It's officially New Year's Eve. What better time than to reflect on how the year has been than just a few hours before we ring in the new year!
In 2014 I was juggling a couple of side projects and I wasn't making the money I wanted from my businesses. I was relying on the steady stream income from a low paying college job and the small side income I had - yuck!
In 2015 things changed and I became a six-figure business owner.
Today I wanted to share with you five major lessons that I learned that allowed me to take it to the next (10x) level in my business.
1) Pivot When It's Not Working
Back in February I was running a pretty popular food blog - The No Fuss Vegan.
What made it successful?
- An ebook that was selling
- Paid workshops and programs that were selling
- A monthly reach of 500,000 on Pinterest
- A list of over 1200 people in just 6 months
- A Facebook group of over 1,000 foodies
One day I woke up and realized this food blog wasn't my calling. I loved cooking and I loved photography - but when they became my job, they seemed to suck the joy right out of me.
It was a bummer, but I had to let it go...
But in a wonderful twist of fate - giving up my food blogging allowed me to do what I REALLY loved - social media marketing and training.
If I hadn't given up food blogging to pursue may love affair with social media - I wouldn't have created a six-figure business in 2015 - I'd probably still be hustling to make it work.
Don't misread this - food blogging is a multi-million dollar industry - but for ME it wasn't working so I had to pivot. I was up to several hundred a month from that blog, and on track to earn more, but spiritually, I was being crushed.
In your journey when something doesn't work financially, mentally, emotionally, spiritually or otherwise - it's okay to pivot. Give yourself permission to move on.
I still miss food blogging from time to time - but leaving that blog behind was one of the best choices I've ever made.
Lesson #1: Sometimes walking away is hard to do, but it might be the right thing for you.
2) Take Risks - When It Feels Right To You
If you don't know - 2015 was filled with what some people might refer too as "high risk behaviors" for me.
I did the following:
- Spent thousands of dollars in online training
- Quit my job to pursue my business (after just 2 "successful" income months)
- Gave up paid tuition from my master's program
- Left school so I would have more time to focus on my personal growth
- Shut down a food blog and side business that was generating income (even thought it wasn't a ton)
- Stopped pursuing a direct sales business I was in that was also generating income
- Adopted a second dog during all this madness, and haven't regretted it yet
Dang... that's a lot of reckless behavior, am I right?
But to me - it was a low risk year, because behind all of these crazy decisions were:
- A well calculated budget that made all of my purchases "low risk"
- A good conversation with my education counselor with a "rentry plan" in case it didn't work out
- A completely stocked 6-month emergency fund
- A 4-month calculated profit plan to ensure success with Heart, Soul & Hustle
- Weekly accountability calls with mastermind groups & friends
- Support from personal friends and family (including an offer to move back home if needed)
Some people say the only way to make it in business is to burn the boats. To take these insanely crazy risks and give yourself no other choice but success. To walk away from everything and decided to fly or die.
I didn't do that - and I'm doing okay.
You see I realized that you have to find the balance between risk and fear. If I had burned the boats my anxiety would have been at full blast and I'd have been too terrified to operate the way I needed to in order to succeed.
However, I was able to take smart and calculated risks which gave me two options:
- Achieve greatness and have the life I've always wanted
- Give up and go back to monotony I was really beginning to hate
My desire to see the first option come to life and my vision were so strong that each day I had no choice but to continue to chase my dreams.
You want to have the kind of fear that pushes you forward, not the fear that scares you stiff.
Lesson #2: You don't have to burn the boat to take risks and achieve great things. Find a level of risk that scares you INTO action, not a level of risk that puts you in a state of paralysis.
3) Spend Money Without Fear
2015 was the year of learning and application. I spent money working with a consultant at $500/hr (just for one hour, but still haha), I took a few courses, I hired multiple designers and contractors. I had to really spend money so I could make money.
Spending money used to bring me fear and that fear that would stop me from moving forward. In 2015 I learned I need stop being emotionally attached to dough. (But I'm still working on this).
