Most of us want more out of life.
More success, more happiness, and greater fulfillment…
I’m no different. As the Founder of Ideapod — an educational platform that is smaller and more boutique than Mindvalley — I’m always looking for ways to get an edge in life.
That’s why I signed up to Lifebook, one of Mindvalley’s most popular courses.
Lifebook is an in-depth goal-setting program that helps you create a detailed vision for success in your life, and break down the steps to get there.
Having completed Lifebook in full, I wanted to write a comprehensive review detailing my experience. I’ll reveal the good and bad about it, how it’s different to my own flagship course Out of the Box, and who I think Lifebook is worth it for.
Spoiler alert: Lifebook won’t be good value for everyone.
If you’re interested in an honest review of Lifebook by someone who works in the personal development himself, you’ve come to the right place.
Let’s get started.
In a nutshell: What Lifebook can do for you
Before we dive more in-depth, I’m going to briefly break down what Lifebook is, how it’s structured, and how it claims to help you.
Lifebook is a six-week program, after which you’ll come away with your own physical Lifebook in the form of a 100-page document.
During the course, you’ll comprehensively outline 12 different areas of your life and detail for each area your goals for the future.
The different areas you’ll look at are:
- Health and Fitness
- Intellectual life
- Emotional life
- Your character
- Your spiritual life
- Your love
- Social life
- Quality of life
- Life vision
There are a total of 21 lessons during the program. And you can expect to do anywhere between 3 and 6 hours of work a week. So that’s around 18-36 hours throughout the entire course.
It’s hosted on the personal development site Mindvalley. But it’s brought to you by power couple Jon and Missy Butcher. They have created a mindboggling amount of material success in their lives.
When you’re done, the idea is to physically print out your Lifebook. Think of it a bit like a detailed roadmap toward where you decide you want to go in life.
Who is Lifebook Online a good fit for?
Lifebook is one of Mindvalley’s most popular programs, and for good reason.
I think it’s really effective for anyone who wants to focus on material success to drive them forwards in life.
Lifebook is good to check in on where you’re at in life and where you’re heading.
It ‘s actually a really thorough and effective goal-setting program.
But it’s important to point out that Lifebook is very materially focused. They don’t make apologies about wanting material success and aligning authenticity and fulfillment around it.
So with that in mind, I’d say that Lifebook Online is a great course for anybody who:
- Is looking to make a change in their life, but want practical guidance on how to do it
- You love getting organized and planning
- You’re a creative individual who enjoys the idea of crafting your own book on life
- You feel motivated and like you can commit to daily concerted efforts to show up and make changes
Lifebook Online really is about the journey, not the destination.
But they do this with a very strong focus on material success and designing your life around it.
You don’t need to know exactly what you want in life to get the most out of Lifebook. Jon and Missy Butcher have a process to walk you through which helps you to plot out your goals in life.
Who might not like Lifebook Online?
Lifebook online isn’t for everyone.
I think there’s a growing movement of people who simply don’t want to put material success first in life.
If you’re tired of defining your life around its material worth, you may find Lifebook a little offputting at times.
I think many of us want more out of life but don’t really know what that looks like yet.
But something inside tells us that it’s not going to be satisfied solely by earning more money, taking more vacations, or getting our dream body. We are searching for a deeper meaning in life. A feeling of fulfillment that comes from the inside out.
That’s why later in this article, I’m going to share a different perspective on success that I learned from Out of the Box.
The key difference I would say is that Out of the Box encourages you to get to know yourself step by step on a much deeper level. That way, the success you create in life comes from a deeper place within.
In terms of Lifebook, I wouldn’t enroll if any of the following applies to you:
- You want immediate results
- You aren’t interested in doing the legwork (Lifebook doesn’t stop after you finish the course, that’s just the beginning)
- You already have a solid life plan
- You’re sick and tired of putting material success first
Lifebook Online is really about doing the hard work of reorienting your life.
Jon and Missy guide you along the way, but you have to be committed to your own journey.
If you’re looking for someone to just tell you “this is your life’s journey,” you should consider other options.
