Happy Business Birthday – Top 10 Lessons I Learned From Year 2
If there’s one word to describe my second year in business – it’s coffee. We will get back to that in a minute.
As my second year of business comes to a close and my third year opens up – I feel the strangest mix of confidence and utter confusion.
It feels like I went on a trip. I packed all my clothes, shoes, etc in my suitcase and took off. As soon as I landed and picked up my suitcase, it broke and everything spilled out. The worst part was they told me my suitcase couldn’t be fixed and I would just have to pick out a few things I really liked and valued and then move on and get new stuff along the way.
This analogy has been in my head for awhile. My business is like the trip and the suitcase was packed with all my experiences, my memories, my thoughts, my beliefs about myself, and everything I thought I needed to build. Then, when I started my business (and especially this second year) everything spilled out of the broken suitcase and I have had to sort through it all, pick out what will serve me, leave the rest, and go get new stuff.
It’s been a roller coaster of a year. Before I share with you my Top 10 Lessons From Year 2, I want to extend a heartfelt thank you. If you’re reading this, you have also probably read my stuff all year. That means the world to me. Thank you for reading, emailing me back, commenting on my blogs, listening to my podcasts, and being amazing.
Top 10 Lessons From Year 2
Thank goodness I love coffee because I have been drinking a lot of it. Not just my at home personal coffee, but at coffee shops all over the metro while I meet with new people, network, grow, and connect. Last year I said one of my goals was to be brave, network, and push myself to meet new people. I have done just that. I joined a great networking group that continues to push me to look at my business, they ask me hard questions, and they take time to get to know me. There’s also a saying that goes something like this “You should always try to be the dumbest one in the room.” It may sound a little harsh, but I can feel myself learning and growing from all of the very successful business owners in my group.
2. Say Yes
I have done a lot of saying yes. When I joined the networking group, I also made a conscious decision to say yes. This meant that if someone asked me to go to another networking event – I said yes. This also meant if someone knew someone I should meet – I said yes. And so far, having said yes to a few things I didn’t necessarily want to – has yielded great connections.
3. Consistency Matters
I am proud to say that minus a week or two, I have written my blog every single week. Hopefully you have appreciated the consistency, but I know it helps keep me accountable, keeps my creative mind flowing, and allows me to take what I have been learning, process it, and put it into a story for you. It’s pretty cool that we are almost to True Confession Tuesday: Edition 100- almost to 100 blog posts written.
4. Say No
Just as important as saying yes, is saying no. The further along in business I get, I realize I have to protect certain boundaries – most of them are time and I am still working on this. I remember I had a client tell me – “you should do classes at this company after work from 5-7pm every day.” I said no. Not because I didn’t want to teach those classes, but because I don’t want to work every night. That’s not why I went into business for myself. I still need a LOT of work on saying no to working (writing, social media, being in my head) and be able to turn it off at night and be truly present in my life.
I really did it!! After deliberating, procrastinating, and over-thinking, I taught myself how to record a podcast. It has been the most rewarding thing in the last year. I had no idea how to do it, completely taught myself, and have been consistently putting out episodes for a few months now. The side benefit – I have been able to interview friends and meet new friends via the internet! What I have really learned from starting a podcast is to START BEFORE YOU’RE READY. You will never be fully ready. You will never know everything you need to know and you won’t be confident until you take action.
6. Just Ask
I have written and have podcast episodes about a couple significant events in the last year. The first one was putting in a proposal to write an article for Precision Nutrition. Crazy thing – they accepted it, loved it, and published it. That opened my confidence to reach out to be a guest on a podcast and talk about that article. It also fulfilled one of my big goals for last year which was to be a paid author. I love to write, to share stories, my view and more. But I wanted it to be PAID. 🙂 Side note – I’m still trying to craft another article idea because I have an open door to write again for them. So, if you have any great ideas – please send them my way!
Sometimes I take a moment and I pat myself on the back. I have taught myself so many things in the last year from how to do a podcast, creating a Patreon page, how to network, how to say no, and so much more. I’ve also learned I have a lot to learn. I feel more behind on everything I want and need to learn than I did a year ago. It’s a double edged sword. Just like last year, I truly love learning. There are so many resources out there for all of us – books, free podcasts, webinars, and more. If you want to learn something – you can do it. Oh – let’s not forget You Tube – the teacher of all things. But, it can be overwhelming when I think of EVERYTHING I want and need to learn.
