Category Archives for Business

Hubud Killed my Design Business, (and gifted me my life)

I remember the day I first heard about Hubud. I was sitting in a cubicle I shared with 2 other people in a co-working space in a cute surfing tourist town, Sayulita, Mexico. It was the first time in 3 years I had worked with other people around me. The first time since becoming an entrepreneur, I hadn’t been alone in my home office day after day, and I thought it was great. Someone to tap on the shoulder and ask a quick questions to, someone to enjoy moments with, conversations and sales pitches I get to overhear across the room. Most of all, people who became my friends.

One day as I was expressing this, a friend of mine said to me. “You think this is great, you should checkout Hubud.” “What’s a Hubud?” I said. He laughed. My web browser opened, and the famous first words tumbled across my page. “Our Work Is Changing”.  I had no idea how prophetic and funny these words would become to me. 

I did know that I was hooked, I knew I would go there and work. It had dream life bucket list written all over it.

I planned for October of that year, and things came true even faster. By mid August I was flying to Bali, and solo, without Alex in tow (a major miracle in and of itself!) The very first thing I did when I landed was go to Hubud for social hour. I met people. I laughed so hard I cried and had to step away from the vortex of hilariousness. The next night was Invasion X. As a single mom, recently escaped into a few months of single 29 year old nomad freedom, it was mindboggling awesome! I danced, I partied, I stayed up way late, and slept in until no one woke me up.

Then Bali did what Bali does. It asked me to grow.

In those first weeks of being here, not only did I quickly decide that I was going to make Bali my home. But I got a glimpse into other nomad’s worlds. I got to sit in a Tribe Wanted meeting, and hear someone else who REALLY understood UX/UI design speak to someone’s question. I got to hear someone who was PASSIONATE about plugin design (seriously? I don’t get it, but he was stoked!) I got to listen to someone who really knew marketing hash out ideas and give advice in 5 min flat. I got to listen to so many people who are experts in their fields. My field. For the first few days I was awestruck, overwhelmed at my incompetence, and their brilliance, and in a space of shock at the difference between the two.

It was hard for me to even show up at Hubud,
because I felt like a fraud.

See as someone who was self trained, and had never officially attended marketing school, design school, business school or anything of the sort,  I had very early on niched early on into “graphics and websites for new age, healer types who know nothing about such things and desperately need help.”  I was automatically an expert. I mean, I was working with people who couldn’t set up their own paypal accounts, and sometimes struggled with signing into their FaceBook accounts. NO ONE in that world knew any better than I did.

When I came to Hubud. That all changed. Suddenly I was at the bottom of the knowledge pool. In theory you think that would have made me super keen to learn, expand and find out more about what there was to know about UX/UI/Amazon Selling/Marketing/Graphics etc. That was part of why I had come here! To learn from amazing people, and to grow my skills!

In fact it did exactly the opposite. It catalyzed something that had been deep inside my business and myself for a long time. Which was that I wasn’t really that passionate about marketing others. I had kind of fallen into it, out of necessity, and requests from others, and built myself up as the “go to person” in my own little very niche community. (as you should do in any business, and especially the marketing world) and although I’d studied some courses, and watched others peoples marketing campaigns, I really had no idea or interest into delving really deep into any of it. The idea of A/B testing other people’s products made my skin crawl. Not a good sign.

So within a few short weeks at Hubud, I had finished up my last few projects. Bailed completely on one that was a project from hell that had been lagging and vamping my energy for months and quit it all. Giving myself a new sense of freedom in the world.

So what do I want to do NOW? Now that I’m not lying to myself every day about liking my work.

The answer became clear and obvious, as I talked to people about what I was doing here and what my journey had entailed. This long standing lover and project of mine, JoyGasm, wanted to be born, here. Now. As I looked around at Hubud, I saw some applications for it here, I saw some people talking about the ideas of Orgasmic Writing, The Art of Adventure, Killer Morning Routines, and Mindfulness to change your life. There was some potential for my message to be heard here. Then I began to open my eyes to the world outside Hubud.

