TCC Podcast #386: Life's a Game with Amanda Goetz - The Copywriter Club
TCC Podcast #386: Life’s a Game with Amanda Goetz

Some people just get stuff done while others get to the end of the day, look back, and wonder what they did all day. On the 386th episode of The Copywriter Club Podcast, Rob’s talk with brand builder, prolific content creator, and fractional CMO Amanda Goetz. Amanda revealed her secrets for getting stuff done, creating fly wheels (instead of funnels) to keep moving readers to other parts of her business, and adding a thousand subscribers to her newsletter every month. She calls it realistic productivity—the kind you can do when you’re running your own business and have three kids—and you’ll want to hear how she does it. Click the play button below, or scroll down for a full transcript.

Stuff to check out:

Life’s a Game (Amanda’s course)
The Copywriter Club Facebook Group
The Copywriter Underground

Full Transcript:

Rob Marsh: Some people seem to have an other worldly ability to get stuff done. While the rest of us struggle through our daily to-do lists and often fail to check off more than one or two items, they post great, well-thought out content several times a day to social media, they create new products, regular emails, launch and promote courses, and maybe even crank out a few pages for the book they’re working on. 

Hi, I’m Rob Marsh, one of the founders of The Copywriter Club. And on today’s episode of The Copywriter Club Podcast, I sat down with brand builder, creator and fractional CMO Amanda Goetz. Amanda is one of those people who just gets stuff done. She’s running three different content businesses, writing a book, taking on work as a part-time CMO and is launching a course in a couple of days. So how does she get it all done? We talked about the systems she uses to produce her weekly newsletters and daily social media content so that it all gets written in one day a month, plus an hour or two a week to schedule posts. And her system has helped her grow her newsletter by about 1000 new subscribers every month. If you produce content to support or grow your own business, you’re definitely going to want to hear what she has to say.

But first, I want to tell you about The Copywriter Underground. You’ve heard about the library of training that will help you build a profitable business. You’ve heard about the monthly coaching, and the almost weekly copy critiques and the helpful group of members ready with support and even the occasional lead. Last week we recorded an exclusive training for Underground members on the diagnostic scorecard that helps you close just about any prospect or project on a sales call. It’s the kind of business secret you don’t read about in free facebook groups or even on most email lists. But right now, you can watch that training and get the diagnostic scorecard to help you close more projects when you go to and join as a member.  But hurry, that training disappears in a few days.

Now, let’s jump to my discussion with Amanda.

Amanda, let’s get started with your story. You’ve done so many things, vice president marketing, CMO, you’re building three businesses. How did you get here?
Amanda Goetz: Oh, gosh. So where do I start? I grew up on a farm in Central Illinois. I’m a first generation college grad. And for me, my start was I graduated early from college because my accounting T.A. offered me a job at Ernst and Young. And I was still first semester of my senior year. And I was like, OK, I think I can graduate early if I take 18 hours. So I added a course. I graduated early. But my senior year of college, I took 18 hours of classes Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday. I got on a bus every Wednesday night. I went from Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, up to Chicago. I worked at Ernst & Young in the Sears Tower in Chicago, Thursdays and Fridays. I studied all day Saturday, went back to my roommates on Sunday and did it all again. 

Rob Marsh: Wow, that’s nuts. 

Amanda Goetz: I definitely have found that just the way that I’m wired and I am open to pushing myself and seeing what I’m capable of. But through those years I also learned what burnout looks like and where my limits are. I worked at Ernst & Young for a few years. That took me from Chicago to New York, where I finally realized I needed to be more consumer-facing. I didn’t like the financial services. I went to go work for a celebrity wedding planner, which is kind of a whole funny chapter, but I learned so much about what it meant to have a personal brand. 

He had a reality TV show that we worked on. He had books, he had licensing deals. So that was kind of my first real mini CMO role. But also seeing the value of a personal brand up close and personal. So I did that for a few years. That also allowed me to travel the world, which was really cool because my parents have never been on an airplane. So It’s a hilarious upbringing. So I was like, I’m headed to Australia to go plan a Major League Baseball player’s 30th birthday. I’ll be back in two weeks. And it was just funny and a really cool chapter of my life. 

From there, I launched a tech startup with a co-founder that I met through some nonprofit work. Did that. That was kind of like my MBA. I was managing engineers. I was learning how to build a tech product. I was understanding what it meant to like, what does VC capital mean? And I did an accelerator program in New York City, where it really taught us, it’s called Startup Leadership Program, SLP. It’s a global program. And you really learn what it means to be like a founder. And from there, did that for a few years. And that got me to The Knot, where I led marketing. And I was kind of the first consumer marketing hire, because it was an editorial company. For anybody that knows The Knot, it’s a magazine. And we made it a two-sided marketplace. I was there for five and a half years, then the pandemic hit. 

