ANNUAL REVIEW: LESSONS FROM THIS YEAR
I realize that mid-May probably seems like a weird time to do an annual review, but May was the month I originally quit my job to work on my business full-time, so May is a big month for me.
I’m a big believer in creating rituals that give you space to reflect. I like to have times on the calendar where I pause to take in the big picture, and I’d like to take the opportunity to reflect on what I’ve learned this year and share them with you.
This year was an insane year of growth for me personally and in my business, which are completely related. From May 2017 to May 2018, I grew my business 500%, meaning I made 5x as much revenue and served 5x as many clients.
Here are the 5 most important things I’ve learned this past year, in roughly the order I learned them:
#1 Stop Thinking Small (and Small is Relative)
When I started my business, it didn’t look like I was playing small to anyone else. I started my coaching practice working with lawyers, I came out of the gate charging more than many coaches do, and I was successful. But I didn’t want to just coach lawyers on work stress—there was so much deeper work I wanted to do.
Nine months ago, Rachel Rodgers lit a fire in me and got me to branch out immediately, and in the last 6 months, my business has tripled. Now my business is aligned with what I truly believe is my calling, which is to teach smart, feminist women the tools of their own liberation. I learned to not put off creating the life I really wanted, professionally or personally. What looks like success to other people doesn’t matter if you know you’re not doing everything you’re capable of and are here on this earth to do.
#2 Massive Action
The second thing I learned this year is that massive action is what you need to grow into the life you want. Being aligned with your purpose doesn’t mean sh*t if you don’t take some action. When I first created UnF*ck Your Brain, I had a nice, neat marketing plan to fill the first run of the program, and it did not work at all. It was a multi-thousand-dollar flop, in fact, but I still managed to have a 6-figure launch. How?
I took massive f*cking action! It didn’t matter what didn’t work—I just kept trying new things. This required the most self-coaching and emotional growth for me. It would have been easy to despair and retreat, but I coached myself constantly through those first few months, and I kept taking action until I figured out what worked.
#3 Self-Doubt Means Nothing
Self-doubt is always going to be around, and that’s ok. During the launch, my brain screamed at me that I was going to die. Even now, in my new world, it still has shit to say—I just no longer have an emotional reaction to it or let it hold me back. My brain tells me at least once a week that my current business structure isn’t going to work—EVEN THOUGH IT IS WORKING!
We’re so used to taking our doubt seriously. We assume having doubt means there’s a good reason to be doubtful, but it’s just like a record player stuck on an old track. The less you take your self-doubt seriously, the less it matters if it’s there or not. Your self-doubt has nothing to do with your ability to accomplish anything you want. It’s irrelevant, it’s unrelated, and the echo of it will probably always be there. So stop telling yourself you can’t go after your dreams until you feel confident about them!
#4 Money/Debt Mindset is Huge
One of the biggest things I’ve learned is to think about debt in a radically new way. All debt is not the same. There’s debt that generates a return on investment, and there’s debt that doesn’t. The only question you should ask before taking on debt or making a large expenditure is: What is the return on this investment?
What I have come to understand is that people who make a lot of money think about debt differently. It’s not moral, and it’s not emotional. It’s just a tool. The entire reason that debt exists is so people and businesses can borrow money that will help them make more of a return later.
#5 Being Uncomfortable Makes You Unstoppable
As you start to take more risks and step out of your comfort zone, the number of times you’ll want to chicken-out will go way up. The first day I worked up the idea for UFYB, I wanted to throw up the whole day. It meant admitting I wanted a bigger platform and vision. I had to learn how to talk about the value of my services in a different way, and I had to deal with more rejection. I had to deal with my own discomfort in pushing my clients to confront themselves and in giving up control. I was uncomfortable for about 4 months straight, and I’m still uncomfortable at least once a day.
The truth is when you’re willing to be uncomfortable, you can do anything. That’s when you can really be fearless. You must get comfy with the uncomfy, because the only thing standing between you and the life you want is your willingness to be uncomfortable.