Podcast Interview with Amber Lilyestrom

Treasures,

This morning my podcast interview with Amber Lilyestrom went live!

Amber put together a list of everything we covered WITH TIMESTAMPS!!!! Omg. So awesome.

Here’s the podcast breakdown:

  • All about today’s guest, Leonie Dawson [ 0:30 ]
  • How to build community in business [ 7:50 ]
  • About the importance of sharing [ 10:30 ]
  • Why creating on-demand is energetically beautiful [ 21:40 ]
  • How to create space for our ideas [ 25:00 ]
  • About rightsizing [ 31:20 ]
  • Advice for growing our businesses [ 42:30 ]
  • Why we need to be unapologetically + joyfully ourselves [ 50:30 ]
  • How to free up space in our brains [ 52:55 ]
  • What Leonie would tell a former version of herself [ 56:00 ]

You have FOUR whole options to get myself and Amber in your ears:

  1. Amber’s website
  2. Spotify
  3. iTunes
  4. Libsyn

Cannot wait for you to have a listen!

Big love,

 

 

 

 

 

Today We Get To Donate $11,819.11 to Australian Wildlife!

Dearests,

Thrilled to announce I’ve been able to donate $11,819.11 to Australian Wildlife Conservancy thanks to your Goal Getter Mastermind enrolments!!!

The animals and land thank you!!!!

I believe deeply in the work that AWC are doing to preserve our natural spaces. They are an important piece of the puzzle to solving climate change.

“AWC is the largest private (non-profit) owner and manager of land for conservation in Australia. We protect (alone or in partnership) more than 6.5 million hectares including in iconic regions like the Kimberley, the Top End, Lake Eyre and the south-west forests. Your gift will help fund AWC operations around Australia, allowing us to deliver effective land management to protect 72% of all Australian mammal species and 88% of all Australian mainland bird species.”

You can find out more and support them directly at www.australianwildlife.org

Let’s go change the world together, dearests. This world (and us) desperately need it.

Big love and blessings,

The Great Annual Workbook Giveaway For Non Profits – 2020!

2015nonprofitgiveaway

Hey loves,

Are you a social worker or a part of a non profit organisation?

Does your organisation work with underprivileged or disadvantaged people?

Or do you know someone who is?

We’d love to donate the 2020 My Shining Year workbooks to you for using with your clients – as many as you’d like!

We can supply both Life and Business editions – whatever you feel would work for your clients!

Every single year since the beginning of the workbooks, we have been donating them to non profit organisations. Sharing the workbooks is my way of being able to visit even more places, helping raise spirits and creating change in the world. This year the workbooks are published by BenBella. I am incredibly grateful that they are willing to carry this philanthropic tradition on!

To Apply:

To apply for free workbooks for your clients, just fill out the form here + my lovely support fairy will be in contact in the next few days.

Those donated workbooks have been used by over 200,000 (!!!!) souls around the planet who needed them, from organisations that included:

  • schools using them for teenage girls
  • women’s shelters in the United States
  • Indigenous Australian women’s services in Sydney, Australia
  • disadvantaged women advocacy services in Cambodia
  • animal sanctuary in the United Kingdom (used by their board to business plan their charity! Hooray!)
  • aged and elderly services in New York
  • cancer survivors in England
  • women’s charities in Zimbabwe.

The feedback from the organisations has been really, really wonderful.

Organisations got a lot out of it, their clients got a lot out of it. Clients felt much more inspired, motivated and empowered after using them, and often requested more workshops to have accountability about following through on their goals over the year.

I got this heart-warming email from one of the case workers who used it:

“A few months ago I applied to use the My Shining Year workbook in a community agency. I would like to share with you how the non profit organisation has used the workbook to support clients.

As you might know already our town had its biggest flood in history. There is a whole suburb that went under here and many other places were badly affected. Homes and business were so badly flooded that they won’t be rebuilt again. Many people have struggled after this natural disaster. After reading the offer for the use of the workbook I had a great idea to support women who had been affected by the floods by using this workbook. I went and developed a full day workshop based around the workbook.

As we are non profit organisation and are always needing funding to continue our work I put a proposal together and put it forward to 2 community groups that I thought might help. Zonta and Rotary inner wheel very generously donated money so we could print the book out for participants and funded lunch for the workshop. The workshop was free for all women who attended.

We set out to run 2 workshops, which ended up filling very quickly so we had to put on another one. 40 women in total have attended over 3 workshops and have worked through the workbooks. These workshops provided a space where these women could come together to share of their experiences of the floods and begin to imagine a brighter future for themselves and their families.

The women were all deeply grateful for the workbook and for your generosity to allow us to use them. The workbook was the perfect platform to help these women move from feeling helpless and overwhelmed to feeling empowered.

The feedback from the workshops has been very positive and we would like to continue our work throughout the year to support women who have been affected by the floods.”

This makes me weepy, to be honest. To think of the workbooks helping women in the floods… and now they will help those affected by the fires as well.

This year we want to help even MORE.

That kind of feedback is exactly why we offer this program – to make the workbooks available to ANY soul who needs them to help them create goals for their families, lives and businesses, and inspire them to reach them.

Some essential admin notes:

  • Please note these are EBOOKS, not printed books. We’ll provide you with PDFs and a licence to print as many as you need. PDFs can be printed out or filled out electronically. You’ll also receive a short guide with instructions/suggestions on how to use the workbooks with clients.
  • You can order them for as many clients as you like – the more the merrier!
  • The workbooks can be used with men, but the language and imagery is definitely orientated towards women.
  • YES – if you’ve received them in past years, we’d be delighted to continue donating to you!
  • This offer is ONLY for registered non profit organisations. This is not a workbook giveaway free for all. This is not for individuals. This is not for practitioners to giveaway to paying clients. This is only for registered non profit organisations. Please don’t apply unless you are one. Please do not waste my team’s time who could be helping real non profits. If you aren’t sure if you are one or not… you aren’t, so please don’t apply. (I’m sorry if this sounds snarky, but holy dooley we’ve seen some doozy requests over the years!)
  • If you are NOT a registered non profit, YOU CAN ORDER WORKBOOKS HERE.

How To Apply

To apply for free workbooks for your non profit, COMPLETE THE APPLICATION HERE + we will be in contact with you shortly!

I’m SO delighted to work with even more organisations this year to help even more beautiful souls grow, evolve, dream, hope, transform + make their own miracles happen.

