We may receive commissions for affiliate links included in this article. This is a sponsored post. Future Sharks makes no warranties about the statements, facts and/or claims made on this article. These are the opinions of the author. Read our advertising and contributor disclosure here.
Ranked by Inc Magazine as one of The Top 27 Female Entrepreneurs Changing The World in 2017, Jules Schroeder is the founder of Unconventional Life, which operates a popular podcast on the Forbes Under 30 Channel, an online content and community hub, and international live events.
At 28, Jules is leading a movement to empower millennials to create a life by their own design.
City where you’re from: Boulder, CO
Hobbies: Yoga, snowboarding,authentic relating , traveling.
Favorite quote: “The quieter you become, the more you can hear.”
Hey Jules, very excited to have you on the show. What are you working on? How did you come up with this idea?
Jules Schroeder: I’m currently developing a methodology that activates and upgrades cellular DNA for entrepreneurs through transformational live-event experiences. The idea came to me in a dream I had last August in which I saw a vision for 30 entrepreneurs gathering in Bali. Though I had never hosted an event before or had a desire to the dream was so vivid that I knew I had to bring it forward. Within 7-weeks of launching we had sold out the first business accelerator.
What happened in Bali was life-changing: I realized I was pioneering a new paradigm for entrepreneurs to live a life of service, purpose, and alignment. It was in the closing circle of the last day that I realized how much impact had been made and on the spot I told everyone, “If you want to do this again I don’t know when, where, or how much, but you could give me a deposit and we will definitely do it.” On the spot 30% of people said yes. In that moment I then knew I was onto something. We just hosted our second event for 52 entrepreneurs in a castle in Italy, and have been fine-tuning our methodology further. On the horizon, I am planning upcoming events for 25 people in Nicaragua and 150 people on a private island in November.
How is your company different?
Jules Schroeder: Unconventional Life is different because it wasn’t created with a concrete plan but rather through a process but I called rapid visioning where are you execute moment by moment by moment. I had never planned to turn Unconventional Life into a company it was more a passion project to tell the stories of my peers earning their living and nontraditional ways. It wasn’t until the end of this last event where I saw the potential and the desire to really grow Unconventional Life– realizing it had accidentally made six figures in the first six months. I thought to myself wow, if we did that already we should actually make this into a business and are now slated to grow it into a seven-figure company its first year.
(Related: learn how to build a successful business)
At UL, we follow rapid visioning and don’t map out 100 steps we’re going to take in order to arrive at a particular destination. We don’t work 18-hour days and we don’t hustle. We work in flow, meaning we are receptive to what wants to move through us in the present moment. We recognize that we are the vessel for divine inspiration so we commit to remaining open and listening.
What’s also unique about our company is it’s literally been built by my sister, Raya, and I as a team of two sisters. Raya and I have complimentary skillsets and a similar outlook on the world so our voice and vision tends to be unified. Where I am big-picture oriented, she is detail oriented, so we fill in each other’s blind spots and execute together as an effective team.
What’s your dream with your company?
Jules Schroeder: My dream with Unconventional Life is for people to find us and feel like they found their “home”. Our community spans across so many countries already with entrepreneurs from such a diverse group of backgrounds and industries. Each one of us is so incredibly heart centered and committed to growing ourselves and creating a business that is in alignment with what we care about and what the highest expression of our gifts are. We are creating a vehicle for people to connect to themselves and their tribe, and learn how to create a business that is wildly profitable and matches who they really are versus who society tells them to be. We are pioneering the unconventional path and my goal is that through the community and our stories the “Unconventional Life” becomes the new normal life.
How do you creatively advertise?
Jules Schroeder: We don’t do much advertising at Unconventional Life. Most people hear about our events offerings through word of mouth and referrals. We also have a dedicated fan base on our podcast and were recently ranked the “#1 Podcast For Entrepreneurs in 2017” by CIO. We don’t advertise because we want our community to feel intimate and personal, and like to keep it “in the family” so to speak where someone knows someone who knows someone. However we love welcoming in new like-minded people. Our events our highly curated, as we are committed to holding a tight container at our events- however we don’t curate based on just the usual criteria on what do you do and how much money do you make doing it. While this may sound counterintuitive, it actually creates more hype around our events: we were flooded with 300 applications for our last event with only 50 spots to fill.
What is one practice that has helped you most with your success?
Jules Schroeder: I am a huge advocate for self care. I believe that we each are a channel for inspiration and it is only in taking care of ourselves that we are able to hear what wants to be created through us. Self care helps us to replenish our wellspring of creativity and to have the resources we need to create things that matter. My favorite self care practices are going to yoga and crossfit, eating a healthy whole-foods diet, taking salt baths, playing with tarot cards, and reading.
