This is probably the longest post I have ever, ever written, so I turned into a little series. On starting, creating and building this little business known as Simply Real Health. The real, un-edited version.
So, last week I let you all in on the story and journey behind building my little soulful and heart-centered business.
And being what I call a #ladyboss.
Not #girlboss or #bosswoman. I purposely use the word lady, because to me, it implies a life of beautiful and feminine balance, in all areas of life, along with the crazy hustle and work hard of being an entrepreneur.
Which, if you haven’t noticed, is something I care about– deeply. I can’t run a business about balance and freedom with food and joy, and teaching others about keeping it simple– without doing and living those words myself. And daily.
So, we pick up today with PART 5. Ooo weee.
If you’ve missed the first parts, I’ve just been talking about everything that’s happened from starting a business doing something I love, in the last (almost) 8 years.
It’s been about about those big time dreams and inspiration and goals. And living the life you want to– and how, exactly, all of that goes down, and how it gets started.
But today, I wanted to share with you some more of the (real) details.
The gray-ish, gritty and not always pretty stuff.
About what it actually takes, daily, weekly, monthly and yearly to creating a business around something you love, and being able to also have a beautiful and fulfilling life outside of it.
Because, if you don’t, what’s the point?!
At least in my book. I’ve never wanted to be one of those stressed out, crazy, workaholic women who only have one focus in life: their work. And although owning a business means that you are that sometimes and there are definitely seasons of it FOR SURE, it doesn’t have to be your permanent state.
And, if you’re anything like me, when I was first starting out, I just kept seeing and hearing about these stories. Of crazy fast successes. Of people starting a business, and making six figures in the first 3 months. Or with one program sale.
And all of the glamour and life of the rich and famous that went along with it.
I mean, that’s inspiring to know about, don’t get me wrong.
But also, intimidating. And sometimes, it would make me feel discouraged– that I wasn’t where I should be, or that maybe I was doing something wrong if my business wasn’t doing the same.
Which it wasn’t. Especially in that first year. Ha. (In case you didn’t read my previous post on this, check it out here).
So today, I want to keep sharing my story.
Because although it may seem like a seamless progression from the outside, the fact is this: it’s been (almost) 8 years of testing.
Trying. Learning. Wild successes and just as many wild attempts that didn’t pan out as expected. Or that wildly failed.
And mostly, to share some of the more real, tangible life changing and business changing lessons that I’ve learned along the way.
I want to document it, so I don’t forget. And so I can remember to share the things that really made a difference for me, in case it’s a dream of yours one day too.
In the world of creative based small businesses (especially in the online space) running one, day-to-day can be glorified.
Yes, you get to call the shots. Do what you want. Create. Serve people. Have a bigger mission and live out your purpose in the world. Have way more fun. Feel more fulfilled.
But, it’s not easy. And definitely not for everyone.
And especially after last week’s post, when so many of you emailed me right back, filled with encouragement and inspiration and brimming with your own stories and dreams, and wondering if Marie’s bschool program would be a good fit for you too, I think it’s worth talking about (side note– her program opened this week and it only opens once a year, so more on that later).
So, today, some advice. On the biggest lessons I’ve learned as a #ladyboss and soloprenour online business owner.
And how to know if starting a business of your own is the right move for you.
And if this is the right time.
How To Know If Starting A Business Is For You.
AKA, the 22 Biggest Business (+ Life) Lessons I’ve Learned Thus Far:
#1. No one else is going to give you permission. To start what you want to start, to create, to do or to dream. You have to give it to yourself. Even if it feels fake at first.
Repeat after me. Waiting for someone to give you permission is like waiting for perfect timing. Neither exist, most of the time.
#2. Running a business that requires any sort of creativity on your behalf is insanely and crazily vulnerable. Get ready. It’s wide open and scary to produce things that other people might not react well to, or like.
If you are concerned with what others think of you, this piece can be paralyzing. Don’t let it be. Embrace it. Not everyone is going to like you, or your work. That is a good sign, because just as many people will.
