2018 A Year of Discovery: My Freshman Year of Entrepreneurship
I have become a big proponent of reviews...I have a daily, weekly, monthly, and now an annual review! They help me take stock of what's been working, what hasn't, and what I am setting my sights on for the coming year.
(see video at end of this post on how to start your review process!)
I keep this pretty simple, for whatever time period I’m reflecting on, I answer these questions:
What went well?
What didn’t go so well (and what did I learn)?
What am I working towards?
Let’s dive into 2018, shall we?
What went well last year?
I generated income! I know that seems weird coming from someone who launched a business, but when I first began getting paid as an entrepreneur, it was a huge thrill. My confidence started to build, I stopped trying to sabotage myself and make things harder (it means more if it’s hard is a limiting belief that I finally let go of). Entrepreneurship is hard enough! While I leapt in with both feet, eyes wide open, giddy with excitement, I found that I was borderline clueless as to what it would take. Not that I have it all figured out now, but I can say I’m much more savvy.
I earned my ACC. I am not sold on credentials, degrees, and other symbols of formal training to determine if someone is qualified to do what they do or not. But, truth be told, this time it felt really great. Maybe because coaching means a lot to me. Regardless, I am very proud to have earned this professional milestone.
We moved to Sonoma. My husband and I have wanted to live in Northern California since we visited for his birthday 9 years ago. What I love about Nor Cal is it is a blend of all my favorite worlds: it’s a little bit New England, a little bit Wisconsin, and all California.
To do this, while running a business, was one of the most challenging and unsettling times I have ever experienced (I almost put this in the ‘not so well’ category too!), but to be in an environment I love was oh-so worth all of it.
I invested in my own coach. This was huge. I cannot remember the last time I invested in something for me. Not only was this helpful for my business, but it led to a level of personal development that I haven’t experienced ever (although that is the true essence of coaching).
Plus, I built a super-strong cohort of colleagues who are all in this crazy adventure with me. Without their support, I’m not sure I’d come this far.
Since it was my first year, a lot happened, here’s a few more wins:
I built my own website. It has gone through sooooo many revisions as I learned, but I’m flat out amazed at myself for putting this together. This is coming from the person who still wishes for ctrl/alt/delete on her Mac.
I improved my relationships: with my husband, my family, and two big ones: myself and money. I can now say I love all of these, there were never any doubts on the first two 😉.
Commitment: There is no room for wishy washy-ness. It doesn’t matter if you feel like it or not, if you want to make it doing anything, start by doing what you said. That means everyday, every task. This newfound level of commitment trickled over into all areas, helping me become mentally and physically stronger…a must for me.
What didn’t go so well last year (and what did I learn)?
Business growth was very slow. Since I have run successful businesses my entire life, I thought I’d figure this entrepreneurship thing out lickety split. What I learned is that my coaching business was an extension of me, that was a different story.
I had to stand in that space of confidence and clarity, for my clients and for all of you, and if I didn’t, it showed. I learned to trust my skills and knowledge, to wear many hats and wear them well, and not get caught up in questioning my actions so much. The key: it was time to let performance anxiety and ego go. While my business is an extension of me, it is not about me. I slowed down, listened better, became present, tried, failed, and then tried some more. Seth Godin says it best: “What if we stopped trying to be seen and learned to see instead?”
I really didn’t understand sales (even after being on 100% commission in past jobs). Not many people raise their hand when asked if they ‘like sales’. I am more in the middle: don’t hate it, don’t love it. But, when you’re an entrepreneur, it’s one of the many jobs you sign up for. I found that I was incredibly hesitant on this part of my business.
What I learned is that everyone is doing their own thing, if I don’t reach out and generate interest, I can’t help anyone. I can’t have the impact I want to have on America’s workplaces, on people’s lives, and I can’t (and won’t) have a business that way. Now, I just focus on helping people become better leaders, everything else falls into place.
I got very used to rejection. This was tough on the kid who excelled at everything. When this started, I took it in stride. When it continued, I got borderline defeated. When I began to listen to what those no’s were telling me…I started to get yes’s. Now, a no just means I put myself out there to ask, it helps me clarify my marketing and become a better businesswoman. I still get a lot of no’s and celebrate them….and do like Ariana Grande: thank u, next.
What am I working towards this year (and how will I make it happen)?
Helping my clients win. I’ve always, always, found joy seeing people I’m responsible for become more confident, experience new success, and feel immense pride about what they contribute and create for themselves in this world. My intention this year is to continue expanding on ways I can do that. This means continuing to improve my own skills, create more ways for people to learn, and partnering with kindred spirits to make a bigger difference.
Growing my audience. My husband had a really good friend who was an incredibly talented musician. But we were one of the few people who knew. If I want to change how people experience work so they can feel fulfilled and purposeful, I need to build a tribe of people that my practices and strategies resonate with.
This past year, I showed up a little bit everywhere. Going forward, I am doing the things I learned I love. You’ll probably see some experimenting with 5 minute YouTube videos, continued weekly Facebook lives, live workshops and webinars, guest blogging and guest podcasting, and in person speaking events.
Goal setting and planning. I have been a very poor goal setter in the past. And an even worse planner. I had fallen into the trap of being busy, doing whatever was in front of me, and not even fully completing that before thinking “ok, what next.”
2019 is going to have a much more strategic approach. For someone who used to just shrug when asked where she wanted to be in 5 years, this is a major shift.
This year, I have set goals that are reverse engineered…written down with steps! I know you hear all the time to write down your goals. It’s not just so you see them visually, which does help, but it forces your brain to figure out the how. We all know the what that we want, but having the steps to how, now that’s a game changer.
What is this year's theme?
Ahhhh 2019. I have never been so stoked. This year’s theme is Presence. Slowing down, giving my full attention to the task at hand, really listening, and achieving more by doing less.
I love what I do as a coach. I have since learned to love being an entrepreneur. I am honored I have the opportunity to earn my living this way while having a positive impact on people’s lives.
I am so looking forward to this ride, so grateful to have you along with me, and cannot wait to see what we both do with it.
With love and gratitude,