These last 12 months have been a whirlwind to say the least. It started off with handing in my resignation letter the exact same day that I was jetting off for Greece. Trading in climbing the corporate ladder for climbing mountains around the world is how this journey starts. This adventure has lead me to Mexico, Panama, Peru, Portugal, Germany, Spain, and back home. I’ve learned so much and have experienced so much more than I could ever imagine.
Let’s dive into the top 10 things I’ve learned in the first year of running my business full-time:
1.) Done is better than perfect
There is never a perfect time to start. Take the leap before you’re ready. Getting to a place where you feel good about the decision you’ve made to leap is even a commendable moment to celebrate! There’s so much guilt and shame sometimes that can come with making that decision. I didn’t get fired - I chose to leave the cushy salary, benefits, my close friends and family, the business network I’ve developed for over 7 years to discover my next challenge. Have you thought of launching of a masterclass for way too long? Launch it. Put it out in the world. Now is as good of a time as any.
2.) Slow down to speed up
When life inevitably throws you curveballs to test how bad you want something in your life, you learn that patience is a virtue. Things always take longer than you expect. Success isn’t instant, afterall. If you’re in it for the long haul, figure out the needs of your audience and dream clients. Learn to listen before you talk to really get to know the intention and purpose you’re creating for your brand. Come back to your why and what you actually enjoy most, instead of resisting what you’re undeniably drawn to.
3.) Invest in support for you and your biz Support can take many forms. Create a life you don’t need an escape from, and that also includes the people you choose to surround yourself with. Whether you choose a self development program to work on your mindset, to investing in business coaches, to elevating your skillset - I’ve found having a goal in mind has helped optimize these support systems. Opting into a web accessibility course has increased the benefits for what I can offer my clients. Having an environment that’s a community (not a club) has been so essential to be around like-minded, driven entrepreneurs like at Make Lemonade. Investing in my first business and sales coach, Katy the Copywriter was a scary decision but it has made a major impact with creating the harmony that you see visually and through my brand voice and experience. Having won The Global Creators Studio’s business coaching prize pack had helped me gain so much clarity in how to refine my sales funnel and to guide my client experience with value, every step of the way. 4.) Believe in your worth It starts with you! As cheesy as it is - if you believe in you, do you, boo. This confidence will radiate to everyone you speak to. Understand the benefits and the transformation you offer your clients. Taking them from where they were before they started working with you, to that complete next level is so rewarding. You are a once in a lifetime opportunity!
5.) Shiny object syndrome and the ups and downs are reaaal
It can feel like a downward spiral when you get into analysis paralysis and the comparison game of what’s going on around you. Stop right there. Take care of the 360 holistic approach of you and your business. The reality is that not everyone will support you. Learn to let go of the things and people that no longer serve you value. Get on with the things that do.
6.) Scared? Take action anyways Knowledge is just part of the equation in power. You can find all the excuses under the sun to not do something. Even if you know it’ll be good for you. Being able to choose courage beyond fear and doubt was a vow I took over a year ago, when first starting my business. Coming back to that intention and if you’re making an expansive or contractive choice is helpful to reflect on. Plus, the faster you learn, the faster you can find out what’s working for you.
7.) Show up and get real
Being able to truly step up, show up, and get vulnerable is not an easy feat. You’re not going to want to do it every day. Fact. Ask yourself - who do you need to become to ensure you’re showing up as the best version of yourself, and for your clients? By being authentic, this is the relatability of developing that like, know, trust factor with the community you’ve cultivated. Something I told myself during my #30daysoflives on Instagram was that I’d show up for 2 minutes or 20 minutes - but I am there to get real and provide value every step of the way.
8.) Consistency is key It’s true! When your brand is so cohesive and consistent, that loyalty is so undeniable. It’s unshakeable. Sure you can pivot, but this key element will break barriers to where you were and where you want to be. It’s the difference between making ends meet to meeting your stretch goals each month. When I first started working full time, Instagram was just something fun to create content for, with about 600 followers. Now, 12 months later - it’s grown to be one of my more effective marketing platforms and has evolved to 1500+ and growing engaged followers.
9.) There’s no exact recipe for success
No matter the amount of podcasts you listen to, to the business books you read, to the exact meal prep that Tim Ferris eats each week, there is no exact success formula. We all have our own versions of success. Marketing is just testing. The only way you can do something wrong is by not trying. As long as you’re open and learning, you will get to your version of success, my friend.
10.) Have fun with it! Because why else are you doing it? If you’re not learning, challenging, or growing, you should ask yourself why you’re doing it. Don’t forget to celebrate the wins along the way, no matter how big or small. *Cue dance party*
Side effects of taking your business full-time, abroad may include...
- Visiting some world wonders like Chichen Itza in Mexico and Machu Picchu in Peru - Getting to visit one of your best friends and celebrating her birthday 10 years since seeing each other - Making lifelong friends in a hostel room after a breakup abroad - Being featured in over 10 and growing media outlets in less than a year
- Feeling motivated AF after diving straight into a 3-day business retreat after coming back from Europe - Hosting your first ever branding workshop that has inspired the launch of a free challenge and a paid masterclass for your audience
- Launching your first freebie, like the brand consistency checklist
- Launching a trifecta-winning (fast, quality, affordable) product like the Brand Your Biz Kit
Fast forward, what happens next for CL Designs? Good question. There is no sign of stopping and as you read this, I’m on my next adventure in Arizona to celebrate. This season is about reigning in on what works and investing in what’s going to support me to bring you the most value through what you truly need and what excites us both to create. Stay tuned for the launch of the Website Sprints, coming November. Want to secure your spot before they’re gone? Book a free clarity call with me now.