We just crossed the finish line of being full-time entrepreneurs for six months. If you are new here, I started my business in January of 2020, gave myself a one-year challenge to make it come to life, hired a coach (with no business or income), launched a podcast, and the rest is history. I did do a more detailed recap on how I decided to eventually leave my job in this post
if you are interested.
Today, I thought it would be fun to share a few lessons learned as we turned the corner as a family as full-time business owners. My husband works for me and also is a realtor, so our livelihood financially is pretty much all dependent on us. But the freedom it has brought has been nothing that I could have ever imagined.
3 Lessons I've Learned Being a Full-Time Entrepreneur
- Choose faith over fear. I vividly remember the first Monday in January that the girls were back in school and I did not have my corporate job. I had pictured this day for MONTHS. But it felt awkward and weird and super uncomfortable. If I am being honest, it took me almost a full quarter to get into the groove of owning my own schedule day. And that was scary. I was used to having my entire day pretty much planned for me and had to re-teach myself that I didn't have to conform to the 9-5 window. It was like I was reprogramming my brain for over 20 years. The first few days I would wake up and feel like I had to work non-stop because I was programmed to think that hard work = income. I had to prove to myself that focused intention would get me much further and that it was OK to have some whitespace and downtime.
We also made a few business decisions as a family, like reinvesting some of our income into some backend systems, hiring a team, and hiring coaches. This was scary because while getting help felt good, it also felt selfish. I kept thinking this was money I could give back to our family. I had to have faith in the flow of investing and truly reset my money mindset. I woke up for the first 3-4 months listening to money mantras and trusted that the outflow of money to build our business would bring an inflow back in.
Long story short, you have to believe in what you are doing and why you are doing it, despite how awkward it feels and despite what you have been programmed to do in the past. Know that changing your habit pattern takes time.
Do More with Less
- You can do more with less. Now I know that I just said we hired a team, and a coach and invested in outsourcing, but as a family, we chose the time freedom over other investments. This meant taking a look at all those Amazon purchases and realizing that I didn't NEED all the stuff. We really focused on trying to simplify things as a family from a spending perspective. Something you can do both personally and for your business.
We looked for ways to stretch our income further AND brainstormed ways to create multiple streams of income. (Pst I did a whole post on this here.) Ask yourself questions. Do I really need this? Can this wait? How can I reuse what I have? And if you want to invest, pick one thing at a time. My best friend always makes fun of me because I LOVE a hardcover book. And I LOVE to write in them. But what if I just made the simple switch to getting a book at the library? Considering I read 2-3 books a month, that's over $500 in savings!
Example #2: my kids don't need 12 water bottles and 800 lego sets. In fact, they actually love sitting and playing cards (currently playing War which is the longest card game ever) over the 'stuff'. I think for us, the biggest lesson was to just slow down to look at what we were buying. Yep, I still love a good pair of Madewell jeans, but I just need one pair considering most days I don't leave the house. Not 10. We paired everything down, cleaned everything out, and got a good handle on what was coming in and out. (Side note, every time I get organized in my personal life, it always has a ridiculously positive effect on business - you should try it!)
How can you do more with less? What are you saying yes to? How does that align with your financial goals? And most importantly, how are you tracking it? (we TRACK everything down into the penny!)
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The Biggest Growth Tool in My Business
- Network. Networking has hands down been the biggest growth tool in my business. (Just read last week's post). When I left my corporate job I left behind a 20+ year network. My LinkedIn Profile had over 5,000 connections that had NO idea what my new business was. So I went all in on networking. Here's where I focused:
- How many people could I meet locally? (hint if you followed along with our retreat the last few weeks, you know that some of my best business friends are now local - but we met on social media!) Who can you connect with in person?
- How many people could l support? I went into the year with the goal to help as many people as possible. Whether it be from a client/coach perspective OR promoting others. How can you help promote other women in your same space? I truly believe there is a place for all of us.
I'll close with life is too short to not live it. Remember -
“The only impossible journey is the one you never begin.” Tony Robbins
Yes, I had a good job and I didn't hate it, but I knew in my heart I could do more. Are you holding yourself back? Are you too comfortable in your current role? Comfort is your biggest trap. And coming out of your comfort zone is your biggest challenge.
If you chose faith over fear, leaned into doing more with less, and made it a point to be surrounded by powerful women (i.e. your network) who want to help you as much as you want to help them, how would that feel? Whatever your goals are, stepping out of your comfort zone and taking a leap of faith will take you further than you ever imagined.
What are your lessons learned over the last six months? I'd love to hear them.
Looking for more on this topic and your High-Level Action items? Check out the Strategy Lab in the Crush the Rush Club!