3 Things I've Stopped Doing To Not Sabotage My 2017 Business Growth #OverIt
In business, there is nothing certain --only our creativity.
While the rest of the world plans out their entire 2017, I'm just happy I made it through the year of "Letting it flow".
I made a promise to myself last year. "Stop planning every eye-blink, nose run and head-scratch, Tennile." I was going to follow through on the things I started in 2015. I was going to play the hand I was given and let the chips fall where they may.
From 2014 to 2015 I ended my full-time non-profit job, was wrapping up an I.T. Professional Program, in an intense 1-year Business Mastermind, getting featured in multiple online publications and doing every acrobat to build my clientele (with a melting pot of advice from online gurus).
I was also drained, exhausted, tired and a little sleep-deprived from it. #NoDaysOff
I held that mantra tightly to my chest. #NoDaysOff
There is only so long you can chant such a sadistic tune. It left no room for my creative side. And you kinda need creativity to be a Creative Copywriter. When everything was jam-packed into my calendar, how could I allow those inspirational light bulb moments or the freedom to make mistakes?
When such basic necessities like mortgage, gas, and eating --were the prime focus in my business' infant stage.
So, just like in 2016, I've given up on planning EVERYTHING.
God laughs at those who do (he certainly busted a gut laughing at me). I'm sniper shooting a few things I put on my plate in year's past. A cleansing of sorts to make room for the creative new.
1. Stop Shacking Up With Guilt #NoGuilt2017
Oh, you thought, it was tangible things I'm giving up. No sir/ma'am.
"Understand who you truly are, and what kind of vocation or career you feel called to do." - Robert Greene of Mastery.
When I left my full-time non-profit job back in 2014 I felt guilt around wanting more. Leaving relationships behind and choosing me. I've had to stop feeling all of the guilt for wanting more. When you're an employee you have a yearly salary and at your yearly review, for some, you have to negotiate why you should get an increase.
I want monthly increases.
I don't think I should have to wait a year or until I have a few degrees under my belt to justify keeping a job.
I don't want to apologize for living a certain lifestyle either.
That first year being self-employed I felt I had to apologize for choosing a life that offered a little more wiggle room and extraordinary opportunities. I work more hours and longer days to get these opportunities being self-employed but usually people only fantasize about the freedom of quitting. Now, I want to be very clear. The guilt I'm talking about --I put on myself. I should have enjoyed the fruits of my labor without having an inch of remorse.
Like the day, I went to the jacuzzi the same time people were heading to their 9-5. The maintenance man pointed out I should be so lucky to afford such a luxury while others had to work. It's a choice, was my response. On both ends. I choose, hot water pulsating on every part of my body at daybreak.
What some gloss over is I'm still working while they're commuting home, making dinner and watching The Voice. It can be annoying for those in my world but it's the life I CHOSE.
Know thyself and there will be no guilt for being yourself.
2. Stop Living as an Underearner
Still working through this one every day.
I went from charging $20 for copywriting to $2,000 a project. That's a big leap. Think about the mindset I had to be at to only value myself at $20??
Working in non-profit for over 10 years can have you questioning your value.
You are constantly being sold; do more, for less pay. And the only reasoning they can provide is "It's a government funded program and we have to be responsible with how we spend the money". If you're not careful, you could end up doing the work of 5 people with the pay of an Intern.
It's a mental exercise more than anything.
That means doing the work. The work looks like taking an unbias inventory of your skills, assets, past achievements, and deficits. The work looks like pushing the boundaries when you hit a wall. The work looks like investing in yourself through business conferences, self-improvement reading and staying abreast of new trends. The work requires you to check yourself on a regular basis.
If I'm going to make those monthly income jumps, I gotta believe in my value. I gotta know I am worth it. That is directly linked to my self-esteem and I only have two emotions on either day.
I am so great or I want to hide under the sheets.
Quite literally the morning of editing this article, I read an excerpt from Barabara Stanny of the Secrets Of Six-Figure Women book put it:
"I have never met an underearner who wasn't blocking herself with erroneous thinking or misguided notions.
Letting go of our "mental molds" is a crucial challenge for each of us on the path to higher earnings. Even if the ledge we cling to is an external situation, there's always an internal authority governing our decisions, something in our psyches, a belief or attitude, that's putting us down, holding us back, keeping us hanging.
In every spiritual discipline, the Master's first task is to tear down the novice's view of the world. In Zen, the metaphor most often used is the overflowing teacup. We must first empty the container before we can refill it.
Similarly, if our minds are full of limiting thoughts, there's no room for the expansive ones. Success can only come when there's space for it to enter."
Nothing left to add here.
3. Stop Inviting Pressure (of any kind)
"No matter what product you're selling, the most important component of the product is you." - You, Inc. The Art of Selling Yourself by Harry Beckwith
I had a hard time keeping my eyes on my own paper.
Always concerned with how far behind I was from the next person. But writing a pop quiz on the first day of class or in the final semester --makes a world of difference. Knowing where you are on that spectrum will reduce the pressure.
Which made me a big advocate of STAYING IN YOUR LANE.
It is what drives most of my marketing decisions. "Would I say this in my daily life? Am I being real? Transparent? Accessible?"
Truly, am I keeping it simple? The pressure comes from doing too much extra stuff or a ballooning ego.
- The pressure comes from sticking to a plan that needs to pivot
- The pressure comes from meeting old goals that have evolved
- The pressure comes from staying within the boundaries of what others think of you (As an avid reader, I grow by the minute)
- The pressure comes from matching the status quo and anything veered away from it --is the odd ball out
What if I want to be the oddball or at the very most embrace that I am.
I was always awkward. I always did it my way, got ridiculed and it still worked out in the end. I embrace this unique gift. Back then I didn't see it as one but as we constantly battle for our business to be seen --letting go of the pressure to be seen like everyone else is now the best way to stand out.
Letting go the energy of first date desperation and it's putrid smell.
Try being less tied to an outcome and opened up to possibilities. Have you noticed the ones not trying as hard are usually holding the empty "teacup"? There is room for a refill (more).
So, what "things" are you going to stop doing in 2017?
Recommended Readings Mentioned in Article:
- Mastery by Robert Greene
- Secrets Of Six-Figure Women by Barabara Stanny
- You, Inc. The Art of Selling Yourself by Harry Beckwith