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?

Oversharing (when is it too much?)

I remember when I was going through my divorce back in 2013… I was wondering how much I should be sharing publicly at the time and a friend of mine said:

“Share from the scar, not from the wound”

Meaning, don’t share too much while you are going through it all as it might be a turn off for folks. Wait instead to share after you’ve healed so that you can show up in a more empowered ‘here’s what I learned’ way.

At the time it made total sense to me. And I chose not to share too much of what was going on while it was happening (outside of sharing with my inner circle of friends and clients.)

But now? I’m not so sure I agree with this anymore… and I’m curious for your thoughts.

These days I find that I SO appreciate hearing about the sh%t that others are going through, as they are going through it and not just as a ‘lesson learned’ after the fact.

When I pause to consider why I appreciate this… a few things come to mind:

  • It shows me that other folks are dealing with crap as well, and that I’m not alone <– that’s a biggie! it’s so easy to feel like we are the only ones dealing with stuff when we are knee deep in it.
  • It allows me to connect with them human-to-human… and not just based on the “everything is awesome and my life is amazing” persona that it feels like we are supposed to be showing up as online
  • There’s also something about witnessing it in real time, as it unfolds, that feels much more powerful than something shared after the fact.

I so appreciate and value when others “keep it real” and show up in the truth of their messiness BUT I have a hard time doing this myself.

For example, last year was the worst year I’ve ever experienced in my business. There was a circumstance in the spring that resulted in unhappy students and the ending of a business partnership. The experience shook me to the core and caused me to question everything about myself… do I really have anything of value to offer? Have I been letting folks down all along and didn’t know it? How was I so blind to some of what was going on right under my nose?

It was emotionally draining and challenging on all levels, to the point where I was ready to throw in the towel on my business many, many times (and secretly wishing I could just get rid of it all). And yet I still felt like I had to keep showing up in an empowered way. I had to keep showing a positive face to everyone around me so that folks would think I am strong and capable and have my sh%t together.

On one hand yes, as a leader I did need to show up in my strength for my team, my clients and the business. And on the other hand, would it have been wrong to also share some of the challenging aspects as well? There was a part of me that really wanted to, but that phrase “share from the scar and not the wound” kept me from doing so. And my fear that you would think less of me if I did share how much of a struggle it has been. The truth is I lost my mojo last year and am still recovering from all of it.

It was a for real “pull up your big girl panties and keep on going” year (I’ve actually thought of starting a podcast with that name, LOL… perhaps I will?)

I’m curious, how do you feel when people share the tough stuff? The messy stuff?

Does it make you think less of them? Or does it make you feel more connected?

Do you find it helpful to hear about this stuff? Or does it feel unnecessary and maybe a bit TMI?

Do you – like me – find it strangely inspiring to know that other folks struggle as well?

Comment below let me know.,. I’d love to hear your perspective.

And may we all continue to grow together in the messiness of being human in business. <3

It’s a crowded marketplace online these days (3 strategies)

The upheaval of the past couple of years has brought A LOT of people into the online business world.

There are folks who were forced online due to layoffs or business shutdowns. Those who have had to change their schedules and lifestyle to accommodate for taking care of kids and family. Folks who simply had ‘enough’ of unsatisfactory workplaces and weren’t willing to stick around. Or who had always dreamed of doing their own thing and thought ‘now is the time to do what I really want to do.’

Having worked online now for over 20 years I LOVE seeing how many more folks have come into our online world. It’s a great place to be and there is loads of opportunity in the online space.

And, let’s be real… more folks online means more competition.

If you’ve been online for a while now you may have noticed that it’s getting more crowded. There are more people out there now who ‘do what you do’ – be it as a coach, trainer, OBM, VA or otherwise.

And it’s natural to be wondering “How do I stand out?” or” Why would someone choose to work with me when they have so many other options?”

Here’s 3 strategies to consider when you want to stand out and succeed in a crowded marketplace.

1) Go Deep

I do a trends call for my Certified OBM Association each year and one of the 2022 trends we talked about was micro-niching. Being a generalist isn’t enough in a crowded marketplace, as you are positioning yourself to be the same as everyone else with the same title as you. Look for ways to go deep (focusing on the few) vs. wide (focusing on the many.)

