About Us

Learn more about “Your Laptop Lifestyle Academy” founder, Carine

Hi, my name is Carine.

You might wonder how to pronounce that, and the best way I can tell you is that it’s pronounced like one would “careen” around the corner in their car. In fact, whenever you listen to the news, just listen for my name…. “a car CAREENED off the road today downtown…” – I’m on the news almost nightly! 🙂

In any case, you’re probably wondering about a whole lot of other stuff regarding me rather than how to pronounce my name (or maybe not). I will try to keep this a bit medium-sized so I don’t bore you too much.

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My Story

I was blessed to be born in Southern California in the summer of 1969. Can’t get more poetic than that. My parents were (and still are) both ministers (Evangelical Christian) and so my upbringing was a bit off-the-beaten-path already in that I was surrounded by books everywhere, and deep discussions to be had, and I watched my parents deal with people all the time (some good, some bad). It was a unique “real life” education. I wasn’t very appreciative of it way back then, but I’m VERY appreciative of it now.

I was artistic and musical from a very early age. I was good with communicating (which got me into quite a bit of trouble). I was also pretty driven and good with self-starting: I remember getting my first job, a paper route, at age 10, so I could earn enough money to get the bike I wanted and take karate lessons. I started my first business around age 12 doing charcoal portrait drawings. Got my 2nd job at a bookstore at age 14. By age 18, I even released my first self-produced/performed cassette of music I had written.

I was certain I was on my way to being rich and famous.

Since I was an artist and musician, and driven toward achievement by nature (and toss in the fact that I was comfortable on a platform due to my parents both being ministers), I was almost positive I was destined to be a rockstar. My idol was Deborah Harry of Blondie. I used to practice singing her songs with my best friend in my room, playing records on the little suitcase-style turntable they used to make.

But fast forward…. and drumroll, please… SURPRISE! The whole rockstar thing never panned out. What to do?

Get a Job, Girl…

It was around this time that my personal “Plan B” was born, where I taught myself graphic design. I was already an artist, and I had a head for the technical side of things, so this was a natural fit for me. I wasn’t yet ready for college… didn’t know what I ultimately wanted to be, and I was already onto my 2nd business as a oil painting artist, when I stumbled one day into a brand new line of work.

I had a VERY quirky employer for my part-time data-entry job at a Christian Activities magazine, who gave me my first lesson on how to use a mouse: how to click to select, or double-click to open folders with it. That was my first and only lesson from him, and then he set me loose on my own to teach myself all the design programs on his Mac while he left to go swing-dancing nightly. There was no internet back then. I didn’t even know I was doing “graphic design” or whether it was taught in a college anywhere. I just chose to teach myself nightly, after hours, using the company’s software program “Help” files (the Help files back then had mini-tutorials).

At some point, I guess I was good, because he turned over the design of his magazine to me. It was quite an auspicious time, and all the skills I learned would later turn into an accidental career. I had to move abruptly out of town since my parents decided to become missionaries and sold their home where I was living. I was 19 years old and a full-fledged “desktop publisher” as it were. I was able to land a job at a traditional print shop where they sort of knew what DP was, but it was a new way of doing things that was quite looked down on. They hired me for their non-existent graphic design department (literally… it did not exist) and they stuck me in the front desk to answer phones.

The First Purge: Watching the Old Economy Guys Lose Their Jobs

This was the early late 80s/early 90s, and the field of “desktop publishing” (as it was known back then) was up-and-coming, and cutting-edge. The old-economy guys of back then scoffed at it – literally laughed and made fun of it in front of me daily – but to their eventual peril. The company lost its #1 client… the huge “Focus on the Family” account, because FOTF decided to go digital, and the traditional printing guys never saw it coming. I saw many lose their jobs.

fat old men, complacent, drinking beer

These guys remind me so much of the Old Economy guys that used to laugh at desktop publishing. They lost their jobs.

But luckily, I was the one on the upswing… I did make mental note of it though, how the people who were entrenched in their old ways got  marginalized and edged-out. And I never wanted to be one of those people so “stuck” that they couldn’t survive as the world moved forward.

Then, around about 1992, I left that failing company that had denigrated my line of work for so long, and I began my career in the very well-paid field of Movie Advertising where my skills were appreciated. Since I had never been to school for this line of work, I chose mentors from the old-timer Art Directors around me and asked them to teach me what they knew.

I would ask the retouchers to teach me retouching. Another mentor I chose taught me principles of design and how your eye travels, etc. How to adapt designs across various sizes. She was amazing. Although the working environment was wildly dysfunctional (there was beer in the vending machines), it was fun to see your work up on billboards and in video stores, and literally painted onto the sides of buildings in Hollywood. This was all pretty early on in my career, and I had mild success that was good for my age, until….

