I’m writing this to you in the throes of a launch. THE IRONY!
A short one to answer this question:
Q: What are your top ways to enjoy your launches Leonie?
It’s probably useful to say that launches aren’t usually that joyful at many points. Mostly because they are birth and birth takes work.
Having been running online launches since 2008 however, I’ve probably racked up enough runs on the board to know what makes it less of a bloody pain in the butthole.
So here’s some tips to help you launch with more ease… consider me your birth doula… I can’t take all the pain away but I can probably help ease it a little with a bit of loving advice!
Have a plan and return to it every single day so you don’t get lost.
We create a project plan, and braindump everything we can think of that will be needed in advance. Then it goes into our project management software (we use Teamwork), and is assigned out with dates for each piece to be executed. Definitely saves the crazy scrambling later on!
Do as much work in advance for it so everything is scheduled in ready to go. I definitely tend to lean on the last minute deadline, but am learning new ways of working because burnout suuuucks booooorg.
Don’t go into the launch already burned out. Schedule enough time in your business schedule to breathe more instead of being in permanent hustle mode.
Have a good Standard Operating Procedures already in place so both new & old staff can quickly access information on how to do things. So, for example, this morning part of our website shat its pants. We already had it documented in our SOPs exactly what to do when that happened… so it wasn’t a crisis, it was just a simple following of procedures until it got resolved. Which it did. With very little drama. YAY!
Get your Customer Service staff trained up and systems in place in advance.
The more they know your systems, the better it is.
Create Customer Service Cheatsheets – one page FAQs of commonly asked questions and problems.
Write up your answer templates of commonly asked questions and load them into your email answering system (i.e. Gmail canned responses or as templates in your Help Desk software. We use Sirportly.)
Update and add to them as the launch goes.
Answer questions as much as possible in advance to cut down on questions that need to be answered by Customer Service.
If one person is asking it, there’s usually more people thinking it.I am definitely proactive in making sure my customers have as much information as they need without having to reach out to us… saving them and us time! I answer it in as many places as possible:
FAQs on the sales page
Social media posts
Answering it in sales emails.
Keep a close eye out for the same problems or issues that keep coming up during the launch, and fix them at their core instead of putting a band-aid on the solution.
Consider using instant messaging software to connect your various staff/contractors with each other and keep everyone in the loop during launch. You could use Skype‘s chat feature, Slack or any of the other alternatives out there. We use Teamwork Chat, as we have our project management software with Teamwork and it’s got some good interlocking functionality.
Have good quality professionals around you.
I’m a big proponent of only hiring people who don’t need much managing, are a joy to work with and who GSD (Get Shit Done) without drama. (For further coaching on how to hire them, this is the resource I put together.)
Whatever type of team you have will be intensified during launch: rockstars will step up, shaky types will wobble like billy-o. So the process of hiring, coaching & keeping good quality peeps (and escorting anyone off the bus who isn’t) is important to do well before launch!
Some of my business girlfriends make sure they schedule in a spa day or holiday post-launch to refill their well. I’m not going to bullshit you though – I’m not quite at the place yet. I’m working on it though!
Sleep, eating & time away from the computer is important.
You’ll think clearer & work faster & make much better decisions. I know our predisposition is to just ignore it… but I promise you, after learning the bloody hard way, that you can’t afford to crash and burn.
Write a Lessons Learned document right after the launch.
Let’s face it – there will be mistakes. There will be shit hitting the fan at some point. There will be places where you think “We need to do better next time.” Just like labour though, you will quickly forget those pain points. So it’s really important you capture them – fast – so you can learn from them and do better next time. Here’s how to do that… Every single time we do a launch, within days I (or my Project Manager) will send out an email to the whole team including contractors, asking three questions, and getting people to answer that week. We assign someone to making sure the questions are answered by everyone, and then a document is compiled with everyone’s answers and circulated. We have a “Lessons Learned” document for every launch we’ve done over the past few years. I add them all into our yearly business plan, and anytime we do a launch, we review past Lessons Learned documents to make sure we don’t repeat the same mistakes! The questions we ask are:
What worked really well?
What did not work really well?
What can we do to make it better and easier next time?
Allright… I’m off to do a bit more work… then heading out for the night to the movies with my bosom-buddy Lil… when in doubt… get a life!
See you back in the next day or so with ze fruits of our latest launch!
Another week, another good news story… this time about some beautiful work one of our Academy members is doing, and how we’ve been able to support them! I asked one of my Team Unicorn staff to write about it for you!
I’m so grateful at all the success I’ve had with the workbooks & the Academy… and love being able to pay forward some of the profits to the places that need it most!
