Creating + Leading Live Events, Workshops + Retreats

Want to know what goes into hosting your own live event or retreat?

This is a pretty meaty post so grab a cup of tea and get cozy as I break it down for you …

Part 1: Venue, Dates + Agenda

Creating my first-ever live event, the Retreat for Goddesses, back in 2010 created a HUGE GROWTH SPURT in my business. Up until that point, I was a classic life and career coach who was stuck in a one-to-one model simply trading hours for dollars.

GGS#1 While I loved my work and my clients, I had hit a wall. I couldn’t grow anymore and knew that with the birth of my second child in 2011, things would have to change. I wasn’t willing to just scrape by and only touch a handful of people with my message and teachings.

Enter the Retreat for Goddesses. It literally came to me in a dream when I moved from New York City to the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts. The name of the event just dropped into my body. I went with it even though I’m not sure why I was selected as the teacher of all things Goddesses.

Hosting that event allowed me to step into the next level of my growth as a business owner and human being. During the retreat, I launched my first 9-month coaching, training and mastermind program. I stopped trading hours for dollars. I attracted more committed clients who were willing to invest in themselves.

All because I created, hosted and led a juicy live event experience.

In 2014, I hosted a live retreat for the 4th year in a row in my business.

ALCHEMY Live was the name of this event. It was magical.

The venue for ALCHEMY Live: a gorgeous resort spa!

The venue for ALCHEMY Live: a gorgeous resort spa!

Do you want to lead an event or retreat for your tribe? It’s certainly an art and a science with many lessons to learn. But in my experience (and I used to produce large conferences in my corporate job), there is no other type of experience that goes quite as deep as a live event.

Lets dive in to what you need to know:


Choose a venue that will be appealing to your ideal client and tribe. Consider geographic location, venue vibe, sleeping room arrangements, food, view, activities onsite.

You’ll also want to consider what you’ll be responsible for in the contract and price your tickets accordingly. The first two years, our venues required an all-inclusive price where my company was required to take all room reservations and roommate requests and then pay the venue a lump sum based on the numbers of women we attracted to sign up.

vision boards Starting in 2013, I chose to work with a venue that would handle all the bookings and payment for those rooms, while my company handled event ticket reservations.

I realized I had no desire to become a travel agency, which is what we were the first two years handling roommate requests and pairing people up and dealing with cancellations and changes. Not my cup of tea! But you must do what feels right to you and your biz.

Contract for a number of people you are confident you can attract, but that also scares you a bit because you know you’ll have to stretch.

Understand what is included in the price and market these details to your peeps (how many meals are included? what activities are included? what are the accommodations like?).

Also consider if you’re booking a classic retreat center, a hotel or a resort. I have experience at all types.

There’s no right or wrong, but your venue should be a reflection of your brand and should attract your juicy clients like bees to honey.

Find a few options and go on site visits before you make a decision. If you can eat a meal during your site visit, do it. Good quality food = happy campers!

Group shot in front of greenery beauty


When do you want to host your live event and for how many days? I recommend a 2- or 3-day event as you’ll need that time to really go deep.

Consider adding on an optional VIP upgrade at an additional cost where you provide a ton of value and an exclusive experience that only the VIP peeps will get.

I’ve hosted live events on weekends and during the week.

At this stage in my business, I personally prefer hosting my events during the week because I don’t want to miss the weekends with my children. Plus, I’m attracting businesswomen with flexibility in their work schedules so getting away during the week shouldn’t be an issue when you are working ON your business (vs. IN it).


You need to start promoting at least 4 months prior to your event (earlier if possible).

Lead time is crucial in your marketing efforts. You must give your clients and prospects notice if you want to fill seats.

Yes, you’ll get last-minute sign-ups, but the majority will sign up a few months prior. Don’t underestimate the importance of this! When I was a conference director in the corporate world, we did studies that found that the more lead time we had, the more registrations we had.

The sweet spot was about 5 – 6 months out.


Who will be leading your event?

You the entire time or will you invite guest teachers to join you? This is personal preference though I highly recommend inviting some guest speakers to share in the “holding of the space” and to help you promote the event.

