“It’s just business, it’s NOT personal.” You’ve heard this before, right? Do you agree?
I wholeheartedly DISAGREE. Matter of fact for a long time I had a headline on the salespage of Laptop Lifestyle YOUniversity that read:
“Business IS Personal. It’s Life. It’s YOUR Life.”
This is especially true if you’re running a small business with no employees like those of us selling digital products, doing affiliate marketing and offering services individually. I’m assuming since you’re reading this blog that’s something you want to do or are already doing, too.
I put my heart and soul into my business. I share my LIFE with others through my business. It will be my legacy.
For many years I didn’t have a vision and you could tell.
I had a GOAL. That goal was to stay at home with my son.
I had DETERMINATION. I was not willing to give up or give in, even when I had to take a factory job.
But I didn’t have a Vision.
I didn’t have something that pulled and tugged on my heart as my mission to do in this world.
I know that’s big.
I know it’s deep.
I know it might feel like something that’s not even possible for you right now.
I know that because I was in that position, too.
I was in the position where I desperately wanted to be a success, yet didn’t know how to make it happen.
I tried to model others, but that didn’t work.
I tried to join businesses that were already started, but that didn’t work.
I tried to do every potential money-making method at once, but that didn’t work.
I tried to sell other people’s stuff, but that didn’t work.
I tried to be a service provider and help other people with their businesses, but I didn’t like that.
I KNEW there was more for me but I didn’t know how to find it.
What good is all this to you? How will it help YOU find your vision for your business?
What I hope you gain from reading this particular chapter is that YOU CAN CHANGE THE WORLD.
You need to believe that. That one small action from you actually does create a ripple effect out into the world and it happens every day no matter if you planned to or not. Instead of just letting it happen randomly, you can plan it with your vision.
There was a time when I didn’t believe I could change anything about my own life, let alone the world. It was SO BIG a thing to do that I couldn’t even think of it. And yet my not thinking of it was the very thing keeping me from attaining it!
From the time just before my son was born to just after he turned ten years old I lived in the basement apartment of my parent’s house. I had quit my job in 2007, a factory job, in order to work from home. I had quit a career in Chemical Technology when my son was four months old but after a few years of trying I had gone back to work at the factory.
I had never felt in control of my life, as I said, so “Vision” had no meaning to me at all. I was more in “Survival” mode, though my single mom survival mode was much “luckier” than most because there was never a threat of lack of food or shelter, I still felt so trapped, so demotivated, so demoralized, so dependant.
I now know that ALL those feelings came from ME.
They weren’t placed on me by anyone. I was ashamed of my life situation yet I felt completely stuck and unable to do anything about it.
But what I had was my “Grit” as some people call it.
I simple would NOT give up.
So in 2007, with everyone who knew me thinking I was crazy, I walked off the factory lot and away from that afternoon shift, dark, depressing and repetitive job and into the Laptop Lifestyle. I have NEVER looked back!
Here’s the paystub from my final paycheck…. I love to pull this out for any content that I can because I’m so proud that this is the last time I EVER got paid from a company or corporation:
My business grew, granted it grew slow.
And in the first year after gaining my freedom I felt trapped AGAIN. I was now trapped by my own business. I quit my job to provide website and marketing services to solopreneur business owners, mostly moms, and I had about 15 clients who were keeping me busy all the time and I was without ANY boundaries. I was at my desk CONSTANTLY and the freedom I thought I’d gain by quitting my job was nowhere to be seen.
And the freedom – what was that?
I wasn’t free to work on what I wanted, when I wanted or where I wanted. I could pick WHO I worked with but even then I picked them out of fear and not how awesome I thought they’d be to work with.
I very vividly remember one day when my mom and dad came downstairs to where I was working at my desk and TOLD ME I was going for a walk with them. I refused and said I had work to go but they insisted and something about the way they said it told me I should listen.
So I went for the walk with them and my legs actually HURT from simple movement. Like steps were hard. This was not normal. During the walk I commented on it and my mom said “your muscles are experiencing atrophy”.
Yea, it had gone that far.
I had spent all day, all night and every day at my desk.
My son wasn’t getting to get ANY quality time with his mom.
I was seriously overworking myself.
I wasn’t even making what I had made at the factory (first year home I made about $24,000)!
I truly and completely know this came down to my not having a very clear vision for what I wanted my life to look like and how I wanted to affect change in the world. All I wanted was money and it’s all I figured I could do to create it was work harder and harder – that didn’t work very well since $24k is probably not much more than what I could have gotten on welfare!
If I had set my vision BEFORE I set to work I would NOT allow myself to deplete my energy, my time with family and even my body. NO. What I’d have done instead was foster an environment where I would and could nurture my energy, spend tons of quality time with family, love my body and spend all the time I want on taking care of ME.
They say you learn the most from the mistakes you make, though.
I learned so much from all the struggles I experienced in that first year.
Clients calling me names when I set boundaries (even ones who run “relaxation retreats” lol).
Muscle atrophy from literally almost never moving my body.
Taking on more work than I could handle.
Thinking that more time invested equals more money (it really does not).
From those struggles I developed a vision.
From those struggles I knew I would NEVER AGAIN be working so hard I neglected my body.
From those struggles I know that I had the right to choose AMAZING clients.
From those struggles I knew I had to DESIGN a lifestyle I wanted.
From those struggles I knew I could HELP OTHERS bust through the services trap and use their skills, talents and abilities to create LEVERAGE for their life!
And that’s where we end up today. In a message FOR you from the choices I made over fifteen years ago.
The lessons I learned drive me to help others have the freedom I mismanaged at first and then MASTERED at second.
I now get to live however I want. I get to choose every day. I get to do what drives me.
And to recap where I now get my motivation, inspiration and drive to keep going:
- Freedom to do whatever the F I want, when I want, where I want, with who I want and how I want. Really, nobody tells me to do nothing (except the goverment who I guess tells me to pay my taxes lol) and I love it that way!
- Vision to inspire and guide people like YOU to a lifestyle like mine. It didn’t happen by accident and I’m very motivated by the idea that the more of us there are the better our world will be!
- Money helps me do fun things, feel at ease and get out of the inconveniences of life without stress. I like that. I’m sure you do, too.
I believe this is not something special to ME.
I am what you might call a “10 Year Overnight Success” as a friend pointed out recently. In 2018 I hit my first six figures (just over $100k) and for 2019 I grew that income yet again. I’ll aim to keep growing it, perhaps even doubling or more it at some point soon.
To make that happen I needed Vision, Focus and Determination. I didn’t come about them in my first year or even my second year or third year. I found them with persistance. I found them by always trying again. By putting focus to explore, create and embrace the vision I have never fallen back into the overwhelm, overwork and burnt out path – I learned my lesson there.
As I said I’m not some freak of nature. I truly believe that you can do this, too. I believe you can find something that pulls deep on your heart and makes you feel like you can make a difference in the lives of others by taking action.
There’s no need to wait and there’s no time to waste. Determine your Vision and hop on board the Digital Business Revolution!