#3. My motto for last year was simple: “feel the fear, and do it anyways”. Nothing big or revolutionary comes from staying in your comfort zone. Ever. Frame this on your wall.
#4. You won’t be good at everything. A lot of things, actually. Ask for help. (Oh hai. I’m still working on this piece daily.)
#5. You can choose to see things that happen in life or work in 2 ways: out of fear, or out of love. Choose love whenever you can, and re-choose it daily. Hourly, sometimes.
#6.If you are generous with your work to the world, the world will give it right back to you. Give things away for free, just because they can help others.
#7. If you don’t take care of yourself (physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually), your business won’t be able to take care of you.
These things are non-negotiables and time spent in each area will only help, not hurt your bottom line.
#8. It’s a disservice not to share your gift with the world. Words from Marie herself, that always help me during the harder days.
#9. Action-taking kick-assness PLUS your ability to quietly surrender to a higher power and listen, are traits that go together, and need each other equally.
One without the other will leave you stuck.
#10. Running your own business requires discipline. With your time, your routines, your energy and your money. And structure. No one else is going to do this for you when you first start out.
#11. Find a community. Running a business can be isolating. Lonely, even. Find people that are doing similar creative things so you can share and collaborate (and laugh and cry) together. The best thing I have ever done in my business was join a mastermind group of 3 other amazing and inspiring women, all around the same “age” in biz. I can’t even tell you how much this has changed stuff for me in the last year alone. Don’t wait like I did.
#12. You will never work harder. Longer hours. Weekends. But you’ll also never feel more free, satisfied, and fulfilled.
And of the two, with only one life to live, it’s always worth it.
#13. Know yourself well. Especially how you thrive: with your food, hours, work environments, if you’re introverted/extroverted, a big dreamer or a practical line item-er.
In order to succeed, you must embrace who you are, fully. And work with those traits, not against them. Get help for the rest.
#14.The hard stuff doesn’t just go away (tasks, conversations). You still have to do it (and do it solo). But they do get easier.
#15. You only make money when you create. So, do what you have to do to keep creating. It’s important. Make the space and make the time.
#16. Be yourself. So cliché, but it’s so true. Don’t copy others in your offerings, voice, branding or style. It’s so painfully apparent to everyone else.
Do you, girlfriend. And if you don’t know what that means, figure this piece out first. A successful business is dependent on it.
#17. Get a bookkeeper. And ASAP. Even if you forgo paying yourself to do so.
#18. There is never a perfect time to start a business, but be smart about the realities on your time, stress level, and income.
There is a lot of sacrifice that happens, especially in the first two years. But, it is usually so worth it if you’re willing to jump in and get dirty and figure things out. And can even be a fun time. So, just plan for it, in all areas of life.
#19. Realize the distinction of working ON your business vs IN your business. Owning your own, requires both.
#20. Trust your gut, always. Everyday, and end of story.
#21. No one starts at the top. Well, some people do. But not most. Give yourself at least 1 year in startup mode. And 2 years for growth and traction.
#22. Anything that is an investment in your own knowledge or growth will be money that will triple itself in value back to you, as long as you take it seriously and make the time for it. I learned this one from my wise dad.
Especially when you feel like the money might be a stretch, it’s always the best decision, for the people you meet, inspiration you receive and time dedicated to working on your business vs in it, in a bigger picture way.
So. I guess what I’m trying to say is that creating a business you love, so that you can live a more inspiring and beautiful life, does take a lot.
It takes so much patience.
Asking for help.
Meditation. Lots of prayers too.
It takes giving fear the boot.
A very positive attitude.
It takes being a problem solver.
And a willingness to continually invest in your own growth.
Which leads to me the next question.
Who is running and starting a business totally NOT for?
- if you procrastinate/get paralyzed with decisions
- if you blame others/play the victim in your own life
- if you let fear/anxiety control your life
- if you’re not good with uncertainty or leaving your comfort zone
- if you are already too stressed about life
- if you care too much about what others think of you
- if you have a negative attitude
- if you’re bored easily
- if you have no interest in scaling your business online, and prefer your income to be based only on in-person services and the hours you have each day.
