Anyone who ever tells you that it’s easy to make six figures running your own business needs a good old slap in the face. It’s not. It’s the hardest thing ever. Next to childbirth.
It was hard for me. Although I’ve never had a baby so I have really no idea how hard that thing is, I can tell you that getting my business to where it is today was the most challenging obstacle I have ever overcome in my life. And if you know me by now, you know I have been through a lot.
Lately I have been getting those messages from people wanting to know how they too can launch and thrive in their own creative space of entrepreneur life. And it’s always a question that I am excited to answer, but also have no clue how to answer at the same time.
“How did you get your business off the ground?”
“What did you do to make WIP as successful as it is today?”
If these are the questions I am getting now at this stage – I can’t wait to see where I’m at in five years!
I am always excited to answer questions like that because – well lets face it – I messed up a LOT in my life. Now that I finally figured out the right stuff to do – it’s kind of cool to talk about it and share it with the world. And I am always up for talking about the good stuff to celebrate how I got here. But trying to answer those questions is also really confusing for me too.
Where exactly do you want me to start? And Am I really successful? Is this it? Like.. is this the real deal now? Can I relax and take off my lady boss pants, put on my pajamas and binge watch Netflix for the rest of my life? Yes! Finally! Success!
It’s time I get real with you guys about the questions – and give you the answers bold and raw. You run a business other there? You trying to launch your own brand? Listen up. This post is for you.
I see ads on my Facebook all the time – “Make your first 10K” and “Learn how to create your first six figure launch,” – I some times wonder if whatever they are teaching is what I am practicing. Do I run my sales funnels the right way? Do I network and advertise my programs properly? It’s really easy at this stage to fall into that trap of constantly trying to figure out if you are doing it right. Well guess what. You are doing it wrong. All of us are.
So here’s me telling you everything that I know and believe about running a solo business. The truth. At least the truth for now. This is everything I wish I knew back then when I started. And some of you out there may not believe the advice, or take the advice or even listen to it. But here’s my advice on that (lol) – take the parts that work for you and leave behind whatever isn’t valuable in this post. Consider it practice for the mindset you should have running your own biz! Taking what works and leaving behind what doesn’t … you are gonna have to get used to doing that a lot. Okay. Here we go.
-Numbers Are a Big Lying Sack of Poop. I used to sit around and count the dollars rolling into my bank account each month. In fact, talk about nerding out – I used to keep a chart where I would track my income each month just to make sure I was improving and growing at the rate I was “supposed to be.” I still have no idea what the heck that rate was. And it wasn’t just money numbers. I would do this with social media numbers, page followers – everything. Seriously, every month I would track my income, my ad revenue, my sales, my Facebook followers, my instagram followers, my number of email subscribers, my website visitors. I mean seriously. I had this ridiculous excel spreadsheet that I was keeping track of to document all of my growth. I promised myself that every single month would be better than the month before – and yes.. I had to be better in each of those categories. It was…. exhausting. And ridiculous. And pointless all at the same time. Why was I doing it? Because in the beginning – I wanted to make myself believe that I was achieving success – and for me at the time – I thought that meant money. You see… when you start a business everyone shames you. Everyone tells you that you can’t or that it’s going to be hard or that you are crazy… and so that really weighed on me in the beginning. And if I had the numbers to prove I was successful, then I could finally say “YES AH HA! See! I LOOK WHAT I DID!” It was pointless. Stop it. Stop it right now. Your numbers have literally NOTHING to do with your success.
-No one gives a shit about your success so stop obsessing about “not failing.” Let’s just roll into this one since its on the tip of my brain here. Yeah. Stop obsessing about NOT failing. And if you’re obsessing over not failing because you don’t wan to be a failure to other people, well Stop even sooner please. If you run your business paranoid about making all the right choice because you don’t want to fail – you might as well quit. You are going to fail. And people are going to see it. You are going to make big messy giant failures that people will laugh at and make faces at and hey – guess what – it’s their problem not yours. Because while they are sitting around playing “same old life,” you are out there learning from whatever that big failure was and making even better decisions for your business. What they think means nothing. They are not you’re ideal client and they don’t own your “permission to success” ticket. Let them go so you can grow. Which brings me to my next point.
-There is no right way to do anything. Remember those ads I mentioned before? The ones that show you how you’re doing it wrong? Yes. Like I said. We all are. But here’s the thing. So are they! I work with a lot of clients who are trying to market their businesses in the online space. And they tell me “So and so is doing this,” and so “so and so is doing that, should I try it?” They spend so much time learning what others are doing that they spend so little time trying to figure out what works for them. Don’t be on twitter because you’re “supposed to have a presence there.” Be on twitter if it works for you. And if it doesn’t, F it and move on. Oh… and another thing.
