-ever entrepreneur conference called SHINE hosted by a big-time business owner named Ali Brown who I had just heard of a few months prior.

I sold my wedding dress to afford the ticket. (I tell that story in my book “Get Gutsy.”)

I left my baby for the first time and had to pump the entire time I was away since I was nursing.

That conference changed my life and saved my business.

I would not still be coaching if I hadn’t invested in myself and learned everything I needed to know about establishing my brand platform online.

And that is where we will pick up with the next post in our series on “The Making of a Coach” …

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If you feel you’re being called to the COACHING industry as your career or a supplement to what you’re doing now, but aren’t sure how to actually BE a COACH …

(You’ve got questions like:

How do you hold the space during your client sessions?

How do you onboard clients?

What do you charge?

How do you work with clients?

What technology do you need?

What policies and procedures will keep you in business?

How do you actually get clients?)

… then you’ll want to check out Get Gutsy Coach Training School (enrolling for our amazing January 2017 class now!).

I also invite you to come to my upcoming free webinar where you will see what’s possible when you say YES to fully stepping into coaching.

Click here to grab your spot now.

I’m looking for a gutsy crew of leaders who are ready to transform into CONFIDENT COACHES who are changing the world with their GIFTS.

Is that you?

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The Making of a Coach [PART 1]: Quitting My Job + Redesigning My Life

The Making of a Coach [Part 1]When I quit my 6-figure corporate job back in 2007, the online space was NOT like it was today.

Facebook was in its infancy (I actually resisted joining the platform for so long as “everyone” was telling me I needed to join! I hate following the crowd – ha!).

Instagram didn’t exist yet.

There weren’t a ton of courses or program being offered.

The term “selfie” had not yet been born!

But I had the itch to be out on my own. To be a solo operator. To be in charge of my own destiny using my natural gifts and talents.

Before I left corporate, I spent about one month test driving being an Arbonne independent consultant (great products, but NOT the business model for me) and went through a 200-hour yoga teacher training program in New York City.

It was towards the end of my 3-month yoga teacher training course that I walked into work one day, broke down crying at my desk in my cubicle, called my husband, then mom, then boss to announce my resignation.

I took some time off, went to an ashram, prayed, meditated, and committed to finding my center again.

After applying to jobs I wasn’t really excited about and that would pay me A LOT less than what I was earning from salary and profit share from my last job (around $175,000/year), I came to the realization that I was unemployable.

This became very clear when I was rejected by lululemon for a retail job near Lincoln Center in NYC. I think I freaked out the hiring manager when I had my second interview and told her my big ideas for opening up new stores and taking the biz to the next level from a macro perspective!

My ego was freaking out and I was honestly very lost …

Now what would I do?

The first move I made to become self-employed was to take on freelance consulting projects.

The first dollar I earned OUTSIDE of my corporate life was to help a very wealthy, brilliant, yet scatterbrained man to position his new business in the market.

While it was fun to be out of the corporate grind, I learned very quickly that he was NOT my ideal client … and the work I was doing did NOT light me up.

And my reverse commuting 1 hour from Manhattan to Westchester to teach yoga to kids (sweet gig!) for $25/class was not going to cut it financially.

And the private corporate yoga class I was teaching once a week for $125 a class was a step up financially, but once I got pregnant with my first child I knew this gig would come to an end, and admittedly I was grateful as teaching yoga asana (the postures) isn’t my calling.

To plug the money hole, I started freelancing as a conference producer for a company headed up by a gal I used to work with in corporate. She was president of the company and wanted to hire me full time.

“Thanks, but no thanks,” I told her. I was honest with her that I was grateful and excited about the freelance work, but I was on another path …

What was that path?

Guiding.

Empowering.

Teaching.

COACHING.

I fell for COACHING so hard that I decided to make it my livelihood and commit to a 10-month coach training certification program to the tune of $9,000.

It. Was. Intense.

I learned a ton about how to be an AMAZING COACH.

I bonded with my classmates.

