In my first three years in business, I made a loss.
Each of my tax returns took me further and further into the red, and I felt it.
I was stressed, weighed down, wondering how I make it work, why it’s so effortless for others.
Why it was so hard for me?
What was I missing?
What was I doing wrong?
Those that came before me were making the money and doing the things… Some of those that came after me were doing it too.
Last year was my first year making a solid profit in my business.
This year, I more than doubled the profits I made last year (63% increase)
But now, reflecting back, I see what it was.
Last year, I stopped buying into the stuff I was told I needed… this program, that app, the training that would “revolutionise” how I ran my business.
Last year, I decided to do what many of those had done before me – I just leaned back and did whatever I could with what I had.
I let go of the fear of missing out on the “one big thing” that could potentially skyrocket my business.
I ignored the marketing trainings, and the blueprints, and the formulas.
I ignored all the fear mongering marketing tactics, all the scarcity tricks.
I still saw them, I still felt that pang of “should I?” And the fear and doubt creep up inside me.
I still checked the payment pages and my bank balance to see if I could maybe afford it…
I was, after all, still conditioned into the mindset that I needed to learn and be rescued from all that I didn’t yet know.
But I was slowly pulling myself out of it.
I had the help of a friend who often had to remind me that I already knew the things, and it was just my own self doubt creeping in. But the deconditioning and learning not to buy into that fear helped me turn things around.
I found people who asked me what I wanted to do, and encouraged me to trust in myself again.
As I said, that year was the first year I didn’t literally buy into the bullshit and the fear.
I had been paying to play, often at my own expense.
I’d fully bought into the idea that I needed to “invest in myself” no matter the cost.
Instead, I decided to back myself – HUGE difference.
It was the first year my business made a profit.
I was no longer paying to be there.
This year, I realised my profits more than doubled.
It didn’t make any sense.
There was a pandemic, we were all stuck at home with nowhere to go and extra homeschooling to accommodate (I was already home educating, homeschooling is a whole other ballgame)
I had kids to entertain 24/7 with no break. Early into the first lockdown, we didn’t leave the house at all for over a month.
I gave in, I stopped pushing myself to do all the things I’d been trying to do for years before.
I decided to try the other approach… follow the hunches.
I had an idea mid-conversation, I ran with it, within a month I’d created what I’d had in mind, sourced a supplier, and made my first sales on a physical product.
Had I still been doing things the way I’d felt I had to in the years before, that wouldn’t have happened.
I wouldn’t have followed through with my idea, because it “didn’t fit” with the “business model” (let’s be real right now, I don’t even have a business model, I just have an idea of what I want to do over time, I have no idea the details of how).
Had I continued to listen to those I’d been paying for so long, I would have convinced myself not to do it because it would confuse people… was my business service based, or product based? Why was I wanting to launch a physical product when the services weren’t yet bringing in the money I wanted them to?
Why would I divide my time and energy in such a way?
It was guaranteed to make my life harder, have me “water down” the potential success due to dividing my time and attention.
I still had all these voices in my head, I could hear them rolling over and around
“is this what you want?”
“Are you opening a shop now, instead of offering a service?”
“I don’t even know what it is that you do… you really should focus”
“No, you shouldn’t be dividing your attention, you’ll lose momentum”
“It’s a bad idea”
“Is there really any point when the profit margins will be so low?”
“You should focus on that one thing until it works… otherwise nothing will ever work”
Well… I did it anyway.
I took the idea, and the time I had.
I stopped wasting hours wondering about the “best way to do…”
I knocked things together haphazardly, and imperfectly.
I was so frustrated with all that I had tried and studied before, and tried and followed, and failed to get results from, that even though I still heard all of these things on repeat, loud and clear, above all of that, I heard my own inner voice.
The one that says “Fuck you, you don’t get to tell me what to do, or how”
The one that drives me and says “well, it’s fun, so whatever… what’s there to lose?”
The one that looks around and says “no, I don’t want that life, I’m good… you do you, I don’t want that shit thanks”
It’s the same voice that stopped me applying for jobs years ago.
It’s the same voice that stopped me going to university when it no longer suited me.
It’s the same voice that had me quit college because I wasn’t feeling it.
It’s the same voice that had me pick up a friend and drive 2 hours to the coast at 10pm for a KFC.
It’s the same voice that said dye your hair pillar box red before it was a fashionable thing to do (yeah, I did it WAY back then… you’re not fooling anyone)
It’s the same voice that said “Hmm… everyone will be dressed up for this event, fuck it, I’m wearing jeans and a t-shirt”
It’s the same voice!
It’s my voice.
The one that has always looked around and said “nah, this isn’t working, let’s do this instead”
It’s the one that got me into trouble, and out of it.
Now, I’m using it to do what it was meant to do all along… lead my life, and make me money.
I don’t have “shiny object syndrome”, I have squirrels. A whole fucking bunch of ’em. I’m essentially Doug, the talking dog.
And as much as I’ve tried to train myself out of it, I’ve learned that I can’t.
I’m the person in FB groups saying random shit when everyone else is talking shop.
I’m the one who continually fails to take shit seriously, cos it’s boring.
I’m the one who reminded herself to stop listening to the cliques… they were dull in high school, they’re still dull now. Avoid. Ignore. Leave em to it.
I’m the one who accidentally reminded herself that if you wanna just do the thing and see what happens, with semi-reckless abandon and a “who gives a shit” attitude, then you’ll see really random rewards.
I’m the one that’s doing it my fucking way and it’s actually, finally working and paying off for me.
This past year, I doubled my profits.
And it was the easiest thing I’ve ever done.