Hosting an event (I don’t care what size it is) is a HUGE undertaking and the more help you can get with this, the better. Plus, your attendees will enjoy learning from another teacher who will know more about a particular area of expertise than you do.

Just be mindful that your speakers understand what you’d like them to teach, when they’ll be speaking and what your guidelines are for “selling from the stage” (when appropriate). It needs to be a win for all parties. Be clear upfront about your expectations.

Day 2: "Your Sacred Marketing Puzzle" with Cybele Loening author of Dead Lies

Cybele Loening, author of “Dead Lies”

As for your teachings, I recommend building in plenty of exercises for your peeps to participate in.

Don’t just straight-up lecture! That’s not the point of a retreat. You want to give your attendees a chance to INTERACT with the material, try it on in their businesses and lives, connect with their fellow attendees, and go home with a plan and direction.

My team passes out lots of worksheets to our attendees that truly brings the lessons I teach to life. It’s amazing watching the magic unfold.

When it comes to creating my multi-day events, I build in time for personal exploration and play.

I’ve been to so many events, where you are in a conference room from morning until late at night without much fresh air or processing time. That’s not my bag.

I’m all about giving people the SPACE they need to get the answers they seek. And guess what? Those answers won’t only come from you. You are creating the sacred space for your attendees to find their own answers. This is SO, SO powerful.

Day 1: Journey Dance by Toni Bergins

Journey Dance by Toni Bergins

 Part 2: Website, Email Campaign, Launching

Okay, so lets continue on our journey of what YOU need to know when it comes to offering up live events and retreats to YOUR tribe. What I know is this: these experiences CHANGE your business (and your life).

Now, let’s talk about marketing. This is a HUGE area, so I’ve broken it down into website, email campaign and launching.


If you learn nothing else from this post, remember this: IF YOU DON’T MARKET YOUR EVENT, YOUR EVENT WON’T HAPPEN. So many smart business owners are clueless about marketing. It makes me sad because it doesn’t have to be this way. Marketing isn’t hard! It’s sacred.

Here’s what you need to host your event from a marketing-perspective: a website (a one-page sales page will do, but you can create something more elaborate if you’d like), some flyers if you’re hosting locally, and an email campaign.

For my 1st annual Retreat for Goddesses in 2011, I invested $1,500 to hire a graphic designer to create our branding and multi-page website.

This was our first-ever logo.

This was our first-ever logo.

I am a brand junkie and believe in the power of strong branding so this was an investment that made sense for my business.

If you are on a tighter budget, you could get away with hiring a Virtual Assistant (VA) to create a simple sales page for you with your invitation to your peeps to join you. You can also create a sales page using a pretty template from LeadPages.

No matter what path you choose, your sales page has to be VERY COMPELLING and your copy must be strong. If you want an example of a sales page, check out my sales page for my retreat ALCHEMY Live.

You can see the key elements to include: banner, invitation, event details, reasons to attend, photos, client testimonials/social proof, payment options, call to action.


Hire a graphic designer to create a beautiful banner/logo for you that you can splash EVERYWHERE as you lead your marketing campaign.

On a budget? or are great spots to find inexpensive talent. How about creating your own graphics on

You need to have a way to collect payment.

Do not require people to call you or send you a check. No!

We use hooked into my Infusionsoft account in my business, but if you’re not there yet, use or to collect payment. You want your website to do EVERYTHING for you. Makes it easier for everyone.

We also include some kind of satisfaction guarantee with our events.

I’m so confident attendees will go home changed, for the better, that we have a guarantee that says if by the end of the first day of the event, they don’t love the experience, they can turn in their materials to a member of event staff and ask for their money back.

People love guarantees. It’s called “risk reversal.” Off this in all of your events and feature it on your website.


Once you have your site up, it’s time to shift into action!

Up until this point, you can be planting the seeds about your event with your clients and tribe. It’s a good idea to do some research with your community prior to booking your venue and choosing your dates about what THEY want to get out of an experience like the one you want to create.

Once you open up registration, reach out to those who expressed an interest to offer them the first chance to book their spot. I like offering early-bird pricing to give incentive to fast-action takers.

mandala (hi-res) Create an email campaign to your list to spread the word.

