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May 11, 2017

“Wisdom is sometimes wrapped in an ugly experience.”


Despite knowing what to do, a great many would-be entrepreneurs never take the steps to get started because they are afraid of failure. But what if you could reframe the way you think about failure, and see it not just as an opportunity, but maybe even a necessity?


Today’s guest takes grit to another level, and if setbacks in your business have tempted you to quit, his story will inspire you to play the long game and view mistakes as opportunities for growth. Damion Lupo is a serial entrepreneur, having started 30-plus businesses. His latest venture is Total Control Financial, an Austin-based FinTech that seeks to disrupt Wall Street and empower individuals to take control of their own financial future. He is also the author of five books on finance, investments, and personal growth.


Damion has a history of bold moves, getting his start in real estate by purchasing a rental house with his VISA. Over the next five years, he grew the business to include 150 houses in seven states. He took a $20M hit in 2008, but used the lessons from that epic failure to reinvent himself – and write a book about the road back, Reinvented Life. Today, Damion is a consultant and coach who appears regularly on podcasts and radio shows centered around finances and personal development. Listen in as he shares his personal philosophy of 10X thinking, advice regarding retirement planning, and strategies to help you view setbacks with gratitude.


Key Takeaways

Damion’s advice about going all-in

  • Stay in motion and you won’t have time for the fear
  • Quit you ‘day job’ when you realize you’re stretched too thin
  • Trust that the universe will give you signs when it’s time


Why it’s important to play the ‘long game’

  • A business takes time to grow
  • Plant the seeds by sharing who you are
  • Then adopt a willingness to let things germinate


Damion’s 10X thinking

  • Say no to being satisfied with 10% growth
  • Ask yourself, ‘How can I make this year 10 times bigger?’
  • Surround yourself with people who will help catapult you into a bigger space
  • Remember that exponential growth makes you 10 times more impactful


The significance of reviewing big picture goals quarterly

  • Understand the numbers and assess your progress regularly
  • Don’t waste nine months going the wrong way
  • ‘Go where the puck is going’ by anticipating changes


How Damion frames failure

  • Our mistakes are not us
  • Wisdom is sometimes wrapped in an ugly experience
  • View mistakes with gratitude (that’s how you grow)
  • Failure allows you to reinvent yourself


Damion’s advice on writing books

  • Open up a channel by committing to write 20 words
  • Allot a specific amount of dedicated time
  • Consider hiring someone to hold you accountable


Damion’s tips for retirement planning

  • Do something today
  • Build the confidence to make your own decisions


How to identify a professional financial advisor

  • Weed out the ‘salespeople’
  • Find out if they have created wealth themselves via what they’re selling


The benefits of the eQRP as a retirement vehicle

  • Gives you control of your investments
  • Allows you to contribute $50,000/year
  • Empowers consumers


Damion’s first steps to retirement savings

  • Educate yourself
  • Play Cashflow to understand how you interact with money, finance, and investments



Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth

The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results by Gary Keller with Jay Papasan




Connect with Damion Lupo

Total Control Financial Website




Damion’s Books

May 9, 2017

There is much societal pressure on women to be everything to everyone – the perfect mother, the perfect wife, and the perfect business owner. And many female entrepreneurs profess to have struck that perfect balance between self-care and running a business. But today’s guest is here to share her struggle with the chaos that is her life and assure you that it’s okay not to be perfect.


Krystina Dubrule is the CEO and Founder of Du North Designs, Ltd., a family-oriented fashion and apparel business based in McLennan, Alberta. A social worker by trade, Krystina was laid off just before returning from maternity leave after having her third child. Inspired to start her own business, she began crafting hand-sewn clothing and tutus at her kitchen table and then offering her designs at a local market, but quickly realized that this wasn’t a feasible business plan with three small children in the house. Plan B was to place a wholesale order and host home parties with friends and family, and soon she was getting requests from people she didn’t know – as far as 300km away!


Under Krystina’s guidance, Du North has grown into a network of 3,000-plus distributors in the US and Canada, and the company garners over $1M in sales annually. Balancing the needs of her family with the demands of an online business is a test of her abilities, but Krystina has learned to embrace the chaos and incorporate laughter and fun into the life she has built. Listen in as she shares her strategy for picking the right battles, the truth about work-life balance, and how to make hiring decisions when it’s time to reach out for help.


Key Takeaways

Krystina’s keys to juggling family and business

  • Let some things go
  • Think long-term by asking, “What are my kids going to remember?”
  • Be okay with having a happy family
  • Don’t ask too much of yourself


Why it’s important to be honest about the challenge of balancing self-care and business

  • Demonstrates that it’s okay not to be perfect
  • People won’t like your brand any less
  • Painting an unrealistic picture may discourage others


Krystina’s tip for staying organized

  • Reach out for help on tasks that are not your strength
  • Hire staff to share the journey with you


Krystina’s hiring guidelines

  • Hire for personality rather than skill
  • Hire slowly, but fire quickly
  • It’s easier to teach tasks than culture
  • Consider whether employee aligns with your mission


Connect with Krystina Dubrule

Du North Designs Website




May 4, 2017

Entrepreneurship is a roller coaster ride, with extreme highs and lows. So how do you keep yourself motivated during the rough times? Today’s guests are honest in sharing the despair they have faced as well as the successes – and that was just this week! They are prepared to teach you how to be a creative hustler – embracing the process, increasing your bounce back rate, and living at the intersection of creativity and business.


Steven Picanza and Melissa Rautenberg are the husband-wife team behind The Creative Hustler, a lifestyle brand for creative entrepreneurs, as well as the brand strategy firm Latin & Code. Steven brings his talents as a brand architect, business strategist and creative entrepreneur to these endeavors, as he works to connect people, products, and organizations with their core audience.


The yin to his yang, Melissa has the tactical skills to bring Steven’s vision to life. With an expertise in inbound marketing, SEO, and PPC, her no bullshit approach has built meaningful campaigns across a variety of industries. Today they explain the unifying principles of creative hustlers and how they create balance in their lives. Listen and learn how to shift your mindset to accept that ‘the obstacle is the way.’


