Let’s start 2022 (or anytime really) with a helpful mindset.
Whether you’ve just set your goal, you’re still celebrating last year’s success or you’re finding yourself bummed because last year didn’t turn out like you’d hoped. It’s time to find a helpful mindset as you move forward.
This episode is my pep talk to you so you can find the most helpful mindset for you. Let’s do this!
The concept of a helpful mindset
So let’s think about the concept of a helpful mindset. Whether you’re starting a year or starting a week or even a day, what type of mindset will help you make progress and have ease in that time frame. A helpful one. So that’s what we’re talking about today.
Please notice that I’m saying helpful and not positive. Yes, we want a positive mindset but that just isn’t the case 100% of the time. I wish it was, but it’s not the truth. So even if you can’t cultivate a positive mindset today, I bet you can cultivate a helpful one.
Where you might be today
I received an email from one of my one-on-one coaching clients that said this:
“I want to thank you for a year of support. I can’t believe we worked for a full year! I learned so much. Although I would like to be departing with a feeling of more success, I understand the business road is bumpy and there were many mini successes throughout the year. And I was so lucky that you were my coach on this road. You are compassionate, thoughtful, and patient. All the qualities that I need in a coach.”
While I read “there were many mini successes throughout the year” I could feel the sting of “I would like to be departing with a feeling of more success”.
That sting is real and we all feel this - this is entrepreneurship. I feel this, you feel this or will feel this and Oprah (yes, Oprah) has felt this. Every business owner on the planet has and will continue to feel this. This is part of being a business owner. And truthfully, it’s the part that sucks.
You and I as business owners are driven. That’s how we can succeed, but it’s also the curse we have. Driven means we will always want more, we will be driven to do more, achieve more, create more. Can I get an amen?
I feel this as I’m saying it to you right now. I will never claim that I know everything about entrepreneurship or say that I do everything right. Never. And I’ll be the first to say that this is probably my number one pitfall as an entrepreneur. I push for more. More revenue, more success, more, more, more.
This really helps me move my business forward each day, but it also stops me from feeling the success of the achievements I’ve reached. I have to actively, and often forcefully, stop to recognize and celebrate the achievements I’ve reached already.
This is why in episode #120 I talked so much about what your definition of success is and truly understanding that. Because this is critical. I want you to understand what your version of "enough" is. I was helped a lot when I stopped to think about the Amanda who started this business in 2017 - she would be freaking pumped at the business I have today! Her mind would be blown! But yet so many days I will beat myself up for not reaching the new, higher goal I set.
And so when I read that email from my dear client, I almost cried. I thought immediately “did I push her too much?”. I know that I didn’t, that she declared her goals and I helped her in every way possible but I couldn’t help but wonder. So if you find yourself doing this too when a student of yours doesn’t reach their goal, please remember you did all you could to help them along the way. And be sure to read all the words in the email or message and not just focus on the few words that stick out.
So what I’m about to share with you is what I shared with her in an email back, but I am going to make it more general so you can apply it to your business. And the overall message that I want you to hear is that to go into this new year (or whenever you’re reading this) with a helpful mindset, you have to truly take an inventory of what you have done. Glance back to move forward.
**This was also a podcast episode (episode #129). Use the player below if you'd prefer to listen to this message.
Remind yourself of what you HAVE done
Here’s what I wrote to my client:
I also want to remind you of how much you've done over the past year. I know it's really hard to look at the numbers today and feel great about it all but like you mentioned in your email, running a business is an up and down thing and it's tough. You know I know that's true too! And sometimes it's helpful to look at not just the numbers or the list but reflect on things overall - how many things you tried, all the times you wanted to give up but didn't, and the things you didn't think would work but they did! Plus it's really really important to remember that no one year will ever be the same as another (especially during a pandemic!) so while we often compare year over year data/information it's not always comparing equal things.
I then went on to list all the things she had done, tried, and accomplished over the past year. When I work with someone we keep a shared Google Doc of all the notes during our coaching sessions so I was able to look back at a year of notes! 20+ pages of notes to be exact! And what a reflection it was. There were times during my reflection that I found myself tearing up as I remembered the conversations we had. Some were HUGE celebrations - like when she had 20 people registered for a 6 week series and that far past her goal! And some were more of me listening to the tough stuff and providing an outside perspective - like when she was dealing with tech issues or struggling with registration for a series.
In my email back to her I wrote a bulleted list of all the things she did and tried and learned over the past year and this is what I hope you stop and do today too. Take an inventory of these things and truly stop to read what you did last year, and please don’t forget the things that happened last year, too. Because we often glaze over things that were out of our control but still impacted our year. Things like an ongoing pandemic, changes with family dynamics, health issues, financial stress, loss of a family member or friend, marriage, divorce, births, vacations or lack of vacations, challenging conversations and so many other things that could impact our lives.
Here are a few things from her list that I want to call out and adapt for you:
Becoming more confident
Over the course of the year we worked together she steadily became more confident as she priced her offerings and marketed them. And I bet this is true for you too (or will be this year). As you open an offering and see success in whatever that looks like for you, you will then become more confident in your price and might even raise it!
This isn’t something we can measure with revenue or email list subscribers, but it’s incredibly impactful for your business. This takes time but as you gain more confidence, your business will grow. And this often also includes navigating tough conversations. Maybe it’s a student who wants a discount on an offering but you say no, maybe it’s a collaboration that wants you to teach for free but you say no. These are hard days but they lead to more confidence and more yes’s in the future that fit your business better.
But for today, I want you to reflect back on your pricing and your growth in confidence last year. Even if you don’t feel like you’ve mastered this, focus on the improvement you did make!
More focused messaging and marketing
Another thing that we worked on together and I saw huge improvement with was her focus on her message. I talk a lot about marketing and messaging and finding your core message. Yes this is often tied to your niche but