For example, if you position yourself as a business coach you are instantly competing with every other business coach out there. If you position yourself as a business coach who helps founders prepare their business for sale within 3 to 5 years, you’ve instantly positioned yourself to work with a very specific type of client. You can get known for doing this specific thing and can go deep in your expertise there.

2) Leverage your Genius 

If our goal is to go deep (as shared above) it also brings up an opportunity for us to leverage our genius. It’s soooo easy to build a business around doing ‘all the things’ – especially when we are good at doing many things! Not only does this put us in the mix of all the other generalist “I can do anything you need me to do for you” folks – it is a recipe for stress, overwhelm and potentially burn out.

It is more important than ever to align your business with your strengths – your genius – in a crowded marketplace. Your genius may be the thing that has you stand out from the crowd, while building a business that is energizing and enjoyable.

3) Stay the Course!

Imagine you want to grow a fruit tree. First you plant the seed. Then you spend time tending to the seed – giving it what it needs to grow. Everyday that you tend to the seed it grows and over time you will have a beautiful tree.

I see too many folks in the online space messing up their seeds. They plant a seed and 3 months later get tempted by another type of tree that they think would be easier to grow, so they abandon their seed and plant another one. Only to be distracted yet again by what they were promised would be a bigger tree, planting yet another seed and starting all over yet again…

In many ways this is the most important strategy – give your seed time to grow! Commit to tending it daily through your actions. Give folks time to get to know you for what you do. Give yourself time to really dig in and go deep. Every time you change your mind you are essentially starting your tree over again from scratch. My recommendation is to always give something at least a year (maybe two) in order to really see what is possible and to allow your success to really bear fruit (pun intended 😉

To be clear, there is still TONNES of opportunity out there for all of us. Crowded doesn’t have to mean we can’t create the success we are looking for, it just means we need to be more purposeful and strategic.

I’m curious – do you feel like the marketplace has become more crowded? If so, which of these strategies feels most relevant for you? Or what are you doing to navigate these crowded waters?

Perfectionism

I find perfectionism to be an interesting thing.

On one hand it’s about excellence – we want to do great work. We want to create amazing results for our clients. We want to bring our best to any situation. These are all good things to strive for in business.

But perfectionism can also be the thing that stops us and is a very common form of resistance or self-sabotage.

In my experience, when I’m stuck in perfectionism it’s often masking a fear of making a mistake.

“What if I mess up and they think less of me?” “What if I let them down?” “What if I’m not as smart/talented/awesome as they think I am?”

These are the kind of fears that can trigger shame and make us feel like we aren’t good enough. Ooof.

If we are someone who gets caught up and stuck in perfectionism, what do we do about it?

I don’t think it’s as easy as just saying “well there is no such thing as perfect, so just do it anyways” or “done is better than perfect”. Those things are true, but they aren’t helpful when deep down inside we are terrified of making a mistake and letting someone down.

What if instead, we worked on becoming better at making mistakes?

One of the things we talk about in our Certified OBM community is ‘the big mistake’. Meaning that all of us at some time will make a big mistake – it’s inevitable. (Mine was deleting an ENTIRE client website that wasn’t backed up anywhere – eep!)

The most important thing about making a mistake is how we respond to it.

  • Do we take ownership of the mistake and look to fix it or make it right?
  • Or do we run, hide, or try to blame someone or something else for the situation.

When I deleted that client website, I took ownership of rebuilding the entire thing. And even though the client was slightly annoyed it had happened, in the end it was totally fine because I fixed it.

I can tell you from experience on both sides of the coin – as both client & service provider – that ownership is what really matters. 99% of the time your clients will be fine with any mistakes that happen, so long as you take ownership of fixing it and looking to ensure it doesn’t happen again.

In other words, if you become good at responding to mistakes – taking ownership – then perfectionism no longer has to be the goal. It no longer has to be the measuring stick you use to decide whether or not you are doing a good job (and we all know, when we measure ourselves to perfection we will never measure up.)

Instead, the goal becomes “am I someone who is willing to take ownership for any mistakes?” Even when it sucks and feels uncomfortable. Even if a part of you does want to run and hide. (I thought I was going to barf when I had to tell my client about deleting that website!)

And strangely enough, as we take ownership and become better at responding to mistakes… perfectionism may no longer have such a strong hold over us. We know mistakes will happen and we know that we will take ownership of it and take care of it. <– That is what really matters.