Key Takeaways

How ‘The Creative Hustler’ originated

  • Steven coined the phrase at a talk in 2011
  • Debuted ‘manifesto’ at conference in London last summer
  • Brainstormed expansion of idea on plane ride home
  • Focus on living at the intersection of creativity and business


The unifying principles of creative hustlers

  • There is opportunity everywhere
  • We can use each other’s strengths in an ecosystem rather than an ‘egosystem’


Why entrepreneurs have a social responsibility to share the possibilities available in gig economy


The greatest challenges faced by creative hustlers

  • Motivation to continue after failure
  • Determination to bounce back


How to avoid highlight reel syndrome

  • Don’t compare yourself to another’s perfect post
  • Remember that everyone is presenting their best selves on social


The importance of mindset

  • Necessary component of long-term strategy
  • Helps you learn to love the process and see the bad as opportunity


How Melissa and Steven decide if a client is a good fit

  • Look for people who ‘get it’
  • Core values must match
  • Client believes in their own product
  • Wants to better themselves and their brand


How Melissa and Steven work together

  • Steven plays part of orchestrator
  • Melissa’s role is tactical, realizing the vision
  • Together, their strengths offer clients a 360° view


How Melissa and Steven stay driven

  • ‘Success is the only option’
  • Surround selves with inspiring people


How Melissa and Steven create balance

  • There is no personal and business life, there’s just life
  • Stop and go on a hike or cook dinner
  • Enjoy what’s around you in order to recharge


Melissa and Steven’s advice for aspiring entrepreneurs

  • Conquer your tiny corner of the internet
  • No one will do it for you, but others will want to help once you start
  • Serve others and be of value, without expecting something in return
  • Fall in love with the process



The Obstacle is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph by Ryan Holiday


Connect with Melissa & Steven

Creative Hustler Website



Steven on Twitter

Melissa on Twitter

May 2, 2017

If you’re an aspiring entrepreneur who juggles multiple responsibilities, you know how difficult it can be to carve out the time each day to work on your business. And if your other responsibilities include being a mom, the struggle is even more real. With all the advice out there urging you to schedule the same time each day to move your business forward, what do you do when your days are too unpredictable to create a consistent timetable?


Jewel Eliese is a self-taught creative fiction writer and the mother of two ‘perfect little goofballs.’ She began Write Away, Mommy as a personal blog, a space where she could share her life as well as her fiction. But it didn’t take her long to realize that she wasn’t really a fan of writing about herself. Over time, the blog evolved into a community where women can get inspired to be better writers and mothers.


Beyond the blog, Jewel serves as the first reader for Grimdark Magazine, and she is currently working on a collaboration with Haley Darling to self-publish a collection of short stories. Today Jewel shares her struggle to gain traffic on her site, how she made use of Google to learn the craft, and how she finds the time to write with two kids at home. Listen in and learn how to deal with ‘mom guilt’ and make writing a part of family time!


Key Takeaways

Jewel’s secrets to becoming a better writer

  • Just sit down and write
  • Allow others to read your work and offer feedback
  • Keep learning
  • Employ Google


How to overcome the fear of critique

  • Remember that it’s more fun to work with others
  • View feedback as a way to make your work better


Jewel’s advice for shifting from writing practice to publishing your work

  • It will never be perfect, but you have to get it out there
  • Submit and forget


Jewel’s tips for time management as a mom

  • Work during naps, scheduled activities, and after your kids go to bed
  • Give yourself a daily word count to realize (e.g.: 500 words)


How Jewel incorporates writing into her family life

  • Getting her kids involved in the process
  • Encouraging her son to contribute a story to the blog each month


Jewel’s suggestions for alleviating ‘mom guilt’

  • Live in the moment
  • Accept that life is messy and imperfect


Jewel’s ‘ninja’ writing guidelines

  • Write by hand in pen to avoid editing
  • Don’t take yourself too seriously
  • Embrace the fact that first drafts will be terrible




The Write Practice

Jon Morrow on SmartBlogger

Jeff Goins’ Website

Grimdark Magazine


Connect with Jewel Eliese


Facebook Group



Apr 27, 2017

We all suffer from insecurities, at times. But when you’re an aspiring entrepreneur, a crisis of confidence may stop you from building a successful business. What if you had a coach with a great capacity for compassion who would provide encouragement when you needed it? A coach who would inspire you to “do it anyway” when you were feeling unsure? Who would hold you accountable?


Shawn Quintero teaches faith-based entrepreneurs how to create online wealth through blogging, social media, and digital marketing. Through his coaching practice, Shawn seeks to help Christian entrepreneurs create deep, meaningful impact on the world and live a lifestyle of complete freedom. He understands how to overcome self-doubt because he’s lived it. Enduring a childhood filled with abuse and bullying, he struggled with depression and suicidal thoughts. But he was inspired by a history teacher who saw his potential, and Shawn began to overcome his insecurities by growing an online network and surrounding himself with positive influences through the church.


Shawn was ready to start his coaching business, but he was self-aware enough to know that he lacked business skills. In order to gain access to the information he needed – without paying the $2,000 application fee – Shawn volunteered to help out with the Lean Startup Conference in San Francisco, and soon he was honing his business acumen and making connections with big names in entrepreneurship. Now Shawn himself is a sought-after speaker and author of the book Online Wealth for the Christian Entrepreneur. Prepare to be motivated as Shawn walks you through his approach to acquiring new clients by providing insane amounts of value up front. Listen and learn strategies to hold yourself accountable and inspire action!


Key Takeaways

Shawn’s strategies for growing your client base

  • Build your community and demonstrate value up front
  • Hone your skills
  • Create extraordinary content that displays your expertise


Shawn’s approach to securing testimonials

  • Do your best work, even if it’s for free
  • Ask clients to post their greatest insight and next steps


Why entrepreneurs often live an ‘unbalanced life’

  • Must be willing to sacrifice to reach goals
  • You can’t build a thriving business in an hour per day


Shawn’s best advice for new online business owners

  • Get offline and talk to real people
  • Find out what your target audience is missing and how you can be the solution
  • Surround yourself with people who will help keep you accountable



Lean Startup Co.

Digital Marketer

Social Media Examiner Conference



Connect with Shawn Quintero


Apr 25, 2017

Tony Robbins once said that we are thrust into action out of inspiration or desperation. And sometimes it’s a little bit of both! Entrepreneurship can be overwhelming, and it isn’t always as easy to stay driven day after day – especially when the end goal seems so far away. Today’s guest shares his story of working through those challenges and developing the grit to continue. 

Winston Henderson is the Chief Visionaire at 5 Years 2 Mastery, an enterprise that seeks to equip and empower others to overcome the limiting beliefs that are holding them back as they work toward their goals, creating the life they’ve always wanted. He was introduced to entrepreneurship by his cousin at the age of 18. After several failed attempts to establish various businesses, Winston studied IT at university – and hated it. But the blessing in disguise was that he also discovered a love of marketing and a renewed interest in business. At 24, Winston spent a year and a half working a traditional job in sales before starting his own home-based hot beverage business.

Though Winston’s venture was doing well enough that he could quit his full-time job, he struggled to develop the necessary discipline to run a successful business on his own. As things fell apart and Winston entered a state of depression, he took a look at his options: He could either go back to a full-time job, or he could dig in and make it work. The birth of his daughter in 2011 motivated him to choose the latter, and Winston has built a business that serves ten countries and brings in a monthly revenue of $130,000.

Inspired to share his systems and help others reach their full potential, Winston has expanded his work, adding Digital and Content Marketing Strategist and Break-Through and Consistency Mentor to his job title. Listen in as he explains how consistent daily activities lead to big wins and how ‘celebrating the process’ keeps you moving forward as you grow into your most powerful self!