I decided to launch another startup, which was a consumer facing startup, a CPG wellness company. We had actual physical goods. We had supplements, and sold that two years ago to kind of take a break and focus on stability and family and I took a VP of marketing job to just kind of like reset. I call it my spin cycle. Like everything felt really heavy. I needed to get all the water out. And then from there decided I wanted to write a book and kind of share all of this stuff that I had learned throughout my journey. I’m a single mom. I have three kids. I got divorced a couple of years before the pandemic. And now writing a book. I launched kind of this creator community, helping people really understand what it looks like to build an intentional personal brand with the goal of making money.

Rob Marsh: Nice. There’s a, there’s a lot of here and so much we can ask about before we go any farther, what you’re even doing today. I want to go back to the wedding planner days. What is the wildest, craziest experience that you had doing that job?

Amanda Goetz: Oh my gosh, that could be its own podcast. I have so many stories that I’m sure NDAs were probably signed at some point.

Rob Marsh: We won’t name names.

Amanda Goetz: Yeah, it was a lot of NFL,  NBA, NASCAR, like I’ve touched kind of all of them. I had one family who no wedding venue was good enough. So they said, build us one. And so I had to move to a town and build a wedding venue that they would later turn into a commercial wedding venue that they would make money off of. But the mom was such a savvy businesswoman. She was like, no, if I’m going to spend this much money, it’s going to be an investment that I will get a return on. And so I built a wedding venue.

Rob Marsh: Credit the mom, that’s a brilliant idea when you think of all the money that gets wasted on weddings. But yeah, that’s awesome. Okay, so you’ve got all of these experiences adding up to what you’re doing today. And if I’m not mistaken, you’re building three different businesses at the moment. Tell us a little bit about those.

Amanda Goetz: Yeah, so I have kind of my main pillar, which is Life’s a Game. It’s all about success without burnout. So how do you play the game of life and manage your time and energy efficiently? So that is a newsletter. I don’t think of funnels anymore, I think in flywheels, because they should all feed each other. So I have a newsletter. I talk on social media about personal and professional growth. Then that feeds to my newsletter. If somebody wants to go further, I have a course that’s coming out in two days that takes you to that next level where it’s self-guided. It’s seven modules sharing everything I’ve learned about productivity, but realistic productivity. 

I’ve got three kids. A lot of productivity gurus out there are like a single dude that doesn’t have kids that’s like, here’s how to wake up at 5 a.m. and do these things. You’re like, I got a kid. Realistic productivity. and goal setting. So if somebody likes that and they want to go deeper, they can join my community. I do group coaching. We have over 100 people that meet biweekly, and we are in a Slack community, and some of those I even do one-on-one coaching with. So that’s kind of one pillar. 

Then I’ve got Break an Egg, which I started with Jack Appleby—a lot of people are not like the people listening to this podcast, right? They don’t know how to write on social media. And so we started a very, very inexpensive, it’s $5 a month, email list where subscribers get daily prompts to show up on LinkedIn. So it’s like, today, talk about a time in your career where you learned X, Y, and Z. And so they get that prompt. And now they know, OK, that’s what I’m going to share on social media today. And then they have a community. So that’s another business. 

And then I’ve got the book, which is kind of its own business, because it’s not necessarily related to the other two. And with the book, I I do speaking engagements and I go around. So that’s kind of its own pillar. 

And then I would say, like, I kind of have a fourth one, which is I’m still a fractional CMO and I still take on CMO work and helping people think about their branding. So, yeah, I kind of keep my hands in all those cookie jars.

Rob Marsh: Listening to you talk about it, it’s clear why Life’s a Game is focused on time management, energy management—all of that, because, as you mentioned, you’ve got a family, you’ve got a personal life, and managing literally four or five different businesses. That’s a lot.

Amanda Goetz: Yeah, it doesn’t feel like a lot because of the way I approach everything. But I recognize that when I say this, it sounds crazy.

Rob Marsh: Yeah, it sounds a little nuts. I do want to come back to those businesses. But if somebody is thinking, okay, I’m a writer, or I would love to start a business like what you have started, maybe something like Break an Egg, or even Life’s a Game where you’re talking about some of your experiences and how to do something, right? You’ve built a lot of this on social media and with newsletters. And this is something that as I’ve watched you build your businesses over the last year or so, I’m fascinated by how you’ve done it, how you show up constantly, especially at Twitter and LinkedIn. Will you just talk about your strategy there and what you’re doing and how you’ve grown as you’ve been posting there consistently?

Amanda Goetz: Yeah, so I’ll get a little tactical here because I think it’s helpful. People like to talk in “macro” and it’s like, well, that sounds great. But like, what do you actually do? Let’s do that.

Rob Marsh: Tactics is great.

Amanda Goetz: OK, so at the start, I’m really thinking about what are my content pillars? So we’re all writers here. You’re thinking about what are the pillars that I’m talking about? And when you have those pillars created, Then you can figure out, OK, there’s all these different styles of writing a post. So say I’m going to talk about time management. Well, you can then list out. 

You could say how to do X by doing Y. That’s one type of post. I have a list of 10 types of posts. It’s like the contrarian take. Here’s the old way of doing something versus the new way of doing something. Anytime I write a post, I’m thinking about what are the eight ways that I can write this post. I call one a fortune cookie post. What’s the two-liner? summary of this thing. One’s a version of like story time. If I’m going to tell a story about how I burnt out, I’ll tell that story. But then I’m going to take that longer story and turn it into six or seven shorter things. Right. 

