Parenting Through Slow Suicide:  Adolescent Anorexia

Parenting Through Slow Suicide: Adolescent Anorexia

{This is a different kind of post for my blog. It’s personal. And vulnerable. And 1000% related to how moms juggle life and business.
It’s also full of a new passion to bring awareness to a secretive topic. At the end, I share my thoughts on how we maintain our businesses when we are facing such crises in our homes. Skip to the end if you need to know that part ASAP. I’m grateful I do run my own business. Otherwise, I would have been fired from my corporate job because of all the time I’ve needed to care for my family over the past couple of years.}

The past few months we’ve been waking up everyday to slay a dragon. It’s name is Anorexia Nervosa.

That dragon analogy I learned from another parent in the eating disorder clinic where we’ve been spending 20-25 hours per week since early December.

Shocker right? My daughter doesn’t “look” like she has anorexia. (and if someone utters those words we understand it’s simply coming from a lack of education and awareness.) Forget all your preconceived notions form photos of Angelina Jolie in the grocery checkout line.

Also, please don’t say things like “She just needs to eat.” or “Can’t you make her eat?”

After keeping this sneaky and secretive disorder to ourselves for the past 3 months, my daughter is finally at a stage of her treatment that it’s ok to share. In fact, sharing with everyone now is easier than figuring out to whom we’ve already explained the complex eating schedule, lack of participation in sports and missing school days.

It’s timely too since this is officially Eating Disorder Awareness week.

So first of all, some education. Here’s an official website full of info:

You want the short shocking version? It could have killed her.

Her body was in the process of shutting down. Anorexia is slow suicide. We were clueless. And it has a lengthy, regimented recovery protocol that Maya may need to follow for the rest of her life.

Here’s my short official version:

  • Anorexia is a brain disorder.
  • It is not something a person chooses.
  • It has genetic and personality ties primarily which are pushed by environmental triggers (everyone wants to know “why” and that’s the best answer)
  • It’s defined simply as any restriction of food of any kind and / or excessive exercising
  • It does not define the person. We still have our Maya but sometimes it’s the eating disorder talking to us instead of her.
  • It’s a disorder of the brain that is curable, especially when treated aggressively in adolescents

Here’s what our life has looked like the past few months:

  • Structured meal plans, 6 times a day, from a licensed dietitian
  • Me making and serving ALL of her food because any contact with food prep / grocery shopping even, is an unhealthy trigger for the noisy thoughts in her brain
  • Monitoring all meals and food intake, because eating disorders are so sneaky and will try to convince her to hide, discard and lie about what food she has / has not eaten
  • Encouraging her to eat food that literally does not taste good to her (the disorder changes the taste buds)
  • Teaching her digestive system to accept food again (think of painful your muscles are when you haven’t used them in awhile and start to exercise again. Same thing but her stomach muscles instead.)
  • Enforcing “supplements” and other consequences (bedrest) when food is not consumed completely and in the timeframe required
  • Endless appointments at the Children’s Hospital Eating Disorder clinic since December 6th. (partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient, psychiatrists, medical doctors, therapists, dietitians.)
  • Inability for her to sleep through the night.
  • Making sure she isn’t secretly exercising at night.
  • Reminding Maya over and over that it’s the eating disorder telling her lies about her body, her weight, her talents and gifts in this world.
  • Navigating broken friendships, careless words from people who don’t understand and figuring out who will be the “safe” people in our life we can trust during this sensitive time.

How did we get here?

(Everyone wants to know why.  So do we but truly, we may never know.  Fact is we are here, may be forever, and so we take this trial and look for the blessings in it.)

All summer we admired and praised Maya for her work ethic and discipline around her work outs and healthy eating as she reached for her goal of making the high school soccer team.

(Looking back, you know we questioned how we missed this and if we were part of the problem.)

At points, I felt she wasn’t eating enough, and her brother noticed as well, and we tried to educate her on proper calorie intake for the amount of exercise output. She appeared to be complying. And she took an extreme interest in shopping for and making her own food. She also became very interested in very work out techniques, strength training and fitness equipment. Her dad beamed for having a girl who wanted to be strong. Awesome right? Nope. A sure sign of an eating disorder I now understand.

