Use Swipe Files At Your Own Risk: How you can save your list and not ‘eff up

Have you ever modeled something that worked for someone else, but then it didn’t work AT ALL for you? You were given a swipe file, promised results, got so excited and then it flopped?

Well, I did…and I ‘effed up big time.

It was the end of the year. I wanted to give my peeps a deal for the holidays, for my Living Wellness Kickstart program, and a bonus to my ICM private library. It was a great deal stuffed with value.

“Okay… so how did you eff up?”

Picture this: a friend had told me about a shiny, new info marketing promotion. 1-2-3-4 emails, say this, do that, tell them this and bingo! You help them out and get your cash.

You know the ones I am talking about. You worked so hard, and did everything they told you… Turns out, it’s just starting to look like another over-promising and under-performing gimmick. Lesson learned.

My followers aren’t so ‘techy’, and they feel totally grossed out if my voice is anything but authentic. They’ll hit that ‘unsubscribe’ button like it’s going out of style. And, in my haste, I ignored it. (First mistake.)

This is where I eff’d up. You’ve been there too, I know you have, and I want you to know that there’s no shame in failure — entrepreneurship has a massive learning curve. Knowing your business, who you’re talking to and how you’re talking to them is golden.

Yes, thank you. May I have another shiny new thing?

We loaded the emails and made the site changes… I was excited. My list had just increased after a couple of teleseminars, so I felt like I was on the right track.

Then the first email blast went. People jumped off my mailing list like it had burst into flames. There were only four sales…and to make it even better, I got a few hate emails.

Time to get radically honest.

Whoa! I had to step back and ask: “What would I have done if I’d gotten those emails from someone else?” I had most definitely brought the wrong vibe to my peeps… but I would find a way to fix it.

You know what I’m talking about here: that moment where you have to pick yourself up from a puddle of disappointment and stop beating yourself up.

Are you guilty of any of this? Can you relate? I see you nodding your head.

How you can save your list and not eff’ up:

1. Don’t just copy stuff to use for your list. Sit with it. Put yourself in their shoes. What are they expecting from you? Is this message in alignment with your brand, message and type of business? Be honest.

2. Own your missteps and be real about it with your peeps. Let them know what happened. Learn your lessons, experiment, and be willing to succeed by not losing yourself. Be honest with them. Get vulnerable. Fail fast, and let it be a failure instead of a mistake (as the brilliant Seth Godin says).

3. Let your contractors, VA’s and anyone who works with you have permission to tell you what they feel. Invite them in to share. Don’t assume they will just tell you. If they feel comfortable speaking up, this will help them stay 100% focused on your biz success.

Last tip and most important. Be willing to laugh it up, and be cynical about that next shiny new thing. By communicating with your list in your own voice, you’ll get loving fans that will feel closer to you when you bare your soul.

When I sent out my post ‘eff up email I went deep… I got a slew of emails in my inbox with such sweet notes and then I got some others who wanted to speak their truth. Best part is, I found a new commitment to my list, not wavering or comprising my soul. You can take a peek here into what your soul wants you to know, so you don’t get snagged by the shiny new things outside yourself.

Curious about the email I sent to my list after the debacle? You can read it right here:


Today is a pretty emotional day for me. It’s the 20th
anniversary of my mother’s passing and we’re headed
to New Orleans for the weekend to get pampered.

Before I go, I REALized I need to get radically honest and
real with you or over the weekend I would not feel 100%.

From time to time I like to experiment and sometimes
I Eff’ Up and need you to call me on my Sh*t.


Because I care what you think + feel if you EVER feel
that that an email, blog post or something I do it gross,
icky or makes you feel like WTF then let me know immediately.

Just hit reply, email me and pour your heart out!

Always know I am dedicated to give you the best I can that is
why I share my bare ass truth and ask you to do the same.




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hillaryrubinHillary Rubin, spiritual lifestyle design coach, entrepreneur, and wellness pioneer who coaches women around the world to shed fear and become undeniable in their life and business. Check out her newest program, Your Souls University, HERE. She has been featured on Fit TV, in The Los Angeles TimesThe IndependentYoga Journal and contributes to the Huffington Post and Origin magazine. Hillary is also writing her first book with the forward by Agape Founder Michael Bernard Beckwith.


  1. Hillary,

    Thanks for a great post….and for standing in your unique and authentic power. It is through your openness, vulnerability, and your sharing that makes you so likable and contagious. This IS a great lesson and I so appreciate you writing about it.