When I looked outside those bamboo walls, to the streets and restaurants, and yoga studios and healing centers of Ubud. I realized that my potential in this place, that I had come 1/3 of the way around the world to work at Hubud for, was much bigger than what I had imagined. It was in fact that most fertile place in the entire world for me to bring my true self into the world, to bring my true self’s calling. To step into my JoyGasmic leadership, and my true vocation as healer (why do you think I resonated with them so much as clients? Hmmm?) and take the knowledge, experience, and yes, technical skills, I had learned for the last 4 years of marketing holistic types, and launch my own project, finally and beautifully in to the world.

So thank you Hubud. It’s been an unexpected and beautiful journey, I now love many of you as friends. I’m so appreciative for the moments we’ve shared. I look forward to Invasion X+1 and I’ll be back to give you kisses, hugs, and JoyGasm’s soon. Because beyond a place to work, a place to connect with people who I now love you’ve helped me see who I really am, you killed my design business, and in the process helped me find my passion for life again.

Lets talk about courage

Is courage is something you have?
Something you create?
How do you live from courage?

Today, I’m at my office, I’m in the process of upleveling my business, I’m outsourcing and I have a bunch of emails to answer, quotes to send, projects to move forward with. It’s a busy time, and, all I want to do is curl up under my desk and possibly cry. Level Up Overwhelm has many faces, and sometimes it feels like that.

So, like the authentic, heart centered entrepreneur that I am, I decide to curl up under the desk. I’m going to do it with gusto, and with purpose. Feel all the feelings, let it go. I set a 4 minute timer, GO, revel in it. It feels so good to give into the urge, I get down on the peanut crumbs on the floor (I should sweep it I think) and I cry a few tears.

I cry a few more, and I start shaking in the peanut crumbs on the floor, my body rocking back and forth, consumed by the paralysis of fear. 

And then I’m just laying there, I don’t want to leave, but I’m not in the same space I was before of really WANTING to curl up. And I listen to the sounds around me. There are 4-5 male voices, all in conversation with business prospects, whatever it is that they are doing for their businesses. I wonder, why is it that I am curled up under my desk, and they aren’t? What is it in me that creates this? Am I more sensitive, is it because I’m a woman? Why is it that I’m here, and they aren’t.

The 4 minute timer goes, and I get back up from under my desk, I do a little prayer, thank you to my desk for the safe space, and I come to write this piece about courage.

When you are moving to the next level of your life, there will be moments when you want to curl up and cry. It takes courage to honor the emotions, receive the power from them and then to get back to the good work of changing the world.

So that’s the secret to courage. First, you have to be willing to feel uncomfortable. Some would say you should avoid discomfort all together, others will say you have to get comfortable with feeling discomfort. I would offer a third path. You have to get comfortable using discomfort as a fuel source.

Today that looks like replying to all my emails, even though part of me wants to just run away from all the clients! And then later, looking at why that makes me want to run away so much.

Today I want you to ask yourself, what makes you uncomfortable in your business?
Do you let that feeling rule you, or do you push through it?



5 Self Sabotage Patterns of Conscious Entrepreneurs

The 5 Most Destructive Self Sabotage Patterns of Conscious Entrepreneurs (and how to turn it into Healthy Self Sabotage) 

I'm a procrastinator, because sometimes I get scared.  Today it's showing up because I’ve got an email to send. It will take me approximately 5 minutes to write from start to finish. That is, if I just sit down and do it. In actuality it will take me 5 days to get the courage up to write it. In fact, I will write 2 blog posts, 3 future scenes, 20 minutes in my journal every night, and about 15 other emails in between now and when that trigger filled email actually gets written.

The email I need to send will probably end up in him signing up to work with me. I’ve already put it off for 2 weeks, and been asked to reply TWICE by him. Yet, I can’t, won’t, don’t haven’t. I will eventually, write it. Maybe.


I recognize this is what I’m doing today. I’m avoiding doing the important things as much as possible.


My triggered pain body,  my ego, and the part of me that fights the growth my business tooth and nail, the part that wants to fail, is in FULL power and activity right now. On top of that, for some reason I’m also refusing to do the inner work that would make the email sending a simple task again.

