January 27th marked one year since I left my 9–5 to coach full-time. It hasn’t been an easy year. There was a lot to learn, many things to put in place, disappointments to be had and questions around whether or not I was doing the right thing. Today, I know that I am exactly where I am supposed to be, doing exactly what I am supposed to be doing.
Along the way, there were 5 lessons I wish I had learned earlier in the process or listened to more closely, from those before me. No matter what your next big goal is, I hope that sharing what really stuck out for me will help you look at things a bit differently.
Make Yourself a Priority
I am nothing if I don’t have my health. Health is a very broad term and for me, is comprised of the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual aspects, each critical to how I felt on an on-going basis. The foundation is physical health. When I’m feeling tired, achy, or sick, I don’t feel like doing anything and I sure am not going to show up as my best self. It took me a while to figure out what works for me and little by little I am getting there.
One of the things I want to focus on in 2022, is being more consistent in my routines and fueling my body for longevity and endurance. If I’m going to step up my game this year, I cannot do it without optimizing my physical health. That means, not only good food and exercise, but plenty of restorative sleep and scheduling downtime before I feel the need to get away. By then, it’s may already too late. So, I captured in my agenda to get some time off every quarter, so I can stay ahead of the curve and keep topping off the tank, rather than letting it run on fumes.
Emotionally and mentally, it means removing the drama from my life and if I can’t remove it, not engaging in it. Avoiding situations and people who are likely to get under my skin. Drama takes an awful lot of energy and produces absolutely nothing. It is literally throwing your time away. It’s not only time you’ll never get back, but it’s time that saps your energy and leaves you feeling drained and unable to face life. Aim for as much of a drama-free life as possible.
Get Clear on Your Message
One of the reasons I feel I haven’t made as much headway as I would have liked is because although I’m getting closer to defining my audience and what I stand for, I haven’t nailed it yet. It’s not like I haven’t thought about it. Quite the contrary! I’ve thought about it quite a bit and have experimented with different audiences, age groups, struggles, passions, and everything in between. I just haven’t hit the nail on the head with what feels good in my soul. At the same time, I know I’m getting closer because it’s getting easier to articulate when I talk about it.
Life is very much the same way. When we lack clarity about who we are, what we want to accomplish, what our goals are, we can’t make progress. How do you know what to plan, who you need to show up as, if you don’t know where you’re headed? You can try to learn new things and you’ll enrich your life by doing so but imagine how much more powerful and accomplished you would feel if you decided on a desired outcome and put all of your energy and focus there…. How much more quickly do you think you’d get there? It’s the difference between aiming at a target with a shotgun vs. a sniper rifle. With a shotgun, some of your pellets are going to hit the target. But if you want to obliterate your target, you’re much better off using a sniper rifle!
We also get in our own way in wanting to be perfect. Perfection is a myth. It doesn’t exist. We may see what others are doing and think they’re doing it perfectly, but I guarantee that in their eyes, they don’t think that and yet they don’t care. They’re trying things and people get to know them through their trial and error. By wanting to be perfect, we’re effectively procrastinating. We are hedging our bets. Noone can tell us our content isn’t good if we don’t put it out there to be evaluated and critiqued, right…?
So, I decided I’ve sat on the fence long enough and resolved that I would hit the month of Feb running and finally put this to bed with have a clear image of who my ideal client is and how I serve them. This will help me tremendously in my communication and speaking most effectively about who I am and whom I help.
Commit & Be Consistent
The first week after my retirement from corporate, I hit the ground running. For a whole week, I posted daily, did a couple of videos, announced that I had done the deed and was embarking on this new adventure. Then, my health took a downturn. I had acute back spasms, which I attributed to 30 years of corporate stress leaving my body. I literally felt I was going to die because I couldn’t breathe due to the severity of the attack. This resulted in 1 month of physical therapy. Then, I decided to take an additional month to just enjoy being and living. I was also starting to question how I was going to move forward, how to structure my day, how to attract whom I wanted to work with. Taking that additional month, was also a form of procrastination and underlying fear behind the decision.
So, what happened? I lost a lot of momentum! When I got back in the saddle, it was” crickets”… You know the feeling, that deafening silence, which allows you to hear the crickets… That meant starting from scratch and I had a good run for 9 months and then I got sick in December, probably from running hard with no break for that long and stepped away for just 1 week. Again, I felt like I took a step backwards.