Key Takeaways

The challenges of entrepreneurship

  • Mental and emotional discipline
  • ‘Dig in and make it work’


How Winston shifted his mindset to acquire the necessary discipline

  • Desperation for financial independence
  • Strong, emotionally compelling reason to push through the challenges
  • Pain of regret stronger than pain of developing discipline


How Winston selected the products he promotes

  • Saw a demand/need
  • Capitalized on service aligned with that demand


Winston’s advice for building a lucrative business

  • Consistency
  • Start small
  • Visualize the end goal
  • Focus on daily activities
  • Refuel by celebrating the process


Winston’s secrets to success

  • Faith
  • Figure out what’s holding you back
  • Develop your communication skills


Connect with Winston Henderson



Apr 20, 2017

With the rise of new online marketing channels, entrepreneurs have the opportunity to connect with potential clients through various audio and video platforms. But what if you hate the sound of your own voice? Or you just don’t have the confidence to really connect with an audience? The voice is a powerful tool, one that entrepreneurs can use to command attention and share their stories with the world.


Tracy Goodwin is the owner of Captivate the Room, a coaching business that teaches clients how to connect their message with their passion – and make an impact with their voice. Her unique approach, the psychology of the voice, allows clients to unravel their voice story and frees them from the barriers that are preventing them from connecting with an audience. Tracy is an expert in voice technique, and she has trained actors, speakers, entrepreneurs, business executives, leaders, and podcasters from all over the world – helping them step into their voice power and speak their truth.


Tracy graduated from Baylor University with a BA in Theatre and went on to earn a Master’s in Creative Drama from Texas State. She worked for many years as a professional actor and director but kept running from her true purpose as a voice coach because she couldn’t get past her own story. Tracy grew up in a family where she was not allowed to speak, so she just couldn’t see herself as an expert – despite repeated opportunities to coach voice. When she was put in charge of the voice program at a conservatory, she could no longer deny her gift. Today she shares that gift with you, explaining her coaching process and how she connects with clients. Listen in and let Tracy help you manage your time, capitalize on social networks, and make an impact with your message!


Key Takeaways

Why many are terrified to speak their truth

  • Link to past trauma (i.e.: abusive/narcissistic parents, teachers)
  • Your ‘voice story’ shapes your abilities


How Tracy’s clients know they need coaching

  • Lack of confidence
  • Dislike the sound of their voice
  • Know they don’t captivate the audience


Tracy’s coaching process

  • Obtain audio/video of the client prior to coaching session
  • Listen to identify the issues
  • Understand the client’s ‘voice story’
  • Tackle the biggest problems first
  • Lay in a new layer of muscle memory


Tracy’s timeline for achieving results

  • Utilize techniques and exercises that accelerate progress
  • ‘Flip the foundation’ in one month
  • Encourage continued practice for sustainable change


How Tracy’s clients are able to improve so quickly

  • As they see results, the confidence is transformative
  • They are inspired to continue as they build on positive results


Tracy’s tips for marketing yourself online

  • Capitalize via visibility on social networks
  • As tech evolves, keep learning
  • Ask yourself, “Who are my people? Where are they? How can I serve them?”


Tracy’s suggestions re: time management

  • Take on tasks that are in your ‘zone of genius’
  • Outsource duties that are laborious
  • Consider investing in an assistant


What makes Tracy the best voice coach in the business

  • She rolls in the psychology of the voice
  • Her ability to teach technique and alter muscle memory through drills


Tracy’s advice to aspiring entrepreneurs

  • Start before you are ready
  • Don’t wait until everything is perfect
  • Do your research and develop a plan
  • Prepare to learn from your mistakes



Post Planner


Connect with Tracy Goodwin


Apr 18, 2017

One of the greatest challenges new freelancers face is that of securing those first few clients. What if there was a marketplace where you could advertise your expertise to professionals who are looking for someone with your skill set?


John Connor is the Founder and CEO of, a community where people connect and exchange skills via one-on-one learning sessions. The platform currently boasts 2,500-plus users offering 1,800 skills from advanced email marketing to craft beer brewing.


Interested in the intersections of community, philosophy, and technology, John has been involved in projects like the Portland Made makers collective and the Chicago Free Skool. His passion for the startup community coupled with his own experience as a freelancer inspired him to create a space that would provide novices with access to clients and veterans with leads for advanced assignments.


Listen in as John shares his best tips for creating a killer profile, acquiring endorsements, and avoiding disputes on the platform. Learn how to use your aptitude in the creative and/or professional skills space to add an additional revenue stream to your repertoire – by way of HelpWith!


Key Takeaways

The HelpWith onboarding process

  • Sign up with Facebook or LinkedIn
  • Add a bio
  • List your skills
  • Name of skill
  • What you can teach in an hour
  • What qualifies you as an expert


The benefits of using the HelpWith platform

  • Discoverability through SEO-optimization
  • Opportunities for collaboration
  • Simple payment process
  • Reputation management via reviews, endorsements


John’s tips for making your HelpWith profile stand out

  • Compose a descriptive, clear value proposition
  • Include variations on a singular skill (i.e.: Photoshop, flyer design, web design mockups)


How to get hired for the first time on HelpWith

  • Invite people you know to join the platform
  • Ask them to vouge for you via an endorsement
  • Endorsements translate directly into gigs


How HelpWith picks up where online courses leave off

  • Many get stuck or lose motivation to finish online courses
  • HelpWith provides one-on-one resource to get you ‘over the hump’
  • Human interaction allows you to actualize new skills


How HelpWith helps entrepreneurs adapt to new technologies

  • Freelancers who maintain their knowledge base as digital platforms change are rewarded for staying on the cutting edge
  • Business owners can tap into the power of an expert for quick answers


John’s favorite simple trick to get inspired

  • Choose three words you want to embody (i.e.: focused, present)
  • Set a daily alarm on your phone as a reminder
  • Realign yourself by asking, “Who do I want to be today?”



‘Getting Started’ Blog Post

Team Treehouse




High-Performance Academy


Connect with John Connor


Apr 13, 2017

Many entrepreneurs – especially creatives – suffer from a bad case of Shiny Object Syndrome. We have so many ideas that it can be difficult to complete one project in its entirety before our mind has pulled focus to another.


Rita Morales helps business owners and entrepreneurs create and monetize a business they love through one-on-one coaching, custom web design, and mini-courses. Through her company, Rita Morales Brand + Business Design, she assists clients in gaining brand clarity and designing a robust marketing strategy. Rita’s interest in web design began when she was the office manager of a real estate firm, and she was tasked with maintaining the company website. Equipped with new skills like Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop, she got addicted to learning all things web creation and was soon designing her own. Rita moved to another corporate job but used her lunch hours to lay the foundation for her own venture – until the circumstances were right to escape corporate life and begin her own online business.


Today, Rita helps you combat Shiny Object Syndrome, define the branding for your business, and develop marketing strategies that generate results. Learn her techniques for short- and long-term planning, and discover how to harness consistency, accountability and focus on getting things done!