I knew something more serious was going on around late October when Maya confessed to me her obsessive thoughts about food and calorie counting. She was scared. She didn’t like that she couldn’t stop these thoughts.

Naively I thought we could fix this by reading a couple of books, praying and getting into a counselor.

By the time we finally found the clinic at Children’s Hospital and had our assessment on December 6th, here’s what was going on with Maya physically:

Her body was shutting down. She had been restricting herself to 500-800 calories a day since June. She was constantly cold because her blood was focused around her core organs. Her heart rate was only 50. She’d been light headed and passed out a couple of times. Her digestive system was not working (I’ll spare the details but how would you feel with only 3 bathroom events in over a month?). Her female cycle had stopped. Her hair was falling out. One by one her body systems were shutting down. And she had been playing soccer in this condition as recently as a couple weeks prior. She was severely malnourished and her brain was affected as well because it simply couldn’t function.

We could have lost her to heart failure. Or suicide. That’s how serious this disorder can be.

Now here we are, 3 months later and part way through the battle and ready to share. This article is therapeutic for me, and approved by Maya. Because, for me as the mom, how did we miss this? How many other parents are missing this? (I *need* to reach you all!)  How did her coaches miss this? (multiple athletes from our school system are receiving treatment at the same clinic.  I don’t blame.  I just *need* coaches to know.)

I’m good and angry at it now. There are not enough tools. It was barely mentioned in her freshman health class this past fall. And her AP Psych teacher told me she is going to add some resources I shared to her curriculum. None of the parent meetings for all the expensive travel sports we play have EVER mentioned this is a risk and something to watch for in people who are intensely focused on athletics.

The therapists at the clinic are desperate to get the word out to pediatrician offices – who are so quick to treat for food allergies (encouraging the fear of food, deeming it the enemy). Or to simply medicate for depression and miss this completely.

I am convicted to get this information into a nutrition program for all middle and high school coaches to share with athletes and parents.

If there’s one thing you all need to take away from this, it’s how we talk about food.

All food is good food.
(in the right moderation)

We need to stop labeling food as “clean” or “dirty” or “toxic”. Yes yes I know things have changed and I’ve done this before. But it’s being taken to an extreme that manifests in full on eating disorders.

Food is her medicine. A healthy well-rounded meal plan that includes milk (gasp! dairy?) and oreos (gasp! gluten and processed sugar?) and even fries and coke. Because that’s a normalized life… the right moderation.

To all my fellow moms who are obsessing over your bodies with instagram selfies and diet shakes, I’m still using duct tape so I don’t unfairly snap on you. I don’t have the right words yet except to know that what WE are doing in the name of “self-care” and “healthy lifestyles” can get so far off track.

Learning to control our urges in any direction (too much or too little) is imperative. (For those of you ready to argue with me about the all food is good food fact, please read more about Orthorexia ( and reflect on your own habits a bit. I say this because I’ve been there myself and I care about you. We all hate that idealistic B word – balance. Yet there’s wisdom in it.

Every body is beautiful. All food is good food in the right moderation. Restriction is only a short term fix. (Note that on the flip side of anorexia are other eating disorders resulting in obesity that are equally damaging to the body. That’s not what I’m here to share, nor am I versed in it but if that’s you, please check out more resources here.

{Short note to my clients who work in the fitness space, my experience is going to produce some breakthrough thinking for your marketing. We HAVE to look at things differently to get better results. You will get attention when sharing these counter-culture messages and your business will grow.}

So what does treatment and recovery look like?

At our intake visit, I pushed back sobs as the doctors told us they were debating sending her straight to the hospitalization program. For a few reasons, they decided to let us start in Intensive Outpatient treatment. They handed me the schedule and I cried again. These treatments require a lot of hands on from the parents. Because when you treat this aggressively in the adolescent years, you can change those neuropathways in the brain and basically beat the disorder into submission with structure.

