What’s your breakthrough business model? Download the guide to find out!

Outsmart the Hustle

The Blog

Featured at

Michael Knouse Logos

“You’re never going to make a difference unless you do something daring.” – Mat Ellis


When I decided to ditch the corporate gig and work independently, my goal was to do more fulfilling and less obligated work.

I wanted to make enough to live comfortably, spend more time with my wife and friends, and see the world.

Fast forward 10 years and my mindset remains much the same.

And contrary to what others may tell you, doing your own thing is possible without burnout.

Now, I’m not gonna say it’s been all rainbows. It hasn’t!

My brain has done it’s best to sabotage the sh*t out of my beautiful ideas.

I’ve borrowed money to get through dry spells.

I’ve said ‘yes’ to less than ideal gigs to ensure I could pay the mortgage.

And I’ve had my fair share of ‘lay awake at night’ moments, wondering whether I’d made a huge mistake.

And I’m here to tell you that it’s all worth it and that I’ve gained some well-earned wisdom about building an intentional business and life.

I was talking to a good friend recently who attended Burning Man for the first time last year.

He explained that the key to a successful Burning Man experience is agreeing to follow a set of 10 principles during the experience.

As I heard this I thought …there it is!

Another example of setting our conditioned lives to the side in exchange for a highly intentional experience.

It also got me thinking about why we don’t do more of this in our day-to-day lives.

Are we really so conditioned that we’re content to just maintain the status quo and plod along blindly?

How much of your life is intentional vs conditioned?

My guess is that it’s a mix of both but probably more conditioned than intentional.

I mean, we’re conditioned to go to school, follow the rules, learn stuff that we’re not interested in, go into debt to get more school so that we can get a job, spend 8 hours a day building someone else’s dream and forgetting about your own, retire (hopefully) at 65 when you have no time left and just enough money to survive (not thrive) until death.

I spent years chasing money and status inside a system that gave me little chance of achieving the life I desired.

If it wasn’t for a couple of wake up calls along the way, who knows. I might still be on a treadmill of self delusion.

I’ll never forget one of my biggest insights…

It hit me in the midst of my last job where I saw so many of my colleagues willing to play along with the deferred life plan.
They were literally giving their best years away to a job that didn’t allow them more than a couple of weeks to rest and travel – not to mention most of them were perpetually unhappy.

And that’s when I got really honest with myself and decided that if I wanted to live a life I truly enjoyed – one that I don’t want to retire from – I would need to be a lot more intentional about creating it.

I realized that if I could create a life that inspired me, I’d have a lot more energy for it (and for my family and friends).

Things began to get really clear.

I was more interested in improving the quality of my life along the way than putting it off until retirement.

And so I began taking small incremental steps in the direction that inspired me.

A Bold Idea Takes Flight

About three years into being a full time coach, I was asked a really powerful question.

The question was; “If you could create anything for your clients, what would it be?

That question energized me to design an experience that would propel my clients towards living their most inspired and intentional life.

Whether it was a CEO or an entrepreneur, I had witnessed how easily people got sucked into duties and obligations that didn’t represent the best of who they were.

So I began offering a very unique style of coaching.

My idea was to blend coaching + adventure + play + inspiration + travel to create an environment where it became inevitable for dreams and desires to flourish at full throttle.

A big part of Design Your Destiny will be unique adventure experiences like this one – where I took one of my clients horseback riding on the Oregon Coast.

Over the course of three years, I worked with 16 individuals who dared to set aside their conditioned roles and commit to living in greater alignment with their work, relationships, and interests.

For some, it meant stepping into a new realm of entrepreneurship or reinventing their businesses to maximize for joy.

For others, it meant letting go of roles that were no longer a fit and committing to something better.

The bottom line is this approach really worked!

It worked so well that it became my primary focus for several years.

And my clients got amazing results…

Andrea created everything she ever wanted in her business, in far less time than she expected – all while keeping her sanity intact and generating more income and impact than she ever thought possible.

When the pandemic started, I put this beloved offer on hold

And four years later, I’m bringing it back!

Design Your Destiny

I’m bringing back one of the best things I ever created.

Except this time, it’s gonna be even better!

I’ll be partnering with my wife (Jillie) to make it exponentially more magnificent.

In addition to my coaching and mentorship, you’ll also get to experience Jill’s brilliant coaching, mentorship and soulful presence.

Our biggest challenge with working together is deciding who’s going to play the “bad cop” when a client needs a little tough love. 😉

Here’s what we’re thinking…

We’re going to intentionally limit this to three people this year.

This will give us plenty of space and energy to pour our very best into these engagements.

It certainly won’t be for everyone.

It will be a significant investment, but for those who are ready to create their richest, most intentional life, it will be the perfect fit.

We’re calling it Design Your Destiny!

Teresa reimagined her boutique advisory business, stopped traveling for clients, and designed her business to unplug for 12-weeks of the year for travel, while skyrocketing her personal income and her quality of life.

We have one agenda: to help you create and live a life that you never want to retire from.

That’s how Jill and I operate in our own lives.

We’ve both experienced burnout working for others and nearly burned out working for ourselves.

And now we’re all about creating lives and businesses that feed our souls – which looks nothing like the way most of us are trying to do it.

Here are some of the high level details:

  • You’ll take part in a private 3-day renewal and adventure retreat with Jill and Michael – an environment that’s designed to nurture you and bring forth your best, most vibrant self.
  • You’ll participate in three virtual coaching sessions with Jill and Michael every month for a year – high level coaching and mentorship from two seasoned coaches who are living intentionally while running life-giving businesses.
  • You’ll conduct quarterly alignment sessions where we’ll map your mission, objectives, and desired results for the path ahead.
  • You’ll attend one of Jill’s incredible yoga retreats. Costa Rica, Greece, or Croatia anyone?

Two key elements of Design Your Destiny will be play and adventure. This private client retreat was held in Sedona where plenty of hiking and exploring took place. Where will your inspiration take you?

This will be a highly customized experience where you will create and begin living your richest, most intentional life, RIGHT NOW.

You will be supported with removing distractions, finding clarity, and creating space for the things that truly matter.

You will discover your deepest value and find efficient ways to deliver it in the real world.

You will travel with beautiful people to beautiful places.

Design Your Destiny will include one of Jill’s Yoga Retreats. Here we are in Croatia this past September.

Furthermore, you will do this in a way that works for you, your family, and your life.

We can promise you this…

  • Deep Renewal: Ambitious people are often running on empty. You need quality time away from your business – and even family – to re-energize.
  • Resilience: Life can be tough. We don’t pretend that it’s not. Being able to handle hard times and bounce back is key. This isn’t about enduring. It’s about learning to thrive, no matter the circumstances.
  • Reinvention: The journey to a purposeful life requires continuous evolution. You’ll change and grow to become the best version of yourself.

Chad streamlined his fitness business, broke through his previous earning plateau, and achieved 3x income growth – without working any harder.

I encourage you to reach out and apply for Design Your Destiny if it resonates.


You don’t get a second chance at living a remarkable life. Invest in yourself. Grow your value and design a life that you never want to retire from.

Live bravely,
Michael & Jill

What's your breakthrough business model?

This guide contains the need-to-know facets of each business model so you can strategically plan your entrepreneurial journey.

Wanna learn more about working together?

#LessHustleMorePlay #OutsmartTheHustle