And I was fortunate to get clients immediately, which was total validation of my new path.

But being a great COACH is one thing … actually making a living as a COACH is a very different thing.

It’s time to shine a LIGHT here.

This is the first in a series about the coaching industry … and how I’m “making it” as a coach.

I’m excited to share my steps for sacred, sustainable success with you!

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If you feel you’re being called to the COACHING industry as your career or a supplement to what you’re doing now, but aren’t sure how to actually BE a COACH …

(You’ve got questions like:

How do you hold the space during your client sessions?

How do you onboard clients?

What do you charge?

How do you work with clients?

What technology do you need?

What policies and procedures will keep you in business?

How do you actually get clients?)

… then you’ll want to check out Get Gutsy Coach Training School (enrolling for our amazing January 2017 class now!).

I also invite you to come to my free webinar next week where you will see what’s possible when you say YES to fully stepping into coaching.

Click here to grab your spot now.

I’m looking for a gutsy crew of leaders who are ready to step into the next generation of CONFIDENT COACHES who are changing the world with their GIFTS.

Is that you?

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Your Big Leap: What You Need to Know

There you are, standing at the edge of the cliff, contemplating your next move.

You know you can’t go back, but it scares the crap out of you to think about taking that leap.

Why?

It’s the great big unknown.

It beckons you forward, but yet your feet feel like they are stuck in the mud.

Do you know this feeling?

I sure do.

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Flashback to 2007.

New York City.

Corporate America.

6-figure income.

Black suits.

Heels.

Business travel.

Deadlines.

Responsibilities.

Pressure.

Marriage.

Trip to Asia.

No kids.

Yoga.

That essentially described my life in 2007, before I made the leap into coaching and entrepreneurship.

I’ll never forget receiving these sizable bonus checks in my job of $5,000, $10,000, $20,000 and feeling happy about the money, but sad about my career.

I felt like I was stuck, trapped, and completely burned out.

What was I supposed to do?

How was I going to reinvent myself for the 3rd time in my career?

Why couldn’t I simply be satisfied?

Those questions plagued me for years up to that point.

I finally surrendered … by quitting my job one cold November day at the tail end of a 200-hour yoga teacher training course.

Yoga is life.

Yoga is life.

Naked. That’s how I felt. Stripped down to the bare essentials, I vowed to move forward honestly and using Spirit as my guide.

It was at once liberating and terrifying.

Can you feel me on this?

I was so lost in my career.

Like a boat, lost at sea.

I needed an anchor.

That lifeline came in the form of a person when she told me about her work that she loved.

Work that I had been doing my entire life without me being conscious of it.

What was this work? COACHING.

As soon as I discovered this field, it felt like I came HOME.

Home into my heart.

Home into my calling.

Home into the knowing that coaches act as midwives for our clients and students as they birth their biggest dreams.

It’s the ultimate blessing to be a coach, to create space for my people, to ask questions, to serve.

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My gorgeous clients say YES to sailing away from the safe harbor and doing BIG things like:

Hosting a big giveaway to grow her list + help more people

Starting a free Facebook group to serve her tribe

Hosting a kickass workshop in an awesome venue

Launching an epic offering and generating $15,000 in sales in 30 days

Writing her story + healing the past

Launching a podcast

Giving a TED talk

Buying a URL that is SOOO hot + the total homebase of her growing online empire

Going on a mastermind retreat to Iceland

Closing 100% of her prospects over the phone

All of these leaders are COACHES.

I LOVE being a coach + guide to fellow spiritual coaches.

It’s truly, truly fantastic.

A dream come true helping these gals make that LEAP across the abyss into their next chapter in their spiritual business and gorgeous life.

How about you?

Are you ready for massive shifts on your career journey?

Ready to take charge and help people all over the world (not just the ones in your zip code)?

Pumped to say NO to hours for dollars and embrace packaging your magic in the most exquisite, abundant way possible?

Here’s what you need to know:

You’re not alone. Feel me on this.

You can do this.