So we immediately began. On her 15th birthday. With 8 hours of appointments, orientation and treatment.

Phase 1 is simply getting the body re-nourished again. Food is the medicine. It took us about 10 weeks to get there. Until then, there was little reasoning with that malnourished brain being led by eating disorder lies. We were living with an incredibly moody, unhappy teenager (don’t we all? but this was so different. so extreme. so scary in ways I can’t even put into visible words yet. scary in the worst ways you can imagine as a parent.)

Next, after the body is functioning from a nourished state again within an expected body weight range, you move into a phase where you fight those thoughts. And it’s a long one and requires still the constant vigilance with meals and eating. I’m anticipating another 6 – 12 months of this vigilance assuming we don’t have a relapse. (Yes, I’ve adjusted my 2018 business activities significantly and unapologetically and truthfully, guilt free. Nothing is more important right now.)

There is absolutely ZERO exercise of any kind allowed during treatment.

Some kids sneak in exercise in their rooms at night. For some time periods of treatment, you literally need to be with them 24/7.

We are not yet back to a point to reintroduce any exercise. In fact, even extra walking for example at the mall or an event, requires additional caloric intake…..or to be pushed in a wheel chair to not expend that energy….necessary especially when your metabolic system is trying to reset in crazy ways.

School becomes a secondary priority and for 5 weeks, she did not attend at all. (Praises to her awesome teachers for assisting thru all of this.)

There are new medicines, new ways to talk about food and eating, and a new bond with my daughter that is a beautiful blessing in the face of this challenge.

But why?

Still that question.  I understand.  I’m wielding it from family members over and over.  Many of you have thoughts in your own minds about this. Likely uneducated judgments. I used to be there too.

For a minute, I did blame myself for not seeing it and potentially encouraging bad food behaviors – calling a shake breakfast and a protein bar lunch. Working to eliminate the “toxins” from our food and eat more “clean”. These CAN be contributors with people at risk for an eating disorder.

Ultimately, it is “just” another mental illness, which some people are more genetically and / or environmentally predisposed to. 50-80% of the risk for anorexia and bulimia is genetic. (Trace, S. E., Baker, J. H., Peñas-Lledó, E., & Bulik, C. M. (2013). The genetics of eating disorders. Annual Review of Clinical Psychology, 9, 589-620.)

We crave to know more of the why naturally so we can get to that root cause and eliminate it right?

Here’s one more shocking (I’ve used that word 3 times in this blog and I’ve maybe never used it before in anything I’ve written) fact for you:

Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness.

(mink, F. E., van Hoeken, D., & Hoek, H. W. (2012). Epidemiology of eating disorders: Incidence, prevalence and mortality rates. Current Psychiatry Reports,14(4), 406-414.)

It’s aggressive. And so sneaky.

Did you know there are actually instagram accounts and forums where people with eating disorders will help each other with ways to HIDE anorexia?

(I won’t even share the names but if you suspect your child is struggling, message me and I’ll give you some ideas of what to look for in their instagram account.)

What parents should look for…. (I’ll share a few interesting unhealthy eating behaviors)

  • Dresses in layers to hide weight loss or stay warm
  • Is preoccupied with weight, food, calories, fat grams, and dieting
  • Refuses to eat certain foods, progressing to restrictions against whole categories of food (e.g., no carbohydrates, etc.)
  • Excessive use of napkins
  • Micro-chopping of food
  • Focus on eating only “clean” (right? some of you are going to lose your mind when you read this!)
  • Refusing sweets
  • Reasons to skip meals
  • Skipping breakfast
    • (innocent…we all do it but do you know if they’re eating lunch? Maya was only eating a reasonable dinner with us on many days…and only on days we actually ate dinner as a family which is approximately twice a week.)
  • stomach aches
    • (you know my first thought? oh you must have a gluten or dairy allergy. what should we cut out? Wrong. So freaking wrong. Don’t get me started.)
  • Maintains an excessive, rigid exercise regimen – despite weather, fatigue, illness, or injury
  • Withdraws from usual friends and activities and becomes more isolated, withdrawn, and secretive
  • Seems concerned about eating in public
  • Has limited social spontaneity
  • Fainting
  • Feeling cold
  • Hair loss
  • Depression, self-harm and high anxiety.

