Create Your Laptop Life

Create Your Laptop Life

In this episode, I dive into the journey of my laptop life.

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Episode Description

Welcome to the long-awaited Create Your Laptop Life ® podcast. In this episode, I dive into the journey of my laptop life…how it started and where I’m going now, and how you too can get started on your laptop life.

Julie Chenell

Online Business Coach

Julie Chenell is the co-founder and CEO of Funnel Gorgeous®.

Episode Transcript

Hi everyone, I am so excited. This is the very first episode of the Create Your Laptop Life® podcast. For those of you who know me, I know you have been waiting for this day, for months and months. For those of you who have no idea who I am, I want to take this episode to give you a little bit of insight into who I am, my story, and why you should listen to my podcast about your laptop life. Now, one of the things that I want to just share with you very briefly is that create your laptop. Life is actually already a really big community. In fact, there are a thousand people in my create your laptop life community right now and they are entrepreneurs who work and live right from their laptops. We don’t have traditional nine to five jobs and we frankly, we don’t really want them because financial and lifestyle freedom is too important to us and because we don’t work the corporate grind, we get to be the boss of her own schedule.

We get to take vacations when we want. We get to make our work revolve around life and not the other way around, and lots of our old bosses, friends, family, neighbors. They scoff at our plans when we say we want to have a laptop life. They’re sure that will be crawling back for a job within know months time, but it doesn’t happen because you know what? We know that the world is changing for good and that the the entrepreneur and freelance economy is a cleaner, greener, smarter way to work both for families and for businesses. So that’s what Create Your Laptop Life is, and if you are listening right now and you are an entrepreneur or maybe you’re not yet, but you want to be, this podcast is going to go deep into all the things that happen when you start and create your laptop life.

Because where work and family are separate. Oftentimes in a very traditional job world, when you have a laptop life and you’re doing your work from home and you are running an online business, work and life really blend together and so there’s lots of really fun advantages to that. And then there’s also lots of issues as well, so that’s what this podcast is going to dive into from marketing to mindset, to family in business life, to all the things that I have acquired along my journey and the ways in which I’ve helped other people get their laptop life started. So super, super excited. But I figured you probably want to know a little bit about me. My name is Julie. I live in Connecticut with my four children and my husband and my journey to my laptop life is a little bit like a Jerry Springer episode. So number one, uh, I have, I make no promises about language.

And number two, some of the topics that I discussed on this podcast are not suitable for children, so earbud in because there’s been a, it’s been a bumpy road to get where I am today. So I want to give you some backstory. I grew up in rural conservative Christian home and got married very, very young around the age of 21 and had three babies really fast, which means I spent the bulk of my twenties, a diapering nursing and running around with three small children while everyone else was growing up. Finding out, you know, what their life was going to be all about. I was in the haze of child rearing and I didn’t even know how to get a shower some days. Never mind try to think about my mission or my impact. A career wise. I was married, we were broke. We didn’t have any money.

Uh, you know, I, I really was trying to follow kind of the path of the community that I was in is pretty conservative Christian community. And I was incredibly bored and busy at the same time. And for any of you listening who are parents, you know exactly what this is like when you raise children, you’re so busy and yet your brain is like Mush, right? And you just want to have an adult conversation or get a paycheck or do something that makes you feel human again. So that was my life for like a decade in 2007. I was 26 years old. My third child was born and she was born with a very, very serious heart defect that we did not know about. We should have known about it, but the doctors missed it. I had two babies at home and that third baby came and I really at that point lost my mind.

Three babies, postpartum depression, near death experience in the hospital with my third. And this just sort of sent me into a really dark period of my life. In that dark period. I started writing and I set up a WordPress blog just to find an outlet. Anything I could do, and surprisingly I was a very good writer and I started to attract an audience pretty quickly. Now around 2012, all my kids were officially in school and I had definitely what you would call the first like adulting, anxiety attack. Because I had never really had a chance to grow up. I graduated college five months pregnant and so now all my kids were going to school and I was like, crap, what am I going to do with my life now? And so I looked at my blog, I looked at how much of an audience I had gained and I thought, you know what, I’m going to be a writer.

