When I first launched my business I was doing the most. I was planning every eye-blink, nose run and head-scratch.

From 2014 to 2015 I ended my full-time non-profit job, wrapped up a Post-Secondary Program, was a part of an intense 1-year Business Mastermind, 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 all. I was a card-carrying member of #NoDaysOff

I held that mantra tightly to my chest #NoDaysOff.

There is only so long you can chant such a sadistic tune —which left no room for my creative side and you kinda need creativity to own a business. When everything was so jam-packed into my calendar, there was no room for inspirational light bulb moments or the license to make mistakes.

Especially when basic necessities like a mortgage, all my bills, and eating…were the prime focus at the infant stage of my business.

So, I decided in 2016 to STOP PLANNING EVERYTHING.

God laughs at those who do (he certainly busted a gut laughing at me). Instead, focus on the 20% that provides 80% of your results. This sparked a cleansing session to make room for the creative new.

1. Stop Shacking Up With Guilt #NoGuilt

Oh, you thought, it was tangible things I’d given 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 job, I felt guilt around wanting more. I felt guilty about 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 annual review —for some, you have to negotiate why you should get an increase.

I wanted monthly increases. 

I didn’t want to apologize for living a different lifestyle.

The first year on my self-employed journey I felt I had to apologize for choosing a life that offered a little more wiggle room and extraordinary opportunities. Mind you, I worked more hours and longer days to get these opportunities as a self-employed individual, 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.

“Know thyself, and there will be no guilt for being yourself.”

2. Stop Living as an Underearner

I am still working through this one, every day. 

I went from charging $20/hr. for my copywriting service 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 ten years had me question my value.

You are regularly being sold, “Do more, for less pay.” 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 to start earning what you’re worth.

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.

If I wanted to make those monthly income jumps, I first had to believe in my value.

An excerpt that speaks to my point from Barabara Stanny of the Secrets Of Six-Figure Women book:

“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.  

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 and always concerned with how far behind I was from the next person. However, writing a pop quiz on the first day of class versus in the final semester —makes a world of difference. Knowing where you are on that spectrum will reduce the pressure.

I became a big advocate of STAYING IN YOUR LANE. 

Are you 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)

Letting go of the pressure to be seen like everyone else is now the best way to stand out. Try being less tied to an outcome and opened to possibilities.

So, what “things” are you going to stop doing for your business to thrive?

Recommended Readings Mentioned in the Article:

  • Mastery by Robert Greene
  • Secrets Of Six-Figure Women by Barabara Stanny
  • You, Inc. The Art of Selling Yourself by Harry Beckwith