The full list of symptoms is here:

That list may scare you. Perhaps it even triggers some warning signs for your own unhealthy relationship with food? I saw it too late. In hindsight, she was doing so many of these things and we chalked them up to “normal” teen behavior.

Here’s what I’ve learned after 12 weeks and counting of being at the eating disorder clinic on average 4 – 5 days a week.

Us parents are in this battle together. I’m grateful for the bonds we have inside the clinic that are confidential, raw, vulnerable and exhibiting parenting strength we never knew we could muster.

Good things can go bad in kids who are prone to eating disorder. For example, training hard out of determination to make the high school soccer team. Then, being around a bunch of calorie-counting upperclassmen that have a stronger influence than they realize with their words.

Or starting a work out program with a team mate to gain muscle. The team mate does great. But your child’s obsessive thoughts become an eating disorder monster from following the identical routine.

The Eating Disorder convinces these kids they are not skinny enough (and if you ask them what their goal weight is, they irrationally don’t have one because they feel they will never be skinny enough).

Eating disorders thrive in smart, high-achieving, perfectionistic students and athletes.

There is no stereotype of course but runners, soccer players, dancers, gymnasts, etc, have surrounded us in this program. Straight A students, some of them already committed to collegiate sports.

It takes a good thing – a desire to achieve and perform well – and twists it into completely irrational thinking.

If you have 10 minutes, this TED talk is the best description of what an eating disorder biologically does to the brain.


Support for coaches…..

I want to help you. A few of Maya’s coaches don’t even know this yet. They don’t know they coached her through complete seasons where she was barely eating.

I’m working on some resources and a plan to circulate them through our school district at a minimum.

How has this changed my view on our diet-obsessed culture?

Mostly I’ve bit my tongue and kept my hands away from the keyboard. The nicest way I can say this is that we’ve got some serious issues and I’ve been right there in that race with you all (bullet proof coffee, paleo diets, the vegan green smoothie phase, Shakeology and yes an advocare regimen of countless pills.) In case you wondered, now is 1000% not the time to come at me with why your pink drink or other magic potion is “different”.

I believe we’ve all been fed a pile of lies. And this post is not big enough to dig into that.

Where do we go from here?

A few requests straight from the heart of the one fighting this battle head on, my daughter.

  • Don’t give me “pity eyes”. I’ve got a curable sickness and want your support.
  • Don’t talk about food and dieting around me. (And please clean up your own eating habits.)

And requests from this mama who’s weary but stronger now as a result:

  • Catch this when they are young. Before they are on their own in college and beyond. (It’s considered “curable” in adolescents.)
  • Reach out to me if you need support. Please don’t hesitate. Support groups seem few and far between even in a large city like we live.
  • Reconsider your own views around food, dieting, exercise and what it means to be “healthy”. We are setting examples for those around us.

Now, for those of you who normally hang around here looking for online business advice, entrepreneurial wisdom or to start or grow your own work from home business….. you need to hear this.

To support my daughter, I had to cut my work back to 15-20 hours per week. What does that even look like and do to a business?

The message out there is hustle.  Find the time.  Your business grows as much as you put into it.  (I don’t subscribe to all those philosophies anyhow.  It’s always been a family first thing for me.)

How do you navigate your business when facing a family crisis like this?

A few reflections (because we are still in the trenches)

 1. A whole new level of Flexible

Virtual professional / freelance work is rather flexible.  You can flex not just work times but also flex the type of work and clients you take on and don’t take on. I intentionally did not take on certain types of projects and clients in this season.

2. Pick good clients

From the start pick good clients.  Most of my clients are other parents.  Most of them are Christian believers and we pray for each other’s businesses and families.   So when crisis comes, we adapt and adjust with grace and understanding.  (Since we are coming out of the darkest valley, I do now have 2 client spaces open for March & April)

3. Do only the essentials (you’ll figure that out quickly)

Drop the “shoulds”.  Stop following other people online who don’t have children (and stop comparing yourself to them!)   This is a big chant of mine anyhow that’s become so apparent in this season.