Big love, Leonie
Hola amazing peeps!
I wanted to share these adorable children with you… *HEART SWELL MOMENT*
Earlier this year Leonie Dawson International made a generous donation of $1000 to the Rotary Australia World Community Service to support the Suluhisho Project in Kenya. HORAAY!
These adorable children received new books and school supplies which makes me so so so happy. I am truly blessed to be part of such a generous organisation that actively supports the amazing work of charities such as RAWCS.
Jacinta and the Rotary Members for Goulburn are raising funds and awareness so they can…
Build a children’s village
Build a medical centre
Open a Montessori based school
Develop an Arts hub and Sports program for orphaned and abandoned children at Luo Village, Kapunja, near Kisumu, Kenya.
All of which is AHMAZING!!
The Suluhisho project crossed our path during the Shining Academy Retreat in Feb thanks to the amazing Jacinta Ojwang – one of our very own amazing Academy Members – who joined the retreat and made sure we knew about the great big work her team were doing.
YAY Jacinta – you seriously rock!
Jacinta at our Shining Academy conference… that beautiful woman!
As a beautiful thank you the children who received new school supplies after our donation made a video we HAD TO SHARE with you… you can see all the amazing supplies and their beautiful smiling faces…
It’s time, gorgeous goddesses! It’s time to talk honestly + frankly about sex, pleasure + relationships!
I am DELIGHTED to invite you to the LIVE unveiling of our new Shining Biz & Life Academy course…
EVERYDAY SEX GODDESS!
This is an ACADEMY EXCLUSIVE course that we won’t be sharing with anyone but our glorious members of the Shining Biz & Life Academy! (Not a member yet? Sign up now!)
If you know me IRL, you’ll know I talk about sex a LOT. Like… TMI. It’s just how I tend to do all things in life… I’ll talk about it all… sex, money, mental health, death, politics… it’s a Scorpio thang I reckon!
And though I’ve shared about many of those those things online… I haven’t talked about sex yet. For some reason, it just wasn’t the right time. I’ve always been good at following that gut instinct in me… to just share what I am called to.
Are you feeling like your mojo’s left town?
Like your relationship’s in a rut, and your sex life is aching to be reinvigorated?
Or are you just so freaking exhausted by life, biz + everything that the thought of revving up your motor for some sexitime fun is just another To Do List item?
In this intimate one-hour workshop, I’ll take you from frazzled + disheartened to rejuvenated + energised, and joyously reclaim the everyday sex goddess in you!
You will learn:
How to increase your libido
How to communicate about sex without freaking out, getting embarrassed or upset
A panoply of orgasmic options
Practical tips – awwwww yiss!
Toys, goodies & resources to dive deeper into
Whether partnered or solo, make time for your own sweet self + sign up now to find out how to let your inner sex goddess out…
This will be a typical Leonie-style workshop full of honesty, humour, practical tips, gigglesnorts, TMI + all the things you wish your best friend had told you about sex.
I’m back in action with my regular scrapbook of sorts – taking a look back at the past couple of weeks.
I need to warn you:
it is NOT that exciting. It’s been almost four weeks of non stop sickness in my house. I had a cold, then I got better, my kids stayed sick, then I got a throat infection.
We’ve all succumbed to a cold.
Cue Scooby Doo marathon on couch, children all over me.
I don’t mind some compulsory convalescence honestly… enforced rest a`nd geNtleness (beff i2s n1ow hELping me tyoe
A look-back at a year ago today – MOVING DAY! Canberra was the place me and Mr Dawsy had moved to when we were young and free, and I spent most of my 20s there having ridiculous fun & magical adventures. After having our first baby six years ago, we set off to find utopia – the place we wanted to raise children and bloom.
We didn’t know it at the time but that would mean moving five times – Proserpine, Cairns, Kuranda, Hobart… Before deciding we just wanted to head “home” to Canberra. I’m so grateful for all the adventures we had and people we met and memories we made along the way… We got to travel and experience so much!!! We bought our new home in Canberra sight unseen off the internet… So it was only a year ago as well since we saw it for the first time and fell even more in love. It’s a beautiful home with magical gardens and I’m pen pals with the old owner (who, amazingly enough, is also an author) and there hasn’t been a morning that I haven’t woken up and been so grateful to look out that the silk tree and cherry blossom tree. It’s got such good juju I barely had to do any energy clearing at all here! Anyways, it’s been a ginormous year filled with some gorgeous bits and some hard bits…
Especially losing our darling Charlie doggy after 12 years together. We found him in Canberra, and we brought him home to die here in his soul land. The best part about being in Canberra is that during the hard bits, I have my old, dear friends just around a corner or two. And it’s been a deep and dear blessing to rejoin my old women’s circle… Where once we were all maidens but now we are all mothers.