And to your point, the newsletter is usually the starting point. I write a long newsletter and then I chop that into eight or 10 different tweets. And I do the same thing, Twitter and LinkedIn. Sometimes I change it up one day, but you will see the same content on both. I don’t over-engineer that. And then I program that. On Sundays, I sit down for about an hour and a half in the morning before the kids are up, and I schedule that stuff out. And the cool thing is when you have one newsletter and you’re writing about, like, say that newsletter today was like the science of overwhelm—and what do I do when I feel overwhelmed about something? OK, I’m going to then chop that into eight tweets. But I’m not going to do that all in one week, because that would feel very redundant. So I’m going to space that out over the course of eight weeks. When you do that every week, all of a sudden, in a few weeks, you’ve got the full week already scheduled. And it’s kind of this wonderful compounding effect. And so I do sit down on Sundays. And that allows me on the day to day to not get time sucked into social media. 

I have two chunks of my day from eight to nine after I drop off the kids and I usually have a coffee and I’m relaxing and kind of transitioning back into work mode where I will engage with people. and then around noon. And those are usually the two times that my two more meatier posts go live. So I’m there to respond to people when they’re engaging with it. So it’s all very, very formulaic. 

I think people kind of feel deflated when they hear that because they’re like, oh, I thought everybody’s actually there thinking of this stuff. It’s like, no, the people who are there to drive a funnel or a flywheel, they’re making money. They have got a system in place where they are maximizing the time that they’re showing up. I don’t want to sit down at 8 a.m. and be like, well, what should I post today? Because that’s wasted energy.

Rob Marsh: Yeah, I’m glad you said that, because I think the perception is, like you said, we see the tweets showing up four or five times a day, or on LinkedIn once or twice a day. We see the newsletter coming into our inboxes, and it feels like you’re ever-present. And which is intentional. And that’s good. That’s what you want people to think. But the fact that you’re letting the system run it, that’s like one of those behind-the-scene things that if we’re going to be serious about building that kind of a business—and I know a lot of people listening are—that’s the kind of thing that’s really, really helpful.

Amanda Goetz: Exactly. You have to understand that this is why Life’s a Game is called Life’s a Game. Everyone that’s out there being successful has learned how to play the game. And it feels icky. It feels inauthentic. But the fact of the matter is, if you sit down every day to try to create a post, you’re going to overthink it. You’re going to sit there for longer. And that’s wasted time and energy. 

It’s funny, because even with the newsletter, when I first started it, It was June of last year. Each newsletter would take me about eight hours. So I would break it up. On Saturdays, I’d ideate. Sundays, I’d draft. Mondays, I would edit. Tuesdays, I’d add pictures. Wednesdays, I’d program and it would go live on Thursdays. After about five, six months of doing that, I started to find my rhythm. I understood the formula. Again, everything comes down to… once you have that formula of what works, you’re like, okay, cool. I’ve got this. 

Now I write all four newsletters one day a month. I block out the day, I write four, now that’s done. Now when you think about, okay, I have a newsletter and I’m showing up on social every day, that’s actually only one day a week and one day a month. Now I’ve got all this other time to do those other businesses that I’m working.

Rob Marsh: I love that. Let’s talk a little bit about the growth that you’ve seen as you’ve done this. Everybody starts at zero. We all look at the businesses that have thousands and thousands of followers, and I know you’re not yet at the quarter of a million or the millions, but you have had an amazing growth curve over the last few months.

Amanda Goetz: Yeah. On social, it’s been interesting. I talk a lot about creator seasons. I was in creator winter for quite a while. And I want to just tell people that not everyone just looks like an overnight success. I was tweeting and posting for a very long time into the void. And eventually, you start to see these little upticks, and then that starts to build and compound. But with the newsletter, it’s been pretty steady of just slow, but up into the right growth. I started, obviously, with zero. I pre-launched it. I think I launched on the day when it went live. I had about 1,000 subscribers. I think now I just crossed 27,000. And so it’s like 1,000 a week. It’s slow and steady.

Rob Marsh: That’s great. And you’ve seen sort of the same thing with social media. Is that right? Or is that different?

Amanda Goetz: Social media is a different game. Like it’s truly you once you learn the rules of the game. So the number one thing that I teach people in my group coaching is about engagement circles. And this is the thing that like the successful people, they will not talk about, but like I am an open book and I’m like, I want everyone to know the rules of the game. And look, just because what I’m about to say sounds simple does not mean it’s easy. And people confuse those two things. 

