7 Biggest Lessons Learned in 2017

Copy of Podcast GUEST Episode (1)
There’s no secret to the fact that I believe we should be sharing our wins and successes along the entrepreneur journey. In fact, I think it’s vital for us to do exactly that for others to see that, they too can accomplish anything they set their minds to in life.

However, I also believe it’s just as important to share the journey to getting there.

Yes, I’m talking about the face plants, the messy middles, the breakthroughs that come wrapped in chaos and the “omg what did I just doooo?” moments. The things that don’t always look so pretty in the moment but are actually what forces you to step up, overcome and evolve. The true catalysts to your growth.

So while, yes, I accomplished some amazing things this year in both my business and personal life {omg, I ran a freaking MARATHON this year}… that’s not what I want to end the year sharing with you.

Instead, I want to share the lessons that came from it all. Lessons that absolutely felt messy in the moment but have allowed me to end the year truly thankful and forever changed.

1. My self worth is not determined by my net worth.

I started the year off with BIG goals for my business. However, within the first few weeks of the new year I realized that these goals didn’t align with what I actually wanted from my business – more ease and time freedom.

It was in that moment I decided to not only completely scrap my entire 2017 income goals {you know, the ones that would have looked amazing by social media standards to achieve} but also – completely change my entire business model.

I sent an e-mail to my list with a last call for 1:1 clients and let them know that I was switching to more passive and leveraged offers. Done. Finito. Bye.

Yep, without having the systems or offers in place to even cover it – I decided to drop close to 80% of my monthly income with one email. {Side note: If you’re going to burn your boats, you should probably be prepared for the fire.}.

While, deep down, I knew I needed to make this change in my business, watching my income take that kind of dip brought imposter syndrome in – full force. I began to feel like an absolute failure in my business.

Does this mean I’m no longer a six-figure earner? What if these new offers don’t convert? I’ve always had a profitable business… am I a fraud now that my income dipped? What if it isn’t possible to increase {or heck, even match} last year’s income without 1:1 work? What happens if a business doesn’t increase their income every year anymore? Am I becoming a failure in front of my own eyes?

And that’s just the PG version of what was going on in my mind.

It started to become clear just how much I was using my income as a way “prove my worth” to myself. Yep, my self worth was attached to my income and when the income dipped, so did I.

You know how they say that if you don’t learn a lesson once, it will come back? Well, this was my wake up call to take a journey I never thought mattered before: a journey of self-love and self-acceptance. Finding my worth outside of my business knowledge, my income or my skill sets and instead learning to love myself as a person on my own.

It was the best thing that happened for me this yar.

The Lesson: I am worthy and loved simply because I exist. Period.

2. Receiving is more admirable {and harder} than giving.

We hear it all the time – always give more than you take. And in many areas of my life, I feel I follow that motto to a T. But this year, I was challenged to change it up. To simply RECEIVE.

Receive compliments {without throwing it back to the other person}.
Receive support {without questioning all the ways I need to make sure I “pay them back” with my support too}.
Receive guidance {without beating myself up for not already knowing the answer}.
Receive love {simply because I deserve it}.
Receive gifts and letters of appreciation {without freaking out that I didn’t think to do the same first}.
Receive compassion {even when I don’t feel worthy of it}.  
Receive praise {without downplaying myself as I turn awkwardly away}.

I truly had no idea just how much harder it is to simply receive than give in life. Now I get to enjoy both in my life and it’s changed me for the better.

And, yes, it does feel really weird at first but trust it… it works.

The Lesson: We do a disservice to others in our lives when we make it so we’re the only one getting the feeling of joy from giving. Allow yourself the gift of receiving.

3. Pivoting isn’t easy, no matter how much business experience you have.

Apparently, just changing my business structure wasn’t enough this year. In the process, I also changed my entire messaging and audience. Oh yes, full on pivot.

Here’s what no one ever tells you though… pivoting in business is one heck of a rollercoaster ride.

I knew I wanted to have deeper connections with my audience, that I am a community builder at heart and that my skill sets weren’t being used to their fullest potential. But here I was, feeling stuck, with an audience that I didn’t want to hear about most of it.

So I lit the match and started burning things down.

I sent out emails that I knew would push people off my list who weren’t a good fit for where I was heading. I became more vocal about the things I’m personally sick of in the online space to detract people looking for that from following me. I began sharing the deeper topics that I know my ideal clients were struggling with but not talking about…

What do you do when being booked out isn’t all it’s cracked up to be? What’s next when you’re always surrounded by newbies and crave people at your level who challenge? What happens when you look successful on the outside because you’re making money but have zero time freedom? How do you actually work less and live more?

There were times I felt guilt around “leaving people behind who I could help.” Maybe I’m being selfish? Maybe I should just suck it up and keep going with what I’ve already built?

I kept hearing the word TRUST in these moments and thankfully, I followed it. 

When I launched the Achievers Circle  in May of this year and saw the women who joined the first round,  every doubt I had was gone. THESE were the women I was waiting for. The women I was craving a connection with. The women I knew could do incredibly BIG things and I was honored to support them in it.

At that moment, you couldn’t stop me from lighting even more matches. Closing my free FB group, refining all my ad copy and funnels… I became ALL in for the pivot.

The Lesson: Trust the pivot.

4. Just because you set a goal doesn’t mean you’re ready for it. 

One of my goals for 2017 was to write a memoir. The intention was for women to see that where they came from means nothing compared to where they’re going. That they have the power to overcome anything and achieve success on their own terms.