News flash: one email just won’t cut it! It has to be a multi-month effort.

In the emails, highlight the benefits of attending, answer the key questions or objections attendees have and continue believing in what you’re offering.

In every email, you must have a CALL TO ACTION. Invite them to sign up right then and there.

You can offer bonuses, preferential pricing and special VIP deals that EXPIRE.

People tend to delay making decisions for as long as humanly possible (even if they want to do something). You have to get in there and give them a reason to take action NOW.


For sophisticated marketers, you’ll want to create a big LAUNCH around your retreat.

Knowing how to LAUNCH has allowed me to be in charge of my own destiny. Seriously.

Hosting a teleclass, webinar or video series would be really smart.You could do a bunch of Periscopes or Blabs, too.

In-person workshops or “tour stops” are really effective too.

I hosted workshops at local yoga studios to promote my 2nd annual Retreat. I even rented the local Women’s Club in my hometown in Florida and ended up attracting 3 women to the Retreat for Goddesses that year to travel all the way to New York. I was thrilled! freaks

I’m also a big fan of offering free or discounted tickets to my live events to students and clients in my courses. That works really well. Try it!

If you go this route, make sure you get your clients to agree to a no-show fee (in writing!) or pay a refundable seat deposit so that you don’t get stuck with a bunch of no shows (it happens and you don’t want to be financially hit by this).

The idea is to give people a taste of you and your teachings. Once they experience how amazing they feel in your presence, they’ll want to go deeper and commit to the offering you are inviting them to be a part of.

Part 3: Stick Campaign, Self-Care, Making Money

Okay, so lets continue with the FINAL installment on our journey of what YOU need to know when it comes to offering up a live event to YOUR tribe.

Now it’s time to look at creating an effective stick campaign; your self-care routine before, during and after the event; and making money from your event.


When I hosted my first Retreat for Goddesses in 2011, my coach at the time told me I had to create a stick campaign to keep my registrants engaged after they signed up. I had no idea what she was talking about.

I just thought when people signed up, that was it … I’d be seeing them at the event a few months later. Easy breezy. Wrong.

I don’t know what it is, but nothing gets people more excited and scared simultaneously than signing up to attend a live event.

You need to STAY IN TOUCH with your attendees after they sign up to let them know you believe in their choice and you will make their attendance worth their while.

Otherwise, peeps start getting cold feet, scheduling conflicts start emerging and cancellations occur (you’ll get these regardless, but a stick campaign will help reduce this).

On the cancellation front, do make sure you have a clear cancellation policy in place so all parties know how this works.

Answer these questions:

  • Is there a fee to cancel?
  • By what date will cancellations be accepted?
  • What happens to their registration fee when they cancel by a certain date?
  • Is it refunded in full, refunded minus a cancellation fee, credited to their account for a future purchase with your company or forfeited all together if they cancel last minute?
  • Or are cancellations not allowed, but tickets can be transferred?

YOU DECIDE and stick to it.

So, back to the stick campaign. For my 1st annual Retreat for Goddesses, I went all-out with my stick campaign and sent all of my registrants (I had about 16 that year) “Goddess Guidance Oracle Cards” by Doreen Virtue. I loved those cards and wanted everyone to have a deck. I figured this was my year to lay the foundation of the event.

You do NOT need to spend a lot on a stick campaign. I actually spent too much on this in my first year. At around $10 – $15/mailing, this wasn’t a sustainable strategy. You live and learn.

Honestly, creating a Facebook group where your peeps can connect with each other and get excited prior to the event is AWESOME. They can also make travel plans and release some of their pre-event jitters!

The point: create a pre-event “stay-in-touch” campaign to ensure your peeps feel comfortable and excited about taking this leap with you!



Okay, so you MUST take exquisite care of yourself before, during and after the event. Leading a multi-day live event is one of THE most intense experiences of my career. It will be the same for you if you really go deep with your people, which I believe is what they want.