I’m grateful. And always grateful to do it with Dawsy and our two fairies. Our biggest priority is always our family and working out ways to help everyone thrive. I’m proud of what we’ve done to make that happen.
And grateful to be here in Canberra, the meeting place, the land of friendly rock spirits and galleries and museums and wide blue skies…
So, when we moved into that house we’d bought off the internet and walked in for the first time, we discovered two things:
1.) We love it! It’s got such good juju!
2.) It came with… FREE PETS! There were goldfish in the fountain in the backyard, along with some very sweet wild birds who were loved up by the previous owners and who will come tap on the window when you’ve forgotten to fill the bird feeder. We love places with FREE PETS… when we lived on the rainforest acreage, it had free pets coming out its earholes with pademelons, kookaburras, kingfishers and giant goannas. It was rad.
Anywaysies, the tree that the goldfish were under needs some cutting back as its limbs are falling, but my husband, the sweet animal lover that he is, was so worried about them being injured by the arborist that we spent $300 on a fish tank so we could move them safely inside. HA! All up we found three goldfish, who now seem ridiculously happy in their new digs. They’ve been named Penelope, Apple and Goldie. I didn’t think I’d be so delighted but golly gosh they are bringing us so much joy. They are a really sweet addition to the family since our sweet Charlie doggy died a few months ago.
How’s this for weird though – one of the daughters who grew up in this house dropped by to pick up a package and she was soooo lovely – but when we mentioned the three goldfish, her face blanked and she said “THREE??? But we only had ONE in there!!!” Goldfish immaculate conception!!!!!!!! Do we now live with Fishy Jesus?????????????????
Watched this last night… Gosh it was refreshing… It’s about the young female CEO of an online business!!!! I totally related to pieces of this story – not all of it of course, my hunky lover is an intensely-Scorpio-mates-for-life type of bloke – but there was parts in there that made us look at each other wide-eyed and for him to say “This is like a documentary!!!!”
Guys this will SHOCK AND SURPRISE YOU. Be prepared! Here it is: I don’t like sport. I don’t watch sport. Ever. Not live, not on TV. And I was totally ignorant about the Olympics even starting until I saw the Olympics Opening Ceremony highlights reel on the news. And immediately burst into tears, and sobbed the whole way through. The refugee team was the clincher… I was basically inconsolable. The whole thing just got me straight in my wide open mama heart. The history and the people and the world coming together and the cauldron lighting. I’m getting just teary thinking about it. Every four years I forget I don’t like sport and just watch people coming together from all over the world to do their best and see what these magical bodies of ours can do. Some thing about the human spirit and community and all of that. Cue waterworks. Okay… Luckily I have vast supplies of tissues.
I always thought I’d be the one who was the parent who the kids would tell all their secrets to. But it’s Chris who is Starry’s confidante. He has this gentle, subtle way, and he’s intuitive and worries like a protective Papa Bear. And it’s been such a blessing to see their relationship bloom and deepen like this…
For the first three years Starry was a Mama’s girl who needed so much from me to feel safe and okay in the world. Her bond with her Papa got deeper once she was out of toddlerhood and also when I spent nine months struggling in bed with #hyperemesisgravidarum … There aren’t many good things I can find about having HG as it is a personal inescapable hell… But Starry and her Daddy having to bond even more is one of them. (The other two blessings are that it taught me much deeper compassion and empathy… And of course, we made it out the other side of that hell with a miraculous 8 pound baby in my arms… Who has now blossomed into a mischievous elf of a two year old who makes me laugh and laugh and laugh at how powerful and self contained and brilliantly, awarely funny she is. And I can’t imagine life without her and yet also know that in some Sliding Door world, we didn’t have her and I have to belief we would have been okay then too.)
Okay, can’t even remember what I was talking about. Kids are screaming and have snot. Love, a mother.
Sunday nights: filling out & decorating planners for the week ahead for me & el husbo. Makes me feel a bit more in control… Plus a fun creative act too!!
Mr Dawson’s boss gets a bit gropey sometimes.
The children infiltrated my office and destroyed it faster than the speed of light, than a speeding bullet, than a Tassie Devil. Neat and tidy is an impossible mirage.
I don’t talk enough about this one, my equal in so very many ways. Well, that’s not true. I make almost continual reference to his hotness and how much I like to sexually harass him in the workplace. But I don’t know if I always talk about him truly.
