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Real Talk: What I learned in the First Year of Business.

What I learned in the first year of business

Sitting at the coffee shop here in Austin reflecting on what has transpired in the past year, I’m overwhelmed with gratitude. Also caffeine… 

It’s so easy to sit here in the same seat where I built my website 12 months ago and think “I thought I would have hit 6-figures by now!” or “I thought I would have hosted my retreat in Bali by now!”
Yes, these are totally achievable goals, and a handful of new coaches hit these within a year. BUT SO MANY MORE DO NOT. 

What's more, when hitting six figures isn’t the primary goal, it makes it a really hard target to hit. My goals this past year were more about developing a recognizable brand than they were about filling my coaching program and hitting any financial goals. And that’s the truth, baby. 

The reality is, there are a million things we can tell ourselves every day to diminish our success. There are a million ways we belittle our progress and compare ourselves to other people who are “so much further than us.” 

But what good is that? Comparison-induced paralysis does us no good. The fact is, I’ve been able to create some really incredible things in the past year: 

  • Successful Podcast on iTunes with thousands of listeners in over 30 countries.
  • Interviews for TBLM podcast with mentors who I now call friends. 
  • Speaking at the conference that inspired it all last year, World Domination Summit.
  • Working on my first book (set to release end of 2016/early 2017).
  • Features on other podcast and publications including Huffington Post. 

There are countless lessons I’ve learned over the past year, and I infuse each of my coaching sessions with this new knowledge to ensure that my clients can skip the mistakes I’ve made. Don’t worry, every entrepreneur will create mistakes and lessons of their own! 

Here are some of the biggest time (and energy) saving lessons I’ve been fortunate enough to go through since launching The Bold Life Movement: 

1. Put your shit out there

One of the hardest things for people launching personal brands to overcome is this fear that EVERYONE WILL JUDGE YOU. I remember being petrified to even tell my friends about The Bold Life Movement back when it was just a blog. I was afraid people would think it was lame, or narcissistic or who knows what else. 

#Truthbomb: If you’re going to create content for people to consume, if you’re going to embark on a journey of helping others, you’re going to have to embrace a necessary level of audacity to think you can actually provide value. And eventually you’re going to HAVE to hit publish, to make an offer, and to tell people about what you are doing. 

The need to be initially (and then consistently) visible has been one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned. And that’s coming from the creator of the damn bold life movement! 

Don’t let your fear of being judged keep you from reaching the people you were meant to reach. You won’t inspire anyone if they don’t know about you. 

2. Stay aligned above all else. 

There was a period in my business where I found myself emulating people who were having success in my industry, because that’s how I thought I would have success. RED FLAG. 

You might think this sounds like a really smart thing to do. But the issue lies in the fact that while they were “in my industry” their goals were not the same as mine. I mentioned earlier that my goals this past year were not based in financial growth or filling my 1:1 coaching program. If they were, I wouldn’t have started the podcast because to be frank, that’s not the fastest way to fill your coaching program. 

My goals were to create a recognizable brand (notice my domain is not my name. It is the brand that I’m focused on growing globally.) 

When your message and your business become misaligned with your true goals, everything stops. You stop feeling inspired to create, you stop attracting the people you want to attract (and start attracting the people you don’t) and everything gets so out of wack. 

I watched it happen to over a dozen other coaches I know. It goes like this: Launch brand, make money, get burnt out, realize you lost yourself and your true message along the way, go off the grid, rebrand, relaunch!

Whether you’re a speaker, a writer, a coach, or a consultant, ALWAYS be sure you’re staying true to your why. Always stay connected to this authentic drive behind your business and your brand will follow suit. 

The quickest way to lose steam is to start pretending to be something you’re not. 

How did I get back on track? Spending time with myself. Meditating, journaling, (thrashing a bit) and eventually just being honest with myself and with my followers. 

I’m super passionate about ensuring that my clients remain authentic in their branding so they never lose steam and can avoid this same mistake. I’m grateful for this lesson because it helps me to be a better personal branding coach and inspiration to people looking to be bold in their business (and in their life). The boldest thing you can do is to be unapologetically you. 

3. Be ruthless with your time. 

I truly believe that you can have everything you want in life. But the truth is, you likely can’t pursue it all at the same time. It’s going to be hard to create a new social circle, find your soulmate, lose 20 pounds AND build your business, simultaneously. 

