YEAR IN REVIEW: LESSONS LEARNED 2018-2019
Chances are if you’re reading this, you’re invested in your own growth.
It’s what led most of us to thought work, isn’t it? The acknowledgment that we didn’t want to stagnate with our thoughts – and ourselves – as we were. It’s also the defining characteristic of my business.
This month closes out UnF*ck Your Brain’s third year in business, and that time has been marked by exponential growth.
One year ago, I was the only employee. I had a part-time virtual assistant and a few independent contractors. I’d made about $450k in revenue, a number which surpassed even my wildest dreams for myself at the time.
Today, I have a full-time employee, a part-time virtual assistant, and about a dozen independent contractors who help with various aspects of the business.
I also brought in just under 1.3 million in revenue last year, and have just launched a monthly membership program, the Clutch (more on that later – but seriously, check it out, this sh*t will change the world).
It’s been a big year. The business has doubled in size in every way possible, and I’ve learned some lessons about growth that have carried over into all aspects of my life.
1. What you can imagine now is nothing near what you can actually achieve.
Your current dreams are limited by your current mindset. So when you are dedicated to growth and taking massive action in your life, it’s important to constantly re-evaluate your thoughts and see if they’re still working for you.
This is true wherever you’re at in the process – whether you’re struggling with confidence or whether you’re looking to manage a multi-million dollar company.
I’ve learned to manage my mind and now I absolutely believe in myself – my capabilities, my skills, my willingness to fail and learn, and my ability to manage my mind even if I doubt myself.
But even so, my dreams are limited by whatever my current set of thoughts are.
When I started my business, my big goal was to replace my $150,000 law salary in my third year in business.
After my first year, I was on track for this goal – I’d made $50,000! I was pretty thrilled!
But when I hit that $50,000 mark and explored my thoughts, I realized I could do MUCH more than that.
And wouldn’t you know? My second year in business, I made about 8x that.
And then in my third year in business, I made over $1.2 million.
What seemed impossible 3 years ago now seems obvious, and I’m continuing to work on my thoughts so my next goal – $5 million in revenue in a year – doesn’t seem so crazy.
Wherever you are in your journey, your brain will take what you’ve accomplished as the default and will want you to doubt that you can progress.
Imagine you start with the thought “I can’t build a business because I don’t know how.”
You work on a ladder thought like “I can learn how to build a business.”
That ladder thought feels pretty good! It even leads to positive action for you. It gets you off your butt, maybe you read some books, try different things in your business, and are less afraid of failure.
Over time, though, that thought becomes second nature and you stop thinking about it.
And then eventually, it can start to hold you back. It’s like you climbed a ladder and assumed you were at the summit…but really, you just made it to a landing.
Because the thought “I’m learning how to do this” may be a great step up from “I can’t do this,” but it still means you are showing up as a bit tentative, doubting yourself and believing you don’t yet know the answer.
Eventually, that can hold you back.
The way you feel and act if your thought is “I know exactly what to do for my business” is very different from “I’m learning how to build a business.”
In one of them, your business exists and you have expertise. In the other, your business isn’t quite real yet and you’re a novice.
See the difference? It’s important to keep setting ambitious goals and re-evaluating your thoughts to make sure you haven’t reached a thought plateau, and that your thoughts aren’t holding you back.
2. Whatever skill set you needed to get to where you are now will become useless, and you’ll need an all-new one to grow further.
This has direct application to being an entrepreneur but it also holds true for life.
I was discussing metaphors for being an entrepreneur with a former client, and we settled on “it’s like you’re parachuting out of a plane and every time, you have to sew the parachute on the way down…but you don’t know how to sew, so you have to learn how to do that while you’re falling, too.”
In business and in life, we have to constantly shed our current self in order to grow and evolve into our next level.
The whole premise of managing your mind is that thoughts lead to certain emotions, which will lead to certain actions for you. This means that your thoughts will create the results in your life.
Whatever thoughts you have now have created your current results.
So, if you want to create a different result, you will need new thoughts.
By definition, the thoughts that got you here won’t work to get you there.
This is true even if you like where you’re at right now!
I love my business right now. I have lots of great thoughts about it.
But the thoughts that got me to $1 million and 2 employees won’t get me to $5 million and 10 employees.
So every time you want to grow your business (or your life!), you have to jump out of the plane again.
It can be challenging to let go of what you know works, but the truth is, there is no “arriving.” What you have acquired is not the endgame or the prize.
The journey is the prize.
Your growth is the prize.
And you have to be willing to let go of who you are now to grow into who you can be.
3. It’s crucial to surround yourself with people who are doing this work, too.
The most important investment I make every year is in coaching and mentoring for myself.
It’s more important than anywhere else I can spend money in my business or personal life.
When I first discovered thought work, I did a lot of self-study.
But once I found a community of other people doing thought work, it changed EVERYTHING.
It is invaluable for me to be a part of a community of people who are committed to living intentionally and managing their minds.
I need coaching when my brain tries to kill me.
I need people around me who don’t have my own self-imposed mental limitations and who can see the possibilities for me and my business, far beyond what my current thoughts can see.
The big surprise has been that the value of community doesn’t lessen as I grow – it grows, too. I always want to be surrounded by people who are committed to taking responsibility for their own lives.
I’m so grateful to be surrounded by friends and colleagues who are invested in managing their minds, and students and clients who are learning to do so. Because we’re all in it together, holding each other accountable and supporting each other’s growth.
I looked around me at the start of this year and realized that my listeners and followers needed that community too. And comments on an Instagram post weren’t enough.
That’s why I created the Clutch, which launched this week.
The Clutch is an online feminist coaching community of women who are taking responsibility for their growth and who want to help you see your blind spots and grow and evolve and learn.
It will teach you how to liberate yourself from the inside out by creating true, authentic confidence in your own heart and mind.
And most importantly, you will do so in a community of women – because feminism isn’t just about being an individual. It’s about a movement.
Join the movement here.