Here’s an idea of what I did to nurture my mind, body and spirit leading up to one of my retreats:


  • Choosing outfits that I feel and look great in. I tend to go for SOLID bright colors as they photograph the best
  • Hair appointment! Cut and highlight with my go-to stylist
  • Lots of yoga


  • Facial
  • Massage
  • Writing and visualizing about my intention for the event
  • More yoga


  • Manicure/pedicure
  • Setting up my “out of office” email


  • My team really “takes over” and do what they do best at the event. I vigilantly protect my energy!
  • I have my own sleeping room (I don’t recommend sharing) and lay down between sessions when I need to rest (even when I don’t nap)
  • Eating very well – lots of protein, greens and fruit
  • Drinking LOTS of water. Tea in the morning
  • Massage in the spa
  • Yoga and meditation
  • Writing and visualizing about my intention for the event
  • Sharing from the heart, listening to the stories from our attendees, being present
  • Being grateful for it ALL, trusting the FLOW of the Universe

Alchemy on stage with Jenny Elaine


  • More yoga!
  • Reaching out to all attendees to express my gratitude for coming
  • Reaching out to new mastermind clients with special gifts
  • Lots of REST!
  • Bodywork

This is my method.

Yours can look TOTALLY different.

The key is to include PLENTY of time to nurture yourself on the deepest level.

You will be AMAZED at what hosting a live event “brings up” for you – the good, the bad, the ugly and the beautiful. You’ll grow more than you thought possible. This is why you are on the plant. TO GROW and help HEAL the peeps you are here to serve.

And one final point here: YOU WILL NEED an assistant to help you prep for the event and help you run things onsite. If you don’t already have one, get creative about finding help. This is crucial to your success.



Let’s get serious for a bit here.

The purpose of your business is to MAKE MONEY.

Your purpose might be something totally different (it probably is), but don’t confuse your purpose with your business’ purpose.

You are ALLOWED to make money from your live event and SHOULD make money from your live event.


Creating, hosting and leading a live event takes TOO much work for you not to make a profit on your efforts. You’ll see.

I’m getting all intense on this point because I didn’t really get this with my first live event and when I crunched the numbers after it was all said and done, guess how much I made on the event?


Yup. Ouch!

Mind you, I was 4 months post-partum with my second son Luke when I ran that Retreat so I was just happy I pulled it off!

But all those late nights I worked to get the details right and “perfect” and all I had left to show for my efforts was $1,500.

I was disappointed.

BUT … it wasn’t all for nothing because I DID launch my brand new coaching, training and mastermind program at that event and signed up about 4 clients from that event.

Then I launched that program to my whole list a few weeks later and signed up about 8 more people.

This led to consistent cash flow and awesome client experiences.

I also had a photographer at the event and got GREAT photos for future marketing efforts. This built my brand in huge ways.

Ive hired a photographer for every single event and consider this a very wise investment. You want VISUAL reminders of the magic you helped create. This is a major boon to your biz.


I’ve leveraged my live retreats as the spot where I open up applications to work with me privately in my coaching and mastermind program.

I take on a very limited number of private coaching clients and my live retreats help give me a real taste of who I would work well with … and these prospects at the event can get a real sense of how I can help them grow their business once they’ve spent a few days with me.

See how that can work well?

Your live event can be a LAUNCHPAD for something spectacular that you share with your tribe that will change their life AND your business.

So many of your attendees WANT to go deeper with you and continue to have access to the possibilities that you and your program will help them see. You’re doing them a SERVICE by offering them an experience to continue working with you.

If you’re making an offer at your event (and I typically recommend this), incentivize your peeps to take action AT THE EVENT. Can you offer them a special bonus? Do you have a limited number of spots?

Make it easy to make a decision – either YES or NO. Make them feel SAFE and PSYCHED to work with you if they feel called. You can do this with integrity and not be cheesy.

This is HOW you’ll make money from your live event in my experience.

This is how you’ll CONTINUE to change lives. You’re providing a divine opportunity for your people to continue the transformation started at your event. Nothing is sweeter or more profound. Everyone wins.