What were your biggest failure and biggest success? What did you learn from them?
Jules Schroeder: My biggest failure occurred when I was 23 and my publishing company went bankrupt overnight after I found out one of my business partners had been embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars. I lost everything—my business, my romantic relationship, and my health—in a very short period of time. While it was a nightmare, it actually was exactly what I needed to “wake up” to what really mattered. From a place of having nothing, I realized I actually had everything. I had myself, and I was determined to build my life again on a foundation of self-love that could never be shaken. The experienced helped show me who I was and shifted the way I did business forever—from a place of authenticity and alignment within myself.
I consider my biggest success hosting my most recent event in Italy. Though I had also just ended my most recent relationship with the man I thought was going to be my life partner, I didn’t back down from creating the event. I didn’t wait for my life circumstances to “sort themselves out” so I could throw the event. I showed up as I was, I brought myself in honesty and humility, and I found strength in my vulnerability that was capable of inspiring others to show up as their authentic selves and to own all of themselves, too. It is my ability to be transparent and real in the face of whatever terrain I am traversing in my own life that has provided the space for others to do the same and for real connection and strength to emerge.
Give the readers the best entrepreneurship advice you have.
Jules Schroeder: Forego working when you think you should for when you feel inspired to. Don’t say yes to an opportunity or to working with someone unless it feels like a “hell yes” for you. When you say no to something that isn’t a “hell yes,” you create space for something better to show up. It requires trust and reverence for yourself—you deserve the best. Be yourself, be authentic, and know that everything you need to create what is meant to be created through you will be provided for you.
Teach us something about sales funnels
Jules Schroeder: When you include a video on your sales page, it results in so many more sales. Our 20-second videos are our secret weapon to selling out our high-ticket events. You can see what I mean here with our Bali promo video. Put the video at the very top of your page so it’s the first thing your audience sees. Aim for 20-30 seconds and set it to engaging music. Add lines of bolded text on screen overlaying short, 1-2 second video clips that invite people to experience your product. Your video should increase the excitement factor and invite your audience into the experience of working with you.
What’s something new you’ve learned in the past month?
Jules Schroeder: I’ve recently begun creating on the principle of minimum movement, maximum impact. I am interested in taking action that is most effective. I am putting my energy into things that I know will advance my company, rather than things that don’t move the needle. So I can take one step forward and get ten steps out. Instead of worrying about how many followers you have, work on enhancing the quality of your product and on getting feedback from your customers so you can serve them more intimately.
Teach us something we don’t know (it’s vague and open-ended on purpose)
Jules Schroeder: If you’re having trouble creating partnerships and collaborations with people, here’s the key—find the “win-win.” If you can add value to someone else, they’ll likely be in a position of gratitude and willingness to work with you. I can’t tell you how many emails I receive from people in which they simply tell me who they are and what they want. I delete most of them before I finish reading. The emails I keep come from people who take the time to get to know and understand me and propose a value offering or exchange that’s tailored to me. I feel flattered that they took the time to connect with me on a human level, and I usually say yes. This also has worked for me when I’ve reached out to “big fish” in my industry—personalization and value add is my secret.
What do you think you do better than most people?
Jules Schroeder: I am better than most at enrolling others in a vision that doesn’t exist yet. I find that the more I believe in my own vision, and the more genuinely excited I am about it, the more others get enrolled. Because you see, it’s not what you’re creating, it’s why you are creating it that counts. People get excited about the passion in your heart and the fire in your belly. I do a good job of conveying that and it tends to help me enroll the right people whose help is needed in making my vision come to life.
What should an entrepreneur focus on?
Jules Schroeder: Focus on doing business for the right reasons. It’s easy to get carried away with wanting to make a name for yourself, having a ton of followers, and making profit for the sake of profit. But I’ve learned those things will not sustain you. If you’re doing business for your ego, you won’t be able to survive the storms of entrepreneurship. Go into business because you want to make a difference in the world. Serve something and someone you care about. Doing business from this place is exponentially more fulfilling.
What are some of the best books you’ve ever read?
(Read more recommended books for entrepreneurs here)
Where do you see yourself and your product in a couple years?
Jules Schroeder: I would have never imagined I’d be throwing international events with my company if you’d have asked me where I intended to go just a year ago. So the truth is, I am remaining open to what emerges and am looking forward to where that takes us. In the near future, I see us growing Unconventional Life into a huge global movement and company. Where we are the go-to community for millennials who are creating their life on their own terms and following their own path. I see us expanding our international events and having a global network for people to connect, discover what it is they really care about, and create a business vehicle that is in alignment to support that. We have already created a few big strategic partnerships and have several online programs coming out later this year. This is just the beginning!