Define Success on Your Own Terms!

Define Success on Your Own Terms!

Have you ever stopped to ask yourself, “what does success looks like for me and my business?”

It's not always a question we take time to really think about or analyze at any depth.  But if you haven't really thought about it, you could be making a mistake for you and your business.

When you start with the end in mind, you can build a business that supports the life you want to live and allows you to define your own version of success.

When I was going through my downsizing journey and tiny house adventure, I spent a lot of time analyzing what made me happy and started getting really clear on what I wanted out of life.

Although I had started life with a very conventional view of what success looked like, my attitude and views shifted as I started downsizing.  I went from wanting the traditional American Dream (you know a good degree, secure job, happy marriage, nice house and a dog) to wanting my own dream that looked a little different than what others said I should want.

Success was a lot less about accumulating all the trappings of a "successful" life and a lot more about collecting experiences that added value to my life. I was clear on who I was and what I wanted, and that was an incredibly liberating experience.

SO imagine my surprise when I realized that my vision of success for my business had been hijacked by the "experts" in the coaching and business world...after all I just KNEW I wanted to create a million dollar business.  If I could earn that much money, my business would be a success!

UGH...why is it so easy to get sucked into the conventional image of success?

I had bought into the lie that my business was only successful if it was generating a certain amount of income.  Now don't get me wrong, most of us build businesses to create at least some profit.  Otherwise we would just have expensive hobbies, but why I had decided that success was tied to the revenue my business generated?

Luckily, I realized pretty early in my business journey, that the income generated by my business was only part of the success equation.  I also realized I didn't need to earn seven figures to be completely satisfied.

Today my version of business success looks a little different.

Success is being able to use my skills and gifts on a daily basis and feel completely in alignment with my purpose and passion.

I'm proud of the clients I have worked with and I get immense joy from watching them move forward with their businesses.

I am reminded that success is living authentically and in alignment with my values even in my business adventures.

As your virtual coach, I want to keep you from ever falling into the trap of chasing a particular income goal without being really clear on the why behind it.  Today I challenge you to really identify what success looks like in your life and business.  Answer the following questions to get really clear on your version of success.

1. How much does your dream life really cost?

I had a coach that once challenged me to map out my ideal life and then associate a dollar amount with it.  It was an incredibly powerful exercise.

I dreamed as big as I could!  I imagined living every day in alignment with my values and having the financial resources to pursue my dreams and goals.  It turns out that the number I needed from a financial perspective was significantly less that one might imagine.  It turns out that my dream life doesn't require seven figures, or even half of that.

Take the time to map out what success would look like for you and your family and put a dollar amount to all the things you want to do.

If you want to build your dream home, take vacations three times a year or pay for all your children's college expenses, great!  Figure out what those things cost and create a plan.

It turns out that most of us don't have 7 figure dreams, and therefore don't need 7 figure business to be successful.  If your dream life does require a 7 figure income, that's okay least you know what you are shooting for and more importantly why that number will allow you to be successful in business.

2. How do you want to spend your time?

It's also important to figure out what success looks like in terms of a time commitment in your business.   How do you want to spend your days?  What activities give you joy?  How much time do you want to spend working on your business each day that works with the rest of your life?  What does your ideal day, week and month look like?

When I looked at these questions, I realized that I wanted to have time to work in my business, but I also wanted time to pursue my hobbies, spend time with my family and travel.  That picture of my ideal day, week and month gave me insight into what type of business model I needed to create to be content.

3. How can you build a business that helps you fund your dream life without consuming your life?

Once you have your income goals based on a realistic understanding of what your dream life looks like, you can begin to build your business offerings.

This is where you start deliberately planning how you are going to spend your time in your business to meet your financial goals.  It might mean that you spend a little more time on the business up front to create systems and programs that can fund your dream in the future.  Or maybe your business goals are always to have a side-hustle that gives you extra cash for those family vacations, but doesn't require 40 hours a week to run.

When I did this exercise I realized I didn't want to coach one-on-one for more than 5-10 hours a week. That meant I needed to focus on building group programs, online courses and speaking engagements to help build my ideal business.

Balance is going to look a little different for everyone, and it's okay for it to shift over time.  Don't get caught into believing the way you run your business now is necessarily how it's going to run in a year, 5 years or 10 years.  Create a plan for what fits into your life today and always be willing to adjust your business model as your priorities shift.

Hopefully, by taking a conscious look at what success looks like for you, you'll be able to build a business that you love to support the life you want to lead.