Together, we’ll change the world. I totally believe and know that with my whole heart.

Thank you so much for all the work you do.

big ole love,

P.S. If you know of anyone (social workers or organisations) this could help, I would SO SO SO appreciate it if you could share it along!!!! Thank you so much for helping the world!

Not a not for profit but still need ’em? Order yours now!

FREE: Goals Worksheets For Kids!

Hi treasures,

I’m delighted to share with you a wee goodie for the wee ones in your life…

A mini goals-workbook for kids!

It’s black+white (fun to colour in + cheap to print!) and if your kids adore it, they can also upgrade to the full My Shining Year Life Goals Workbook (lots of party peeps use it already with their kids + teens… this is just a bonus gift!)

This has been requested SO many times over the years. If there’s enough demand, it may grow and bloom into a full blown bookywooky, but for now, it’s a beginning piece.

It’s small but mighty + will lead your magical munchkin through:

  • journaling the best + worst bits of the last year
  • the top 10 things that make them amazing
  • what they would like to learn over the next year
  • sports and hobbies they’d like to try out
  • what adventures they’d like to have
  • how they want to feel
  • + books they’d like to read.

TO DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE KIDS MINI GOALS WORKBOOK…

Just pop your name + email in here + it will come flying its way to you on rainbow wings!

With love + gladness,

Our House Is On Fire

Image by my kids’ favourite author/artist Oliver Jeffers

Dearests,

I’m writing to you from an apocalyptic Australian summer.

Bushfires and climate change has been weighing heavily on my mind since November, when we were evacuated for three days. It’s one of the reasons why I’ve changed my philanthropic focus. We were safe and our home was safe. But it hasn’t been an isolated incident. Fires have continued to flare and burn across the rest of the country. Over 63,000 square kilometres have been burnt – double the size of the Amazon rainforest fires. Half a billion animals are estimated to have died. There are more people evacuated in Australia than ever before in its history. Smoke continues to blanket large parts of the continent. Our beloved Canberra has experienced some of the worst air pollution in the world.

A bushfire near our property in November

And our Prime Minister hasn’t shown leadership, empathy, or common sense. He continues to lie, and gaslight. This is a man who held up a chunk of coal in Parliament to proclaim how safe it was. We, the world’s largest exporter of coal. We, the country that came almost last in the Climate Change Performance Index. We, the country that will not meet the targets in the Paris Agreement. We, the country, who is aflame.

It’s devastating, and sobering, and a big old freaking wake up call.

The thing is, I don’t think it’s ScoMo’s fault. I think he’s just rather magnificently displayed where our government’s true priorities lie (whether Labor or LNP). And that is in protecting the coal industry at all costs. Even when we are burning.
I’m turning up to write this because there’s nothing else to write, nothing else to say, but to talk about this. And I get this might upset you. I get that our politics might be different. I get you may disagree. I also know I can’t say nothing.

I’ve been thinking deeply about what I can do.

There’s so many good humans doing good things.

I’m in awe of Celeste Barber who has raised close to $35 million (and counting!) for the Rural Fire Service. I am so inspired by Lisa Messenger who has co-ordinated massive amounts of food donations through her network. I have amazing friends who are volunteering at Slabs For Heroes.

Sometimes I get so overwhelmed by what there is to do. And then I worry that I’m not doing enough. And I just get stuck in despair.

So I wanted to share with you some of the things I am doing. Because momentum and action help ease that fraught, frantic anxiety.

Next up on my list:

  • I’ve got some advocacy friends and an environmental engineer looking over a letter to Ministers. Once it’s finished, I’ll share it publicly for anyone who wants to use as a template.
  • Participate in Mad Fucking Witches campaign against NewsCorp.
  • Continue researching and reading on the best ways to reduce my environmental impact and affect policy change.
  • Continue sharing what I learn.

One of my 2020 goals is to engage in climate change activism.

I’m going to make changes in the four areas… which I then realised was 4P’s… the things that my brain gets excited about at midnight!

Personal: Looking at how I can reduce my consumption and make better choices.

Policy: Trying to affect government policy change.

Philanthropic: Supporting non-profits working in this field through $$$ and/or time.

People: Sharing what I learn as I go along.

Here’s some resources for you if you’re feeling called to learning + doing more:

Pattiegonia’s Guide To Action In The Face Of Natural Disasters
1 Million Women App
Participate in Australian Conservation Foundation‘s campaigns.

As Australian Conservation Foundation says:

If you are feeling anxious and overwhelmed…

Earth Guardians created an excellent post – How To Cope With Ecological Distress In Our Bodies.

I’ve been feeling it too.

How I’m managing mine:

  • Talking it out with my husband and friends. Research shows that the more you can do this in person, the better it helps with trauma.
  • Being mindful of how much news I can really watch right now without losing it.
  • Making sure I switch my brain off for little holidays with novels, graphic memoirs (not about fires) and movies.
  • Knowing this is going to be a marathon, not a sprint.

Dearests, however you are, wherever you are…

I’m sending you so so so much love and gentleness.

Thank you for being you, in this world.

Thank you for stepping up to change this world in the way you feel called.

Thank you for sharing this journey with me.

I am so blooming grateful.

GROUP HUGS!

Big love,

Order your 2020 My Shining Year Goals Workbooks

Goal Getter Mastermind: starts Jan 15!

How I Made Even More Amazing 2020 Mottos For Myself: Aka Dean Cain Is Pretty Much In Love With Me Fo Shizzle

Oh LOVES!

Fuck, I dieeeeeeeee laughing… this is the very best gift I’ve ever given myself.

When I was a tween, I was all HEART EYES EMOTTTTICONNN for Superman… aka Dean Cain. I bought those celebrity poster magazines and plastered his face all over my walls. Do they still do those magazines? It seems like a life time ago.

Anyways, I have thoroughly fucking delighted myself… I hired Dean Cain to say nice things to me and affirm all my 2020 visions for me.

I can’t stop laughing. Or crying.

Holy shit this is the greatest.

My tween self is squeeeeeeeeing.

Happy 2020 to meeeeeeeeeeee.

Also, I hired him through Cameo.com. You can hire all kinds of celebrities on there to say shit to you. I even hired the guitarist from KISS to play songs to my husband for Christmas. Bloody brilliant. I won major wife points for that.