(There are certainly other live event business models out there, but I’m sharing my personal experience as an entrepreneur. I didn’t even mention sponsorship because that’s not been my bag with my events, but when I produced big conferences in my corporate days, sponsorship revenue was a HUGE portion of our overall sales. Go for sponsorship if that feels right to you.)

Thanks for reading! GutsyLeadersUniteAlchemy

Hey – If youre already signed up for our upcoming event ALCHEMY Live, see you there! It’s time to turn your gifts into gold.

If you didn’t grab a ticket yet, hop on before it’s too late. I’d love to spend time with you in person!


The Race to Nowhere: Why Skipping Steps Isn’t a Shortcut

A few days ago, I wrote a post about why training to become a coach is a waste of time.

It wasn’t easy to write.

I moved through anger, sarcasm and anxiety as I wrote down my thoughts and feelings about a heated topic.

I could certainly see the logic of one side of the debate and it made a lot of sense. The people with the “coach training and certification is a waste” point of view are not irrational. That was clear to see.

Why is a gal like me who leads a coach certification school saying this?

In this day and age of “faster is better” and “6 weeks to 6 figures,” it seems that so much of our society is sprinting towards an imaginary finish line of “there” so they can be happy.

“There” can be translated into …

When I find my dream lover, I’ll be happy.

When I have _____ amount of money in the bank, I’ll be happy.

When I launch my next course, I’ll be happy.

When I write my book, I’ll be happy.

When I lose 10 pounds, I’ll be happy.

When I land my next client, I’ll be happy.

When I pay off my debt, I’ll be happy.

When I host my sold-out retreat, I’ll be happy.

The only problem with this approach is that you never arrive “there.

Once you’re “there,” you’ll be looking for the next “there” to get to and you delay your happiness yet again.

It’s an endless cycle of grasping, waiting, sprinting, worrying.

And so we believe that my SKIPPING over some parts of the work (inner personal growth work, paid trainings, courses and events) and faking it until we make it so we can get to the imaginary finish line FASTER, is the SHORTCUT, SMART approach.

We don’t think it’s a big deal because no one is checking our work or looking over our shoulder like when we were in school or in our last corporate job.

But …

If you want to hold sacred space for your clients as a COACH and GUIDE for their highest highs and lowest lows, you better have done the work.

Gone deep.

Peeled away your own layers to expose that kernel of truth at the center.

Practiced with the plethora of tools available to develop some stellar skills that will separate you from the fakes.

Been guided by a masterful coach on how to truly be a lightbearer for your people.

Because you WILL be given some grand assignments in the name of service like coaching and loving your clients through …

A job loss

Death of a sibling

Financial hardship

The biggest contract of their life

Dealing with their Inner Critic

Signing the contract for a retreat

Creating their signature program

Writing their book

Dealing with haters and critics

Nurturing their body

Finding their dream job

A cancer diagnosis

Their father’s ailing health

A marriage after 3 months of online dating

Quitting their job

Shutting down their bricks and mortar operation to take their business fully online

Starting a business and quitting that business

Saying no to new business because it’s not a fit



Developing a spiritual practice

(I have coached my clients through all of these experiences and more.)

If you do not have a SOLID foundation from which to coach your people, it is far too easy to take on the energy of your clients and allow it to cloud your perception. When you lack formal training, you run the risk of being unable to hold your client’s energy and then lovingly yet firmly GIVE IT BACK.

Because your client’s stuff is not your own.

You aren’t able to be a strong coach without healthy boundaries and energetic awareness.

This is not about YOU.

It’s about them.

And it matters, deeply.

This I know is true.

Please, despite what you see online about the race to nowhere, BELIEVE in the power of COACHING to do it right.

Do it right by the profession.

Do it right by your clients.

Do it right by your soul.

Do it right.


That’s why I decided earlier this year that it was time for something FRESH in the COACH TRAINING INDUSTRY.

A call to arms for NEW and ASPIRING COACHES who desire to coach from a foundation of STRENGTH, SKILL and STRATEGY.

Welcome to Get Gutsy Coach Training School.

Application deadline for our FALL 2015 class = TODAY, Wednesday, September 30.

You don’t have to choose between solid skills and solid business.

You don’t have to choose between integrity and growth.

