Befriending your fear (say what?)

Oh the amount of time I’ve spent over the years trying to run away from fear. Thinking that it was ‘wrong’ and that if I was going to be successful I needed to first get rid of my fear.

I would do all kinds of things to avoid my fear – stuff it down, distract myself, pretend it wasn’t there – only to find that it kept coming back. Sometimes larger and more consuming than before.

So I would dig in and try more ‘fear busting strategies’. Meditation. Positive thinking. Affirmations. The good ole ‘suck it up princess and do it anyway’ approach.

Some of these strategies would work for a while… until I wore out from all the pushing and found my old friend fear still there beside me. It felt like running on a treadmill trying to get across town – spending so much energy and ultimately ending up in the same place.

There was a moment a few years back when something struck me about fear.

What if fear wasn’t here to stop me, but was instead here to shine a light on future possibilities. 

Hmmm… I had to sit with that for a moment.

And as I sat with it something became clear – fear only showed up when I was looking to make a shift of some kind.

When I was looking to go from ‘where I am now’ to ‘where I want to go next.’

Fear doesn’t show up when things are easy. Comfortable. When we feel 100% confident and in charge of life.

Oh no – fear only shows up when we want more from life. When we want to make a change.

And in my experience, the more fear that shows up… the closer we are to our truth. Our purpose.

Put simply – we can look at fear as the enemy or we can look at fear as a friend.

If we look at fear as the enemy we will keep fighting it. We will try to find a way to ‘push through it’, avoid it or keep on thinking positive thoughts pretending it’s not there.

If we befriend fear then a couple of really cool things start to happen.

We recognize that fear is normal and positive. It’s a natural part of the growth process and not something we need to resist. “Hello fear… I see you. I know I’m looking at some changes and I recognize that you being here is a sign that I’m on the right track.”

We can honor that fear is here to protect us. Why does fear show up when things are changing? Because it wants to keep us safe. It wants to keep us where we are now because it’s known. Making a change forces us to step into the unknown and fear doesn’t like that. “What if this doesn’t work out? What if I try and I fail? May as well just stay here with what I know… even if I don’t enjoy it.”

When we look at fear differently we can get to know it better, so that we can work ‘with’ our fear instead of always trying to fight it.

I have a few journaling questions I like to ask my fear when it shows up that I’ll share in my next post.

Boundaries

Boundaries have been a biggie for me the past couple of months.

I’ve had to stand my ground on a few things. Have some really tough discussions. Hold people accountable to their agreements.

Keeping it real… it’s been tough. And empowering at the same time.

The toughest part for me is knowing that enforcing these boundaries and agreements has made other people unhappy, mad and upset with me.

And I hate that part. My ‘people pleasing’ tendencies run deep and I really struggle when I know my actions/decisions cause other people to feel this way.

I don’t like upsetting people. I want people to like me. I’m sure there are all kinds of reasons why I’m ‘wired’ this way, and without diving too deep into what those reasons are – as a default I am a people pleaser.

AND yet…

Boundaries are a necessity in business.

When we break it down, a boundary is about two things:

  • setting an agreement
  • enforcing an agreement

Setting an agreement is one thing – and in many ways it’s the easier thing!

Enforcing an agreement is where it gets tough. <– And this is where many of us (myself included!) can let things slide…

We might ignore the little things that are showing up. Maybe a team member is constantly late with their work, but we know they are having a rough time at home so we don’t talk to them about it. Or you have an agreement with your client that you don’t work past 5pm, but they constantly ask you for things late in the day and you do it “just this one time” (again and again…)

We might avoid the bigger things as well. You were promised something in an agreement that you didn’t receive, but you don’t want to ‘rock the boat’ so you don’t bring it up.

Whenever we don’t enforce the agreements that we’ve made – we are out of integrity. With ourselves. With others. And with our business.

Whenever we make our decisions from ‘well I don’t want to upset this person’ or ‘it’s not that big of a deal’, that is breaking the agreement that we’ve made.

And we are left feeling powerless. Resentful. Deflated. To the point where our business relationships may (will?) fall apart. And often not in a nice way.

Put simply – don’t make agreements that you aren’t willing to enforce.

Enforcing agreements can be hard AND it is some of the most empowering work you can do in your business. To stand your ground. To have the tough conversations. To not let things slide. To say ‘no’ or to say ‘hey, we need to talk about this.’

I’ve made decisions lately that were best for the business and that I knew would be upsetting to others. Some days I made those decisions with tears streaming down my cheeks, it was that emotional for me. But I did it none the less.

I was saying to a friend the other day, “I feel like I’m a grown up business owner now”. (Putting on my big girl panties as they say 😉

We become empowered when we do the tough stuff. And boundaries are tough stuff.

2021 Trends for Online Service Providers

As we look back to 2020 – and ‘ease’ into 2021 – what can we expect as service providers? What are the opportunities for us out there today and how can we make the most of them?