Showing up every day and engaging on social media is not easy, but it’s simple. So what is an engagement circle? It is a group of people at a similar level—it’s like if you only have a thousand followers, find five other people that are around 2000 followers and say, hey, I’m going to show up every day at 8 a.m. and post. When do you show up every day? And I’m going to comment on your stuff. You’re going to comment on my stuff. And we’re going to show up for each other every day. I am on group texts with different creators. I’m in DM groups with different creators. I do it with my Office Hours community. We do it with Break an Egg community. Drop your post. Let other people know it’s there. You can’t expect the algorithm to do all the work. You have to show up. And the way that LinkedIn algorithm works is when you post, that first few minutes is when the algorithm is saying, is this a valuable post? If within the first few minutes of that post going live, say in the first 30 minutes, a lot of people start engaging with it and you’re commenting back, the algorithm’s like, oh, this creator’s there. That’s good. They want that. They want dialogue. And other people are commenting on this. This must mean that this is a valuable post. And so you just learn that trick, and it’s like, OK, hey, guys, I post every day at 8:15 AM. You show up at the same time, and we’re going to be there for each other.

Rob Marsh: Yeah, the timing thing. This is one of those lessons that I’ve learned, because I tend to post just kind of whenever it’s like, oh, I’ve got to get something up today. So sometimes it’s in the morning. Sometimes it’s in the afternoon. I’ve posted in the evening. And I have posted things that I thought were really good engagement stuff in the evening. and it’s flat because people aren’t there and it’s not until the morning that they start engaging and it’s a much slower build. So that timing is really important. Can I also ask, and I know it’s not about the tools, it’s never about the tools, but what are the tools that you’re using to post and make sure the stuff is showing up?

Amanda Goetz: Yeah, so I use Hypefury for Twitter. The only thing about Hypefury that’s a little frustrating is you can’t schedule long form posts. So on Sundays, I literally will create a little postcard and I’ll make like a it’s like Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday. And if I have a long form post that is in drafts on Twitter, I’ll have like a little like bird or like blue checkmark or something that’s like reminds me that that one isn’t going to publish automatically. I’ve got to go in and click send. But otherwise, anything else that’s a thread or a shorter post, that’s all through Hypefury. 

Then everything on LinkedIn is Taplio. And I’m actually I’m doing a webinar March 21st for Taplio, where I’m showing how I create a lot of content in a short amount of time. They have very cool AI tools that generate hooks for you. So you can put in your tweet or your post, the content, and it will generate a bunch of hooks for you. And that’s what I was talking about earlier, which is like, you should have one post served seven ways.

Rob Marsh: I love that. So as you were starting up these businesses, you left your previous work, was it a cold break or did you sort of start that slow build while you were still at Theknot thinking, okay, I know what I’m going to be doing. I need to build some runway for myself.

Amanda Goetz: Yeah. So this creator business is different than House of Wise, which was a VC backed company. That one was different because it was middle of COVID. I started working on it kind of nights and weekends because I wanted to do the development and understand who my customer was going to be and who was going to make the product and where was I going to source the ingredients from. That was a slow build. Basically, I raised $400,000 pre-seed while I had a full-time job at The Knot. My boss knew about it. I was transparent about it. I said, I’m doing it nights and weekends, but I’m going to start talking about what I’m doing. Okay, that was fine. 

When it started to become not okay was when I felt my energy shift and that the House of Wise needed more of me. And so that was when I was like, I got to figure this out. So lucky enough, because of Twitter and LinkedIn, I saw somebody posting about like, they needed a marketer. And I was like, Hey, I think if you want a fractional CMO, I could probably do 20 hours a week with you so I could give half of my time to House of Wise. And that worked out perfectly. 

So I, left my full-time job, took on a fractional CMO role, helped build that brand while I was still building my company. And it wasn’t until I raised the $2 million seed and we were driving real revenue that I was like, okay, I can now let everything else go and do this. 

Now, fast forward to my creator, this new era of my life. I was in a position, and honestly, it was a forcing function situation. I was in a position where I was not happy. I did not love the setup, the culture. And sometimes it takes a bad situation for you to be like, I’ve got to leave and I have nothing. And I remember one particularly hard day, I shut my computer and I looked at my partner and I was like, I think I need to quit. And I’m like, this is really not you know, from an energy standpoint and an alignment standpoint, I’m not there. So we talked through it and he was like, do you know what you want to do? And I was like, no, but I think I’ll figure it out. And so sometimes the scariest things are like removing your safety net. But when I tell you I have never worked harder or with more intention than I did the three months following where I was like, I’ve got to figure out how I’m making money. And so those next three months of me figuring out how to monetize my audience was like real.

Rob Marsh: Yeah, OK. Yeah, I mean, this is something I think that a lot of us experienced as copywriters. It’s like, hey, we leave the in-house job. Or sometimes it’s not voluntary. There’s a layoff that happens. An agency loses a client or whatever. And not having the safety net forces you to get serious. very fast. 

I’ve also been in situations, in fact, I was in a startup with four partners, we all had other jobs. And so we were kind of doing it on the side. And we could never get the traction because we were all safe doing—it was like we could play.

Amanda Goetz: That was my first startup, same thing.

Rob Marsh: We could play and build stuff. And it’s like, well, yeah, we’ll get a client. But we don’t need it because every one of us had that runway. Or actually, it was more than runway. We had a total safety net. Yeah. And so it never got traction, unfortunately, because I still think it’s a great idea. But we were just the wrong team to build it. So as you do all of this stuff, you mentioned earlier, at one point, you burned out doing some of the other stuff. I mean, listening to you, I said three jobs. You really have five jobs, as we were talking about earlier. What are you doing to avoid burnout this time?