Key Takeaways

Rita’s recommendations re: the structure of a workday

  • Consider using the first part of the day to grow your own business
  • Then move on to client tasks in the second portion of your day


When to define the branding for your business

  • Should be the first step
  • May evolve over time as your mindset/desires change


How to establish your brand

  • Identify your dream clients and their struggles
  • Design your business to serve that specific audience


Rita’s best tips to curb Shiny Object Syndrome

  • Finish one thing before you go on to the next
  • Keep your eyes on your own paper
  • Prioritize one or two areas
  • Work with consistency, accountability, and focus
  • Enjoy the results over time


Rita’s strategies for long-term planning

  • Plan in three-month intervals
  • Select one area of focus for each month
  • Reverse engineer supports for that month’s focus area


How to stand out in a competitive market

  • Create your user profiles and market yourself consistently
  • Determine what you bring to the table that’s different
  • Capitalize on your unique value proposition to connect with clients


Rita’s advice for using social platforms to expand your client base

  • Bring value to your own Facebook group and contribute to others’
  • Build and nurture your email marketing list


Connect with Rita Morales




Facebook Group

Apr 11, 2017

So you’re tight on funds and can’t spend a ton of money to promote your business. What if I told you it's possible to generate a six-figure annual income with an advertising budget of under $100 per month?


LaShonda Brown is a CMO and Brand Strategist based in Virginia who launched About 90 Marketing to help small businesses accelerate sales and increase their digital footprint. She is adept at using social media tools to help stretch marketing dollars, and she shares that expertise via her new Periscope and YouTube channel ‘The Bootstrap Biz Advice Show’ to educate entrepreneurs. LaShonda’s experience in the world of promotion was born of necessity- her first venture was Transformation Theatre Company, an enterprise she began at the age of 18 with a $500 investment. In just a year and a half, TTC raised over $20k for charity. She is also the Co-Founder and Producer of Life Focus Pictures, a video production company she began with her husband in 2011 that provides engaging video content for clients including municipal communication departments and small businesses.


Listen and learn how to expand your client base by leveraging social media and teaching your current customers how to refer your business. No more excuses and no more waiting until you have enough money to start your business. LaShonda motivates you to get your show on the road – today!


Key Takeaways

LaShonda’s go-to strategies for generating business

  • Utilize your personal Facebook page
  • Celebrate wins for clients


How to kick off your business on limited funds

  • Don’t wait until you have enough money
  • Go for it NOW, while you are inspired
  • Once you’ve generated some income, invest that money in your next venture
  • Leverage sponsorships and donations to decrease expenses


How to establish credibility when you’re young

  • People will be as confident in you as you are in yourself
  • Present yourself with assurance and people are unlikely to ask your age
  • Demonstrate value and clients will be even more impressed when they learn your age


LaShonda’s advice for juggling multiple responsibilities

  • Start building the foundation of your business while you have the least to lose
  • Gain experience and put resources in place while your business is still a side hustle


How to stay motivated

  • Engage in passion projects (creative outlets you love, whether or not they generate profit)
  • Invest in caring for your business’ greatest asset – YOU
  • Don’t monetize every aspect of your life


LaShonda’s secrets to growing your client base

  • Invest in relationships with clients (i.e.: go to lunch, happy hour, pedicures)
  • Equip your current customers to refer you using a recommended landing page
  • Establish your accessibility through visibility on social media


Why it’s important to find your lane and stay in it

  • LaShonda underestimated how quickly About 90 would grow
  • She was tempted to say ‘yes’ to every project and ended up overextended
  • Creating a workflow to handle a new project costs more $ than it generates
  • Repeat customers are more likely when you do what you’re best at
  • Knowing your skill set helps you make the best use of your time


LaShonda’s top tips for entrepreneurs

  • Customers justify decisions emotionally first, then logically
  • If you let your work rob you of your joy, it will also rob you of sales
  • If you are excited about what you do, clients will be too


Connect with LaShonda Brown


YouTube Channel

Periscope TV

Apr 6, 2017

Money doesn’t grow on trees… Or does it?

Since childhood, we have been led to believe that it is selfish to ask for money, that it is better to give than to receive. But what if you could change your mindset to recognize that it is okay to receive when you are providing value to clients? What if you could both give AND receive – and flourish?

Tonya Rineer is an innovative Money Mindset Coach who knows firsthand how female entrepreneurs can struggle to determine their value. Through the Profit Party, she seeks to revolutionize the way women think and feel about money and business. Her action-oriented style offers actionable tools to help you control your finances, transform your beliefs about money and dramatically increase your profit potential.

Click and listen to recognize the money blocks you may have and take steps to develop a healthy money mindset. It’s time to allow abundance into your life!


Key Takeaways

Common money blocks female entrepreneurs face

  • Feeling inferior
  • Failing to realize our own power and light
  • Comparing ourselves to others
  • Forgetting that we deserve to receive as well as give


How to recognize when you are blocking money

  • Negative emotions
  • Word patterns (i.e. I can’t, I’m not smart enough)


Why many female entrepreneurs have difficulty charging what they’re worth

  • Women need to feel appreciated and connected
  • Afraid to upset others, we tend to play it safe
  • We fear that success will change the dynamics of our relationships


Tonya’s action steps to developing a healthy money mindset

  • Develop an awareness of where you need to grow
  • Design a path that will take you where you want to go
  • Anticipate hurdles and break down those blocks one at a time
  • Cultivate confidence: You deserve to create wealth as long as you are creating value and giving that value away


Tonya’s best tip for entrepreneurs

  • Talk it out through role play
  • Practice dealing with client questions and resistance
  • Clear and confident communication puts others at ease and facilitates trust



The Secret Film


Connect with Tonya Rineer






Apr 4, 2017

When your phone pings, it can be tough for a freelancer to ignore. Who is it? What do they need? Is it a potential client?

Many of us are addicted to email, and we have a very difficult time maintaining focus on our writing. We may even believe that we are getting more accomplished by multi-tasking. But the truth of the matter is that constantly changing lanes in your brain makes it more difficult to get things done – and it’s mentally taxing.   

Laura is back with a solo podcast as part of her Become a Better Writer series. She shares her best advice about breaking your addiction to email, batching like tasks to increase productivity, and utilizing available tools to eliminate distractions. Listen and learn how to create high-quality content in less time as you maximize your income potential!


Key Takeaways

The concept of batching

  • Defined as doing like tasks together
  • Requires organization

The benefits of batching

  • Allows your brain to hit its stride and maintain focus
  • Adds up to ten hours of productivity per week
  • Increases income potential

How to deal with unforeseen circumstances

  • Adjust your schedule as needed
  • Give yourself wiggle room

Pareto’s Principle

  • Work ‘expands’ to fill amount of time to complete
  • We are more likely to adhere to self-imposed deadlines

Laura’s tips to avoid email distractions and minimize time spent in correspondence

  • When you’re in writing mode, turn off your email
  • Schedule time blocks to respond to email (e.g.: Laura spends one hour twice a day)
  • In responses, give clients the next unnecessary step (i.e.: “no need to reply”)
  • Utilize a scheduling tool to avoid unnecessary back-and-forth
  • Employ an auto-responder to let clients know you are unavailable 

The dangers of multi-tasking

  • Generates anxiety
  • Takes 20-30 minutes to regain focus
  • Makes you feel tired
  • Decreases productivity



Deep Work by Cal Newport


Acuity Scheduling

Gmail Inbox Pause



Connect with Laura Pennington





Mar 30, 2017

Freelancers know how important it is to save for retirement, yet many put it off. Perhaps you don’t know how to start, you’re tempted to put that money back into your business, or you just can’t spare a substantial amount at the moment. Whatever the case, today’s guest can help change your mindset and give you the tools to start investing in your future before it’s too late.

