Letting go to make room for what is next

When we are looking to take things to the next level it’s so easy to focus on what else we need to be doing.

We need to do more of this. More of that. More marketing. More hiring. More sales. More funnels. More of all the things.

And that right there is the very thing that can stop us in our growth – because for most of us at this stage we simply don’t have room for more! The thought of adding more to our plates is overwhelming. We don’t have the time and energy for it. So we don’t do anything and keep on chugging along hoping that someday we will have the time and energy to take things to the next level.

Perhaps you can relate to that feeling?

This is erroneous thinking, and is one of the biggest traps that we get stuck in on the growth path.

Instead I want you to imagine that your business is a glass of water. And that glass of water is full to the brim! What happens if you try to pour more water in the glass? It overflows and we end up spilling all over the place.

The only way to get more water into the glass is to first pour some of the water out. Then we have space for more water in the glass. New water. Fresh water.

The same is true for our businesses. When we are looking to take things to the next level the question we want to ask ourselves is:

What do I need to let go of?

THIS is the place I start with all of my clients. We need to first create space before we start trying to fill up with all the new things.

We may need to let go of some of the things we’ve been doing (clear our plates.) Let go of certain offerings that are no longer aligned. Let go of clients that are no longer a fit. Strategies that are no longer aligned with where we are headed. Habits in how we show up and do things.

And I want to acknowledge that this is easier said than done – letting go is hard!

It makes a lot of sense at face value right? We need to let go to make space. But when it comes to actually doing this can bring up all sorts of worries, doubts and fears.

“What if I let go of this client and can’t get another one?”

“People have hired me for X for so many years now – will they want to work with me in this new way?”

“I can’t imagine no longer doing Y and having someone else take it over – what if I can’t find the right person? And what if they don’t do as good as job as I do?”

It can be easy enough to identify the things you need to let go of – heck, you may have that list already clear in your mind!

But actually doing it is a whole other thing. One that requires you to be purposeful. To be patient. And ideally to have the right support and container around you so that you don’t just fall back into your ‘old ways and old habits’.

I’ve got space to work with 2 folks next month who are ready to take their business to the next level. And you guessed it – one of the very first things we are going to do together is looking at what you need to let go of (and then of course work together to help make it happen.)

I’ve been making some “eek!” decisions…

I’ve made a few “eek” decisions in my business recently – you know, the kind that get your heart pounding and bring up ALLL your stuff.

Decisions around investing in additional support and coaching for myself, so that I can birth the next level of my business.

Because frankly, I wasn’t getting there on my own. Despite my best intentions. Despite trying to kick my own butt. I’ve been feeling stuck and unmotivated for months now, even though I KNOW I’ve got some big stuff brewing.

I don’t know if you relate to this, but my Achilles heel is thinking that I can figure everything out on my own. That just because I am amazing at helping others find clarity and step into their next level, that I shouldn’t need help to do that myself.

Uh nope. Wrong. That right there is the kind of thinking that keeps us small. And stuck. The truth is we actually need MORE help when we are up leveling. Especially when we have a big vision and big plans.

What is so “eek!” about the decisions I’ve been making?

  1. I’m investing beyond my comfort zone. I don’t know that this is true for everyone, but it certainly is true for me… if I really want to get off my butt and get moving, I need to invest at a price point that is a bit scary. A price point that matters. It’s been a while since I’ve done this and ooooeee! Here I am once again.
  2. It is bringing up all my stuff! When we invest (literally) in our next level it starts to bring up all of our stuff. All of the “who do I think I am” stuff. All of the impostor syndrome and “OMG – what if this doesn’t work? What if I end up living in a van down by the river!?” (Nod to those who get this 90s SNL reference, hehe). Let’s just say my ‘stuff’ has been in full effect this past week, which lets me know I’m right on track. 😉
  3. I know I’m going to have to let go of some things. Up leveling requires us to let go of what is no longer serving us in order to make room for what comes next. I don’t know yet exactly what I need to let go of, but I do know that the Tina I am now is not the Tina I need to become for my next level.

And so here I am, crossing my fingers and jumping on in!