4. God will provide.

Plant seeds throughout your years of business. They will bring a harvest when you most need it.

5. Follow a financial system (I like Profit First).

Have a game plan where you have back up savings in the event you are unable to work for a season.

6. Drop the guilt and be with your family in need.

It could be easy to mega-stress load and try to keep up with everything.  But what your family needs most is the BEST you.  Calm, confident, caring and on top of it.

7.  Don’t stop self-care.

The #1 cause of relapse for eating disorders? Parent burn out. We are simply exhausted from the treatment protocol and begin to cut corners. The eating disorder sneaks back in wherever it can.

8. These seasons bring insights that can be game changers for your business

One bright light through all of this is since my client load is smaller, I’ve been able to really pour into my How She Quits Community and launch a new membership community.

B-School launch happened throughout this time period and I intentionally set a small amount of marketing I’d do for that (some emails and posts, no ads, no lives, etc.)  And still, the right people were there and ready for it.

Having this break in “normal” work has given me perspective on what I truly enjoy the most in my business.  I am certain I wouldn’t have had that perspective if I had stayed in my normal flow of client work (even though I sincerely enjoy all of my clients!)   This is good news for my clients too because I come to them refreshed and renewed with these insights on our projects.

9. If I was still in corporate, this would be the second time I was fired in a year.

Last year we found out my dad had a cancerous brain tumor and we lost him in 10 weeks.   I spent so much time with him and mom – which is the only way I wanted it to be.  6 months later I’m in eating disorder h-e-double-hockey-sticks.

If I was still in corporate, the stress would have been unbearable. And quitting would have meant instant zero salary.  Instead, I cut back, delegated my team, had lesser revenue but let’s be realistic….I worked 15-20 hours a week max and maintained a 6 figure revenue business (plus a 6 figure non-profit).

Can I encourage you to have a plan B outside of the day job?

If you are new here, I teach that freelance work is the fastest path out of a day job

But don’t drop that dream of building a longer, slower growth online business (blog, author, speaking, online training, coaching, etc).   You can be up and running with your freelance work in 60-90 days.   That leaves flexibility to keep building your passion business on the side.

More info at “start here” and “” or if you’re ready, join us in the Collective.

Now, set all that business talk aside for a moment.  Because you’re talking to a normal, regular, real mom who’d do anything to help her daughter through a battle like this.

For those who are walking this path, I’m praying for you.




Short Time Offer – The Complete Simple Online Business Program for Busy Moms

Short Time Offer – The Complete Simple Online Business Program for Busy Moms

B-School Registration is Open Only Through March 1

As an alumni and partner who believes in the value of the program, I want to extend you a special offer.

For those who register for B-School with me, you have 2 BONUS options depending on your business needs.

  • 6 Months Access to How She Quits Collective Membership Community
    • Including our library of online marketing resources – offer design, naming, funnel design and more
  • Three 1 hour 1-on-1 Coaching Calls
    • March, April and June to carry you through B-School
  • Design of your high-converting freebie offer opt-in (copy, graphics and freebie naming and content outline)*
    • *If you need implementation help, we’ll offer discounted implementation hours too
  • 6 Months Access to How She Quits Collective Membership Community
    • yes, including our resource library
  • 6 Weeks To Clients VIP Edition (our premier course for becoming and growing your Virtual Professional busines)
    • Includes your own Professional Website + Hosting
    • 1-on-1 strategy calls
    • Complete Course Access
  • Verified Virtual Professional Training Center

Is B-School for me?

Are you seeking a structured, proven system to rapidly learn good online marketing AND business strategy?  Then yes.   B-School teaches high quality lessons in an efficient, easy to learn format.

It is for:   anyone wanting to run an online business – coaching, consulting, blogging (we’ll make a business out of it for you!), online courses, memberships and any service based work such as – virtual professsional services, web design, VA, copywriters, graphic designers, social media managers, book keepers, etc.

