The purpose

The purpose of The Falling Awake Intensive is for our team to support you in many different ways during a nine-month period so that you will solve your biggest problems and will achieve your most important goals.

While this is an intense experience, it will be fun and safe.

This program is offered by Dave Ellis and his team of coaches. Dave has been teaching for the last 40 years and will bring you the best of his seven books that have sold over six million copies. You can find out more about Dave and his team below.

Click here to watch a video where Dave presents two of his best strategies and answers questions about this program.

Dave has facilitated many multi-month courses. Important changes from last year’s course include:

  • This course will be customized for you based on two to three of your biggest problems or your most important goals so that you will achieve your highest priorities.
  • Our focus will be primarily on producing measurable results.
  • The assignments will be minimal and individualized.
  • The workshops and webinars will include more coaching and exercises.
  • Instead of focusing primarily on the future, we will divide our attention on the past, present, and future.
  • Dave will be facilitating the webinars and workshops with some cameos from Lynne Twist, Tammy White, Bill Rentz, JoAnne Bangs, Peter Chandonnet, Anna Rheim, and others.

Our promises

We promise that when you fully participate with us for nine-months you will:

  • Alter your life so that it will improve for the rest of your life;
  • Solve or resolve one or two of your biggest problems or life challenges;
  • Create and implement a clear plan to accomplish one or two of your most important dreams;
  • Have fun in a safe, respectful, interactive, and life-altering learning environment;
  • Release upsets, dissolve barriers, and uncover blind spots that keep you from having the life you want;
  • Invent a clear direction for the rest of your life and beyond; and
  • Design, create, and produce measurable results that are unpredictable.


In addition to the promises we make about this program, participants will learn to be more skillful in several ways.

During the program you will solve your biggest problems and/or reach your most important goals. You will also leave with valuable skills that you can in use in every area of your life for the rest of your life.

The specific subjects included in The Falling Awake Intensive are listed below. They are also included in Dave’s books. Six of his books will be provided as part of the course.

  • Relationship development
  • Problem solving
  • Motivation of self and others
  • Coach training
  • Increasing income
  • Leadership at home and work
  • Eliminating distress
  • Integrity beyond morality
  • Mood management
  • Health and vitality
  • Business and team development
  • Creativity
  • Dealing with fear and worry
  • Romantic relationships
  • Multi-decade visioning
  • Sufficiency as a way of life
  • Time and task management
  • Debt reduction
  • Contribution and generosity
  • Gaining a global perspective
  • Learning to have more fun

Results participants report

In addition to the promises we make about this program, past participants have reported the following results. Please read about their Accomplishments on the left.

  • Transformed many of my key relationships
  • Improved or changed my current work
  • My money now works way better
  • I walk around much happier day to day
  • I got really clear about what I want
  • My health changed so I can do more
  • Learned valuable coaching skills
  • Created a wildly successful business
  • Learned ways to make great decisions
  • Regular exercise became fun
  • My romantic relationship got much better
  • My problem solving skills improved
  • Solved two of the biggest problems in my life
  • Resolved parts of my past that had really troubled me
  • My friends say I’m more enjoyable to be around
  • Increased my income significantly
  • Paid off most of my debts
  • Distress became a very small part of my life
  • I met some lifelong friends
  • Began to have way more fun
  • My spouse and I fight less and laugh more
  • Eliminated many of my money fears
  • Learned to manage my moods
  • Created much better work/life balance
  • Became way less defensive
  • My creativity really increased
  • Developed a plan for my retirement
  • People around me began keeping their word
  • Became a much better parent
  • I get along much better with my parents
  • Boredom got replaced by excitement
  • I have much more time for my hobbies
  • Generosity has become my habit
  • At work and at home, I’m more reliable
  • Celebration and appreciation became routine
  • People around me report I listen much better
  • I released a lot of guilt about mistakes
  • My ability to produce results improved
  • Learned to motivate others
  • I get along much better with my co-workers
  • I am a much more effective leader
  • Time management stopped being a struggle