I'd love to hear your version of success.

Share your vision with us!

5 Things You Need to Know Before You Launch a Business

We all start on our entrepreneurial journey with excitement and enthusiasm.

We are passionate about the services we are offering, the products we are launching and the clients we are serving.

We are hopeful, joyful and optimistic. We talk about our business to anyone who will listen and we drive our friends and families crazy with discussion of branding, website development and marketing strategies (I know that’s not just me, right?)

Building a business is fun and rewarding.

It taps into our strengths and values in a way that most traditional jobs just don’t. It can fill us with anticipation and notebooks full of great ideas.

But if you are at all normal there will be a moment on your business journey where you will stop, look around and ask yourself, how on earth am I REALLY going to make this business work?”

I am guessing if you are like me and most of my clients, at some point in the first few months of business development you begin to wonder if you’ve made the right choice.

If like me, you left a secure job now is the time where you are really wondering what on earth you were thinking…I know I’ve been there!

Here’s the tough reality…launching your own business is one of the most rewarding, terrifying, frustrating and exciting ventures you will ever undertake. And there will always be moments of doubt.

The bad news is that the moments of doubt will probably always creep in regardless of where you are in your business.

The great news is that you can control your response and the outcome when you are faced with those little voices that make you wonder if you were crazy to start this journey.

5 things you need to know to build your own business:

Businesses are Built Around Relationships

One of the biggest struggles any entrepreneur has in the first few months of launching their business is finding clients (or at least Paying clients!)

Finding clients is HARD…no really hard….but don’t let that scare you!

In the coaching industry there is this misconception that once you complete your coach training and get certified somehow the clients will materialize. After all, the “experts” tell you just to have a few “real” conversations and clients will follow.

I can tell you that although there are probably some outliers who effortlessly fill their rosters it is likely because they have been cultivating relationships with their clients for years.

Finding clients and customers is hard, but if you focus on developing relationships and consistently deliver value, you will slowly gain traction in your business. Never forget that businesses are built around relationships.

You will probably feel lost and alone…a lot

Starting a new business takes courage and guts. It’s tough to launch a new business, even if it is in a proven industry with a proven business model.

There are going to be times where you wake up and feel tired, overwhelmed and quite frankly a little bit scared.

Just knowing that you are having a completely normal reaction to trying something new can help you not get stuck. Getting comfortable feeling a little bit stretched will help you navigate the unknown with confidence and enthusiasm.

Moments of doubt are normal…just remember to focus on your WHY behind your business and give yourself some grace when you’re feeling a little overwhelmed.

Consistent action is the most important thing!

We all launch our businesses with the expectation that every action is going to result in clients, sales and overall business progress.

The problem with this mentality is that when progress and sales are lagging behind the action it can be tough to keep moving forward.

One of my coaches once told me the difference between a successful coach and one that doesn’t make it in this industry is the committeemen to take consistent action. After almost a year in business I would add to this…I think the key to success is taking consistent action when you don’t feel like it and you aren’t seeing results!

So often I see other business owners try a new tactic for a few weeks and then completely shift directions when that doesn’t yield immediate sales results. I always try to remind myself (and my clients) that it takes time to develop those relationships and build momentum. If we are constantly changing directions, we never give our clients the time to develop a bond with who we are and what we are offering.

Create routines and plans to help you follow through with your ideas so you can maintain consistency even if it feels like the action isn’t producing the results you want.

Build a support team

One of the best things you can do for you business is to build a strong support team. This may include family members, friends and other industry experts.

Build a team that encourages you and cheers for you on the days you feel a little bit doubtful. I am incredibly blessed to have an amazing husband who is absolutely my biggest fan and who is always there with encouragement and support when I feel overwhelmed. You need a cheerleader…go find one!

You should also team up with other individuals in your industry that are at a similar place in business development. This team is invaluable for bouncing ideas off of, getting new ideas and generally acting as accountability partners to help you move forward.

I’d also recommend reaching out to coaches or industry experts in your field. It’s great to get support from peers, but it’s also vital to get the mentorship and advice from those who are a few steps ahead of you in business development. They can help you skip some of the mistakes they probably made and can often give you amazing advice in how to develop and grow a profitable business.

This is an amazing opportunity

Perhaps the most important thing for you to remember as you launch your business is that this is an AMAZING OPPORTUNITY!

Building your own business is an opportunity to use your skills and gifts in an authentic and powerful way.