Are Lori’s bonuses for me?

I offered 2 bonus options, depending on your type of business.   My philosophy comes from 20+ years of business strategy and over 10 years in the online marketing space working with big and just starting baby brands.   If you have questions about that, just ask.

If you want to start or grow your VA or Virtual Professional business, the 6 Weeks To Clients track is perfect for you (and includes a website – hello!)

If you want to move into online course / info product or other coaching options, then our new How She Quits Collective PLUS my 1-on-1 coaching including a funnel design, is the right bonus for you.

Can I do B-School at a later time?

It’s only open once a year.  Which is right now.  I’m not into pressuring people into doing anything.  It has to be the right timing.  But honestly, March – April is a GREAT time to dive in. While the new year is fresh, goals are still in eye sight, and summer hasn’t side-swiped all your free time.

Is the price worth it?

Loaded question right?  This is a $1999 program.  Not the cheap by any means.  And a scary number to commit to for many!   This is one reason I offer my bonuses like I do.  It basically makes it a 2-for-1, a BOGO, an unbeatable offer to get my programs as well as the amazing B-School.

If I didn’t believe in the ROI (return on investment) of this program, I would not be a partner (there are currently only 2 things I respect enough to be a partner for.  B-School and 90 Day Year.  Both game changers in my business.)

At the end of the day, math is not emotional.   Can you show the math that will pay back the value of this course?   For me, it paid back immediately as I opened a new membership program that raised $5000.  In other years, I’ve invested in programs that brought me 2 new clients, worth $2000 each initially and more over time.    What does your math look like?    If it’s not clear, then consider this a training investment.   A place where you will get highly valuable strategic guidance to save time and money as you design your business.

How much time does this take?

While you can pace yourself, I recommend trying to stay within a week or two of the program schedule to get the most out of it.  Calls are recorded so you can always go back and listen.  With 2 hours a week, you can really get a lot out of this program.  With more, you can get more.

Want to hear more?  Here’s my story of how B-School helped me quit my corporate job (including my intervew with Marie Forleo herself.)

Or you can grab some time on my calendar to talk more.


Planner Secrets- How to Maximize Your Time to Work Your Freelance Business

Planner Secrets- How to Maximize Your Time to Work Your Freelance Business


Welcome to The How She Quits Show – Episode 1


This first episodes topic is:  PLANNING SECRETS – It’s not about the pretty planner.

The important planning topics I’ll talk about:

– Are annual and 5 year plans worth it?
– Should I use the same planning method for family and business?
– Why 90 days is the ideal planning time period
– A look at a sample plan to quit your job / grow your business in 90 days

Did Your Black Friday Promos Flop?

Did Your Black Friday Promos Flop?

Timeline:  Written Post Black Friday 2017.  Applicable for anyone disappointed in how their online promotion went.

Black Friday. Small Business Saturday. Cyber Monday. There’s a name for EVERYTHING now in the marketing world. But that doesn’t mean it has to be for you.

I was scrolling through some of my favorite online business Facebook groups this weekend after doing my on online shopping and seeing post after post of business owners disappointed in their Black Friday sales results.

After putting hours and hours of work into graphics and copy and emails and setting up special sales pages, their results were dismal. 1 or 2 sales only. Or just like any other day.

It can really crush your spirit to put so much into a big promotion only to have it flop.  I know.  I’ve been there too.  In fact, you can’t really call yourself a business owner unless you’ve ridden that ride.

During the holiday season, the pressure is ON for businesses to sell, sell, sell and, presumingly to even HAVE a special offer.   So it’s natural to feel like “Oh my goodness!  I need an offer!”

But, maybe you don’t even need an offer?  Maybe this isn’t the best way to promote your business?  Maybe an offer can actually HURT your business?

Here are some ways to help you make that decision.