Amanda Goetz: I’m very intentional about what my boundaries are. Like I said, I have turned down many clients. I’ve turned down many meetings. I’ve turned down many podcasts. I am very, very intentional about what I’m saying yes to. The shift is like, look, in your 20s and early 30s, like I’m in my late 30s now, it’s like, you have to say yes to opportunities because you never know. You have to increase that luck surface area. And I would not be in the position I am today had I not put myself in scenarios and situations and went to events and put myself at the tables of the people that kind of are now just like in my life. 

But now I’m very intentional about the level of effort something takes and the level of impact it has towards my goal. And right now I’m very clear on my goals. And this is what I teach in the course, which is everything starts with, what do you see for your life in this current season? What do you want? Are you pushing in your career? And that’s OK if you are. But for how long are you willing to allow that to go? OK, for the next one to two years, you’re pushing in your career. Great. Well, then you need to stop and take inventory and say, are you still good with that a year in? And do you need to shift? Does somebody need to go on the front burner or back burner? 

Start with your goal and then align your actions towards that goal. And I talk a lot about where does weak boundaries come from, like meaning you’re saying yes to people’s meetings or saying yes to things that aren’t in alignment? Well, it comes from people-pleasing, right? And where does people-pleasing come from? A need for validation and affirmation and a low self-worth. And so really, the shortest answer to your question is that I’ve done a lot of the inner work stuff to fix those things that actually lead to those weak boundaries. Because once I know my worth and that I deserve to achieve the goals that I’ve set, now I’m in a whole different headspace to say, well, no, my goal is just as important as your goal. And I’m going to work towards mine just as much as I’m going to work towards yours. And that is the shift that I think needed to happen for me.

Rob Marsh: You mentioned the tension between effort and impact. Will you talk a little bit more about that? Maybe even give us a specific example of how that shows up.

Amanda Goetz: Yeah. Look, I could put on my CMO hat right now and talk about like, oh, someone wants us to do a campaign with this landing page and, you know, all this copy and all this stuff. Like, it sounds really cool. OK, well, my first question is, let’s look at the level of effort and the level of impact I have. 100,000 people follow me on Twitter, and if I can get 10% of them to drive to this landing page, what’s the typical conversion of a landing page? Okay, now I get them to a site. What’s the typical conversion from that site? Okay, boil that down, back of the napkin math, I might have 50 people that purchase this thing. Is that the good use of my time? Or should I focus on this thing where I can drive them directly to the newsletter and the newsletter I know has a different funnel? So I think about everything in that way. Like, does this meeting that somebody wants me to take, what is the level of effort and what’s the level of impact towards my goals? And if it’s not high, like every, I love doing this every Friday afternoon, is my email day. That’s when I actually go through all of my emails, because I don’t email such a time suck. 

I do not let email control me. I keep it closed most of the day. Friday afternoons, when I look at my calendar for the next week and I say, okay, I said yes to all these things. What am I going to remove? What is truly not in alignment with what my goal is for next week? My goal is to write three chapters next week. Do I have enough space to actually do that? And if I don’t, guess what? Other people can wait because it’s my time. And those are the things I think about.

Rob Marsh: Awesome. Okay, we’ve talked about your book a couple of times. And I, before we started recording, I told you, I have struggled to get out my, you know, book idea, you know, it’s on 30 different documents on my hard drive or whatever. Let’s talk about the process of writing a book. And specifically, what are you writing about? Who’s it for that kind of thing?

Amanda Goetz: Yeah. So process wise, I approach it like everything that I approach. It’s, it’s, It’s like, oh, I want to write a book. That is a big, scary, meaty goal, right? What’s less intimidating? Writing 500 words. Like, that’s just, I can write 500 words in a sitting and not even think twice about that. So every day, like you can see, Tuesday, this is my Tuesday, 1,000 words, okay? That’s manageable. And so I just, I have taken this big, hairy thing and just broken it up. I call it KitKat strategy. I just take big things and I break them up into a million pieces and I do one a day. With the book, I mean, my partner tells this story about the first time we ever met, I said, I really want to write a book before I’m 40. That was like a thing. I said it, I was probably trying to sound really cool. I don’t know. I had no idea what I was going to write about, but one, I put it out there. And that’s the thing that I want to share is accountability and putting your dreams out there. It sounds woo-woo. It sounds a little hippy-dippy, but it truly does hold yourself accountable. 

There’s a scientific study that says having a goal, making a plan towards your goal gets you like 35% of the way towards your goal. Telling people that you have that goal takes it up to like 55%. And then making accountability partners takes you up to like 85, 90% when you have those checkpoints. And that, so for me, I’m going to let this kind of fester in my head now. I want to do this. I just made more time to think about what I wanted to write about. And then one day I remember I just had this idea and I sat down and I wrote the proposal in one day. I was like, I think I like this, like it’s giving me a ton of energy and I really want to feel like this is an important message to share. 

