The Magic of Giving Yourself Two Years

The Magic of Giving Yourself Two Years

Clients ask me all the time, ‘How long will it take to be a success?’ Now of course, I can’t tell them. But what I do say is that when I got really serious about my business and knowing truly, deeply that it was how I wanted to live and make my income, I committed to showing up every…single…day for two years. It was the bargain I made with myself.  If, after those two years, I could not see a way that my business could be the success I dreamed for it, then I would walk away, knowing in my heart that I had given it my best shot.

Shifting Focus

Because up until then, I had had one foot in it, and one foot in my corporate career. Which meant that every time I got the entrepreneur blues (and we ALL get them), I would just shift focus to my career for a while.  Every single time though, I would get restless again and crave my coaching business, my writing, my teaching.

For me, giving myself those two years to make it work meant that I could release a little pressure of replacing my income and the scarcity mindset that would create.  It gave me permission to stay in my day job and use the income to invest in my business. It gave me the focus to create my own rules in what would work for me, around my commitments.  And it gave me the confidence to step up because now I had a deadline.

Create your own rules

 

The First Two Years

And over those two years I worked hard, I took clients in timezones that meant I could meet them early in the morning before I went to work, and later in the evening when I got home.  I wrote, and wrote and wrote when I was stuck in hotel rooms for work, rather than socialising, and I spent many of my lunch breaks on discovery calls, meeting with my coach or listening to webinars.

After the two years, my business wasn’t generating my day job income by a long stretch, but I knew it was time to let it go.  I had some health issues that my day job was not helping with, and I was likely to need surgery. My parents were also coming over to New Zealand from Scotland and I had no annual leave left to take while they were here for 6 weeks (which would turn out to be the last time I saw my Dad in person).  The internal pull to walk away was immeasurable, but it was so damn hard to walk away from that paycheck. (I used to call my day job my ‘golden handcuffs’. )

I remember making the decision and sitting in my kitchen just letting the tears come.  That was when I knew things had shifted.

And scary as it was, I am so glad I did.

The Next Two Years

I am now 2 more years down the track and my business is thriving.  I am working on a couple of opportunities that are also both 2 years in the making and will be the biggest and most exciting offerings that could catapult my earnings beyond my wildest dreams.

Without the patience and persistence that I have learned from my ‘2 year experiment’, these seeds would never have even been planted.

Let your business flourish

 

I have since shared this with many of my clients, and they too have prepared themselves for what seems like the long haul at the time, but often flies by.  And I am thrilled to report that many do not need to use the whole 2 years to build the momentum they need for their successful businesses, but they are prepared for it.

How about you?  Did you give yourself a couple of years to get your business off the ground?  Or, are you at the beginning stages and wondering how long it will take?

 

A tale of two entrepreneurs

A tale of two entrepreneurs

Once upon a time there were two entrepreneurs; Little Miss Perfect and Little Miss I Don’t Care

Little Miss Perfect knows how to be successful – she’s studied it. In her previous life she was a high achiever. In school she was top of her class.  At university, she worked hard, but she aced it.  And everyone told her she’d go far.

After a successful corporate career in marketing, Little Miss Perfect decided to go out on her own – she had this ‘success’ thing sorted, right?

Little Miss I Don’t Care never really shone in school. She got by, but she didn’t stand out academically. Rather than hit the books, Little Miss I Don’t Care preferred to hit the track or the social circles.

When asked what she wanted to do, Little Miss I Don’t Care knew more what she didn’t want to do, and that was be tied down to someone else’s timetable or structure.

Little Miss I Don’t Care was much more of a free spirit than that.  She knew that with the right determination and a bit of graft that she could make anything happen.

And that’s what she did.

So where are our two budding entrepreneurs today?…

Well Little Miss I Don’t Care has had her share of ups and downs, but her leaps have been great. She’s built vastly successful businesses, lost it all, and built it all back up again. She’s renowned in her field as being gutsy and taking calculated risks.  She is also very well respected and attracts interest and joint ventures from other big players.

Little Miss Perfect is adored by her friends, family and small number of clients. But she is also her industry’s best kept secret.  And that is playing havoc with her bank balance and her inner critic.  She’s not afraid of investing in personal development and knowledge but has yet to really back herself in her endeavours, and it’s stalling her progress.

Which entrepreneur are you?…

Which entrepreneur are you

 

If you are suffering from Little Miss Perfect syndrome, and it’s holding you back from the success that you know you can achieve with the RIGHT help, contact me for a Breakthrough Session.

My love/hate relationship with the internet

My love/hate relationship with the internet

I’ve got a bit of a love/hate relationship with the internet, and social media in particular.

I love it because it has given me the opportunity to really make a living from making a difference to people in every corner of the globe. I’ve made friends I would never have met without it, and I have created a location independent life that affords me freedom I have never known before.

But I hate it because it’s really tough to tell the truth from the BS that is being fed to people who are just starting out.

