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How My Email List Changed My Life

My email list changed my life.

May sound a bit weird, but hear me out…

There was a time when I couldn’t help but win, no matter what! My dad used to say, “You’re the luckiest stumbler I’ve ever known.”

Odd, but I understood what he meant. My career advanced lightning quick, bounding up that professional ladder multiple levels in each leap.

In five years, I evolved from humble English teacher, to marketing director, to Vice President of a multi-national company, to CEO of my own startup backed by silicon valley investors.

Nothing could go wrong.

My light shined so bright that every project I touched sparkled with gold dust. Oh, how it felt incredible to run around as the darling of my tech incubator and a rising star in the brave new indie publishing world.

And then… the fates shifted.

My startup ran out of money right when we realized our minimum viable product was more minimal than viable. Years of hustle exhausted my body while complications during routine procedures cursed my body with chronic pain. My marriage destructed in a brutal, pro-longed fashion. My company failed and my creative projects came to a screeching halt.

Nothing could go right.

All my bright light extinguished under a ponderous gloom.

My daughter and I moved to a sweet seaside town seeking reprise. (AKA hiding out and licking my wounds.) I moped around while my daughter started her first year of high school. High school?

That hit hard. How had time passed so quick? She’d be outta here in no time.

Was this the life I wanted to model for her? One of mournful regret and timid retreat?


To turn things around, I needed to make a change. A really big one.

I held on to one valuable asset. During all that time I’d spent building and serving a community of writers, I’d built a respectable email list.

If you have a good email list, you never need to be hungry a day in your life.

My email list was my ticket to a new life.

I sold most everything we owned and put the rest in storage. My daughter enrolled in online school. I booked us dirt cheap, last-minute passage on a trans-Atlantic cruise. We were getting outta here!

We struck out with barely $2,000, two overstuffed backpacks, my precious email list and zero safety net. That email list completely funded a year-long journey around the globe.

We painted watercolors in Portuguese plazas and perused high-fashion boutiques in Spain. We stood on tiptoe in the Vatican crowds to peek at the Pope during Easter blessings. We slept in a treehouse deep in a Sri Lankan jungle, went ice skating with new friends in Malaysia and gorged ourselves on kaiten sushi in Japan.

My email list paid for every step of our journey.

Not to say it was all happy, lucky stumbles. There’s no greater terror than losing internet access the day of a big client deadline. I learned quick to pivot from offering services to providing prerecorded courses. Some of my launches flopped hard while others skyrocketed in heavy demand. This taught me the importance of involving potential customers in all product development stages.

I’m coming up on six years since we embarked on that fateful journey. After that first trip, we settled for a few years in gorgeous Sri Lanka. I grew Gutsy Creatives to a thriving, sustainable company, then moved back to Washington and bought my first house. And yes, I even found love once more.

Still with me?

I share all this story to drive home one very important point:

email list = freedom

My email list is the key to my financial independence. It provides ownership of a direct line of communication to the people I can help. It gives me control to choose where and how I live.

It’s summer now in Washington. I’m drafting this email while swinging in the hammock in my lush PNW garden. My daughter has started a career in the medical field and is off on her own adventure. Even though I just launched the Author Success Accelerator, I trust that the ever competent Gutsy Creatives team can take care of business while I take some time away from the computer. My husband and I plan to spend next week exploring the of the wilder corners of our country.

I want this for you. I want this for everyone!

Your vision may look very different from mine. Maybe you see yourself in a loft in New York finishing up your fifth novel. Maybe you want to travel and teach entrepreneurship to young women in under-served communities. Maybe you want to build a thriving business and feel the thrill of challenge and accomplishment.

Whatever life you want for yourself, an email list provides a strong starting point. With that powerful asset, you may start sharing your books, refining your offers, and building exactly the life you want.

So let’s talk about it!

I’m looking for about ten independent, business-minded authors who want to work with me in the Author Success Accelerator. Does this sound like you?

If you join us, you’ll have direct access to me, plus the support of the multi-talented Gutsy Creatives team. We’ll help you build your email list, boost your book sales and dramatically increase your earnings. My mission is to help you craft the exact life you want to live.

Book a call with me. No obligation. Worse case, we’ll have a great discussion and you’ll get some new ideas for growing our author business. At best, you’ll take the first step in your next great adventure.

Onward, brave writers! ❤️, Kelsye


P.S. Take a look at my new webinar! Details and sign up here: How to Overcome Book Marketing Failures.

P.P.S. We’re still giving a “first look” deal and bonuses to the inaugural group of authors to join the Author Success Accelerator. But this ends Friday at midnight! Join now to or book a call to lock in the deal.


Kelsye Nelson

Author and world traveler, dedicated to helping artists and creative entrepreneurs achieve the life of their wildest dreams. 

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August 21, 2022

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