We’ve got you covered.

No need to run anymore.

You’re home.



Why Training to Become a Coach is a Waste of Time

In a forum for entrepreneurs, someone recently asked for advice on becoming a life coach. Armed with her bachelor’s degree in Psychology, she asked for insights on her next move and if coach certification was a wise step.

More than 30 comments came in … it was a very heated exchange.

You could see what “side” of the issue people were on very quickly.

What I found particularly interesting were opinions like:

I would skip the certification program. Most coaching certifications are meaningless.


Avoid coaching certification programs – focus on programs that teach you how to have a functioning coaching business.


You honestly don’t need the certifications. Get yourself a good book for $20 off Amazon on coaching, and asking questions, and you should be good.

It’s true, many classic coach certification programs are amazing at creating stellar coaches, but don’t adequately prepare their students for life after school is over (the marketing plan to build your tribe and attract clients doesn’t magically fall from the sky).

And there is no RULE that says you have to formally train to call yourself “coach.”

Why would you want to go through the trouble and the inconvenience when you don’t have to?


Why put yourself through all that personal growth that training to become a coach demands when you could skip it and simply put your energy into building your website, sales funnel and having discovery calls straight out of the gate in the race for 6 figures?


And why on earth would you incur the investment of thousands of dollars when you could just buy a $20 book on coaching and be good to go?

I mean, who has time for that?

The world according to Facebook tells you that being a coach is simple:

Get some pretty photographs taken, preferably of you looking quite luxurious and fabulous perhaps with your laptop, smiling.

Share how much money you’ve made in the 6 weeks or 6 months or year … and how you’ve retired your husband as a result. (Once you hit 6 figures, you’re golden!)

Whip up a Facebook ad that leads to a free opt-in gift that reveals your secrets.

Schedule a boatload of free discovery calls and sign some clients who want to create the exact business or life that you have.

Become instant BFFs with your new clients who go on to email, text and call you 24/7 about the highs and lows of their journey.

That’s the heart of coaching, right?

Simply telling someone what to do. Having ALL the answers. Being available for your clients around the clock. Being a BFF for hire. Freaking out if your client got what she needed and is ready to move on after her contract ends (she can’t go!).

Seems easy enough (well, not the freaking out part).

Well, that is ONE way of looking at this booming industry, and if that way works for you then GO FOR IT.

But, know this: it’s not the only way.

Are you seeking a path that feels better in your soul?

A path that is filled with the elements that matter to you AND will make an impact with your clients for the LONG HAUL?



I’ve been a coach and entrepreneur since 2008.

Not only have I had the pleasure of coaching spectacular clients to fulfill their greatest potential, but over the last several years I started attracting clients who wanted to build businesses as coaches, but lacked the foundation, skills and tools to COACH with INTEGRITY, AUTHENTICITY and CONFIDENCE.

I coached them privately on how to coach and what to do with clients and all that good stuff, and we made progress, but it got me thinking that there has to be a better way.

With all the noise on social media about making 6- and 7-figures online with your gifts and talents, many well-intentioned women are jumping on the coaching bandwagon as a fast and easy path to cash, clients and freedom (who can blame them?!).

BUT, here’s the problem with that approach …

Without solid training on how to BE A COACH from a certified coach who is making a living as a COACH, it’s a bit like opening a beautiful boutique in a perfect, high-traffic location with a major issue:


And if you’re trying to follow the crowd and fake your way through coaching, it’s only a matter of time before your lack of training catches up with you as you become unable to coach from a place of wisdom, practice and integrity.

Coaching without a framework can quickly erode into CARETAKING, CHASING, CO-DEPENDENCY and BURNOUT.

And training to become a coach WITHOUT spending time learning about building a sustainable online business as a coach is simply setting yourself up for disappointment and broken dreams.

That’s why it’s time for something FRESH in the COACH TRAINING INDUSTRY.

A call to arms for NEW and ASPIRING COACHES who desire to coach from a foundation of STRENGTH, SKILL and STRATEGY.

Welcome to Get Gutsy Coach Training School.

Application deadline = Wednesday, September 30.