Nope, not a sponsored post. Sharing this because it’s goddamn HILARIOUS. One of my bestest ideas yet!!!!

bahahahahahahahah!

xo

2019: My Year In Review

Blossoms,

I’m currently working on my yearly review in my 2020 Goals workbooks, and thought it would be fun to do a round up post here as well to share with you all of how this year has been for me… life, business and all the good stuff!

This is a massive review – just under 5,000 words!

In it I’ll share:

  • some of the hardest parts of our family’s year
  • our transition from homeschooling to schooling
  • some of the best ideas I had that changed my life 
  • where I focussed my business over the last 12 months
  • what I sold the most of
  • how I changed my philanthropic focus
  • the piece of technology that helped me simplify and increase profits this year.

Enjoy!

I’ll talk about life first… because that’s the most important thing!

Living!

We bought a new house this year after 12 months of living on the Sunshine Coast. It was our original plan to do this – we bought a smaller property to live in while we decided where we wanted to live on the coast, and then bought a larger house on an acreage. We kept the smaller house to rent out.

We’ve been in our new home for six months now, and it’s such a blessing to live on acreage again. We are on two acres, surrounded by birds and trees. I feel so grateful. I love the spaciousness… being on acreage has always been my dream, and when we lived in the rainforest in Kuranda on acreage I was just thrilled with it. We definitely thought we’d keep living on acreages, but our adventures took us in different directions. Until now!

To come back to acreage after four years of longing feels very lucky.

I still love living on the Sunshine Coast, and we will probably be here for a few years at least. KNOCK ON WOOD! HA! 

If you’ve been around for a while, you’ll know we’ve been pretty transient with our homes, and have lived in 8 places in 10 years from Cairns to Hobart. On good days I think we’ve just had a magical, unexplainable journey of slow travel around Australia. On bad days, I wonder WTF we were thinking. Ha! Luckily, my days are almost always good.

What I love about the Sunshine Coast:

  • the water. I love being near the beach and rivers and lakes. Gosh it’s good medicine for the soul.
  • the people. Honestly I’ve met so many lovely, educated hippies… it’s hard to keep up with all the beautiful hearts I’ve met. 
  • the weather. Sub tropical mild magic! Not so endlessly hot you feel like you are one giant sweaty inferno of a ball sack. (Can you tell I’ve lived in Cairns?) Not so endlessly cold you feel like your asshole has frost bite. (Can you tell I’ve lived in Tasmania and Canberra?)
  • the greens and blues. After a few years of living in the alpine mountains, I realised I need super-saturated colours in my landscape. It makes my eyes happy. I feel more creative here.
  • the educational options. Which leads me to…

Homeschooling => Back to school

After two years of homeschooling both my kids, we decided with my eldest to try a term at a small independent school here. I’d done a tour of it previously and had been really excited by its approach. When we took a tour with my eldest, she said in the car on the way there: “I don’t want to look at a school! I love homeschooling!” But by the end of the tour, she told us: “I want to go to school here.”

So she did. We thought we would give it a go for a term and see what it was like for her and us. And it was great, so we continued. It’s been a year now, and it’s really been wonderful. My kid still adores it, and has learned SO MUCH. She is truly thriving. My youngest will start there in 2020 and we will be regularly kid-free for the first time in a decade (!!!!)

I do sometimes miss how much time we had together as a family, how much freedom we had when homeschooling, and how we got to choose our own schedule. My mental health is a lotttttt better when I’m not homeschooling – just being able to have more time to myself is crucial. Plus, it’s a pretty big mental responsibility to take on your kids’ education, so I found that taxing too. My kid has absolutely blossomed at school, educationally and emotionally, so it’s the right choice for us right now.

I’m grateful for the example of homeschooling friends who are “Flexi learners” – they take it term by term, and will happily homeschool or have the kids at school – it depends on what is needed by the family members at the time.

I appreciate that philosophy – that there’s no one right way to do things permanently. You can just choose, and choose again. Keep choosing what’s right for you and and your family and your kid to bloom.

Studio Renovations

I’ve been working out of a corner of our bedroom for 18 months. We just didn’t have the space in our first house, and I didn’t really care. I knew I could cope with just having a desk for the short term. Let’s face it – I barely even use a desk anyway. I usually work from bed or the couch.

Anyways, when we moved into our new acreage, there was an extra room behind our garage that was used as a bar or games room. It didn’t have any windows, and was a bit dark and sad. We knew we’d use it as my office/studio once we renovated. In my impatience, I expected I’d be using it within a couple of weeks of moving in. In reality, it took six months for us to renovate it and get it where it needed to be for it to be usable.

We got a new glass door installed, plus two large picture windows to add in light and breeze. I repainted all the walls – Taubmans Chalk Wash Quarter for three walls, and British Paints Tropical Bird for a feature wall (does anyone even say feature wall anymore? Or is that very 1990’s?) I also added a coat of Dulux Glitter Effect over the Tropical Bird to make it shimmer.

It’s now an amazing space to create in, and I’m so thrilled!

Health

We’ve all been in good health this year, thank goodness. There’s been some years where that hasn’t been the case – between mental health, hyperemesis gravidarum and a shithouse immune system. This year has been healthy and happy though!

It’s definitely been the Year of Dental Work however… I had my wisdom teeth removed under twilight sedation (much good, highly recommend!) and I also had a root canal and new crown. My youngest Beth had the same teeth condition my eldest Ostara had – enamel hypomineralisation, likely caused by me having hyperemesis gravidarum during pregnancy. It meant she had to have the same surgery Ostara had at the same age – go under a GA for extensive repair and removal. I didn’t expect it to be super difficult – my gentle, placid-natured Ostara had no issues with the GA, and was out like a light.

For my strong spirited, boisterous Beth however, she did NOT enjoy going under GA, and was suuuuuper pissed off at the anaesthetist, fighting the whole way down (it probably only took a few minutes, but it felt like a lifetime). I ended up sobbing hysterically in the waiting room. She woke up quickly in recovery, climbed onto a nurse like a koala and sleepily proclaimed: “I AM HUNGRY!” This makes me smile – Beth, always hungry, always up for a hug. And that’s where I found her. The nurses transferred Sleepy, Hungry, Koala Beth onto me, and popped me onto the hospital bed with her on top of me. They tucked me in, and treated us both so gently. It brings tears to my eyes when I think of it.