Today I need to.
Stuff has been intense lately. Full on. A lot going on I can’t talk about yet (or potentially ever), a lot that just needs fixing and other people’s messes cleaned up. The changes are flying thick and fast. Fuck me… August… hold on, right? Fuck me, 2016!
And despite what is happening, I look over at this one. This one who has been by my side for the last 15 years, through hell and rainfire and serious illness and hospital stays and parenting and birth and depression and so much hard shit.
And he looks at me with those wise ocean eyes and says: “We’ve been through harder than this. This is nothing.”
And he tells me to go to bed and meditate for just 15 minutes and let my worries drop away one by one until I can see clearly again.
And he takes photos of my studio while I am out… all the magic little pieces I love… and sends them to me in a folder and tells me it is to inspire me and remember how much I love to create.
And he tells me all the things I need to know. He coaches me and reminds me. He tells me to concentrate on the art and writing, on the things that I was born for, that that is all that is needed.
My love is sage and quiet and soft-spoken. Not many get blessed to get close enough and be still enough to listen to him. I thank my lucky stars I do.
He’s my teacher, student, lover, co-parent and best friend. And the dude I get to bonk on the regs.
This photo is us, 10 years ago, sitting in front of Uluru, the sacred heart of Australia.
Today I’m feeling quite overwhelmed with the love and grace he gives me.
P.S. Disclaimer because I think the illusion of perfection is bullshit: Of course, he is not perfect. I am not perfect. None of us are. No relationships are easy. I struggled with that for a long time. I thought it was just like… ADD WATER AND INSTANT SOULMATE EXPERIENCE. But it’s not. It’s an utterly human experience with mere glimpses of utter grace and divinity and unconditional love. And this too is okay.
Life in a sunbeam.
Ok how is this for weird and amazing…
I often joke that the universe tries to help me identify who I need in my life by making it super clear with patterns. So it used to be that I would have friends that looked the same.
Now, it’s started doing it with names as I hire… Including the multiple Ambers and multiple Mels…
This week, I’ve been hiring more graphic designer resources and have ended up with Elissa, Ellissa and Lisa.
Then today I was in a mad rush for to find a set designer for a videoshoot I’ve got on tomorrow. First I talked to another designer called Lisa, but she wasn’t available, so I called another friend called Lisa because she knows everyone, and she introduced me to Allyssa who is helping out tomorrow now!!!
So to recap this week it’s been all about designers and set designers called Elissa, Lisa and Alyssa.
SIX of them! Synchronistic at its best!!!
9 hour videoshoot ahead.
Getting all flashed up for video shoot. She had to brush my hair because I forgot to today. And yesterday. And all week really.
AFTER SHOT. SHE DID GOOOOT.
On set with the brilliant and lovely team from Screencraft for a videoshoot. They are laughing at all my jokes, and don’t mind that they have to edit me saying “cockhole” so much. So that’s a good sign. Also at the back is our set designer – the amazing Alyssa Johnson who did the set design for Sammy J’s Playground Politics show!!! What a fucking score. This whole thing feels very “next level” and I’m excited to share it all with you when it’s done!
Wottttttt? Who DOESN’T climb trees to make adorable business videos?
So the video shoot got a little… Wild…
That’s a wrap! Nine hour photoshoot down. Thank you to the beautiful boys at Screencraft for an amazing job and fun times!!!
Handy hint guys… If you hypothetically throw holi powder all over yourself for a creative videoshoot… And you have blonde hair… You may or may not be able to wash it out… And you may or may not score yourself free magenta hair… BONZA! SCORE!!!! ????????
Change is in the air…
Spent the morning rearranging our house and moving rooms around. We decided to swap our guest bed with Starry’s so we can have a bigger space to cuddle on & read books together. Our guest room has turned into Chris’ office (instead of just having a corner of the lounge) but he sweetly set up an extra desk in there so it could be “Dad and Starry’s office.”
Starry has declared this “the best day everrrrrrrr!”
Two sick kids. What’s stopped poor little feverish Beth from feeling too restless is watching soccer on tv from the comfort of their couch/bed. Whatever works… Whatever works.
Oh honeys, a momentous day for our sweet lil family…
Starry lost her very first tooth!
Our wide eyed baby is growing up. I had a cry, and then we looked through photo albums from when Starry was a baby… The first tooth she grew is the first one she lost.
I feel so grateful for all the adventures and love and art and sweetness we’ve shared over the last six years. It hasn’t always been easy but we’ve stayed true to our values of the family we wanted to create… And I’m so proud of us for making it happen.