And so I started to explore what it looked like to be a freelance writer on the Internet. And I signed up for text broker and hub pages and all these little freelance writing sites. And I remember my goal at the time was if I could just make $25 a day that be a hundred and 25 a week, which would pay for groceries. And so that was my goal. That was my big plan when I started, which sounds hilarious now. And I wanted to earn revenue through writing and also through like Google Adsense, you know, with ads on my blog and hub pages was a site where you could earn ad revenue through your SEO rich articles. And I remember waking up the day after I had published my first article on Hubpages and I had twenty five cents in my account and that was my first taste of passive income and guys, that shit is addictive.

Twenty five cents. That is the moment where I was like, okay, this online business thing, there’s something to it. I just needed 25 sets and I was convinced some of you are going to need a little bit more than twenty five cents to see, to be convinced that this life is possible for you. But I am up for the challenge. So the thing is that freelance writing in that realm with Seo at the time was pretty pretty cheap work and it was a little mind numbing. And so eventually I started to attract people who were interested in how I set up my blog and how I did this on WordPress. And it was something that I really enjoyed. So in 2012 and October I opened up a blog called fabulous blogging.com teaching people how to design, how to write and how to set up their own blogs. And that quickly grew and I started making money with tech and design and everything was going fine, right?

Life was just humming along. I had a little business at the time, uh, in about 2013, I was making about 1500 to $2,000 a month, which was so much more than my original goals. So I thought I was sitting pretty. My husband had the insurance, he was the primary breadwinner and all of this was going just fine until it wasn’t. And I had some pretty dark things that happened in this time period just from a personal note, which will maybe cover in a later episode if I have the courage. And in 2014, my husband and I decided to get divorced and this is where everything sort of unraveled really quickly for me because $2,000 a month was great as a little side hustle. But it was not enough to sustain the three kids and the lifestyle that I was trying to reach in Connecticut.

And so I applied for a job with WordPress thinking that this would be my ticket out, right? I’d get health insurance, I’d have a full time job, I’d have a steady paycheck and I could just do my side hustle on the side, and so I. I started to do this and four weeks later I was into, into my trial with WordPress and I found out I was pregnant. Now the pressure was so intense. I was so scared about not having health insurance and so scared that I wouldn’t get the job at WordPress. That I think mentally and mindset wise, I really lost my focus and I actually didn’t get the job. After six weeks of trialing with WordPress, knowing everything I knew about tech and support and writing and design, they said no, and this was a crushing moment of fear and panic for me.

Pregnant with a fourth, three children, getting divorced, and a little side hustle. That was not enough, and I remember thinking, I hate this position. I hate this feeling, this feeling of depending on somebody else for my financial future, whether it was the boss at WordPress or whether it was my husband that was divorcing, I was completely stuck and yet I was the mother of soon to be four children. I could never in my wildest imagination imagine living like this anymore. Like there was something snapped in me and I was like, this is it. I am not doing this anymore. And so I scrambled around to look for part time work so that I could continue to build my business, but I needed money. I needed money and I was at the time it was about. I was like 12 weeks pregnant. Twelve weeks pregnant with my fourth means I was showing and I wanted to go interview for a couple of jobs to see if I could just get a part time job.

And I was so scared. I was trying to like put outfits on that would hide the fact that I was pregnant because I knew that no one would hire me knowing that I was just going to need maternity leave six months down the road. So I eventually I found a job at a college, it was a marketing job and wouldn’t you know, it was a six month temporary position. Now, you’ll come to find out about me that I have a pretty strong faith in God. I feel like that was providential. I got hired for that job. It was a six month term and they gave me insurance and so I had six months of insurance which got me through my pregnancy and I had six months to turn my business into something. And so when I would come home from work at night at like three or four in the afternoon, I was so exhausted I would take a nap.

