I titled this “a personal post” … which means I’m going to talk about myself a bit. There may be some helpful info here, but … there may not be.
(You’ve been warned.)
If my life was a movie genre this past year, it would probably be “action / adventure.” The recurring themes were “pioneering” or “launching” or “new starts” … there was tons of that going on.
- launched my consulting & copywriting business
- launched my first online course
- launched a podcast (actually, two)
- launched my first group coaching course
- joined my first mastermind group (actually, two)
- spoke at my first business conference
- wrote the foreword for an Amazon #1 best-selling book (a first!)
- had my first 5-figure month in income from my business (wow!)
- was featured for the first time on some big platforms, including Huff Post, Entrepreneur, LeadPages, and a Michael Hyatt webinar
There was also a whole lot of ending, too. It makes sense; to say “yes” to one thing means you must say “no” to another.
Two lessons for you (even though I said there may not be anything helpful):
- Ask, “If my life was a movie this past year, what category would it be?” Then assess why. (Special thanks to Michael Hyatt’s Best Year Ever course for this deliciously intrusive question.)
- What things must you say “No” to in order to get what you really want?
That begs the question, “Knowing this, what will I be working on in 2015?”
1. Nurturing the most valuable resource of all: relationships.
My life growing up was pretty rocky. Divorce in the family, domestic violence, and all the crap that goes with that. This Thanksgiving, my mom (along with other family) stayed over our house for a few days. One night, I spoke with her uninterrupted for over an hour after everyone had gone to sleep.
This was the longest amount of time we’ve ever talked, as in my entire life.
I had so many questions about my life growing up, questions that only my mother could answer. I learned so much about my past; it brought closure in so many ways.
What sucked about it?
I was unsettled that it took this long for us to have the time and opportunity to talk like this. I grieved at the busyness of life, how fast it flies by, and how much time I’ve given to pointless and unimportant things.
My mother arrived on Tuesday. I had to work Tuesday and Wednesday, and we didn’t get to talk like that for the rest of the week. I thought, “We probably could have talked even more, but I had to go to work. Ugh!”
What will I regret when I’m about to die? That I didn’t spend more time with my mom, the rest of my family (including my in-laws who are awesome) and my dearest friends. This revelation upset me greatly, to the point that I made a decision regarding my job. You can imagine what it is, but it’s only feasible because of the next goal:
2. Forging a financial destiny of abundance.
Looking back, it is obvious that 1. I need to be more accountable with my finances (my wife shouting “Amen” somewhere) … and 2. I do not charge enough money for my services.
One client this past year raised over $30,000, another made $22,000, still another $57,000. The company I market for will earn $3,000,000 (a record). And here I am feeling bad to ask someone to pay me a $1,000 a month retainer.
The truth is my clients make way more from working with me than working without me. This doesn’t mean I’m greedy, grubby, or have a god-complex. I just know my value, and it’s someone’s loss if they don’t utilize my abilities or insights.
Earning what I’m worth will allow me to give greater, serve more, and give me more time to do so.
(If you’ve got me locked into a sub-par retainer rate, enjoy it while it lasts … because it won’t.)
3. Leaving my day job … completely.
Plans are already set in motion for me to go part-time at my current job. I work very hard. But I despise work that does not matter … especially when it prevents me from having more time for relationships.
“But you need to make a living, you need to make money! How will you achieve your financial destiny of abundance?”
I’ll do it by doing what I love, doing what fulfills me, doing what is the convergence of my skills and experiences. That is what will allow me to contribute my greatest value and worth to this world, isn’t it?
I believe this is possible for me. I believe this is possible for you.
If you’re in a place where you need to work just for money, there’s no shame in that. I’ve done it all my life. I just won’t settle for it any longer.
So the plan is that on January 26th, I will no longer be a full-time employee. I cannot completely leave my job in good conscience; my position cannot be easily replaced and would harm the company badly. It’s almost like stepping down from a church (which I have done before). It’s a sensitive transition that requires delicacy and thoughtfulness.
But my big, hairy, audacious goal is to run my business full-time by this time next year. I suppose I’ll need to find some clients (that value my work and pay me accordingly).
4. Focusing on “push” goals.
This is a gem from speaker Chalene Johnson. She says a “push” goal is one that makes all your other goals more easily attainable. It has a domino effect.
For example, here are some of my business goals: gain more clients, get more speaking gigs, and write a book. Of those three goals, the “push” goal would be to write a book. If the book is good, some people will hire me, and some events may contract me to speak. A book will have exponential impact, so I should focus on that as a “push” goal and prioritize it.
5. Contributing to a cause way bigger than myself.
While all the above goals are important, I don’t think any of them will fulfill me on the highest level. Why?
I believe that we humans are wired to find true fulfillment when we give beyond ourselves. Perhaps this is an ode to the “survival instinct” deep within us that used to sacrifice individual wants for the sake of our species’ survival. Others might call it God, or destiny, or charity, or the universe.
Bottom line is I’ve started having some dangerous conversations with my wife of late. We’ve asked, “What can we can do to make the world better? Feed people? Rescue drug addicts? Fight sex trafficking? Build shelters? Adopt 42 more dogs?” (We have two already, that’s enough.)
I do not yet know the answer to this. Since we don’t, we’ll do what we’ve always done … just try stuff until something sticks.
Friend, I hope you’ve found something of worth in this post that will be applicable to you. Thanks for allowing me to be a part of your day.
May you spend more time with loved ones, do work that matters, earn more than what you believe you’re worth, and discover what your best, most valuable contribution to the world is. Here’s to an amazing 2015.