Then I said, OK, well, what’s the next step? I need to get an agent. OK, cool. I have enough author friends in my circles that I was like, I think I want to write a book. Are you open to introducing me to your agent? And a lot of my friends are still debut authors, their first time help. So their agents are right in that wheelhouse. I’m not trying to go after Jay Shetty’s agent. And so went to New York, met with them. three agents that week and got offers from all three and so secured that. And then I was like, oh, now I have even more accountability. Like this person believes in me and now I have to write this proposal because the proposal I turned in, I didn’t know what I was doing. It was just like, you know, two sheets of paper was like, here’s my idea. Do you like it? And then she was like, okay, Now we got to turn this into what are the chapters? What are the summaries for every chapter? What is the connective tissue of this thing? And that took me like six months. Like that was like real work. And what I started writing was not what I ended writing is the funniest part. 

What I thought the book was going to be about ended up being a component of it, but it took on a whole other kind of life of its own. And so now I’m in. The coolest thing is once you have a very structured outline like that with the summaries, I right now and my editor has told me that I am going at a speed that’s not normal. So I’m very aware of this. But. I basically have said every chapter is about 5000 words. That means I’m going to write 1,000 words a day every week, Monday through Friday, so I’ll have a chapter done a week. My book is 13 chapters, so 13 weeks, and the book is done. In my head, it just seems so simple. Now, as I’ve gone through this process, I’ve learned, okay, some days I’m not feeling creatively energized. Some days the kids need me more. All in all, I started it in December. I’ll turn in the manuscript by the end of May. And it’s been a six-month process of now writing the book. So all in, six months of proposal, six months of the book. It’s a year of writing. But I’ve been very intentional about it. I’ve said, this is when I’m doing this. This is the date I’m doing it by. So you just have to kind of give the thing life.

Rob Marsh: Yeah, and you decided to traditionally publish as opposed to self-publish. How come?

Amanda Goetz: I did. This was a tough decision for me because, one, it’s not a sure thing to go after a traditional publisher. And there’s fear of rejection. And truly, I think if I would have gone that route and I wouldn’t have gotten a deal, I probably wouldn’t write it because I think I would have gotten in my head of, well, this isn’t good. 

The way that I looked at it and the decision I had to make was, is it a means to the end or an end? Am I writing the book because I want to sell this book and I want to make money from the book and that’s this? Or is it a means to the end where the book sparks a message and a movement that I get to go then speak around and potentially do a podcast around and build more and more and have it turn into the next book. And for me, where I’m at in my life and when I stepped away from it all and really did some of those exercises I put in the course, It was the second. It was the means to the end. I want this to be the beginning of a conversation and the beginning of this next chapter of my career. So with that, a traditional publisher, I’m not going to make money. 

Making money from a traditional publisher, you’re not in it for the money. I would make so much more money self-publishing this book. But it’s going to get the message out there. And then I’ll have a publicity team that can then put me on stages and I can talk about it. I’m going through keynote speaker training. I’m doing all the things. So you have to understand, is it the end or the means to the end? I think then aligning the path accordingly.

Rob Marsh: And as you are thinking this out, how does that change the rest of the flywheel, as we mentioned earlier, and how everything feeds into everything else? Does the business evolve into something different or is it, again, a continuation of what you’re doing right now?

Amanda Goetz: I think it would be a continuation. I love people. I love being around people. I didn’t realize how much having a community is like my passion and superpower. I love bringing people together and having them. That biweekly coaching and fostering that, it really lights me up. I don’t see anything changing with that. With everything else, it’s not a huge time suck. I’ve got the newsletter down. I’ve got to show up on social. I think that this is just now adding another piece to the puzzle, but they all kind of connect.

Rob Marsh: Let’s talk about your course, because this is coming out in a couple of days. And I’ve been lucky enough to see a little bit behind the scenes. I haven’t gone through every single module, but I’ve been through a lot of the internal work stuff. Tell us why you created it, what’s the purpose, and who’s it best for?

Amanda Goetz: Yeah, so it’s called Life’s a Game, the Master Class. So anybody that’s been following my newsletter, they’ve got a sense of what it’s going to be. But a lot of productivity courses are all around the external factors. Like, OK, you’re struggling with procrastination or focus, or how do you approach a to-do list? What’s a second brain? How do you use that? OK, those are all important things. But what I’ve found is I’ve done about a decade of coaching with Harvard-trained coaches and cognitive behavioral therapists. And what I’ve learned and what we talked about a little earlier is, My clicks into my flow state and success and taking up space in my own life happened when I did the internal work. And so this course at its highest level is helping you master time, energy, and ambition, but it’s by doing so through a lot of first introspection. 

So I say, you know, we are all wired based on previous programming. Like if you think about our brain as a software system, your childhood programmed it, your relationship with your parents programmed it, past relationships programmed it, you have this programming. And if you’re going to install new software, meaning you’re going to change your patterns, change your behaviors, you have to look at the source code and understand where you need to change the coding. So That’s what’s different about this course is every module, whether it’s talking about limiting beliefs, where do those come from? What do you have? And then how do you reprogram it? And if we’re talking about time management, it’s like, okay, where does your procrastination or lack of focus come from? Let’s get curious about that source code. And then now you’ve got a fertile ground for reprogramming and building new skill sets because it’s really, really hard to add on something new when you haven’t created the space for it.

