Archives for April 2013

*Muse-ings* on launching your product

Do you have a product you're planning (or dreaming) to launch soon?

I want to share this delightful email from Garrett Carrara, CEO of Cognizion, who Alexis & I interviewed to our list last week on his Cash Flow Forecast System (if you haven't seen it yet, check it out here:

This is my Goddess pic... not in Garrett's email lol
This is my Goddess pic… not in Garrett's email lol

Dear Polyhym´nia and Er´ato,

I felt compelled to share some more thoughts on the “(product launch) bootcamp” conversation…


MUSE Camp – for those who want to kick start their online business to the next level (or just get started)

1. Phase 1: Doing stuff.

There are just some things you have to do… websites, etc… all the technical stuff (Trackable Items). This is stuff one can Outsource to ODesk. It's a long list of tasks and timelines, checklist provided to you.

2. Phase 2: Lighting your personal creative spark.

This is your magic area, stuff you cannot outsource to Odesk. You will meet with Alexis and Danielle in order to precisely identify your area of expertise and the product you can create. We will be your Muses.


1. (Literature / Poetry) a goddess that inspires a creative artist.
2. A guiding spirit.
3. A source of inspiration.

(Polyhym´nia presided over eloquence. Er´ato inspired those who wrote of love. I'll leave it to you both to decide who is who 😉 ) Danielle's Note: I think we're both, both!

3. Phase 3: EWO launches you to their list, and guides you through your webinar.

Sales are not guaranteed, but the experience is invaluable. The feeling and mindset shift you'll experience is something that can ONLY be accomplished by actually being there.

(Rockstar Camp analogy –  When I started my band in college, there was a huge leap from practicing in my basement, to playing at parties, playing at small clubs and then playing to 1500 people on a Saturday night while simulcast on radio (hey, it was 1986). We FELT like Rockstars that night, with local press interviewing us, Polygram record label execs telling us they were watching us and to send a demo, to Rockwire magazine mentioning our name on the radio broadcast. The feeling was completely unable to be comprehended until we actually were ON STAGE to a large group of fans.)

4. Phase 4: Post Webinar experience.

After their first webinar, they MAY:

  • sell more product

  • have requests for more products

  • acquire high paid consulting jobs

  • form strategic alliances

  • attract more traffic and relationships

  • get more ideas for more products

  • have a mind set shift from struggling with that first product, to seeing the infinite possibilities ahead

  • have all of your monthly hosting and web platforms covered plus a profit

  • passive income to allow you to take on more projects to produce more products

  • gain street credibility to be able to approach owners of large lists

  • etc…

5. Phase 5: 30 days after the webinar.

A full review, with a full final report written by the customer that EWO is able to publish and use for marketing.

Cost of the above Program: $10,000 plus 75% of sales.

Garrett Carrara
CEO | Cognizion

PS: I have already had everything in number 4 above happen – since Tuesday – 4 days!
Bottom line: The difference in being onstage is light years away from being in the audience. Time to get on-stage! 

What are your thoughts? Comment below…

I'd love to know how the Muse program idea lands for you. Please comment below! Do you want this? Comments?

Garrett, thank you so much for sharing your thoughts & experience after the interview. We were delighted to introduce you to our list in your first webinar! It was really fun for us too, and I'm glad it was a success for you.

– Danielle

Did You Get a Tax Refund This Year? If Not, Your Business May Not Be Set Up Right

It's tax day here in the US, which means millions of you are scrambling to file and pay taxes.

If you didn't get your taxes done, you can file for an extension, but that doesn't mean you don't have to pay.

You still do. You estimate what you owe, send that in and hope you didn't underestimate (penalties and interest will be due when you do pay).

For that matter, you don't want to overestimate either. You will get a refund, but who wants the IRS holding your money when you could be using it in your business now?

If you are paying taxes today, you may not have your business set up right.

And if you are stressing out because its tax time, you definitely need to change things for next year.

Tax time does not need to be stressful.

First, tax time isn't the time to scramble.  If you are scrambling, you are probably leaving money on the table. Money that's going to the IRS instead of into your pocket.

Start strategizing for next year now.

Meet with your tax advisor twice a year for strategy meetings. Once in the late Spring/Summer and again before the end of the year.

Then, tax time becomes easy. And you'll keep a lot more of your money.

Don't Know What to Do, Say or Ask at Tax Strategy Meetings With Your Tax Advisor? Or How to Find a Good One? Our LIFT Foundation System Has Your Step by Step Answers.