Here’s to making mistakes! And being OK with it. 😉

When is enough enough?

I’m about to head into day 2 of our annual OBM Live conference – exclusive to members of our Certified OBM community.

Our theme this year is the inner game – and how if we don’t take care of our inner game then we will struggle to see results in our outer game.

We are having some amazing discussions around burnout and boundaries. Leading through chaos. Impostor syndrome and dealing with the worry, doubt & fear that comes up for all of us.

During one of our sessions yesterday the topic of ‘more more more’ came up, and how easy it is to fall into the trap of always wanting more.

More clients. More money.

Getting more done. And in less time (ooof).

And feeling the CONSTANT pressure of all of this.

There is a very real price to this that we don’t talk about often. Things like:

  • Hitting burnout because we are over working ourselves (or even overthinking, which can be equally as exhausting!)
  • Not being able to enjoy the success we do create, because we are instantly looking to the next goal
  • Feeling shame because we aren’t where we think we should be.

Keeping it real – this is a trap I’ve fallen into in my own business… and I’ve paid the price.

I remember when I first hit 6-figures in my business. It was a goal that I had for years, and I would dream about how amazing life would be. And when I hit 6-figures in my business I barely even noticed it, because I was so focused on “OK, now I have to hit 7-figures!!”

I didn’t take a moment to celebrate it or really let it in. I just kept on going… kept on working.

This is something I continue to struggle with – every goal that I reach. Every milestone that I pass. There is a part of me that feels like it’s “not enough”.

What if – instead of trying to constantly get more – we aimed for ENOUGH? 

Enough to live the lifestyle we want. And I’m not just talking about money here (although that is certainly part of it) – I’m talking about energy as well. The bigger the business the more it’s going to require of us, even when we have amazing support around us. How hard do you really want to work? How much time do you have available for work when you consider the life you want to live now? (Not the life that you think you’ll get to live in the future once you ‘get there’.)

It’s hard to resist the lure of more, more, more! Everything around us is telling us we should want more. Our own internal drive is telling us the same.

AND you ultimately get to decide.

What is enough? Right here. Right now.

What if we could be happy with enough? What if we could linger there and truly receive and enjoy it? Hang out there for a while… maybe even years?

Not gonna lie – this is something I have yet to master for myself. I’m aware of it and I’m working on it as well, but there is a lot to untangle around the ‘more more more!’ habit.

And yes, there are times when we may truly want more. There are seasons when we have more to give. More energy. More time. In which case go for it! Bring it on.

But we also need rest. We need to linger. We need to simply be and enjoy.

Imagine if we gave ourselves permission to simply live in enough. How different would life be?

Strategy or Mindset – what matters more?

We need both strategy & mindset to be successful in business:

  • Strategy is the outer game of success – what is the best way to accomplish our business goals? How are we going to get from A to B to C? It’s the tactical, practical side of things.
  • Mindset is the inner game of success – what goes on inside our minds and how does that affect our actions? Where do we stop ourselves?

It’s not hard to find good strategy these days. There are endless trainings, books and programs out there that can lay out the path to get from A to B to C. Doesn’t matter if you are wanting to learn how to hire better or create a strong marketing funnel – a quick search online will have many solutions right at your fingertips. Heck, we can even find all the strategy we need for free on YouTube.

Strategy matters, but it’s not the bigger challenge for most of us.

What matters more is what we tell ourselves. Our thoughts, beliefs and fears. Things like:

“I don’t know enough yet”
“Once I have more experience then I’ll be able to….”
“What if it doesn’t work out?”
“I’m scared I’ll mess this up!”
“What will they think of me?”
“Everyone else seems to have it all figure out – why am I struggling?”
“I’ve tried this before and it didn’t work”
“I know what I need to do, but I just can’t seem to get it done…”

I could go on – and I suspect you could add more of your own stuff to this list.

Any one of these things can stop us in our tracks. Stop us from taking action on the strategies we know are effective. Cause us to self-sabotage ourselves every step of the way.

And it’s totally normal to feel this way – to have worries, doubts and fears. I like to say mindset is 83% of the journey (not an official statistic, but certainly reflective of my personal experience as well as that of my clients.)

It can also be our biggest ally, when we are able to get our mindset on track and working with us (instead of against us.)

I’m curious – how important is mindset in your success journey? Hit reply and let me know.