If you’ve already got some of those areas of your life covered, awesome. But not everyone does. When you’re building things (be it relationships or a business) typically that one thing becomes the priority. 

In times of business growth, usually your social life suffers. That’s okay. Your true friends will understand that you’re not available to hang out and do nothing 7 nights a week. 

This boundary setting applies online as well. Even though Facebook messenger seems to have replaced email, your phone may be blowing up with texts 24 hours a day, and you may feel constant obligation to respond to people, you must resist. Set expectations on text, in email, and on platforms like Facebook messenger that you do NOT respond right away. 

You are busy building an empire! Be ruthless with your time! You think Marie Forleo or Seth Godin or [insert your thought leader of choice here] are spending their time responding to messages on Facebook? Ef no. 

And neither are you. Batch that sort of thing, and always remember your time is now valuable. If you don’t respect that, how can you expect other people to? 

Along the same vein, it can be really easy for new entrepreneurs to DIY every last thing. This is fine, to a degree. But please don’t make the same mistakes I’ve made. 

Don’t let yourself get sucked down the rabbit hole of custom CSS or website tweaks that seem to erase entire days. Why? Because it’s likely NOT a valuable, revenue-generating tweak that you’re making.  If it is, then calculate your worth on an hourly basis and then outsource that task as fast as possible. 

There are so many available avenues for sourcing developers, designers, copyrighters, FB ads specialists, etc. Upwork, Fiverr, Freelancer.com are just a few. 

4. Follow the right people and ignore everyone else. 

Once you start connecting with people in your industry, you’ll notice something happen almost immediately. Your Facebook feed will become overwhelmingly targeted towards you and this new path you’re on. 

You’ll get daily sponsored ads inviting you to challenges, courses, and opt-ins of many different shapes and sizes. If you join a bunch of new groups, your notifications will BLOW UP with all sorts of new things that seem important and urgent and you will want to check them, and then spend hours reading all these relevant posts. 


In fact, I encourage you to unfollow all of these new friends of yours, especially if they’re creating similar things. That may seem like a dick move, but it’s not. 

Come on, would I make you look like a dick? 

The reason for this, is you will be incapable of creating your badass brand if you’re bogged down with following others’. You’ll also increase your chances of 'compare and despair', thinking you should be much further along than so-and-so.

Similarly, this is a really easy way to trigger shiny-object syndrome. These are very serious ailments and should be avoided at all cost.

If you start clicking on all these amazing FREE TRAININGS TO GROW YOUR INSTAGRAM BY ONE MILLION PEOPLE and TRIPLE YOUR TRAFFIC ON PINTEREST WITH ONE IMAGE and whatever else, then it will be super easy to keep switching gears and trying all the things. But trying all the things simultaneously does not bring you success. Focus and consistency bring you success. 

So unfollow people who distract you from your goals. 

That being said, I highly recommend listening to podcasts, reading books, or watching videos by people who inspire you. These are typically thought leaders that are much, much further along than you are, so the tendency to compare yourself to them is much less. 

Instead you feel on FIRE after listening to their content. It sends you into a state of flow. You turn off the podcast or shut the book and immediately fill a page with ideas for blog posts, videos, courses, etc. 

These people are safe. They inspire you into motion, rather than trigger a downward spiral of self doubt and distracted, ineffective action. 

For me, these people are Lewis Howes, Liz Gilbert, Marie Forleo, Jason Silva, Tony Robbins, etc. You likely already know who your people are because they are the reason you got turned onto to this new world, and your new business in the first place. 

Just ensure that for every piece of content you consume, you produce 3. Don’t put off creating because you’re too caught up consuming. 

Entrepreneurship is one of the hardest things that someone can embark on, wrought with uncertainty and never ending self analysis. If you’re brave enough to launch a personal brand, the journey comes with a whole slew of other challenges. 

The rewards though are unparalleled. Testimonials from people who have changed their lives because of an article you wrote, or a piece of advice you gave them during coaching, create more fulfillment than I could possibly convey in this one article.

If you’re one of those people who knows you have a message to share, then chances are good you should. No one can say it the way you can, and you don’t know whose lives could go unaffected if you keep it inside. Just know that you have support and you never have to face it alone. 


Looking for support building your personal brand?

Struggling to get your message and your brand in front of the right people? I feel you. That’s why I’m inviting a select group of people to join me in a private group program this fall. Click here to get more details and know when we launch!