Questions to Ask Yourself When Preparing a Special Offer

  • When reading about how to promote on Black Friday and feeling all convinced you need to do it, stop first and ask yourself…..what is the intended audience of that article?  What types of businesses are they targeting?  They may not directly state it but look at their demographic and decide if you fit it before following their advice.
  • Where did most of my sales come from in the past year?   It can be easy to get caught up in the rush of prepping those specials (at the expense of extra time from your family by the way) and forget that this weekend won’t make or break your business.
  • Think about what happened on your past promotion weekends.   That same feeling of “everyone is prepping Black Friday so I should too” can give you amnesia about your past year’s results.  Look them up and trust your gut!
  • Do I want to cheapen the value of my products and services with a special?  How will everyone who paid full price feel about my sudden price drop?  Like they were cheated?
  • What will my audience expect from me on this weekend and how should I talk to them about it?  (whether I plan an offer or don’t!)
  • Will my audience even be online during this time?  Or will they be focused on family, friends, food and fun?   Maybe it’s better to NOT contribute to the noise in their inbox and pay double for Facebook ad traffic during this weekend.

Who does Black Friday – Cyber Monday work well for?

Clearly there are BIG REVENUES made on this weekend.   But for who?

  1. Large audiences, large volume of eyes on your products.
  2. Physical products with enough margin to withstand the price cut
  3. Someone strategically using this weekend to fill up a services queue and not market again for the rest of the year (i.e. booked ahead services so YOU can holiday over the holidays)  —–> Virtual Professionals this is you!

Most of those who are striking it rich on Black Friday have been planning their Black Friday promos for months in advance.   Not just the couple weeks before.

If you’re feeling the pressure suddenly only a couple weeks before, it’s probably not the right promotion season for you.

If you are running a Virtual Professional, Coaching or Consulting Business and feel like you need an offer during this season make sure you do the following:

  1. Align it with what is going on in your audience’s brain during this weekend.  They may not be ready for an intense decision on a high end program.  But they may be ready to commit to a lower dollar service to “try out” your programs.
  2. Don’t eliminate your profit UNLESS you have a great upsell offer behind that in December to convert them into.
  3. Don’t attract a different low-pay audience that will never opt-in to higher dollar services.
  4. Open it for a longer time period that just Black Friday
  5. Make it SIMPLE on you and on them.  These services should make someone’s life easier and better and that starts with how they get in on your offers.

See how this article wasn’t about what to put in your ad copy?  Or the best converting offer page?   Those are VERY important IF you decide to run a promo.   But the first step is the decision.   Make smarter decisions by first thinking of the strategy and approach.

This method is at the heart of my Holiday Business Accelerator program as well.

It’s not a Black Friday offer.  It’s a holiday program of hope and help for online business owners like you.   You can join until December 10th.

We’ll walk through my methods of strategy and business design and THEN with the right strategy get on into implementation.  Because, thinking and not getting stuff done doesn’t get you anywhere!

So relax about those holiday promos.  Maybe it wasn’t right for you?   It’s ok.  Fail faster and move forward to what DOES work.  And accelerate into the new year with the right plan in place for your business.

Start Here: A Technology Roadmap for Entrepreneurs

It’s overwhelming!    Choosing the right technology and getting it implemented.

So let’s not kid ourselves.  You’re doing HARD THINGS often when you make technology choices.

But you’re an entrepreneur which means you’re smarter than the average bear and understand how to make trade off decisions.  Which is ultimately what choosing and implementing a technology comes down to.

When you feel like you’ve finally got all your systems in place, don’t get comfortable.  Something will change or a bright shiny object will tempt you.  And for good reason because technology is a GAME CHANGER for entrepreneurs today.

We’ve never lived in a time with access to better, faster tools for someone to start their own business.

In 1995, I graduated from The Ohio State University with a Computer Engineering degree and the only reason I had an email address was because I was an engineering student!  My senior project was to convince the Columbus Zoo they needed a website and design it for them.  CRAZY!

In the early 2000’s, it still took a REALLY techie person to make you a website.   But now almost anyone can whip out a website in an hour.

I say this not to date myself but to give you perspective as to the power of technology that’s in your hands.

But where to begin?   There are so many choices!  I give you permission to be overwhelmed.   The technology market for entrepreneurs is a HOT MESS!