During The Falling Awake Intensive, we will facilitate your solving problems and achieving goals through the following seven pillars of support:

  • Two to three 55-minute interactive online classes per month
  • Two to three facilitated support group meetings per month
  • Three 2½ day workshops near San Francisco, CA at a hotel next to the airport
  • Two to three one-on-one 30-minute coaching sessions per month
  • Customized and optional assignments
  • A participant website that facilitates communication, collaboration, and action
  • A loving and trustworthy community that will support you



The three 2½ day workshops will be presented at the Marriott Hotel next to the San Francisco airport and only 25 minutes from downtown San Francisco. We have arranged for discounted room rates.

The workshops can be taken independently of The Falling Awake Intensive. They are a great opportunity to invite your family, friends, and coworkers to begin exploring ways to improve their lives. More about the workshops is found at

March 24 - 26, 2017
2:00 pm – 5:30 pm, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm, 9:00 am – 4:00 pm (Pacific time)

June 23 - 25, 2017
2:00 pm – 5:30 pm, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm, 9:00 am – 4:00 pm (Pacific time)

October 27 - 29, 2017
2:00 pm – 5:30 pm, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm, 9:00 am – 4:00 pm (Pacific time)

Interactive online classes

(All times are Pacific. Each online class (webinar) is 55 minutes long and will be recorded for those who cannot attend live.)

2/16/17 12:00 pm
2/23/17 12:00 pm
3/16/17 12:00 pm
3/24 – 3/26/17 - workshop
3/30/17 12:00 pm
4/6/17 12:00 pm
4/27/17 12:00 pm
5/4/17 12:00 pm
5/25/17 12:00 pm
6/1/17 12:00 pm
6/15/17 12:00 pm
6/23 – 6/25/17 - workshop
6/29/17 12:00 pm
7/6/17 12:00 pm
7/20/17 12:00 pm
8/10/17 12:00 pm
8/17/17 12:00 pm
9/7/17 12:00 pm
9/14/17 12:00 pm
10/5/17 12:00 pm
10/19/17 12:00 pm
10/27 – 10/29/17 – workshop
11/2/17 12:00 pm
11/16/17 12:00 pm

Support group meetings

These meetings will occur two to three times a month. The times will be set by the small support groups.


These meetings will be set by the coach and the client two to three times a month. For early registrants, the coaching can begin in January.


Tuition: $5000 to $20,000 based on your income, net worth, and past participation

Discounts are available for cash/check payments, past participants, and attending with a life partner or business partners.

Scholarships are also available based on this chart.

If you are interested in taking this course but the price or the scholarship chart is confusing, call Bill Rentz at 1-605-394-0072.

Many of our participants saved and/or made enough money by doing the program to more than pay for it. They consistently reported that the course was well worth the time, energy, and money.

For this tuition, you receive our promises and:

  • Two to three 55-minute interactive online classes per month
  • Two to three facilitated support group meetings per month
  • Three 2½ day workshops near San Francisco, CA at a hotel next to the airport
  • Three one-on-one 30-minute coaching sessions per month
  • Individualized assignments
  • A participant website that facilitates communication, collaboration, and action
  • A loving and trustworthy community that will support you

Other costs

In addition to the tuition, participants are responsible for their expenses for the three workshops and any of the bonus workshops they attend. The extra costs include travel, food, and lodging.

We have secured discounted rooms at a beautiful Marriott hotel, and we will offer room sharing and ride sharing options.

Life Inventory

Our purpose is to contribute to you by helping you look at your life to see what is working and what could be improved. We have designed a Life Inventory (and an optional, no-cost conversation with a coach) to be extremely valuable whether or not you take The Falling Awake Intensive. Please complete the Life Inventory.