They fetched Beth endless food – ice-blocks, ice-cream, custard, jelly. And yet she was STILL HUNGRY. Beth had been deprived of food for 5 whole hours, and she needed to redress that imbalance stat. Her recovery went beautifully. Beth now has some silver plated teeth which she is very excited by. She announces to every stranger in sight: “LOOK AT MY SILVER TEEEETH!”

Beth gave us another trip to emergency this year as well – she split her head open on a table at home and had to be glued back together. I will say: if the doctor asks you if you want to see the cleaned out head wound before they mesh it back together, say NO. I’m usually pretty fine with blood and said YES like a NOVICE PARENT. DO NOT BE LIKE ME. I don’t think I’ve managed to erase that visual memory yet. I still feel a bit vommy when I think about it.

Anyways, I’m always so blooming grateful when I go to hospital: it gives me a humanity tune-up to my heart. It reminds me just how vulnerable we all are. How much we adore our children, and how much we ache when they ache. And it reminds me to love perfect strangers, how thin the veneer of normality really is.

OUR SWEET DOGGY

At the start of the year, my husband met me at the door one afternoon when I got home with the kids.

“Honey,” he said, shaking just a little bit. “I think there’s something wrong with Angel.”

He’d noticed she’d had issues with eating, and inspected, and some of her teeth looked like they needed removal.

My husband ADORES dogs, and is very attached to our pets. He’s got such a soft heart when it comes to them.

I had a look, agreed, and calmed him down. I told him I’d take her to the vet in the morning, and that she’d be totally fine, she just needed some dental work done.

The next morning, I take her to the vet (my husband is too worried to come). The vet checks her teeth, agrees she needs some dental work, and says they can fit in Angel for treatment today. She does a health check over Angel to make sure she’s ok for dental surgery. I remember the moment: the vet puts her hand over Angel’s stomach to check her organs, and stops. She gets a frown on her face, and keeps pressing on her stomach.

In my head, I think: FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK. This is it. This is the beginning of the end. This is the bad news that none of us want.

We’ve had Angel for over 10 years now. She’s a part of our family. And we still miss our Charlie who died from a brain tumour a few years ago.

The vet finally says: “I can’t tell, but I think Angel has a large tumour. I need to get her scanned as soon as we can.”

FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK.

The vet pulls off some kind of miracle, and gets her business partner to bring scanning equipment from another surgery. They confirm she has a large tumour which needs immediate removal as it could potentially burst. They decide to perform surgery straight away, and send us home.

Hours later, they call. The surgery took much longer than they expected. They found the tumour was even larger than they anticipated – it was larger than a baseball (absolutely massive for a 3kg dog!) and took up all space in her rib cage. In an absolute miracle however, they were able to remove the whole thing, it did not cause haemorrhaging, it was not cancerous and she made a full recovery. The vets were stunned at how miraculous the whole thing was.

We are so grateful that she survived… and that we’d discovered it so serendipitously. We feel lucky for the extra time we’ve been given with her. At the age of 14, she is now in great health and is naughtier than ever. Sometimes I tell her: “ANGEL! CALM DOWN OR I WILL SHOVE THAT TUMOUR BACK INSIDE YOU!” Ha! Seriously though, thank goodness for her fluffy face and getting to keep loving her up.

Bushfire evacuation!

We got to experience another “life crisis” first this year… we were evacuated! 

In November, a bushfire became out of control near our acreage, and we were evacuated for three days. 

It was really bloody intense, and happened so fast. We saw smoke, and didn’t know what was happening. Beth was standing outside with us, wearing only swimming togs as we were supposed to be going to the pool. She was crying because of the smoke, and I was trying to calm her while we worked out what was happening and what we should do. As we stood outside, neighbours pulled up and told us it was close and very large, and they were evacuating. So we jumped in the car too, with barely a change of clothes and nothing useful. I managed to bring litres of kombucha though! You really don’t think straight in emergencies.

It was only 40 minutes from the time we saw the smoke to the roads being closed down. We evacuated, but didn’t get government text messages to evacuate until we were out. The roads were so smoky, full of evacuees and emergency services.

I got teary – while we were all running from the fire, emergency services were running towards it. I can’t believe their sacrifice and bravery.

We drove to pick up our eldest from school. When I told her we were evacuated, she burst into tears and sobbed for a long while. 

Evacuation centres were opened, but we didn’t feel we could take Angel there safely – she’s elderly, anti-social and cantankerous around other dogs. Luckily, our lovely friends had already texted us and offered their house to us. It was an absolute blessing. That’s the thing – during all the odd, hard parts of this year, we were saved by the grace of angels. Vets, nurses, generous friends. I feel so very lucky.

It’s very odd to be evacuated though – it feels like a very tense wait in an airport. We mostly listened to the radio for updates, checked our phones for updates, and texted other evacuated friends to check they were okay. Tried to make things as gentle and calm for the kids as we could. Held them as they cried. We slept all curled up together in one room.

The next morning, we drove to the shops to buy some undies, clothes and food. We could tell the other evacuees – we were all bedraggled and shell shocked. Big W lady said most evacuees bought thongs/flip flops – we’d all run away so fast we literally forgot to wear shoes.

That night, we still couldn’t go home and were going stir crazy. A cousin of mine offered up his beach house on Bribie Island to stay at, so we made a last minute decision to drive down there for a change of pace. We are NEEEEVERRRR spontaneous, so it was like the forced evacuation made us free. Who cares where we are? We can’t go home, so let’s go anywhere!

All up, we were evacuated for three days. It was strange coming home – we were still on high alert for a few weeks as there were spot fires and hot temperatures. It’s made climate change and conservation so much more front of mind for me.

And I know I’m not unique in this experience… Australia continues to burn, and so many are evacuated right now right across the country. It’s a crisis, and difficult to understand the extent of it. I’ll talk more about what I’m going to do about it later in this article.

OTHER LIFE THINGS THIS YEAR!

  • Read a lotttt of books this year. About 400. Here’s my list of the best ones I read.
  • Monthly spa dates. I have a lot of mates on the Sunshine Coast (as I said – it’s full of good peeps!) So much so – I find it difficult to catch up with all of them. Plus I am always trying to fit in more self care. So I decided to batch it all, and organise monthly spa days. I invite about 30 of my local mates, and whoever is free comes along. We go to a local spa who offers spa parties – everyone pays a fee, and we get a 60 minute massage and access to the pool, spa and sauna. We all bring food and drinks, set up camp, and live our best lives for the next 5 hours. We talk shit and laugh hysterically and enter into deeeeep chill. It’s magical, and honestly the BEST idea. Highly recommend doing the same!