-What Worked 2 years ago will get you nowhere today. I used to spend hours trying to study successful online bloggers – how did they possibly grow their audience so big that they could make a living off of ad revenue? Well.. Those bloggers? They’ve been in the market online since before the internet was even a thing – And so now – 10 plus years later – they are thriving. Do you want to wait ten years to afford food on your table? I don’t think so. Stop looking to other people and do what you notice works for you. Develop your own method. Create your own sales funnel. Come up with your own marketing strategy. Success leaves clues so finding people who are successful and modeling them is definitely a bonus -but don’t use their practices as a cookie cutter way to create your own business.
-If you aren’t sharing your life you’re failing your business People WANT to see you. And they want to see your shit. It doesn’t matter what you are selling, what product you rep or what shake you drink (sorry fitness MLMs) What matters is YOU. your client isn’t buying an awesome product. This isn’t 1950. There are awesome products everywhere. This is the land of amazon where you can literally get what you want delivered to your door. No customer is going to buy your product just because it’s awesome. They are going to buy into whatever you are selling because they resonate with the story you tell and the personality you have and the things you have overcome to be the person you are today. Because that’s what THEY want. People want to level up – so if you don’t show them you are leveling up in your life too – then what’s the point?
-If you are feeling emotionally disconnected to what you are creating/sharing/posting about – your potential clients will be disconnected to it too. “my upline tells us to do this,” and “my upline says I should be sharing X amount of photos per day with the shake or the workout or whatever.” Does it make you feel good? Does it feel authentic? Does it resonate with you? If the answer is no, guess what – that system is dead for you. Kill it. Say goodbye. Don’t go back. You should never be trying to be something your not. And btw isn’t that totally the opposite reason of why you became an entrepreneur right?
-You should never have to hound hunt or private message randos about your business to make your business work. If you are doing it, you are doing something wrong. your business is not a telemarking service. Stop running it like it is. When you show up to serve the community and be that shinning light for people who need your help – then your clients will randomly appear!
-Entrepreneurs need to be spiritual junkies. If you have no faith in God or have little spirituality out there and your hustling running your business – I am so sorry for you. I don’t care what faith you have – just find one and hold onto it. Entrepreneur life is a rollercoaster. Go get a spiritual practice. And hang on tight. You’re gonna need it.
Stay tuned for a part 2.
I’m laughing as I write the title of this post. Because honestly, it’s true. I have no idea what I am doing. No, not as a general statement about life. I mean I have no idea what I am doing writing this post.
See that picture of that pretty notebook? I got it at Barnes and Noble a while back. The truth is I didn’t really need another notebook. I have so many Freaking notebooks. But not one like this. This one spoke to me. So I got it.
Because right now, at this point in time, I feel like I actually am living the story I wanted to tell. And I spend a lot of time telling stories about all the times my life was a total mess – the times I wasn’t living the life I wanted, that I need to honor and appreciate where I am right now.
And right now, I am so truly happy.
I love my life, my business, and the fact I get to coach so many amazing beautiful humans.
And I love that I get to do it by sharing all that I have been through in my life. And I feel so much love because of that. Even though I love being a coach, it wasn’t exactly a position I stepped into with confidence right away. I was actually scared to be a leader and role model for quite some time. Finding that confidence didn’t happen over night. I didn’t wake up and snap my fingers and suddenly get all the credibility and validation to make me feel good. I needed to learn how to let go of expectations and just be myself.
But that’s another story.
The point is becoming a life coach was something that happened organically. I guess it was always within me, but it was a passion I never knew existed. Actually, I knew what I wanted to do the whole time – but I never had a name for it. Now I do.
Yes. I am a life coach. But I am a lot of other things. Finding a balance between all of those things can be a struggle for any entrepreneur. And I have to be honest, every once in a while, the other pieces of my heart feel like they aren’t getting the attention they need.
Case and point – the most recent power struggle: Finding the time to honor the writer in me.
Because before I was a life coach, or a CBS News producer, or actually – anything else in my life – I was a writer. Even when I was little I was writing poems for the grammar school newspaper.
In middle school I was writing lyrics to my own songs.
In high school I was hoarding a serious journal collection and a couple of written books that never grew into anything.
I loved being a word smith – but a simple word smith at that (I didn’t do so well on the english part of my SATs.)
But it’s who I am. and I love being a writer. I love sharing my stories and being open with the world. It’s the part of me that I think I am the most proud of. That drive to be creative is just something I always cherished. And I feel like lately I am not honoring that part of me the way it deserves to be honored.
I wake up and feel hungry to serve. I check my emails, answer client calls, and do my best to be the best for everyone. And I freaking love it. But when I write, I also feel like I am the best I can be for the world. And I haven’t been able to write and feel that way in a while.
