When I started my first company, I loved everything about it. The hours were amazing. I could take as many vacations as I wanted. And the best part – I loved every minute of what I was doing. With every new client, I was happier and happier. That was what I call the “romping through the fields” phase.
Cash flow wasn’t super high in this phase. I wasn’t able to split the bill at dinners with friends anymore because I couldn’t afford it. I started secretly telling the waitress to bring me a separate check and I only ordered appetizers. I told myself it was healthy.
I cancelled my gym membership because I needed to cut down on expenses. I told myself I had more time to workout outside.
I stopped buying new clothes and started piecing together my current clothes to create new outfits. I told myself it was better not to consume too much.
And for a while it all worked out. I lived more simply and was incredibly happy.
And then it shifted. It wasn’t as a result of a big thud or an event. I just suddenly became aware of the fact that I wasn’t happy. Somewhere along the road my passion had turned into my prison.
I couldn’t figure out how to build my business to support my lifestyle – so I just stopped dreaming. And just as gradually as I became aware of my unhappiness, I heard an inner voice, softly at first, then louder. It was a voice of determination – determination to live life on my terms and fulfill my purpose on the planet.
That began my journey towards being bigger, not smaller. Walking towards my dreams, not away from them. And it led to the success that I enjoy today.
I write this story because I know that many of you are experiencing the same events in your own lives. You’ve become smaller. You’ve stopped hoping. You’ve stopped planning. You’ve stopped dreaming.
I’d like to invite you to make this the year of the dream. I know it sounds corny – but corny is necessary sometimes. Really, I invite you to take a minute right now and remember why you started your business. What was your dream?
I want you to know that you can have it all. You can have an amazing business and an amazing lifestyle. You can start dreaming again. You can start asking for what you want. I know because I’ve helped hundreds of clients start dreaming again and I’m excited to do the same for you.
I’d like to give you three of the biggest lessons I learned on my path towards my dream. These are the lessons that I wish I knew back then.
1. If you are struggling, then there is something that you just don’t understand. Find someone who can help you. Ask the right questions. Keep looking until you find the answers you need. Keep asking until it is clear. Don’t stop. Don’t get embarrassed. Don’t worry about what anyone thinks. I’ve spent thousands of dollars on business training. The answers came from 10% of those dollars. But I had to spend it all to find the right answers.
Do not assume there is something wrong with you. Do not assume it is impossible. Do not shrink into old securities. Yes, those paths are easier. But they will only make you smaller.
2. Step into your fear. We all create plans. Then when we get to a place in the plan where it is scary, or where we don’t know what to do next, or where we fall on our faces, we stop. Know that discomfort is part of the process. If you aren’t just a little bit afraid, you aren’t growing.
It is usually just behind your fears that both success and money love to hang out.
I used to think that it was supposed to be easy – this making money thing. It always looked easy for everyone else. Now I know the truth. You should too. Making money isn’t hard. It doesn’t have to be a struggle. But it does take effort. And the effort is a result of having to move beyond your fears and stuck points.
3. Make Sure You’ve Got Someone Who is Willing to Take a Stand for You. Here’s the thing – expanding isn’t easy. And there will be times when you are stuck in quicksand or when you are terrified to move forward. Make sure you’ve got people in your life that are going to encourage you to move forward – even if you hate them in the process. Someone who is willing to say, “Just get it done. I don’t care how scared you are. Stop procrastinating and get this moving.”
I am thankful to my coach and my partner. Both have been the reason I don’t go running the other way when the scary moments come. They aren’t always sweet. But they hold onto my dreams and my potential when I can’t seem to get a grip. When I am clouded with fear – they are crystal clear. And they aren’t afraid to take a stand.
Everyone needs this kind of support.
Determine what you don’t understand and get some help to figure it out. Step into your fear. Get the support you need. Here’s to making this the year of dreams!
© Copyright 2012 Monica Shah