(If you’re wondering what else Mindvalley has to offer, I’ve created a fun Mindvalley quiz to help you choose the perfect course for you. Take my new quiz here).
How much does Lifebook cost? (and getting the Lifebook refund)
I want to talk about the cost of Lifebook early on, as hands down one of the most unique aspects of this program is that it can be completely free to take.
And that is clearly pretty cool! But of course, there is a catch.
When you first sign up for Lifebook, you pay a $500 fee. But this could be seen as a sort of deposit.
If you complete the course in full you can claim that money back. However, there are specific caveats.
For example, you have to do it all, and within the allotted timeframe.
I’d definitely recommend familiarizing yourself with the exact conditions if you are intending on claiming a refund.
But essentially if you follow along with the course, complete the Lifebook, and then submit your request for a refund within 7 weeks of the start date of the course — it’s free.
If you don’t claim a refund, or you don’t qualify for a refund, then Lifebook costs $500.
It’s also worth mentioning that Lifebook is a so-called partner program on Mindvalley. That means it’s not an in-house course. Mindvalley just hosts it on their website.
So for that reason, it is not included in the annual Mindvalley Membership (which gives you access to over 50+ Mindvalley courses for $499 a year).
It’s also good to point out that as with all Mindvalley programs, there is a 15-day money-back guarantee if you’re not happy with the course for whatever reason after initially signing up.
Who are Jon and Missy Butcher?
Jon and Missy Butcher are the creators of Lifebook Online on Mindvalley.
They’re also a total power couple who have carved out a whole lot of success in their lives:
- They’re long-time entrepreneurs who have founded and run dozens of profitable companies.
- They are clearly very fit and look way younger than their years
- They’re happily married
- They enjoy plenty of material wealth and outwardly success
Lifebook was created as a bit of a passion project by them to share their methods and help other people carve out successful lives too.
And it’s really effective in helping certain people do just that. The only sticking point is defining success.
Lifebook claims to bring you material success
When you watch the free masterclass about Lifebook by Mindvalley, there’s a lot of hype about how successful Jon and Missy Butcher are.
The founder of Mindvalley, Vishen Lakhiani, gushes about their material success. While Material Success is great, that isn’t what drives me in life.
Sure, I want to be successful. Money is important. But only up to a certain point.
Much more important to me is living a life of authenticity and fulfillment. I’ve spent years in both my professional and personal life striving for this.
I’m the founder of Ideapod. We’re a personal development platform with millions of monthly readers.
When I first started Ideapod, I’ll admit that I was really focused on outward measures of success.
We were heralded as the next big thing and got backing from some incredibly big names in the entrepreneurial world, like billionaire businessman Sir Richard Branson.
But here’s the thing:
Despite all the material successes, inside something still wasn’t clicking for me.
I later came to realize that’s because too much of my vision for success was actually coming from other people’s versions of success, not mine.
All this was to change when I met shaman Rudá Iandê back in NYC in 2014, who subsequently joined the Ideapod team.
Ideapod has transformed since then. Because I let my own values shine through.
Creativity, for example, is one of those core values for me. And so I surrounded myself with people who shared this outlook and vision.
Rather than negatively impact our success, focusing on my own values and bringing that into everything I do, did quite the opposite.
Ideapod continues to grow from strength to strength and is way more successful than it ever was.
In short, I stopped trying to replicate other “success” formulas and allowed myself to carve out my own.
After tapping into a deep place within, Ideapod shifted from a media platform to an educational platform.
We brought the teaching I learned from Rudá to Ideapod and now have a flagship online workshop called Out of the Box
Out of the Box is a little different
Lifebook and Out of the Box are similar in that they are flagship workshops that focus on life design.
But they approach authenticity and fulfillment in a really different way.
Jon and Missy Butcher make a big deal about material success. They get you to think through the kind of success you want in life across 12 key categories.
So it’s not just about money. It’s about relationships, emotions, spirituality, character, and more. But they do this by getting you to visualize material success.
They say material success isn’t the point, but they do use it as a guiding light.
Out of the Box has a different focus from the outset.
You don’t focus on material success or purpose in life until the final module. Instead, you begin with a series of self-exploration quests to understand all of the various concepts and expectations that come from society and other things outself your true self.