I don’t know if it’s my busy schedule or my greater interest in coaching my clients -but somewhere along the way, I felt like I had nothing to say on the blog. And so I stopped saying anything at all.
It’s time to change that, don’t you think?
And I think one of the biggest problems I have is that even when I do know what to say, I have so many crazy platforms that I’m not sure where exactly I should go to say it!
“Do I do a podcast about this?”
“Should I record a youtube video on this topic?”
“Maybe I should write a blog post.”
“Is my audience sick of seeing me on Facebook live yet?”
I’m still figuring this out too guys.
And I am never going to arrive at the end of a picture perfect business. I am always, always, improving.
The endless growing experience is as fun as it is exciting, and actually why I wanted to be an entrepreneur (so I could keep growing myself too) it is actually kind of scary sometimes.
Sometimes I worry about stepping into certain platforms at the wrong time, accidentally saying the wrong thing, or maybe even – worse – being unprofessional! AHHHH!
God forbid right?
The point is, I have so many places for my voice to be heard that after years of not having any platform at all, I sometimes feel overwhelmed with the options. I don’t know where to go from here.
But I miss writing. And I want to write.
Not the lame boring how to do X,Y,and Z posts. but the writing about my life! The stories about what is going on and what is happening right now with me and my world. I love sharing that stuff. And I want to share it with you.
So this is what I will say – this is the blog. And sometimes I’ll write how-to posts. Sometimes I’ll share pieces of my life. Sometimes I may even cry out a heartfelt story about some crazy thing that happened.
I am still learning things guys. I am still evolving and growing.
There is no end day in sight. For any of us.
One year ago I planned a trip to Florida so I could attend my first Tony Robbins seminar. I went – and it was amazing. The universe is magical, and I think it is only ironic that now, one year later, I am going again. This time it’s in Los Angeles.
WHATUP WEST COAST!
Yup. This morning I sat on my computer, opened up google flights and boom. I made a decision. I am going to L.A.
Life comes full circle. For real.
My second Tony event and an amazing first time visit to Los Angeles are about to go down. And while that all may sound exciting to you, here’s the part that may not sound so good: I don’t have a hotel booked yet. I don’t even have my seminar event ticket yet. I don’t have a car and don’t have any idea how I am getting to and from each airport.
You heard me right. I have zero plans other than the flight booked. And I’m going solo.
And want to know the even more shocking part? It doesn’t bother me at all!
Don’t care. Guess what Tony – I’m coming for yah.
It may seem impulsive to you, or irresponsible. I totally get it. The old me would have never done something like book a random flight without hotel plans or an itinerary schedule. And a trip on my own? I would have probably cried at the thought.
I used to live my life needing all the details plans and schedules worked out before I so much as left my house.
(Like even on grocery day.)
But I don’t live like that anymore. And it’s a beautiful thing.
I stopped micromanaging my life. I listen to my heart and do what feels right.
And boy does it feel amazing.
Disclosure : This is all that’s left of the long post I wrote because I got disconnected from the internet and lost everything else.
Had little internal freakout for a sec, but then I realized the universe was being silly:
“Lauren… you said you don’t micromanage …. go with the flow while I test you – Sincerely, the universe.”
No but seriously. I stopped micromanaging. I think for a longtime I had this big fear that if I wasn’t planning out all the details, then I was being irresponsible and too much of a risk taker.
Guess what: No I wasn’t. And there is no such thing.
My life is so different now. And it is all because I changed how I was thinking.
I stopped limiting myself with the shoulds and the shouldn’ts, the supposed to’s and the not really a good idea’s. Because honestly, what’s the point?
“Don’t buy that you are too broke” will only leave you feeling more broke.
“Don’t wear that your too fat” will only make you feel more fat.
“You can’t afford it,” only means “You aren’t prioritizing it.
I turned off the negative nancys a long time ago guys. Seriously it was the best decision ever.
But every once in a while the “should” monsters come back into my head – not really so much in my person life, but in my business.
“You should be posting on your Facebook every hour, Lauren.”
“You should writing five blog posts a week, Lauren.”
“You shouldn’t be watching TV right now you could be trying to hustle and run your communities online.”
“Don’t shave your legs Lauren, you should be using that time to help others.”
Hustle hustle Hustle.
Running my business with the hustle mindset didn’t do anything – It only made me more stressed and more pressured to keep up with some imaginary “success timeline” that I had mapped out in my head.
“You SHOULD be making more money by now.”
Calling bull shit.
This is my PSA to everyone out there that I am done with the should’s when it comes to my biz.
Well, because my business thrives on the sole principal of living a life authentically. And in order to thrive, it needs to live up to that standard.
Following some rule book of how to make it big in the online market just seems fake to me.
How can I be teaching people to be their authentic selves if I am not running my business that way?