A beautiful day initiation for Ostara.
We are so proud of you sweet fairy girl, and so delighted by everything you are.
It’s a Tuesday. I’m sitting in Chris’ new office in our home. For so long he’s been sequestered in a corner of the living room, trying to do creative production work for me whilst crammed between a wall and a door and tumbling children’s bodies… all while we had a guest bedroom that lay still and quiet for 11.5 months of the year.
We decided in a fit of inspiration over the weekend that we had our values all wrong… that it is better for us to feel comfortable in our home than visiting guests… and so we moved the guest bed into Starry’s room so we can all jump on there to read books together… and made Starry’s old bed into a daybed in our living room with cushions galore… we’ll still be able to have guests (yay!) and they’ll still be comfortable (yay!) but in the meantime (all the time)… Chris has his own space. A room of one’s own… He needs it. We all do.
In many ways, Chris becomes a bit like the traditional wife in these situations… he holds the fort with the kids while I’m working on the business. He does his work around naps. He gives me the space I need to do what I love. He gave up his career as a Customs officer to support me and my dreams. I couldn’t be more grateful.
And dear lord, get the man a room already!
His room is now a gentle space filled with his guitar collection (12 and counting) and wooden desks and computers and books. And of course, being the loving, thoughtful, proud Papa Bear he is… he set up a desk up for Starry too and told her it is “Starry and Daddy’s office.”
But at least he has space now. Space for all of him, and all of his loves. No more trying to cram in around the wild shenanigans of family life and hoping none of his precious instruments got broken in the toddler maelstrom.
So this is where we are. More space. Moving things around to fit more of “us”… accepting the space that it takes without shame or concern. It’s a small thing, but it’s a big thing.
I’m visiting him this morning. A little co-working space. He is working on scanning in a mammoth illustrated journal I painted in India, to give out to all our Academy goddesses. I’m writing proposals and dreaming of a new way of moving forward into the next incarnation of myself and my dream and my business.
I’m set up on Starry’s desk, he’s on his.
The children are meandering in and out. Both of them are sick… the last vestiges of winter colds rolling through them.
And despite there being some wild waves and disappointments and heavy hearts around here lately… at its core, life is good. We are here. We are creating.
I hope you are well, dearests. I hope, at its core, life is good for you too.
I’m dreaming of New beginnings and praying for a salve for my heart Please God, let me be strong but not bitter. I don’t want to get jaded.
Reviewing the final proofs for the 2017 diary-planner before the print presses roll!!! Self publishing is a wild, crazy ride from beginning to end… We started work on these in March and they won’t be released until November!!!
I’m delighted with the new covers and tabs and paper and elastic band and sticker pages and and and in this new one… I think y’all will adore it!!!
Outside my bedroom
the peach blossoms
are raucous incandescent joy.
Go to bed and rest
my love tells me.
It’s as though somehow
that the remedy
for a tired heart
is this view.
This parcel made my week. It’s been a hard week… But this was like a gift from the Angels. A package and letter from one of our Academy members sharing how her business and spirit have blossomed since using the workbooks and Academy, and the beautiful products she has created.
I cried over her letter… What a beautiful, strong woman who has been through so much and has continued to create goodness in her life. I love you Jane, and am honoured to know you. Your lip balms are now my favourite ever… Even Mr DAWSON is enamoured. Everybody check out Hilltops Honey – absolutely exquisite!
I am on my third bout of sickness in a month. My kid has been off school sick for three weeks. Last night I was so feverish I vommed all over the kitchen floor.
Public service announcement: being an Internet millionaire doesn’t stop ya from experiencing real life. Excuse me while I go sweat and shiver in bed.
Alrighty – that’s a look back at the past couple of weeks. Back to bed I go!
I tell her this, and she stares at me studiously, her two year old eyes wide and blue…
and then she rolls her eyes so far back into her head that she looks possessed.
And I howl with laughter.
Because she’s my grandmother and my great aunt, but most of all, she’s herself.
All she’s ever needed to be.
And Ostara, our sweet fairy child wakes me this morning to inform me:
“Mum, there used to be a crystal on the nature table at school. But then it wasn’t there anymore, and Gill said that a cheeky gnome must have taken it home in his pocket for a visit. And then she told us that we weren’t to squash any spiders because they are Mother Nature’s pets. And Mother Nature lives under the grass!”
I love that my kid is living in an Enid Blyton story.
And it reminds me to go visit our our gnome garden, now overgrown with August bulbs.
Spring is coming. Spring is coming. Spring is coming.