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Lifebook Online Review: Don’t buy until you read this

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This summer, I came to a profound realization: I wasn’t living my dream life.

The only problem? I didn’t know what my ideal life was! 

That’s when I turned to Lifebook Online by Jon Butcher and Missy Butcher.

Lifebook is the online course published by Mindvalley and it’s one of their most popular courses. It promises to help you (YOU) write your own book that will get you to create a master plan for your life.

In short, it helps you make your dream life a reality.

But does it work?

Before you enroll in Lifebook, it’s important you read this first (or watch my video review below). Lifebook isn’t for everyone – it depends on what you’re really looking for in life.

Lifebook’s 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’m the founder of Ideapod. We’re a personal development platform that is smaller and more boutique than Mindvalley.

We have a flagship online workshop called Out of the Box by the shaman Rudá Iandê. I’ve personally known Rudá for over 6 years now and brought his teachings into Ideapod.

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 and then start designing your life across the 12 key categories.

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.

I think that Lifebook is going to be more effective for some people than Out of the Box for a few key reasons. I’ll explain what these are during the course of this comprehensive review.

Who are Jon and Missy Butcher?

Jon and Missy Butcher are the creators of Lifebook Online on Mindvalley. They are a married couple who have founded and run dozens of companies focused on bettering other people’s lives. They currently run Precious Moments, The Black Star Project, Purity Organic Coffee, and many more businesses!

They are artist-entrepreneurs whose purpose is to “create the highest possible quality of life we can, for ourselves and the people we love, while helping others around us do the same.”

They’ve partnered with Mindvalley to bring their wisdom and success to you through this Lifebook Online course — a money-back-guarantee course where you design your own path to success.

Who is Lifebook Online for?

Lifebook Online is really effective for people who want to focus on material success to drive them forwards in life.

That’s what makes Lifebook distinctive. They don’t make apologies about wanting material success and aligning authenticity and fulfillment around it.

Lifebook Online is a great course for anybody who:

  • Is looking to make a change in their life, but needs guidance on how to do it
  • Is a creative individual who wants to write a book
  • Believes in the value of process and journeying to a place of happiness

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 material success, you may find Lifebook a little offputting at times.

Later in this article I’m going to share a different perspective on success that I learned from Out of the Box.

In terms of Lifebook, I wouldn’t enroll if any of the following applies to you:

  • Want immediate results
  • Aren’t interested in doing the legwork
  • Already have a solid life plan
  • 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). 

What is a “Lifebook”?

The “Lifebook” is 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.

What are the 12 categories of Lifebook?

There are 12 categories of Lifebook. They are:

  1. Health and fitness
  2. Intellectual life
  3. Emotional life
  4. Your character
  5. Your spiritual life
  6. Your love
  7. Parenting
  8. Social life
  9. Financial
  10. Career
  11. Quality of life
  12. Life vision

How does Lifebook work?

Let’s go through what you’ll encounter when you enroll in Lifebook.

It’s very simple to follow. You could build out your Lifebook without the help of Jon and Missy. But I don’t recommend it.

Signing up (and getting the Lifebook refund)

When you first sign up for Lifebook, you pay a $500 fee (at the time of writing the review – check out the latest price here). But you get the $500 refunded when you complete the course.

So really, the course could be free. If you complete the course in the recommended time and fill out your Lifebook, you get your $500 back.

Keep in mind that if you don’t complete the course on their timeline or you don’t complete it at all, you will not get the $500 back.

The pre-assessment

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.

The warm-up

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.

The pages

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 Post-Quest

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

Here’s what the physical Lifebook looks like

Jon and Missy recommend that you print your final version of your book and then bind it. This helps to hold you accountable, and you can read it whenever you need to.

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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 were 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.

Lifebook Online Testimonials: What students are saying

My review is only one opinion. I wanted to find out what others are saying, so that I could give you a well-rounded view of Lifebook Online.

“So far I’m loving it!”

On Reddit, user badly_designed_door summed up their experience as

I’m the midst of doing it right now.

And so far I’m loving it.

