I can’t believe it.
It seems like yesterday I made the decision to leave my job of 9 years and venture out on my own. And deep inside me – I knew it was the right decision. Turns out – it was.
I wouldn’t be here without YOU, so thank you from the bottom of my heart for reading my blogs, training with me, coming to a weekend work out, sharing your stories, referring your friends, and going out of your way to help me succeed. (I have a special email folder called “Love Notes” for all the nice and encouraging emails you send!)
It’s hard to put into words what the last year has been like, but I do love a good list – so here are my
Top 10 Things I’ve Learned in My First Year of Business
- Having your own business is the BEST and WORST thing. Every day (sometimes within the same hour) my feelings about being out on my own alternate between the most amazing feeling and the most terrifying. “I can do this!” ” What am I doing???”
- Freedom has been the key ingredient and the feeling I was most craving in my life. Independence is a close second. These two things have given me the most satisfaction over the last year. I can work when I want, how I want, and with whom I want to. I can also dog sit, baby-sit, and add other random revenue streams into my life. When I look back, I realize how trapped I felt. By the schedule, the obligations, the “rules”, and how automated my life had become. I’m also a “questioner” (personality type from the book “Better Than Before”) and being a questioner often means I have a hard time in a typical work environment because if something does not make sense to me, I don’t want to do it. I use my knowledge of this every day now. If what I’m doing doesn’t make sense, I don’t have to do it and I create what does make sense.
- I easily fall into a comparison trap. I’ve written about this often, but it is so easy to compare yourself to others. I look at other entrepreneurs online who are doing similar work as what I want/am doing and I wonder “Why can’t I have their success?” “Why is their business so big?” There’s a great quote “Don’t compare your Chapter 1 to someone else’s Chapter 20.” So true. And I have to remind myself of this EVERY SINGLE DAY.
- My favorite thing is to wake up, walk the dogs, make coffee, grab the laptop, get back in bed, and work. I mean seriously. This is the epitome of working for yourself and part of the reason I want to eventually build an online component to what I do. I love being at home, I love spending time with my dogs, I love coffee and when you can put it all together – it’s GOLD.
- I love to write. I really do. I have loved writing my thoughts, feelings, and translating life messages to you each week in my confessions. And I thank you for writing to me when it is something that connects with you or something you found really funny. As part of my future, I want to find more outlets to write whether that’s a book, an e-book, a contributing author, or submitting articles to online outlets.
- I love to learn. I listen to at least one podcast a day, read at least one article every day and am voracious about learning and bringing ideas in and then determining how to best translate the information to you for your benefit. The flexibility I have to listen and read at different points throughout my day has really enhanced my learning.
- I love to learn (see #6) but I struggle with taking action based on the learning. A lot of it I’m sure is fear based (What if it doesn’t work?) But maybe…… What if it does work??? When I reflect on the last year I realize that I hold myself back. I have had the same burning ideas for the last year but seem to have a hard time taking action. Now that I have had some time to reflect on this, I can change it going forward. In my second year, my challenging goal is to stretch myself, network with new people, reach out more and get out of my professional comfort zone.
- I have never been more in tune with my body. And because of this, I’m paying close attention to stress, rest, and recovery and how it plays into all of our lives. I was running on empty for the last 9 years and now I can tell if my body needs a day off of working out, if it needs a nap, if I need a sauna, and how to respect my body. This is huge.
- Listen to your heart and your gut. I have always gone through my life based on gut feelings. It’s how I decided on my college, moving to MN, jumping off cliffs and buildings, and waking up one day ready to leave my job and create a new life. When your body, mind, and soul speak to you – LISTEN. It is likely pointing you in the right direction.
- I can do it! If you had asked me two years ago if I could go into business on my own I would have said NO WAY. But like #9 says, my gut finally told me I was ready. Now I know I can and I’m ready to shake things up in year 2, really go outside my perceived limits, and change more lives.
There are so many more things I learned, but those are the top 10. I’ve also written about in my popular New Year’s Eve Confession about how we don’t celebrate ourselves enough. So I want to also take a moment and celebrate my top 5 things.
The Top 5 Things I want to Celebrate
- I made enough money to pay all the bills. All jokes aside, this is huge. I didn’t have a big savings cushion to lean on and I didn’t have a plan. But my gut told me I could do it and all the bills have been paid.
- I consistently wrote a Tuesday Confession for the last 44 weeks straight without missing one. Coming up on one complete year of blogging and creating content to share is a huge accomplishment….. And I haven’t run out of ideas yet!
- I have tried things and failed. I’m not going to give you all the nitty gritty details but failing is often better than succeeding because you truly learn. What did I do right? What did I do wrong? Can I change it? Can I change myself?
- I ran a 10 day e-mail course last fall and had great feedback. I had no idea if it would work or if people would like it.
- I completed my personal goal of 50 miles and surviving 24 hours at World’s Toughest Mudder last November. Without the change in lifestyle, I’m not sure I would have been as successful.
I want to finish with a peek into my goals for year 2. I have honored to have you on this journey with me and I can’t wait to build on the lessons from year one.
The Top 5 Goals for Year 2
- Create and launch the Strong.Fit.Teen.Life program for teen girls (and maybe boys!). Workshops, an e-book, and eventually an online component.
- More e-mail courses. 2-3 per year. Helping people more intimately on health, wellness, and mindset.
- Networking. Yes I said the dreaded word. First step – get over the word connotation. Second – find other professionals in my area of health, wellness, vitality, and network. It’s time to get out of my bubble and realize that clients don’t just appear. (although sometimes they do!)
- Attend a professional conference or two. Again – out of my comfort zone and completely scary.
- Pay more taxes next year. AKA… make more money. Have positive year over year growth.
I went back and found my email called “The First Day” from April 1, 2015 and I have linked to it HERE. (I hope that link works – I tried a new trick). It is interesting to go back and read. It’s a good reminder that life doesn’t always go as planned. There’s also a hilarious picture of me on the first day of kindergarten – denim jumpsuit and all.
If you have missed any of the Tuesday Confessions – head over to the blog. This link will take you to the very first one.
And last but NOT LEAST a huge shout out to JR and Zak who welcomed me and all of you to Relative Strength as our new home for working out and training. I love being able to work in a smaller more intimate space with new and exciting toys. Next time you are in- make sure to give them a huge thank you.
As a KICK OFF for Year 2 I will be offering a SPriNG CLEAN your Life 10 day e-course starting Monday April 18th. This will be a daily email and video with the goal of helping you to clear your life and create space: your closet, refrigerator, mind, body, food, nutrition and so much more. I hope you will join me and invite your friends to join in. Details to come next week.
Thank you for everything.