I'm really tired of successful business owners and leaders talking about how one day, they decided to change their lives or businesses and just did X, Y and Z. These variables usually go something along the lines of doubling their prices, taking more time off and other things that sound awesome but feel impossible to the rest of us in the moment. They "just did it" and next thing they knew, they've tripled their income, fell into the best relationship of their lives and are traveling around the world.
Except that it's not really.
There's so much important backstory that these mentors and leaders neglect to share. Like the fact that you can't always just triple your rates at any ol' time and expect business to boom and your amazing man to arrive and sweep you off your feet. You can't always just start working less and attract more awesome, higher-paying clients.
There's a foundation that must be laid first. You have to release limiting beliefs, build your audience, provide something of tremendous value, learn to love and care for yourself... You have to do the work. How that work manifests into positive changes in your life will vary from everyone else who's working at it as well.
Overnight successes, rising stars and successful people are, more often than not, the result of years of hard work. They found themselves, found their message, started sharing it, grew their audience, developed products and services and were of service for some time, all the way up until a tipping point. The point at which enough influential people took note and began sharing the work or their audience grew to a point that it begins to snowball into more and more people.
The people who "come out of nowhere," triple their business "overnight" or made some simple decisions and transformed their lives "nearly instantly" were hard at work before any of us had any clue who they were.
Here's a story from my personal journey:
Not too long ago I sent out an email to a handful of my former design clients. In this email I explained that I would no longer be offering most design or development services, then went on to introduce them to a new way of working with me.
Several people made the comment, "I love how you just decided to change your business and did it." As if on that very morning, I said, "Hmmm... I think I'll do things differently now," and bam, email sent.
This couldn't be further from the truth.
In fact, the story of where this email originates goes back almost four years to a hot Hawaiian day. I was sitting on the beach (on my foam surfboard, of course) telling my then boyfriend that I didn't want to be "just a designer" anymore. I had realized earlier that day that design wasn't my calling.
At the time, I had no idea what my calling was, but I did know:
I didn't want "just another" design business.
I didn't want to do design for anyone but select clients, friends and myself.
Design was simply a skill I was gifted to do much greater work in the world.
It was a big moment.
Admitting it out loud to someone who also happened to be my business partner... I don't want to be a designer. So what did I do? I went home and continued to build a design business. When my relationship ended and I stepped away from that company, I started up another business... that, while to the outside world focused on personal development, was completely built on providing design and development services.
It took time for me to build my business up to the point that I could stop depending on design as a sole source of income and could shift my focus to coaching.
I learned three things from this experience:
1) Always, always, always heed your intuition's wisdom, right away.
If in your heart and gut you know that you don't want to say, be a designer, don't proceed to build and run two design businesses. Don't continue on a path that's not right for you for a moment longer than you really, truly have to.
2) Sometimes you just have to leap.
Sometimes you really do have to "burn the boats" and stop depending on an income source, person or plan that doesn't really serve and fulfill you. There's never going to be a "right" time, so better it's sooner than later, yes?
3) Seek out the necessary support, mentors, community and resources as soon as possible in order to help you make the leap quickly and with loads of joy and ease.
Yes, it can be done alone... but wouldn't you rather have the business, life or relationship that you desire sooner than later? Having coaches, joining programs and finding my tribe made this transition the easiest I've ever experienced.
And it's not just me...
One of my recent one-on-one coaching clients came to me wanting to get clear on how to build a business around her passion, helping people improve their relationships. She only had the knowledge of how to help them and a desire to get it out there. In just four weeks of working together, she put together her own website, wrote some seriously awesome content for her website, created two powerful info products, created a social media marketing campaign and is doing the work she loves.
Another recent client was needing some help getting clear on how to take her business to the next level, incorporate more of her personality and start really connecting with her audience. After reviewing her website and marketing, I created some easy to implement strategies, put together a wireframe to guide her in reorganizing her site, generated a big list of blog topic ideas specifically geared towards supporting her ideal customer AND generating more product sales, and gave her a guide to create a much more clear and cohesive brand. I also gave her some fun ideas to expand her services in a way that further served her mission and purpose and would create more joy and fulfillment in her life and business. She was over the moon!
These are just two recent examples of people who were ready to make a leap and sought out the necessary support to make it happen so much more quickly than they could've done on their own! Support, guidance and the right tools, paired with the desire and readiness to make changes and take action, leads to awesome changes.
Take action now!
What will you do today to start moving in the direction of your dreams?
Stephenie Zamora is the founder of www.stepheniezamora.com;, a full-service, life-purpose development, design and branding boutique. Here she merges the worlds of personal development and branding to help young women build passion-based businesses. Click here to download her free guide, "The Unexpected Trick to Transforming Your Life With ONE Single Question."
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