You then go on a journey of stripping away all of these outside influences so that you arrive at a deeper understanding of who you really are.
From that place, you design your life. But it’s not really designing your life in a top-down way from your thinking mind. You design your life in partnership with your instinct by creating a lot of forward momentum.
While I find Out of the Box to be a more powerful approach to life design, I have to admit that Lifebook is incredibly effective.
It’s not all about material success. It is also about living with purpose.
Jon and Missy Butcher just approach living with purpose in a different way.
If you want to learn more about Out of the Box, check it out here.
Taking the course: How does Lifebook work?
Let’s go through what you’ll encounter when you enroll in Lifebook .
It’s very simple to follow.
In fact, you probably could build out your Lifebook without the help of Jon and Missy. But I don’t recommend it.
What is a “Lifebook”?
First off, let’s explore a bit more about what exactly a “Lifebook” is, as it’s the central element of the whole course.
It can be pretty confusing when you first come across the concept, but it’s not.
The Lifebook is the book you create for yourself. As you move through the course, you answer a series of questions according to some templates that result in you filling out the book.
Your personal Lifebook becomes your master game plan for how you want your life to work.
It’s a bit like manifesting or creative visualization.
Your Lifebook becomes deeply personal. My favorite part of the course was building out my Lifebook. Many people feel the same way.
If you already enjoy scrapbooking or creating vision boards, I suspect you’ll love the creative side of making your Lifebook.
As soon as you sign up, you get access to all of the materials. But before you begin, there are a few things you have to do.
You’ll start with a pre-assessment, which is a bunch of different questions about different aspects of your life. It’s called the Intra-Spect Assessment.
It starts by asking simple things, like your age and relationship status. Then, it goes into deeper questions about how comfortable you feel in certain situations.
There isn’t a correct way to answer these questions, so you need to answer them openly and honestly.
Once you’ve taken the assessment, which takes about 20 minutes, it will give you a score. This score ends up being your baseline that will help determine your outcome once you’ve completed Lifebook.
The goal is to increase your score.
After the assessment, there are six other activities to take before you begin the weekly courses. This can be a little overwhelming depending on how early you signed up.
The warm-up includes a welcome video, the assessment, a FAQ video, and a video to get you started on the course called The Journey. There’s also another smaller video about how to find the time to work on your Lifebook and how to join the online tribe.
The weekly courses
When week one starts, it goes over the first two categories of health and fitness and intellectual life. Each lesson will take you about an hour and a half, which didn’t seem like too long.
With three hours of “lessons” a week, it’s doable for six weeks.
You’ll open up each category course, and there will be a video there for you to watch. This will help you go through the questions and prompts, finding out what it is you want in your life.
Then, below the videos are the different downloadable templates with a few pro tips and insights.
Each category has the same four questions:
- What are your empowering beliefs about this category?
- What is your ideal vision?
- Why do you want this?
- How will you achieve this?
Though these questions are simple, they allow you to write as much or as little as you need. I found that the sample pages provided by Jon’s Lifebook were really helpful. They gave me a starting point to pull from.
On each category page, there are also bullet points with little insights to help you formulate your responses. You can use them, pull from them, or delete them completely.
The weekly coaching calls
Because Jon and Missy are so busy, they hold Lifebook twice a year and do coaching calls once a week. These are awesome to attend, but if you can’t attend, you can watch them after when they are uploaded.
It’s nice to be able to put a face to all of the Lifebook lessons and get to talk to them in person.
There will be questions that you think of while doing the pages, and while asking the online tribe is nice, talking to the creators themselves is even cooler.
In my opinion, you don’t get the full experience unless you also attend the coaching calls.
The last part of the Lifebook is taking your Post-Quest test, which is like the pre-assessment. This will give you similar questions and then rate you with a score.
The key here is to increase your score, and they can also increase in individual categories as well. You get to see where you’ve really improved the most, and how you’ve improved overall from taking the course.
Printing and binding your book
Jon and Missy recommend that you print the final version of your book and then bind it. This helps to hold you accountable, and you can read it whenever you need to.