8. Network Marketing
This one caught me by surprise. For a couple years my friend Joy had been using some great supplements and working with a company. I blew her off, told her I wasn’t interested until the one day I was interested. (As you know- this is how I do many things in life – including just deciding one day to leave my job and start my business). I had many pre-conceived notions of network marketing companies but the truth was – I just didn’t know what I didn’t know. I am now loving the growth and learning I am forced to do to grow this business. The products are amazing and have done wonders for my recovery from exercise and so much more but I am falling in love with the idea of building a team of people. Part of what I was missing when I left the club was working together with people, growing and developing their skills, and helping them to succeed both in health and wealth. It has also been a great experience in forcing myself to reach out and hear a lot of no’s. It has made me a stronger professional, helped me to create a vision and a mission for this business and work, and become very clear on why I’m doing it.
9. Create What You Desire
This one keeps me up at night and distraught throughout the day. The ultimate freedom I know I have to create the life I truly want to live is amazing and terrifying. So much so that at times I get caught up in “the end result” and I have a hard time looking at the here and now and identifying all the small steps it will take to get there. But most recently I have had some really inspiring conversations with friends where we talk about creating your life. We ALL have this power. But we play small and we think we are trapped in the way things are going right now.
What if you started a side business based on your passion?
What if you asked for what you wanted at your job?
What if you put money in an adventure jar?
Its been really fun to see some of my friends open their eyes to the idea of creating what they want, doing things they enjoy and letting go of jobs, etc that don’t make them happy. I truly believe that no matter where you’re at in life, you have the power to create. Just don’t let that power scare you and make you freeze.
10. I’m Actually Good At This
The more work I do, the more I push myself, and the more I challenge my own thinking, I realize I am actually really good at this. I am getting so much better at harnessing my talents, embracing them, and telling people about them. For some reason, we all seem to be shy or sheepish about our talents and gifts. I’m now able to say:
I am a great writer
I am good at podcasting
I am an awesome coach
I am great at connecting with people (insert networking)
I have so much to give the world
The last year has taught me that I am finally ready. Ready to put on my big girl pants and go out there and create the programs I have dreamed about that I know will help so many. Go out and ask for bigger guests on my podcast.
Top 5 Things I Want to Celebrate
1. Being Brave
This year has been a big year for me in terms of stepping outside of my comfort zone, networking, saying yes, going to events, putting myself out there for writing and podcasting and it has all been worth it.
2. 50 Miles at WTM
For the second year in a row, we accomplished 50 miles at Worlds Toughest Mudder. A lot of training went into it and it feels awesome to reach that goal.
3. I’m Still Here
When I talked with my financial advisor he basically said “You’re starting over.” Yep. But then he said the best thing. “You may be at a hard place right now but I’m not worried. I believe you will grow this business – it just takes time but you have the confidence and skills to do it.” I’m still here, plugging away, learning, growing, and developing.
4. My Dog
Shortly after my 1 year anniversary, my sweet girl Rio went over the rainbow bridge. It was the hardest thing. But it gave me more strength than I knew I had and allowed me to open my heart to a new crazy dog – Toula. I knew Rio wouldn’t live forever – but I was hoping.
Truly I would not still be doing this if it wasn’t for you. I want to celebrate you and thank you for everything. Like I said earlier – every email, text, message, social media comment or share and everything you do to support me – means the world. Sometimes it gets really lonely being in business with yourself. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all of your support.
Top 5 Goals for Year 3
It is time for me to step fully into life coaching. I truly feel called to coach young adults and I’m finally starting to do that.
2. Grow Online
I am ready and am going to scale my business my growing a bigger online platform and creating an online program that can be accessible to anyone, anywhere.
I love speaking to groups of people and want to be a professional speaker who gives empowering, inspiring, and fun talks.
4. Grow My Network Marketing Business
I will have a team of hundreds, thousands of people that I can mentor, support, help them grow like I have and build health and wealth in the lives of so many.
I am going to create the financial freedom that will allow me to travel without stress. The last two years have given me the taste of freedom of time and not having to ask for time off, but in the next year I will create the financial freedom to be able to travel without stress of not working.
Thank you for being with me all the way!! Enjoy some cake for me today.
And if you want to listen to this – tune in to Episode 37 for an expanded version.
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