Second, set your business up so that you don't pay anything at all at tax time, but instead get a tax refund.

Here's how you do it.

  • Establish your business as an S Corporation (or an LLC taxed as an S Corporation).
  • Pay yourself a small, but reasonable salary through payroll, making you a W-2 employee of your company and have taxes taken out.
  • Structure your lifestyle and the expenses of your company so that you are living the entrepreneurial life and taking max advantage of tax deductions for things you would have otherwise paid for personally if you weren't living the entrepreneurial lifestyle.
    (As an example of this, my business will pay for me to attend all the summer festivals I'll be at this summer – and deduct the associated expenses – because I've turned them into business events by speaking at them. How can you incorporate this idea into your business?)

When you set your business up like this, tax time is easy and can even be fun when you get a big fat check back from the IRS in the form of a tax refund instead of scrambling to pay your taxes.

alicloseAlexis Neely is the co-founder of the New Law Business Model and Eyes Wide Open Life, companies that are guiding lawyers and entrepreneurs into the new economy. Her passion is to help you make aware, awake, eyes wide open personal finance decisions.

What I Learned From Our Cash Crunch — And How You Can Avoid It

You may have seen my post last month about our Broken Back-End Business Model.

For months I've been working on this issue in our business: we're bringing in great revenue, but we're just not as profitable as I want us to be. (Because the cost to implement at the level we're playing quickly eats up our revenue.)

This is the central challenge facing each entrepreneur: how to maximize your assets, and minimize your expenses.

In January, I experienced a break-through moment in this process — and I want to share it with you.


I was at the Traffic & Conversion Summit in San Francisco (Ryan Deiss' event, which was amazing). We'd sponsored a booth there. It was the last morning, 8:30am. This man, dressed all in white, walked up to me and started making funny jokes about our hippie brand. We got to talking, and it turns out he's a business consultant to enterprise-level companies (we're talking $90 million revenue), and really knows his sh*t.

So I said “listen, Garrett – I've got this problem. I'd love to hear your thoughts on it.”

I told him about our biz model & how we were perpetually stuck in survival mode, instead of scalable income mode.

He immediately said “what is your cash reporting like?”

We already had a lot of great systems in place – P&Ls, weekly & monthly reviews w/our finance team, quarterly meetings w/our accountant, Cash Planning doc for forecasting, the works.

But he pointed out to me, when he saw our Cash Planning doc, that we weren't forecasting our numbers accurately in time, and we weren't forecasting every expense associated with each income event.

*What does that mean in plain English?*

77006457If your financial forecast is the crystal ball of your business, I was working with some muddy glass.

I can't emphasize the importance of this learning enough! For months Alexis had been telling me, “we need to fix the back-end of our business model.” (Over and over, she was telling me this.) But when I went through this exercise with Garrett, I actually SAW it for the first time.

I SAW where we weren't profitable, and why, and what we had to do to change it.

After going through this process with me in our business, Garrett decided to offer his system (which he's used with executives of large corporations since 1995) in a way that is accessible to smaller entrepreneurs (like us, and like you).

He's going to get on the phone with Alexis and me this Tuesday to answer ALL of your questions about what this is, how it works, and how this knowledge can do for you what it did for me – show you exactly where you're losing profits in your business, and how to fix it.

Register now to be with us this Tuesday & hear all the details:

If you're reading this after the call and you want to contact Garrett, go to

Share your thoughts below – have you had the same issues? Where are you stuck? What insights do you have?

Why I share my failures, how it helps you and why you really “should” be clamoring for more


Recently we did a survey so we could decide where to go next with our business model. In it, I saw a couple of candid responses that let me know that some of you are, well let's just say, confused about who to be getting your business advice from.

You haven't bought my programs because I so candidly share my failures that you wonder if you should be learning from me.

Damn, I'm glad I asked.

2012-08-07 19.33.01If the person you are learning from doesn't share their failures, run the other way. Now.

They are hiding from you, putting their failure in shadow (yeah, its embarrassing to let it all hang out and takes a lot of guts, but fuckin'-a it's worth it) guess who is going to make the mistakes they aren't telling you about?

You, baby.

Here's something you aren't considering.

You will take on the shadow of your mentor.

My partner Craig taught me that. It means that whatever your mentor is hiding, and doesn't want the world to see, will become the exact thing you are hiding and don't want the world to see.

You'll suddenly find yourself trapped in a sucky business model having made huge investments with a life that looks awesome from the outside, but pretty much sucks ass inside because it's so incongruent with your truth.