So, what about those of you reading this, who are ready to take the jump? Or, at least, start the process?
To those of you who were able to say no to all of those questions above, and are ready to take some big time action in making those dreams come true?
Like I said last week, Marie Forleo’s 8 week bschool program was that big thing for me. The catalyst that changed it all, especially for building a business with a online component to it.
It was the thing that took my business from crazy one-woman-circus to a beautiful and inspiring life, that just keeps seeming to get better and gorgeously expand with time.
And, in case you’re getting that “YES!!” in your gut, like I did, here’s something awesome to know:
Her program registration opened last week, and closes quickly again on March 1st, next Friday.
It’s literally the only time of the year it’s available. One time, every year.
And there’s something else I want you to know.
I rarely promote anything. I don’t even allow ads on my blog (never have). Because I hate it. It feels so salesy and weird to me. But, this is something so different.
I truly believe in this program’s life-changing power so wholeheartedly.
I’ve done it myself. I’ve met so many amazing people through the process, and have heard their stories too.
They still make me cry, and continue to motivate me, through all the ups and downs this crazy journey can bring.
I also know that Marie Forleo is one of the most giving, generous, heart of gold, and by far, one of the smartest women I’ve ever known.
I’ve met her in person. Sat on her couch at MarieTV, and she is exactly as she seems– authentic, real, with a soul for serving other women. Her advice, over the course of the YEARS that I have followed her, is always so honest, right on point, and so whipsmart. In equal part a loving way, and in equal parts in a I’m-gonna-kindly-push-you-and-call-you-out-in-just-the-right-way, when you need it most.
I also know, that if you’re ready, there’s a reason you’re reading this post. You’ve been guided here.
I have chills, just writing that.
I know, because I was the same way.
So, two years ago, I officially became a bschool partner. Like that I am now on the same level as the women that I looked up to when I started. Which is craz-y. What?!
It’s an honor, and something I don’t take lightly.
It also means that anyone who takes the jump through me, gets access to a private bonus coaching group with me, for the whole way through her program, and after. With all the things I wish that I had, when I went through it myself.
And it’s totally free, doesn’t cost anything extra for you, and is included when you register.
It’s my way of giving back.
In doing so, not only will I become a mentor to all my #ladyboss babes through the 8 week process, but way beyond. I’ll be forming a group of my little business babies, as I like to call it.
To help, guide and hold their hands through the process, no matter where they are in their online business creation (and expansion!) process.
So they can stand on my shoulders. To go for their dreams. And have all the support and love and tools that they need to make it happen.
Oo wee, it gives me chills to think about.
B School Extras with Sarah:
- NEW! A live, in-person half-day workshop & mastermind strategy session. Because community, connection, and women supporting women on the path to creating their dreams. I mean, is there anything better? Meet all the women in our mini-mastermind in person (or join via livestream), and enjoy a beautiful catered lunch, hotseats and breakout sessions, a few special guest experts, a built in network of amazing women, and intimate live coaching from Sarah and team Simply Real Health on your business. I seriously cannot wait for this! ($497 value)
- 3 additional small group Q + A coaching calls through the program for extra accountability and problem-solving when you need it most in those first few months ($3,000 value)
- A personal accountability partner within our group (if you want one, we won’t force you ): we will match you up with another amazing woman that you check in with each week, get to encourage each other, and for some extra accountability and support through this workshop ($297)
- A exclusive small group private Facebook group & a mini mastermind to meet other women with big dreams and ask for help (this will exist forever for continual support) ($2,000 value)
- My intention setting practice to help you get clear on your own big dreams and how to call them in ($197)
- My favorite morning bevvie guide (because *chugging* more coffee may work in the beginning, but longterm there are healthier ways to sustain your energy, get more done, and take care of yourself!) ($25)
- Help, love & authentic support through the whole process via email, group forum and monthly calls ($3,000 value)
- that’s over $10,000 in extra bonuses!