How Cara Houser Created a Course to Help People Go From Burned Out to Lit Up

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  • Who: Cara Houser
  • Website:
  • Course Topic: Career Training
  • Interesting Stats: Course is currently priced at $1,297

Who are you and what course have you created?

I help people go from Burned Out to Lit Up by offering career advisories, courses, and workshops designed for high-impact, unconventional groundbreakers and explorers.

I spent 20 years learning how to survive and ultimately thrive in the ultra-male real estate development business. By shifting my perspective, strategy, and approach, I rebuilt my career with far more autonomy and purpose.

Learning that I had the power to set my own rules of engagement with the world was a watershed moment. I just had to learn how to use it.

I’ve helped high-impact humans see their value, use their power, and get what they want in work and life.

I created the Sabbatical in a Box course to help others get out of the soul-crushing burnout I was once in and back into rich, full-bodied living. Now. Not on their 2-week vacation or in 20+ years when they finally retire.

What market does your online course serve?

Given that 77% of employees reported being burned out at their current job – most people could benefit! My clients have ranged in age from 30’s-60’s, and the majority are working women, many with children.

Cara Houser's siteWhat’s the biggest benefit of taking your course?

The course creates space for people to cultivate tools and habits for a sabbatical-style mindset and way of being for the long term. They go from burned out to lit up. From chaos to clarity. From self-neglect to self-possession.

How did you get into the market?

I spent two years figuring out how to come back to life after burnout, how to rest, restore, recover, rejuvenate, and reconnect with myself and others. I distilled these lessons, tools, and strategies into a 6-week course, complete with a box of delightful materials people need to support their journey.

Why did you decide to create an online course in the first place?

The material can be conveyed well this way, and it allows the course to be available to people regardless of their location.

Did you have any moments of doubt before you created/launched it?

I started with a pretty detailed outline of all the modules and built it out as I went along with my first online virtual small group. At times I questioned whether I was presenting the material in the most useful and accessible way, as it’s extremely important to me that it adds value to the lives of participants.

If so what made you turn it around and do it anyway?

I knew that if I remained focused on being useful and valuable to them, I’d be ok. That there may be some iteration along the way – that’s natural, but the overall goal would be achieved.

What’s your online course like?

I created the slides in Canva, which is the world’s most lovely, user-friendly, design-forward platform. It allows seamless branding for all materials and has tons of resources. The group-guided version I host on zoom and walk people through the slides, stopping at intervals for journaling, discussion, and relevant activities that I’ve included in their boxes.

How long did it take you to create your course?

Started with an outline, then a full build out with slides and supporting materials. Each session took several hours to prepare and gather supporting materials. The boxes themselves took quite a while to plan, source, procure, assemble and ship the first time. It will be much simpler next time.

Tell us a little about the process of launching your course and getting your first sale(s).

It was about as unsexy as the path to fitness or skill as a musician. After I had the commerce page up on my web with a solid description and payment integration, each week, I’d reach out to a handful of connections (some closer, some quite loose) and offer to share more about in a call and send the link. Many conversations later, I filled the first cohort!

Cara Houser's site

Do you have a lead magnet?

My website has a newsletter subscription that offers a free guide upon signing up. Then I reference the course to those folks.

I developed a 1 hr talk on the topic, which shares the framework I use in a storytelling manner, offers an interactive exercise, and invites folks to sign up for the course if they’d like a deeper dive. - Cara Houser Click To Tweet

I’m offering this to professionals and other organizations.

What’s the traffic strategy that works best for you?

My most useful source of broader online outreach is LinkedIn. I’ve been active on it for years.

What online course platform are you using?

I’m currently building it out in Thinkific and plan to offer the program as a self-paced option with limited interaction with me (box of delights still included) at a lower price point.

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Do you like it?

So far, yes.

Are there any features you wish it had?

None additional so far.

What made you decide to use your chosen platform over others?

It has a robust set of offerings, even at the basic level, is easy to use, and is reasonably priced. Others I know doing online courses use it too.

What other tools do you use to run your online course business?

  • I love Squarespace as it has almost everything else I need, including marketing newsletters and commerce.
  • Calendly is indispensable for scheduling with prospects and clients.
  • Zoom for web meetings.
  • for gathering testimonials – it integrates easily with Squarespace and is awesome.

What books or training programs have you found useful on your journey to a successful business owner that others might find valuable too?

  • You are a badass at making money – Jen Sincero
  • Mindset by Carol Dweck
  • Choose yourself – James altucher
  • 5 minutes to famous by Susie Moore
  • Thought leader academy at speaking your brand by Carol Cox

Do you have any big mistakes you’ve made along the way that you’d be willing to share?

Lots of iterating and adjusting – constantly, actually.

Cara Houser's site

Please share some idea of revenue.

The course is currently priced at $1,297, and I expect to sell 50+ of them over the coming year.

Please tell us a little about what the money you’ve earned from your course has done for you.

I’ve gained enough momentum that I’ve transitioned out of my RE Dev consultancy as of the end of this year, but I have not reached the replacement of my former income yet. With the courses, coaching, speaking, and other things I have planned for the future, I’ll get there and beyond!

In addition to revenue are there any numbers you would like to share?

It’s been very gradual, but a healthy increase in followers on LinkedIn and newsletter subscribers.

What has creating your course done for you personally?

I’m honestly doing what I feel I was born to. It’s a vocation, and I love it.

Do you have a story of a transformation from any of your clients?

I help people transform from burned out to lit up. From exhausted, lost, and overwhelmed to bursting with inspiration, ideas, and energy.

What advice do you have for people just starting out?

Take things one step at a time, be flexible, and get really comfortable talking with people about what you’re up to and having biz dev calls. - Cara Houser Click To Tweet

It takes a while to gain traction, and that’s ok.

Learn more about Cara Houser of

Lisa Parmley
Lisa Parmley

Lisa Parmley is the founder of After gaining a Master's degree, she worked in research for about seven years. She started a training company in 2001, offering a course helping people pass a professional exam. That course has earned multiple 7 figures. She created SEO and authority site building training around 2007 which went on to earn well into the 6-figure mark.

She has 22+ years of experience in the trenches creating and selling online courses. Get help starting and growing your online course business here.

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