Moshe Amsel is a tax consultant, personal finance coach and business strategy consultant with 20-plus years of experience in the information technology arena. He is also the host of the DreamBuilder Financial Podcast, a program aimed at simplifying and enriching the financial lives of individuals and small businesses. Listen in as he explains the tax benefits available to entrepreneurs and tactics that will help you start saving small to facilitate sustainable change. Making the right decisions now can have profound long-term effects, so let’s get started!


Key Takeaways

The significance of saving for retirement early on

  • Allows freelancer to provide for self in the long term and build financial legacy
  • Provides tax benefit by sheltering that money

 Moshe’s tips for getting started

  • Exercise your saving muscle first
  • Then decide where to park the money
  • Start small, then work up to a percentage goal
  • Establish a separate bank account

 Retirement plan vehicles for solopreneurs

  • SEP
  • Individual 401(k)

 The benefits of hiring a professional to assist with retirement planning

  • Understand complicated tax law
  • Determine the best plan for your particular scenario
  • Maximize tax benefit
  • Recognize all available options (i.e.: real estate investment)

 Moshe’s advice for balancing the competing priorities of debt vs. retirement

  • Knock out your debt first
  • Then focus all energy on retirement goals
  • Productivity is lost every time you split your efforts



Profit First by Mike Michalowicz

Todd Herman’s 90-Day Year Videos

Entrepreneur Retirement Guide


Connect with Moshe Amsel


Periscope Live




Mar 28, 2017

Struggling to balance business and baby? Many new parents choose entrepreneurship because it allows them the freedom and flexibility to spend more time with their children, but it can be challenging to juggle business obligations with time to watch Elmo and read picture books. If you’re looking for scheduling hacks to help you grow your business while you’re home with a baby, you’ve come to the right place.  

Julienne DesJardins, owner of DesJardins Digital LLC, provides strategic support for entrepreneurs and small businesses. A Digital Marketing VA and Certified ConvertKit Expert who specializes in email and social media marketing, Julienne loves to blog about her favorite business tools and tips for work-at-home parents. Listen and learn how she went from side hustle to full-time solopreneur in just one year, why she chose to niche down, and what opportunities exist for VAs in the realm of email marketing. Julienne also offers guidance on developing retainer packages and setting priorities on days without child care. 


Key Takeaways

The value of online networking

  • Answering questions for free affords visibility and allows you to build trust
  • An understanding of common queries can inform the services you choose to provide and guide content creation


Julienne’s tips for niching down

  • Choose a niche that you really love
  • Research the market to ensure demand


Why email marketing continues to thrive

  • Other online venues (i.e. Facebook, Instagram) may help provide an audience, but those potential clients live on that platform
  • Email marketing drives the customer to your list, providing direct access


Characteristics of an email marketing guru

  • Analytical thinker
  • Detail oriented
  • Self-starter
  • Insight around the marketing funnel


The email marketing tasks a VA might perform

  • Writing newsletters
  • Monitoring metrics
  • Creating sequences
  • Conducting ongoing best practice research
  • Monitoring the inbox and providing stock answers to customer queries


Julienne’s advice for balancing business and baby

  • Schedule client calls only on days when child care is available
  • Don’t set time limits on days without child care
  • Prioritize MITs and work when you can (i.e. during naps)
  • Provide clients with an availability calendar


The advantages of offering retainer packages

  • Freelancer can anticipate baseline income and budget accordingly
  • Clients know what to expect as outlined in retainer package
  • On-going relationship allows freelancer to better understand client needs
  • Freelancer can phase out tasks she doesn’t enjoy


Julienne’s guidelines for pausing a retainer

  • Make it clear that you may be actively seeking other clients to fill the slot
  • Explain that you may or may not be available should the client decide to pick up again
  • Establish rules in your contract around notice periods



Free 5-Day Course: Balance Biz + Baby


Acuity Scheduling


Connect with Julienne DesJardins



Mar 23, 2017

Though tax season is a stressful time for many freelancers, we avoid asking for help or even talking about money. But the subject of finances shouldn’t be taboo – nor should it be a source of anxiety for you as an entrepreneur. In fact, today’s guest will teach you how to karate chop that stress and get your finances in order. 

Melissa Whaley is a licensed tax professional, financial strategist and California mama of three. If profit is not a word you use to describe your business, then Melissa will work with you to build systems and make that dream a reality. As the owner of Whaley Bookkeeping and Tax, she helps solopreneurs and small businesses get their finances on the right track via virtual bookkeeping and tax consulting services. Listen in as Melissa shares strategies for tracking expenses and calculating quarterly estimated taxes, and get her advice regarding the free online tools available. Now is the time to stop feeling overwhelmed and get the deductions you deserve!


Key Takeaways

The difference between revenue and profit

  • Revenue denotes the amount of money paid to a business
  • Operating expenses and taxes must be subtracted from revenue to determine profit


How much should freelancers be setting aside for taxes

  • 5% of profit at a minimum
  • Melissa recommends 25%


The deductions freelancers deserve but often miss

  • Cell phone bill
  • Monthly subscriptions to tools/apps
  • Mileage
  • Client dinners


The importance of creating a system to track expenses and income

  • Ensures freelancer will receive deserved deductions
  • Allows self-employed to pay taxes quarterly
  • Prevents stress at tax time


The necessity of establishing a relationship with a tax professional

  • No easy answers apply to every business
  • Help understand how business, personal and family finances work together
  • Assist with decision-making as business grows and changes
  • Identify deductions specific to your situation
  • Interpret IRS codes and/or represent you if necessary


Melissa’s top tip for new and aspiring online business owners

  • Open a separate bank account for business



Wave Accounting


Connect with Melissa Whaley



Mar 21, 2017

Christine Morris is the founder of, a venture committed to helping busy entrepreneurs implement systems to support a successful business and a balanced life. She is a business mentor and productivity coach who has worked her way through the online business world, beginning as a virtual assistant who quickly built a multi-VA team before transitioning into the in-demand Online Business Manager and systems expert she is today, supporting six- and seven-figure business owners in managing their teams and creating strategies for growth.

Throughout her career, she has proven her ability to overcome adversity and use it to create opportunities for other entrepreneurs. In 2014, Christine’s family experienced a devastating fire 30 days out from a live event she was coordinating for a client. With systems in place, the event went forward as planned and Christine was able to outsource her work and take the time off she needed to recover. She used this opportunity to reflect and realize what was truly important to her and what didn’t fit for her family. Christine designed to share her passion for helping others create a life that is more in line with both their personal and professional goals.