This final step is like a little boost that you get to use to keep yourself in check. You now have a book that’s completely about you, and it maps out everything great that you’re planning on in your life.
My Lifebook experience
When I first started with Lifebook, I was a little apprehensive. I wasn’t entirely sure how to react to all of the information. And the pre-assessment stressed me out a bit.
But once I completed it, I was excited to try and raise my score.
During the courses, I was impressed. It got me thinking a lot about my life.
I was excited about the health and fitness section, but truthfully, I found the most fulfilling ones to be the ones I started off as being most apprehensive about.
For example, the two categories of parenting and love life don’t currently apply to me. I’m not in a relationship, nor do I have kids. So going over those two topics was interesting to see. And it made me learn more about myself than I would’ve thought possible.
In my opinion, Lifebook was worth the cost for me. Whether you get the fee refunded or not, I think the $500 is a fair price for everything that you get.
For a point of comparison, Out of the Box is $695. It goes deeper and there are more materials available to you, which explains the price difference.
Pros of Lifebook
Lifebook came with a lot of positives, such as:
- The pre and post-assessment help you to see your overall progress
- The videos are really well done and easily keep your attention
- The videos are broken down into smaller segments, so you don’t have to watch the whole lesson in one session
- The pro tips helped start each page
- All the bullet points they gave in the template helped me to see what others were thinking and helped me to dive deeper into what I wanted
Cons of Lifebook
As great as the course was, there were a few things that I didn’t love. Some of those were:
- There are fixed course dates throughout the year for doing Lifebook, so you can’t simply begin whenever you want
- There is a lot of material that could have been expanded upon
- Lifeboat is great for people who already have a deep sense of what they want and where they’re going. But less so if you still are figuring out who you are, what you want, and even what success looks like to you.
Comparing Lifebook with Out of the Box
I’ve already mentioned Ideapod’s online workshop, Out of the Box, earlier in this article.
I think it’s useful to go a little deeper in explaining the differences between Out of the Box and Lifebook because they are such similar workshops.
At a minimum, it will give you a better picture of what Lifebook is all about. And you may find that Out of the Box is a better fit for you.
Out of the Box is a 16-week self-guided program helping people to embrace their personal power and reframe their reality.
It’s by the shaman Rudá Iandê. Ideapod is a smaller platform than Mindvalley, so there’s a more intimate connection between the people enrolled in Out of the Box, Rudá, and myself.
But the difference is a lot deeper.
Lifebook helps you to design your life from the outset so you can then work towards living it. It’s effective for taking you through a process to articulate what you want from twelve categories in life. You put this into your Lifebook and it helps you to manifest it.
Out of the Box takes a different approach. You’re taken through a process of identifying the many concepts that influence your life, and you then start to shatter those concepts to see what’s underneath them. While doing this you start to identify the many different characters that make up who you are.
Through doing this, you start to build a connection with your deeper nature. You start to act more instinctively.
By the end of the program, after stripping away so much of who you thought you were, you arrive at a point where you truly do know yourself. At that point, Rudá guides you through a process of identifying your purpose in life and designing a new reality around it.
For me, Out of the Box is more effective but harder work. It takes longer to arrive at a level of self-understanding where you can articulate your goals. But if you decide to commit to it, the impact is far deeper than what Lifebook can deliver.
If you’re interested to learn more about Out of the Box, I suggest checking out our free masterclass with Rudá Iandê where he shares a powerful framework to align spirituality, love, family, and work around your true nature.
What is success in life?
Ultimately, I think the key to deciding whether Lifebook is worth it for you or not is to think deeply about success in life.
What does success mean to you? Do you have a good idea of how to define success? Is your vision of a successful life clear?
If you already have a good idea of what success means to you, then I think Lifebook will be a very effective online course.
The reason is simple.
Lifebook gets you to use what you already think about success to visualize your future.
You won’t be shackled by your vision of success. You may reformulate it as you move through the program. You will undoubtedly expand your vision of success.
But how you view success right now will define your experience of Lifebook. Lifebook will help you to “manifest” success, as they would put it.
Out of the Box (and everything on Ideapod) takes a very different approach to success in life.
