Phillipa: Hi everyone. It’s Phillipa here. And today we have another beautiful episode of Meet the Community. And I have a beautiful mom who is in California right now, Dona M Jolie. We’re just going to have a little chat around how Dona got started in the community, in the Freedom Era, and also her experience as well in the hopes that maybe she’s someone that you resonate with and you can see yourself doing a similar thing in terms of business and also life outside of the box, which is 100% what Dona is about. So Dona, can you please, let me start off with you giving a little bit of an introduction on yourself. And I’d love for you to expand a little bit about what living life outside of the box means for you.
Dona: Amazing. Thanks Phillipa so much. So my name is Dona and I’m a mom to two from California. And about four years ago, we ventured into the world of homeschooling. And for us that very quickly then morphed into unschooling. And in unschooling, what that really means is allowing our children to follow their interests down whatever rabbit holes they want to go into, because they’re passionate about what they’re doing and they’re loving learning, and it’s exciting for them. And so, as I was starting to learn about unschooling my kid, I really started to what I like to say de-school my life. And what happened was as I was making all of these choices for my children and allowing them to live this really free life, it was like, “Hey, I need to be doing this in my own life as well. And not just plugging away in a system that we had put ourselves into because we thought that was the path that we wanted to take for our family.”
So I was a stay at home mom to my two girls, homeschooling them unschooling. My husband was the software engineer working in Silicon Valley at the tech startups. And he was miserable. I was off living this really fun life with my kids, taking them to the beach and to the mountains and skiing and all this fun stuff. And he was at work, doing this commute then you hated, working this job that he really wasn’t passionate about and it started affecting his health.
And so when that happened, we came together and were like, “Okay, we’ve been talking about traveling. We’ve been talking about living life on our own terms. But we just kept putting it off because life was expensive.” We needed to save for the future, all of those things that we get stuck in needing to do. Right? And we live in California, it’s expensive here.
So, he was in his thirties and once he started having health issues, panic attacks and pain all through his body because of the stress at work, we were like, “Enough is enough.” And that’s when we both just kind of launched full into, “Okay. If we can’t do a regular nine to five, what’s next? How do we make money? How do we survive? How do we support ourselves? How do we go out and live the life that we’ve been talking about wanting to live? What are the alternatives?”
And that’s basically how we found this community and the freedom era.
Phillipa: Yeah. Amazing. And so like more specifically to that. So you had already made the decision that you were going to do something to get your husband out of working. How did you come across this business, this community? What was it that you saw?
Dona: So actually I was in a world schooling Facebook group, searching for how other traveling families were making money. And I had tried teaching English online, tried doing gig economy sort of jobs. And it just, it was nothing that really fed my soul. I felt really depleted and not excited about doing that kind of stuff. And I didn’t want to go into something that I wasn’t excited about. And so, as I’m scrolling through looking at all the different ways people are making money, there was just a post that caught my eye.
And it was about automation and being able to build a business online through personal branding. And something just really resonated with me. And so I reached out to her. She was a complete stranger. But through lots of conversations and me literally stalking her her friends to see who else was doing this line of work. There was just something about it that really, really spoke to me and called to me. And so I just continued learning and that’s how I ended up here.
Phillipa: Yeah. I love that. I love the power of social media and connecting with strangers. And then next thing you know, you’re talking all the time. And you’re in business together and you’re in community together. I love that so much. And so now that you’ve been part of the community, what have you experienced in terms of shifts within your staff, as a woman, as a human being, as a mother, what have you experienced?
Dona: Oh my gosh. It’s been completely life changing in so many ways. And I think the biggest thing that happened for me first was waking up from this sort of slumber that I was in, just sort of going through the motions of raising my kids and all of my energy was being poured into my kids and creating this amazing childhood for them. But I had completely forgotten about myself, right? It wasn’t doing anything to fill my own cup first and was just feeling kind of blah, about life. I put my kids to bed at night and then just hop onto Facebook or watch Netflix and drink a bottle of wine. And it was just like every single day was just repeating itself. And I just started having this calling, this feeling inside of me, it’s time to do something different. You were put on this planet to do more.
And being part of this community, man, it opened my eyes so wide to what my possibilities truly were. Getting back in touch with who I am as a human being, remembering those soul aligned nudges, who I was born to be. Remembering that person, that first and foremost completely changed the trajectory of my life because it’s given me the confidence, the purpose, the passion to actually go out and do what I want to be doing here on this planet, which is so much bigger than being a mom.
Being a mom is fantastic, but it’s given me this community of people who are all around supporting me and cheering me on and allowing me to trust myself, trust my intuition that I can actually go out and achieve whatever these wild and amazing dreams are that I have.
Phillipa: Yeah. So, so powerful. And so one of the seven pillars in the Freedom Era is skillset. So learning the skillset of digital marketing, you before you got started in this community, in a business online, were a stay at home mom. What was it like for you to learn new skills, learn new digital marketing skills?