Rob Marsh: And then once you’ve fixed the inner, then you go deeper on how to get straight with the outer in the course as well.

Amanda Goetz: Exactly. So every, every module has what I call the IDEA framework. It goes introspection, decoding, then you do an exercise and then application. And so you really move through that internal to external in every single module.

Rob Marsh: Awesome. And there’s lots of exercises. I think I shared with you, I was going through it as quick as I could. So I was skipping some of the exercises that I now have to go back and really think through. But it’s that kind of thing that, again, if we want to build a business like what you’ve done, this is really the model that you followed as you’ve done all of the things that you’re doing.

Amanda Goetz: Yeah, it really is. People want the quick fix. They’re looking for someone to say, post this thing and you’ll go viral. Do this and you’ll unlock money. And it’s really the culmination of all these little things that add up to those things. And so if you put in the work and do these exercises, you are now setting yourself up to take it to another level. And so that’s, that’s the thing that I get really pumped about. And I made it, you know, it’s, it obviously took me months of work to make it, but compared to, I made it about like half the price of everything else that’s on there, because a lot of people who follow me are like, you know, moms or people doing side hustles. And they’re like, I believe that this stuff should be accessible to people.

Rob Marsh: Yeah. OK, so that brings up another question. You are very driven. You have had some pretty amazing experiences. You know, if somebody’s listening to your story and thinking, oh, I’d love to have a business like Amanda, can anybody do it? Or do you really need something extra to push you to accomplish this kind of a thing?

Amanda Goetz: I believe anyone can do this idea of… I have a goal… And I want to achieve that goal. And I’m going to make a chronological series of steps to get to that goal. And not everybody wants to be like me. And look. I have friends that are literally like, I don’t want your life. You are going hard every day. You’re showing up. You’re doing this. Not everybody’s wired like me, nor should they. But if somebody sees all these things that I’m doing and they’re like, I want to get there, then my biggest piece of advice is you’ve got to figure out how to build sustainable momentum because if you what happens is what I see with really ambitious people is we pendulum swing. We go really hard and then we burn out. And then we’re like, I can’t do anything. And so now you’re over here for a while and then you muster up the strength and you’re like, OK, now I’m ready to go back. And then you swing over and you’re going 100 miles per hour again.

And so my thing has been I steadily go a little above the speed limit, but like consistently. I don’t ever allow myself to pick up too much speed because I know I’ll break down. So I’m really, really focused on helping people stay in this like going above the speed limit, but you’re not going to break down like you’re pushing, but you’re also resting. And I have lots of frameworks for how I incorporate rest in my day. I’m done working every day at 3 p.m. I don’t work after 3 p.m. Like I have these guardrails where I’m taking care of myself so I don’t break down.

Rob Marsh: It feels like that ties back to the idea you mentioned earlier, funnels versus flywheels. Funnels tend to require launches and big bursts of energy versus the flywheel, which takes a lot of energy to get spinning. But once it’s going.

Amanda Goetz: Exactly. The coolest thing about what I’ve done over the last six years or six months with this new world of being a content creator and driving to products and services is that it was a lot of work up front, like to make this course a lot of work, to build a membership community and get all of the pieces in place and the emails that trigger at the right time, like that’s a lot of work and investment in time and energy and money because like some of that stuff I need somebody else to help me with. 

And so I had to hire somebody to kind of help me with some of the triggers, but it’s like, Okay, now that’s going, I have steady recurring revenue coming in that is now I spend an hour a day with the community. What took me, you know, 40 hours a week for a few months now is one hour a day and I’m making the same amount of money. So understanding that, like same with the newsletter, a lot of effort upfront, made no money, had no sponsors. Now I make about 10K a month in sponsorships for the newsletter. Okay, great. That’s one day a month to make 10K. So these are the things that you have to understand in this whole creator world is it’s a lot of energy up front. 

And most people, if you’ve ever seen that meme, like somebody shoveling And it’s like the pot of gold is like on the other side of the wall. And the only difference is the person who got tired up here, they kept going. And the person that got tired here was like, it’s never going to happen. They walked away. Both have the gold behind the wall. It’s just when you get tired, you kind of have to know, I’m doing this for a reason and you keep going. But most people kind of stop. And the people that you see, the only difference is they just kept going and kept showing up.

Rob Marsh: Yeah. If you could go back and talk to college student, Amanda, who’s flying to Chicago to work, you know, two days a week, busting her hump, you know, through the weekend and give her some advice that would help her, I don’t know, accomplish this faster, do it a little bit differently, maybe avoid a mistake. What would you tell her?

Amanda Goetz: I don’t believe in mistakes and regret. I believe that I had to learn all the lessons. I had to learn to get to where I am. Look, I got married when I was 21. I had kids young, but I don’t I think I would just go back to tell her, like, you are going to be strong and you’re going to get through everything that comes your way. And you’re just going to keep getting stronger. So just know and trust it, that you are totally capable of handling everything that’s going to come your way.