  • Tried a rainbow book shelf after dissing it for years. I’m ridiculously in love with it – it looks brilliant and is actually a fun way to find new books to read!
  • Got to hang out with magical, wonderful friends including: Kaylia, Julie, Sarah, Brigit, Madi, Jo, Alecia, Julia, Jody, Keira, Bee & more!

Business:

This was a year of shifting into a new business model – away from having a membership site (the Academy which I ran for 9 years) and into producing stand-alone e-courses again.

I’ve felt so creatively juiced up, and excited by getting to make so many new courses – all up, I’ve made 6 new full-length courses this year! It’s been such a joy to connect with students and see them get results like this.

Most popular courses:

  1. Money, Manifesting & Multiple Streams of Income: 1367 enrolments
  2. 40 Days To Create & Sell Your E-Course: 1162 enrolments
  3. 40 Days To A Finished Book: 906 enrolments
  4. Goal Getter mastermind: 550 enrolments (it still hasn’t started yet – will probably double before it begins Jan 15)
  5. Anxiety Balm: 177 enrolments
  6. Self Sabotage Solution: this is a bonus course I created for students in my Book, E-course and Goal Getter courses!

Lessons learned from what was popular:

Honestly, I never really know how a course is going to go until I launch it. I thought the Anxiety Balm one would have been super popular, but it just didn’t call to people in the same way as my other courses did. I’m still glad I did it though – it’s an important topic and I feel like it was a kind of public service to share about it in the way I did.

I’m a bit surprised that my Money course has been the most popular – I came up with the idea one Friday night and launched it by Monday. I have marketed it more via a webinar, so maybe that is why it’s become so popular. I’ll probably create companion webinars for my other courses too. They are so much fun to do, and peeps seem to get so much out of the free training.

2020 My Shining Year Goals Workbooks

It’s officially a decade since the first edition of My Shining Year goals workbooks were released! I had no idea 10 years ago that those little rainbow worksheets I made for myself to plan my next year in life and business would end up being used by over 350,000 people worldwide.

This year, they were published by Ben Bella publishing house in the US. They are a slightly smaller size than usual – they are more portable plus needed to be reduced in size in order to fit in bookstore shelves! 

Me and Chris also worked on new sections for the 2020 workbooks… including my new favourite game show… WHAT WORKED! WHAT DIDN’T!

I’m blooming THRILLED with them, and adore sharing them with the world.

I’m in the midst of my own planning this year, going through the workbooks. It really is one of my favourite rituals and traditions that makes such a difference for the rest of my year.

If you haven’t already, make sure you order yours, and join the Facebook group!

Income Streams:

I go into more detail on this in my Money course, but I have three main business income streams – my e-courses, royalties from my workbooks, plus I still receive money from my doTERRA side business, and I’m an affiliate for a few companies I use like Kajabi. Those are the income streams that fall under our company, plus we have some more that are our private investments.

Staffing

A few years ago I experimented with having a larger team to cope with business growth. At one point we had about 15 employees I think? I discovered I hated it with a passion – I ended up spending my time managing staff instead of creating, and it broke me. So I downsized in order to rightsize my business. It was blooming HARD at the time, but I’m now well and truly back in my sweet spot. I have one part-time VA who largely manages herself. She does all customer service, and some admin. And my time is focussed on creating, marketing and strategy, which very much is my sweet spot.

I still earn about as much profit (just under 7 figures). I think I can manage this kind of extreme profit business working 10 hours a week or so for two reasons:

  1. I adhere pretty strictly to Pareto’s Principle that 20% of effort creates 80% of income. So I worked out what tasks are profit-generating, and I chop the rest (i.e. the 80% of effort that only creates 20% of results).
  2. I have the right business model. I don’t have physical products, I don’t manufacture. I used to self-publish my workbooks by printing them in China and having 3 distribution houses shipping. It was fascinating to learn, but HOLY FUCK was it time consuming, costly and stressful. It also required so much more staffing. It just wasn’t the right business model for me. So now I have a publishing deal, and work with a company who prints them for me. It’s not as profitable doing it this way, but it frees me up to create income in other ways. I’m much happier doing it this way!

In other staffing news, Chris (my loverrrrrrrrr/husband) still does all the layout for the workbooks and other acts of tech slavery. He says working with me is fine, but the sexual harassment from his boss is a bit hard to take at times. I told him to make an official complaint to 1-800-SHUT UP AND KISS ME.

Technology

I’m massssively in the mood for simplification in my business now. I’ve built my business over years and years, hodge-podging together lots of different software solutions for different areas of my business. It got so complicated it was difficult to execute anything. For example, to create a webinar, I previously would have had to create an opt-in page using Leadpages, and get it to link to Infusionsoft (my previous email marketing software) and create tags and an auto-responder sequence from scratch. Infusionsoft would need to link back to landing pages on my website, and then I’d need to use video conferencing software to run the whole thing. Consequently, it was so complicated I either had to outsource it to staff to do, or just… no do it because I was so confused. Then, to sell a new e-course, it was even harder – I had to set it up in Infusionsoft to sell via our shopping cart software and integrate with a WordPress plugin. Fuck.dis.shit.

I wanted to feel empowered in my business again – like I could just have an idea and RUN with it, and make it happen simply and easily without complication or interference or staff needed.

I ended up transitioning to an all-in-one online business platform called Kajabi.

Here’s a list of what I got to kill off because I moved to Kajabi:

  • Infusionsoft
  • Leadpages
  • Memberium
  • Vimeo
  • WooCommerce
  • Amazon S3.

Kajabi has a shit tonne of features:

  • I can sell e-courses, products or even a membership platform again
  • I can do all my email marketing 
  • I can offer an affiliate program again
  • I can do webinars and opt-ins super easily – it’s all integrated, and it will even create the email templates for me.

It’s not perfect – for example, it’s email marketing system could probably be a bit more customisable, and email deliverability rates are about 1% behind ConvertKit, but its benefits are so huge they outweigh any issues completely for me.

I’m just so glad I’ve been able to get back to coming up with ideas and executing them super quickly by myself.