I don’t want to strategize the topics I write about and “plan them out” because I feel like my creativity should never be forced – or else it sounds forced.
So I stopped planning out my articles based on what should “attract the most viewers.”
I don’t want to carefully select SEO key words to boost optimization of my blog posts because it forces my hand in my writing style and that makes me feel icky.
So I stopped picking topics and seo keywords that should “generate more search engine hits.”
I don’t want to carefully market sales funnels or plan out launches of products in “the ways it works” that are advertised all across social media because I am not in this to make money.
So I stopped trying to sell, and I started trying to serve.
And yes I know I need money to eat and live – but I’m doing just find holding true to my values thanks. In fact, breaking away from those should’s of the business I have actually tripled my income.
Anyone can do it.
But you have to be comfortable with breaking past “what you should be doing” and start thinking for yourself.
Life is an adventure. And my business is a part of that. And I am not playing by the rule book planing shit out for the sake of trying to get ahead or “doing it the right way.”
There is no right way.
I have been emotionally conditioned to think that success only comes with handwork. I think we all have. “You get what you earn,” “The early bird gets the worm,” and all those other mottos we’ve learned. Well.. somehow along the way of becoming an adult they F-cked me up. Real bad.
The more stressed you are and less relaxing you do – the more successful you can become.
It’s the biggest piece of phony bologna in the deli section.
And I’ve been trained to believe it all these years.
I’m calling it. Calling bullshit.
I refuse to stress anymore. Stress does not increase your chances of being successful. It only decreases your chances of being happy. Because a stressful life does not create a fulfilling life.
I refuse to spend countless hours pushing and hustling and exhausting myself only to feel pushed hustled and exhausted. It doesn’t work.
I refuse to think I need to put every single hour of my day aspiring to achieve, because it will only make me feel less inspired and less joyful.
Living life that way does nothing….Except give me big ugly baggies under my eyes and one too many swipes of my credit card at the Wine and Liquor store down the road.
2017 is the year of change for me. And my work schedule and business life is no exception.
I am changing my lifestyle in order to create the best version of myself – So that I can be the best little original WIP Girl role model and mentor there is. And feeling more happy and inspired in my life is my mission.
There is no point to living an unhappy life.
Life is meant to be beautiful. It is meant to be fun and adventurous and exciting. And lately I’m realizing that success and stress are not synonymous. They aren’t required to go hand in hand. You can in fact be very successful and live stress free.
The science of success, vs. the art of fulfillment. Sometimes you can have both.
I love my job. I love being a roll model for women, sharing my stories and helping them change their lives. My coaching courses, e guides and books (oh and the podcast…. oh and this blog. Oh and the community) Life is fucking great. And I love what I do.
But after some careful consideration, I decided it was time to really evaluate how I work… because I haven’t been taking care of myself.
And that makes me sad. So here’s what’s happening: I’m freeing my schedule up for some me time. Good old fashion me time.
I am no longer being a hustler.
Success and stress are no longer the two S*words I’m living life by. My work ethic is changing. Some people may say that stress is expected when you are successful. I refuse to be one of those people who let’s it into my life. That is not why I became an entrepreneur and started this business. And it’s not what I teach either!
So I’m walking the walk. Changing my S*word. It’s about Service. And That’s what I’m focused on.
The other day I was deeply meditating and I woke up from my session with a powerful mantra:
“The more you give the more you receive.”
In my moment of deep meditation, something told me this would be my new life mission – to focus on serving, rather than being successful.
When you focus on serving and what you can give, you will receive so much back.
And if the more I give the more I receive is true, the same applies to my body.
“The more time I take caring for myself, the more I can give to the world.”
I need to be the best version of myself. So I can help other people be their best too.
So I completely restructured my work schedule. I took a hard look at the things I do each and every morning. I realized that from the minute I wake up to the minute I go to bed I am 100 percent wrapped up in my blog, my course, and my coaching.
And I’m burning myself out. There is little time for anything else when you are wrapped up in your biz 24-7.
So I decided it was time to really get clear about the things that make fulfilled:
What do I need to do every day to put myself in the best state possible so I can better serve others?
I made a decision. No working until 10AM.
I made a checklist for myself and decided that in the mornings I am going to spend my time:
Setting three solid intentions
Taking a nice long bath, getting ready and starting my day.
These are the things I know will make me emotionally clear and focused on helping others. And the more I take care of myself, the better I can do that!
Just putting it out there.
The moral of the story is if you’re out there hustling to succeed – and you’re waiting to be happy and fulfilled in your life… I got news for ya – you’ll never see the day.
Enjoy life NOW. Later isn’t an option.
P.S. In case you’re wondering – I wrote this post yesterday and scheduled it so that I could be enjoying my morning today <3 As promised.