I’m curious… when was the last time you made an “eek!” decision?

Is there any part of you right now that is calling you to make an “eek!” decision that you’ve been avoiding?

Beware what you wish for (an alternative perspective)

When it comes to growing a business and taking things to the next level, a mentor of mine used to say:

“New level, new devil”

It’s so easy to think that taking our business to the next level is going to make things so much better. And in many ways it can!

BUT there is also a lot about hitting those next levels that can make things tougher. And if we aren’t aware of these things, it can be quite a smack upside the head when it happens.

Instead of ‘beware what you wish for’, let’s be AWARE of what you are wishing for. I’m a big believer in expecting the tough stuff, so that it doesn’t seem so tough when it happens. (Maybe I’m just weird that way? But I really like to know what I’m getting into…)

Things like:

  • Hiring a team – finding the right folks, onboarding them, leading them! (and what if they don’t do as good a job as you do? ooof…)
  • Being responsible for other people’s paychecks (people are now relying on you for their income!)
  • Losing a key team member (not just having to replace them, but the emotions around them leaving)
  • If you are no longer ‘doing all the things’ then what the heck are you doing now? (this was a big identity crisis for me, as I had spent a lifetime of being the superwoman who could do it all)
  • Keeping the marketing engine running (a bigger business requires more consistent marketing efforts)
  • The money you make is no longer just your own – there are so many more things to pay for (I remember being a solopreneur where pretty much every dollar I made landed in my pocket… ahh the good ole days 😉
  • More clients to take care of (and having to trust your team and systems to make sure they are taken care of! Cause you can’t keep a finger on every client anymore)
  • The pressure to make the right decisions – there is so much more at stake as your business grows
  • Your legal, financial and corporate structures need to be solid (no more winging it and hoping for the best)
  • You can’t just walk away if it gets too hard or if you don’t want to do it anymore (there is no easy escape hatch at a certain level in your business.)

To be clear, all of these things are manageable… AND they could also become big problems if we aren’t aware of what we are getting into. Heck, they can become big problems even when we are aware of what we are getting into!

The biggest shift of all is responsibility – as you get away from the ‘doing’ the responsibility goes up. And you need to be prepared – and supported! – to shoulder that responsibility. If you aren’t ready for it and don’t have the right support around it then your next level may suck the life out of you.

I know for a fact, I wouldn’t have made it through the hard things in my business if it wasn’t for the folks around me. Who have my back when the going gets tough. Who can look me in the eye and say “yes, I know it’s hard AND you need to step up and step in here.” Who can help me navigate the surprising things about success as they arise. Coaches & colleagues who “get it” are really important in this journey.

If you are navigating into your next level know I’m here cheering you on! And if you need some extra support around it all let me know… this is exactly what I do with my coaching clients.

The cycle of “the hustle”

When people talk about hustling it seems to be from one of two different viewpoints. Either:

  1. You have to hustle if you want to be successful OR
  2. You shouldn’t have to hustle to be successful

What if both are true? But at different times.

I believe there are times that we need to hustle – and there are times that we shouldn’t hustle. The key is to know what part of the cycle we are in, so we can act accordingly.

Imagine you are surfing… in order to get out to where the waves are you have to paddle your buns off (that’s the hustle). Then, once there, you can catch a wave and ride it into shore (less effort required).

First, to define hustling… I consider hustling to be going “above and beyond” our desired or baseline working capacity. To be extra busy. Putting in extra effort. Moving faster. Doing more.

There are 2 things to note about hustling:

  • It’s not sustainable – if you are in a continual state of hustle you will burnout at some point. There is a price to be paid for the continual hustle.
  • It often requires us to be doing things that we don’t always want to be doing. And lord knows, there are MANY things in business that we don’t enjoy doing but that are necessary.

So when does it make sense to hustle? If you are doing something NEW, in a stage of enhanced GROWTH or when you are dealing with a CHALLENGE.

Hustle is often required to ‘gear up’ and get the ball rolling on something new. Starting a new business. Creating a new program. A new marketing initiative or launch. It’s also required when you are in a growth stage. When you want to take your business to the next level.

