My Biggest Business Mistake

Though there are many small decisions I made during my first year in business that I wish I hadn’t, the biggest mistake I made was forgetting who I am.

For some reason, as I stretched into the great unknown of launching my own coaching practice, I completely forgot everything I had ever done before, that had led me to this moment.

I forgot that I’ve never done something just because everyone else was doing it.

I forgot that I’ve always trusted my own instincts above any other opinion.

I forgot that I’ve accomplished TONS of new things in my life without knowing what I was doing when I started and without hiring someone else to teach me.

My mistake was looking for someone else to do it for me (imitating others' versions of success) instead of letting myself discover the answers along the way. This is MY way of doing things -- it isn’t the best way, or the right way, it’s just MY way.

And when it comes to running my own business,
if I’m not doing it my way, then why am I doing it at all?

Chasing the Wrong Dream

When I dove into researching the coaching industry, I was quickly overwhelmed with information. Despite the fact that so many coaches are competing to win your business, most of their stories started sounding the same. 

  • I help my clients achieve $20k months.
  • Here are the EXACT steps I took to reach 6-figures my first year in business.
  • I was broke and unemployed, but now I'm lying on a beach, working 3 days a month - and so can you!

I WAS broke and unemployed when I started my business, so these claims were quite appealing to me. But after months of following these coaches (and investing in some of their programs), I realized something really, really important:

Coaches attract clients who are like them. {super insightful of me, right?}

If a coach advertises herself by sharing her financial success, then she is going to attract people who WANT that same financial story. And while there is nothing inherently wrong with making honest money for good work, MONEY HAS NEVER MOTIVATED ME TO DO ANYTHING. So why in the world was I trying to learn from coaches who used their money stories to attract clients?!? 

Not only that, but I've never done something just because someone else told me to. For better or for worse, I AM A RULE BREAKER WHO RESISTS AUTHORITY. If someone tells me, “this is the best way” or “this is what worked for me”, I instinctively want to try the opposite to see if it will work. It’s rarely meant to be combative or prideful - I’m genuinely curious about the challenge of trying it differently. So why was I paying to take other people's methods for myself?!? 

My Story

Years ago, a non-profit organization near my neighborhood wanted to open a thrift store as an outreach to the low-income community they served. I interviewed for a part-time assistant position, responsible for sorting and cleaning donations. 

When the Executive Director brought me in for a second interview, she offered me a full-time job as the Director of Outreach, responsible for actually opening and operating the thrift store.

I had never opened or operated a retail store before. In fact, other than 2 sad weeks in college of working for a bathing suit store at the mall, I had absolutely no retail experience. I had a liberal arts degree (in political science and theater). There was no good reason to hire me (for a job I hadn't even applied for and was certainly NOT QUALIFIED to fulfill).

But she did. And a year later, I hired someone else to manage the now-open thrift store so that I could launch a brand-new Education Program (that I had dreamed up) for the organization. 

I didn't (and couldn't) hire someone else to teach me the jobs I did here. I wasn't successful in these roles because I knew what I was doing. I wasn't successful because I imitated what anyone else had done. I wasn't even successful because I was passionate about the work. 

I accepted the crazy job offer
- and, ultimately, I succeeded in my roles - 
because I knew it was exactly what God wanted me to do, and I believed, if I followed his lead,
then I would be able to accomplish whatever
he wanted of me there.   

There's a lot more to this story, including how I wound up interviewing in the first place, that explains how I knew this was from God. But the most important part of this story, today, is that

when I felt God calling me to become a coach,
I forgot all of this. 

I don’t know what was different this time -- maybe it was because I was finally doing something for myself, not for someone else. Before, I was part of a team, I had a boss to report to or others answering to me, so perhaps, subconsciously, there was a sort of safety net in those places. But now, I’m on my own. No one else has to approve my choices. No one but me suffers the consequences of a wrong turn.

When I had all the freedom in the world, I had no direction and I forgot my footing. I suddenly doubted that I had any ability to accomplish anything. I assumed that someone else had the answers I needed, and that if I found the perfect ‘someone’, then I, too, would have their same success.

My Dream, My Way

I became a coach because I believe that conversations can change the world.

I believe that truth frees us from fear, and that freedom empowers us to be who we're meant to be.

And I believe that if LEADERS are armed with TRUTH + COURAGE + COMPASSION, then their AMBITIONS will have exponential impact in the places that need to be transformed for good.

THAT is MY definition of success: empowering mission-driven leaders to fulfill their callings and accomplish their dreams (because those dreams are going to save the rest of us). 

My only goal is to keep having life-changing conversations with people who inspire me. I believe that if I show up to serve those people, then my business will succeed.  

Are you on a mission to change the world, but you need a little less fear, a little more support, and a powerhouse of truth to keep you moving forward? Click the link below for a no-holding-back conversation that won't cost a penny (but may require something even bigger from you).  

just some of my many faces and facets that I hope to never forget again

just some of my many faces and facets that I hope to never forget again