Welcome to the Cara Brookins Show

Welcome to the first episode of the Cara Brookins Show! In this episode you’ll hear how building a house with my four kids by watching YouTube videos forever changed my approach to life. I now apply the strategies I learned with mud and 2x4s to every project and every major life decision. And I’ll share how this new approach can forever change your life, too. 

Resources & Links mentioned in this episode:


Welcome to the Cara Brookins Show, where you’ll find all the tools you need to get unstuck and build a better life. I know what it feels like to need a friend to talk you through the hard stuff. From cleaning off your desk, to building a new desk, or even rebuilding your entire life from scratch, I’ll be here with you for every step. Let’s get moving and build exactly the life you want.

Hello, and I’m so glad we found each other here. My goal is for every single episode of this podcast to give you ideas you can use right away. I want you to build a better life than the one you have today. That means it’s time to get unstuck on the projects you’re working on… or maybe more specifically on the projects that you’re NOT working on but you want to be. Sound Familiar? 

I want this show to be all about taking action. But, weirdly, That’s not what this first episode is about at all. I know. I know. 

The first episode probably shouldn’t break the rules! But when you hear what I have to say today, I think you’ll agree that this is exactly the right way for you and me to begin. 

For starters, some of you are meeting me for the first time. And that means you have no reason whatsoever to take my advice about taking action on anything. I mean, who am I to say what works and what doesn’t? What do I know? 

Well, that’s what I’m going to tell you today. I’m going to tell you the story of why I’m starting this podcast. And it all began with a crazy big project I took on, even though I had no idea what I was doing, and no real business doing any of it. Then while I was doing my best to make that project work, I realized that a lot of the ideas I had that were working really well for that big project, would work for every single project I took on for the rest of my life. Yeah, this surprised me too, It’s not at all what I was expecting, believe me. 

And then, what happened next, after I finished that project, was a lot of people asking me: How’d you do that?! I told them. In person. By email. By phone. By Facebook. By Instagram. Until now, today, I’m right here sharing my ideas with you on a podcast. Why would I want to do that?  

Because I had to go through a lot of really tough things to learn these lessons. I failed a lot along the way. And if I could have heard and understood these ideas a lot sooner, my life could have been easier. I could have reached really big goals a lot earlier in my life. What I mean is, I could have been more successful in every area of my life a lot sooner. And that’s exactly what I want for you: bigger success stories on a faster timeline. And you want that too, so let’s get to it. 

You may already know that the big project I’m talking about was building a house with my kids by watching YouTube videos. Yes, we built an entire house. I was a single mom with four kids (they were 17, 15, 11, and 2). And yes, I even did things like mixed the concrete in a wheelbarrow and I ran my own water lines, sewer pipes and natural gas lines. We raised walls and made everything from stick-built roof rafters to concrete countertops. You may be thinking, “That is not actually a sane project for a single mom and her kids to take on.” And you’d be right.

At least according to what is considered, normal, acceptable, sane behavior by most people. And in fact, most of those same people would say that it wasn’t possible for us to build an entire house. But you know what happened, we did build an entire house. Not a small hut, not a tiny house on a trailer, not a little cabin in the woods, we built a 3500 sq foot house with 5 bedrooms and three bathrooms. Plus a three-car garage, a huge shop, and a two story tree house. We did this as a family. Every 2×4 and nail and pipe running through our hands—like three or four times because we almost never got something right the first time around. 

We built a house. We rebuilt our lives. And you’re probably thinking this is an interesting story because we broke the rules! We did the impossible. We defied all the odds! Or…. did we?

No. We didn’t defy any odds. I would argue that the odds were in our favor right from the start. And the reason I say that is because we succeeded not because we’re unusual or exceptional people who are capable of doing things no one else can replicate, but because we built this house using a very specific set of ideas that work. They work for anyone doing any project of any size at any time anywhere. That’s a bold statement isn’t it. Luckily, I have more than a statement though, I have proof.

And if me sitting right this minute in my library in the house I built isn’t proof enough for you, don’t worry. This isn’t a one and done example. I have lots more. After the house, I went back to writing, but this time I applied the ideas I used to build the house, and over the next six years I wrote 5 fiction books and my memoir, Rise, which is about us building the house. (In total, I’ve had 8 books published.) What? That’s not enough proof? 

No worries. Because I didn’t just write a memoir about build the house. I got it into the hands of a major agent. And it sold in a big NYC auction for a six figure deal. It was optioned for film. Optioned for reality tv. And the book was actually no where near the biggest place my story went. The next thing that happened wasn’t an accident, we did it—you guessed it—using the exact same methods we used to build the house. And what happened is, we became a global viral story.

Not like the 10,000 likes kind of viral. Not even the ‘spot on the news’ viral. We’re talking within just a couple weeks I had done media interviews, magazines and TV spots all over the world. Good morning Poland, Good morning Turkey, Good morning Canada, Good morning Italy, Indonesia. 75 countries just in the first weeks, and by the end of the first year my story had over two billion hits. Billion with a B. Wrap your head around that. It’s actually difficult to find a person who hasn’t heard about ‘the mom and her kids who built a house with YouTube videos’. Wether they heard it on social media, talk shows, radio stations, even multiple college text books and high school entrance exams around the world now use my story as an example. Convinced yet that I might be onto something with the methods I used? 