Rob Marsh: Amazing. OK, the course comes out in a couple of days. We have a link that we’ll link to in our show notes. It’s the shortcut will be If you want to check out Amanda’s course. Thanks for being here, Amanda, sharing so much of your journey. I’m a fan. And so this has been a lot of fun just chatting with you about how you’ve built your business over the last few months.

Amanda Goetz: I appreciate it. Thank you for having me.

Rob Marsh: Okay. That’s the end of our discussion or the discussion between Amanda and myself. There are so many good ideas that got mentioned in this discussion that we really didn’t have enough time to jump into. And I want to touch on a couple of those and add to what Amanda shared. 

One thing that she mentioned, and I wish we had had some more time to talk about this, but Amanda talked about expanding the luck surface area. This is an idea that I love, but we didn’t actually specify how exactly you do this. We talked a little bit about saying yes to more things, but in order to expand the surface area for your lock, really what you’re trying to do is get exposed or seen by more people. having more opportunities to talk to more people, create more connections, to create more relationships, opportunities to have people see the things that you do. And so in order to do that, you need to make more offers. Or if you’ve only got one or two things, you need to make those offers in more different ways so that people can be exposed to them, they can see them. You need to create more products and services. 

We talked with Josh Long just a couple of weeks ago on making bite-sized offers that clients can say yes to and how to reach out to those clients who are maybe pulling back on their marketing budgets just a little bit in order to find ways to connect with them and let them see how you can help them. Expanding the luck surface area means making more connections, connections with potential clients, other prospects, with copywriters, with content writers, with marketers, with other people who are building businesses like you. Expanding the luck surface area oftentimes means joining a community where you can make those connections. There are free communities like our free Facebook group, the Copywriter Club. But there are also paid communities. Obviously, I’m partial to the Copywriter Underground. That’s the one that we talk about a lot. But these are places where you can make connections with other people who are investing in their businesses right now. They’ve got a reason to go in, to engage, to learn. So paid communities can be one of the very best ways to expand that luck surface area. 

You also want to be talking about the problems you solve. You want to be talking about it on social media and in newsletters and on stages, in guest posts, on podcasts, wherever you can show up and share both the problem you solve and the person that you solve it for. The more you can do that, the better. You know, we talked about three weeks ago with Joanna Wiebe on the podcast, and she mentioned the daily non-negotiables. These are the things that you want to make part of your daily non-negotiables. Now it sounds like a lot, but a system can make it doable. 

So go back back and listen to what Amanda shared about her system for creating a month’s worth of content with a single day’s worth of work, because creating systems like that will help you increase your luck surface area so that you can make more connections and have more opportunities for things to go right in your business. 

One other thing that I want to touch on is that funnel versus flywheel idea. I really like this idea. It’s a great reframe of the work that we do. Most of the activities that we do each day or each work should feed the rest of the machine that we’re building. And oftentimes when we’re working on funnels and launches, we go all in on one thing and then we shift our focus to going all in on another thing. All of those activities that I just mentioned that you need to be doing to increase the luck surface area in your business, if you do them right, you’re getting attention where it does the most good and it connects prospects and readers to your other content, to your products and to your services, rather than launching and focusing on one thing at a time. You’re now building and growing everything together. 

This reinforces the connections between all the things that you do. It might take some reflection in your business to figure out, are the things that I’m doing connected in some way that makes sense? If they’re not, maybe change up your offer just a little bit or find ways to create those connections. 

This reminds me just a little bit of the Ascension model. We talked a bit about this with James Wedmore a long time ago, episode 25 of the podcast, but it’s basically building in services and products in your business that lay on top of each other and serve each other so that people can move through the different offers that you have and fix the different problems in their businesses that they’re dealing with at different times. It might be worth going back to listen to what James had to share if you’re interested in this idea. And you can find that in episode 25 of this podcast. 

Okay. I want to say thanks again to Amanda Getz for joining me to go so deep on her business, on content creation systems, and so much more. We talked a lot about her new course, Life’s a Game, The Masterclass. If you’re interested in checking that out, go to, That’s an affiliate link. 

The course doesn’t go live for another two days if you’re listening to the day that this podcast goes live. But if you’re talking about, you know, after Thursday, I think March 14th, then you want to go visit and just check it out. 

And if you use that link to sign up, you’re going to be supporting this podcast and helping us bring you more amazing guests like Amanda. 

Now, if you’ve enjoyed this show, I’d really love to hear your thoughts. And of course, I’d love it if you’d leave a review at Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen. But additionally, after we finished recording, Amanda offered to come back and do a training for the Copywriter Club. And if that’s interesting to you, drop me an email at to let me know that you’d like to hear more from Amanda and even what you might want her to talk about and share. And yeah, that is my real email address. So you can send it directly to me there. 

Obviously, there’s a lot that we can learn from Amanda, and I’m looking forward to having her come back and teach us even more. 

That’s the end of this episode of the Copywriter Club podcast.


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