There’s a historical story I told about answering all my emails and being a good business woman. Then I end up crying on the floor. It’s funny you know, this self reflective universe we live with. I wrote about it, and it came back for me to heal. It popped into my reality big time. It’s been INCREDIBLY excruciatingly difficult for me to answer simple day to day business emails.


It’s all perfect. I was planning on writing about the Conscious Entrepreneur’s Top 5 Self Sabotage techniques anyways. I’ve been doing “research” I guess!

I’ve been doing an excellent job cultivating the experience. Reveling in the shit of it all.

Major triggers will invariably pop up
whenever I’m on the edge of a breakthrough,
the beginning of a new uplevel,
or I get too lazy in my self care.

I know from experience that if I don’t stop avoiding it, if soon I don’t dive to the depths of this, seeing the truth and illusion, and collecting the power from it, it’s going to get worse. Much worse. *shudders*

So, as a “conscious” entrepreneur who doesn’t watch TV, has committed to no longer emotional eat, and hates feeling guilty about not sitting in front of a computer when she “should be working”. This is how I distract my triggered self, while keeping “busy”. They are the top 5 Self Sabotage Patterns, and when I see them, time after time, they remind me to come back to doing the deep inner work.

5 Biggest Self Sabotage Techniques


1. Facebook. I’ll spend hours consuming other peoples content, especially when I’m feeling like I have something really important I could be doing in business. Or something specific I should be sharing/saying and am avoiding doing it. This can also show up as hours of re-posting OPC (other peoples content) instead of creating my own mastermind diamond marketing material.  (see below for my quick fix for this one) 

2. Consuming. Eating up other peoples online courses and email marketing. I find myself considering investing in another program, or worse buying yet another program just to see what the competitors are doing, or reading/watching someone else’s marketing material. Especially since there are several of my own courses I want to design. Or maybe complete some of the OTHER courses I bought that have yet to be completed, or not implemented. Consuming also includes: Eating (organic chocolate, popcorn slathered in coconut oil, curry and cinnamon, homemade kombucha, kale chips etc. All have been used to avoid the pain of not sending email, it’s sad to say, but true.) Along with the more traditional drinking, smoking or drugging to avoid the discomfort.

3. Selective Silence. I’ll stop emailing back, stop talking, avoid calling, or otherwise just cease speaking. If it gets really bad, they might call me directly, and I might not answer.

4. Shiny Object Syndrome. Also known as “I’m about to have a breakthrough, so let’s switch projects.” Often right before a big breakthrough there is a place of contraction. During this time we are going to want to change focus, loose track, give up, never come back, die. All normal.

5. OMG Clean. I’ll organize folders, re-read old journals, clean out my recycling bin, organize my desktop, wash dishes, clean the toilets, sweep behind the fridge. Yup. Me, the queen of “I love living in tropical places because it comes with a maid” will downright start to clean if faced with too much fear of emailing. It’s a dirty form of self sabotage, but I’ll admit to it.

If you’ve been in business for any length of time, I KNOW you’ve experienced one of these kinds of Self Sabotage.

So how do we deal with it?  Well, in this moment, I'm paralyzed.  I can’t answer that email, can’t open it even. I’m either scared that people will say (usually) good things, or bad things (rarely), or in between things. But whatever I do, if I can put off finding out, or doing it, or whatever it is I am avoiding. God help me, I will put it off until the guilt has driven me mad. So I do the healthy self sabotage thing, and slide sideways, and create some content. 

#1 Healthy Facebook Self Sabotage


A quick fix for consuming content on Facebook, is to make a micro commitment that if you scroll more than 4 posts, you MUST comment on the content or create something unique on the next post.  This will either push you to the edge of your comfort zone and make you say something unique, or it will get you the heck off facebook.  

Either way, mission accomplished. 

I’ll be diving into each of the Self Sabotage Patterns in week 4 of the JoyGasmic Mastermind, and I’ll share the journey with you along the way! Along with identifying them, there is a simple way of transmuting each of these patterns into something that can actually accelerate your business growth. It’s called Healthy Self Sabotage, and I’ll share the best of my tips on how to turn sabotage into healthy self sabotage. It turns stuckness, fear, and stress into an experience that is positively JoyGasmic.

I’ll see you next week! Much love,

Elena