Just to be sure, lastly, let me tell you about my speaking career. Because not long after Rise was published I quit my day job as a computer programmer. And I became a full time motivational speaker, getting up on stages all over the world. And you want to know why some of the biggest corporations in the world wanted me to tell their people my story? Because the ideas and strategies I had used out there with mud and 2x4s, could be instantly applied to each person at every level of a corporation to every project they have going. And that’s the same reason I decided to do this podcast. So every person who listens can instantly apply these ideas to their career, their relationships, their entire life in order to be more successful at every project. 

 Oh, but wait. I almost forgot to tell you my absolute favorite part!

In case you’re thinking that the only common denominator in all these situations is ME, that maybe I have some advantage, let me tell you about some of the people who have already learned these ideas from my presentations and my Build Something course. Because they were immediately able to apply these ideas and do some extraordinary things of all shapes and sizes. I’ve heard from women who became a CEO, rewired their trailer lights, remodeled a house boat, built a backyard yoga studio (both the building AND THE BUSINESS). And I’ve heard from men who opened a restaurant, built a cabin, up-leveled their job or changed careers entirely, became an actual ninja, and both men and women have written oh-so-many books. And here’s the part that will surprise you most. 

Every single one of these people already had everything inside of them that they needed to achieve these things. They really did. They just needed a new way to apply their determination and stay motivated. And what I shared with them that changed everything wasn’t a gimmick or a one word mantra or anything like that. What I learned and share is how to understand the way your brain is designed to work in a variety of different circumstances and then use techniques to work with your brain and leverage existing pathways to do extraordinary things. Or, more simply put: Stop fighting against your brain, and get in sync with it to do more, better, faster. Make sense? 

Really this means my ideas aren’t really all that new. They are just new ways of understanding and using very old brain habits—we’re talking caveman primitive old brain habits. 

And because I’ve now applied these ideas to multiple successful projects of my own, and I’ve watched other people apply them successfully, I have the unique perspective to offer lots and lots of examples and strategies for using them. And that’s where you come in. Whether you and I made eye contact at a crucial moment across a sea of people from a stage event, or we were delayed on a flight together, stranded in an airport and ate too much popcorn together, or had cocktails at an event, went to high school together, bumped into each other on Facebook or Instagram or even TikTok, or you landed here because you were curious about a news story about me, or a friend introduced us. No matter how you found this podcast, here’s what I want you and I to get out of this: a friendship. 

That simple. A friendship. 

This is a space where I can share some of the things that really work for me and I know they will work for you too. And I’ll give you lots of ways to share your ideas right back my way. Because as friends we’re going to communicate and collaborate. We’re going to get together in as many places online and in person as possible. We’ll spend time together. Because that’s what friends do. 

That, in a nut shell, is why I’m doing this. 

When I built my house I was starting over from scratch in so many ways. And maybe you are in some ways too right now. As I imagined what starting over meant, I had this really big idea in my head of what my future could look like. I knew, beyond any doubt, that I was capable of creating a better life than the one I had in that moment. Specifically I wanted, a better job, a better place to live, a better sense of confidence, and most importantly, a better relationship with my kids and a better future for them. That’s a pretty tall order. I know. It sounds like I wanted an entirely new life, doesn’t it. Well you bet I did.

And I’m not naive, I knew that in order to change that many things about my situation, I was going to have to put in a huge amount of effort. And so were my kids. I didn’t know how I was going to do it yet—I sure as heck didn’t know yet that I was going to build an entire house—but I knew for sure I would not give up until my real life matched this picture in my head of what I wanted and what I felt capable of achieving. 

If you’re ready for a big change in your life. If you know for sure that your life can be a lot better than the life you have today and you’re ready to put in the work to get there, then you’re in exactly the right place. Even if you don’t know yet what that thing is that you’re about to build—you’re still in the right place. Because together we will lock in on a big, life-changing goal, take the first steps, and then stay motivated all the way until you reach that goal. And the goal after that. And the one after that. And—you get my point. 

Human’s have been on the planet for a long time. And we haven’t survived this long by chance. We’ve done well because of how efficiently our brains adapted to not merely survive, but to dream and create. That means the methods you’re about to discover are an ancient way of doing things. And learning how to use those adaptations to excel in a modern world is going to put you miles ahead. It really is that simple to change your life. Think about what your life will be like when you have an idea and immediately start taking action to make it a reality. That’s the sweet result we’ve all been looking for, isn’t it. 

And that will be just the beginning. Because the next thing you’ll want to do is share these new ways of thinking with your family, and your neighbors and friends—maybe a few strangers, too. Before you know it, huge numbers of people will have ended the ridiculous habit of fighting against their own minds and learned to instead work with their strengths, to work with the way our brains are already set up to work. 

That’s a day I’m really looking forward to, when someone wakes up with the idea of becoming a ninja and immediately begins that journey. Or a single parent decides to begin—right now—to start building the skills and the network to land their dream job. This really can happen. We can all learn to leverage the strengths of our own mind to propel us forward into exactly the life we want. This is huge. And it will work for you, exactly like it worked for me. 

Ready to give this a try? What have you got to lose. 

No matter what sort of thing I’m trying to do—or you’re trying to do—the exact same types of things hold us back. So that means we can all use the same ideas and strategies to really get us up and moving on our next project. And then we can reapply the same steps to the next project, and the one after that. 

Thanks for hanging out with me today, head over to carabrookins.com for more (free) tools, and we should connect on social media too. Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast, and meet me here again next week for a three-letter word that will forever change the way you approach the projects that you have absolutely no idea how to do. 

I can’t wait to see what we build together.