Philanthropy

I’ve donated to a large number of charities over the years – built a library in Vietnam through Room to Read, helped build a school in West Ghana through Pencils of Promise, I’m in the top 1% of Kiva lenders worldwide and donated to loads more from WWF to Red Cross to World Vision. I donated over $40,000 to an orphanage. I want to share publicly here as well: as I learn more about racial justice, I increasingly feel more uncomfortable with supporting orphanages. More info here, here, here and here.

This year I made the decision to make a change with my philanthropic work.

I decided to centre my philanthropy going forward on climate change and the environment. It’s the place that I feel is the highest priority going forward, and feel passionate about. 

I currently want to focus my efforts on donating to Australian Wildlife Conservancy (for purchasing land for wildlife) and Wilderness Society (for advocacy).

I remember Kelly Cutrone wrote in one of her books to do the work that feels most important to you at the time. So that’s where I’m at.

Most Popular Blog Posts I Wrote This Year:

Other things I’ve done in my business in 2019:

  • I did a huge website and brand redesign… we’re entering final development now so hopefully should be out early 2020!
  • As part of the redesign, I did a photoshoot with Eyes of Love. I was freaking STOKED with the images we created, and have been using them all year long for my projects. Plus, I adore Michelle and Jacko. Total champions!
  • I did stacks of podcast interviews. Totally enjoyed this method of connecting. (If you want to interview me, ask me here!)
  • I used a coach for 3 months which was totally helpful in helping strategise my next steps in business. I haven’t used a coach since 2012 as I’m pretty self-directed, so it was a change to use one! I used Brigit Esselmont, and she was bonza. Brigit is also a mate of mine who lives close by, and I really just wanted an opportunity to pick her brain more.
  • I used a daily accountability buddy. Basically – me and one of my closest mates would FB message each other our daily to do list, and check-in once we were done, or if we were stuck. It definitely helped!

In rounding up…

Even though there were some challenges this year with family health and bushfires, I feel really freaking lucky with my family. I feel grounded and grateful to be back on land. I am SO freaking relieved we’ve found a schooling method that is working beautifully for us. I’m so glad we’re here, doing our best, turning up, together.

Business was a real blessing and joy this year. I feel more creatively in my flow than I have in a long time, and that feels super exciting. It’s been a ray full of gladness to reconnect with myself and what I want to share with the world, and connect with the beautiful souls who are called to be a part of my offerings.

What’s next for 2020?

More of the same. More new e-courses. More live rounds of the e-courses I’ve already created. More workbooks. More free webinars. More creativity and sharing in all its forms.

More philanthropy. More looking at ways I can reduce my impact on the earth.

More grounding. More art. More friendship. More self care. And more family adventures.

That all feels very good.

I’m sending you so much love, right where you are.

Big love,

Enrol in Goal Getter Mastermind before January 15!

 

Order your 2020 goals planners today!

Best Books 2019

Dearests,

It’s the mooooost wonderful time of the year! Workbook season! And time to do my annual best books of the year list!

This has been an annual tradition for the last 8 years… to share the books that I’ve read for the last year that have I’ve adored. It started as a fun way for me to document and give gratitude for the book friends I’d made that year. And then I started hearing from readers who would order books based on my recommendations, and would adore them too! So it’s officially a Thing now!

You can find previous years here:
2012 | 2013 | 2014 | 2015 | 2016 | 2017 | 2018.

As always, this is not a list of the best books published for the year – just the books I read in that year. As they say in High Fidelity, the records are organised autobiographically.

This year I have read a shit tonne of books… around 400.

So this will be the best of those 400!

HOW I READ THAT MANY

I started a project this year to read through my huge collection of unread books, and documented it publicly.

I shared here more about the project and what helped me increase the number of books I read.

I ran out of fiction books pretty quickly from my stash, so I did start supplementing my library with Kindle books as well. Fiction books are the way I give my brain a weekly holiday!

WHAT FORMAT I CONSUMED BOOKS IN

60% of the books I read were paperbacks
35% were Kindle books
5% were Audible audiobooks

I read stacks of paperbacks this year to wade through my library of them, and then gave them to friends and donated them to charity.

I have definitely started reading more Kindle books again. I think there’s a few reasons for that. After reading through and decluttering my book collection, I didn’t want to buy more because it’s a pain in the ass to move around, store and then find new homes for. I also feel even more conscious of environmental impact, so I appreciate there’s less product and delivery required for books. And I upgraded to a Kindle Paperwhite because I found the inbuilt lighting much better on my eyes.

I’m pretty sure next year I’ll be reading 80% of my books on Kindle… will see how we go though!

KINDS OF BOOKS I READ

I read my usual mix of business, personal development, racial justice, graphic memoirs and romance. The only changes from previous years are:

  • my husband became obsessed with Bill Gates’ book lists after watching Inside Bill’s Brain. So he started reading Bill’s recommendations, discussing them in depth with me, and I began reading them too.
  • my genre of romance changed! GASP! After years of subsisting on a steady diet of historical Victorian/Regency romance, I got bored this year with dukes fucking wallflowers, and started reading contemporary romance instead. GASP! I hope my excitement for historical trash returns. Probably when a new Tessa Dare book comes out!

RIGHTO! THAT’S ENOUGH PRE-AMBLE!

LET’S TALK BEST BOOKS!

NON-FICTION!

Align + Attract – Kerry Rowett

This was one of my favourite business books of the year, written by one of my favourite mentors – Kerry Rowett.

It’s the parable of a woman building her online business, facing challenges and learning big lessons as she goes. It combines journalling homework for you to do as you go – I highly recommend you do it to get the most out of this book.

Honestly, this book left me gasping for breath – Kerry totally gets inside the brain about how we feel, and how we can continue turning up to shine our light bright.

Bloody brilliant.

Fully Alive – Pema Chodron (audiobook)

I’ve been on a Pema binge this year… I did two 8 hour+ online courses with her and listened to her audiobooks.

I deeply appreciate Pema’s teachings, and how she helps us develop resilience, compassion and stoicism.

Now, when bad things happen, I think of Pema’s voice: “Oh good… this is where my real learning happens!”

Many Love – Sophie Lucido Johnson

I like reading graphic memoirs to help me understand more people’s stories and lives. It’s such a beautiful empathy builder, I reckon. I feel like I’m getting to see into personal diaries with graphic memoirs!