    Namaste sista,

  2. Thanks for sharing Hillary! It’s such a balancing act figuring out the right balance of sharing great content vs. offering services — and HOW to do it all. I so appreciate your experience!

  3. Wow. While I haven’t done this, I can so see myself making the same mistake – but not now. Selling and writing sales messages makes me nervous, and I would definitely take the advice of an “expert” or “expert system.” Thanks for the lesson – you are certain to have saved me some pain.

    Jennifer Peek | Start-up Business Strategist
    Find Your New Groove
    The Freedom to Build Your Business Your Way

  4. Jennifer, thanks for your comment. You are welcome and now you don’t have to make the mistake.

  5. Thanks for sharing yourself so honestly here Hillary – I love that you posted the email. I read the “I eff’d up email” but not the one before, so I had no idea what you were talking about!

    Keep it real – we love it!

    Denise DT (AKA The Lucky Bitch)

  6. Hillary, I love that you’re sharing what didn’t work, what happened, how you corrected it and what you learned. This authenticity is what makes you human and so relatable. And your voice is unique so those unsubscribes are a sign that people know your voice and want it. What a huge compliment! xoxo

    Laurie Rosenfeld
    Coaching for Transformative Change

  7. This is one of the most refreshing and honest articles I’ve read in a long time, Hillary. I learned something else besides the lesson that we should be authentic and use our own voice. I also learned that the next time I receive something from someone I’ve been following that feels less than what I was expecting, I need to cut them some slack and maybe even have a conversation with them before clicking “unsubscribe” — at least hang in long enough to see if it’s a new pattern or just an aberration.

  8. Well, that’s a great post. The last point about willing to laugh it up works the best.

  9. Kathleen Prophet says:

    Sooooooo appreciate the REAL deal from you, Hilary. I watch you deeply, both because of your getdown&dirtyraw message AND because you are working THE system to get your message out! That is why we market. We KNOW our message is HOT and want to bridge it to the world. I am such a newbie, and I know my peeps are watching me. I want to take care AND I want to get out there. So thank you for this jewel born out of the darkness. I will use it well.

  10. REALly enjoyed this post!

  11. Great tips + authenticity Hil – and YES, we’ve all been there!

    When we actually learn from the lessons that are delivered and assigned to us, we allow our selves to move forward and closer to our real purpose. Life is an ever unraveling class room full of wisdom. At the end of the day, if we can be honest with our selves and each other we are that much closer to oneness and the L O V E!


  12. Hillary, Great lesson you are sharing with all of us here today! I’ve been so guilty of doing the same thing…and even didn’t feel right about some of it. The thing is…some of the tips actually worked, but I didn’t feel authentic in the approach. As you know, time & experience clear these things up really fast!!!

  13. great advice hillary- you’re overall message is all about being authentic, and that’s what your subscribers want to FEEL from you.. HOWEVER, in this jam-packed, over-scheduled, rollercoaster of a life most of us are on, sometimes in an effort to save time and grow we forget to take our own advice and live from OUR truth- not somebody else’s who can do it quicker.. I will DEF take a second look before I send anything out when I have questions whether it is “me”.. xoxo

  14. Hillary, I loved this post! As I begin to grow my list, this is the exact scenario I dread. Now I know the steps to take to try and avoid this scenario, and if I ‘eff up…I know EXACTLY what to do then, too. Thanks for sharing your experience and email. I hope you had a beautiful weekend remembering and honoring your mom.

  15. I loved the advice, Hilary. Thank you for the heads up. I will surely keep this in mind in case i encounter it in the near future. I sure hope not though. :) This is really one of the best articles I’ve read regarding this topic. Great job!

  16. Love this Hillary- way to keep it real, sweets! I love how open and honest you are in all your communications, both in person and through your marketing. There’s nothing finer than operating from a place of 100% integrity in every area of your life. Keep rockin’ it lady, your authentic voice is such a grand gift to the world. xo

  17. Hillary, kudos to you for sharing this. We ALL eff up at one time or another – a wrong judgement, or we just feel a bit under the weather or we’re rushing and don’t quite think it through. I know I do it and I don’t know anyone who doesn’t!

    Bug hugs to you and the more mistakes we make the more we learn :)


  18. Great advice Hillary! I hope I don’t stumble into it but your comments were much appreciated. Definitely enjoyed the “Okay… so how did you eff up?”section, well done.