So now we know what we’re dealing with, we start with goals.

It’s NEVER about the technology tool.

Did you read this?   Don’t let the tool selection lead ANY decision.   It’s first about your business goals and needs.  

Here’s a simple framework so you can see exactly what tech tools you need to have in place:


Now that we understand we are working from goals, let’s look at a tiered roadmap for various stages of your entrepreneurial venture:


Now, clearly this is a bigger discussion than one blog post can handle (even an epic blog post which I personally find overwhelming.)   You really need some “thinking and processing” time.

Here are some quick hints for now.  To keep things short, this is the “I’m going to trust you on this” list without the heavy explanations:

  • Always choose WordPress (over Wix, Squarespace, etc).
  • Divi is hands down my favorite WordPress theme that will take you for MILES – landing page design, membership site pages and more.
  • Ontraport is your best all-in-one solution for Email Marketing + Sales pages + Membership management and even fulfillments, SMS messaging, postcard sending and more.   All-in-one.  That’s the key.  No integrations AKA breakage points.

So this barely covers the tip of the iceberg BUT you aren’t in the business of being a tech expert.  All you need to know is how to frame up a good tech decision for you.

All my favorite tools are listed here.

For more on that decision making, I invite you to listen to my Technology Roadmap for Entrepreneurs video as a next step.

My Method To Hire A Top-Notch Virtual Freelancer in 72 Hours Or Less

My Method To Hire A Top-Notch Virtual Freelancer in 72 Hours Or Less

When you want to hire someone, chances are work is already stacking up and you feel overwhelmed.   And now you need to add a mini-project of hiring someone just to dig out from under the work.

But, even in the virtual space, away from office politics, people stuff is still messy.

It’s a bit like dating and marriage.   You try out a few people trying to find the one who’s just right for you.

Sometimes you find that person but the timing isn’t right.  Or the date you did together just didn’t work.   It can take a lot of trial and error and grace and forgiveness and hard conversations and tough decisions.  And then, you’re married happily ever after right?

Um, right.  We all know what it really takes.

Entering into a work relationship with someone is similar.   You need to try things out.  You’re going to have some bumps, hard conversations and wins.   And even though this is a contractual work relationship, it doesn’t make those cycles any less challenging.   However, you have the advantage of not needing to live with this person.   Just agree mutually.   They do this work.  You pay them the agreed amount.

So how do you avoid the endless cycles of “dating” the wrong person project after project in your business?

Here’s my tried and true method of finding the RIGHT freelancer for your team or project.

1. Create a Job Description that attracts the RIGHT people and repels the WRONG people

Words to include in your job description to help narrow down the field:

“The right candidate will…….”

  • Be available during these hours:
  • Know how to use these online tools:

“This is not for you if……..”

  • You are not available between 8 am and 5 pm daily
  • You are not looking for a long term partnership
  • (or the opposite) You want a long term full time gig.


2. Have an automated application process that weeds out the wrong candidates right away

I use a google form like this.  (Feel free to borrow it).

Ask specific questions that will help you learn about their personality and skills related to the position.

Test them.  Ask them to create a graphic, format a spreadsheet, email you something from a shared google drive.  It proves they know how to do what you are asking.

Make the application long enough that only those serious about the work will take the time to do it.

3. Make yourself available and be responsive to the applications

You will find the right person in the first 24-48 hours your application is out there.   Start the relationship off on a good foot and let them see you are a professional, you are responsive and in an unspoken way, that same expectation will be on them for this job.

Also, moving fast and hiring well takes a BIG stresser off of you personally.  I always feel so good when I talk to a talented person and hire them onto my team.

4.  Setup a good contract and communication expectations

Onboarding can take some time but when done well, sets everyone up for success.

Always work from a contract.  And always agree upon communication:

  • Frequency
  • Format (text, email, Voxer, etc)
  • How you will use a project and task management tool like Asana or Trello or Basecamp


Now, thinking back to that marriage analogy, wouldn’t it be awesome if we could do the same to find the love of our lives?    Nahhhh….. we’d miss the chase, the adventure and the romance 🙂