You’ve come a long way, Baby! a.k.a. My Story
On Christmas Eve 2014, I was scrolling through Facebook and came across an image that read….
“A year ago, I would’ve never pictured my life the way it is now.”
Truer words were never spoken.
A chill went through me at reading the words, because it made me stop and think about just HOW different my life truly is these days.
As I started thinking about what life was like just a mere 12 months ago, I realized I needed to share my story. Not to brag about how far I’ve come, or how well my business is doing now, but to give hope to anyone that might be in that place that I was in December 2013.
It was also an exercise in gratitude for all that I have now, because let’s face it – we very quickly adjust to new realities and all too quickly take it for granted.
The following is pulled from what I wrote on Christmas Eve, curled up on the couch with my two young boys, the words pouring out from my fingers, and into my iPhone. I hope they help someone to see the light at the end of the tunnel that I was once so desperate for….
Last year at this time, I was struggling. I had a totally different business model and was making very little money, even though I was working myself to death between my full-time job and my “side business.” (Oh, and trying to actually see my husband and sons in between all of the working.)
I was exhausted, I had no idea what to do to make my business a success, or what the next step was.
I remember finally hitting a breaking point and crying, telling my husband, I can't do this anymore. Something has to change or I need to stop with my business.
While the idea of quitting my job seemed impossible at the time, the idea of ditching my business was completely horrifying. So, I kept going.
What followed in 2014 was a very, very long journey. I didn't always make the right choices, I made some investments in my business that didn't always pay off. There were times I felt like quitting, because there didn't seem to be a light at the end of the tunnel. Or I’d get so close, just to be delayed again.
Something that kept me going was the mantra I took on, “no regrets.” When I'd think about giving up, I'd ask myself – will I regret it when I'm 90?
And I knew I would. Without a doubt. I wouldn't forgive myself for being too scared to take a chance on me and my business. On the dreams I had for what it could become.
And then I'd help someone, and they'd be so grateful. They'd get sales and signups and get closer to their own business goals, and I'd know I had to keep going.
You've Come a Long Way, Baby!
October 31, 2014 was my last day at my full-time job. It was both exciting and terrifying to not have a job for the first time since graduation. (And that was <ahem> a long time ago!)
November and December have been nothing short of miraculous. I've made far more money in these months than I ever did at any full-time job. I have clients that I adore, and I feel like I'm making a difference.
I can't think of any better way to make an impact than to help heart-centered entrepreneurs succeed.
I set my own hours. I rarely work late into the night or on weekends, which was the norm last year. I enjoyed the holidays at home with my family instead of rushing off to an office across town, feeling like I was missing out.
We just planned a vacation for the summer and there was no need to get permission from a boss or worry about “saving” the time off for later in the year. (Hello, freedom!)
I have mastermind partners that mean the world to me. They are sounding boards, counselors, and cheerleaders. They are dear friends, even if I've only met one in person. (Isn’t Facebook grand?!)
Could I have imagined any of this in December 2013?
No. I was too scared and too tired to dream that big. But I took the first step. I got coaching. I surrounded myself with like-minded people. I took chances. I attempted to live without regrets.
When I get to December 2015, I will probably say, “Wow, I had no idea the year would be quite like that!” but now I'm confident that it will all be fantastic! I'm sure there will be some mistakes and times of struggle (that's life), but I'm also sure it will all take me towards amazing things I can barely hope to dream of now.
An Exercise in Gratitude and Possibilities
If you’ve been in the trenches for a while now, take a few minutes – right now – to try a simple exercise that will help you to see – and very importantly – appreciate, all that you actually have accomplished so far.
Grab a pen and paper and start writing down all of the things you’ve done in the past year for the first time. All of the things that scared the life out of you at the time, but now seem like a walk in the park. I promise you there will be so much more to write about than you realize.
Hosting your first teleseminar or webinar. Getting interviewed for a podcast. Running Facebook ads. Doing free consults with potential clients. Sending out your first email newsletter. Hitting “publish” on your first blog post.
Write it all down – every last bit of it. I bet you have pages upon pages. If you can do all of that, you can do anything. Be proud of all you’ve accomplished. Be grateful. Know that there’s so much more to come. You only have to believe – and take action!
If you're where I was last year, hang on. Don't lose faith in your dreams. It might not be easy, and you might stumble along the way, but this time next year could find you in a whole new place in life. One way better than you dare to imagine today.