You don’t have to choose between solid skills and solid business.

You don’t have to choose between integrity and growth.

We’ve got you covered.


Keeping Your Marriage Alive As You Build Your Business

alfond inn

I’ve been obsessed with relationships since I was a young girl.

My parents divorcing when I was in 4th grade (they separated when I was a 2nd grader) definitely had something to do with it. As I got older and started dating, I started analyzing the ingredients of a healthy relationship.

This analysis took the form of lots of experimentation in the dating realm! Most of my experiments involved crashing and burning. Some were rather successful.

In college at the University of Florida, I was so interested in exploring the dynamics of relationships that I took a course called Marriage and Family. I learned the ins and outs of divorce rates and how to not be a statistic (marrying later tended to be helpful, according to the data back in 1999).

I knew I wanted to have all of the knowledge, tips and tricks to build a healthy relationship that could withstand the ups and downs of life, children, career shifts, relocation, you name it.

When I met Steven in February 2003 and we decided to spend our lives together, it was exciting.

“Finally! He’s here,” I gushed.

During our engagement, I talked him in to going to a “Marriage Success Workshop” in NYC. So smart!

We learned communication skills, how to read each other’s body language and that if you only have sex when you’re not tired or in the mood then you’ll never have sex (true!).

All of this training and digging deep and loving each other through thick and thin has led to us being married for 10 years. It still blows me away that we’ve been married for a decade.

We’ve been through job changes, business evolution, financial changes, the birth of 3 children, moving from NYC to Massachusetts, celebration and disappointment.

There have been days where I’ve wanted to DRIVE far, far away BY MYSELF and DISAPPEAR.

There are days when we get on each other’s nerves!

There are days when I want to never hear another word about the Cleveland Browns.

There are days when all I want to do is work on my business and help my people.

I’m at a point in my business where things are TAKING OFF in new and exciting ways. I literally could stay up until 2 a.m. every night and still have a shitload of stuff to take care of the next day. It’s that full on.

So when Steven came to me recently with a last minute opportunity to go to Orlando, Florida for a work trip he was going on, I very easily could have said, “NO!”

Our kids had just gone back to school and I was FINALLY settling back into a rhythm, which I desperately needed!

My plate was overflowing: enrolling students in Get Gutsy Coach Training School, preparing for my retreat ALCHEMY Live, serving my current clients, and building out a brand new initiative that I’ll be ready to share with you soon. Plus, I’m in Gabby Bernstein’s Spirit Junkie Masterclass Level 1 and am prepping to take Level 2 next month.

See what I’m talking about? FULL PLATE.

But instead of letting FEAR make my decision (will I fall behind? can I handle a flight with 3 kids? will it be too hot in Florida?), I allowed LOVE to take over instead.

LOVE for my marriage, LOVE for my family, LOVE for my mom (who lives near Orlando), LOVE for adventure, and LOVE for my tribe who benefits when I’m HAPPY EXPLORING THE WORLD.

And I remembered why I built my business the way I have … because my goal has always been MAXIMUM FREEDOM + FLEXIBILITY. When I started out on my entrepreneurial journey in 2008, I always said I wanted the ability to work when I want, with whom I want and where I want.

And that has been my driving force.

Because I never wanted to choose between WORK + ADVENTURE.

I never wanted to have to allocate 2 or 4 or 6 week’s vacation time over the course of the year.

I wanted FULL control over my schedule.

Because calling my own shots and going on adventures – big, small and everything in between – lights me UP.

That’s why entrepreneurship + the coaching life is so perfect for me + my family.

So I said YES to Steven’s invitation because it was the best decision for our family. It allowed us to keep our SPARK burning.

The awesome thing is that during the 3-night trip, my business generated $6,000. When I wasn’t at Animal Kingdom or Epcot, I was able to serve my students in my Tribe Building Bootcamp course. And I hosted a last-minute meetup and got to hang out with one of my students (and her kids!) in the next class of my coach certification course.

Don’t you just love online business? I DO! I DO!

Don’t you just love marriage? I DO! I DO!

Don’t you just love BUSINESS + MARRIAGE? I DO! I DO!

