I transitioned from a 19 year career as a bank examiner to starting my own consultancy in 2018. As I left my job, I had big plans (the easiest to measure was to make $100,000 in a 12 month period), but I knew it would be a challenge to work on my business full-time during the summer months as the kids were on summer break. But when school was back in session, it was
As it turns out, I didn’t hit the ground running on September 4th. What I learned was that I needed to be more hands-on with the kids than what I anticipated. And that once 2:30pm hit, I was in #mommode. I also learned that I my day flows better if I continue my routine of going to the gym at 8:30pm.
Lesson #1: I can set my hours as I wish and it’s okay if I’m not widly successful, as long as I’m productive.
One of the reasons why I left my career to start a new one was to have flexibility in my schedule and to be more present with my kids. So, I became okay with my work hours of 8:30am-2:30pm. And if that means less than six figures now? Well, I’m okay with that.
I was also listening to a podcast where an entrepreneaur said something to the effect of “It’s my business and I can run it how I like and offer the services that I like.”
To be honest, I was nervous about the lines of business within my consultancy because while most people would tell me that it sounds good or I would be great at them, there isn’t an established market for these services. So, I’m breaking ground and that’s scary, but that podcast gave me the good vibes.
Lesson #2: Do what makes you happy. The rest will work itself out.
Lesson 2 is ideal right? But what about my goal to make $100,000 in a 12 month period? That led to lesson 3.
Lesson #3: What do I need vs. what do I want?
I need enough money to contribute to our household and pay my monthly expenses (for the items I need). I want to make a lot of money so that I can validate my success (and help save for a new house).
If I enjoy providing the services that I offer and make enough to cover bills, with the occassional vacation and to fund my Pretty Strong Smart Scholarship, then I’m good.
Then in late November, I had one of those talks that was super uncomfortable. My friend pressed me on a couple of points:
Why do you do so much in our community?
When I explained that I want to make my conference the best resource, to make it extremely valuable, and to be in-demand, his response was:
You’ve created four global conferences that people want to speak at, you have so much content you could run it for multiple days or cut speakers. People want to know when the recordings will be available.
Why isn’t that good enough?
And that’s a hard question to face. Because I’m never satisfied with where I’m at. And while we were talking about my conferences, it’s really reflective of who I am…I’m generally never satisfied, always wanting to be better.
Lesson #4: Do not minimize accomplishments
Celebration is important, I know this. Yet, it’s hard for me to do because my expectations for myself are high, which makes some of the really cool or important accomplishments seem like NBD. I’m committed to doing a better job of celebrating all the wins-small, quick, or big.
So as I go into 2019, I’m keeping these lessons in mind and plan to do little check-ins periodically to make sure these lessons stick. None of these lessons were ground-breaking, but they are simple yet powerful lessons that if applied this year, should make for a better me and a better business.
So what lessons have you learned? And how are you holding yourself accountable to make your lessons stick?