There ARE opportunities to be had, but more and more people are recognising that fact, and with every day it seems, it gets tougher to get going in the online business world. No longer is it enough to announce your offering and wait for the sales to roll in.

I’m grateful that I began when I did, because I made many of my mistakes when the pressure didn’t seem so intense.

What is the biggest obstacle to your success?

The truth is, that the internet really does offer amazing opportunities for connection and business building, but without knowing what it takes to really get momentum going, many amazing change makers like you, are giving up and returning to lives that don’t make their hearts sing.

You see there is more to it than just knowing your craft, or having a great website.

The biggest obstacle to your success is YOU!

The biggest obstacle to your success is you

 

And whilst it appeals to the introverts to work from behind their laptop screen – I know it did for me – you can’t escape you. The speed with which you can make it in your online business is directly related to the confidence and belief you have in yourself.  Think about it, when you truly know that something is meant to be, I bet you are a force to be reckoned with. But when there is even the slightest hint of self-doubt, where does all that confidence and action go?

The right support network

That is why it is CRUCIAL to put the necessary supports in place to ensure you have unwavering confidence about your online venture.

Necessary support

 

You need your skills for sure, but you also need:

  • Knowledge – the chances are that you do not know what you don’t know yet
  • Systems – getting organised and having systems in place will help you scale your idea quickly without tripping over the day-to-day stuff
  • Focus – it is SO tempting to look around but there you will find comparisonitis (the death knell of the online entrepreneur) and distractions you don’t need. Plan your time so that you stay focused on what you absolutely need to do right now.
  • Community – we all have ups and downs in this crazy journey. Surround yourself with likeminded people who are there in your downs, and who you can inspire in your ups. We do not grow in isolation.
  • Commitment – commit to showing up every day for the next 12 months minimum. I’m not saying it will take that long, but when you commit to a timeframe then you will weather the bumpy patches a whole lot easier.
  • Mindset – at the end of the day, it is all about you. The most successful entrepreneurs look after their minds just as well as they look after their bodies.

Once you have these key elements in place, there will be no stopping you.

Let me know how you get on.

 

Tips on how to Get Stuff Done

Tips on how to Get Stuff Done

People are often asking me how I get so much stuff done.

Like writing a book whilst working full time and building my coaching business.

Or, working part time and creating new courses and offers, being published in magazines, whilst doing home renovations, and creating celebration cakes.

Or, some other task that seems perfectly normal to me, but has someone else wondering if I ever sleep!

(And what they weren’t seeing were the countless projects and ideas that were/are lying in various stages of partial completion!)

Well first of all, yes I do sleep.  In fact, sleep is one of my favourite things so I am not one of these people who stays up til 3am, or gets up at 5am.

I work school hours (and sometimes a few extra hours here and there) and I don’t have any super powers sadly.

My secret? Sprints and Lists

The ‘magic’ comes from focus and planning (and I don’t even consider myself particularly good at either!)

Let me tell you about sprinting, and certainly NOT the running kind.

Sprinting is setting goals that you focus on for a short or defined period of time.  They are planned and require action.  It’s not sexy but like most things that work for me, they are simple and they work.

Planning

 

Let me digress for a moment to explain why they work.

As an entrepreneur my life is full of paradox – dream big, but get the details right.  Put yourself forward, but protect your introvert status. Keep striving, but relax and look after yourself first.

See? Paradox after paradox.

As humans we are not really designed to make grand changes – it triggers our fight, flight or freeze mechanism. It’s not safe to stand out and instinctively we need to fight that, or at least understand it in order to make changes and get things done.

The way to fly under the radar of this instinct is to plan. To plan in detail.

Why planning works?

Let me tell you, when I first learned this, I resisted BIG TIME!  I remember my mentor Natalie MacNeil telling me, ‘You need to plan every last detail before you begin’.

WHAT???

No way!  That was going to crush my free spirit, my creativity, my freedom of working for myself.  And besides, by the time I had planned the list of actions, couldn’t I have done half the work anyway?

Natalie’s response?

“Nope, write the list, do the planning.  And if you are not willing to, hire someone to write the list for you.”

Seriously?

So I took Natalie’s advice, and I started writing ridiculously granular lists.  And you know what?  It was THAT that made the difference.

It was THAT that took me from being a ‘chronic unfinisher’ to getting projects complete.

 

Chronic Unfinisher to completed projects

 

And it was also THAT that helped me to see that all of those things that well meaning friends and family have been telling me I am so ‘brave’ to do over the years, have really just been processes that I have completed step by step like the sprints I do in my life and business now.

What are your planning processes? If you need help with getting stuff done then contact me for an initial session.

Finding MY truth has been tough

Finding MY truth has been tough

I am so sick of posts, memes and blogs telling me that all I have to do to be successful is find my truth.

Let me be brutally honest with you – it has taken me YEARS to find my truth.  In fact, I am still finding it.