I’d wake up at 5:00 PM and I’d start my freelance business and I would work from nine to 11 day in and day out. And probably the most excruciating part of this whole thing wasn’t even the fact that I was working so much. It was the fact that I had to get an apartment and a dinky armpit-y gross area of Connecticut because I couldn’t afford where we were living. And because I was unwilling to pull my three kids out of their school, out of their hometown, out of where they loved, I agreed to give my then husband custody of the children so that I could go figure out how to build this business. Guys, I don’t know if I can explain to you the trauma that happens when you’ve been a stay at home parent and then all of a sudden you’re not the custodial parent anymore.

I kept expecting it get easier. I kept expecting that when they would come for the weekends and on Sunday night when they’d kiss me goodbye, that I would be okay, that there wouldn’t be tears and every single week for a year and a half, I watched them walk out the door on Sunday nights and I would fall into a puddle of tears. It took me 547 days to build a business that was going to be able to sustain all of the children that I had. Hashtag all the children and that trauma. I mean, if you want to see what happens when you’re put in the fire and like what you’re capable of, you’ll come to see that the business that I built was built in this pressure cooker situation where I was desperate to get my children back. I saw them every single weekend. I saw them every single holiday, but still just not being there for every day at school, having to drive 40 minutes to meet them at the bus stop if I wanted to be that parent that was there when they got off the bus, like I nearly killed myself trying to carry both of these things.

I built a business in circumstances that were far, far from perfect and that should hopefully encourage those of you who are listening that you can build a business in your circumstances too. So anyway, I was working at the college. I was pregnant. My kids were with their dad during the week. I was working 80 hours a week and I remember thinking, how am I going to break the $2,000 a month mark? I don’t know how. Writing I can only charge so much for writing, and so this is when I discovered a man named Russell Brunson. Now you’ll hear me talk about Russell Brunson because, I absolutely love everything that he does and puts out, but I started to read one of his books called Dot Com secrets and I had this Aha, this epiphany moment because at the time I was doing websites for people and writing and blogging and I realized that instead of focusing so much on the actual selling of the skill, I needed to transition into becoming a marketer and realizing that every single online business owner that’s successful is successful because they become obsessed with the marketing of the thing, not the thing itself.

And so I changed my focus and I decided that I was going to become a digital marketer. I was going to sell funnels. I was going to sell leads, customers, conversion optimization, all this other stuff. And almost instantly I was able to double my prices and I started attracting more and more clients. And so I was just like this rapid fire, imperfect action period of my life where I would read and implement, read and implement, read and implement, and I started to gain some traction. So whereas in 2014 I had made maybe $25,000 in the year in 2015 I’d made 70 and I thought, alright, here we go. I am, I am on my way now. I was working as a freelancer, kind of like a mini agency. I started to hire and in to, in the beginning of 2016, I started to dabble in courses, online courses.

I wanted to see what the big to do was about passive income. So I started releasing little courses and I noticed that every course I launched made money. Not a ton, but it made money. So I started to look at the process that I was using to launch these courses and why they were working, when I knew there were lots of people trying to sell courses that weren’t selling. So I started to sell that service as well. And so in January of 2016, a woman, her name was madeline, came to me and she said, Julie, I need you to help me launch my course. I want to teach a women had to become virtual assistance. And I said, okay. And so as we developed a relationship, we got along really, really well. And we decided to Jv this course launch because she saw that I had skills that her virtual assistance needed.

And so we launched together. And in February 2016 we launched a course and it was called create your laptop life. Little did I know I had all kinds of virtual assistance and social media managers and copywriters already following me in watching my journey. And so we launched and we made, I think we made $30,000 in that first launch. We’re super excited. Maybe it was 15, I can’t remember. We launched it again and we made 30. And along this way I was also building up some of my other courses in my other trainings and things started to snowball. People started to pay attention in my agency. I was launching funnels for, for clients. And making them six figures and then eventually I launched a funnel for a client and I made them a million dollars in this really kind of put me on the map as online business goes, it completely morphs and changes changes and you have to be, you have to be willing to let things pivot.