On this episode of the podcast, Christine shares strategies for landing clients as a VA/OBM, developing systems for your business, and establishing effective working relationships. Listen and learn when to outsource and how to own your expertise!


Key Takeaways

Christine’s strategies for landing clients

  • Utilize organizations like IVAA
  • Respond to RFPs and follow up
  • Network and build relationships


The difference between a VA and an OBM

  • Virtual Assistants perform specific tasks (i.e.: social media, marketing) and are paid hourly or per project
  • Online Business Managers work one-on-one with clients to oversee the big picture (i.e.: operations, project management) and are paid base plus incentives


The importance of creating systems that are documented and centralized

  • Saves time
  • Establishes consistency
  • Provides clear instructions to VA’s
  • Allows your business to run when you can’t be there
  • Protects clients


Christine’s guidelines regarding documenting systems

  • Don’t keep things in your head
  • Next time you complete a task, open a Google Doc and jot down the steps
  • Add and elaborate as needed – it’s a living document
  • Before long, you’ll have an entire operations manual


Christine’s advice about determining what to outsource

  • Complete a time audit
  • Outsource tasks that are taking too much time with little ROI
  • Delegate tasks that are not in your zone of genius


The 90-day dating period you should expect after hiring a VA

  • It takes time to get a feel for each other and understand work styles, etc.
  • Give clear instructions, otherwise, you’re setting the VA up for failure
  • Rather than expecting instant results, take the time to build a relationship


The significance of owning your expertise as a VA/OBM

  • Set your own expectations regarding what the first 30, 60, 90 days should look like with a new client
  • Own the role you play in the relationship and set the tone early




Christine’s Workbook

International Virtual Assistants Association


Connect with Christine Morris


Mar 16, 2017

Allison Gower is the President and CEO of Allison Evelyn, Inc., offering content, media and marketing services to a variety of local and global clients. She helps business owners find their voice and establish their online presence through content writing, blogging and landing placements in the media.

After graduating from San Diego State, Allison landed a job in marketing and sales with a video production company. In her role there, she discovered a love of writing. Fascinated by getting to know the client’s brand and how they defined their voice, Allison started freelancing in this capacity on the side, and eventually, one of her freelance clients offered her enough work to quit her day job.

Three years later, Allison has established her own company and continues to thrive as an entrepreneur, helping prominent businesses such as and iPetitions connect with their audience. When not typing away at her co-working space in sunny San Diego, she is practicing yoga, hopping on a plane or facilitating video projects. On this episode of the podcast, Allison shares her approach to planning for trips that take her offline and several of her favorite travel experiences. She also offers advice regarding the business aspects of freelancing and the benefits of joining a co-working space.


Key Takeaways

The benefit of establishing a business

  • At the income threshold of $80,000/year, freelancers begin to lose so much in self-employment taxes that it makes sense to establish a business
  • For liability reasons, it is better to deal with legal issues as a separate entity


The challenge of doing solo work as a freelance writer

  • It can be a difficult transition if you are used to getting energy and ideas from other people


The advantages of joining a coworking space

  • Helps separate business and personal life
  • Promotes productivity
  • Affords the opportunity to connect with business owners who might need your services
  • Provides friends to brainstorm with – and go to happy hour!


Allison’s tips for freelancers interested in pursuing travel opportunities

  • Let clients know when you are planning an offline trip – as far in advance as possible
  • Once your plans are finalized, sit down with your clients to plan
  • Do as much work as possible before you leave
  • Consider investing in a VA to support clients with ongoing needs
  • Refer clients to another freelancer you trust who can sub for you
  • Put systems in place to keep things running while you’re gone
  • Compose a conversational auto response for your email to remind clients that you are unavailable


Allison’s favorite travel experiences

  • She has taken trips to Atlanta and Illinois, working in the morning and exploring the rest of the day
  • On backpacking trips to New Zealand and Peru, she has gone offline for several weeks


Allison’s best tips for emerging entrepreneurs

  • Seek opportunities to network face-to-face
  • Attend events in your area that address topics you’re interested in
  • Connect with potential clients on LinkedIn and invite them for coffee



Connect with Allison Gower



Mar 14, 2017

Kathryn Moorhouse is a Pinterest Expert and Social Media Strategist based in South Africa who helps high-performing female entrepreneurs grow their audience and income. As an entrepreneur herself, she understands the ins and outs of marketing an online business, and her passion for Pinterest has led to an expertise in that niche.

With degrees in Investment Management and Marketing, Kathryn began her career in the corporate world but soon realized the corner office might not be for her. Then she became an au pair and discovered a need for kids’ clothing compatible with outdoor activity, so she founded the handmade brand, Zoey and Logan. She sought strategies for growing that business through Facebook groups, and connections she made there led to VA work managing social media accounts for other businesses. Kathryn soon found that Pinterest was her forte, and she has narrowed her focus to a single platform.

She is an obsessive planner and organizer with a deep love for good coffee, doughnuts and going on adventures around the world. On this episode of the podcast, Kathryn communicates strategies for landing clients and the value of choosing a niche!


Key Takeaways

The secret to a successful business

  • Identify a need and provide the solution
  • Kathryn’s work as an au pair led her to build a children’s clothing line


Kathryn’s advice for landing clients

  • Reach out to current clients and encourage them to share your availability with others
  • Join Facebook groups and other communities in your area of expertise
  • Look for posts related to what you do and provide free value by answering questions


Kathryn’s parameters for niching down

  • Is this specialty something that really appeals to you?
  • Is there a market for this service?
  • Will the service provide results for your clients?


The beneficial features of Pinterest

  • High-performing lead generator
  • Acts as a search engine (like Google, but pretty!)
  • Untapped market


The value of focusing on a specific niche

  • As an expert, you gain confidence in your abilities
  • Your desire to dig deeper provides better results for your clients


Kathryn’s best tips for budding entrepreneurs

  • Give yourself a bit of grace
  • Put yourself in a position to connect with potential clients
  • Be open to growth and refine your skills
  • Make the decision to go for it
  • Progress is better than perfection



Wake to Make Facebook Group


Connect with Kathryn Moorhouse





Mar 9, 2017


Athena Santora writes copy that (actually) sells for startups and small shops. She is the founder of Bevy, a courageous digital agency that builds websites for clients in the US, EU and Australia. Over the course of the last year, the company has grown to span five countries and to craft digital marketing assets of all kinds.

Born in the States, Athena now splits time between her hometown of New York City and her new town of Barcelona because she can’t bear to give up residency in either one. An Ivy League graduate and lifetime learner, she is driven by the idea that intentional design and savvy sales copy can meaningfully connect people, even through a screen.

On this episode of the podcast, Athena shares her approach to identifying ideal clients and pricing based on the value she provides. Learn to trust your intuition and get paid what you’re worth!