Another Purge: The Writers Strike

When you work in the Entertainment Industry and there’s a writer’s strike, everything comes to a screeching halt. You see old-timers scraping for any projects they can get their hands on in order to defend their positions and salaries in the company. They were the first to be let go — a repeat of what I had seen earlier when the old-economy guys got edged-out. The first ones kicked to the curb during a recession were the most experienced and highly paid. It was a dangerous place to be: at the top.

signs laying on the ground that say "on strike"

Writers Strike in the Entertainment Industry

During this time, I made myself indispensable again by learning more and more, and working harder, faster, with longer hours (upwards of about 15-17 hours per day), without lunch or dinner breaks (the company ordered in and you ate as you worked). This went on for years. Side note: to this day, I prefer not to eat Italian food, because during those years, the only restaurants that delivered were Italian ones. So every single day for lunch and dinner, we had Italian. That gets old! But back to my story:

That writer’s strike came and essentially the old guys got “outsourced” and marginalized by us younger, lesser-paid, less-experienced designers. Those old-timer Art Directors used to sketch things on tissue and bring it to us graphic designers to produce digitally. The company got rid of most of the old tissue-sketching guys and the digital designers like myself rose to fill their space. It makes sense for the good of a company, but it’s vicious and cutthroat when you think about it. It was very sad to see the desperation.

My First Recession Experience

I worked my way up in this career, and of course, I lived to see a recession. This particular one was the dot.com debacle. Again, as the company struggled to remain afloat, the highest-paid, most experienced among us got laid-off in favor of the younger, lesser-paid designers. That’s the way the game is played. Luckily, at this time, I wasn’t the highest paid yet, and I was still one of the younger ones, so it still didn’t affect me. But it was a replay of what I saw during the writer’s strike, and the edging-out of the old-economy guys when they wouldn’t adopt the new technology of desktop publishing. Unless you move with the times, you get left behind.

Hitting My Salary Peak and Seeking Something More Fulfilling

When the 2000s came, I realized I hit my salary and title “cap” at the age of 31. It kind of sucks to hit your peak at age 31, and since I had worked such long hours for so many years, I had broken relationships, instability, I was overweight and out of shape, had a bad attitude from all the stress, and no social life to speak of. I needed something to make this all better. This couldn’t be all that life was about. It seemed so futile. This is when I started my “achievement & fulfillment” search, and my ventures into Personal Development began.

Anthony Robbins

Like many my age, I remember seeing the Ken Doll haired Tony Robbins peddling his “Personal Power” program on TV late at night. I was very curious. Who doesn’t want to be better? Achieve success? Or at least thrive? I bought his “Get the Edge” program (a permutation of his original “Personal Power” program) and began my quest for fulfillment. My salary cap was firmly in place, so I needed some meaning in my life, other than in my job. His program was phenomenal and I learned (and grew) a lot. To this day, I still do it every few years, whenever I feel like I may need a refresher.

But I was still stuck in my job and my income. Very much un-rich. Unwealthy.
In fact, I was also very much in debt because I had no money management skills whatsoever and lived paycheck to paycheck, firmly rooted in the rat race. I desperately wanted to break free of the constraints of my job and income caps, and eventually, I discovered Robert Kiyosaki’s “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” teaching (also phenomenal).

Robert Kiyosaki

I was so hungry for change. The cap on my income and title, and upward-mobility within the company I worked at was deeply insulting to me. I literally had a boss who would paint her toenails and drink wine in her office while I slaved at a 3am deadline designing ads for “Shrek” or other movie projects.

My natural desire and drive for growth and meaning was frustrated constantly. I really wanted to have the finances and freedom to be able to do what I want, when I wanted, and in “style” so to speak. Or at least something worthy of the level of work and effort I put in.

My desire – and yours – for more money is not greed. It is a natural thing to always want to progress. Look at nature… what tree doesn’t want to grow?

But back to my “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” book I was reading by Robert Kiyosaki… he said it so well: trading my time for money is a losing game. A rat race. I started to invest in real estate and eventually became an independent contractor for another movie advertising company, at even higher pay. Being an independent contractor for them gave me the illusion of control, power and prestige. Owning 4 homes across the USA gave me even more of a big head. By now, I was one of the top-paid designers in that company… which set me up for a big downfall, because now I was one of the older ones, highly paid, and poised for my head to roll when the next recession came around.

The Writers Strike Again

Well…. boy, did my head ever roll. I had become used to lavish spending and traveling; taking lots of time off since I was one of the top Art Directors now. Despite owning 4 homes, I was still terrible with money management, so I was bleeding money all over the place. What happened next, was such a finely orchestrated downfall, I’m astounded when I look back at it.

striking workers in the entertainment industry

Another Writer’s Strike in the Entertainment Industry

I had a big breakup with my fiancé, on whom I had spent a lot of money on with cars and trips. Then, a Writer’s Strike hit the entertainment industry again, and I went from working 140 hours per month to working about 10 hours per month. Since I was an hourly “independent contractor,” this was a DRASTIC drop in my income. Next, I had a bad tenant I evicted, and couldn’t find a new one to replace him… thus, bleeding money for a mortgage on a rental property with no OPP to pay for it. I put it up for sale, but no one came. To top it off, there was a flood in that condo unit, and no one knew about it because there was no tenant and my property manager was neglectful.