So at the end of 2016, we launched our first funnel and I sat on that funnel for like three months because I was scared, I was scared it wasn’t gonna work. And we ended up hitting $90,000 in our first month. And it was the last month in 2016. And it was crazy. It was so exciting. I had gone from making 70,000 in 2015 and at the end of 2016, my gross revenue was 325,000. So you can see how fast things started to escalate. As soon as I started focusing on marketing and I started focusing on courses and a little bit of consulting as well in 2017, this is when my world completely exploded in a good way in business. Uh, madeline decided she didn’t want this kind of business, she, she wasn’t up for the intensity, so I bought her out and I officially became the sole owner of the create your laptop life brand.

I switched things around, I started adding more, more courses and I showed up in the Internet marketing world in an affiliate contest which really got the attention of some of the bigger names. And so from then on, my business was never the same. My following exploded. I crossed over $100,000 in one month and in six months I had crossed over $100,000 in net profit in one month. So in 2017 I did one point $3,000,000 in sales with no signs of it slowing down. And since then I’ve become friends with Russell Brunson. I now work with Russell Brunson, uh, which is crazy over if you, any of, you know, click click funnels is. So my life is crazy busy. I run the create your laptop life membership program. I have digital courses, I have a mastermind as well as coaching, writing and consulting over with the click funnels team.

I am definitely not the right person to follow if you want to follow someone who has a slow a life full of lots of balance and self care. That is not my ammo. But I do know how to grow business when things are perfect, when things are not perfect, when you have money, when you don’t have money, when you have a zillion kids, when you don’t have any kids. Like I understand a lot of what all of you are going through. Those of you who are like, I don’t know if I can build a laptop life. I don’t have tons of capital, I don’t have a supportive husband. I’ve got too many kids that are counting on me. I am not the kind of person who likes to take huge risks. So for me, uh, launching out in building my own business felt very, very risky and you know, I didn’t really have a ton of support in real life.

People who were like, Oh yeah, you can do it. It was kinda like, wait, you’re gonna make money on Facebook. Like how are you going to do that? So I get it, so this is my story and for those of you who are looking to build a business online, the types of businesses that I’m really, really good at, the ones that I have helped launch and helped people make thousands to millions of dollars are two types. One is the agency, uh, the skill freelancers, whether you want to be a digital marketing agency of Facebook ads specialist, social media manager, copywriter, those types of businesses, even web designers, graphic designers. I love those types of businesses because that’s how I got started. And the other type of business I love to help is the course creator business, what we would call the expert based business, the person who wants to sell their expertise in some kind of info product or coaching program.

These are the two businesses that I’m great at and I’ll tell you right now what I’m not great at. I am not very good at local businesses. I don’t really understand why anybody would have won. Every time a local business person comes to me and asks for help with lead generation or sales, I’m like, why don’t you just close up shop and become an online business and then because that’s just kinda from the generation I’m from, so I’m not great at local business. However, if you are a local business craving the online space because you know that the profits are better, that your reach is better, that your expenses are less. I would love, love, love to have you follow along on your journey. The other type of business that I don’t know too too much about, I helped a little bit, but not a lot is the ecommerce space mainly because I just think that ecommerce people have some magic wizardry when it comes to figuring out how to source products and fulfill products.

Like all that stuff sorted just swims over my head. So this is going to be the podcast of the people. I promise you. I am not one for masks, for highlight reels. I like to get down and dirty. I like to talk about the things that nobody wants to talk about. I like to to kind of examine what is good enough, how can we get this going and make it good enough. It doesn’t have to be perfect. I love to talk numbers and funnels and marketing ads, all that good stuff, so this is going to be a smorgasbord of all the things that I have learned in my journey to become an online business owner, running an agency as well as an expert bait, the expert based business, so I hope you’ll follow along. Of course, if you could subscribe and leave a review, that would be amazing. I appreciate you all and to all my followers who have been waiting for this day. I can’t wait to start this podcast journey with you. Talk to you guys soon.

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