Key Takeaways

The pros and cons of platforms like Upwork

  • Competing in a world economy means you may have to charge less to land projects
  • Unless you learn a new way to present your services, you may not make enough to keep the lights on
  • Bidding teaches you what clients are looking for and what they need to hear to buy in
  • Writing proposals helps you understand what works and what doesn’t when it comes to pitching clients
  • Searching open jobs allows freelancers to do market research (demand, pricing, etc.)


The value-based pricing model

  • Explore what the client is trying to accomplish
  • Determine what reaching that goal will mean for their bottom line
  • Charge accordingly


The advantages of a value-based pricing model

  • The freelancer has a better chance of charging appropriately
  • It builds a relationship with the client rather than focusing on an endpoint to the project


The common pricing mistakes freelancers make

  • Getting stuck at a rate based on what other freelancers are charging
  • Failing to realize their own value


Athena’s principles of negotiating price

  • Start from an uncomfortable place
  • Hold strong unless you are working to land an ideal client
  • Consider the value the client can offer you (exposure, contract length, etc.)
  • Offer incentives to guarantee additional work


Characteristics of an ideal client

  • Like any relationship, the ideal client brings out the best in you and allows you to do your best work
  • Ideal clients don’t take more than they give back


Athena’s best advice for new freelancers

  • If you can be proud of the work you’ve done because you trusted yourself, that will guide you in the right direction




Laura’s Ideal Client Blog Post & Workbook


Connect with Athena Santora


Bevy Digital




Mar 7, 2017


Jim Palmer is a marketing expert, business coach, entrepreneur, author and speaker. Founder of both the Dream Business Academy and Dream Business Coaching and Mastermind Program, he works to provide Smart Marketing and Business Building Strategies for growth-oriented entrepreneurs and small business owners. This mission extends to Jim’s hosting enterprises on Dream Business Coach TV, the hit weekly web TV show with an audience of thousands, and Stick Like Glue Radio, a weekly podcast that helps entrepreneurs take their business to the next level. Jim is best known internationally as ‘The Dream Business Coach’ and creator of No Hassle Newsletters, the ultimate ‘done-for-you’ newsletter marketing program used by hundreds of clients in nine countries.

The first step in Jim’s path to successful entrepreneurship began when, at age 41, his lucrative position as VP of Marketing was eliminated. With four teenagers and a mortgage, he sought another traditional job, but long-term unemployment and a cancer diagnosis inspired him to launch his own small marketing business in October 2000. Eventually, Jim learned about internet marketing and direct response, which led to the creation of his wildly successful coaching business.

On this episode of the podcast, Jim offers a mini-master class in time management and the real grit of being an entrepreneur. Listen in and develop the confidence to say ‘yes’ and grow your own Dream Business!


Key Takeaways

Jim’s definition of a Dream Business

  • Multiple revenue streams
  • Fun to operate
  • Firing on all cylinders
  • Provides the lifestyle you want to live
  • Asset for worry-free retirement
  • Allows you to give back and make a difference in the lives of others

The ‘bookend schedule’

  • Jim’s official working days are Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday
  • Downtime is essential to cultivating creativity

The difference between an employee and an entrepreneur

  • Entrepreneurs are wired differently and do not make the same distinction between work and personal
  • Entrepreneurs are willing to work long hours because they are building something bigger than a paycheck

 Jim’s guidance regarding when to start building your business

  • Stop waiting for it to get easier
  • “The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The second best time is today.”

 Jim’s advice to entrepreneurs just getting started

  1. Do whatever it takes, even if that means stocking shelves part-time at Target while you are building your business
  2. Control your environment to achieve extreme focus by eliminating distractions

 The necessary mindset for fostering adventure

  • What if you say yes?
  • Rather than framing what if’s that might prevent you from pursuing something new, explore the possibilities of what could be if you problem-solve and persevere


Stop Waiting For it to Get Easier: Create Your Dream Business Now by Jim Palmer 

Jim Palmer Books 


Connect with Jim Palmer


Boating Blog 




Mar 2, 2017

Laura is back to help you deal with losing a freelance client. On this episode of the podcast, she talks you through the necessary process of self-reflection and offers strategies for replacing lost revenue when a contract ends.

Learn from Laura’s experience as she shares mistakes she made early in her freelancing career. She was able to leverage those missteps into learning opportunities and develop a knack for replacing lost revenue quickly through a savvy hustle that includes capitalizing on established client relationships and expanding service offerings.

Laura also offers advice on how to recover from the loss of a client, emotionally and financially. Listen in and learn her practical three-step approach to rebounding when a client chooses to end a business relationship! 

Key Takeaways

The reasons why a contract might end

  • Often, the end of a contract happens due to circumstances outside of your control, i.e.: the client can no longer afford your services or they are hiring a full-time writer in-house
  • If it was your fault (i.e.: missed deadline, poor work quality), it’s time to recalibrate

Laura’s advice about learning from your mistakes

  • Take ownership and briefly grieve the loss
  • Consider what went wrong and how you might apply that insight moving forward
  • Revise your pitch and writing samples

The need for clear, specific feedback from clients

  • Clients who say your work “just wasn’t what they were looking for” may be trying to get free content
  • Consider adding a clause to your contract in which the client acknowledges having read your writing samples and agrees to the expectation that the tone, quality and general writing ability will be similar

 Laura’s tips for replacing lost revenue

  • Keep a monetary goal in mind as you hustle
  • Reach out to clients you’ve worked with before
  • Think about expanding service offerings in your current niche and upselling existing clients
  • Even when fully booked, continue marketing your business to cultivate future opportunities 


Laura’s Full List of Courses

Connect with Laura Pennington







Leave a Review on iTunes 

Leave a Review on Stitcher  



Feb 28, 2017

Sarah Foster quit her 9 to 5 job two years ago and now works full-time from her home studio as a jewelry designer as well as a design, branding and marketing consultant to female entrepreneurs and host of the FIT & FIERCE Podcast. As founder, creator and Chief Foul Mouth of Bad Bad Jewelry, Sarah’s mission is to inspire and empower women to go after what they want.

Sarah began her career working in the call center for Amazon, then taking a job in the financial industry. Seeking a creative outlet, Sarah started designing one-of-a-kind jewelry as a side gig. Eventually, she founded the company Nomadic Fashion and tried jewelry full-time. After two years of entrepreneurship, Sarah was struggling and realized that it was necessary to return to the corporate world. Landing a job as an executive assistant at a design firm, Sarah earned enough money to fund the next step of her journey and Bad Bad Jewelry was born. On this episode of the podcast, Sarah offers advice about outsourcing and inspires you to take risks and do the work you love.


Key Takeaways

Sarah’s tips for gaining confidence

  • Fake it ‘til you make it; speak with a confident tone of voice
  • Be upfront when you don’t know the answers
  • Push yourself: “I knew I wouldn’t grow unless I was uncomfortable.”