This was quickly followed by a different flood in my condo in Hawaii – which affected the whole complex, and was supposed to be covered by their policy, but it was so extreme, it exceeded the policy. So now, I had no rent coming in from that condo either. I had displaced tenants, and no one to pay for damages since the insurance cap was exceeded.

I sold one house to try to save the other 3 (which included my own), and those poor tenants were so mad at me. They had barely survived Katrina, and now their living space was being sold out from under them. I was so sorry to do that, but I had no choice. There was nothing I could do.

The final straw of all this loss and lack of income was when the banks fell. For each month of 2009, I lost one home till all were gone. January, February, and March. I had lost everything, and I was completely displaced from and outsourced at my illusion of a “secure job” in the movie industry; my nosediving graphic design career.

I went from hero to zero in a matter of months. My house of cards fell. All the highly paid designers at that company were let go, and I was now one of the old guys. I was homeless and had to hunker down in my sister’s pool house (there was no pool… it was just an empty field of rocks that the builders said could be space for a pool someday). I had no job, no homes, no fiancé, no income… nothing. Talk about humiliation.

The Great Recession

I remember the first day I walked into a Dollar Store. Being a prideful “Whole Foods” (aka “Whole Paycheck”) shopper, this was the supreme humiliation for me. I remember once having to borrow money for toothpaste and toilet paper, and also calculating how long it would take me to walk to a Jack n’ the Box to steal some of their toilet paper because my car was below empty and I had no money for gas.

When you’re poor, you have to eat poorly too. So all my healthy foods and organic, sustainable, seasonal, non-GMO favorites were now un-affordable and substituted with Dollar Store pasta and sauce. I gained weight to add to the humiliation of my defeat. Not to mention, you know that field of rocks I lived on in the “pool house”? I had holes in my shoes from walking in it every day.

indian call center, outsourced jobs from the USA

Global Outsourcing of US Jobs. I had to compete with India, Pakistan, Romania, Egypt. All very talented people, to be sure; but it was very unfair in light of how low they can bid to beat me out of work doled out by a USA company.

As time went on, I also saw my entire industry get globalized. Meaning, not only did I get displaced from any job prospects in the entertainment industry or in graphic design itself, but also now I had to compete with India, Pakistan, Romania — people that were happy to earn less than $5/hour because their cost of living was very different than Southern California. At one point in 2013, I remember earning $2.50/hour on a project I was desperate to have because I had nothing else.

So… Did It Ever Get Better Or Do I Cue The Violins?

Because my story is getting so long, and by now, you’re probably wanting me to wrap up this downer part of it, I will tell you that, although my industry never truly bounced back, the Great Recession taught me some very important integrity, character, and business mindset lessons that are all a part of this website you are currently exploring. I’m very happy that, while times were not so bad, I made the effort to start learning something other than what I was doing. All that time doing Anthony Robbins’ program and Robert Kiyosaki’s education was time well spent. I could have never climbed out of the recessionary hole had I never discovered those pivotal teachings. Mindset is so important for success. And FAITH what will keep you going against all odds. It will get you up after each fall. If you get knocked down 6 times, get up 7. That being said, the following are what I had to do or develop in order to climb out from being displaced, laid-off, marginalized, edged-out, kicked to the curb… call it what you will. I hope you can learn from this, to see if YLLA is a good fit for you too.

I diligently learned new things to improve my skill-set

The main things I noticed about those Old Economy guys and old highly-paid Art Directors were that they were unwilling to keep growing with the times. They were experts in their positions, and thought they could hold that spot on the company ladder, but that is not how nature works. There will always be someone younger, more talented, more skilled, lower paid, or whatever, leveraging themselves to try to obtain the position you now hold. You have to learn to smartly “create” your OWN company ladder; find a business model and niche that is progressing. And once you find it, be sure to keep growing with it. Never stagnate. Then, you need to reach back to help others, but that’s another story…

I had to build a business – not find a job

The only way to free myself from the rat race was to build a business, and a business means getting out of my comfort zone. It means finding clients and customers, and making a sale. I have never been a salesperson by nature. Some people have that gift naturally… I don’t. Sometimes you have to do the uncomfortable along the way to being comfortable. I had to learn everything along the way -–and then become “sincere” with it (otherwise, it’s all just a ploy to get a sale and people can smell that a mile away).