I wasn’t super well versed in polyamorous relationships, so this book was really useful in understanding more.

Similar book from previous years’ lists: Queer 

Onward – Howard Schultz

Maybe this is because of the stage of life I’m in, but I dig a book that’s about going through the hard stuff instead of just attracting only the good stuff.

This is the story of how Starbucks totally fucked up a bunch of things, and had to fix their company from the inside out.

It’s starkly honest and brilliant. It was a thrilling read.

I went through a stage a few years ago where I felt like my company was going in a direction I didn’t want it to be. I had to fight for it, and make so many changes to align it again. And it’s back to being exactly what I know it is supposed to be, but gosh it was hard to go through.

I feel grateful knowing that others go through similar phases, and come out the other side too.

Similar book from previous years’ lists: Risk & Resilience – Lisa Messenger

Gorilla and the Bird – Zack McDermott

A beautifully written memoir of a dude who works in mental health who suddenly finds himself experiencing psychosis and admitted to a mental institution. It’s tragic and funny and soaked with love all at once.

Pretending to be Normal – Liane Holliday Willey

This is a blend of memoir and how-to on living with Asperger’s Syndrome, especially as a woman. I’m an Aspie, and find it so useful to hear how my experience of the world is similar to others.

There’s a section in here on relationships and communication which completely rearranged my brain in an excellent way. Suddenly SO MUCH made sense!

Similar book from previous years’ lists: Aspiegirl – Rudy Simons

Quiet Power Strategy – Tara Gentile

I started this one years ago, and only completed it thanks to the challenge. It’s one of those books that is so simple and powerful that can take a while to read because it has so many nuggets of wisdom in it.

It’s for business owners and entrepreneur who want to harness their own strengths, and execute marketing in a way that works for them. It’s an anti-hustle book, which I love. And a pro-intentional productivity book, which is right up my ally.

Made By Hand – Mark Frauenfelder

This is the musings and stories of a dude who wants to become more handy and make things for himself – whether that’s musical instruments, brewing kombucha or raising chickens.

I adored it, and it’s inspired me to take up more DIY projects again!

Similar book: Living The Good Life by Linda Cockburn.

So You Want To Talk About Race – Ijeoma Oluo

Oh mate. How do I even talk about this?

Maybe to say this:

When Ijeoma wrote this book, people found out her address (where she lives with her two children), and phoned in a report to police that someone had been murdered in her house. An armed SWOT team was sent to investigate.

And THAT is how much white people do NOT want to talk about race. And some will endanger the lives of a person who does.

That’s why we need this book more than ever.

Similar reads: I collate my favourite resources on Racism here.

The No Spend Year – Michelle McGagh

This was such an inspiring book – it’s the motivation behind my “Buy No More Books Until I Read What I Have” project this year.

Similar book: The Moneyless Man – Mark Boyle

This Will Be My Undoing – Morgan Jenkins

A thoughtful, searingly honest memoir on race in America. Beautifully written, and deeply thoughtful.

Similar reads: I collate my favourite resources on Racism here.

I Can’t Remember The Title But The Cover Is Blue – Elias Grieg

This is a short, hilarious book of actual conversations with customers at a book store.

I laughed my face off.

Say Hello – Carly Findlay

Carly is a wonderful, thoughtful activist for people with disabilities and appearance diversity.

We need more books like this in the world!

Educated – Tara Westover

This was a Bill Gates book recommendation – my husband bought it because it was a memoir from someone who was homeschooled (which we were doing with our kids). It’s so much more intense than that though. If you’re in the mood to read about what it’s like to grow up in a religious cult-like environment with scant regard for safety or education… this is the book for you.

The Highly Sensitive Person – Elaine N. Aron

This one has been out for about a billion years and is a huge bestseller. I can see why now – it’s a great resource if you are highly sensitive, experience sensory overload or have Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

Chillpreneur – DDT

DDT has been a mate of mine for a fair whack of time now, and she’s continued to astound me with her wisdom, grace and integrity. She is someone who walks her talk completely, and has so much gold to share. Highly recommend!

My favourite part of the book: DDT recommends beating perfectionism by using “placeholders” instead. So, if you’re creating a sales page, just do the best you can for today, as a placeholder for something you can fix later. And you may or may not get back to making it perfect, but the placeholder is there, getting you results anyway.

Similar book from previous years’ lists: Get Rich Lucky Bitch – Denise Duffield-Thomas

80/20 Principle – Richard Koch

So, I’m adding this in here because I love the 80/20 principle that much, and have been using it for YEARS.

I first read about it in Tim Ferriss’ Four Hour Work Week and have been applying it ever since… it’s why I’ve managed to create $10m in revenue while only working 10 hours a week.

Basically, the ye olden day mathematical principle (called “Pareto’s Rule”) says that 20% of your efforts create 80% of your results, and the remaining 80% of your efforts only create 20% of results.

In a business sense, that means you usually have 20% of your offerings creating 80% of your income.

For me, it means that I try and kill off the tasks that are 80% of my time and only 20% of my income, and only tend to the shit that makes a real difference.

Anyways, it was good to read a whole book about it, but honestly, just reading a 1000 word essay on the same topic would give you the same outcome.

Wilding – Isabella Tree

For me, this was one of the standout, world-changing books of the year.

Wilding documents an English farm being reverted to wilderness, and the flora and fauna miracles that occurred because of it.

It is a celebration of the innate wisdom of the natural world, and a clarifying call for conservation.

It’s a potent read during these days of climate change.

Plus, holy FUCK is it beautifully written.

BIG TIME RECOMMEND!

On Immunity – Eula Biss

Another one of Bilbo Gateso’s recommended reads.

“On Immunity” is a beautiful meditation – part memoir, part journalistic investigation – of that most contentious of topics… VACCINATION.

I said it! VACCINATION! Look at me go! I said it on the internet, and nothing exploded! I kid, I kid… that will happen later in my inbox I’m sure. And my VA’s eyes will glaze over, and she’ll delete. But I won’t know anything of it. I guess it’s that whole philosophical question: if a cranky email is sent, but nobody reads it, does it really exist?

I vaccinate my kids. And I also don’t care whether you do or don’t. I’ve got stacks of friends that do, and stacks that don’t.

I really did think this was a useful read on why people are so afraid of vaccinations, what created that fear, and how the research and statistics stack up. I think it’s a compassionate book as well: as a new parent, Eula talks about her parental fears as well, and how that plays into the debate. I found it useful.