Or if you are dealing with a crisis or unexpected challenge in your business. We may need to hustle to find our way through, as so many have had to do in the age of Covid!

Imbalance occurs here when we should be hustling but we aren’t… and I have to say, I see this a lot these days. Folks are starting businesses and wanting to grow, but have bought into the adage that “I shouldn’t have to hustle!” I hate to tell you, when something is new, when you want to grow or find yourself in a crisis or challenge, hustling is a good thing! If you aren’t willing to dig in and give it your all – even for a short while – then you may never make progress towards what you want and may end up stuck or stagnant. If you want to catch that wave you need to be willing to paddle out to where the waves are.

When does it make sense to NOT be hustling? When you are in a cycle of maintenance or NURTURING. Or when you just need a BREAK!

As our businesses grow and we start to lay a foundation for success, guess what? You shouldn’t need to hustle quite as much! This might look like starting to bring team members on to take some of the workload off your plate. Or it might look like ‘riding the wave’ of your current programs and existing marketing channels that are already working (vs. trying to continually create something new.) It’s also OK to take a break as needed, so that we don’t burn out.

Imbalance occurs here when we keep on hustling past the time we need to be! And let me tell you, hustling can be addictive… it can be a hard habit to break. I remember when I first hit a nurture stage in my business it felt almost weird to not be hustling all the time. I started to hire team. I got things off my plate. And it felt weird not to be working less. “Am I allowed to not hustle? Is it OK for things to be easy in my business for a while?”… yes, you earn the right not to hustle at certain stages of your growth.

And it’s worth noting that yes – even when you reach a ‘non hustle’ stage that the hustle will be required again at some point. When you are ready to grow your business. If something stops working and you need to pivot. We still need to be willing to dig in and do the extra work when our business asks it of us.

Bottom line is – it’s OK to hustle. Just be clear on what you are hustling towards and take care of yourself along the way. And it’s OK not to hustle and to give yourself time to sit back and enjoy the ride for a season.

I’m curious – are you currently in a hustle or non-hustle stage?

When people talk about hustling it seems to be from one of two different viewpoints. Either:

  1. You have to hustle if you want to be successful OR
  2. You shouldn’t have to hustle to be successful

What if both are true? But at different times.

I believe there are times that we need to hustle – and there are times that we shouldn’t hustle. The key is to know what part of the cycle we are in, so we can act accordingly.

Imagine you are surfing… in order to get out to where the waves are you have to paddle your buns off (that’s the hustle). Then, once there, you can catch a wave and ride it into shore (less effort required).

First, to define hustling… I consider hustling to be going “above and beyond” our desired or baseline working capacity. To be extra busy. Putting in extra effort. Moving faster. Doing more.

There are 2 things to note about hustling:

  • It’s not sustainable – if you are in a continual state of hustle you will burnout at some point. There is a price to be paid for the continual hustle.
  • It often requires us to be doing things that we don’t always want to be doing. And lord knows, there are MANY things in business that we don’t enjoy doing but that are necessary.

So when does it make sense to hustle? If you are doing something NEW, in a stage of enhanced GROWTH or when you are dealing with a CHALLENGE.

Hustle is often required to ‘gear up’ and get the ball rolling on something new. Starting a new business. Creating a new program. A new marketing initiative or launch. It’s also required when you are in a growth stage. When you want to take your business to the next level.

Or if you are dealing with a crisis or unexpected challenge in your business. We may need to hustle to find our way through, as so many have had to do in the age of Covid!

Imbalance occurs here when we should be hustling but we aren’t… and I have to say, I see this a lot these days. Folks are starting businesses and wanting to grow, but have bought into the adage that “I shouldn’t have to hustle!” I hate to tell you, when something is new, when you want to grow or find yourself in a crisis or challenge, hustling is a good thing! If you aren’t willing to dig in and give it your all – even for a short while – then you may never make progress towards what you want and may end up stuck or stagnant. If you want to catch that wave you need to be willing to paddle out to where the waves are.

When does it make sense to NOT be hustling? When you are in a cycle of maintenance or NURTURING. Or when you just need a BREAK!