We believe that how we think about success is very often conditioned by society, education, and culture.
We grow up with Hollywood movies glorifying becoming rich with material success. We’re taught by our parents and religions that we should find someone to fall in love with so we can experience romantic love. Success comes from doing well at school and progressing through the ranks at university and then in our careers.
But what if how we currently think about success is limited? What if there’s a way to experience success without needing to think so much about it?
This is what Out of the Box is all about. It’s a journey deep inside yourself so that you can listen to your deeper nature.
I’ll give you an example.
Before I embraced the teachings of Out of the Box, I was a newly minted entrepreneur and had just launched Ideapod as a social network for ideas. It came after quitting a Ph.D. in international politics and moving to New York City.
As I already mentioned, I achieved a huge amount of success early on. We gained the support of a number of celebrities and had a big community.
But I was becoming burnt out, exhausted, and frustrated from pursuing this kind of success. We had status and recognition, but we weren’t able to build a sustainable business.
I didn’t realize it at the time, but I had become hypnotized by a vision of success that didn’t really come from a deep and authentic place.
I spoke earlier about meeting shaman Rudá Iandê during this time, and him subsequently joining the team (yes, a shaman joined a technology start-up).
It was the teachings he provided that helped me wake up to myself. And that gave me the insight that we were pursuing the wrong path.
Now, Ideapod is much more successful. It has millions of monthly readers and thousands of students enrolled in our workshops.
It’s also unique. Before, we were trying to replicate the success of Pinterest and Instagram. Now, we’re not trying to copy anyone.
We transformed Ideapod into a personal growth platform because it’s how we genuinely want to contribute to society and the world.
We believe we have a series of insights to share to help people wake up to their true natures.
Living life from this place is incredibly fulfilling. I never would have expected that my purpose would be to build global communities around the teachings of a shaman.
But it makes sense. There is no point building an idea-sharing platform when all it does is help people share ideas that come from external sources such as Hollywood culture or the pursuit of material success.
Rather, Ideapod can become an idea-sharing platform by helping people to express themselves authentically.
I’m really proud of what we’re doing with Ideapod, and I’m so grateful to Out of the Box for helping me to wake up to my true self to live authentically.
For me, I had to reformulate my vision of success. And I had to unlearn a lot of what I thought I knew about myself to get to this place.
If you already know about the kind of success you want in life, then I suggest joining Lifebook. There’s a potential refund at the end, so if it doesn’t work for you then you can get your money back.
But if you are unsure about the kind of success you want in life and instead want a program that takes you on a deeper journey within, then I suggest checking out Out of the Box.
Is Lifebook worth it? My verdict
Is Lifebook Online worth it?
Lifebook Online is a great course that allows you to gain clarity around your life’s goals.
Thanks to Lifebook, I did a lot of soul-searching that I wouldn’t have been able to do without the help of the framework created by Jon and Missy Butcher.
It was uncomfortable at times, but that’s when I knew I was growing from the experience.
After immersing myself in Lifebook, I think it’s a valuable course for people who are looking for more clarity around their goals in life. It’s an excellent course for plotting out how to achieve career success.
But what if I’m looking for something deeper?
Lifebook Online was great for organizing and planning out my life. But I was left feeling a little empty. I wanted something that was challenging on a spiritual level — something that helped me discover my purpose.
For a deep journey of introspection, I have found nothing greater than Out of the Box by Rudá Iandê. This is the flagship online workshop and it’s produced here on Ideapod.
I may be a little biased, but we have partnered with Rudá Iandê on Out of the Box because it’s such a high-quality workshop. We don’t promise material riches from working on yourself (even though Rudá says that is often a by-product if it’s what you want from life).
Instead, we promise a journey with no pre-determined answers. This is a journey of personal discovery, where each destination is unique to each participant.
This isn’t a paint-by-numbers online course. This is a seriously profound and beautiful class with a contemporary shaman that you can’t get anywhere else.
If you’re curious about Out of the Box, check out our free masterclass on personal power with Ruda.
I also suggest checking out the free masterclass about Lifebook put on by Mindvalley to see if this is a better course for you.
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