This Life Inventory will also help us fulfill our bold promises for this course by knowing what you might want from the course. We can then, together, choose if this is the right program for you at the right time.

Filling out the Life Inventory and talking about it with us will begin a process of solving your biggest problems and achieving your most important goals. Doing this inventory and visiting with one of our coaches is our contribution to you and does not imply that you are ready to join us.

About us

Dave Ellis

Dave Ellis

Facilitator and Coach

Dave assists people to realize their fullest potential through his coaching, books, workshops, videos, and interactive online classes. He challenges people to think what they have never thought and empowers them to take actions that they have never taken.

Dave is a leadership coach, author, educator, and philanthropist. He wrote and published, Becoming a Master Student which is currently in its fifteenth edition and has been the best-selling college textbook in America for over two decades. In addition to this book, he has written six others including, Life Coaching, Creating Your Future, and Falling Awake.

Dave has reached audiences worldwide since first sharing his principles in 1979. He has coached national and international nonprofit leaders, social entrepreneurs, philanthropists, an NBA coach, and a Nobel Peace Prize winner. Through his workshops and books, he has helped over six million people create a more wonderful life.

In 1987, he founded The Brande Foundation and has contributed millions of dollars to the work of this foundation and to other organizations.

Ellis was an Assistant Dean of Student Services, a member of the Administrative Board, and President of National American University, where for six years he taught computer programming and a first year experience course he designed on being successful in college. Dave has a bachelors degree in Computer Science and Psychology, a masters degree in Computer Science, work on a Ph.D. in Psychology, and an honorary Ph.D. in Naturopathic Philosophy.

He lives in the Bay Area of California with his wife Trisha. Together they have four daughters and six grandchildren.

Bill Rentz

Bill Rentz


Bill Rentz has worked with Dave Ellis for over 30 years. He is vice president of Breakthrough Enterprises, Inc. He has been responsible for our coaching and coach training and manages most of the day-to-day operation of our projects. Bill is an executive coach and a Master Certified Coach from the International Coach Federation. He has worked with leaders of several large organizations. He lives in The Black Hills of South Dakota and is a dedicated husband for over 30 years.

JoAnne Bangs

JoAnne Bangs


JoAnne Bangs began a coaching practice 22 years ago while raising two young children and since then she has been coaching individuals, business owners, couples, and leaders of nonprofit organizations. She has spent years working with Anne Goddard, President of Child Fund International; Melanie Macdonald, President of World Neighbors; and Yolanda Richardson, Past President of Center for Development and Population Activities. After a major health challenge in 2000, she transformed all aspects of her life such that her life is now vibrant, accomplished, and joyful. Her goal is to assist her clients to achieve the same through her coaching and our trainings.

Peter Chandonnet

Peter Chandonnet


Peter has been coaching, teaching yoga and meditation and working with Dave for the last 13 years in the Bay Area and nationally. He empowers c-suite executives and emerging leaders and teams to be their best selves. He works within the sectors of health care, technology, finance, design, real estate, education, apparel, the arts, and families of wealth. He divides his time between San Francisco and Sonoma.

Anna Rheim

Anna Rheim


Anna Rheim began coaching in 2005. Her focus includes both one-on-one and couples coaching. She incorporates her love of ritual in her work. Anna is a graduate of Stanford University and has years of experience in leadership, education, art, and business. Her current passions are writing, golf, photography, and assisting people with their transformational development. Anna and her husband, Jim, live in Carmel Valley, CA near their two adult children and grandchildren.

The Falling Awake Intensive is a project of Breakthrough Enterprises, Inc., with offices in South Dakota and California.

Breakthrough Enterprises, Inc.
1050 Court Street #518
San Rafael, CA 94901

1-415-686-6900 - Dave Ellis
1-605-390-2275 - JoAnne Bangs
1-605-390-2343 - Bill Rentz

Breakthrough Enterprises, Inc.
1021 Alta Vista Drive
Rapid City, SD 57701

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