You’re good enough.

You’re strong enough.

You will attract the right people to your work and repel the wrong people. This is good.

Cashing in on your calling is your responsibility.

Anytime change is happening, the Ego FREAKS OUT and wants to keep you small.

It takes a lot of guts to walk away from an “okay” life that isn’t you and say YES to your destiny.

And it’s absolutely worth it.

Without question.

Without fail.

Leap!

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“When you have come to the edge of all light that you know and are about to drop off into the darkness of the unknown, faith is knowing one of two things will happen: There will be something solid to stand on or you will be taught to fly.” – Patrick Overton

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P.S. If you want to train under me + get certified as a Get Gutsy Certified Coach + qualify for visibility opportunities with my tribe, you’re in luck.

Enrollment is OPEN for our next class of Get Gutsy Coach Training School. Yay!

Click here to reserve your spot.

Your time is now. Do not waste another day.

Your destiny is calling.

It’s time to say yes to your livelihood as a COACH.

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Decluttering + Prepping for the Tribe Building Challenge

I’m back in the saddle after a weekend away in Boston. Honestly, it was a TOUGH weekend.

Why? Poor planning.

We left for the car trip too late on Friday and as a result my 2-year-old daughter Kate’s sleep rhythm was totally screwed up.

She had a hard time falling asleep and then woke up at 3am and wouldn’t go back to sleep. OMG that sucked.

Steven worked all day on Saturday while I took all 3 kids at the Childrens’ Museum. To add to the day, the car battery died while I kept the car on (with no engine) when 2 of 3 kids slept on way to museum.

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It was not fun, but we made it through. Honestly I would have rather been at home.

Luckily yesterday was MUCH better as I got a full night’s sleep (we all did!) and my husband was with us as we took in Boston … and were SMART about when we packed it in and traveled home (during Kate’s naptime!).

I let my husband know we won’t travel with him anymore to his games unless the travel times work for the kids AND our hotel room can comfortably hold 5 people. He got it.

Lesson learned: I need my sleep to be my best.

We must keep the kids in mind when deciding on travel times for trips. It affects all of us when one of us is off.

This realization came because I’ve been focusing on DECLUTTERING this week with my GLOW mastermind crew.

Such an important exercise.

Often we realize it’s essential to declutter an old habit or practice.

We realize something simply doesn’t work anymore and it’s affecting your quality of life.

In your business, perhaps you’re realizing that being the best-kept secret doesn’t work for landing clients.

Perhaps you see that being quiet on social media doesn’t translate to sales.

You’re right – you must have an online presence if you want to grow your spiritual business serving clients and customers all over the planet.

Well get pumped because I’m about to lead something EPIC next week and I want you to be a part of it.

And it’s my treat (free for you!).

It’s called the Tribe Building Challenge and it’s HOT.

If you’re ready to grow your audience, business + confidence in 5 days … and do it alongside some powerful spiritual business leaders, click here to claim your free spot.

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This FREE Challenge includes:

  1. Daily Email Lesson + Writing Prompts

Everyday I’ll land in your inbox to give you a valuable tribe-building lesson + a writing prompt so you can grow your tribe now.

  1. Facebook Live Trainings

You’ll also be invited to join me in our Facebook group for live video training, motivation, and Q+A time.

  1. Supportive, Gorgeous Community

You’ll love connecting with spiritual entrepreneurs to give + get support.

The Tribe Building Challenge is a game-changer. You’ll walk away with some powerful new content to use in social media, your blog, podcast, talks, a book … you name it!

Click here to claim your free spot

Time to grow your tribe, superstar.

Here we go …

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P.S. All Challenge participants who play full-out are eligible to win our GRAND PRIZE PACKAGE!

Our grand prize winner scores a free pass into my rad digital course the Tribe Building Bootcamp (valued at $197) PLUS a full-ride scholarship to Get Gutsy Coach Training School, the go-to training for lightworker leaders ready to make a difference and a great living as coaches (valued at $3,000).

Let’s go!