As our businesses grow and we start to lay a foundation for success, guess what? You shouldn’t need to hustle quite as much! This might look like starting to bring team members on to take some of the workload off your plate. Or it might look like ‘riding the wave’ of your current programs and existing marketing channels that are already working (vs. trying to continually create something new.) It’s also OK to take a break as needed, so that we don’t burn out.

Imbalance occurs here when we keep on hustling past the time we need to be! And let me tell you, hustling can be addictive… it can be a hard habit to break. I remember when I first hit a nurture stage in my business it felt almost weird to not be hustling all the time. I started to hire team. I got things off my plate. And it felt weird not to be working less. “Am I allowed to not hustle? Is it OK for things to be easy in my business for a while?”… yes, you earn the right not to hustle at certain stages of your growth.

And it’s worth noting that yes – even when you reach a ‘non hustle’ stage that the hustle will be required again at some point. When you are ready to grow your business. If something stops working and you need to pivot. We still need to be willing to dig in and do the extra work when our business asks it of us.

Bottom line is – it’s OK to hustle. Just be clear on what you are hustling towards and take care of yourself along the way. And it’s OK not to hustle and to give yourself time to sit back and enjoy the ride for a season.

I’m curious – are you currently in a hustle or non-hustle stage?

Just because you can doesn’t mean you should

It’s a common misconception that adding more services/products to our lineup is the way to go when we want to grow.

Its especially tempting when people are telling you that you should.

“You could add X as well!”

“Why don’t you offer Y alongside your X? People would love that!”

But here’s the thing… more services = more complexity.

More marketing.

More clients with different needs.

More systems and processes. More team.

More to juggle!

More is tiring – even when it means more $$ in your bank account.

The alternative is to focus on less. To ask yourself:

How can I do just ONE thing and serve as many people as possible?

Or do one thing and up-level the offering so that it provides more value and you can charge more? Add strategy to your existing implementation services. Or a ’done for you’ element to your strategic coaching packages.

When my clients come to me exhausted from having fallen into the “offer as many things as possible” trap this is our first step.

To refine and simplify. To own the thing they do best and let go of the rest.

That’s freedom baby!

I’m curious – what is your one thing?

Do you need a tweak or a change?

You feel like something is missing from your business model /current offering and are wondering if it’s time for a change.

Maybe you’ve been doing what you do for a while now and are (secretly) bored and want to up level.

Maybe things are pretty good but you know that you are meant for more and want to make a bigger impact.

Maybe you want to make more money, but are tapped out with your current client load and don’t have the time or energy to take clients or projects on.

Conventional wisdom will tell you that it’s time for a CHANGE – to stop what you are doing now and do something totally different.

For example, to stop being a VA/OBM/copywriter [insert your title here] and become a coach/trainer/consultant instead.

I’m not a fan of this advice for 2 reasons:

1) You are essentially starting your business over from scratch when you change what you are doing. It’s not just about a new business model or offer – you are also now having to find a whole target market (the people who bought your services are not the same folks that will want to buy a training program from you), new messaging, new marketing, new branding/materials, etc.

2) It’s generally not necessary to make that big of a change to get what you want. Many times when I’m working with clients it’s more about looking for a TWEAK than making a big change. To leverage what you’ve already created vs. starting over again from scratch.

This is where your zone of genius comes into play… often it’s ‘weaving’ your zone of genius into what you doing already that can make the difference that you are looking for. That can allow you to charge more for your work. That can attract a more aligned, ideal client in your current target market. That can get you out of doing the stuff you are tired of doing so that you can do more of what you love.

And it also doesn’t require you to go out and start from scratch – taking months (or even years) to get things flowing again.

This is exactly what we are doing in my Make Money from Your Zone of Genius Workshop on February 3rd.

We are going to roll up our sleeves together – virtually – and look for that tweak you are craving to take things to the next level. To feel excited and fulfilled in your business again. (And yes, to make more money.)

Would love to have you join us if this feels timely – details can be found here. (no fancy webpage or anything – just a simple invite)

Let me know if you have questions.