How a toad helped me earn five figures

Aug 14, 2017

Run an eCourse, they said. It’ll be fun, they said.

It definitely sounded like a good idea at the time. I’ve always been a natural teacher and I love helping those around me grow and learn. I also knew – as a lady boss and graphic designer with over twenty years experience – I had so much to teach and share.

The only thing holding me back? I didn’t have a great experience with eCourses in the past. In fact, my response to the hundred and third person that had ‘it’ll be fun’ed me was: ‘Aren’t eCourses dead?”

No way, they’d all protested. It’s really only just getting started.

So, with a generous serving of scepticism, I decided to unleash ANNA into the world of designers. I’d spend a bit of time creating an eCourse and, as a result, build a neat little passive income nest egg for myself.



Now, before I share my experience with creating and running a successful eCourse (or was it successful? You’ll have to keep reading!) I want to be very clear about something:

There is nothing passive about eCourse income.

Passive implies that you whip out course material in a day, upload it, create a sales page and then lay back in your hammock and sip pina coladas while the moolah rolls in from dusk to dawn.

Yep. Nope.

Creating an eCourse is bloody hard work.
Marketing an eCourse is bloody hard work.
Launching an eCourse is bloody hard work.
Running an eCourse is bloody hard work.

It’s not passive; it’s about as active as you can get, short of sprinting the course material door-to-door.

So if you’re considering creating an eCourse because you think it’s the easy way, stop, drop and roll away, my friend.

But more than just being bloody hard work (which I hope has sunk in by now) it’s also a complete emotional roller coaster. There’ll be highs (OMG I’m a genius!) followed by lows (WTF was I thinking?!) chased by reverse drops (FML another setback?!) that leave you feeling like your belly has been left somewhere a kilometre above you.

Don’t believe me? Here’s a real-life play-by-play of the recent launch for my eCourse, Design Biz Bootcamp. If you haven’t heard of it, it’s a six-week journey designed especially for graphic designers boss ladies to gain clarity and consistency while making their brand is can’t-say-no-able.

Here’s what happened when I launched it (and how a toad helped me earn five figures).

LAUNCH EVE – Full Moon Magic

It was a full moon and I decided to take advantage of the universe’s magic and do a full moon meditation to help me manifest a successful eCourse launch.

(Side note: If you know me well, you will know I am very anti woo-woo. HOWEVER I do believe in the power of manifesting … and meditation is a good excuse to get some sleep while doing it.)

So I popped on my headphones and cuddled up in bed with My Little Sage’s full moon meditation. And then … I had a vision. Yes how very woo-woo of me, but the vision was SO clear: it was of me standing on a huge rock and as the moonlight shone on my surroundings I could see I was surrounding by people – at first it was just a few but as the moonlight got brighter & brighter I could see there was a sea of people surrounding me.

I went to sleep feeling confident, feeling like I was finally being seen and feeling as though this was my time to help people.

DAY ONE – Crickets

My ‘refresh’ button was clicked so often I practically wore a virtual hole in it. Sadly, it was like the old ‘a watched kettle never boils’ thing. No matter how much I clicked it, nothing happened. So I made myself a coffee (because I needed to be more jittery, obvs). I cleared my cookies. Refreshed again. Double-checked everything was working. Refreshed again. Started biting my nails. Reread my sales screen. Reread the number ‘0’ so many times I started seeing it when I closed my eyes. Went to bed. Did another meditate and manifest session. Didn’t sleep.

DAY TWO – Complete and utter panic with a side serving of toad touching

Any semblance of calm had been flushed down the loo. I was a wreck. Tears, inner accusations, outer tantrums, repeated declarations of ‘I’m a failure’. I second-guessed my course material. My marketing. The name of my eCourse. My entire damn existence.

Before I went to bed, I went into the laundry to do some washing and STOOD on a toad! Yes, a live toad, with my BARE FEET! Uck. In so many ways. Since when did toads come inside? AND in Winter? Out of interest I googled ‘toad totem’ in case this unfortunate situation was a “sign” and this is what I found:

“If this creature presents itself to you, it means that the success that you are waiting for is drawing near. It is often a good luck sign but requires action. Much like the story of the frog prince, the toad is a symbol of having to do something that you may not particularly like.”

My manifesting was working. In very, very mysterious ways!
Went to bed with ‘0’ seared into my brain

Didn’t sleep.

DAY THREE – In which I decide to never create anything ever again … and my toads disagree

I wake up (by which I mean I open my eyes after having them pressing them closed all night – without sleeping) and decide that this is a good thing. This failure? It’s a sign. A sign that I shouldn’t be creating stuff like eCourses. That’s for other women. Other designers. I should … I don’t know. Possibly move to Siberia.

I walk into the living room and … there are two toads. On the floor. Blinking at me. Grossly.

Once again, I take this as a sign of my super dooper manifesting skills and ask Google wtf is going on.

“A toad is also a continuous reminder not to doubt on our self. Look at him, he is the ugliest creature you’ve ever seen, but he ever hesitated to show his presence.”

Later that day, I go to bed feeling like I’ve gone six rounds with Mike Tyson’s tiger. Or maybe his pet toad?

DAY FOUR  – Wait. What?

Everything changed. I refreshed my sales screen, prepared for the ritual disappointment, and then did a double take. There were sales. A lot of them.

By the time my registration period had closed, I had DOUBLED my income goals. DOUBLED! I am talking 5 figures here! When a week earlier, I’d thought I wouldn’t even get ONE sign up.

What changed? Nothing. I did everything exactly the same. It just took three days for it to take effect.

And now people are LOVING my eCourses. (And I’m slightly enamoured with toads).


If you are thinking about doing the ecourse, I would definitely say to do it!!  I especially found the resources and cheat sheets very helpful and priceless. Anna has a lot of experience and very generously offers an incredible amount of information and knowledge. I also found the bootcamp website was designed well, easy to navigate and to go back and find things I wanted to re read.


The whole 6 week course was an aha moment for me! I particularly liked client communication and processes section. I really learnt a lot from this module as I waste SO much time communicating with clients. It was so great to see how Anna’s processes work and I now have a clear idea how apply elements to my processes to streamline this in my business. 

So if you are thinking about signing up for bootcamp – Do it! You’ll get so much value out it. I couldn’t put a price on the things I’ve learnt and just being reassured that I am doing (most) things the right way is so comforting. I had been looking for a course like this for quite a while and was not disappointed! I loved each and every module and could relate to everything Anna was talking about. A serious breath of fresh air!”


What I love about Anna’s process is it is a simple and straightforward, step-by-step process, with every week building on the last. Anna brings a personal touch to the process, that gives you joy and confidence again in why you are, and want to be, an awesome and authentic self-employed Designer woman.


I feel EXCITED about my design business and have clear direction, thanks to Anna! As Nike says… JUST DO IT! Bootcamp will change your life!


It’s hard for me to believe it, but through my eCourse I am actually changing – for the better – fellow graphic designers lives and businesses. Even just saying that brings tears to my eyes.

So, yes. I ran an eCourse.

And it was fun  … when it wasn’t almost sending me to the insane asylum. Or dropping a plague of toads into my home.

And guess what? I loved it so much … I’m doing it again in October!

As I mentioned earlier, it’s been created BY a graphic designer boss lady FOR graphic designer boss ladies who want to elevate their brand and biz. It’s not for the faint-hearted. And there’s NOTHING else out there like it.

Intrigued? Make sure you are on the wait list here. 



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