I also knew that, to be recession-proof (or at least close to it), I had to be self-directed and have a big pool. I couldn’t rely on a handful of clients, or a frozen skill-set. That would be another “field of rocks,” not a pool. It would be too risky and ingrown. I wanted to learn the lessons of my great downfall… I did NOT want to go through another horrible loss like the Great Recession ever again.

For me, after seeing my entire industry outsourced and projects given to the lowest bidder, I knew I needed a business that was moving forward into the new economy… the digital age – not stuck the past, where it’s going to eventually to be given over to artificial intelligence or similar. I had to be part of the new economy, not the old one.

Luckily, while the internet “hath taken away” my old career, it has also given me a new one – a profitable business online. Out of the ashes, opportunity has arisen… powerfully. I am now proudly location-independent. I can literally work from a villa in Tuscany if I want to. As long as I’ve got wifi, I’m good to go! And, there is no cap on my earnings potential or my income ever again. I am now also, happily out of the financial pit of the Great Recession, and had my best year since that awful time, this past 2018. And it’s only growing!

So I have a question for you…

Are you being edged out? Burnt out? Did you get outsourced or marginalized like me?

Well, if you want something different, I invite you to follow my lead.

I really hope you’ll join me because I sincerely believe that if you have the willingness to learn some new skills, and put in the effort (which, I know you have it in you! You’re probably a burnt out expert like I was), you can utilize the digital economy to build a profitable online business yourself. There are a variety of ways to do it: affiliate marketing with a proper sales funnel, eCommerce, personal branding, selling your own products (eg: if you’re a Wellness Coach or Legal Expert), email marketing, and on and on. And, this field is GROWING, not shrinking. There’s a common misconception that the online business market is already over-saturated, but the actual numbers reveal that it is ridiculously under-saturated still… so there is room for YOU to be successful if you act quickly.

Will you be someone who steps out of the boat? Or will you wait till the next recession, or strike, or getting outsourced, edged-out, deprecated to newer technology, replaced by artificial intelligence, forced into retirement… what’s your poison?

I know that all sounds very doom and gloom, but it was very real for me, and I‘m passionate about this story because it’s mine and it’s true. And I just want YOU to think about it because it doesn’t have to be that way for you, ever. Learn from my mistakes and my triumphs.

If you’re a go-getter like me, and you’re willing to put in the effort, I can show you a legitimate and ethical way to grow a profitable online business.

A business to fit your life.

I very recently took a family trip to four different States, and I didn’t have to worry about my job or my income at all – my business works from anywhere. What a blessing is that? I got time to spend with my 80 year old parents, so we could create some more memories. I got to see family I hadn’t seen in a very long time, and that’s due to the flexibility of having a laptop lifestyle that‘s legit.

There are scammers out there who say it’s all easy, and you’ll get rich quick, and I’m here to say that it’s certainly easier than some fields, definitely less expensive than opening a franchise somewhere, and you certainly do have the opportunity to make money reasonably soon, but it’s not super-quick or super-easy. It is a legitimate business, and it takes the effort over time.

But that effort and time is an investment into yourself – so that you and your loved ones can have a better life. A life of freedom and financial abundance that otherwise, you probably couldn’t achieve if you stayed status quo. I’m certain that you would rather be doing what I’m doing than sitting in your car, commuting to a job you increasingly dread going to, dealing with a boss who micromanages you to death, defending your position and salary while the younger up-and-comers are nipping at your heels, all the while watching your industry be automated by artificial intelligence more and more each day.

So let me ask you: do YOU want a change?

If so, “Your Laptop Lifestyle Academy” is here to point you to the education you will need to build your own legitimate, profitable, online business for the new economy. Get your FREE On Demand Workshops to learn more by clicking here. My favorite guy Stuart Ross, who taught me and who’s coached thousands to a better life, will be your host on this 7 video series that will show you how you can start a successful online business that will give you the time and financial freedom (and location independence! and ability to fire your boss!) to live to your highest potential. You deserve it! And I will repeat one more time: this is no “get rich quick” scheme at all. You still have to learn the skills, and you still have to make the effort. Nothing worthwhile is ever easy. But if you’re tired of not living the life you really want and deserve, if you’re tired of being tied to one location, tired of not seeing your loved ones, and tired of the stupid rat race, then let’s get you out of the boat. 🙂


person stepping out of the boat to walk on water

Step Out of the Boat

*DISCLAIMER – What sets us apart from other online business opportunities is our world class system and methods, as well as our integrity – so we want you to know exactly where you stand. Note that individual results will vary. No results are guaranteed with the help of our training and business systems. All the products and services we provide are for educational and information purposes only. While our member testimonials of success are verifiable, this does not mean you will get the same results. There are those who will not earn any money at all with our program, because individual results will depend on your determination, hard work, and ability to follow directions.

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