2017 was a big year for me, both personally and professionally.
I learned a lot, struggled a lot, made way more money, and finally got real with who I was as a person. I got honest about what I needed to be happy and stopped hiding behind my computer screen. I started taking care of myself, both mentally and physically, and realized that imperfection is authentic - not weak.
Even in my writing, I've realized I need to stop worrying about being professional or well-spoken. I need to stop agonizing over the grammar and word choice. I need to be me. I need to be real. Because I can't really help anyone if I'm not allowing my true self to shine through into my business.
Taking your own advice can be hard. I've been telling my clients for years that they need to be authentic, genuine, and put people first. Yet here I am, crippled with fear about doing my first FB Live video. It literally took me two hours of sitting here at the kitchen table to work up the courage to click that damn button and just do it.
It's awkward as hell, but I did it. The next live video I did after that was literally 1,000x better.
So a lot of things lined up for me in 2017, and I'd like to explain how I finally started to enjoy this insane journey. I went from feeling stress on bust 100% of the time, to finally embracing and actually enjoying the volatility, ups and downs, and struggles that come along with choosing this path.
Because if you're miserable as hell all the time, what is the point? Seriously.
In a nutshell, here is what I changed. A lot of it has to do with mindset, and my theme of getting my shit together in my personal life shall continue. I truly believe that being a disaster personally is what held me back in my biz for so long.
- Admit that things are not okay. Stop trying to look perfect and create this fake image that you have everything together. It's okay - none of us do. Any entrepreneur who claims to is lying.
- Stop lying to yourself. And stop lying to your family. If you're not honest with yourself, above all else, you can't improve. If you can't acknowledge where the issues are, you will never be able to fix them.
- Figure out what you need to be happy, in both your business and personal life. I spent waaaaaay too long being unhappy in my personal life. I always put myself on the backburner and felt my happiness and health was less important than everyone else's. Once I started demanding more for myself, my life as I knew it started to crumble. A 10-year marriage fell apart. But you know what? When everything seems like it's falling apart, it might just be everything falling into place. That's exactly what it was for me. Once I admitted things were not okay, the ball just kept rolling. I have no regrets and now live a life on my own terms that truly fulfills me.
- Get crystal clear on what you want out of your business? WHY are you doing this, anyway? It can't be for the money. That's just not worth the stress. For me, it was for the freedom. The freedom to do what I love, make my own schedule, and only work when I chose to. I've always made a terrible employee because I'm just too independent and don't like rules, but that works to my advantage now.
- Remind yourself about that WHY on a daily basis. You could easily throw this all away and go back to a regular job with a consistent paycheck. But you won't. Why? Remember what you're getting out of this, and the stress suddenly seems worth it.
- Be okay with making sacrifices. If your business is really that important to you, understand that anything worth doing requires sacrifice. Whether it's lifestyle, traveling, or living in a dump for a few years, you need to accept that short-term sacrifices are WORTH IT and will give you the stability you need to keep moving forward. If you can't afford $3,000/month rent in your fancy apartment, get rid of it. It's only for now. Removing that financial stress from your life will give you the emotional and financial bandwidth to live on less and let go of those expectations.
- Stop comparing yourself to everyone else. Again, most of what you see online is fake anyway. No one made $1,000,000 on their first webinar, and you won't either. Be the best version of yourself, and focus on what makes you different and valuable. Ignore anyone who isn't serving you as support or inspiration.
- Find a support system. Whether it's your spouse, sister, best friend, or online community, you MUST reach out to other people who get what you're going through. There are plenty of us out there, so go find them. You can't do this alone, and there is no good reason to try. Mental health issues run rampant in entrepreneurs, and we need to rely on each other for support and to get through the bad days/weeks/months.
- Get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Growth requires change, and change is hard. Don't fight it - embrace it.
I work with established businesses and entrepreneurs to create the strategy, systems, and content they need to start ATTRACTING their ideal clients.
Content Strategist & Coach
Founder of Malamax Content Marketing