My perspective is, that what it’s really doing is giving me the structure and guidance to do something relatively easy that I’ve wants to do for a while.

Yes, I do agree it is quite pricey, but investing in your personal growth and development is one of the best investments you can make!”

“It will make you move in the right direction”

Blogger Martijn Keesmat on Medium summed up his experience in his Lifebook Online Review:

“I am truly grateful for the opportunity I had to take this course. What I think it can do for you is getting clear on who you are and what you want. It will make you think about things in your life, you never thought of. It will motivate you to take action. It will make you move in the right direction, not just in any direction.”

“Best self-development program ever”

Student Grishma Shah wrote in their Lifebook Online Review:

“Currently enrolled too. Love this course !!! Best self-development program ever. Highly recommend it. The content, the reflection, the categories & interconnection, the live calls and above all learning from great people who value Balance in life & don’t call success money, are spiritual & yet rich & classy, are speaking from personal experience & are super respectful of wherever you are at in life & whatever you might have or want- are breaking conventions at so many levels!”

Pros of Lifebook

Lifebook came with a lot of positives, such as:

  • The pre and post assessment helps 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:

  • The course is only offered a few times per year
  • There is a lot of material that could have been expanded upon
  • I wish there was a longer follow up to see what my progress looked like in six months or a year

Mindvalley Lifebook Online refund policy

I touched on this earlier, but it’s definitely worth repeating: if you complete this course, it ends up being completely free!

When you first sign up for Lifebook, you pay a $500 fee. But you get the $500 back when you complete the course — as long as you complete it within the timeframe of the course itself.

Basically, 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.

Again, you have to complete the course and the book and fill out the refund request all within the 7-week window in order to receive a refund for your Lifebook Online Mindvalley class.

Comparing Lifebook with Out of the Box

I mentioned Ideapod’s online workshop, Out of the Box, at the start of 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 makeup 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. I had recently quit a PhD in international politics and moved to New York City to launch as an Ideapod sharing platform.

I achieved a huge amount of success early on. Richard Branson was supporting us, along with a number of other celebrities. We 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 met Rudá Iandê in New York City during this time. He joined Ideapod’s team and tried to help us build the social network for ideas (yes, a shaman joined a technology start-up).

It didn’t happen overnight. And it wasn’t even immediately clear to Rudá early on that we were heading in the wrong direction.

The insight came from me that we were pursuing the wrong path.

Rudá Iandê simply provided a series of teachings that helped me wake up to myself.

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 cutlure 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 Lifebook Online Review

Is Lifebook Online worth it? Yes. 

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 soulsearching 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 Rudá.

I also suggest checking out the free masterclass about Lifebook put on by Mindvalley to see if this is a better course for you.

Lifebook FAQs

Is Lifebook worth the money?

I think Lifebook was worth the money. There was a lot that I learned, and now that I have that game plan for my life, I’ve found it helpful.

How can I get Lifebook for free?

When you purchase Lifebook, you give a $500 deposit. If you complete the course in the six weeks and fill out your Lifebook, you get that deposit back—making it free!

How long is the Lifebook course?

If you take the course on the recommended timeline, it’s six weeks long with two lessons per week.

Will I always have access to the Lifebook material?

If you don’t submit for a rebate, you will always have access to the material. However, if you submit for your rebate, you will lose access to the videos and material. You can still keep anything you’ve downloaded though.

How long does it take to write your Lifebook?

Because the templates are set up so easily, I took about 30 minutes for each chapter. You can personalize it with photos if you want, but simple text will do too.

Is the Facebook group helpful?

The private Facebook group is helpful. I always like when there is a sense of a community with a course, and with this one, it did feel pretty close.

Who should take Lifebook?

Anyone who is suffering with their life vision or where to go next in life should take Lifebook. Also, anyone who has set goals and failed to keep them would benefit from the course.


Written by Justin Brown

I'm Justin Brown, the founder of Ideapod. I've overseen the evolution of Ideapod from a social network for ideas into a publishing and education platform with millions of monthly readers and multiple products helping people to think critically, see issues clearly and engage with the world responsibly.

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