Or you'll invest, invest, invest doing everything right, but never getting to the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

Or maybe you'll discover that the pot of gold is an illusion all together.

Don't you remember that failure is the path to success?


You read the quotes, forward them all over Facebook …

2012-07-26 01.31.182012-07-26 01.32.13

…  and yet you only want to learn from mentors who hide the truth of their experiences or only tell you about them when they are years passed.

I share my failure as it's happening because I don't want you to idealize me.

I want you to learn the truth from me and then operate your business with your eyes wide open.

I believe you can learn from my failures and as a result evolve into making new ones of your own that you can then share and by doing that we will speed up this evolution process.

Now, I do admit, I have made a mistake. (Of course I do because that's my M.O. You learn from my mistakes.)

I have focused a bit too much on the failures and have not let you know how much those failures have led to me living the dream I know you want.

So bear with me while I brag for a minute. (I'm learning how to do this in Mama Gena's Mastery Course.)

I am living the dream. The real dream. Not the candy-coated, red-carpet lined dream. The real fucking dream.

Here I'll make a list because that'll make it easier for me:

1. I can say fuck as often as I want in my emails, newsletters and blog posts without fear that my clients will runaway screaming.

Hot damn, that feels good.

alikids2. My kids (including my 13-year old daughter) LOVE hanging out with me and are all around awesome.

They still exhibit occasional signs of trauma from the YEARS I worked like an insane person, but it's mostly been ameliorated. They are not only not traumatized by my divorce and bankruptcy but they have learned two key things:

  • divorce doesn't mean the end of the relationship (my ex lives with me, we co-parent, it's mostly awesome)

– and –

  • bankruptcy is a tool for managing financial resources (so much more to say about this, but I'll let that sink in for a while and write a whole book on it soon)

3.  I have a great income from two businesses I absolutely love that love me back.

I probably don't mention this enough because I have a bit of trauma from what happens when I talk about my income (people like to take money from me when they know I'm a money magnet – more on that also later – and it perpetuates the idea that success is only real if it involves making a million dollars), but it's become clear that I need to say it so you'll take me seriously.

So, here it is … Since 2006, when I discovered the secret to online business success for real, the businesses that support my work have not brought in less than a million bucks a year.

Over the past couple of years when I “couldn't” make money (a mental construct I created around my debt and BK), those businesses still brought in a million bucks.

That wasn't my goal.

I was living on the farm, trying on a poverty mentality, and yet the structures I built to support my work continued to thrive even though I was seriously checked out.

To me, that's the kind of success you really want – you want to know how to build businesses you can rely upon to operate without you, support the people around you and keep thriving even while you are in crisis.

That's security.

[click to tweetBecause there will be crisis. This is life we are talking about. 

Now that I'm out of crisis and back to the work of those businesses, they'll do a couple million this year (maybe more) and I'm sure we will hit the Inc. 500 in the not so distant future (apparently that's the new symbol of success).

But it won't be like it was before. Now …

4. I meditate daily, OM twice a week and workout 3x/week for an hour. Plus I'm writing my next book. And have a thriving relationship with a man I love.

Back in the day when I was “successful”, I couldn't find time to meditate EVER, working out was something I squeezed into 20 minutes here and there, and book writing was relegated to someday/maybe. I was traveling constantly, and forget the Joneses', I was keeping up with the Browns, the Sasevichs, the Fredericksons and the Virgins.

And while I love those women, it was exhausting.

Now that I'm a “failure”, I don't work on weekends, I'm well rested, my body feels great, and I'm no longer using marijuana to make it through the reality of my day to day.

Most importantly, I'm in partnership. Real, loving partnership with a man who meets me deeply on every level. So all this to say …

If you aren't buying my programs because I share my failures so loudly, you just might want to wake up and see that the very thing you are avoiding is exactly what you really need. [click to tweet]

Sure, you can continue to learn from folks who wrap it all up in a pretty bow of “success”, but you'll have to face the reality of failure at some point. And here's what my work does for you – it lets you learn from my mistakes so you don't have to repeat them.

By learning from me, you build your business with your eyes wide open, awake, aware, and on your terms.

If that's what you want, we can help.

If you prefer to be a sheeple, follow the leader and do it monkey see, monkey do style with the hope that you can be one of the 1% of monkeys who can make it to “success” – go for it baby. I've been there, done that and it's not all its cracked up to be.

But, listen, you just might be the type who has to make your own mistakes, learn your own lessons and fail along the way. Either way, we are here for you.