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WC 004: Swimming with Manatees

Phil Powis
Phil Powis
6 min read

This past week was interesting.

A few notable highlights:

  • Dropped "The Mothership" with our new AI Cohort 2 peeps and showing up in full support mode.
  • Getting hit with some unexpected health news after thinking this particular challenge was in the rear view mirror.
  • Feeling the pain of the crypto dip. Good thing I’m in it for the long run.
  • Spending more time in creation mode pondering a new EE offering coming in Q2.
  • Unpacking some insights at Zen Habits from our big launch last year and really zeroing in on two key metrics that should move the needle in a powerful way for our mission.
  • Swimming with the Manatees.

Wait What?

Two of my good friends, Kevin and Julie are wintering here for the season from Ohio. Thursday I got the call that they were headed out to Silver Cove Springs with an invitation to join them.

Conventional wisdom says it's noon on a Thursday, and work is not in short supply.

But if one can't go swimming with the manatees at the drop of a hat, then shouldn't one ask if they are truly living a life of freedom? (my thought process anyway)

I quickly assessed the opportunity against my 25 year vision and found alignment on the basis of:

✔️ leveraging tech to create a life of freedom.

I’d already cleared my big tasks for the day, and the few follow ups I needed to hit by email could surely be done from the boat.

✔️ Fostering connection as a means of expansion.

I’ve learned over the years that nothing lights me up more than spending time with the people I care about and enjoy connecting with.

✔️ Work/play/friendships blend with ease for integration.

Obviously …

So out the door I went. 😎 🌴

I also find the more time I spend in nature, the more clear everything becomes, and with some of the health heaviness weighing on me, I knew this was exactly what I needed in the moment.

Friday was one of my most productive work days of the week.

Saturday I totally revamped the newsletter template and wrote this draft.

Broke the script.

Had some fun.

Got it all done.

If possibility is wearing thin, and you find yourself back in the grind now that we are a few weeks removed from the new year - look for an opportunity to shift into a different way of being.

Don't let invisible scripts run your life.


Here's What I Want to Share This Week:

1. I'm testing AI with ConvertKit. ActiveCampaign is numero uno when it comes to creating Automated Conversion Ecosystems™, but since a decent number of folks in our community use CK, I'm taking on the challenge of seeing how well the mothership and our playbooks translate.

There's no better way to gather insight than direct experience, so I'm going to be running The Wizard's Chest on a different stack from our main list, at least for a little while.

I'll be happy to share more about that experience at a later date :)

2. List-Re-Engagement Considerations: Are you subjecting your email audience to the same automated re-engagement campaign regardless of your degree of connection, or level of past engagement?

If your audience is fairly sophisticated or marketers themselves - they likely see past the tactics of the traditional re-engagement campaign, and doesn't that feel just a bit awkward when you really think about it?

If they are anything like me, they sort of roll their eyes and says to themself, "so lame - I know thats not them reaching out to me directly" with the automated emails.

Which is why I'd prefer not to subject folks to that if I've actually had some sort of meaningful connection with them in the past.

Sort of feels like a downgrade of intimacy (vs creating an opportunity to upgrade and ascend the relationship).

On top of that, in 2022 we can't trust tracked email opens nearly to the degree that we once could as a standalone indicator of engagement (although in reality, simply relying on this single stat has never been ideal).

It's all about the composite view created by capturing real-time signals that inform what is true about your audience.

It's more important than ever to establish a strong engagement-based lead scoring system that is informed by cross-platform input.

Just a little bit of sophistication goes a long way.

Next week I'll expand on a simple shift in your re-engagement strategy that could yield big results.

Who We Are Celebrating This Week: Aaron Dufall

Aaron Dufall came into the Empire Engineering community late last year and ended up doing some private coaching with Ry in December.

He's a serial entrepreneur, co-founder of numerous startups, and most recently a technology strategy consultant for venture-backed SaaS companies.

Last year Aaron found himself deeply immersed in a world of exploration as he entered the course and coaching space. With years of experience teaching software development to teams at successful companies, he felt he had a powerful and compelling offer, but he wanted to confirm it directly.

He went on a mission to do as many calls as he could with developers struggling in their career, and managed to have over 60 conversations within a few months.

He then released a pilot program which he deemed a success as it relates to the insights he was able to access, however ultimately he felt it still needed a bit more refinement before opening his doors more officially.

Once Aaron got to clarity on the new offer, he still was experiencing a bit of nerves about his ability to connect with his audience and get the message out in a way that would land.

Working with Ry, he was able to craft a google doc sales letter following the MVL 2.0 process.

While still feeling a bit worried about how his mini-launch was going to play out, Aaron leaned into the resistance, bit the bullet, and effectively crafted two posts to his audience:

1 on LinkedIn, and 1 to a Discord community he is growing.

The Results of this campaign?


Aaron was able to drive 7 sales on a 4K program off of this simple combination of the MVL sales letter with two social posts.

The resulting revenue has allowed Aaron to focus on hiring more support, and building out the course.

Most importantly, he shared he finally feels like has a real coaching business launched and is ready to take on more growth and success in 2022.

You can learn more about what Aaron's up to here.

You can also connect with him on LinkedIn.

This Week's Curiosities :

The Secrets of Wilder (the link)

Some spiritual fiction I read this past week that had me wanting to ascend into a great orb of white light at the earliest opportunity :) (the link)

New AI writing software that shows promise. I've tested most of these tools, and almost all of them have left me underwhelmed. There's still a ways to go, but I've started having some interesting conversations with Chibi's founder Chad about building tools to support writing with the Coaching The Conversion frameworks.

Nothing solid here yet, but a topic to watch.

NeuYear Calendar (the link)

This year is ramping fast, and I’ve got stuff hitting the calendar already well into Q4, in addition to taking more time off in 2022.

I just ordered this to get my commitments and milestones mapped out visually so I can keep the momentum with minimal risk of forgetting something important.

Linking Your Thinking (the link)

Just signed up for this 8 week workshop to continue to refine my PKM system (personal knowledge management).

I’m pretty proud of current state, but there’s always room for improvement and as I step up my writing goals for the year, I see this is a valuable investment.

Especially as I continue to fall more in love with Obsidian.

Casa Massinga (the link)

Has an awesome coaching call with Lauryn on Wednesday, the proprietor of this beautiful property.

We talked about ways to transform her retreat center into a hub for connection, creativity, and inspiration in Puerto Rico.

I've already got it on my radar to schedule a visit sometime later this year. If you are looking for a beautiful space to craft an intimate retreat experience, I feel confident you'll find a lot of soul here :)

With appreciation,


wizards chest archives

Phil Powis

Co-Founder & Chief Strategist, Sacred Business Flow

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