To say 2020 was a doozy of a year is to put it mildly, and yet it was a year that opened up all kinds of doors for online service providers… put simply, the world came online last year and you are needed more now than ever. So whether you are a virtual assistant, online business manager, copywriter, funnel builder, web designer or otherwise… if you provide ‘done for you’ services of any kind now is your time.

Carrying the weight of your business on your shoulders

There is a simple truth that we don’t talk about enough as we grow.

And that is – the bigger your business grows, the heavier it is… the more responsibility you carry.

You are responsible for taking care of clients and team. Making sure everyone is happy.

You are responsible for the work – making sure everything gets done correctly and on time.

You are responsible for making enough money to pay for it all. Paying for team. Marketing. Systems. And hopefully paying yourself!

Let’s be real – it is a heavy burden to carry at times. Especially when you feel like you have to carry it all on your own.

I’m very much a ‘do it myself’ kind of gal. My default mode is to jump in, figure it out and make it happen.

This was a huge part of my success in the early years! When it was just me and my clients.

But when I hit the 6-figure mark it stopped working. It became too much.

Too much work to do.

Too many decisions to make.

Too much to keep track of.

What used to be my strength – rolling up my sleeves and taking care of things on my own – became my weakness.

And this is where my growth stalled. Where my income became stuck.

Because there simply wasn’t enough of me to go around anymore.

When I learned how to shift this – how to shift from doer to CEO – then everything opened up and things began to flow again.

My income doubled practically overnight. My team was rocking and getting stuff done without my having to constantly ask.

I got back to working sane hours – and no weekends! – doing the stuff I loved.

And I felt free – the weight I had been carrying around on my shoulders was gone.

I no longer felt like I had to do it all on my own.

THIS is the work we do together in my CEO Activator – the shift from doer to CEO.

When you are tired of hustling…

When we start our business it’s all about the hustle…

We hustle to get clients. Serve clients. Keep clients. It’s the hustle that brings in the money.

BUT there comes a point where the hustle starts to work against you. Where working harder and harder actually stifles the flow of your income.

The hustle stops working when your schedule is full. When you are so busy working with clients and juggling it all that you don’t have anything more to give…

… and yet, our old habits kick in and we try to push through. To dig deep. To hustle harder.

Only to find yourself overworked, exhausted and disillusioned with it all.

When you have nothing left to give – no more time or energy – the hustle will suck the life out of you. And your business.

If the hustle doesn’t work at a certain point then what does?

It’s the shift from doer to CEO.

From being the hub of the business that everything flows through…

From being the main (only?) person serving clients – where you feel like you can’t take a day off because there is no one else to do the work…

From working too many hours with no light at the end of the tunnel…

From making some money but not enough…

The shift from doer to CEO changes everything. And it’s a surprisingly simple shift to make.

I’ve got a new round of the CEO Activator coming up to help you make this shift… if you are in the “hustle isn’t working anymore” category and are ready for change reply to this email and I’ll share more details with you.

There is another way…

Tina

You should get paid the most for this…

“You should get paid the most for what comes easiest to you”

I was flabbergasted when I first heard this on a coaching call… because it wasn’t at all true for me in my business at the time.

I was getting paid to “get things done” and I was darn good at it. I was making a good living there as well. I had great clients and my business was full.

But I knew when I heard this that I was not getting paid for what came easiest to me!

At first I could barely wrap my mind around that concept.

“You mean I could get paid MORE for the things that are easier? Is that even an option?”

(I was raised to believe that hard work = success. Which meant that I had to work harder and harder as my business grew <— perhaps you can relate?)

So I sat with it a bit and I asked myself a few key questions:

* What comes easiest to me?* What would I do even if I wasn’t getting paid for it?* What am I doing for clients right now that they value and that I’m not getting “officially” paid for?

The answer became clear – strategy.

I am an amazing strategist. I can look at any situation with a client, help them see their options and guide them to a decision that is best for them and their vision.

I would do this for free all day long. And truthfully I was doing it for free already with my clients at the time, because I naturally brought it to the table in our work. My mind would always go straight to strategy – I couldn’t turn it off if I tried. 😉

It was one of the main reasons my clients hired me even though it wasn’t the main “thing” I was selling at the time.

Once I was able to own this I was able to start charging for it. And it changed the entire course of my business.

I’m curious…

What comes easiest to you?

And is it something that you currently charge for?

Hit reply and let me know – let’s open up the possibilities.

Tina

P.S. As you are ready to connect… here are a couple of ways I can help:

1. Join The Intersection Facebook Group
The Intersection is that sacred space where business and spirit meet. Where our purpose – our calling – comes together with our livelihood. This group is open to any business owner who is interested in exploring this space together.
Click Here

2. The CEO Activator
I’m starting a small group for mission-driven coaches and service providers stuck at low 6-figures who want to break through to $40K+ months, without having to create complicated funnels, expensive Facebook Ads or fancy launches. Do you want to join us?