When you're afraid to spend money you overthink the things you need or you flat out just don't buy them. Both are a waste of time and resources in the long run.
I decided to create a mantra that allowed me to abandon most or all of the fear that comes with buying expensive things:
Let's say I buy a $500 digital course, before I make the purchase - I say, feel, and embrace the following mantra "No matter what happens, this will be a $500 lesson I can't learn any other way..."
You see if that course proves to be a quality course and I make my money back and then some, it taught me the $500 worth of training I needed from it and it was the only place to get that EXACT set of information.
If the course ends up being total crap and I lose $500, I'll experience the learning that comes with a mistake like that, and the only way to learn that lesson was with this mistake.
Trippy... but true!
So don't be afraid to drop money on the things you need.
But don't use this mantra to be reckless.
This is for the tools and trainings you know you need, but you mentally talk yourself out of.
Lesson #3: All money spent provides you with a valuable lesson, stop being afraid of spending money on the things you need.
4) Have a Vision For Success
What do you want for your life and your business. And don't go spouting off number, or an income level, or a launch...
I mean, what do you REALLY want?
I sat back in 2015 and realized yeah, I totally wanted to make a hundred grand this year, but I wanted way more than that.
I wanted to be able to hop on a plan at the drop of a hat for vacation (done), I wanted to be able to spend more time with my pups (done), and most importantly I wanted to not be stressed about having enough money in the bank to be financially stable (done).
You see, money is secondary to the things we really want and the things that make us happy - so you need to figure out what that is.
When I was creating my flagship Periscope Marketing Course Rock Your Scopes I was pulling 12-16 hour days of non-stop work. I also had a good cry in a Starbucks bathroom (I'm seriously going to have to do a blog on that some day). But what kept me going was my larger vision of success.
In between the sweat and tears I had to remind myself I am doing this because I WANT to have the means to live the life I want. That vision kept me going.
Lesson #4: Income goals are awesome, but having a vision for your life helps you get through the major struggles that come with doing business.
5) Find People to Support You
This year I met AMAZING people who support me and want to move me closer towards my vision (and I want to support them the same way).
I've found mentors, coaches, and friends that have done amazing things for me! This year I connected with:
- A self proclaimed "business wife" who is always there to simmer me down during mini freakouts
- A business bestie who calls me on my stuff, is willing to joke with me, and has gotten me out of several tight squeezes
- A new friend who let me crash on his couch in LA just so I could have a baller vacation
- Another new friend who loves to just talk and chat and have fun - even though we're 1500 miles apart
- An amazing mentor who has provided me amazing insights on launching, business and branding
- And many, many, more...
Here's the thing, this awesome people didn't just fall into my life - I actively went out searching for them! Your posse isn't going to just show up one day after you become a super star.
Shameless Plug: The #HeartHustlers group on Facebook is the group I run and has (to date) over 2,400 amazing online entrepreneurs that are here to support each other to success - it's FREE to join, so get on it!
Go out and join programs, hit up events, seek mentorship. I've found that the more work I do on myself while actively networking - the more amazing people I bring into my life.
You need a system of support for the days of self doubt, the days of struggle, and of course for the days of BIG celebration (there will be a lot of those)!
Lesson #5: Take an active role in surrounding yourself with people who love and support you and your vision.
Bonus: Learn From Experts
Every chance that I get - I study an expert in my field.
If you want to take your business to the next level you have to study someone who's at the next level. I've taken paid courses, webinars, workshops and attended live events in order to level up my business and my knowledge.
I added this little bonus tip for two reasons:
- I've gotten amazing insights this years from programs, mentors, and more that have allowed me to hit six-figures in my business this year!
- On January 5th I'm putting on a FREE training with Tim Paige who's an EXPERT on list building over at LeadPages - one of the BEST listbuilding tools of all time - and I wanted to invite you to join! Click the Image below to sign up:
I hope to see you on the webinar!
Here's to the close of an amazing 2015, and the start of an EPIC 2016.
Happy New Year