 If you’re working a job that doesn’t make you happy, use it as motivation to discover your true passion

  • Sarah was working as an executive assistant when she conceived of her new brand, the type of jewelry she wanted to make and how to manufacture it

 Sarah’s advice for struggling entrepreneurs

  • It’s okay to go back to a ‘normal’ job if you aren’t making it

Sarah’s guidelines for juggling multiple projects

  • Though it may be tough to give up control, outsource small tasks like photo editing and writing captions
  • Utilize programs (Excel, Word, PowerPoint) beyond what they may have been created for in an office environment

Sarah’s suggestions for beginning entrepreneurs

  1. Don’t be afraid to delegate; make use of freelancers on sites like Upwork
  2. Think about slowly scaling your business while you are still working a ‘normal’ job

 “It’s going to be okay”

  • Though entrepreneurship has its ups and downs, you should pursue the work you love


Feel the Fear … and Do It Anyway by Susan Jeffers 



Connect with Sarah Foster








Feb 23, 2017


 Laura returns with a mini-master class in duplicate content. Prepare to learn what it is and why it matters on this episode of the Better Biz Academy podcast!

As a freelance writer, it is paramount to understand that you cannot get away with copying someone else’s work. Even if it is unintentional, word-for-word phrasing already used on other sites has dire consequences for search engine rankings – not to mention the loss of credibility you will suffer as a freelancer.

Laura explains how to protect yourself and provide a guarantee that your content is 100% original! Click and listen to learn how to identify duplicate content and help your clients stay out of “Google jail.”

Key Takeaways

The definition of duplicate content

  • A situation in which a website has been copied, be it 100% or 5%
  • Google identifies duplicate content and gauges which site is original based on who posted first 

The consequences of duplicate content

  • Website is blacklisted from search engine rankings
  • No traction for your website means no new business

The benefits of using Copyscape

  • Helps businesses avoid “Google jail” by confirming that content is unique to their site
  • Allows freelancers to guarantee work is 100% original by flagging situations in which they may have inadvertently picked up on a phrase used on another site
  • Gives freelancers the opportunity to ensure that someone else is not using their content without permission

Laura’s advice for freelancers hired by clients with duplicate content

  • If they are unaware, you have a responsibility to let them know
  • Start from scratch rather than trying to fix the existing plagiarized content
  • Don’t let the client bully you into a lower rate because the previous writer was dishonest

Laura’s tips to avoid inadvertently submitting duplicate content

  • Don’t use word-for-word quotes unless absolutely necessary
  • Provide links to the original sources of data you cite
  • Safeguard yourself by providing clients with a courtesy Copyscape that guarantees original content



Laura’s Full List of Courses


Connect with Laura Pennington









Feb 21, 2017

 Ardelia Lee is a content roadmap engineer and copywriter who helps small business owners create intentional, goal-oriented content that supports long-term business growth. She earned both a BA and MA in English Language and Literature from Sam Houston State University. After moving from Texas to Detroit, Ardelia landed her first client, a small news publication called Daily Detroit, by answering an ad on Craigslist. That partnership led to referrals, and soon she had developed her niche in content strategy and copywriting for businesses. When she’s not scheming with her clients, you can find her curled up with an obnoxiously long fantasy novel and a warm cup of coffee.

On this episode of the podcast, Ardelia gets down to the nitty gritty of content strategy and reveals the common mistakes business owners make in that regard. She walks us through the steps she takes to develop working relationships with new clients and the Content Cleanse Challenge she is offering now!

 Key Takeaways

Quality leads can come from a number of sources

  • Don’t discount sites like Craigslist and Upwork when you’re looking to land those first clients 

The benefits of juggling a dozen (or more!) clients at one time

  • If you lose a client, it’s not a devastating blow to your income
  • Ardelia thrives under the pressure of having several balls in the air

Ardelia’s ‘freelancer writer challenges’

  1. Getting into a new niche
  2. Realizing that you can’t take it personally when a customer asks for revisions

 Ardelia’s advice for freelancers just getting started

  • “Just keep at it”
  • Find what you’re good at and go with it

Freelancers must devote time to both project completion and marketing the business

  • Ardelia spends three to four hours/day writing and two to three hours/week marketing

Clients don’t know or care when you do the work, as long as you meet deadlines

  • A mother with two small children, Ardelia works before her family wakes up, in the evening after her girls are asleep and on weekends when her husband is home

 Ardelia’s onboarding process for new clients

  1. Exchange email with client to determine fit
  2. Follow up with Skype/phone consultation
  3. Establish contract
  4. Complete client questionnaire to determine audience, goals, etc.


Common mistakes business owners make re: content strategy

  • Blog posts lack useful, relevant content that will help consumers solve their problems

 The advantages of pricing by writing packages

  • Freelancers can set income goals and take steps to book the appropriate # of clients
  • Clients know what to expect and can budget ahead of time

 Ardelia’s strategies for growing her business and business connections

  • Adding video content and webinars
  • Pursuing collaborations

 Ardelia’s best tip for content creators

  • Know why you’re creating the content you’re creating – be it to book clients, grow your email list or drive traffic to your website



Content Cleanse Challenge


Connect with Ardelia Lee






Feb 14, 2017

Laura returns with another solo podcast to share the strategy she uses to make the most of her writing time, the Pomodoro Technique. This approach wires your brain to focus on a single, specific writing task for a short burst of 25 minutes before allowing yourself a five minute break. While she initially resisted implementing this approach, Laura came to realize that she was less effective when multitasking and did benefit from working on a given task, free from distractions.   

Listen in to learn how the Pomodoro Technique helped Laura triple her business revenue, take on more clients and have time for herself and other projects! Then implement this valuable brain hack to increase your own productivity without sacrificing the quality of your work.

Key Takeaways

Guidelines of the Pomodoro Technique

  • Work in 25 minute bursts followed by a five minute break (or make use of a 50/10 minute cycle)
  • Eliminate all other distractions


Laura’s advice for dealing with stray thoughts that don’t apply to the task at hand

  • Keep a sheet of paper nearby to catalog ideas/to-do items that come to mind while you are working – to be dealt with later


Consider utilizing tools to help you focus

  • Laura recommends focus@will’s scientifically optimized music (and its built-in timer)
  • Applications like inbox pause for Gmail help to eliminate distractions


Laura’s tips for making breaks purposeful

  • Leave your work space
  • Do something physical, i.e.: walk on the treadmill, load the dishwasher


More time in front of the computer doesn’t necessarily result in increased productivity

  • Laura argues that you can accomplish more in a highly focused three hour period than you might in a distracted or fatigued ten hour block


Determine the time of day when you are most effective and focused to double or even triple your productivity

  • Laura works through three to four Pomodoro cycles when she’s at her best, between 5:00am and 10:00am


Laura’s Pomodoro challenge

  • Practice the Pomodoro Technique at least once a day for one week
  • Amplify the benefits by incorporating music and a timer to signal your brain that it’s time to work
  • Reflect on how much you are able to accomplish and the quality of your work



Laura’s Full List of Courses 


Gmail Inbox Pause

Boomerang for Gmail

Ed Gandia’s Focus@Will Podcast 


Connect with Laura Pennington






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