I’m curious … why did you fall in love with your partner or spouse?

What shared passions do you have?

How are you doing breathing life into your BUSINESS + your RELATIONSHIP?

Where might you need support?

It’s a delicate balancing act for sure.

For our 5 year wedding anniversary, we went to a couples retreat at Kripalu called “Finding Passion and Joy in Your Relationship.” We made vision boards that pulled us into our next chapter.

steven vision board - 2010

Steven’s vision board in 2010

My vision board in 2010

My vision board in 2010

That retreat led us to the clarity that we were ready to move out of NYC and relocate to the Berkshires of Massachusetts. I share the whole story in my bestselling book “Get Gutsy.”

couples retreat

Stockbridge Bowl across from Kripalu

Would a retreat be good for the two of you?

Would regular date night?

Would having a digital detox day where you don’t look at your devices or work on your business?

Feel your way into this. Your relationship depends on it.

I encourage you to think about what unites YOUR FAMILY. Write down your ideas. Important stuff.

In our case, Steven and I fell in love over a shared passion for travel and seeing the world. As parents, this continues to unite us as a family.

When Steven travels for work, we make a strong effort to join him. This isn’t always possible (like this coming weekend when he heads to a college football game in Mobile, Alabama).

But often we can journey together to a new place or simply some other home away from home that we want to check out! We pull the strings, make the plans, shack up in one hotel room (first night is always the hardest!), and explore this beautiful planet.

When it’s all said and done, I want us to be able to say: we spent as much time together having fun and spreading joy as we could.


Exploring the great city of Montreal!

Enjoy your relationship, friends. Enjoy your business.

Enjoy the highs and the lows.

Surrender, have faith and trust that you’re being led.

Live it up. Love is all there is.

P.S. If you want to create your own location-independent lifestyle as a coach, check out my free training I created for new and aspiring coaches ready to make a great living and a difference in the world. Would love to have you there. You can sign up here.


Emmy’s Connection + Sofia Vergara (Wow!)


Yesterday I learned that an amazing woman who attended my annual retreat in 2012 designed the dress design worn by her client Sofia Vergara at the EMMY’S last night. It is GORGEOUS! Did you see it?

I love watching what the peeps I have the good fortune of serving go on to do with their lives + work! It brings me so much JOY.

In exactly ONE MONTH, I’ll be joining forces with a powerhouse crew of women at my 2015 retreat “ALCHEMY Live: Turn Your Gifts Into Gold” here in the magical Berkshires. Together, we’ll rise to the next LEVEL in our WORK, LIFE + MISSION.

My mom Susan is even going to be there! How awesome to be able to share my work with her in this way (especially considering the twists and turns our relationship has endured!).

We’re going DEEP at ALCHEMY Live and will be having a ton of FUN along the way. I’m so pumped!

I wonder what these women will go on to do in 3 years time? No doubt, it will BLOW me away.


Heads-up: anytime you attend a live event, you’ll feel an equal mix of excitement and terror.

It feels like you’re moving into the UNKNOWN (Who will I meet? What will I learn? Who will I become?).

I’ll tell you this: my biggest growth has come from gathering FACE TO FACE in a room. The internet is an amazing place, but it will NEVER take the place of FACE TO FACE connection. And that is a good thing.

What events will YOU attend in 2015?

Make a list TODAY.

Say YES and watch the Universe rise up to meet you. The details will simply fall into place. Try it and see.

Would love to meet you IN PERSON.


Once you COMMIT, all of the details tend to fall into place! You commit, then the Universe steps up and delivers. That’s how it works … not the other way around.

If you’d like to stay at our luxurious retreat venue, know that our block of hotel rooms will be held until THIS Friday, September 25 (THIS HAS BEEN EXTENDED FROM ORIGINAL DEADLINE).


2015 is the FINAL year for ALCHEMY Live. We are going out with a BANG!

I’d LOVE to spend time with you IN PERSON to help you move to your NEXT LEVEL in your mission-driven work.

Alright, here we go!

Go here for all the details >>>

Any questions? Seriously, ask me anything. Simply reply to this email and I’ll get back to you.