Dona: Oh my gosh, I loved it. It was a bit of a steep learning curve because prior to this, I wasn’t really on social media very much. I didn’t like how it made me feel being on social media. It was quite negative. But throughout this process, learning that actually social media is a really powerful place to be. You can actually really surround yourself with phenomenal people who are high vibration, who are doing good things for the planet, who are wanting community and connection. And so having the Freedom Era as basically a community of mentors with all of the training to hold my hand and walk me through step by step on how to set up my Facebook profile and how to choose a nice photo for your profile and the things to be writing about.
And what is it that’s exciting to you in life? And how to really show up in your truest most authentic way, and actually giving value to people and not just showing off your life. And, “Oh, I’m so amazing.” Right? Because that’s really how I felt about social media before this.
But flipping that and pivoting a bit and actually recognizing that I have a voice, I have amazing things to say. And people need to hear what I have my knowledge, my wisdom. And being able to use these platforms is such a powerful way to get that message out. And so absolutely the Freedom Era was critical, crucial in me learning how to actually do that.
Phillipa: Yeah. And I can hear your children in the background. And it brings me to my next question. How do you schedule or how do you work your day so that you’re unschooling, homeschooling your kids at home and also trying to build a business online and also being a person? How do you handle and deal with all of that together?
Dona: It’s a challenge. I mean, I’m not going to lie. It is a challenge, but I am very lucky that my husband also works at home. He has his own online business as well. And so we’re able to tag team a bit. I tend to wake up quite early in the morning before my kids so that I get a couple, well it’s usually like an hour of time before they actually wake up where I can get some posts written or connect with my team, whatever it is that needs to happen. And then we just live our day. Life just happens. I take lots of photos throughout the day. Those become the stories I tell. Those become the wisdom and things that I share. And then after they go to bed, luckily my kids have a bedtime. So by 6:30, 7 o’clock, then I’ve got another nice little chunk of time where I can sit down at my computer and build my business.
And the beautiful thing is that you get to do this in tandem with your life. It doesn’t have to be either or. And some days I just don’t show up online because we’re living our life. We’re at the beach or we’re skiing, or we’re doing whatever it is. And there’s some really amazing tools out there that allow you to schedule things in advance. Right? So when I have that three hour block, I can get a bunch of content written, schedule it out, and then I don’t have to actually write any blog posts or whatever for two weeks.
So it’s leaning into the power of automation and scheduling and these little hacks so that you can actually build a business in the pockets of time that you have as a mom.
Phillipa: Yeah. I love that. I love the scheduling so much. And tell us about your vision from here on out. What you really see for yourself, for your family, for your business, for all of the people that you’re wanting to help? What is that?
Dona: Yeah, I love that question. So when I got started in this business, my vision was really just to be able to retire my husband, to bring him home so that he didn’t have the pressure of being the primary income earner. And he could actually see our kids growing up. But it shifted and it’s gotten so much bigger in the last two years that I’ve been part of this community. Because I’ve realized like that’s really me just having my needs met, playing a bit small and being able to open myself up to a vision that’s so much grander. And I’m actually really, really excited. Because as soon as we’re able to get back to Bali, we’re going to be starting a community for spiritually woke world schooling families who can live together in community.
One thing that’s super important to me as a full time traveling family is community and friends. And pretty much everybody that I’ve ever spoken to who travels full time, that’s one thing that they really yearned for is a place where they can come and settle for three to six months a year where their kids have a little village where they can run around barefoot and pick fruit off of the trees and play in the creeks and just have a really beautiful childhood. And then for the adults to have other entrepreneurs to be able to work alongside and to do community projects and to give back to the local communities.
So yeah, we’re going to be building that come probably like September, October, that’s when it’s looking like Bali is going to be opening up again and we’ll get back there. We’ve got people who are there already, who are getting the land for us as we speak and getting things kind of in progress and in motion. So yeah.
Phillipa: Yeah, that sounds so amazing. And I’m definitely coming for a visit.
Phillipa: With all of my five kids.
Dona: Yeah. Awesome.
Phillipa: And so last question for any homeschooling, any unschooling, any moms or dads that are really, really wanting to live outside the box that are watching this right now, what would be your advice to them that you maybe wish you had before you got started in this community?
Dona: I think just go for it. I found that I was always waiting, waiting like when the time is right, when we have enough money, when this happens or that happens and we’re financially secure enough and I can do something that’s maybe a little bit risky.
But you’re never going to have that right time. It’s never going to be perfect. And if your soul, if your heart is calling you to do something, to start a business, to create an online presence, to create your dreams and actually start living them, you’re not getting any younger.
I woke up my kid. My oldest daughter was seven and I was like, we’re halfway through her childhood. She’s going to be a teenager soon. We’ve got to get on with our life. We’ve got to actually do what we want to do. And so that would be my biggest advice is just trust your soul, trust those soul nudges. And just go for it if that’s what’s calling you.
Phillipa: Yes. Yes. Beautiful, powerful advice for everyone watching this. Amazing. Thank you so much for being on here and sharing this space with me Dona. And if you are watching, I would love to know what is something that you have taken away now from this conversation? Let us know down in the comments. All right. You have a beautiful evening, Dona.
Dona: Awesome. Thank you so much.
Phillipa: Thank you.