Talking To My Country – Stan Grant

This was one of the most poetic, beautiful, heart-searing books I read this year. I reckon SMH was dead-on with their review. This should be required reading for Australians.

Stan is a celebrated ABC news and political journalist and is from the Wiradjuri people of New South Wales.

His story of growing up Aboriginal and how that affects his and his family’s life is incredibly important and heart-breaking all at once.

Similar reads: I collate my favourite resources on Racism here.

Bewildered – Laura Waters

I love me a good hiking novel. I imagine that it’s like I’ve walked the track, just without the blisters, bitching and moaning.

This is probably a bit like Cheryl Strayed’s “Wild”, but more Kiwi. FUSH AND CHUPS!

Similar great books from previous years’ lists: Walking to Listen: 4,000 Miles Across America, One Story at a Time – Andrew Forsthoefel and The Salt Path: A Memoir by Raynor Winn

Belonging: A German Reckons With History and Home – Nora Krug

Oh holllly shittttttt this is a phenomenal book. Part graphic memoir, part scrapbook… this is an incredible illustrated memoir of a German woman investigating her shame of her homeland. Fuck, it’s powerful. And beautiful.

Kid Gloves – Lucy Knisley

Lucy is my all time favourite graphic memoirist. I’ve been so excited to read her book documenting her pregnancy… so much so I pre-ordered it! That’s how you know I love an author berrrrrrry much!

If you haven’t read a graphic novel/memoir before, I highly recommend starting with a Lucy Knisley book!

Similar great books from previous years’ lists: Relish: My Life in the Kitchen – Lucy Knisley

Special Exits – Joyce Farmer

An incredibly detailed graphic memoir documenting her elderly parent’s last decade or so of life.

If you’re dealing with elderly parents, this is potent, sobering and vulnerable medicine.

Similar books from previous years’ lists: Can’t We Talk About Something Pleasant? – Roz Chast

FICTION

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine – Gail Honeyman

This is the least romance-y of my favourite fiction for the year.

It’s a little outside of my usual reads, but it sucked me in and I was fascinated.

Eleanor is an odd bod… and you find out why as the story unravels.

DAH DAH DAHHHHHHHHHHHH (that’s my suspense noise! ha!)

The Bookish Life of Nina Hill – Abbi Waxman

I suspect the character Nina is a bit ASD – she has a highly structured routine, lives in books, and can have meltdowns in public.

She’s also bonafide adorable. This is her love story.

One Day In December – Josie Silver

Guys, I need to be real with you. I read this early in the year. And I absolutely KNOW that I adored the shit out of it.

But I can’t remember the plot now.

It’s a love story. Over ten years. Around Christmas time. Probably.

With two people. Probably.

But it WAS very good. YOU ARE WELCOME.

Josh and Hazel’s Guide To Not Dating – Christina Lauren

Christina Lauren are one of my favourite contemporary romance authors and I read my way through their complete cannon this year.

This was my absolute favourite (probably because one of the characters is ASD! I love a good ASD romance!)

The Kiss Quotient – Helen Hoang

Speaking of ASD romance, Helen Hoang fucking NAILS it.

I love her characters that don’t quite manage to step. in. time. to the beat of normality.

The Flat Share – Beth O’Leary

This was HOLY SHIT CUTE. And I can’t WAIT for her next one!

Tiffy and Leon share a flat… but not just that… they share a bed.

They work opposite hours to each other, so they rent the same room, but never meet.

Until…

DAH DAH DAHHHHHHHH (suspense noise again! Look at me go! Professional book critic absolutely NAILING IT!)

Finding Hope at Hillside Farm – Rachael Lucas

I think there’s a Rachael Lucas book on every one of my favourite books list for a few years now!

She writes the most delightful romances, full of people and the places they live. Totally endearing.

Rachael is also now a mate of mine, so I’m basically a star fucker! HEYOOOOO!

Similar great books from previous years’ lists: The State of Grace – Rachael Lucas and Sealed with a Kiss – Rachael Lucas

We Met In December – Rosie Curtis

This is another one by my BFF Rachael Lucas, but this is written under her non de plume.

Do you see how fancy I am? I have AUTHOR FRIENDS. Who publish books under OTHER NAMES AS WELL.

#starfucker

The Girl He Used To Know – Tracey Garvis-Graves

Fuck, this is a beautiful, compelling book.

Romantic. With a tiny bit of mystery.

Two teenagers fall in best friendship. Then in love.

Then something… happens.

DAH DAH DAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH (you know the drill!)

Kid’s Books

After The Fall – Dan Santat

I loved this kid’s book so much I ended up making a video of me (and Beth) reading it out loud.

Honestly, it’s so fucking spiritual I can barely stand it.

MY HEART!

The Bad Guys – Aaron Blabey

This is a new series me and my kids discovered this year.

I fucking LOVE reading these books to them.

They are so freaking funny! Adorably illustrated! Action packed! ALL THE THINGS!

We just binge-read all ten in the series… I can’t wait for more to be released!

Other kids book favourites:

MY BOOKS!

And of course, I’ve still got a raging lady boner for my own workbooks… I created them ten years ago (!!!!) and they’ve now been used by over 350,000 people worldwide! The 2020 editions are just out, and I am SO FUCKING CHUFFED with them – I added some new sections!

Hooray!

Thanks for joining me on this magical book adventure!

Happy reading my treasures!

Big love,

 

Creative Traveller Magazine interview…

Dearests,

A few months ago I was interview by the gorgeous Jenni Onn for the Christmas edition of her magazine, Creative Traveller Mag!!

We talked about my e-Courses, creativity, self-confidence, favourite travel destinations and more!

Read it online, for free HERE!!!!

You can also subscribe to the online magazine for free if you want future issues delivered to your inbox!

OH and!!! Watch part 1 of our interview here!

Can’t wait to hear what you think of this one!

Big love,

The Ethical Evolution Podcast

Possums,

I hope your ears are ready because I have another epic podcast interview to share!!!

From their website: “Ethical Change Agency is an agency that supports the promotion of ethical business owners, change makers and holistic healers who are determined to make a change in the world. Once we have a change in consciousness and through collective change we can become one.”

How fucking cool is that?!

Have a listen HERE (and also anywhere you would normally find your podcasts; Apple, Spotify, Stitcher etc)

As always, big love,