However, I kept finding myself blocked whenever I sat down to write.

At first, I thought it was simply me not making the time to focus. As the year went on, though, I realized that it wasn’t a time issue, it was a healing issue around some of the stories that were going into the book. They weren’t ready for the world yet because I wasn’t ready to fully accept them myself yet.

Part of me wanted to do it anyway – just to show I could. To prove that I can do anything I put my mind to. I thought I would feel like a failure at the end of the year if it wasn’t finished. And there was no way I was going to close out 2017 like that.

Well, the book isn’t finished. Not even close.

Here’s the funny thing about that though…  I’m actually more proud of myself for NOT finishing it.

Choosing not to simply “push through and make it happen” showed that I truly did find self-love this year. I love myself enough to honor what I need right now before I even attempt to leave a mark on the world in this way. I need, and deserve, more time to heal. And that’s ok.

What I learned: Sometimes you need to slow down before you speed up.

5. Never say never.

Me in January: I am DONEEEE with 1:1 work! Peace out girl scouts!
Me in June: Ummmm change of heart, I’ll do some 1:1!

When I proclaimed I was cutting all 1:1 work at the beginning of the year, in order to transition to more passive and leveraged income, my time became focused on setting up systems, funnels and webinars that converted. Time to get this automated train out of the station… toot toooot!

Once we finallyyyy figured out the webinar that was converting best for one of our evergreen funnels {in case you’re wondering, it’s rarely the first one. For us, it was webinar seven. Which meant seven weeks of hosting, tweaking, filling and sometimes straight yelling at webinars}, launched the Achievers Circle membership community and had created other funnels running in the background for passive income…

I not only realized how much I missed the live element and connection of 1:1 calls but that I had a lot of extra time on my hands now. Too much time.

Well, that wasn’t expected.

In came the creation of my Strategize + Rise 1:1 Intensive. A change up from my previous 1:1 work and something I could offer for those looking to work with me 1:1 that could be the “icing on the top” in my business instead of “omg I need more clientsss!” I made it by application only so I could only hold that type of space for people I truly felt lit up by and know I can give a massive ROI to during the session.

The difference from before? My 1:1 work is now about 20% of my total income vs the 80% it used to be. It has a completely different energy around it and it’s all on my terms which means I’m working with my absolute dream clients and watching their businesses surge as a result.

The Lesson: Don’t shut the door on anything completely. You may feel differently later or simply need to tweak it to make it work for you. Also, eating your own words isn’t that exciting.

6. Your darkest truths can become your biggest strengths.

I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve told myself in the past that I have no idea why people choose to follow me because I wasn’t someone to aspire to. The success I’ve achieved in business, the freedoms I’ve brought into my life as a result of it, the incredible memories and friendships that have been made along the way… “they still haven’t been enough to get rid of my anxiety so why does anyone care?”

What I didn’t realize until this year was that I was looking at my life-long journey with anxiety all wrong. That not only was it not something to be ashamed of but it has actually become my strength in business.

I am able to use my anxiety as an internal compass that knocks when it is time to slow down, rest and/or change the path I am on. This whole time, I simply had to be willing to listen and trust it.

In fact even did a series on FB Live Series about it right here and found an inbox full of women bringing light to their truths as well. I wasn’t the only one dealing with this in business, I was simply the only one that has turned it into working for myself in my business.

It’s what has allowed me to work less and life more.

At first because I felt I had to if I had any chance of managing my anxiety while being an entrepreneur. And then because I experienced, first hand, that this was how I was supposed to be running my business the entire time – with more ease and flow.

And guess what? While working less and changing my entire business we still matched 2016’s income. For me, that’s a HUGE success.

The Lesson: As my dear friend and coach, Lisa Carpenter, told me a good 586 times this year… “Surrender is a viable business option.” I surrendered a lot this year, and it was beautiful. 

7. We’re all the same in the human experience.

This year I was surrounded by two masterminds {one peer lead and one mentor lead}, made new friendships both online and off and created even more powerful relationships have shown me the true meaning of the phrase “A rising tide lifts all boats.”

Many women even had businesses that are “bigger” than my own. Some that I probably would have even felt intimidated by a few years ago. But you know what? The truth is that none of that matters.

When we learn to take people off pedestals, we not only honor ourselves and our own gifts but quickly learn that we are all the same in the human experience. We all win. We all lose. And we all need support through it all.

This year, I continued to create relationships with incredible women all over the world. Yes, even as an introvert {so please don’t disservice yourself by using that as an excuse}.

Women that were once strangers held space for me on days I questioned everything. Women who celebrated with me when I achieved big wins. Women who answered a random FB message from me that said something like “Hey! We’ve been friends on here for a bit but I don’t actually know you andddd I’d like to change that! Want to set up a coffee chat?” Women who cheered me on as I went through the process of self discovery right in the middle of a business pivot. Women who didn’t expect me to be anything other than myself on this journey.

And I’m so incredibly thankful to say I got to do the same for them.

It was messy. It was beautiful. It was real.

I have zero doubt the successes this year from myself and so many I have connected to are because we tapped into the real secret sauce of entrepreneurship… surrounding yourself by and making real genuine connections with those who bring the best out of you.

The Lesson: Together we rise. Really, we do.


Now that you’ve heard mine, what were some of your biggest lessons in 2017?

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