 

You must have seen them, “All you have to do is be you”, or “Just speak your truth and it will come to you”.

The tricky thing is that what they are saying is absolutely true, so we have a bit of a dilemma.

Hmm…

But the thing is that the vast majority of us are ALWAYS going to start out comparing ourselves to others.

It’s in our fundamental make up.

Think about it…

When we are children we look to others to see how to behave. We act, then we are either rewarded or penalised – this informs our future behaviour.

Then we go to school and the same thing happens. We act and we are rewarded or penalised by our teachers, and by our peers, and so that also informs our behaviour, values and beliefs going forward.

And if we head into further education or the workplace, then the pattern continues.

All the time we are being influenced by those around us, and our experiences.  It is human nature.

Then we wander into the online arena and are told – speak your truth.

But how many of us truly know what our truth is?

 

I know many who have a lot to give, but who are afraid that their truth isn’t true enough, isn’t powerful or worthy enough, just isn’t ENOUGH and it is holding them back.

I know it held me back for long enough.

But what is really happening is that we believe that WE are not powerful enough, WE are not worthy enough, WE are not enough, and it is at that belief that we need to look, and to change.

Because finding your truth is hard.  And I know I looked for mine in all the wrong places – hard work, learning more, more hard work, but avoiding the inner work, and THAT IS WHERE YOU WILL FIND YOUR TRUTH.

 

It’s not easy, but it is worth it.

Let me know how you get on xxx

And to find out more about working with Lorraine on a one-to-one basis, please click below.

Values Aligned Goal Setting

Values Aligned Goal Setting

At this time of year you probably can’t help but be bombarded with people asking what are your goals for next year?

And it can be a little bit overwhelming. So regardless of whether you are planning on setting some business or career goals for next year, or whether you are thinking about personal goals and New Year’s resolutions, I wanted to take a little bit of the pressure off and give

you a couple of insights that might help you make those goals stick.

Are you getting in your own way?

So first up one of the things that comes across my coaching practice regularly are people who are trying to achieve a goal but for some reason they just keep getting in their own way. It’s really common and it can be quite difficult to figure out for yourself.

One of the reasons behind this is that if we don’t create goals that are aligned to our core values, (those things that are most important to us as people), then we can run out of steam.

If we’re doing something because we feel we should be doing it, rather than because we have a real burning desire to do it and lots of reasons why we want to do it, we can run out of steam and it can seem like we’re trying to climb a mountain.

What are your core values, really?

I have very few non-negotiables in my coaching but one of the absolute non-negotiables that I have is that with every client I do a Values Exercise with them so that I can find out really what are their core values and what’s most important to them.

And we do that before we even talk about setting goals so that’s the first thing I want to share with you  – really discover what are your most important core values and don’t think that you know.

I would  encourage you to go through an exercise on working out what are your most important values because sometimes they shift, sometimes we carry values with us through our life that are being given to us by our parents or other influencers that just don’t fit anymore.

Explore your core values and if you’re having trouble with that then I offer a one off Clarity Session that takes you through my values process and you can find that on www.lorrainehamilton.net.

That’s the first thing, explore what your core, deep core personal values are.

What next?

I want you to think about which is the value that you want to put some focus on. Now I’ve got a number of layers of prioritization that I do with my clients to identify which value is the one that has the greatest opportunity, but just find the one that you think, actually yeah I want to have a bit more of THAT in my life next year.

Next I want you to do a bit of a brain dump. This is a great exercise. I use it in project management, I use it with clients, I use it in goal-setting and it really is an amazing tool to help you find out where to start.

For example you may have a goal for health next year, maybe health is an area that you want to put some focus on. But where do you start?

What are the actual goals that you’re going to set so that then you can design the actions that are going to get you there?

Sometimes that can be one of the hardest things.

STOP, START, CONTINUE

This tool is really handy – it’s called STOP START CONTINUE and it is really simple.

  • What do you need to STOP doing in order to improve your health next year?
  • What do you need to START doing to improve your health next year?
  • And what do you need to CONTINUE doing to improve your health next year?

It’s that simple and from that exercise a couple of things will come out. In the STOP and START columns you’re gonna have some real good fodder for goals to set. Because all of those things that you come up with are potentially a goal that is connected to your health value.

And in the CONTINUE column?

Well that’s stuff that you can congratulate yourself on for doing already, because so often we don’t actually take time to take stock of celebrating our successes and what we’re already doing.

If you take those little steps and apply them to your business, career or your personal goals for next year then they’re much more likely to stick and you’re much more likely to see them through past February.

Do an exercise on exploring what your core values are and if you’re struggling with that then check out www.lorrainehamilton.net where you’ll find my one off Clarity Session where I can help you with that.

Then identify one of the values that you want to work on and run it through STOP START CONTINUE to find some goals to set and some actions that are going to lead you there.

I’m looking forward to seeing you soar in 2018.

And to find out more about working with Lorraine on a one-to-one basis, please click below.