It’s an opportunity to learn more about yourself and develop skills you probably wouldn’t have to learn in a “normal” job. Take advantage of all of the resources out there as you launch your business and be willing to learn from others.

Finally, never lose sight of the fact that your business is a beautiful reflection of you and what you value. Be bold and share your story. It’s an opportunity to connect in meaningful ways. When you share your story you will attract clients and customers that believe in you and your business and they will become your biggest fans.

Starting you own business is an amazing adventure. Like any good adventure it will have moments of victory and tiny defeats. One day you’ll feel unstoppable and the next day you might be in a pile of tears on the couch eating tortilla chips (okay, again maybe that’s just me!). But by taking a few simple actions, you can set yourself up for success and build the business and life of your dreams.

Until next time, pursue your passion and build your platform.

Are You A Reluctant Rebel?

I've never really thought of myself as a rebel.  In fact, most of my life I have been pretty content to be a rule follower.  

Then yesterday a friend of mine sent me a link to a podcast episode that challenged this view and gave me the courage to try something that feels totally overwhelming and terrifying (that's how I know I'm on the right track!).

It shifted the definition of rebel for me.  In the interview, they identified a rebel as someone that is always looking for new ways to do things, asking themselves "why not" and as someone that is in a constant state of learning.  And I suddenly thought to myself...maybe I'm a rebel...just a reluctant one. 

When I look back at my life, the moments where I chose the unconventional or rebelious path felt the most authentic, the most joyful and often the most in alignment with who I want to become.

It is true that I grew up as a rule follower.  My mom was a firm believer in following ALL the rules (well with the exception of sneaking candy into the movie theater because let's face it the prices they charge are ridiculous!)  But I also always looked for new ways to do things.

When I look back I think my inner rebel was encouraged to flourish in the 4th grade.  At the time I was in a class where we were given lots of problem solving challenges.  

One day our task was to move balloons from one side of the classroom to the other using only what our teacher had given us in an envelope.  I don't remember everything that was in the envelope, but I do remember THE pencil.

In the envelope was a fancy pencil that I thought was really cool.  I also thought it would work great as a set of "chop sticks" to pick up the balloons, so I quickly broke it in half.  My method worked well, and my team won the challenge.  

But I don't think my teacher ever intended for me to break her pencil (In fact it turns out that it was one of her favorites...sorry Mrs. Adkins!), but rather than critique this approach she praised me for thinking outside of the box and my inner rebel flourished.

But I'm not a natural rebel. I like rules. They make my life orderly and easy to navigate. It's probably part of why I joined the military, but at the same time I have chosen some pretty unconventional paths in my life.

When everyone else was buying bigger houses with fancier things I was selling 85% of what I owned and moving into a 234 square foot tiny house.  As most of my friends looked at how to create stability in their work life, I was quitting my full-time secure job and launching my own business.  And as I turned 40 I decided to tackle the toughest physical challenge I've ever undertaken by singing up for a half-ironman (I'll keep you posted on how that goes!).  None of these decisions really make sense on the surface.

And yet when I have followed my own heart and passions rather than following the "normal" path,  I feel alive and whole. I feel authentic, stretched and complete.

It's not that I think we should be rebels that throw out all the rules just because we want to be rebels, but I am learning to be a "reluctant rebel."  

To me being a reluctant rebel means working towards living boldly.  

It means making choices that might not make sense to those around you, but that are in alignment with your deepest passions and desires.

Being a reluctant rebel means ignoring the little voice inside that tells you "I'm not enough."  

It means stepping into your gifts and talents in a way only you can do.

It means sharing my message with other women because I believe they are amazing, powerful and influential.  

It means trying new things even when they feel scary or overwhelming.

Reluctant rebels aren't those breaking the rules simply to be disruptive, but instead are asking themselves the question, "why not?!?  

If you've ever had a "crazy" idea that popped into your head that made you feel whole, excited and terrified all at the same time then you might be a reluctant rebel in the making. 

Ask yourself, why not?  Why shouldn't you tackle that athletic endeavor you've always dreamed about? Why shouldn't you start your own business on the side to give you a sense of completeness and excitement?  Why shouldn't you launch that non-profit that you believe can make a difference in the world?  Why shouldn't you take a few months off of work and travel the world?  Why shouldn't you....

As I continue to build this business, I am feeling a shift.  A call to encourage women to embrace their inner rebel, love their story and share their gifts and talents with the world.  I would love it if you joined me.

I'd love to hear your "crazy" idea....

Add your comment below.....

IF only______________________ Then I would ___________________